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Old 07-25-2018, 06:20 PM   #41
Jack O'All Trades
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Reactions to the new staff spells

People have brought up the playtesting required for some of the bigger changes like Staff spells, Weapon talents, and having talents work through memory slots during character creation but be bought by XP after that (harder to just make up some 36 point characters for Death Test 2?), and I'm wondering if the PDF release from the Kickstarter will aim to basically be an "open beta" followed by a more final release around the time the boxed editions are shipped.

I think if that's the case then a lot of the big changes will end up whittled down into good additions, but I'll admit I'm a bit worried if the snippets we're seeing here are 1) all the changes, as some may be mitigated by unannounced changes, and 2) are certain to be in the final release.
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Old 07-25-2018, 06:40 PM   #42
flankspeed
 
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Default Re: Reactions to the new staff spells

Acknowledging that my opinion could change with playtesting, I like the idea of somehow giving Wizards “mana” points equal to their IQ in addition to allowing them to use ST as Fatigue points. Wizards are almost always portrayed as being weaker than fighters, and an easy way to allow them to be physically weak while being magically strong is to somehow give them IQ-based mana.

ST is still important to a Wizard even if their extra mana is based on IQ. ST equals Hit Points, and this is not to be underestimated in importance! A Wizard who chooses to increase their ST over IQ is already rewarded by surviving more damage than a higher IQ Wizard while still being able to use more Fatigue to power spells.

I personally want the extra Mana to be an innate part of the Wizard’s being, not part of their staff. I want to encourage the Dr. Strange, empty-handed sorceror instead of forcing everyone to be Harry Potter or Gandalf. The staff should still offer some benefits to the Wizard, of course, but I would probably allow all Wizards to have 1xIQ in mana. The staff could perhaps store more mana, but at least Dr. Strange would be viable without waving around a wand or staff.

But just like everything we propose in these forums, playtesting is vital, and my opinion is subject to change based on such testing.
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Last edited by flankspeed; 07-25-2018 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 07-25-2018, 06:46 PM   #43
JLV
 
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Default Re: Reactions to the new staff spells

Well, of course, you have ST Batteries (soon to be renamed "powerstones" a la GURPS), which provide a source of magical ST without being a Staff...
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:22 PM   #44
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Default Re: Reactions to the new staff spells

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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
Well, of course, you have ST Batteries (soon to be renamed "powerstones" a la GURPS), which provide a source of magical ST without being a Staff...
However, the Staff spell is something the player has agency in gaining early in their career, as they choose the spell themselves.

Powerstones, if they follow the same rules as the original edition, can't be made by the players until they gain Greater Magical Item Creation (IQ 20), and have piles of cash to buy the gems and ingredients. That means, until those conditions are met (likely much later in the character's career), it's only by GM fiat that a character might gain a powerstone, and probably not of significant ST storage, if at all.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:23 PM   #45
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Reactions to the new staff spells

The best comments here are the calls for play testing. There are good arguments for higher or lower power levels and greater or lesser lethality. And the game has always contained some pretty open ended options (exploding gems that will bring the house down; 15 point Wizards Wrath; etc.) and they never 'broke' it. But, any change that you imagine many or most players will eventually use should get run through its paces on the table top at least a dozen times, just to make sure you haven't introduced something that takes over the game.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:26 PM   #46
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Default Re: Reactions to the new staff spells

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Originally Posted by Oneiros View Post
However, the Staff spell is something the player has agency in gaining early in their career, as they choose the spell themselves.

Powerstones, if they follow the same rules as the original edition, can't be made by the players until they gain Greater Magical Item Creation (IQ 20), and have piles of cash to buy the gems and ingredients. That means, until those conditions are met (likely much later in the character's career), it's only by GM fiat that a character might gain a powerstone, and probably not of significant ST storage, if at all.
The assumption being that those rules are still in effect. It's probably a valid assumption, but we don't know for sure. Just sayin'...
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:52 PM   #47
Rick_Smith
 
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Default All those wizards who don't bother with staffs.

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Originally Posted by Oneiros View Post
However, the Staff spell is something the player has agency in gaining early in their career, as they choose the spell themselves. ..l.
Hi Oneiros.
What choice? The staff is so hugely important that every wizard will have one. It is a hugely dominate strategy.

Warm regards, Rick.
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:01 PM   #48
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Default Re: All those wizards who don't bother with staffs.

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Hi Oneiros.
What choice? The staff is so hugely important that every wizard will have one. It is a hugely dominate strategy.

Warm regards, Rick.
Yup, the proposed rules will make staves de rigueur and have the effect of homogenizing wizards.
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:44 AM   #49
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Reactions to the new staff spells

The second draft of the XP rules posted by SJ mentioned the idea that a Staff could be various non-staff things including jewelry and so on. Though the new staff description posted on the site seems to make the form somewhat a special effect, as it simply zaps foes rather than needing to be used to hit with it.

I'm not really sympathetic to the added staff zap powers. I see more problem points than good points:

Good:

* Less complaining from people who don't like running out of ST as wizards (I don't sympathize with this much - seems to me fatigue is a very "fair" price to pay for the various magic powers.)

* They give a definition for how staff damage could work in combination with physically hitting someone with a staff that's also a quarterstaff or whatever.

* Some people would enjoy the new powers.

Not so good:

* The IQ 13 giving a to-hit at IQ + 3 (or DX + 3) seems like a mistake. That means a minimum of 16, and 16 is an auto-miss, so was that a typo and it should say IQ +0 or DX +3?

* I can't believe it's intended to be able to do aimed shots with it. That would be rather annoyingly overpowered, it seems to me.

* Magically zapping things with no fatigue seems overpowered.

* Zapping things while doing whatever else you want at the same time seems overpowered.

* The armor-negating ability seems like a counter to heavy non-flesh armor... which is something that should exist, but except for a setting that just wants all wizards to have strong free zappy bonus powers, I think it should not be a free bonus feature of something every wizard will want for the ST battery effect anyway. It should cost ST. It should need to hit and not be aimed with IQ. It should be a different spell from one that's super-useful for all wizards for other features.

* I'm also imagining prisoner situations where a wizard has a concealed "staff" or even gets a twig and casts a Staff spell on it so he can zap people to escape.

I mean, there are settings where wizards just do get lots of strong powers and they can be fun, but it seems like the sort of thing that should be a campaign option rather than a thing added to all TFT by default.

Oh, and also, if non-wizards are going to be more able than in original TFT to pick up spells (or maybe even if not), I can see some non-wizards with higher IQs deciding to get this new Staff spell just for the zap powers (even IQ 11 for the armor-bypassing effect).
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:56 AM   #50
Anomylous
 
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Default Re: Reactions to the new staff spells

First post on these forums - hi everybody! You may know me from the mailing list as "Meg" or "barnswallow".

I haven't read all the replies on this thread as carefully as they no doubt merit, so forgive me if I'm reiterating anything needlessly.

I like the idea of increasing the capability of the wizard's staff, in general - and I like much of the way it's implemented. In particular, using the staff as a ST battery is an idea that I'd already considered house-ruling into my own games. (Edit: I also like the fact that there are multiple levels of staff now, rather than just two, and the zappy attack bypassing armor, though I agree that aimed shots should not be possible with it.)

Another option I've considered, is using the staff as a "spell battery" - casting a spell into the staff ahead of time, to be released when it's needed. Number of spells that could be held this way, and their total ST cost, would probably be based on the IQ of the wizard / level of Staff spell. Basically it's a way to reward players for planning ahead - I'm a fan of the Dresden Files books and the wizard protagonist absolutely lives by his ability to combine meticulous preparation with bare-knuckled improvisation.

I'm not at all sure I like the "attack as a free action, no roll to hit" capability. TFT as I know it doesn't really do free actions, and the fact that you can usually only do one thing per turn contributes to both tactical complexity and dramatic tension (i.e. will the wizard cast 7-hex Wall to set up a much-needed line of defense for the whole team, or deal with the single foe bearing down on him personally?).

These rules do seem to create a neat and subtle drawback to relying on a staff. Over time, a wizard using his staff as a ST battery will end up weaker and less versatile due to the expense of leveling up the storage capacity (200 XP per point, if I'm reading it right?), compared to a wizard who just spends his XP on attributes (or spells/talents, is that a thing now?). And as a GM, I would definitely rule that a staff is neither un-loseable nor un-breakable, though yes, I would agree that random ordinary dice rolls probably won't do it.

I suppose this is also as good a place as any to note that I've been toying for a while with the idea of lowering, or even removing, the barrier between wizards and non-wizards - which could potentially open up a whole new category of unique, effective, and possibly very broken character builds. I'd definitely keep the Iron and Magic penalties though.

Last edited by Anomylous; 07-26-2018 at 02:08 AM.
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