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Old 11-08-2019, 07:23 AM   #1
Major Ross
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Default Staff I spell versus Wizardís staff

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Looking over the Staff I (S) spell on page 18 ITL, it states: “the staff is an occult weapon that does one die of damage (front hexes only) when the Wizard points with it. The Wizard spends 1 ST and makes a regular die roll to hit. The staff does not have to touch its target in order to deliver its flare of magical energy.”

So that’s pretty cool; however, what’s the range of this attack? Is it just one hex? Or is it more than that? Because, if so, ITL does not indicate what the range actually can be. If it’s just one hex, then why would a Wizard want to use this for an attack, as they have to expend 1 ST to do so? They would be better off using the staff as the Wizard rulebook states on page 19: “the staff does one die of damage when the Wizard hits with it. Striking with the staff is treated just as though the Wizard were a fighter using a one-die weapon. It costs no ST to strike with a staff.”

So am I missing something here? The Staff I spell is pretty cool, especially if you can hit at range with the Staff, but, maybe that’s not in the rulebook. If it is I can’t find it.

Thanks in advance!

Ross

Last edited by Major Ross; 11-08-2019 at 08:20 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:25 AM   #2
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Staff I spell versus Wizardís staff

https://www.hcobb.com/tft/house_rules.html#Spells
Please note that the spells listed in the "Wizard Spell Reference Booklet" are a subset of the ITL spell list and with different descriptions. The two lists are not interchangeable.

Note for example

https://www.hcobb.com/tft/house_rules.html#iq14spells
Spell Shield stops only the staff's occult strike, it doesn't prevent using a wizard's staff as a two handed maul (or whatever it's physical form is) to strike the protected figure. However a wand staff would do no damage in this case.

Compare with The Fantasy Trip Wizard Spell Reference Booklet page 5
Does not protect against ordinary physical force, including damage done by created beings or things, damage done by weapons (ordinary, magical, or staffs),

Lastly the occult zap works like a Special spell and so never strikes the wrong target and can be used against certain targets that aren't damaged by even magical weapons.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:47 AM   #3
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Staff I spell versus Wizardís staff

My interpretation is that, unless explicitly stated otherwise, the range is 1 hex, like another melee attack. The advantage is that armor doesn't protect against the damage. Also, don't you roll to-hit vs. IQ? And with a bonus? Perhaps I'm mixing up things that come with later levels of the spell. Eventually you are delivering this attack as a second, effectively free action. In any case, it is definitely to your advantage to do this rather than strike physically with the staff.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Staff I spell versus Wizardís staff

The occult attack is a DX roll, not IQ, but there is a bonus to hit when you get to Staff III. Staff III has a range of 2 hexes [ITL 26], which implies that lesser staves have a range of 1.

The advantage of a staff that is also a physical weapon (like a walking staff, quarterstaff, or sword as opposed to a wand) is that it actually can be used without spending ST to activate its occult attack. I've won many a wizard duel by clubbing the opponent to death after spending down so much ST that spells were no longer an option.
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Staff I spell versus Wizardís staff

Staff I (IQ8) arcane attack has the advantage of no range penalty for the equivalent of a thrown weapon

Higher levels do have range 2, bypass armor and natural defenses, and unaffected by Drop Weapon, Break Weapon spells and critical failures
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:43 PM   #6
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Staff I spell versus Wizardís staff

Yeah, as others have mentioned, contrary to what larsdingly suggested:

* Range of a Staff I or Staff II occult attack is 1 hex.
* Bypassing armor is in Staff III/Staff of Striking.
* There is no bonus to hit until Staff III/Staff of Striking.
* Rolling to hit using IQ rather than DX was an idea in early drafts that was cut out of the published version.


Advantages of using the "occult" attack of Staff I or Staff II, compared to hitting with a staff, include:

* The staff doesn't have to touch the target. For some targets and situations, that may be important.
* The attack does 1d damage, which may be more than a wizard can do with other types of attacks, especially if the form of the staff is not much like a club.
* You don't have to do a physical attack with your body... this might matter in some situations.


As the OP mentioned though, ITL 19 does write as if the spell can also be used as a melee weapon doing 1 die damage when touching a target, for no ST cost. I'm not clear if this is actually intended, or if it's mistakenly leaving in the original Staff mechanics from the original game.

I'd probably tend to leave it in, though in many cases yes this will then tend to be a better option for people who only have Staff I or Staff II and who don't mind touching their target.
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Old 11-08-2019, 02:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Staff I spell versus Wizardís staff

For a standard DX 9 wizard striking into a HTH hex the advantage of the occult strike is that as a Special spell it doesn't roll to miss friendlies.
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Staff I spell versus Wizardís staff

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
For a standard DX 9 wizard striking into a HTH hex the advantage of the occult strike is that as a Special spell it doesn't roll to miss friendlies.
Really? I'm not sure the Special spell section on on ITL 140 supports that.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:10 PM   #9
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Staff I spell versus Wizardís staff

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
For a standard DX 9 wizard striking into a HTH hex the advantage of the occult strike is that as a Special spell it doesn't roll to miss friendlies.
What?

Oh, I can sort of see why from a rules perspective you might treat the "occult" staff attack as being only able to affect the target or else do nothing as per the generic mechanic for Special spells, which I gather is what you mean. However I think the spell description has it seem to me like a short-ranged missile attack.

Seems to me I'd treat it as a ranged attack, which means no +4 to hit, and instead of getting to roll to hit your target and foes and then having to roll to miss everyone else, instead you'd roll to hit the pile of people with no +4, and if you hit then roll randomly to see whom you hit. Even at adjDX 5 +4 for striking into a pile for total to-hit of 9, that favors swinging into the pile over shooting into it.

Last edited by Skarg; 11-08-2019 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Staff I spell versus Wizardís staff

Hopefully, this gets some clarification in Hexagram #3 'cause it just keeps popping up as an issue.
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