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Old 07-23-2019, 11:21 AM   #41
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: IQ to power spells

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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
Our PC wizards that started with high IQs (and therefore less ST) rarely lived longer than one or two adventures. And they did stick to the rear and let the heroes screen them as much as possible. If you start with ST 8, and after spending just 3 or 4 points powering spells, one arrow can kill you. Mortality was very high among all our players wizards in the early years!

The ones that tended to survive longer were the ones with very conservative IQs, ST at least 10 or 11, DX at least 14, leather armor, and fought with swords as often as not.
Thanks Steve! Yeah, we had a pretty high wizard mortality rate too, especially for less experienced wizards in smaller parties.

We saw quite a few cases of "kill the wizard first if you can!" (along with "kill the heavy polearm users before they can skewer us!"). Survival does mean you need to avoid being a vulnerable focus of attacks somehow. Not looking or acting like a wizard (or halberdier ;-) ) certainly avoids that, but also only lasts till they see you cast spells. Denying all opportunities for attacks is the main other one I know.


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Originally Posted by MikMod View Post
The perfect story to explain why a lot of people (most people?) house-ruled that fatigue can't help kill you.
Yes. Spell fatigue becomes a cushion where you may hopefully collapse before death and no longer be a priority target.
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Old 07-23-2019, 11:42 AM   #42
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: IQ to power spells

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Originally Posted by Senturian View Post
"Whereas IQ only does two jobs: it regulates memory capacity (the number of things you can learn), and complexity (the difficulty of the things you can learn). It's so weak heroes don't even need the stat in Melee. Even when they have it, they rarely ever need to use it in combat."

so what you're saying is that: Intelligence isn't important.
sorry, couldn't resist.

but seriously, how about those non wizard characters that rely on Int, such as thieves? I know I'd like to know what trap I set off while I take my last few breaths.
Even Conan needs to disbelieve the Illusions dragging him down in HTH.
You're right, I forgot to count disbelief! So original IQ served a 3rd function, and that one was equally valuable to all types of characters.

It wasn't until the introduction of talents in the first printing of ITL around 1981(?) that IQ served any other purpose for a non-wizard. My old group had played about 40 all-day, 12 hour campaign sessions by then! That's how we ended up with more house rules than rules as written, because we were filling in the gaps as we played, and writing down how we handled things (climbing, jumping, swimming, riding, mid-air combat, potions, enchantment, language rules) so we'd always do it the same way the next time a similar situation arose. All before there were any official rules on these subjects. This resulted in a whopping 200 pages of typed, single space house rules! Just one glance at that giant binder sent newly recruited players screaming out the door.

But we really didn't change any but one of the original Melee/Wizard rules at that early point, only added to them. We got more radical later, but at that point we weren't doing anything like using IQ to power spells, nor did we ever have any ST/Mana batteries. Our only departure from the RAW back then was one change in character creation: we made the starting human MA only 8, creating 2 more free points to go on any other attribute. That was probably more beneficial to starting wizards than other characters, but not by enough to really keep them alive.

I wouldn't use that MA house rule in a new group, nor a lot of the other house rules from my old group. Assuming I start a new group, I want the novice players to have as few exceptions from the RAW to learn and worry about. I want to rely on the official SJ rules and rule books as much as possible but I can't completely forgo what I learned about IQ, memory, and powering spells (and a few things about staves) from playing all those years ago. (We had a much cooler Staff spell too).
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Old 07-23-2019, 02:40 PM   #43
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: IQ to power spells

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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
Okay, my apologies for mistaking your intent there; but I fail to grasp how using ST to cast spells and using a staff to store "ST" (or its equivalent, "fatigue" or, nowadays "Mana") for casting spells is essentially different from using IQ to cast spells and using a staff to store "IQ" (or its equivalent, "Mana")...
And you're right, those are exactly the same systems just using different names for the same parts. We're all probably 99% in agreement here about how we want things to work, just not all using the same terms for it.

"Mana", as we've used it here, might get construed as a new source of power for spells, but I'm guessing that's not what anyone is actually proposing. I'm not! I wouldn't like it either. That would be like a new attribute, and one only wizards would benefit from. The beauty of TFT is that it runs so well on so few attributes.

"Mana" as I would use it is more a term to differentiate spell fatigue from other, regular fatigue. Mana isn't a power (except to the characters in our fantasy worlds who think it is) it's a limit. A box on the record sheet for tallying spells cast. We use a figure's total, starting ST as the limit on wounds and regular fatigue combined. Under the RAW a third thing, fatigue due to spell costs, is also counted against that total, but I for one would like the latter to be given it's own name and it's own little box on the record sheet. Some here have said they never counted spell fatigue and wounds against the same limit, and that's all I'm saying too, just giving spell fatigue a fancy name for thematic color. The wizard might scream, "Oh no, I've used up half my mana!" but is unlikely to say, in character, "Oh no, I've used up half my spell fatigue limit!"

But what we still have to talk about is just what that separate, spell fatigue limit should be (if you use one in your game).

JLV said above, "but I fail to grasp how using ST to cast spells... is essentially different from using IQ to cast". It's not a difference of kind, only a difference of quantity. In wizards IQ tends to be a bigger number than ST, a much bigger number in a senior archmage. So if the Mana limit is based on IQ, some of us are going to think that's too high a limit to put on what spells a wizard casts in combat. If the limit is based on ST, some of us are going to think the limit is too low. In the first case it is more "power" than wizards have to spend in the RAW, in the 2nd case it's just the same amount of power as in the RAW.

Typical 32 Point Wizards under two different Mana limiting systems:
MV limit=IQ: ST 9, DX 10, IQ 13 can power 13 points of spells before rest
MV limit=ST: ST 9, DX 10, IQ 13 can power 09 points of spells before rest

Yes, it's skewed, but it's only a 4 point skew, not earthshaking.

Two 40 Point Wizards under two different Mana limiting systems:
MV limit=IQ: ST 11, DX 12, IQ 17 can power 17 points of spells before rest
MV limit=ST: ST 11, DX 12, IQ 17 can power 11 points of spells before rest

Now we're skewed 6 points. Earthshaking? YMMV! Not many wizards in my experience get to 40 AP anyway, and they might put a little more XP on increasing DX or ST -- I know mine did -- making the final IQ lower than the one in the example above.

Let's look at this 40 Point wizard instead:
MV limit=IQ: ST 12, DX 14, IQ 14 can power 14 points of spells before rest
MV limit=ST: ST 12, DX 14, IQ 14 can power 12 points of spells before rest

We're down to only a 2 point difference between the two models! That's only half the difference between the two 32 Point mages. The earth isn't budging an inch over this.

The Mana spending limit based on IQ isn't that much of an enhancement for the more advanced, experienced wizard. It's much more help to the brand new, typical starting wizard -- the anemic ones who always die young! Yes it's rather counter intuitive. You'd think the higher IQ wizard would be over-advantaged by the Mana limit set at IQ, but in fact it's the lower wizard who benefits much more, proportionately to a ST based limit.

Yes, you could have an "abuser". You could have a 40 point wizard who also started at ST 9 and DX 10, but put all their XP on IQ and never increased the other attributes. That would mean an IQ of 21, so a whopping Mana limit of 21 -- but only if they lived that long! I wouldn't bet any money on a ST 9, DX 10 wizard lasting until they reached IQ 21 -- who would?

Lastly, another part of the beauty in TFT is that it's so easy to fine tune. If ST seems like too low a Mana limit for some, but too high a Mana limit for others, there's nothing wrong with making a house rule such that the Mana limit = IQ-2. Or it could = ST+2. We're used to dealing with pluses and minuses all the time.

Last edited by Steve Plambeck; 07-23-2019 at 02:53 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:51 PM   #44
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: IQ to power spells

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
Two 40 Point Wizards under two different Mana limiting systems:
MV limit=IQ: ST 11, DX 12, IQ 17 can power 17 points of spells before rest
MV limit=ST: ST 11, DX 12, IQ 17 can power 11 points of spells before rest

Now we're skewed 6 points. Earthshaking? YMMV! Not many wizards in my experience get to 40 AP anyway, and they might put a little more XP on increasing DX or ST -- I know mine did -- making the final IQ lower than the one in the example above.

Let's look at this 40 Point wizard instead:
MV limit=IQ: ST 12, DX 14, IQ 14 can power 14 points of spells before rest
MV limit=ST: ST 12, DX 14, IQ 14 can power 12 points of spells before rest
Hmm, I'm thinking more of the differences between, in the IQ-gives-mana system:
ST 12, DX 14, IQ 14 can power 14 points of spells before rest
ST 10, DX 14, IQ 16 can power 16 points of spells before rest
ST 11, DX 12, IQ 17 can power 17 points of spells before rest
ST 8, DX 12, IQ 20 can power 20 points of spells before rest

Not only can the higher-IQ wizards cast more spells, but they can also cast much more powerful spells. There are few reasons for them to put points in ST except to be able to survive a bit more injury.

Add apprentices, staff mana, and/or powerstones to the situation, and the higher-IQ wizards look better and better.


Similarly:
ST 11 DX 12 IQ 9
is a good apprentice design, but there's much less reason for apprentices to value putting points in ST if mana is based on IQ.

And considering 32-point arena balance, there would be even less incentive to put points in ST. A good balanced arena wizard in the original Wizard might be:
ST 10 DX 11 IQ 11

but:
ST 8 DX 12 IQ 12
is almost as good as a wizard in the original system who has:
ST 12 DX 12 IQ 12

The only disadvantage is they can survive 4 less points of injury, but unless it's a one-on-one duel with no blocking terrain and no Courtesy Rule in effect, if your wizard's strategy involves getting injured, I'd say they need a strategy rework.
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:09 PM   #45
JLV
 
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Default Re: IQ to power spells

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Originally Posted by warhorse11h View Post
For what its worth, I switched from RAW some time back and incorporated Mana as a stat, equal to and separate from IQ. Mana is used to power spells and recovered in two ways. 1 ST worth per hour without doing anything or 4 per hour if the wizard stops and rests, meditating, contemplation etc.
Once the wizard expended his mana, he's through casting spells unless he wants to use his ST, the use of which counts as damage that has to heal naturally, not fatigue. For those who worry about such things, it hasn't broken anything in the game so far. If it ultimately doesn't work out I can always adjust and shift fire.
Hey! I LIKE that re-charge rule better, I think! Of course I might still screw around with it a bit, but that actually seems much more in keeping with the basic TFT rules than my "time-of-day" rule was.

(I'm thinking the time-of-day thing might work better for a Swords & Sorcery low fantasy game, though...where things like that fit into the "story" better. But maybe that's just me overthinking things again!)
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Old 07-24-2019, 01:08 PM   #46
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: IQ to power spells

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Originally Posted by JLV View Post
Hey! I LIKE that re-charge rule better, I think! Of course I might still screw around with it a bit, but that actually seems much more in keeping with the basic TFT rules than my "time-of-day" rule was.
And I like this part a lot too!

Originally Posted by warhorse11h: "Once the wizard expended his mana, he's through casting spells unless he wants to use his ST, the use of which counts as damage that has to heal naturally, not fatigue."

The dramatic value of that to the story sounds immense! Call it the "Give Until It Hurts" tactic. Even though you don't have to kill yourself any longer powering spells (when it's coming from a mana reserve) you can still choose to in life-and-death situations, when the fate of the kingdom, your best friend's life, or the existence of the whole universe is at stake. Be a great test of character!
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Old 07-24-2019, 01:10 PM   #47
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: IQ to power spells

Yeah, that's how GURPS Magic works. It's a nice dilemma / option, as long as there is no Healing spell...
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Old 07-24-2019, 02:04 PM   #48
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: IQ to power spells

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Hmm, I'm thinking more of the differences between, in the IQ-gives-mana system:
ST 12, DX 14, IQ 14 can power 14 points of spells before rest
ST 10, DX 14, IQ 16 can power 16 points of spells before rest
ST 11, DX 12, IQ 17 can power 17 points of spells before rest
ST 8, DX 12, IQ 20 can power 20 points of spells before rest

Not only can the higher-IQ wizards cast more spells, but they can also cast much more powerful spells. There are few reasons for them to put points in ST except to be able to survive a bit more injury.
Higher IQ wizards casting higher IQ spells isn't an effect of any house rule, it's how the original rules work, so I don't see your point in mentioning this.

In each of those examples, increasing the attribute being used to power spells by 1 point gives you 1 more point to power spells. That's not a new rule either.

The last of your 40 point wizard examples is the one I already addressed as my own extreme case example (by a difference of 1DX). It's still just as true that to evolve to that point of having 20 points of spell power, the wizard has to increase the pertinent attribute 8 times. That's on average about 16 adventures. If a starting wizard of only ST 8 can last 16 adventures, while staying ST 8 the whole time, he or she deserves to put that 800 XP wherever they want.

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Add apprentices, staff mana, and/or powerstones to the situation, and the higher-IQ wizards look better and better.
Okay, but the the higher-ST wizard would be exactly as much better off too if spell power was coming from ST. And if we decided to power spells from DX, then higher DX or Aid to DX would be helpful too. Power spells by rubber bands, then you'll want/need more rubber bands. Again, this doesn't address play balance itself in any way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
And considering 32-point arena balance, there would be even less incentive to put points in ST. A good balanced arena wizard in the original Wizard might be:
ST 10 DX 11 IQ 11
And that very same arena wizard in an IQ-based mana system would have 1 more point to power spells. 1 point. What's the worry here?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
but:
ST 8 DX 12 IQ 12
is almost as good as a wizard in the original system who has:
ST 12 DX 12 IQ 12

The only disadvantage is they can survive 4 less points of injury
Wait now! Your 32 point wizard in this example can survive 4 points less damage than your 36 point wizard, and that's a problem? That's not a result of whatever source is powering spells! That's just a natural consequence of being a 32 point wizard. The 36 point wizard has to have a 4 point advantage in something, or he's not 4 points better! And I wouldn't call 4 points of survival advantage "only", I think it's pretty large in this game.
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Old 07-24-2019, 07:01 PM   #49
warhorse11h
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: IQ to power spells

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Yeah, that's how GURPS Magic works. It's a nice dilemma / option, as long as there is no Healing spell...
Actually, thanks to our previous discussions on healing spells and healing in general, I affixed that "natural healing" condition to the ST use and damage that resulted. I guess I need to change it to read, "Cannot be healed by physickers, potions or healing spells. Must heal at the normal rate of 1 point for each two days of bedrest." That was what I intended for it to mean. It seemed appropriate, as the damage is not to a specific limb or organ, but is system wide damage all over the body. A loss of life force if you will, that you only get back over time.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:34 AM   #50
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: IQ to power spells

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Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
Higher IQ wizards casting higher IQ spells isn't an effect of any house rule, it's how the original rules work, so I don't see your point in mentioning this.
I don't have the energy at this point to re-elaborate each of my examples in hopes they'll become clearer to you.

The points of all those examples had to do with what I've written before: shifting mana to IQ and away from ST moves the most important effect of ST for wizards (i.e. mana) from the least-compelling attribute for wizards (ST) to the most-compelling attribute for wizards (IQ), and that is both a balance issue in terms of the relative ability of different wizard designs, and also effectively makes some wizard designs that could be built with the original system (i.e. wizards with high IQ but not much mana) impossible to build.

Oh, also it seems to me like a power boost when compared to the original game, given to wizards for every IQ point they spend. That's why I mentioned the 8 12 12 wizard with mana equal IQ is nearly as good as a 36 point wizard under the original rules (and 8 11 13 is like 37 points, and a party with an 8 8 16 wizard with some or all of the party's heroes knowing the Aid spell would be rather powerful...). Meanwhile fighters will still be about the same 32-point balance level they were in the original game. (And that's not even considering the 500 XP head start per starting IQ point the new RAW XP rules give.)

Just saying and trying to explain what I see are issues that would tend to have me not set mana equal to IQ, unless I wanted those effects.

(There are also players who have suggested making physical talent points based on ST and/or DX rather than IQ, who also like that and don't see a problem with it, though it seems to me to have rather the same sort of issues.)

Last edited by Skarg; 07-25-2019 at 01:43 AM.
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