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Old 09-16-2020, 09:47 PM   #1
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Weapons as staves

ITL148 says a wizard's "staff" can be a dagger or sword, for instance. I wonder what people think about this.

There are two reasons I don't like this. First, it just sounds wrong to have a commonplace weapon as a staff. Just as the symbolism of a shoe as a staff is "wrong", so is (to me) the image of a sword or dagger as a staff, even if the shape is roughly right.

Second, and maybe more important, the whole idea of character creation is striking a balance, that few choices are obviously right. But to me, the choice of a dagger as a staff is just too obviously the best choice (as Henry will attest). It's a cheaper weapon talent than sword and a dagger is very useful, particularly if a wizard ends up in HTH. That's a dangerous position for most wizards, since it's too late to cast spells if you're already in the fray. (Right? Can't cast spells in HTH at all?) Having a dagger always in hand is a great advantage. (And, as Henry has also pointed out, Staff II makes it unbreakable and undroppable.)

I don't like it when one choice is obviously superior. A wizard seems like a fool to use anything but a dagger as a staff. Even without spending IQ on the knife talent, he'll do fairly well in HTH, since the -4 DX penalty for being untrained is a wash with the +4 DX benefit of attacking a prone figure.

I'm kinda leaning to ruling out daggers or swords as staves. My only concern is that there are only two obvious choices left: an actual staff or a wand. (Or perhaps a quill stylus?) Maybe I'd go so far as to allow quarterstaves, since, you know, they are staves.

Any other opinions? What am I missing?

Thanks.
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Old 09-16-2020, 10:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Weapons as staves

One might consider a house rule that while silver weapons can be staffed, only an organic staff can retain mana. If so then please indicate that as non-weapons wands can be retained in HTH.
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:05 PM   #3
Axly Suregrip
 
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Default Re: Weapons as staves

Yes you are missing staves as clubs. This is a common choice. 1 handed or 2 handed. See club damage as per the HTH rules. The main reason for this is a club requires no skills and a Wizards staff costs 1 ST per strike as a magic weapon. But not if you just use it as whatever weapon it is. So, as a club you can strike or defend without fatiguing. (BTW before the new ITL it did not cost ST to use the magic staff strike)

BTW, I agree with you. I have a house rule that staves must be all wood. So, no daggers, swords, spears, etc. Wands, clubs, quarterstaves are all that I allow. Just too gimmicky.

And yes, you are correct there is no action for casting spells while in HTH. There are handy spells for HTH like Shock Shield, but you will need to plan ahead and cast it before you are engaged in HTH. May also be used to cast on others in HTH while you are not.
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:20 PM   #4
Andrew Hackard
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Default Re: Weapons as staves

Reminder: if you want to discuss changing the game rules, do it here, not in the main TFT forum.
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:49 AM   #5
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Weapons as staves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axly Suregrip View Post
Yes you are missing staves as clubs. This is a common choice. 1 handed or 2 handed. See club damage as per the HTH rules. The main reason for this is a club requires no skills and a Wizards staff costs 1 ST per strike as a magic weapon. But not if you just use it as whatever weapon it is. So, as a club you can strike or defend without fatiguing. (BTW before the new ITL it did not cost ST to use the magic staff strike)

BTW, I agree with you. I have a house rule that staves must be all wood. So, no daggers, swords, spears, etc. Wands, clubs, quarterstaves are all that I allow. Just too gimmicky.

And yes, you are correct there is no action for casting spells while in HTH. There are handy spells for HTH like Shock Shield, but you will need to plan ahead and cast it before you are engaged in HTH. May also be used to cast on others in HTH while you are not.
You're right I didn't mention using one's staff as a club, but that just doesn't bother me much, since clubs are fairly ineffective and can be used by an unskilled wizard and I can totally see a wizard swinging his staff around thus.
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:50 AM   #6
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Weapons as staves

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
ITL148 says a wizard's "staff" can be a dagger or sword, for instance. I wonder what people think about this.

There are two reasons I don't like this. First, it just sounds wrong to have a commonplace weapon as a staff. Just as the symbolism of a shoe as a staff is "wrong", so is (to me) the image of a sword or dagger as a staff, even if the shape is roughly right.

Second, and maybe more important, the whole idea of character creation is striking a balance, that few choices are obviously right. But to me, the choice of a dagger as a staff is just too obviously the best choice (as Henry will attest). It's a cheaper weapon talent than sword and a dagger is very useful, particularly if a wizard ends up in HTH. That's a dangerous position for most wizards, since it's too late to cast spells if you're already in the fray. (Right? Can't cast spells in HTH at all?) Having a dagger always in hand is a great advantage. (And, as Henry has also pointed out, Staff II makes it unbreakable and undroppable.)

I don't like it when one choice is obviously superior. A wizard seems like a fool to use anything but a dagger as a staff. Even without spending IQ on the knife talent, he'll do fairly well in HTH, since the -4 DX penalty for being untrained is a wash with the +4 DX benefit of attacking a prone figure.

I'm kinda leaning to ruling out daggers or swords as staves. My only concern is that there are only two obvious choices left: an actual staff or a wand. (Or perhaps a quill stylus?) Maybe I'd go so far as to allow quarterstaves, since, you know, they are staves.

Any other opinions? What am I missing?

Thanks.
Didn't Odin use a spear as a staff?
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Weapons as staves

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
(Right? Can't cast spells in HTH at all?)
Wizard Boardgame Rulebook page 23: "A wizard involved in HTH must drop his staff. He may cast spells, but only on himself or his foe in HTH, and is at a -4 DX for that."

The -4 DX for untalented weapon use is replaced with an extra die to roll to hit as per ITL page 8.
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:30 AM   #8
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Weapons as staves

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Didn't Odin use a spear as a staff?
Well, I mean, Odin. Bit different than the usual dungeon delving wizard, surely.

But also, beats me. I'm not at all saying there aren't traditions where weapons are used as wizardy staves, 'cause I don't know all traditions. I'm just (lamely) saying don't seem right to me.
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:36 AM   #9
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Weapons as staves

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Wizard Boardgame Rulebook page 23: "A wizard involved in HTH must drop his staff. He may cast spells, but only on himself or his foe in HTH, and is at a -4 DX for that."

The -4 DX for untalented weapon use is replaced with an extra die to roll to hit as per ITL page 8.
Thanks very much for the reference to p.8. I was going from addled memory.

I couldn't find casting spells as an option in HTH in ITL, so I presumed it couldn't be done. Still seems that it shouldn't be doable unless it can be cast without gestures, so IQ-2 or lower spells. Or, perhaps the boardgame rule has been implicitly changed for ITL?
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:14 AM   #10
David Bofinger
 
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Default Re: Weapons as staves

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
it just sounds wrong to have a commonplace weapon as a staff.
I think the sword/dagger solution was included because there are magical traditions that use swords or daggers to cast spells. Google "athame".

Quote:
the choice of a dagger as a staff is just too obviously the best choice (as Henry will attest). It's a cheaper weapon talent than sword
But it still costs two spells, when a club costs zero. The club does considerably more damage in melee than the dagger.

Quote:
HTH[...]'s a dangerous position for most wizards, since it's too late to cast spells if you're already in the fray.
Yes, but the ability to inflict a small amount of damage is unlikely to be what keeps you alive. In practice if this happens you probably need rescue. And if forced into HTH there's a chance you can draw a dagger for free, should you wish to use it, and with the HTH bonus cancelling the unskilled penalty you should be at least slightly effective, though you won't be able to cast spells while you hold it.

I feel the same way about clubs that you do about daggers.
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