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Old 01-05-2020, 01:05 AM   #11
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Default Re: Alternate Take On Magery Advantage

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Originally Posted by maximara View Post
This is an excellent point. IMHO the people who complain about the damage of spells in the standard GURPS Magic system are coming from either D&D-like games where you need huge, insane amounts of damage because "hit points" represent more then the ability to take actual physical or Supers like games where the setting is woven into the Hit points where in GURPS they are more effectively handled by cinematic rules.
A 1d missile is equivalent to an arrow and a 2d missile to a pistol. With Skill 20 you can shoot that 2d missile all day so mages really are pretty decent. It that cinematic archers and strong warriors, especially cinematic ones can dish out more. Where raw firepower drops off the is not compared to real weapons in typical fantasy tech levels but in cinematic campaigns. On the other hand that is unlimited ammo...
Making them do more damage weakens archers in comparison.
On the other hand they have lots of versatility too and several Regular spells are quite deadly in combat. Newcomers focus too much on missile spells because thats what other systems do best. But several colleges, especially say Mind Control have devastating low cost fast attack spells.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:52 AM   #12
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Default Re: Alternate Take On Magery Advantage

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A 1d missile is equivalent to an arrow and a 2d missile to a pistol. With Skill 20 you can shoot that 2d missile all day so mages really are pretty decent. It that cinematic archers and strong warriors, especially cinematic ones can dish out more. Where raw firepower drops off the is not compared to real weapons in typical fantasy tech levels but in cinematic campaigns. On the other hand that is unlimited ammo...
Making them do more damage weakens archers in comparison.
On the other hand they have lots of versatility too and several Regular spells are quite deadly in combat. Newcomers focus too much on missile spells because thats what other systems do best. But several colleges, especially say Mind Control have devastating low cost fast attack spells.
Right. Besides if you really want insanely powerful missile spells there is always GURPS Technomancer :-)

Seriously, something like High-Explosive Fireball (6d to 6dx4 damage) or Shaped-Charge Fireball (1d(10) to 6d(10) damage) is bad enough in a TL7 world but letting those loose in a TL3-4 world makes early cannons effectively useless.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:37 AM   #13
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Default Re: Alternate Take On Magery Advantage

Most missile spells are also worse than useless against a mage with the Reverse Missile spell (as are the vast majority of ranged weapons). It would not be unreasonable for the previous supermage to dump 12 CP into the Reverse Missile Spell. They can cast it instantly, maintain it for free, and are immune to most ranged attacks. Of course, their other spells suffer a -1 skill penalty, but that is acceptable for such a mage.
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:01 AM   #14
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Default Re: Alternate Take On Magery Advantage

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Most missile spells are also worse than useless against a mage with the Reverse Missile spell (as are the vast majority of ranged weapons). It would not be unreasonable for the previous supermage to dump 12 CP into the Reverse Missile Spell. They can cast it instantly, maintain it for free, and are immune to most ranged attacks. Of course, their other spells suffer a -1 skill penalty, but that is acceptable for such a mage.
I gave a dragon Reverse Missiles, and the PCs had some fairly good guns. It was amusing. Well, I thought it was, anyway.
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Old 01-05-2020, 06:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: Alternate Take On Magery Advantage

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
A 1d missile is equivalent to an arrow and a 2d missile to a pistol.
They're kinda equivalent. If the missile spell is doing impaling damage (the the arrows crushing), then yeah, totes equivalence.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:16 PM   #16
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Well, the range of missile spells is rather low compared to bows and slings.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Alternate Take On Magery Advantage

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They're kinda equivalent. If the missile spell is doing impaling damage (the the arrows crushing), then yeah, totes equivalence.
Yeah, and the ROF of a high tech pistol also makes them dangerous.
Lets look at missile spells.
Concussion ACC 1; 1/2d 20; 1d (cr)/2 FP - explosion, HT-3 in 10y to avoid stunning.
Stone Missile ACC 2; 1/2d 40; 1d+1 (cr)/FP.
Fireball ACC 1; 1/2d 25; 1d (burn)/FP.
Explosive Fireball ACC 1; 1/2d 25; 1d (burn)/ 2 FP - explosion,
Sunbolt ACC 2; 1/2d 75; 1d-1 (Impaling)/FP. Can Blind, immune to Reverse Missiles.
Ice Sphere ACC 2; 1/2d 40; 1d (cr)/FP.
Ice Dagger ACC 3; 1/2d 30; 1d-1 (Impaling)/FP.
Acid Ball ACC 1; 1/2d 20; 1d (acid)/FP. I'm calling acid damage corrosion here.
Lightning ACC 3; 1/2 50; 1d-1 (burn)/1 FP -Surge, metal Armor special, HT-1 per 2 HP or stun.
Explosive Lightning A CC 3; 1/2 50; 1d-1 (burn)/2 FP -Surge, metal Armor special, HT-1 per 2 HP or stun.
Ball of Lightning Guided missile with Move = Skill/5 1d-1 (burn)/ 2 FP - explosion.

IMO the classic fireball really is not the most effective missile spell but we have a lot of variety here and though range is shorter than arrows, Sunbolt is pretty good at long distance.
Compared to High Tech options or cinematic options damage and range is more clearly weaker but still worth doing. Mages in the classic system tend to be more effective and versatile at short range over long range sniping. Since that is the niche of the Scout I'm ok with it,
Though if you do want to compete with the Scout get Compartmentalized Mind (No mental separation) to let you cast then throw in same turn and focus on a single spell.
Maybe get Telescopic Vision for the aiming bonus. Your ROF will be lower but you can hit for 1 to 3 dice damage each time.
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Old 01-05-2020, 10:30 PM   #18
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Default Re: Alternate Take On Magery Advantage

Mages in the default system tend to excel more at area damage (such as Explosive Fireball) or at melee damage (such as Deathtouch).
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Old 01-06-2020, 05:58 AM   #19
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Default Re: Alternate Take On Magery Advantage

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Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Lets look at missile spells.
Concussion ACC 1; 1/2d 20; 1d (cr)/2 FP - explosion, HT-3 in 10y to avoid stunning.
Stone Missile ACC 2; 1/2d 40; 1d+1 (cr)/FP.
Fireball ACC 1; 1/2d 25; 1d (burn)/FP.
Explosive Fireball ACC 1; 1/2d 25; 1d (burn)/ 2 FP - explosion,
Sunbolt ACC 2; 1/2d 75; 1d-1 (Impaling)/FP. Can Blind, immune to Reverse Missiles.
Ice Sphere ACC 2; 1/2d 40; 1d (cr)/FP.
Ice Dagger ACC 3; 1/2d 30; 1d-1 (Impaling)/FP.
Acid Ball ACC 1; 1/2d 20; 1d (acid)/FP. I'm calling acid damage corrosion here.
Lightning ACC 3; 1/2 50; 1d-1 (burn)/1 FP -Surge, metal Armor special, HT-1 per 2 HP or stun.
Explosive Lightning A CC 3; 1/2 50; 1d-1 (burn)/2 FP -Surge, metal Armor special, HT-1 per 2 HP or stun.
Ball of Lightning Guided missile with Move = Skill/5 1d-1 (burn)/ 2 FP - explosion.

IMO the classic fireball really is not the most effective missile spell but we have a lot of variety here and though range is shorter than arrows, Sunbolt is pretty good at long distance.
Some of those are very clearly better or worse than others. Stone Missile wins on raw damage, has decent range and Acc, and Lightning has the handy ability to bypass metal armour, very good range and Acc.

You've got Sunbolt doing impaling, but it's actually tight-beam burning ("burns like laser light"), so it has great range and Acc, and neat secondary effects but it's great for damage. Ice Knife probably wins on lightly armoured targets, as it does impaling and has high Acc.

Note that range and Acc are only good relative to other missile spells (and bows and pistols for Acc). At low TLs missile spells primarily bring ranged AoE damage (only because very little else has such a thing), and alpha strike damage. Their damage over time isn't very impressive even compared to a non-cinematic archer unless the caster has very high skill levels (to lower energy costs on 2-3d spells) or a very large energy reserve of some sort - and an archer with the same sort of point value can have a very high ST plus a very high Bow skill (and the mage needs to pay for the spell skill and the Innate Attack skill as well).

At high-ultra TLs the mage needs help (in terms of missile spells and such, that is - a lot of their other spell choices are still useful), either in the form of better spells (if you want to keep the feeling of mages being self-contained while non-mages use equipment), or magic-enhancing gear (if mages use technology to improve their effectiveness just like everyone else).
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