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Old 06-26-2018, 06:36 AM   #11
tomc
 
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Default Re: Staff, mana, stored ST

I'd really like a way for wizards to participate in every fight, rather than just throwing a few big fireballs and spending the rest of their time trying to not get hurt.

How about splitting the Staff spell into two, say, "Mana Holding" and "Striking"?

I'd limit the capacity of the "Mana Holding" to the Wizard's IQ, but let it *recharge itself*. If you want simplicity, it recharges at the Wizard's rate. If you want it to be more useful, recharge 1 ST every 15 mins or so.

The "Striking" spell would just be the old "Staff" spell, +1D6 to the damage done by whatever stick or club like weapon it's cast on. One item per wizard, and it explodes if anyone else picks it up. If cast on a weapon that would already do damage, roll once to hit, then each type of damage separately, so armor protects from both.

I'm thinking of how useless a wounded wizard is, compared to a fighter. A wizard that's 5 hits from dying, has 3 ST to spend on spells, 4 if she's willing to pass out. A wounded fighter has no such limit, and can keep cranking out attacks all day.

A martial wizard with a Staff holding his IQ in mana, and doing 2d6 as a quarterstaff, has enough juice to be a front row fighter, but he's had to spend points on two spells, and triple for the quarterstaff talent.
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:31 AM   #12
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Default Re: Staff, mana, stored ST

Is changing the fatigue refresh rate an option instead?

Wait half an hour, get half your fatigue back? What half a day, all but one? A whole day and get it all?
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:16 AM   #13
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Default Re: Staff, mana, stored ST

TFT is arguably the best game anyone ever wrote for integrating spell casting into the turn-by-turn flow of tactical combat: Wizards have dozens of ways to get involved in melees, all spelled out in gritty detail in the rules. Because of this, I don't think there is a need to 'weaponize' the staff more than is already in the standard rules. For that reason, I can see why the staff might be the focus of new rules to expand reserves of spell casting strength, but I would not imbue it with other combat-focused powers.
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:19 AM   #14
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Default Re: Staff, mana, stored ST

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Originally Posted by tomc View Post
I'd really like a way for wizards to participate in every fight, rather than just throwing a few big fireballs and spending the rest of their time trying to not get hurt.
If you play with wizards who basically just blast lightning a couple of times and then cower the rest of the day, perhaps they need to go to wizard school to learn how to efficiently use their strength and spells.

The challenge in TFT is caused by resource shortage, effectively. Good play comes from having to carefully decide how to spend, say, 2 exhaustion to get help the party turn the corner in a tough spot, not just blast lightning knowing there is a lot more where that comes from.

This is a problem with deviating too much from having the ST of a wizard be what he has to work with.

Having wizards armed with strength saturated wooden spear staffs makes them unbalanced and unreasonably strong characters and will break the tension and required economy currently present in the game.
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:22 AM   #15
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Default Re: Staff, mana, stored ST

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Originally Posted by pyratejohn View Post
Is changing the fatigue refresh rate an option instead?

Wait half an hour, get half your fatigue back? What half a day, all but one? A whole day and get it all?
I have long played with house rules that provide ways for spell casters to develop reserves of spell casting strength, and always treated 'stored' ST as a kind of appendix that is spent and recovered just like your normal ST score: If Philbert the wizard has ST 10 and 8 points of extra spell casting capacity, and he expends 15 points on spell casting, then he must rest/meditate/whatever for 7x15 minutes to return his physical ST to 10 and then another 8x15 minutes to recover his special spell casting pool.

Oh yes, another rule I've often used and liked: Spell casters can 'over draw' on spell casting ST, but the excess is taken as real damage (like a sword injury). Thus, if Philbert is down to 6 points of spell casting ST left, he'll obviously pass out if he casts more than a few more points worth of spells. So he goes all-in to cast a mega 10 point spell. This drains him to 0, knocking him out, and also gives him a 4 point wound.
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Old 06-26-2018, 09:54 AM   #16
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Default Re: Staff, mana, stored ST

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
If this is the only reasoning, then I'd suggest considering having the staff mana merely restore the wizard's spellcasting fatigue at a rate of one ST per minute or so, but not be usable for casting spells itself.
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Having wizards armed with strength saturated wooden spear staffs makes them unbalanced and unreasonably strong characters and will break the tension and required economy currently present in the game.
Letting wizards draw ST from their staff during combat will wreck the balance that makes it fun to pit wizards against heroes with Melee/Wizard. Skarg and Kirk are right.

If staffs just allow faster recharge, I'd make it 1 minute to replenish all fatigue from spell casting, rather than 1 ST / minute -- it's already 15 times faster, let's just eliminate the middleman. Also, as Skarg says, no "virtual mana attribute" for the staff. No extra bookkeeping, it's very clean and simple.

ST / day should not be increased by a fast-recharge staff, however, because that will mess with magic item creation. A "mana flow" rationale like I mentioned earlier keeps the amount of available ST / day the same regardless of recharge rate.

To increase ST for spell casting and avoid Conan the Wizard, I suggested two talents earlier that each add +2 ST but only for spell casting for the cost of 5 talent points (currently).

Also, can normal spell casting not bring you closer to unconsciousness? What about calling the concept "mana" or "spell power" instead of fatigue? Same bookkeeping; different name. The concept of a wizard actually wounding themselves to cast a spell out of desperation like Larsdangly mentions, though, is an intriguing possibility and a good representation of a common element of fantasy literature. These are already common house rules anyway.

Last edited by zot; 06-26-2018 at 10:16 AM. Reason: adding comment about fatigue vs mana
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Old 06-26-2018, 10:34 AM   #17
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Default Re: Staff, mana, stored ST

It is definitely an issue that a wizard with an extra 10-20 points of spell casting capacity is just more powerful than any non-wizard with the same stat point totals. I think the only way this works is of the cost of getting those 10-20 points is of ST battery is offset by ~5-10 stat points (or their equivalent). How that works in a version of TFT capped at 40 total stat points is anybody's guess.

The only thing that comes to mind off-hand is to fold in a couple of talents hero's can invest in that counter balance the expanded capabilities of magicians. For example, you could enable a Conan like character by providing some sort of spell-resistance talent that makes it easier to avoid or shrug off the effects of magic - he always seemed to be butchering powerful wizards who just couldn't quite seal the deal! But, whatever you did, it would be tricky. The starting point of the game is that wizards and non-wizards are quite well balanced with one another, both in head to head fights and on adventure. I don't think anyone wants to mess that up.

Edit: Or, what if heroes can also get a kind of 'second wind' talent that acts as a reserve of ST to bounce back from injury? Just a thought.
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Old 06-26-2018, 11:01 AM   #18
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Default Re: Staff, mana, stored ST

Steve's idea of PCs needing to spend XP to improve their understanding op the Staff spell such that they can store mana in their staff is a great way to provide alternatives to buying up ST and keeping point balance with other characters. It is pretty simple (a hallmark of TFT) to understand and to implement, and has a certain consistency with using XP to improve your character. I think some of the several ideas discussed in this thread could quickly make wizards too powerful against mundane threats. Other ideas are intriguing, but I'm not sure that they are any better than Steve's.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:10 PM   #19
KevinJ
 
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Default Re: Staff, mana, stored ST

Again, most of this revolves around 'arena' play and long term campaign play.

In arena or dual style, a sorcerer having a fully charged staff may make no sense, or it might be part of the scenario.

In campaign games, this makes a warlock more able to pull his weight. After all, a warrior doesn't a limit to the number of time he can swing a sword or stab with his pole arm.

I like the idea of the staff being a mana source, so long as it takes time and effort to recharge it. If you have 14 or 28 extra mana that recharges at 1/15 minutes then you can really go hog wild in combat, but it YOU recover at 1fST/15 minutes and then have to recharge your staff, even if it is 1:1, you still have to spend a lot of time resting after going hog wild before your Mana is fully recharged.

As for an intermediate stall spell, I do like the idea of limiting the lowest IQ Staff spell to the functions of a normal stall and the mana batters function being part of the imtermediate spell, but how many witches will just skip the IQ8 Staff of Lameness spell entirely.

Perhaps Staff, Wizard's Staff, and Staff of Power shouldn't be spells at all, but Talents specific to wizards. Then to increase your Mana capacity you spend XP to increase your Talent.

This would become the first spet in Magic Item Creation as well as a Talent line. The Prerequisite for Wizard's Staff of Staff, the Prerequisite for Staff of Power is Wizard's Staff.
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Last edited by KevinJ; 06-26-2018 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 06-26-2018, 12:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: Staff, mana, stored ST

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
... I'd suggest considering having the staff mana merely restore the wizard's spellcasting fatigue at a rate of one ST per minute or so, but not be usable for casting spells itself.
I like this. It gives wizards more freedom to cast spells in an adventure context, but prevents the party from solving hard problems with a series of giant fireballs.
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