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Old 03-13-2019, 05:30 PM   #1
cmcknight
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default TFT Questions about books, scrolls, and magic items

Hi All,

There is a note that says a non-wizard can't use spells unless he/she has a magic item that works for non-wizards. That brought up a general discussion locally about:

1. When using a magic item does the ST cost still come into play or does the magic item have its own ST?

2. There is mention that working from a book/scroll is slower but is it fair to presume that the ST cost is the same regardless of whether the spell is memorized or cast using a spell book or scroll?

3. If the spell is written in a book or on a scroll, is a lack of literacy the reason that a non-wizard cannot cast a spell that he/she has not memorized or is it merely just being a non-wizard that prevents the use? Would it not be more reasonable to just assess the 3x cost penalty regardless?

Thanks in advance!

Chuck
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:47 PM   #2
hcobb
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: TFT Questions about books, scrolls, and magic items

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcknight View Post
1. When using a magic item does the ST cost still come into play or does the magic item have its own ST?
ITL 156 "A wizard may make an improved version of any item that normally costs ST each turn it is used. Such a “self-powered” item uses less ST, or none at all, each turn. It draws its ST from outside energy, rather than its wearer’s life-force."
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcknight View Post
2. There is mention that working from a book/scroll is slower but is it fair to presume that the ST cost is the same regardless of whether the spell is memorized or cast using a spell book or scroll?
ITL 141 "A wizard cannot cast a spell (from a scroll, or any other way) requiring more ST than he has available."
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcknight View Post
3. If the spell is written in a book or on a scroll, is a lack of literacy the reason that a non-wizard cannot cast a spell that he/she has not memorized or is it merely just being a non-wizard that prevents the use? Would it not be more reasonable to just assess the 3x cost penalty regardless?
I've got my own theory for why exactly non-wizards are so limited in spell casting. If you play far enough along in "Curse of the Necropus" you'll read it.
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Old 03-15-2019, 10:05 AM   #3
cmcknight
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: TFT Questions about books, scrolls, and magic items

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
ITL 156 "A wizard may make an improved version of any item that normally costs ST each turn it is used. Such a “self-powered” item uses less ST, or none at all, each turn. It draws its ST from outside energy, rather than its wearer’s life-force."

Yes, that was part of our discussion so I presume that it depends on the item and its particular enchantment as to whether or not it needs to draw ST from the user rather than the environment.

ITL 141 "A wizard cannot cast a spell (from a scroll, or any other way) requiring more ST than he has available."

OK, so that precludes anyone with a death wish from using a spell that is way beyond their available ST, i.e., no "final strike" option. ;-)

I've got my own theory for why exactly non-wizards are so limited in spell casting. If you play far enough along in "Curse of the Necropus" you'll read it.
Hmm, okay, have to work on that one!

Thanks for the insights and clarifications! :-)

Chuck
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:36 AM   #4
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: TFT Questions about books, scrolls, and magic items

Some magic items have specific descriptions saying they do some things without needing ST, but others do mention a ST cost. If an items says it lets you use a spell, without saying it has no ST cost, it has the spell's ST cost unless enchanted to be self-powered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcknight View Post
3. If the spell is written in a book or on a scroll, is a lack of literacy the reason that a non-wizard cannot cast a spell that he/she has not memorized or is it merely just being a non-wizard that prevents the use? Would it not be more reasonable to just assess the 3x cost penalty regardless?
No, and wizards are not automatically literate. Literacy costs one spell/talent-learning point for both wizards and non-wizards.

Being a non-wizard prevents the use of magic scrolls and books.

Assessing 3 x ST penalty instead could be a house rule, but it would have some setting/balance/economic implications. I would tend to think that at the very least, casting a spell from a book would require some magical training - the non-wizard would need to have not only literacy but some other talent that would allow them to know what to do and be able to do it well enough.

For example, read the narrative description of Yzor's spell casting in Wizard, and then imagine trying to do that yourself from a list of written instructions - seems to me it would be telling me to do things I would not have any real knowledge or experience of.

Book: "Now create a knot of psychic force..."
me: "what?"

I imagine those things come much more naturally to wizards than non-wizards. It's reasonable to my imagination that non-wizards just can't do it, but I could see house-ruling a possible talent that could be learned.

As for TFT scrolls, those are magic items which do some of the magic themselves when read, using the reader's ST.

Of course, if you imagine magic as being more like something anyone can and will do if they just do a series of things in the right order, it might make more sense to allow non-wizards to do it.

(Note that in original Advanced Wizard, non-wizards had -4 DX to cast a spell they had memorized.)
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