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Old 08-14-2019, 10:45 AM   #11
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Missle spells in ITL

I 'pro' 3 point cap. Blast'um missile spells are lazy tactics, turning the game from chess to quick-draw. And it isn't like you need more powerful missile spells to be competitive: a 3d lightning bolt does damage comparable to the most powerful non-magical missile and melee attacks in the game (heavy cross bow, arquebus, charging halberd, etc.), is relatively easy and reliable to execute, and has modest cost. If you can't figure out how to win fights with that in your arsenal, then you need to up your game. Also, the game retains a variety of very deadly magical attacks (hammerfist, exploding gem, etc.). So it's not like you can't come up with ways to dole out more damage.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:06 PM   #12
Axly Suregrip
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Default Re: Missle spells in ITL

The thing about missile spells is they have the most forgiving DX modifiers. Combine that with die per point damage ratio and nearly all other spells are worthless in comparison. So, I like the 3/missile spell limit.

Years ago I was going to ban missile spells and instead went with this: each missile spell start at a 1 die variant and increases by in power with IQ level. You can learn later versions for free without taking up an extra slot (much like most creation spells).

Missile Spell Table:
IQ 8: 1 die Magic Fist
IQ 9: 2 die Magic Fist
IQ 10: 3 die Magic Fist
IQ 11: 4 die Magic Fist
IQ 12: 5 die Magic Fist
IQ 12: 1 die Fireball
IQ 13: 6 die Magic Fist
IQ 13: 2 die Fireball
IQ 14: 7 die Magic Fist
IQ 14: 3 die Fireball
IQ 14: 1 die Lightning
IQ 15: 8 die Magic Fist
IQ 15: 4 die Fireball
IQ 15: 2 die Lightning
etc

It was not well received but I got what I wanted. More creative spell casting.

Notice it is more draconian than the 3 ST rule. Also a bit more confusing for players than a 3 ST limit. So, I like the 3 ST limit.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:42 PM   #13
Axly Suregrip
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Default Re: Missle spells in ITL

Missile spells are still a bargain with the 3 ST limit. Let's look at other spell choices in comparison. Looking at spells the incapacitate or damage a foe immediately. So, not looking at Summons and Illusions.

But first a look at their Spell Type affect on DX for the most common casting situations at foes:

- Thrown: -0 never (you then get a HTH modifier). -1 at range 1 hex (where you are in danger). -2 at range 2 hex.

- Creation: -0 at 1.5 MHx (approx 4 hexes).

- Missile: -0 at 2.5 MHx (approx 6 hexes). -1 at 4.5 MHx (apprx 11 hexes).

The offensive spells for beginning wizards (excluding summons and illusions):

Fire: (IQ 9/Cost 1/Avg Dmg 2/Range 4 at -0) Foe usually exits flames the following turn.

Rope (IQ 11/Cost 2/May incap foe/Range 4 at 0) Best on low DX foes. Otherwise likely to just cause foe to only miss one action phase.

Sleep (IQ 11/Cost 3/Incap foe of ST 19 or less/Range 1 at -1, 2 at -2...)

Fireball (IQ 12/Cost 3/Avg Dmg 7.5/Missile spell range)

Freeze (IQ 12/Cost 4/Incap foe of ST 29 or less/Range 1 at -1, 2 at -2...)

Lightning (IQ 14/Cost 3/Avg Dmg 10.5/Missile spell range).


The thrown spells (Sleep & Freeze) are limited to when the foe is close enough to be a danger to you. Good spells for those emergencies but not ideal. A pole weapon rush will get first attack so if they are so armed, then not good at all. If the creature is stronger than the spell's limit, again the spell is useless.

The creations spells have a useful range and DX modifier but limited effect. Fire has its uses but combat offense is not it. Yes it can be very useful in combat but it is not a damage dealer unless you can trap a foe to a single hex. Rope is quite useful but slow. If cast on a high DX foe, he will be rid of it at the cost of one action phase. If cast on a low DX foe, it will reduce his effectiveness and eventually incapacitate him. Also, Rope is limited to foes with ST of 19 or less.

So at a cost of only 3, you can do a solid amount of damage (Fireball or Lightning) and a fairly safe distance with no or only a small reduction of DX. And no disqualifying situations (foe ST too high or foe DX too high).


Without the ST limit, then we see the same tactic play out vs Giants, Trolls, Dragons, any large creatures: team engages monster so it may not dodge. Wizard cooks it with a large fireball or lightning. All out since due to armor one large Lightning is better than 2 medium ones. Rest wizard and repeat.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:59 AM   #14
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Missle spells in ITL

Other counters to missile spells include dodging (so add about -3.5 to the difficulty of hitting in those cases), the anti-missile spells, and the inability to shoot through intervening figures (i.e. a wizard can Freeze/Sleep/Rope/Clumsiness someone two hexes away through their wall of warrior friends without having to roll to miss or worry about dodging or Reverse Missiles.

And that's just the offensive consideration. The defensive consideration includes that if a wizard moves so that they have open lines of fire on foes, then foes (including archers, not just wizards) may have open lines of fire on them, and a wizard can't dodge and cast spells at the same time, and wizards tend to really not like getting shot. Non-missile spells can more often be put to good use while being careful to move so as to avoid being shootable.

Last edited by Skarg; 08-15-2019 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:15 PM   #15
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Missle spells in ITL

This has all got me thinking about simple alternatives to the 3 dice cap.

One is a very simple formula for missile spell costs: ST needed = (desired dice damage minus 1) times 2; although with the exception that the first die damage still costs 1 ST. This is the same as saying, each die added to the spell beyond 2 costs 2 ST instead of 1 ST. Here's the result:

# of dice.....ST cost
damage......to cast
~~~~~......~~~~~
1d...............1 ST
2d...............2 ST
3d...............4 ST
4d...............6 ST
5d...............8 ST
6d.............10 ST
7d.............12 ST and so on...

This is a gentle curve, yet strong enough to deter many missile spells much over 3 or 4 dice, while not setting any kind of hard limit.
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:29 AM   #16
JustAnotherJarhead
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Default Re: Missle spells in ITL

I like that scale, a lot.

not imbalanced at all.

wizards could always launch a 10d6 fireball... but they didn't...

something about Self Preservation.
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:49 AM   #17
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Missle spells in ITL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Plambeck View Post
This has all got me thinking about simple alternatives to the 3 dice cap.

One is a very simple formula for missile spell costs: ST needed = (desired dice damage minus 1) times 2; although with the exception that the first die damage still costs 1 ST. This is the same as saying, each die added to the spell beyond 2 costs 2 ST instead of 1 ST. Here's the result:

# of dice.....ST cost
damage......to cast
~~~~~......~~~~~
1d...............1 ST
2d...............2 ST
3d...............4 ST
4d...............6 ST
5d...............8 ST
6d.............10 ST
7d.............12 ST and so on...

This is a gentle curve, yet strong enough to deter many missile spells much over 3 or 4 dice, while not setting any kind of hard limit.
Didn't I jus propose more or less that earlier in the thread 😂😂😂
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:31 AM   #18
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Missle spells in ITL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
Didn't I just propose more or less that earlier in the thread 😂😂😂
Ahem... yes, you did. Hahaha! Not out to steal your thunder Chris. In the intervening days I forgot you'd posted a formula first. And I see now we're only 1 ST apart on rolls over 2 dice.

(I may amend mine so no change in the RAW kicks in until the 4 dice roll, which in and of itself is a change if it exists at all. And separately, I'm still not comfortable with the new limit applying to Magic Fist at all since it's so weak to begin with.)

I actually want to borrow one of your other ideas from a completely different thread, so I shouldn't steal one here too -- that would be just crass! :)
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:07 AM   #19
JustAnotherJarhead
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Default Re: Missle spells in ITL

I agree, the neutering of Magic Fist was especially hard to digest.

It wasn't common (not that wizards are) but in the classic rules if you wanted to play a lesser IQ, but Stronger Wizard, maybe even a Martial Wizard, or even a Warrior with a spell surprise, the fact you could energize a BIG Magic Fist, and give a hell of a thump, was cool.

By today's rule, who in their right mind would even select MF for an average damage of 4.5 Hits at it's MAXIMUM usage?
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:59 AM   #20
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Missle spells in ITL

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAnotherJarhead View Post
I agree, the neutering of Magic Fist was especially hard to digest.

It wasn't common (not that wizards are) but in the classic rules if you wanted to play a lesser IQ, but Stronger Wizard, maybe even a Martial Wizard, or even a Warrior with a spell surprise, the fact you could energize a BIG Magic Fist, and give a hell of a thump, was cool.
Yep.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAnotherJarhead View Post
By today's rule, who in their right mind would even select MF for an average damage of 4.5 Hits at it's MAXIMUM usage?
This I would say is an overstatement.

Someone with IQ 11 or less, so no access to any more damaging missile spell. With no more damaging spell to prefer, it's still very useful for hitting targets at range, and can win wizard duels or take out those ST 8 wizard types and ST 6 halflings some people suggest are good characters.

The other advantages of a missile spell apply (the low DX penalty to hit at range).

And beyond comparing its damage to IQ 12 Fireball or better, it's still a very useful spell for other purposes, allowing touching and breaking things at a great distance.
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