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Old 02-11-2021, 07:33 PM   #31
JimmyPlenty
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Wizards without Staves

It really comes down to mana storage doesn't it.

2000+xp to fully charge a staff. 2000+ xp once you get to Staff III. (and if you do not start there, 500 xp for each level to get there)

Lets assume just 5000 xp.

I know the immediate argument would be that 5000xp vs. getting a full staff is a no brainer...just go for the staff.

However, is a character going to stay stagnant that whole time? Adventuring without any real increase other than to increase a mana bank? That might be a logical gamey decision, but perhaps not one based on reality.

Real world example: people get tax refunds....they have a house....they could put it toward your house....but most people will buy something shiny instead.
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Old 02-12-2021, 03:52 AM   #32
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Wizards without Staves

I agree with you JimmyPlenty, and for that reason just don't want or intend to use the XP for mana and new Staff rules -- that is, if I ever get a group together. Thought I had some folk lined up last January, and then, well, pandemic!

What I'm eager to try out is (1) reverting to the single, original Staff spell only, (2) giving wizards a Mana attribute (my original group in the 80's used that) and then (3) let every Staff store Mana, with the amount capped (for all practical purposes) by a formula taking into account the Mana and IQ attributes of the wizard. So as in original TFT all XP gets spent on increasing attributes, and if a wizard carries a Staff it will just gradually hold an increasing amount of Mana as the wizard improves him or her self. (The Staff Mana limit runs the course of 0, 2, 4, 6... up to fully equal to the wizard's Mana stat at high level, and double that amount at the super-high level. The latter two steps just happily coincide with where it would be anyway under RAW with Staff IV and Staff V, even though I wouldn't use/need those spells.)

Because I feel XP should improve the person, not the thing. Raising attributes would still have it's original benefits, with a Staff gaining more capacity as just a side effect.

But to bring it back to topic (haha) my original group's World had among its many countries a large empire, a theocracy, that forbade secular magic and burned all wizards. PCs never set foot in that empire proper, but if they had, any wizards would have to be suicidal to openly carry Staves. Our wizard PCs had plenty of run-ins with extremist NPCs that came from that empire though, and "fun" always ensued.
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Old 02-12-2021, 06:40 AM   #33
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Wizards without Staves

In summary the reasons to have a staff are:
  • Have a weapon in hand to attack or defend without restricting spell use
  • It can mundanely cut or bash critters only harmed by magic weapons
  • The occult zap can harm critters that magic items can't be used against or shouldn't touch
  • Staff to Snake is a very cost effective Summon Snake spell
  • It lets everybody know you're a wizard Harry
  • Higher level staves have nifty powers

The reasons to not have a staff are:
  • Have both hands free for your Unarmed Combat III talent
  • The mundane strikes of a staff don't count as magical weapon attacks
  • The occult zap can't actually harm much of anything
  • Staff to Snake risks losing your fancy staff
  • Conceal 5 is still subject to an accidental automatic success in strip searches or Detect Magic, letting everybody know you're a wizard Harry
  • You'd rather spend the memory points on Charisma and Animal Handling to talk your way out of fights
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Old 03-27-2021, 01:34 PM   #34
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Wizards without Staves

Just got the new Wizards PDF with oodles of useful characters. I've noticed the following:

(1) Lots of wizards with no staff at all.
(2) Those with a staff have more mana than I'd expect a character to have sometimes. The awkwardly named Fivm Gederi is a 33 pt. character with 9 mana in her staff. A while ago, I figgered I was giving too much mana in NPC staves, thinking about how a player would develop a character, and toned it down, but Fivm has spent 1800 experience on mana, which makes her 33 pts. a little misleading. Those 1800 experience points could take her to 37 attribute points with leftovers.
(3) A lot of those without staves have significant powerstones. They are all very experienced, however.

Duisiy is a 40 point character with 40 mana in her staff and a 15 ST powerstone! She has a total of 64 ST/mana for spells. She's an enchantress, so I guess she saves a lot on apprentices. She's spent 8000 XP on mana for her staff!

I'll probably tone down some of the mana reserves for many of these wizards, no doubt. At the least, you shouldn't rely too much on attribute points for assessing how badass these guys are.

On the other hand, Esagodiemol, a wizard miner, has no mana reserves and ST 10. Yes, he can open tunnels, but not and stay conscious.

This resource really shows a great variety of wizards with very different specialties. And it's good to break the habit of building NPCs suited only as foes or combat allies of the PCs. Good stuff. On to the other new books.
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Old 03-27-2021, 01:50 PM   #35
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Wizards without Staves

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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
On the other hand, Esagodiemol, a wizard miner, has no mana reserves and ST 10. Yes, he can open tunnels, but not and stay conscious.
In particular, I was reminded this was pointed out in playtest and despite my trying to be organized about it, was missed in the adjustment phase. Esa shall be provided with a suitable powerstone with a few points of mana before the book is finalized.
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Old 03-27-2021, 02:06 PM   #36
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Wizards without Staves

Oh, I think you should keep it. Part of the eccentric character!

There is one small editorial change I'd like to suggest. In the Wizard's book, the staff is listed as both a weapon and magic item, clearly distinguishing the club damage from arcane blast. That's great. In the Bandits and Outlaws book, the damage from staffs is usually omitted, whether mundane or arcane (the exception being the quarterstaff staff, which lists quarterstaff damage, but not occult blast). In the Rookies book, no damage from staves as clubs is listed. Instead, the staff is listed under weapons with damage 1d.

It would be nice if the three books were consistent. The Wizards book, not surprisingly, has the best solution for how to list staves.

Really good stuff. The backstories really point out what a slacker I am. My backstories are limited to "Good guy", "Bad guy" and, when I'm feeling complicated, sometimes "Good guy but sometimes bad".
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Old 03-27-2021, 02:10 PM   #37
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Wizards without Staves

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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Oh, I think you should keep it. Part of the eccentric character!

There is one small editorial change I'd like to suggest. In the Wizard's book, the staff is listed as both a weapon and magic item, clearly distinguishing the club damage from arcane blast. That's great. In the Bandits and Outlaws book, the damage from staffs is usually omitted, whether mundane or arcane (the exception being the quarterstaff staff, which lists quarterstaff damage, but not occult blast). In the Rookies book, no damage from staves as clubs is listed. Instead, the staff is listed under weapons with damage 1d.

It would be nice if the three books were consistent. The Wizards book, not surprisingly, has the best solution for how to list staves.
I will see what I can do here without breaking layout. It's a good suggestion.

Quote:
Really good stuff. The backstories really point out what a slacker I am. My backstories are limited to "Good guy", "Bad guy" and, when I'm feeling complicated, sometimes "Good guy but sometimes bad".
I will note that it doesn't take much. I have a system I use for ideas where I generate a few adjectives, a background (taken from some old D&D work I did) to say what they did before they were [whatever they are now], and two bits of "what do they want" and "what are they willing to do to get it?"

Obviously for a published book, I had to do some prose-writing. But for GM notes, just the adjectives (ITL p. 14!), and a few notes on what they want and what they'll do to get it are more than enough. (note: that can include 'murder-bot' as well as 'wait petulantly for the world to align to their desires')
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Old 03-27-2021, 02:15 PM   #38
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Wizards without Staves

One of the terms listed ("murder bot" and "wait petulantly for the world to align to there desires") seems to describe me to a tee, but I won't say which one.
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Old 03-27-2021, 02:58 PM   #39
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Wizards without Staves

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In particular, I was reminded this was pointed out in playtest and despite my trying to be organized about it, was missed in the adjustment phase. Esa shall be provided with a suitable powerstone with a few points of mana before the book is finalized.
One of the odd things about TFT is the linear warrior / quadratic wizard meme applies even more to groups.

Adding another meatshield gives a linear increase in capability while adding a wizard gives a linear increase in fatigue recovery times a linear increase (usually just log increase due to overlap in spell lists) in the list of spells available. So a borg-like gang of wizards can both power single spells of incredible power while also selecting just the right spell to apply in each circumstance.

This is why friends don't let friends play Muggle.
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Old 03-27-2021, 04:18 PM   #40
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Wizards without Staves

What an odd analysis. So, heroes have only one role: to hit stuff?
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