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Old 10-12-2018, 07:52 PM   #1
Devil_Dante
 
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Default Standard magic: area spells and walls

Hi everyone! Got a couple of questions.
I feel area spells are very expensive to use: a lot of them have 2-5 FP. Trying to cover a 6 radius circle becomes very tough. But maybe is a way to balance the game. What I really don't understand is why the wall spells are so bad: lighting wall costs 6, this means 12 at least, for a very tiny wall. Is there any why to handle them? Because doing the same spell with the sorcery is far more cheaper (wall enhancement and area spell modifier scale cheaper than area spell radius).

Am I misunderstanding? Or if I am not, is there any way to make those spells more reliable?
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Standard magic: area spells and walls

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Originally Posted by Devil_Dante View Post
lighting wall costs 6
Only if you insist on it doing 3d-3 damage, which is rather a lot.

Quote:
is there any way to make those spells more reliable?
Reliable? I assume you mean cheaper to cast. The amount of energy used doesn't change the skill level, and so wouldn't affect reliability.

We played one game with a houserule that scaled Area spells using the Speed/Range table progression, so large areas could be covered at logarithmic cost rather than linear. It was also a Threshold magic game where a sufficiently motivated mage could burn 30 or so points on one spell by himself, without ceremonial casting, if he thought it really necessary.

Magic seems to me to be meant for small-scale use, as on arena maps or in dungeons, hearkening all the way back to its heritage from Wizard. It's on a personal, single-figure combat-time scale. That Wall of Lightning would be used to seal a door or protect the wizard's hex to keep the swarms or trash mooks out of his hair, not protect a city wall with one casting, or even an entire room, so a hex or two is usually all you'd need. (For all the complaints about the Magic system being overpowered, I've heard a number of complaints that mages can't be made powerful enough, at least in the city-threatening sense you often see in fantasy books.) Enlarge is notoriously OP for allowing geometric growth in the size of objects while most effects are linear. But if you want to cover large areas, that's exactly the sort of change in mechanics that you want.
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Old 10-13-2018, 04:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Standard magic: area spells and walls

thanks for reply

for reliable i meant that you can rely more on that and their utility, but yes, price is what i was talking about.

I thought about using that (using the penalty as a multiplier).
My wizard's player yesterday was trying to cast a wall to divide a group of enemies: 3 of them were already in melee, while other 3 foes were coming. In the end, he could chose to cast a "big" harmless wall, or a small dangerous wall. He chose to cast another spell
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Old 10-13-2018, 08:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Standard magic: area spells and walls

Even 10 points of Energy Reserve make mages a lot more frightening, consider giving them up to 30, suddenly they have almost thrice their FP that they can use before getting any danger of exhaustion.

Another way is to get their skills up to 20 or even 25, after that most spells they can maintain for free. How about Flight and Reverse Missiles free for all party members?
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Standard magic: area spells and walls

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Originally Posted by Taneli View Post
Even 10 points of Energy Reserve make mages a lot more frightening, consider giving them up to 30, suddenly they have almost thrice their FP that they can use before getting any danger of exhaustion.

Another way is to get their skills up to 20 or even 25, after that most spells they can maintain for free. How about Flight and Reverse Missiles free for all party members?
it's true, but we starting playing (me as GM and 3 players) 3 months ago with 180 points (150+30 of dis). Now they have barely 200 points.

With these points, my wizard player has 20 PF (both in PF and ER) plus a 10 FP powerstone. The main problem came when he wished to cast a wall, but to do it, he needed all his PF more or less, to cast something that was kinda usefull. So i was wandering, could a wall spell be so usefull, when the main task was to do a little bit of battlefield control?
I am a big fun of the D&D wizard battlefield control style, and to be honest, i really don't like how wall are treated. I wish to give them a bit of love. And in general, AoE spells are pretty expensive.

From next session, i will introduce the "speed range table" for AoE spells. Wish to see how it works.

The reason is always the same: the gish player can dish out an average of 15 damage per round (even more when buffed). Don't want to see the wizard felt useless, that's all
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Standard magic: area spells and walls

If you're looking for battlefield control there are many good spells for this: Glue, Grease, Force Dome/Wall, Mystic Mist (has to be cast ahead of time), Darkness, Shape Earth, Windstorm ...
Note though that none of these spells does damage! Standard GURPS Magic makes mages very weak at dealing damage but very good at pretty much everything else. In DnD, I found that wizards eventually outclassed everyone at everything. In GURPS, at least a warrior can dish out more damage (this is a warrior's specialized niche after all), even if a well-built wizard could easily defeat her in a fight with save-or-die type spells, probably has more ways to affect a broader battle between buffs, battlefield control spells, and special case utility spells, and more or less outclasses the rest of the party anyway if the player knows what she is doing...

The one exception to "mages are bad at damage" is elemental damage. If you're fighting an ice elemental, the wizard's weak fire spells are suddenly an important factor.

If you're going to modify this state of affairs, I would suggest inventing some expensive special advantages a mage can buy to improve her damage-dealing prowess or improve other aspects of magic. I have a house advantage called "Spellslinger" which effectively increases RoF and damage for missile spells. I have another one called "Huge Caster" (I reserve this for giants and such) that allows the caster to cast on large SM subjects and over large areas for cheaper. Thaumatology has lots more options for modifying Magery or the magic system to make it better/worse/different.
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: Standard magic: area spells and walls

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Originally Posted by Taneli View Post
Even 10 points of Energy Reserve make mages a lot more frightening, consider giving them up to 30, suddenly they have almost thrice their FP that they can use before getting any danger of exhaustion.

Another way is to get their skills up to 20 or even 25, after that most spells they can maintain for free. How about Flight and Reverse Missiles free for all party members?
You mean after dumping 90+ points into something a Character might be potent?

Go figure... ;)
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Standard magic: area spells and walls

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
If you're looking for battlefield control there are many good spells for this: Glue, Grease, Force Dome/Wall, Mystic Mist (has to be cast ahead of time), Darkness, Shape Earth, Windstorm ...
Note though that none of these spells does damage! Standard GURPS Magic makes mages very weak at dealing damage but very good at pretty much everything else. In DnD, I found that wizards eventually outclassed everyone at everything. In GURPS, at least a warrior can dish out more damage (this is a warrior's specialized niche after all), even if a well-built wizard could easily defeat her in a fight with save-or-die type spells, probably has more ways to affect a broader battle between buffs, battlefield control spells, and special case utility spells, and more or less outclasses the rest of the party anyway if the player knows what she is doing...

The one exception to "mages are bad at damage" is elemental damage. If you're fighting an ice elemental, the wizard's weak fire spells are suddenly an important factor.

If you're going to modify this state of affairs, I would suggest inventing some expensive special advantages a mage can buy to improve her damage-dealing prowess or improve other aspects of magic. I have a house advantage called "Spellslinger" which effectively increases RoF and damage for missile spells. I have another one called "Huge Caster" (I reserve this for giants and such) that allows the caster to cast on large SM subjects and over large areas for cheaper. Thaumatology has lots more options for modifying Magery or the magic system to make it better/worse/different.
well, i know that dps wizard is not the best damage dealer, and i am sharing this philosophy: they can huge amount of damage in one turn, but he needs several turns to do it. It's perfect (both with my vision of the magic in general and with my setting i created).

The only concern i have is about area spells and walls in particular. Just thing about: 5 meter radius wall of lightning (2d-2 damage) is 20 FP. It's a lot. Too expensive in my opinion, for DF world. The same, with the "distance penalty" table is 12. Is far better (even if i wish to have something that costs less for lesser radius and more with largers, instead of the opposite).

In D&D wizards are maybe too good (but even there, damage spells are not the best choice, because of reflex saves and large amount of monsters and people with evasion, that can nullify whole damage). But a basic wall is like 3 meters long per level, so a level 10 wizard can create a 30 meters long wall.

I'll try this new approach for now. Want to see how it works.

Another thing: because you have talked about magery, i wish to ask you about it: in my settings, therte are 13 warrens of magic, that rule the whole magic (each one is a college more or less, ans some other colleges are merged into a single warren). Wizards tend to be specialised in few warrens (normally, between 2 and 4). I am using the standard limitations (-40 % for 1, -30% for 2 and so on). Are there any way to do it? I was thinking about let a mage buy a single magery for every warren, with a limitation. In this way, a wizard knowing 3 warrens, has to know 3 magery. But wich limitation should i use?
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Standard magic: area spells and walls

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Originally Posted by Devil_Dante View Post
The only concern i have is about area spells and walls in particular.
This thread might give you some ideas. The hive mind has sort of already trod this ground.
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Old 10-16-2018, 08:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: Standard magic: area spells and walls

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Originally Posted by Devil_Dante View Post
in my settings, therte are 13 warrens of magic, that rule the whole magic (each one is a college more or less, ans some other colleges are merged into a single warren). Wizards tend to be specialised in few warrens (normally, between 2 and 4). I am using the standard limitations (-40 % for 1, -30% for 2 and so on). Are there any way to do it? I was thinking about let a mage buy a single magery for every warren, with a limitation. In this way, a wizard knowing 3 warrens, has to know 3 magery. But wich limitation should i use?
I ran a long-term campaign with no generalized Magery, and magic divided into 9 super-colleges at 5 pts/level. I thought it worked well to incentivize more specialization and give NPC mages strong themes for their spells.

Some more details at https://thorsgrumblings.blogspot.com...rps-magic.html
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