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Old 01-30-2019, 12:33 PM   #11
JLV
 
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

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It sounds right for beginning characters but too easy for high-IQ wizards, to me. I think taking the IQ level of the spell into account makes a lot of sense because they are so much rarer. How well the caster knows the spell seems like it would make a big difference, too.

If I know a spell so well I barely have to do anything to cast it, then perhaps I can cast it while making other sounds/gestures to throw off someone trying to figure out what I'm casting, or even pretend to cast another spell. Or if someone knows I can cast some spells without gestures, I might cast those spells and make their gestures, to make them think I'm only pretending to cast those spells. :-)
I wonder if somehow making it an "opposed" roll would allow that kind of chicanery to be taken into account? Your IQ versus the IQ of the caster, for example? Perhaps you could modify it by the IQ of the spell by simply saying that if the IQ required for the spell is higher than your IQ, you can't even try to guess...
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

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I wonder if somehow making it an "opposed" roll would allow that kind of chicanery to be taken into account? Your IQ versus the IQ of the caster, for example? Perhaps you could modify it by the IQ of the spell by simply saying that if the IQ required for the spell is higher than your IQ, you can't even try to guess...
Yes, this is what I'd tend to do for a GURPS-style mechanic, if players are willing to tolerate that level of detail.

I might start with:

Contest of IQ.

* Caster has a bonus for every point of IQ he has above the level of the spell he's casting.

* Observer has a penalty of -4 if he doesn't know the spell himself, and if he's never heard of the spell, a success means he just gets a clue what it is.

* Success means the observer identifies the spell.

* Observer crit failure means the observer gets a wrong (random) idea about what spell it is.

* If the caster is trying to mislead observers, if he makes his roll and wins the contest by 5 or more, the observer gets the impression he's casting the spell the caster was pretending to cast. (Note that the observer is allowed to be skeptical of their own impression.)

* Can only be attempted if the caster is actually having to do something to cast the spell.

* Non-wizards can attempt but at an additional penalty (-4?), and may tend not to know enough about many spells to try.
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Old 01-31-2019, 04:11 AM   #13
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

That sounds like a pretty viable system for it.
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Old 01-31-2019, 07:12 AM   #14
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

On the prior art see Death Test page 2: "If you understand magic, you will
realize that the “curtains of darkness” must be Shadow spells, which some
hidden wizard occasionally throws a Wall into. However, don’t try to look
through a curtain with Mage Sight. It won’t work."

Which again seems to suggest that all wizards are familiar with the operating concepts of all spells in an academic sense, even if they have no practical experience with the spell in question.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:36 AM   #15
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

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On the prior art see Death Test page 2: "If you understand magic, you will
realize that the “curtains of darkness” must be Shadow spells, which some
hidden wizard occasionally throws a Wall into. However, don’t try to look
through a curtain with Mage Sight. It won’t work."

Which again seems to suggest that all wizards are familiar with the operating concepts of all spells in an academic sense, even if they have no practical experience with the spell in question.
Isn't that about deducing or conjecturing what caused the visible effects of a spell, though? (Not watching a wizard's finger movements and incantations and concluding he cast Reverse Missiles.)
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:04 PM   #16
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

Copy and paste from Naturalist, ITL39

IQ 10: Occultist (2 for wizards, 4 for non-wizards)
Knows about spells and enchantments in general.
On a 4/IQ roll will be able to list the parameters of any given common spell or recognize that a given effect might be caused by a specific spell (automatic if they know the spell in question, even without this talent).
Can identify any spell from the full ritual on a 5/IQ roll, adjusted for range as per a thrown spell. (Subtract one die if they know the spell, add one die if the spell is of a higher IQ than their own. Add one die if only the partial ritual is used.)

IQ 12: Expert Occultist (2 for wizards, 4 for non-wizards)
Requires Occultist and subtracts one die for all Occultist rolls.
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:46 PM   #17
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

How about 3d6 if you know a spell of that IQ or higher, 4d6 if you don't?
That would obfuscate that it is a spell that the character knows or not. It just gives you a sense of the level of the spell.
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:44 AM   #18
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

How common is knowledge of spell interactions?

I'm writing up a programmed adventure (online, so it's programming) and I want to arrange for a first combat where the PC is ineffective and then at a later moment she glances over her spell list and the lightbulb goes off. She's facing a spell of a class that she just happens to have the perfect counter for.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:12 AM   #19
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

Just a thought, but what about the 'hidden intent' and 'guessing' aspect of spell casting in TFT? If you created a talent or mechanic that allowed wizards to identify their opponents spells too easily, you might lose something that is unique to TFT's dueling wIzards style of play.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:50 AM   #20
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Default Re: Question about Encounter: Vox Unpopuli

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Just a thought, but what about the 'hidden intent' and 'guessing' aspect of spell casting in TFT? If you created a talent or mechanic that allowed wizards to identify their opponents spells too easily, you might lose something that is unique to TFT's dueling wIzards style of play.
I think so. Flat rolls, even 4d or 5d, will be made very often by high-enough-IQ wizards.

Which I had in mind when I proposed the system I did above, so that even a wizard with lower IQ than the observer may have a good chance of not being "read" if they know the spell well and/or the observer doesn't know it themselves.

In any case, if you know it well enough to cast it without gestures or voice, there's nothing to observe.

Which also brings up that if you can cast it so that no one can perceive what you're doing (your make gestures that are out of sight to the observers, or incantations that are too soft for them to hear given the distance and other noises) - that could also impair or prevent detection.
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