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Old 04-28-2014, 07:56 AM   #11
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
How is magic underpowered?

Why do you think that is?

-Someone that struggled to keep Magic from being overpowered in 3e*.

*Except when running it along 3e Psionics, where we found it a toss up.
From a utility perspective, anybody willing to dump enough points into skills and FP is scary. From a damage perspective, though, you're better off with archers and gunmen.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:50 AM   #12
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
From a utility perspective, anybody willing to dump enough points into skills and FP is scary. From a damage perspective, though, you're better off with archers and gunmen.
Thank you for an answer, but I still find this explanation wanting.

1) If you're not willing to put enough points into skills and FP, why are you a mage?

2) If you are choosing to focus upon dealing damage but also want to be a mage, nothing says you can't also be an archer/gunman/etc. though you will have to manage your points. If the campaign says you can't be both... isn't this solving a problem of one's own making? If you're not as good of a mage or a gunman as if you had focused... that's how it goes and your strengths will be where those two compliment each other.

3) Perhaps most important... still not sure why damage isn't high enough. I had a wall-of-text post explaining how it should be, but it is probably better if someone explains why. I don't have access to 4e GURPS Basic Set right now and I've never read the 4e Magic book, so are all the useful weapon buffing spells of 3e gone? Overpriced? Has the setting tweaked what does and doesn't work in a manner I didn't catch in the posts?

Even though I sound pretty skeptical (and to be honest, I am) I know I am far from perfect and I'd like to avert future problems because what I thought I "knew" was wrong. ^^'
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:58 AM   #13
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
1) If you're not willing to put enough points into skills and FP, why are you a mage?
Any mage not willing to get at LEAST 15-20 skill is a fool. Just saying.


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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
2) If you are choosing to focus upon dealing damage but also want to be a mage, nothing says you can't also be an archer/gunman/etc. though you will have to manage your points. If the campaign says you can't be both... isn't this solving a problem of one's own making? If you're not as good of a mage or a gunman as if you had focused... that's how it goes and your strengths will be where those two compliment each other.
Being effective at either/or is expensive enough, and being good at both generally doesn't fit in point budgets. Those budgets are the problem!


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3) Perhaps most important... still not sure why damage isn't high enough. I had a wall-of-text post explaining how it should be, but it is probably better if someone explains why. I don't have access to 4e GURPS Basic Set right now and I've never read the 4e Magic book, so are all the useful weapon buffing spells of 3e gone? Overpriced? Has the setting tweaked what does and doesn't work in a manner I didn't catch in the posts?
Gone are the instant-cast Fireballs. Every spell has a minimum cast time of 1 second (except blocking spells), meaning your 3d Fireball that costs you 2 FP (assuming 15 skill) has effective RoF 1/2, while that guy with an axe is doing 3d swing damage twice per second. Sure, you have range, but Axe Guy can use Deceptive Attack to get around that whole "dodge" issue. TL;DR: 1 FP per die of damage sucks.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Any mage not willing to get at LEAST 15-20 skill is a fool. Just saying.
Just to be clear, so you realize that is also what I was saying, which is why it seemed kind of an odd statement for you to make in the first place (in response to my earlier inquiry). I suppose if being a Mage is not your main focus.

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Being effective at either/or is expensive enough, and being good at both generally doesn't fit in point budgets. Those budgets are the problem!
Then the real problem is that the GM didn't allow the players enough points to build characters, isn't it? I know that 4e makes it a lot more expensive to be a mage due to IQ costing a flat +20 per +1 over your racial average (as opposed to 3e's pricing structure), but if there really isn't enough points that a combat focused mage isn't equal to or superior to a combat focused something else... there is a disconnect between player/GM expectations or someone needs help optimizing their builds. Again though, if your mages aren't as devastating in combat as everyone else, there needs to be a reason why the standard Magic system somehow comes across as "weak". Note that setting specific choices are important and deal with that "disconnect"; if the GM wants awesome mages that are unmatched in one-on-one melee combat, best set things up so that works out.

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Gone are the instant-cast Fireballs. Every spell has a minimum cast time of 1 second (except blocking spells), meaning your 3d Fireball that costs you 2 FP (assuming 15 skill) has effective RoF 1/2, while that guy with an axe is doing 3d swing damage twice per second. Sure, you have range, but Axe Guy can use Deceptive Attack to get around that whole "dodge" issue. TL;DR: 1 FP per die of damage sucks.
Yeah... this doesn't make much sense. Not the rule change; that one has come up before (thanks for reminding me, as its the kind of thing I easily forget or only half remember).

We have apples and oranges here; at the same circumstances, a warrior focused on melee or ranged combat should be better than a generalist mage at melee or ranged combat. If that is a problem, it seems to be unreasonable expectations. It isn't that cheap to be an ax wielding warrior that gets two attacks per turn at 3d damage each, especially with the Skill for both to land. This is why mages are ill-suited to front-line combat without being heavily specialized...

...and if they are, then they should indeed rival that ax-men for similar points. A 250 point dedicated "warrior" style character allowed access to extremely detailed, advanced rules without the burden of justifying them in game, and in addition to the less realistic options may be an exception, but he's supposed to be.

TL;DR: If 1 FP per die of damage seems bad, it seems like you're doing it wrong. Focusing on damage seems to be "doing it wrong" to begin with, but even narrowing things down, that mage should be pretty spiffy.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:59 PM   #15
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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We have apples and oranges here; at the same circumstances, a warrior focused on melee or ranged combat should be better than a generalist mage at melee or ranged combat. If that is a problem, it seems to be unreasonable expectations. It isn't that cheap to be an ax wielding warrior that gets two attacks per turn at 3d damage each, especially with the Skill for both to land. This is why mages are ill-suited to front-line combat without being heavily specialized...
For Axe Guy to attack twice without penalty costs a mere 30 points. For a mage to cast AND throw his Fireball in the same turn requires an Altered Time Rate for 100 points. Throw in ST being half the price of IQ (both need DX for skills), and you get somebody who can do 3d swing twice per turn on a budget where the mage simply can't afford to cast and throw the spell on the same turn.

Mages under Standard Magic are far better for their utility than their raw damage output, which causes people who only see dice of damage to call mages "weak." Don't get me wrong, being able to knock out the IQ9 barbarian with a simple quick contest vs will is awesome, but, it isn't really going to help you kill that dragon over there.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:30 PM   #16
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
For Axe Guy to attack twice without penalty costs a mere 30 points. For a mage to cast AND throw his Fireball in the same turn requires an Altered Time Rate for 100 points. Throw in ST being half the price of IQ (both need DX for skills), and you get somebody who can do 3d swing twice per turn on a budget where the mage simply can't afford to cast and throw the spell on the same turn.
Why does the mage need to cast and throw a spell on the same turn? You kind of "hand-waved" range earlier, as well as how why the mage is in one-on-one combat with someone to begin with. I should be arguing how the ax guy can compete because the mage is nuking him with a fireball long before he gets into range (let alone all the other options the mage is likely to have).

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Mages under Standard Magic are far better for their utility than their raw damage output, which causes people who only see dice of damage to call mages "weak." Don't get me wrong, being able to knock out the IQ9 barbarian with a simple quick contest vs will is awesome, but, it isn't really going to help you kill that dragon over there.
So this is based upon the players/GM having a faulty perception of what is "weak"? What a dragon can and cannot do varies according to setting (not everyone has played or played a lot of D&D - it was my third or fourth RPG system and I didn't care much for it so I have next to no experience with it); depending on exactly what it means to be a dragon and the specifics of one specimen, the mage may be in far better shape to kill the dragon that some silly guy with an axe.

Really, I think that shows the discrepancy I was talking about: a fairly generic fire drake has good odds of detecting the ax wielder long before he gets near enough for melee combat. If we give the ax wielder a great Stealth score, only makes sense to allow the dragon to invest in appropriate Skills and Advantages that counter it: like against like. The Dragon is likely to naturally have some form of Claws and Sharp Teeth, plus a Breathe Attack, Winged Flight, extra Strikers (Wings and/or Tail) etc. Even if it lacks Magic Resistance and is non-sentient, it still tends to have Size making it hard for more subtle magic to make a dent (while raw damage faces similar problems to the ax wielder).

TL;DR: Thanks for trying to explain, but it still sounds like it is something the GM and/or players are doing to cause imbalance, or most likely unrealistic expectations as they take a being that plays with the fabric of reality and complains he can't swing a stick with sharpened metal on the end as hard as some big muscular bloke who may be a wizard at swinging said sharpened metal on a stick, but can't alter the fabric of reality with it (just your face, your spleen, etc.).
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:02 PM   #17
Culture20
 
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
Gone are the instant-cast Fireballs. Every spell has a minimum cast time of 1 second (except blocking spells), meaning your 3d Fireball that costs you 2 FP (assuming 15 skill) has effective RoF 1/2, while that guy with an axe is doing 3d swing damage twice per second. Sure, you have range, but Axe Guy can use Deceptive Attack to get around that whole "dodge" issue. TL;DR: 1 FP per die of damage sucks.
Of course there is Explosive Fireball to prevent Axe Guy from dodging. And with a (crazy) Magery of 10, you could have a 5d explosive fireball after one second of concentration.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:21 PM   #18
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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Why does the mage need to cast and throw a spell on the same turn? You kind of "hand-waved" range earlier, as well as how why the mage is in one-on-one combat with someone to begin with. I should be arguing how the ax guy can compete because the mage is nuking him with a fireball long before he gets into range (let alone all the other options the mage is likely to have).
I think most GM's, particularly at low TL's, tend to start combat at relatively short range. This is understandable - a battle map only has so much room, range penalties can get rather high, and if you start your battles at ranges where the ranged characters shine, there's a very good chance your melee characters will be able to do nothing beyond hide behind some cover. There are options that will let ranged characters still work at close range - Heroic Archer works nicely. Mages can (I would think, don't have much experience with magic in GURPS) also work, but their damage output is going to be lower than other characters (they can, of course, do stuff that's far more effective than merely damaging foes). A Scout's going to be letting loose at least one arrow a round (possibly two) at ~1d+2 per hit (ST 13 and a longbow, pretty much a base DF Scout), a Knight will be swinging around a high-damage weapon at ~2d+5 per hit (ST 14, Weapon Master, and a broadsword, similarly a base DF Knight), easily managing 2 attacks a round, all without using up resources (beyond the Scout's arrows, although he might have a Cornucopia Quiver). By contrast, the Wizard is burning up 2 FP for a single 3d attack every other round. In a situation where everyone is engaged, I could easily see a damage-focused Wizard feeling underpowered and useless, dropping a single foe in the time it takes his allies to drop between 2 and 4, and only being able to keep up such a pace for 4 such attacks before he's risking dropping below 1/3rd FP (while his allies are basically able to keep up the pace all day).
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:48 PM   #19
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

GURPS mages are support types, you're not supposed to stand back and lug fireballs at people, but rather stand back a throw illusions for the like at them, like creating the illusion that there's blacks disks in their eyes, preventing them from seeing (That's a -10 to both attack and defense rolls, all for a measly 2 FP, ah for the Mekton Zeta crit rules)
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:51 PM   #20
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

being a wizard is being a generalist, you don't do as much damage(if you did, everyone would play a mage), nor you are as resistant(again, if you were, everyone would be a mage), however, if some strange situation arrives, you know how to get out of it.

As it is right now, a combat focused wizard is better than a warrior on a 1 vs. 1 fight, because he has so many tricks, like flying combined with reverse missiles, the fighter still wins at long time fighting against multiple enemies(come on, at least one edge he deserves), if you give even more power, everyone would be a wizard(or be a outshined warrior).
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