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Old 04-29-2014, 02:23 AM   #21
Otaku
 
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

Just to be clear... I actually have some suggestions, but I want to make sure they are needed before making them; less temptation for the GM to assume they are this way.

Without any such feedback, my ideas might be completely unnecessary. I will also acknowledge that the few changes to 4e Magic might neuter some as well. ^^'

A lot of this still seems like unreasonable expectations, possibly on both the GM and players. I get that (as was pointed out earlier) the GM probably doesn't want to have to start combat too far away, especially if maps are involved... but if I take everything Nereidalbel has suggested as explanations for why the Mage is too weak... its the player designing/running his made poorly and/or the GM/other players being jerks. Not everyone needs to face off against the same types or numbers of opponents, and even in a combat heavy game there should be plenty of foes that the mage is the best (perhaps only one) qualified to face.

Anyway, the phantom suggestions to which I keep alluding:
  1. Really plan out what Spells to use and what situations to use them in.
  2. Let the mage get enchanted gear. It may even be available to anyone in the party, but the mage is the one a Dancing Shield or a Good Weapon Spirit... erm... weapon can protect long enough to use some good spells. Or even get a hireling/purchase an Ally to do it for you.
  3. Allow PC mages to take some really potent magical Advantages, namely mana enhancer. Worse Magical backfires are a problem (you're not Enchanting so take some level of Luck), but getting back all spent Energy next turn allows spamming of a lot of potent Spells.
  4. Create/allow some Advantages modded to be magic specific. Altered Time Rate, for example.
  5. General Spell tweaks. I am less concerned about improving missile Spells than Area Spells. Granted, I am referencing 3e right now; what's the Base Cost of "Create Fire" in 4e? A mage that can surround himself in a ring (especially of variable thickness) of fire, or create an area of flames in front of him, then use Shape Fire the next turn to send it moving towards the opponent is a fearsome site. Resist Fire would allow him to hide in the flames safely.
  6. New Spells; instead of rewriting what is, just create an improved Spell beyond it; Mass Flaming Weapon, Improved Create Fire, etc.
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:46 AM   #22
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
Really plan out what Spells to use and what situations to use them in.
One would hope a mage knows what to cast and when. Steelwraith makes Axe Guy curl up in a corner and cry ^^

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
Let the mage get enchanted gear. It may even be available to anyone in the party, but the mage is the one a Dancing Shield or a Good Weapon Spirit... erm... weapon can protect long enough to use some good spells. Or even get a hireling/purchase an Ally to do it for you.
Enchanted gear is all about cost. However, you may be able to allow discounts to mages who know how to enchant whatever effect they want, in exchange for helping with the enchanting process.

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
Allow PC mages to take some really potent magical Advantages, namely mana enhancer. Worse Magical backfires are a problem (you're not Enchanting so take some level of Luck), but getting back all spent Energy next turn allows spamming of a lot of potent Spells.
Regeneration (Fatigue Only) at the 100 point level will be extremely expensive, but, recovering 1 FP/second does mean you can spam the low-cost things all day. And, if you have 20 FP, you get 2/second.


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Create/allow some Advantages modded to be magic specific. Altered Time Rate, for example.
Compartmentalized Mind with No Mental Separation and Concentrates Only allows you to Concentrate on a spell while doing another mental action. If you want to cast 2 spells at once, go for it.


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General Spell tweaks. I am less concerned about improving missile Spells than Area Spells. Granted, I am referencing 3e right now; what's the Base Cost of "Create Fire" in 4e? A mage that can surround himself in a ring (especially of variable thickness) of fire, or create an area of flames in front of him, then use Shape Fire the next turn to send it moving towards the opponent is a fearsome site. Resist Fire would allow him to hide in the flames safely.
Utility spells are what a mage SHOULD be good at. However, it's raw damage that makes people think mages are weak. After all, the guy who kills 2 goblins per second is definitely going to seem stronger than the guy who convinced a dozen goblins to do the Macarena.


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New Spells; instead of rewriting what is, just create an improved Spell beyond it; Mass Flaming Weapon, Improved Create Fire, etc.
I rather do like allowing Imbue (with the Magical PM) to work with spells.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:56 AM   #23
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

Oh good, at least one person (Nereidalbel) was able to decipher my early morning ramblings (apologies, I had a late "night" and allowed myself to comment when I was well within the "impaired" range).
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:42 PM   #24
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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Oh good, at least one person (Nereidalbel) was able to decipher my early morning ramblings (apologies, I had a late "night" and allowed myself to comment when I was well within the "impaired" range).
If it makes you feel any better, I was 10 shots of rum into the night. More on-topic, you may want to look into RPM mages for 4e. There is a lot of fun to be had with RPM.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:47 PM   #25
simply Nathan
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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There is a lot of fun to be had with RPM.
Before RPM people were always talking about Ritual Magic and Magic as Powers. Far as I can tell the general attitude is just "Anything other than Hawthorne magic as written" or "Don't fix the existing Hawthorne with houserules and options from the books; just go for another system from the ground up regardless of how different it is in balance, feel, and play style"
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:52 PM   #26
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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Before RPM people were always talking about Ritual Magic and Magic as Powers. Far as I can tell the general attitude is just "Anything other than Hawthorne magic as written" or "Don't fix the existing Hawthorne with houserules and options from the books; just go for another system from the ground up regardless of how different it is in balance, feel, and play style"
Each form of magic has its place. Magic as Powers can do a lot, but, I like how RPM encourages creativity and putting some thought into things.
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:55 PM   #27
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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Originally Posted by Kenneth Latrans View Post
Before RPM people were always talking about Ritual Magic and Magic as Powers. Far as I can tell the general attitude is just "Anything other than Hawthorne magic as written" or "Don't fix the existing Hawthorne with houserules and options from the books; just go for another system from the ground up regardless of how different it is in balance, feel, and play style"
Not to get off topic, but for me the concern with the default Magic system is balance... but that's because I get the opposite problem of the one being addressed by this thread. Magery can very easily become a "better" version of Modular Points. So even if I still allow players to study and learn spells, working them out as Advantages, possibly Alternative Abilities or even as Modular Points, paints a more hopeful picture than trying to balance out anything not default Magic against it.

Tweaking the setting to intentionally nerf magic excluded; the idea is balance, not "Mostly no mana setting with no Mana Enchancer allowed and/or anyone not a mage probably has at least 1d worth of Magic Resistance, more if they aren't mooks." I've got no personal play testing results because right now I just can't play.

This thread actually underscores some of the problem though; I know next to nothing about the RPM system, but using Powers means its expensive to be a Mage, but you get what you pay for... like the instant fireballs that hit hard enough to easily compete with the rest of the party's melee damage. Compared to tweaking the rules or Advantages for the default GURPS Magic system (which can more easily had unintended results) or just making up a new Spell (Fast Fireball? >.>), worrying about Skill Levels and the like, it almost seems easier.

A spell you haven't learned very well e.g. didn't want to pay a lot of CP for can have all the restrictions of the Spell Descritpion plus additional levels of Takes Extra Time, Takes Extra FP, etc... while to be an expert, you just buy relevant Advantage with the minimal Limitations required by your GM/setting. If your mage is so skilled that he can fly all the time without any issue... buy Flight at the full price (or with just the Magic Limitation).

Addendum: Even the traditional GURPS Magic System has its place; I find it just fails when it needs to live up to its name of being Generic and Universal. For settings where one doesn't need to balance Magic against anything else... s'good.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:19 PM   #28
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

On the note of mage-only enemies, a flying, diffuse creature with low HP (oh, say, a skull spirit from DF) is very hard to deal with unless you are a mage (Explosive Fireball beats diffuse).

I think a large part is to focus on any outlying issues with Magic. For instance, there is a huge focus on skill 15, due to the -1 FP. There are many tiny spells that probably don't require an entire skill to cast (Light? Haircut?). You can hide those in other skills.

That's a huge thing, actually. Skills are treated a very specific way in GURPS. Magic seems to break this, asking mages to have upwards of 50 (or way more) skills to truly be useful.
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Old 05-04-2014, 02:28 AM   #29
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Default Re: Two long standing house rules.

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On the note of mage-only enemies, a flying, diffuse creature with low HP (oh, say, a skull spirit from DF) is very hard to deal with unless you are a mage (Explosive Fireball beats diffuse).

I think a large part is to focus on any outlying issues with Magic. For instance, there is a huge focus on skill 15, due to the -1 FP. There are many tiny spells that probably don't require an entire skill to cast (Light? Haircut?). You can hide those in other skills.

That's a huge thing, actually. Skills are treated a very specific way in GURPS. Magic seems to break this, asking mages to have upwards of 50 (or way more) skills to truly be useful.
Mystic Knights and Mystic Archers also destroy Diffuse targets with ease. To shorten mage skill lists, allowing YxMagery Charm Perks above the usual 5 Perks limit, so you don't need all those spells you'll never cast just to throw a Lightning Bolt.
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