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Old 11-19-2016, 06:00 AM   #1
Gnomasz
 
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Default [DF] Why do Wizards have 12 Dexterity?

One of my players pointed out that the Wizards in Dungeon Fantasy invest a lot of points into DX and it seems like a waste of points on an IQ-main template. At first I thought it's just a thing of low DX being potentially crippling in DF, where there's lots of physical challenges. On the other hand the melee templates roll with 10 Will so I guess that's a moot point.

Is there really a reason for those many Wizards who don't take Catch Missile to take high DX instead of just more points in the backup weapon skill?
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: [DF] Why do Wizards have 12 Dexterity?

Official Gurps templates usually don't min-max their DX/IQ. Additionally, all dungeon delvers are tough as nails fighters. If you put a level 8 DnD wizard in a fight vs. a level 1 fighter and insist on no magic, the wizard will still win.

Thus, the DF wizard is a competent fighter.
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: [DF] Why do Wizards have 12 Dexterity?

Those [40] to give the Wizard a DX of 12 give them +0.5 to Basic Speed ([10]), +2 to either Buckler and Smallsword ([16]) or +2 to Staff ([8]), and +2 to whatever Ranged skill they choose ([8]). It also gives a +2 to any DX-based background skill (Fast-Draw Potion, Climbing, Stealth, or Body Sense), for [3] each there. Finally, it allows them to strike unarmed and deliver touch-based spells at 12, which would normally require [4] in Brawling (although as that would give a damage bonus, we can call it [2] or [3]), in addition to getting an effective +2 on any of the miscellaneous DX checks (and uses of skills at default) that might crop up, which is probably worth at least [2]. So, that's [40] for at least [30] and up to over [50] worth of advantage, depending on how the wizard is built.

If you use a Staff and few or no DX-based background skills, you're wasting a few points on that DX boost. Otherwise, you're probably either breaking even or coming out ahead.
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: [DF] Why do Wizards have 12 Dexterity?

Innate Attack is a DX skill. Artillery wizards are likely to have several specialties so they can select the damage type / range / special effects tradeoffs in the Missile spells that suit the tactical situation. And Staff, of course :)

Action-adventurers also tend to need skills like Climbing and Stealth to at least tolerable levels. Wizards can substitute spells, but then there's the opportunity cost of having yet other spells, not to mention being low on energy for the combats (or forcing the party to sit around and rest for half an hour or more every time anything happens).
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Old 11-19-2016, 07:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: [DF] Why do Wizards have 12 Dexterity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
Official Gurps templates usually don't min-max their DX/IQ.
Dungeon Fantasy templates aim to be pretty optimized because otherwise that one guy who gets permission to build off template makes other people look bad.
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Old 11-19-2016, 08:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: [DF] Why do Wizards have 12 Dexterity?

Decent levels of DX in a template do several things. First, it improves your basic speed, which improves your dodge and your move. There are cheaper ways to do that, but keep in mind that trimming DX isn't -20/level but -15/level if you want to keep your basic speed up.

Second, it makes all your physical skills easier. Off the top of my head, even your most non-physical characters in a genre like DF will want at least a point in some combat skills (ideally one armed at an unarmed) and will want at least a point in Stealth. We want these ideally at decent levels, and high levels of DX makes that easier. We could, of course, lower our DX and spend more points in our combat skills and Stealth, but there's a questionable trade-off there, given the other factors we have floating around.

One of those is that we use DX straight for a lot of things, like balance or your ability to strike unarmed if you didn't take a skill. A low DX might ambush you when the GM suddenly calls for a generic DX roll. Or worse, for a skill you only know at default. DX-4 at DX 12 is much better than DX-4 at DX 10.

Finally, higher levels of DX give great flexibility for character development. Suppose you have two characters, one with DX 8 and Broadsword-16, and the other with DX 16 and Broadsword-16. The latter is much more expensive, but more flexible as well. A single point in Stealth will guy you Stealth-15, and a single point in Karate will buy you Karate-14, and so on. The DX 8 character will only get Stealth-7 and Karate-6, which is hardly worth it. For the low DX character, he requires substantially more investment in any particular skill before he starts to see a benefit, which is VERY relevant to template design (since some people will be taking them without a detailed thought process to how they will be developing this character in the future, and you can't predict what every player will want out of their character). Of course, I offer an extreme example, but the principle applies along the spectrum: a DX 12 character is more flexible for later purchases than a DX 11 character.

You have to weigh all of your options and you're not going to come out of those deliberations with many DX 16 wizards, but I personally find that DX 12 is a really good standard for adventuring characters. It's physical enough to deal with unexpected circumstances, benefits a few minor skills and additional development in a physical direction better, and improves your basic speed. I tend to reserve DX 10 for characters where physical things just don't matter that much, like a conspirator who has minions who carry forth his will, so he never actually needs to pull a trigger.
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Old 11-19-2016, 08:03 AM   #7
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Default Re: [DF] Why do Wizards have 12 Dexterity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Dungeon Fantasy templates aim to be pretty optimized because otherwise that one guy who gets permission to build off template makes other people look bad.
I didn't say "Optimized". I said "Min-maxed DX/IQ". The wizard is optimized for fighting with monsters, not for casting spells.

And I'm pretty sure there are some posters here who if you gave 250 points, let them go off-template, and said "Build a combat caster" would put the standard templates to shame. I have two in mind right off the bat, and that's just the folks I've played with. DF is better than some other places, but its not the gold standard for min-maxing.
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Old 11-19-2016, 09:27 AM   #8
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Default Re: [DF] Why do Wizards have 12 Dexterity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
The wizard is optimized for fighting with monsters, not for casting spells.
Ah... this is DF we're talking about.

Fighting monsters is everyone's job 1.
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Old 11-19-2016, 12:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: [DF] Why do Wizards have 12 Dexterity?

In addition to all the general DX benefits listed above by many there are also the 2 words: "Throw" and "Spell" that a DF caster might want to combine without extra fuss.
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Old 11-19-2016, 02:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: [DF] Why do Wizards have 12 Dexterity?

As an FYI, the average stat among the templates in DF1 is 12, though it's closer to 13 for DX. If nothing else, it lets wizards keep up with the Joneses.
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