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Old 09-17-2017, 10:04 PM   #21
mr beer
 
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Default Re: What is the best Magic system to use in a DF campaign?

When you say 'skill-25 opponents', is it fair to parse that as 'Boss monsters'? Because if so, there are a lot of different types of Boss monsters and many of them are resistant or immune to a wide variety of save-or-die spells.

If you define 'Boss monster' as 'highly skilled human-type opponent with no particular defence against magic', well sure, you're going to run into problems with PC wizards. I suspect that you're going to have to do more than switch magic systems though if you want to really nerf save-or-die spells.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:20 PM   #22
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Default Re: What is the best Magic system to use in a DF campaign?

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Originally Posted by mr beer View Post
When you say 'skill-25 opponents', is it fair to parse that as 'Boss monsters'? Because if so, there are a lot of different types of Boss monsters and many of them are resistant or immune to a wide variety of save-or-die spells.

If you define 'Boss monster' as 'highly skilled human-type opponent with no particular defence against magic', well sure, you're going to run into problems with PC wizards. I suspect that you're going to have to do more than switch magic systems though if you want to really nerf save-or-die spells.
Not necessarily boss monster. Even if that's a skill-20 opponent (a.k.a the same level of skill as one of the adventurers), the roll would be 50/50. For the feint to allow you a maneuver good enough to strike at the eye AND make it so the enemy doesn't parry your attack, or retreat-dodge it, it would need to be a good roll.

I'm working on a solution at the moment, and would like some advice/feedback, if possible.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:36 PM   #23
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Default Re: What is the best Magic system to use in a DF campaign?

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Originally Posted by Set View Post

[...] in High Fantasy the average apprentice out of the academy can't insta-gib an adventurer way more experienced, unless he gets very, very lucky.

Again, in high fantasy those powerful guys can most of the times simply resist.
This is true . . . but it's important to understand that whereas in a film or novel – or in myth, epic, or folklore – this can just be the way things are, you have to explain why in a game. That's a big part of what makes games both interesting and tricky. The "why" here is "because there are specific traits and items at work that powerful people have and not-so-powerful people don't have."

What do the words "experienced" and "powerful" really mean? In a game, they mean more abilities and more stuff. So the resistance to "I win!" spells is essentially a function of traits on the character sheet (Magic Resistance, Mental Strength, Mind Shield, Will, etc.) and stuff on the equipment sheet (Magic Resistance and Strengthen Will items, Moly amulets, and so on).

There's nothing inherent in having lots of character points that protects against any effect. Somebody with 300 points could opt to buy Accounting at IQ+74 . . . it would be silly, but unless the GM ruled against it, it would be legit. Naturally, that wouldn't help at all against spells – or for that matter swords, bullets, psionics, poison, or cat scratches. This makes GURPS unlike games where "level" is a quality unto itself, granting better abilities in a package. In effect, the GM has to step in and say, "With this many points, shouldn't you think about shoring up a couple of glaring weaknesses?"

Of course, the GM is free to award a Level-Up package in lieu of unrestricted character points from time to time. For instance, after earning 50 points, the next 50 points might have to buy DX+1 [20] (to get better at combat), HT+1 [10] to be better at survival and resistance), Will+1 [5] (to better resist mental control), and Enhanced Dodge 1 [15] (to get out of the way of attacks and traps). It would be chunky and it would frustrate certain players, but it would ensure that survival is pegged to points.

You could of course smooth it out: "After your first 5 points, the next 5 will be given to you as +1 to Will. After 10 more points, the next 10 will be given to you as +1 to HT. After another 15 points, you'll earn 15 points as Enhanced Dodge 1. And after a further 20 points, the 20 that follow will be awarded as +1 to DX."

But ultimately, the strength and weakness of point-based games is that things don't develop in lockstep as in level-based games. This means that it's possible to be really good at hitting, damaging, defending, sneaking, or whatever but lousy at resisting magic.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:42 PM   #24
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Default Re: What is the best Magic system to use in a DF campaign?

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Originally Posted by Set View Post
Not necessarily boss monster. Even if that's a skill-20 opponent (a.k.a the same level of skill as one of the adventurers), the roll would be 50/50. For the feint to allow you a maneuver good enough to strike at the eye AND make it so the enemy doesn't parry your attack, or retreat-dodge it, it would need to be a good roll.
OK, but 'adventurer equivalent opponent' is a broad category but your example narrows it down to 'equal skill human-type fighter, no anti-magic equipment or stats or advantages'. So yes they will draw against your PC fighter and lose to your PC wizard (assuming said wizard is being meat shielded per standard protocol).

But that's a trivial observation; we can as easily have an 'adventurer equivalent' who is a wizard themselves and now the PC fighter loses. Or any one of a number of monsters that are strong against wizards and weak against fighters.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:44 PM   #25
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Default Re: What is the best Magic system to use in a DF campaign?

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The new D&D is miles ahead of the old D&D. Reviving old school is bad. At least, as far as rules are concerned.
That's certainly an opinion. Considering that Kromm wrote DF the way he did, I suspect it's not one shared by him.

Also... not necessarily by me, but for reasons different than you suspect. I simply loathe D&D in all it's forms, so... yeah, 5e isn't better than OD&D 1974... as it's still D&D (with the old cows of level and class still sacred in the rules).

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In fact, I prefer spell books and lists over shaping the world at will for wizards in a fantasy game. Sure, shaping is fun for an Avatar or Full Metal Alchemist kind of world, but for classic high fantasy settings, spell lists fit way better, in my opinion.
Effects Shaping doesn't mean what you think it means. "Effects Shaping" is a ceremonial/ritual magic system, it can be as fast or as slow as the GM wants. Full Metal Alchemist is a really good example of a (Quick) Path Effect Shaping magic style (with longer rituals taking extra time to get those needed bonuses!). Probably even with some Book Effect Shaping thrown in for the "secret rituals".

Path and Book are just terms of 'art', Path is more often used for styles that are thematically straight (like the Path of Fire, which is all fire spells; or the Path of Nature which would have some animal spells and maybe a few weather control spells), and Book for styles that have themes that are eclectic and weird (Like the Book of Andy Griffith which has detecting spells, a few charm and calm spells, and a few knowledge spells - frex).



RPM, or Ritual Path Magic, is Energy Accumulation from GURPS Thaumatology given a tightening up. It is both 'quick' and slow, and Incantations (the DF version) works very similarly to D&D spell slot style (the Incanter has to prepare his spells in advance, but if given time* in the field he can still perform standard rituals, they can take as little as 5 seconds or as long as days).

* Or a whole lot of skill or a a few 10 point advantages and some skill. Not gonna lie, Incanters can be even more broken than standard DF Wizards.


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Problem is like, a henchman-level Apprentice can snuff a Knight stronger than an Adventurer in a single roll - not a lucky one, just a standard, average roll. This shouldn't exist, under any situation whatsoever.
So can a henchman level level anything (Archer, Warrior, etc).

And no, that 'henchmen' level Apprentice isn't 'save or sucking' the 250+ points Knight with an "average roll", at least not without the Knight failing his roll.

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But what I want to say is: unless you have specific protection against those one-shot spells, you have a good chance at being utterly destroyed by them, no matter how strong you are.
Sure, but unless he has specific protection against taking an arrow to the eye, the Scout is gonna annihilate your Evil Knight just as quickly.

Quote:
This would be completely realistic in a real world setting with Magic, but in High Fantasy the average apprentice out of the academy can't insta-gib an adventurer way more experienced, unless he gets very, very lucky.
That's generally how it works in DF as well.



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It isn't really the same, as the Feint needs a good roll to be actually good, and even then, he would have to make it a Deceptive Attack otherwise the enemy would have a very good chance of defending him/herself. Also, a Fighter needs to be way stronger and more specialized than the Wizard to pull this off.
They will be. Have you looked at the starting skill values for Knights and Swashbucklers and Scouts?

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Also, it isn't really guaranteed to be a fight-ender, whereas the magic effects last like 1 minute, which is 60 turns.
A shot to the eye, for most humanoid foes, is a fight ender. Not only that, unlike your Panic spell fears, it actually kills or incapacitates the foe so the Wizard isn't facing it again within 2 minutes.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:47 PM   #26
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Default Re: What is the best Magic system to use in a DF campaign?

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Why would a garrison be specifically designed to fight and barely lose to a party consisting of a wizard, a scout, a knight and a cleric?
They wouldn't! But reword it as follows: "Why would anybody hire, equip, feed, clothe, and house troops who aren't useful against the common threats faced by those assigned to defend things of value in this game world?" If mercenary bands with powerful spellcasters are common, then nobody will use low-Will, low-HT mooks as troops, and everybody will recruit for Magic Resistance.

Think of magic as a technology of war and realize that the technology of troop-selection, training, and equipment will perforce evolve alongside it. I'd imagine that the average garrison would consist of a bunch of guys with, say, 1d-1 levels of Magic Resistance, none of them feeble (minimum HT 12), led by a forceful captain (with, say, Will = IQ+1d+1). Just as a modern military until will consist of people who meet certain standards of physical training, led by a person who has demonstrated a certain mental capacity.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:53 PM   #27
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Default Re: What is the best Magic system to use in a DF campaign?

My take on a conversion of D&D Next rules for save-or-die spells to GURPS 4th Standard Magic System, would love suggestions, specially since I'm not very knowledgeable in GURPS:

These rules only apply to Spells that include effects that restrain or otherwise handicap the target:
  • Spells that apply a penalty to the subject's rolls, such as Clumsiness or Hinder (Magic, p. 36) are not affected at all by any of those rules.
  • For spells that severely handicaps the target, but still allow him to decide his actions, such as Slow (Magic, p. 145):
    • The target can re-roll his part of the Quick Contest at the end of each of his turns. If he succeeds, he is not affected by the spell anymore.
    • Reduce the spell cost by 1/3 (round down).
    • Ignore -1 penalty flat (not per yard) due to Range on Regular Spells and Area Spells.
  • For spells that locks down the subject, either by forcing it to take the Do Nothing maneuver (i.e. Tickle, Magic, p.36) or by severely restricting its actions (i.e. Panic, Magic, p.134):
    • As above, but the target gets a cumulative +1 to her rolls, starting at the end of her first turn after being affected by the spell.
    • Reduce the spell cost by 1/2 (round up).
    • Ignore -1 penalty flat (not per yard) due to Range on Regular and Area Spells.


Additionally, I'm trying to convert the Legendary Resistance trait from D&D Next to GURPS.
Legendary Resistance
+3PR/Level (Up to 3)
This is an Advantage only available to NPCs that, alone, can be a worthy or greater challenge to the party. It allows the user to automatically win a lost Quick Contest against effects that could have restrained it, magic or otherwise. If such result could mean negative effects for the combatant trying to apply it, instead nothing, negative or positive, happens to anyone. Costs are still paid as usual. 1 use per day per level.

Last edited by Set; 09-17-2017 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 09-17-2017, 11:04 PM   #28
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Default Re: What is the best Magic system to use in a DF campaign?

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... since I'm not very knowledgeable in GURPS:
My suggestion: Play GURPS as it is for a while.

Then when you have the experience to understand it's actual flaws and weaknesses, begin fiddling with dials.
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Old 09-17-2017, 11:17 PM   #29
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Default Re: What is the best Magic system to use in a DF campaign?

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My suggestion: Play GURPS as it is for a while.

Then when you have the experience to understand it's actual flaws and weaknesses, begin fiddling with dials.
Seconded. I say that as someone who wasted a lot of time 'fixing' GURPS when I could have usefully spent that time learning the system instead.

Also those spell fixes look pretty broken...e.g. selectively removing the -1 per yard range penalty is a colossal change, since now I can cast Tickle at someone on the other end of the continent. Further, it's very unclear what these do and don't apply to...is Flesh to Stone a restraint/hindrance? What about Create Fire (being on fire has a negative impact on combat ability)? What about a Force Dome conjured around someone?
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Old 09-17-2017, 11:30 PM   #30
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Default Re: What is the best Magic system to use in a DF campaign?

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But ultimately, the strength and weakness of point-based games is that things don't develop in lockstep as in level-based games. This means that it's possible to be really good at hitting, damaging, defending, sneaking, or whatever but lousy at resisting magic.
I agree with basically everything you said on this reply. I really love point-based systems and, in fact, GURPS is probably the system I love the most. I just have some issues with the way it handles some things (such as save-or-die spells) and I'm trying to find "solutions" for these things I consider problems.


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They wouldn't! But reword it as follows: "Why would anybody hire, equip, feed, clothe, and house troops who aren't useful against the common threats faced by those assigned to defend things of value in this game world?" If mercenary bands with powerful spellcasters are common, then nobody will use low-Will, low-HT mooks as troops, and everybody will recruit for Magic Resistance.

Think of magic as a technology of war and realize that the technology of troop-selection, training, and equipment will perforce evolve alongside it. I'd imagine that the average garrison would consist of a bunch of guys with, say, 1d-1 levels of Magic Resistance, none of them feeble (minimum HT 12), led by a forceful captain (with, say, Will = IQ+1d+1). Just as a modern military until will consist of people who meet certain standards of physical training, led by a person who has demonstrated a certain mental capacity.
Indeed, but that assumes Magic is as common as swords and while that, surely, is very much true when we're talking about parties of adventurers we play - and GM to -, the general assumption is that overall magic workers are way more rare than people that can swing a sword, so it makes sense that most people won't be as prepared to deal with magic as they are to deal with incoming blades and arrows.


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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
That's certainly an opinion. Considering that Kromm wrote DF the way he did, I suspect it's not one shared by him.

Also... not necessarily by me, but for reasons different than you suspect. I simply loathe D&D in all it's forms, so... yeah, 5e isn't better than OD&D 1974... as it's still D&D (with the old cows of level and class still sacred in the rules).
True, that is an opinion. In fact, everything we say are opinions, but I digress.
I like D&D Next, but I like GURPS more. If only those little problems I have with it could be solved, I'd be really happy.

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Effects Shaping doesn't mean what you think it means. "Effects Shaping" is a ceremonial/ritual magic system, it can be as fast or as slow as the GM wants. Full Metal Alchemist is a really good example of a (Quick) Path Effect Shaping magic style (with longer rituals taking extra time to get those needed bonuses!). Probably even with some Book Effect Shaping thrown in for the "secret rituals".

Path and Book are just terms of 'art', Path is more often used for styles that are thematically straight (like the Path of Fire, which is all fire spells; or the Path of Nature which would have some animal spells and maybe a few weather control spells), and Book for styles that have themes that are eclectic and weird (Like the Book of Andy Griffith which has detecting spells, a few charm and calm spells, and a few knowledge spells - frex).



RPM, or Ritual Path Magic, is Energy Accumulation from GURPS Thaumatology given a tightening up. It is both 'quick' and slow, and Incantations (the DF version) works very similarly to D&D spell slot style (the Incanter has to prepare his spells in advance, but if given time* in the field he can still perform standard rituals, they can take as little as 5 seconds or as long as days).

* Or a whole lot of skill or a a few 10 point advantages and some skill. Not gonna lie, Incanters can be even more broken than standard DF Wizards.
Sorry, I didn't make myself clear.

I understand they are usually long. That is not the point I dislike for High Fantasy. I dislike that those systems allow the magic workers to shape the world - that it takes a long time or many people, for me, is not the problem.

I enjoy the vision that spells are tomes written by very very powerful wizards - the regular apprentice can't shape magic at will. So, the most powerful spells are secret and rare, and if you want to cast something you can't just amass enough people and do it, you'd have to search for the old tome lost in the catacombs of the Wizard King of the 3th Century, then gather the required materials - that will probably include some hard to find stuff too. And then, maybe, it will also require assistance or sacrifice.



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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
So can a henchman level level anything (Archer, Warrior, etc).

And no, that 'henchmen' level Apprentice isn't 'save or sucking' the 250+ points Knight with an "average roll", at least not without the Knight failing his roll.


Sure, but unless he has specific protection against taking an arrow to the eye, the Scout is gonna annihilate your Evil Knight just as quickly.


That's generally how it works in DF as well.

They will be. Have you looked at the starting skill values for Knights and Swashbucklers and Scouts?

A shot to the eye, for most humanoid foes, is a fight ender. Not only that, unlike your Panic spell fears, it actually kills or incapacitates the foe so the Wizard isn't facing it again within 2 minutes.
I may be horribly wrong, since I don't know the system very well, but take the following example:

Knight, sword and shield. Fearlessness 4.
He's got a 3 + 8 (Shield-16 /2) + 2 (medium shield DB) + 1 (Combat Reflexes) + 1 (Enhanced Block) = 15 Block.
And a Will of 14 against things that could scary him.

Wizard, has some spells, but whatever. One of them is Deflect Missiles (Since it's so cheap to cast and to acquire, wizards get so many spells and being protected against arrows is surely a very common thing to be desired by a relatively fragile ranged combatant.).
Also has a Will of 19.

Archer, has Bow-16.

Apprentice, has Panic-14.

Vs the Wizard, the Apprentice has a very low chance of hitting Panic. Archer simply won't hit his arrows.

Vs the Knight, the Apprentice has an equal (minus distance in yards) chance of hitting and of missing the Panic spell. The Archer has a skill of 10 to hit the eye (Bow-16 + 3 Acc -9 eye), before Size/Speed modifiers. In any case, the Knight will have a Block skill of 15. That's 95% chance of blocking. The Archer would have to do Deceptive Shots, and that would reduce his skill even further. He could offset a the -2 for a -1 on the block with +3 seconds of aiming. But still, Block-14 is 90%. That's assuming the Knight is going straight to him, and not taking any step to Retreat.
Surely, the Knight will probably slash to pieces any of them, but the Archer doesn't even stand a chance, while the Apprentice has a not so low chance of sending him running away.

This is a duel, of course, which makes it even better for the Archer that can shoot from longer distances. In a situation where there's a Knight and +2 thugs against a party of 4 adventurers, the Apprentice will be way, way more valuable to the group thanks to his chances of eliminating the stronger opponent from the fight with a single spell.

Last edited by Set; 09-17-2017 at 11:59 PM. Reason: typos
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