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Old 09-21-2017, 10:49 PM   #71
Set
 
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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 evileeyore View Post
Well, you don't give it to everyone. Just the guys who need it... but I think you are better served modifying each SoD into an SoS (save-or-die to save-or-suck).

Say Flesh to Stone slowly turns them into stone in stages. Each stage could have it's own save, maybe progressively worsening. Stage 1 gives them a DX penalty say 1/5 of their DX (rounddown) and lasts 5 seconds; Stage 2 a further DX pen (another 1/5), gives DR 2, lasts 5 seconds, Stage 3 gives the final DX pen (up to 3/5 DX pen now), Slowed (one level of Decreased Time Rate), and a Perception penalty of... eh.. -4 (?)*; Stage 4 is just five more seconds of all that suck and a last Resistance cause if the enemy ain't dead by now they will be by Stage 5. Stage 5, enemy is a statue and will remain so indefinitely until the spell is broken.
Yes, that's more or less how I plan on modifying Flesh to Stone. Maybe I'll make it in a version that the target's extremities start to turn first. Giving 5 fails to die and 1 to save would probably make it nigh impossible to turn someone, though, maybe a better approach would be that the first save has a penalty. Then, each save after that either advances or retreats a stage, but then I'd have to create some mechanism so that it doesn't go on forever.

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Originally Posted by hal View Post
Don't take this as a dig against you, or anything of that nature, take it for what it is worth. Give the system a chance to work as written. Take notes, then make changes to the system after running it a few times. This is advice from someone who is known to create house rules without fear, but it is also from someone who has used GURPS since 1986. Ye Gads, do I feel old all of the sudden. :(
I never see things as personal, no worries!

Your reply was very detailed and entertaining to read. I'd be laughing so hard if I was present at the moment of the two lost duels.

You see: I rarely, rarely, create house-rules and even less so use other people's house-rules without being absolutely sure it's from a very acclaimed source and that it was praised by 90%+ of the people who used it.That's not true for mods for virtual RPGS, tho haha. 60 is the bare minimum to play Skyrim.

However, I am very proficient at creating them. I don't do that very often, but when I do, it's good, because I've studied game design, probability, and have been building and combo'ing things since I was 10 - when I was 12, my monk's Asura in Ragnarok Online hit exactly how much it had to hit to kill any non-tank class, the rest I had in speed and defenses. Then I had a second set of gear to hit exactly the necessary to kill the tanks. I don't do this kind of munchkinism in tabletop RPG, because it's not a competitive game. But this means I have a deep understanding of how game systems interact with each other.

I don't think spells in GURPS are OP, at all. I just think that save-or-die are. Maybe they're not really that strong, but they're broken - they're either completely useless, or completely fatal, there's no middle term. All or nothing is something I truly dislike in our everyday virtual combats.
Giving enemies MR don't fix that, they nerf all spells and make the save-or-die tend more to useless than fatal.
Creating trinkets for the enemies to specifically counter save-or-die spells don't fix that - they just make the spells useless. If I wanted to have them disabled, I could simply ban them. Giving everyone points to spend to counter that basically does that as well, just in a less radical way.
Playing against the players absolutely don't fix that - be it by dropping anti-mages everywhere or dropping enemy mages with the save-or-die spells. You see, my problem doesn't lie with players using them, it lies with anyone using them.

Still, I want them to exist in my world. I just want them to be on par with other spells and with the rest of the system as a whole.

But I do appreciate seeing other points of view, even if I don't agree with them. Seeing from other perspectives allow us to enhance and temper our own.
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Last edited by Set; 09-21-2017 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:09 AM   #72
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Default Re: What is the best Magic system to use in a DF campaign?

Save-or-die is fundamental to GURPS, not just GURPS Magic. I may be repeating myself or others at this point, so I apologize for beating a dead horse, but here are some examples:

--Stabbing an enemy in the eye. If he fails to defend, he dies. Save-or-die
--Sneaking up on a sleeping enemy to slit his throat. If he fails Perception, he dies. Save-or-die.
--Lying to the King. If you fail Acting, you are executed on the spot. Save-or-die.
--Scaling the Cliffs of Insanity. If you fail Climbing, you fall to your death. Save-or-die.

This list could easily be much longer of course. In GURPS, you roll dice for success or failure. In extreme situations, a single roll determines whether you live or die.
Save-or-die spells are actually an especially friendly example: Rule of 16 means resistance is always possible, and many save-or-die spells don't actually result in instant death (if you're Panicked, you live to fight another day, Flesh to Stone is reversible, etc.).

The drama comes from the fact that some story events usually lead up to the save-or-die moment. This is definitely true with save-or-die spells, because the mage has to close distance, spend time casting, expend energy, and finally overcome resistance. Since you can fail or experience setbacks at any one of those steps, there is plenty of opportunity for climactic events.
And I think what the experienced players here are trying to say is that this is in fact what happens: very rarely do save-or-die spells lead to anticlimactic moments, because they are actually kind of hard to pull off.

Last edited by Gnome; 09-22-2017 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 08:26 AM   #73
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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 Gnome View Post
And I think what the experienced players here are trying to say is that this is in fact what happens: very rarely do save-or-die spells lead to anticlimactic moments, because they are actually kind of hard to pull off.
If everything is done well, a save-or-die spell is likely to conclude the climax rather than defusing it.
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:09 AM   #74
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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 Bruno View Post

Quick aside: 250, not 400. 400 points is Monster Hunters. And of course, with the changes to various things, the rough equivalent of 100 points in 4e is 150 points, so it's hard to draw a direct comparison.
An aside to the aside, in case any Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game players who aren't longtime GURPS geeks are reading:

A character point in GURPS First Edition through Third Edition isn't the same as a character point in GURPS Fourth Edition. The ratio is roughly 2:3 – i.e., an earlier-edition character built on 100 points would have to be built on 150 points in GURPS Fourth Edition or the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game. A 250-point character in those games would be something like a 160- to 170-point character in GURPS Third Edition. However, the actual "exchange rate" varies a lot depending on the type of character involved. When I converted my GURPS Third Edition fantasy campaign to GURPS Fourth Edition, the mean exchange rate was 1.45 to within 10% (meaning a range of 1.3 to 1.6).
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:30 PM   #75
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Default Re: What is the best Magic system to use in a DF campaign?

The easiest solution for save or die effects resulting in anticlimatic fights is to either not use solo bosses, or make it they have specific resistances that prevent them from being taken out with one hit (for example, a staged boss where a defeat just moves them to the next stage) but are still vulnerable.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:28 AM   #76
hal
 
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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 Anthony View Post
The easiest solution for save or die effects resulting in anticlimatic fights is to either not use solo bosses, or make it they have specific resistances that prevent them from being taken out with one hit (for example, a staged boss where a defeat just moves them to the next stage) but are still vulnerable.
Another possibility that might be worth considering?

Bosses LOVE low mana regions. It doesn't destroy a mage's ability to nerf the boss, but it makes all spell casting suffer a penalty. In addition, there is the prospect of "tainted mana" where the mana offers a bonus to one college of spell casting, but a penalty to another college (similar to what low mana does).

Yet a third possibility? Before the players can get to the Boss, have them waste their spell casting energy on the lesser Lieutenants so that they don't have much energy left to use against the Boss.

I'm going to open a new thread elsewhere, for those who might be interested in GM dirty tricks. It would be equally useful for those who are using GURPS and those using DUNGEON FANTASY ROLE PLAYING GAME if they end up using GURPS MAGIC...
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