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Old 02-18-2018, 01:13 PM   #41
ecz
 
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Default Re: How Do You Imprison TFT Wizards?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
That would help, though of course how expensive and available it is would be a factor. The question is just what that should require (a potion? a magic item? a particular type of collar (e.g. magnetic?)?

Having a "can't cast spells" effect would be really useful. Also for various semi-trusting situations that aren't prisoner situations but you'd also like to be able to have social interactions without having a wizard able to cast spells so you can relax and negotiate or whatever, without wondering if a wizard is about to cast a spell.

A spell that works like Ward but for magic might be useful for those social situations, too, so you could know if a high-IQ wizard or rogue with a magic item is silently casting spells. I can see some wizards wanting to use such a ward and/or "can't cast spells" for certain situations in each others' company to help everyone relax and not be suspicious or become suspects if/when someone misbehaves and casts a naughty/criminal/deadly spell in a wizards' guild hall, or palace or bank or whatever. (The pentagram variant idea I mentioned before would be useful for those situations too, where it would prevent spells cast inside it.)

After all, spells are even more powerful than having weapons at the ready, and can do a lot more things, and can be done by some without being detected (a spell/enchantment which can make even silent spellcasting conspicuous to everyone (over an area, over a fairly long time) would also be useful).

Otherwise, a nasty high-IQ visiting wizard (or item user) could be going about unnoticeably casting Persuasiveness, Analyze Magic or Spellsniffer, Curse, Blast Trap, or other misdeeds.



That's -4 DX, which is ok but can be overcome by DX, repeated tries, or Aid.

You can/should also blindfold them, or else they could do a lot of things. Blindness adds more targeting penalties and prevents creation spells. However it's inconvenient if this is just someone you want to be able to talk to the king or witness his own trial, or be able to see things you're asking him about during an interrogation.

You should also probably bind his hands to he can't cast spells above IQ -5, though if the wizard has that much IQ, he can cast those spells without giving any sign that he is doing so, letting him try a lot of times, do clever subtle things, etc.

If it's a prisoner, you should also probably bind his feet/legs just in case.

If it's a wizard you want to be able to see and talk and maybe even sign documents or do other things, then it gets more and more potentially dangerous.

I could tell you a few stories about people trying to bring wizards in as prisoners, when they had reasons not to hurt them too much. Even some not-very-impressive people with spells.

Also a wise use of the ordinary items can make a powerful wizard absolutely harmless.

I remember a powerful and dangerous wizard-thief carried in front of a judge. Iron everywhere on his body, legs and hands binded, but also - as extra security measure - he was been artificially held at ST around 5, just to talk and stand up in front of the court.

Some time later the hangman that used his tools against him to lower his ST points at a safe level, experimented an ugly death...
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:27 AM   #42
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Default Re: How Do You Imprison TFT Wizards?

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From what I've been able to gather, it seems that Steel lacks the attributes of "cold iron" for whatever reason.
The main problem with this approach is that in the real world, iron and steel are basically the same thing(s). Cast iron has way more carbon than virtually anything anybody ever labeled steel, Bessemer steel is purer than any historical piece of wrought iron, etc.

Essentially steel is the more widespread Germanic word, while iron seems to have been first been used for this sort of material only later in Old English (and probably meant something like holy or raging metal, cognates likely include irate, estrus, and the Greek stem hiero-)
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:30 PM   #43
Skarg
 
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Default Re: How Do You Imprison TFT Wizards?

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Also a wise use of the ordinary items can make a powerful wizard absolutely harmless.

I remember a powerful and dangerous wizard-thief carried in front of a judge. Iron everywhere on his body, legs and hands binded, but also - as extra security measure - he was been artificially held at ST around 5, just to talk and stand up in front of the court.

Some time later the hangman that used his tools against him to lower his ST points at a safe level, experimented an ugly death...
Drain Strength or injury certainly work (if the situation lets you do those). If the GM lets you do something else that can cause fatigue, you could keep their ST down, though that might take constant effort - maybe tying them up in a way that the GM agrees precludes rest, though again, you're needing to torture your prisoner, which might have in-game reasons for you not to do.

I've used (and seen others e.g. on the TFT email list create) house rules where the amount of metal determines the penalty, in which case adding more metal could increase the DX penalty over -4.

Of course armor & encumbrance and other physical issues can give a DX penalty. The Rope spell adds -2 DX per turn indefinitely, implying that just trussing up a wizard could reduce their DX to zero.

Except that Advanced Wizard page 9 specifically mentions a wizard tied to a tree, and suggests that having 5 IQ more than a spell requires gets around that. Even having 2 IQ more than a spell requires lets a wizard cast by speaking or making a gesture with one hand... (though logically that implies to me that a wizard also wouldn't suffer most DX penalties for casting such spells either (i.e. shouldn't they be able to ignore armor penalties if they can ignore being tied up?), which isn't mentioned).
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:10 PM   #44
Jim Kane
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Default Re: How Do You Imprison TFT Wizards?

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Drain Strength or injury certainly work (if the situation lets you do those).
"Drain Strength"; interesting,...

WHAT IF, the wizard's cell contained upon a marbled pedestal, a faintly-glowing and softly humming orb of perpetual casting of a Sleep spell,,,, AND this magical artifact draws it's power not just from the wizard himself, but also from the ALL the other prisoners also under lock-and-key within an area-effect zone? - "donating" their ST in the interest of the common-good; as it were.

Perhaps then, the wizard could be kept in coma, remaining barely-alive while kept in slumber upon a dias, being 'fed' by limited Aid spells; keeping him at ST-1 over time and not starving to death while in stir.

Hmmm,... it's a real puzzler; and without a pre-published "turn to statue in suspended-animation" type-spell already available, obviously a legal and satisfying solution requires some real research and TFT rules cross-checking.

One great thing that was reiterated in both TFT:ITL and TSG articles of the day, was that each GM is the absolute master of his own part of Cidri, and the real final authority of what is and is not "workable" within his/her TFT domain - especially in these cases where the rules do not readily inform with a pre-packaged solution.

I think sometimes, we forget that.

For their Game-World, Champions addressed this same quandary of how to design and create special containment prison cells for super-powered super-villains in their adventure module #2: 'Escape From Stronghold', Peterson/MacDonald, 1981 Hero Games.

Perhaps a serviceable and adaptable clue might be found therein to meet Cidri's penological needs.

Last edited by Jim Kane; 03-03-2018 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:32 PM   #45
Dave Crowell
 
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Default Re: How Do You Imprison TFT Wizards?

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It seems to me, based on the reading I've been doing, that perhaps the answer lies more in the nature of the iron itself.

From what I've been able to gather, it seems that Steel lacks the attributes of "cold iron" for whatever reason. It occurs to me, based on that, that smelting the ore in order to make steel (including coking and the much higher temperatures required for the entire steel making process), somehow renders the iron no longer suitable for the purpose of resisting magic. Whether that is because of the "impurities" added in the steel-making process, or because of the excessively high temperatures required in that process, I don't know, but in either case, the iron is no longer suitable.


Based on these admittedly speculative thoughts, it seems to me that PURITY might be more important than magnetism or anything else. "Cold iron" might therefore simply refer to pure iron, smithed to make a weapon or tool (such as a ceremonial dagger, for instance), but not smelted to create a stronger, more durable material.

Meteoric iron might therefore be more effective simply because it is a "purer" form of iron (in game terms, not necessarily "scientifically" speaking) already purified by the nature of space itself -- whatever that might be in your fantasy universe -- and therefore better for anti-magical purposes.

Even old fashioned wrought iron, which has very little carbon in it is still smelted from ore.

The big problem with "cold iron" is that there is no universally accepted definition for the stuff. I have seen it cited as cast (as opposed to forged) iron, wrought iron (as opposed to steel), meteoric iron, bog iron, and even simply iron or steel which is physically cold.

If "cold iron" is going to have game mechanical effects distinct to "ordinary" iron and steel it would be well to provide a definition of what for game purposes constitutes "cold iron".

Of course one could just as well say that large quantities of iron (or steel) in close proximity are disruptive to magic, so shackling a wizard in iron chains would suffice.
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:28 PM   #46
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Default Re: How Do You Imprison TFT Wizards?

Advanced Wizard lists iron, steel, nickel and cobalt weapons or armor as giving a -4 DX penalty to spellcasting.

Cidri Silver alloy (or gold, bronze, copper, etc) gets around this for extra cost and/or reduced weapon/armor performance.

We never really needed more detail than this for game purposes. But -4 DX handcuffs alone aren't enough to stop a particularly dangerous wizard.
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:46 PM   #47
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Default Re: How Do You Imprison TFT Wizards?

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Even old fashioned wrought iron, which has very little carbon in it is still smelted from ore.

The big problem with "cold iron" is that there is no universally accepted definition for the stuff. I have seen it cited as cast (as opposed to forged) iron, wrought iron (as opposed to steel), meteoric iron, bog iron, and even simply iron or steel which is physically cold.

If "cold iron" is going to have game mechanical effects distinct to "ordinary" iron and steel it would be well to provide a definition of what for game purposes constitutes "cold iron".

Of course one could just as well say that large quantities of iron (or steel) in close proximity are disruptive to magic, so shackling a wizard in iron chains would suffice.
For all those "answering" my comment, I should probably clarify that I'm not talking actual science here, but rather the folklore that I've found. Yes, I know iron doesn't "grow" into a sword shape naturally. The point is that the processes of smelting iron and steel differ in various ways, as does the content of the metal, and that seems to *somehow* be significant in terms of effect on magic.

Equally obviously, this has little to do with how Steve envisioned Cidri -- he's got his own rules there, and probably had something in mind when he wrote them.

All I'm trying to do is help answer Steve's original question; that is, what makes "cold iron" what it is? I chose to answer from a "folklore" perspective, not a "scientific" perspective.
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Old 03-04-2018, 02:36 PM   #48
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Default Re: How Do You Imprison TFT Wizards?

Even scouring folklore has not provided a definitive answer. I have seen references to people fending off magics by carrying a cold iron nail in their pocket. I have made nails, and they are forged not cast.

However steel seems not to have the same property. So I fall back on cold iron being what blacksmiths call wroght iron, that is a soft, fibrous iron without the added carbon that forms steel. I would include most old cast iron as cold iron as well.

Meteoric iron comes from the stars and that makes it magical. Never mind that meteoric iron is often a natural alloy containing carbon, nickel and other stuff besides pure iron, that's scientific metallurgy and we're talking magic here.

Perhaps Cidri has particular veins of ore that yeild cold iron when refined as opposed to most normal ores which yield normal iron? That would work for me. It also would allow for the possibility of finding objects that had unknowingly been crafted from "cold" iron ore.
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Old 03-05-2018, 04:43 PM   #49
Jim Kane
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Default Re: How Do You Imprison TFT Wizards?

Regarding the OP's question, I had given my personal answer back in post #44 (q.v.); where I should have also added some classic citations of answers to the same quandary of: 'How to Imprison a Wizard'. (for Fun & Profit)

For those interested:

Again, citing Robert E. Howard's Conan-Tale of: 'The Tower of the Elephant': Yara, the evil Sorcerer-Priest, after being magically reduced to sub-atomic size, is eventually sucked into, and consequently trapped inside of a magic gem; which then serves as a prison.

The idea of a character (or entity) being trapped into some form of a gem, crystal, or glass object is a classic troupe of fantasy literature; redressed many times over, and put to use as a confinement device for purposes other than justice-based.

The writer's of classic Star Trek had to solve this type of dynamic in many disguised forms. How many times did we see a character pushed through some form of a "Magic-Portal", and 'imprisoned" into another dimension, locale, time, plane of reality, etc., and thereby effectively isolating them from interacting with the World-at-Large for a duration of time?

And if YOUR version of Cidri lacks analogous functioning Gates within the control of the local Magistrate, simply transmute that law-breaking wizard into a Styrofoam D20, and put him on the shelf for safe-keeping until his sentence is up - that answer worked for Roddenberry.

Perhaps for TFT it should properly be a set of three Styrofoam d6's, instead of a single D20 ;-)

Frankly, I prefer to "imprison" an antagonistic wizard squarely between the scarred and bloodied stump of a felled oak tree, and the business-end of a sharp and fast moving battle-axe head; somewhere between right between the shoulder and the chin ought to get it,... just right,....

Spring-boarding: IF in your TFT-world, wizards were indeed imprisoned into magic gems and kept in a secured vault deep within the catacombs beneath the place where trials are conducted, would this also not possibly invite some enterprising Adventurers to hatch a plan to loot those same gems; and thereby liberate them right out from under the noses of the ruling authority and the guardsmen-on-post therein?

In a Hegelian manner, solving these types of wonderful problems as posed by the OP (hypothesis), and reacting in order to find a working solution to the quandary (antithesis), can lead to not just a viable solution (synthesis) - but as an adjunct benefit - often bears additional seed for future gaming adventures and role-play opportunities.

Last edited by Jim Kane; 03-10-2018 at 02:42 AM.
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:21 PM   #50
Jackal
 
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Default Re: How Do You Imprison TFT Wizards?

Perhaps the more interesting solution is to be found in the society, not game mechanics?

In most pre- and early-modern societies, there was no long-term prison. There was execution, exile, maiming, marking (tattoo, brand, disfigurement), shunning or fines.

A person with sufficient power might be imprisoned: but it was more akin to house arrest even if housed as a "guest" of the king.

The exception were extremely high-ranking political prisoners or hostages.

But think about it: they were retained by someone MORE powerful than they. So perhaps, in a magical society where Wizards are effectively immune from punishment, the only control on them is a more powerful Wizard.

The question isn't how to jail a Sorcerer. The question is what does a society of Sorcerer-kings look like?

Cheers!
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