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Old 03-03-2018, 07:26 AM   #1
Jim Kane
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Default Upsetting the WIZARD applecart,... maybe?

As magic is governed by IQ, why are Wizards rolling to cast spells against their DX like a fighter in a Melee, and not against their IQ stat?

Does it not stand to reason that since magic is a thing of mental concentration and magical knowledge which determines the ability of a wizard to reliably manifest his will from his thought-forms - as it is the power of the mind that determines the successful casting of a spell, and not the physical adroitness of a character - so that 3d6 vs IQ should logically be the basic roll for successful spell-casting; with the Missile and Thrown Spells (at a target hex), requiring a subsequent 3d6 vs DX to hit their target-at-distance.

Except in cases of Summoning and Creation spells, should not then the proper sequence be: 1) roll 3d6 vs IQ to successfully cast, and then, 2) roll 3d6 vs DX to project and successfully hit a target?

Furthermore, why are wizards not powering their spells by expending IQ Fatigue; as opposed to ST Fatigue?

That concept would certainly eliminate the complaints about the high-ST "Wizard Tank" characters who develop over time.

Where am I off-base here?
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:38 AM   #2
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Upsetting the WIZARD applecart,... maybe?

You're not off-base. Those are logical ideas. I've used home-brew magic systems by myself and others which do such things (mental fatigue can also be interesting/challenging/funny if you have it reduce the IQ of the caster).

(In fact, GURPS Magic does the part about rolling for success based on IQ (+ spell skill) for the conjuring and DX-based targeting for some spells.)

I think it's fairly clear that the main reasons they are not that way are simply for simplicity (fewer rolls and types of rolls, fewer rules and types of fatigue) and balance (both against fighters and against other varieties of wizard character design - ST would tend to become a wizard's "dump stat"). Particularly for ordinary characters without high attributes, it would also tend to make thrown and missile spells rather less likely to work, which might or might not be a bad thing - those spells also tend to be able to take a fighter out of a combat if/when they do hit. But it would be a relative improvement for high-IQ wizards, and tempt some to dump DX too to get max fatigue and success chances and best spells as long as they are not thrown or missile spells. ST 8 DX 8 IQ 16 wizard and only Creation and Special spells would be very powerful compared to other designs, and almost like a ST 16 DX 16 IQ 16 wizard with only special and creation spells in the current system.

(Oh, and low-IQ wizard designs would be greatly impacted.)

Another (also/more complex) similar variant is to decide that magic is all about mental work, and add magic/mental/psychic strength and dexterity traits that aren't the same as physical ST and DX (so they become wizard dump stats) but are used for spellcasting (so that you can still have different wizard designs - power versus skill versus learning).

Last edited by Skarg; 03-03-2018 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 03-03-2018, 11:58 AM   #3
JLV
 
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Default Re: Upsetting the WIZARD applecart,... maybe?

I actually suggested this a month and a half ago over in the "Fantasy Trip" thread.

Not only that, but I also suggested that IQ be the source of "power" for magical spells -- in that a player receives an amount of "power" (I called it "Mana") equal to his IQ in order to cast spells. This power is used (and recharged) much like Rick's "fST" (or as described in Advanced Wizard), but instead of being based on ST (which is used for HITs, after all) is based on IQ. All of this seems logical to me, given that magic is an IQ based system in every other respect. It also removes the need to create Conan the Wizard. Using such a system would result in Wizards with high IQs (which seems perfectly natural) without having enormous STs or high DXs.

The only real issue is that Wizards will never spend any XP on anything else. To this, there are two solutions. One, raise the XP cost to earn a new attribute. Two, use the Talent/Spells system that we've been discussing here and elsewhere to make it necessary to somehow spend XP to acquire new Spells or Talents.
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:52 PM   #4
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Upsetting the WIZARD applecart,... maybe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLV View Post
I actually suggested this a month and a half ago over in the "Fantasy Trip" thread.
That's very reassuring to hear; as when tinkering with a beloved and iconic rules-set - no matter how correctly a concept works in testing over decades of play - the worst feeling in the world always comes with the horrible thought of:

"Am I the ONLY one who feels this way about this thing?".

I am glad to learn that is not the case.
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Old 03-03-2018, 01:05 PM   #5
Dave Crowell
 
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Default Re: Upsetting the WIZARD applecart,... maybe?

From a worldbuilding perspective I think it makes better sense for all of magic to be based on IQ. That is how you learn magic, impose your will on the world, etc.

From a game design perspective powering spells by STR and rolling vs DEX to successfully cast them eans wizards have reasons to spend points on all three attributes with no "safe" dump stat.

For one shots and arena games warriors can probably get away with using IQ as a dump stat. Indeed that is sort of how Melee works, just assume all figures have the default base IQ.

I do find it odd in both TFT and T&T that a wizard may be built like Conan.
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Old 03-03-2018, 01:59 PM   #6
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Upsetting the WIZARD applecart,... maybe?

I actually don't think Conan the Wizard is the main problem, even though it gets mentioned a lot. With apprentices and/or ST Batteries, putting a bunch of points in ST is not, I think, often a good idea, unless you really want/need to be able to cast certain spells without using apprentices or ST Batteries. I think in general most wizards with high ST would be more formidable with more DX and/or IQ. Certainly there are several Thrown spells which will take down another wizard, and having superior Thrown spell range (and/or better spells) tends to be better than having a few more ST (and it certainly is if you can hire some apprentices to cast Aid on you).

Which is not to say that I don't think it would be an improvement if there were some way for wizards to improve their available intrinsic fatigue pool for spells other that raising ST - I do.

But again, if you just simply make IQ do everything for wizards, you tank the balance heroes and other wizard designs as the best 32-point picks start to become things like ST 8 DX 8 IQ 16 Summon 7-Hex Dragon etc and ST 8 DX 10(13) IQ 14 Missile Weapons Lightning, and any wizard without IQ below about 12 starts to be considered annoyingly flubby, etc.
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Old 03-03-2018, 02:48 PM   #7
Dave Crowell
 
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Default Re: Upsetting the WIZARD applecart,... maybe?

I don't always find high STR wizards to a problem in game play per se, it is more that they are conceptually a bit odd. My vision of wizards is generally psysically unimpressive.

And there certainly are plenty of effective tactics for spellcasters that do not depend on particularly high ST.
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Upsetting the WIZARD applecart,... maybe?

Also in my games even the most powerul wizard, PC or NPC has, a normal ST. Their stenght and power comes from the best ST battery they can find, create, buy, conquer or steal.

ST batteries are the real thing for wizards in our games. A ST Battery or a loyal assistant with aid, possibly two.
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:53 PM   #9
Jim Kane
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Default Re: Upsetting the WIZARD applecart,... maybe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Crowell View Post
I don't always find high STR wizards to a problem in game play per se, it is more that they are conceptually a bit odd. My vision of wizards is generally psysically unimpressive.

And there certainly are plenty of effective tactics for spellcasters that do not depend on particularly high ST.
Good point on non-ST-based effective tactics,... and, Wizards generally ARE an odd and mysterious bunch; from a temporal perspective, that is.

On a completely different point not related to the above post:

Let us not forget that regardless of the character-type in play. EVERYONE MUST be able to Dodge falling rocks, Jump over 1 hex pits (and roll to grab the other side!), Climb a rope without falling every time, and help shove against the wooden-door which the beasties are trying to burst through, etc.

Inadvertently inviting the creation of an out-of-balance Missile-Spell-Cannon by shifting to an IQ-based Magic-system may seem to imbalance the game at casual first-blush, but take that same "Spell-Cannon" down into in the labyrinth and play-test him as a Character - don't worry, he won't last long - as he may drown if he falls into a pool of water, or has to climb some rocky slope, or down a rope to get to level 2, or a Goblin-child throws a rock at his pointy-hatted head as he tries to stay atop his horse, which he tends to chronically fall-off of every time the bad guys show up to engage him on the adventure road - as he failed to take the talent of Horsemanship.

So how a new rule affects Combat can be tested on the MELEE arena map,...

BUT, it is THE CHARACTER who is making use of that same combat-rule, who is being tested and proven for play-ability down IN THE LABYRINTH - where he will likely die if he is not well-rounded regardless of how intensely-deadly he may be in the vacuum of an isolated Melee contest.

Last edited by Jim Kane; 03-06-2018 at 04:54 AM.
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:03 PM   #10
Jackal
 
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Default Re: Upsetting the WIZARD applecart,... maybe?

@Jim Kane: excellent point: glass cannons shatter on impact...

We used the four "spell types" in a new way:
M & T: roll vs. DX
C: roll vs. IQ
S: roll vs. whichever attribute we added to the spell description, even ST.

This worked well. It seemed to capture the essence of the the duel Steve included at the start of Wizard, too, making the "clever but clumsy" vs. "nimble but dense" dynamic realistic options.

BUT we also split attributes from pools like HP or mana. Stats no longer increased. Made character builds much more interesting.
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