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Old 03-02-2007, 12:40 AM   #41
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Default Re: Un-nerfed Mages

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Originally Posted by PoweredByCoffee
As an example, Great Healing costs 20 points to cast. Obviously it would take some powerstones or mages working together to make that happen. Perhaps several mages need to work together to cast a mega fireball..
A powerstone or mages working together to cast Great Healing? I don't think I've ever seen a cinematic mage without 20 FP (or an ER equivalent) as a minimum. If you're talking about 75-150 point mages, perhaps, but that's starting level -- a fighter of that level isn't going to be amazingly impressive either. In a game where the PCs are supposed to be serious forces on the battlefield (200-300 pts), why on earth would anyone build a dedicated mage character with less than 20 FP/ER? (We usually see about 30, unless the mage is a Johnny One-Spell who just bought one spell up to obscene levels to soak the casting cost.)

It all boils down to power level (point total), of course, but a mage in a truly high-powered game can afford FP 30 [60] and Regeneration (Instant; Fatigue Only, +0%) [100], at which point he's pretty much a walking force of nature. (And the fighters, etc., at his side with Weapon Master, dozens of cool cinematic skills, and Striking ST +20 are going to be just as impressive, mind you...)
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:45 AM   #42
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Default Re: Un-nerfed Mages

of course a smart mage will put Magical -10% on the Regeneration, to drop it down to Instant [90] or Extreame [135] as when they can't use it, they will not be Spending their FP/ER either.
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Old 03-02-2007, 01:31 AM   #43
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Default Re: Un-nerfed Mages

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Originally Posted by Kromm
Burning a few points to make that Resurrection spell a critical success that costs 0 FP and bring back a dead comrade sure seems more powerful than having three extra spells that you can't afford the FP to cast . . .
That leads to a question - do you need to have the FP to cast a spell if it wasn't a critical success before you can try and cast it? Do you need to at least potentially be able to generate 300 FP for Resurrection, from ceremonial magical helpers, powerstones, HP, etc. and then get it for free by spending XP to make it a critical? I'm sure this is a campaign decision, but is the original intent of the rules to allow you to try a spell that you can't power?

I ask because with Wild Talent and Super Luck, you can cast any spell for free, regardless of cost. Or by expending XP and converting a success. I've ruled you can't, simply to avoid people from casting Great Wish or massive area spells they could never afford otherwise.
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:00 AM   #44
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Default Re: Un-nerfed Mages

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Originally Posted by Toadkiller_Dog
That leads to a question - do you need to have the FP to cast a spell if it wasn't a critical success before you can try and cast it?
I would say no. The main reason I say this is because the critical success on spells says the spell costs no fatigue... and since you can burn HP (read: more FP than you have) you don't need the complete FP of the spell's cost before you start.
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Old 03-02-2007, 08:50 AM   #45
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Default Re: Un-nerfed Mages

Wow, this thread filled up. :)

As the player of the mage character in question in the campaign which sparked off this thread, let me toss in my comments, if not solutinos. ( This isn't short, bear with me.)

The issue with GURPS magic, as is, for me in this style campaign is that:
1. Regular spells seem impossibly hard to use outside of effective melee ranges. (-1/yrd to skill)
2. Fatigue rules cause any but super high skilled mages to drop quickly unless they cast 1FP spells.
3. We don't like the "powered by batteries" feel of manastone based mage-might.


Our budding mage hero "Manucius" weighs in at 192 point (he was less in 3rd ed.) Note: This is a campaign feel of... generally low fantasy but with a backdrop of epic powers. I liken it to Tolkien which I call "Epic Low-Fantasy". (You worry about things like food, and magic isn't a commondity to be toyed with, yet some have vast powers at their disposal)

Back to Manucius, he has Magery 3, HT 13 and FP 13. He was hardly munchkined as a character (he was built as a feasible low tech blacksmith who discovered he was a mage mid-campaign). At age 18 he has mostly 1 and 2 points in skills (though he's beefed up on broadsword lately, 4 pts!)

The "nerfed" reference may have been started by me. I was referring to GURPS wizards vs. many of their fantasy novel counterparts. Due to #1 above, regular spells just don't work much beyond point blank ranges due to the massive skill penalties. This makes it almost impossible to simulate such flavor as say a "Heat" spell at an orc at range (causing his armor to broil him). Can the wizard kill at range, yes with missle spells. The point is not "can a GURPS wizard be as comat effective as warriors", but rather how to better simulate fantasy like Eddings, Tolkien, and others.

I definitly think that a wizard who has some massive effect on 10,000 orcs probably should collapse in a heap, if not near death from the effort. And this would probably be a one shot spell for him.

Given our hero in question, I think allowing something like 2-3 times magery in extra fatigue (mana only) is a good place to address issue #2.
The idea of a meta spell which would allow the wizard to effectively use something akin to extra time or aim (take 3 extra seconds focusing to draw and channel 3 extra fatigue into the spell being cast next) is not a bad option either.

The point PoweredByCoffee made about 1/3 fatigue being too high as a fatigue point, I think is quite valid. Making it a flat 2 or 3 remaining FP, or at least 1/3 basic or general fatigue (ie before adding in the extra mana only fatigue). Helps. Someone with 30 points of fatigue shouldn't start collapsing at 10pts remaining. While some sickly 6 fatigue dude can go to 2pts remaining first.

This leaves only Regular spells and their near point blank range requirement (#1) as a problem to solve for our style of campaign. The -1/Magery Increment house would have the effect of letting a mage of moderate power effect targets still inside of tactical range, but well out of melee. This still doesn't allow for a scenario like Saruman effecting weather 50-100 miles away (yes this is an area spell but it is still -1/yrd to edge of area from the wizard).

We had the assumptiong that lvl 3 magery was the highest one could go (from 3rd ed.). And that if only >1% of the population had magery, and of them 80% were Magery 1, 15% magery 2, and 5% magery 3.
Hence the "low" level 3 of magery. For 4th ed. (as was suggested in this thread) cranking the character up to higher magery will help with the effect we desire for this campaign.

*************KEY POINT****************
Any changes to this basic assumption of -1/yrd will of course have effect on the rest of the magic system. Perhaps even making missle spells obsolete. This must be weighed.
This is the potential house rule I'm most interested in hearing feedback on.
*************************************
The nice thing about GURPS is that it is an excellent framework for innovation, in which a little adjustment here and there can simulate about anything you want, without haveing to reinvent the wheel to do it.


PS. We have run a lot of GURPS Fight Club (as we called it), just our version of SJohn's Gladiator rules, modified for 4th ed. and placing much less restrictions on character creation. And munchkined 150pt wizards often did about as well as any other 150 munchkined fighter. Terrain often dictated the outcome though. In SJohns stock arena the wizards died a lot. Because they need more time to get spells off while the munchkined fighters always had the inititive and basic speed to close to melee within 2-3 seconds. Fireball wizards didn't have time to get 3 turns invested for a truely devistating attack (they need to aim too!), so a 2-4 point fireball was typically all they could afford to toss off. If they missed, they died. :)
But this was only one style of wizard, and I digress.
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Last edited by Mettius; 03-02-2007 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:24 AM   #46
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Default Re: Un-nerfed Mages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaldrin
I would say no.
I'd agree that the rules seem to allow for the casting of spells that you will not be able to pay the FP cost of, though the stronger argument for it (IMO) is the wording of the Banish spell [specifically, the Cost section].

A couple of extra points that seem important:
This [Influencing Success Rolls] is an optional rule, therefore other rulings based on it are going to be game-specific. Allowing that overcasting (casting a spell that you do not have enough FP for] is possible, the process (in standard rules games) is self-limiting due to the increased chance of failure and critical failure [since burning HP gives a -1/HP skill penalty], as well as the possibility of severely or even mortally wounding yourself. If you introduce options (or allow advantages, like the combo Peter mentioned) that can overcome this limit, it is perfectly reasonable to add balancing features to suit your own taste, such as a rule forbidding the casting of a spell that you could not pay the FP cost of normally.

Last edited by Not another shrubbery; 03-02-2007 at 09:57 AM. Reason: syntax
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:28 AM   #47
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Default Re: Un-nerfed Mages

Eh. If your warrior buddies can keep the orcs from getting to you, then you can roast them in their armor with only a slight penalty to skill with relative impunity.

If you really want to increase magic ranges, you could use the penalties from the speed/range table. Note that, to be fair, the GM should also take advantage of this, unless he's deliberately playing the NPCs dumb...
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:53 AM   #48
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Default Re: Un-nerfed Mages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadkiller_Dog
That leads to a question - do you need to have the FP to cast a spell if it wasn't a critical success before you can try and cast it?
In my game, yes. That's about the strongest limitation I put on the mages, so it didn't bother them. Of course, they invested in mana stones and extra FP, so the "max FP cost" was pretty high . . .
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:59 AM   #49
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Default Re: Un-nerfed Mages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mettius
The issue with GURPS magic, as is, for me in this style campaign is that:
1. Regular spells seem impossibly hard to use outside of effective melee ranges. (-1/yrd to skill)
2. Fatigue rules cause any but super high skilled mages to drop quickly unless they cast 1FP spells.
3. We don't like the "powered by batteries" feel of manastone based mage-might.
Welcome to the thread.

1. I still have to look it up, but Curse Missile seems to be the choice for that one. Also, I don't use -1/yd for non-range spells. I use regular range tables for everything except seek spells.

2. Actually, lower skill level mages are just as effective as low skill non-mages. You just have to know what's effective. Magic spells in GURPS aren't the typical paradigm of distant destruction as in other games. Learning what is effective is key. If that is what you're after, make up some magical Innate Attacks.

3. There's other options for that. Number one being a quick recharge spell. Perhaps your powerstones recharge your mana, but you have to spend a round concentrating on tapping them. FP regen only, Energy Pools, etc.


Quote:
Our budding mage hero "Manucius" weighs in at 192 point (he was less in 3rd ed.) Note: This is a campaign feel of... generally low fantasy but with a backdrop of epic powers. I liken it to Tolkien which I call "Epic Low-Fantasy". (You worry about things like food, and magic isn't a commondity to be toyed with, yet some have vast powers at their disposal)
Okay, I'm going to stop you right there. There's absolutely nothing Epic about that level of points... perhaps when comparing with a bunch of 50 pt children, but not much else. In reality you'd be barely out of the starting blocks in my campaigns. Tolkien's characters are probably more like 1000 pts, not 200.
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:12 AM   #50
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Default Re: Un-nerfed Mages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadkiller_Dog

That leads to a question - do you need to have the FP to cast a spell if it wasn't a critical success before you can try and cast it?
I would say so. I would treat it like being in a region of very high mana: you "get the energy back" after the fact but you still have to spend it in the first place. I would rule that if a spell ends up being cast for free thanks to a critical success -- be that due to a natural die roll, an application of Super Luck, or spending character points -- then you should assess the effects of the energy expenditure on the caster and on the spell, and then restore the caster's energy levels to status quo ante. That said . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadkiller_Dog

I'm sure this is a campaign decision, but is the original intent of the rules to allow you to try a spell that you can't power?
I do think there's an element of GM judgment required. I'm not completely against allowing wizards to burn character points to fuel spells. However, I would probably follow the model given in Fantasy and say that each character point buys 25 energy points' worth of magic. So if you want to cast a 300-energy spell "for free," you must pay 12 character points.
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