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-   -   Conan the wizard (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=157782)

Rick_Smith 06-07-2018 12:58 PM

Conan the wizard, Groo the Genius.
 
Hi everyone,
The basic problem is attribute bloat. High attribute figures tend to succeed a lot. But more important for this discussion, they tend to grow toward similar attribute shapes.

***
Groo was a comic book character who was VERY stupid, but he has all sorts of fighting skills - a VERY tough fighter. In TFT, Groo HAS to buy IQ to have enough memory (mIQ) to be able to take his talents. Buying IQ pretty much defeats the point of a Groo like character. While Groo is the most extreme archetype of this problem, lots of literary figures are a bit dull mentally, but they have lots of skills, which is hard to represent using TFT.

Wizards need fatigue ST (fST) to power spells, (except for the Death Spell and others like it which power the spell with damage to the wizard). If you want to power lots of spells, you need to buy ST to give you more fatigue.

And EVERYONE needs a high DX.

So experienced figures tend to have high values in all three attributes, which makes all experienced figures feel the same.

***
I fixed this with my superscript rules, but I think those are too complex for new TFT so I've not been pushing them. The "Groo the genius" I've suggested fixing, by making talents cheaper, so you don't have to be a brain trust to get a decent number of (not complex) talents.

But the problem with wizards bulking up to cast more spells remains an open problem. Thanks Zot, for opening the discussion.

Rick

JLV 06-08-2018 02:41 AM

Re: Conan the wizard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by larsdangly (Post 2181137)
Oh yes, I also modified the Staff spell so that it serves as a rechargeable ST battery. That is a good house rule.

I think a LOT of us did that! ;-)

zot 06-08-2018 05:17 PM

Re: Conan the wizard
 
What do you guys think of these wizard talents, are they already on someone's house rules list?

Arcane Stamina (2): adjusts ST by +2 only for the purposes of spellcasting (does not help with wounds, weapons, etc.). Costs 2 for wizards or heroes.

Arcane Outlast (3): requires Stamina, adjusts ST by another +2 only for the purposes of spellcasting. Costs 3 for wizards or heroes.

Steve Jackson 06-08-2018 05:27 PM

Re: Conan the wizard
 
There is a LOT to like with a staff/wand/etc. Strength Battery. And yes, I've thought about it. This thread is making me think about it again.

Things to dislike, or at least to look at hard:

- 99% of wizards will now take the STAFF spell. Does this matter?
- It becomes a very big deal, affecting the way the world works, that a wizard does not want to be separated from his staff. A subset of that: a broken staff is a disaster of the first order. Would staves have to be more like a Staff of Power, immune to Break Weapon to keep all wizards from taking that spell too, and all combats reducing to whose BW could hit first?
- Of course, the rule about "staff explodes when someone else picks it up" has to go.
- The ST Battery, as written, is a LOT harder and costlier to make than a staff that could do the same job.

Chris Rice 06-08-2018 05:34 PM

Re: Conan the wizard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson (Post 2181478)
There is a LOT to like with a staff/wand/etc. Strength Battery. And yes, I've thought about it. This thread is making me think about it again.

Things to dislike, or at least to look at hard:

- 99% of wizards will now take the STAFF spell. Does this matter?
- It becomes a very big deal, affecting the way the world works, that a wizard does not want to be separated from his staff. A subset of that: a broken staff is a disaster of the first order. Would staves have to be immune to Break Weapon to keep all wizards from taking that spell too, and all combats reducing to whose BW could hit first?

It doesn't necessarily need to be a staff. It could be a ring, a pendant, a wand or some other sort of magical storage/focus device.

Jim Kane 06-08-2018 06:06 PM

Re: Conan the wizard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson (Post 2181478)
... Of course, the rule about "staff explodes when someone else picks it up" has to go...

Oh no! When a new player would think they were so smart and pick-up a slain wizards staff, only to have it explode for 3d6 damage, was just great. Even better was when that player would argue and say: "That's not true! You made that up!"; and opening AW to the Staff Spell rule, and having them read for themselves, the cold and cutting-line: "doing the fool who touched it 3 dice damage.", provided so many great TFT moments.

The double-burn inflicted from that - especially with "rules lawyers" types, was priceless... so please preserve it, if at all possible.

JK

Rick_Smith 06-08-2018 06:08 PM

Talents to give you more fatigue ST.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by zot (Post 2181473)
What do you guys think of these wizard talents, are they already on someone's house rules list?

Arcane Stamina (2): adjusts ST by +2 only for the purposes of spellcasting (does not help with wounds, weapons, etc.). Costs 2 for wizards or heroes.

Arcane Outlast (3): requires Stamina, adjusts ST by another +2 only for the purposes of spellcasting. Costs 3 for wizards or heroes.

Hi Zot, everyone.
I do not think your talents are powerful enough. In basic TFT, the only way to increase your memory (mIQ) is to raise your IQ by a full point. So for Arcane Stamina (2), the wizard is spending 2 attributes to gain 2 fatigue ST (fST). FAR better to just raise the wizard's ST and then you have more hitpoints, can bend bars better, etc.

Same objection to Arcane Outlast (3), only it is worse.

***

I would suggest:

IQ 11 Arcane Stamina [2]: Gives the wizard +5 fatigue ST (fST) which can be used to pay for spells, or other exhaustion effects. (This does not help with wounds, won't allow you to use larger weapons, etc. It CAN be used to pay for magic item fST costs, and fST lost to long fights, or for distant running.)

IQ 13 Arcane Outlast [2]: requires Arcane Stamina. Exactly like Arcane Stamina except that this talent gives you +3 fST for paying for exhaustion.


(Note that the square brackets [ ], in my talent list mean that wizards and heroes pay the same price.)

I think you will find that these two talents are good enough that players will sometimes take them. Each requires 2 attributes to buy, but they will give on average 4 fST to spend. The moderate IQ requirement suggests that the figure with the talent has figured out a way to use fatigue ST more efficiently to manipulate the mana field.

These talents assume that there is a diminishing returns. (So the basic level of the talent gives a fairly large boost, but more and more effort gives reduced gains.) Another way to work it would be to say, the higher IQ gives larger efficiencies. So it could be like:

IQ 11 Arcane Lv 1 [2] +3 fST.
IQ 13 Arcane Lv 2 [2] +5 fST.
IQ 15 Arcane Lv 3 [2] +7 fST, etc. for as high as you like to go.

This would mean that bookish, smart wizards are likely to have a fair bit of power for their spells. Let me know which version you choose, and how it works in your campaign! :-D

Warm regards, Rick.

Rick_Smith 06-08-2018 06:16 PM

Re: Conan the wizard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson (Post 2181478)
There is a LOT to like with a staff/wand/etc. Strength Battery. And yes, I've thought about it. This thread is making me think about it again.

Things to dislike, or at least to look at hard: ...

Hi Steve, everyone.
There is another disadvantage which you are not considering. At low attribute levels, wizards and fighters are fairly well balanced. As the characters become more experienced, wizards become over powered compared to heroes. The "staff is a free fatigue ST bank" idea will just make things worse.

I would prefer that Staffs stay the same. If the wizard wants more fatigue ST to power spells, they always can buy ST batteries. They can even put the power stone ON TO the staff if they want.

On a side note, I like the Power Stones from GURPS much more than the ST Batteries from TFT. I would really like if the ST Batteries were quietly swapped out for Power Stones.

Warm regards, Rick.

tomc 06-08-2018 06:56 PM

Re: Conan the wizard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson (Post 2181478)
It becomes a very big deal, affecting the way the world works, that a wizard does not want to be separated from his staff. A subset of that: a broken staff is a disaster of the first order.

There are certainly precedents in literature. Gandalf broke Saruman's staff, ending him as a major wizard. Harry Potter & Co. depend on wands from day one. I'm sure there are others.

Kirk 06-08-2018 08:31 PM

Re: Conan the wizard
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve Jackson (Post 2181478)
There is a LOT to like with a staff/wand/etc. Strength Battery. And yes, I've thought about it. This thread is making me think about it again.

Things to dislike, or at least to look at hard:

- 99% of wizards will now take the STAFF spell. Does this matter?
- It becomes a very big deal, affecting the way the world works, that a wizard does not want to be separated from his staff. A subset of that: a broken staff is a disaster of the first order. Would staves have to be more like a Staff of Power, immune to Break Weapon to keep all wizards from taking that spell too, and all combats reducing to whose BW could hit first?
- Of course, the rule about "staff explodes when someone else picks it up" has to go.
- The ST Battery, as written, is a LOT harder and costlier to make than a staff that could do the same job.

Another thing to consider is that you donīt have to be a *wizard* to cast spells in TFT. Anyone can take a spell. An archer can take Reverse Missiles, etc.

Does he need to have a staff? Will he be at a disadvantage not wielding one?

There could be some serious side effects if the way staves work in TFT is altered, and I have to say the look on someone's face when they pick up a stick near the camp to throw on the fire and it explodes in their face is priceless. :)


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