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Old 12-25-2020, 02:10 PM   #11
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
In my opinion, mages specializing in a single spell makes sense from multiple perspectives. For example, consider a character with IQ 11 [20], Magery 0+3 (Healing College Only, -40%) [23], Lend Energy-12 [1], Lend Vitality-12 [1], Minor Healing-12 [1], and Major Healing-25 [52]. For 98 CP, they may be a one trick pony, but they have a very effective trick, and their exceptionally high skill allows them to heal their patients by 32 HP per day.
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Playing that character would be unbelievably boring. Also frustrating when the medical problem isn't a simple injury. And they could spend half as much on their Major Healing and still be just as useful as a healer of major injuries anywhere except in an army hospital in wartime.

Last edited by David Johnston2; 12-25-2020 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 12-25-2020, 04:19 PM   #12
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

It really does depend on the level of damage expected by the party. A party with four combatants that can recover 32 HP per day is capable of delving deeper and a lot more frequently than a party capable of recovering half as much. For less frequent threats, like disease and poisons, scrolls are probably more economical than spending CP on the spells, which the healer can cast for the party as well.

Playing a specialized healer is an awesome RP experience, as the healer is the most valuable player in the party. At DF point totals of 250 CP, you usually end up with fairly balanced character, as you can afford higher IQ and broader Magery/Power Investiture. In addition, you can start pick up interesting skills/talents for RP purposes.

For example, imagine a character with IQ 14, Goodwife 4, Magery 0+3 (Healing Only, -40%), Cooking-20, and Major Healing-25. They are party cook and party healer, so they are satisfying two important noncombat roles. During their offtime, they can make a living as a master chef or a master healer.
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Old 12-26-2020, 03:05 AM   #13
RedMattis
 
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Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

You must have very different sessions than me. Mr healer-cook would be considered combat dead-weight. He doesn't contribute in actual fights which not only makes injuries (including lasting crippling ones) more likely, but more importantly makes it dramatically more likely that the group just gets outright defeated. We really don't need to heal 32 HP in one day particularly often. If everyone got that injured it like likely they just lost a fight and are now sitting in prison or a lizardman's cooking pot.

Don't get me wrong, healing is great, but it isn't good for a one-trick. Adventuring situations tend to either be combat, stealth/recon, or social. Healing doesn't help with solving any of those problems, it just helps deal with issues caused by screwing up in combat a bit. At best you might be able to heal injured NPC soldiers during wartime to better make friends, but that just makes you wonder why your character doesn't just stay in hospital and leave the adventuring to adventurers.

I really don't see what use a "Cooking-20" character is in an adventuring situation. Sure, he can make sure the party doesn't get food-poisoning from the deer they shot, but no doubt the huntsman too knows how to safely butcher and cook game. Expertly seasoned food is a luxury that can probably wait until the party is back in the city.
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Old 12-26-2020, 03:33 AM   #14
DaosusLeghki
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
It really does depend on the level of damage expected by the party. A party with four combatants that can recover 32 HP per day is capable of delving deeper and a lot more frequently than a party capable of recovering half as much. For less frequent threats, like disease and poisons, scrolls are probably more economical than spending CP on the spells, which the healer can cast for the party as well.

Playing a specialized healer is an awesome RP experience, as the healer is the most valuable player in the party. At DF point totals of 250 CP, you usually end up with fairly balanced character, as you can afford higher IQ and broader Magery/Power Investiture. In addition, you can start pick up interesting skills/talents for RP purposes.

For example, imagine a character with IQ 14, Goodwife 4, Magery 0+3 (Healing Only, -40%), Cooking-20, and Major Healing-25. They are party cook and party healer, so they are satisfying two important noncombat roles. During their offtime, they can make a living as a master chef or a master healer.

I would not personally find this character interesting. The game would presumably involve lots of combat, if you need to heal 32 HP on the regular. So for the largest chunk of table time, the player of this character would essentially....sit there and maybe run around trying not to get hit. Then, two minutes of rolling to fulfill his contribution to the party. Perhaps if this were a henchman.

I also have a problem with this character in terms of fitting into the world. There is rarely going to be a city large enough to justify needing that much specialization in one spell. It would generally be more useful to have many different spells, though I can see a character spending more than 1 pt on it even though it's not "optimal."
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Old 12-26-2020, 08:30 AM   #15
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

The standard magical system heavily rewards absurdly high skill levels. With a mundane skill, like Physician, there really is no functional difference between Physician-16 and Physician-25, so Physician-25 is going to usually be a waste of points except in extraordinary circumstances. It makes sense that there might only be one person on a planet with Physician-25, as the economic realities would make illogical for anymore than one person to reach that level.

When it comes to standard magic though, there is a massive functional difference between Major Healing-16 and Major Healing-25. In the former case, you are spending 3 FP to heal 8 HP per day per person, meaning 12 FP to heal 32 HP per day for a group of four combatants. In the latter case, you are spending 4 FP to heal 32 HP per day, meaning 16 FP to heal 128 HP per day for a group of four combatants. This is a threefold increase in effectiveness per patient, which has real benefits for society.
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Old 12-26-2020, 08:58 AM   #16
Anders
 
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Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

No, not really. If we're going the "high skill" route, then you can get Recover Energy 20 for a heck of a lot less. Then you need to wait 6 minutes between each patient to heal the same amount. The rest of your points can go to other spells, making you more versatile.

Edit: I think in general you overestimate how easy it is to get high skill. Remember, a guy with skill 20 (which you argue most people have after twenty years in a profession) can do the impossible half the time they attempt it. The skill training rules are not meant to be realistic, they are a quick-and-dirty solution to produce gameable results. I refer you again to the Krommpost I linked to in my previous post - skill 25 is mythical level. That's what Gandalf and Merlin has. Not your average John down the street. At least that's the default assumption.
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Last edited by Anders; 12-26-2020 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 12-26-2020, 09:18 AM   #17
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

-10 to skill is not impossible, it is just difficult, and it is nothing that an adventurer would not face on a regular basis. For example, a character using Physician might suffer a -5 to skill for improvised equipment, a -7 to skill for poor visibility, and a -9 to skill for attempting to treat a patient in 10% of the normal time (all of which are quite possible in battlefield triage), for a grand total of -21 to skill, which really would be quite difficult and functionally impossible for most doctors. If they have Efficient, Night Vision 5, and Physician-25 though, they would succeed on an 11-.

When it comes to Recover Energy-20 though, that does not improve the character's efficiency per patient. They are still caped at 8 HP per day per patient if they want an effective skill of 16. In fact, Recover Energy-20 instead of Major Healing-25 would not really improve the effectiveness of the healer, as the higher skilled healer will only be down 4 FP by the time that they reach the limit of effectiveness of the lower skilled healer.

Last edited by AlexanderHowl; 12-26-2020 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 12-26-2020, 09:27 AM   #18
RedMattis
 
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Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
-10 to skill is not impossible, it is just difficult, and it is nothing that an adventurer would not face on a regular basis.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Campaign Page 346
-10 – Impossible. No sane person would attempt such a task. The GM may wish to forbid such attempts altogether. Example: A Driving roll to steer a car with the knees while firing a bazooka twohanded during a chase through a blizzard.
Emphasis mine.
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Old 12-26-2020, 09:42 AM   #19
JulianLW
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

Check out this character made by Kromm from a week ago: https://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=171601

Radiana is a specialized healer that, while not built on only 98 points, is also clearly focused on healing and not fighting, maximized for running away from threats and healing at a distance, not unlike AlexanderHowl's original build. In the follow-up post, Kromm notes that Radiana plans to get Major Healing (which she has at 20 to start) up to level 40, if the GM will allow it.

I wouldn't want to play a 98 point character in a dungeon crawl, either. But specializing in healing obviously isn't a bad idea. And skill levels in DF are clearly meant to be in the "mythic" territory.
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Old 12-26-2020, 10:43 AM   #20
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

Most fantasy settings do tend to lend themselves to 'mythic' skill levels, though that does depend on the point value. In addition, not every interesting character is going to have very high skill levels, though I would expect them at 250+ CP. In general, I will tell players of 250+ CP characters to decide which skill they want their PCs to start at 20+ because they will just be quite disadvantaged against the enemies I will send against them otherwise.
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