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Old 05-12-2020, 10:53 AM   #1
Shostak
 
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Default Spell Books

TFT magic started out in the Wizard microgame as something quite different from its D&D alternative of the time. Wizards did not have a number of slots of spells prepared from a grimoire that each could only be used once before a long period of rest; instead they simply knew spells and could cast them so long as they had strength to do so. And, again, unlike D&D, TFT wizards could do this without the necessity of magic ingredients; they bent reality to their will through application of their life force. Like psionics or The Force. Cool. I imagined the T’reo School to be like a martial arts monastery.

Then, with Advanced Wizard and its introduction of spell books, TFT magic became a bit more like D&D's. From these grimoires, wizards can cast spells they don't know (cool!), so long as they are not too complex (d'oh!). With the grimoires came wizards' chests, full of components with which to cast spells from books. aww! So, magic isn't like psionics or The Force? I like the idea of ingredients for potions, but not for spells.

But spell books are interesting. The idea that to learn magic, one must find and copy (or steal!), rare old books is appealing for many reasons, some of which include its agreement with common tropes about magic and the plethora of adventure seeds it offers. But, this seems to be at odds with TFT. After all, the Wizards' Guild presumably has copies of all of the books necessary to learn the relatively few spells in TFT's list (150 or so?), which makes finding and owning books far less important. It might make more sense if there was not a monolithic Wizards' Guild with chapters all over the place, but just a few isolated colleges at which one could study the art. And, spell books would make yet more sense if each spell required extensive thaumatological theory to be mastered beyond the specifics for any given spell (thus requiring perhaps multiple books for each spell)--but none of that is spelled out ;-) in TFT's fairly brief rule set and background info for Cidri.

What has been your experience with spell books using RAW been, and what have you adopted for changes?
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Spell Books

Note that IQ 15+ spells can't be cast by the book, but books are useful in training.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:19 AM   #3
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Spell Books

Yes, though this actually makes spell books less interesting a feature, IMHO.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Spell Books

Most useful wizards-only feature isn't the fourth attribute in this three attribute system, but the ability to read scrolls.
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Old 05-12-2020, 11:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Spell Books

This is one of the reasons I was disappointed that the 'study' rules from Classic TFT were dropped from the new edition. It was expected that wizards had a learning plan for the spells they wanted to acquire next and that, in addition to the XP necessary to raise their IQ score, there was also time and training requirements that went in to the process.

I also think your presumption as to what magical tomes the Wizard's Guild will have on-hand may not be shared in all campaigns. In my game, spells above IQ 15 become increasingly rare. Most local guild chapters won't have those books in their libraries so wizard characters may have to travel to the largest cities in the realm to find them. Even then, there's no guarantee the guild will agree to share such knowledge w/o some additional bureaucratic or quest-based hoops to jump thru. The most powerful spells may even be designated as forbidden knowledge or the magical equivalent of WMDs.
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Spell Books

Twelve weeks study and $600 training cost is nothing compared to the 500 XP that spell is going to cost your wizard.

Hence the importance of starting with as many talents and spells as possible.
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Old 05-12-2020, 12:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Spell Books

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Twelve weeks study and $600 training cost is nothing compared to the 500 XP that spell is going to cost your wizard.

Hence the importance of starting with as many talents and spells as possible.
Could you elaborate on how that relates to the question what has been your experience with spell books using RAW, and what you have adopted for changes?
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Old 05-12-2020, 01:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Spell Books

What I have adopted is if you can cast from a book you can learn it from a book, otherwise it's three months of training per memory point.
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Old 05-12-2020, 02:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Spell Books

I liked the idea of a wizard being able to bring books to cast utility spells (Detect Magic, Scrying, etc) that have no urgency of combat. But having to bring a wizard's chest and books is a burden (backpack or wheelbarrow?) and the $2500 cost is too high. And the DX -2 is a pain specially for spells like Detect Magic that can give you a false read instead of just obviously failing. Scrying is nice since it avoids the DX-2 as it is an IQ roll.

On a separate note I thought it would be fun the set up an adventure where competing Wizard Guilds in neighboring towns have different subset of spells in their library. They could hire adventurers to steal books from their rival's library. Note that the last paragraph on ITL pg 144 makes it possible for guilds or your adventurers to just research the missing spells. Thus making the dangerous quest to sneak into a Wizard Guild pointless.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Spell Books

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axly Suregrip View Post
On a separate note I thought it would be fun the set up an adventure where competing Wizard Guilds in neighboring towns have different subset of spells in their library. They could hire adventurers to steal books from their rival's library. Note that the last paragraph on ITL pg 144 makes it possible for guilds or your adventurers to just research the missing spells. Thus making the dangerous quest to sneak into a Wizard Guild pointless.
Hardly pointless. The requirements in IQ, time, and risk are not trivial, especially if you can get some deniable adventurers to go grab the book for you.
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