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Old 12-25-2020, 02:09 AM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

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.

For an adventuring party, such a specialist mage provides an amazing service because they can return critically injured characters to the functionality in just a few turns by only spending 4 FP. Now, they cannot heal themselves nearly as effectively, so the party should really invest in healing potions for the mage, but the mage saves them up to 32 healing potions per day (assuming the average party of five). With an average cost of $120/healing potion, that is a potential cost savings of up to $3840.

I was wondering if anyone has had similar experiences with specialist mages? Did they provide a valuable service or did they bring minimal utility to the party? Would you allow such specialists into your games and, if so, what would be the best specialists for an adventuring party?
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Old 12-25-2020, 09:42 AM   #2
Gold & Appel Inc
 
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Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

I personally like my characters to be a little more than a talking HP dispenser, but YMMV I guess. Even the time I played a "support Cleric" in one of our DF games (our Gary Gygax tribute game when he leveled up off this mortal coil, a straightforward dungeon-bash), being able to provide a broad array of support in multiple situations was satisfying for me in a way that I wouldn't get from playing a Johnny One-Spell.
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Old 12-25-2020, 10:03 AM   #3
RedMattis
 
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Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

Specialisation is good, but I generally encourage not being a one-trick pony. Chances are you'll spend most meetings twiddling your thumbs since the party either isn't getting injured, or is doing something completely unrelated to combat.

I assume the 98-point character has other skills though, and in that case I don't see a problem. If he really just heals then I don't really see the point of using the spell-system if you just want one spell though. I'd rather look at just giving him the Healing Advantage (-10% Magic) to keep things simple in that situation.
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Old 12-25-2020, 10:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

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Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
Specialisation is good, but I generally encourage not being a one-trick pony. Chances are you'll spend most meetings twiddling your thumbs since the party either isn't getting injured, or is doing something completely unrelated to combat.
Even if you just want to fix combat-related mishaps in a combat-heavy game, having a solid command of things like Remove Curse, Stone to Flesh, Neutralize Poison, Regrowth, etc is usually a pretty good idea.
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Old 12-25-2020, 10:29 AM   #5
RedMattis
 
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Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

Agreed.

If I made a "healer"-type pacifist mage I'd probably also try to pick up spells to protect allies, detect evil, remove curses, and other things which can help someone in trouble. It feels strange that someone devoted to protecting and healing wouldn't want to help people in more ways that just stitching up wounds. Assuming they are devoted enough to their studies that they are investing dozens of points anyway. Besides using the magic system and not branching out a bit seems like wasting its potential, imo.
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Old 12-25-2020, 10:56 AM   #6
oneofmanynameless
 
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Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

If you're gunna hyperspecialize then you should probably hyperspecialize in a tool that can be used in a wide array of scenarios. Knowledge magic, the creation half of illusion and creation, gate or movement magic, shapeshifting (either great shapeshifting, or normal shapeshifting for a highly versatile form, or shapeshift other for a useful but harmless form), and mind control spells are all great candidates. Otherwise your character will be boring to play, and really little more than a piece of equipment the rest of the party uses.
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Old 12-25-2020, 10:58 AM   #7
Anders
 
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Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

While such a figure is RAW, I would note that according to Kromm, such a person would qualify as "mythic" in skill. Maybe not Asclepius, but certainly his sons (Machaon and Podeleirios).

No, I would not allow such specialization in my games. It's just a boring character, a walking band aid kit. I suppose you could add disadvantages and quirks to make him interesting, but... it just doesn't appeal to me as a player or as a GM.
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Old 12-25-2020, 11:01 AM   #8
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

The Healing advantage suffers compared to the Major Healing build. To get the similar level of functionality for healing, you would need a character with IQ 11 [20], Per 15 [20], Healing (Based on Per, +20%; Capped, 4 FP, -20%; Injuries Only, -20%; Reliable, +10, +50%; Reduced FP Cost, -3 FP, +60%; Magical, -10%; Xenohealing, Anything Animate, +100%) [84], and Magery 0 [5], which ends up being 129 CP versus 98 CP (it is also missing the ability to heal oneself and the ability to heal at a modest distance). Major Healing-25 allows for tactical healing, as the character can heal people from 10 yards away without any difficulty and heal themselves as long as they suffered less than 10 HP damage.

In the case of a proper adventurer, the mage specialist is probably going to be a minimum of 150 CP, so they will likely have another 107 CP to spend (assuming -50 CP in disadvantage and -5 CP in quirks). ST 11, DX 11, and HT 13 would cost 60 CP and give some more functionality, especially if paired with Staff-12 for another 4 CP. Add Luck and another 28 CP in skills, and you will end up with an interesting support character.
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Old 12-25-2020, 11:32 AM   #9
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
Agreed.

If I made a "healer"-type pacifist mage I'd probably also try to pick up spells to protect allies, detect evil, remove curses, and other things which can help someone in trouble. I.
This was very like Brother Hugh's spell list. His Pacifism was "Can't Harm Innocents" so he had a couple of Sun-themed offensive spells too.

also, I've never seen a group that kept walking into the meatgrinder in a fashion that would make the OP's build necessary.
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Old 12-25-2020, 12:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Mage Specialization [Fantasy]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
This was very like Brother Hugh's spell list. His Pacifism was "Can't Harm Innocents" so he had a couple of Sun-themed offensive spells too.

also, I've never seen a group that kept walking into the meatgrinder in a fashion that would make the OP's build necessary.
That's funny, my Cleric in our Gygax Tribute Crawl was named Brother Hugh(bert), too. It was most definitely a meat-grinder, though, broken up with occasional puzzles (which was kind of Hughbert's main thing, the GM whipped up a Dungeony pantheon that included a ready-made God of Mysteries - healing the party was just a sideline for him).
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