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Old 12-17-2020, 07:50 AM   #11
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Wizards without Staves

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Originally Posted by TippetsTX View Post
A wizard w/o a staff (or more specifically, the mana they provide) is at a distinct disadvantage under the Legacy rules.
A wizard needs maybe a thousand experience points before it's worth even contemplating buying mana. (If power stones are available it might be a lot later than that.) A 32-point character generated without a staff could have a substantial career and die of unrelated causes long before needing to get the staff for mana purposes.

In combat the staff isn't that great. It's nice to know you can Defend if you must, and you might occasionally help to finish off a helpless victim by thwacking it. I don't find the occult zap very useful, there's just usually more useful things to do with a spare fatigue point.

One downside of a combat (i.e. club) staff is that you look like a wizard even before you cast, which simplifies enemy threat assessment and tactics and can turn you into a first turn missile magnet.

I normally take a staff, it's probably a good idea, but I wouldn't call it a must have.
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Old 12-17-2020, 08:07 AM   #12
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Wizards without Staves

Big downside of going into combat with a big stick is that you become the top target for HTH attacks. If you carry a silver dagger instead then you shall be sniped. (Carrying a brand in the off-hand keeps animals from jumping on top of your wizard.)
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Old 12-17-2020, 08:56 AM   #13
David Bofinger
 
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Default Re: Wizards without Staves

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Carrying a brand in the off-hand keeps animals from jumping on top of your wizard.
Technically this only applies to "ordinary animals", an undefined but presumably narrower category than animals generally. How much narrower varies between campaigns. But in my experience most parties get over fighting ordinary wolves and their ilk pretty fast, and have more combats against humanoids, fantasticals, etc.
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Old 12-17-2020, 10:09 AM   #14
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Wizards without Staves

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Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post
Technically this only applies to "ordinary animals", an undefined but presumably narrower category than animals generally. How much narrower varies between campaigns. But in my experience most parties get over fighting ordinary wolves and their ilk pretty fast, and have more combats against humanoids, fantasticals, etc.
I find that wolves are a challenge for anyone without serious armor. A fencer, for instance, loses all his advantages in HTH (but may have a readied main-gauche for that). If the wolves outnumber the party, they're a real threat. Two wolves on one character is tough.
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Old 12-19-2020, 08:53 PM   #15
Axly Suregrip
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Default Re: Wizards without Staves

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Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post
... but I wouldn't call it a must have.
Exactly. With the new staff rules there are both reasons to have or skip getting the staff.

- Biggest reasons to have a staff: magical attack and eventually mana

- Biggest reason to skip it: attacks cost 1 ST. And wizards are best avoiding combat, so anything that can be used to defend with is good enough.
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Old 12-20-2020, 06:19 AM   #16
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Wizards without Staves

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Originally Posted by Axly Suregrip View Post
- Biggest reason to skip it: attacks cost 1 ST. And wizards are best avoiding combat, so anything that can be used to defend with is good enough.
ITL 142: "A staff does not impede his gesturing; anything else does."
So the possible reasons to not have a staff are:
  • Your wizard is IQ 22 or higher.
  • Your wizard has sufficient Unarmed Combat talent to defend barehanded.
  • Your wizard doesn't cast spells in combat.
  • Or your wizard is suicidal.
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Old 12-28-2020, 09:24 AM   #17
David Bofinger
 
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Default Re: Wizards without Staves

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
the possible reasons to not have a staff are:\
Other important factors:
  • the wizard wants a long spell list and begrudges using up a spell slot on Staff.
  • The wizard doesn't expect to be in melee combat much, and if caught in melee intends either to enter HTH or disengage at the first opportunity.
  • The wizard dislikes looking like a wizard - it makes her a missile magnet in combat, changes how people she meets relate to her out of combat and generally makes her more memorable and noticeable - so she prefers not to carry anything that looks like a staff (or wear robes).
I'm not convinced these are good enough reasons - my wizards usually carry a staff - but they aren't crazy.
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Old 12-28-2020, 09:49 AM   #18
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Wizards without Staves

Take a torch but instead of setting it on fire, cast Staff and Light on it to make it "glow like a torch". Then use your "torch" staff to defend with without having it interfere with your spellcasting.
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Old 12-28-2020, 03:42 PM   #19
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Wizards without Staves

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Take a torch but instead of setting it on fire, cast Staff and Light on it to make it "glow like a torch". Then use your "torch" staff to defend with without having it interfere with your spellcasting.
That's a cute idea, really it is. But I don't think "glow like a torch" means "looks like a torch at a glance."
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Old 12-29-2020, 02:00 AM   #20
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Wizards without Staves

And people might look at you funny when you show up at a fine dinner party carrying a torch.
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