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Old 03-24-2020, 06:42 AM   #11
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Resolving problem with pentagrams and wish contest of wills

TFT demons ain't from hell. They're monsters from the Id. Losing the contest of wills (against yourself) is suicide.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:22 AM   #12
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Resolving problem with pentagrams and wish contest of wills

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Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
The section on demon summoning does not come across as thoroughly playtested, since there are obvious contradictions. I don't use these rules as written, but as a cursory guide. I also prefer the demon stats from the original ITL.
Exactly. Steve realized he had reduced the expected IQ of wizards, and also seems to be a bit less severe than he was in the original edition, so he reduced Demon IQ AND softened these contests... but yeah, he didn't playtest them or analyze them enough to realize this allows relatively risk-free Wish generation by people with enough resources and preparations. Or he assumed that wasn't a problem, and/or would be handled by GMs who did think it was a problem.

And a GM who does see it as a problem can of course change whatever they want.

But yes, changes are needed.

The part about the pentagram not protecting in the contest of wills is left over from the original version, where losing the contest means you die, no combat, and get to roll another such contest to see if you can be revived, or if you're a pile of ash.

I would tend to either use the original system, or develop my own invention for how it works and what demons are really like and what their abilities really are. Because I want wishes to be very rare and special things, which don't get industrially produced and mostly don't ever come into actual play, because it risks a very rare and powerful wizard to have even a chance to produce one.
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:46 PM   #13
warhorse11h
 
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Default Re: Resolving problem with pentagrams and wish contest of wills

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Exactly. Steve realized he had reduced the expected IQ of wizards, and also seems to be a bit less severe than he was in the original edition, so he reduced Demon IQ AND softened these contests... but yeah, he didn't playtest them or analyze them enough to realize this allows relatively risk-free Wish generation by people with enough resources and preparations. Or he assumed that wasn't a problem, and/or would be handled by GMs who did think it was a problem.

And a GM who does see it as a problem can of course change whatever they want.

But yes, changes are needed.

The part about the pentagram not protecting in the contest of wills is left over from the original version, where losing the contest means you die, no combat, and get to roll another such contest to see if you can be revived, or if you're a pile of ash.

I would tend to either use the original system, or develop my own invention for how it works and what demons are really like and what their abilities really are. Because I want wishes to be very rare and special things, which don't get industrially produced and mostly don't ever come into actual play, because it risks a very rare and powerful wizard to have even a chance to produce one.
Could this perhaps salvage the procedure. I offer it only as a possibility.
Allow the contest of wills as written, but allow a +5 bonus to the IQ of the lesser demon or demon and impose a -5 penalty to the IQ of the wizard. It could be claimed these are the result of the hostile and alien mind of the demon and the effects it has on the wizard. It should make it much harder to obtain a wish. Just a thought.
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Resolving problem with pentagrams and wish contest of wills

That's effectively a 10 point bonus/penalty, which may be too much. Rather than have demons be so predictable, why not give them a minimum IQ (10? 12?) and randomly adjust it upward--say by 1d or 1d+2?

You'd still have the issue of the demon blasting the wizard across the barrier of the pentagram. Here's one way to deal with it that approximates what happens RAW: the lost contest voids the summoning and the demon returns to its own plane, to which it immediately summons the wizard, who, now bereft of the pentagram' protection, is instantly executed. If the wizard wins the second contest the demon throws the cadaver back into our plane, where it could theoretically be resurrected.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:33 PM   #15
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Resolving problem with pentagrams and wish contest of wills

The reduced IQ is just one of the issues, but yes, adjusting the IQ or effective IQ would help, and I like the idea of each demon having its own IQ which can vary, because it reduces the predictability.

Another main issue is that the new rules just say the demon attacks the wizard, which has at least three issues:

1) As mentioned, how that's going to work given the usual use of a pentagram, is not clear.

2) Even if you say the wizard has to be in the pentagram with the demon, it doesn't say you can't have prepared a small army and/or other wizards ready to take out the demon, which would be reasonable for an industrial wish-farming operation to do.

3) Even if you say the Demon gets to act before anyone else and the wizard must be attackable, it's just a 4d attack, and there are ways to survive, avoid, or recover from that which are worth investing in if you get to farm wishes.

The original rules avoided these by having the contest of wills result directly in death or being turned to ash, with no intervention possible.


This subject has been gone over before here, and we came up with several creative other ways to handle it. Some I liked included:

* Demons even more randomized with even more personality and varied abilities. Some are better at the contest of wills.

* Each demon has unpredictable types of things they can grant. Not all of them can grant wishes.

* On failure to control a demon, it may teleport away before you can respond, and do unpredictable mischief.

* Summoning a demon introduces you to a specific demon, who will remember you and develop a relationship with you that may become steadily more problematic over time, especially if you keep summoning demons.
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:57 AM   #16
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Resolving problem with pentagrams and wish contest of wills

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Originally Posted by TippetsTX View Post
I assume that pentagrams in TFT provide two levels of protection... the most obvious one is physical, but the flaw I am referring to would be related to the mental barrier. Losing the 'battle of wills' means the demon fries the wizard from the inside out (picture Scanners).

Getting inside the pentagram would be a very bad idea.
If you don't blow your DX roll, the demon is your summoned creature and getting inside the pentagram is safe. Starting the contest of wills is inherently unsafe and according to the RAW, pentagrams don't provide protection from that anyway.
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:07 AM   #17
zot
 
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Default Re: Resolving problem with pentagrams and wish contest of wills

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Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
TFT demons ain't from hell. They're monsters from the Id. Losing the contest of wills (against yourself) is suicide.
The legacy version says the wizard can survive the demon's attack.

Skarg's points are good in with respect to the problems raised by the new framework but I think it's consistent with the overall softening of the system, especially since anyone can buy a lesser wish for 500XP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Exactly. Steve realized he had reduced the expected IQ of wizards, and also seems to be a bit less severe than he was in the original edition, so he reduced Demon IQ AND softened these contests... but yeah, he didn't playtest them or analyze them enough to realize this allows relatively risk-free Wish generation by people with enough resources and preparations. Or he assumed that wasn't a problem, and/or would be handled by GMs who did think it was a problem.

And a GM who does see it as a problem can of course change whatever they want.

But yes, changes are needed.

The part about the pentagram not protecting in the contest of wills is left over from the original version, where losing the contest means you die, no combat, and get to roll another such contest to see if you can be revived, or if you're a pile of ash.

I would tend to either use the original system, or develop my own invention for how it works and what demons are really like and what their abilities really are. Because I want wishes to be very rare and special things, which don't get industrially produced and mostly don't ever come into actual play, because it risks a very rare and powerful wizard to have even a chance to produce one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
The reduced IQ is just one of the issues, but yes, adjusting the IQ or effective IQ would help, and I like the idea of each demon having its own IQ which can vary, because it reduces the predictability.

Another main issue is that the new rules just say the demon attacks the wizard, which has at least three issues:

1) As mentioned, how that's going to work given the usual use of a pentagram, is not clear.

2) Even if you say the wizard has to be in the pentagram with the demon, it doesn't say you can't have prepared a small army and/or other wizards ready to take out the demon, which would be reasonable for an industrial wish-farming operation to do.

3) Even if you say the Demon gets to act before anyone else and the wizard must be attackable, it's just a 4d attack, and there are ways to survive, avoid, or recover from that which are worth investing in if you get to farm wishes.

The original rules avoided these by having the contest of wills result directly in death or being turned to ash, with no intervention possible.


This subject has been gone over before here, and we came up with several creative other ways to handle it. Some I liked included:

* Demons even more randomized with even more personality and varied abilities. Some are better at the contest of wills.

* Each demon has unpredictable types of things they can grant. Not all of them can grant wishes.

* On failure to control a demon, it may teleport away before you can respond, and do unpredictable mischief.

* Summoning a demon introduces you to a specific demon, who will remember you and develop a relationship with you that may become steadily more problematic over time, especially if you keep summoning demons.
These are good considerations if you want to change what seems to be (to me at least) the current intent of the system.

My suggestion is just a fix for how a demon could arrange to attack the wizard while in a pentagram which is currently not possible with the RAW.
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:41 AM   #18
Steve Plambeck
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Resolving problem with pentagrams and wish contest of wills

I'm definitely enamored with the idea of summoning specific demons by adding the demon's true name to the incantation as the spell is cast. With their true names normally being closely guarded secrets that only rarely become revealed. When a demon introduces itself, it only gives a nick-name, preferably a humorous one.

Good thing I read this forum because in looking at the new ITL I somehow overlooked the changes in demons and wishes! Lesser Demons granting Wishes (even these new Lesser Wishes) is kind of a big change. I'd drafted an adventure that would introduce a pair (yes, a pair) of twin Lesser Demons that would be funny, constantly bickering with each other, and have recurring roles in future adventures, having "befriended" the players party and given them their true names. That now might be a very, very dangerous idea! I had no intention to be handing out a Wish any time they got called in!

Once again I'll either have to abandon a good idea or (drum roll please) revert to the original rules! Seems like this has been going on a long time -- since 1980 in fact! LOL!

Meanwhile, I don't like the new demon stats either and want to keep the old, much higher IQs. I've always thought of them as genius-level magical creatures that know all the secrets to Life, the Universe, and Everything. They just never share that knowledge with mortals, except by obtuse references that only imply how the universe might work. IQ 9? Oh, I don't think so.

A different way to handle the contest of wills (which needs to be fixed no matter how you look at it) would be to have the wizard and the demon each roll against their respective IQs, and whomever made their roll by the larger margin wins. (If both failed the rolls, which is really unlikely, just do it over -- the mental battle takes a second turn.) Lots of other ways to do it however the GM prefers.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:37 AM   #19
warhorse11h
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Resolving problem with pentagrams and wish contest of wills

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Originally Posted by zot View Post
If a wizard fails the contest of wills to gain a wish, the demon attacks him. Page 143 says, "Pentagrams will not protect the wizard in this battle of wills though a good pentagram would prevent the demon from smashing anything else after he finished off the wizard!"

How is it possible for the demon to attack the wizard when it can't cross the pentagram and it has no ranged attacks?

I suggest this clarification:

If there is a pentagram, the wizard must be on the same side as the demon for the contest of wills to take place. So if a wizard summons a demon into a pentagram, the wizard must enter the pentagram with the demon in order to gain a wish.
Another possible answer is that the wizard, having initiated the contest of wills between himself and the demon, has invalidated the pentagram's protection for himself.
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Old 03-25-2020, 10:04 AM   #20
zot
 
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Default Re: Resolving problem with pentagrams and wish contest of wills

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Another possible answer is that the wizard, having initiated the contest of wills between himself and the demon, has invalidated the pentagram's protection for himself.
How would that work, since demons don't have any ranged attacks and the wizard could run away?

Would the demon get to teleport out of the pentagram but only attack the wizard and have to be careful not to accidentally break anything or hurt anyone else?
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