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Old 07-29-2018, 07:29 PM   #11
David Bofinger
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Default Re: Variant talent costs/mana

Supposing we wanted to make several spell lists for wizards, so that different wizards had access to different subsets of the spells. How would the split be made?
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:50 PM   #12
JLV
 
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Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Variant talent costs/mana

Skipping the obvious answer of "GM Fiat;" I'd suggest that different forms of casting would be a good way to cement the difference -- e.g., Dwarven Rune Magic, or Elven Spell Singers, or even zot's Ceremonial Magic.

That would make it obvious how to split them, and also allow the differing methods to have spells that do many of the same things as the other spell "types" do, without simply being repetitive.

But that's just my opinion...
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:01 PM   #13
Anomylous
 
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Default Re: Variant talent costs/mana

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Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post
Supposing we wanted to make several spell lists for wizards, so that different wizards had access to different subsets of the spells. How would the split be made?
I think that depends on exactly what we're hoping to accomplish by splitting up the spell list...

If we just want campaign flavor, then it almost doesn't matter how we divvy up the spells, as long as no single subset ends up too disproportionately strong. But if want to encourage wizards to specialize in one tactical role or another (direct damage vs. buffing allies vs. altering combat terrain, etc.), then it makes sense to divide spells accordingly.
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:59 PM   #14
David Bofinger
 
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Default Re: Variant talent costs/mana

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I think that depends on exactly what we're hoping to accomplish by splitting up the spell list
The first question is are wizards too powerful. Many think they are, but the number of players wanting to choose to play a wizard seems to vary dramatically between campaigns. We might think they are because:
  • Wizards can be useful in a large number of ways. Whether it's healing, or casting spells that open doors, or doing astrology, or combat, the wizards tend to get special abilities without making much of a sacrifice. Heroes who want to be experts in other fields end up making big sacrifices for it in combat power.
  • TFT tends to be balanced for a dungeon crawl game where combats come close together and wizards have to save their strength, whereas modern campaigns are as likely as not to be one-combat-a-week affairs.
  • Recent changes in TFT - staff mana storage and enhanced melee capabilities of staffs, healing spells - improve wizards substantially. There are also warrior improvements (advanced combat talents) but it seems like maybe the wizard benefits are larger.

A partial solution might be splitting up the spell list in accordance with these principles:
  • Be kind of believable, so we can imagine these are different schools, etc.
  • Make parties want to have both kinds of wizard rather than two of the best kind.

It's not obvious it's necessary. We haven't got a 100% clear idea what TFT is going to look like once the changes are made. But suppose we did want to do this, as part of a transition from characters being heroes or wizards to characters having several cheap lists. How might we make the split?
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Old 07-30-2018, 12:05 AM   #15
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Variant talent costs/mana

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Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post
Supposing we wanted to make several spell lists for wizards, so that different wizards had access to different subsets of the spells. How would the split be made?
I started dividing up spell knowledge in my campaigns in 1990 (in GURPS, where there are many more spells and they are already thematically sorted), and I've continued to do so almost always. It can have several benefits as far as having fun/interesting situations which tie into the game world situation and history and reasons for things being the way they are.

e.g. This wizard's guild knows these spells, that other one knows different ones and has some different variations of the same spells. That religion has a sect of wizard-priests with those appropriate spells. The high priests of another are the only one who can do divination (e.g. TFT Trance spell) but it takes a ritual of 5 priests, a day, and a sacrifice. Only certain people know weapon/armor enchantment. There are some examples of some enchantments no one now knows how to make. People used to know these spells but now almost no one does. The Traveler's Guild someone mentioned in the Gate network antics/economy thread might have a near-monopoly on Gate & Long-Distance Teleportation magic. Etc etc etc.

TFT has a shorter spell list that GURPS Magic, though. However even if/when I re-fire-up my original TFT campaign(s), I would still track which guild don't know which spells, and which know which variants, and what spells have limited teaching/books available. Some spells and enchantments I would have either be lost or only known in certain nerfy/weird/limited versions. Mainly I'd be looking at limiting (or at least tracking who knows them) the more powerful and exploitable spells and enchantments, both to limit abuse and to keep track (or at least have a sense) of who in the world is doing what with them, and who someone will have to talk to to get certain magic.
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:29 AM   #16
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Variant talent costs/mana

Splitting up the spell lists enables viability for a larger selection of character types without having to specify explicit classes.

Battle Mage: Has a wide selection of spell category talents and auxiliary talents to enable quick and continued casting, but little else.

Ceremonial Mage: Not as useful in a fight because his talents cover powerful spells with extreme effects, ranges or duration that take a long time to cast. Tends to have a staff handy for a few quick spells.

Rogue: Knows a very restricted set of spells and expansion beyond these would seriously cut into her very useful non-spell skills and talents.
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