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Old 11-22-2012, 09:06 AM   #1
Onkl
 
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Default [DF] I hate Walk on Air - Alternative Spelllist anyone?

Hey guys

No, I don't really hate that spell, after all… I as a GM could just forbid any of my players to learn this spell, or only offer it as a one time usable scroll, or…

I think fondly of the times when we were exploring dungeons in AD&D and I was hoping to recreate this feeling using DF. Unfortunately, when starting with the current DF game I allowed everything in the PDFs, so what I got is the following:

I got a SM+2 Ogre Barbarian, a Gargoyle Knight, a Wizard with Great Haste+Hang Spell on all the time…

This leads to certain problems: You can't just have a chasm somewhere as a riddle, since the Wizard will just cast Walk on Air on everybody… the gargoyle don't even needs a spell… of course there are possibilities to circumvent this specific "problem", but I think you know what I am after.

Of course, it's up to me what I allow in my games, but as the story of the above DF Party comes to an end, I am looking to find DF implementations that are closer to the "old-school" feeling that I am craving.

First, I'll shorten the list of allowed races to:

Human
Half-Elf
High-Elf
Mountain-Elf
Shadow-Elf
Wood-Elf
Dwarf
Gnome
Halfling
Half-Orc

I don't see any problem with the current character classes, so I'll leave that be.

So, next would be an alternative spelllist for the Wizards and to some extent the spelllist for Clerics.

My questions for you are:

Have you already created your own houserules to simulate the old AD&D feeling?
Have you already created alternative spelllists to achieve what I am trying to do?

If so, please share your work with me!

Cheers

Onkl
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:01 AM   #2
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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Default Re: [DF] I hate Walk on Air - Alternative Spelllist anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onkl View Post

Have you already created your own houserules to simulate the old AD&D feeling?
Have you already created alternative spelllists to achieve what I am trying to do?

If so, please share your work with me!
I'd done a lot of this on an ad-hoc basis, so I don't really have a spell list. Also I have no issues with Flight-type spells, including Walk on Air, so I just allow them. It's not like pit traps were anything but a temporary movement obstacle in my AD&D games anyway.

But what I've done so far:

- gave Shape Earth a 1-second duration.
- got rid of Metal spells as part of the tech college.
- tossed out all of the Hang/Throw/Catch/etc. meta-spells as more troublesome than entertaining.
- threw out a bunch of spells on a purely case-by-case basis because I don't want them around (no Decapitate spell, no Bless spells to avoid the old "everyone is +1 all the time" issue, etc.).
- limited what can be a Power Item to avoid mages with Power Item steel corselets and Power Item magic broadswords and encourage staves, pointy hats, and robes.
- define an "attack" pretty broadly for dispelling Invisibility.
- use what's apparently a totally heretical and crazy ruling for See Secrets, which is the "secret" must be in direct view to be detected.

But I also:

- use the old 3e rules for explosive spells, to make them more effective.
- combined some similar spells into single spells to keep spell lists shorter.
- shortened the time to cast on Mass (whatever) spells to the same as their minimum cost, regardless of casting size, to make them possibly useful.

I also have a shortened list of appropriate races, magic items, templates, advantages, etc. to fit the kind of game I want to run. Less gonzo PCs, generally.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:15 AM   #3
Bruno
 
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Default Re: [DF] I hate Walk on Air - Alternative Spelllist anyone?

I'm afraid in my experience gaps and chasms and pits and whatever have never been a major barrier; they're a speedbump.

Which was their function even in the Egyptian Pyramids - to make getting in and out slower, so the tomb police would have more time to catch thieves in the act.

We're humans, and our characters are humanish; bridging gaps isn't exactly a black art to us, even without magic.

What gaps are useful for are delaying... so make sure your PCs are facing time pressures when using pits and chasms. Sure, the mage casts Walk On Air on everyone. Now he's down FP and -4 to cast any other spells, and the Balrog/Goblin Horde/Angry Cultists/Herd of Centaurs is right behind and half the party is over the chasm while the other half is still getting buffed up.

NOW the gap is a hazard, because you can Take Extra Time and climb down and up again (or swing across, or whatever) at your leisure out of combat, but in combat you're hanging by one hand flailing wildly with your sword at the flying demon monkeys while they throw flaming poo at you.

NOW your wizard is tapped out and at -4 to cast, the party is scattered all over the place, and someone is just ITCHING to cast Dispel Magic on one of the PCs while they're over the chasm.

I don't mean to pick on your example, but it's been a scenario that I've been constantly disappointed by as a DM and as a GM - unless someone falls right in it before it's spotted, players don't take pits and cliffs seriously because they're really not a serious problem.

So I had to up the ante :)
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Old 11-22-2012, 02:29 PM   #4
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: [DF] I hate Walk on Air - Alternative Spelllist anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onkl View Post
Hey guys

No, I don't really hate that spell, after all… I as a GM could just forbid any of my players to learn this spell, or only offer it as a one time usable scroll, or…

I think fondly of the times when we were exploring dungeons in AD&D and I was hoping to recreate this feeling using DF. Unfortunately, when starting with the current DF game I allowed everything in the PDFs, so what I got is the following:

I got a SM+2 Ogre Barbarian, a Gargoyle Knight, a Wizard with Great Haste+Hang Spell on all the time…

This leads to certain problems: You can't just have a chasm somewhere as a riddle, since the Wizard will just cast Walk on Air on everybody… l
Chasms aren't much of a riddle anyway. You wanna mess with people who can Walk on Air? Have a strong wind blowing along the chasm! Hilarity ensues.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:14 PM   #5
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [DF] I hate Walk on Air - Alternative Spelllist anyone?

All the problems you mention will occur if your party has a level 5 wizard in D&D, it just requires a bit more prep time to cast Dispel Plot.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:21 PM   #6
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: [DF] I hate Walk on Air - Alternative Spelllist anyone?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
You wanna mess with people who can Walk on Air?.
Archers. Lava eruptions spitting blobs of magma through the air. Gargoyles/demons/air elementals that swoop upon people in their element. Lighter than air poison that accumulates toward the ceiling.

There's a reason the builders put that staircase down to the bottom of the chasm and back up the other side instead of arching a bridge across. (Too bad it's crumbled away due to time.)
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:22 PM   #7
David Johansen
 
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Default Re: [DF] I hate Walk on Air - Alternative Spelllist anyone?

Fill the chasm with a heavier than air inert gas...
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Old 11-22-2012, 09:32 PM   #8
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: [DF] I hate Walk on Air - Alternative Spelllist anyone?

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Fill the chasm with a heavier than air inert gas...
Well that won't do much. Walk on air doesn't care if the air is breathable.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:04 PM   #9
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [DF] I hate Walk on Air - Alternative Spelllist anyone?

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Well that won't do much. Walk on air doesn't care if the air is breathable.
A downdraft of more than a few mph will do the job, though.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: [DF] I hate Walk on Air - Alternative Spelllist anyone?

Okok, I get it, a chasm is not an obstacle :)

It was meant to be an example, to show you what - in my book - DF RAW does not do how I want it to. In the past I have done many of the things you write about, sent archers or made the passing time critical... these are all valuable suggestions and I thank you for them.

But my intention was actually to get houserules out of you which might take me in the direction I want my game to go. Much like Mr ToadkillerDog did.

Cheers

Onkl
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