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Old 01-02-2023, 09:15 AM   #1
Shostak
 
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Default Talent/Spell of the Week: Aid

The humble IQ 9 Aid spell sits among the most useful spells in the book, increasing one of its target's attributes by one for each point of ST invested in the casting. Most often used to buff others (at least in my experience), Aid can be used by a caster on himself to prepare for an immediate challenge. The spell is requisite for anyone wanting to work as a wizard's apprentice or a journeyman wizard, and one of the best spells for someone who likes helping others shine.

Aiding DX and IQ is perfectly straightforward, but Aiding ST is another matter, as I had confirmed by TFT's Line Editor. If, for instance, a wizard has his ST raised by Aid from 10 to 12 and then casts a 2-ST spell, when Aid expires, he still has ST 10. However, if that same wizard didn't cast a spell while Aid was in effect but instead received 2 points of wounds, he would have ST 8 when the spell expires. So, Aid helps most with things that can be chalked up to fatigue, which explains its presence among the apprentice wizard's prerequisites.

Aid enjoys common use in my games by both PCs and NPCs. The most memorable use I witnessed was years ago by a PC who buffed up another PC's ST so that he could continue fighting a trial-by-combat duel, keeping him alive long enough to win and then offer a dying soliloquy. In this way, he let a character's death turn from catastrophic failure to heroic (albeit tragic) triumph.

Conversation starters
  • In your games, is Aid more frequently chosen by PCs or NPCs?
  • Do you find players select Aid mostly because of job requisites?
  • How often do you see Aid being used in combat situations?
  • What is a memorable use of Aid from your table?
  • Have you tweaked Aid with any house rules?
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Old 01-02-2023, 10:44 AM   #2
Axly Suregrip
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Aid

  • In your games, is Aid more frequently chosen by PCs or NPCs?
    - NPCs
  • Do you find players select Aid mostly because of job requisites?
    - yes
  • How often do you see Aid being used in combat situations?
    - almost never. Only really when the group has more than one wizard. Too bad because it can help with DX -3 penalty, briefly, by buffing ST a point or two. The biggest problem with Aid in combat is the short duration. A 2 turn limit means you have it for the turn of casting plus one more. Hardly worth the effort in combat when instead spells to dispatch foes are more likely to save the day.
  • What is a memorable use of Aid from your table?
    - none
  • Have you tweaked Aid with any house rules?
    - no.

[/QUOTE]
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Old 01-02-2023, 11:27 AM   #3
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Aid

The two-turn expiry is indeed limiting. But, the spell can still be a game-changer when used to pump up DX for a crucial aimed attack or even just to let a character with low adjDX suddenly get to act before their adversary for two turns.

But if two turns is too short, what duration do you think would make it more reasonable? Four?
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Old 01-02-2023, 01:39 PM   #4
Bill_in_IN
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Aid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
The two-turn expiry is indeed limiting. But, the spell can still be a game-changer when used to pump up DX for a crucial aimed attack or even just to let a character with low adjDX suddenly get to act before their adversary for two turns.

But if two turns is too short, what duration do you think would make it more reasonable? Four?
If I'm not mistaken, Speed Movement spell last 4 turns. Since Aid spell is similar, 4 turns sound reasonable to me.

I haven't seen Aid Spell used much in normal play by any character. I recently generated an unlikely pair of Wizards. One is an IQ 18 ST 6 Goblin and his friend is a Giant with Aid spell, a few low IQ spells and a staff that's twice as big as a human staff. He is basically the ST battery for the Goblin and can wallop foes with his staff if they get too close.
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Old 01-02-2023, 03:03 PM   #5
Axly Suregrip
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Aid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
The two-turn expiry is indeed limiting. But, the spell can still be a game-changer when used to pump up DX for a crucial aimed attack or even just to let a character with low adjDX suddenly get to act before their adversary for two turns.

But if two turns is too short, what duration do you think would make it more reasonable? Four?
Three turns would be a huge increase. Or Four. I don't like changing in house rules. I prefer clarifications in house rules.

Certainly a wizard with aid and his battle ax wielding friend make for a deadly pair of new characters. Just how many players want their character to be merely an appendage to another? I am not arguing against Aid, I am just saying my players seldomly use it.

Maybe I should have a tag along NPC wiz apprentice that uses it a lot to give them ideas.
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Old 01-02-2023, 05:24 PM   #6
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Aid

I have a fix to prevent the infinite ST through self-Aid bug, but if your setting needs spells of arbitrary large scale you can skip this.
https://www.hcobb.com/tft/house_rules.html#iq9spells
I also fix liches so these can't self-aid themselves to infinite ST either.
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Last edited by hcobb; 01-02-2023 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 01-02-2023, 08:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Aid

[QUOTE=Shostak;2464343]
In your games, is Aid more frequently chosen by PCs or NPCs?
NPCs wizards absolutely. Any wizard that went through a Wiz School would have that drilled into them.
However, don't think its for wizards only.
"Yea I know the Aid spell," said the farmer. "Ma would regularly suck the life out of us kids to cast her damn grimoire spells."
Do you find players select Aid mostly because of job requisites?
Yes. As I said, if a wizard has gone to Wizard School, they'd have Aid.

How often do you see Aid being used in combat situations?
Rarely. However, clever application of it, even in combat, is a great thing.

What is a memorable use of Aid from your table?
-

Have you tweaked Aid with any house rules?
No, but I'd like to.

Many of the Wizards, staff and students in T'reo School of Martial Magic book know the Aid Spell, but not all. It could be said that it's not needed for martial wizards, but Team martial wizardry could use it.
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Old 01-02-2023, 08:47 PM   #8
David Bofinger
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Aid

I've sometimes seen games where one wizard was much more powerful than another, or at least had far more IQ, and the lower IQ wizard just Aided the high IQ wizard with ST and/or DX. Didn't seem to me that healthy from an RP POV, and I wouldn't have wanted to play the Aiding wizard, but in most cases they volunteered (once I saw them quit the character in protest). In one game I was the high IQ wizard and the Aid came unexpectedly.

The ST-DX-IQ triangle is an important limit on wizards, and Aid can break it. In particular it can justify the Henry Cobb philosophy of sacrificing ST and DX to maximise IQ. I've never played in a game where a powerful wizard had NPC Aides following them about but I think that's at least sometimes because the wizards showed self-restraint.

I played a hero whose only spell was Aid, she provided support to out of combat wizardry, some of which was especially important because of setting details.

I think any character who claims to be a graduate of a wizarding school should be required to take Aid, Literacy and Sorcerer's Tongue. These rules might be relaxed if they want to play a hedge wizard, druid or whatever, or if you imagine they learnt Aid as an apprentice and have forgotten it.
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Old 01-03-2023, 01:26 AM   #9
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Aid

Aid is nice for a setting that has great magics being run by groups of wizards that your loner murder hobos can't replicate out of hand.

See for example Temple of Six Gates in Hexagram #4.
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Old 01-03-2023, 01:42 AM   #10
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: Talent/Spell of the Week: Aid

How often do you see Aid being used in combat situations?
Frankly, never. Consequently our group's players and GMs (over the course of 20 some years) rarely if ever bothered to give it to any characters, except occasionally just to list on their curriculum vitae if their backstory included formal training at one of our institutes of magic. We mostly just considered it a wasted slot that could have gone to a spell the wizard (or party) might really need.

The reason we all found it so useless is because the rules of TFT force starting 32 point wizards to be anemic. Unless it's going to be a very low IQ wizard or a very ineffectual one, neither of which anyone ever wanted to play, it's going to start with a ST of 8 or 9 -- 10 at the very most -- and that little ST doesn't go very far when you're casting spells, especially the combat-useful spells. By the time you've spent 2 or 3 points on spells and taken a couple hits, you're on death's door and at -3 DX for low ST to boot. So nobody was about to start sharing the little ST they had with anyone else.

Now it might get to be a little different in Legacy ITL because of Staff Mana, but even then it won't make much difference for new wizards unless they can survive long enough to actually acquire significant Staff Mana.

The only real significance of the Aid spell in TFT seems to be as the deus ex machina that makes magic item creation possible, while providing jobs for apprentice wizards. I never really liked the economics of all that, but it was academic anyway for my group because the consensus of our 3 GMs was that characters were never allowed to create magic items. In our Secondary World (to use Tolkien's term for what most of us call a "campaign") all enchanted items were artifacts from a lost age, and could only be introduced by the GM in the context of a story. So that was the other reason Aid never mattered to us.
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