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 Post subject: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:17 pm 
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The spell-casters in the Appendix N books tend to not be shy of using serious weapons (such as swords). And Elric at least didn't hesitate to wear plate armor. In fact, I can't think of a single magic-user in pre-D&D literature that basically said, "No, I can't use that weapon or wear that armor because I can cast spells."

How will DCC RPG deal with spell-casters and arms and armor?

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:02 am 
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Great question! Inquiring minds want to know.


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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:25 am 
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Ogrepuppy wrote:
Great question! Inquiring minds want to know.

Oooh 'Appendix N' vs 'OS conventions'... FIGHT!

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:13 am 
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Geoffrey wrote:
The spell-casters in the Appendix N books tend to not be shy of using serious weapons (such as swords). And Elric at least didn't hesitate to wear plate armor. In fact, I can't think of a single magic-user in pre-D&D literature that basically said, "No, I can't use that weapon or wear that armor because I can cast spells."

How will DCC RPG deal with spell-casters and arms and armor?


I'd probably houserule a penalty to the spellcasting roll equal to the armor's protective score (and stacks with the regular casting penalty).

As for non-traditional arms...someone posted in another forum recommending spellcasters suffer a one die damage penalty, i.e., if the long sword inflicts d8 in damage, spellcasters can inflict only d6.

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:41 am 
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Machpants wrote:
Ogrepuppy wrote:
Great question! Inquiring minds want to know.

Oooh 'Appendix N' vs 'OS conventions'... FIGHT!

:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:55 am 
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Geoffrey wrote:
The spell-casters in the Appendix N books tend to not be shy of using serious weapons (such as swords). And Elric at least didn't hesitate to wear plate armor. In fact, I can't think of a single magic-user in pre-D&D literature that basically said, "No, I can't use that weapon or wear that armor because I can cast spells."

How will DCC RPG deal with spell-casters and arms and armor?


Maybe Elric could be a wrong example: he's empowered by both drugs and Stormbringer itself, who could let him overcome armour's encumbrance.

Furthermore, IMHO he's more a divine spellcaster than an arcane spellcaster in the way he usually beseeches supernatural entities to grant him power.


Talking about Gandalf, I agree with idea of lowering weapon's damage dice.


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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:19 am 
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First of all, recall that Joseph's manifesto seems to be that it's okay to "blow up" existing rules and replace them with new ones that fit the Appendix N style of play.

However, keep in mind that both of the two examples may be bad ones.

(1) Elric is from Melnibone, which is a non-human race. They may be compared favorably to elves, which could mean that being a fighter-sorcerer is okay. Perhaps for that race they can function as both simultaneously (as some D&D rules allow for elves) and as such there is no rules conflict.

(2) Gandalf is also not human, but instead is more like an angel of sorts. It's not clear (particularly given Tolkien's mythology) if Gandalf casts spells because he learned them or because it's in his nature to cast them. One could, I suspect, build a solid argument that Gandalf is actually a fighter who has been gifted the ability to do things with magical type effects. Also, recall that he wore one of the three great rings of the Elves (the ring of fire, actually) and we don't know how many of his "spells" are side-effects of the ring.

Anyway, it's possible that the rules will be sculpted such that wizards will be able to use swords and wear armor. Giving them low "to hit" and low hit point numbers should balance any added advantage from armor and/or swords.

It'll be fun to read Joseph's thoughts on this.

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:59 am 
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Joseph's current rules as written allow for wizards to be trained in a variety of weapons, including the long sword. The might of a warrior isn't that he gets to carry a sword, but what he can do with it.

Elves and wizards can certainly don any armor they'd like, but heavier armor does impede spell casting. Those who seek to bend reality to their will risk body and soul; when you're knocking on the door at R'lyeh, imprecision is not an option.

The penalty for casting in armor can be temporarily offset by spellburn (MtnJeff's elf sacrificed a whopping 12 attribute points this past weekend to get a crucial spell off), ala Elric and his patron Arioch, but just like in Melniboné, magic always comes at a price.

//H

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:17 pm 
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Thanks and it sounds the right balance to me. But what do I know, never seen the game. Maybe if I did have a little BETA copy... hint hint :D

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:19 pm 
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Harley Stroh wrote:
The penalty for casting in armor can be temporarily offset by spellburn (MtnJeff's elf sacrificed a whopping 12 attribute points this past weekend to get a crucial spell off), ala Elric and his patron Arioch, but just like in Melniboné, magic always comes at a price.


Is the loss of attribute points permanent? If so, isn't a bit cheesy to do that in a one shot game?

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:43 pm 
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mshensley wrote:
Is the loss of attribute points permanent?

According to Joe at the DunDraCon demo, the answer is no. Spellburnt attributes recover at the rate of 1/day. (Not sure if it's 1/day on each depleted attribute vs. 1/day to a single depleted attribute.)


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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:53 pm 
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Harley Stroh wrote:
when you're knocking on the door at R'lyeh, imprecision is not an option.


That's a great catchphrase for a Wizard PC. I'm totally swiping it when I make my first DCC character.


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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:26 pm 
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Fullerton wrote:
mshensley wrote:
Is the loss of attribute points permanent?

According to Joe at the DunDraCon demo, the answer is no. Spellburnt attributes recover at the rate of 1/day. (Not sure if it's 1/day on each depleted attribute vs. 1/day to a single depleted attribute.)



hmm... that kinda sounds like a pain. You'd have to recompute your stat bonuses all the time. That's the kind of math non-fun that turned me away from 3e.

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:30 pm 
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mshensley wrote:
Harley Stroh wrote:
The penalty for casting in armor can be temporarily offset by spellburn (MtnJeff's elf sacrificed a whopping 12 attribute points this past weekend to get a crucial spell off), ala Elric and his patron Arioch, but just like in Melniboné, magic always comes at a price.


Is the loss of attribute points permanent? If so, isn't a bit cheesy to do that in a one shot game?


No, sir. You recover them slowly, like healing HP. It wouldn't be a choice to make lightly, but it is still an ace in the hole for a wizard or elf willing to make an extreme sacrifice.

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hmm... that kinda sounds like a pain. You'd have to recompute your stat bonuses all the time. That's the kind of math non-fun that turned me away from 3e.


In 3.x it would be a pain, because of skills but ... we don't have skills! (Or rather, they are wrapped into the 0-level occupation). There's not a ton of dependent numbers. And again, spellburning doesn't happen lightly. Over the course of an adventure lasting several sessions, it might happen once or twice. It occurs more often in one-shots because the PC doesn't need to wake up the next morning and suffer the penalties of that new 4 Stamina and Strength.

//H

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:05 am 
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Thank you for the responses, Harley--I figured it'd be easier to recover/calculate than in previous editions.


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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:39 am 
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mshensley wrote:
hmm... that kinda sounds like a pain. You'd have to recompute your stat bonuses all the time. That's the kind of math non-fun that turned me away from 3e.
Not so hard, actually. Assuming that the DCC RPG continues with the 3E model of stat bonusses, you'd just regain one of your plusses every other day.

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:21 am 
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Harley Stroh wrote:
In 3.x it would be a pain, because of skills but ... we don't have skills! (Or rather, they are wrapped into the 0-level occupation). There's not a ton of dependent numbers. And again, spellburning doesn't happen lightly. Over the course of an adventure lasting several sessions, it might happen once or twice. It occurs more often in one-shots because the PC doesn't need to wake up the next morning and suffer the penalties of that new 4 Stamina and Strength.


I assume that there's still quite a bit of cascading changes though - even without skills. Take Dex for example. If your Dex does from 12 to 11, you lose a point from AC, Reflex saves, and missile attack bonus. Lose a point from Con and you could lose 1 hitpoint per level and 1 from your Fort save. It'd be a whole lot easier if spellburning just cost hitpoints (say 1d4 x spell level) which would put wizards at risk of death for reaching too far. Or a more flavorful method would be for the wizard to have to make promises to demons or such for aid. These can't be paid in mere gamist terms like points of this or that. Real sacrifices would have to be made in the form of the blood of innocents or magic items or a geas.

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:18 am 
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mshensley wrote:
I assume that there's still quite a bit of cascading changes though - even without skills. Take Dex for example. If your Dex does from 12 to 11, you lose a point from AC, Reflex saves, and missile attack bonus. Lose a point from Con and you could lose 1 hitpoint per level and 1 from your Fort save. It'd be a whole lot easier if spellburning just cost hitpoints (say 1d4 x spell level) which would put wizards at risk of death for reaching too far.


True. I think it comes down to preference. On a spectrum of rules complexity, DCC is not as minimalist as OD&D, but significantly stepped down from 3.x. Players and groups that gravitate to Whitebox Swords & Wizardry might not love the DCC RPG, just as players hoping to Min/Max their PC might also not find the game suited to their preference.

Heh. Maybe we can get someone to do a DCC:1974. It would take, literally, about 32 digest pages.

mshensley wrote:
Or a more flavorful method would be for the wizard to have to make promises to demons or such for aid. These can't be paid in mere gamist terms like points of this or that. Real sacrifices would have to be made in the form of the blood of innocents or magic items or a geas.


This does does exist via Invoke Patron (usable by cleric, elf or wizard), but it is distinct from the spellburn mechanic.

//H

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:41 am 
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If I could chime in briefly: The spell burn concept worked well in my opinion.

And while dumping 12 points might sound a bit "cheesy", you have to remember what the game "feels" like it's shooting for. The setting is so non-linear that it's certainly w/in the realm of logical to have a character resort to extremes in order to "survive" to fight another day. Even if that means making dark deals or draining themselves physically to such an extent that they're nearly comatose... If you're facing down "giants" at third level one does what one must.

Especially when nervously carrying around arcane artifacts. ;-)

The character sheets are so minimal and fairly well laid out, I don't see these types of mechanics being a pain during play (i.e not much tweaking). I'm not a fiddly guy by nature, meaning that constantly keeping track of 20 different numbers, skills, feats, powers, etc. is not my cup of tea. That's why I went that route, I wanted to push the game at the edges to see what broke. And after that rather extreme litmus test, it still seemed to hold water. I was pleasantly surprised.

So one thing I might question (playing devil's advocate here for a sec), if you're going to be giving a wizard a sword and armor, what's the difference between that and an elf? Besides infravision and the paralyzation / paralysis issue of course. Maybe adjusting the dice per class might be a suitable differentiator? Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree too though...is it just flavor and who gives a toss about mechanics?


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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:53 am 
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mshensley wrote:
Harley Stroh wrote:
In 3.x it would be a pain, because of skills but ... we don't have skills! (Or rather, they are wrapped into the 0-level occupation). There's not a ton of dependent numbers. And again, spellburning doesn't happen lightly. Over the course of an adventure lasting several sessions, it might happen once or twice. It occurs more often in one-shots because the PC doesn't need to wake up the next morning and suffer the penalties of that new 4 Stamina and Strength.


I assume that there's still quite a bit of cascading changes though - even without skills. Take Dex for example. If your Dex does from 12 to 11, you lose a point from AC, Reflex saves, and missile attack bonus. Lose a point from Con and you could lose 1 hitpoint per level and 1 from your Fort save. It'd be a whole lot easier if spellburning just cost hitpoints (say 1d4 x spell level) which would put wizards at risk of death for reaching too far. Or a more flavorful method would be for the wizard to have to make promises to demons or such for aid. These can't be paid in mere gamist terms like points of this or that. Real sacrifices would have to be made in the form of the blood of innocents or magic items or a geas.


Just my opinion but I would not want to sacrifice HP to cast a spell. It is hard enough to keep a low level mage alive. 1d4 x spell level seems like a lot to lose. Unless DCC RPG is giving out HP by the bucket full. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:37 pm 
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mntnjeff wrote:
ISo one thing I might question (playing devil's advocate here for a sec), if you're going to be giving a wizard a sword and armor, what's the difference between that and an elf? Besides infravision and the paralyzation / paralysis issue of course. Maybe adjusting the dice per class might be a suitable differentiator? Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree too though...is it just flavor and who gives a toss about mechanics?


On a mere mechanical level, the elf is trading better HP for fewer spells. (Although I rolled pretty poorly on your elf's Stamina, so his HP sucked. Sorry about that. :twisted:

I think Mike meant that if stat loss was permanent (it's not) burning points in a one-shot would be cheesy (it wasn't). The situation your PCs found themselves in was ideal for a spellburn. Your choice, though out of the frying pan into the fire, was perfect. Thank goodness Sarge found the gem and the wizard nailed that color spray. (Was it a nat 20? All I recall is that it went nuclear.)

//H

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:40 pm 
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mntnjeff wrote:
So one thing I might question (playing devil's advocate here for a sec), if you're going to be giving a wizard a sword and armor, what's the difference between that and an elf? Besides infravision and the paralyzation / paralysis issue of course. Maybe adjusting the dice per class might be a suitable differentiator? Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree too though...is it just flavor and who gives a toss about mechanics?


Mechanically, I think it's the infravision and paralysis (EDIT: And the hit points and fewer spells that Harley noted! Nothing wrong with being ninja'd by Harley.). Flavor-wise, not much is different. Elves are Wizards who can fight. I think the issue was whether DCC would continue with the mildly arbitrary limitations on what types of weapons a caster can wield. Personally, I like LotFP's handling of it -- a magic-user can use any type of armor or weapon but their casting is restricted when encumbered. That seems reasonable to me.

I suggested dropping the damage a character does down one die. To me, that seems like a good compromise between traditional ideas of class balance and allowing Gandalf to have a sword. Maybe dropping spellcasting dice down for heavy armor and such would work too. Don't know. Haven't got my hands on the game yet. Sounds like the crit charts kind of balance out the classes in terms of combat already. So none of that may be necessary.

Interestingly, I'm working on a sandbox/setting at the moment that won't feature Halflings, Dwarves or Elves. Trying to line up some art now, already about 2500 words in. It will offer options for re-skinning those classes into different (mostly) human races to fit the setting. The traditional triumvirate of demi-humans doesn't work for the genre. But it would be a shame to let a Fightery-Wizard, Thiefy-Lucky Guy and a Stout Warrior type go to waste. Because, while demi-humans don't fit in the setting, those archetypes do. And I think, arguably, the "Elf" class will be far cooler in this setting than in the typical vanilla fantasy setting -- even though it's just (mostly) human. But that's probably just me being biased.


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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:58 pm 
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mshensley wrote:
If your Dex does from 12 to 11, you lose a point from AC, Reflex saves, and missile attack bonus. Lose a point from Con and you could lose 1 hitpoint per level and 1 from your Fort save.


FWIW, changes to dexterity in pre-3rd edition A/D&D also can affect a character's AC and missile attack bonus, and changes in constitution can cause loss of hp in pre-3rd edition AD&D. It seems that the only difference is that such attribute changes will also affect saving throws, but consider that attribute changes affect saving throws in Castles & Crusades. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:47 pm 
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mshensley wrote:
[I assume that there's still quite a bit of cascading changes though - even without skills. Take Dex for example. If your Dex does from 12 to 11, you lose a point from AC, Reflex saves, and missile attack bonus. Lose a point from Con and you could lose 1 hitpoint per level and 1 from your Fort save.


There's some math, but there are two things to note:

(1) In an ongoing home game, people spellburn a lot less than in one-shots. At least, in my home game, we spellburn a lot less than in the one-shots I've run. It's a lot more painful when you have to play that wimped-out wizard in the next session. :)

(2) The math is really pretty fast. And the character sheet is designed to track it. After a couple tries it goes fast.

Check it out when you get a chance to run it (w/ the beta rules or at a con) and see for yourself. Open to suggestions if it doesn't go as well as I'm describing. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Elric's plate armor and Gandalf's sword
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:50 pm 
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Geoffrey wrote:
FWIW, changes to dexterity in pre-3rd edition A/D&D also can affect a character's AC and missile attack bonus, and changes in constitution can cause loss of hp in pre-3rd edition AD&D. It seems that the only difference is that such attribute changes will also affect saving throws, but consider that attribute changes affect saving throws in Castles & Crusades. :)


True, but very few things could change your stats in pre-3e games. Whole levels could get drained which caused it very own flavor of math pain.

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