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 Post subject: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:35 am 
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So I think I understand it correctly, in that when an Elf/Wizard gets a natural 1, they roll on the corruption chart, which may are may not direct them to also roll on the spell fumble chart.

Is this assessment accurate?

Can anyone help me understand the logic behind having two charts, rather than just one?

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:52 am 
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Spell Fumble is just one of the options on the Corruption chart - I think it gets it's own chart because it affects other people, things or an area rather than just the caster. Mostly Corruption is like a spell imploding on the caster, rather than with a fumble it explodes outwards.

What complicates things is that the title on page 92 says Criticals and Fumbles - implying that spell failure=fumble, when fumble is just one of the options.

BUT - in the Corruption section it says He suffers the effects of spell failure and corruption, so that could be taken to mean roll on both charts.

So I think it's a little unclear. I wouldn't want to roll on both charts each time.

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:12 am 
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geordie racer wrote:

So I think it's a little unclear.



I would like to see a playtest report on at least one wizard character who has rolled at least 40 times on the Corruption table. Such an example would necessarily clarify several ambiguities in the rules.


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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:31 am 
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Quote:
BUT - in the Corruption section it says He suffers the effects of spell failure and corruption, so that could be taken to mean roll on both charts.


I'm thinking that spell failure just means the spell fails to go off... you wouldn't role on the spell fumble chart unless your corruption roll indicates you do.


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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:43 pm 
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kerrybrn wrote:
Quote:
BUT - in the Corruption section it says He suffers the effects of spell failure and corruption, so that could be taken to mean roll on both charts.


I'm thinking that spell failure just means the spell fails to go off... you wouldn't role on the spell fumble chart unless your corruption roll indicates you do.


Most spell failures also result in the loss of the spell. E.g. a results of 1-11 on "Animal Summoning" means the spell is gone, you can't cast it for the day without risking spellburn.

But also note:

Page 92:
Quote:
A spell check result of a natural 1 is always a failure. A result of 1 also results in corruption or disapproval, as described below.


page 93:
Quote:
Failed spellburn: Any magic-user who rolls a natu- ral 1 on a spell check while using spellburn suffers the loss of ability points and the associated corrup- tion (see below), and also loses 1 point of ability score permanently.


Natural 1s are tremendously punishing for wizards and much less so for clerics.

Basically, ordinary D&D makes clerics into healers and wizards into fantasy-engineers who can remold the world.

DCC makes wizards into terminal cancer patients who work as maintenance men in Fukushima. They're *going* to get horrible deformities and die, probably sooner rather than later.

By contrast, clerics are relatively safe. They risk disapproval, which is much more forgiving than corruption.

So far, it looks like the only good reason to have a wizard around is to cast "Patron Bond" on characters who have a better chance of surviving to 10th level. Patron Bonds for non-wizard classes have some risks, but they're not guaranteed suicide pacts.

Playing a wizard in DCC basically appears to be "taking one for the team." He has to give the other player-characters permanent power-ups as soon as possible, because he will probably be dead before 2nd level.


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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:06 pm 
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I think people are overstating corruption. Remember old school AD&D? You wizard cast 1 spell a day and that was it. If you play that way... throw 3-4 spells from level 1-2... then throw 2 spells a session (like being level 2) and throw 8 spells or so to get to level 3. You can be level 5 with only an average of 2-3 corruption checks.

If you throw a spell every fight (something way beyond an AD&D wizard at low levels - and not very Appendix N at all) then yes... you might be a hideous mutant at level 2.

That is your choice to make. A wizard has way more potential than an AD&D one, but using that power has a price. You have to find that balance and fight the temptation to just cast spells willy nilly. You hang around with non-mages for a reason... the easiest way to kill a goblin is with a sword.


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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:52 pm 
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kataskicana wrote:
I think people are overstating corruption. Remember old school AD&D? You wizard cast 1 spell a day and that was it. If you play that way... throw 3-4 spells from level 1-2... then throw 2 spells a session (like being level 2) and throw 8 spells or so to get to level 3. You can be level 5 with only an average of 2-3 corruption checks.

If you throw a spell every fight (something way beyond an AD&D wizard at low levels - and not very Appendix N at all) then yes... you might be a hideous mutant at level 2.

That is your choice to make. A wizard has way more potential than an AD&D one, but using that power has a price. You have to find that balance and fight the temptation to just cast spells willy nilly. You hang around with non-mages for a reason... the easiest way to kill a goblin is with a sword.


Agreed, although now that Warriors have the awesome Deeds, and thieves can try to set up their auto-crit backstabs, I'd want wizards to have something interesting to do in combat. So, I'd expect more like 1-3 spells per significant battle on average. That should still only work out to a check or two per level however.

I think Corruption needs to see testing in a campaign, not one-off adventures, to really get a sense for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:10 am 
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On face value, corruption does look to be too common an outcome. I'm willing to play as written to see how it pans out, but I suspect I will house rule it to;

On a natural 1, roll a Luck check with a DC of 10. Add any Luck bonus and subtract the Level of spell cast minus 1 (e.g., a Level 2 spell gets a -1, a Level 3 spell gets a -2). If the character fails the Luck roll, only then do they consult the corruption table.

That should limit/delay the corruptions, have a higher chance of corruption the higher the level of magic cast and fits the spirit of your luck just not panning out this time. If a DC of 10 proves to be too easy, up it to 15.

Having said this, I love the idea of the corruption table and I will definitely be creating an arch enemy Wizard who has lost his normal face, had it replaced with one in his back, and so staggers around with a couple of "wing mirrors" strapped to him!

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:43 am 
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What? He doesn't just walk around backward totally oblivious to the face that his face is on his back now? That would be much scarier. "Why are you staring at me? Have I stuck out my spine at you? I'm dreadfully sorry."


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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:37 pm 
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jmucchiello wrote:
What? He doesn't just walk around backward totally oblivious to the face that his face is on his back now? That would be much scarier. "Why are you staring at me? Have I stuck out my spine at you? I'm dreadfully sorry."


No, I like the idea of the characters coming upon a heavily cloaked man staggering slightly with a staff in one hand and the other hand groping somewhat. His cowl is draped so deeply that a face can not be seen. Curiously, he wears a small leather backpack strapped across his chest (tourist style). Then they notice the intriguing pair of mirrors rigged up on extensions coming from his back, wing-like. If they're lucky, they'll spot a sly eye reflected in a mirror. As they pass and look back, they'll notice his cloak fashioned into a type of collar in the centre of his back and a bearded face peaking out from it. Taken at face value (no pun intended) he'll look like an easy prey, but they'll be in for a surprise :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:34 am 
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Stainless wrote:
On face value, corruption does look to be too common an outcome. I'm willing to play as written to see how it pans out, but I suspect I will house rule it to;

On a natural 1, roll a Luck check with a DC of 10. Add any Luck bonus and subtract the Level of spell cast minus 1 (e.g., a Level 2 spell gets a -1, a Level 3 spell gets a -2). If the character fails the Luck roll, only then do they consult the corruption table.


I agree that corruption looks rather too common. The problem with:
Quote:
Corruption. The roll is 1d20 minus spell level plus the wizard’s Luck modifier.

Is that it's very swingy on the d20 so a careful, lucky (+1 mod) wizard justing practising cantrips (lvl 1) during a basic apprenticeship is quite posibly going to be withered, febrile, consumptive with a demonic taint.
I suggest something like:
Quote:
Corruption. The roll is 1d20 plus the wizard’s Luck minus N*(spell level). N to be decided!

The Corruption table would need to be extended/renumbered so that a careful, lucky wizard is then only going to get the corruptions that are at values of 10+ at the moment which mostly have an entertaining nuisance value that enhance roleplaying opportunities more than anything else. (I'd lower that roll value of the Ears disaster!)

N has to be decided (N= 4?) so that for a wizard trying high level spells sooner or later his luck wil run out on the corruption table. Also, a wizard that is losing luck will get unlucky on the corruption table.

Example: Corruption: d20=1(worst case) + Luck(13-15: equivalent +1 mod) -4*1(a cantrip) = 10-12 on table.

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:32 am 
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Anselyn, I see the logic of biasing the corruption to worse outcomes for higher level magic cast. Since the highest Luck modifier you can get is +3 (not including a halfling luck charm), and of course the highest d20 roll you can get is 20, the N would have to be at the most 2 (gives a maximum roll of 21 for a level 1 spell). Either that or else the 21+ row needs to be removed for N=3 and the 20 row needs to be removed for N=4).

Similarly, when characters get all the way up to 10th level and have level 7 spells, with N=4 the best they can hope for on a corruption table roll is a score of -5 (a natural 20 and a +3 Luck). You certainly won't be wanting to cast those spells. With N=2 the highest roll will be a 9 which is a bit more forgiving.

Lastly, one could make it even more fiddly by adding back in the level of the wizard; higher level spells are more likely to corrupt you but higher level wizards are more likely to resist the corruption. Thus the equation would become;

d20 - spell level + wizard level + luck bonus

However, I think some would argue that's too cumbersome even though you only have to go through these machinations on a natural 1 spell check.

I still think the issue is with the rate at which a natural 1 will come up with a spell check.

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:59 am 
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Stainless,

Stainless wrote:
Anselyn, I see the logic of biasing the corruption to worse outcomes for higher level magic cast.[...] Since the highest Luck modifier you can get is +3 (not including a halfling luck charm) ..

That's why my suggestion that perhaps I should have highlighted more clearly :wink: was to move from using the luck modifier (small number) to luck itself (larger number compared to the range of a d20 but probably still differing significantly between characters).

i.e - to rehighlight.
Quote:
Corruption. The roll is 1d20 plus the wizard’s LUCK - N x(spell level). N to be decided!

I guess it's a D&D3.0+ (d20 SRD?) leftover to think of rolls of d20+(skill mod) but DCC has compressed the range of mods available from characterstics compared to the d20 sytem. There's actually more differentiation availalable between characters by adding in the raw characteristic.

I also agree that RISK = frequency X severity.
I've suggested a way to ameliorate the severity; you are also absolutely corect to look at frequency.

I guess if both factor's depend on Luck that heavily weights the importance of luck. Perhaps the fumble confirmation roll should depend on Inteliigence (smart wizads fumble less) but with the severity table depending on Luck (lucky wizards don't acquire tails and donkey ears).

If we want or like big tables then why not thinks of things (more generally) on the scale of d%+(raw characteristic score). [That's a more general point and not strictly feedback on the current draft!!]

Anselyn

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:39 am 
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Anselyn wrote:
If we want or like big tables then why not thinks of things (more generally) on the scale of d%+(raw characteristic score).
I'd still favor a rules set that eliminates percentile rolls. I'm just not a fan of percentiles.

Maybe something with a d20+(characteristic bonus).

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:30 am 
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It would be fairly simple to attach a "Risk" number to each spell that modified Corruption rolls. Then Cantrip could be low risk (even negative risk) and Patron Bond could be high risk.

It could also be swapped around so that a 1 result is always a Spell Fumble and the die you roll on the Spell Fumble table depends on spell level much as regular fumbles depend on the armor you are wearing (d16 for level 1, d14 at level 2, d12 level 3, d10 level 4 and d8 at level 5). Then low/bad results (say on a 5 or less) on the Spell Fumble table would lead to Corruption/Deity Disapproval. Particularly bad results (1 or less) would be additional penalties on the Corruption/Disapproval roll.

I think I like this latter because it more closely parallels the weapon fumble system.


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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:35 am 
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Oh, and I'd consider having particularly innocuous spells have a special bonus on the Fumble table. I'm specifically thinking that if Cantrip had a bonus of using d20 on Fumble rolls it would make it a less risky spell to cast, explaining its use as a training aid, while not making it totally safe/harmless.


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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:16 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
Maybe something with a d20+(characteristic bonus).

I can see this concept is fairly hardwired into the gamer psyche now, but can I suggest this is the default mechanic to use for fail/succeed rolls against AC/DCs.

We're not talking about that situation here. We need a level-of-failure roll when someting has already been fumbled. Couldn't that be a different sub-system if it enhances the utility of the outcomes (sol long as we agree to avoid d%)?

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:34 am 
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Anselyn wrote:
...I also agree that RISK = frequency X severity....you are also absolutely correct to look at frequency....

Anselyn


You sir are a gentleman of the highest calibre. Obviously a scholar of sublime erudition and perspicacity. You remind me of someone I know.... :wink:


meinvt wrote:
It would be fairly simple to attach a "Risk" number to each spell that modified Corruption rolls.


Indeed, and simplistically, such an index already exists in the spell level.

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:24 am 
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Stainless wrote:
meinvt wrote:
It would be fairly simple to attach a "Risk" number to each spell that modified Corruption rolls.

Indeed, and simplistically, such an index already exists in the spell level.

Spell level isn't needed. If Cthulhu wants to grant Wish to a first level wizard, let him. :)
Part of the remove spell level idea was to just have a corruption modifier on each spell.


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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:15 pm 
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jmucchiello wrote:
If Cthulhu wants to grant Wish to a first level wizard, let him. :)
And if the first level wizard is dumb enough to try to wake Cthulhu from his slumber, let him! :P

I can't wait to see how that one plays out! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:27 pm 
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You could assign a corruption die to every spell. Order the chart so that the highest results are worse than the lower results.

The size of the die would be a little subjective and be based on things like spell level, how much the spell alters reality, whether the spell does damage, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:34 pm 
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Dreamslinger wrote:
You could assign a corruption die to every spell. Order the chart so that the highest results are worse than the lower results.

The size of the die would be a little subjective and be based on things like spell level, how much the spell alters reality, whether the spell does damage, etc.


This could pretty easily be linked to a ritual magic system as well. By extending the casting time, using spell focii, creating circles for protection, etc. a caster could reduce the size of the corruption die used.

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:45 am 
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meinvt wrote:
It could also be swapped around so that a 1 result is always a Spell Fumble and the die you roll on the Spell Fumble table depends on spell level much as regular fumbles depend on the armor you are wearing (d16 for level 1, d14 at level 2, d12 level 3, d10 level 4 and d8 at level 5). Then low/bad results (say on a 5 or less) on the Spell Fumble table would lead to Corruption/Deity Disapproval. Particularly bad results (1 or less) would be additional penalties on the Corruption/Disapproval roll.

I think I like this latter because it more closely parallels the weapon fumble system.

I think this would an elegant solution as a bit of game design.

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:59 am 
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Dreamslinger wrote:
Dreamslinger wrote:
You could assign a corruption die to every spell. Order the chart so that the highest results are worse than the lower results.

The size of the die would be a little subjective and be based on things like spell level, how much the spell alters reality, whether the spell does damage, etc.

This could pretty easily be linked to a ritual magic system as well. By extending the casting time, using spell focii, creating circles for protection, etc. a caster could reduce the size of the corruption die used.


I think this is an excellent suggestion that has an Appendix N feel to it. That treats sorcery as dangerous-magic magic rather than a magic-as-technology resource.

BTW - can I hereby promote the use of the word sorcery to inculcate the proper feel here - or pehaps even maleficium! Magic has rather lost its magic - and sword and sorcery is what we're about ...

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 Post subject: Re: Corruption and Spell Fumble
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:03 pm 
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Anselyn wrote:
BTW - can I hereby promote the use of the word sorcery to inculcate the proper feel here - or pehaps even maleficium! Magic has rather lost its magic - and sword and sorcery is what we're about ...

+d10 on the renaming of wizard magic as sorcery.
And +d10 on making corruption a fumble result instead of automatic.


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