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 Post subject: Spell Duels: The New Grappling?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:45 pm 
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I am going to wash my mouth out for that title (sorry, Joe!), but...

Six pages to describe how this works? There seem to be a lot of die rolls to figure out what happens, too, and numbers to track and compare, all of which sounds like a scene slowing down. There's plenty I like about it (Galactic Whale Nostril, when will I randomly roll YOU? :mrgreen: ), but it seems overly complicated. There are nine steps -- nine! Actually there are technically MORE steps (duplicated steps) if you have more than two opponents acting at one time.

The idea that the bottom of the initiative is protected seems odd. I've always understood initiative to be circular. The way this reads is such that if I'm last in initiative and no spell duel has started, none is going to start when I cast... the first magic-user in the initiative can't counter me. I'm sort of guessing this is a slip in the writing of the rules for duels, but it makes my point. I think they may be overcomplicated (and on their way to being a separate game of their own, perhaps).

I fully admit I haven't played any spell duels. I hope it plays better than it reads.

I really do hope I'm wrong about this.

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: Spell Duels: The New Grappling?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:13 am
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Location: Newcastle, England
GnomeBoy wrote:
I am going to wash my mouth out for that title (sorry, Joe!), but...

Six pages to describe how this works? There seem to be a lot of die rolls to figure out what happens, too, and numbers to track and compare, all of which sounds like a scene slowing down. There's plenty I like about it (Galactic Whale Nostril, when will I randomly roll YOU? :mrgreen: ), but it seems overly complicated. There are nine steps -- nine! Actually there are technically MORE steps (duplicated steps) if you have more than two opponents acting at one time.

The idea that the bottom of the initiative is protected seems odd. I've always understood initiative to be circular. The way this reads is such that if I'm last in initiative and no spell duel has started, none is going to start when I cast... the first magic-user in the initiative can't counter me. I'm sort of guessing this is a slip in the writing of the rules for duels, but it makes my point. I think they may be overcomplicated (and on their way to being a separate game of their own, perhaps).

I fully admit I haven't played any spell duels. I hope it plays better than it reads.

I really do hope I'm wrong about this.
We played through a spell duel during a battle - four 5th Level wizards versus a 5th Level wizard and loads of skeletons. Everyone fired off 2 spells/round so there was a lot happening. I agree about the initiative, there does seem to be a loophole to exploit, the way it's written.

It is a mini-game, and in my view better for it - it feels special and dangerous. I especially like the momentum idea.

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Sean Wills


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 Post subject: Re: Spell Duels: The New Grappling?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:40 am 
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Sean, was there any moment of "now... where were we?" when the duel was over? We're people not part of the duel entertained by the duel? If so, did it seem like some thing they'd be entertained by on a regular basis?

I'm concerned that these duels are going to be a turn-off for some players, mainly the ones not involved in the duel.

The closest thing I can think of to DCC spell duels that I have seen first-hand is a case years ago where the wizard in our party cast Time Stop -- and the dragon we were battling had a cast Time Stop on contingency, so he was active within the bubble of time with the wizard. Suddenly the wizard was fighting the dragon alone for four rounds! It was exciting to watch because it was unexpected from the get-go. I'm not sure it would remain exciting as a regular feature, given the time involved to resolve it...

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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 Post subject: Re: Spell Duels: The New Grappling?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:00 am 
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GnomeBoy wrote:
Sean, was there any moment of "now... where were we?" when the duel was over?
No, but all of us were involved. The only 'normal' round actions were by the skeletons and they didn't last long. Actually the whole duel didn't take long due of the amount of damage dealt at 5th Level.

In a mixed-class party I'm sure a spell duel between 2 or 3 casters wouldn't hog the stage too long, but like everything else, the proof's in the playing.

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Sean Wills


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 Post subject: Re: Spell Duels: The New Grappling?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:16 pm 
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I really wish I had greater means to playtest this game in general. What had been a chance to do so has been melting in the developing Summer heat...

_________________
Gnome Boy (a.k.a. "Jon") • DCC play-tester @ DDC 35, Feb 2011. • Beta DL 2111, 7:00 AM PT, 8 June 11.
Playing RPGs since 1977 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters - Holds the power to play gnomes at will!

Here Be DCC Monsters...

General Yoros, Warrior, Str 13, Agl 8 (10), Stm 17, Per 13, Int 11, Lck 8; Law, HP 39, AC 17, R+2, F+4, W+2, band/shld, warhammer, longsword, longbow, pitchfork

Han Dee, (Weaver) Neutral Thief, Str 10, Agi 13, Stm 11, Per 11, Int 15, Lck 14, AC 13 (Leather), HP 25, Luck Die d6, Backstab 3, Sneak Silently 10, Hide In Shadows 9, Pick Pocket 10, Climb Sheer 10, Pick Lock 9, Find Trap 9, Disable Trap 9, Forge Doc 10, Disguise 3, Read Lang 5, Handle Poison 3, Cast Scroll d14+2, birth augur (Born under the loom) +1 to all skill checks (including thief skills), Banepicks (auto pick lock/disable trap, but lose 1d3 random ability loss, if a 3 then 1 pt is perm)


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