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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:08 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse

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Tortog, to me that is the opposite of what I'm suggesting. It gives Wizard automatic abilities dependent on level and doesn't necessitate them to go find the particular arcane magic they seek.

As such, it probably isn't surprising that I'm not a fan.


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:15 pm 
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Tortog wrote:
What if wizards gained some abilities with class levels out side of the spells?

If these abilities automatically work and ever ready to use I would find them too unbalancing. The wizard/elf has enough power as it is.

I'm hoping the rest of the high-level spells are not as videogamey as Bouncy Fireball - more suiting to a game where combat is less abstract and more about positioning.

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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:11 pm 
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First, the horse is not dead until the book goes to press. Joseph asked for a month to consider the list of cool ideas that go against the Beta rules that I pulled together into a thread in General (I think).

Actually my objection to spell levels is twofold: It is TOO D&D-like and it is TOO un-Appendix N-like.

If you want to limit starting spells, then you make the random die rolls used to pick spells favor spells X Y and Z instead of spells A B and C. I want to see the 1st level noob trying to cast a Wish with "1-21, lost failure". Imagine how dramatic that wish will be with the spellburn he might need to expend just to cast his only useful spell!!

I don't think it is my job to explain why spell levels are bad. They aren't bad. 35+ years of D&D proves they're great. But this is supposed to be DCCRPG, not D&D. No spell levels in DCCRPG could be better as DCCRPG has OTHER checks and balances to spell power the D&D lacks (spells can fail, spell corruption, etc). I think keeping them is the difference between "DCCRPG is a new RPG with old school charm" and "DCCRPG is retro-clone with some weird new ideas". Which game does DCCRPG want to be?


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:31 pm 
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meinvt wrote:
So a simple spell like Cantrip causes corruption on a result of 3 or less. Fireball causes corruption on an 8 or less, etc.
This of course means that fumbles will often cause corruption as well, although not necessarily for a higher level wizard.
Likewise, the threshold for any successful effect gets higher with more powerful spells (like the fireball example).


I suggested something just like this, with a nice in-built table........ check this thread out!
viewtopic.php?f=67&t=14527&start=25

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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:50 pm 
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geordie racer wrote:
If these abilities automatically work and ever ready to use I would find them too unbalancing. The wizard/elf has enough power as it is.


Actually I didn't intend for the abilities to be "at will," I figured they'd need a casting check against a DC= 12+level of the ability or they are lost for the day like spells, or trading some of your daily spell power for access to the abilities. There could be other factors added to smooth out the balance; I'd just like to see some options for wizards that don't involve the selling of one's soul to the outer darkness. Of course, I've never liked Moorecock's or Lieber's views on magic; or their writing in general. I realize that the suggested powers make wizards seem more like "super-hero's," but they always have been that way. After all, a wizard can make Good Lady Physics weep in a corner just by wiggling his fingers, shouting some funky words, and smearing bat poop on his forehead...


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:16 am 
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They've got spells for being super-heroes, already... why would you want to give them extra abilities? Maybe the idea that wizards aren't corrupted and tempted at any small incantation they perform might be the impression we, common peasant, got by hearing their tales. Maybe even the real lives of the most famous wizards were on the brim of oblivion, fighting a constant war against demons and the darkness inside themselves, we just don't know that. I think giving anything that goes against natural physics a chance to corrupt and taint a wizard gives DCC the gritty tone it wants

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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:39 am 
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jmucchiello wrote:
If you want to limit starting spells, then you make the random die rolls used to pick spells favor spells X Y and Z instead of spells A B and C. I want to see the 1st level noob trying to cast a Wish with "1-21, lost failure". Imagine how dramatic that wish will be with the spellburn he might need to expend just to cast his only useful spell!!


I could almost go for this if they were to fine-tune the mechanics in the game and balance things a bit. As it is there is nothing stopping a scenario where I could:

1. Have the party halfling give a bonus
2. Blow some of my own luck
3. Spellburn like crazy (hey, no limit)
4. Add my caster level
5. Add in a bonus to spell checks from a lucky birth augur
6. As an elf I made this my "lucky spell" and add my luck bonus...

Oh and did I mention due to mercurial magic I get to roll a d30 instead of d20? Now I will just add in my +24 bonus (as an example) from the above and suddenly I am getting the top results on a Wish at 1st level! So unless they can figure out a way to prevent this sort of situation, the only simple solution to having a semblance of balance is spell levels. Admittedly some chaotic craziness can be fun but if a DM hasn't designed his adventures around this, a character could quickly ruin the fun for everyone (ie. single handedly rolling through a dungeon, always stealing the spot light, etc.).


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:47 am 
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And I know the above example is extreme but it's easy to imagine some of those bonuses and easily casting something like Fireball and worse at 1st level.

Imagine going from the funnel and fighting with a shovel to launching long range, village destroying, explosive Fireballs in your next adventure. Just doesn't work for me...


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:54 am 
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bholmes4 wrote:
And I know the above example is extreme but it's easy to imagine some of those bonuses and easily casting something like Fireball and worse at 1st level.

Imagine going from the funnel and fighting with a shovel to launching long range, village destroying, explosive Fireballs in your next adventure. Just doesn't work for me...


Except, in your example, you could do this, what once per week or more? And in the meantime you have a wizard who can barely walk or carry his own staff due to all the spellburn. And, the party halfling is getting reluctant to help anyone else out either as he already luck aided you. I agree that it could blow up some adventures, but I'm still not seeing the problem. In any case, the player doesn't know the wish spell unless the DM gave him that opportunity.

I'm not at all advocating that every spell should be on the starting list. In fact, quite the contrary. I'd even shorten the current list of possible known starting spells. The only one that isn't there which I'd add is Dispel Magic, because even if tough to cast it allows for more likely spell duels, and just seems appropriate.


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:39 am 
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abk108 wrote:
Maybe the idea that wizards aren't corrupted and tempted at any small incantation they perform might be the impression we, common peasant, got by hearing their tales. Maybe even the real lives of the most famous wizards were on the brim of oblivion, fighting a constant war against demons and the darkness inside themselves, we just don't know that.


It's these kinds of stereotypes that I find so troubling... The assumption that the use of magic is a corrupting force bothers me terribly. I don't mind it as a part of the game (the bad guys have to have their toys too) but it's presented as the only way to access magic. That's why I say give wizards some different options, like the use of True-Names, or some other path that doesn't involve the wizard having to pander to an extra-dimensional pimp... I mean Patron. :shock: In this setting you can't even say that wizards are playing "Russian Roulette"... because it's only a matter of time. Eventually (given enough levels) the dice will turn your wizard into a many-tentacled-space-turnip-thing that wanders around terrorizing villages. :lol:

Quote:
I think giving anything that goes against natural physics a chance to corrupt and taint a wizard gives DCC the gritty tone it wants


It depends on how you define "natural physics." In the Quantum world things can get spooky real fast. In my game worlds magic is just "applied quantum physics," which makes wizards just another scientific specialty. Magic is just another collection of forces to be studied & harnessed like any others. Its a neutral & natural force. It is the decisions of people (and monsters) that determine whether it is good or evil. Besides, there are other ways to make things "gritty."

For example: I try to find ways to let the "natural world" find its own balance. If a wizard casts a fireball spell in a dungeon hallway, then he or she has conjured up enough fire to fill 33,510.32 cubic feet with fire... that's roughly 335ft or so of standard 10ft wide by 10ft tall hallway. It is a fire that consumes enemies, player characters, treasure, & oxygen with equal vigor. Then there are the secondary effects of the collapsing vacuum to consider... :twisted: That being said, and used properly, it can still be a very effective way to clear out kobold infestations. :mrgreen:

I recognize that I'm in the minority on this one, and that my version of Aereth is radically different than its author's. Heck, one of the first things I did when I got my DCC#35 set was to put Aereth, her sun, and her sister planets into a crystal sphere and give them Spelljamming coordinates. :)

to each their own I guess. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:47 pm 
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meinvt wrote:
Except, in your example, you could do this, what once per week or more? And in the meantime you have a wizard who can barely walk or carry his own staff due to all the spellburn. And, the party halfling is getting reluctant to help anyone else out either as he already luck aided you. I agree that it could blow up some adventures, but I'm still not seeing the problem. In any case, the player doesn't know the wish spell unless the DM gave him that opportunity.

I'm not at all advocating that every spell should be on the starting list. In fact, quite the contrary. I'd even shorten the current list of possible known starting spells. The only one that isn't there which I'd add is Dispel Magic, because even if tough to cast it allows for more likely spell duels, and just seems appropriate.


Well maybe you could only cast a Wish once a week but if you have d30 through mercurial magic and other bonuses you could regularly pull off Fireball (for example) at 1st level without destroying yourself. Now give the wizard a longsword and bow let him be a decent enough help in battles that by the time you get near the end of your adventure, he can single handedly let loose and destroy whatever you have planned with a thermonuclear explosion, all the while providing more than his share along the way. Having crazy moments like this happen a couple times in a multi-adventure campaign is cool, it's memorable. Having them be routine for a character makes them not only lose their impact at the table but starts to ruin the game.

To me I guess, it's still a game first and foremost. Giving players "everything and the kitchen sink" is not good design in my opinion (and yes I acknowledge DM's can prevent this but I'd rather the rules do it for me and I can choose to break them and give the players more). Maybe I give them a Ring of Wishes and it remains special, unique and ultimately dangerous.... but with only 3 charges I can limit it's impact on the game if I realize it was a mistake. And no worries about a guy with a D30 and other effects that is "gaming" the system.


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:58 pm 
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Tortog wrote:
For example: I try to find ways to let the "natural world" find its own balance. If a wizard casts a fireball spell in a dungeon hallway, then he or she has conjured up enough fire to fill 33,510.32 cubic feet with fire... that's roughly 335ft or so of standard 10ft wide by 10ft tall hallway. It is a fire that consumes enemies, player characters, treasure, & oxygen with equal vigor. Then there are the secondary effects of the collapsing vacuum to consider... :twisted: That being said, and used properly, it can still be a very effective way to clear out kobold infestations. :mrgreen:


I don't mind corruption as just one more tool to help keep magic "dangerous" but I think there are other ways to do it as well. This is a perfect example. Really I want Wizards to lead dangerous lives, make them wary about casting spells without thinking things through. You can get this effect in multiple ways:

1. The study of the arcane is dangerous (ie. learning spells beyond your original four)
2. The foolish use of magic in the wrong situations (ie. fireball in a closed space)
3. Limiting their health and armour
4. Fumbling a spell can have dire effects
5. Variable casting can lead to over or under casting a spell from what is needed (or even loss of a spell)
6. Attracting unwanted attention or rivals
7. The use of magic is corrupting

Personally I see #7 as just one more tool but not something I want to be the main focus unless a player explores certain paths (ie. have it closely tied to more powerful ritual magic, less so with daily spells).


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:06 pm 
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to prevent the accumulation of huge bonuses, there could be a rule that allows only a number of external bonuses to spellchecks equal to (or less) than your INT+Caster Level. I'd allow Spellburn out of this. This way, a 1st level, 18 INT wiz would have +4 to spellchecks, could get bonuses up to +8... then if he wants to, he can spellburn. He could still get a +24, ok, but he'd have to burn 16 ability points!!

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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:50 pm 
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bholmes4 wrote:
Well maybe you could only cast a Wish once a week but if you have d30 through mercurial magic and other bonuses you could regularly pull off Fireball (for example) at 1st level without destroying yourself. Now give the wizard a longsword and bow let him be a decent enough help in battles that by the time you get near the end of your adventure, he can single handedly let loose and destroy whatever you have planned with a thermonuclear explosion, all the while providing more than his share along the way. Having crazy moments like this happen a couple times in a multi-adventure campaign is cool, it's memorable. Having them be routine for a character makes them not only lose their impact at the table but starts to ruin the game.

To me I guess, it's still a game first and foremost. Giving players "everything and the kitchen sink" is not good design in my opinion (and yes I acknowledge DM's can prevent this but I'd rather the rules do it for me and I can choose to break them and give the players more). Maybe I give them a Ring of Wishes and it remains special, unique and ultimately dangerous.... but with only 3 charges I can limit it's impact on the game if I realize it was a mistake. And no worries about a guy with a D30 and other effects that is "gaming" the system.


I just don't understand this objection. First of all, you only get fireball if the DM lets you have it. But, let's take that as a given. Second, you have a no chance that when you learn it you get a d30 unless you already have a high luck. But on average you'd need to burn all your luck to make that happen (roll an 11 on the d20 and then burn 10 luck I suppose). But, let's say that happens as well. Now, you have to survive 5-10 adventures just to get back to average luck, unlikely if you play the way Joseph has described where the lowest luck character is most likely to be struck by traps and misfortune and given your low Wizard HP.

But, let's say that you survive that as well. Now you go on an adventure. You get to the final battle and roll a d30. On average you have a 15.5, plus 2 (if you use class die as I've suggested), plus 2 (let's assume you have a 16 Intelligence). So, the typical result will be 19.5. But, let's say you also spellburned 3 (the limit I've suggested a first level). Now, your base roll is a 22.5, so let's say you get a 23.

If your spell were Magic Missile you'll get to do 4d12+CL or 27 points to the BBEG. If you have cast fireball you get a "skipper" doing 17 damage to 3 or 4 target groups, but not more than 17 to any one. This is impressive, but I'm not convinced it is so much more overpowering than the magic missile that you should have to wait 4 more levels to have access to it. And if you use the much more likely d20 scenario the result is 18 - inclusive of the 3 spellburn. That is on average 9 damage from Magic Missile or 14 from Fireball (7 after save).


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:28 pm 
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bholmes4 wrote:
And I know the above example is extreme but it's easy to imagine some of those bonuses and easily casting something like Fireball and worse at 1st level.

Imagine going from the funnel and fighting with a shovel to launching long range, village destroying, explosive Fireballs in your next adventure. Just doesn't work for me...

I see nothing wrong with it. In fact you have my personal guarantee that every time it randomly happens it will be the character you look back on 5 years later and favorably reminisce about the most as both player and Judge. He will not live that long. He will create a few great bangs. But will most likely die an inglorious death.


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:24 am 
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Understand I'm not against having some crazy results that are memorable years later. I just want a progression of ranks to the spells, to limit some of the more unbalancing situations (and keep me from feeling like i need to limit things) and to drive the players to that next level. You can do some ridiculously impressive things with just magic missile, wiping out whole rooms or single handedly killing opponents far greater than the party could normally handle. You don't need to have a fireball to do this and (in my games) players will know they have to gain power (levels) to have access to these even more powerful spells. That will be part of the incentive to keep playing: their new toys (spells).

And it would be really easy for those that don't want levels to remove them and just use the difficulties as is, so I wonder why we are even debating this? If it makes it feel more official they could even have a "no spell levels rule variant" or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:16 am 
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bholmes4 wrote:
And it would be really easy for those that don't want levels to remove them and just use the difficulties as is, so I wonder why we are even debating this?


Stellar point! The only rules change related to this that would impact things is how Corruption vs. Spell Fumbles is handled. In some form I'd like rules where riskier spells are more likely to lead to greater or more harmful corruption, rather than the current 5% chance per spell cast regardless of spell difficulty.


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:06 pm 
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meinvt wrote:
bholmes4 wrote:
And it would be really easy for those that don't want levels to remove them and just use the difficulties as is, so I wonder why we are even debating this?


Stellar point! The only rules change related to this that would impact things is how Corruption vs. Spell Fumbles is handled. In some form I'd like rules where riskier spells are more likely to lead to greater or more harmful corruption, rather than the current 5% chance per spell cast regardless of spell difficulty.


I would try playing with the chance of corruption as 1/20 only if casting a spell of the appropriate level for a given Wizard. If you cast something higher, chances of corruption is higher.
Eg: Loki casts a 3rd level spell, but he's level 1. So if he gets any result between 1-5 (*) on the d20, he rolls on the Corruption table.
(*) using this equation : (spell level)x2 -(wizard level+1)

here's a table that simplifies the equation

.......Wiz lvl>>>___ 1 ___ 2 ___ 3 ___ 4 ___ 5 ___ 6 ___ 7 __ ....
Spell
lvl

1....................... 1 ..... 1 ..... 1 ..... 1 ..... 1 ..... 1 ..... 1 ......
2..................... 1-3 ... 1-2 ... 1 ..... 1 ..... 1 ..... 1 ..... 1 ......
3..................... 1-5 ... 1-4 .. 1-3 ... 1-2 .. 1 ..... 1 ..... 1 ......
4..................... 1-7 ... 1-6 .. 1-5 ... 1-4 .. 1-3 .. 1-2 .. 1 ......
5..................... 1-9 ... 1-8 .. 1-7 ... 1-6 .. 1-5 .. 1-4 .. 1-3 ...
...

I dare you, 1st level wizard to cast a 5th level spell, if you need a 19 to simply cast it, and on a 1-9 result you get a corruption!

PS: another way to find the same "corruption range" is to take the main success result for the spell level (ie: 11 for lvl1, 13 for lvl 2, etc..) then subtract 9+wiz level. You get exactly the same results as in the table.

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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:51 pm 
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I'm on my third read through of the dcc beta rules (printed and bound at my local officemax :) ) and it's making me step back and rethink wizards, both in regards to DCC as well as RPGs in general.

The fact that magic can easily cause extreme corruption of the caster coupled with the fact that magic is hard to come by in the first place makes me rethink how it is supposed to be played.

I've not got a lot of rpg experience, been playing 4e for a few months and that's about it, but I already see the wizard class as very unbalanced (and 4e has it's share of over complications to compensate so fighters can keep up).

But the wizards in DCC almost feel like they should be handled as rangers at low level. Their weapon training would need to change; drop long sword for dart and longbow for crossbow. Being poorly armored, they need to keep their distance, so ranged weaponry would compensate for not being able to use much (or any) attack magic, but they still have the options/temptations.
I'm coming from playing a warlock in 4e, where in Encounters, I went a whole season and the ONLY damage I took all season was environmental. I hid behind the fighters, blasted away and moved to gain concealment.

Perhaps we need to stop viewing them as glass cannons but more so as a fragile toolbox that happens to conceal a shotgun when it's needed?

Just throwing ideas out there, but wizards could be kickass ranged fighters topped off with the ability to cast magic. Granted, through roleplaying, you could always just say screw the bow, magic missile! But you run a bigger risk of failure. Its about playstyle and options at that point, not about minmaxing or overpowering yourself. I love the ideas behind corruption, it makes extended magic use more risky and forces a wizardto get their hands dirty sometimes.


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:53 pm 
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Abchiptop wrote:
Just throwing ideas out there, but wizards could be kickass ranged fighters topped off with the ability to cast magic.

Why not play an elf then?

With wizards as xbow wielding dart throwing ranger types they're be no need for warriors except in melee. I don't see this type of wizard in Appendix N. Maybe better suited for a classless system. The wizard has enough options, to allow him such expertise would make it even more unbalanced.

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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:45 pm 
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I suppose an elf would work just as well :P
I just know personally, the way I usually roll, I'd never play a wizard. Too much chance for corruption with how often I roll 1s.


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:12 pm 
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geordie racer wrote:
Why not play an elf then?

With wizards as xbow wielding dart throwing ranger types they're be no need for warriors except in melee. I don't see this type of wizard in Appendix N. Maybe better suited for a classless system. The wizard has enough options, to allow him such expertise would make it even more unbalanced.


Wizards can use bows and longbows though in DCC. No need to make an elf.


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:27 am 
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bholmes4 wrote:
geordie racer wrote:
Why not play an elf then?

With wizards as xbow wielding dart throwing ranger types they're be no need for warriors except in melee. I don't see this type of wizard in Appendix N. Maybe better suited for a classless system. The wizard has enough options, to allow him such expertise would make it even more unbalanced.


Wizards can use bows and longbows though in DCC. No need to make an elf.


I think he was more concerned for the fidelty to Appendix N characters than for the rules...
By the way, I don't like wizards to be proficient with longbows and longswords. Shortsword and shortbows, maybe.

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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:43 am 
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abk108 wrote:
I think he was more concerned for the fidelty to Appendix N characters than for the rules...
By the way, I don't like wizards to be proficient with longbows and longswords. Shortsword and shortbows, maybe.


Longbows really boggled me, is there anyone in Appendix N that actually uses them as a wizard? I don't like shortbows either (except for elves) but crossbows I might be able to handle. Longswords I can accept but I want most wizards with short swords and staves.


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 Post subject: Re: Higher Level Spells for BETA
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:13 am 
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bholmes4 wrote:
abk108 wrote:
I think he was more concerned for the fidelty to Appendix N characters than for the rules...
By the way, I don't like wizards to be proficient with longbows and longswords. Shortsword and shortbows, maybe.


Longbows really boggled me, is there anyone in Appendix N that actually uses them as a wizard? I don't like shortbows either (except for elves) but crossbows I might be able to handle. Longswords I can accept but I want most wizards with short swords and staves.


Maybe just elves were both archers and spellcasters... but they don't count as "Wizards" in DCC :roll:

I think that if we adopt that houserule someone suggested for 0-Proficiency (as: weapons you're not proficient with don't get any base attack bonus, it is always 0; this way it is less punishing than -4, and coherent with 0-level dodgy proficiency system) then in some rare cases Wizards might actually use a longsword rather than a shortsword. EG: Glamdring is a +3 Longsword, therefore Gandalf would use it even if not completely proficient.

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