Goodman Games

Fan Forums
It is currently Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:53 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Are wizards too powerful in your campaign?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:47 am 
Offline
Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:07 am
Posts: 733
Location: The Rollings Hobbit Hills of Ohio
In my group of 6 players two are wizards. Both are level 3 and their class seems to be the most powerful in game. Their spells own monsters with no other classes coming close to the wizards damage. I mean with the ability to use Luck, Spellburn, add their level and int modifiers they are getting 20+ easily to their attack roles...ever time!

Just saying, from my experience, that the wizards are the god class in DCC. Makes it hard to run an adventure with a high risk/reward ratio when they can nuke everything real fast.

Did any of you find the need to tone down the wizards in your game? If so, how?

Before I forget: The two in my group can call their patron more than once per game and often getting 30+ on their rolls! With this happing the adventure climax becomes far less challenging and to me and the other players...boring/upsetting :cry:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are wizards too powerful in your campaign?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:42 am 
Offline
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 660
Location: Montreal
Magic should come with benefits and perils. Perhaps you could add perils associated to the use of magic in your game.

For example, you seem to suggest that the wizards call on their patron frequently. What patrons are these? Are they like, slaves to the wizards, to be at their beck and call whenever the wizards want their service? Patrons are superpowerful beings, probably with an ego to boot. They view the wizards as mere pawns that they will use and throw away like a used toy when they are done with them. They will crush them like an insect if they are annoyed that they call on them too often.

Also, use of systematically successful magic is likely to attract attention. Unwanted attention. The wizards could hear that their growing power is becoming known and that the more they use it, the more other creatures become jealous or worried about their power. Assassins might be dispatched if the wizards leave traces of their passage through continued use of their magical powers. Ones with resistance to magic...

Finally, on the matter of spellburn and luck... Luck is not renewable for wizards. So normally this should be rare. Spellburn is somewhat renewable, but at a slow rate. Perhaps you could increase the number of encounters per day, i.e. stack your adventuring days with more stuff, to force wizards to consider how to use this depletable resource. Also, consider asking the players for specific spellburn actions. Perhaps a 5-point spellburn means the wizard needs to cut off a finger. Perhaps a 10-point spellburn requires more than that. In other words, perhaps spellburn comes with some permament consequence.

_________________
Maledict Brothbreath, level 4 warrior, STR 16 (+2) AGI 7 (-1) STA 12 PER 9 INT 10 LUCK 15 (+1), AC: 16 Refl: +1 Fort: +2 Will: +1; lawful; Armor of the Lion and Lily's Blade.

Brother Sufferus, level 4 cleric, STR 13 (+1) AGI 15 (+1) STA 11 PER 13 (+1) INT 10 LUCK 9, AC: 11 (13 if wounded, 15 if down to half hit points), Refl: +3 Fort: +2 Will: +3, chaotic, Robe of the Faith, Scourge of the Maimed One, Darts of Pain.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are wizards too powerful in your campaign?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 2:54 pm 
Offline
Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 6:19 pm
Posts: 527
MrHemlocks wrote:
In my group of 6 players two are wizards. Both are level 3 and their class seems to be the most powerful in game. Their spells own monsters with no other classes coming close to the wizards damage. I mean with the ability to use Luck, Spellburn, add their level and int modifiers they are getting 20+ easily to their attack roles...ever time!

Just saying, from my experience, that the wizards are the god class in DCC. Makes it hard to run an adventure with a high risk/reward ratio when they can nuke everything real fast.

Did any of you find the need to tone down the wizards in your game? If so, how?

Before I forget: The two in my group can call their patron more than once per game and often getting 30+ on their rolls! With this happing the adventure climax becomes far less challenging and to me and the other players...boring/upsetting :cry:


Are you running the game? Or are you a player?

I've experienced this same thing in my games (Judge or player).

- If they're calling on their patrons twice a day, they should be racking up some hefty favors that need a callback. I run Patrons as the ultimate asshat NPCs, not as a "magic item." If you call on Vendel Re' Yune, you can guarantee to be sent on a quest to find something that he needs to lessen his unending pain. During this quest, you will begin to feel just a smidgen of his unending pain, increasing as the days go by (resulting in penalties to spellcasting, loss of invoke patron completely, and finally incapacitation). The length and difficulty of the quest is commiserate with the level of assistance the old Arm gave you. So, roll a 30+, and it's super awesome...until you have to pay him back for warping the physical laws of the universe at your petty whim.

- Also, whether a wizard has a patron or not, the power that they wield is understood to come from "beyond them." In my game, I take the philosophy that *any* spell that a wizard casts is granted by their patron (or some supernatural being, if the wizard doesn't have a patron). Also, any spell that they learn (initial or subsequent to 1st level) is tied to some powerful being. You could use this to tie the wizard even tighter to the aims of the patron. Also, the uniqueness of every spell becomes a hindrance. What if the wizard has magic missile with some crazy powerful mercurial effect? Someone is going to find out and want that version of the spell for some nefarious purpose.

- Are you fighting goblins and orcs? Or are there real threats between the PCs and whatever their goal is? Adventures in DCC shouldn't be simple dungeon delves inhabited by irascible humanoids. They should be crypts in remote jungles, lost temples under glaciers, a cursed shrine in the alley of a decadent city, a burned out hulk in space, or the body of a dead god in some timeless dimension. So, the difficulty in *getting there* should be real. The guardians should be impassible by anyone without serious skill at arms (warriors), the blessings of their gods (clerics), extreme luck and technical skill (thieves) and the fleeting power of supernatural patrons (wizards). And then they should be barely passable without the PCs innate power and possibly help (like patrons or a magical relic) but with a price. Don't forget wizardly combat! We had our first instance of this in a recent adventure, and it opened my eyes to how that toolbox can be used by the PCs enemies.

- Wizards are weak and get weaker the more they cast spells. Use that as a Judge. If you've poisoned yourself in order to burn Stamina, guess what? You're more susceptible to diseases, curses, poisons, etc (anything with a Fort save). And loss of physical abilities should make it more difficult for you to do *anything* physical. If your Strength is 3, you should have a difficult time walking for long distances. Low Stamina might prevent you from getting restful sleep within the standard "8 hour" window. Maybe it takes you 12 hours or longer to recover enough to regain lost spells. Low Agility makes you more susceptible to falls and could possibly reduce your movement speed (this would be a house rule). Low Luck? You're the target of all the bad stuff that happens, whether it's a rock in your back while you try and sleep or an arrow trap that fires out at "random" targets.

- Patrons are not in a vacuum. They have enemies that are as or more powerful. If you're throwing around powers granted by the Moon Demon, you can guarantee that minions of the Sun God are going to hear about it and start tracking down the offender (and his or her associates) in order to get to the master. The PCs then become the "adventure" for the NPCs.

There are lot of ways to illuminate the challenges and downfalls of having the ability to warp the natural laws of the universe. It doesn't have to be "scaled" to levels or anything, but letting wizards run wild without consequences is completely against the spirit of DCC. It's a fun game, but it's not DCC/Appendix N.

_________________
AKA Paul Wolfe
The Mystic Bull: Our new publishing website. Have a submission? PM me.
In the Prison of the Squid Sorcerer: 12 Short Adventures for DCC!
The God-Seed Awakens: 3rd Level Adventure for DCC. New patron, new spells, lots of new monsters and the living weapons of the Empire of Thal!
My Gamer Profile


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are wizards too powerful in your campaign?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:12 am 
Offline
Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:14 pm
Posts: 156
Patrons are generally evil selfish godlike beings who create slaves/form alliances with mortals for the betterment of the evil Godlike being.

Not that they will never help but that help comes at a heavy price.

Loss of sanity,Loss of Soul,Loss of life,Loss of freedom are just some of the drawbacks of calling on your patron. The big thing is no matter what there is heavy loss.

You can take it to the bank that WHATEVER the patron does for the wizard,the patrons is going to get his back ten fold.

For instance if the Wizard calls on his patron for aid the Wizard (and his party) might just very well vanish (getting out of whatever trouble they were in)from the world and appear again in the depths of a Nasty Dungeon with the unrelenting goal of killing the Wizard(a servant who angered the patron) who created the dungeon burning in their minds.

The Wizard who called on the patron doesn't decide if help comes,what form it comes in or what the cost will be.He also doesn't get a chance to back out once he has called on the patron.

As far as the rest goes. Wizards do indeed have HUGE advantages in the game.Don't coddle the wizards! EVERY semi intelligent creature in your game world should be gunning for that wizard EVERY time he reveals himself.

KILL THE WIZARD! should be what EVERYONE is doing. Just like the Wizards that the pc's fight. WIZARDS DIE FIRST is a chant around our gaming table as soon as the initiative die is cast.

One good roll from a Goblin Wizard can take out my entire game group.We know that and behave accordingly. That Goblin Wizard gets a spell off means my group failed! Our number one goal in life is to get those casters DEAD!

If your Wizards life expectancy isn't a bad joke,you are holding their hands. :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are wizards too powerful in your campaign?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:42 am 
Offline
Cold-Hearted Immortal
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 2212
The only thing I have to add is - Magic is Unpredictable.

If you are running this game, go and read about magic in the Judge's Rules. Then use what you read up on. There should be areas where magic does not work as expected - either specific magics or all magic. If you are having a hard time figuring out to do this, take a look at these adventures:

Icons of the Blood Goddess in In the Prison of the Squid Sorcerer (Mystic Bull Games)
The Revelation of Mulmo (Dragon's Hoard)
The Falcate Idol (Purple Duck Games)

Magic comes with a price. Wizards should never be certain that their spells are going to work exactly as they hope, or that they will not have other affects or costs added on. That alone changes casting that spell from an obvious thing to do to an actual choice.

Even with the standard spell check, one out of every 20 spells should end in a natural "1" - misfire, patron taint, or corruption.

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are wizards too powerful in your campaign?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:30 pm 
Offline
Hard-Bitten Adventurer
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:27 am
Posts: 164
Location: Ohio
I hear you Hemlock. Wizards and Elves can absolutely dominate events even at low level if they have a strong position with their patrons.

My guess is that you are probably in a tough situation though, because I'll bet you've been playing without enforcing many of the suggestions above (or your players are coming up with some very creative ways around some of them) and suddenly changing the way things work in mid-campaign is quite honestly never fun or well received by anyone. So now that you have some great suggestions about how to keep their power in check in the future, the question may have become, how do you get there from here.

Maybe their patrons have simply had enough. There's no reason a Patron can't abandon a relationship with a character if it's no longer beneficial to them. Let the character call his patron next time and hear deafening silence in response, regardless of the dice roll. Talk about seeing fear in the eyes of a player! No better way to instill panic than to pull the rug out from under them when they've gotten used to a standard fall-back response every time things get tough. Or maybe the patron is not so nice about breaking his relationship. Perhaps the party may find themselves on a series of adventures where they seem to be getting set up for certain death, only to find out eventually that it's all the plan of one of the Patrons to get rid of the bothersome character for good. Or maybe the next series of adventures end with the characters providing some important artifact to the Patron. Once the Patron has what he's been after all along, he completely changes his tune when dealing with the wizard, and may even plague the character with a couple of taints to teach him a lesson in humility. If you really want to be an evil SOB, maybe BOTH Patrons want the artifact, and the characters have to make a choice between satisfying the demands of their patrons and killing a party member.

One final comment: don't hesitate to let the wizards die while this is going on. I don't mean rig a session so that they have no chance of survival, but if the party is waltzing through encounters, make them harder. Double the number of enemies. They crushed the last dragon they met with ease? Try making the next dragon two headed, have it summon a demon to fight by its side and give it a magic sword to fight with. And don't worry if a character gets eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex, that's not your problem. It will be much easier to change the way you deal with spellcasters when they are new characters, rather than suddenly doing things differently with existing characters.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are wizards too powerful in your campaign?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:02 pm 
Offline
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:48 pm
Posts: 34
well, as Judge the way I play this is: the stronger is your position with a patron the bigger and deadliest are their plans for you. How was that Spiderman thing about power and responsibility? same thing, but nastier.

In my campaign the wizard (1st lvl) is a real loser (luck 4), all their mercurial effects are bad, he cast the magic missile with -4, so he uses to lose the spell at the first attempt to cast it, maybe the second time if he is lucky.
The rest of their spells aren't better.
But sometimes he saves the day, casting the right spell in the moment to save the whole group.
By far the wizard isn't the most powerful PC in the group.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are wizards too powerful in your campaign?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:53 pm 
Offline
Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:55 pm
Posts: 154
I have experienced too-powerful wizards in my campaign. I don't feel that the corruption mechanism sufficiently dissuades casters from slinging spells as often as they please, and I feel as though the extreme spell results (even for first level spells) are too powerful without exacting any commensurate cost. I eventually killed the most powerful wizard in the party with griffons, but I guess "frequently attack your party with griffons" isn't a solution that generalizes very well.

I was able to kill the wizard, and keep him dead, because we house-ruled that characters could go to negative hit points. We had a few drama-filled rounds in which the cleric and the paladin poured healing into the wizard but was unable to get him from -50 (or whatever) hit points back up to zero before the 1 round/level time limit ran out. Before I added the negative hit point rule I was scarcely able to kill any characters, mostly because the super-powerful wizard had a mercurial effect that healed everybody in a 20' radius every time he cast a 1st level spell.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are wizards too powerful in your campaign?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:59 am 
Offline
Cold-Blooded Diabolist

Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:14 am
Posts: 468
Location: Cube Farm of Alien Geometry
I personally would only allow a character to call on a patron one time, two tops before having to return the favor BEFORE calling on the patron (successfully) again.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are wizards too powerful in your campaign?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:52 am 
Offline
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:23 am
Posts: 609
Location: Auburndale, FL
I'm late to this party but I would spell duel. I recently just started using these rules and they show just how fragile a wizard is. Once you start a duel it only takes 1-3 rounds for someone to die. Even if the PC survives he should see the writing on the wall. If I keep dueling I will die sooner than later. Every time he cast a spell after that he is going to have to worry about being counter spelled and locked into a duel to the death.

_________________
"When creating your character,choose an ethical system that can justify nearly any fit of temper, greed, cowardice, or vindictiveness, for example, Chaotic Violent..."

THE PROTOCOLS, ADVANCED PROTOCOL #10


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are wizards too powerful in your campaign?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:00 am 
Offline
Steely-Eyed Heathen-Slayer
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 8:23 am
Posts: 609
Location: Auburndale, FL
Also most people don't realize that a cleric can enter into a spell duel with a wizard. Have them raid a temple full of evil cleric willing to die for their god and you have several duels with multiple clerics against one wizard. If this doesn't slow the wizard down and make him think twice about casting spells every round then he will be rolling up a new character soon. :twisted:

_________________
"When creating your character,choose an ethical system that can justify nearly any fit of temper, greed, cowardice, or vindictiveness, for example, Chaotic Violent..."

THE PROTOCOLS, ADVANCED PROTOCOL #10


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are wizards too powerful in your campaign?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:25 am 
Offline
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:48 am
Posts: 28
MrHemlock : very good question !

All others : very nice answers, thanks a lot.

All of this will be very useful to me as I've recentlyconverted my 2nd level Labyrinth Lord team to 1st level DCC to go through the Anomalous Subsurface Environment by Patrick Wetmore.

ASE features many crazy and corrupted wizards (in fact, they rule the land) and DCC came as a natural D&D (quasi-)clone.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Are wizards too powerful in your campaign?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:11 pm 
Offline
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:01 am
Posts: 34
I've changed the way spellburn works in my house rules:

Spellburn
Spellburn is not fuelled by ability points.
Instead, the amount of spellburn increases the natural fumble range (i.e. a spellcheck with 4 points of spellburn fumbles on a roll of 1-5 rather than on a 1 only). Hence, the maximum amount of spellburn is 18 (i.e. there is a fumble on 1-19 and a critical success on a 20).
If the spellcaster fumbles while using spellburn he suffers the normal effects of a fumble and the additional effect of permanently losing one point of a randomly determined ability. If the spellcaster does not like the result of the random roll (e.g. Intelligence) he may sacrifice two points of his choice instead (e.g. a point of Strength and a point of Personality).

We've been playing like this for about 20 sessions. So far, the few wizard players were too afraid to use spellburn so maybe I've gone overboard. However, wizards have not been too weak at any point -- they're pulling their weight so I think the DCC Magic System works just fine without the spellburn option.

Spellburn-as-written is way overpowered in my opinion (and corruption and fumbles are not enough of a deterrent/tradeoff). The solutions suggested by most other posters are fine but not to my taste, as I don't like to intervene that much as a GM (i.e. I don't like to design encounters or new NPCs or patron personalities to specifically counter wizards).


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group