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
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.