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 Post subject: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:08 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Role playing aside and just looking at the classes, what is the advantage of playing a wizard over an elf?


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:17 am 
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Don't have things right in front of me, but the first thing that comes to mind is I recall Wizards have a higher max spells than the Elf.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:59 am 
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mindshadow2k wrote:
Don't have things right in front of me, but the first thing that comes to mind is I recall Wizards have a higher max spells than the Elf.


Yup. Don't forget the iron sensitivity, which can make life very difficult for an elf, too.

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RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:56 am 
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The main advantage, I find, is that each character has a 69% chance of being able to be a Wizard vs. a 31% chance that their class is decided for them, and only a third of those whose class is determined for them by occupation roll are Elf characters.

A 69% chance to be a Wizard vs. a 10% chance to be an Elf - seems a pretty significant advantage.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:28 pm 
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The wizard does get 1 more spell, but with Mercurial magic that is not always an advantage.

The iron sensitivity deals 1 hp of damage a day, but since the elf also has higher hit dice is this really an advantage? Also, 1st level elf starts with Mithril armor that negates this damage since its not iron. The weapon they get is also mithril. So no disadvantage at all, but an advantage in armor and weapons!

I like the percentages and with the advantages listed above as well as infravision, immunities to sleep and paralysis, heightened senses, luck on a preferred spell and action dice being used for attacks or spells, this explains why those numbers are stacked that way. For those lucky 10%, they do get more than a wizard!


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:51 am 
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Rennrh wrote:
The iron sensitivity deals 1 hp of damage a day, but since the elf also has higher hit dice is this really an advantage? Also, 1st level elf starts with Mithril armor that negates this damage since its not iron. The weapon they get is also mithril. So no disadvantage at all, but an advantage in armor and weapons!


Not really. As posted in THIS thread:

Colin wrote:
Elves are supposed to be sensitive to iron period, weapons, armour, utensils, that gate over there, iron itself is what is poisonous to the elves. It's derived from mythology, where iron was poisonous to the fae, and could even deter them as they were loathe to touch it or even go near it. Think of it more like a supernatural bane and you're on the right track. It notes that even exposure (close proximity) is uncomfortable for elves. I think enforcing the discomfort (including potential penalties after a few rounds of very close proximity) and damage from iron are vital tools in helping balance the class.


Also:

Colin wrote:
Consider that they can only purchase one weapon and piece of armour in mithril at normal cost once, and that it's not really any better than normal iron rules-wise. Neither item is magical, but both items *are* desirable and expensive. Many magical weapons and armours are still going to be iron-based (and thus still deleterious to elves), plus anyone and everyone who knows what mithril is will take a very keen interest in the elven character, making them a likely target of thieves, thugs, and anyone else who desires mithril or recognizes its worth. Add in the risk of such mithril items getting lost, broken, confiscated, or otherwise removed from play, and the elf character is going to find that they are as much liability as benefit.


Also:

Colin wrote:
Unless a magical item is described as being made of something that's distinctly "not iron/steel" then I assume it's iron/steel, but I haven't used any old modules for DCC yet, so haven't really encountered the "generic +1 weapon" approach. I'd probably rule that 90% of such items are iron/steel-based, with the rest being made of unusual metals, alloys, or other substances. Then again, I'm not fussed about life being tough for elves; they can fight, wear armour, and wield magic, so while not distinctly the best at any of those things, they do have versatility and choice on their side. I think the difficulties caused by the iron bane are great for roleplaying too; really helps make the elves feel less human.


Also:

TheNobleDrake wrote:
I think it is also worth specifically noting that an Elf character isn't likely to get the last weapon and armor that they will ever want to be able to use when they get their once ever mithril discount, since that is specifically an option they have at 1st level - I know my buddy that is playing an Elf (with a particularly high Strength and moderate Intelligence) has plans to quest for mithril plate mail which he couldn't possibly have afforded at 1st level... and he'll need more mithril to re-forge his sword if he shatters it on a fumble again.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:27 am 
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A huge advantage of wizards (previously mentioned elsewhere, I think) is that wizards get to choose to be wizards, which means the player probably only goes with a wizard if the character has a good intelligence. If a player rolls these numbers: 10, 10, 8, 8, 17, 10 and happens to get the 17 in intelligence, he's got a pretty good wizard going, and would also be a decent elf. But if the same numbers are rolled with the 8's in strength and intelligence and the 17 in personality, the character would be rather lame as an elf.

This is true to some extent of all the nonhuman classes. If you roll a mix of good and bad stats, a human can pick the class best suited to the good stats. But if a nonhuman has the bad stats in the wrong slot, the character becomes much less viable. Consider the following stats:

Str 6
Agil 8
Sta 16
Per 18
Int 5
Luck 9

I'd give that guy a shot as a cleric in a a heartbeat. But if I rolled any dwarf, elf, or halfling occupation, he'd be on the front line in the funnel adventure for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:03 am 
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TheNobleDrake wrote:
The main advantage, I find, is that each character has a 69% chance of being able to be a Wizard vs. a 31% chance that their class is decided for them, and only a third of those whose class is determined for them by occupation roll are Elf characters.

A 69% chance to be a Wizard vs. a 10% chance to be an Elf - seems a pretty significant advantage.


If asked which of two options is more advantageous, the fact that one of the options is more likely is not an "advantage." If someone asked "what's the advantage to playing the lottery and losing vs. playing and winning?", it would make little sense to respond "losing has a significant advantage because you have a much higher likelihood of losing."


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:49 pm 
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jozxyqk wrote:
TheNobleDrake wrote:
The main advantage, I find, is that each character has a 69% chance of being able to be a Wizard vs. a 31% chance that their class is decided for them, and only a third of those whose class is determined for them by occupation roll are Elf characters.

A 69% chance to be a Wizard vs. a 10% chance to be an Elf - seems a pretty significant advantage.


If asked which of two options is more advantageous, the fact that one of the options is more likely is not an "advantage." If someone asked "what's the advantage to playing the lottery and losing vs. playing and winning?", it would make little sense to respond "losing has a significant advantage because you have a much higher likelihood of losing."


That's a terrible way to look at things... playing a Wizard is not losing the lottery, even if playing an Elf is winning the lottery.

It's more like Wizard and Elf are two different cars - both get you from point A to point B comfortably, but one of them is more extravagant than the other... like the wizard is a high-end Audi and the Elf is a Bentley: the point is you still win a car even if you end up as a Wizard.

Your lottery example would only be accurate (and only remotely at that) if winning was getting to play an Elf and losing was not getting to play DCC at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:05 pm 
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TheNobleDrake wrote:
jozxyqk wrote:
TheNobleDrake wrote:
The main advantage, I find, is that each character has a 69% chance of being able to be a Wizard vs. a 31% chance that their class is decided for them, and only a third of those whose class is determined for them by occupation roll are Elf characters.

A 69% chance to be a Wizard vs. a 10% chance to be an Elf - seems a pretty significant advantage.


If asked which of two options is more advantageous, the fact that one of the options is more likely is not an "advantage." If someone asked "what's the advantage to playing the lottery and losing vs. playing and winning?", it would make little sense to respond "losing has a significant advantage because you have a much higher likelihood of losing."


That's a terrible way to look at things... playing a Wizard is not losing the lottery, even if playing an Elf is winning the lottery.

It's more like Wizard and Elf are two different cars - both get you from point A to point B comfortably, but one of them is more extravagant than the other... like the wizard is a high-end Audi and the Elf is a Bentley: the point is you still win a car even if you end up as a Wizard.

Your lottery example would only be accurate (and only remotely at that) if winning was getting to play an Elf and losing was not getting to play DCC at all.


My point isn't that an elf is tremendously superior. Only that the fact that a player has a higher likelihood of becoming a wizard doesn't represent an "advantage" of the wizard class over the elf.

Perhaps it would be clearer to put it in terms of 0-level occupations. If someone asked "what is the advantage of being a farmer over being a cheesemaker?" An answer of "a farmer has a significant advantage because you have a 9% chance of being a farmer, and only a 1% chance of being a cheesemaker" wouldn't make sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:03 am 
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When randomly deciding what you get to play is mandatory - a higher chance is an advantage.

Hoping for a character that starts with (the equivalent of) a spear? Farmer has an advantage over Soldier in that regard.

Hoping for a character that casts wizard spells? Wizard has an advantage over Elf in that regard - especially since, as others mentioned, a Wizard is more likely to have a superior Intelligence score by way of rolling an Elf occupation means you are an Elf no matter your Intelligence, but rolling a Human occupation leaves you free to choose based on the way your ability scores came out if you so desire.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:11 am 
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Just injecting a highly pertinent point: rolling for Occupation is not mandatory at all, but that's admittedly something a lot of folks completely forget or overlook:

DCC RPG, page 21, 2nd paragraph wrote:
Note that a character’s occupation need not be determined randomly. If a player has a strong sense of the character’s background, he should feel free to use it. Starting trained weapon and trade goods can be determined thematically with the judge’s approval.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:50 pm 
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Colin wrote:
Just injecting a highly pertinent point: rolling for Occupation is not mandatory at all, but that's admittedly something a lot of folks completely forget or overlook:

DCC RPG, page 21, 2nd paragraph wrote:
Note that a character’s occupation need not be determined randomly. If a player has a strong sense of the character’s background, he should feel free to use it. Starting trained weapon and trade goods can be determined thematically with the judge’s approval.


That is true... I typically ignore that on account of knowing my group would invariably start handing me stack after stack of well thought out back-stories for their characters to try and distract me from all of the Mercenaries, Elven Navigators, Dwarven Blacksmith's, Wizard's Apprentices and Outlaws they desire to play as every set of 0-levels they ever get their hands on.

Eventually, though, I think they will get so used to not being able to power-game that they will forget to bother trying it... then that little piece of text will be useful.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:41 pm 
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TheNobleDrake wrote:
That is true... I typically ignore that on account of knowing my group would invariably start handing me stack after stack of well thought out back-stories for their characters to try and distract me from all of the Mercenaries, Elven Navigators, Dwarven Blacksmith's, Wizard's Apprentices and Outlaws they desire to play as every set of 0-levels they ever get their hands on.

Eventually, though, I think they will get so used to not being able to power-game that they will forget to bother trying it... then that little piece of text will be useful.

I suppose you could allow them to choose an occupation only before rolling their abilities, that way there less guarantee that the character would be optimized for the occupation. Admittedly, that doesn't solve the problem of superior starting weaponry, but it does limit a player from choosing "Elf" if he rolls high STR and INT.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:01 am 
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Colin wrote:
Just injecting a highly pertinent point: rolling for Occupation is not mandatory at all, but that's admittedly something a lot of folks completely forget or overlook:

DCC RPG, page 21, 2nd paragraph wrote:
Note that a character’s occupation need not be determined randomly. If a player has a strong sense of the character’s background, he should feel free to use it. Starting trained weapon and trade goods can be determined thematically with the judge’s approval.



LAWL....

Amusingly, I had, in fact, completely overlooked that.

I do like the randomness of it, though, but sometimes there were occupations that didn't make any sense for my campaign (elven navigator? halfling sailor? it's a desert campaign...).

Cheers to you, sir. I will keep this in mind in the future.

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizard vs Elf
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:47 am 
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beermotor wrote:

I do like the randomness of it, though, but sometimes there were occupations that didn't make any sense for my campaign (elven navigator? halfling sailor? it's a desert campaign...).


So give them sand skiffs that sail across the dunes on runners!


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