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 Post subject: Re: Wizards who never cast spells
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:23 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:55 pm
Posts: 90
Bilgewriggler wrote:
I think a distinction needs to be made between bending the rules to promote character survival (which I agree conflicts with the letter and spirit of the DCC rulebook) and working with a player to create story situations that allow low-stat characters to be playable and fun. There's no reason you can't throw in story hooks that could lead to an Intelligence-increasing magic item or phenomenon, for instance, so long as you put real challenges between the PCs and the goal they're questing for, rather than making it a "gimme."

Story-based help is the kind of help I meant when I talked about helping out a sickly character who survived the funnel.

And I think Merl makes an excellent point about using a point of spellburn to cast a lost spell. All but the feeblest of characters ought to be able to keep casting for quite a while unless the dice are just against them.


Agreed. If Lunk the boar-milker goes on a quest to find Quarl's mystical tiara of intellect and (against all odds and in spite of his natural deficiencies) manages to actually secure the item, then more power to him in his new life as Lunque, Solver of Differential Equations (or at least Lunk the Moderately Competent).

Though I don't think this has anything to do with granting a "boon" because a player deliberately chose to play a dumb wizard character. If a 15-intelligence wizard made it his mission to swell his already bulging brain with magical augmentation, I would give him the same opportunity to find and don Quarl's tiara.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizards who never cast spells
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:24 am
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Bilgewriggler wrote:
And I think Merl makes an excellent point about using a point of spellburn to cast a lost spell. All but the feeblest of characters ought to be able to keep casting for quite a while unless the dice are just against them.


jozxyqk wrote:
Achieving SECOND level with a 7 intelligence Wizard should be a "true accomplishment" -- not something the DM bends the rules to create.


jozxyqk wrote:
Basically I don't see any problem that needs fixing. Dumb wizards *should* be bad at casting spells.


You are correct, of course. I also didn't remember that spellburn could be used to cast lost spells.

Bilgewriggler wrote:
And here's another possibility: have the sad-sack group rest up in town for a week or so nursing their wounds while you run a different set of 0-levels through a separate funnel adventure. Then either merge the survivors of both parties, or alternate between parties week after week, with both parties in the same campaign, each hearing rumors about the other, while never quite crossing paths.


That's an awesome idea!

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 Post subject: Re: Wizards who never cast spells
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:45 am
Posts: 38
Location: New Hampshire
Bilgewriggler wrote:
I think a distinction needs to be made between bending the rules to promote character survival (which I agree conflicts with the letter and spirit of the DCC rulebook) and working with a player to create story situations that allow low-stat characters to be playable and fun. There's no reason you can't throw in story hooks that could lead to an Intelligence-increasing magic item or phenomenon, for instance, so long as you put real challenges between the PCs and the goal they're questing for, rather than making it a "gimme."

Story-based help is the kind of help I meant when I talked about helping out a sickly character who survived the funnel.

And I think Merl makes an excellent point about using a point of spellburn to cast a lost spell. All but the feeblest of characters ought to be able to keep casting for quite a while unless the dice are just against them.


Do some sort of Flowers For Algernon thing, where your wizard comes across a recipe for a potion that raises her intelligence significantly for periods of time.

With a litany of horrible life altering side-effects, of course.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizards who never cast spells
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:20 pm 
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This thread proves that the "funnel" is just one of those wacky OSR ideas that has the potential for Epic Fail in actual game play.


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 Post subject: Re: Wizards who never cast spells
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:41 pm 
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Posts: 248
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altfritz wrote:
This thread proves that the "funnel" is just one of those wacky OSR ideas that has the potential for Epic Fail in actual game play.

Hey altfritz, welcome to the forums. I saw your "introductions" post as well as this one. Give the funnel a chance, most of us who've run and played a few funnels love them. They have a pretty incredible effect on character development and roleplaying. If you've already tried it and didn't like it, then that's cool. If you haven't tried it, however, then at least give it a shot or two. You may be surprised... :)


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 Post subject: Re: Wizards who never cast spells
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:41 am 
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altfritz wrote:
This thread proves that the "funnel" is just one of those wacky OSR ideas that has the potential for Epic Fail in actual game play.

In our funnel (Sailors on the Starless Sea) there were some "epic fail" moments, but the players enjoyed the whole zero-to-hero process very much. I've let the players choose one from their survivors that becomes level 1. One of them took the character that has been mutated in the well instead of the healthy one, just for fun. Later three zero level dwarves were introduced in Doom of the Savage Kings when a new player joined us. One of the dwarves got his throat damaged by the Hound of Hirot, but survived. I told him that the character is now silent forever. He's thinking about continuing his adventures with him instead of one of the others, because he finds him far more interesting and challenging.
So, yeah, many zero level characters may die, sometimes (usually) the better ones, sometimes every one of them. But the players seem to get more attached to the ones that survive and often the adventure changes them in surprising and interesting ways. I found the funnel to be a fun way of starting a campaign.

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 Post subject: Re: Wizards who never cast spells
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:10 am 
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Location: Devon, England
altfritz wrote:
This thread proves that the "funnel" is just one of those wacky OSR ideas that has the potential for Epic Fail in actual game play.


That all depends what you mean by "Epic Fail" (whether you mean the concept itself is a failure, or that PCs can fail tragically, and that this is somehow a Bad Thing). This thread is but one of many, but what you will find is that most folks who've tried it absolutely love the Funnel. Of course, most folks who love it don't have a problem with the fact that failure is a very serious threat, and that characters can, do, and will die. The whole RPG itself is also categorically not built on the assumption that characters will survive or be coddled, or only face threats appropriate to their power. The Funnel helps that understanding.

It exists to drive home the huge difference between ordinary plebs and leveled members of character classes, it gets across the fact that heroes rise from truly humble beginnings, it generates interesting characters organically through play, and it highlights how dangerous and terrifying monsters and their ilk are to normal folks. 0-level play isn't D&D-style heroics, it's Call of Cthulhu-esque survival horror that acts as the crucible for the heroes your surviving characters will become.

cheers!
Colin


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