Jump to content
Mayama

A good read about physicaly strong wizards

Recommended Posts

I was searching this post since the muscle mage debate started, finaly i found it. :D

Its a short but interesting read about mages and physical fitness.

 

Its from the Steve Jackson Games forum, from the user D10000, enjoy:

 

Sorry for the text background color but I have no clue how to change it.

 

icon1.gifMyth v. Stereotype, or "My Wizard Wears Plate and Has a 14 Strength"

 

 

In another thread on plate armor and spell casting I got off on a Semi tangent relating to magic user stereotypes and their conflict with magic user's in pre-D&D fantasy (this also overlaps and parallels Elves).

 

When I think of wizards I think of Odin, Mercury, Gandalf, Feanor, Elric, Kane or Simon Magus. Do any of them strike you as a skinny old bookworm? In many, many settings physical vitality is a prerequisite to surviving or excelling at magic use. 

To me, a mage is either 1) a superior being or 2) a man with a particular skill set which is for no reason incompatible with him being 7 feet tall and able to kill with an axe, especially if he's an adventurer. I mean, even computer geeks in the army have armor and know how to shoot guns, and adventuring is way more dangerous. If Bookmouse wizards exist they're doing bookmouse things, not getting their hair clipped by throwing axes in some hellish pit.
Another example is the sorcerer Xaltotun from the Conan story "Hour of the Dragon", who is almost physically perfect in addition to being a super sorcerer. I feel like the weak wizard is more a projection of modern bookworm stereotypes than most genre literature that went before. There's some evidence that good looks, physical fitness and brains often cluster in the same individuals I real life, though obviously not always it makes evolutionary sense (it makes sense to evolve attraction to traits that are associated with the genetics for physical and mental fitness). Though it's not exactly fair I think plenty of us have met the straight A trackstar who became a stockbroker, or someone like him. IRL there's no guarantee of balanced CP, even if PCs are for character creation reasons there's no reason NPCs should be.

 

Now put aside the character point issue for a moment (this is one reason I like random character attributes, and I've rolled them in GURPS before) it seems to me that somewhere the public image of wizards changed to be a lot different than Magi, wizards and sorcerers of the past. Sure, they're often ugly or anti-social, but wizard from Mazdaran to Baba Yaga are noteworthy for freakish, superhuman vitality. The difficulty of killing and keeping a wizard dead is central to many mythical plots from Iran to Scandinavia, and those are just the ones I'm familiar with. And characters not explicitly identified as wizards, but who use sorcery and magic, are often quite vital; I.e. the virtually-unkillable-except-by-brute-violence elves of Poul Anderson's the Broken Sword, where the Elf jarl is hung over continually burning coals with no food or water for weeks or months and recovers in a few days, or Tolkien's Elves and the Norse Ljosaelfar and Vanir, our the Finnish shape shifting smith-heroes. To pick an explicitly wizardry example, probably the most archetypsl 'wiz-ards' ever look at the gods of magic and knowledge, Odin or Mercury. One a god of war and kingship, the other of athletic speed; neither bookish or easily outdone in a fight.

Edited by Mayama
  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's only because of balance and being fair to non-magic classes.  It doesn't make sense to me that magic should be equal to swinging a sword, otherwise there's nothing magical about magic.  But, for the sake of keeping things fair and interesting it must be so, and for that reason I can accept it.

 

If wizards were also physically strong, they are then clearly better than non-magic users.

Edited by Zeeky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Traditional wizards are and always have been an expression of the Jungian wise old man archtype and have easily identifiable traits that betray this. They are wise, elderly and mostly act as a beneveloent and spiritual guide. Saying that this is a recent projection or whatever is completely wrong considering Nestor from Homers Iliyad you know, exists, and that was written over 2 thousand years ago.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

If wizards were also physically strong, they are then clearly better than non-magic users.

 

Not really. There's more to being good at sword fighting than brute strength.

 

Still, I feel that the examples given by Mayama (or D10000) aren't overly valid for this discussion. If 'wizard' makes you think of almost divine entities(Gandalf, Feanor) or just plain gods(Odin, Mercury), then of course you're going to imagine people who are absolutely excellent at everything. That's what being divine is all about.

 

A regular fantasy wizard, however, is a human(like) being. To get the image of what a human wizard would be like from classical mythology, where magical powers are often reserved for gods and half-gods, is rather silly in my opinion.

 

Sure, a travelling adventurer wizard will likely be a reasonably fit individual. Such a wizard not being at the absolute peak of physical condition is simply derived from the notion that for humanlike beings wizardry requires extensive studies, which don't leave time for the training required for physical excellency.

Edited by Gulliver
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

If wizards were also physically strong, they are then clearly better than non-magic users.

 

Not really. There's more to being good at sword fighting than brute strength.

 

Still, I feel that the examples given by Mayama (or D10000) aren't overly valid for this discussion. If 'wizard' makes you think of almost divine entities(Gandalf, Feanor) or just plain gods(Odin, Mercury), then of course you're going to imagine people who are absolutely excellent at everything. That's what being divine is all about.

 

A regular fantasy wizard, however, is a human(like) being. To get the image of what a human wizard would be like from classical mythology, where magical powers are often reserved for gods and half-gods, is rather silly in my opinion.

 

Sure, a travelling adventurer wizard will likely be a reasonably fit individual. Such a wizard not being at the absolute peak of physical condition is simply derived from the notion that for humanlike beings wizardry requires extensive studies, which don't leave time for the training required for physical excellency.

 

Well the physicaly strong archetype exists for way longer than the modern bookworm one. In many cultures that archetype is still the way how magic users are presented. Actually in most cultures because reading books to get knowledge is a very western concept on how to accumulate power.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Well the physicaly strong archetype exists for way longer than the modern bookworm one. In many cultures that archetype is still the way how magic users are presented.

 

As I said, that's because, generally speaking, magical powers in mythology are not associated with regular (well, except for the magic) human beings, but with gods, half-gods and other supernatural creatures.

 

In DnD, sorcerers, warlocks or druids would be far closer to this than wizards. So these other ways of gaining power are also present (at least in DnD).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Well the physicaly strong archetype exists for way longer than the modern bookworm one. In many cultures that archetype is still the way how magic users are presented.

 

As I said, that's because, generally speaking, magical powers in mythology are not associated with regular (well, except for the magic) human beings, but with gods, half-gods and other supernatural creatures.

 

In DnD, sorcerers, warlocks or druids would be far closer to this than wizards. So these other ways of gaining power are also present (at least in DnD).

 

Well in a very limited way because their is no logical reason why a sorcerer couldnt learn sword fighting as good as a fighter. He has the time, to train it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Well in a very limited way because their is no logical reason why a sorcerer couldnt learn sword fighting as good as a fighter. He has the time, to train it.

 

That's what multiclass is for^^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The actual Might don't bother me because I see it like the internal power of the character, like Cosmos in Saint Seya.

The fighter has skills to be stronger with a sword than a wizard.

We can say the wizard put power in is sword to do more damage but lacks of skills to use it well.

Similarly, the fighter doesn't have to be a bodybuilder to be a good fighter. His skills and his internal power suffice.

Moreover,the fighter gains more hp by level to represent is better body.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
might 1  (mt)

n.

1. The power, force, or influence held by a person or group.

2. Physical strength.

3. Strength or ability to do something. See Synonyms at strength. See Regional Note at powerful.

[Middle English, from Old English meaht, miht; see magh- in Indo-European roots.]

 


 

Might does not necessarily refer to physical strength. In the context of PoE it might refer to the power of  your soul or whatever. The term muscle wizard is thus a bit besides the point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real question is: Is the notion that might has nothing to do with strength reflected in the attribute checks it is relevant for?

Meaning: Which attribute is checked for lifting a heavy boulder?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real question is: Is the notion that might has nothing to do with strength reflected in the attribute checks it is relevant for?

Meaning: Which attribute is checked for lifting a heavy boulder?

Probably the skill athletics with either Con or Might or both if it was a really heavy boulder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real question is: Is the notion that might has nothing to do with strength reflected in the attribute checks it is relevant for?

 

Meaning: Which attribute is checked for lifting a heavy boulder?

I would say might, why can't a wizard with a high might focus his strength to move a boulder using magic.

 

I agree that a wizard can be strong, they need strength (or might in this case) to manipulate powerful magic. A weak wizard would not have the fortitude or might to focus massive raw energy to his or her will (similar feel to Richard in the Sword of Truth books), a bookworm wizard would just need to tone down the power of the spells and focus more on intellect to cast more skillfully using less raw power, falling very in line with the attributes in PoE.

 

This allows you to play a raw power feel the magic type wizard, a bookworm type wizard who knows details of how spells work and how to cast them skillfully, or a combination of both.

Edited by Eldram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This allows you to play a raw power feel the magic type wizard, a bookworm type wizard who knows details of how spells work and how to cast them skillfully, or a combination of both.

 

I agree that there should be a difference between having magical power and being good at the intricacies of magic. Magical power being directly linked to strength, however, more or less completely abolishes the stereotype of "old, but powerful" wizard, which is of course possible, but in my opinion unfitting for a game like this.

 

Before anyone complains: I didn't claim that strength and might are intrinsically linked in this game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's only because of balance and being fair to non-magic classes.  It doesn't make sense to me that magic should be equal to swinging a sword, otherwise there's nothing magical about magic.  But, for the sake of keeping things fair and interesting it must be so, and for that reason I can accept it.

 

If wizards were also physically strong, they are then clearly better than non-magic users.

 

I would disagree. Combat prowess is often the case of skill and practice as much as it is raw strength. It doesn't really matter if you're as strong as the Mountain if you don't know how to fight with a longsword, because the guy who does will redirect your attack and split you open with a counter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would disagree. Combat prowess is often the case of skill and practice as much as it is raw strength. It doesn't really matter if you're as strong as the Mountain if you don't know how to fight with a longsword, because the guy who does will redirect your attack and split you open with a counter.

 

A lot more than raw strength, i'd say. You need enough strength and endurance to see the fight through to the end, but without skill and practice, they will get you nowhere a grave digger can't get you with less hassle. Provided you promise to not scream.

 

The most strength dependant weapon would probably be the longbow. And you're still not going to hit the broad side of a barn from the bows length away without practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mechanically, the only reason you bother with having a party in DnD is to cover each other's weaknesses.

 

If all characters could be all things equally well, then you wouldn't require a party.

 

Teamwork is required, because of the flaws and weaknesses of each class.

The current stat system seems to mean we'll end up with characters all having very similar stat groupings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mechanically, the only reason you bother with having a party in DnD is to cover each other's weaknesses.

 

If all characters could be all things equally well, then you wouldn't require a party.

 

Teamwork is required, because of the flaws and weaknesses of each class.

The current stat system seems to mean we'll end up with characters all having very similar stat groupings.

Thats only true for low level parties in DnD, a high level wizard has no weakness. Another reason to form a party is because you cant do something alone. If you group up in reality you seldom do it to cover weaknesses, you usually do it because its easier to do some things with more people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think many poster's in favor of the option of having muscle-bound wizards are missing out on a key detail. The game needs to be internally consistent and currently the in-game lore does not support wizards devoting a large portion of their time and energy to physical pursuits.

 

Consider this. Here is the description of wizards from the character creator (thanks to the multiple Let's Play videos and the pause button). I've bolded the relevant words.

 

 

The masters of academic magic. Wizards are students of arcane traditions that stretch back beyond the boundaries of recorded history. Wizards are a highly-organized group, often forming academies or guilds devoted to research and development in magical studies, and tend to favor environments where inquiry, experimentation. debate, and the dissemination of knowledge are encouraged. Many accomplished wizards eventually become known for their eccentricity, their egos, and their unquenchable interest in all things arcane and occult.

 

When I saw this when the first videos surfaced I assumed that the in-game wizard class conformed to the standard rpg definition of a wizard being a studious, possibly wise, somewhat frail, academic-oriented, arcane-casting, robe-wearing, character that shoots the standard fireballs from his eyes and lightning bolts from his butt.

 

Lo and behold I had yet to meet the curious Might stat and its equally quixotic implementation in Pillars of Eternity's poorly designed attribute system.

 

Some of you may be saying, "Don't worry Sartoris, perhaps the Sawyer god is simply telling you that the Might stat for a wizard somehow is attributable to his soul power and not a reference to the size of his rocking biceps." But alas you are deceived! My might stacking wizard also does more damage with a mighty greataxe of beetle-bashing when his Might is increased.

 

Thus for the game to be internally consistent Might must mean that my blows are striking harder, cutting deeper, and being all-around physically better. Yet, the lore indicates that the typical wizard adventurer would not have a significant focus on physical attributes, given that he has had to devote so much of his life to academic research, inquiry, debate, and dissemination of knowledge.

 

Now you may say all of this is all right. Perhaps the beefy wizards people will undoubtedly create are simply the outliers of normal wizardy (already a very niche profession of civilization). I would be ok with this as it is similar to creating a dumb but strong wizard in BG/IWD. Except that in those game it hurts your character in a very lore consistent manner. If it takes years of intense mental work to train as a wizard, leaving little time for physical activity, then if you are the type of guy that just has to hit the gym every Friday (gotta get my gains bro!) it makes sense that you will suffer in performing as a wizard.

 

Now, I see two ways out of this abysmal lore hole that Obsidian has dug for themselves here. They can change the lore of a wizard, thus requiring a large percentage of their eventual game buyers to drastically alter their perception of what they expect a wizard to be, or they can alter what effects the stats have depending on what class you are.

 

Let me address the first option as it is easy to see why it is not the preferable option. It is hard to change the expectations of the game buying public, especially given that nearly all rpg games ever made have conformed to the studious wizard archetype. The visceral reaction among the currently posting populous can easily confirm that. If you should need further evidence, venture to rpgcodex.net. The amount of hatred for this attribute system is hot enough to forge a dagger intended to separate Josh Sawyer from his immortal soul.

 

So how about a fix everyone can be comfortable with. For a wizard, intelligence should increase damage, perception should increase duration and area of effect, and might should increase interrupt. Under this scheme I think everyone could be happy. Before you hit the "reply" button to launch your tirade against this perfectly workable solution consider the following.

 

I think this help, but by no means will solve, the itemization issue people are worried about. Under this scheme both a wizard and a fighter can use a +Might longsword, but for the wizard it will help him cause more interrupts vice directly damage. This makes the same item due two completely different things for different characters in your party. That kind of itemization is sorely lacking in most modern rpgs and would go a long way to making itemization in Pillars of Eternity more interesting during the current playthrough as you gave the item to different party members and during later games when you chose different party compositions.

 

To summarize my thoughts:

  • Might stacking wizards are not internally lore consistent.
  • A system where different attributes have different mechanical effects depending on the class of your character could alleviate this problem.
  • Such a system could contribute to interesting itemization in a very unique and fun way.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

might 1  (mt)
n.
1. The power, force, or influence held by a person or group.
2. Physical strength.
3. Strength or ability to do something. See Synonyms at strength. See Regional Note at powerful.
[Middle English, from Old English meaht, miht; see magh- in Indo-European roots.]
 
 
Might does not necessarily refer to physical strength. In the context of PoE it might refer to the power of  your soul or whatever. The term muscle wizard is thus a bit besides the point.

 

 

 

Honestly it kinda amazes me and astonishes me that this is STILL heavily discussed.

 

Just goin on the record here real quick: when I mention Muscle wizards or including an easter egg of them, it's satire. I'm openly mocking those of you who cannot seem to fathom that there are other forms of "might" and "power" beyond physical strength, or that wielding a sword is all about physical strength (if I must, I'll start citing respectable and knowledgeable people on the topic of swordplay who'll tell you otherwise).

  I can't help but feel like some people are TRULY convinced that the developers of PoE are saying high might = you have a six pack, and that people like myself who turn this into a running gag are serious about how our wizards have washboard abs and beat up all enemies with their muscles.

 

 

This is such a tiny tiny TINY insignificant issue that a simple vocabulary lesson could solve, and I'm sure some of the devs are facepalming when they read these forums, realizing one of the biggest complaints isn't one of balance or bugs or animations, but of wizards possibly and allegedly having muscles.

  • Like 1

"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
To summarize my thoughts:
  • Might stacking wizards are not internally lore consistent.
  • A system where different attributes have different mechanical effects depending on the class of your character could alleviate this problem.
  • Such a system could contribute to interesting itemization in a very unique and fun way.

 

Then who staffs the high-power magic research facility?

 

Might stacking Wizards aren't necessarily the type that also spends time at the gym in their off hours. They are the guys with the really big fireballs.(you could even say they have huge balls which are on fire)

They stack Might, not Strength.

 

Also, your last supposition is just conjecture. Yes, a different system could make itemisation more interesting. It could also make it less interesting depending on how it is handled. Your sword is likely to just end up glued to the fighters hand till he gets something better, then discarded, unless interrupting is so important that it ends up glued to the wizards hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was searching this post since the muscle mage debate started, finaly i found it. :D

Its a short but interesting read about mages and physical fitness.

 

Its from the Steve Jackson Games forum, from the user D10000, enjoy:

 

Sorry for the text background color but I have no clue how to change it.

 

icon1.gifMyth v. Stereotype, or "My Wizard Wears Plate and Has a 14 Strength"

 

 

In another thread on plate armor and spell casting I got off on a Semi tangent relating to magic user stereotypes and their conflict with magic user's in pre-D&D fantasy (this also overlaps and parallels Elves).

 

When I think of wizards I think of Odin, Mercury, Gandalf, Feanor, Elric, Kane or Simon Magus. Do any of them strike you as a skinny old bookworm? In many, many settings physical vitality is a prerequisite to surviving or excelling at magic use. 

To me, a mage is either 1) a superior being or 2) a man with a particular skill set which is for no reason incompatible with him being 7 feet tall and able to kill with an axe, especially if he's an adventurer. I mean, even computer geeks in the army have armor and know how to shoot guns, and adventuring is way more dangerous. If Bookmouse wizards exist they're doing bookmouse things, not getting their hair clipped by throwing axes in some hellish pit.

Another example is the sorcerer Xaltotun from the Conan story "Hour of the Dragon", who is almost physically perfect in addition to being a super sorcerer. I feel like the weak wizard is more a projection of modern bookworm stereotypes than most genre literature that went before. There's some evidence that good looks, physical fitness and brains often cluster in the same individuals I real life, though obviously not always it makes evolutionary sense (it makes sense to evolve attraction to traits that are associated with the genetics for physical and mental fitness). Though it's not exactly fair I think plenty of us have met the straight A trackstar who became a stockbroker, or someone like him. IRL there's no guarantee of balanced CP, even if PCs are for character creation reasons there's no reason NPCs should be.

 

Now put aside the character point issue for a moment (this is one reason I like random character attributes, and I've rolled them in GURPS before) it seems to me that somewhere the public image of wizards changed to be a lot different than Magi, wizards and sorcerers of the past. Sure, they're often ugly or anti-social, but wizard from Mazdaran to Baba Yaga are noteworthy for freakish, superhuman vitality. The difficulty of killing and keeping a wizard dead is central to many mythical plots from Iran to Scandinavia, and those are just the ones I'm familiar with. And characters not explicitly identified as wizards, but who use sorcery and magic, are often quite vital; I.e. the virtually-unkillable-except-by-brute-violence elves of Poul Anderson's the Broken Sword, where the Elf jarl is hung over continually burning coals with no food or water for weeks or months and recovers in a few days, or Tolkien's Elves and the Norse Ljosaelfar and Vanir, our the Finnish shape shifting smith-heroes. To pick an explicitly wizardry example, probably the most archetypsl 'wiz-ards' ever look at the gods of magic and knowledge, Odin or Mercury. One a god of war and kingship, the other of athletic speed; neither bookish or easily outdone in a fight.

 

So the only character you are able to quote as being both great wizards and great fighter are gods,godling, or mary sue character?

 

Stop try to justify the  unjustifiable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Stop try to justify the  unjustifiable.

 

 

I actually dont need to justify anything because its magic. Its amazing on how you insist that something that is all about creativity and a free spirit needs to bound to a specific rule set. If I make a fantasy world in which you need to be naked and wear a shoe on your head to cast spells than so be it.

Edited by Mayama

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Creativity and free spirit are good but if they are not tempered with common sense they became silly.

How many kids when they play became superduper heroes who can do anything ? The muscular mage is the same thing it's a naive stereotype.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Creativity and free spirit are good but if they are not tempered with common sense they became silly.

 

 

.....MAGIC.  You're aware this is what we're talking about, right? Are you aware magic is a work of fiction and is not governed by the laws of physics?


"The Courier was the worst of all of them. The worst by far. When he died the first time, he must have met the devil, and then killed him."

 

 

Is your mom hot? It may explain why guys were following her ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...