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Why do fighters do it all night, while wizards can't?


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I'd like to think PoE is taking his system and making some... adVancements... 6_u

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Jack Vance was a science fiction/fantasy author best known for his series Dying Earth, which brought us the whole "spell memorization" idea. D&D has traditionally used "Vancian magic" and it's a bit of a sacred cow.

 

There's nothing inherently wrong with Vancian magic (a name that has stuck though a wizard in D&D would have little in common with someone who uses magic in Dying Earth aside from forgetfulness and an unusual affinity towards rainbow-coloured spells) and it does have actual strong points but God damn.

Edited by Tamerlane
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Jack Vance was a science fiction/fantasy author best known for his series Dying Earth, which brought us the whole "spell memorization" idea. D&D has traditionally used "Vancian magic" and it's a bit of a sacred cow.

 

There's nothing inherently wrong with Vancian magic (a name that has stuck though a wizard in D&D would have little in common with someone who uses magic in Dying Earth aside from forgetfulness and an unusual affinity towards rainbow-coloured spells) and it does have actual strong points but God damn.

Thanks for this bit of knowledge. Damn what a dumb-dumb i am i didn't even do the rapprochement between Vance and vancian magic.

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In reply to the OP's post, you should know that in D&D pen'n'paper (the ruleset where PoE gets its influence from), wizards are the most powerful class, even with limited spells. Also, unlike the IE games, some of those powerful spells need costly components to be cast. 'Stoneskin' requires 250gp worth of diamond dust, while 'Tenser's transformation' costs a whooping 5,000gp!!

 

Still, in every balanced campaign world mages are feared not only by the common folk, but also by the wise adventurer.

 

That being the case, still they needed their 'at-will' spell atk, their 'weapon swing' you may say. D&D 3.5 finally incorporated such an option in the form of optional feat powers.

 

It is good to see PoE impliment their spell-casters as such, with their arsenal of encounter powers, turning them more low-mentainance. The trade-off is their spells are weaker than their D&D counterparts

Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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Also, unlike the IE games, some of those powerful spells need costly components to be cast. 'Stoneskin' requires 250gp worth of diamond dust, while 'Tenser's transformation' costs a whooping 5,000gp!!

And who says money doesn't buy power. :)

 

Seriously though. I kinda like the idea of material spell components, but I think they were a little extreme in PnP D&D. "Alas, we've been beset by a swathe of demons! I could cast a spell that would protect us all from harm, if only I had 20 demon toes! Hey, once we kill all these demons, I can then protect us from the harm that no longer exists!"

 

:)

 

I think that system works best when the utility spells require components, more often than not. And/or you can simply boost your spells with components. "Oh, we found the heart of a fire elemental. Now, I can use a shard of that to cast superior fire spells. My fireball can now split into three. Flame wall covers twice as much ground and burns longer, etc." That would be cool. But, having a grocery list just to be able to cast one simple spell wasn't much fun. That, or, your spells had several ingredients that were all ludicrously simple to come by, and you just bought like 100 of each thing every time you go to town, thus making the resource management almost a non-issue.

 

Again, not against the concept, but I think DnD overdid it a bit. Of course, it was much better in a PnP environment than it would be in a cRPG environment.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Also, unlike the IE games, some of those powerful spells need costly components to be cast. 'Stoneskin' requires 250gp worth of diamond dust, while 'Tenser's transformation' costs a whooping 5,000gp!!

And who says money doesn't buy power. :)

 

Seriously though. I kinda like the idea of material spell components, but I think they were a little extreme in PnP D&D. "Alas, we've been beset by a swathe of demons! I could cast a spell that would protect us all from harm, if only I had 20 demon toes! Hey, once we kill all these demons, I can then protect us from the harm that no longer exists!"

 

:)

 

I think that system works best when the utility spells require components, more often than not. And/or you can simply boost your spells with components. "Oh, we found the heart of a fire elemental. Now, I can use a shard of that to cast superior fire spells. My fireball can now split into three. Flame wall covers twice as much ground and burns longer, etc." That would be cool. But, having a grocery list just to be able to cast one simple spell wasn't much fun. That, or, your spells had several ingredients that were all ludicrously simple to come by, and you just bought like 100 of each thing every time you go to town, thus making the resource management almost a non-issue.

 

Again, not against the concept, but I think DnD overdid it a bit. Of course, it was much better in a PnP environment than it would be in a cRPG environment.

 

 

Its also called tactics. Being prepared is the key in PnP. And any good DM will first warn you and then punish you for not heeding that warning later. 

 

That would be fair game, if you know in advance that you are going to be beset by demons and do not prepare Circle against evil etc. 

"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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Its also called tactics. Being prepared is the key in PnP. And any good DM will first warn you and then punish you for not heeding that warning later. 

 

That would be fair game, if you know in advance that you are going to be beset by demons and do not prepare Circle against evil etc.

A) That's actually strategy, not tactics, and...

B) It's fine for preparation to be significant, but that doesn't excuse the process of preparation being boring.

 

"Hang on, guys... We could really use some defensive bonuses in this upcoming fight, but I'm going to need to do some grocery shopping to be able to cast the spell I need to cast. So, TIME OUT FOR A SCAVENGER HUNT! 8D!"

 

Heading into a volcano filled with elemental beings and wanting to simply be prepared for lots of fire/magical entities shouldn't be an ordeal of a choice. That's a simple choice. Now, if it was actually just a tactical choice, that'd be different. If some of your spells used money, for example, as the material component, or pieces of armor... that'd be interesting. :) "Oh crap... do I give up this magical robe so that we can all have a fire shield right now? Or should we try to stick it out against these flames so that I get to retain the benefit of this robe?"

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Its also called tactics. Being prepared is the key in PnP. And any good DM will first warn you and then punish you for not heeding that warning later. 

 

That would be fair game, if you know in advance that you are going to be beset by demons and do not prepare Circle against evil etc.

A) That's actually strategy, not tactics, and...

 

 

 

Wouldn't strategy in this scenario be more logically correspond to choosing the spells? i.e. at level up, that is waht sorcs and wizzies do.

 

 

B) It's fine for preparation to be significant, but that doesn't excuse the process of preparation being boring.

 

"Hang on, guys... We could really use some defensive bonuses in this upcoming fight, but I'm going to need to do some grocery shopping to be able to cast the spell I need to cast. So, TIME OUT FOR A SCAVENGER HUNT! 8D!"

 

Heading into a volcano filled with elemental beings and wanting to simply be prepared for lots of fire/magical entities shouldn't be an ordeal of a choice. That's a simple choice. Now, if it was actually just a tactical choice, that'd be different. If some of your spells used money, for example, as the material component, or pieces of armor... that'd be interesting. :) "Oh crap... do I give up this magical robe so that we can all have a fire shield right now? Or should we try to stick it out against these flames so that I get to retain the benefit of this robe?"

 

I have a feeling that you do not like to prepare for combat. Apparently you expect to win no matter what choices you made. Then PoE seems to be the right kind of game for you. Cheers!

Edited by Captain Shrek

"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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Wouldn't strategy in this scenario be more logically correspond to choosing the spells? i.e. at level up, that is waht sorcs and wizzies do.

Nope. That's something that would also be a strategic decision. But, "Hey, guys, this place is gonna have lots of fire, so we should probably go in with some fire protection" is a strategic choice, not a tactical one. You didn't react to the presence of fire, and make a trade-off decision based on the immediate circumstances. And making sure you've got a batch of ingredients in order to cast the spells you've already planned on casting is just a sub-set of the same strategic choice to be prepared with those spells in the first place.

 

 

I have a feeling that you do not like to prepare for combat. Apparently you expect to win no matter what choices you made. Then PoE seems to be the right kind of game for you. Cheers!

To conclude that from what we've discussed is folly. I've only expressed a dislike for one very particularly small portion of combat preparation, amongst a sea of others. That, and I've criticized the method of preparation, rather than the very act of preparation, itself. Not to mention, it's a factor unique to casters. So, are you suggesting that a party without a caster is incapable of preparation?

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Then your view of what is tactical is very narrow. As far as I am concerned strategy is something that is long term management of resource. Tactics is more towards a battle. Feel free to consider this heresy.
 

 

To conclude that from what we've discussed is folly. I've only expressed a dislike for one very particularly small portion of combat preparation, amongst a sea of others. That, and I've criticized the method of preparation, rather than the very act of preparation, itself. Not to mention, it's a factor unique to casters. So, are you suggesting that a party without a caster is incapable of preparation?

 

 

 

How is it folly? Components need not always be mundane things. In fact that is terrible design. Also, no where I have mentioned that such a thing be limited to casters. But it is of course more sensible that it is so, simply because casters are doing something unusual. It makes sense that if the effects of the casters can turn the tide of battle they should be balanced by having a cost for that action being so powerful. Otherwise why would not spam the wail of banshee every per rest encounter?

"The essence of balance is detachment. To embrace a cause, to grow fond or spiteful, is to lose one's balance, after which, no action can be trusted. Our burden is not for the dependent of spirit."

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Then your view of what is tactical is very narrow. As far as I am concerned strategy is something that is long term management of resource. Tactics is more towards a battle. Feel free to consider this heresy.

I don't just formulate views of what things are. Tactics are tactics. The word was devised to represent a specific idea. So if you want to represent not-that-idea, you use a different word. I don't consider anything heresy. I just think that we might as well not ever use any specific words at all if all we're going to do is reverse-nitpick about how broad terms' meanings can be.

 

If strategy is what you do before you know exactly what enemy you're going to face, tactics are what you do once you see your enemy. If not, then nothing separates the two. If deciding "Hey, we should probably bring various types of armor, in preparation for whatever we go up against" is a tactical choice, then what isn't a tactical choice?

 

I'm simply observing the difference in the terms. It's one thing to say "tactics" and mean something not quite accurate for that term, and then just explain what you mean. I'm not gonna go "OH WELL YOU STILL LOSE OR SOMETHING 'CAUSE YOU SAID THE WRONG WORD!" I don't care what word you said. I only care that you are aware of the difference between tactics and strategy, so long as you care to know such things. I can only assume you do, until you tell me otherwise. If you're just going to consider whatever you want to be tactics and ignore the meaning, and pretend I'm just throwing "my view" out there (like I somehow invented the definition of the two terms, and they weren't what they were long before I was born), then we have nothing else to discuss, really.

 

 

How is it folly? Components need not always be mundane things. In fact that is terrible design. Also, no where I have mentioned that such a thing be limited to casters. But it is of course more sensible that it is so, simply because casters are doing something unusual. It makes sense that if the effects of the casters can turn the tide of battle they should be balanced by having a cost for that action being so powerful. Otherwise why would not spam the wail of banshee every per rest encounter?

-___- *sigh*. I just explained how it's folly. That's why my response didn't end with that claim. Regardless of whether or not components are mundane things (which IS terrible design, indeed), collecting them just to be able to cast some spells can easily become a rigorous chore. I've already explained that I feel that some certain spells could have components, but that I take issue with a bunch of spells of all types, in general, simply requiring components (however un-mundane) to cast. D&D had an awful lot of spells that required components, many with mundane components, and others with not-so-mundane, which is why this came up at all.

 

Also, YOU never said anything about this being limited to casters. Spell components are limited to casters, because only casters cast spells. So Fighters don't need to go collect components to use Power Attack. So, my point was, you claimed I just hated preparation, purely because I take issue with slapping a bunch of material components on spells, but I must only hate preparation with casters. So, repeating myself, that's how it was folly to conclude I hate preparation and expect to win every engagement without thought, for one thing.

 

And no, it doesn't make sense for the component requirement to somehow balance out spell power, because all you have to do is essentially grind for 4 or 5 of those Wail of the Banshee components, then you CAN spam it 5 times in a row. And if the goal is to limit the use of such powerful spells, there are already umpteen other limitation mechanics in place on spells in any of the common spell systems, so slapping another one on that requires a scavenger hunt isn't incredible design. "Don't worry, guys! If we go out of our way to procure a dragon heart, I can kill everything in the world at once! 8D!"

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Historically speaking, there are three things at work here:

- Jack Vance's "Dying Earth"

- pen&paper RPG legacy and the need for everything to be manageable by a single human (Game Master)

- tradition

 

Jack Vance's "Dying Earth" books had an unique - for its time - magic system, where every single spell had to be committed to memory, and a wizard could only cast that "slot" once. It makes for some intriguing plot twists, with wizards explicitly mentioning how many spells they have memorized. Wizards frequently fight one another, and knowing what spells the other one has prepared can be used to defeat him. And it greatly enhances variety, because - far as I remember - no wizard ever memorizes the same spell twice. I don't think it's even possible.

 

Regarding pen&paper RPG games, it's like with board games. The best, most strategic ones have transparent rules which are easy for humans to remember and make it easy to plan. It's much easier to remember several individual spells you can all use once, than remember that spell A costs 5 mana, spell B 7 mana, spell C 12 mana and you have 44 mana. Meaning you can cast A 8 times, B - 6 times, C - 3 times but wait then you end up with 44 - 36 = 8 mana left, enough for spell A or spell B. And if you cast spell B 3 times, you end up with 44 - 18 = 26 mana, meaning you have enough for one spell C, or five spell A. You can't manage this in your head in split-seconds unless you worked as a cashier. And when you're in a pen&paper RPG session, other players will hate you if you spend minutes thinking what's the best use of your mana in a fight happening RIGHT NOW.

Best computer strategy games know rules must be manageable. That's why games like Age of Wonders III use small integers for movement ranges in combat.

 

As for fighters, there's...

- avoiding unnecessary complexity

Keeping in mind what I said above about making all the calculations in your head, it would be awful for a human Game Master to evaluate how exhausting each swing of sword, dodging or parry attempt is. These actions are much more common than casting a spell. You may think with computers we can let them do all the bookkeeping, but this comes at a price. Player no longer understands the rules fully and can't accurately predict how many resources he has, and how much longer he will be able to fight. This already happens to a degree with HPs. Let's not make it worse. Pushing too many rules onto computer is sweeping things under carpet. More often than not, it's not fixing complexity, it's hiding it. Then you get frustrated players because things are happening for reasons they don't understand. Trying to plan ahead feels like trying to nail fog to a wall.

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