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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 128 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: The masculine flaw (and a tangent about magic)  (Read 13678 times)
Lyrax
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Posts: 268


« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2002, 08:53:33 AM »

The weapon business:  It's a game of paper-rock-scissors.

example: Two armored Stahlinsh knights, one with a greatsword, the other with a warhammer, are fighting.  Who wins?  The warhammer, most likely, because it's an anti-armor weapon.

example: Two unarmored bladeslingers, one with a greatsword, the other with a warhammer, are fighting.  Who wins?  The greatsword, because it is an anti-personnel weapon (so to speak).

example: A bowman starts taking potshots at a bladeslinger from 50 yards.  Who wins?  The bowman.  easily.

example: a sorceror vs. a heavily armored knight.  Who wins?  That depends on distance.  If the sorceror can get a "spell" off before the knight catches him, he wins.

example: some guy with a warflail is attacking a bladeslinger with an arming-sword (who is defending with a shield).  Who wins?  The flail-guy, because the flail is great against shields.

example: flail-man attacking a Xanarian fop with two metal rat's tails.  Who wins?  Rat-tail man, unless he doesn't attack, because the rapier is WAY faster than the flail.

etc. etc. etc.

Sorcery:  If you think anybody's really trying at all to balance sorcery in this game, then I would ask you to run a game with a sorceror.  That is all.
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Lance Meibos
Insanity takes it's toll.  Please have exact change ready.

Get him quick!  He's still got 42 hit points left!
Bob Richter
Member

Posts: 324


« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2002, 09:05:44 AM »

Quote from: Lyrax
The weapon business:  It's a game of paper-rock-scissors.

example: Two armored Stahlinsh knights, one with a greatsword, the other with a warhammer, are fighting.  Who wins?  The warhammer, most likely, because it's an anti-armor weapon.

example: Two unarmored bladeslingers, one with a greatsword, the other with a warhammer, are fighting.  Who wins?  The greatsword, because it is an anti-personnel weapon (so to speak).

example: A bowman starts taking potshots at a bladeslinger from 50 yards.  Who wins?  The bowman.  easily.

example: a sorceror vs. a heavily armored knight.  Who wins?  That depends on distance.  If the sorceror can get a "spell" off before the knight catches him, he wins.

example: some guy with a warflail is attacking a bladeslinger with an arming-sword (who is defending with a shield).  Who wins?  The flail-guy, because the flail is great against shields.

example: flail-man attacking a Xanarian fop with two metal rat's tails.  Who wins?  Rat-tail man, unless he doesn't attack, because the rapier is WAY faster than the flail.

etc. etc. etc.

Sorcery:  If you think anybody's really trying at all to balance sorcery in this game, then I would ask you to run a game with a sorceror.  That is all.


All you need to do to see the balancing is look at the sorcery section and peruse the example spells. First, you age in months when you cast spells. It is basically inevitable. Second, it takes forever to cast them. Third, casting spells is blasted difficult.

tRoS's magic system is powerfully versatile, but the magic contained therein is relatively weak: its effects are no greater than those of most other systems, and yet the price for using it is horrific and the slow refresh rate for the Sorcery Pool almost ensures you won't be able to cast a spell when you need it.

Sorcerors and more fighter-types are pretty well-balanced, actually, because the Sorceror will eventually be dropped into melee rounds or will run out of mojo or knock himself out and then it's all over.

So what if he can level a city, if he practically has to kill himself to do it?
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So ye wanna go earnin' yer keep with yer sword, and ye think that it can't be too hard...
Lyrax
Member

Posts: 268


« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2002, 09:10:37 AM »

So what?  Run a game with one, and you will see so what.

Also: can you level a city?  I thought not.
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Lance Meibos
Insanity takes it's toll.  Please have exact change ready.

Get him quick!  He's still got 42 hit points left!
Jake Norwood
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« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2002, 09:15:04 AM »

A sorcerer can disintegrate anyone, anywhere, with almost no chance of failure. He might age a a few months (although if he incorporates it into a ritual then it won't be such a problem), but the bad-ass villian you've created is gone...no problem. Is it not internally balanced? No, there's a price and it's not free, but you can't possibly imply that TROS magic is balanced in any kind of wider-game-play traditional sense...

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2002, 10:00:49 AM »

Hi Bob,

I suggest that comments about the "balance" (so-called) and relative significance (better) of sorcery in TROS should be reserved until after playing extensively. Preferably playing extensively as both GM and as player.

Best,
Ron
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Bankuei
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« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2002, 10:00:52 AM »

True that each weapon has a place, but simply put, that's because they had a real place in actual combat.  Their balances aren't for the sake of the game, but real considerations that were being taken into account.

On the note of real life male/female advantages, etc.  I just figured men die 10 years earlier, women deal with the pain of childbirth.  Both have advantages and disadvantages, that's the nature of life.

And I agree that groin shots are hard to pull off in real life, but they make great feints to open suckers up to head shots :)

Chris
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Bob Richter
Member

Posts: 324


« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2002, 10:04:28 AM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood
A sorcerer can disintegrate anyone, anywhere, with almost no chance of failure. He might age a a few months (although if he incorporates it into a ritual then it won't be such a problem), but the bad-ass villian you've created is gone...no problem. Is it not internally balanced? No, there's a price and it's not free, but you can't possibly imply that TROS magic is balanced in any kind of wider-game-play traditional sense...

Jake


Sure I can. It's one of the weakest magic systems I've ever come across. Just being able to disintegrate one guy a day, with a link to him, with even a small chance of failure, doesn't really make it worth the aging you will almost certainly take.
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So ye wanna go earnin' yer keep with yer sword, and ye think that it can't be too hard...
Furious D
Member

Posts: 55


« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2002, 10:35:21 AM »

Quote from: Bob Richter

Sure I can. It's one of the weakest magic systems I've ever come across. Just being able to disintegrate one guy a day, with a link to him, with even a small chance of failure, doesn't really make it worth the aging you will almost certainly take.


"Weakest" isn't the word I'd use (as some of the spell effects are just sickeningly powerful).  At least, that's not the word I would use in most situations.  If your sorceror is caught with his proverbial (or literal) pants down, well yes, in that particular situation it is one of the weakest around.  The drawbacks, prep time (making it impractical for immediate emergencies), and aging (making it impractical for casual use and up to a point is more of a character issue), are not entirely crippling.  Although, these are the kind of situations a player character is more likely to encounter, especially compared to situations where they'll be "smiting" someone (how often is the GM going to give them that oppurtunity, really?  And how much would the GM let them get away with?).  These factors do make the player extremely cautious with magic's use (unless they think of the mage as a "throw-away" character).  But of the two, the casting time issue is probably the most worrisome, what with extremely few options available when engaged in close combat (your options include "lightning" or dieing, unless you have some weapon skill).

Which is why I made this spell.

Jump
Spell of One
CTN= 2 (casting time 2 seconds)
T) 0 R) 0 V) 2 D) 0 L) 2 Formalized -2
Vagary: Movement 2
Effects: Speed 2, maneuverability 2, lift 2
Instantaneous

Also affectionately known as "bug out" or "flee like a wee girl", this spell allows the caster to "jump" to any visible location within 10 yds (double for each additional success beyond the CTN), so long as an unobstructed straight or ballistic path is available.  If the path is obstructed, caster or obstruction (if animate and aware) must make a AG test with TN 6+ to avoid collision or suffer 4 pts bludgeoning damage (to caster and obstruction both).  A fumble by either results in double damage to both.

Has the singular advantage of being one of the few useful spells a sorceror can cast while engaged in melee combat.  Often used to "get some breathing room" so that more powerful spells can be cast.

Can be maintained for a series of hops.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2002, 10:37:46 AM »

Wasn't this thread about being kicked in the balls?

Best,
Ron
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Furious D
Member

Posts: 55


« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2002, 10:57:19 AM »

Quote from: Lyrax
So what?  Run a game with one, and you will see so what.

Also: can you level a city?  I thought not.


Yeah, you can level a city.  Take that fireball spell Bob posted earlier.  Add a Duration component.  All of the sudden you have an ever expanding firey inferno that's self sustaining (churning 300 gallons of air a second into firey death) for anywhere from a minute to a day depending on how high you want to crank the CTN.

That there is a weapon of mass destruction.

Or another way.  How hard do you think it would be to make a nuke?

Nuke
Spell of Three
CTN=  11 (casting time 110 seconds)
T) 1 R) 3 V) 3 D) 0 L) 3 (3, formalized)
Vagary: Movement 3, Vision 3
Effects: Speed 3, maneuverability 3, lift 3, Clairvoyance 3,  Divination 3
Duration: Dead in an instant

Harnessing the power of the atom (thus the Vision 3 requirement), the spellcaster can collapse a full ton of matter (or 300 gallons, whichever is less, depends on density of object) into a single point at the speed of light.  If the spellcaster is lucky (make an Art roll with TN 5), this results in a catastrophic atomic fusion reaction, devastating everything within 11 + caster successes miles.  If the Art roll fails, the collapsed matter explodes violently, but does not fuse (11+ caster successes in bludgeoning damage to everyone within 11+ caster successes yards) If the caster is extremely unlucky (the Art roll is fumbled) a quantum singularity is formed, starting an irreversable, sustained collapse that will consume the entire planet.  Not to be used lightly.
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Furious D
Member

Posts: 55


« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2002, 11:01:14 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Wasn't this thread about being kicked in the balls?

Best,
Ron


Yeah, I seem to recall something like that.

Okay, maybe the whole "is magery crippled" bit should have gone in another thread. :P

Back on topic.  Mages don't like it when you kick them in the balls.  Luckily, the shock and pain modifiers are so high, they won't be able to do much about it before you finish them off. :)

I think that the pain modifiers for groin hits should be lessened (maybe more shock), as someone mentioned.  It really is only fleetingly debilitating (usually)
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2002, 11:25:01 AM »

Quote from: Bob Richter
...Female groins really aren't all that superior in real life...


Well, actually...

(deep breath)...

Nah.. it's just too easy. And it would get me kicked off the forum.

And my wife would find out and kill me ;-)

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
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RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Valamir
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« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2002, 12:14:36 PM »

Quote from: Bob Richter
Quote from: Jake Norwood
A sorcerer can disintegrate anyone, anywhere, with almost no chance of failure. He might age a a few months (although if he incorporates it into a ritual then it won't be such a problem), but the bad-ass villian you've created is gone...no problem. Is it not internally balanced? No, there's a price and it's not free, but you can't possibly imply that TROS magic is balanced in any kind of wider-game-play traditional sense...

Jake


Sure I can. It's one of the weakest magic systems I've ever come across. Just being able to disintegrate one guy a day, with a link to him, with even a small chance of failure, doesn't really make it worth the aging you will almost certainly take.


Bob, you've posted alot of good stuff in your brief time on this forum, but you have this unfortuneate tendency to make great sweeping statements based on initial reactions.  

I suspect you are comparing RoS sorcery to some magic missile, fire ball blasting, 1 man artillery battalion model of a wizard.  You correctly realize that this sort of magic-user doesn't exist in in TRoS so you conclude that magic is weak.  Bah.  magic is different.  Like swordsman, if you charge in full bore without thinking...you die.  Stupid swordsmen die of a sword thrust, stupid sorcerers die of premature aging.  

Back up and think about how a TRoS sorcerer really operates.  You never see him.  You never interact with him.  You've never heard of him.  But somewhere along the line you started unknowingly interfering with his machinations.  Now you are dead, and noone knows how or why, and the sorcerer continues on with his plans.  That is a heluva lot scarier and more powerful than any fireball slinger.

How do you fight that...how do you stop it...how do you even discover who he is?  Weak magic system?...hardly.  The only magic system I've seen which is more potentially devastating is that of Orkwold Elves.
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Psychopompous
Member

Posts: 27


« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2002, 02:27:45 PM »

>>> Back up and think about how a TRoS sorcerer really operates. You never see him. You never interact with him. You've never heard of him. But somewhere along the line you started unknowingly interfering with his machinations. Now you are dead, and noone knows how or why, and the sorcerer continues on with his plans. That is a heluva lot scarier and more powerful than any fireball slinger. <<<

Okay that's great and powerful, yeah. Not useful to players or Seneschals though...

Seneschal introduces evil sorcer... the players are now dead and there's nothing they could have done.

Player makes a sorceror and goes adventuring, he spends most of his time NOT casting spells (the major scary thing he can do) because 1) it takes too long to be useful in most situations and 2) it WILL cause his premature death if he does

Now the issue of the sorceror's machinations... If I were a sorcerer I would do 1 thing. I would cast Lust on an attractive member of the opposite gender and then go about my life never casting another spell. Maybe I'd use vision and movement to steal a pile of gold from halfway across the world and live in comfort.
Realisticlly, why would a sorceror do anything else?

I have a major beef with the majic system because it makes sorcerors almost completely useless in a campaign for both players and senechals... They don't make good PCs, they don't make good NPCs; what use are they?
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2002, 02:31:27 PM »

I hate asking this, but I have to.

Have any of you that are looking down at TROS magic ever played a campaign with a sorcerer PC?

If not, go do it, and then tell us what happened. I've been in lots of games with TROS sorcerers (and remember, I didn't write the magic system) and I found it to be an absolute blast, and the most fun with magic I've had. That's why I decided to put it in the game--it's not like I didn't have other options.

If you haven't driven it, you can't tell us how it handles.

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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