Should mages be as fragile as they are?

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Luke
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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Luke » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:52 pm

I would go with whatever distinguishes the classes. In my mind Celebrant, Mage, High Mage, Arch Celebrant, and Druid are essentially the same class. They have slight differences for sure but unless the influence lists are made to be different you are looking at;

1 hit per
Lots of circles in an element/absolute
Some circles in light/shadow
Circle 2 meta for contingency Shield of above.
Med.

EVERY MAGE EVER.

Druid is the only exception to this, but with no light/shadow shields, and restrictions we hardly see them played.

if Mages were elemental
Celebrants were absolute
Druids were a mix.

I think we'd see some really cool characters. Who cares if they all have a meta shield, you'd know what they were from what they cast.

my next radical thought (craziness), though I havent decided if I like this;
Druid is the nature caster, ranger is the nature battle caster (stealth mod, no armour limit etc)

Assume we add harsh armour limits to celebrants and mages (making them like that priest thing, Ben), could we not suggest 2 new classes along similar lines to the ranger but for absolute/elemental.
So a +1 magic mod perhaps, -1 to martial or stealth?

While I'm typing this I'm aware it could lead to a potential blurring of the classes again. Hmmm. I'm going to shh now.
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Huw
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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Huw » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:29 pm

I get what you mean, Rebecca and Luke, but it seems like a pretty fundamental principle: to get extra hits or damage grades, you need to spend skill. Yes, warriors can wear lots of armor that translates into free hits. But they can't do all the things that having spheres of magic gives them.

If you add Mage Shield as a spell based on a character's highest circle, it feels kind of like simply giving them global hits. The skill put into buying magic gains the character an increasingly-large list of pretty varied abilities. And then you'd get a warrior or ranger who buys one circle of magic or earns one through faith - does he get a shield spell?

If you add this kind of spell to any one sphere, then people will just buy that one sphere - so instead of buying Light or Shadow, people buy Metamagic.


So (I think) that mage shield should be a seperate ability . How much it costs, I don't know. Maybe not much. If you want lots of magic ability and not to get into fights, you don't buy it. Or buy one rank of it to stop yourself being knocked out in one hit and then get back to the magic.
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Luke
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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Luke » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:56 pm

Surely the simple middle ground is make it have a flat skill cost like stances etc

Every mage buys med, but they don't HAVE to, make it the same with this?
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Stevie
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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Stevie » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:43 pm

I feel like mages should be as fragile as they are. They generally have a shielding ability which is fairly accessible to them. Yes they are pigeonholed into either Shadow/Light, but I think that is a fine part of it. Don't want to go Shadow/Light, well how about Earth for Rockskin, or Meta for reflect and to just stay out of combat. Life/Death have increases to hits per and most spheres have CC abilities to help you escape melee attackers.

The wonderful thing about this system is that it's so versatile. As a mage you can wear armor and to be perfectly honest, you could also buy extra hits per, there is nothing stopping you from doing that. Is it efficient for you to do so? Not really, but it's not efficient (read: possible) for a Warrior to learn circles of magic. I feel like the trade off between being able to cast multiple spheres of magic that can influence play in so many diverse ways is equally met by the combat weaknesses of magical using classes. I feel there are enough ways in which those magical using classes can mitigate and avoid that damage to render it balanced.

I don't feel like there is an imbalance in power/survivability for mages. If most player character deaths were magical using classes, there might be a point, but even then correlation doesn't imply causation and on top of that I don't think most PC deaths are magical using classes afaik.

I feel that we're possibly pandering to a need that isn't there. There is an IC understanding by students of magic, that Light/Shadow allows them to bend light etc in such a way that blows are deflected. If you choose as a mage not to take that, then of course you should probably find some other defensive mechanism, of which there are plenty in the other spheres, and many that are traditional (armor/hits per). You are going out as a mercenary, it is dangerous, if you don't make some consideration for defensive/mitigating play then you deserve to die due to sheer idiocy.

I'd like to draw a parallel to this idea. Johnny the Warrior knows that as an adventurer, life is dangerous. Johnny doesn't care, he decides to forgo the known defensive mechanisms of Armor/A Shield/Extra Hits Per. He dies. "SHOULD WARRIORS BE AS FRAGILE AS THEY ARE?" Basically, I feel that there are enough defensive options for a mage to take, I feel that their combat weakness (in comparison to other classes) is a fair trade-off for their skill set, I feel that we're giving additional options to a class that already has a wealth to choose from in both skills/gameplay. I also feel that I have been thoroughly sarcastic, but that's just how I roll.

Out.

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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Luke » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:05 pm

I have less of an issue with mages being underpowered, and more that I dislike the utter necessity to go light/shadow in most cases for a spell that doesn't really feel like either. Hence why I would put that fairly staple spell into a different form. That is all.
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Huw
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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Huw » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:27 pm

Agreed. A simple spell that all mage-types can get - if they want to - that allows them to withstand some damage. Replaces shield of Darkness/Purity so people aren't pushed into to buying an entire circle of magic.

That would do it.
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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Stevie » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:33 pm

I guess I would feel that Shadow/Light would feel fairly useless without the shielding spells.. I assume they would probably get something to compensate for that, but then we could be at some kind of eternal balancing act. I think you can go other routes than Shadow/Light, Battle Caster is an under-purchased ability imo and like I said, there are other alternatives within Earth, or simple adapting your play style to account for the fact that IC your mage doesn't like Light/Shadow.

Seems I may be in the minority, so perhaps something that is more accessible, but doesn't just mimic the shielding abilities in light/shadow as I feel that would be a bad compromise. Something akin to Toughened to essence maybe? Call it Mana Barrier, stick some bells and whistles on it.

For consideration:

Mana Barrier
Meta
Self
Rank: 4/8/12/16/20
Duration: Until Sunrise
The ability allows the caster to forge a conduit between his body and his essence. This allows the caster to take damaging attacks to their essence pool instead of their hits. The caster may take up to 1/2/3/4/5 points of physical/magical damage (not soul) to their essence pool per second. This ability requires a clear path between body and mind, and as such more than 2 points of armor to any one location will break the Mana Barrier.

A call of "Mana Barrier" would sound cool


Mage Armor
N/A (This spell is available in all circles of magic)
Self
Rank: 4/8/12/16/20
Duration: Until Sunrise
This ability summons an ethereal garb of pure magic around the caster. It confers 2/3/4/5/6 points of magical armor to each location which functions in the same way as regular armor (except y'know, it's invisible and shit). This armor will not count to any spellcasting limit and can be repaired as per normal armor (note the armor is split into the 6 standard locations, so it would take one repair per location). Should the caster be wearing more that 2 points of armor to any one location this spell will end.


Just some creative musings.

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Stevie
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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Stevie » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:36 pm

I guess the second one is kinda like Rockskin, except better early.. but I suppose you're hampered by the fact it's self-only and you can't wear additional armor. Prob needs fine-tuning.

Early OP clarify: You cannot just cast the 4 essence one over itself. You can only overwrite with a bigger one. Repair it, don't be lame.

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Ben
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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:54 pm

Stevie wrote:I guess I would feel that Shadow/Light would feel fairly useless without the shielding spells.


Shadow is about destruction and domination, Light is about sight and invisibility.

If you add this kind of spell to any one sphere, then people will just buy that one sphere - so instead of buying Light or Shadow, people buy Metamagic.


I don't mind this too much: it's core magic that everyone can have, It doesn't feel like you're making an alignment choice. Also it stops people having both shields up at the same time (as there will only be one).
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Huw
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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Huw » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:32 pm

Hmmm...Mana barrier sounds a bit like a retroactive Shield of Darkness with a rank equal to their essence. A 120 essence mage with this has 100 global hits...kinda?

Mage Armor: I like the idea, but strongly feel that you shouldn't have the benefits of armor without wearing armour. Find some leather or chain if you want hits from armour.



Okay, here's my suggestion:
Mana Barrier (stealing the name 'cos it's cool):
(Available to all Celebrants, Arch Celebrants, Bards, Druids, Mages, Arch Mages & Sorcerer. Each rank is a seperate spell for a Sorcerer. Like meditation, this isn't affected by any ability modifiers.)

Base cost 3+
Duration: 24hrs/until destroyed
Range: Self
Creates a shield of pure magic that will block incoming damage, in essence granting global hits. Exactly like a Shield of Darkness etc because people know how they work and they come with their own drawbacks - relatively expensive to maintain, vulnerable to blasts.

EXCEPT

The rank of this skill purchased determines the maximum rank of shield that can be cast:

Rank 1: 5 hits
Rank 2: 10 hits
...etc, up to Rank 5 at 25 hits.



Want 5 globals? 3 skill. Not too bad, you'll survive a quad in the back as you run away.

Want 25 globals? 25 skill. A lot, but it's 25 globals...combine it with Battle Mage ability and a fighter-mage might be a viable thing...


Alternatively make it cost 4+, so 25 globals costs 30 skill.
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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Stevie » Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:47 pm

It's just a better cheaper way to not buy Shadow/Light. Most mages pick them up solely for the shields (there's some legitimate reasons to pick up Shadow, Light has less of those reasons), so this change would effectively act as a strong buff to mages.

I just don't like the idea of something that's so close to SoP/SoD. In truth, I don't feel the entire thing needs tampering with at all, if you want shields buy Shadow/Light. If you don't want to buy those spheres, look for your defensive skills elsewhere, you've got a lot to choose from.

Saying "I feel like I am being forced to take Shadow/Light for the shields" is like saying "I feel like I have to take Fire, just for the burning hands". That's where the spells are, if you don't want to buy into that sphere, don't. No one is forcing anyone to take those spheres, like I said, there are SOOOOO many other defensive options.

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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Luke » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:32 pm

I agree with you Stevie actually, really I was just suggesting the spell be more accessible and in turn reduce the amount of armour on mages (which a few people have said isn't very flavoursome).

The only difference I would perhaps add is that shield of darkness is outdated. Leave the shield spell in Light but shadow has enough AWESOME stuff in it without that anti-flavour spell. Shadow mages should just go invisible. I'm aware this could lead to another lengthy debate but it's just a very very tentative suggestion. It would also yhelp distinguish light as a sphere which is atm pretty crappy (with a few exceptions)
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Ben
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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Ben » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:09 pm

Shadow mages should just go invisible


Light mages can do this too (and, in higher circles, better).

But I see what you mean. I think the very simple "Shield of X" works. You put 20 essence into it, you get 20 hits. In the same way as a non-caster could regen 20 points of damage for 20 essence or an Orc could ignore 20 points for 20 essence or 20 uses of Resistance of the Legends would negate 20 damage. The only(?) thing more efficient is healing...or dex I guess as it costs no essence.

For a non-scout (the stealth specialist class), dex is only 1 skill cheaper (race for race) for a stealth class than a mage. There's nothing stopping a mage putting a lot of skill into dex: say they had 6 ranks of it, they'd only have paid 6 skill more than someone for whom their primary defence is dex.

As an idea on the use of armour. Battle Caster could be a ranked skill: take it once and you can cast circle 1 spells through metal armour, the second buy allows you to cast circle 2 etc.

To be honest, I'm pro change and if the majority want to make a change then I'm happy to work something out. If you're in the minority and you want a change, there's always uniques.
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Luke
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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Luke » Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:55 pm

Just to be a douche and add MORE stuff to consider.

Make Battle Caster a ranked ability: +1 to armour casting limit. 3 skill (Martial).
That way martial races etc can use armour and magic better. Maybe cap it at 3 buys or something. I actually really like this.

Also with regards to light/shadow, yeah light mages can go invisible well... and see through invis... but I don't think it contends with shadow which has: Invisibility, domination, conceal lies, item destruction, master crafted item destruction, blind, halt, AND SHIELD OF FREAKING DARKNESS.
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Re: Should mages be as fragile as they are?

Postby Stevie » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:04 pm

I haven't really been looking at Armour enough in this thread. I think we underestimate how much Armour the spellcasting classes can wear.

Rangers - No Limit (Non Metal Only)
Druid - No Limit (Non Metal Only)
Bard - 6
Celebrant - 4 (Can increase to no limit via Vow)
Mages - 4 (Able to increase to 8 )
Hope Slayer - 4

High Mage - 2
Arch Celebrant - 1 (Could increase to no limit, but not really feasible)
Sorcerer - 1

Now it's only the 3 *really* specialised pure magic casters that seem to have any big drawback when it comes to survivability, which I think it a fair trade-off. To be honest, being able to wear 4 points of armour as a mage is pretty fucking awesome. Very few Warriors go out on adventure with much more than 8 or so (I've not seen many Warriors wear more than Chain over Leather)

I think when I consider the main question
"Should mages be as fragile as they are?"

I come to the conclusion that they are in fact much tankier than I realised.

If I consider what seems to be a secondary question that we've come to
"Is the "metagame" of Mages either having Light/Shadow for their shielding getting stale?" ("Is the "metagame" of everyone buying Warmogs getting stale?")

I think I would say yes.


I would maybe go with Lukes suggestion, but limit it to a max of double your base. Also, I think many people are forgetting that

Extra armour hits gained from being master crafted or from items do not count towards the maximum armour a person can wear or any other penalties to dexterity or being encumbered.
So a Sorcerer, who has a maximum armour allowance of 1 could wear master crafted fur and benefit from 2 points of armour.


So get crafting!


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