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a wizards game?

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Joined: 06 Jul 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:55 pm    Post subject: a wizards game? Reply with quote

hi everyone
so a good half of the player's reference book is dedicated to the magic system and spells- is this in any way means a caster will ultimately oushine other characters with their higher circle "kill everything/win the game" spell

i know there shouldn't be a perfect, karmic character balance a la 4th edition of a certain game (let's make fighters supernatural casters but call it powers instead of spells...behh) - - - but i really hate lfqw...

haven't went through all the spells yet (i admit- i am relatively new to the game)
i'm liking wayfarers a lot- it just falls into all the right places for me; and i know no game is perfect.

so tell me, should i houserule or is it going to be ok in higher levels?

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Joined: 02 Oct 2010
Posts: 321
Location: Montreal, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello breikie,

Feel free to disagree since I can only base my response on personal experience but the "linear-fighter-quadratic-wizard" issue appears to me as more of a perceived problem than an actual problem unless you are running a high-level campaign. Please forgive me if my answer is somewhat long-winded but I've found discussions on this topic to be interesting if not surprising on other forums.

My entry point into the hobby has been 2E AD&D in the early 90s and I've since been playing (mostly GMing) a form or another of the game (other editions, clones, simulacrums, etc) up to Wayfarers. Oddly enough, the various players in my games (including some power-gamers) mostly chose to play warrior or rogue types over wizard or even cleric types. I wouldn't be able to give a clear reason to explain that observation but I can say for sure that my sampling of players were not masochistic in nature. Wink

Granted, I now find non-spellcasters to be a bit bland in the more old-school games but I believe that significant balance issues with spellcasters mostly occur at higher levels which have been rarely reached in most of the campaigns in which I've participated. Old-school D&D appears to have been designed for actual play up to 9-12ish levels. I think that spellcasters and non-spellcasters are not all that unbalanced up to that point. I cannot really comment about play over those levels. Back then, spellcasters traded survivability at lower levels for the promise of more power at higher levels. That said, nowadays, I'm not a big fan of a balancing scheme based solely on this approach.

A theory I have is that (some or many?) players' expectations have changed over the years (due in part to computer RPGs?). In my gaming circle, we tended to contemplate the highest levels with awe as an (unattainable?) ideal while we now more readily aspire for our characters to attain world-altering epicness.

This finally leads me to Wayfarers which still follows the tradition of magic being powerful but with the following distinctions that come to my mind :

- Spellcasters are more viable at lower levels (more starting health and they can improve their survivability in combat by purchasing appropriate disciplines).
- The Vancian spell slot system is more flexible (spellcasters do not need to memorize individual spells).
- As a trade-off, spellcasters get their most powerful spells at higher levels when compared to other D&D-like games (ex. Invisibility is a 4th Circle spell while it is typically a 2nd Level spell in other games).
- Spells also do not scale as much with the casters' level (ex. Fireball is a 5th Circle spell which deals a flat 6d8 damage (27 average) while it is typically a 3rd Level spell which deals 5d6-10d6 damage (17,5-35 average) depending on the caster's level in other games).
- Spellcasting requires a significant skill point investment but remains available to all.
- Non-spellcasters get to pick from a variety of disciplines to add options and spice-up combat.

The Player's Reference Book does allocate much of its page count to spells (divided into four types of magic instead of the usual two) but I see it more as a measure of the game's possibilities (as with the large number of creatures and magic items contained in the GM's Book) rather than a reflection of the spellcasters' relative power.

If you are unconvinced, you could certainly house-rule the Spell Circle disciplines so that they cost 3 x Circle skill points instead of 2 x Circle for example. This would make the higher-end spells that much more expensive to obtain.

As you said it yourself, "perfect karmic balance" would only be possible (other than in a purely narrativist system) if all characters shared the exact same spell system with the names filed off and replaced for flavor purposes, therefore negating the uniqueness of spellcasting.

Apologies for all this rambling of mine,

My campaign's rules
My Wayfarers review
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Joined: 06 Jul 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

no apologies needed

i guess it will be alright since me and my friends rarely ever reached higher levels in our games (becoming demigods was never our thing...)

many thanks metathiax!
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Joined: 04 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All these tinny details are made with lot of background knowledge. You efforts to provide us so nice and useful information are pretty good.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for sharing this information. I like this side. Its really a great article. So please give me some important information about this side.
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