Monday, December 10, 2012

Why Legend Quest - part 4

This will be our last of these, but if you have any questions, please just let us know in comments or at Magic - hugely important for any FRPG. So how to use it? Well, I have always hated the “spell leaves your memory” model. Never understood that! I guess it’s from some forgotten fantasy novel series. Anyway - I wanted the mages to be able to customize just like the warriors (see the last post for details on shield fighters). So how? Well, in LQ, you need power levels in order to cast a spell. For attack spells, the more power, the more damage. So you can get your power way up and become a spell casting monster. OR you can get your control levels up and be more of a sniper. Instead of doing huge damage, you can get your accuracy (or range or area of effect) way up. That was always the intent, but wise spell casters learned to ride the middle - balance power levels and control levels to get fairly good on both sides. Here’s where the players have used the system to customize: number of spells. Some players get phenomenally good (control levels) with just a couple of spells. Others go for having dozens of spells at their command. These are the guys who love the Book of Wishes magic supplement. But this is a fun balancing act. Do you want to be a wizard with heals, fireballs, teleports, etc. or do you want to be a focused sorcerer with fireball, but a fireball that always hits and can be bigger and go farther than everyone else’s? It continues with which magic items you use, because those talismans are expensive. Which do you use to assist? Focus or broad ability? Further - What type of “magic” do you want? Mentalism, the “pure” magic of the mages and wizards, spell singing, alchemy or enchantment, etc. This affects whether or not you can use steel, how your spells are cast and a number of other influences, that may not seem important at first, but affect both the role-playing and the game. Mentalists don’t have to speak, while spells singers not only speak, but aren’t allowed to whisper. That matters! Both of them are unaffected by steel, while the wizards are, so if you want more of a fighter/mage, you are likely looking at a spell singer. Then again, a wizard with a glass sword (magically hardened of course) can be just as deadly in a duel. I wrote these posts to try and let some of the newer folks see “behind the curtain”. Everyone does things for a reason, and my reasons strongly influenced the rules of Legend Quest. Clearly, we think it is the best. Even when we started two decades ago, others agreed: “A real gem of a game. One of the best systems I’ve ever seen” - Dragon Magazine

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