Mage ? Just got the new classes.

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Mage ? Just got the new classes.
« on: January 13, 2013, 02:27:42 AM »
Sorry if this has been answered, but since the Mage can cast spells does he use the Wizards's spell list, or what? Am I just over looking something?

Re: Mage ? Just got the new classes.
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 08:08:19 AM »
if you are talking about the alternate playbooks, those don't use spell lists, they can do whatever is within their respective choices.
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Re: Mage ? Just got the new classes.
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2013, 11:47:34 AM »
I'm looking at the Mage Playbook as well.  Do you have any experience running it?  It seems like a bit of work for the MC; even a 10+ has some sort of consequence to factor.  Not sure also how a 9th level Mage would cast a better spell than a 1st? 

I do like the creativity; but the focus benefit doesn't make sense?  When you cast a spell to which you have a focus, your benefit cannot be less than +1?  I assume most mages will have at least a +1 Int bonus. 

When you damage someone magically?  Do you just roll the d8 for the class? 

Re: Mage ? Just got the new classes.
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2013, 01:15:30 PM »
The Mage does not have a spell list - it was created explicitly to get away from the silly idea that you need a list of spells to do magic. With The Mage, you make up what you want your spell to accomplish on the fly, and depending on how well you roll determines what sort of limits the spell has. The spell will always have consequences, even on a 10+, because making up any sort of magic effect you want is a very powerful ability.

A 9th level Mage doesn't explicitly cast spells better than a 1st level one, that's not the point of Dungeon World. Dungeon World has a very flat leveling curve, which is one of the best things about it - don't relegate Mage spells to any kind of 'level' thought process. A 1st level Mage of The Dragon can burn down a city almost as well as a 9th level one, but the 9th level one will probably have some advances to make it go smoother and burnier.

The Focus benefit used to be a straight +1 to your Aligned spells, but this was essentially too good. However, having no benefit at all didn't make much sense either. So instead, it is a reasonable bonus that mostly helps in three situations: When The Mage is laden with INT penalties, when The Mage has -forward penalties he wants to ignore, or when someone with crappy INT multiclasses into Mage and still wants to spellcast. It ensures that at least your Aligned spells will usually work well.

Yes, the Mage rolls their class damage when dealing damage with their spells. It's the entire reason they have a d8 in damage.

I hope that helps!

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vsh

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Re: Mage ? Just got the new classes.
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2013, 02:21:47 PM »
It seems like a bit of work for the MC; even a 10+ has some sort of consequence to factor. 
That's the best part of the class. It snowballs like crazy. The wost part is that Mage tends to occupy the spotlight all the time. Other classes have things where they shine and where they do not, Mage breaks this niche protection. That's my experience anyway.

Re: Mage ? Just got the new classes.
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2013, 02:44:49 PM »
The wost part is that Mage tends to occupy the spotlight all the time. Other classes have things where they shine and where they do not, Mage breaks this niche protection. That's my experience anyway.

Yeah, I was really excited to show the Mage class to my wife who likes to play wizards but doesn't like a lot of crunch. However, after reading through the playbook a little more closely, I realized her magic could pretty much do anything thus stepping all over the other class roles.

Although, the Mage could probably be a really good class for single-PC games.

Re: Mage ? Just got the new classes.
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2013, 07:30:42 PM »
Thanks for all the replies.  Let me know how your wife's session as a Mage goes.

I'm still a little confused though on managing the power level?  With the Wizard, Fireball takes more resources than Magic Missile and isn't available till lvl3, but it does more damage and is armor penetrating.  With the mage, both spells can be cast as first level w/ similar risk/cost? and for similar 1d8 damage?  Why would the mage ever cast a bolt of fire vs. an amor piercing bolt of fire?

I suppose a 1st level Fighter hits just as often as a 9th lvl fighter in Dungeon World so it's a matter of adjusting to that idea applying to a magic user...
I guess I'm interested in how people have played the mage?  How do you set expectations/boundaries for what can be done?  It reminds me of Mage the Ascension where, perhaps just our group, a lot of disputes occurred over what fell in scope.


Re: Mage ? Just got the new classes.
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2013, 08:19:06 PM »
I see your point about how to modulate damage/effects of attack spells. I'm not sure what I would do if a Mage player wanted to cast a spell that shoots heat-seeking, armor-piercing acid blasts at all the enemies in sight. I guess I could just say no or that the total damage is 1D8 and that must be divided between all targets.

After thinking about all this, I'm thinking we'll probably stick to the wizard for now. We're all pretty new to DW and my wife and sister-in-law are pretty new to roleplaying in general so we want to avoid unnecessary complication at this point.
 

Re: Mage ? Just got the new classes.
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2013, 09:45:44 PM »
Sorry if I discouraged you Option.  I like the idea of the Mage playbook; but want to see how more experienced players and MCs managed the role?  I could see a Mage outshining the Wizard and all other PCs or going the other route and feel stymied by the MC afraid to cast a spell b/c a miss means the Curled Demon claims his soul.

Re: Mage ? Just got the new classes.
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2013, 11:27:49 PM »
This conversation also popped up on the Something Awful forums, and someone had a really good answer that I thought was worth reposting here:

Quote from: slydingdoor
I'm running a game with a mage of the Mask, as well as a druid and a thief who expressed some concern early on about how powerful "Cast a Spell" was. I put some thought into it and ended up satisfying everyone by emphasizing the robustness of the trigger. In my interpretation the "catches" picked from the list exist to give the player a sense of control over the costly consequences of casting a spell, and it's my vigilance in making sure the move is properly triggered that balances it.

Quote from: The Mage
    When you use the chaotic and unpredictable power of magic to deal with a problem right in front of you, roll +INT. On a 10+, your spell helps to solve the problem, but choose one from the list. On a 7-9, the spell takes effect, but choose two, or let the GM choose one:

I decided that the move even on a 10+ could only "help to solve a problem," and not solve it on its own, and on a partial success the spell need not help at all, since it only stipulates that the spell takes effect. Then I looked at the "right in front of you" clause, and decided the move only really helped with problems that were in his face or that he was aware of and paying attention to. Further, I decided that the effects of the spells should rarely put pressure on the other players, usually only the Mage. They only interacted with other people's problems if the Mage made them his problems and vice versa. Thus, at its best Cast a Spell can't ever solve a problem let alone everyone's problems at once, only buy time and create space for non-spell solutions; at its worst, it can't make things worse for the other characters unless they were counting on that spell to help solve their problems.

Also I suspect DMs are not really emphasizing that magic is "chaotic and unpredictable," so you can easily get a player to not spam it just by saying, "the Mage knows magic can't solve this problem," and even follow that up with "tell me why and what you have to do instead." That's using Reveal an unwelcome truth/Show a limitation of the class DM moves make sure everyone remembers they're all playing the same game.

Once the player got away from trying to describe the mechanisms and manifestation of the spell divorced from the problem it was intended to solve, and realized that his character needed to face problems to trigger his move it became easy for me to make him part of the team, not a second DM with disproportionate control over the pacing of the game and problems that would face the other players.

Somewhat related, I suspect my group's satisfaction might also depend on the party mage's Mask alignment. The player's opinion was that it the best Spell Focus because it's the only really versatile Aligned aspects and simultaneously has the most restrictive Opposed ones. I haven't thought about it deeply but the other schools do seem one-note and potentially unhinged by comparison.

To go more in depth, since his magic cannot do brute force, it doesn't shore up the stereotypical mage's dump stat, strength, and almost never does damage. He had to rely on his party members for that and started allocating points to dex so he could shoot at things when necessary. Since his spells cannot break facade, they have to be plausible in the fiction and neither handwavey nor showy. That means all his possible spell effects, aligned or not, are inextricably linked to the fiction, so I can do things like explain that his illusion drew upon its subject and audience as much as his direction. For example, the druid smelled an NPC they knew around a bandit hideout, the mage intended to use an image of the NPC to distract a bandit on patrol and find out whether that NPC was kidnapped by or in league with them by checking the patrolman's reaction. By making the image of him carrying her off in his arms and getting caught up in the moment I revealed that the NPC had been kidnapped and furthermore had ideas about being valiantly and romantically rescued by the Mage! Once they got into the hideout I then revealed that the NPC had felt him supernaturally calling out to her, and had threatened (and effectively warned) the guards of his magical powers and the fact that he was coming.


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vsh

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Re: Mage ? Just got the new classes.
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2013, 04:58:39 AM »
Yes, this can work.