"Trading in" Wizard spells

Slloyd14
Site Admin
Posts: 564
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:39 pm
Contact:

"Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by Slloyd14 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:33 pm

What if a wizard decides that glowing eyes is a really cool spell when they start their adventure, but as they grow, they decide that it doesn't have as much uses as they thought it did?

How about, they can trade it in for a new spell?

If you trade in an old spell for a new spell, you can subtract the cost of the old spell from the cost of a new spell to reduce the XP cost in learning it. In order for this two work:

You must be trading in a cheaper spell for a more expensive spell (so you pay some XP)
You may only trade in 1 spell at a time.

Also, for minor spells, how about you can trade in a new minor spell for an old one for no XP and just the time it takes to learn the new one?
http://virtualfantasies.blogspot.com/

A blog about writing gamebooks. My musings on how to write a gamebook and what makes a good gamebook.

Sukumvit
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:20 am

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by Sukumvit » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:19 pm

That's an excellent (and reasonable) idea; there's no reason why a mage shouldn't drop the Old Hits in favour of the New Sound... 8)

User avatar
Dawndeath
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:34 pm

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by Dawndeath » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:08 am

Yeah, I also think that sounds reasonable.

Of course, it should be up to individual Directors (and their players, to be fair) to determine how the 'science of magic' works in their game, and whether such exchanges fit in with their model. But I'd be happy with characters doing that.

User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 573
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by SkinnyOrc » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:30 pm

Dawndeath wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:08 am
Of course, it should be up to individual Directors (and their players, to be fair) to determine how the 'science of magic' works in their game, and whether such exchanges fit in with their model. But I'd be happy with characters doing that.
Yeah I don't see a problem with it from a game balance point of view and I can see how it's useful to let a player do that, but I'm struggling to rationalise how it works in the game world. How would a wizard forget a spell they'd learnt, and if they did how would that help them learn a different one? I'd be tempted just to say "okay just this once, we'll pretend you picked that one instead".

Slloyd14
Site Admin
Posts: 564
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:39 pm
Contact:

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by Slloyd14 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:17 pm

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:30 pm
Dawndeath wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:08 am
Of course, it should be up to individual Directors (and their players, to be fair) to determine how the 'science of magic' works in their game, and whether such exchanges fit in with their model. But I'd be happy with characters doing that.
Yeah I don't see a problem with it from a game balance point of view and I can see how it's useful to let a player do that, but I'm struggling to rationalise how it works in the game world. How would a wizard forget a spell they'd learnt, and if they did how would that help them learn a different one? I'd be tempted just to say "okay just this once, we'll pretend you picked that one instead".
Low cost spells could be seen as a simplification of a complicated concept and losing them could be a case of gaining a better understanding of a concept, the same way that you get simplifications at school. You go from the particle model to the model of the atom to the shapes of atomic orbitals.
http://virtualfantasies.blogspot.com/

A blog about writing gamebooks. My musings on how to write a gamebook and what makes a good gamebook.

User avatar
Dawndeath
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:34 pm

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by Dawndeath » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:26 pm

SkinnyOrc wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:30 pm
I'm struggling to rationalise how it works in the game world. How would a wizard forget a spell they'd learnt, and if they did how would that help them learn a different one? I'd be tempted just to say "okay just this once, we'll pretend you picked that one instead".
Slloyd14 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:17 pm
Low cost spells could be seen as a simplification of a complicated concept and losing them could be a case of gaining a better understanding of a concept, the same way that you get simplifications at school. You go from the particle model to the model of the atom to the shapes of atomic orbitals.
Good points. This is why I think it's important for Director and players to discuss how magic works in their game. What does it mean to learn a spell? Is it just like learning a mathematical formula, and there's no real way to forget it? Or is there something supernatural about learning magic itself - learning a spell produces some kind of change in the wizard that can be consciously undone or altered? Maybe it can be done, but it requires some kind of effort or even sacrifice on the part of the wizard.

I think the mechanics of magic has the potential to be one of the most interesting parts of each group building their own version of Titan. But it also has the potential to cause arguments if discussions are not handled carefully. I've had that happen with groups I've played in in the past. Not fun.

Sukumvit
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:20 am

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by Sukumvit » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:09 pm

Oh, some roleplayers have an infinite capacity to drain the fun out of a game; I remember a particularly loathsome AD&D session when I was a teenager, in which a player insisted on playing his Chaotic Evil thief to the hilt, to the constant detriment of the other characters. I've never seen so many friendships stretched to breaking point over something so frivolous...

User avatar
Dawndeath
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:34 pm

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by Dawndeath » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:21 am

Unfortunately some people are just like that. Not just in roleplaying, but in any activity you care to think of. :cry:

Now I really try to keep things civil and make sure everyone is on the same page, so that everyone can get something positive out of the game. Otherwise what's the point in playing?

When questions like "how does learning spells actually work" arise, the Director can discuss his ideas with the group, they can find an answer together and implement something everyone can get on board with. That then becomes the 'official' mechanic for their game, and can be used to inform any subsequent questions that may crop up. Like SkinnyOrc said, sometimes you might just want to go with a one-off ruling to make things simple for the time being, and that's fine too, as long as the players understand it's not a precedent. Again, if everyone's on the same page, then there should be no problems. Especially with a system as flexible as AFF. :mrgreen:

User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 573
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by SkinnyOrc » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:00 am

Sukumvit wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:09 pm
I remember a particularly loathsome AD&D session when I was a teenager, in which a player insisted on playing his Chaotic Evil thief to the hilt, to the constant detriment of the other characters.
Sounds like they had a bad case of smart-arse-itis. But the DM let them take a chaotic evil PC in what sounds like wasn't an evil party and it was pretty inevitable from there.

Sukumvit
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:20 am

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by Sukumvit » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:21 pm

The strange thing was, he wasn't particularly smart-arse-ish (he was actually a rather mellow, Hawkwind-loving stoner,) but he had a perverse streak that only seemed to surface during RPG sessions! I, on the other hand, was a sulky death metal fan with a grudge against society, but the living embodiment of courteous, co-operative team-player-ness when I was role-playing! But I guess that's one of the draws of RPG's: they allow underlying personality traits to emerge and be expressed (sometimes bad, sometimes good.) I agree that the DM has to take a lot of the blame, though.

I've got to say, I've never really figured out how to make "evil" player-characters work in games; at best, they quickly become an annoying distraction and at worst, they threaten to de-stabilise the whole campaign. And if you've got an entire party of evil characters, things rapidly become either ridiculous or downright unpleasant. One of the (many) things I like about AFF is the lack of Alignment; not only does it allow more nuanced personalities, but it also doesn't actively encourage people to play demonic Black Paladins...

Absolutely agree with Dawndeath that consensus among the group is essential to a good-natured game (and a quiet life.) I've also found that, as long as the players trust the GM and know that their judgements are fair-minded, they usually accept "on the spot" rulings and just get on with the game. Discussions about how to handle the situation in future can come later.
Last edited by Sukumvit on Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Dawndeath
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:34 pm

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by Dawndeath » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:00 pm

Sukumvit wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:21 pm
One of the (many) things I like about AFF is the lack of Alignment; not only does it allow more nuanced personalities, but it also doesn't actively encourage people to play demonic Black Paladins...
Can definitely second that. The alignment system served some purpose in giving you ideas about the motivations and actions of monsters and (possibly) NPCs, but I could never get on board with it being applied to PCs. It always ended up either being ignored completely (the preferable option), railroading the characters into behaviour that wasn't always what the players wanted - and punishing them for deviating from said behaviour, even if doing so was appropriate for the character given the particular set of circumstances; or frequently, turning otherwise interesting characters into cliches.

In other words, from my experience, when applied in any way strictly to PCs it never added any real fun to the game.

Sukumvit
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:20 am

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by Sukumvit » Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:47 pm

The only game I'm aware of that handled the"systemising" of characters' behaviour really well was Pendragon; because the code of Chivalry was so restrictive and also so important in Arthurian society, it made thematic sense that acting accordingly should be a central element of the game.

User avatar
Dawndeath
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:34 pm

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by Dawndeath » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:03 pm

Exactly. If there's an in-world reason why characters should behave in a particular way, and consequences for behaving otherwise, that's fine. But, "because I'm lawful good" just doesn't cut it for me.

If there was going to be anything like that in a system, I would prefer it to be a rough list of the character's motivations, views, prejudices, that sort of thing - pieces of information that would help me make decisions as my character when placed in different situations. For example, how would my character feel when encountering a particular race, or when viewing particular actions of other people, or when compelled to choose between two bad courses of action? Then let me decide what my character does. Don't impose a game mechanic that makes the choice for me.

HedgeWizard
Adventurer
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by HedgeWizard » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:22 pm

I first read this and went What how do you forget a spell?!? But thanks to Dawndeath’s comment about it all depends on how magic works in your version of Titan I suddenly saw the light. It’s amazing how ideas about things in a setting get ingrained in our minds.

Side point Sukumvit and Dawndeath... interesting points on managing difficult players and the lack of alignment in AFF but one of the great thing about this board is how focused the threads are. Please think about starting a new thread to discuss new ideas/topics. It helps us all to know where to go for things and helps advertise how varied the conversations are here, all great for AFF all round.

User avatar
Dawndeath
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:34 pm

Re: "Trading in" Wizard spells

Post by Dawndeath » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:36 am

HedgeWizard wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:22 pm
Side point Sukumvit and Dawndeath... interesting points on managing difficult players and the lack of alignment in AFF but one of the great thing about this board is how focused the threads are. Please think about starting a new thread to discuss new ideas/topics. It helps us all to know where to go for things and helps advertise how varied the conversations are here, all great for AFF all round.
Sorry HedgeWizard, in my mind we were still on topic as we were discussing in-world reasons for game mechanics.

IE Should forgetting spells be possible? - Yes, if it fits in with the model of your gaming world.
CF Should a rule like PC alignment be imposed? - Yes, if it fits in with the model of your gaming world.

I guess we had wandered a little, but that often happens in quality discussions: the detail of the conversation can change, while still being about the same foundational thought or question.

But we can move to a new thread if you prefer.

Post Reply