Thursday, February 12, 2015

DF Magic Item abuse & possible solutions III

Here are two more possible curbs for magic item abuse in my DF game.

This was suggested by one of my players:

Idea 8: One person only. By default, you can put a buff spell on only one target. It could be you or someone else, but only one at a time. You can cancel early, as usual (1 FP cost) if you want to switch targets, but otherwise you have to wait.

Notes: We'd need a d60 to really know where in the ongoing spell you were when a fight starts. Oddly different from how spells work now, but it seems pretty balanced against the other choices.

Idea 9: Item spells on other people count as spells "on." Any spell used on a target other than the magic item's owner counts as a spell on for all purposes, including casting your own spells or using another magic item. On yourself, it doesn't count towards the total.

Notes: This would undo something we've done for a while, which is say items cast by an item accumulate penalties to that item, only. This makes items without the Power enchantment dramatically less valuable.

And no, we still haven't decided. I'm sure we'll decide right before game starts on Sunday.


  1. How about instead of trying to nerf the magic items you just raise the supernatural powers of the monsters and the dungeon to compensate? GURPS DF plays differently than AD&D so mabe the monsters and dungeon encounters must be upgraded to be able to challenge the PCs

    1. Because the game is already on hard mode, but not on "free buff for everyone" mode. If we leave magic as it is, it's "free buff for everyone" mode, and that's way too video gamey for us.

    2. But isn't that the way GURPS Magic works? Wizards can continuously cast low powers spells if they know them at a high level. This is different from AD&D magic because in AD&D you could cast a few awesome spells but then you were depleted. In GURPS a wizard can endlessly cast magical spells like See Secrets and such but nothing truly awesome.

    3. It's how magic works, but allowing non-mages to turn money into cheap, continuous group buffs undermines the wizard. The counters to such tactics are foes that ignore those buffs, LMZs and NMZs that strip them away, and so on - but all of those things further undermine the wizard characters.

      It's a problem that money lets people buy magic that either makes the wizard less effective or lets them buy magic that the GM counters by making their items and the wizard less effective. That's lose-lose for the kind of game we're playing.

    4. Maybe you could encourage wizards to get mana enhancer and then add more NMZs. The magic items would break their spells while wizards with mana anhancer could maintain them.

    5. That doesn't solve the problem with magic items, it just means I coat the place in LMZs and NMZs and make wizards immune to them. They'll pass the magic items to the wizards and just have them use them, instead. It nerfs a powerful threat to mages (NMZs) to avoid just directly changing the rules for magic items.

  2. The solution should allow some buffing, but discourage excessive buffing. The implementation should be fun enough for the time it takes.

    1. Assume that the per casting malus for this is increased to -2 or -3 for non wizards.
    2. If the PCs hang around, before session counts start, attempting to buff; assume this and that they must stop when they get a certain degree of failure.
    3. The player with the artifact says how many buffs they will attempt. They roll once, the #buffs row on the table says whether they got the full number, only a partial number of successes before needing to stop, one buff, or a severe consequence.
    4. I had a notion that the table would condense a statistical simulation of points 1 and 2, but I can't recommend this. I cannot recall enough statistics to estimate the effort, and hence can not say if it would be worth it.
    5. Adjust odds and consequences to give the incentives you want, optionally adjust customization requirements to fix the items to the purchaser and not the wizard.

    I know nothing of the practice. How badly would this work?

    Meant this for post I, but didn't get around to it, and now typing coherently is difficult.


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