A couple years ago, I wrote a series of posts about wishes:
Wishes, Part I - Wording & Whatnot
Wishes, Part II - Limiting Wishes
Wishes, Part III - GURPS & My War Stories
This post is a game-specific expansion on some of the ideas in those posts. Where this post contradicts those posts or modifies what they say, this one supercedes them for DF Felltower.
I've used the Great Wish spell in my gaming, but for my DF game, I want to change it.
Specifically, I'd like Great Wish to function a lot more like a D&D/AD&D-era Wish as seen in play descriptions from old issues of Dragon magazine. I'd like to see a lot less of it as a way to give PCs a permanent power boost, acquire a magic item ("I wish for a green ioun stone" being the endless example back in the day), and so on. Not quite at the Arabian Nights levels (geez, Aladdin gets a ring to wish with and a lamp to wish with, and still has trouble) but close. Something like this . . . .
. . . without the "palace full of riches" that would make it a game-ending piece of loot.
Wish as a blanket request to the universe to change things or do something?
Wish as a way to get +1 DX, +3 to a skill, or gain an advantage you don't want to save up for or can't?
No thank you, not in this game. Been there, done that, and it doesn't fit this game.
I thought of a number ways to do this - but not any really good ones. No matter what I came up with, I knew that as long as a permanent boost to one PC is on the table eventually people will settle on that. "Sure, we could save this to raise a bunch of people from the dead, but if we give so-and-so +1 DX that will help us every session all the time." And thus the ring of wishes or the grateful djinn becomes a ring of advantages and a grateful stat boost. Bleh.
Then I realized the simplest approach is the best - do away with what I don't want, leave in what I do.
As written, except that the only available uses are options (1) and (4). Options (2) and (3) do not exist. Wishes can create new material permanently, using the costs in Wizardry Refined as a guide.
And that's it. Beings that can grant wishes, wishing rings, etc. - all will work within these limits if they're using the Great Wish spell to do their thing. A version that allows options (2) and (3) may exist, but they'll be vanishingly rare at best, and may not exist at all. Got a Ring of Wishing? Use it to do interesting stuff, whisk yourselves out of danger (or into it), heal people, dispel the undispellable, etc. - but no using it for permanent boosts to your character.