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noblelegacy
12-03-2014, 06:39 AM
Hello there,

New forum member and relatively new to the system, though I own all 3 sets.

Does anyone have any idea what a wand is, exactly, in the system?

Arcane Lance: Mages learn to focus magical power through a
staff or wand. If you are holding a quarterstaff or a wand, you
can make a special ranged attack that damages foes with a
lance of magical energy.

Quarterstaffs or wands are required for Arcane Lance, but nowhere in all the books that I can see does it define exactly what a wand is in game terms. Obviously I know what a wand is in general, but not in game terms. How much does it cost, can it be used in one hand, can it be wielded as a club, etc? Not sure if this has been addressed on this board before.

Secondly, should an Arcane Warrior be able to use their sword of choice as a substitute for the wand/quarterstaff for purposes of Arcane Lance? This is outside of the context of the RPG strictly, but in DA: Origins the standard mage attack was usable for Mages without their wand/staff.

Thanks!

Tara

OzMills
12-03-2014, 07:49 AM
Hello there,

New forum member and relatively new to the system, though I own all 3 sets.

Does anyone have any idea what a wand is, exactly, in the system?

Arcane Lance: Mages learn to focus magical power through a
staff or wand. If you are holding a quarterstaff or a wand, you
can make a special ranged attack that damages foes with a
lance of magical energy.

Quarterstaffs or wands are required for Arcane Lance, but nowhere in all the books that I can see does it define exactly what a wand is in game terms. Obviously I know what a wand is in general, but not in game terms. How much does it cost, can it be used in one hand, can it be wielded as a club, etc? Not sure if this has been addressed on this board before.

Secondly, should an Arcane Warrior be able to use their sword of choice as a substitute for the wand/quarterstaff for purposes of Arcane Lance? This is outside of the context of the RPG strictly, but in DA: Origins the standard mage attack was usable for Mages without their wand/staff.

I get the feeling that, like my theory on why Demons and Darkspawn are mixed up at the end of the first DMG and the Big Bad is called an "ArchDEMON", this may have come from earlier builds of the videogame where Darkspawn and Demons were of similar ilk, and wands may have been necessary in-game at one point.

Mages are specifically pointed out to not need staves at various points in the videogame series, which should likely be the highest source of canon where possible. So I'd say that Arcane Lance and, indeed, all spells, can be done without a focus such as that. Or with the sword.

Darkdreamer
12-03-2014, 08:04 AM
Secondly, should an Arcane Warrior be able to use their sword of choice as a substitute for the wand/quarterstaff for purposes of Arcane Lance? This is outside of the context of the RPG strictly, but in DA: Origins the standard mage attack was usable for Mages without their wand/staff.

Thanks!

Tara

Actually, they couldn't; you always had to shift to staff to use it, and if you didn't have one equipped, you couldn't do so. You could cast spells, but not use the lance, which was effectively using the staff as a missile launcher for a mage.

eliastion
12-03-2014, 08:19 AM
That's what I remembered - the staff was necessary. Indeed, the attack itself was more connected to the staff itself (like any other ranged attack with more standard weapon). It's been a long time, but I'm quite sure my AW was restricted to spells with no weapon and if wielding a sword - had to rely on the blade rather than any ranged attack...

As for the wand, it seems to have been... abandoned, largely (in the RPG) and it seems to be more of a Tevinter thing. However, seeing as there are no special requirements for quarterstaff to be used as arcane lance focus, I would assume that a wand is pretty much free - how much could a stick cost? Also a "wand" doesn't really sound like something that could be used effectively as weapon.

Still, the question remains - the club seems to be a very inclusive category and both a quarterstaff and a short stick seem to be appropriate for arcane lance... so, would there be at least a possibility of a club so fashioned to serve as a very, very big wand?
Though the question doesn't really end here - quarterstaffs can have metal-reinforced tips, so why not a blade? Looking at it logically it would seem that a spear should be viable here too... Or an arrow as wand-replacement in a pinch...

shonuff
12-03-2014, 08:42 AM
Personally, and this is a house rule, I have a wand as 10 sp and a magic staff as 15 sp as the standards. I also allow quality and material to affect spells and arcane lance. Wands, in DA:O, were rare and typically magically inherent - iirc, the only one was the fire one in the mage's origin.

But then, I also modified starting gold (no beginner equipment packs) and materials (no bonus talents/focuses).

noblelegacy
12-03-2014, 09:20 AM
This may be inaccurate, but..

dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Arcane_Warrior_Spellcasting

This seems to indicate that the standard attack was usable in arcane warrior form.

OzMills
12-03-2014, 09:31 AM
This seems to indicate that the standard attack was usable in arcane warrior form.

It says that Arcane Bolt, which is a spell, can be cast. Not Arcane Lance.

noblelegacy
12-03-2014, 09:33 AM
Hm. Maybe they don't consider Arcane Lance a spell.

Well, to summarize:

In this RPG, it seems wise for an Arcane Warrior to eschew the quarterstaff and go for something like a wand (or club, if allowable), to allow them to cast and wield their preferred weapon simultaneously.

eliastion
12-03-2014, 09:40 AM
Arcane lance (as is used in RPG) is not a spell in DA:O, it's staff's auto attack, just like an arrow from a bow or a basic sword-swing.

And as for Arcane Warrior, he could also just wield a sword and switch to staff when he wants to use arcane lance. Switching weapon is a minor action either way. Also, there seems to be nothing in DA mechanics that would disallow casting spells with pretty much any weapon in hand... Though I would require at least a single hand free (or a staff or some other focus-weapon, sword for arcane warrior could probably qualify and a dagger for blood mage would be a fair choice too).

Horvagab
12-03-2014, 10:21 AM
I was actually thinking of writing up some magical rings and other doo-dads (Knight Enchanter Spirit Blade hilt for example) which would provide some spellpower bonuses and the ability to function as a wand for purposes of casting Arcane Lance.

Closest we got in DA:O to Wand is the Rod of Fire in the Mage origin :)

shonuff
12-03-2014, 11:00 AM
I was actually thinking of writing up some magical rings and other doo-dads (Knight Enchanter Spirit Blade hilt for example) which would provide some spellpower bonuses and the ability to function as a wand for purposes of casting Arcane Lance.

Closest we got in DA:O to Wand is the Rod of Fire in the Mage origin :)

I did some similar stuff...

1. Kindling - a warped, burnt piece of wood. Gives +2 damage to lance and changes it to fire damage. Also casts fireball 1/day with no test.

2. Bone knife - a wand in the shape of a knife. Turns arcane lance damage to piercing and gives a bonus to Spirit magic Spellpower ( a higher level variant would increase Blood as well).

noblelegacy
12-03-2014, 11:02 AM
On this subject, have they confirmed what is going to be in the Ultimate Edition that cannot be found in Sets 1, 2 and 3?

Things I'd like to see:

1) Errata (dealing with things such as the subject of this thread)
2) Expanded magic item list
3) Expanded monster manual equivalent

shonuff
12-03-2014, 11:17 AM
They haven't said anything of the sort. I imagine they'll leave it up to users.

noblelegacy
12-04-2014, 09:02 AM
...And I've suddenly noticed something. Arcane Warrior combat magic mode adds Magic instead of Str for damage, but apparently NOT for attack. This means the staff probably remains the preferred weapon for them, since they wouldn't be good at attacking with say a long sword.

shonuff
12-04-2014, 09:49 AM
I'd still use a different weapon for the increased damage.

noblelegacy
12-04-2014, 09:52 AM
Even though your dexterity (and thus attack bonus) is likely to be much superior to your strength?

Darkdreamer
12-04-2014, 09:55 AM
Arcane lance (as is used in RPG) is not a spell in DA:O, it's staff's auto attack, just like an arrow from a bow or a basic sword-swing.

And as for Arcane Warrior, he could also just wield a sword and switch to staff when he wants to use arcane lance. Switching weapon is a minor action either way. Also, there seems to be nothing in DA mechanics that would disallow casting spells with pretty much any weapon in hand... Though I would require at least a single hand free (or a staff or some other focus-weapon, sword for arcane warrior could probably qualify and a dagger for blood mage would be a fair choice too).

That's what I did when playing the computer game; I carried a staff too for ranged combat.

The big advantage to using a wand is that you could stick in a pocket or use it with a shield, far as I can tell.

eliastion
12-04-2014, 10:20 AM
About the AW attack - that's something that has already been noted as (possible) error to be addressed in errata. As it stands currently in RAW, the Arcane Warrior has Dexterity as requirement and replaces Strength with Magic for both STR requirements and damage. These two facts pretty much leave AW with one (strongly) preferred weapon - the morningstar: one-handed, with best damage among Dexterity-based melee weapons and part of already known weapon group.
This, of course, heavily limits weapon choice and strongly contradicts what seems to be "basic" flavor of the AW specialization: a magical knight, clad in armor and armed with a sword (note that the only AW-specific weapon encountered in DA:O, the Spellweaver, was in fact a longsword).

In fact, I would strongly advise houseruling around that, making Magic also replace Strength for attack. If you feel that's unbalanced and/or makes AW lose interest in Strength completely, I would rather re-introduce Strength requirement so that AW needs some actual muscles if he wants to wield a two-hander, but can actually swing effectively that longsword he is (in my opinion) supposed to (he can choose otherwise, of course, but the "typical" weapon should at the very least be viable).
Other possible take on house-ruling would be saying "magic allows him to swing anything easily" and rule that AW can treat any weapon as dexterity-based - I don't favor this solution, but it lets you make sure that AW doesn't suddenly get attack on par with your local dedicated warrior specializing in exact same weapon if you see it as a problem (I don't warrior has other advantages, but your mileage may vary).

noblelegacy
12-04-2014, 10:38 AM
These two facts pretty much leave AW with one (strongly) preferred weapon - the morningstar: one-handed, with best damage among Dexterity-based melee weapons and part of already known weapon group.

That sounds right to me based on RAW, though I think I'd favor the quarterstaff. You lose only 1 pt of dmg and in exchange have no trouble using arcane lance, which requires either the staff or "wand."

eliastion
12-04-2014, 12:40 PM
You lose 2 points of damage and need two hands to use quarterstaff (while morning star is one-handed). So (if you optimize for combat) it's -2 damage and -1 defense from shield. While switching from melee to ranged would be a single minor action.

noblelegacy
12-04-2014, 12:50 PM
Good point. I guess the simplicity of one weapon for this just appeals to me. That, and the morningstar is a rather indelicate weapon, to say the least.

Vosoros
12-07-2014, 03:24 AM
The one time a wand actually made an appearance in Dragon Age was in the fourth novel entitled; Dragon Age The Masked Empire...I believe.

The character who shows this off is a dalish elf called Felsan, and I love the way it can transform into his staff. As a mater of fact, this resolved the mage dilemma of always carrying a staff and thus being know as a mage on sight kinda problem many folk have voiced in the past.

Just my few cents worth, and I hope it helps. I also hope you enjoy the books if you choose to read them...

The list of Books thus far (in order) are:

Dragon Age Stolen Throne
Dragon Age The Calling
Dragon Age Assunder
Dragon Age The Masked Empire
Dragon Age Last Flight.

:D

noblelegacy
12-07-2014, 12:35 PM
The one time a wand actually made an appearance in Dragon Age was in the fourth novel entitled; Dragon Age The Masked Empire...I believe.

The character who shows this off is a dalish elf called Felsan, and I love the way it can transform into his staff. As a mater of fact, this resolved the mage dilemma of always carrying a staff and thus being know as a mage on sight kinda problem many folk have voiced in the past.

:D

Noticed that the other day, about Fel. Had a thought that this ability might be a good candidate for the "GM approved extra effect" for a primal element rune.

Jack
12-07-2014, 04:52 PM
I suspect the wand was a) mentioned to allow for its use in games for people who wanted to use them instead of staves b) might be based on prerelease DA:O information that ended up not being part of the game.

That was before my time as developer, but based on working on other licensed rpgs with a mix of released and prerelease material I suspect that's the case.

Horvagab
12-08-2014, 01:49 AM
Noticed that the other day, about Fel. Had a thought that this ability might be a good candidate for the "GM approved extra effect" for a primal element rune.

My idea was to make it a special staff, which has one ability as it being mostly a wand/small branch, but it can be expanded into a full quarterstaff the following way:

- if you have Novice Primal Magic, it allows you to use that talent to expand it (natural magic talent after all)

- if you have Novice Creation Magic, you can also use that (putting lifeforce into it etc...)

- if you have neither, you can spend 1 mana point to expand it

OzMills
12-08-2014, 02:56 AM
I suspect the wand was a) mentioned to allow for its use in games for people who wanted to use them instead of staves b) might be based on prerelease DA:O information that ended up not being part of the game.

I kinda felt like there were one or two things that ended up like that. Nice to know that it's at least a possibility, even if it can't be confirmed.

OzMills
12-08-2014, 03:00 AM
In Dawn of the Seeker, there's a chap who doesn't have a wand, and at one point he pretty much machine-guns arcane bolts out of his hands at a cave ceiling. And people specifically say they don't need a staff to do magic in Inquisition. It can be assumed that, canonically, you don't need one. But for the sake of the RPG I'd maybe say you don't get your focus +2 without a staff, as that's what you're best with.

eliastion
12-08-2014, 06:40 AM
But in DA, beginning with DA:O there was no need for staff to cast spells. Staffs were required ONLY for that neat auto-attack that does not need mana. As for spellcasting, staves were special because they didn't hinder spellcasting (like pretty much every other weapon) NOT because they made it easier (there were some magical bonuses, but that's a lot like robes - they could grant some bonuses bus as items of clothing they just didn't create strain and weren't all that different from ordinary no-strain clothing)...

I don't really see any need to force staves on people in RPG...

Darkdreamer
12-08-2014, 08:29 AM
But in DA, beginning with DA:O there was no need for staff to cast spells. Staffs were required ONLY for that neat auto-attack that does not need mana. As for spellcasting, staves were special because they didn't hinder spellcasting (like pretty much every other weapon) NOT because they made it easier (there were some magical bonuses, but that's a lot like robes - they could grant some bonuses bus as items of clothing they just didn't create strain and weren't all that different from ordinary no-strain clothing)...

I don't really see any need to force staves on people in RPG...

Yeah, there's plenty of reason in the game to carry a staff or wand for the ranged attack capability; you don't need to require it for spellcasting.

u2mad
06-18-2015, 01:40 PM
From a roleplaying/setting standpoint. What exactly defines a quarterstaff as a focus? Has it actually been prepared to be a focus? Or is it just a piece of wood, like a branch? What about it makes it appropriate to use for Arcane Lance?
If it's a prepared focus, couldn't that technically be done to any weapon? Also the difference between a spear and a staff are small, especially since a staff can have the metal ends. I could see that distinction being blurred a bit as well with halberds and such since it's a staff with something on the end.
So ultimately, what is it about the staff that makes it a focus, and nothing else?

shonuff
06-18-2015, 03:20 PM
From a roleplaying/setting standpoint. What exactly defines a quarterstaff as a focus? Has it actually been prepared to be a focus? Or is it just a piece of wood, like a branch? What about it makes it appropriate to use for Arcane Lance?
If it's a prepared focus, couldn't that technically be done to any weapon? Also the difference between a spear and a staff are small, especially since a staff can have the metal ends. I could see that distinction being blurred a bit as well with halberds and such since it's a staff with something on the end.
So ultimately, what is it about the staff that makes it a focus, and nothing else?

I'm not sure if I get what you're asking. Is it just whether or not a different weapon type can be used for Arcane Lance? Or is it that Quarterstaffs use the staves focus?

eliastion
06-18-2015, 03:29 PM
I'm not sure if I get what you're asking. Is it just whether or not a different weapon type can be used for Arcane Lance? Or is it that Quarterstaffs use the staves focus?
I think what he meant was: what makes quarterstaff suitable?
Why isn't a spear suitable?
Is a simple branch taken from any tree suitable?
He meant "magical focus", I think, not mechanical term.

shonuff
06-18-2015, 03:55 PM
I think what he meant was: what makes quarterstaff suitable?
Why isn't a spear suitable?
Is a simple branch taken from any tree suitable?
He meant "magical focus", I think, not mechanical term.

That makes sense.

There's nothing concrete AFAIK, but I interpret the focus has to be organic for some mystic Fade connection. You could also say that it's a reason why mages are restricted to staves as a balance issue.

I think any ol' piece of wood would do. IIRC, there were in-game descriptions of some staves as just that - sticks. At my table, staves and wands have to be specially treated to function for mages and cost about as much as a longsword (stave) or shortsword (wand). I also let superior materials affect spell/Lance ranges.

Darkdreamer
06-18-2015, 07:21 PM
All the ones in the computer game appear to be specially prepared for the job; they aren't just random looking pieces of wood. And as the answer to most of your other questions appears to be "It doesn't work that way." There's no information on the process to explain why it is, but its pretty clear from the lack of exceptions that its the case.

Darkdreamer
06-18-2015, 07:22 PM
That makes sense.

There's nothing concrete AFAIK, but I interpret the focus has to be organic for some mystic Fade connection. You could also say that it's a reason why mages are restricted to staves as a balance issue.

I think any ol' piece of wood would do. IIRC, there were in-game descriptions of some staves as just that - sticks. At my table, staves and wands have to be specially treated to function for mages and cost about as much as a longsword (stave) or shortsword (wand). I also let superior materials affect spell/Lance ranges.

Actually, even the ones that look like sticks don't look like just sticks if you look; the most you can say is some of the more naturalistic mages leave some natural elements on them, but if you look they still don't really look like normal sticks.

shonuff
06-18-2015, 08:33 PM
Actually, even the ones that look like sticks don't look like just sticks if you look; the most you can say is some of the more naturalistic mages leave some natural elements on them, but if you look they still don't really look like normal sticks.

Yes and no. I don't think you can go exclusively off representation because that could definitely be altered because of the medium - either palette swapping to save resources or a new design for a "cool gear" effect. The few that I'm thinking of are:

Oak Branch
Piece of Wood
Heart of the Forest

HotF says it was shaped, but I don't know if its origin or shaping give it power. Oak Branch is from Poe-Tree, so again it's origin could give it power. Piece of Wood has symbols carved into it.

The question that needs to be asked is what gives these weapons power? The carvings as in with PoW? The circumstances, as with HotF or Oak Branch? Or a combination or even either method?

I doubt we will find out why (honestly, I never even thought about it before) because it's easier to explain as you said: "it doesn't work that way."

Darkdreamer
06-18-2015, 09:42 PM
Y
The question that needs to be asked is what gives these weapons power? The carvings as in with PoW? The circumstances, as with HotF or Oak Branch? Or a combination or even either method?

I doubt we will find out why (honestly, I never even thought about it before) because it's easier to explain as you said: "it doesn't work that way."

Well, honestly, both are possible. I'm pretty sure that DA is one of those settings where magic items can occur naturally under unusual circumstances in addition to being deliberately made. Same could apply here.

But it seems to be natural, once living materials and as far as we can tell, wood, and that's it.

eliastion
06-19-2015, 11:41 AM
There are no "just a piece of wood" staves in the games, but all of them grant some bonuses, so it could be said that they're all crafted for mages, for the sole purpose of being their tool. They are shaped in a way that says "magical staff" because that's what they were made for. Also, some staves seem to be made out of metal in whole or as the main material and in DA:I many staves explicitly have significant metal parts including "staff blade" that - in some cases at least - seems to be a functional blade you could stab (or slash) someone with.

Also, I'd like to point at one interesting aspect - the DA:O seems to imply that (baring some special cases like a branch of a sylvan) staves need to be infused with lyrium. Note two examples:

Magic staff (http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Magic_Staff)(the most basic staff in DA:O, giving +1 to Magic, which is pretty much negligable there):

This is a standard mage's staff, infused with lyrium by the Tranquil to increase its sturdiness and provide a conduit for a mage's power. With it, the mage can fire bolts of energy at range.

And the second example, Acolyte's staff (http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Acolyte%27s_Staff_(Origins)) (that looks as if made of metal, btw):

Many of these ancient staves remain from the days when the Tevinter Imperium still ruled much of Ferelden. Infused with lyrium, it serves as a channel for a mage's power, able to fire bolts of energy in combat.

So it would seem that you need to either chop a sylvan into sticks, or you need to work some lyrium into the thing to have it serve you well.

Darkdreamer
06-19-2015, 01:22 PM
Maybe they can draw up lyrium through their roots; given what sylvans are, that wouldn't surprise me.

shonuff
06-19-2015, 03:46 PM
There are no "just a piece of wood" staves in the games, but all of them grant some bonuses, so it could be said that they're all crafted for mages, for the sole purpose of being their tool. They are shaped in a way that says "magical staff" because that's what they were made for. Also, some staves seem to be made out of metal in whole or as the main material and in DA:I many staves explicitly have significant metal parts including "staff blade" that - in some cases at least - seems to be a functional blade you could stab (or slash) someone with.

Also, I'd like to point at one interesting aspect - the DA:O seems to imply that (baring some special cases like a branch of a sylvan) staves need to be infused with lyrium. Note two examples:

Magic staff (http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Magic_Staff)(the most basic staff in DA:O, giving +1 to Magic, which is pretty much negligable there):

This is a standard mage's staff, infused with lyrium by the Tranquil to increase its sturdiness and provide a conduit for a mage's power. With it, the mage can fire bolts of energy at range.

And the second example, Acolyte's staff (http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Acolyte%27s_Staff_(Origins)) (that looks as if made of metal, btw):

Many of these ancient staves remain from the days when the Tevinter Imperium still ruled much of Ferelden. Infused with lyrium, it serves as a channel for a mage's power, able to fire bolts of energy in combat.

So it would seem that you need to either chop a sylvan into sticks, or you need to work some lyrium into the thing to have it serve you well.

Except for, you know, the Piece of Wood.

eliastion
06-20-2015, 01:50 PM
Except for, you know, the Piece of Wood.
Frankly, we know nothing about Piece of Wood. Going by Wiki description, it seems like a staff that lets non-mages use Arcane Lance if they have good enough Magic stat :D
Really, I wouldn't dare to guess its origins :D

shonuff
06-20-2015, 06:15 PM
And GR defines a quarter staff as being the requirement for Arcane Lance, and their quarter staffs are described as just plain ol' wood - no Lyrium or blood magic necessary.

eliastion
06-21-2015, 12:53 PM
And GR defines a quarter staff as being the requirement for Arcane Lance, and their quarter staffs are described as just plain ol' wood - no Lyrium or blood magic necessary.
Well, that's exactly what we're discussing here, right? Whether or not it can just be any average stick as the rules suggest. Rules are quite clear - no spears, no polearms, only the quarterstaff (or wand) but with no magic required either. It's not rules ambiguity that brought us here ;)

shonuff
06-22-2015, 06:14 AM
And that's why I HR'd magic staves and wands to be more expensive than RAW. But again, those are house rules - RAW a staff is very simple, just wood, so that would imply that a wand merely needs to be shaped wood as well.

Darkdreamer
06-22-2015, 08:01 AM
And that's why I HR'd magic staves and wands to be more expensive than RAW. But again, those are house rules - RAW a staff is very simple, just wood, so that would imply that a wand merely needs to be shaped wood as well.

I don't think they're necessarily just a stick, but I also don't think they should require anyone special to prepare them; my view is its a basic skill mages pick up and it can be done by them given wood-cutting or burning tool. The distinction is that they can't just pick up any branch and use it for Arcane Lance, but given them a couple hours and a knife, and they can turn that branch into something usable.

(By the way, just as a side thing--wands seem to have vanished in the combined edition. Now its staves, and only staves).

shonuff
06-22-2015, 08:32 PM
Stick was a little hyperbolic, but it gets the point across. No Lyrium, no carvings, no rituals, just a little carving.

And wands were a holdover from early DA:O material that was removed at some point.

u2mad
07-17-2015, 03:50 PM
And here I thought the feed was dead because I hadn't gotten any notifications. I thought I had subscribed to this, but I'll have to go check those settings.

I've only really been looking through the core rulebook, and not the set books, so I'm not really sure what had been done prior. Everything that I've been able to find in the core book is that you require a quarterstaff for Arcane Lance. It has no mention of wands, or there even being anything special about the quarterstaff.
If you take a quarterstaff, as they typical descriptions are describing it, it's length of wood between 6 and 9 feet in length with a diameter small enough that you can wrap your hands around it. Being shaped isn't a requirement, but they typically are. Some will have metal caps on the ends for various purposes. I would think wands are similar, but of smaller size.

Outside of game mechanics, following that line of thought, anything that has a wooden handle would be a viable focus. Then again I also agree that a focus is probably something that has been shaped a bit, so it would have magic ruins or have some magical properties to it. But I still don't see that excluding say a spears shaft as being usable as a focus if you prep it. Especially considering that some quarterstaffs were made from metal or had the metal caps on them.

In DA:O, I had the feeling that the arcane lance was much more a feature of the staff or wand than the mage. In other terms, the staff or wand was a magic item that had the ability to do it, and it just required a mage to discharge the ability.

Ultimately, I would like one of the designers to have a look at the thread and give some input after thinking about this. I feel like the rules for this were put in there with either not much thought, or not much description and limiting it to a quarterstaff was just a quick way to enact some kind of balance. I would like to see a lot more options available, especially for Arcane Warriors, even if they have to do something special to make a weapon into a focus to be used.

I also want to say thank you for all the good discussion on this. It's interesting to see what the thoughts are on some of this.

shonuff
07-18-2015, 06:44 AM
I've only really been looking through the core rulebook, and not the set books, so I'm not really sure what had been done prior. Everything that I've been able to find in the core book is that you require a quarterstaff for Arcane Lance. It has no mention of wands, or there even being anything special about the quarterstaff.

Wands were omitted in the core book. The story is that wands were in original documents for DA:O, but we're never implemented in the final game.



Ultimately, I would like one of the designers to have a look at the thread and give some input after thinking about this. I feel like the rules for this were put in there with either not much thought, or not much description and limiting it to a quarterstaff was just a quick way to enact some kind of balance. I would like to see a lot more options available, especially for Arcane Warriors, even if they have to do something special to make a weapon into a focus to be used.

They probably won't. They've been fairly quiet on interpretations. I think Pramas has only commented on CON being non-retroactive, and Jack has only said what he wants to do going further.

joeilvirago
07-18-2015, 10:59 AM
In Dawn of the Seeker, there's a chap who doesn't have a wand, and at one point he pretty much machine-guns arcane bolts out of his hands at a cave ceiling. And people specifically say they don't need a staff to do magic in Inquisition. It can be assumed that, canonically, you don't need one. But for the sake of the RPG I'd maybe say you don't get your focus +2 without a staff, as that's what you're best with.

In Inquisition if you disarm your mage, they end up with the default staff anyway. But yes, in the prologue when Cassandra tells you to disarm, you can respond, "I don't need a staff to be dangerous."

joeilvirago
07-18-2015, 11:07 AM
I don't think they're necessarily just a stick, but I also don't think they should require anyone special to prepare them; my view is its a basic skill mages pick up and it can be done by them given wood-cutting or burning tool. The distinction is that they can't just pick up any branch and use it for Arcane Lance, but given them a couple hours and a knife, and they can turn that branch into something usable.

(By the way, just as a side thing--wands seem to have vanished in the combined edition. Now its staves, and only staves).

I have a couple wands floating around my campaign, so we had to sort out why someone would want to hassle with a staff.

We decided that the composition and size can either limit or enhance a spell -- haven't figured out the exact ratios etc, but have not needed to yet. Example: a 14" wand made of yew might only be able to do up to a 8MP spell, while a 6' staff made of Volcanic Arum (yes, staves can be made of metals in Inquistion) might have a 25MP limit, and possibly give a bonus to damage/spell power/what have you. This means the lower level characters are not yet impeded by their lesser wands/staves but eventually they should feel inspired to upgrade.

Oh and 'fun fact' -- all staves in Inquisition are made from the Metal category, which oddly includes rock and glass. AND you make your BOWS out of Metal/Rock/Glass too.

eliastion
07-18-2015, 11:31 AM
In Inquisition if you disarm your mage, they end up with the default staff anyway. But yes, in the prologue when Cassandra tells you to disarm, you can respond, "I don't need a staff to be dangerous."

Staffs were never required for spells, neither in lore nor in game. They were required for ranged base attack. As for casting spell, their advantage is that they don't hinder it while a different weapon could.

u2mad
07-18-2015, 02:24 PM
Staffs were never required for spells, neither in lore nor in game. They were required for ranged base attack. As for casting spell, their advantage is that they don't hinder it while a different weapon could.

That was pretty much my interpretation, although I didn't even see the hinder part of it in the rules. Then again, the specifics on magic seem to be lacking and there's a lot for interpretation.

eliastion
07-18-2015, 07:02 PM
That was pretty much my interpretation, although I didn't even see the hinder part of it in the rules. Then again, the specifics on magic seem to be lacking and there's a lot for interpretation.
I didn't express myself clearly. In DA:RPG there are no explicit rules concerning spellcasting with hands full/bound etc. What we do have is the game (In DA:O mage had to sheathe weapon to cast most spells - so staff doesn't get in the way but weapons in general do) and rules regarding armor making spellcasting harder (this implies that freedom of movement is important).
Still, it's up to GM's interpretation. Is one free hand good enough? Does staff-carying hand count as free if the other is not? Does a hand (or both hands) need to be completely free, or maybe is holding something small (say, a Lyrium potion) ok? If questions like these arise, GM must answer them himself, there's little help in the system itself.