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Regarding Mages - what exactly IS a wand in game terms?

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  • #46
    Re: Regarding Mages - what exactly IS a wand in game terms?

    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.

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    • #47
      Re: Regarding Mages - what exactly IS a wand in game terms?

      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.

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      • #48
        Re: Regarding Mages - what exactly IS a wand in game terms?

        Originally posted by u2mad View Post
        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.

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        • #49
          Re: Regarding Mages - what exactly IS a wand in game terms?

          Originally posted by OzMills View Post
          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."

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          • #50
            Re: Regarding Mages - what exactly IS a wand in game terms?

            Originally posted by Darkdreamer View Post
            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.
            Last edited by joeilvirago; 18th July 2015, 02:41 PM. Reason: Update

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            • #51
              Re: Regarding Mages - what exactly IS a wand in game terms?

              Originally posted by joeilvirago View Post
              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.

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              • #52
                Re: Regarding Mages - what exactly IS a wand in game terms?

                Originally posted by eliastion View Post
                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.

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                • #53
                  Re: Regarding Mages - what exactly IS a wand in game terms?

                  Originally posted by u2mad View Post
                  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.

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