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What does FAGE do really well?

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  • #31
    Re: What does FAGE do really well?

    I think they should just let the player decide to take either an Arcana talent or a regular talent any time the mage gets either one.
    (2,3,5,7,9,10,11,13,15,17,18,19,20)

    Also, I too think that most spells are kinda underwhelming.
    Last edited by DracoDruid; 22nd April 2016, 03:07 AM.
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    • #32
      Re: What does FAGE do really well?

      I have some questions regarding magic balance, to help me gauge how best to tweak the system for the game I'm putting together.

      1) Are mages underpowered relative to rogue/warrior performance in Fantasy AGE, or relative to other game systems?
      2) At what levels are are these problems seen?
      3) Do you track ammo in your games?
      4) Do use physically resistant foes (supernatural, etc)?
      5) How do mages fare relative to the other classes in non-combat challenges?

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      • #33
        Re: What does FAGE do really well?

        Originally posted by DracoDruid View Post
        I think they should just let the player decide to take either an Arcana talent or a regular talent any time the mage gets either one.
        (2,3,5,7,9,10,11,13,15,17,18,19,20)

        Also, I too think that most spells are kinda underwhelming.
        The problem then is that Arcana is the only way to get spells, so you're trading new spells, which are the only way to keep on par with other classes with other talents. And the spells are by and large already under-powered.

        The Arcana system has its perks: it's easy for a novice, it's easy to roll a toon quickly, and it's easy for GMs to throw together a mage quickly. But how often is someone a novice? Once. How often does a player need to create a character? Not often in an actual campaign, admittedly moreso if your table plays a series of one-offs with different characters.

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        • #34
          Re: What does FAGE do really well?

          1) Offensively, mages are underwhelming. The few attack spells they own dont deal as much more damage than a weapon attack from a martial class, while costing definite ressources. They are best used to buff the martial PCs in the party, making them even more a support class than primary attacker class. If you could use the spells from D-AGE, Midgard Setting or such, a mage would be way stronger. That said, if you dont mind a support role, mage can be a fun class.

          2) Even in the first few levels, mages seem to be out-classed by the martial classes. Even healing can be replicated with a Talent, reducing the need of magic.

          3) We do keep track of ammos, but mostly because we use gunpowder and it is not cheap.

          4) We fought some eteral foes and one with immunity to physical damages. In those special cases, the Dm encourages the players to find some way to counter the immunity with good teamplay and the use of wits.

          5) Mages are statistically more intelligent by the way of stats. That said, if the player isnt too smart, the Int from the class wont help much. I guess a character with more Int would be entitled to more clues from the Dm when it comes to logic/puzzles challenges.

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          • #35
            Re: What does FAGE do really well?

            Originally posted by fendrin View Post
            I have some questions regarding magic balance, to help me gauge how best to tweak the system for the game I'm putting together.

            1) Are mages underpowered relative to rogue/warrior performance in Fantasy AGE, or relative to other game systems?
            Yeah. Magic damage is considerably weaker than other types, IMO. The perk of Mages is they get penetrating damage, which is good for high AR opponents, but there is an easy to obtain talent for warriors that completely nerfs this. The rest of magic damage may be on par with your other damagers, but it comes with a resource cost, which the others don't have to deal with.

            In D-AGE, Mages had some very powerful crowd control spells, but iirc none of these crossed over. They were too powerful, but they weren't any fun to actually play.

            2) At what levels are are these problems seen?
            It's pretty immediate.

            3) Do you track ammo in your games?
            I do special ammo. Retrieval rules are non-existent, though, so I made normal ammo infinite - yay magic quivers. It alleviated the bookkeeping and trivial looting of gathering unspent ammo from defeated enemies.

            4) Do use physically resistant foes (supernatural, etc)?
            Yeah. The non-Mages hated them, until everyone eventually got a magic weapon.

            5) How do mages fare relative to the other classes in non-combat challenges?
            poorly. Mages only get 5 talents, whereas rogues get 10, and warriors 12. Warriors do have to spend 3 talents on weapons/armor, and should expect to spend another 2 on Armor Training. But that still leaves both with net positives.

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            • #36
              Re: What does FAGE do really well?

              +1 to using the Midgard spells.

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              • #37
                Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                Just gotta say, coming from AD&D, D&D 3e and Pathfinder there's an undeniable, dark satisfaction that creeps into me when I read about how underwhelming mages are. Take that CODzilla.
                DiBastet's Homebrew - My own homebrew. Use them, mine them for ideas, change them, as you see fit.
                AGE of Darkness - Converting World of Darkness to Fantasy Age.
                AGE of Wacraft - Playing AGE in Azeroth.

                Age of Homebrew - Links to other homebrew. Feel free to add more.

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                • #38
                  Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                  Thanks all, that's some good intel. I'll look for those Midgard spells.

                  Originally posted by DiBastet View Post
                  Just gotta say, coming from AD&D, D&D 3e and Pathfinder there's an undeniable, dark satisfaction that creeps into me when I read about how underwhelming mages are. Take that CODzilla.
                  Precisely why I asked that first question. I like the idea of mages being flavorfully and mechanically distinct from non-mages, but on-par power-wise... and weak enough to be killed by a housecat at level 1 does not balance out being way over powered from levels 5 and up.

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                  • #39
                    Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                    I was, until recently, running a bimonthly FAGE game for a group of 4 players (in addition to myself.) Unfortunately, they system did not hold up for us and we ended up switching to another game entirely to continue our fun.

                    We really enjoyed the simplicity of the core mechanic and the ease of use of skills, etc. It has a really clean core resolution rule that is fun and super easy to use for multiple situations. The stunt system seemed exciting to us at first and we were eager to give it a try as we had grown quite disillusioned by Savage Worlds at that time. Even with the troubles that I'm about to elaborate on, I still must say I like the foundation of FAGE.

                    The first issue is the HP bloat that has been mentioned several times. However, I don't think anyone has really given it the discussion it deserves. You see, it is so massive of an issue that it fouls up the rest of the game. Mages run out of magic points not because they don't have enough, but because they have to burn their entire supply to deal damage to low level monsters. The stunt system has trap options, not because the other options are bad per se, but because HP is so high that you are foolish to choose stunts that don't increase your damage output. Why on earth would you build a game with rapidly scaling HP but damage output was very nearly static? It boggles the mind. After only a few games we cut HP of all creatures in half and it still didn't feel like we were going far enough. Armor ratings are only a problem because of the huge pile of HP they protect, not because the ratings are too high. As I continued to try and fix the problem, I started to realize that we would just be playing a different game by the time I was done tinkering anyway.

                    The exploration and roleplaying stunts seem like a really neat idea.. until you try to use them. They are either oddly specific to a situation or so vague that they apply to almost everything. As a result, we simply stopped using them and the game was basically unaffected by it. I can see why it would be hard to create a list of stunts for these aspects of play. So hard, in fact, that I think it is a better option not to try for the reasons I mentioned. I think a "benny" or plot point system from other games would produce a similar effect without the need for weird lists.

                    We ended up moving on to OSR games like Adventurer Conqueror King and Castles and Crusades. Ironically, those are both HP bloat games that I used to complain about. However, after playing FAGE I barely notice that same problem in them by comparison.

                    FAGE has frustrated me because it had such great potential and such a nice clean core roll but ultimately just turned into a game of slow attrition and small subtractions from larger numbers. A real shame as I still find myself flipping through the book from time to time wanting to fix it.

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                    • #40
                      Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                      Upping the dice used really cuts down on the HP bloat - even with max HP/level and retroactive CON. I'm also fairly liberal with letting players buy bonuses, and I have damage focuses. So where RAW players are looking at 10.5+STR, mine are looking at 16.5+focus+STR.

                      IMO, system is better: it's more lethal, dynamic, and faster paced. That said, just because a system is easily fixable isn't a positive.

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                      • #41
                        Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                        Originally posted by IanPScheffler View Post
                        The exploration and roleplaying stunts seem like a really neat idea.. until you try to use them.
                        Yeah, we had to create our own after the very first session that we used them. We made them more useful rules-wise while keeping them as neutral roleplay-wise as possible. They became things like +1 sucess threshold to simple tests; extra test on advanced tests (not counting to the limitations of the advanced test like time, number of tests, etc); changing the target attitude one step; gaining +1 to similar tests; gaining a temporary focus on something related; making a free knowledge check related to the issue... But yeah, we had to redo them from scratch.
                        DiBastet's Homebrew - My own homebrew. Use them, mine them for ideas, change them, as you see fit.
                        AGE of Darkness - Converting World of Darkness to Fantasy Age.
                        AGE of Wacraft - Playing AGE in Azeroth.

                        Age of Homebrew - Links to other homebrew. Feel free to add more.

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                        • #42
                          Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                          Originally posted by DiBastet View Post
                          Yeah, we had to create our own after the very first session that we used them. We made them more useful rules-wise while keeping them as neutral roleplay-wise as possible. They became things like +1 sucess threshold to simple tests; extra test on advanced tests (not counting to the limitations of the advanced test like time, number of tests, etc); changing the target attitude one step; gaining +1 to similar tests; gaining a temporary focus on something related; making a free knowledge check related to the issue... But yeah, we had to redo them from scratch.
                          Yeah, they are a great idea in theory, but they're very limited at present, and I think if you kept the current level of specificity, but added enough to be applicable to a reasonabl amount of encounters, you'll end up with a certain level of paralysis.

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                          • #43
                            Re: What does FAGE do really well?

                            Originally posted by shonuff View Post
                            Yeah, they are a great idea in theory, but they're very limited at present, and I think if you kept the current level of specificity, but added enough to be applicable to a reasonabl amount of encounters, you'll end up with a certain level of paralysis.
                            Possibly so. Though I think that'd be more likely to be a case with the roleplaying/social stunts than the exploration ones.

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