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Thread: Beef up Magic and make it Dangerous

  1. #21
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    Re: Beef up Magic and make it Dangerous

    Quote Originally Posted by shonuff View Post
    Rogues are a lot better than you're factoring. Lethality adds a second damaging stat, and an archer can get 3 bonus attacks for 8 SP -- difficult but not impossible. And personally, I don't allow Quick Shot or Quick Strike to stunt.
    Sorry, I was focusing on the early levels, and so didn't include lethality (although I also dropped the damage from stats all together, for the average values mages should probably get at least an extra 16 damage, Warriors an extra 12, and Rogues an extra 12-24). But the point was that, at optimum, a mage deals about the same damage as a warrior in a single round but has to spend MP (and rogues seem to be a little bit insane in Fantasy AGE, although Warriors have enough tricks to just about be worthwhile).

    If a Rogue is high enough level for Lethality then on rounds where Pinpoint Attack activates they deal the highest damage of all the classes, at the expense of having four primary attack stats (Accuracy to hit, Perception and Intelligence to damage, and Dexterity to activate Pinpoint Attack). Three of these are primary abilities, while the fourth is a secondary ability. Now one is going to be raised to increase Defence anyway, and one is a useful stat in general, but compared to the Warrior's three important stats (Dexterity, Fighting, and Strength) or the Mage's three (Accuracy, Intelligence, and Willpower), Rogues are the only ones with any pigeonholing of their secondary ability increases (Intelligence, for more damage at level 10+).

    Plus, because to keep their combat game on par Rogues have to invest in three primary Abilities their fourth, Communication, is probably going to suffer compared to a Warrior or Mage interested in it (who both get it as a secondary, and so can pick it freely without taking away from their combat game). The class meant to be the face has to pick between that and keeping up with the other two in combat.

    I am assuming that all classes want some Constitution, but not at the expense of other stats.

    It's interesting, barring edge cases for the Rogue, two classes are very well balanced. The Mage however has been given a hit in the combat prowess, but the utility spells that should make up for it are absent. Then the mage's utility is gutted even more by a) the relative lack of noncombat talents (only half the list is noncombat) and b) their lack of talents compared to everybody else. Fantasy AGE could do with more talents as it is, but Mages get a shockingly small number.

  2. #22
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    Re: Beef up Magic and make it Dangerous

    I still think your vision, nobut offense, is extremely limited on thethe matter.
    This is an adventuring engine and combat is the only design spot that needs actual pillars. For obvious reasons, but it's not a btb game and it's not d&d.

    In my campaigns encounter means scene. So as long as the scene is on, unless it is exciting to actually press the mage, i won't count seconds.

    At the same time, 5 minutes are not as short as you may think in the game economy of an adventure... and you can still say "time for you ti renew duration" and that's it...

    Nothing bad in combat/swashbuckling/adventure oriented games, that's what I like here, but the game needs more flexibility on the GM's side or it wouldn't had fit into 144 pages. 😉

  3. #23
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    Re: Beef up Magic and make it Dangerous

    Quote Originally Posted by AnonymousWizard View Post
    Sorry, I was focusing on the early levels, and so didn't include lethality (although I also dropped the damage from stats all together, for the average values mages should probably get at least an extra 16 damage, Warriors an extra 12, and Rogues an extra 12-24). But the point was that, at optimum, a mage deals about the same damage as a warrior in a single round but has to spend MP (and rogues seem to be a little bit insane in Fantasy AGE, although Warriors have enough tricks to just about be worthwhile).

    If a Rogue is high enough level for Lethality then on rounds where Pinpoint Attack activates they deal the highest damage of all the classes, at the expense of having four primary attack stats (Accuracy to hit, Perception and Intelligence to damage, and Dexterity to activate Pinpoint Attack). Three of these are primary abilities, while the fourth is a secondary ability. Now one is going to be raised to increase Defence anyway, and one is a useful stat in general, but compared to the Warrior's three important stats (Dexterity, Fighting, and Strength) or the Mage's three (Accuracy, Intelligence, and Willpower), Rogues are the only ones with any pigeonholing of their secondary ability increases (Intelligence, for more damage at level 10+).

    Plus, because to keep their combat game on par Rogues have to invest in three primary Abilities their fourth, Communication, is probably going to suffer compared to a Warrior or Mage interested in it (who both get it as a secondary, and so can pick it freely without taking away from their combat game). The class meant to be the face has to pick between that and keeping up with the other two in combat.

    I am assuming that all classes want some Constitution, but not at the expense of other stats.
    Sorry, I thought you were including Quick Shot, which is extremely late game. And I may have misread, but Pinpoint Attack only activates on the first attack, so DEX doesn't need to be that high of a priority. Likewise with ACC - between a focus, gear, and Aim, you could easily get by with a relatively low score. But honestly, even a few points in ACC/FIG are points that could be spent elsewhere, and I'm not a fan of those stats in the slightest... but that's a conversation I've had elsewhere.

    You definitely wouldn't be the Face, though. But on the flip side, most of your combat stats are definitely useable in non combat scenes.

    It's interesting, barring edge cases for the Rogue, two classes are very well balanced. The Mage however has been given a hit in the combat prowess, but the utility spells that should make up for it are absent. Then the mage's utility is gutted even more by a) the relative lack of noncombat talents (only half the list is noncombat) and b) their lack of talents compared to everybody else. Fantasy AGE could do with more talents as it is, but Mages get a shockingly small number.
    I agree. When F-AGE was announced, I thought it'd be cool to integrate the utility spells that weren't really possible because D-AGE is a licensed property. Instead, I was decidedly underwhelmed.

    Even the argument that mages are AoE masters is a little shaky. Play with a battlemat and you'll see that early AoEs might get 2 mobs reliably and latter ones will hit 3... maybe 4. Only 5+ if the mobs are stupid and you're particularly lucky. Couple that with nothing really in the way of single target spells, and you really see magic become quite inefficient mid-late encounter.

  4. #24
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    Re: Beef up Magic and make it Dangerous

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
    I still think your vision, nobut offense, is extremely limited on thethe matter.
    This is an adventuring engine and combat is the only design spot that needs actual pillars. For obvious reasons, but it's not a btb game and it's not d&d.

    In my campaigns encounter means scene. So as long as the scene is on, unless it is exciting to actually press the mage, i won't count seconds.

    At the same time, 5 minutes are not as short as you may think in the game economy of an adventure... and you can still say "time for you ti renew duration" and that's it...

    Nothing bad in combat/swashbuckling/adventure oriented games, that's what I like here, but the game needs more flexibility on the GM's side or it wouldn't had fit into 144 pages. 😉
    Just for clarification: the reason why you're against houseruling buffing damage is that you houseruled combat spells to be more effective as utility spells? On the one hand, that's fine because house ruling is always fine to make the game work for your table. On the other hand, that's an unspoken admission that the current spell list needs some work. Because the written duration is... well, the written duration. So expanding seconds to minutes is buffing the spell.

    And the 144 page count has always been an issue with me. I said at the time that I didn't think that would be enough for a full campaign without heavy lifting from the GM, and I still think it. I'd even say that GR is in agreement, as there's allegedly been additional content planned from the beginning.

  5. #25
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    Re: Beef up Magic and make it Dangerous

    Quote Originally Posted by shonuff View Post
    Sorry, I thought you were including Quick Shot, which is extremely late game. And I may have misread, but Pinpoint Attack only activates on the first attack, so DEX doesn't need to be that high of a priority. Likewise with ACC - between a focus, gear, and Aim, you could easily get by with a relatively low score. But honestly, even a few points in ACC/FIG are points that could be spent elsewhere, and I'm not a fan of those stats in the slightest... but that's a conversation I've had elsewhere.

    You definitely wouldn't be the Face, though. But on the flip side, most of your combat stats are definitely useable in non combat scenes.
    Yes sorry, I was getting confused and my brain crosswired, interviews recently have worn me out (and cause me to misread my own post). I was using high level characters, but I'd left out Abilities with regards to damage.

    I agree. When F-AGE was announced, I thought it'd be cool to integrate the utility spells that weren't really possible because D-AGE is a licensed property. Instead, I was decidedly underwhelmed.
    Sounds like the position I expect to be in with the F-AGE companion. But yes, we really need more utility spells.

    Even the argument that mages are AoE masters is a little shaky. Play with a battlemat and you'll see that early AoEs might get 2 mobs reliably and latter ones will hit 3... maybe 4. Only 5+ if the mobs are stupid and you're particularly lucky. Couple that with nothing really in the way of single target spells, and you really see magic become quite inefficient mid-late encounter.
    Yeah, it gets even worse if enemies play smart. You'll get one decent AoE, then the enemies will try to spread out unless they can get one of your allies caught in the blast.

  6. #26
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    Re: Beef up Magic and make it Dangerous

    Sorry, but that's a limit of yours
    "Rulings" are different from "house rules".
    You probably play in a very mechanical manner, I don't.
    It's absurd, against any possible storytelling purpose to say "uh-uuuh! 5 minutes gone!" and counting seconds. 5 minutes in FAGE clearly states for "encounter". I don't say that 5 minutes = 1 hour, I say that neattpicking on seconds defeat the existance of a free-form, ruling-based game like FAGE.

    At the same time, allowing for creative spell use, is not house ruling. Is just being flexible, as the book explicitly asks GMs to do. It's the same things for Stunts. You can extend them, contract them or even negate them when they occur, if it fits the game-flow.

    So, if a player doesn't use a "jolt" to stun in an "out-of-combat" situation like intimidating someone to enforce a torture or inquisition or the GM doesn't roleplay a "being stun" as something more modular than just "only minor actions allowed", it's fine, but limiting in a mature-oriented game.
    That's what I meant. I'm not house ruling anything, I just use the golden rule and base my sessions and campaigns on rulings and flexiblity, actually allowing both the players and NPCs to be alive, feel alive and seem to play in a decently consistant world (which has nothing to do with "realism", if you'll try to go that route).

    Again, if you play FAGE like RAW d&d is your issue, not FAGE's.

    Same goes for ongoing whining about HP bloat while it makes perfectly sense from a design standpoint, but I digress.
    Design must be analyzed from a very wide perspective.

    IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by shonuff View Post
    Just for clarification: the reason why you're against houseruling buffing damage is that you houseruled combat spells to be more effective as utility spells? On the one hand, that's fine because house ruling is always fine to make the game work for your table. On the other hand, that's an unspoken admission that the current spell list needs some work. Because the written duration is... well, the written duration. So expanding seconds to minutes is buffing the spell.

    And the 144 page count has always been an issue with me. I said at the time that I didn't think that would be enough for a full campaign without heavy lifting from the GM, and I still think it. I'd even say that GR is in agreement, as there's allegedly been additional content planned from the beginning.

  7. #27
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    Re: Beef up Magic and make it Dangerous

    Quote Originally Posted by AnonymousWizard View Post
    Yes sorry, I was getting confused and my brain crosswired, interviews recently have worn me out (and cause me to misread my own post). I was using high level characters, but I'd left out Abilities with regards to damage.
    It's easy to do, especially with the changes between books. I usually forget that Lethality applies to melee in F-AGE. Lol

    And in talking about class balance it's difficult sometimes where to draw the line. Because let's face it: most campaigns don't go from 1-20, but on the other hand you have the progression for them.



    Sounds like the position I expect to be in with the F-AGE companion. But yes, we really need more utility spells.
    With D-AGE and Midgard (a Kobold Quarterly iirc supplement on Drivethrurpg), you can really round out the utility spells. In those regards there wasn't a lot of redundancy. Midgard had some fun spells, but I'd be careful about some of the DoTs... depending on resistances, some of them were guaranteed death.

    And it'd be difficult to integrate them with the Arcana system - D-AGE, for instance has 7 healing spells. Granted, some of those (3 iirc) are in F-AGE, one has no reason to be in a tabletop RPG (a Rez that procs on dying), and one other is horribly implemented but a great idea -- a downtime heal that relies on an injury system that was never implemented. But there's also no Cure Disease or Cure Poison spells... no need in vanilla F-AGE, but those are RPG staples.

    Yeah, it gets even worse if enemies play smart. You'll get one decent AoE, then the enemies will try to spread out unless they can get one of your allies caught in the blast.
    One of the reasons I find this to be especially problematic is that you have to balance realism with fun. IMO it's important to place players outside of their characters' wheelhouses occasionally for interesting and varied encounters; however you don't roll up a barbarian thug to just play social encounters.

    So mages have decent AoEs but no real single target spells (maybe moreso in D-AGE). So they're typically left with the choice of ineffective AoEs with higher MP costs and chance of failure or lower level spells... and you didn't sign on to be a mage in D&D to cast Magic Missile for 20 levels.

    While you could say this is a case of not every class being able to do everything, warriors and rogues have multi-target abilities. Whereas mages really specialize in cleaning up the trash. So in order for mages to be fun, imo GMs really have a tightrope in playing adversaries dumb enough to gather somewhat without completely obliterating the suspension of disbelief.

  8. #28
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    Re: Beef up Magic and make it Dangerous

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
    Sorry, but that's a limit of yours
    "Rulings" are different from "house rules".
    You probably play in a very mechanical manner, I don't.
    It's absurd, against any possible storytelling purpose to say "uh-uuuh! 5 minutes gone!" and counting seconds. 5 minutes in FAGE clearly states for "encounter". I don't say that 5 minutes = 1 hour, I say that neattpicking on seconds defeat the existance of a free-form, ruling-based game like FAGE.

    At the same time, allowing for creative spell use, is not house ruling. Is just being flexible, as the book explicitly asks GMs to do. It's the same things for Stunts. You can extend them, contract them or even negate them when they occur, if it fits the game-flow.

    So, if a player doesn't use a "jolt" to stun in an "out-of-combat" situation like intimidating someone to enforce a torture or inquisition or the GM doesn't roleplay a "being stun" as something more modular than just "only minor actions allowed", it's fine, but limiting in a mature-oriented game.
    That's what I meant. I'm not house ruling anything, I just use the golden rule and base my sessions and campaigns on rulings and flexiblity, actually allowing both the players and NPCs to be alive, feel alive and seem to play in a decently consistant world (which has nothing to do with "realism", if you'll try to go that route).

    Again, if you play FAGE like RAW d&d is your issue, not FAGE's.

    Same goes for ongoing whining about HP bloat while it makes perfectly sense from a design standpoint, but I digress.
    Design must be analyzed from a very wide perspective.

    IMHO.
    Honestly? I own much better games for improvised gameplay than F-AGE. I bought F-AGE because I wanted something less freeform, and apart from the obvious holes (disease, poisons, falling damage IIRC) it generally manages that, although I rarely use the things it's missing. If it had a good set of out of combat stunts it would be exactly what I wanted. F-AGE has nothing like Aspects which allow players to meaningfully change the game by adding more description to the scene.

    FWIW, HP bloat makes very little sense from a design standpoint. It takes a long time for damage to increase by more than one point per round per two levels for Warriors and Rogues if they focus on their damage stat (Mages can get a boost up when the pick the necessary spells, which isn't a given at any level), for both PCs and adversaries, and so combats start taking longer as levels climb because at first hp increases by an average of 4.5 per level for PCs (and I believe about that much for adversaries, they waver a lot but I've seen the trend).

    Now HP bloat is fine if there's a damage bloat to go along with it, but as I've said it takes a long time for F-AGE damage to get any sort of significant boost. You get a minor boost to damage at level 10 for Rogues and 12 for Warriors, and a major boost in the form of a second attack at level 15 for Warriors and level 17 for Rogues. Therefore you have about ten levels where combat gets longer and longer, then it remains level from level 11 (where HP comes down to a more reasonable level) and takes a jump back down to short at levels 15-20.

    Quote Originally Posted by shonuff View Post
    It's easy to do, especially with the changes between books. I usually forget that Lethality applies to melee in F-AGE. Lol

    And in talking about class balance it's difficult sometimes where to draw the line. Because let's face it: most campaigns don't go from 1-20, but on the other hand you have the progression for them.
    I'd honestly assume that 1-10 campaigns or similar ranges are the most common in F-AGE, it's a nice range of levels which gives a decent spread and everybody gets a nice ability at or shortly after level 10.

    Mages also have a major problem because when they're good at damage they don't really have the MP to do it, and when they eventually get the MP for the massive spells Warriors and Rogues have caught up. They shine as blasters in a relatively small level range where they can afford to throw out several AoEs an encounter, but Warriors and Rogues don't get their minor action attacks.

    With D-AGE and Midgard (a Kobold Quarterly iirc supplement on Drivethrurpg), you can really round out the utility spells. In those regards there wasn't a lot of redundancy. Midgard had some fun spells, but I'd be careful about some of the DoTs... depending on resistances, some of them were guaranteed death.

    And it'd be difficult to integrate them with the Arcana system - D-AGE, for instance has 7 healing spells. Granted, some of those (3 iirc) are in F-AGE, one has no reason to be in a tabletop RPG (a Rez that procs on dying), and one other is horribly implemented but a great idea -- a downtime heal that relies on an injury system that was never implemented. But there's also no Cure Disease or Cure Poison spells... no need in vanilla F-AGE, but those are RPG staples.
    Yeah, honestly the Companion really can't afford to waste space on an additional class (which would be weird, the core 3 are very archetypal and will work for 90% of characters), it needs to work on providing the rules, hazards, and options that were left out of the corebook. Ideally lots more noncombat options that aren't on the level of the music talent, and pages on altering the game rules for different styles of play (cinematic, gritty, potentially Cartoon).

    One of the reasons I find this to be especially problematic is that you have to balance realism with fun. IMO it's important to place players outside of their characters' wheelhouses occasionally for interesting and varied encounters; however you don't roll up a barbarian thug to just play social encounters.

    So mages have decent AoEs but no real single target spells (maybe moreso in D-AGE). So they're typically left with the choice of ineffective AoEs with higher MP costs and chance of failure or lower level spells... and you didn't sign on to be a mage in D&D to cast Magic Missile for 20 levels.

    While you could say this is a case of not every class being able to do everything, warriors and rogues have multi-target abilities. Whereas mages really specialize in cleaning up the trash. So in order for mages to be fun, imo GMs really have a tightrope in playing adversaries dumb enough to gather somewhat without completely obliterating the suspension of disbelief.
    Yeah, honestly I've found that I like games with no multitarget abilities more satisfying for this exact reason. No need to have a bunch of filler for the blaster, and some strong guys for the heavy hitters. Good rules for groups of opponents also never go amiss, and yet game designers seem intent on me running 20 individual bandits instead of four groups of five bandits who move and attack together but take more damage from AoE abilities.

    Plus without using their multitarget spells, Mages are just bad. I will complain about D&D 5e endlessly because I don't like several decisions the designers made (and it's why I own Fantasy AGE in the first place), but at least they realised Mages shouldn't get one or two rounds of fun time followed by plinking away with an attack that can't pierce thick cloth.

  9. #29
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    Re: Beef up Magic and make it Dangerous

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
    Sorry, but that's a limit of yours
    "Rulings" are different from "house rules".
    You probably play in a very mechanical manner, I don't.
    First off, you're assumption is quite incorrect. But a forum is not my table, and in discussing the deficiency of the rules, it's important to discuss the actual mechanics of the rules.

    Secondly, arguing that there's a difference between rulings and house rules is a semantic argument. You might as well be arguing the difference between cool, chilly, and brisk. A ruling that changes or adds or subtracts from the rules is the same as a house rule.

    It's absurd, against any possible storytelling purpose to say "uh-uuuh! 5 minutes gone!" and counting seconds. 5 minutes in FAGE clearly states for "encounter". I don't say that 5 minutes = 1 hour, I say that neattpicking on seconds defeat the existance of a free-form, ruling-based game like FAGE.
    You're right. That is absurd. I really don't know anyone that does that.

    At the same time, allowing for creative spell use, is not house ruling. Is just being flexible, as the book explicitly asks GMs to do. It's the same things for Stunts. You can extend them, contract them or even negate them when they occur, if it fits the game-flow.
    If being flexible or making a ruling is changing the rules... that's the same as a house rule. That affects your table, and other GMs will have to make a call given a similar situation. I don't get your hang up, because tabletop RPGs pretty much all require them.

    And it's a moot point because if someone says that F-AGE needs stronger combat spells because it has weak utility spells and you argue that it doesn't because your rulings and flexibility have made combat spells usable in non-combat situations, then

    1. your rulings aren't the same and
    2. Your rulings have addressed the situation by strengthening the utility aspect


    So, if a player doesn't use a "jolt" to stun in an "out-of-combat" situation like intimidating someone to enforce a torture or inquisition or the GM doesn't roleplay a "being stun" as something more modular than just "only minor actions allowed", it's fine, but limiting in a mature-oriented game.
    That's what I meant. I'm not house ruling anything, I just use the golden rule and base my sessions and campaigns on rulings and flexiblity, actually allowing both the players and NPCs to be alive, feel alive and seem to play in a decently consistant world (which has nothing to do with "realism", if you'll try to go that route).
    So creative spellcasting is using a combat spell that harms and disorients to also do so outside of combat? But that can also be done by the warrior with a sword pommel, which would also need a ruling, as someone mentioned before. Using a spell to replicate something that someone else can do non-magically isn't the type of mystical utility we're looking for. Think teleportation, telekinesis, invisibility, geas, etc.

    I was thinking you meant using Jolt to overload a rudimentary electronic lock, or Gust of Winds to slow a chasing sailboat or maybe Protective Winds to propel your own...

    Same goes for ongoing whining about HP bloat while it makes perfectly sense from a design standpoint, but I digress.

    I don't really see how this relates other than F-AGE is a flawed product.

  10. #30
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    Re: Beef up Magic and make it Dangerous

    Quote Originally Posted by AnonymousWizard View Post
    I'd honestly assume that 1-10 campaigns or similar ranges are the most common in F-AGE, it's a nice range of levels which gives a decent spread and everybody gets a nice ability at or shortly after level 10.
    I've always felt that AGE should be a shorter game. Alternating levels for advancements, the soft attribute cap, the fact that most talents are rerolls. A level 20 character isn't terribly different from a level 1, other than a ton more HP.

    Mages also have a major problem because when they're good at damage they don't really have the MP to do it, and when they eventually get the MP for the massive spells Warriors and Rogues have caught up. They shine as blasters in a relatively small level range where they can afford to throw out several AoEs an encounter, but Warriors and Rogues don't get their minor action attacks.
    Agreed. Costing an extra resource that's not as easily replenished is another reason mage spells should be buffed. Extra power for increased management.

    Yeah, honestly the Companion really can't afford to waste space on an additional class (which would be weird, the core 3 are very archetypal and will work for 90% of characters), it needs to work on providing the rules, hazards, and options that were left out of the corebook. Ideally lots more noncombat options that aren't on the level of the music talent, and pages on altering the game rules for different styles of play (cinematic, gritty, potentially Cartoon).
    I don't really need the rules for the style of play. A lot of that is simply done with how the GM sets the scene.

    But I definitely agree with additional non-combat options. RP and exploration stunts are pretty lackluster and just simply don't apply very often. You can tell that they were tacked on... they didn't appear until Set 2 of D-AGE.

    I also don't really see the need for a fourth class -- you have melee attackers, ranged attackers, and casters. Further breakdown could be done with specializations.

    Yeah, honestly I've found that I like games with no multitarget abilities more satisfying for this exact reason. No need to have a bunch of filler for the blaster, and some strong guys for the heavy hitters. Good rules for groups of opponents also never go amiss, and yet game designers seem intent on me running 20 individual bandits instead of four groups of five bandits who move and attack together but take more damage from AoE abilities.
    I disagree. I see your point but if 5 bandits is about the same as 1 dragon, then there's little difference to having a dragon or a group of bandits. But if they are individualized, then you handle the bandits differently than the dragon, even if they are the same threat level.

    Plus without using their multitarget spells, Mages are just bad. I will complain about D&D 5e endlessly because I don't like several decisions the designers made (and it's why I own Fantasy AGE in the first place), but at least they realised Mages shouldn't get one or two rounds of fun time followed by plinking away with an attack that can't pierce thick cloth.
    Yeah, I think if any class is relegated to plinking, that's a design flaw. I use a lot of RP and a lot of exploration, and combat still eats up a lot of time. If you choose to not have an optimized character, that's one thing, but if it's chosen for you?

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