Should Defensive Blast be altered in Conan 2nd?

Discuss Mongoose RPGs here, such as the OGL rulebooks, Jeremiah, Armageddon 2089 and Macho Women with Guns

Should Defensive Blast be altered in Conan 2nd?

It should be removed
18
40%
It should be kept, but made less powerful/more restricted
12
27%
It should be kept as is
13
29%
It should be kept, and made more powerful
2
4%
 
Total votes: 45
User avatar
Trodax
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 981
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:02 pm
Location: Sweden

Should Defensive Blast be altered in Conan 2nd?

Postby Trodax » Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:08 pm

So people seem to have very differing opinions about this. Some people hate it and don't think it has anything to do with Howards Hyborian Age. Others feel that it is a very important ability for sorcerers to have, and that they would be significantly weakened without it. Still others don't have a problem with the ability per se, but feel that it can abused.

I vote for a removal of the ability, I've never really been to fond of it. I could very well be positive towards some sort of replacement, though.
Ralph
Stoat
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 8:50 pm
Location: Droxford, Hampshire

Postby Ralph » Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:32 pm

I think it should be left as is.
I like it, but will severely limit it's use. (I have no sorceror players at the moment, but would accentuate the 'last gasp' nature of it's use if any of my players want to play a sorceror).
The beauty of RPGs is that the GM can pick and choose parts of the rules to suit his/her game.
It would be a shame to not have had the option to use defensive blast.
Ralph
I can't get my pen to work on screen. How am I supposed to get my signature here?
Arkobla Conn
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 388
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:21 am

Postby Arkobla Conn » Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:50 pm

This is a current hot topic in my game...I knew it was a problem when one player said to another (new) player...you can just keep exploding without any danger to yourself....
I offer you life Conan...
.... And I give you DEATH, Wizard!
User avatar
Majestic7
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 490
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:56 pm
Location: Finland

Postby Majestic7 » Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:55 pm

I'm going to just repeat what I said in the other thread...

I think some sort of danger or dire consequences for slaying wizards, even the lowliest of apprentices, fits fine in the world of Conan. I agree that the defensive blast doesn't fit well in the atmosphere of the world - but I've yet to see it abused in game terms. So, I think it should defenitely be tweaked or replaced with other kind of defensive ability. Some sort of sinister deathcurse or something else would be fine. It can be powerful too - for example, greater ill-fortune lasting whole life unless broken by a counterspell.

However, I think there are ways to make defensive blast less of a problem in game terms. Of course this does not address the problem with it fitting in to the game world. Simple steps - once blast is used, make the sorcerer fatigued or exhausted. Don't let opportunistic sacrifice to be used with the blast - OR rule the blast to be exception from the massive damage rules, unable to cause massive damage fort save. In the latter case killing someone for power points with opportunistic sacrife and defensive blast would be much harder.
Campaign log & house rules at Obsidian Portal:
http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/conan-ae
Krushnak
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 441
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:59 pm
Location: Perth, Australia

Postby Krushnak » Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:13 pm

DB should be removed completely. really is retarded giving all sorcerors an extremely powerful spell for free at 1st lvl when the next thing comparable is agonising doom at that requires you to be decently high lvl to know it.

there is a downside to killing a sorceror but that doesnt mean it has to be shown in built in game mechanics. the tower the characters are in might start collapsing around them or perhaps the sorceror was the acolyte or guardian or some horrific demon from the outer darkness and now the characters have to deal with that. as for players compaining about not being survivable enough, tough luck you chose to play the bookworm so deal with it. also a good idea to become good friends with the soldier or melee powerhouse in the group and 'convince' him that your life takes priority over his.
User avatar
Sutek
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1769
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:07 pm
Location: Houston Texas

Postby Sutek » Thu Nov 30, 2006 3:54 pm

Don't drop it altogether.

Make it a feat that changes each time it's taken.

8)
AE Errata Thread
"Occam's razor makes the cutting clean..."
slaughterj
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1135
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:19 pm

Postby slaughterj » Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:55 pm

In several campaigns, I have yet to have it be a problem whatsoever, or even GMing, have it come up for use. Smart sorcerors (i.e., all sorcerors) keep their distance from big sword-wielding goons interested in their demise. But I'm sure it would come in useful in the rare situation in which such did occur.

In the event it were to removed/modified, I would say that it should be only in the context of mild alterations to the spell system and PP acquisition system.

Obviously there is a need to balance what someone can do with the first couple of levels of sorceror, so that people don't just splash the class for massive power, but more effectiveness to various spells would be ideal. For instance, a 1st level scholar will have a large chance to fail hypnotism against a foe, leaving him totally vulnerable. The 1st level scholar has may be a 12 or 14 Charisma, no Magic Attack bonus, so they have *maybe* a 60% chance of hypnotizing a common dork - that's pretty poor, and it doesn't scale up particularly quickly either. Even a 5th level scholar is only +2 better, i.e., only ~ 70% chance with hypnotism on a common dork, not to mention someone who has a couple of levels themselves.
Netherek
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:55 am
Location: Washington

Postby Netherek » Thu Nov 30, 2006 5:57 pm

I vote to remove it entirely. It doesn't fit the genre, the work of Howard, and is just cheesy D&D mechanics to put fear into players.

I think that some of the alchemy should be improved, such as flame powder. In the story Black Colosses it is used to dessimate a unit of cavalry killing knight and horse alike. You can't even come close to this with it as written. This is just one fix.

Intelligent use of scholars would be a good idea, using defensive techniques, delay actions, and various poisons should put fear in the players and remain true to the genre.

Finally, everyone in Howard's story fear scholars, so should give them Terror when using dramatic spells and alchemy, and maybe a bonus feat like Steely Gaze or other means of shaking up opponents.

Hell, I just thought of this one....

Drop DB and give them menacing aura.

Any of these solutions is far better than the broken, out of genre, DB rule.

My two cents.
User avatar
Bregales
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 900
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 3:44 am
Location: I'll take Manhattan, but I live in Queens, New York

defensive blast this n' defensive blast that

Postby Bregales » Thu Nov 30, 2006 5:58 pm

Get rid of it. I like some of these posts about using something else like Agonising Doom. As for the tower collapsing, I used to do that when GMing DnD games long ago, and it's already covered under the Rule of Impermanence. Why not use an effect like a darkness spell, everyone within 15 ft of the sorcerer is surrounded by an opaque fog-like blackness, wherein the 50% miss chance hampers many attackers and could allow the sorcerer to flee without the dnd flashbang super magick this spell is taken from? Or better yet, just let them die screaming under the steel swords of their enemies. :twisted:
"Age & treachery will always overcome youth & skill" - Donne
User avatar
Sutek
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 1769
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 7:07 pm
Location: Houston Texas

Postby Sutek » Thu Nov 30, 2006 7:52 pm

That's what I'd like to see done to DB, in essence, Bregles. Have it become a feat, but change effects. One factor in it's effect coul deasily be the schools that the sorcerer employs, like you suggest emanating a shroud of darkness around him instead of a damage inflicting blast as it is now.

I think it can be reworked to be flavorful for the GMs who want to utilize it for a burst of raw magic power, but not for free. Definitely not for free.

Also, it needs ot truly become a "last ditch" move. Right now it's just "fire ball" and doesn't fit the REH canon.
AE Errata Thread
"Occam's razor makes the cutting clean..."
User avatar
Bregales
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 900
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 3:44 am
Location: I'll take Manhattan, but I live in Queens, New York

Postby Bregales » Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:02 pm

Agreed, sounds good Sutek.
"Age & treachery will always overcome youth & skill" - Donne
Ganconer
Weasel
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:37 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Ganconer » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:16 pm

I voted to keep it as it is. I have never had a problem with it and I am amazed so many people do. It's almost funny.

If you don't like the way a rule is you can make a house rule that better fits your gaming group. In fact I am contemplating making one myself that when you kill a sorceror you roll on a chart and a random result happens. Anything from nothing happening to having the sorceror turn into a poisonous gas or explode like the defensive blast describes. That way the sorceror has no control of it at all and it is all random. It will make players think twice about killing one off. Well....maybe :) Some of my players have the "If it moves, kill it" mentality ;)
slaughterj
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1135
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 3:19 pm

Postby slaughterj » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:28 pm

Ganconer wrote:I voted to keep it as it is. I have never had a problem with it and I am amazed so many people do. It's almost funny.
Heh, I'm with you on that :wink:
Netherek
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 228
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 2:55 am
Location: Washington

Postby Netherek » Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:35 am

I haven't had an issue really, but it didn't take but a few moments toying with feat combos in my head to see just how game breaking it is. Now that I am gearing up to run a campaign, I am removing it. It really just doesn't fit the genre, and it's really an artificial way to make PC's afraid of scholars. GM's should play the NPC's as being quite frightnened of them so PC scholars shouldn't be the Primary Target. Otherwise I'd begin to think there is to much D&D metagaming.
User avatar
Trodax
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 981
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2004 3:02 pm
Location: Sweden

Postby Trodax » Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:50 am

Netherek wrote:Hell, I just thought of this one....

Drop DB and give them menacing aura.
Something like this would be great idea I think (I don't know if it should be exactly that you get Menacing Aura as a free feat, but something along those lines).

This would make the ability a consequence of the statement "Sorcerers are dangerous" rather than a reason for it ("Sorcerers are dangerous because they can blow up"). I like that.
Lord Jolly the Scribe
Mongoose
Posts: 166
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:42 am
Location: Muncy
Contact:

Postby Lord Jolly the Scribe » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:06 am

Keep it.

You've all heard my arguments on why, but I think a whimped out sorcerer needs something to keep himself alive when he is surrounded and trying to cast a speel is going to get him AOO'ed to death real fast.

They have it bad as is. They get corrupted, they have to burn PP to do stuff, they have a small spell list, they have to undergo rigorous study, they can't fight or physically defend themselves well, they have magiucs that can be resisted easily with the right feats or that lose control easily if not careful, and they have low HP and modifiers.

They need soemthing like this and it has never been that big of a deal in the game.

And like others have said on here: if you don't like it, ignore it and don't use it. But don't make them change the game over it and make the rest of us lose out on a cool ability like this just cause you have lost players or gamers to it. :(
You don't know peace til you've had suffering -Mushroomhead, XXX
Daz
Mongoose
Posts: 111
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 5:04 pm
Location: South Korea
Contact:

Postby Daz » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:25 am

You've all heard my arguments on why, but I think a whimped out sorcerer needs something to keep himself alive when he is surrounded and trying to cast a speel is going to get him AOO'ed to death real fast.
But why does that "something" have to be defensive blast?
And like others have said on here: if you don't like it, ignore it and don't use it.
It goes both ways, if 2nd edition cuts it and you like it you can house-rule it back in. But having it be in by default is bad for new players since it gives first level players the ability to do up to 8d6 damage as a free action. ANYTHING that allows first level players to do up to 8d6 damage as a free action shouldn't be in the game.
Oly
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 2:33 pm
Location: London

Postby Oly » Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:39 am

Lord Jolly the Scribe wrote:You've all heard my arguments on why, but I think a whimped out sorcerer needs something to keep himself alive when he is surrounded and trying to cast a speel is going to get him AOO'ed to death real fast.
There's the mechanical arguments which say that DB is too powerful and there's the tack which argues that PC scholars need something to help them survive.

However my feelings are that Scholars simply do not fit into the REH world as good PCs in an active adventuring party. They can't stand up to a fight because they're not meant to. To add something that seems to really go against REH's Conan feel (DB) to back up something that equally doesn't belong just seems wrong.

The scholar is meant to be locked away in his tower/cave/temple/harem doing evil from afar not involved in fights with common adventurers.

Rather than twist the REH concept of a magic user to fit into something a PC can play I'd rather they stay true to the concept and accept the limitations that make them almost unplayable in the normal RPG group.
Daz
Mongoose
Posts: 111
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 5:04 pm
Location: South Korea
Contact:

Postby Daz » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:40 pm

Oly wrote:
Lord Jolly the Scribe wrote: Rather than twist the REH concept of a magic user to fit into something a PC can play I'd rather they stay true to the concept and accept the limitations that make them almost unplayable in the normal RPG group.
Who says that adventuring parties have to be good? In any case there's plenty of mention in the REH stories about sorcerers going on lengthy quests to obtain various artifacts. And in addition, if I told my players to not bother being able to do any magic, I'd have a very hard time getting any players...
Oly
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 400
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 2:33 pm
Location: London

Postby Oly » Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:06 pm

Daz wrote:Who says that adventuring parties have to be good? In any case there's plenty of mention in the REH stories about sorcerers going on lengthy quests to obtain various artifacts. And in addition, if I told my players to not bother being able to do any magic, I'd have a very hard time getting any players...
I'm not saying that they have to be good, it's not that aspect that's the problem. The issue is that DB is a non REH solution to a non REH problem.

A low level scholar isn't out on the frontlines. They'll worm themselves away somewhere safe and get others to do their dirty work. NPC scholars work great in Conan with a PC group being sent off to do their bidding. If they are with a party then they'll hide from the combat and get others to put themselves at risk for them. There's some great RP in there for a player who's happy to play such a character.

Sure we all sometimes tweak our gameworlds to make them more appealing to our players. But in the end the Conan RPG book is meant to represent the Conan world and deadly exploding scholars just isn't a part of that.

GMs may say "OK I'm running a Conan like game, but we'll have more combat friendly mages in it" but that sort of non REH flavoured world isn't something I'd like to see the rulebook pushing.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 20 guests