Scholars are hilariously powerful

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Scholars are hilariously powerful

Postby reoiv » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:49 pm

Frost Magic/Nature Magic in Secrets of Skelos allows you to become a beast of your choice.

So at scholar level 6 you could have 3 or more forms easily.
Air : Giant Bat, Great Eagle or eagle
Ground: Grey Ape or Bear.
Water: Shark or better

Thing is with the fell of frost spell you can increase your damage reduction by 2. You become the animal form so you get their natural damage reduction plus your frost reduction.

Now add in barding or actual armor (add in a level of solider so you're proficient) you're talking about a ridiculously armored animal. A Grey ape in a mail hauberk, breast plate and great helm has 15 damage reduction....(9 from armor ,2 from helm,2 from ape, 2 from spell)

Plus as they are a large creature they can wield 2 handed weapons in one hand... Meaning your character or NPC bad guy can dual wield bardiches/greatswords etc.

Now you can walk around cleaving people in half and using opportunistic sacrifice to get power points back by the bucket load.

The whole thing is so wonderfully silly. I just had to share.
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Postby Der Rote Baron » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:49 pm

Ehm ... yeah ... right ... that sounds very Conanesque to me ... Thanks for sharing. :roll:
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Postby reoiv » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:13 pm

Image

Pretty Conan too me.....
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Postby Jeffreywns » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:52 pm

Not that there's a wrong way to enjoy the game, but have you read the story of the picture you used to defend your statement? (Not that you need to defend yourself).
Nothing in your post is "Conan", but it is 3.5 D&D to the hilt. Which is why I play Conan.
Please note that as long as you and your group are having fun, that's a great thing.
Last edited by Jeffreywns on Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby reoiv » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:06 pm

Nah we've pretty much made it a house rule that you can't use scholars in Conan because of the amount of problems the magic system causes. Besides Scholars are much more of an NPC class than anything.

That said 'Rogues in the House' which the painting is based on has a trained Man Ape pretending to be a sorcerer wearing the robes and cloths of the sorcerer. So logically I don't see how a sorcerer shifting into the form of an ape is that much of a stretch.

And if you go off the movie Conan, Thulsa Doom turned into a huge snake in the Orgy scene.
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Postby kintire » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:34 am

You can do thaat if you wish. But good luck finding aarmour that will fit a Grey Ape! Thak, a Man-Ape was roughly humanoid. Grey Apes are overgrown gorillas. You can get armour custom-made, but what are you going to do with it while you're NOT a Grey Ape? You'll have to put it on every time you transform, which will not be a quick process.

In short, it costs you a level of soldier, a large amount of money in unique and loseable armour and is only useful when you are attacking and haave time to set up.

Cool when it works though!
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Postby Jotenbjorn » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:06 am

That's when the GM just makes bad things happen to you. People don't like sorcerers.
Looking for a game in Tempe, Az. E6 Conan ftw!

http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/hyborian-steel - Still looking for players!
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Postby reoiv » Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:47 am

kintire wrote:You can do thaat if you wish. But good luck finding aarmour that will fit a Grey Ape! Thak, a Man-Ape was roughly humanoid. Grey Apes are overgrown gorillas. You can get armour custom-made, but what are you going to do with it while you're NOT a Grey Ape? You'll have to put it on every time you transform, which will not be a quick process.

In short, it costs you a level of soldier, a large amount of money in unique and loseable armour and is only useful when you are attacking and haave time to set up.

Cool when it works though!
Scholars get loads of points to spend each level Craft Armor and craft weapons are a wonderful thing.

Also Conjure Item is nice too :)

But the work around is if you're in a situation where you lose stuff all the time a Bear works wonderfully in that you don't need the level of soldier, and you still have a DR of 9 plus you can bear hug for 3d10+12 :)
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Postby Clovenhoof » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:42 am

Can the guy even put on the armour when in ape-form? If he has to wear the armour before shifting his shape, he'll have about 90% spell failure chance.
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Postby reoiv » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:17 pm

I don't see why they couldn't put the armor on in ape form, as it would be specially made for them and the scholar retains their int, wis and cha stats but gains the str, con and dex stats of the new form.

If anything the ape form may be even more dexterous than the scholar form.

Not to mention they have an extra set of hands to use :)

And if you have some slaves or hirelings you can have them help dress you.
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Postby Darkmind » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:51 pm

I see no problem with using this, it is in my humble opinion a sound idea. You just need to change up the description a bit and it sounds just like a sorcerer being embraced or gifted by his/her demonic lord.

When it comes to the armor issue some slaves will work or do one of my favorite GM acts "off stage Action" the players can't pick apart or attack a act that their characters don't see. Example - Sorcerer A's ritual is interrupted by the heroes, while the heroes are battling the minions. Sorcerer A screams vengeance and runs out of the room. When the heroes finish off the minions they give chance catching up to Sorcerer A in all his mutated empowered glory and the ultimate battle of ultimate destiny begins....
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Postby Phobos » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:49 am

IMHO, this is a good idea for a high Fantasy environment game, but not for a S&S one like Conan.
"What the Terhra woman wants
is the fire of combat;
Is the side of warriors
crushed by the sword.
It´s the blood,
corpses;
under corpses.
Lifeless eyes, severed heads:
these are the words
that please to her.
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Postby reoiv » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:34 pm

Phobos wrote:IMHO, this is a good idea for a high Fantasy environment game, but not for a S&S one like Conan.
By S&S you mean what exactly sword and sword?

I don't see how shape shifting into a more powerful form makes this less sword and sorcery than turning into an eagle or gigantic snake.
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Postby Csmallo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:00 pm

reoiv wrote:
Phobos wrote:IMHO, this is a good idea for a high Fantasy environment game, but not for a S&S one like Conan.
By S&S you mean what exactly sword and sword?

I don't see how shape shifting into a more powerful form makes this less sword and sorcery than turning into an eagle or gigantic snake.
Yeah, a more powerful form that wears plate armor and dual wields great swords. :roll: That is pure v3.5 high fantasy.
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Postby Phobos » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:40 pm

reoiv wrote:
Phobos wrote:IMHO, this is a good idea for a high Fantasy environment game, but not for a S&S one like Conan.
By S&S you mean what exactly sword and sword?

I don't see how shape shifting into a more powerful form makes this less sword and sorcery than turning into an eagle or gigantic snake.
Sword and Sorcery.

Rulescracthing and munchkin with the feats, equipment, and spells for acquire the maximun combat power is not what Conan RPG or Howard´s stories was about.

If you want something ridiculous like that "Giant ape armoured and sorcerer all-in-one" try D&D 4th
"What the Terhra woman wants
is the fire of combat;
Is the side of warriors
crushed by the sword.
It´s the blood,
corpses;
under corpses.
Lifeless eyes, severed heads:
these are the words
that please to her.
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Postby LucaCherstich » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:48 pm

I think many of you missed the point of Conan.
Conan IS NOT LOW FANTASY.
Sword & Sorcery is not about High vs Low Fantasy.
Sword & Sorcery is about the HARSH BACKGROUND.
This is "Dark, Visceral and Weird Fantasy"... it is all about how you play these feelings.
You could even play Conan with Red Dragons and flaming swords...but there should be a reason for that...and they should be special.
So, EVERY SCHOLAR IS SPECIAL, and this is the key for understanding sorcery in Conan.
Please, red again Conan 2 ed, pag. 5:
"...Is the Hyborian Age a Low Magic or Low Fantasy Setting? Emphatically not. Most of the Conan stories, even those that focus predominantly on battling armies or conflicts between individual warriors, feature at least one evil sorcerer and often whole societies, priesthoods or covens of them.....
...However, Conan as originally visualised by Howard is not ‘high fantasy’ but sword-and-sorcery. It has much the same relationship to the works of Tolkien and his lesser imitators as the hard-boiled crime fi ction of Raymond Chandler has to the more proper detective tales of Agatha Christie. This is visceral, dark, weird fantasy...."
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Postby reoiv » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:47 pm

I've really been scratching my head at this idea that there is no powerful magic in Conan.

There isn't much flashy beat you over the face magic in Conan, but it is there.

Much like LOTR, Willow, the Conan movies, Beast Master, Red Sonya etc.

But make no mistake each one of those movies and stories had magic in them. Many times creatures that shape shifted, magicians turning people into other things like statues, dust, etc.

As presented with the rules in the Conan RPG books from Mongoose the abilities outlined above are totally possible for a scholar to achieve.

They are even possible with the shape shifter spell in the Oriental Magic section of the core rule book. Although for a shorter period of time (10 minutes per level and only level 12 or higher) but even then you could shrink to a beetle size crawl in to the armor (laid out before hand) and then change into the shape desired.

Scholars are supposed to be nasty.
They are supposed to do mean tricks as they are highly intelligent.
They are supposed to freak out non magic users.
They are supposed to push the limit of what is possible with magic.

This is the main reason my group doesn't allow them as a PC class as it fits more with an evil NPC (as most of the time in all the stories the bad guy is an evil scholar, wizard etc).

Just imagine a Scholar that could shape shift like this. That takes leadership and creates a cult of the monkey. Where he attracts priests and acolytes that train to transform into monkey warriors themselves. Even better is if you get your followers to take leadership skills so that they can attract cohorts that do the same.

Not only do you have to worry about the evil magics of this scholar now you have to worry about how tough the evil magical army of followers he is building.
Last edited by reoiv on Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby kintire » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:44 am

Rulescracthing and munchkin with the feats, equipment, and spells for acquire the maximun combat power is not what Conan RPG or Howard´s stories was about.

If you want something ridiculous like that "Giant ape armoured and sorcerer all-in-one" try D&D 4th
Ah. An elitist. Presumably you would also object if we managed to destroy a few hundred enemies in a huge fireball, melted people with blasts of energy or summoned Dragons?
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Postby Phobos » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:00 am

It´s not about be an "elitist" like you said, it´s about the environment and the ambient of the game. It´s legal reading the rulebook? yes, it´s right a la letre but not to the spirit of the game.

Want to "destroy a few hundred enemies in a huge fireball" "melt people with blasts of energy" or "summon Dragons"? Of course you can, but that´s not Conan is about, you got hundred of rpgs about that, I don´t know the reason to employ Conan for.

Additionally: none of the Howard´s sorcerers foes of Conan use never a combination like that, from Tsotha Lanti to Thugra Khotan. Why? Were they stupid?
"What the Terhra woman wants
is the fire of combat;
Is the side of warriors
crushed by the sword.
It´s the blood,
corpses;
under corpses.
Lifeless eyes, severed heads:
these are the words
that please to her.
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Postby LucaCherstich » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:34 am

what if that "giant fireball army-killer" is a gift of some powerful Khitan Arch-Demon to a Rhaksha who did it (maybe sacrificing a whole Ghulistani village as a gift/barter for the demons), just for the purpose of destroying the main Vedhyan legion protecting the access to the Vendhyan kingdom?
What if "Summon Dragon" is a spell which a Stygian sorcerer found inscribed in a tomb and it allows him to re-vitalize some old long-dead giant god-dragon in the Amazonian Jungle?
PLAYING CONAN IS ALL ABOUT STYLE!!!
This is not low- fantasy...but an heroic & gritty Sword & Sorcery game!
In theory (if you add some house-rule, or ad-hoc rule for specific story, or if you simple add more newspells) every magic is possible in Conan but every magic must have a sense and the players should feel it as a unique thing, with its own reason to exist.

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