Magician of Dessi/Elder Magi confusion...


Okay, let me see if I can get this bit of confusion off my chest and cleared up -
The Magicans of Dessi are all that remains of the Elder Magi, right? (That fact is straight from the Magnamund Companion) If this is so, why I have seemed to notice a discrepancy in the Magicians of Dessi class. August has patterned the magic of these people after the Shianti wizards, right. Well, if Lord Rimoah -an Elder Magi and LW's tutor in battle magic as per the Grand Master series - trained LW in spells much like a Brotherhood magician (without the draining Endurance requirement), why is the class patterned as such? Should not the Elder Magi cast individual spells instead of having Magical Arts? Or is there THAT much of a difference between Elder Magic and Vakeros (sp)? Am I missing a detail or something here?

Thanks ahead of time for clearing up my cluttered mind!
Hmmm... I thought the tutors behind Lone Wolf's spell ability later on was from both Lord Rimoah and Banedon, but it has been a while since I have read the Grandmaster gamebooks.

Paido will more than likely know the correct answer to the question though, but I always thought the Magicians of Dessi were direct decendants of the slumbering Elder Magi and that was why they could learn their ancestors magic to a degree, while the Vakeros were not and that was why they could only learn a fraction of the magic in the form of their battle spells (ie: the Lone Wolf style Spells). Either way I always thought the Magic of the Elder Magicians would be somewhat dissimilar to that of the Shianti... but like I said that was my interpretation but it may be otherwise...

Magi Magic is the discipline that Rimoah taught LW (Vakeros Battle Magic)
Kai Alchemy is the Left-Handed magic taught by Banedon.

I believe that, because the Elder Magi are a separate race created by Kai & Ishir to wield magic, they can't teach anyone the full capabilities of their powers - at least, that's what I'm saying!
Arandur said:
Paido will more than likely know the correct answer to the question though [...]

Thanks for the vote of confidence, but alas my background knowledge doesn't give me certainty about that matter ... :?

At first I probably should mention that the greater part of my Lone Wolf collection is German (book 1-12 and the Grey Star series); a few things might have been confused by the translation. And to my great regret I do not possess the fabled Magnamund Companion (nor the Skull of Agarash graphic novel - maybe Rimoah is shown casting spells in that one?) ... :cry:

Enough of that preface.

As far as I know, the Elder Magi we meet in Dessi are indeed the last of that ancient people who had been decimated by the Great Plague. (That thing about "the Elder Magi have slept in [...] the heart of Dessi" confuses me a bit, as I always thought Lord Rimoah and the High Council in Elzian to be Elder Magi themselves, and they do seem quite awake to me ... :wink:) The expression "Magician of Dessi" was mostly unfamiliar to me before I read about them in the Mongoose preview. (The German translation of the game books spoke maybe once or twice about "Magicians of Dessi", but that just seemed to have been a synonym for "Elder Magi".)

Concerning the "Magician of Dessi" character class, I'm not quite sure how it fits in. Are they indeed Elder Magi, or are they maybe of the same race as the Vakeros warrior-mages, just trained as full mages instead? The former case would surprise me, as I wouldn't have considered an Elder Magi as notably more playable than a true Shianti. (Powerful race and all that.) The latter case, though something never mentioned in the game books, would be a nifty way to give fans of good ol' Rimoah a chance to play at least similar characters. (But take note, that is just a theory of mine, the preview doesn't seem to be quite clear on that matter.)

Now for the matter of their magic and the rules for that. I would indeed have expected mages that are either Elder Magi or at least trained by them to wield Old Kingdom magic as the Vakeros do. Of course, the magic of the Vakeros - as described in the game books - focuses mostly on combat; a full mage would (and should) have a greater variety of spells at his command.

I agree that Old Kingdom magic seems to rely on spells; spells that do not drain Endurance. As Robertib already posted, Lord Rimoah was indeed a tutor of Lone Wolf; he taught him the battle spells used by the Vakeros (while Banedon taught him the Left-Handed magic the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star wields). With the Mongoose rules, a Magician of Dessi probably could simulate some, if not all, of the Old Kingdom spells mentioned in the Magi-magic discipline of the Grand Master game books. But at least to me, that wouldn't feel like he were casting those spells! :(

If the Elder Magi did indeed not use spells, but formed magical effects through their pure willpower, then where do the spells of the Vakeros come from? The Elder Magi would have had to invent spells to teach to them, and somehow, I don't buy that.

One more reason why it doesn't feel right to me that the Elder Magi (or Elder Magi-trained mages, whatever the case may be) are using a kind of Shianti magicks is that (as far as I know) the Elder Magi were created on Magnamund about three thousand years before the Shianti came there from the Daziarn. Why, then, should they use magics of the same or at least related nature? Neither would have learned it from the other, and (again, as far as I know), they weren't even created by the same entity ...

Well, to conclude this, I assume that the Mongoose folks wanted to include a character class that gives Grey Star fans a chance to play characters inspired by that series, while avoiding Shianti or Grey Star clones as player characters. I'm a great fan of Grey Star and the Shianti, but I also like the Elder Magi and the Vakeros a lot, and therefore I just feel that the latter have been shortchanged by that decision. IMHO, the "Magician of Dessi" class does justice to neither the Elder Magi nor the Shianti; it just gives us the opportunity to wield Grey Star's magical powers. And for me, that's a (single!) jarring note in an Rpg that I am very enthusiastic about, to emphasize that latter point once more!

Just my thoughts. Good grief, look at the length of that post! :shock: ... I have to go now.

Gloar! :D

All right, allow me to weigh in on this:

The Magician of Dessi class was created with the magic it has for three important reasons, at least one of which is a "behind the curtain" I would not have expected anyone else (beside Mr. Dever and the notes we had access to) to know:

1) The Magicans of Dessi needed to have a very different feel than the Brotherhood of the Crystal Star. To do this, we needed a magic system that did not rely on codified spells- thus, the Magical Arts.

2) It provides a system for those fans of Grey Star to create their own characters based on him since each of the core classes is entended to be just open enough to multiple intrepretations (thus allowing Games Masters to use them to flesh out the entire continent).

3) Most importantly, the Magicans of Dessi are the true inheritors of their ancestors' (the Elder Magi) magic with Mr. Dever's notes link directly to the same form of magic as the Shianti. He calls this True Magick and while it might seem strange that two races so far removed in time would use much the same energies in the same way, I decided to go with this. After all, electricity is electricity no matter how many millenia you wait. :)

I hope thius sheds some light on the command decisions behind the class. For what it's worth, the Magician of Dessi is NOT supposed to be Dessi Battlemages (who do use an entirely different form of magic). Those will be detailed in a later book (hopefully) or an issue of Signs and Portents. I'm looking forward to it.

-August (Shadow Raven)
Thanks, August!

Well, it's kinda hard to argue with your third point ... :wink: Your decision about this is understandable (and, after all, certainly not lightly made), wether I may like it or not. Should that one point prove to be the only thing I'm unhappy about in the whole book, then it has to be a good game indeed! (Especially considering the expectations of us old Lone Wolf fans ...) So, keep up the good work, we appreciate it! :D

BTW, these "Dessi Battlemages" you mentioned would be the Vakeros, like, uh, me, right? :) Just asking as I'm trying to differentiate between "Battle/War/Combat mages" (robes, staff, pointy hats, like to drink goat milk, just especially trained in battle magics :wink:) and "warrior-mages" (those multi-class guys from old AD&D, kind of like spell-slinging warriors). I always imagined the Vakeros to be of the latter variety, but after talking to a few other Lone Wolf fans I'm no longer completely sure about that ... :?:

Oh, right, one question about the "Magician of Dessi" - "Elder Magi" relation, if I may: What would, in those terms, Lord Rimoah and the High Council members be? (Does "Magicians of Dessi" just refer to those Elder Magi living in Dessi at this time, so that Rimoah would be one of them?) Should that be covered in the rulebook, just consider this question unasked ... :wink:

Paido, looking forward to the Vakeros as well :D

The Elder Magii would have access to both Dessi Magic (shanti lesser magics) as well as Vakeros Battlemagik. Since dessi maick (lesser elder arts) cannot be taught, Lone Wolf was taught the minor battle magik of the vakeros.

The Mgaician of dessi does not have access to both ofcourse, having only the stronger elder arts (albeit the lesser ones). However, if you multi classed the dessi with the vakeros battlemagi (when the rules for that classs coem out, hopefully in mOm), you could have a dessi having some battlemagik as well. But you don't really need to; the dessi's staff is far more powerful than nearly anything els ein the game; and elementalism can cover the other spells (shatter, flameshaft, etc etc). SOrcery could cover GLOAR...although using sorcery to attack becomes obsolete once you attain level 3 and have the staff. (sorcery needs a little addenda btw, two of its powers are useless.).
Well Paido, thanks for your attempt to help me (which made a few great points and sparked some of the ol' imagination). And thank you, August come putting the difference out there so completely. I guess now, like for many other things, I must bow down and wait for the book (s) to explain some of these important background reasons :)

The question was more or less answered, but frel! are there more questions now!!! Better log off before I get type-happy and slalm the boards with the new post ideas... perhaps later, after I've had dinner and my daily medication of Mr. John Daniels .....
@ Xex:

As we seem to have a misunderstanding here: You are right of course in that the rules allow the player of a "Magician of Dessi" to simulate the Old Kingdom/Vakeros/Magi-magic spells, to create the same effects. That wasn't what I meant however, it's one of these background/flair things again ... :wink:

The thing that bothered me was not the effect, but the underlying nature of the magic arts they get to use, if that makes any sense. It's a bit like the difference between arcane and divine magic from Dungeons & Dragons, or between PSI abilities and the Force from Star Wars. Maybe the latter case would make the best example: Of course, the various Force powers do resemble PSI abilites, but the point is, they are not PSI abilities. The source of the power is inherently different, and the techniques to call upon them (in the reality of the Star Wars universe, not necessarily in game rules) are at least subtly different.

I hope that made sense as an explanation of my problem with that class ... seems a bit hard to explain, really. (Maybe it's because English is not my native language.)

No matter; as I posted earlier, I'm still not happy about it, but I'll accept it. August's reasons are valid, after all. (Not to mention that it is far to late to change anything ... :wink:) As far as I'm concerned, the matter can be considered closed and filed away. :)

Thanks nonetheless, Xex!



@ Adgramaine: I live to serve! 8)
adgramaine said:
my daily medication of Mr. John Daniels .....
Me, I prefer Mr. Jack Daniels... 8) :D :mrgreen:

I am impressed by the extent of the knowledge of some board members regarding LW. It will be great to follow what thoughts you guys will come up with. I have only played the first ten books and the Grey Star serie way back then (more than ten years ago), so my knowledge of the setting is blurry at best.

Back to lurking mode... :wink:
redlaco said:
adgramaine said:
my daily medication of Mr. John Daniels .....
Me, I prefer Mr. Jack Daniels... 8) :D :mrgreen:
to quote a favorite actor of mine..."when you have known him as long as I have, you call him whatever the H$!! you want!"
50 XP to anyone who can name the actor and movie :wink:

Sorry for the slight divergance of topic, but I couldn't resist....

My understanding of this whole confusion is this:

Left/Right handed magic is basically the same as: DnD Wizard class.

Magician of Dessi: are basically Sorcerers. And those of you that play DnD know what i'm talking about. It means that their power is inate, that they shape magic as a force of will and not through memorizing spells and rituals.

In DnD, this is interpreted through the difference between wizard and sorcerer. Wizards have a spell book and can memorize any spell in their spell book acording to their spell progression chart in any order they choose. Sorcerers can cast a set number of spells more times than a wizard but do not memorize them. But nor can they choose different spells. Once they go up a level. They choose their next spell(s) and thats it. They're stuck with casting lightning bolt (for ex.) as their 3rd lvl spell. but they can cast it more times than a wizard can.

Make sense? If not just let me know..I'll try and give more examples.

adgramaine said:
redlaco said:
adgramaine said:
my daily medication of Mr. John Daniels .....
Me, I prefer Mr. Jack Daniels... 8) :D :mrgreen:
to quote a favorite actor of mine..."when you have known him as long as I have, you call him whatever the H$!! you want!"
50 XP to anyone who can name the actor and movie :wink:

Sorry for the slight divergance of topic, but I couldn't resist....

It was Al Pacino as Lieutenant Frank Slade in "Scent of a Woman." What a great film.