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Magic Duels -- As boring as they seem?

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  • Magic Duels -- As boring as they seem?

    I feel like literally nothing matters except the number of doors and, in the case of a tie, whomever wins initiative. Strange dice rolls can change this, but when people are rolling 6+ dice the chances of ever failing a roll are slim. You use spells that don't require a withstand rating so you don't ever suffer penalties. It just feels like the entire experience is skipable and uninteresting and discourages risks, at least mechanically.

  • #2
    Originally posted by SoulGambit View Post
    I feel like literally nothing matters except the number of doors and, in the case of a tie, whomever wins initiative. Strange dice rolls can change this, but when people are rolling 6+ dice the chances of ever failing a roll are slim. You use spells that don't require a withstand rating so you don't ever suffer penalties. It just feels like the entire experience is skipable and uninteresting and discourages risks, at least mechanically.
    1) It's a thematic and narrative thing. 2) Did you bother to read the Negotiate option? That's risky, but it makes winning come with bonus points.

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    • #3
      1) Thematic how?
      2) When is negotiating to maybe open 1 door ever tactically better than opening a door with a near guarenteed success? In fact, since you now have to hold to that promise, its objectively worse.

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      • #4
        If you want an alternative, just use the rules for Dream Forms and have the characters battle it out in a more direct manner.

        (I honestly felt like the Duel Arcane rules were written in two separate sittings with different ideas in mind, because the book notes both that factors like Reach and such must be brought into consideration, yet also states that the spells amount to a simple Gnosis + Arcanum roll, and the result is always the same: One (maybe two) Doors pinged. No real point to make a spell big or even anything but a direct damage spell.)

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        • #5
          I feel you should be able to Negotiate while Defending.

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          • #6
            No maybe two doors pinged. Extra successes are added to tbw next roll.

            OH! I found a thing. If you fail an attack you can't use that Arcanum again. That gives some credence to defense being a thing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by HerbertIsBestBert View Post
              I feel you should be able to Negotiate while Defending.
              You can't because it's an attack. Basically, if you use Attack you might use up your arcana, Negotiation can this become your backup weapon. You may have to make some concessions, but you can still win on the point that started the duel.

              Axelgear actually since extra successes stack to your next roll you want to use whatever spells will give you the best die pool, Rotes might be excluded since they grant Reach beyond arcana mastery.

              By the way, using a Yantra in the duel would still take a turn, but it doesn't take a Duel Action, so Defense Dan be used to either exhaust your opponent's arcana and/or build up your casting dice pool.

              I'll admit this is open to interpretation, but it would be weird if you basically have to follow all the spell casting rules for creating a spell but ignore all the other rules for casting it.

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              • #8
                Rotes do not grant Reach beyond Arcana mastery. Rotes grants Reach as if you had mastered an Arcana.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                  Rotes do not grant Reach beyond Arcana mastery. Rotes grants Reach as if you had mastered an Arcana.
                  True, I'm a little iffy on it though, going by my interpretation Rotes would become your go to "sword" for the mudra Yantra and I'm not 100% comfortable with them being spammed as win buttons. Not that I have a problem with spamming per se as much as I am with one technique being a clear winner over others in terms of offensive viability when the Duel as it stands now can be won by various techniques.

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                  • #10
                    Yeah, they are boring as all hell, unless you find a lot of fun in making up descriptions for these samey-dicey rolls. I prefer Dream Duels using normal rules much more than ADuel.

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                    • #11
                      What's weird to me is that the whole game when you simplify it enough boils down to samey-dicey rolls with descriptions around it. That just seems like a very weird complaint, "I like my samey-dicey rolls in this part of the system, but this other part that operates mostly the same is just too samey-dicey!" The only reason I can think of is that Duel Arcane didn't really get any sweet fluff to make people excited about it since it had to be boiled down into a very short section. There is definitely strategic variety there though.

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                      • #12
                        Regular spell casting has a lot more factors and complexity to it. You spend a lot more time planning what to do and how to do it. The rules also give you the description instead of you having to think something up on the spot. That's why you want rules that aren't condensed to a single roll even though every dramatic action will be performed with a roll.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                          Regular spell casting has a lot more factors and complexity to it. You spend a lot more time planning what to do and how to do it. The rules also give you the description instead of you having to think something up on the spot. That's why you want rules that aren't condensed to a single roll even though every dramatic action will be performed with a roll.
                          The Duel takes more than one roll to resolve, inside of the actions given you can still employ strategy and for the attack option you still have to build the spell. At the very least the attack option needs the spell you use to be able to overcome Withstand. In the paragraph it mentions that resistance must still be accounted for, and that's Withstand (or you could allow CoW sparked by attainments which kick in reflexively, it doesn't say you can't and since it's reflexive it wouldn't take the Defend action). Reach also has to be counted or you're stuck casting in ritual time, not guaranteed hitting them, etc.

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                          • #14
                            In my POV, Duel Arcana rules are good on paper - with all the imaging possible magic and 'holograms' - they just not enough nuanced in gameplay. That why I proposed simple hack ( more one link ) - basically, it makes more variety to Duel actions and you can do those:
                            • Exceptional Successes on Attack opens two Doors.
                            • Defend action let you roll twice Gnosis + Arcanum dices ( like Dodge action in normal combat ).
                            Last edited by wyrdhamster; 03-03-2017, 08:09 AM.


                            MtAw 2E - My Legacies Updates and System Hacks Hubs
                            MtAw - Children of the Stars - aliens loving Legacy
                            MtAw 2E - Illusionists of Truth - illusionists and magicians Legacy

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mrmdubois View Post
                              actually since extra successes stack to your next roll you want to use whatever spells will give you the best die pool, Rotes might be excluded since they grant Reach beyond arcana mastery.
                              You explicitly cannot use Yantras in a Duel Arcane.

                              Originally posted by Mage 2e Core, Page 294
                              A dueling character may not use Yantras or spend Reach beyond that she gains for Arcana mastery, and must still account for spell factors and resistance.
                              Since direct damage spells aren't Withstood, that means there's no point trying to make them flashy or powerful. Any character with the Adept level might as well spam an Instant Sensory Fraying spell over and over.

                              The weird part is, that very same section notes that an Attack action is just that: An attack. It's not creating or casting a spell; otherwise, it wouldn't need to tell you that your dice pool for the action is Attribute + Arcanum.

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