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Author Topic: "Tragic Bond" and an update to the Sympath  (Read 1234 times)

Sailor Vulcan

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"Tragic Bond" and an update to the Sympath
« on: December 26, 2013, 06:24:09 PM »
http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=13077.0

Sorry to necro this topic, but after gaining more experience in the game, I realized that the training I have for the Sympath isn't what it should be.

The Sympath's training should be in Mind, Arcane Level 2, and Dark curses. Her training reflects her adaptability. Her channeling should probably be 9 and her life should probably be 30.

The reason for this change is that all the copy spells that are in the game so far are either in mind or arcane. Not giving the Sympath Arcane training would likely really hurt her. The arcane school has Steal Enchantment and Reverse Magic, as well as Enchanter's ring. Also, since the Sympath fights by connecting with her enemies and imitating them, she should be able to use those connections to read the minds of her opponents at least to an extent. I'm thinking this means it would be all too perfectly fitting for her to have a spell similar to MtG's "Eternal Dominion". I imagine that it would be something like this:
--------------------
Name: Tragic Bond
Type: Enchantment
Subtype: Psychic, Curse
Full action
Reveal cost: 14
Level 3 Mind and Level 2 Dark
Range: 0-2
Target: Enemy Mage

Extendable 2/Indestructible/Magecast/Sympath Only

Remove all cards in your spellbook from the game. The number of spells that you can prepare during the planning phase is reduced by one. For the rest of the game, you can see and plan spells from target Mage's spellbook.
-------------

Mordok's Tome would obviously be helpful here, and that's ANOTHER arcane spell, of course.

Also, you might notice that I listed "extendable 2" as one of the traits for this enchantment. The idea is that while the extendable trait grants one extra copy of an object to be placed, extendable 2 allows you to place two extra copies. For extendable 2, you pay the mana cost again, then pay mana equal to the level multiplied by the number of extra copies. I think the extendable trait can and should be reworded so that it can be used for more than just walls.

More on that subject here: http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=13445.0
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 01:18:33 AM by Imaginator »
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Re: "Tragic Bond" and an update to the Sympath
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2013, 04:07:27 PM »
http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=13077.0
The Sympath's training should be in Mind, Arcane Level 2, and Dark curses. Her training reflects her adaptability. Her channeling should probably be 9 and her life should probably be 30.

The reason for this change is that all the copy spells that are in the game so far are either in mind or arcane. Not giving the Sympath Arcane training would likely really hurt her. The arcane school has Steal Enchantment and Reverse Magic, as well as Enchanter's ring. Also, since the Sympath fights by connecting with her enemies and imitating them, she should be able to use those connections to read the minds of her opponents at least to an extent.

I thought Mind/Dark1 was a pretty good training, actually. I don't think I would classify the existing "steal foo" spells as "copy" spells, since copying generally implies that the owner keeps the original spell. Mind/Arcane2 seems extremely powerful even without the dark curses, just looking at existing mages (forcemaster is pure mind, most of the useful arcane spells are level 1-2). Also, what is the Sympath's anti-trained school (I assume she has one)?

http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=13077.0
Name: Tragic Bond
Type: Enchantment
Subtype: Psychic, Curse
Full action
Reveal cost: 14
Level 3 Mind and Level 2 Dark
Range: 0-2
Target: Enemy Mage

Extendable 2/Indestructible/Magecast/Sympath Only

Remove all cards in your spellbook from the game. The number of spells that you can prepare during the planning phase is reduced by one. For the rest of the game, you can see and plan spells from target Mage's spellbook.

A nice idea, though I have a few quibbles:

1. Why is this extendable? I can't imagine any circumstance in which I would have the enormous amount of mana necessary to play a second copy of this spell. Also, extendability is a little awkward in this case because it is an enchantment (does the new copy come into play face up or face down?) Also awkward in terms of timing though I would assume that if you are allowed to play a second copy it is understood that you obliterate your spellbook after deciding how many spells to play.
2. Indestructible is a meaningless trait here, since enchantments can't take damage anyway and indestructible does not prevent destruction from other sources. You'll have to specify that it can't be dispelled on the card. I ran into a similar problem with "The Black Contract"; ultimately, I just decided to make it an incantation instead, which is a much neater solution (if you are obliterating your spellbook, I don't think there is much risk of other players forgetting that you cast this).
3. Being able to see and plan spells from the other player's spellbook gets fiddly because you cannot simultaneously plan (obviously, one player will want to know which cards the other is preparing first, so you will have to plan in initiative order. Also, one player's choices will limit the other's). This will probably greatly increase downtime, especially since the sympath must look through the spellbook first. Proposed alternative: Have the enemy mage prepare 1 extra card each planning phase and leave the Sympath's preparation unchanged (also don't obliterate her spellbook). Then let the sympath draw one of her opponent's prepared cards at random. If she doesn't cast it during the round, she gives it back. This makes the spell a little less game-changing (game-changing in the sense that the original spell completely changes the nature of the game) while preserving the flavor of the Sympath leeching off the other mage's spellbook. You might need to re-adjust the costs of the spell if you do this.

Also, you might notice that I listed "extendable 2" as one of the traits for this enchantment. The idea is that while the extendable trait grants one extra copy of an object to be placed, extendable 2 allows you to place two extra copies. For extendable 2, you pay the mana cost again, then pay mana equal to the level multiplied by the number of extra copies. I think the extendable trait can and should be reworded so that it can be used for more than just walls.

I fully agree that traits ought to be worded to allow the widest number of applications possible; there is no need to restrict them to, for instance, walls if it is possible to word them so that they may be used in other contexts. Because of the vast number of effects in Mage Wars, it is important that traits be worded so that fewer traits can cover a wider variety of effects.

For me, the trait that I am currently most frustrated with is the Indestructible trait. The clause that "This object cannot be damaged" is completely unnecessary, considering that it also specifies "This object cannot be destroyed by damage". Moreover, it limits creative options when designing effects that grant temporary indestructibility to objects, since you can't introduce mechanics that convert damage into something else or simply let the object deal with the damage when the invulnerability ends. Very unnecessary limitation on a broadly useful trait.

An idea for a sympath mage ability: "Once per round, Sympath may cast a non-Epic incantation or attack spell cast by another mage during this round."

Sailor Vulcan

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Re: "Tragic Bond" and an update to the Sympath
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2013, 08:33:30 PM »

http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=13077.0
The Sympath's training should be in Mind, Arcane Level 2, and Dark curses. Her training reflects her adaptability. Her channeling should probably be 9 and her life should probably be 30.

The reason for this change is that all the copy spells that are in the game so far are either in mind or arcane. Not giving the Sympath Arcane training would likely really hurt her. The arcane school has Steal Enchantment and Reverse Magic, as well as Enchanter's ring. Also, since the Sympath fights by connecting with her enemies and imitating them, she should be able to use those connections to read the minds of her opponents at least to an extent.

I thought Mind/Dark1 was a pretty good training, actually. I don't think I would classify the existing "steal foo" spells as "copy" spells, since copying generally implies that the owner keeps the original spell. Mind/Arcane2 seems extremely powerful even without the dark curses, just looking at existing mages (forcemaster is pure mind, most of the useful arcane spells are level 1-2). Also, what is the Sympath's anti-trained school (I assume she has one)?

http://forum.arcanewonders.com/index.php?topic=13077.0
Name: Tragic Bond
Type: Enchantment
Subtype: Psychic, Curse
Full action
Reveal cost: 14
Level 3 Mind and Level 2 Dark
Range: 0-2
Target: Enemy Mage

Extendable 2/Indestructible/Magecast/Sympath Only

Remove all cards in your spellbook from the game. The number of spells that you can prepare during the planning phase is reduced by one. For the rest of the game, you can see and plan spells from target Mage's spellbook.

A nice idea, though I have a few quibbles:

1. Why is this extendable? I can't imagine any circumstance in which I would have the enormous amount of mana necessary to play a second copy of this spell. Also, extendability is a little awkward in this case because it is an enchantment (does the new copy come into play face up or face down?) Also awkward in terms of timing though I would assume that if you are allowed to play a second copy it is understood that you obliterate your spellbook after deciding how many spells to play.
2. Indestructible is a meaningless trait here, since enchantments can't take damage anyway and indestructible does not prevent destruction from other sources. You'll have to specify that it can't be dispelled on the card. I ran into a similar problem with "The Black Contract"; ultimately, I just decided to make it an incantation instead, which is a much neater solution (if you are obliterating your spellbook, I don't think there is much risk of other players forgetting that you cast this).
3. Being able to see and plan spells from the other player's spellbook gets fiddly because you cannot simultaneously plan (obviously, one player will want to know which cards the other is preparing first, so you will have to plan in initiative order. Also, one player's choices will limit the other's). This will probably greatly increase downtime, especially since the sympath must look through the spellbook first. Proposed alternative: Have the enemy mage prepare 1 extra card each planning phase and leave the Sympath's preparation unchanged (also don't obliterate her spellbook). Then let the sympath draw one of her opponent's prepared cards at random. If she doesn't cast it during the round, she gives it back. This makes the spell a little less game-changing (game-changing in the sense that the original spell completely changes the nature of the game) while preserving the flavor of the Sympath leeching off the other mage's spellbook. You might need to re-adjust the costs of the spell if you do this.

Also, you might notice that I listed "extendable 2" as one of the traits for this enchantment. The idea is that while the extendable trait grants one extra copy of an object to be placed, extendable 2 allows you to place two extra copies. For extendable 2, you pay the mana cost again, then pay mana equal to the level multiplied by the number of extra copies. I think the extendable trait can and should be reworded so that it can be used for more than just walls.

I fully agree that traits ought to be worded to allow the widest number of applications possible; there is no need to restrict them to, for instance, walls if it is possible to word them so that they may be used in other contexts. Because of the vast number of effects in Mage Wars, it is important that traits be worded so that fewer traits can cover a wider variety of effects.

For me, the trait that I am currently most frustrated with is the Indestructible trait. The clause that "This object cannot be damaged" is completely unnecessary, considering that it also specifies "This object cannot be destroyed by damage". Moreover, it limits creative options when designing effects that grant temporary indestructibility to objects, since you can't introduce mechanics that convert damage into something else or simply let the object deal with the damage when the invulnerability ends. Very unnecessary limitation on a broadly useful trait.

An idea for a sympath mage ability: "Once per round, Sympath may cast a non-Epic incantation or attack spell cast by another mage during this round."

Oh. I guess the original training was good after all.

Why Extendable? Multiplayer.

Yeah I suppose it would work better as an incantation then. I like your version of Tragic Bond a lot better. I'm just going to update the mana cost and stuff, and make a quick edit so that it also works in multiplayer.

Tragic Bond
Mana Cost: 18
Full Action
Level: Mind 3 & Dark 2
Type: incantation
Subtype: Psychic, Curse
Range: 0-2
Target: Enemy mage

Epic/magecast/Sympath only

For the rest of the game, this mage prepares one extra spell. At the end of the planning phase, you can choose one of this mage's prepared spells and add it to your own prepared spells. You can look at the spell you chose. If you do not cast that spell this round, it returns to its owner's spellbook.

You can create a copy of this spell targeting another enemy mage by paying mana equal to its level minus one.

That mage ability looks pretty cool!

I'm thinking out of school creatures cost triple spellbook points, so anything not mind or lv 1 dark.
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Re: "Tragic Bond" and an update to the Sympath
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2013, 04:17:59 AM »
Nice. Keep in mind, though, that as a Mind3/Dark2 spell, the Sympath will pay a total of 7 points, not 5. Since she is the only one that can use this, you might consider changing the spellbook cost to Mind4/Dark1 if you want to maintain the pattern of Mage-Only spells being fully within the training of their mages.

As it stands, a very powerful spell with few downsides other than the high mana cost. Maybe consider some sort of nerf or penalty; obliterating your own spellbook (as previously mentioned) is probably too much, but there must be some thematic middle ground that can be found.

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Re: "Tragic Bond" and an update to the Sympath
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 12:52:15 AM »
Yeah you're probably right. I don't know why that slipped my mind.
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I am Sailor Vulcan! Champion of justice and reason! And yes, I am already aware my uniform is considered flashy, unprofessional, and borderline sexually provocative for my species by most intelligent lifeforms. I did not choose this outfit. Shut up.