Magic changes Jan 2015

PD have just released the updated rules for magic with some big changes for battle mages

Andy goes into the changes in these two blog posts:

News from the Other Side of the Hedge First Fit (22/01/2015)
Hedge Fit Two - The Other Sidening (22/01/2015 - just)

So what do you think, does this make you more likely to play a battle mage on the field? Are you now tempted by a Hakima or Landskeeper character?

It certainly makes me think twice about the prospect of attacking a Thule mage in melee by myself: ‘Paralyse!’ Thwack Thwack

It means that the rational choice for someone with magician wanting to buy a skill to improve their personal safety around Anvil is probably an incantation now, rather than hero points: this is a distinct improvement.

I welcome the change, but I think it’s an open question whether it’s gone far enough; it’s always really hard to tell whether a buff is a big enough buff when it’s you that have been buffed. We shall see if people take it up.

Yeah, I was already considering getting a REPEL sidearm as a joke/means to poke people to the ritual circle, but it’s suddenly become actually useful.

However, remember that Paralyse does now bounce off heavy armour.

I think overall it’s not quite there, but a lot closer than it used to be. I’m certainly thinking of buying magician on a potential R&R character and taking spells, which I wasn’t before.

[quote=“tea”]

However, remember that Paralyse does now bounce off heavy armour.

I think overall it’s not quite there, but a lot closer than it used to be. I’m certainly thinking of buying magician on a potential R&R character and taking spells, which I wasn’t before.[/quote]

To be honest, I am not confident enough to call this either way. Certainly I would feel that a skilled staff user could trivially find a gap in most sets of heavy armour to hit with a paralyse. The more steel someone plates on themself to protect against this the greater the penalty in their stamina, especially in long, tiring battles.

My gut feeling is that this is therefore a good balance, because it adds fun tactical elements. Deciding exactly what armour to wear stays really important (more than ever) and on both sides of the divide there is a real benefit to practicing their hard skills (learning either to specifically defend the gaps in your armour or to aim for them in others).

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Weakness spell and these changes (especially the potions) make taking a battlemage out for a test drive really tempting. Throw in a little bit of Spring for battlefield rituals and I reckon you could feel quite heroic rather than just a novelty.

It’s my opinion that battlefield rituals aren’t worth it at lore 1, being basically 2-minute incantations that can’t use your personal mana. Lore 2 is probably worth it if you can reliably herd the cats together to heal 5 people for 2 mana.

Hands of Sacred Life (Heal ritual) is definitely worth it if you are in a disciplined squad. Which means it’s usually worth it in King’s Stoke after Becca has finished shouting at people, and I know the Imperial Orcs have a routine for it :slight_smile:. If you get 5+ people in it is cheaper than using True Vervain.

Anvil of Estavus (Mend ritual) is good at Autumn 2 because you can move Shattered weapons more easily than larpers.

Blood of the Hydra (Restore Limb Ritual) is pants, because you need to move a bunch of people with busted limbs, meaning a 2 min Physick fix for nothing is better. However, considering that I can easily drop several 2 min limb fixes per battle as a Physick, it’s not entirely useless. Inefficient for Mana (especially with the buff to Mageblood) but efficient in XP compared to buying a spell. It’s nice to have the option in an emergency, and you can do the RP for Blood of the Hydra while moving.

Certainly you can run:
Magician
Battlemage
Repel
Spring 2
-Hands of Sacred Life
-Turns the Circle (Dispose of the Husk victims etc)
-2 more rituals.
and then pick up a Wand of Mend.

I’m really looking forward to these arcane projections. Making them an IC investigation should do interesting things re: the invention of formulaic rituals in the long run. Time will tell.

I’m not exactly deep into ritual magic yet, but this is yet another incentive to head that way :slight_smile:

My character is a Dawnish War Witch with the Entangle invocation. The new combat spell rules mean I can successfully use the Entangle invocation in a one-on-one fight without needing five clear seconds. I have a staff.

I’m looking forward to this. :stuck_out_tongue:

Likewise I’m a war witch with Paralyse. I’ve never cast it in combat, I might actually do so now - particularly senatorial combat/quests.

Not sure the changes are enough to make me want to spend points on wearing mage armour (without chain chugging the revised mana restore potions, you’re going to blow through your personal mana pretty quick. I’m not sure going an entire battle on -2 hits and vulnerable to arrows is worth saving the hastle of simply putting your armour on after you’re out of mana)

It’s fine for a staffmage - if you want to be hitting people from five feet away you’d need Weapon Master anyway, so the added convenience of not having to carry a spare set of armour is great. It leaves you as more of a skirmisher than a line fighter, but that’s fine by me - I’m pretty sure I can take a lone archer as long as I remember to only close when they don’t have an arrow on the string, if I have mates I can hide behind them, and if I don’t have mates but the archer isn’t alone… well, I don’t think it’s unreasonable that I lose that engagement nine times out of ten. :wink:

I own and love heavy armour, but the inconvenience of carrying mine without wearing it would be… considerable.

Similarly, I think that while Battlemage may be worth 2 points, Mage Armour contributes 0 of those.

But Mage Armour is oh so much more fashionable that normal armour dahlink :slight_smile:

You’re all just jealous that you don’t have my awesome (ridiculous) eagle pauldrons.

Get the armour, mace and shield.

Make sure you have ‘repair’ then take the other offensive spells.

Get an item that will let you cause impale or cleave and boom go get them!

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[quote=“Bucklund”]Get the armour, mace and shield.

Make sure you have ‘repair’ then take the other offensive spells.

Get an item that will let you cause impale or cleave and boom go get them!
[/quote]

OK, that’s 8 XP (mage, battlemage, shield, Mend, hero points) and you are still down two hits and impale resistance compared to a warrior, who has got either another extra hit or a third hero point and either Fortitude, Stay With Me or Chirurgeon, whose item selection is not only wider but cheaper, and who can just plain buy a shield that Mends itself; what you have traded all of that for is four casts of Mend.

If you want an offensive spell as a frontline combatant, meanwhile, it’s the same price in experience points to play an artisan with hero points as a magician, and it doesn’t make you a weak spot in the line. The offensive spell you get from that is no longer strictly better than the one the magician would get, and the magician gets more casts but is (much) less tough. I’m not convinced that this is enough to balance them, but given that I’m directly affected by these buffs my judgement isn’t to be trusted as to how good they are.

Shields are impervious to everything save STRIKEDOWN and SHATTER making the mage IMPALE proof

Ok. It may take more xp to get there but a little thought into your mage will make for a very useful combatant.

Do you have four casts of mend, next event it will also be one extra spell. Say PARALYSE.

Then save for extra mama, more spells. Maybe heroics to if you want to carry a sword at your side.

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The changes certainly rebalance mages closer to the warrior. (I’m unconvinced they go far enough, primarily as they mostly fix a bunch of issues I could mostly survive with. That said I am biased as the changes effect me and I want to play test them first.)
The potion fix looks ideal.
Not sure about the arcane projection tax. On the one hand, people were no doubt giving 5 variants of the spell to get one worth casting. On the other, the fact they had to ask 5 variants suggests the research system is shrouded in mystery and will quite often produce speĺls you would never cast, (looking at you alchemy.)
Spontaneous spells tend to favour larger covens anyway beyond the very very low magnitudes as only they can reach the higher unmastered magnitudes. Since they would tend to be more easily absorb the cost of research mana since more people => more mana, I’m cagey about whether this restricts another subgame to people with large groups or Imperial Titles. (Part of this is a genre shift. Empire is a game of Groups working together to be awesome. Most other larps I’ve played are individuals working together to be awesome)