Author Topic: Spellcasting Update  (Read 10497 times)

tonydowler

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Re: Spellcasting Update
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2010, 04:18:54 AM »
OK, just a quick note, this conversation shouldn't be about how worthwhile first edition spells are, or whether it's worthwhile to be a spellcaster.

Also, this isn't necessarily about how effective magic is, but about the wider issue of how it functions in the game, so let's stay focused on that.

Your analysis is excellent Philaros, however there are a few things to clarify. On saving throws, they apply in exactly the same situations in ApocD&D as they do in AD&D, which is when the spell descriptions say they apply. The effectiveness of ApocD&D saving throws is not the same as AD&D saving throws, however, and they don't scale by level in the same way.

That said, saving throws work very, very differently in the two games, and that's a function of the basic difference between them. Only PCs get saving throws. No monster ever gets a saving throw.

Also, note carefully that a miscast never automatically happens. It's not a penalty for a failed roll, any more than any DM move in Apocalypse World is a penalty. You're starting to think in terms of "if I try to cast a spell, I may fail!" That's D&D think. What you should be thinking is "if I roll the dice, the DM may get to make a move." Think of the miscast table in those terms. Roll on a random table is one of the DM moves. The miscast table just provides a specific instantiation of this move.

I'm also formulating some more specific thoughts around Phil's posts, but I really need to digest them more, because he's pointed out some really good realities there.

philaros

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Re: Spellcasting Update
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2010, 04:39:07 AM »
since there is a way you can fuck up your own magic, and there's a way the target can weasel out of it, as compared to all the other moves where only one participant gets to apply their stats and talents to the situation

As a counter-argument to this point, here's something I should have thought of earlier: only players get to make rolls, which means the Saving Throw actually is not always an additional limitation on magic. A Saving Throw is a special move a player can make when threatened with magic or certain other special kinds of threats. Mechanically speaking, the only time a Saving Throw becomes a further limitation making magic riskier and less reliable is when one player is attempting to use magic on another player. Opponents controlled by the GM would never get Saving Throws, because the GM never rolls dice.

So that again calls into question whether there's any need to have a Saving Throw move. The GM only gets to make moves in response to player actions, so the player has already tried to do something and that attempt (successful or not) has put the player into additional trouble; a Saving Throw move would seem to be a bonus "dodge trouble" move, sidestepping the usual flow of Apocalypse World. As for a PC versus PC conflict: I'm actually not yet familiar enough with the Apocalypse World rules to know for sure, does a player get to make counter-moves to block or mitigate the effects of another player's move against them? It doesn't look like it works that way, in which case again, you wouldn't need a Saving Throw move.

That's not to say there's absolutely no place for a special move or subset of moves called Saving Throws, but it doesn't look likely such a thing would fit in and work the way they do in AD&D.

Antisinecurist

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Re: Spellcasting Update
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2010, 06:11:57 AM »

So that again calls into question whether there's any need to have a Saving Throw move. The GM only gets to make moves in response to player actions, so the player has already tried to do something and that attempt (successful or not) has put the player into additional trouble; a Saving Throw move would seem to be a bonus "dodge trouble" move, sidestepping the usual flow of Apocalypse World. As for a PC versus PC conflict: I'm actually not yet familiar enough with the Apocalypse World rules to know for sure, does a player get to make counter-moves to block or mitigate the effects of another player's move against them? It doesn't look like it works that way, in which case again, you wouldn't need a Saving Throw move.

That's not to say there's absolutely no place for a special move or subset of moves called Saving Throws, but it doesn't look likely such a thing would fit in and work the way they do in AD&D.

Emphasis mine. As far as I can tell, you've perfectly described "do something under fire or dig in to endure fire" and how it operates in AW. So ApocD&D's saving throws (I say this without having actually read ApocD&D, yet) seem to be a specialized form of acting under fire / enduring fire.

philaros

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Re: Spellcasting Update
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2010, 07:53:20 AM »
Also, note carefully that a miscast never automatically happens. It's not a penalty for a failed roll, any more than any DM move in Apocalypse World is a penalty. You're starting to think in terms of "if I try to cast a spell, I may fail!" That's D&D think. What you should be thinking is "if I roll the dice, the DM may get to make a move." Think of the miscast table in those terms. Roll on a random table is one of the DM moves. The miscast table just provides a specific instantiation of this move.

Well, note that I never said a miscast happens automatically or that it's a penalty for failure. Rather, I said it's one of the risks to choosing a spellcasting move. In fact that's one reason why I thought the Miscast Table plus having Saving Throws made for a bad combination for the would-be spellcaster: it looked to me like even in success, a spellcaster still faced the risk of crazy/bad things happening to him (miscast table) plus the risk that his successfully-cast spell might be avoided or negated (saving throw).

However, now I realize that you're correct, I am looking at it the wrong way. For one thing I realized after the fact that saving throws work very differently and don't apply to non-player opponents, so that's not really a risk of failure and doesn't make magic less reliable, at least not in the ways I'd feared. For another, although some of the miscast results still make me uneasy, I see that they are just specifying additional ways that the DM can put you into difficulty, something that he already can do under the standard rules; they're not additional "penalties" on top of his other moves.

Shreyas

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Re: Spellcasting Update
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2010, 12:00:31 PM »
nod

I see what you're doing now, Tony.

It's interesting that there's no Cha-based saving throw. Is Charisma as devalued in ApocDD as it is in AD&D?

tonydowler

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Re: Spellcasting Update
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2010, 11:23:14 PM »
In practice, I find Charisma to be undervalued, despite the Parlay move and move for commanding hirelings. I'm also considering expanding the parlay to allow the players to learn about a creature by interacting with it.

philaros

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Re: Spellcasting Update
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2010, 07:00:17 AM »
I'm also formulating some more specific thoughts around Phil's posts, but I really need to digest them more, because he's pointed out some really good realities there.

Still waiting and hoping to see this...