Author Topic: WTF? Balance: Cleric vs Wizard  (Read 5772 times)

Valtiel

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WTF? Balance: Cleric vs Wizard
« on: February 20, 2013, 08:18:14 PM »
Ok, I've read both character sheets and spell lists several times, and I'm really not seeing how these two classes are meant to feel balanced. I know balance isn't a terribly critical part of Dungeon World, but this just looks egregious.

So, the Cleric has 4 more HP, does d6 rather than d4 damage, carries 3 more load, can Turn Undead, has Divine Guidance which can be used anywhere rather than Ritual which can only be used at a place of power, and most importantly can prepare ANY spell rather than being limited to a spellbook.

In return, the Wizard gets... Spell Defense.

In D&D, these classes were sort-of balanced by the Wizard having much better spells. But that's really not the case in DW - in fact, the Cleric gets a couple of spells earlier than the Wizard! (True Seeing, two levels earlier; Trap the Soul four levels earlier)

Is Ritual really such a game-changer that it justifies all the other disadvantages of the Wizard? Alternatively, am I missing something?

Alfred

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Re: WTF? Balance: Cleric vs Wizard
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2013, 10:08:54 PM »
Wizard has a spell book -- there's nothing stopping the wizard from writing down as many spells as he wants, growing his spell list exponentially.

Cleric gets spells from thei god -- it follows they can only get spells approved by their god? Sounds like a side quest to me.

Divine guidance is possibly the most benign thing ever. You get ask a god for an answer or a thing, but only through petition, and its ultimately up to whether it makes sense for the god.

Ritual is the sexiest move ever that let's you change so much and get whatever you want more or less.

But primarily, balance doesn't really matter much.

noofy

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Re: WTF? Balance: Cleric vs Wizard
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2013, 10:16:39 PM »
What Alfred said.

Plus its more about that lovely combination of player intent, the flags they highlight through their playbook choices, the moves that get triggered, the outcome of the roll and all the juicy fictional consequences (especially on a 7-9 or a miss). No two wizards or clerics in any game are alike. They become as fictional divergent as the group narratively encourages them to be. Balance? What's that?
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Let them cast their sidelong glances. Let them call you “warlock” or “diabolist.” Who among them can hurl fireballs from their eyes?
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LD

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Re: WTF? Balance: Cleric vs Wizard
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 10:43:51 PM »
Divine Guidance lets the Cleric pray to his deity to learn a bit of useful information or gain some other minor benefit, limited to his Deity's domain. If the Cleric worships the god of What Lies Beneath, he isn't going to have any luck petitioning him to learn about Healing and Restoration.

Ritual lets the Wizard do whatever the heck she wants, so long as she's willing to pay the price and find a place of power first. There's no other limitations at all.
  • Want to turn something purple?
  • Want to write a spell that lets you breathe underwater?
  • Want to transfer enchantments from one item to another?
  • Want to create a magically animated golem companion to beat things up for you?
  • Want to cast an unstoppable, undetectable, uncounterable Doomsday Spell which instantly destroys the entire multiverse?
Ritual can do all of that. And more. The sheer strength of a Wizard with a place of power at her disposal is terrifying. Calling it a game changer doesn't come close to doing it justice.

Valtiel

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Re: WTF? Balance: Cleric vs Wizard
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 12:17:31 AM »
Have re-read "Ritual" and "Divine Guidance" next to each other and noted the main difference. Ritual is "ask the GM for whatever the hell you want, they will reply with 'yes, but...'", while Divine Guidance is "ask the GM for a favour and they will tell you what you get".

Also, I have noticed something that may be either a feature or a bug. Clerics are limited to preparing spells of their level or below. Wizards aren't. Since you get lvl+1 spell slots per day, on every even level, the wizard has more powerful spells available than the Cleric.

Ok, I'm satisfied.

I'm going to tweak the spell lists anyway, mostly to add to stuff like Feather Fall, Stone Shape, and Wall of Fire that I really feel every wizard should be able to learn if they want. Rest assured the Cleric will get extra shinies too. You can bet Geas is going on the Cleric list, if only because I'm a bit of a Clark Ashton Smith fan.

(not that) adam

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Re: WTF? Balance: Cleric vs Wizard
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 04:43:36 AM »
Also, I have noticed something that may be either a feature or a bug. Clerics are limited to preparing spells of their level or below. Wizards aren't.
watch out and re-read the spellbook move: a wizard can learn spells only of his level or lower, so there's no difference in here.

That said, any wizard could use Ritual to actually learn a spell of his own creation.
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to feel better about the long, dark nights.