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Discussion on the topic of BASH Wizardry
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:41 pm    Post subject: Discussion on the topic of BASH Wizardry Reply with quote

The Wizardry power, presented in AWESOME POWERS #10 and #11, is a very interesting new ability for heroes. It grants pseudo-Omnipotence powers to non-cosmic characters, though not without innate limitations. I've had some thoughts regarding this ability and thought that this might be a great place for discussion on it. First, here is a summary of the main points regarding Wizardry (not including the common limitations, enhancements, alternative, and notes sections:

Features as Presented:

1. Wizardry is like a Power Trick, but requiring a Power check roll or Occultism/Rituals check (whichever is higher).

2. Target Number is equal to the Character Point value of the power you are trying to emulate x10. A level 3 Special Attack power with Short range would have a DC of 40.

3. The maximum CP cost of a power you emulate is equal to your Wizardry level.

4. If you succeed, you make all the necessary rolls to hit, etc.

5. If you fail, you can still force your spell, getting a +10 bonus, by accepting one or more additional “failures”. Each “failure” you take grants an additional +10 bonus to apply to your initial Wizardry or Occultism/Rituals roll (use only enough “failure” calls to reach your target number).

6. Once you have 5 failures, your Wizardry powers are done for the rest of the issue.

7. Once your Wizardry power is done, all of your other magical powers have a -2 Dice penalty for the rest of the issue as well.

8. A target number of 10 is the minimum allowed for a roll with this power.

9. The downside of Wizardry is that you must use spoken words and gestures to make this power work (unless you have added the Second Nature enhancement to it).

Modifiers:
• Emulating a power with an Ongoing Effect (lasts more than 1 panel) increases the difficulty of the target number by +10.
Rushing a Wizardry casting (for a Concentration power or as an interrupt action) increases the difficulty by +10 (or +20 for both conditions).
• Being Disrupted while attempting to use Wizardry has a +20 modifier added to the target number.
• Being Impeded applies a +30 modifier to the target number.
• Emulating a Practiced power/spell through Wizardry decreases the difficulty of your target number by -10.
• Taking a minute or more of Extra Time when using Wizardry reduces your target number difficulty by -10.
Ideal Conditions, like being on a node of crossing magical Ley Lines or casting during the time of a Solstice, reduces your target number difficulty by -10.
• Having an Assistant, also with the Wizardry power, grants you a Dice Bonus (presumably +1 point per qualified Assistant).
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to start the discussion by proposing a couple of changes to the Wizardry power. The first is of language, the second is a rule variation.

Proposal #1:

Point #5 ("Failure" and "Forcing"): You do not accrue “failures”, instead a "failure" means that you fail (the “spell” doesn’t work), AND you gain a level of Obstruction to your workings of the Wizardry power. Forcing through a working of Wizardry, adds an additional level of Obstruction per +10 bonus you wish to apply to your insufficient roll, in order to turn it into a success. Now your character has an Obstruction Threshold , instead of a number of “failures”. Once you have used up this threshold, you can no longer use your Wizardry power for the rest of this Issue.

Proposal #2:

Point #6 (Number of "Failures"): Here, I'd like to propose that the number of “failures” (currently a set value of 5), be changed to "3 plus 1 per every two levels you have in Wizardry (round up)". Doing this would make a more powerful caster able to endure through their failures longer. The range of “failures” allowed would thus be from a minimum of 4 (for level 1) to a maximum of 7 (for level 7). Also, as stated in my previous proposal, this allotment of "Failures" would become the Obstruction Threshold, if this term is considered acceptable.

Wizardry Level/Obstruction Threshold
1-2 = 4
3-4 = 5
5-6 = 6
7 = 7
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
BASHMAN (copied over from Facebook group post): I think the issue with letting you have more failures at higher level is that your chance of failure goes down anyway as you rank up. So as is, you will already be getting more use out of the power at higher levels.

Very good point. Higher levels in Wizardry means that you have a greater chance of successfully rolling your check. So keeping the total number of failures even at 5 allows low level characters to have equal access to the power.
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
BASHMAN (Copied over from Facebook group post): Right. Essentially lower level means the max you can attempt is lower, and it will succeed less often forcing you to burn more failures, so the power burns out sooner.

Yes, I definitely see the wisdom in this now. Thanks BASHMAN.
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, what does everyone think of the language change from the idea? Instead of building "failures" to a point where your power stops working, your failures build up some kind of resistance (which I called "Obstruction") which eventually became too difficult to overcome, thus ending your power. I originally wanted to call this resistance "Impedance", but that term was already in play in the power description. "Obstruction seemed an appropriate alternative.

So, instead of building "failures" to an end-point, you are building levels of "Obstruction". Once your "Obstruction Threshold" is met, your Wizardry power ends.

How's that for a concept?
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, I don't really see the need for Failures; most magic-using characters do not have that limitation. (Spellcasting on the other hand, is an almost universal Limitation for sorcerers.)

Second, I don't like the terms Failures or Obstructions. How about Mana instead? Speaking of which, most magic systems that use Mana can be interpreted in BASH as the Energy Cost Limitation.
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
BASHMAN (Copied over from Facebook group post): Regarding the wording I can see why "Failure" doesn't work since you can take more of them to force a spell to work.

I don't like Obstruction either, but something that represents a loss of mana or something like that might work, but preferable if it is something neutral enough to also sound ok for tech wizardry or extra dimensional beings.

You and Sijo make some good points about the obstructive term. Since "failures" and "forcings" burn off your ability to continue to use Wizardry, I don't really feel like "Mana" (or whatever) works as that word implies the ability to draw magic and we are really talking about something that is impeding this ability. "Mana-Impedence" (or whatever) does work as it describes some kind of magical resistance to the character's access to Mana (or whatever).

What if Wizardry failure causes some kind of "Strain"? Magic types might strain their Mana. Immortals might strain their Divine Radiance (or Essence). Stellar characters might strain their Cosmic Energy (the "Power-Cosmic"). Workers of Wizardry, in all its varied forms, would then have a "Strain Threshold" or "Strain Capacity" of 5 (for their maximum failures and forcings).

Thoughts?
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a breakdown of the various “any-power” powers available in the BASH: ULTIMATE EDITION game.

The first and most obvious one… OMNIPOTENCE!

This is the pinnacle omni-power. Every 5-point rank of Omnipotence gives you 1 character point to buy any BASH power, just by stating that it is so. With Omnipotence 30, you have 6 CP to assign to any powers that you want: Telekinesis 2/ Telepathy 3/Suggestion; Special Attack 4 (with Mid Range); Teleport 5 (Gateway); Resistance 2/Immunity 1/Mind Shield 2; or whatever! Even better, completely change any and all powers on the next Page! In this way, Omnipotence is very reflexive and versatile and the only cost it has is measured in the character points you buy it with.

Downsides of Omnipotence:
1) It is generally for Cosmic games, so your Narrator probably won’t allow its use.
2) Omnipotence cannot give you Intense Training powers or another Cosmic ability.
3) Boy, is it costly… 5 character points just to get 1 level of any power!
___________

Next up… SHAPE-SHIFTING.

With this power, you can change your body into other animals or substances to gain their characteristics as powers. This power allows you to trade levels of your physical stats in order to reflect the stats of your new form, or trade out some of your Brawn or Agility to grant powers associated with your new form (like a fire breath Special Attack and winged Flight for a dragon form, or Density Increase and Brawn Boost for a body made of steel). At just 4 character points, it is a cheaper alternative to Omnipotence and you don’t need to be a Cosmic-level being. Also, now that Awesome Powers #11 has arrived, we now have the ability to Shape-Shift at levels 1-3, as well (for just one, two, or three separate, predetermined forms).

Downsides of Shape-Shifting:
1) You need to have some decent levels in your physical stats for this to be a real benefit to your character.
2) Your powers need to be associated with your new form; you can’t just arbitrarily grant yourself Telepathy (not unless that creature type happens to have that ability). Remember that the essence of this power is one of alteration (whether in form or substance).
___________

And finally… WIZARDRY!!!

Though still in its beta-test phase, this new power now gives your typical hero that “any-power” ability. It is more affordable than Omnipotence, yet provides access to all of the same power choices. With 7 levels available, it can allow you to acquire any power with a character point cost up to your level in Wizardry. While a magical ability by definition, it can be reskinned as technology or a para-human ability as well.

Downsides of Wizardry:
1) Like many other spell castings, you need to be able to speak and gesture the required arcane words and movements needed to make it work (unless you give the power the Second Nature enhancement).
2) It requires a power check, or an Occault/Rituals skill roll, to make it work. If your fail your roll, your power either doesn’t work, or you have to Force it to succeed.
3) You are only allowed to fail, or Force the power, five times before it is gone for the rest of the Issue!
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So here is why I really like the Wizardry power. You don’t need to play at the Cosmic-Level Campaign scale to have access to an omni-power! Wizardry provides your sorcerer, genie, space-surfer, and all-round quantum wonder that wondrous ability to do literally anything you need them to do without overpowering a traditional, four-colour, supers game. It is a power that should compliment your suite of abilities; it should not be the crux of your hero.

It has the essence of Omnipotence, but for the mundane levels of a typical supers campaign. Wizardry is something to be used carefully and strategically, or you risk loosing it. You can’t just create the Silver Surfer, give him Wizardry 7 (reskinned as “The Power Cosmic”) and call it done. You need to bring those other, Galactus-associated, commonly bestowed abilities and put them right there on the character sheet as paid-for powers too. Sure, they are all part of “The Power Cosmic!”, but why risk loosing all of your powers on a failed attempt to fly?
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to BASHMAN, Omnipotence can be allowed at level 1 (for five points) in regular campaigns. You only get 1 point for powers, but still, the flexibility of it (including the ability to raise another Power by one level, or give it a temporary enhancement) makes it extremely useful!

As for Shapeshifting, it received several new options in Awesome Powers # 11 including a point pool separate from the ones derived from Brawn and Agility!
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I love the Augmented Shifting, Extra Effect: Molecular Shift, and No Effect on Shape enhancements and limitations for the Shape-Shifting power. I've seen Boost used as a way of increasing the flexibility of that power and really like the way that Augmented Shifting can replace this work-around (especially for heroes with low Brawn and Agility stats).
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BASHMAN
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely agree that some different name than "Failure" makes sense here. Mana Burn or Spell Burn or something like that would work, but seem a bit clunky, especially when someone wants to make a Tech or Cosmic variant of the power.

I am thinking on it, and will probably include the update in AP 12 (which because we are talking about Matter based powers, frankly Wizardry would really fit in there... think of Marvel's Molecule Man. Definitely an example of that power at work).
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Molecule Man would be a perfect candidate for Wizardry. Speaking of alternative names for Wizardry, I was thinking of using "Quantum Power Matrix" as a possible "Descriptor" title. "Quantum Burn" might be cool as an alternate for Mana/Spell Burn. You are welcome to use these "Quantum" alternatives, if you'd like.
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Sijo
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want more non-specific names, I suggest Modular Power and Level Reductions, respectively.
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sijo wrote:
If you want more non-specific names, I suggest Modular Power and Level Reductions, respectively.

Good point, Sijo. It might be a good idea to steer completely free of specific names altogether. Modular Power would be one good, non-specific, name for Wizardry. Looking through the thesaurus under "variable", another word stood out... protean. Protean Power, maybe?
_________
Merriam Webster's definition of protean.
1 : of or resembling Proteus in having a varied nature or ability to assume different forms.
2 : displaying great diversity or variety : versatile.
_________

It would be the power of variable powers. Protean Burn could be the mechanic that would gradually stop the power from excessive failures and forcings.

Thoughts?
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