1st level Magic User

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Stefski_74
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 9:55 am

1st level Magic User

Post Sun May 13, 2018 10:13 am

Dear All,

I’ve been loving this system and been adapting it for solo play. However, there’s one thing I just can’t quite get my head around and I must surely be missing something....
Let’s say I’m a 1st level magic user and have ‘Magic Missile’ in my spell book. I go with my friends into a dungeon and we come across a group of orcs say....My friends need help, so I cast Magic Missile, orc is hit, rest of battle continues and all the orcs are dead and the world is a happy place.....But, given that I’m first level and can only cast ‘1 spell per day’ according to the table on pg8, does that mean I’m done for the day and completely useless to my party? Are Magic Users really that weak?
Later in the book, it talks about rest (‘ie. a good night’s sleep’ p16), but seems contradictory as implies that at 1st level I only need a 1 turn of rest...Is that right? Or is it ‘a good night’s sleep?
I’ve watched lots of YouTube vids (DND mostly), but none seem to explain this fundamental....Please help and apologies for sounding like such a Newb.
Cheers, :D

Stef
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orobouros
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Re: 1st level Magic User

Post Sun May 13, 2018 12:03 pm

To cut to the point, yes and no, magic users are that useless. There's a few threads on the forums about this balance. A level 1 fighter is probably going to be just as useless, actually. Unlike the MU, the fighter is up, front, and center, probably taking a blow or two. Even if you allow max HP at level 1, the fighter is going to be down to probably 3 or 4 HP, meaning a single good blow could easily kill her. In other words, one battle at level 1 and you probably need to avoid combat for a while, regardless of if you're a fighter or a magic user.

The magic user can also toss daggers, which can take out a low-level enemy. Or throw rocks, or create a diversion, or hold a door open, or etc etc. Old school RPG games encouraged players to avoid combat, and this "only one spell" limitation is part of that. Creative solutions are usually better (for the players and PCs) than just a straight up combat grind.

As for "one turn of rest" I don't know where that comes from. Generally, characters need a night's rest to recover 1 HP, regardless of class. Constitution plays a roll, but I think that's a different issue.
Stefski_74
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Re: 1st level Magic User

Post Sun May 13, 2018 12:33 pm

Thanks matey, that does clarify things a lot. :D
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Dimirag
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Re: 1st level Magic User

Post Sun May 13, 2018 12:49 pm

What Orobouros said, at first level all characters are of little use after the first combat, a Fighter with good starting HP that suffered low damage might be the exception.

In old school games, characters are more than their written abilities, and magic users are more than a collection of spells, they can help holding the torch/lantern, tossing daggers, staying alert against ambushes and any other thing the player can thought as a way of helping the party.
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
Drawing portfolio: https://www.instagram.com/martin.dimirag/
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Hywaywolf
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Re: 1st level Magic User

Post Sun May 13, 2018 1:31 pm

I like to play thieves and sometime MU. They are only as weak as the player. I can throw flaming oil and hit with a splash even if I miss. I can pour oil in a puddle and light it when the enemies approach and/or enter it. As a thief I can sneak and hide in shadows to spy on our enemies or steal items from opponents or set a trap then sneak away. (most people just think of those things so they can backstab) As an M/U I can use my intelligence to ask the DM questions about things I am seeing and maybe get answers. I can read ancient documents and use scrolls. The same DM would probably tell a fighter he would have no way of knowing that info. I mean a MU spends hours upon hours in libraries studying all types of documents and gaining knowledge of a great many things while a fighter just hits things.

edit: And personally I don't know why any old school M/U would choose any spell other than Sleep as their first spell. Its like a miniature neutron bomb. You can pick up more spells as you earn money to buy them and/or kill other MU and take their spell book.
Stefski_74
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Re: 1st level Magic User

Post Sun May 13, 2018 3:14 pm

Wow. :shock: ..So much I hadn’t thought of....Fair enough. Not so useless after all :D
Thanks guys.

Stef
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Daucuscarota
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Re: 1st level Magic User

Post Mon May 14, 2018 12:47 am

Stefski_74 wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 10:13 am
Later in the book, it talks about rest (‘ie. a good night’s sleep’ p16), but seems contradictory as implies that at 1st level I only need a 1 turn of rest...Is that right? Or is it ‘a good night’s sleep?
Hi, I think you forgot to notice the brackets on p. 16. It says:

"A Magic-User may only prepare spells after resting (i.e. a good night's sleep), and needs one turn per each three spell levels to do so (rounding fractions up)."

Let's remove the brackets:

"A Magic-User may only prepare spells after resting, and needs one turn per each three spell levels to do so (rounding fractions up)."

Then, no, not a round of rest, a full night. The one round you refer to is the time it takes to prepare an spell (i.e. reading and memorizing the spells the wizard will use that day). It means first you sleep, then you take some time to read and memmorize (prepare) your spells, then you kill baby kobold and loot their candy and coins.
Stefski_74
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Re: 1st level Magic User

Post Mon May 14, 2018 12:28 pm

Cheers...Now I get it :D
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Rhialto
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Re: 1st level Magic User

Post Mon May 14, 2018 2:04 pm

There is also this four year old blog post by Solomoriah which addresses the issue:
https://basicfantasy.org/blog/?p=151

And if you find that low level play is too lethal for your taste, you can always start PCs with more experience.
5,000 xp puts most characters at level 3 and there is still a long way to go.
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