Hey, no problem, Jeff! Thanks for the great tips and explanations. I know some of the questions were off-base because I haven't played the game yet (as GM). Yesterday some of my players pointed out obvious stuff I missed like the points for Talents. No issue there anymore.
Okay, now I have a slightly better understanding of the rules (reading over again before play and through your reply) I hope you don't mind if I ramble on about some things again.
Remember, this is an awesome game, that's why I'm writing so many nit-picks. The games I don't like hardly get this kind of attention.
****Revised Questions 1****
Okay, that makes more sense. Where is the rule about raising spell levels only once per level? For instance: with my 10 enhancement BP's at first level couldn't I take my spells up to level 5 (4+5)? If not, can I raise them to 4? or do I have to wait until second level? If you 'can' only take one spell advance per level, I think that should be written in the rules somewhere (perhaps my gaming group missed it).
I agree that you would be mana crippled and low casting drive. Hammer Dir can take Psionic and Endurance 5+1 Brawn for cast at first level (but limited spells so not a big issue). Also, Hammer Dir is the only race which gets 2 Heroic Traits? Hammer Dir and Mana Elf seem the best races. Am I wrong?
I read somewhere that you can take Apprentice Caster more times for more spell schools. Can this be done at first level with your extra BP's? As a GM I'm leaning toward 'no' but the rules don't really say. One of my players wants to take 5 schools from Mana Elf and then get a 6th (or more) by buying Apprentice Caster twice. I basically told him he should wait until he can get Rank II in Apprentice Caster (did I make the right call?) Anyway, could be a little more clear.
Okay, other thing I noticed. You can take infinite items 100 gold or lower at first level, right? Meaning 12 vials/potions and 12 scrolls. Spellcraft TN to use scrolls is pretty low too. Presumably a first level caster could take up to 24 of any spells they want from levels 0-2. Also, with Quick Draw (4 points) you can drink a potion as a free action basically giving you an extra action per round (as opposed to +1 action power for 6 points).
Also, even at just level 3 in about 5 schools casters are immensely powerful. If you take: Vigor, Matter, Mind, and Earth you get all of the following abilities through magic: Greatness +1 to 4 Talents (equivalent of at least 16 BP temporary if used properly); Shape Stone meld stone as you will (can bypass doors, destroy fortresses, tunnel, and more), Stone Speak (intel), Parakinesis (ultimate steal, circumnavigate, and attack power), Tunnel (already discussed), and Unsettling Growl (intimidation can allow you to insta-kill any non ranged monster as it stands).
With level 5 or 6 in spell schools (which my players have, but may be wrong if you can only take 1 spell school level per character level) the abilities are even more outrageous and powerful.
@ Powerful Spell Schools
Okay. Is it just me, or do the other spell schools like Water and Nature in particular seem to be far weaker than the 'uber' spell schools of Matter and Mind?
Personally I might change spell schools to 10 points for 1 or maybe 2 schools at first level (10 points for another school thereafter) and max 1 new spell school level per 2 character levels or something. Hey, it could just be me. I know spell casters are incredibly weak in melee 'glass cannons' but some of the powers they wield can easily destroy all enemies before they even get close (Fear comes to mind).
Also, can the Dizzy spell be used multiple times to incapacitate opponents at zero actions? If so, isn't it particularly powerful?
Dancing Weapon + Dancing Bow could be pretty lethal and equate to +2 actions, right?
Corrosive grip also strikes me as particularly useful. With that spell and perhaps the Ghost Arm one you could pretty much double as a thief with no skills (especially with Invisibility and shape change). Also I noticed there's a disguise self spell which makes Shifter pretty much redundant so don't worry about the Shifter power.
@ Casters Vs. Melee
I agree. However, I think casters have a massive advantage over non-casters in pure utility and number of 'powers' (spells) available. One of my players has like 100 spells available at first level. Even if most of them are useless he's still going to be pretty deadly from sheer amount of powers available compared to a Melee character with say 5 powers.
Here's a thing though, why go just caster? As far as I can tell you might as well tank a character out and take magic as well. It splits the character a little, but as long as you take off your armor before casting I don't see much of a disadvantage to being a fighter with spells. I can't really see anyone taking a pure non-caster. I'll have to see when my final player builds her character before I say for sure.
@ Shape Shifter
Yeah, never-mind about that one. It's okay compared to spells. With spells for about 3 points more you can get about 25 more spell effects and shape-change on top of that as a spell. Not to mention illusions, polymorph objects, buff yourself, teleport, and other sweet stuff. Basically, I like the sweetness of spells. I can just see their huge numbers available being abused.
@ Immortal PCs
Okay. I once designed a game where you actually could take a power called 'you're invincible'. Worked okay until I had to throw every monster in with the one key thing that could kill the characters. Then it got a little crazy. Plus, that'll only happen at high levels and could be funny if he ended up in a woman's body or something.
@ Multiple Bloodlines
Okay, my players will be happy with that interpretation I'm sure. You might want to put something in the rules saying that in effect: "Yes, you can take multiple compatible bloodlines." Otherwise, I just would have assumed you can't, or you can only take one at the expense of any others you'd already trained.
@ Power Cost Balance
Yeah. However, no system is perfect and the more powers you have access to the more likely someone is to discover a 'killer combination'. That's why spells are so powerful. You can just get so many of them. Two of my players have almost identical spell schools and powers at the moment. I tried to tell them they should split up and take different spells and powers for more versatility, but they just say, "Why?"
Everyone has: Apprentice Spell Caster, Quick Draw, and Racial Weapon powers at the moment. Maybe if I got the spell rules wrong, they might split up into different things. That would be nice.
@ Power Gaming
I'm glad your players go for archetypes instead of power. Would probably make a great game. My players seem intent on taking 'the best stuff' and then defining their characters styles afterwards. Oh, well. Maybe I should penalize them for taking duplicate powers or have all monsters attack their weak scores, yes?
@ Character Build
Okay, I think I've got that straight now. Thanks for the explanations. I did notice that Racial Weapon costs 4 BP in character building and 6 BP in equipment section. Which should I use? Also, it only gives 1 racial weapon, right? One player wanted to take a racial weapon + a racial shield and stack the bonuses but I said no. Is that correct?
Sure, sounds good. Just a definition and how to award them would be great. I could basically see how they work, but didn't know what KP stood for. Knowledge Points maybe?
No, I have the new copy. I knew that stuff. Just didn't know they automatically leveled when the character does. Gotcha. I was just going to award them xp and 'level cap them'. Your way works a lot better. I'd just put in an explanation somewhere of that's how they level. Also, can you build your own henchmen/pets? Is there a formula for that somewhere?
@ Action Points
Yeah, ignore my comments on them. They work fine. Especially with 'strong attacks' costing 2 actions and spells at -2 cumulative. Can you save up BP's to use at later levels?
All the characters in my group aren't taking pure casters. They're all combo fighter casters. One player is maxing his action points, but so far the others have left them alone which tells me it's not as much of an issue as I thought. I'll try to get the 3 or more game sessions in and see where I'm at then. Really interested to see how the game plays out at higher levels (will the PCs max all spells to level 10? Will they go pure caster? Will they all die?)
@ Complex Rules
Fair enough. Also, your explanations are awesome. Simple characters would be great for new players, but my players are all long-time veterans. They all read the entire book, all powers, all spells, all skills; and took the best of everything they could find. They definitely 'do not' have simple characters.
I like the idea of a 1 page character sheet for experienced players. However, yours is excellently simple to use. I actually used 8 pages when making a test character myself. Do you think you could add a 'spell' page to the character sheet? I ended up writing spells on like 3 pages of my own. Or would it be better to just print all your schools spells and just mark the ones you currently have?
Okay. Very cool. I love the crafting section. Re-reading it I noticed you basically 'must' have ingredients so that puts all the relevant power in the GM's hands and removes the issue of players 'mass producing' items. The GM can just say, "You've run out of eye of newt. Go adventuring." Good stuff. I was just worried my players might craft absolutely everything in the game for super cheap, but the ingredients rule solves my problem nicely.
Sounds great. Thanks so much!
@ Game Coming Out
Ha ha, okay. I'll wait and salivate. Greatness takes time I suppose.
@ Game Sweetness
The more stuff I post about the game, the better I like it. If I post no problems with it, it probably means I don't like the game as much (but not for sure). You should consider it high praise I nit-picked so many things. It's a great game. Kudos. You can do many, many cool things in it. Some of my friends are just itching to make characters for the game when they heard about it (I don't pirate and redistribute stuff, they'll have to come over here or download themselves).
I only have one player left to make a character sheet, so I'll probably be getting to the playtesting pretty soon. I'm sure most of the above will be cleared up then, or I'll come up with new questions. Hope you don't mind my rambling.
Thanks for making such a great game,
Was re-reading the combat section and found the -2 cumulative casting penalty. I think best combo of actions would be: 1 spell, 1 swift attack, 1 potion/scroll (with quick draw), 2nd spell of lower level at -2 cumulative.