Would the game benefit from more generalized magic lores?

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  • Would the game benefit from more generalized magic lores?

    A question to the general public,

    would the game benefit from less specialized magic lores? Magic is very reliable now, yet it seems like the idea that magic MUST be completely tailored to One Specific Thing is becoming a more prominent thought.

    Personally, I disagree with this statement, and think the game would benefit from LESS specialization of magic lores.

    Example:
    Alchemy prior to the change to Molten Copper. It had many spells for destroying armor and dealing with heavily armored units. However, it also carried a fairly good defensive spell in Word of Iron as well as a good "anti-light" spell in Molten Copper. There was, IMO, a reason for taking a Master because it gave you a much greater breadth of options in spell selection depending on what you faced.

    You could do damage to heavy armored units, lightly armored/horde style units, or single models while also being able to choose whether you wanted to have offensive or defensive buffs. Now you only can choose to hit heavily armored units or bust. Though the choice of buffs remains the same, the lore has become much more specialized in its damage selection.

    In a similar vein, Pyromancy actually used to be a fairly awesome lore in 1.1. Your damage was limited to anti-light spells exclusively. However, you had an awesome damage buff (Flaming Swords) and a great defensive buff (Smouldering Embers) available through the lore. Then 1.3 came and suddenly Pyromancy was only good against light/small units (who were bound to fail 1 or 2 of their high saves, and suffered each loss very keenly.


    I believe that changes such as this are damaging for the game. They disincentivize taking wizard masters, for one. After all, why go so deep into a magic lore if you get a similar benefit from an Adept with the Magical Heirloom? For another it makes lores less interesting. There is more work for ADT, RT, BLT because the spells have to be made unique, flavorful, and playable. Yet I believe that this extra work would be good for the game by creating more variety in magic.


    An example of a good lore is, to me, druidism. In it you have:
    1x Magic Missile (master of earth)
    2x Defensive Buffs (Stone Skin, Healing Waters)
    A mixed offensive/defensive buff (entwining roots)
    and 2 utility spells (Summer Growth for bringing stuff back, Spirits of the Wood for choosing to break/make steadfast)

    The lore is great because it has unique flavor (can be cast from terrain) and can be selected by a master to do a variety of things (offense, defense, utility). I believe that all lores would be better served by being made in such a way. Drop SOME of the specialization in favor of more variety within lores themselves.

    An example would be changing Molten Copper back, and keeping Alchemy as is otherwise. This would give:
    2x Anti-armor spells (that are good against high Res/Arm units)
    1x Anti-light spell (good against chaff/horde, bad against high Res high Arm)
    1x Defense buff focusing on armor
    2x Offense buff focusing on armor

    So the flavor of the lore is still there because everything is focused in/around armor and manipulating metal, but the lore is more varied in what it can do.

    Another example would be having Pyromancy drop a damage spell for the old Smoldering Embers spell and making Cascading Fire a buff spell that boosts combat output of the targeted unit. In addition, bring back the S4 AP1 of pyromancy (with flaming attacks) so that it's not such dead weight against armor.

    E.g.
    Drop Fireball, move its effect into Pyroclastic Flow (giving it the old "1/2/3" levels)
    - Cascading Fire becomes: Augment. Models in the unit gain Grinding Attacks (1) at S4 AP1 with Flaming Attacks and Magical Attacks until the next turn.
    - Flaming Swords: Same
    - Pryoclastic Flow: as mentioned, move Fireball into here as a Lvl 1 of the spell.
    - Scorching Salvo: As currently, but at S4 AP1
    - Enveloping Embers: Make it S4AP1 and D3+1/D6+1 per rank depending on level.
    - Smouldering Embers: Augment. The target gains +1Res, Aegis (5+), and Fireborn

    This way the theme of the path is kept (everything is focused on FIRE *and* the damage in the path is all S4 AP1), but the path is more versatile because there is a single protective spell, some damage augments, and several damage spells.


    Personally, I believe that this will be a better thing to do for the game than the current push towards extreme specialization of paths. While the current path is amazing for tournaments (you can build around magic very easily, and it fits into the "maximize your percentages to make a win" ethos), it is less so for the casual player (IMO of course). Furthermore, it would promote more magic variety as now you can get more mileage out of your mages by adding variety.


    Thoughts and opinions are welcome. :)
    Thank you for taking the time to read this,
    Aenarion43
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

  • I think the opposite, path are to generalist now for most of them : you've got a lot of damage + buff/hex in the same path + the 2 generic bound spell which add easily a damage and/or buff depending on what your counting on. Little exception are spell which affects movement (erf, I count 5/7 paths which inclued one)
    The effect of a buff/hex not really matter when casting, the final effect is improving you're own side combat resolution, a reroll or a +1 to a caracteritic wil have the same aim just at different level of power.
    Effects of damage impact more, generaly you choose the ones to counter what's your army have hard time to deal with, but normally every army have tools too, having or not having access to a special damage spell will affect your list. And anyway, most of us don't relly a lot on magic (less random than before, but still), so this counter will be seen anyway, just perhaps in less quantity.
    So, I see no further improvement by generalise more the paths.

    In opposite specialize more the paths will make the choice of 2 adpets more appealling than a master, they are already a little but more because of the channel x2 than a best choice of spell (I speak for me here). Eseence of free mind will also be more interesting (the only time I see a use for it is when I tried Pyromancy with HbE against WotDG, with my 2 armies I never tought of using it even with witchcraft).

    A compromise can be done with the 2 approach :
    make the 4 first spells of a specialized for adept/apprentrice - and the 5,6 for opening the possibilities of the path

    For exemple Pyromancy : flaming sword become n°5, change a n°6 to a buff/hex/movement spell, and the first 4 focus on dealing damage by missile (small, bigs, hex only, aura, area attacks... the choice is vast even with the str 4 AP 0 constraint)
    Or Divination : leave the 2 damage spell in 5/6 and all the buff/hex in the 1-4
    And so on. The logic will be simple for all paths.

    Maybe I'm a little biased, with UD the 3 paths (cosmo, divination and evocation) are so close that I can roll a dice to determine before the game it'll change so little the game...
    Armies : DE, UD - Co-organise : Nain Gros-Gnon
  • Aenarion43 wrote:

    would the game benefit from less specialized magic lores? Magic is very reliable now, yet it seems like the idea that magic MUST be completely tailored to One Specific Thing is becoming a more prominent thought.

    Personally, I disagree with this statement, and think the game would benefit from LESS specialization of magic lores.
    I like specialised magic and coupled with choosing spells, it works well for most Paths. I don't want to see the Paths go back to Generic Magic Missile, Generic Buff, Generic Hex with a few fluffy spells at the end. I think the ideas behind the new Paths are fine, although some paths could do with a bit of tweaking.

    It's not right that some paths can be rendered almost useless if they get a bad matchup - e.g. Pryromancy against a KoE army where every model has a 2+ AS or better. There's still a chance of forcing a wound through and there's the buff spell available for any adept or master but it's pretty much wasted points in this scenario.

    This can be solved by tweaking Pyromancy to have one spell slightly more effective against armour - maybe D6 S3 hits with AP3. That wouldn't be very strong against armoured units, but it does make Pryromancy less useless against a heavily armoured list.

    Alchemy is less bad than you're making out. Ok - it's awesome against the above 2+ AS KoE list, but it's still useful against lightly armoured opponents. You have the armour buff, Glory of Gold where you can give your unit flaming attacks and make the enemy flammable at one stroke, and an auto hit, magical bolt thrower. All of this can add up to be scary to units that aren't heavily armoured.

    Warboss_R'ok wrote:

    The counterargument is that having more specialised lores of magic makes it more viable to take multiple casters.
    I agree. I run 2 adepts, one with divination and one with druidism with KoE. The healing from Druidism coupled with the buffs from Divination works pretty well. If Druidism could do the buffing, I'd just take a single master.
    Never argue with Idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
  • Stygian wrote:

    2 adepts are not always more desirable. Not if you want to even consider strategy around the 5-6 spells. Otherwise they would be.
    True. And that's the decision you're making. One Path on a Master or 2 on 2 Adepts.

    Taking 2 adepts doesn't give you access to the 5 & 6 spells but it does give more versatility in magic and an extra channel.

    One master, gives you access to the 5 & 6 spells along with +1 to cast, but less versatility.
    Never argue with Idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
  • Warboss_R'ok wrote:

    @Sir_Sully What do you think about making the book of arcane power 0-3?
    I'm unsure. I worry about armies like VC grabbing 3 apprentices with the book and spamming Arise! On the current rules they'd get +2 to cast for the bearer's first casting attempt - so they'd all have +2 to cast. I think that's too good.

    You could restrict it by playing around with the magic item allowance though. E.g. Apprentice's get 50 points, Adepts get 100 points and masters get 200 points. That would mean that only adepts could take the book though
    Never argue with Idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
  • @Sir_Sully

    That's a VC problem though, I would tweak VC rules rather than impact the apprentices in all other 15 armies.

    Maybe replicable is a bad idea, because the difference between being able to cast a spell once and being able to cast it infinity times is a pretty big jump. Maybe instead of "Replicable", spells should be "Double-Castablable" or "Triple-Castable". This could put a lid on some of the VC spam and maybe allow some other spells to be "Double-Castablable".

    Anyway I would definitely like to see multiple Adepts become more viable.
  • Maybe the way the spells are ordered needs to change a bit?

    ie.
    Spells H & 1 have to be something basic but decent
    Spells 2,3 & 4 need to be more of the same as above
    Spells 5 & 6 need to do something different and provide lore flexibility

    Alchemy
    Spell 1 - damage that beats armour
    Spell 2-4 Buff your units armour, buff your units damage output, slightly better version of spell 1
    Spell 5-6 Hurt enemy armour...which worsens your own spell effects or another damage spell doing not a whole lot vs most things

    Apprentice: So spell 1 has a damage ability vs armour, so it's useful.
    Adept: Spells 2-4 are where most of the buff effects appear, and you've got a better damage spell.
    Master: Spell 5 is a debuff that lowers the effectiveness of your damage spells and a damage spell that isn't affected by the debuff but is likely not as powerful as the earlier ones.

    If we re-order them.
    Spell 1: Glory of Gold - Buff your unit, synergy with the Attribute
    Spell 2: Corruption of Tin - nerf the enemy save
    Spell 3: Word of Iron - Buff your units armour
    Spell 4: Silver Spike - Damage spell that doesn't get neutered by spell 2
    Spell 5: Quicksilver Lash - damage based on armour
    Spell 6: Molten Copper - more damage based on armour

    If you take an Apprentice, you can buff your stuff and nerf the enemy with the attribute in a way that has synergy
    If you take an Apprentice, you've got the freedom to do more buff effects and there's a small but useful Damage spell
    If you take a Master you open up all the Damage spells as well as being able to take all the buffs and nerf abilities at once

    That gives more value to each of the wizard upgrades, at least for Alchemy.
  • Agreed! More so, that makes HUGE sense from a "lore" perspective to me. Your basic apprentices and adepts know the "Basics" of the lore, and can only go with the specialized route. You get an adept and apprentice to fulfill a specific role with your magic.

    Then you have masters, who have explored the depths of knowledge of the path of magic, and have learned unique and powerful ways to manipulate its abilities. These can then deviate from the path some, giving you the option:

    1) Take two adepts to fulfill more specialized roles.
    2) Take a Master that is still somewhat specialized, but has variety in that specialization.

    :D

    PS. the only thing I'd change is put Word Of Iron #1 for that Alchemy. Mainly because I *REALLY* want to have Word of Iron on my MoCT. ;) :P


    PPS. What about this version of Pyromancy:

    #1: Flow+Fireball (so D6/2d6/3d6 S4 AP1 hits)
    #2: Cascading Fire
    #3: Scorching Salvo
    #4: Enveloping Embers
    #5: Flaming Swords
    #6: Smoldering Embers

    So an apprentice can sling fireballs, an Adept can figure out unique and fun ways to sling fireballs (though I'd love for cascading fire to be "grinding attacks (1) resolved at S4 AP1), and a Master can imbue fire/damage into weapons and armor to help his allies fight.
    :D

    Too powerful? Probably too powerful for 9th Age. :(
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

  • Aenarion43 wrote:

    PS. the only thing I'd change is put Word Of Iron #1 for that Alchemy. Mainly because I *REALLY* want to have Word of Iron on my MoCT. ;) :P
    Isn't he a wizard adept, so gets access to spells 1-4?

    Aenarion43 wrote:

    PPS. What about this version of Pyromancy:


    #1: Flow+Fireball (so D6/2d6/3d6 S4 AP1 hits)
    #2: Cascading Fire
    #3: Scorching Salvo
    #4: Enveloping Embers
    #5: Flaming Swords
    #6: Smoldering Embers

    So an apprentice can sling fireballs, an Adept can figure out unique and fun ways to sling fireballs (though I'd love for cascading fire to be "grinding attacks (1) resolved at S4 AP1), and a Master can imbue fire/damage into weapons and armor to help his allies fight.
    :D
    What does Smoldering Embers do?

    I'de be tempted to put Smoldering Embers as spells 5, with Flaming Swords as spell 6 because
    1. Spell order doesn't matter between 5 & 6
    2. It puts both Embers named spells next to each other

    Fireball is perhaps too useful if you let it get 2D6 and 3D6 hits (maybe those can be limited to adepts and masters?)
  • Warboss_R'ok wrote:

    The counterargument is that having more specialized lores of magic makes it more viable to take multiple casters.
    I'd rather have access to a few more paths of Magic, to be honest. It would be so great to have more freedom and options to combine a little more spells and magic tactics. It's all so extremely restricted as it is now.

    Warboss_R wrote:

    I would quite like it if the book of arcane power was 0-2 or 0-3 actually.
    But .. the BoAP doesn't exist anymore .. it's 15 pts more expensive and only affects 1 spell per phase now ..
    Must agree that it wouldn't be bad to have more 0-2 or 0-3 entries in the BRB and Army Books (like Sun Tablet).
    This forum need polls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Playing/painting: SA, DE & HbE ..
  • Teowulff wrote:

    But .. the BoAP doesn't exist anymore .. it's 15 pts more expensive and only affects 1 spell per phase now ..
    Yeah, good point, but I think it would still be good to have the option to have more of these, so that it's possible to take multiple adept casters.
  • @theunwantedbeing

    The MoCT has the "prothean magic" rule. So he gets the #1 from 3 of the following 5 if he is a commander: Druidism, Shamanism, Witchcraft, Alchemy, Cosmology. A prince level MoCT gets all 5. Either of them can replace one with the Hereditary spell. Personally, I find that even HbE (the tankiest of the elves) are still too vulnerable, and require defensive magic to help survive. So I'd be totally okay if the MoCT lost Prothean Magic for an actual selection of "only defensive spells". Essentially make them into Elven Paladins (in the standard fantasy trope style :P ).

    Smoldering Embers was the old #6 spell for Pyromancy, which gave Res +1, Aegis (5+), and Aegis (2+ vs. Flaming Attacks). So it was a REALLY good spell. I think its casting value was 13+, but that was back when casters could get +3 to cast for everyone using Book of Arcane Power (Original Flavor). Even more, it was actually pretty cool because it countered pyromancy. Back then the lore had all S4 AP1 hits, so having that spell give the Aegis vs. Pyromancy was REALLY important.

    It was a REALLY good spell for Pyromancy because it gave you some defensive power for a master, and allowed you to have more of a toolbox for a master (Defensive Buff, Offensive Buff, Two damage spells).

    Personally, I think THAT is what the game is missing. Masters being more of a toolbox in magic. So you can choose 2 adepts for differing types of specialization, or a Master that has more of a toolbox. :)


    If you could do Pyromancy the way I described, I'd love it as a lore.

    Fireball being the old d6, 2d6, 3d6,
    cascading fire becomes "grinding attacks (1) resolved at S4 AP1"
    Scorching Salvo
    Enveloping Embers
    Flaming Swords
    Smoldering Embers

    And reorder them as needed for the lore to be balanced between "specialized adept" and "toolbox master". :)


    @Warboss_R'ok
    Actually, if Lores were "generalized" slightly, it would make masters slightly less powerful. Two adepts could have a wide variety of things going for it AND have a higher channel value AND 4 arcane item slots instead 2. Given that many items are now in the 40 to 60 point range, that's a big deal. The master would have +1 to cast vs. adepts generally having an extra magic dice. I think it'd create better balance between the different caster types. :)
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

  • Aenarion43 wrote:

    Actually, if Lores were "generalized" slightly, it would make masters slightly less powerful. Two adepts could have a wide variety of things going for it AND have a higher channel value AND 4 arcane item slots instead 2. Given that many items are now in the 40 to 60 point range, that's a big deal. The master would have +1 to cast vs. adepts generally having an extra magic dice.

    If lores are more generalized then masters will be better relative to adepts.

    A master gives you more spells per point and +1 to cast on all spells. If lores are flexible people will just take a master with the magical heirloom.

    As for item slots, I'm not really sure what item you would be so desperate for.
  • Aenarion43 wrote:

    @theunwantedbeing

    The MoCT has the "prothean magic" rule.


    Personally, I find that even HbE (the tankiest of the elves) are still too vulnerable, and require defensive magic to help survive. So I'd be totally okay if the MoCT lost Prothean Magic for an actual selection of "only defensive spells". Essentially make them into Elven Paladins (in the standard fantasy trope style :P ).
    Ah yes,I forgot that was what Protean Magic does.
    I agree with that suggestion, making him defensive only would be a good choice.

    My previous comments still stand about your Pyromancy lore changes.
    Swap 5 & 6 around so the Embers named spells are next to each other
    Maybe the 2D6 and 3D6 fireballs are too powerful, so would need to be limited to the higher level casters.
    Not so sure on changing cascading fire to be grinding attacks, that's just a combat buff, that spell could replace Fireball as spell 1 though if you really do mean it to be a combat buff.
  • @Warboss_R'ok

    And here you come to the crux of the matter: No matter what is done and how much work the Powers That Be put in, you will ALWAYS have a slightly more points efficient option. Either you get something like now (where a pair of adepts bring more to the table than a master most of the time) or you go SLIHGTLY in the other direction with masters being a bit better than adepts. The idea that everything can be made perfectly equivalent and balanced is false. By trying to achieve this (especially the nerf hammering that 9th Age is sometimes prone to), the game is hurt overall.

    And to be honest, it actually FITS that a wizard master is more powerful at spellcasting than an adept. They SHOULD be more powerful than a simple "+1 to cast". There should be a greater difference between them. Adding some unique/different effects at the #5 and #6 would actually be a fairly unique way of doing so. It allows you to choose, do you want a more points efficient set up (Master + 2 items and some variety in spell effects) or a slightly more versatile set-up in double adept (with the potential for more items, variety between the two casters in spells, etc.).

    As to items you might like:
    KoE: Heirloom, Void, Wafers, Book of Mastery. Other options would include either of the two bound spells and scepter of power for assuring that critical spell with an extra dice.

    That's dispelling ability, additional channel (Channel 3 vs. Channel 1 (2 at best if they spend a slot on Void)), an extra spell, AND you can pack the book on the most needed adept. For example, have Druidism pack Heirloom and Void, while Wafers and Book go on a Divination Girl who can bubble stuff.

    I'd bet that if you search through most books, you'll find that the extra channel and the extra two slots matter more often than not. You just gotta be creative with what you are looking for. Granted, there are army books that DO NOT WANT more than one caster. In those cases, the Master is often superior. The point is, giving Masters something more than adepts beyond "it's points efficient!" is important. Points efficiency is certainly something to keep in mind, but is only "the goal" for Spikes. We have to make sure to cater to Spikes, Timmys, and Johnnys. So things can't just be "points efficient". Unique spells at Lvl 5 and Lvl 6, rather than just "stronger versions of the previous theme" is important here.
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

  • Aenarion43 wrote:

    KoE: Heirloom, Void, Wafers, Book of Mastery. Other options would include either of the two bound spells and scepter of power for assuring that critical spell with an extra dice.

    That's dispelling ability, additional channel (Channel 3 vs. Channel 1 (2 at best if they spend a slot on Void)), an extra spell, AND you can pack the book on the most needed adept. For example, have Druidism pack Heirloom and Void, while Wafers and Book go on a Divination Girl who can bubble stuff.
    I run 2 adepts for KoE with basically this build - I just don't have the book and the divination girl takes the heirloom, so they both have 3 spells each (in case I lose one).

    Aenarion43 wrote:

    Unique spells at Lvl 5 and Lvl 6, rather than just "stronger versions of the previous theme" is important here.
    This would be interesting - giving spells in the #5 and #6 slots that still fit the theme of the Path but "less conventionally" would give master wizards a bit of a boost. E.g. One of these for Pyromancy could be a spell that is designed to do some damage armoured targets, with flaming attacks. e.g.

    Heated Metal
    18", Hex, Damage
    The target suffers D3+1 hits with flaming attacks, magical attacks and armour penetration 2. These hits always wound on a roll equal to or greater than 8 - the target’s Armour. An unmodified ‘6’ always wounds and an unmodified ‘1’ always fails to wound.

    This spell isn't as good as alchemy but is better than most other Pyromancy spells against armoured targets.

    This would give Master wizards some flexibility and bring them back into contention vs 2 adepts.
    Never argue with Idiots. They drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.