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[April 27, 2017, 11:53:56 PM]
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Author Topic: Experience for Spellcasting, new thoughts  (Read 965 times)
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mad scientist

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« on: April 02, 2017, 02:06:10 PM »

Some new thoughts on how wizards gain experience for casting spells in Frostgrave… bit.ly/2nNF7LN


Rolling 1s so you don't have to since '95

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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2017, 07:11:09 PM »

(As posted on FB):

Can't comment on your blog (can't seem to get the log in to work [on any blog, not just yours), but I agree with this comment on there:

"Ultimately though, I see it like this:
1) Go with option 1 - it feels for natural, and will be least confusing for new and experienced players alike.
2) Go with option 2, most likely the 'best' solution, regardless of how it initially feels.
3) Put both options forward in your new expansion, and clearly state the pros and cons, as best as space allows.

I personally like #1, and will be using it when I run a campaign later this year, but #2 does have something appealing to it, though I do feel it may do the opposite of the current issue and just encourage spellcasters to try their "worst" spell again and again.

I also like the idea of making casting unique spells more appealing, so I might use #1, but say the 2nd and subsequent time a spell is cast in a game that they get an additional -1 exp (so from the Bone Dart example, 8p the first time, 7 the 2nd, 6p the 3rd and 5xp the 4th onwards).

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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2017, 09:59:18 PM »

Option #2 actually sounds rather on point... Might offer more XP- to offset the "cost"... Perhaps an "Epic Fail" chart similar to DCC?

Edit/Expanded Thoughts-

I would prefer if the experience system was simple enough to fit on a standard play aid card- with little boxes to mark next to each event as it happens.

There is enough book-keeping in this game... I don't want any more.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 02:30:39 AM by WallyTWest » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2017, 10:07:02 PM »

A third option could be casting chance minus 5. So:-

Spell chance         xp

20                            15
19                            14
18                            13
17                            12
16                            11
15                            10
14                              9
13                              8
12                              7
11                              6
10                              5
 9                               4
 8                               3
 7                               2
 6                               1
 5                               0

This would reward chance taking but still give a little for most spells cast.

"An enquiring mind is sufficient qualification"

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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2017, 11:03:17 PM »

I'm quite happy with the existing exp system and worry if an alternative system would alienate some players. That said, option 1 is interesting. I don't like option 2. Sure you learn from your mistakes, but it doesn't feel right applying it to a game about casting spells.
The trick is to give players a choice of different exp systems, yet allow players of these different systems to play together without one overbearing the other.
My suggestion would be to offer players the chance to have a 'calling' or 'profession'. Each 'calling' has a different way of calculating exp.
The default could be simply 'wizard' - a jack of all trades using the current exp mechanism. But you could also be a 'battle mage' and earn more exp by killing, but less (or none) from spellcasting.
Another 'calling' could be the 'adept', where you earn more exp for casting spells of your school, and less from other schools. Another possibility could be the 'exprimentor', who earns greater exp if they cast different spells.
Of course each 'calling' would need to be playtested and balanced, but it would offere lots of different ways of playing the game without alienating those who are happy with their way of play.


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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2017, 01:35:50 AM »

I also replied on FB but answers seem to get lost more easily... so here it is:

I like them both... for the first idea if it's coupled with a redesign of the spell cards and included in the supplement in printing/photocopy mode and .pdf with room and dedicated spaces for the book keeping it will ease the process of using the new system.

Also in Frostgrave when you fail a spell you tend to suffer damage. A fluff explanation for the xp gain in case of failure could work. If it makes sense fluff wise I tend to justify more easily counter intuitive mechanics. "As the young wizard failed the spell, the pain of the unchanneled magic energies coursed through his body opening new insights on the power of thaumathurgy".

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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 07:51:57 AM »

I like option 1, because in real live you more experience for tasks that are hard for you, and less or null for things you could without thinking about the doing, for example tie your shoes, or drive a car, etc. But I also guess that failure brings experience, so my personal favourite would be a mixture of both Smiley   
Coenus Scaldingus

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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2017, 11:07:30 AM »

Interesting ideas, #2 is indeed somewhat counter-intuitive, but may work well (only one way to find out I guess!) while #1 sounds rather nice and could even create an interesting dynamic in levelling (high-level wizards will have reduced the casting values, thus gaining less xp, although I suppose they could still empower more easily and would be guaranteed the few experience points each turn as such).

Calculating the experience points using the first system may be easier if it's done in increments, i.e. casting value 5 = 5xp, 6-10 = 10, 11-15 = 15, 16-20+ = 20. As you said, simplicity is one of the best parts of the game, so it may be better not to deviate too much from that.

Finally, I have now played 10+ games using a variation on another system you previously proposed, giving 20xp for each different spell cast. It's easy to keep track of (just place a tick next to your list of spells or on sleeved spell cards), somewhat forces you to use different spells (a trade-off between what spell is best for the situation and what gives experience), limits total xp in a game and rather interestingly makes it much more attractive to learn spells from found grimoires. (Additionally, we give 10xp for each spell of your own school cast on a 20 or failed on a 1 to emphasise your original school and have some bonus for repeating spells, removed all existing kill-xp, add 10/20/50xp for killing monsters of <6/7-13/14+ health and kept treasure xp at 50). Works a treat and all players seem to enjoy it.

~Ad finem temporum~

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« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2017, 09:36:09 PM »

We tried something that, maybe, was in your original post regarding experience.

20 points for the first casting of any spell by a spellcaster, no experience after.  (First time wizard casts, 20 points, first time apprentice casts, 20 points.  No points for either after that initial for casting the same spell.)  It encouraged folks to use all their spells, and prevented the necromancer with the bone dart of 5 from running away with all of the experience.
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2017, 05:27:42 PM »

I have to say that using the casting number = experience sings to me.

Simple, easy to remember, and honestly not that difficult to track.

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« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2017, 12:06:50 AM »

I have to say that using the casting number = experience sings to me.

Simple, easy to remember, and honestly not that difficult to track.

I agree. It's fair, nudges players into trying harder spells and doesn't reward failure.
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« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2017, 11:53:00 AM »

I would really like to award xp to failed spells...it simulates reality the most: you learn from mistakes. Maybe an easy solution?

Succesful spell = 10XP
Failed spell = 20XP

I see a lot of nice suggestions by people, but they mostly involve some form of calculating. Now it's not that I don't like that, but I like keeping bookkeeping simple and fast. So therefore the idea for two ways of scoring XP.

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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2017, 03:32:58 AM »

I actually like most of these tweaks better than the current system.

As several people pointed out in the blog comments Dungeon World and probably others give experience for "failure", and I think it makes a fair amount of sense. I like the elegance of the experience based on casting number suggestion. I also like discouraging the spamming of single spells.

How about casting number for experience, once per spell per game, and you get it regardless of success? Easy to track in that you just need to mark which spells you've cast and add it up at the end, and encourages spell variety.

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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2017, 06:31:49 PM »

I like ecurtz's suggestion - Joe has correctly identified the (mild) problem, of players sticking to one or two favourite spells for their wizards rather than trying out more unusually and potentially amusing solutions. This is a neat solution. Fixed XP but only once per spell would be a less subtle but simpler version of the same.
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