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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Monte Cook's World of Darkness: Totally Broken Mages?

    So last night we played our first session of what i believe is acronymed down to McWoD. We had one of every type aside from Demon, with myself picking up the Mage in order to facilitate something of a cleric role within the group, as well as being able to do 'a bit of something' in pretty much every other circumstance.

    Now the way they work seemed straight forward enough. They get so many 'components' per day (really just a spell points pool) that they spend to assemble their spells, this being what replaces the classic WoD sphere system. You can then get them back by resting. So far so good.

    At first level you can spend 11pts on a spell without any real fuss, and going over that cost is perfectly possible but it gives you 'Exhaustion' (seemingly what replaces paradox as a limiter) on a 1 for 1 basis. So a 15pt spell will leave you with 4pts of exhaustion from the overspend. Exhaustion then hangs around, again until you rest it off, and adds to the difficulty of future spellcasting attempts (handled by a Spellcraft roll, with diff = pts spend, on a basic level, and you can take a 10 as in D&D).

    Okay, so i've got a limited spell point pool, and going too expensive gives me accumulating minuses to cast. Okay, seems like that should be balanced out and limited well enough.

    WRONG!

    My problem is thus; Amongst all the elements used to build your spell (and you have a LOT of options) exist the ability to replenish components. Thats right, you can spend spell point to get back spell points. On a basic level you spend 2 components (in addition to perhps a one-off cost of 2 others to set up the rest of the spell) and, for that, you get 1d6 components back. Or as i did last night 12pts (i think) to get 5d6 back. So on average you're always gonna be up. Thus you can blow most of your points in one big spaff and then, 15mins later, you've magicked them all back again.

    And exhaustion? Yep, you can magically get rid of that too! In fact that is even cheaper, basically being 1 component spent to banish 1 exhaustion point.

    8hrs rest? Pfff, just give me half an hour and i'm fresh as a daisy and with spell points to burn!

    Thats how i read. Its also how the ref read it. So now basically i'm left with having to limit myself (i could cast 4 last-all-day buffs on myself each morning and then get all my points back...but i probably shouldn't...although why wouldn't i if i could?).

    Is the system really that broken? Surely the above would have come up pretty obviously in even the most basic playtest, which makes me doubt my reading of it all, but i really can't see anything i'm handling wrong.

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    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Monte Cook's World of Darkness: Totally Broken Mages?

    In general, if you see Monte Cook's name on it, you can assume that the balance is horrendous. This also applies to John Wick, for future reference.
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    Yuki Akuma's Avatar

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    Default Re: Monte Cook's World of Darkness: Totally Broken Mages?

    Why are you playing Monte Cook's World of Darkness?
    There's no wrong way to play. - S. John Ross

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    Default Re: Monte Cook's World of Darkness: Totally Broken Mages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    In general, if you see Monte Cook's name on it, you can assume that the balance is horrendous. This also applies to John Wick, for future reference.
    Arcana Evolved wasn't that bad!

    And yes, in general, any kind of Caster in any kind of d20 game is almost always broken.
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    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Monte Cook's World of Darkness: Totally Broken Mages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lord View Post
    Arcana Evolved wasn't that bad!

    And yes, in general, any kind of Caster in any kind of d20 game is almost always broken.
    His name is also on core 3.x D&D, and look at it.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Monte Cook's World of Darkness: Totally Broken Mages?

    *grin*

    Fair enough then. I'm figuring it all right, it just IS as very broken as it seems.

    And it was a birthday present many moons back, and our midweek gaming group is currently going over all the various 'other' games in our collection to Actually Play Them At Least Once.

    Looking like this one won't see a Twice ;)

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    Default Re: Monte Cook's World of Darkness: Totally Broken Mages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theo Hammond View Post
    *grin*

    Fair enough then. I'm figuring it all right, it just IS as very broken as it seems.

    And it was a birthday present many moons back, and our midweek gaming group is currently going over all the various 'other' games in our collection to Actually Play Them At Least Once.

    Looking like this one won't see a Twice ;)
    Really, the most broken thing is the Component and Exhaustion healing. Cut that out, and it becomes ( relatively ) balanced.
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    Default Re: Monte Cook's World of Darkness: Totally Broken Mages?

    Oh, that's not even the most broken part of McWoD Mages, although the most broken part of them IS dependent on magicking their components back.

    You can actually get yourself in a position where you can continuously increase your stats with longer and longer durations until you are an invincible killing machine.

    Simply do an extended duration spell to give yourself, say, +5 to Spellcraft rolls for 10 minutes or so. Magic your components back. Then Magic up another spell to give you +7 to all d20 rolls for 10 minutes, then magic your components back. Continue this until you can't go any further, then use your enormous Spellcraft total to start magicking up permanent bonuses. They CAN be dispelled, but still...

    I'm not sure if you can quite make this process an infinite loop, but basically RAW McWoD mages can make themselves better at making themselves better, so the longer they're able to go through the loop, the more ridiculous it looks.
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