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Tips on generating & playing Guild Mages

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:38 pm
by Morgoth
So Guild Mages do seem to get the shaft; primary factor against them is the massive amount of AE it takes for most spells. Ignasphero for instance, completely drains a Guild Mage of all AE or close to it, and the resulting explosion if cast successfully won't even outright kill a group of bandits. Ignifaxus is powerful and useful, but each casting costs 8AE; most mages cast it 4 times then they are out of AE and it will take them days to recover it all.

I know Mages can contribute in other ways but I am talking primarily in combat; not being able to wear armor and not having APs to spare to get combat special abilities or advantages means it is a bad idea for them to enter melee, even if they have the staff Ritual that turns their staff into a sword of fire (that too is expensive in AE costs btw)

So how do you handle this in your games? Any houserules, or things i may have overlooked that makes mages more useful in combat?

Re: Tips on generating & playing Guild Mages

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:20 pm
by bluedragon7
I give them a number of AP more on top of the normal 1100, mainly determined by the sorcerer advantage and the magic tradition. Otherwise I consider a mage build normally as someone who has not completed his mage training and therefore rightfully is not very good at things.
These extra AP will not make them very strong, just allows them to be not fully inept at things not magical.
Still casting fireballs is and should not be as effective as in other worlds to fit the lore

Re: Tips on generating & playing Guild Mages

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:30 am
by Bosper
You seem to ignore that you can reduce the cost of most Combat spells by 50%. In addition Magic I + II gives you quite some tools to improve and specialise a mage (lowering penalties for modifying spells, reducing costs, increasing damage ) .
If you really focus on one area of expertise, mages still are the most powerfull tradition in almost every case. If you want to skip expertise for broad utility you are still enourmously useful in many situations but without excelling in a field.
You can get a perfectly fine combat mage, either with enhanced melee, animal form or slinging ignifaxius' every 2nd round for 2 ASP, but it takes time, AP and specialisation to get powerful as a mage.

Then there is summoning. Being able to summon increases a mages power tenfold. just having an elemental guarding you for how ever long it takes until you are attacked next is invaluable.

But in general aventurian mages arent as good in combat for the same reason witches, healers and other scholars arent good in combat, its not their job.You can get way more useful effects for your ASP than converting them into Damage. Its just how magic works.

Re: Tips on generating & playing Guild Mages

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:02 am
by Morgoth
OK thanks for the tips, but can you give me some actual figures as examples; i.e. an example build of a good combat mage using the Experienced starting level?

Re: Tips on generating & playing Guild Mages

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:09 pm
by Bosper
A mage usually needs more time for his full potential- But the full magic rules including academy styles do help
Mages from andergast re-roll damage dice and add 2 damage , increase range and can cast with lifepoints without drawbacks
Mages from Bethana add 4 damage , have a concentration bonus and can ignore some spell effects for a short time.
Mages from Gareth add 2 damage, have a concentration bonus , increase range and ignore a lvl of fear

for example.

The Mage from Bethana can easily start with ignifaxius 10 , which would be quality 4, he can reduce the cost of the spell by 50% as every mage can for a -1 modifier. He can reduce the casting time by half for another -1 . So we assume a 12/12/12 roll. He would probably achieve quality 3.
Thats 2D6+10 DMG for 4 ASP per round. Or 2D6+12 if he has a good roll.
If he has increased regeneration he can regain about 6 ASP on average each night.

The Andergastian Mage will inflict 2 DMG less per spell , which is mostly compensated by the re-roll of the dice, also he can use his ASP as well as his LP to cast, so he doubles his regeneration effectively once hes run out of ASP.

There are other Academies with other abilities that are useful as well, those are just the most famous ones.

Re: Tips on generating & playing Guild Mages

Posted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:31 pm
by Lambert
Not trying to rain on your Combat Mage parade here, BUT

hasn't ignifaxius got a cost of: 8 AE (you cannot use a modification on this spell’s cost), so I take it you cannot half the cost to drop the cost it to 4 AE, because that would make it too powerful?

Don't get me wrong, I think Guild Mage is the best "class" in the Dark Eye for the reason of versatility AND social standing AND not being able to tried under common law and and and, but I just think this particular example is wrong.

Re: Tips on generating & playing Guild Mages

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:03 am
by Bosper
You are right.

But there are several Styles that still allow reducing the cost as an exception. Not all combat mages, but a few of them. Same goes for other Traditions magical or clerical, that got exceptions as part of their style. I got a bit confused there, since my fire mage has abilities to reduce cost to 2 ASP (Staff, Special Ability + Style)and i rarely play mages otherwise.

EVERY Mage can reduce the cost of every spell by 2 though, using his staff and special abilities. So 6 ASP is something all combat mages can achieve.

Re: Tips on generating & playing Guild Mages

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:14 am
by bluedragon7
IIRC these extra reductions work on all spells, even those stating that the costs can’t be reduced as that ist only referring to the spell modification reduce cost.
Wasn’t there a combination that can get -3 extra reductions?