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Author Topic: High-level FC Play Experiences  (Read 1068 times)
Gilbetron
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« on: April 18, 2012, 03:03:48 PM »

So a question came up over on RPG.net about high level FC play and whether casters are as unbalanced as in PF/3.5 (the "Linear Fighter, Quadratic Wizard" problem).  I gave my thoughts, but I've only played FC up to 10th level or so.

What are people's experiences with high-level (say 13th+) level FC play?  Do casters reign supreme?  Or is it just pretty much everyone kicking ass in their own way?  Cheesy
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Psion
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2012, 08:32:41 PM »

My campaign is 14th level and... I have no pure casters, so my actual experience here may be somewhat limited. Not to mention that I'm not sure I take RPGnet's "quadratic wizard" thing as an absolute truism.

THAT SAID

Some of the points brought up over on seem valid... some of the high level powers have balancing factors, and arcane casters are delayed with respect to spell access compared to 3.x. Further, FC doesn't scale saves AND spell power at the same time, so you lose some of your "double dipping" for level benefit.

One thing I did have a problem with was mid-range no-save scaling damage spells like Searing Ray (crits are pretty much auto-death). That said I'm not sure that's a huge problem because, well, a trussed out fighter can do the same thing all day long. Further, the fact that the GM controls when a scene begins or ends is makes it so you can't fall back on the 15-minute day cheat* and let you caster nova every combat.

* - I recognize this happened in some folks 3e games, but sort of blame GMs for letting the players get away with it... but partly blame designers for downplaying random encounters.
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 12:43:10 AM »

Do casters reign supreme?  Or is it just pretty much everyone kicking ass in their own way?  Cheesy
I'd say both. The casters do achieve a level of power that is quite unrivaled by other classes. Particularly, their ability to choose any spell from any school makes them quite versatile. However, contrary to D&D, the casters do not necessarily become better than true specialists. I'll take an example: Invisibility allows a Mage to kick the crap out of any Sneak specialist ... unless they have the Ghost feat chain. Same about damage spells, they become dangerous enough to beat any average to good fighter. However, a real battle specialist like a Soldier will definitely be the threat on the battlefield. Lastly, Charm Person V is devastating as a social ability, but a good Assassin or Courtier will have abilities that get even more efficient than that.

So that would be my opinion. The Mage is supreme because of its sheer versatility, an issue I've raised several times and for which I now have a satisfying solution (limited disciplines at Level 1, possibility to get more instead of a Spellcasting or Skill feat). The Priest works fine, extremely fine even. I insist that it is the best class-innovation of Fantasy Craft. But, as I said first, everyone is kicking ass. That's the real important thing in my opinion. Everyone has a chance to shine, I've witnessed it every time, and the gambreakers (level 14 abilities) are helping a lot.  Smiley

I would add a last remark to this. As Psion said, Spellbound is about to be released. But even without it, magic is conditioned by campaign qualities a lot. So first, it doesn't have to exist if you don't want to (you can replace it with miracles altogether, which wouldn't be a bad idea in my opinion). Second, even if it does exist, "default" magic is just that: default. It doesn't have any limitations, specificities, so that it fits any character concept and campaign. But there is a real chance that, in your campaign, magic isn't that easy. Well, that's when campaign qualities enter play, and they can significantly shift the balance of power, making the Mage more equal to its peers.
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Gilbetron
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2012, 01:53:32 PM »

Anyone else have high-level play experiences?
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Deral
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2012, 03:08:52 PM »

Some of the points brought up over on seem valid... some of the high level powers have balancing factors, and arcane casters are delayed with respect to spell access compared to 3.x. Further, FC doesn't scale saves AND spell power at the same time, so you lose some of your "double dipping" for level benefit.

One thing I did have a problem with was mid-range no-save scaling damage spells like Searing Ray (crits are pretty much auto-death). That said I'm not sure that's a huge problem because, well, a trussed out fighter can do the same thing all day long. Further, the fact that the GM controls when a scene begins or ends is makes it so you can't fall back on the 15-minute day cheat and let you caster nova every combat.

I agree with pretty much everything Psion said, but I wanted to reiterate the points above, though in my experience, Intelligence and Wisdom don't really matter much for a Mage (this may not be the case with other casting classes)- they're nice but you get quite a few spells of any discipline, there's a lot you can do.

I had a game that ran from 5th to roughly 19th, (you really start to notice the gap between levels in higher end play), and I'd say; Mages become very impressive, but against high vitality targets (or multiple Tough standards) they have to burn a lot to put the hurt down, and that can be a risk, one my players often at least reconsider taking after having to start combat with severely depleted spell points.

That being said, as impressive as mages get, so does everyone else (like aegis implied), which is where it stands apart, there are a lot of defenses against that CL 19 fireball, there aren't very many against the guy with a 1-in-4 critical chance (or better, sometimes), free criticals, and 4 or 5 attacks per round except Monstrous Defense or an astronomical Defense score- he might not hit as many targets but he will mow through Specials and Standards alike, those 10 extra combat feats a soldier gets are absolutely nothing to scoff at in FC and they build up faster than you'd figure.
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magustoad
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2012, 07:02:25 PM »


...those 10 extra combat feats a soldier gets are absolutely nothing to scoff at in FC and they build up faster than you'd figure.

This.  Soldier is wicked versatile in build because of all the feats. 
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