[.11] Alternative Life Idea

Feldor

Scholar
Mikestrauss's analysis is solid.

So the issue here is about availability of life effects; not about death. 1.3 has life items available to all classes via durasive magic items. 2.0 requires they be organic (or spell stores) and only for significant earth casters.

I think part of the problem is cultural. People have gotten used to that in 1.3, effectively there are more life items than there are life consumers in many games. And the people in those games are uncomfortable with that state changing. However, there are people who play in games where this is not true, or remember times fondly before this was true, who are happier with greater tension of life being a limited resource. Both of these are good ways to run games, but results in conflicting wants around life spells.

This is further complicated by plot teams having responded to the availability of life items. For example, the swarm of death elementals may be a reasonable high challenge when there are huge amounts of life spells; and is not reasonable when there are very few. So the need for life spells can largely be adjusted by the plot teams, meaning that any solution that adds availability of life spells will likely cause the plot teams to react and cause us to need to use them. Some of what plot does is provide challenges so we can use our resources (skills, consumables, etc.), because doing things is interesting and entertaining.


To be clear, I don't view "only available in one class" as a valid reason to remove a skill from that class or replicate it to others. We have a number of good skills functionally usable by only one build and not otherwise replicated.


I mean, we could invoke the old-school the DnD style resurrection. Leave "Life" as it is in Earth. Add a "Resurrection stone" purchasable spirit-locked consumable that makes it when you resurrect instead of drawing from the bag you lose 2 levels. You can always choose to resurrect normally and not lose the levels. But it'd mean no one would want to use resurrection stone if there was a life available, but it'd also give those folks who are super nervous about losing their long term character a way to _know_ they could come back. (We could even make the stones cost scale with level when you purchase it.)

We could also add a "reforge spirit" option, where you sacrifice half your build to have your spirit reset to new. (Basically let you do the new character thing except without having to have a new character.) With the changes to magic items, this is a lot less problematic than it used to be.
 

Lurin

Duke
That might be a local issue? In the midwest, and most chapters I've traveled to components are very available for a price of 1-2 gold. With this skill in play fewer of those components might make it into the hands of the folks making giant items as their use will be more obvious to younger players, but I don't believe they would be in general difficult to get a small number of them.

That said you could convert it to a production made item for what ever amount seems appropriate say 50 production plus 2 gold, which gives production masters more to do. Or allow it to be either with the production made item being able to be used in place of a component (maybe even for spell crafting? although that goes a bit far afield)
 

Muir

Fighter
I think it would be useful to answer this question up front:

What positive effect on the gameplay experience does restricting life to Earth Casters provide?
 

Feldor

Scholar
I think it would be useful to answer this question up front:

What positive effect on the gameplay experience does restricting life to Earth Casters provide?
The answer is pretty obvious and the same as for any effect with a single source. It gives them a niche and a utility. Just like having intercept+parry being functionally a fighter only skill set to save someone in melee range; or celestialists having prison, it gives earth caster's something they provide that others don't.
 

Darkcrescent

Knight
Chicago Staff
Marshal
In some chapters, LCO comps can be bought with gobbies( which there are ways to get without spending a dime OOG)

Plot could drop more LCO comps for this purpose like they do for LCO scrolls or transportation methods. It doesn’t have to be restricted to TP comp allocation.

I like it. It’s doable and fair and cheap. Is it more expensive for martial classes, yes, but it’s magic.
 
Finding alternatives isn't that hard. I just thought of one in the shower. Create a new spell.

Protect Spirit - Protection / Enhancement (I forget what the official name of the category is) 1 - Potionable - Duration: See below

The target of the spell must be Dead. The target of the spell does not have to draw a stone from the bag upon resurrection. This effect immediately ends if the target of the spell benefits from a Life effect, is subject to a killing blow, or immediately after successfully resurrecting.


Simple and straightforward. I made if 1st level because the current Life / death rules are a customer service issue that affect players of all levels. This won't simply replace Life because it still has a serious consequence. At bare minimum the target is losing about 30 minutes of game time, and in my experience, you rarely complete a resurrection and get fully back into game in anything less than an hour. Still, it offers a less punitive option than normal resurrection that just about anyone could conceivably use.

-MS
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
The answer is pretty obvious and the same as for any effect with a single source. It gives them a niche and a utility. Just like having intercept+parry being functionally a fighter only skill set to save someone in melee range; or celestialists having prison, it gives earth caster's something they provide that others don't.
Intercept does not provide a unique effect; you can intercept an attack by actually intercepting the attack. Additionally, the interception only transfers the effect; it does not provide a pass or fail. The outcome of the effect itself is resolved via defenses, of which can be provided via production items or spells.

Prison is not a unique ability. It can be imitated. As a CC attack, it can be imitated by Confine, Paralysis, Sleep, Death, or even large Slays or Eviscerates. As a defensive ability, it can be imitated by Wall of Force, Fortress, or even merely dumb defenses.

Nothing imitates Life. Nothing.
 

Manflesh

Artisan
I think it would be useful to answer this question up front:

What positive effect on the gameplay experience does restricting life to Earth Casters provide?
It's a part of the core philosophical shift in 2.0. Namely that each class should have their own unique abilities. Examples include that martial skilled classes will be the only ones to deal higher damage from the front, Stealth skilled classes get dodges, and scholars of both school will have access to certain spells that can't be made in production.
 

Shades

Newbie
Intercept does not provide a unique effect; you can intercept an attack by actually intercepting the attack. Additionally, the interception only transfers the effect; it does not provide a pass or fail. The outcome of the effect itself is resolved via defenses, of which can be provided via production items or spells.

Prison is not a unique ability. It can be imitated. As a CC attack, it can be imitated by Confine, Paralysis, Sleep, Death, or even large Slays or Eviscerates. As a defensive ability, it can be imitated by Wall of Force, Fortress, or even merely dumb defenses.

Nothing imitates Life. Nothing.
Let's consider the following scenarios assuming that all of the characters are say APL 20, just making weird character builds or spell choices:
1) None of the earth casters decided to prepare a life spell.
2) None of the celestial casters decided to prepare a prison spell.
3) None of the fighters have spell parries or eviscerates.
4) None of the rogues have a dodge.
One of these feels like it would have a much larger effect on that game as a whole.
 

Feldor

Scholar
To be fair, I've been to multiple games where I didn't see a single life spell used.

I can't say the same for parry or dodge. So I'd have to say those not being available would have the large effect on how the game played...
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
It's a part of the core philosophical shift in 2.0. Namely that each class should have their own unique abilities. Examples include that martial skilled classes will be the only ones to deal higher damage from the front, Stealth skilled classes get dodges, and scholars of both school will have access to certain spells that can't be made in production.
I can easily disprove that any other effect in the game is unique in the way Life is.
 

Alavatar

Baron
I think David's point is all of those other skills have alternative options to accomplish the same result (some more resource intense than others). The Life spell does not have an alternative.

The closest alternatives to Life (from a goal of preventing Permanent Character Death perspective) are all rituals. Controlled Spirit Store (which I think is being removed?), Curse of Undeath, Regeneration, and Sacrifice.
 

Muir

Fighter
Yeah, and of those:

CSS: Being removed IIRC
Curse of Undeath: Illegal in-game by setting fiat at a national level for main-line Fortannis games, last I checked.
Regeneration: Functional but limited alternative that is very, very expensive and limited by ritual scroll drops.
Sacrifice: Just changes who takes the res.
Rebirth: Self-only -and- also locked to even more advanced Earth casters than Life.
 

Darkcrescent

Knight
Chicago Staff
Marshal
Curse of Undeath: Illegal in-game by setting fiat at a national level for main-line Fortannis games
Illegal in most games...

Is this ritual staying in game if CSS is gone?
 

Manflesh

Artisan
I can easily disprove that any other effect in the game is unique in the way Life is.
I'm sure you can. We could then enter into a trite back and forth about the level of impact created by having 2/3 of all classes now only swing 2's and 3's from the front, or if dodge truly has no equal as a smart defense, but all of this is ultimately pedantic and doesn't matter.

If the chief concern with limiting access to life spells is that it will lead to greater circle deaths and consequently, permanent death, then plot teams and their mod design have the greatest impact on that, not rule sets. You could give each player 20 free life spells a weekend, and the mods could still decimate them if designed properly (or improperly depending how you look at it). While a rule change can help shift that gauge needle of difficulty one way or another to a degree, player mortality rates are predominantly decided by plot teams, not rule sets. To imply otherwise gives such hard working groups a slight disservice.

The design of 2.0 wasn't just to change how players build and equip their characters, but also with how plot teams design their monsters and mods. Part of the growing pains for next year, assuming it goes through, is to see how plot teams will have to adjust their weekend designs to match the strengths and weaknesses of the new game and see whether such changes still maintain the fun of the game. That won't be adequately measured with one or two play test weekends, but with a season of play.

I think it is extremely premature to start patch-working a potential problem without seeing if chapters can already handle the new rules as written.
 

MaxIrons

Squire
Oregon Staff
Marshal
If the chief concern with limiting access to life spells is that it will lead to greater circle deaths and consequently, permanent death, then plot teams and their mod design have the greatest impact on that, not rule sets. You could give each player 20 free life spells a weekend, and the mods could still decimate them if designed properly (or improperly depending how you look at it). While a rule change can help shift that gauge needle of difficulty one way or another to a degree, player mortality rates are predominantly decided by plot teams, not rule sets. To imply otherwise gives such hard working groups a slight disservice.
I said as much earlier, in a previous thread, and again - the fears of Life causing resurrections / forced choices of who dies is _wildly_ overblown.

1. ...The undead fight was second, and about 1/3 of the people who were on the undead fight just... went to bed... right before the fight without plot knowing. This meant that we had a 1 : 2 ratio on the field instead of the intended 1.5 : 1. Meant it was a little over-scaled. ...
2. An NPC read their card wrong. Card had celestial only for their columns, player thought they had Earth columns. It was addressed after the fight. I'm glad there were enough Life spells as we didn't intend that many Corrupt effects on the field.
3. Two big healers hurt themselves OOG during the fight, one jumping off something, and another tripping and falling hard. It swung the fight on the field hard.

Here's the thing, even with all that, between NPCs understanding how you can scale a fight on the fly by _how_ you fight and PCs giving clever use of resources, they pulled through, again. This was a cascading system failure of the worst kind, and the system held. I think the concern of there not being enough Life spells is overblown, and to use a mantra that gets said a lot. "Trust your Plot team." If your plot team isn't deserving of that trust, then talk to your player reps/owner, because it's a bigger problem.
Even under the worst kind of failure situation it wasn't an issue. Even then, if it had been an issue, and I _hate_ bringing this up, because an NPC read their card wrong it would have been able to be adjudicated. Seriously, this is a tempest in a teapot. If the issue is that you don't feel like memorizing Life and instead take Doom. Then _take Doom_. Do it vocally. Do it loudly. Do it proudly. You can be a Curse-o-mancer for days in 2.0 and it works great. I'm currently pushing on my spouse to bring back an old character that they couldn't make work in 1.3 that is just that. All the curses for all the day.
 

Draven

Count
Seattle Staff
Marshal
If the issue is that you don't feel like memorizing Life and instead take Doom. Then _take Doom_. Do it vocally. Do it loudly. Do it proudly. You can be a Curse-o-mancer for days in 2.0 and it works great. I'm currently pushing on my spouse to bring back an old character that they couldn't make work in 1.3 that is just that. All the curses for all the day.
Not all players who take a class of which has a primary support focus are willing to be vocal and/or combative regarding skill memorization.

I have personally met a bunch of people who literally memorize spells -purely based on what significant others/friends tell them to memorize.-

This isn’t wildly overblown; this is a culture expectation that not everyone is emotionally capable of fighting.

I cannot tell you how many confident dudes have told me “Just tell them to not care, I sure don’t” without even somewhat acknowledging that some people who play healers aren’t comfortable with doing that.

I’m not arguing for myself. I have zero issue with conflict (as a number of people on these forums are probably aware of). I’m arguing for other support players.
 

Eldor

Artisan
I have an idea. What if you could spend 5 minutes First Aiding somebody to bring them from Dead to Unconscious? It is a significant enough time sink that it will be difficult to pull off in a fight, leaving Earth Scholars still the *best* at healing, but it's a skill that any character can purchase.
I feel this solves most of the issues. First Aid already allows non earth casters to stabilize others when time is not critical, allowing for a longer use of the skill that can prevent death I feel falls in line with the intent of the skill (Non-combat healing).

An earth caster is still critical in battle for healing and life spells, yet if healing or life spells are not available a modified First aid can be used if the target can be moved away from the battle.

Death would still be a threat because first aid can not be used easily in combat, and if the target is removed from the fight and first aided, now the fight is down 2 combatants instead of one for at least 5 minutes, which can be critical in a fight.

Earth casters would still likely memorize a couple of life spells for critical moments, yet would be less likely to be expected to have to memorize or use them.

This would also allow newer characters to push themselves harder in mods, without having to adventure with a higher level healer, as even a new character could prevent death. This I feel would add a bit more excitement while not adding undue risk. I remember fondly when I got into battles that were really tough and I ran out of healing. Having to move bodies away from the fight, or have a shield wall held the enemy at bey so I could perform first aid, it was exhilarating.

Also, this requires very little change to the system or adding a complex mechanic.
 
I said as much earlier, in a previous thread, and again - the fears of Life causing resurrections / forced choices of who dies is _wildly_ overblown.
And I already said, earlier in this thread, that this line of argument isn't relevant. The main problem isn't one of number of resurrections. The main problem is that the current rules make Life an unquestionably optimal choice. Any other spell at 9th level is either extremely corner case or can be effectively mimicked by other in-game effects. Life is so unique that it has nearly perfect elasticity of cost. That is poor game design and antithetical to the basic idea of our game.

The social pressure is a consequence of that. And that is also a problem. We have created game rules that result in a toxic game environment for some players. I am personally a proponent of higher threat in the game and yet I still think the Life rules create a huge customer service problem that needs to be corrected. Honestly, they should have been corrected 20 years ago, but things take time (see Selunari or Dark Elf face makeup). The time has come for this one.

-MS
 
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