Author Topic: Dreaded 6th Element  (Read 1150 times)

Offline Katarn

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Dreaded 6th Element
« on: December 16, 2011, 06:37:46 PM »
Ok, so we know via the conventional bonus system incorporating a 6-element system (the example presented in the book is metal/water/wood/earth/fire/spirit) is a nightmare for the conventional bonus pyramid (now have 12 columns rather than 10.)  Not to mention Focus Items now have 24 options rather than 20, due to the offense/defense subset not in normal refinement.

Any have any suggestions how to re-tool this small part of the system to fit the need of unique characters?  The only thing I can think of offhand is tweaking refinements/focus items slots to give slightly more points to cover this new diversity.  Suggestions?

Offline wyvern

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Re: Dreaded 6th Element
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2011, 07:06:10 PM »
Two obvious solutions:
1: Don't worry about it.
2: Drop the "spirit" element.  They don't need it; everything is covered by one of the first five.  (Though I'd have to do some research to tell you which aspects of the normal spirit element map to which oriental-style element.)

Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Dreaded 6th Element
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2011, 07:49:26 PM »
I really don`t think it`s much of a problem.

Hardly anybody takes all five elements anyway. In fact, my default assumption is that your average wizard uses one element 95% of the time.

So I suggest ignoring it.

Offline Becq

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Re: Dreaded 6th Element
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2011, 09:36:16 PM »
How are the extra columns so problematic?  On the negative side, it takes an extra half a refinement to learn the sixth element, should you choose to do so (though there's no absolute need to do so), and if you were to want to increase ALL of your specializations to +1, then that would take another extra refinement due to the sixth element.  On the positive side, there is theoretically a higher potential for refining a six-element set, which can get +12/+11 in one element, compared to a maximum of +10/+9 with five elements.  But the number of refinements required to get to that point are pretty obscene (including learning the elements, 28 refinements for five elements, 40 refinements for six elements, by my count).  So this only becomes an issue in a 36+ refresh game, right?

I really don`t think it`s much of a problem.
I agree.  I think most Wizards will focus on one (or maybe two) elements, refining others only as they max out their current columns.

Oh, one other point to consider: Sponsored Magic counts as an extra area of focus for both Evocation and Thaumaturgy, so a traditional mage would now have six elements, and Mai's version could have seven.  The number of refresh needed for this extra potential to be realized is even more out of reach of most games...


Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Dreaded 6th Element
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2011, 09:49:40 PM »
Specialization bonuses cannot exceed Lore.

Even if you somehow have the refresh to max out your pyramid, you don`t have the skills.

Though the pyramid can get problematic when you want to have multiple specializations at the same level. 7 refinements spread out over 5 fields will get you +5 element power and +4 element control. But +4 element power and +4 element control will cost you 9.5 refinements spread spread over 8 fields.

Offline Becq

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Re: Dreaded 6th Element
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2011, 10:53:54 PM »
Specialization bonuses cannot exceed Lore.
True, I had forgotten that one.  That said, wouldn't a hypothetical 40+ refresh game have a (much) higher skill limit?  The guideline on YS90 suggests an increase in the skill cap once for every 2-3 major milestones (ie, every 2-3 refresh).  So increasing the skill cap to 12 for a 40 refresh character would actually be less than the suggested progression.  And given an average of 3-5 skill points per refresh, such a character would have about 155 skill points, which is for a full 12-point column plus a second 11-point column (plus a few smaller skills).

In any case, the point I was trying to make was that the theoretical 'potential' for a six-element Wizard to have higher bonuses can't be realized in most 'normal' games, or even the higher-power games I've heard mention of.
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Though the pyramid can get problematic when you want to have multiple specializations at the same level. 7 refinements spread out over 5 fields will get you +5 element power and +4 element control. But +4 element power and +4 element control will cost you 9.5 refinements spread spread over 8 fields.
Well ... yes.  Actually, 10 refinements for the second example, since you'd need to spend half a refinement to learn a fourth element, as well.  Training two columns gives you a broader base, so to speak, but less height, at any given number of refinements.  But if your goal is to be as strong as possible in both power and control for your preferred element (which I assume from your previous post), why wouldn't you go for the +6/+5 (10 refinements, single column, three elements) instead of +4/+4 (10 refinements, double column, four elements)?

The latter would certainly be better for someone who wanted broader options at the cost of less specialization, of course.  I guess I just don't understand what you're trying to say.

Offline Sanctaphrax

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Re: Dreaded 6th Element
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2011, 02:54:44 AM »
I didn`t really have a point. I was just trying to think of a reason for someone to care about pyramid width. But all I could come up with was a horribly-suboptimal bit of foolishness.

The guy who gets +6 control +5 power is actually arguably more versatile then the guy who gets +4 control +4 power. Because the first guy is also better at his secondary element.

PS: I disagree completely about skills at higher refresh levels. When I make uber-characters, I give them 38 refresh and 65 skill points. This does not simulate milestone progression at all, but there are good reasons for that. I would go into more detail, but I do not want to derail the thread.

Offline Quackerjack

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Re: Dreaded 6th Element
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2011, 09:44:31 PM »
I thought the "default" Elements are 6 already (Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Spirit (Mind) & Spirit (Force).

Offline Tedronai

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Re: Dreaded 6th Element
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2011, 10:24:47 PM »
Spirit is only one element, but YS suggests that characters be particularly adept in only either the delicate or direct approaches offered, as represented by an aspect describing their approach to magic.  This same suggestion applies to the other four elements, as well.
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