A Way to Fix the Wizard - Cantrips

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A Way to Fix the Wizard - Cantrips

Postby slev » Tuesday November 18th, 2014 7:41am

We all know that the problem with the Wizard is that if he has more spells he's too powerful, but it's difficult to give him more weapons without unbalancing him.

Well, I’ve had an idea, which may well end up folded into the advanced rules section of HQR at a later date.


Bonus Wizard Abilities

The wizard may make the following unarmed magic attacks:
[*] Cost of one Mind Point, ranged attack rolling one combat die, and causing damage on white shields.

Once a champion, the wizard may make the following unarmed magic attacks:
[*] Ranged attack rolling one combat die, and causing damage on white shields.
[*] Cost of one Mind Point, Ranged attack rolling one combat die.
[*] Cost of one Mind Point, Melee attack rolling two combat die, and causing damage on white shields.

New Spell Deck: Cantrips
Cantrips are a new deck of eight Spell Cards that can only be used by the Wizard. When the Wizard selects them, the player picks a number of cards equal to the number of Spell Groups they normally pick.
Unlike normal Spells, Cantrips are not discarded when cast, although they are less powerful.

Burning Hand
By this Cantrip, the Wizard pours flame into the enemy.
Cast Action, Spend one Mind Point: Make a Melee Attack using one Combat Die. Count enemy shields as skulls.
Cast Action, Spend two Mind Points: Make a Melee Attack using three Combat Dice.

Word of Fury
By this Cantrip, the Wizard whips debris into the foe.
Cast Action, Spend one Mind Point: Make a Ranged Attack using one Combat Die. Count enemy shields as skulls.
Cast Action, Spend two Mind Points: Make a Ranged Attack using three Combat Dice.

Skin of Stone
By this Cantrip, the Wizard hardens skin against harm.
Spend one Mind Point: Until the start of your next turn, roll an extra combat die in defence, and you may count a single enemy shield as a friendly shield.
Cast Action, Spend one Mind Point: Until the start of your next turn, one figure in your line of sight rolls an extra combat die in defence, and may count a single enemy shield as a friendly shield.

Esence of Life
By this Cantrip, the Wizard restores vitality to the injured.
Cast Action, Spend one Mind Point: You recover up to two lost Body Points.
Cast Action, Spend two Mind Points: One figure in your Line of Sight recovers up to two lost Body Points.

Gaze of Dispair
By this Cantrip, the Wizard saps the spirit of the enemy.
Spend one Mind Point: Use this ability only when you have made a successful Attack action. This Attack causes the target to lose Mind instead of Body Points. no effect on the Undead.
Spend two Mind Points: Use this ability only when you have made a successful Attack action. You may recover a number of lost Body Points up to the damage caused by this Attack.

Mystic Sight
By this Cantrip, the Wizard locates that which is hidden.
Spend one Mind Point: You may make an extra Search for Treasure this turn.
Spend two Mind Points: You may make an extra Search for Secret Doors this turn.
Spend two Mind Points: You may make an extra Search for Traps this turn.

Glittering Shield
By this Cantrip, the Wizard enhances armour.
Spend one Mind Point: Re-Roll one Combat Die rolled in Defence.
Spend two Mind Point: Re-Roll any number of Combat Dice rolled in Defence.

Force of Will
By this Cantrip, the Wizard restores the will.
Cast Action: You recover up to one lost Mind Point.
Cast Action, Spend one Mind Point: One figure in your Line of Sight recovers up to one lost Mind Point.


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Re: A Way to Fix the Wizard - Cantrips

Postby cornixt » Tuesday November 18th, 2014 11:25am

These might work if he buys them as upgrades, since the Wizard has so little to pick from in comparison to the rest of the party.

Force of Will is going to be the deal breaker. The rest of the party will stand around and wait while the Wizard regains all his lost mind points for a few turns. You might as well not bother with giving any of them a casting cost.

The way I have "fixed" the wizard is to replace some of his spells with recastable versions (which don't use mind points at all), which I guess is effectively the same thing.


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Re: A Way to Fix the Wizard - Cantrips

Postby GimmeYerGold » Tuesday November 18th, 2014 12:01pm

Some other "fixes" for the wizard, using only things already present in the game:

A) A wizard using the wand of magic, (cast two different spells in the same turn) the spell ring, (cast one spell twice, on two different turns) wizard's cloak (+1 DD) and the wizard's staff (2 AD, diagonal).
B) Giving the Wizard any Magical Throwing Daggers found during a quest would probably be more beneficial than giving them to other Heroes (who can all use crossbows).
C) The WoM expansion pack includes the "Potion of Magic Aptitude" in the treasure deck, which has the same effect as the wand of magic.
D) If a Wizard is holding spell scrolls, he could cast one, and then another, (or one of his own spells) if he is using a Potion of Magic Aptitude or the Wand of Magic.
E) If the Elf spells are being used, then the Wizard has his pick of all his favorite spells without worry of the Elf choosing a set, and the WoM spells introduce another attack spell, Arrows of the Night.

EDIT: F) The Potion of Recall from the Mage of the Mirror expansion allows the Wizard to reclaim a spell that was previously cast during the quest. This can be purchased in the Alchemy Shop between quests.

There might be more in-game "wizard-helpers" I'm overlooking. I agree that when compared to the other characters, playing as the wizard in Heroquest can be difficult. To get the same "payoff" that the other characters have very soon in the game, it takes patience, strategy, and creativity to be a great wizard. :wizard:


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Re: A Way to Fix the Wizard - Cantrips

Postby Goblin-King » Tuesday November 18th, 2014 12:39pm

With Elf spells + Wizards of Morcar, the fix can be as easy as just allowing the wizard more decks each quest e.g. 4 decks rather than 3.


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Re: A Way to Fix the Wizard - Cantrips

Postby slev » Tuesday November 18th, 2014 1:05pm

Cornix: Good call on the Force of Will exploit. That said, anyone tyrying that at my table would find that the rest of teh aprty suddenly had no spare healing et al....
Otherwise, we're on the same page!

In addition to GimmieYerGold's list, HQR also had during play-test:
[*]the Water Ring of Brilliance (extra Spell Group), from The Dark Company
[*]the Bracers (from the UK 2nd ed)
[*]my Wizard's Quest Pack, inluding the Circlet of Scorcery (+2MP, extra Spell Group), Enchanter's staff (2 CD attacks, diagonals, and a fireball effect), an extra general Spell Group (Control), A Wizard-only Spell Group, the Ring of Wizardry (an extra Spell), the four Elemental Rods (each allowing a single chice of three Spells for Quest), and some potions to enhance casting and/or spell selection.

Add in the stuff you've already posted, and the Wizard was a decent character when compared with the others, but we often found that their limited non-casting options left them a little out-of-the-loop. That's why I elected to allow it to replace a Spell Group. If we use Cornixt's idea, they could be in addition to the Spell Groups. Whenever the wizard picks a Spell Group at the start of the Quest, he picks a Cantrip to go with it.


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Re: A Way to Fix the Wizard - Cantrips

Postby Jafazo » Tuesday November 18th, 2014 9:51pm

For sake of argument, I stand by the notion that the Heroes just aren't created equally. I love the game, but it's old and not well balanced. Suffice to say, I don't feel these would-be fixes are fixes at all for a Wizard player who wants to nuke more, for the following reasons...

GimmeYerGold wrote:Some other "fixes" for the wizard, using only things already present in the game:
A) A wizard using the wand of magic, (cast two different spells in the same turn) the spell ring, (cast one spell twice, on two different turns) wizard's cloak (+1 DD) and the wizard's staff (2 AD, diagonal).

The Wizards wand of magic doesn't improve a Wizards repertoire of spells. It just lets him burn through his usual number of spells faster. The Wizards damage output sucks compared to the other heroes.

The Spell Ring is on the right track, giving the Wizard an extra spell use, but only one spell, once. It's nice, but it's not going to give a Wizard player who wants to lob fireballs all over the place the playstyle I feel the problem player was looking for.

The Wizards cloak and Staff are nice but has nothing to do with magic casting. These melee dependent items give the Wizard a LITTLE extra performance in melee, but in the end, the Wizard is NOT effective in melee against harder enemies.

B) Giving the Wizard any Magical Throwing Daggers found during a quest would probably be more beneficial than giving them to other Heroes (who can all use crossbows).

The idea's on the right track but the problem with this one is it steals the players feel for playing a magic damage Wizard. Eventually you just stop feeling like a Wizard and start feeling like some kind of Rogue or Thief when most of your involvement requires whipping daggers at enemies while hanging back, even if they are magical daggers. Include the fact that magical throwing daggers ALWAYS hit their mark for 1 body point of damage and you have the potential for an overpowered Wizard if the GM gets sloppy. The idea isn't self sufficient.

C) The WoM expansion pack includes the "Potion of Magic Aptitude" in the treasure deck, which has the same effect as the wand of magic.

A one-time use wand of magic isn't going to solve the problem either. The reason's similar where I wrote why the wand of magic isn't a solution except that by introducing these potions, you just help the Wizard burn through his spells even faster. There are more problems with a gold coin limited items like this used sparingly, but I won't elaborate.

D) If a Wizard is holding spell scrolls, he could cast one, and then another, (or one of his own spells) if he is using a Potion of Magic Aptitude or the Wand of Magic.

The spell scroll idea I like, and in fact, it could work, but there are two problems with it. 1. It isn't a self sufficient idea. If the GM gets sloppy you could end up with an overpowered Wizard. 2. ANYONE can use spell scrolls, not only the Wizard. The elf might want to keep his scrolls or the Barbarian might decide he'll hang on to Scrolls of Courage and Healing Scrolls. Getting them to the Wizard just won't work without too much hassle.

E) If the Elf spells are being used, then the Wizard has his pick of all his favorite spells without worry of the Elf choosing a set, and the WoM spells introduce another attack spell, Arrows of the Night.

'If' isn't a reliable solution.

EDIT: F) The Potion of Recall from the Mage of the Mirror expansion allows the Wizard to reclaim a spell that was previously cast during the quest. This can be purchased in the Alchemy Shop between quests.

Again, the idea is on the right track, but it's not enough. These potions cost 400 gold a pop. I don't see the Wizard dishing out 1200 gold per quest just to gain an extra 3 spells per quest. Honestly, I don't even think these potions are worth the price in the unaltered version of HQ.[/quote]

There might be more in-game "wizard-helpers" I'm overlooking. I agree that when compared to the other characters, playing as the wizard in Heroquest can be difficult. To get the same "payoff" that the other characters have very soon in the game, it takes patience, strategy, and creativity to be a great wizard. :wizard:

Zargon himself was impatient, reckless and one track minded and he turned out a great magic user!
That's not a bad way of looking at this topic. The player wants to play more like Zargon. "Bad guys! PEWPEW!"

I think I'd try letting the Wizard sacrifice any number of spells at the start of each quest for a Ball of Flame spell scroll. So he could just get rid of Tempest and Swift Wind, for example, for two Ball of Flame spell scrolls but at the end of the quest, unused spell scrolls wither away and are lost. That might work.
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Re: A Way to Fix the Wizard - Cantrips

Postby Jafazo » Tuesday November 18th, 2014 9:52pm

Goblin-King wrote:With Elf spells + Wizards of Morcar, the fix can be as easy as just allowing the wizard more decks each quest e.g. 4 decks rather than 3.


This idea I like. This could work. 3 extra damage dealing spells for the problem player.
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Re: A Way to Fix the Wizard - Cantrips

Postby Count Mohawk » Tuesday November 18th, 2014 10:20pm

There's a false dichotomy in the Wizard character, in that he is depicted as a Black Mage (highly offensive), but his actual spell set is a middle-of-the-road Red Mage getup. Fire/Air/Water is his most offensive selection, with 3 damage-dealing spells, 2 stuns, 3 buffs and 1 healing spell. If the Elf takes Fire or Air, the Wizard ends up decidedly White-leaning at only 3 'attack' spells out of 9, but both of the Healing spells.

In fairness, however, Swift Wind and Veil of Mist have very few practical applications, which lowers the amount of useful magic in the game and by extension gives the Wizard another kick to the groin.


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Re: A Way to Fix the Wizard - Cantrips

Postby whitebeard » Tuesday November 18th, 2014 10:26pm

Jafazo wrote:The spell scroll idea I like, and in fact, it could work, but there are two problems with it. 1. It isn't a self sufficient idea. If the GM gets sloppy you could end up with an overpowered Wizard. 2. ANYONE can use spell scrolls, not only the Wizard. The elf might want to keep his scrolls or the Barbarian might decide he'll hang on to Scrolls of Courage and Healing Scrolls. Getting them to the Wizard just won't work without too much hassle.


Interesting interpretation. I always figured the Barbarian could not read at all. And Dwarves, well they mostly mistrust magic (the spell is likely to back fire on him so he won't even try to use a magic scroll). In fact the dwarf probably cannot read the language of magic anyways, so no go there. The Elf should only be able to read scrolls in the spell group he has chosen. Or you can argue that the elf is a magical being and his limited spell casting ability is due to his innate ability. Since he has received very little formal training in magic, cannot read the scrolls either.

Presto! Only the wizard can use magic scrolls. :2cents:


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Re: A Way to Fix the Wizard - Cantrips

Postby cynthialee » Tuesday November 18th, 2014 10:30pm

Here is a Wizard fix I just thought of this morning and posted to another thread along similar vein:

Every time the Wizard casts a damaging dealing spell and the spell kills an opponent the spell is retained. The idea being that the mage is able to capture some of the life essence of his victims thus refreshing the magic. If the spell fails to net a kill then the spell is lost.
The Mage would be blasting every goblin he could get LOS on.
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
~Sun Tsu The art of War~


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