Pure Casters! To Arms!

Over the gaming weekend I got to play as well as GM. Due to a complete miscommunication, I ended up rushing into the fray with a Wyvern when everyone else, ie. the guys with the big swords, didn’t.

On the plus side, it made me look really heroic in front of the innocent wagon drivers. On the downside the same wagon drivers failed their fear checks and one died on the spot and the other one was eaten before I got into melee range.

Technically, the fight didn’t go so well. The first critical I took ripped my shield away reducing it to so much kindling. My counter attack did little. The second critical from its stinger layed open my thigh, thankfully I resisted vs the poison. I was stunned for five rounds, no parry and bleeding so we will gloss over the next few rounds.

If I was a fighter type my battle would probably be over but as it happens I am a lay healer. So I could clotting III the bleeding and Unstun myself and on the 3rd round after taking the big critical I was back up and running. Not many hits left but not out by any means.

The next critical it did to me was grab my weapon arm. There was a sort of “For F$%& sake!” feeling going on at this point. Partly because I was running out of limbs, partly because the heavy hitters had decided that as I had its attention they were trying to outflank it. At this point, I had one hand in its mouth, no weapon, no shield, and limited options. So I punched it. Off hand, no skill and at that point I rolled a double open-ended attack but the damage cap for rank 1 martial arts meant that I couldn’t do a critical anyway. What it did do was give me mega kudos. It would have been nice to have dropped it from lack of #hits but sadly it still had plenty of those.

Eventually, the party put the beast down. We are in the 3rd/4th/5th level range but superior numbers plus the flank and rear OB bonuses were sufficient to put the odds in our favour.

I was the only PC hurt and I could patch myself up.

I am the highest level PC, at 5th, My OB is +48 from 6 ranks in Spear, +8 from stats and +10 from a superior quality weapon we found in an earlier adventure.

I don’t think my OB is too bad, on top of that I am pretty good at Adrenal Speed and Strength. I have the option of going for +10 and x2 damage or two attacks. I am also wearing AT17. I am not fully trained but I don’t maneuver much at the best of times. In my, no unbiased, opinion I think for a pure caster I have a reasonable and well-rounded combat ability.

Our party mage is in a slightly different position. AT1, but wielding a sword that is both +30 and shows up as cursed when we did our best at working out what it did. It comes with a ring, that cannot be taken off that is intelligent but keeping quiet so far. The ring gives an additional +10 OB just with this sword.

Our mage as an OB of +50, two ranks, no stat and +40 for magic.

In the game I am running the Sorceror has an OB of +15. Two ranks and +5 for stat. The same is repeated with the other pure and hybrids. They bought a rank or two in weapons at character creation and then binned the skill in favour of magic ASAP.

I hadn’t really noticed this until this session when I was throwing challenge after challenge at them and they had burned so many power points in the first encounter that they were coming up empty pretty soon. Their priority was where could the go to meditate, the elven sorcerer and half elf warrior mage were the worst culprits of this 5 minute work day assumption.

Yes, weapons are expensive skills for pure casters but the difference in learning a weapon for a Magician and a Lay Healer is a single DP. (8 vs 7). Subduing is not particularly expensive as an alternative nor is Disarm Foe.

The session I ran should have, but probably didn’t, highlight the weakness of being 90% dependent on your magic. Maybe it is my fault. I did tell everyone that this was a low magic game and there have been rumblings that they are 7th and 8th level and no one has a spell multiplier or adder yet. I think that the fact that they have limited power points should have been a warning light to them not to be so dependent or as I see it, to be more rounded.

The difference a GM and the optional rules they choose can make is really striking in this case. My Lay Healer has 70 power points at 5th level and typically been burning about 5-7pp per battle. I think it is kind of ironic that I have a huge number of power points but conserve them just in case. My players have about half as many, at higher level, but burn them like they are unlimited, which they clearly are not.

I think there is a mismatch in expectations somewhere along the lines.

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