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Magic House Rules to reduce randomness 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2003 9:49 pm
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Hi fellows!

A few weeks back me and my gaming group started to experiment with some house rules to reduce the randomness of magic. you know how it goes: if you get a good magic phase on the turn of "the big battle" you win. If you have a bad one (or your opponent has a really good one) you lose. It can feel that too much part of the battle rides on what you roll on the two dice for winds of magic.

Im sure we are not the first ones to do this, but we simply said: ok, lets do fixed powerdice. So we decided to play it just as if the roll of the winds of magic was 3 + 4. Then to get SOME randomness (so you cant plan ahead TOO much) we changed how you channel power/dispel dice.

lvl 1(and warrior priests): 6+
lvl 2 (and runesmiths): 5+
lvl 3 (and arch lectors): 4+
lvl 4 (and rune lords) 3+

This may sound trivial, but TBH it is one of the best house rules we have come up with so far. It made the games feel way more interesting, much more so than we thought. The power phase is stronger than the dispel phase, but that is always true, but when you know you have 4-5 dispel dice you feel much safer. Sure, if you have 4 DD your opponent can chuck 5 PD on one spell and you will have a really hard time dispelling it, but you always have a scroll, and 5 dice still has a pretty low chance of IF, and after that he will only have 2-3 dice left, so he wont get off anything else. Besides, 5 dice is not enough to be "sure" to get off most of the game changing spells.

We did have some discussions before trying this out. the problem with being able to be "sure" to get one spell off by throwing more power dice than the opponent has dispel dice was brought up, but that is a case you pretty much always have anyway (since you usually have less than 6 DD anyway). The lack of a super imba 6+6 - magic phase could be seen as a problem, but then again, that was part of what we didnt like with the original magic system. We introduced the changed chance to channeling to get a little bit of unpredictability, as well as a reward for investing in additional mages. A lvl 4 mage can reliably channel and the not too uncommon combination of a lvl 2 and a lvl 4. will net you 1 extra dice in each phase on average, making the "usual" situation 8 PD vs 5 DD which is by no means an incredible phase in either direction, but it does make for some good tactical decisions.

Yesterday i played 3 games against a full fledged Slann with forbidden rod and although he has a huge advantage in the power phase, it still felt manageable. I never had to deal with a 2+1- magic phase when the slann pops the rod and suddenly has 5-6 dice against 2 PLUS a bunch of free dice. I have yet to try this out with dark elves (it may be very potent with extra power dice) but TBH i have no fears. The situation of 8 PD vs 5 DD is not an uncommon one with the standard rules, and is in fact slightly more favorable for the dispeller than the average scenario. It does tone down the magic phase just a smidge, and most of all, it reduces the normally game altering effects of the winds of magic.


So, if you feel that you want a more predictable magic phase in your games, try this out. me and my group really liked it. maybe you will too. If not, just revert to the normal rules :)



It should be said that in addition to this, we have changed a few incredibly powerful spells for some less formidable ones. For example we exchanged Dwellers with final transmutation. Purple sun is now winds of death (lore of vampires) and pit of shades is "the maw" from the ogre book. These changes may or may not require that death star units are very rare (and in my group they are, since we all favor the movement phase too much), so some of you may think this change is unnecessary. All i can say is that with these two changes, we at least feel that the game a s a whole has become much more enjoyable.

/T

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Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:38 am
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Lord of the Dragon Caves
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Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 6:34 pm
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This is kind of a half-way return to prior rules where everyone had 2 power dice and wizards generated power dice based on their level. The way channeling works here is interesting though. Do you take a level 4 who can channel a single die on 3+ or two Level 2s who can each channel on 5+?

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Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:39 pm
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Generalissimo
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:09 pm
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Interesting idea.

How are you factoring for power dice generating items/spells such as the Banner of Sapphery, Dark Star Cloak, Power Familiar, Sacrificial Dagger and Power of Darkness?

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Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:00 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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@red

we dont have any changes for those. we havent really changed the amount of PD you get, just made it a much narrower distribution. the power of an added power die stays nearly the same as it is ON AVERAGE with the normal rules.

the power of sacrificial dagger for example fluctuates based on how many PDs you have. with our rules it has the same strength all the time as it does on an "average" roll with the normal rules. there should be no need to tweak magic items /special rules (unless you find them owerpowered in the normal rules too ofc). naturally, we have only played a few weeks with the rules, and it may be possible to find some glaring flaw in them, but so far so good :)

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Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:07 pm
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Black Guard

Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:26 pm
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Location: Italy
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GW should be embarassed that these house rules seem more balanced and reasonable than their new (and everchanging) magic rules.

I'm a fan of 7th ed magic system (PD/DD generation), but I admit 8th ed. spells are far more interesting.
What is annoying me, it's too great randomness, too many IF, too mandatory 2° lv mages.

Good Job Lord Tsunami.
I'll give your house rules a try.

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Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:28 pm
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