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Limited Wish vs Wish - Discrepancy

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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Limited Wish vs Wish - Discrepancy

Post#1 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:12 pm

I've always wondered about this. In 1E, a limited wish ages the caster by 1 year, and a wish ages the caster 3 years (1E DMG, pg. 13).

But in 2E, under the spell descriptions for each, the limited wish write-up states that it ages the caster "1 year per 100 years of regular life span". The wish spell simply says it ages the caster 5 years, period.

None of this makes sense. A wish should age you more than a limited wish. And for some reason, in 2E they introduced the scaled aging for limited wish, but not wish. I've heard it argued that this was because elves can attain limited wishes in 2E, assuming one uses the idiocy known as demi-human level limits. :roll: Elves in 2E top out as 15th level wizards, so they can attain the 7th level spell limited wish (attainable at 14th level), but not wish since that is only obtainable at 18th level. Now this makes no sense for several reasons.

First, the life span of an elf is in the thousands of years. Even in the PHB, it states that elves generally, upon reaching an average age of 554 years, do not die - they simply feel the need to retire from the world (Evermeet, etc). So going by the spell description, casting limited wish should age the elf 10 years or more. If they're immortal, how do you calculate that?

Second, some have said that this is for "balance". :roll: A human lives up to around 100 years and ages 5 years when casting a wish, so to "balance" that aging effect, they decided to make elves age more in an effort to make the aging relative. This doesn't work though, because an elf should age not just 5 years (1 year per 100 natural years, and going by the aging chart), but 10 or more years. I think this was sloppy writing by the writers. They didn't think this out logically. They overlooked the fact that elves are different - they don't die when they reach the maximum age span on the aging chart - they simply retire from worldly affairs. The aging chart does not give a maximum age for elves. Maybe they're immortal. So it's not relative at all. It's meaningless. Again, how do you calculate 1 year per 100 years of natural lifespan when the lifespan is eternal?

Third, even assuming that elves would die at around 500 years of age, the effort to make the aging relative is flawed. Elves can only ever attain a level high enough to cast limited wish, not wish. Two different spells. They're trying to balance the 5 year aging effect of wishes on humans with a relative 1 year per 100 years of lifespan aging for elves casting limited wish. But again - those are two different spells! It makes no sense. Why try to bring "balance" to a spell one race cannot even cast?

Fourth, this nonsense only effects elves. No other race can achieve a high enough level to cast either spell. Half-elves are the only other race able to be mages (along with humans and elves) and they're capped at 12th level, so it's pointless.

I just don't see the point of changing the aging for limited wish alone, making it relative when it only applies to elves and even then getting it wrong. :roll:

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TigerStripedDog
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Re: Limited Wish vs Wish - Discrepancy

Post#2 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:17 pm

You answered your own question. While you believe that demi-human level restrictions are "idiocy" the writers of the book did not. They decided that given the limits put in place, scaling the full wish alongside the limited wish wasn't necessary. Their rules are consistent. Your changes to the game have created the inconsistency.

This isn't to say that your changes are bad (we also removed the level limits from our games, as did every official edition after 2E). But it is a great example of how when you tweak one rule, you often end up having to change other rules as well.

A great example was the Fighter to Mage balance disruption in our gaming group. Mages are inferior in combat to fighters at 1st level - even by the books. But these differences are made even more stark when you give starting characters maximum HP on their hit dice (another common rule variant adopted by later editions). The difference between a minimum rolled mage (1 on a d4) is only separated by a maximum roll (4) by 3HP. When one takes the average roll of 2.5 that margin of difference between rolling starting HP and granting maximum shrinks even more (4 - 2.5 = 1.5). Compare that to a fighter with d10 hit dice. The difference between a minimum roll of 1 and the maximum is (10) is 9 points. And the difference between the average (5.5) and the maximum is a whopping 4.5 points. Fighters gain 3x as many HP from that rule as Wizards do. That kind of difference is BONKERS. Fighters having (on average) higher Constitutions further exacerbates that difference. Challenges tend to scale with group ability, and so granting everyone maximum HP ends up HURTING the Wizard class.

All that is to say that deviations from the rule --and that IS what you're doing when you remove demi-human level limits-- will produce unintended consequences that you might have to address later.

In your case - just change the wish spell scale similarly to limited wish.


Tiger
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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: Limited Wish vs Wish - Discrepancy

Post#3 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:10 pm

It never ceases to amaze me how people will overlook the bulk of my posts, ignore the most salient points, and focus on an unimportant tidbit. :evil:

The reason for this post isn't to debate changing rules or taking out demi-human level limits. I started it to highlight the discrepancy between two spells. I'm trying to show how the 2E authors screwed up the mechanic. I'm not trying to hammer on you personally, TSD, it's just that this is happening constantly lately - at home, at work, online. It's like people can't focus. Lately, I feel like I'm in a book club where people gather to discuss the most recent book they've read - the plot, the characters, etc - but instead someone changes the discussion to some irrelevant thing like "I noticed the font is smaller in this edition". :roll: They never end up addressing the plot, characters, pacing, etc. because they get distracted by nonsense about fonts.

The same thing happened in the thread about 5E's Undermountain. I posted an analysis addressing the impossibility of covering 23 levels in just 256 pages and it was immediately warped into a debate about whether I was "happy". :roll:

Again, these are the salient points of this thread:

First, the life span of an elf is in the thousands of years. Even in the PHB, it states that elves generally, upon reaching an average age of 554 years, do not die - they simply feel the need to retire from the world (Evermeet, etc). So going by the spell description, casting limited wish should age the elf 10 years or more. If they're immortal, how do you calculate that?

Second, some have said that this is for "balance". :roll: A human lives up to around 100 years and ages 5 years when casting a wish, so to "balance" that aging effect, they decided to make elves age more in an effort to make the aging relative. This doesn't work though, because an elf should age not just 5 years (1 year per 100 natural years, and going by the aging chart), but 10 or more years. I think this was sloppy writing by the writers. They didn't think this out logically. They overlooked the fact that elves are different - they don't die when they reach the maximum age span on the aging chart - they simply retire from worldly affairs. The aging chart does not give a maximum age for elves. Maybe they're immortal. So it's not relative at all. It's meaningless. Again, how do you calculate 1 year per 100 years of natural lifespan when the lifespan is eternal?

Third, even assuming that elves would die at around 500 years of age, the effort to make the aging relative is flawed. Elves can only ever attain a level high enough to cast limited wish, not wish. Two different spells. They're trying to balance the 5 year aging effect of wishes on humans with a relative 1 year per 100 years of lifespan aging for elves casting limited wish. But again - those are two different spells! It makes no sense. Why try to bring "balance" to a spell one race cannot even cast?

Fourth, this nonsense only effects elves. No other race can achieve a high enough level to cast either spell. Half-elves are the only other race able to be mages (along with humans and elves) and they're capped at 12th level, so it's pointless.

I'd prefer to address those issues and not change the subject. Otherwise, why have subject lines for each thread? We can just label them Discussion #356, Discussion #357, etc.

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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: Limited Wish vs Wish - Discrepancy

Post#4 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:13 pm

Also:

You answered your own question. While you believe that demi-human level restrictions are "idiocy" the writers of the book did not. They decided that given the limits put in place, scaling the full wish alongside the limited wish wasn't necessary. Their rules are consistent. Your changes to the game have created the inconsistency.


If you were paying attention, the problem didn't come in because I deleted demi-human level limits. The rule exists, and the discrepancy is real, even with level limits intact. I thought that was sorta clear, since I mentioned the level limits as being in place for sake of argument.

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Cole
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Re: Limited Wish vs Wish - Discrepancy

Post#5 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:55 am

Hi Hal,

I was going to reply to your "subject", but after seeing your reply to TSD, I best not. I'm tired and I see your in a foul mood it would appear (frustrating week perhaps)... I normally would just move on, but I wanted to note that's what I see. I understand your angst, but replying like that turns people off (especially when they are trying to help). Chill out a bit man... I don't wanna see you spiral into some angry - raging out dude like we had on PADnD so many years ago ;)
The Borg of Dungeons & Dragons

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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: Limited Wish vs Wish - Discrepancy

Post#6 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:38 pm

No rage here at all, Cole. Not really in a foul mood either...standard week. Maybe even a better than normal week - we finally managed to get one of the sloppy, worthless slackers who sleeps on the job booted out. Thank god! And I posted that before this insane heatwave started, so I can't blame the weather. TOO HOT! :evil:

I'm not really angry about the replies though. More like disappointed. It gets frustrating when people skim over salient points or change the topic. I mean, I made it clear with this sentence:

I've heard it argued that this was because elves can attain limited wishes in 2E, assuming one uses the idiocy known as demi-human level limits. :roll: Elves in 2E top out as 15th level wizards, so they can attain the 7th level spell limited wish (attainable at 14th level), but not wish since that is only obtainable at 18th level. Now this makes no sense for several reasons.


And I then go on to explain how the rule still makes no sense even with demi-human level limits. Then TSD replied with:

You answered your own question. While you believe that demi-human level restrictions are "idiocy" the writers of the book did not. They decided that given the limits put in place, scaling the full wish alongside the limited wish wasn't necessary. Their rules are consistent. Your changes to the game have created the inconsistency.


It's like...no. That's not what created the inconsistency, because I explained very clearly that I am talking about the inconsistency that exists while assuming one uses demi-human level limits.

Same thing happened in the 5E thread about 5E "Undermountain". I go through the trouble of doing the math to ask how they're going to manage to detail 23 levels in just 256 pages, and the responses change the topic to my "state of happiness". No, let's discuss the topic at hand. I get it that the thread was an invitation for a rant from me and I played along for fun (I mean, come on - I almost had an obligation to respond to that topic, given my screen name and rep, and I was happy to play along because it was all in good fun). But it would have been nice had the conversation not been changed and then dropped, because I think it's an interesting question. How do you detail 23 levels in 256 pages? Is this the new standard for 5E? Etc.

I'm noticing this more and more everywhere - online, at work, everywhere. No focus, no response to details - just random, unrelated responses. I'm even seeing people getting into fights over non-responses to one another.

I don't think it's that much to expect someone to respond to what is actually being written, as opposed to...ummm...I don't know...random off-topic thoughts?

Trust me, I'm not angry over all this. But I do feel more like a boss at a job who has to, at some point, say "Ok guys,let's get back to the matter at hand and focus" because everyone has gotten out of work mode. That takes some of the fun out of it all.

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Cole
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Re: Limited Wish vs Wish - Discrepancy

Post#7 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:26 am

I hear yeah and can appreciate that. Just keep in mind, some folks have busy lives and have to skim over fast or they can't participate at all (I'm guilty of that occasionally as well). Yet I understand your point. I have that same issue at my new job. I lay out something in detail (with numbers) and everyone ignores the facts and tries to talk around it. You can't debate simple math... but people try :lol:

Cheers!
The Borg of Dungeons & Dragons

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