Wishes and Battle of Wills in TFT

(c) 2015 by Richard Wayne Smith - - - - - Version 1.1

One problem with Wishes in TFT is that they are out of reach of a low level character, while a high attribute figure with a little organization can churn them out without risk. In creating the Battle of Wills rules for psionics I have designed a better system.

With current rules a wizard with a 35 IQ has a 95.5% chance of getting a wish from a demon and only a 0.2025% chance of dying permanently. Thus, providing he can afford a revival potion, he has a 50% chance of making close to 325 wishes before he dies for good. A wizard who has a 35 IQ and a +2 charm has a 99.5 % chance of getting a wish, and only has a 0.00214 % chance of dying permanently. Thus, providing that he can afford a revival potion, he has a 50 % chance of making close to 50,000 wishes before he dies permanently.

So, if there exists a wizard with a 35 IQ and a +2 charm the cost of wishes should drop to the cost of the wizard's time for the 10 minutes that it takes to organize the apprentices and cast the spell, plus the cost of the fST to invoke the demon. The real price of a wish would be in the order of $200. Unless there is competition ( Ha! Ha! ) he could charge what the market would bear, but do you really want him to make a profit of $39,800 for 10 minutes work?

On the other hand, any wizard with less than a 30 IQ is crazy if he tries to get a wish. Not only is he likely to be killed, there is a real danger that he will be burnt to ashes and be beyond any revival. (For example, a wizard with a 28 IQ has a 25% chance of getting a wish, an 18.75 % chance of being killed and a 56.25 % chance of dying permanently.)

This is something of a moot point. In NONE of my TFT campaigns have there been IQ 35 wizards. Given that, one must wonder where the wishes come from that the Wizard Guilds give out for someone who invents a new “Summon Wombat” spell. The books suggest a price of $40,000 for a wish. Far more PC's are looking to buy wishes at that price than sell them.

I feel that lower IQ wizards should have a decent chance of gaining a wish, while high IQ figures should not be so certain of succeeding.

Using the rules below, a wizard with an IQ of 25 to 28 has a reasonable chance of getting a wish while very high IQ figures can't be too confident because of the existence of very intelligent demons. As an added bonus, wizards with charms are less immune to chance because tho the charm helps the wizard's roll, the demon gets its own roll that the charm does not affect. If a wizard has a +1 or +2 charm, (and a revival handy) then attempting to gain a wish becomes reasonable for wizards with an IQ of 22+ or so.

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New Rules for Battle of Wills:

Now a Battle of Wills is an X:X–2vsIQ (explained below) that will take from 30 to 90 seconds to perform. While the Battle of Wills is going on, the wizard and demon are frozen in place, staring into each other's eyes. Then one will break and look away, and the victor will enforce its demands on the loser. Since the Battle of Will is a psionic attack, it ignores pentagrams. If the rolls the two figure make are close, then the Battle of Wills will last for 90 seconds. If one side wins easily the Battle of Wills will last around 30 seconds.

To run a Battle of Wills, the GM asks the wizard to roll X dice versus the Wizard's IQ. (The player running the wizard chooses what X is, thus he should pick a number of dice that he thinks he can make.) Then the Demon rolls that number of dice, MINUS TWO, against its IQ. The wizard should choose how many dice he or she is rolling vs IQ, before the GM reveals what the demon's IQ is.

There are 4 possible results from these two rolls:


Yazor the wizard has a IQ 24 and initiates a Battle of Wills. Yazor chooses to roll 7 dice vs IQ and gets a total of 24 (he just barely makes it). The demon (it turns out) is fairly smart, it is an IQ 16 demon. The demon then must roll (7 minus 2) 5 dice verses its IQ of 16. If the demon blows the roll (which it has pretty good chance of doing) then Yazor wins the Battle of Wills and gains a wish.

If the wizard gets a critical success the demon must roll two extra dice on his roll. If the wizard gets a critical failure the demon rolls 2 less dice on the roll. Using the new rules, a lesser demon will NOT give up 2 or 3 wishes if the wizard gets a double or triple effect. (A greater demon will give a maximum of 2 wishes. See below for other beings.)

No artificial aids may be used to modify the roll except Charms or Curses. (Having a colleague go inside the pentagram and cast a 5 point Curse on the demon, can greatly improve your chances of safely gaining a wish.)

In particular attribute adders do not help in Battles of Wills and Wishes may not be used to dictate or modify these rolls. There are some optional modifiers to Battle of Wills that are given at the end of the article.

Variable Demon IQ's:

One of the reasons that gaining wishes was so easy for the high IQ wizards at the beginning of this article was that demon IQs were always 20 exactly. In my campaign, the IQ of demons vary, so usually getting a wish is not so dangerous, but once in a while a high IQ demon will come along which means that even high IQ figures are in deadly danger.

Extorting a wish from demons is truly dicing with death.

Add One Die, Rerolling Sixes:

I am defining a new sort of die roll, that the GM can add to his or her bag of tricks.

Rolling 1 die, rerolling sixes, is when you roll 1d6. However, if you roll a six, you add 5 to a running total, and roll the die again. Keep going until you roll a non-six result. Thus the amount that you roll will usually be low, but can theoretically be extremely high. (The average of one die, rerolling sixes is a 5.)

I wished to make a random way to find the IQ of demons, that would cluster their IQ around a fairly low value, but would allow an occasionally demon to have a much higher IQ. In the method suggested below take the base IQ of the demon, and then add one die rerolling sixes.

The IQ of a Lesser Demon is: 8 plus 1 die, rerolling sixes.
The IQ of a Greater Demon is: 12 plus 1 die, rerolling sixes.

Thus the average IQ of a Lesser Demon is about 13 IQ. The average IQ of a Greater Demon is about IQ 17. Since the wizard is initiating the Battle of Will, the wizard must roll two more dice than the demon, so to get the wish, a wizard wants to have at least a 24 or 25 IQ. (And a charm.) But using these rules a lower IQ wizard (IQ 20 say) could attempt a Battle of Wills with a random demon and hope to get one that is fairly low IQ. (A tactic only for the desperate.)


To find the IQ of a greater demon, the GM starts with a base IQ of 12. Then the GM rolls One Die, Rerolling Sixes.

This extra die is a 6! .......... (We add 5 IQ and reroll.)
The next roll is also a 6! .... (We add 5 more IQ and reroll.)
The next roll is a 2. ............ (We add 2 more IQ points, and stop.)

Thus the demon would have a 24 IQ.

I think that you will find that these rules will significantly improve the economics of Wish creation in TFT.

Optional Rules:

Battle of Wills verses Other Sorts of Creatures:

If You Win A Battle of Will...
Against a: Then you gain:
----------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------
Efreet a service (violent usually) or a lesser wish.
Lesser Demon a wish.
Greater Demon a maximum of 2 wishes if wizard rolls a critical.
Young Djinni a wish.
Djinni 2 wishes if wiz rolls an automatic success, or 3 if he rolls a critical.
Djinni Lord an existential wish.

Lesser wishes are like wishes but they can not be used to raise attributes, unless the attributes are 12 or less.

Existential wishes are VERY powerful. They are the basis of name magic and can change WHAT people are. (e.g. give people simple magic powers.) They can increase people's attributes up to 25.

Note that there is a small chance that the more powerful beings may have charms of their own. The GM should not go overboard here, this all is dangerous enough. A Djinni Lord would have around a 2% chance of having a charm and the others, less than that.

Modifiers to Battle of Wills:
Bonuses for Personality:

The Personality Attribute (See pg 7 in ITL) Desire to Dominate (DtD) modifies Battles of Wills. People with a high Desire to Dominate ( DtD) have advantages as follows:

Modifiers based on your Desire to Dominate...
Your DtD is: Modifier to your IQ in a Battle of Wills:
----------------- ----------------------------------------------------
2 -2 to your IQ.
3 or 4 -1 to your IQ.
5 to 9 +0. (No modifier.)
10 or 11 +1 to your IQ.
12 to 14 +2 to your IQ.
15 or 16 +3 to your IQ.
17 +4 to your IQ.
18 +5 to your IQ.

Humans roll 2 dice for their values (altho, GM's usually allow players more control of their characters' personalities). Djinns roll 2 dice and add from 1 to 3, Demons & Efreets roll 2 dice and add 2. The table goes up to 18 just in case.

Bonuses for Talents:

Each level of Psychic Combat talent gives you +1 IQ to the roll. However, the first level of Psychic combat is the most important. In a Battle of Wills, if you have one or more levels of Psychic Combat and your opponent does not have any, they are at a -2 IQ to the roll.

Psychic Combat is a talent that is only used to improve your chances in Battle of Wills and Possession attempts. It does not give its user psionic abilities (tho psionic users learn it quite often). Wizards may learn any level of Psychic Combat at normal memory cost (not the doubled memory cost).

Psychic Combat 1 is an IQ 15 talent costing 1 memory point. A variable amount of memory may be spent on this talent; each 1 extra memory point spent on this talent gives an additional +1 modifier to Possession and Battle of Will rolls.

The maximum number of levels of Psychic Combat that may be taken is genetically determined:

Note, that just because a demon can take 10 levels of Pyschic Combat, that does not mean that they have that many. (Many demons are not smart enough for one thing.) The GM may want to have 5/6 of smart demons having NO levels of this talent, and most of the rest would have one or two levels. Greater Demons should have a higher chance of having more levels.

GM's should put limits on the maximum number of Psychic Combat talents other races may learn. The more domineering the race, the higher this limit is.

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