[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: (TFT) Healing spells in TFT.

> You seem to misunderstand me. I didn't mean that AW lacked logic and
> balance to the existing spells. My point is that the magic spells that are
> available in a fantasy world are for the author/GM to decide. The actual
> techniques and principles of most spellcasting and researching are not
> described in AW. Different GM's may or may not agree that sub-abilities of
> spells should be easily researchable (or already known) as spells.

In this case, though, the - "sub-ability" I guess - presents a genuine logic
gap/hole that must be remedied for internal consistency. The balance of what
you said otherwise is quite sensible and I agree.

> The evidence of the existing spell/potion/item lists seems to me to weigh
> against such a principle. The first paragraph of "Inventing New Spells"
> says, "... most of the obvious spells have already been worked out for
> centuries." The spell list in AW is about 125 spells, and they aren't even
> organized by type or prerequisites except minimum IQ level and some spells
> that are so close they are just better versions of the same spell (Stone
> Flesh/Iron Flesh).

Let's take a step back here and consider that when Steve Jackson wrote AW he
did not necessarily cover all his bases, nor did he consider TFT ideal - if
his subsequent GURPS is any indication. Just looking at that shows that (a)
he decided to include some healing after all (though neither of us may like
some of the more permissive aspects of those rules) (b) he discovered
organization skills and (c) he did put prerequisites in for the spells. Why?
For (a) SJ had probably seen too many out of control D&D
sessions and came to the same conclusion (erroneous, I believe) that magical
healing ought to be verboten. As can be seen, he did change his mind. (b) I
have no idea why TFT was so badly organized. Never made any sense to me. As
for (c) I suspect what happened was this: Melee was developed as a stand
alone man to man combat game. Then they decided to come up with a magic
supplement: Wizard. All well and good. But then Steve wrote ITL and came up
with the idea for *talents*... which have prerequisites. Great idea! But too
late to incorporate into Wizard/Advanced Wizard! Thus, if he could have, he
probably would have - but it was too late. My point? Do not assume that
*everything* in AW (or TFT in general) has some profound reason for being -
while SJ did try (and did well IMHO) to do everything "right" there are
quite a few omissions. Keep in mind this was his first serious attempt at an
RPG - his previous games (like OGRE/GEV) were very simple wargames and
nothing more.

On a more practical level, the citation you provide would, taken to its
logical conclusion, imply that healing spells were *impossible* to research
or create - after all, surely something as useful as healing would have been
developed ere now. The fact that it hasn't logically implies it is
impossible, which means therefore a direct stifling of player creativity,
which is not wholly desireable, either.

> Although I too much prefer logical game worlds, I'd tend to say the
> opposite about a GM's rights to say what does and doesn't exist in their
> worlds, unless the player characters can prove or demonstrate otherwise
> during play. The GM can always say there are technical magical obstacles
> developing any unknown magical abilities, which are beyond the scope of
> play and beyond the comprehension of non-wizards (which would include all
> of the players, and most or all of their characters).

Well, of course they can always make up whatever excuse they want! Its their
world!! But that does not automatically make it a good reason. And fiat is
fiat - if that is their only recourse (as opposed to a carefully reasoned
and thought through solution) then I submit they are still a poor quality
GM. Not meaning to hurt feelings! But truth is truth.

> It seems much more dangerous to me to have players arguing GM's into
> including abilities they want, if the GM has already designed a world
> around a certain set of abilities.

Absolutely agreed, but a good GM is still obligated to fix logic holes that
come up. Which is not easy, but that is why they get paid the big bucks! ;-)

> It seems to me that the Revival spell probably involves calling on some
> very great powers (for example, underworld spirits with specialized powers
> relating to death and health) which could have the listed effects, and not
> a mastery of all of the component effects and all their sub-details by the
> wizard himself.

Also from srydzews@ix.netcom.com:

>The Revival spell is indeed an esoteric matter that has much more to do
>with necromancy and spirits than physical healing.  So I don't see its
>existence as implying an IQ 10 'Cure Light Wounds'.

You and srydzews@ix.netcom.com (I have no idea what his name is...) seem to
be in accord here! And it is a good explanation - this is why I am glad to
be picking on this topic since I am seeing alot of good material getting
bounced back and forth. I hope those not so interested in this healing
discussion don't mind the bandwidth consumption, but I do think this very

But there is a problem here, alas! For starters, I see no support in TFT for
the necromancy interpretation (I thought there was one, something about
Revival affecting ghosts, but I could not find any such reference in ITL -
pls post if any of you find one). Which by itself is not bad, but the
sticker is this: you all are still not directly addressing the logic hole
presented by Revival (I am disregarding the healing potion rule for now - it
is a good point and I agree with srydzews about it, but I still think
Revival has an awful lot of implications loaded into it) Rather, you are
still dancing around the issue with fiat type explanations (albeit very
thoughtful and interesting ones)

Really, your explanation simply begs more questions then it answers. For
example, if it is otherworld spirits that do the revival and mending of the
body, then why can't these same spirits be summoned to do a little healing?
Sure, you can explain that, but I am sure yet more questions (and not
necessarily persnickity questions, either - there may well be a genuine
curiousity and desire to know more). Further, by postulating this
necromancy, you open the door for a LOT more questions on how it works, and
maybe even questions on the very nature of the Otherworld in your campaign.
At the least, you'd best be prepared to answer them, and stay a few steps
ahead of overly inquisitive players...

> Few wizards are physickers, and medieval physickers
> probably don't have enough physiological knowledge to tell a wizard how to
> heal flesh - they just know what herbs and techniques to use to assist
> natural healing somewhat.

Dangerous assumption - do not assume that Mediaeval Europe, benighted by
Christian superstition and suppression of "evil pagan" knowledge, is a good
model to generalize for *all* ancient healing skills. The Romans were fairly
advanced - particularly since their frequent predatory wars guarenteed their
surgeons had plenty of practice...

Besides, all it takes is *one* genius physicker-wizard to do the research to
come up with a healing spell.

The absence of a healing spell seems to me a
> natural and logical clue towards that interpretation, not the converse you
> see. Two different ways of looking at the same data - each equally valid,
> it seems to me.

I disagree for reasons cited above - I think it was more oversight/lack of
experience on SJs part then some sort of profound expression of underlying
magic logic.

Putting aside all of this for a moment, let's step back and just look at
this at the gut level: does it *really* make a lot of sense that we can
raise dead and yet not heal a simple papercut? It is not so much so whether
or not one can come up with some sort of concocted explanation, but does it
REALLY make any sense? If you look at it objectively I think you have to
admit I've got a point, here.

Again, it goes back to the example I cited in an earlier post: A poor fellow
stumbles into the most advanced hospital emergency room in the world with a
brain tumor and a knife in his abdomen. The doctor sees him and exclaims
"Why, we can heal your tumor overnight, but I'm afraid we have no knowledge
on how to stop bleeding and close your wound - - I'm afraid you'll bleed to
death within the hour... very sorry..." This is a very very close metaphor
for the current TFT healing situation.

Now, tell me, does that REALLY make even one iota of sense? I sure don't
think so... and I can't imagine that I'm the only one.

Putting aside the logical arguments about Revival, folks, this whole thing
just don't pass the sniff test. And that is the bottom line. No amount of
reasoning can put this to rest - either the logic hole is squarely addressed
or you have a very silly irrational situation. There just isn't any wiggle
room here, alas.
Post to the entire list by writing to tft@brainiac.com.
Unsubscribe by mailing to majordomo@brainiac.com with the message body
"unsubscribe tft"