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(TFT) Wishes in TFT

Wishes in TFT (C) 1999 Richard Smith

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 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.)

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.

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 preform. 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 or more. 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.

For example: Yazor the wizard has a IQ 24 and initiates a Battle of Wills with an IQ 16 demon. Yazor chooses to roll 7 dice vs IQ and gets a total of 24 (he just makes it). The demon then must roll 7 minus 2 or 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.

There are 4 possible results from these two rolls:

* Wizard makes his roll, Demon fails its roll:
Demon gives the wizard a Wish.

* Wizard makes his roll, Demon makes its roll:
Demon kills wizard.

* Wizard fails his roll, Demon fails its roll:
Demon kills wizard.

* Wizard fails his roll, Demon makes its roll:
Demon reduces wizard to a pile of smoldering ash and consumes the
wizard's soul.

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, the demon will NOT give up 2 or 3 wishes if the wizard gets a double or triple effect.

No artificial aids may be used to modify the roll except Charms or Curses. In particular 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 IQs.

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.

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 you first calculate the basic IQ of the demon, and then use a special system to find out how much extra IQ it gets.

The Basic IQ of a Lesser Demon is IQ 5 plus 1 die.
The Basic IQ of a Greater Demon is IQ 5 plus 2 dice.

Once the Basic IQ of the demon has been found, roll one more die and add its value onto the demon's IQ. However if a 6 is rolled, 5 is added to the total and the die is rolled again. This new roll is added to the IQ, unless a 6 is rolled. In that case 5 is added to the demon's IQ and the die is rerolled. Continue rolling this single die, rerolling on sixes until a non six value is rolled. Thus (theoretically) demons have no maximum IQ's. This type of open ended roll will be called "Add One die, Rerolling Sixes".

Example: To find the IQ of a greater demon, the GM rolls 2 dice (getting a total of 6) and adds it to IQ 5 for a base IQ of 11. 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 23 IQ.

As a rule of thumb, Adding One Die, Rerolling Sixes, averages about 5. Thus the average IQ of a Lesser Demon is about 13.5 IQ. The average IQ of a Greater Demon is about IQ 17. (Of course, occasionally they are much higher.) 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. 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.)

I think that you will find that these rules will significantly improve the economics of Wish creation in TFT as well as opening up more roleplaying possibilities.

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

DtD of 2 -2 to your IQ in Battle of Wills
DtD of 3 or 4 -1 to your IQ in Battle of Wills
DtD of 5 to 9 No modifier to your IQ in Battle of Wills
DtD of 10 or 11 +1 to your IQ in Battle of Wills
DtD of 12 to 14 +2 to your IQ in Battle of Wills
DtD of 15 to 16 +3 to your IQ in Battle of Wills
DtD of 17 +4 to your IQ in Battle of Wills
DtD of 18 +5 to your IQ in Battle of Wills.

Humans roll 2 dice for their values (GM's usually allow players more control of their characters' personalities). Djinns roll 2 dice and add one, Efreets roll 2 dice and add 2. Demons roll 2 dice and add 3. 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 -1 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 18 talent costing 2 memory points. A variable amount of memory may be spent on this talent; each 2 extra memory points spent on this talent gives an additional +1 modifier to the roll. The maximum number of levels of Psychic Combat that may be taken is genetically determined:

* Hobbits may take a maximum of 3 levels of this talent.
* Goblins & Elves may take a maximum of 4 levels of this talent.
* Humans, Dwarves & most other races may take 5 levels of this talent.
* Troglodytes, Gargoyle and Reptilites may take 6 levels of this talent.
* Orks may take 8 levels of this talent.
* Dragons and Djinns may take 10 levels of this talent.
* Demons may take 15 levels of this talent.

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.

If the Optional modifiers are used, I suggest that the demon's IQ as generated in the system above not be modified. However, Lesser Demons have one level of Psychic Combat and Greater Demons have 2 levels. (We assume that the modifiers for those with high Desire to Dominate are included in the Battle of Will IQ generated above. The demon's real IQ would usually be a couple of points lower.)

P.S. Hi Ty, you are welcome to put this article on your website. Rick

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