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Project: Justify A Full Wizard In G.L.

Started by droqen, January 15, 2023, 07:23:04 PM

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In the world magic is scary and a bad idea. How can a player run a full wizard in a way that doesn't cause terrible problems for the story? That is, how can a full wizard player character not ruin the game? We do want them to cause terrible problems for their friends and for the setting, because as established, that is what magic does.


Some problems we've identified

- Other players without the ability to sense magic won't be able to be 'in' on the feedback that a person really in tune with the magical world is. So if the GM has to describe something in any detail, it sucks a little bit for other players whose characters have nothing to react to.

- There is, in general, an issue with players having access to a power that allows them to circumvent problems in a way that overrides other more interesting problem-solving instincts. Magic is such a power, especially in the hands of a full wizard.


One possible wizard discussed was someone who escaped from a wizard cult-slash-family and who is hunted down by one or more characters (family member(s), demon(s), others?), but has escaped from the wizard culture because they recognized its inherent badness. So they have access to magic but they don't use it.

HOWEVER, this is not the "full wizard" we dream of!


Here are my notes for a new possible full wizard player character, or at least facets of them.

This wizard is just a huge magic nerd. They DO want to solve problems with magic, AND IT IS A BAD IDEA. They apply magic to situations for which magic is grossly excessive or wholly unsuited.

There is inherent badness to magic, of course, but this character is perhaps a savant or perhaps a total nincompoop; they are confident that the downsides of magic can be handled, but this can only be discovered through experience! There ARE solutions, and the only way we find answers to our questions is by asking them. (ref: Edgelord)

With impulsive fascination, this wizard says "I can solve this with magic!" and then the player is free to describe how magic could possibly be used to solve this problem. It is a fount for creativity! We have a full wizard who is fully engaged with solving even relatively mundane problems using magic!


Because really, it's not about solving the problems, it's about exercising the magic.


A few ideas for how that looks in play:

- The Wizard has a totally incompetent and/or evil familiar, who they delight in sending on small errands to see if they can do it successfully. If the being or creature screws it up: great! Lesson learned for next time. Improvements can be made.

- Faced with a completely trivial problem, The Wizard immediately attempts a magical solution rather than a mundane one, not oblivious to the consequences but not at all concerned about them. There are consequences which are obvious and flashy! They are part of the fun, and The Wizard then sets to work on cleaning them up. Or, studying them!

- Faced with a complex and difficult problem, The Wizard immediately describes the requirements for implementing their magical solution, whose mechanisms will remain wholly undescribed* at least for now. These requirements are confusing or troublesome, but The Wizard is already at work on their part of solving the problem...

*Maybe they're not interested in discussing the finer points of how magic works because nobody seems to understand it when they do. Have some extremely confusing and terrible explanations of The Wizard's understanding of magic. They are not a sorcerer, just an actual wizard who has a very intuitive mode of both comprehending and using magic. "But it's so obvious!"

This might be a generally good way to justify a character who acts without talking about it first. Rather than being impulsive, they do not think that they will be understood if they do talk. You should be ready to produce some very rambling, incoherent rants.

(see: Benoit Blanc, Knives Out? sometimes he plays at being mysterious, or intentionally withholds information, but he does a good weird incoherent-poetic rant, too)


project complete. result: more of an NPC than a PC! realized that an interesting protagonist may be a terrible player character! not every good or even great protagonist would make a good or even passable player character. cool insight.