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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default How does an Omnidisciplinarian Magus Fight?

    What turned into a thought experiment now fills one of my (very few) brain-cells with mild curiosity. There are a few examples in fiction, but I was wondering if I might snag more suggestions on it. Whenever I imagine counter-spelling an ability with another effect, or turning an enemy's magic back on them, I wonder if that can/should be the pinnacle of what I imagine a mage capable of. Is it really just a matter of "who's effect beats out the other's"? Even re-watching Infinity War for inspiration (which had a Magic Fight -way- more interesting than some of the ones in both Doctor Strange and even the Harry Potter series), I find myself wondering if I should be wanting more when trying to think of ideas for what my characters could do/be like.

    Is it just me? Am I overthinking things? I'm probably overthinking things.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: How does an Omnidisciplinarian Magus Fight?

    Quote Originally Posted by INoKnowNames View Post
    What turned into a thought experiment now fills one of my (very few) brain-cells with mild curiosity. There are a few examples in fiction, but I was wondering if I might snag more suggestions on it. Whenever I imagine counter-spelling an ability with another effect, or turning an enemy's magic back on them, I wonder if that can/should be the pinnacle of what I imagine a mage capable of. Is it really just a matter of "who's effect beats out the other's"? Even re-watching Infinity War for inspiration (which had a Magic Fight -way- more interesting than some of the ones in both Doctor Strange and even the Harry Potter series), I find myself wondering if I should be wanting more when trying to think of ideas for what my characters could do/be like.

    Is it just me? Am I overthinking things? I'm probably overthinking things.
    You can do things like that, though.

    Take 5th edition DnD for example:

    Moon Druid shapeshifts into a Bear and charges Wizard.

    Wizard casts Mirror Image and flees.

    Bear Druid goes to maul the Wizard but misses due to Mirror Image.

    Wizard casts Fly and ascends, proceeds to pelt the Druid with Firebolts. The Druid is able to swipe as the Wizard flees, but misses again.

    Druid has to revert to stand a chance in a battle against a flier, casts Call Lightning to zap the Wizard down.

    Wizard using Absorb Elements to deflect some of the Lightning damage, then rushes the Druid to strike him with Shadow Blade enhanced with lightning.

    ------------------

    Naturally, though, Counterspell is always a clean (expensive) option for someone who's knowledgeable about magic.

    As per the MtG text on Silence: "All the wizardry in the world has to pass through one small and easily sealed door".

    Sometimes, cliché = effective.

    ------------------

    It's going to heavily rely on the system, but just because something is a "magic fight" doesn't mean it's a glorified game of Rock Paper Scissors. In my Druid vs. Wizard example, the Druid is constantly being harassed and gaining no ground, yet the Wizard is spending lots of resources, and the Druid just needs one good form to tear up the Wizard to guarantee a victory. A lot of times, it just comes down to luck and preparation.
    Last edited by Man_Over_Game; 2019-02-27 at 06:59 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    MOG, design a darn RPG system. Seriously, the amount of ideas I’ve gleaned from your posts has been valuable. You’re a gem of the community here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post

    5th Edition Homebrewery

    Prestige Options, changing primary attributes to open a world of new multiclassing.
    Adrenaline Surge, fitting Short Rests into combat to fix bosses/Short Rest Classes.
    Pain, using Exhaustion to make tactical martial combatants.
    Fate Sorcery, lucky winner of the 5e D&D Subclass Contest VII!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Son of A Lich!'s Avatar

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    Default Re: How does an Omnidisciplinarian Magus Fight?

    Chaos. Utter Chaos.

    Wizardry is capable of literally anything when a wizard is prepared. Change the terrain, the weather, the buffs, the combatants, the number of combatants, who can and cannot cast spells, etc.

    Any two specialized wizards are going to have niches that emphasizes a key component of the battle they are trying to dominate to pin their opponent down. An Omnidisciplinarian wizard, who has mastered all forms of known wizardry (While not superior to a specialist in any particular form) is at a significant advantage in the fact that his opponent does not know what to expect.

    Counter spell is great, but Fog Cloud is level 1. I will gladly cast Fog Cloud and force you to burn your level 3 spell slots countering it if letting it pass means losing out on all of your "Target you can See"-clause spells... including counter spell. Of course, if you have gust of wind, you can remove Fog Cloud with a cantrip, but then I'm forcing you to spend your turn removing a spell, while I am busy summoning flying creatures to pester you.

    piggy backing M:tG from MOG, chipping away at your health with a CR1 Hawk (Or whatever) and forcing your opponent to decide between using their resources to kill said owl or focus on something more significant is called "The 1 White Fireball" in tournament play, because Suntail Hawk costs 1 white mana and consistently does 5 damage (The same as a fireball in M:tG) because the threat is so small you don't want to burn your removal spells on it, and between other attackers, it's usually best to block other summons and let the Suntail Hawk Seal.

    If I know I'm going to try to obscure vision, I can focus on spells that don't have to target to hit effectively. If my opponent prepared invisibility, I've already countered it by holding up Fog Cloud. If they do find a way to dispell it outside of Gust of Wind or Counterspell, I can take aim at them with a back up weapon, like Disintegrate, and punish them for countering my counter.

    Then it becomes a game of trying to figure out what to do when you are at advantage and punishing them for trying to find a way around it.

    Instilling Chaos is The Best way to counter any wizard who out specializes you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grey_Wolf_c View Post
    English: so broken, you technically cannot use it wrong.
    Grey Wolf

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Default Re: How does an Omnidisciplinarian Magus Fight?

    From a D&D standpoint it's kinda tough to do a full-on mage-duel. Action economy breakers can help in like high-op 3.5 and such, but even then the strategy is more about protecting yourself - beforehand, ideally - against as many forms of attack as possible and trying to find the hole in your opponent's defenses before they find one in yours. Direct counters are usually a hard defense, coming at the cost of offense, rather than a tactical move.

    That said, whether D&D or not, in many cases the broadly skilled wizard faced with a specialized opponent will be relying on versatility to avoid where the specialist is strong and strike where they're weak. Going up against a master swordsman? Fly and/or go invisible, rain death from above/far away. Against a pyromancer? Ward against flame, hit 'em with mental/spiritual attacks that they can't burn away. Telepath? Shield your mind, buff up or shapechange into something meaty, smack them down physically. Or maybe summon some mindless undead. And so on. Your weakness is that you can only do so much at once, and not as good as a specialist (...this is somewhere between less true and utterly, blatantly false in say D&D 3.5), so you're vulnerable to opponents who you don't know the strengths and weaknesses of, or complex forces who can cover each other's weaknesses with strengths. Or to opponents who are powerful enough to punch through whatever defense you have against their thing.

    But when you get two wizards of equivalent skill and versatility fighting each other, a full-on mage-duel, in a setting or system where magical combat can be fairly fluid, then the name of the game is magical tactics. You can assume, given relatively equivalent power and versatility, that each wizard has access to a sufficiently diverse roster of attacks and defenses that while they can strike in various ways, they can also counter more-or-less anything the other one can do. To win, you have to build up the advantage over time, and ideally, turn the opponent's spells to your own benefit. Anything you can learn about the opponent's idiosyncrasies, preferences, and traditional strategies will help you.

    So when your opponent casts a fireball, you might throw a dispel, cheap and quick but it's an all-or-nothing, power-to-power defense that may fail, risky if you don't have a fallback. A more advanced suppressing dispel may have a lower chance to succeed, but weaken a spell it fails to negate outright. A barrier may be more certain, but also more energy-intensive. Countering with a water attack gives you an advantage in affinity, but that's not all - it won't just negate the fireball, but it will create a vast cloud of steam, giving you some battlefield control along with your defense, maybe covering up a summon, or making it harder to discern a follow-up illusion. But the question is, do you expect your opponent to follow up by blowing the steam away with wind, teleporting out of the cloud, using the cover to set up its own trickery, or lash out immediately with a blast of cold as both a direct attack and an effort to freeze the steam around you in a lockdown move? Of course, it's also going to take more energy to produce intense cold amidst hot steam, and with some thermal magic of your own you might even be able to disperse the cold throughout the cloud to protect yourself. Naturally that would condense the steam back to water, which either mage might then make use of to fuel some hydromancy, or perhaps augment a healing spell if they've been hurt in the exchange up to this point.

    ...Or, you know, something like that, anyway.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

    World of Aranth
    M&M 3e Character Guide

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