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simpatikool

Amber Wizard Questions

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Guys, I am sure the general rule of thumb of "Work it out wuth the GM" applies to my questions, but, I am trying to get a feel for how people other than myself look at the rules interactions with Amber Wizards.

First of all, Beastform stuff. While in Beastform the card specifically states that a Amber Wizard can only use spells with the beastform trait. My first question/observation is that the Channel Power Action card is not a spell. Say, unlike Magic Dart, Counterspell, or Hunters Spear, which are all magic spells. A Amber Wizard in Beastform CAN channel power, its not a magic spell. An Amber Wizard though in Beastform can't cast Magic Dart, as it is a spell that lacks the beastform trait.

Second, observation about Beastform. While in Beastform, I put the form card over the appropriate part of my character sheet. Those stats, skills, and fortune points then become dominant. So, my Wizard in Beastform would then have access to Trained Athletics or Trained Stealth for example. My Wizard as an advance could take an action card like "BACKSTAB" or "CUT and RUN" and apply the benefits of such actions since I have access to the skills in beastform.

Third observation about Beastform. In beast form, my claws, fangs etc count as melee weapons with regards to action cards then. So action cards like Melee strike (the basic attack) or more advanced action cards, say "BACKSTAB" , then would be ok, since, In beastform, my claws are melee weapons.

Fourth. Hey, so I am in Beastform and I have the action card Mighty Blow available. What is a beastform creatures unarmed damage? Depending on the form selected, there is a unique STR and Weapon Damage to the beastform. I would use that for example as part of my basic melee attack action. Yet, the standard unarmed damage is 3. I am assuming that the unarmed damage for a beastform creature is whatever the basic melee damage trait that is listed.

Fifth MORE BEASTFORM: Hey, I am in beastform Eagle/Crow/Hummingbird form. Once again I have specific skills, stats, DAM, Soak and DEF scores. I am thinking I could use an action card like Nimble Strike on my Bird Form if I wanted to scratch out an enemies eyes or whatever. The birds STR might be one, but hey, the agility is much better. This sound right to people?

It seems to me the best part of the Amber wizard is flexibility. You have some spells that can augment the party like Boar's Vigor, you have spells that are good for attacking at range, like Hunter's spear. But in Beastform, you have access to all sorts of skills and stats as a Wizard you may not normally have. It seems to me the best use of this career is picking up some action cards that support the skills and stats that are associated to the beast form.

Am I thinking about Amber Wizards correctly?

 

 

 

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simpatikool said:

First of all, Beastform stuff. While in Beastform the card specifically states that a Amber Wizard can only use spells with the beastform trait. My first question/observation is that the Channel Power Action card is not a spell. Say, unlike Magic Dart, Counterspell, or Hunters Spear, which are all magic spells. A Amber Wizard in Beastform CAN channel power, its not a magic spell. An Amber Wizard though in Beastform can't cast Magic Dart, as it is a spell that lacks the beastform trait.

According to me, that is incorrect. Chennel Power is a spell action card as it has the spell symbol in the top left corner. Page 49 in the rulebook clearly shows that cards with the "fire ball"-icon are spells and the Channel Power has this icon.

simpatikool said:

Second, observation about Beastform. While in Beastform, I put the form card over the appropriate part of my character sheet. Those stats, skills, and fortune points then become dominant. So, my Wizard in Beastform would then have access to Trained Athletics or Trained Stealth for example. My Wizard as an advance could take an action card like "BACKSTAB" or "CUT and RUN" and apply the benefits of such actions since I have access to the skills in beastform.

Third observation about Beastform. In beast form, my claws, fangs etc count as melee weapons with regards to action cards then. So action cards like Melee strike (the basic attack) or more advanced action cards, say "BACKSTAB" , then would be ok, since, In beastform, my claws are melee weapons.

Depending a bit on the GM I think. Since you would not have a one-handed melee weapon equipped for the backstab per say, but you could easily say that you have claws as a wolf, thus meeting the requirements. I would not disallow it myself, I mean if you invest points in actions like backstab to use in beastform I'd only think of it as a cool idea.

simpatikool said:

Fourth. Hey, so I am in Beastform and I have the action card Mighty Blow available. What is a beastform creatures unarmed damage? Depending on the form selected, there is a unique STR and Weapon Damage to the beastform. I would use that for example as part of my basic melee attack action. Yet, the standard unarmed damage is 3. I am assuming that the unarmed damage for a beastform creature is whatever the basic melee damage trait that is listed.

The base damage in beast form is listed on the card, next to the strength value. As an example the Raven has a Strength of 1 and a damage rating of 3. The gray wolf has a strength of 4 and a damage rating of 4. The gray wolf thus have an "unarmed" damage of 8 in this case (4+4), the raven has 4 (1+3) just as humans have an unarmed damage of 3.

simpatikool said:

Fifth MORE BEASTFORM: Hey, I am in beastform Eagle/Crow/Hummingbird form. Once again I have specific skills, stats, DAM, Soak and DEF scores. I am thinking I could use an action card like Nimble Strike on my Bird Form if I wanted to scratch out an enemies eyes or whatever. The birds STR might be one, but hey, the agility is much better. This sound right to people?

Nimble stike specificly states Dagger. Rapier or hand weapon equipped. Again it is up to the GM but to me it almost feel overpowering the system, but then again a Raven will still only do 5+3 damage and 8 is not that super cool. Maybe is my answer for now.

simpatikool said:

It seems to me the best part of the Amber wizard is flexibility. You have some spells that can augment the party like Boar's Vigor, you have spells that are good for attacking at range, like Hunter's spear. But in Beastform, you have access to all sorts of skills and stats as a Wizard you may not normally have. It seems to me the best use of this career is picking up some action cards that support the skills and stats that are associated to the beast form.

Am I thinking about Amber Wizards correctly? 

I agree, cool spells and flexibility makes amber wizards among the coolest orders out there. :)

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Thanks for the reply. Originally, when looking at Amber Wizards, I did not think Channel Power would be a valid action in beastform. However, since starting to play one, I conveniently have changed my mind! My logic being is that every other magic spell says MAGIC on it (trait line)and channel power did not. The Beastform card says the spell has to have the beastform trait to apply. with Spells like Feral Howl (I think that is it) or Primal Claw, they clearly mean for the Amber Wizard to casr spells in Beastform. I have a harder time accepting that Channel Power is cut off. It seems to me that it specifically was not.

My thought on the actions is that as an Amber Wizard, you have to invest in other actions to use in beastform to get the most out of it, Otherwise, you got primal claw which costs 3 power. If you can't channel as an Amber Wizard, then its a difficult level to get too. Since Wolf and Bear form tend to be "melee" focused in comparison, if Channel power is unavailable, then you need other actions available.

But yeah. Skills that use the Stealth or Skuldugery skills for example I think need to be exploited by amber Wizards for the very reason that they are available when normally not.

My current set up takes advantage of cut and run. We have athletics in beast form, plus you have the manuever from the order talent. Pretty good at hit and run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There is a talent that lets you regain one additional power at the end of each turn (one extra step towards equilbrium), that would be very useful for an amber wizard in beastform to make up for the lack of the channel power card. Furthermore you could allways channel as hell before going into a form, thus having some extra power after entering the form.

They are a fun order, the spells and stuff makes them unique.
I'd just go ahead and try to have as much fun with them as possible (for example the "Fear Me!" action strikes me as a really fun action when in wolf/bear form).

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 K7 had some spot on responses.  We had this earlier discussion and I play with an Amber in my party.  Here's the scoop.

Channel Power IS a spell.  Our amber wizard usually pre-buffs (boar's vigor) and channels hard, usually going capped on power into her beast form (she'll overchannel, cast her transform, and still come out 'above' on power).  This is why the beastform cards are ridiculously power-cheaper than most order cards.  The idea is that you'll take advantage of your natural attacks (such as athletics or weapon skill trained) and mix it up with spells as power allows.

Because the spells are so cheap every 2-3 rounds you can be ready to re-cast, or with the talent card (Aetheryc Attunement was it?) quicker.

2 more points.

1.  The battle forms have WS trained.  This indicates to me that indeed you DO have weapons even if they are natural ones.  So claws and teeth are valid, and thus we extend the 'parry' capacity to the amber mage as well.

2.  Crow is NOT a battle form.  A bird flying at you can be distracting, it's unlikely to be lethal on an armored opponent.  Since nimble strike specifies weapons, I would NOT allow that as there is no good reason to.

Also, the athletics call on Mighty Blow (8 dam) I believe is the correct one there.  It gets pretty nasty once you're a bear with double athletics trained.

Hope that helps.

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Hey Shinma,

 

Thanks for joining the discussion. Thanks for agreeing about the Channel Power observation. I also could not help but notice that the Beast Form spells are cheaper than others. I started my Amber Wizard out with Aerlythic Attunement. (However you spell it) It seems to me any Wizard would like that Talent, but my thoughts when I first started out were that you can't channel in Beast, and then well, I wanted to check in with other players.

Developing an Amber Wizard is tricky. You need so many different things and there are so many different ways to play the Order. It is a lot of fun.

Do you guys think it is worth having a 5 INT in Amber Wizard? I am of the opinion that it is really not necessary. In fact, I almost think that you could get by with 3 if ytou wanted too. Will Power I started the career with a 4, but now, am wishing it was a 5. Currently deciding if saving up to advance to 5 WP is worth it.

 

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simpatikool said:

Do you guys think it is worth having a 5 INT in Amber Wizard? I am of the opinion that it is really not necessary. In fact, I almost think that you could get by with 3 if ytou wanted too. Will Power I started the career with a 4, but now, am wishing it was a 5. Currently deciding if saving up to advance to 5 WP is worth it.

No, INT 5 is probably not worth it, and a WIL of 5 while nice isn't necessary, although it CAN be bought as non-career if you run out of things to buy.  Overall our Amber (who is an awesome char, and we love having her around) just uses her fortune stat-die increases efficiently, and uses some Focus slots to supplement her strengths.  For example a keen eyes (and the stealth focus, I forget it's name) can work really well with Grey wolf and Raven forms, plus Keen Senses, and gives you a handful of white dice to supplement rolls.  You want to make sure you start with enough strength/agi to get the dodge/parry cards to supplement your combat forms (which are beefy, and have the right skills).

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In my oppinion, high INT is not wasted on an Amber wizard.

Our amber wizard can sniff out anything, and I mean anything! 5 INT, Observation trained twice, with spec on smell/taste. Combine that with heightened senses, he can find a needle in a haystack, simply by the scent... On top of that he has Nature Lore trained twice as well (I allow wizards to have access to needed skills), which I say adds 2 Fortune dice to outdoor tracking.

In one adventure, he tracked a missing blunderbus by the scent of gunpowder, gave him 3 challenge dice for trying to sniff out the gunpowder and 1 misfortune for the days having passed since it went missing. No problem, 6 Char dice (he has the talent of treating INT as one higher once per session...), 2 Trained dice, and then 4 Fortune dice (two from heightened senses, one from spec, and one fortune point used), this vs. 3 Challenge and 1 Misfortune, was... well, he found it with little trouble, and I allowed the boons/extra succes' and the sigmar comet to let him know who had hidden it as well.

Funny thing is, he started out as Amber Wizard to be big and strong, and kill stuff, but after first session he saw how good his character was at finding stuff, so he changed direction and build him to find stuff. And I let him use his talents, for one it means that attacks has to happen upwind, otherwise he'll sense their scent before they even know the party is there!

He even intends to get 1 extra INT next rank...

His char could likely find Jimmy Hoffa's grave...

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Hey Spivo,

Thanks for participating! What cool ideas on how to play an Amber Wizard. Just re affirms my belief that the class is real flexible.Right now, I am toying with the fact that the various beastforms have the R  and C sides. The Amber Wizard comes with great stances in the R, but not so developed in the C range. Yet the C range forms, aka Raven and Grey Woilf offer really good "spy" like capabilities. I keep thinking taking advances in Conservative would pay off based on what I would like to try. Being able to stealth into locations in Beast Form and then lord knows what sounds like much fun to me!

TRhat super sleuth Beast Wizard you got sure sounds like a pain!

 

 

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Btw, do you allow beastform to Parry? Seems wrong, but my Amber Wizard is anoyed that the only defence he has in Beastform is dodge... and the wolf form doesn't even have Coordination trained, so he can't use Improved Dodge...

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 We do.  Multiple Amber attacks use 'Weapon Skill (Str)' to cast.  It seems illogical that they use weapon skill to attack (natural weapons) but cannot use them to defend.  Some GMs may suggest that a wolf may not be able to 'parry' a blade, but then again, I don't know many medieval swordmen who had to fight a shapechanging wizard who is six foot at the shoulder in winter wolf form...

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Okay thanks happy.gif

I agree.

I allways saw dodge as an reaction where you tried to avoid an attack by moving your feet, not by doing Matrix maneuver.

And parry as an reaction where you used your weapon to force your opponents weapon away from you, not a directly "weapon-block".

So... I'd likely tell him that he can use his parry, but I need to find a way to describe just how a paw/claw, forces a blade away from the beast.

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Many of the beast forms have 'weapon skill' trained.  For 'flavor' you can use any number of things.

Teeth grabbing an arm.

Ferocious, jaw-snapping, claw rending counterattack that forces an opponent to recoil/go defensive.

Damage/Attacks to blade arm weakening his strikes, or forcing the opponent to shift position and focus.

Remember that any combat round isn't one strike and defense.  Saying that you are 'parrying' an opponent usually means that you are focusing on defense.  There is a flurry of blows and strikes, but you're forcing his weapon away.  It's difficult to 'parry' with a two-handed war-hammer for example, but nobody questions a Sigmarite playing such a card.  What he's doing is probably focusing on timing his swings with a weapon to make the enemy step back or get MAUL-ed (if you'll forgive the pun).  Or doing active strikes to the weapon side, trying to force the enemy to not get his weapon snapped.  This to me is the more 'reckless' version of parry, where the actual waiting for the strike and pushing it away is the more 'conservative' fighting stance and technique.  

 

Let me know if this helps.

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6 feet tall at the Shoulder? Holy Moly. I have to re think my latest exploits. I wander in towns in Beast Form with Party members under the auspices of being the parties Pet "wolf" Allows me to get into situations overlooked. But not if it is 6 flipping feet tall!

 

lol

 

 

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 Winter Wolf vs Grey Wolf.

Winter Wolves are huge dire-wolf like white-furred northern wolves.

Grey wolves are the slightly-larger than dog sized normal wolves you see on the discovery channel.

You can do both *wink*.

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shinma said:

 Winter Wolf vs Grey Wolf.

Winter Wolves are huge dire-wolf like white-furred northern wolves.

Grey wolves are the slightly-larger than dog sized normal wolves you see on the discovery channel.

You can do both *wink*.

But I will agree they're not likely 6 feet from paw to shoulder... that's... the size of a horse!

But I do agree the white wolf form is a very very large beast, that would send any wolf on the run by the sight.

 

Thanks for your comments.

Still uncertain about the purchase of Melee Actions that require Melee Weapon, and Parry in wolf form. Think the biggest barrier will be the Player himself, he likes things to seem as realistic as possible.

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Well, you could 'paw' through the various monster action cards and see if some looks appropriate. However, I use various player action cards that make sense to me to use in wolf Form. I just took cut and run for instance, since it keys off of Athletics. Trained in Wolf Form, both Reckless and Conservatgive incantations. It allows for an extra manuever. Couple this with our Order Talent slit and you have a Wolf that could get three "free"  manuevers when using Cut and run. Allows for that move in strike and move out kind of thing. Possibly useful also in Wizard form, but immensely useful in Wolf form where you want some attack options that maybe buy you some time, make it difficult for mobs to get to you while you wait for your Mana pool to recharge. Also, don't forget your "mental" skills stay the same. You can always use Guarded or Improved Guarded position in a big melee. You can imagine growling, snapping of jaws kinds of things to make mobs warry and thus the bonus defensive dice for the whole engagement. You don't just need attack power.

 

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I would like to revisit the question of whether or not Amber wizards can channel or not. Yes, Channel Power is a "spell" in the sense that it has the spell token in the top left corner to mark its action type, but all this means is that it is part of a group of action cards restricted to wizards and spellcasters. Quickcasting, another "spell," points out the distinction between different types of spell action cards in its requirement and description lines.

Req: This special ability is available to all wizards and does not need to be acquired specially. (But we mark it as a spell because it is only for wizards.)

Description: ...spellcasters can attempt to both channel power and cast a spell on the same turn if they are willing to take on more risk   

the wording of the description is reinforced by the Tome of Mysteries in which we read, "chanelling is just one step of the spellcasting process. Once a spellcaster has chanelled the amount of power he requires, he must focus that power, expelling it from his body into the form of a spell....arcane spellcasters channel power first, then choose a spell to cast." channeling power is not then casting a spell to get power, it is just channeling power.

from this it follows that if an amber in beastform can cast any spells at all, he can channel and quickcast and anything else that is part of the spellcasting process that leads to casting a beastform spell.

from winds of magic we read " while in beast form, Amber wizards may only cast spells with the beastform trait" saying nothing about not being able to channel power or quickcasting to get the power for the spell.  

moreover, in step four of character building we find "certain careers may have access to other basic actions, wizard careers start the game with a number of petty magic spells, which are considered basic spell actions, and Channel Power, which allows them to genereate the power needed to fuel their spells. this seperates Channel Power from the other basic spell actions that share the trait petty magic. So let's review some spell action cards by traits and lable them spell not a spell

Channel Power: Basic, Rally (basic means you get it during character creation, rally means you can use it during the rally phase) = Not a spell

Quickcasting: None = Not a spell

Cantrip: Petty Magic, Basic (Petty Magic means college-less spells more or less, basic every spellcaster starts with them) = Spell

Bolt of Aqshy: Rank 3, Bright Order = Spell

If it is a spell, the action type will be spell and the traits will give you a magic type: bright order, hedge, petty, skaven, etc. So, no magic type = not an actual spell. and so finally, Channel away beastmasters! San Dimas High School football rules!!! 

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there are actually two more things I wanted to point out:

1) the division of spellcraft and channeling further reinforces my argument:

Channeling: " reflects a characters ability to succesfully harness the winds of magic to glean power to fuel arcane spells"

Spellcraft: "also used to take arcane power and convert into a spell effect, thus Spellcraft is used for the casting portion of arcane magic"

2) channeling is just a will check with complicated results, thematically shape shouldn't interfere with this but trying to cast spells or do anything that need hands or human speech while in beastform only makes sense in Narnia:)

now i am finished.

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I agree with you Bindlespin, its a spell action card, but not a spell in the strictest sense - the same as currying favour isn't a blessing, its what's used to fuel blessings.

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What is the "Attuned item" for an Amber Wizard apprentice?

 

jh

 

It's a wizard staff card that's for rank 1, looks like a gnarly stick with animal fetishes like feathers and the top looks kind of like antlers. It gives you 1 white die for all channeling and spellcraft checks. 

 

That's all off the top of my head, I'll have to look at it later today at the store if you want. The only actual thing making it an "amber wizard" attuned item is the artwork though, since there's no PoD for them yet to give them something unique like the sword of judgement for grey wizards.

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Channel Power is a spell because it has the spell icon.  It is/can be part of the spellcasting process. A spell is more than just the effects, it is the whole process.

 

Sorry to say, its still technically a no-go, because it doesn't have the trait required to use it in beast form.  You can look at it like this:

 

While maintaining themselves in beastform, it is more difficult for amber wizards to both see and harness the Winds of Power.  The beastform itself, being a continual use of power, disrupts and perhaps even absorbs some of the wind. Perhaps its simply a matter of a beast not having the natural capacity to manipulate/harness the Winds.

 

Regardless, while in the form of a beast, an amber wizard is not able to properly channel.

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