TOEE Wands are utterly worthless

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by taltamir, Apr 28, 2010.

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  1. taltamir

    taltamir Established Member

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    Wands don't live up to their potential

    Wands in PnP sacrifice the versatility of scrolls for reduced costs. however, in TOEE wands cost more than scrolls.

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#craftWand
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#scribeScroll

    A scroll costs 25 x CL x SL
    A wand costs 750 x CL x SL
    Both of those prices are the same in TOEE and PnP... difference?
    A wand has 20 charges in TOEE and 50 in PnP.

    This means that while in PnP the cost per single spell cast of a wand is 15gp x SL x CL
    While in TOEE the cost per single cast of a wand is 37.5gp x SL x CL

    We go from being cheaper to being more expensive per cast.
    Scrolls inherently have the following advantages:
    1. Wizards get the feat to craft them for free.
    2. The level requirement to take craft wand is higher (a cleric is better off taking scribe scroll at level 1 than craft wand at level 6, since you need to be 5th level to take craft wand)
    3. Wands do not allow you to craft on a per cast basis (aka, I need 1 scroll of this, 17 of this, and 50 of this), only 50 charges, no less no more.
    4. Wands are limited to 4th level spells and below; scrolls have no such limit.
    5. A stack of 20 scrolls can be split between multiple party members as you see fit
    6. Scrolls can be sold individually, So 50 scrolls allow you to sell 20 if you are so inclined, while keeping the other 30.
    7. You can stack more then 20 scrolls on the same inventory slot, wands do not stack in such a manner. 60 scrolls take up 1 spot, 60 castings of wands take up 3 slots.
    8. Scrolls are cheaper (in TOEE)

    all those drawbacks were supposed to be balanced by the fact that wands were cheaper per cast than scrolls... but in TOEE the opposite is the case so there is no reason for anyone to ever under any circumstances craft a wand!

    Solution? Two options:
    1. Alter wands to have 50 charges

    2. Alter cost of wands so that it is 15gp per spell... aka 300 x SL x CL.
    So a wand of cantrips has a base cost of 150gp (and crafting cost of 75gp and 6XP)
    A wand of 1st level spells has a cost of 300gp (craft cost 150gp and 12XP)
    A wand of 2nd level spells has a cost of 1800gp (craft cost 900gp and 72XP)
    A wand of 3rd level spells has a cost of 4500gp (craft cost of 2250gp and 180XP)
    A wand of 4th level spells has a cost of 8400gp (craft cost 4200gp and 336XP)

    I think we should discuss which is the better solution. I will go ahead and attempt to implement whichever one we conclude is better.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  2. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Global Moderator

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    I will check if the 20 charges is a Co8 thing or original, but it should be something we can fix: its in protos.tab.
     
  3. Ranth

    Ranth Established Member

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    Taltamir,

    For my sake, could you please stop being so negative. I would say the vast majority of your posts/threads are a complaint against some portion of ToEE. The fact is, none of us made the game. We are doing the best with what was handed down to us. We all would like to see things changed, but none of us decry each and every slight injustice. If you dont like, take the time to mod it out.

    I know you have been here long than me from your post count and activation date. I respect that. But since you have been on the forums in the last couple weeks I have a sense of dread when I read your posts. If you have a problem with something, that is fine, mention it is a constructive way. Please dont make declarative statements of a portion of the game being 'utterly worthless'. I feel that it brings down the mood of the entire forum.
     
  4. TerMany

    TerMany Member

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    Taltamir, I think many here would agree that it would be more constructive if you started your own megathread that deals with bugs/complaints you have, and maybe you can get deeper involved in modding so that you can fix or change what you deem unsatisfactory. If what you have modded turns out to be quite good, you can even share it with the rest of us.
     
  5. taltamir

    taltamir Established Member

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    I am sorry if I offended you, I will try to be more positive in how I phrase things from now on.
    I in no way meant this to be a criticism of co8. I also love ToEE but some parts of it need work (hence the whole point of fan mods like co8's mod), the fact of the matter is that wands in TOEE ARE err... how do I phrase it in a positive manner... "wands do not live up to their potential", I think it was an honest mistake someone in troika made, people make mistakes and there is nothing wrong with it.

    As far as fixing it myself, gladly. I would like some input though as to which of the two fixes is a better idea. I would also like confirmation that if I do fix it, it would be included.

    Aka, I think it is best to discuss such things and come up with the best solution (if any) before starting on modification. That is the point of the thread, to see what other people think about this issue with wands, whether it should be changed, and which of the suggested methods of change should be used (or a whole new one if someone has a better idea)

    EDIT: I edited the original post to be less negative and more constructive. I will make sure to maintain such a positive tone in the future.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  6. TerMany

    TerMany Member

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    "Alter wands to have 50 charges" seems like a good idea since it fits pnp. Also I would appreciate the fact that one crafting will save me about 50+ clicks and it's worth a little higher price.
     
  7. Necroticpus

    Necroticpus Cthulhu Ftaghn!

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    I think the game is already extraordinarily easy enough as it is. I can see the reason behind 20 charges. It's just forcing you to use experience points more often. And even with 20 charges, I create a wand and find I don't ever run out of charges. You would have to be using it on every encounter for even the smallest things. I'm sure they didn't want you completely dependent on magic for every fight.

    Think of how the dynamics change in large fights. Say, the bugbear room in the temple where there's like 25 bugbears in the northeast corner room. With a wand of fireballs, it really minimizes the threat of 25 bugbears. I think they wanted to make a challenging encounter, not just a barrel of experience points in a room that you open and put into inventory.

    Keeping things as RAW as possible doesn't really always mesh with playability. Maybe instead of 50 charges, make them unlimited charges. And buff the spell damage from 1d6 per level to 1d100 per level so the dream of removing any challenge at all from the game will be complete, lol.

    And where's the scrolls of contigency that allow you to heal to full when you go below 20% of original hit points?
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  8. taltamir

    taltamir Established Member

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    I agree, this is the best way to go about it.

    I found out what happened. In vanilla the "craft wand" feat description says that wands have 50 charges. However, they all have 20 charges, except for a few "unused" lines interspersed between the wands which are set to 50 charges.

    It seems that at some point co8 altered the feat description to just read 20, to fit the vanilla amount of charges. However, this is not an ideal solution (as I mentioned above).

    I am going to do some testings with 50 charges wands and see if it works properly, if it does, I will create and submit a modified protos.tab with all wands altered to be 50 charges.
     
  9. Mortificator

    Mortificator Member

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    The big benefit of wands in ToEE, however, is that their selling price doesn't change to reflect the number of charges remaining. Wands are better than scrolls for spells up to level 4 because you can use them until one charge is left, then sell them for profit. Until (and unless) this can be addressed, I think upping wands to 50 charges would make the balance even worse.
     
  10. taltamir

    taltamir Established Member

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    Alright, i just tested a wand of summon monster 1 with 50 charges, it works perfectly, it had 50 charges (I counted)...

    I thought the price DID decrease to represent the change in cost.
    Anyways, this is just punishing those who don't cheat and slightly inconveniencing those who do cheat (by using a wand until there is one charge left and then selling it.

    EDIT: Seems I was wrong, price stays the same on a wand regardless of how many charges it has left. It is always priced as a fully charged wand.

    However, I still don't think that this should result in wands being crippled for non cheating use.
    I have no idea how to implement altering the cost on a per charge basis though.
    Maybe make wands non sellable in stores, then make a special wand store that uses a script to buy wands (where it checks the amount of charges first)?
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  11. taltamir

    taltamir Established Member

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    wow... this is going to take a while!
    Not only are there tons of wands (including duplicates of a higher caster level)
    there are also a bunch of non craftable wands that are either NPC only, or are found with reduced charges..
    aka, you can craft wand X with 20 charges, or find wand X with the same name but a different protos entry which has 10 charges... So some wands I should adjust the charges on, some I shouldn't...
    Many also have Bizarro pricing which needs adjustment.

    but don't worry, i will do it.
    I will post modified files when I am done. (i will not finish it today though)
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  12. EdCon

    EdCon Member

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    Three words: Wand of identify

    Best wand, hands down, bar none. Forget about relative costs for a moment-a 20 charge wand saves you 2,000 gold you would have had to spend if you cast it 20 times via spells. Or to put it differently, every magic item is worth 100 gold more :)


    I think it's great the Taltamir is directing his energy towards learning modding and experimenting now.

    -EC
     
  13. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Me too. But ... this is a vanilla thing. Troika didn't just forget to give wands 50 charges. That would be really, really obvious. They wanted wands to have 20 charges, probably for 'balance' reasons. (I think they even mentioned this back in those old release interviews, iirc.) There are other examples where they deviated from RAW to make things work better, in their estimation, for ToEECRPG.

    I don't see us changing this, sorry.

    That said, taltamir, maybe you should build a mod of your own that conforms to your vision of what ToEE should be as far as all these rules type issues go (and anything else you fancy). As long as it works, we would be happy to host it as an add-on.
     
  14. FreeTheSlaves

    FreeTheSlaves Member

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    Hi folks :)

    The thing with giving wands 20 charges is that they have merely pushed scribe scroll up the best value ladder. You can achieve the same thing with scribe scroll, in fact with the scroll stacking bug, you can get excellent value from low spell scrolls with high caster level. I.e. magic missile.

    In PnP the wand wizard is supposed to blanketing their enemies with spells from wands, and using high DC spells (from ability modifiers + feats) from slots on tougher foes. We still do the same, but with scrolls. I've never crafted a wand yet, the cost for value compared to scrolls simply is not favourable.

    Wands being limited to level 4 spells means you can't do stoneskin either, although maybe one of the cleric domains or druid spell list can get around this. However are you really going to get your CoDzilla craft wands over say craft arms & armour/wondrous items or scribe scroll?

    Also - good on you Taltamir. I'll be very interested in your mod.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  15. Spider Dwarf

    Spider Dwarf Spider

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    My 2 CP. Leave 'em alone unless you want to do your own mod. Yes, the wands as crafted in ToEE are not in agreement with the rules. However, they would destroy the game balance. So in this I concur with Gaear's conclusion. I have yet to see any computerized D&D game that is in total agreement with the rule books, be they the old CGA & EGA games (Pools of Radiance, etc.), the Beholder series or the Baldur's Gate series.

    I do agree with Taltimir in that the sell price should equate to how many charges are left in the wand, or for that matter any "charged" device. But this would be in the scripting and that I leave to those more accomplished in such matters.
     
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