I’m looking to loosely model “The Mage” class after Quan Chi from Mortal Kombat.

I’m looking to loosely model “The Mage” class after Quan Chi from Mortal Kombat.

I’m looking to loosely model “The Mage” class after Quan Chi from Mortal Kombat.  I have yet to play my first game, but I thought it would be cool to play as a mage who could open up 2 portals (an “in” and an “out”).  A party member could then use this to “teleport” to a spot and attack an enemy from a different angle OR once I leveled to 3 (and I choose offensive magic capabilities) I could shoot a projectile through the portals to attack an enemy.  My concern is that other might find the ambiguity of the the Mage broken and therefore, overpowered.  Thinking about it though, I feel it is self-governing.  Specifically, casting a spell requires that you choose 2 (negative) aspects and I believe the most common would be a 1 ongoing while the portals were up & “doesn’t last long”.  Also, potentially, the portal “out” may not be where you think it is (especially if a 6 is rolled.  Lastly, I could see limbs being taken when the portals fail from a DM hard move.  I guess my question is:  If anyone thinks this would be too powerful? If so, is there another configuration that might be more “balanced”? 

5 thoughts on “I’m looking to loosely model “The Mage” class after Quan Chi from Mortal Kombat.”

  1. The Star Mage, from the same designer, has creating portals as a class feature, and it’s a pretty well-written class; I’d suggest looking it up. I generally agree with Chris’s advice, but I’d call the Star Mage fairly beginner friendly as it doesn’t pull you too far away from the core mechanics like a lot of third party classes do.

    This is a dead horse at this point, but yes, The Mage itself is a pretty broken class. Cast a Spell is a move that gets used to solve any and every problem because the trigger and effects are so broad; it’s not so much a spotlight as a supernova. Other classes just can’t engage with the fiction on the same level as that class does, and the downsides don’t actually balance that out; if anything, they aggravate the problem because the move creates more fallout and thus more spotlight time for the Mage.

    Even the designer, Jacob Randolph, acknowledges these faults (kudos again for that by the way, Jacob), hence him coming out with the mostly better Revised Mage line (which includes the Star Mage, which IMO is the most polished of the lot from a mechanics standpoint).

    Welcome to Dungeon World, by the way! Hope you have fun in your first game. :)

  2. Thanks for the replies!  I’m set to play 2 games this weekend.  I had already planned to play with default stuff first, I just wanted to get some advice about how to go about RP-ing a character differently from the default flavor.  Is the Star Mage a Space Opera-type class or does it fit within the realm of Dungeon World?  Again, thanks for the replies!

  3. If you want to roleplay the character differently from the default flavor, then do so. How you roleplay the character has very little to do with the rules on your playbook or even what playbook you’re using. There also is no real “default flavor” for DW, as there is no real setting for the game. The “default” is whatever the group wants it to be. You two games could very well end up being completely different from each other, simply because your two play groups are different.

  4. Agreed; there’s an underlying assumption that you’re playing in the fantasy genre, but that genre is alarmingly broad. DW can be high fantasy, dark fantasy, weird fantasy, science fantasy or whatever else works for your table.

    The Star Mage has a couple of different baked-in flavor suggestions, including “space opera alien trapped in a fantasy world,” but the out of genre trappings are easy enough to file off.

    I will detract a little and say that there is (or should be) some link between your playbook and your roleplay. The former shouldn’t be seen as restricting the latter, but informing it is not a bad thing. E.g., The Star Mage has a fair amount of outsider elements in its rules, so you’ll find that the class supports your portrayal more if you take that into account if you build a character who is something of an outsider. Though they could just as easily be a foreigner or demon or something instead of an alien.

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