Idle thought.

Idle thought.

Idle thought… a class (probably some sort of wizard) that starts ridiculously powerful, but that grows less so through XP.

Like, imagine something like a Boaz, First of the Magi in Joe Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy. Ancient, ridiculously powerful, but each time he uses his magic there’s a significant risk of it going completely out of control and draining an enormous amount of vitality & power from him, vitality/power that he does not get back through any normal means.

At the same time, he’s got this enormous life history, a network of temporal power, and no shortage of powerful enemies and old grudges working against him.

You could flavor it a few different ways: an ancient magus (like Boas), a lich or mummy, a forgotten deity, a pharaoh/god-king.

I think a class like that could be made interesting. But could it be made in such a way that it didn’t completely overshadow the rest of the players? Is DW even the right game for it?


11 thoughts on “Idle thought.”

  1. I think the main point to consider is that for the most part DW characters don’t get more powerful as they grow in levels. They get more options, but (with a few exceptions, like higher level spells), the growth is way more lateral than vertical. Scope (the only meaningful measure of power, when you get down to it) is dictated by the table, not by class features.

    So it seems a bit weird to flip the script when the script doesn’t even really exist. I guess you could start off with a bunch of moves and lose them as you progress through the game? You wouldn’t necessarily outshine the other characters then. But then your character would feel less badass as the game progresses, and that’s not really fun either.

    My two cents: it’s a cool idea, but I don’t think DW is the right place for it.

  2. It could work if all characters had the same issue. Think smth like Pratchett’s The Last Hero: 5 octogenarians decide one last adventure before they die has to be a trip to the abode of gods and confront them about the injustices of the world. Their health is already failing, and they have to use their accumulated knowledge and experience to still do what their decrepit limbs and back can’t handle anymore on their own.

  3. DW could be the place for this, but I don’t think I would implement it as a “devolving class”, especially since you don’t want the character to overshadow all of the others.

    A game or campaign where this is the central concept could be interesting though. Something where all of the characters start out at high level, and then each session or mini-story arc takes place before the last one. One of my favorite movies is Memento, which starts at the end of the story, and ends at the beginning of the story.

    That’s all just pre-coffee musings… It would probably be difficult to pull off. I’ll probably watch Memento again today LOL

  4. If the character in question doesn’t lose his powers through gaining XP, but rather by using them (such as Aaron Griffin’s “hold 5, you can’t regain hold” or as a potential consequence of misses when using their super-powers) then they’d most likely be loath to squander their powers on lesser challenges.

    In that case, the rest of the party might be focused on trying to protect and aid the super-character so they don’t need to use their powers themselves, until they can be delivered into just the right place where they can cut loose. For example, getting into and across the Dark Lord’s realm without wasting their super-powers on dealing with minions, so they can confront the Dark Lord itself.

    That might work…

  5. What about a character that starts with more dice to roll than the standard 2d6. They can take a best of those or burn one of the extras at any time to force a success or failure in a roll. This way they’d go from being able to be hugely successful to possibly being a normal mortal like the rest of the party.

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