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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The only bits of Traveller I'm aware of are that chargen is a minigame in itself and that Doug Lenat broke the Trillion Credit Squadron tournament by testing his machine learning algorithms on it.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

SlyJohnny wrote:
Anyone had experience with Traveller? I'm going to be running a game of it.

One idea I was kicking around was having the PCs get stranded on the Zoldani side of the border after another Imperium-Zoldani conflict kicks off. It looks like they're going to be riding in a yacht, so they'll have 2x Jump 1. Is it feasible within the universe that these kinds of wars create "battle lines" that would be difficult to traverse without attracting attention from the militaries of both sides? Or does the vastness of space/the fact that battles happen around focal points like planets preclude this?

Also, I'm mostly trying to stay way from New Traveller, but I might use some variant of the Virus/the vampire fleets. I can't find that book anywhere, though. Is it worth buying, or is the execution really stupid?


The problem with the concept of "battlelines" is that in 3D space, the finitely limited nature of military assets means that while you can guard strategic assets, you really can't guard every single part of the infinite space that's too far from said assets upwards/downwards on your local galaxies galactic-plane to establish a complete blockade line between your territory and the enemies.

At least, if the galaxy in question is in some sort of rotational motion, and thus has some sort of elliptical or spiral formation; and isn't an irregular formation galaxy.

If the PCs "stranded" behind enemy lines decide:

-To go up/down (whichever is closest) to their local galactic plane
-Skirt over/under the galactic plane and be over/under friendly territory
-Return to their galactic plane

Then it really doesn't matter where they are with respect to the strategic lines that have been drawn.

The problems that might matter more are:

-How fast/long can your star drive carry you before you have to return to inhabited space
-How much does your star drive rely upon being near stars, star systems to refuel at, recalibrate its navigational systems, etc.
-How much water/food/air supplies are necessary for this long a voyage
-How long can the travellers survive actual boredom
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Orca
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Imperium has huge numbers of retired/'detached duty' scouts wandering around precisely so they have eyes all over the place in the event of a war. Traveller starships have to refuel at most every second jump, and for a yacht that means at a starport - they can't refuel at gas giants IIRC. Even if they could both sides use commerce raiders, besides the opportunist pirates, or possible paranoid system defence forces. The vastness of space will not help the PCs cross the borders - they should want to stay far away from anywhere an Imperial or Zhodani cruiser might appear, shooting any traders up before retreating.

The 2D Traveller maps make interstellar battle lines easier too.
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Hiram McDaniels
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Are die step mechanics (Savage Worlds, Earthdawn, Cortex, Ironclaw, etc.) a complete dead end design wise?

I mean, I recognize that there are problems: the effective range of the randomizer is small, so there's not a lot of vertical growth to characters; produces weird outputs like novices succeeding on tasks more easily than seasoned professionals, etc.

Has anyone actually come across a die step system that works well in practice?

Let me put this another way: Do you think it's possible to build a better Savage Worlds?

Some ideas off the top of my head:

- Get fucking rid of goddamn exploding dice mechanics. This goes for all games.
- No fucking wild die; you don't need an extra die to randomize results when the whole point of dice is to randomize results. Stop sabotaging your system for the sake of shoehorning in poker references.
- No fucking soak rolls; if you advertise your game as "fast, furious, fun" then your system needs to resolve basic combat actions like attack/damage in as few mechanical operations as possible.
- Use ye olde fucking stat+skill* paradigm to round out die results and mitigate some of the swinginess; maybe factor in some static bonuses somewhere.
- If you want to use poker cards in the game; find a more interesting use than initiative.

*Stat + Skill paradigm is a classic and it works for distinguishing characters, but I've got a weird hard-on for the idea of stats and skills serving completely different functions. An idea I had was a game where base stats are passive and serve mostly as the Target Values the opposition has to roll in order to do stuff to you; whereas skills are active things that you use on enemies, tasks, obstacles, etc.

To that end, if I wanted to use some flowery language to describe a stat that's mostly for avoiding melee attacks, as though it were a virtue instead of a game statistic, what would be a good word? So far I've got Valor, Mettle and Prowess.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hiram wrote:
Are die step mechanics (Savage Worlds, Earthdawn, Cortex, Ironclaw, etc.) a complete dead end design wise?


They work OK in D&D for weapon damage and hit dice.

Dice step mechanics do exactly one thing well. Between the d4 and the d12, every die increase increases the average result by 1 but increases the minimum result by zero. That's it. If you have some portion of the game where you want to add up to +4 in average results with increases in variance along the way such that the minimum values don't move at all, then going d4 -> d6 -> d8 ->d10 -> d12 does do that in a way that adding +1-4 to the result does not.

Of course, you could also achieve the same design goal by having the bonuses be d3-1, and if you were at all tempted to have dice pools or exploding dice or whatever the fuck, obviously that would be better.

The dice mechanics in Savage Worlds are fucking awful and I don't see any possible means to easily convert them into something that isn't poop on a plate. But there is very limited room in game design for someone's bonus to be represented as rolling a d8 instead of a d6 for something. And I think that design space was mostly explored in 1977.

-Frank
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

An other option; dice shrink as capabilities go up. I can't say if it's any good for anything though.

So a Novice rolls a d20, and only generates a hit on a 11+ (with only a 19-20 {10%}allowing for an explosion/step/extra hit/whatever); and then they can upgrade to
->d12 (TN7; Ex@ 11-12 {~17%})
->d10 (TN6; Ex@ 9-10 {20%})
->d8 (TN5; Ex@ 7-8{25%}
->d6 (TN4; Ex@ 5-6 {33%})
->d4 (TN2; Ex@ 3-4 {50%}).

Note, the "master" dice has a 75% chance of success; I guess this demonstrates "increasing" skill, but I don't know if it's a good idea; unless the final stage-up costs the most to reach.
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Mord
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What do you get from that that you don't get by using a d20 at all levels of skill and reducing the extraordinary success threshold as skill rises?
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Hicks
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

SlyJohnny wrote:
Anyone had experience with Traveller? I'm going to be running a game of it.

One idea I was kicking around was having the PCs get stranded on the Zoldani side of the border after another Imperium-Zoldani conflict kicks off. It looks like they're going to be riding in a yacht, so they'll have 2x Jump 1. Is it feasible within the universe that these kinds of wars create "battle lines" that would be difficult to traverse without attracting attention from the militaries of both sides? Or does the vastness of space/the fact that battles happen around focal points like planets preclude this?

Also, I'm mostly trying to stay way from New Traveller, but I might use some variant of the Virus/the vampire fleets. I can't find that book anywhere, though. Is it worth buying, or is the execution really stupid?


Yes. I'm currently running a Traveller game, and we're currently at a point past the rules and scope of the game where they pen "here be dragons" into the map margins. In fact, I think you sat in for a session or two.

Space combat has no way to enforce battle lines. And a determined attacker could simply jump a tanker fleet into deep space and resupply their warships there; it could be years before anybody ever detects that it happened, specifically 3.262 years for every empty hex between the resupply fleet and the closest inhabited system. Fortune really favors the attacker because of light speed lag and the fact that your 9ut of system Intel is at least 148+6d6 hours out of date.

Sure, the defender could split their fleet to guard systems with gas giants and planets with atmospheres so the attacker couldn't approach. But that just means that the main battle fleet moves as one and crushes the defenders because the defenders aren't concentrated and the attackers are.

For as much as Traveller gets right about weapon ranges and being internally consistent with gravity drives, you should look for Age of Sail for attacking and defending; where England has no way to order her fleets around in the Caribbean to combat the French or Spanish navys without weeks of delay.
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Hicks
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

On a further note, I also offer the advice that attackers never jump directly to the 100 diameter limit of where they are attacking, because it is a randomized nightmare to get fleets to jump together and it cannot be done. It isn't difficult, it is impossible. At thrust 6 the largest of habitable planets 100d limit takes less than 2 hours cross, and not only is the jump length random (by more than 2 hours), it can also dump a ship "anywhere in the inner solar system". That is at worst 2AU from your target and srsly like 20 hours of transit accross the inner system at thrust 6. My players hired 5 freighters to help them do a salvage haul and it was a goddamn nightmare to adjudicate: 7 ships with different arrival times most of which had an inaccurate jump. A freaking nightmare, and that was after designing an Excel spreadsheet to help me get the time line right. You have been warned.
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virgil
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So my 9th level party just obtained a high-end silver sword, and I want the githyanki to make efforts to retrieve it. The wizard has been having detect scrying running continuously for the last level or so for safety concerns, so I don't want to make that action useless. If anyone is going to start trying to use scrying at this point, it would be the 'yanki in search of their sword. Simultaneously, scry-and-die is not a good thing to use on players, so greater teleport is a worrisome prospect. What's a good option for me to use at this point?
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angelfromanotherpin
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Have the relevant gith leader be unstereotypically reasonable and start by negotiating to ransom the sword.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So have them start noticing that they're being scryed on. Then see what the players do.

If the gith are relying on plane shift, they're going to end up dozens or hundreds of miles away from the players. No need to give them Greater Teleport - knowing they're being followed/tracked/hunted gives them some interesting options.
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nockermensch
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:
So my 9th level party just obtained a high-end silver sword, and I want the githyanki to make efforts to retrieve it. The wizard has been having detect scrying running continuously for the last level or so for safety concerns, so I don't want to make that action useless. If anyone is going to start trying to use scrying at this point, it would be the 'yanki in search of their sword. Simultaneously, scry-and-die is not a good thing to use on players, so greater teleport is a worrisome prospect. What's a good option for me to use at this point?

Ethereal Filcher(s). Possibly more than one, possibly advanced in HD, almost certainly advanced with class levels in Rogue.

After scrying to locate the sword, the githyanki set up an ambush near some place they figure the adventurers will be at shortly. The ambush happens entirely from the astral plane: filchers try to grab the sword and jaunt back to the ethereal. The githyanki stay on the ethereal the whole time, prepared receive the sword from the filchers and to fight only if the adventurers follow them there. The getaway plan is a mage with Plane Shift ready to transport the giths back to the astral.
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Ghremdal
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Reward the players for being smart. There is a spell that delays teleporting enemies in the location, so the players can use that to set a trap for the scary and die githyanki.

Let them know that is a favorite githyanki tactic, and watch them spend alll session planning on how to set the trap. Bonus points if they build a dungeon of sorts.

The high leader should probably contact them first, but be very arrogant and demand tribute and treasure in addition to giving up the sword.


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SlyJohnny
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Hicks wrote:

Yes. I'm currently running a Traveller game, and we're currently at a point past the rules and scope of the game where they pen "here be dragons" into the map margins. In fact, I think you sat in for a session or two.


Oh hey, I should've thought to just ask you Smile

Sorry I totally ghosted on you guys. I'm living in a super crappy houseshare right now, and the insane couple that live next door were all up in my face for the one time I stayed up late on voice chat with you all. I really enjoyed what little I saw, and your game fired up my imagination something fierce.
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Hiram McDaniels
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Judging__Eagle wrote:
An other option; dice shrink as capabilities go up. I can't say if it's any good for anything though.

So a Novice rolls a d20, and only generates a hit on a 11+ (with only a 19-20 {10%}allowing for an explosion/step/extra hit/whatever); and then they can upgrade to
->d12 (TN7; Ex@ 11-12 {~17%})
->d10 (TN6; Ex@ 9-10 {20%})
->d8 (TN5; Ex@ 7-8{25%}
->d6 (TN4; Ex@ 5-6 {33%})
->d4 (TN2; Ex@ 3-4 {50%}).

Note, the "master" dice has a 75% chance of success; I guess this demonstrates "increasing" skill, but I don't know if it's a good idea; unless the final stage-up costs the most to reach.


Mathematically sound, but counterintuitive. The idea I had was pondering was the target number staying the same while the die sizes climb with skill.

So the target number to do anything is 4, which you're trying to meet or beat with either a d4, d6, d8 yaddayaddayadda. On top of that, a die result of 7+ is a critical success. Some tasks the GM can rule that you need a critical success to succeed. So in essence, different target numbers after all.

Of course this has the same scaling problem as 5E's advantage/disadvantage, wherein the penalty for firing a bow at extreme range is the exact same as the penalty for firing a bow at extreme range in hurricane force winds which is exactly the same as the penalty for firing a bow at extreme range in hurricane force winds while drawing the bowstring with your teeth.

So yeah, I agree with Frank on this one. Die step systems are one of those ideas that I've always been unreasonably enamored with, but I need to accept that it's probably an unworkable concept without resorting to a bunch of unwieldy, cluttered mechanics.

Conclusion: Savage Worlds is a dead end. Maybe look at aggregate d6 pools.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Of course this has the same scaling problem as 5E's advantage/disadvantage, wherein the penalty for firing a bow at extreme range is the exact same as the penalty for firing a bow at extreme range in hurricane force winds which is exactly the same as the penalty for firing a bow at extreme range in hurricane force winds while drawing the bowstring with your teeth.


On that what if advantage/disadvantage was tiered like...

1- reroll 1 (quite weak)
2- reroll odd number failures (stronger)
3- reroll failure

This also sets a paradign where 1 advantage is piddly but two together is strong. Depending on how advantage is given it can encourage teamwork.

Quote:
Dice step mechanics do exactly one thing well. Between the d4 and the d12, every die increase increases the average result by 1 but increases the minimum result by zero. That's it. If you have some portion of the game where you want to add up to +4 in average results with increases in variance along the way such that the minimum values don't move at all, then going d4 -> d6 -> d8 ->d10 -> d12 does do that in a way that adding +1-4 to the result does not.


Good info to have on hand.
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rasmuswagner
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

and then there's the distinction between 1d12 skill and 1d8+2 skill where they are even on a roll-off, even odds on a 7+, but have different odds on a 4+ (and a hypothetical 10+ or 12+ mark).
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So how godly can a lvl20 3. Wizard get? I mean in creating their own world from scratch and shaping the fate of civilizations of mortals

Do epic levels add much
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Prak
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, Genesis is a 9th level spell that creates a 180' radius demiplane that can be increased through subsequent castings (1 week per). Hypothetically, this could be put into a use-activated magic item so they don't actually have to show up every day to put in eight hours at the planes-mine. Also, you could use multiples of these items to grow the plane faster.

After that, I guess is the matter of seeding the world's life, both plant and animal, for which you'll want to either pick stuff up from other worlds and carry it in, or maybe copy some druidic magic through any number of means. A generous DM might allow you to use PAO to create new life from things you carry in. Ie, taking a bear, and polymorphing it to have feathers and a beak, creating an owlbear.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

With PAO you can make life from non-life. The badgers you make from dust can be dispelled, but their offspring will just be normal (or celestial) badgers.

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Prak
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

But the duration, with no extra shenanigans, will be short. PAO Dirt>Badger will have a 3 hour duration at best (if you use dirt of equal mass and if shaping it into a badger form is considered "related"). Now, hypothetically, you could nest PAOs, turning a couple of clods of dirt into a couple of badgers for 20 minutes, ie, long enough to polymorph those badgers into badgers (which would normally be pointless, but in this case turns a 20 minute Polymorph into a permanent Polymorph. If you have generous DM.)
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
But the duration, with no extra shenanigans, will be short. PAO Dirt>Badger will have a 3 hour duration at best (if you use dirt of equal mass and if shaping it into a badger form is considered "related"). Now, hypothetically, you could nest PAOs, turning a couple of clods of dirt into a couple of badgers for 20 minutes, ie, long enough to polymorph those badgers into badgers (which would normally be pointless, but in this case turns a 20 minute Polymorph into a permanent Polymorph. If you have generous DM.)


Turning inanimate things into animate things in a permanent fashion is trivial.

All you have to do is get same Kingdom, and two other ticks and you have a permanent effect. If you're willing to make Earth Element Badgers, you can get it permanent right away out of a pile of mud. If you're willing to cast the spell twice you can turn a grain of sand into a giraffe for twenty minutes and then permanently convert that giraffe into any animal at all with the second casting.

But even beyond that, while Genesis can't create living things, it can create bone and fur (not that you wouldn't have been able to use other spells to make bone walls or vines) and PAO can turn those things permanently into various plants and animals just fine.

-Frank
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Prak
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, that second one is clever. I like it.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Hicks
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Level 20 3.5 wizards are nearly exactly like level 11 wizards as far as capabilities, except for access to 9th level spells other than wish, as 11th level wizards with planar binding could wish for any 8th level spell effect or below in the game. So a cusoury examination of 9th level spells will give you your answer. 17+ level wizards get access 2 tricks above what their 11th level selves did: limitless duration time stops if they have levels in incantrix, and chain gating. The first allows them to cast a limitless ammount of spells as long as they have the delay spell metamagic, resting for up to 40 hours(at level 20) invulnerable inside a time stop to reprepare their delayed spells set to go off after the time stop ends. This can be combined with an incantrix cast delay gate to gate in something that also has gate, the classic monster for this is a Solar, but anything that has up to 40hd is gravy. Combining the two tricks allows the wizard to send a limitless number of Solar to attack a target anywhere in the multiverse for 20 rounds, or you could send a limitless number of Gold Dragon Wyrms for 17 rounds which have better stats but a slightly lower caster level and access to only Gate as their 9th level spell. I mean obviously you'd have to set up some (greater) planar binding xp grinder during each 40 hour time stop duration where you bind an outsider and just ambush it for xp. And of course you are mind blanked in your magnificent mansion on your personal demi plane of swag, but that was a level 11 thing. You could also combine the unlimited time stop trick with an Interplanar Abyss Drop to send a limitless number of infinite damage, infinite area attacks anywhere in the multiverse at the same time, where as a alvel 11-16 wizard could only do that twice or a few dozen times per day.
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Last edited by Hicks on Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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