Friday, September 25, 2009

Balancing the Wish Spell

This isn't a very long post, but it deals with a very specific issue. Wishes.

A lot of fantasy games end up giving the players a wish; this mirrors stories where the protagonist is given a wish. But the problem is players are fairly clever and quickly realize the power of writing stupidly precise wishes and GM's as insidious (and often laboured and stupid in their own manner) with subverting them. You NEVER get a player who wishes as they do in stories with "I wish to be rich", and you lose out on a lot of good gaming opportunities there. Now some groups simply have a gentlemen’s rule about wish and when and how to abuse it...but then..there is a certain fun in trying to warp out the perfect wish as well.

Such a dilemma.

Personally I always use the simple solution of word count. Your wish has a dozen words, at least two of them are "I wish".

That's also more fun, I often limit myself in any warping occasion to half that (6 tops) more words to tack on to twist it.

"I wish for a million gold coins" is 7 words, giving me 3.5 (4) to twist it. "From the kings treasury", if he went with "I wish for wealth" I'd be left with two, best I'd come up with is "of spirit", but even then I'd end up having to fork over a bunch of high powered allies, better to just give him the gold (unless I think the wealth of spirit would be more fun).

So, quick posting game: List your wish under these conditions, and the next person can warp it and post their own.

I'll start:

"I wish for a magic sword to be forged for me"


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  2. "By a greedy, powerful, immortal wizard"

    I think I got it right this time.

    My wish:

    "I wish to become immune to curses."

  3. "and other foul language"

    My wish:

    "I wish for the king of thorbardin to die tonight'

  4. "... and be resurrected even stronger"

    What a great idea, Zzarchov!

    "I wish for Piecemeal to be available as PDF"
    (just kidding)

    "I wish our mission succeeds"

  5. "... despite our deaths"

    "I wish for spell immunity"

  6. "all day tommorow"

    "I wish to conquer the world and rule it eternally"

  7. "...from my airtight coral palace on the ocean floor."

    "I wish our enemy was dead."

  8. "and a lich."

    "I wish I had a ring of protection from evil"

  9. "...and became evil myself."

    "I wish the world was safe and peaceful forever"

  10. "...after the apocalypse."

    "I wish that I had a Klondike bar right now"

  11. ', make it slightly freezer burnt"

    "I wish I had a dime for every time you said that"

  12. "...when you were unconscious"

    this is great!

    "I wish for three more wishes.."

  13. ooh forgot to add one.

    I wish to live

  14. ... until tonight.

    I wish my wishes could not be warped.

  15. Side note to David, I think you causes a recursive loop that would lock the universe :P

  16. Sorry for raising this thread... rain.

    I wish to become a (living) dragon or a draco-lich.

  17. "a quarter inch in size"

    I wish for the love of the princess

  18. "...of slime and putrescence."

    I wish for a (friendly) bird