Nethermancer at Circle 3?

Discussion on playing Earthdawn. Experiences, stories, and questions related to being a player.
Sharkforce
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: Nethermancer at Circle 3?

Post by Sharkforce » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:46 pm

perhaps you should consider carrying a few *non* spirit darts with you :P ^^

Tattered Rags
Posts: 357
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:04 am

Re: Nethermancer at Circle 3?

Post by Tattered Rags » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:20 pm

I did some number crunching and have come to the conclusion that Spirit Darts is better than Astral Spear. There are the use cases where the enemy has high mystic armor (and you need to beat it), has no MA (so the benefit of Spirit Darts goes away), or you really want to cause a wound. Generally, though, Spirit Darts does more damage per round. I think. The analysis is a bit complex, so I may have oversimplified. And I'm not sharing the intermediate steps because they're a mess.

Anydice.com link:
https://anydice.com/program/146e9

Result against a Cadaver Man
SD averages 7.6 damage a round (not sure I did the math right, but 6.31 in round 1 and 8.31 in round 2, with a 65% chance of success in round 1 causing a -2 to MA)
AS averages about 2 to 5 per round, depending on a number of factors (single target vs. extra target, all threads in 1 round vs. over 2 rounds, extra successes, etc.), but you have a better chance of a really big hit in 1 round

Analysis wasn't perfect, but the differences are great enough that I'm confident in the direction if not the specific numbers.
Adventure I'm running:
Under the Stars

Adventure GM post-mortem:
Under the Stars Postmortem

Sharkforce
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: Nethermancer at Circle 3?

Post by Sharkforce » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:29 am

Tattered Rags wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:20 pm
I did some number crunching and have come to the conclusion that Spirit Darts is better than Astral Spear. There are the use cases where the enemy has high mystic armor (and you need to beat it), has no MA (so the benefit of Spirit Darts goes away), or you really want to cause a wound. Generally, though, Spirit Darts does more damage per round. I think. The analysis is a bit complex, so I may have oversimplified. And I'm not sharing the intermediate steps because they're a mess.

Anydice.com link:
https://anydice.com/program/146e9

Result against a Cadaver Man
SD averages 7.6 damage a round (not sure I did the math right, but 6.31 in round 1 and 8.31 in round 2, with a 65% chance of success in round 1 causing a -2 to MA)
AS averages about 2 to 5 per round, depending on a number of factors (single target vs. extra target, all threads in 1 round vs. over 2 rounds, extra successes, etc.), but you have a better chance of a really big hit in 1 round

Analysis wasn't perfect, but the differences are great enough that I'm confident in the direction if not the specific numbers.
did you factor in spellcasting talent knacks for the astral spear? i am assuming it wouldn't do a *huge* amount, but it should help somewhat...

Tattered Rags
Posts: 357
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:04 am

Re: Nethermancer at Circle 3?

Post by Tattered Rags » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:08 am

Sharkforce wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:29 am
did you factor in spellcasting talent knacks for the astral spear? i am assuming it wouldn't do a *huge* amount, but it should help somewhat...
No, I did not.

Astral Strain and Pattern Stress are the only ones that would make a difference.

Pattern Stress effectively negates the bonus that SD gives. I'd guess it would up the damage range to 3-7ish for AS. About on par with SD.

Astral Strain would shift the chances for extra damage. Too hard for me to figure out without returning probabilities and redoing my spreadsheet. Don't want to do that, though. I *think* it wouldn't be more than 1 damage per round, though. If even that.
Adventure I'm running:
Under the Stars

Adventure GM post-mortem:
Under the Stars Postmortem

Sharkforce
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: Nethermancer at Circle 3?

Post by Sharkforce » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:39 am

astral strain would also be significant in that it would increase the chance of hitting, so it should add more than just the chance of getting an extra success.

Tattered Rags
Posts: 357
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:04 am

Re: Nethermancer at Circle 3?

Post by Tattered Rags » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:03 am

Sharkforce wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:39 am
astral strain would also be significant in that it would increase the chance of hitting, so it should add more than just the chance of getting an extra success.
Eh, yeah, you're right. Maybe I'll rerun the numbers today and put up a better guess.
Adventure I'm running:
Under the Stars

Adventure GM post-mortem:
Under the Stars Postmortem

Sharkforce
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:39 am

Re: Nethermancer at Circle 3?

Post by Sharkforce » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:53 pm

honestly not sure that's worth too much depth of research... i mean, you would *technically* also need to factor in the chance that astral strain is going to work too. sounds like a fair bit of bother. i think "a bit more, but probably still not quite enough to consistently out-damage spirit dart" is an adequate estimate for our purposes :P

Lamoron
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:22 am

Re: Nethermancer at Circle 3?

Post by Lamoron » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:41 am

Update on this thread.

I solved my problem with feeling useless on the lower circles in combat. We fought a lesser horror and my magic kept bouncing off it, and finally my strength 8 Nethermancer picked up a knife and simply stabbed it, and due to open ended rolls on both hit and damage... kaSPLAT.

I then spent some LP learning melee weapons as a skill, picked up a sword, and voila. With step 7 dexterity and 1 melee skill, I can go aggressive and reach step 11 to hit, and step 11 damage, which is better than my Spirit Dart. We found a Desperate Blow charm which I claimed, and now I can help in combat.

Turns out the solution for low level magic users in ED is the same as in DnD.

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