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Magic System Discussion


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#21
Orik

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Actually someone said in the dragon age boards that D&D magic system is mana based. You just previously choose what to do with your mana. He or she said it as answer for someone who was questioning why you "forget" the spell even if you have memorized two of same spells and use only one of them. It definetly makes sense.

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While calling the wizard's spell memorisation system in D&D mana-based is tenuous, you CAN say that the sorcerer's system IS mana based.

Essentially a sorcerer in D&D uses mana to cast spells, with each spell costing one "mana point". The difference is that they have nine mana-pools to draw on, one for each level.

I do find people's knee-jerk reaction to a mana system amusing. Mana systems can be so varied that simply saying "it's a mana system, it'll be crap" shows how shallow their reaction truly is. It's not as if using a mana system means you'll suddenly get Diablo-like magic being spam-cast near infinitely. Not if you don't want it to.

#22
Volourn

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"Sacred cow."

No. Youa re absolutely wrong. D&D magic system is fantatsic. I've expalined why multiple times. Not gonna bother to again until someone gives an actual good reasons why the D&D magic system is as horrible as they claim it to be.

To me, it seems most claims of it being horrible are 'it doesn't give me much power as I'd rather spam spells non stop". R00fles!


And, no, Orik, mana systems buy and large, I have yet to see a good one. At best, they are abrely acceptable ala BL. Otherwise, poo poo is their middle name.

#23
Pyronius

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Someone please explain why mana based is a bad thing. I couldn't care less if it is mana based or not...

Why would mana ruin your day? I think if mana inclusion ruins your day, you have problems. Maybe someone can set me straight and tell me why they give a rats ass whether magic is limited by mana not memory.

ANd Orik, great point about the sorc. I was gonna post that myself... Sorcs ARE mana based with each spell costing one mana.

Facts are that people are stupid and love drama.

Dont like mana=you are stupid. Suck it up. You know you're gonna buy both DA and NWN2.

#24
aVENGER

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If you knew anything about D&D; you'd knopw that magic doesn't work like swinging a weapon.


So? It seems wrong to me from a basic balance perspective.

Magic does not = just another weapon


No, not all magic, but the majority of spells are used offensively.

#25
Drakron

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Volourn means the blood point system but its tied to other things and a blood poll cannot be expanded except by lowering generation (at least in VtM) so there are a lot of checks to make sure its not abused.

There is a Mage system in World of Darkness but I am not familiar with it, also Werewolves uses a system similar to the blood poll but get a diferent name and its naturaly not tied with drinking blood.

The fact is the "Fire and Forget" system works for D&D and alter it would turn it into something else, there is nothing wrong in not like the way D6D deals with magic but to change it is going to mess things up more that turning THAC0 into BAB.

#26
J.E. Sawyer

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The D&D wizard spell memorization/preparation system is bad because it is extremely inflexible on a moment to moment basis. It often trades off frequency of use for power. E.g., a magic missile only does 1d4+1 damage per shot, but it is unerring and has a long range. Sleep has the potential to affect a number of creatures, but many creatures have no resistance to it. Spells take an entire slot, which for wizards, must be prepared ahead of time, but the effects are often powerful. This gives the low-level wizard effectively one, two, or three chances to make a difference with their magic. At all other times, they are waiting around to get their spells back, running in terror, or making feeble attacks with their melee/ranged weapons.

Compared to a system like the one found in Ars Magica -- well, there is no comparison. The flexibility of an Ars Magica system could be mated to a low power effect pool with more frequent hits on the caster's fatigue. It effectively becomes a "mana-based" system where minor spells are free (but not very powerful) and more significant spells weaken the caster.

#27
Drakron

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Someone please explain why mana based is a bad thing.  I couldn't care less if it is mana based or not...

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Because there are mana potions laying around to be used and mana tends to regenerate as time passes unlike hp.

Also to balance things mana tends to be used for melee special attacks and you start to see the ability to jump up and strike the enemy with a spear being tied with the ability to animate bones or call lighting from the sky.

It can be done right, after all the vitality system of Star Wars is a "mana pool".

#28
Pyronius

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I think Fighters should be limited by an energy pool like mana. You only get to take X number of swings before you get exhausted(run out of energy). Then you either sit and rest or take a penalty to hit.

It would make things make more sense and make fighters limited just like mages instead of the neverending fighting machine. "Neverending fighting machine" is a feat you have to take to give you more energy. Naturally energy would come back faster than it takes to memorize and you would have wuite a bit available attacks than mages have spells, but still....

I'm serious.

but...
That would piss everyone off. muhahahaaaa :thumbsup:

Edit:
BTW, there is absolutely zero wrong with mana regenerating. Of course, if your fantasyt world says you have to sleep before you regain mana, so be it, go to town and sleep. Nothing saying the game cant be done like that. Besides, there are health pots laying around to be used everywhere in DnD. Why not mana?

Also, they ought to re-name mana "energy" or something. That way, when it is used for fighters in melee specials, it makes sense--takes more "energy" to perform special attacks. Also from a mage perspective--it take mental "energy" or even physical "energy" to call down fire from the sky. I see no problem yet.

Once again, I think people are just high strung and like to compain. Mana makes sense and is fun and wont ruin anyones day. DnD's magic system makes less sense to me but you dont hear me complaining about the sillyness of it. "Why did i forget that spell that I memorized last night??" I just cast it for god's sake!! Oh well, perhaps I ran out of mana... :) Dont think about it that much, just play and enjoy. >_<

#29
maia

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Well, it is true that most mana-based magic systems in CRPGs are on the simple side and don't allow for complex tactics of BGs and IWDs. Maybe not coincidentially most mana-based CRPGs in my experience were also single-character ones and thus generally not too big on complex tactics.
But it is a matter of implemenatation more than anything else - Wizardry 8 (and its predessors I presume) has a very satisfying mana-based magic that allows for intricate spell-counterspell magic duels.

I have to say that although I adore the BGs I really don't like the whole spell memorization stuff, because it constrains one to constantly use the more generally useful spells, while specialised ones have to be ignored, and forces reconaissance by fight and reload in order to learn the tactics and foibles of a particular tough enemy, followed by a rest a few steps away from that enemy in order to memorize appropriate spells.
I.e. a lot of unnecessary tedium and suspension of disbelief. I am currently playing a Wild Mage in BG2 and I have to say that Nahal's Reckless Dweomer is great because it allows you to cast any spell from the book. It is just so liberating. If only those damned chaos surges didn't interfere...

Why couldn't they have scraped the whole memorization system and just said - at your character level you can cast x spells of level y, n spells of level z, etc. per waking period and let you pick _which_ spells on the fly from the spellbook. IMHO such a simple change would have greatly improved the D&D magic system.

#30
Orik

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Because there are mana potions laying around to be used and mana tends to regenerate as time passes unlike hp.

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This is a design decision that has little to do with the use of a "mana" or "wizard-slot" style system. It would be just as easy to have potions that regenerated a wizards used spells if you wanted to, or have those slots regenerate over time instead of requiring rest.

So using potions or regeneration as an argument against mana doesn't stand.

#31
deganawida

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"Sacred cow."

No. Youa re absolutely wrong. D&D magic system is fantatsic. I've expalined why multiple times. Not gonna bother to again until someone gives an actual good reasons why the D&D magic system is as horrible as they claim it to be.

To me, it seems most claims of it being horrible are 'it doesn't give me much power as I'd rather spam spells non stop". R00fles!


And, no, Orik, mana systems buy and large, I have yet to see a good one. At best, they are abrely acceptable ala BL. Otherwise, poo poo is their middle name.

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No, Volourn, it actually is a sacred cow. It is one of those things that the designers of 3E stated would not be significantly changed as it was "integral" to D&D. Further, D&D magic is horrible. Why? Because it is horribly unbalanced. In order to make up for the limited spell use of the magic users in D&D, spells were introduced and designed to give the wizard, cleric, etc. tremendous power. Don't believe me? Then let's take a look at the simplest, most popular D&D spell: Magic Missle. Magic Missle casts a missle of Force which automatically does 1d4+1 point of damage (to a maximum of 5). This is a spell which never misses. No attack roll is made, nor is a Spellcraft check required. Armor has no effect on a Magic Missle, and there is no save Find me a Fighter who never misses. Second, it is a Force effect, which means that it is one of the very few things that can effect Ethereal beings.

Now, Volo, I'm sure you're scratching your head right now, thinking, "Howd oes this aaply to the D& Dspell evel issue?" Well, it's fairly simple: the spells only get more and more powerful as the spell level increases. Take a look at spells like Fireball; not many (if any) warriors can do 10d6 worth of damage in a round to all enemies in a 20ft radius. And that's just a 3rd level spell! What about the higher spells? Finger of Death requires a save; if you pass, you just take massive damage, if you fail, you die. Do other, non-spellcasting classes have this cabability? Nope. Shapechange is one of the most ungodly spells that I have ever seen, giving wizards a versatiliity unmatched by any other class.

You see, the problem with the current D&D spell system is that spells have to be made more powerful to compensate for the fact that spellslingers only get so much to use per day. This power issue increases exponentially with each spell level, to the point that a 20th level wizard, cleric, or druid is substantially more powerful and infinitely more versatile than any other 20th level class (or even most of those classes once they go epic). That inbalance is symptomatic of the spell level system; if, for example, wizards received a mana pool (or had to make a Spellcraft, which is my preferred solution), then there would be no need for a 1st level spell that always hit, allowed no save, inflicted 1d4+(1->5) points of damage per missile (up to five), and which could hit ethereal creatures. Why? Because they'd be able to cast more, less powerful spells, and would not be totally combat-heavy (or utility-heavy, depending). Moving to a mana-based or skill-based system for magic would go a long way to balancing D&D.

#32
Monte Carlo

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I'll have to drag up the topic of RuneQuest again.

Used a quasi-mana system based on a character stat called Power (POW).

You lost a POW point every time you cast a spell....but you could boost the power of a spell. Say your character knows Healing 3. That sucka costs 3 POW points. Your maximum power score is 18, by the way so you really have to think about what spells to cast and when. POW regenerated slowly. Also, as your POW dropped, your skill bonuses associated with high POW dropped too. It was basically a combined mana/ endurance system but actually really easy to use (RQ worked on a d100 percentile system).

As your character gets groovier he can use different totems and crystals to store a bit more POW to charge up different spells. He could also boost his base POW stat. Nonetheless, in a higher-level battle your character could very easily use up a good 75% of his stored magic.

Of course, RQ was classless, level-less and every character had access to some magic. It was, however, an interesting take on the mana system and worked well, giving the player real choices about how he best deployed his magical resources and when.

Cheers
MC

#33
Memengwa

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I think it is this simple.

If you do not like the way D&D functions. Go buy a CRPG that isn't D&D, or go whine to the WotC. Because there is as much point of complaining here, as if you would be talking to your bed..

No matter how much you discuss, NWN2 will not be mana based, and it seems that DA is going to be.

Yes, you who do like mana, have the right to like it.
Yes, you who don't like mana, have the right to not like it.
Both have their +s and -s.

But it all depends on balancing. D&D is a balanced game, and changing anything disrupts the balance. You need to really be sure what you are doing. Balancing a game is hard, ask any CRPG making company. *shrugs*

I don't see why everyone gets so worked up about this.
Those are just simpley 2 different systems. Just leave it. Why forcing everyone to use one? The beauty lies in the diversity of systems. Buy the one that suits you best.

#34
aVENGER

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Also to balance things mana tends to be used for melee special attacks and you start to see the ability to jump up and strike the enemy with a spear being tied with the ability to animate bones or call lighting from the sky.


How about using a Fatigue gauge instead of Mana, like in Arcanum for example?

Fighters would eventually grow tired from swinging their weapons and mages would get exhausted after casting spells. It's pretty even in the end.

#35
deganawida

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D&D is a balanced game, and changing anything disrupts the balance. You need to really be sure what you are doing.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Sorry, I had my tea come out of my nose, I was guffawing so badly. DnD is NOT balanced. Is 3.x more balanced than previous versions? Yes, but that does not mean that it is balanced.

#36
Memengwa

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Sorry, I had my tea come out of my nose, I was guffawing so badly.  DnD is NOT balanced.  Is 3.x more balanced than previous versions?  Yes, but that does not mean that it is balanced.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


And I'm sure you are qualified to fix the balance by adding mana based magic to it??

#37
deganawida

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No, but my Spellcraft-based sysytem has worked well for three years and running.

#38
Memengwa

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And now you are going to suggest that Obsidian uses it, or go to WotC to suggest it?

#39
deganawida

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Um, no. You see, this thread has become skill/mana-based magic vs. Vancian magic, and hasn't for two pages had much to do with DA or NWN2 at all. Would I like WotC to adopt some of these ideas for 4.0? You bet. Do I expect them to do it now, or allow it for NWN2? Not at all.

#40
Memengwa

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Maybe it's just me.. but I really do not see the reason why everyone then gets so worked up over something they cannot change.

As I said before. Everyone have the right to like/dislike either system. That doesn't change anything.

Would you like the system you don't like to totally dissapear? I'm sure the person who likes it would hate it.

The GOOD thing is that both systems exist, making it possible for those who do not like the other system to use the one they like.

You get worked up over nothing, get angry at each other, and then this all ends in a flame war (some not nice words have already been said).

Is it worth it?




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