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Magic System Discussion


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#61
~Di

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I like mana-based games. I like non-D&D games. I'm looking forward to Dragon Age.

Of course, I'm looking forward to NWN2 too... although it will be stuck with the old D&D ruleset that I have come to understand fairly well, but still find to be... lacking. :)

Two hopefully excellent games on the horizon. The FAR horizon, unfortunately. And so I wait...

#62
J.E. Sawyer

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Sawyer my point is the magic missile is not that mush powerful, it can be offset by a simple spell of the same level.

And, with a few other rare exceptions, that is the only counter to it.

Also I seen a lot more broken spells in D&D

Okay, and?

We cannot say D&D spells are broken, I can point out "Physical Shield" of Fable (since cRPGs were brought up) is a hell of a broken spell

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

How does that lessen the inflexibility of D&D's magic system?

#63
caesarbear

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Rhomal was right, the Shadowrun Magic system is a great mana system.

My biggest problem with D&D magic is the illogical way casters "forget" spells all of a sudden. It's very contrived. D&D may still be king but it's old and decrepit.

#64
Sargallath Abraxium

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...magic sucks anyway; so who cares...stop bein' such a bunch o' tree-huggin' pansy-arses an' pick up an Axe an' start swingin'...that's DnD!!... :- :thumbsup: :p


...WHO LUVS YA, BABY!!...

#65
J.E. Sawyer

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The fact you got the opposing mage to change targets is already a good thing.

One could argue that the fact that I got you to waste a spell slot on shield is a good thing. As a player and a DM, I've won more than a few battles by provoking a round of buffs, retreating, waiting, and returning to really start the battle.

And, like I said, there are tons of other ways to deal with magic missle.

No, not really. You can

a) Not be seen
b) Wear a brooch of shielding
c) Cast shield
d) Employ a very small handful of other tactics that replicate these effects.

The list really isn't very long. That's why people use it so much.

Remember, that unlike PC d&D games, your typical pnp D&D game is not going to have lots of battles during one day unless the campaign s REALLY, REALLY combat heavy so not being able to cast your sheild spell as soon as you wake up isn't too bad anyways.

It's much easier to use shield in a PC RPG because you can usually anticipate battle and you can really anticipate it on a reload. DMs are also much more capable of adapting to D&D tactics than a computer.

Maybe. But, everything cna look good in theory; but in practice I have yet to see personally a mana magic system that gives the versality that people brag about and still keep the spam a spell under complete control. Until then, I'll contninue to have my doubts when hearing people praise it.

The theory is pretty simple. Reduce the power of all available spells by about one or two equivalent "levels". Allow the wizard access to more of them. Give them all mana costs, with enough of a pool to cast four or five in an hour at first level.

If a D&D wizard started with a set of four or five equivalent 0-level spells and could do that, I think that would be great. The wizard would be unable to cast spider climb and immediately climb better than the party rogue. The wizard would be unable to cast magic missile and unerringly hit a guy at 100 ft. for more base damage than a dagger. And instead of balancing that by saying, "Well, he can only do X of those at a time N times a day," you balance it by saying that they can't do any task as well, with magic, as the mundane specialist is capable of doing it. If the wizard wanted the equivalent of a D&D magic missile, allow them to use a basic attack with mana power-ups, like the L5R "raises". It would (or could) blow their pool for a long time, and that's their cost.

In my opinion, anything that helps a wizard use magic more often and in more ways without allowing them to overshadow the core capabilities of other classes is a good thing.

#66
Drakron

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D&D system is inflexible for wizards in relation to what spells they can cast, it requires wizards to prepare each day and have scrolls and wands as backup.

True it sucks to not have a spell prepared to deal with a certain situation but then again in "3.5" we have that new "damage resistence" materials that must really piss off fighters (not that I know, only experiance I have with 3.5 is ToEE game).

I am not saying D&D system is the best but its not the worst, I could come up with a "mana" system tied with a vitality system (like Star Wars d20, I really like their vitality/wound system) but in the end it just more rolls to be made and more things to keep tracking off ... perhaps its not much of a issue with cRPGs since rolls are done in the spot.

#67
Lady Evenstar

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But, there are no mana potions lying around everywhere where you can cast an unlimited number of a single spell (usually your best spell) per day. If you use up all your sorcerers spells for that level during a day, then you’re out of luck.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I don't know that casting from mana potions is so very different from casting from wands and scrolls. Both are means to extend a sorcerer's limited magicka.

There was an interesting chapter in Betrayal at Krondor where the party was transported to a region where magicka didn't regenerate. Instead the player needed to figure out that it could be replenished using certain minerals. A fun change of pace.

It seems to me that there are many roads to game balance, and I feel a bit sorry for those who can enjoy only one system. But then, for me character and story are primary. I like games to be challenging enough to force me to reasonably attentive, but at the end of the day for me the essence of role-playing isn't the leveraging of critically scarce resources to accomplish goals.

Lady E.

#68
Cantousent

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If you get attacked by wondering monsters


I'm intrigued. If you were attacked by wondering monsters, presumably you'd get a distraction bonus. Depending, of course, what they were wondering about.

For example, an orc wondering about what he was having for lunch might only attract a -1 distraction penalty on his attack roll.

OTOH, let us imagine an evil fighter henchman seriously wondering about why that ugly barbarian has been promoted above him by his evil wizard boss might get a whopping -4.

The possibilities are endless. If I were Evil Dungeon Overlord I'd put up notices to warn monsters not to wonder whilst on patrol.

Lastly, gelatinous cubes and rust monsters aren't smart enough to wonder about anything much and do not attract a distraction penalty.

Cheers
MC

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hahahahaha! Monte strikes again!

I especially like the evil henchman wondering about his promotion and the the gelatinous cube. Maybe the cube would wonder why he's not a gelatinous glob or some such.

Anyhow, I can see making the players search for a couple of hours to figure out the enigmatic sign only to let them know, in the end, that it tells the monsters not to wonder... and to stay off the grass.

#69
mkreku

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I love threads like these where Volourn gets shred to tears and stomped into the ground.. but doesn't realize it!

Keep it coming, it is highly amusing :lol:

Uhm.. On-topic: I prefer mana based spell systems (the few times I play a magic user) because I hate planning ahead. That simple.

#70
Nightwolf

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Make no mistake about it; I am of course getting both NWN2 and DA and will beat both games. The problem is I have beaten NWN a few dozen times in SP and played MP quite a bit since it arrived. I have no problems with the resting required to cast spells, and like having a fighter do the dirty work.

I enjoyed Diablo2 quite a bit online, even though it had mana. I just think it's stupid the mana are "generic power", or something. Why would a barbarian need the same mana to use the whirlwind attack as the sorcereress need to cast a fireball?

From what I know of DA, it can be brilliant. Maybe even better than NWN2. I'm just saying the mana-system drags it down.

#71
Kaftan Barlast

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Bah. I hate rules... towards the end of my P&P career Id just write a description of my character and let the GMn handle absolutely everything that had to do with game mechanics.

#72
Volourn

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"My biggest problem with D&D magic is the illogical way casters "forget" spells all of a sudden."

Huh? It's very logical why it happens. There's a reason why they have to study their spellbook everyday.


"love threads like these where Volourn gets shred to tears and stomped into the ground.. but doesn't realize it!"

Ahh. I love when trolls enter threads, and don't even add anything to it except to flame their betters. R00fles!


"One could argue that the fact that I got you to waste a spell slot on shield is a good thing. As a player and a DM, I've won more than a few battles by provoking a round of buffs, retreating, waiting, and returning to really start the battle."

Yeah, that's most likely because your oppostion (*ie. either the players or DM) were stupid enough to let you get away with such strategy. You mean your enemies didn't chase you down? That just seems silly.



"No, not really. You can

a) Not be seen
b) Wear a brooch of shielding
c) Cast shield
d) Employ a very small handful of other tactics that replicate these effects."

*sigh*

Just off the top of my head you can also do the following which your d does cover but way more than just a handful

a) minor globe of invulnerbility

b) spell resistance through natural ability (very rare for PCs unless the camapiagn allows for drow), spells, or items (also should be extremely rare)

c) interrupt the caster


Not exactly a few ways do counter the spell...


"It's much easier to use shield in a PC RPG because you can usually anticipate battle and you can really anticipate it on a reload. DMs are also much more capable of adapting to D&D tactics than a computer."

For, the most aprt, a PC party should be be able to expect and prepare for a battle in pnp. Why? The area should give a hint. If you are in the middle of a dungeon you should always be ready to start casting and swiing, if youa re enter your main quarry's lair/home; be prepared, if youa re in town; you *usually* are safe so you don't have to worry about it as much. If youa re travelling long distances, most things won't be able to sneak up on you simly since it's much easier to see far in the distance giving you time to prepare. Only at night are you in any type of jeopary of being surprised but that should be even limited if prepared with guards, dfensive spells like alarm, a nice fire though not always wise to have one) or light source, etc. Only with teleporting /invisible wizard or sneaky thieves should you even worry then. An unprepared group will have more things to worry about than a simple magic missle.

I'm not saying magic missle is useless. It's very useful. But, it's not the be all end all of spells.


"The theory is pretty simple. Reduce the power of all available spells by about one or two equivalent "levels". Allow the wizard access to more of them. Give them all mana costs, with enough of a pool to cast four or five in an hour at first level.

If a D&D wizard started with a set of four or five equivalent 0-level spells and could do that, I think that would be great. The wizard would be unable to cast spider climb and immediately climb better than the party rogue. The wizard would be unable to cast magic missile and unerringly hit a guy at 100 ft. for more base damage than a dagger. And instead of balancing that by saying, "Well, he can only do X of those at a time N times a day," you balance it by saying that they can't do any task as well, with magic, as the mundane specialist is capable of doing it. If the wizard wanted the equivalent of a D&D magic missile, allow them to use a basic attack with mana power-ups, like the L5R "raises". It would (or could) blow their pool for a long time, and that's their cost.

In my opinion, anything that helps a wizard use magic more often and in more ways without allowing them to overshadow the core capabilities of other classes is a good thing."

I see. You see magic as just a simple replacement of weapons and other "real" thigs. I see it different. It should be special, i think. It should go beyond the usual into the abnormal; but also not be so freeform that a wizard can cast with impunity which is whre spell slots have their strengths as well as spell components and xp penalty for some spells as well. I don't want a wizard to be basically be someone who weilds a magic missle like some common dagger. That is just plain boring to me, and ruins the whole point of magic being wonderous.


I should I, I could live with a 'man system' that allows a spellcaster to cast a spell of their choosing each day 9depending on their level) as long as the mana point pool makes sense, doens't simply regenerate over minutes/hours and the wizard cna only regain them through rest. It wouldn't be my favorite system; but I could accept it as an alternative. Sadly, the majority of mana systems simply don't do that.

#73
Ellester

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Bah. I hate rules... towards the end of my P&P career Id just write a description of my character and let the GMn handle absolutely everything that had to do with game mechanics.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You would have loved 1st ED d&d then, as there weren’t that many rules (except you would have hated the sub races).

#74
Ellester

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But, there are no mana potions lying around everywhere where you can cast an unlimited number of a single spell (usually your best spell) per day. If you use up all your sorcerers spells for that level during a day, then you’re out of luck.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It seems to me that there are many roads to game balance, and I feel a bit sorry for those who can enjoy only one system. But then, for me character and story are primary.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually I know I can speak for a couple of others arguing against mana based systems, along with myself that do play many other crpg’s besides d&d and enjoy them quite a bit. The last three games I have been playing are Wizardry 8, Arcanum and Divine Divinity. Before that FO and ToEE; one d&d game out of the last 5. I love the character generation system for Wizardry 8 even though you get potions and rocks that allow magic spell point regeneration. I just enjoy the d&d way a lot, because it forces you to use tactics and causes frustration. And I enjoy that challenge. I don’t think magic should be as common as swinging a sword.

And I agree story is very important, but it’s only half of the pie when addressing a good crpg. The character generation system is the other half, if it’s trash then the story will not hold the game for me, as I’ll give up before I finish or get involved in the story.

#75
Phosphor

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Thread title changed to more accurately reflect the thread topic.

#76
kirottu

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I like both systems. I´m a sucker for mages. :ermm: But, if I would create a game(not going to happen) it would use mana system. Simply because mana feels more magical than memorizing spells in advance.

#77
Kaftan Barlast

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Volo, when will you learn how to use the quote function? Its very practical, you know..






When I get to do my own CRPG the rules wont be rules but huge chunks of completely incomprehensible physics and mathematics


"Oh, a Rod of Modifying the average airspeed of an unladen swallow by 3 degrees on a logarithmic curve? Might come in handy.."

#78
J.E. Sawyer

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[quote name='Volourn' date='Jan 12 2005, 05:59 AM']Yeah, that's most likely because your oppostion (*ie. either the players or DM) were stupid enough to let you get away with such strategy. You mean your enemies didn't chase you down? That just seems silly.[/quote]
Yeah, it's really silly when a wizard turns invisible across a river a hundred feet away and his enemies spend the next few rounds trying to figure out if he and his cronies are heading in for an attack or dispersing. It's called a psych-out, Volourn. Not a complex idea.

[quote]Just off the top of my head you can also do the following which your d does cover but way more than just a handful

a) minor globe of invulnerbility[/quote]
Yeah, a third level spell to counter a first level spell -- that's efficient. Also, replicates the effect that I already covered.

[quote]b) spell resistance through natural ability (very rare for PCs unless the camapiagn allows for drow), spells, or items (also should be extremely rare[/quote]
Extraordinarily rare.

[quote]c) interrupt the caster[/quote]
You're describing a rarely-successful counter to long-range spells as a viable counter to magic missile, a long-range spell? Oh, okay.

No, it's still a handful. Throwing out general resistances to magic, especially ones that are infrequently used, is ridiculous. Why don't you write down "encasing yourself in lead, so you can't be targeted"?

[quote]Why? The area should give a hint. If you are in the middle of a dungeon you should always be ready to start casting and swiing,[/quote]
I can't even remember the last time any of my D&D groups went into a dungeon. In my games, they spend about 90% of their time in cities, forests, and doing general overland travel.

[quote]if youa re in town; you *usually* are safe so you don't have to worry about it as much.[/quote]
I'd say towns are the worst places, because it's so easy to get ambushed in them, especially if magic is being employed by the attackers.

[quote]If youa re travelling long distances, most things won't be able to sneak up on you simly since it's much easier to see far in the distance giving you time to prepare.[/quote]
Not all overland travel takes place in savannahs and deserts.

[quote]Only at night are you in any type of jeopary of being surprised but that should be even limited if prepared with guards, dfensive spells like alarm[/quote]
Alarm has a much smaller AoE than magic missile -- and a lot of spells, really -- has range.

[quote]Only with teleporting /invisible wizard or sneaky thieves should you even worry then. An unprepared group will have more things to worry about than a simple magic missle.[/quote]
In my experience, one-third to one-half of all D&D battles involve one side being unprepared. You can say it's the PCs or the NPCs, but it's a very common event -- you frequently don't have time to sit back and prepare buffs and protection spells. And if Team A does, chances are high that Team B certainly does not.

[quote]I'm not saying magic missle is useless. It's very useful. But, it's not the be all end all of spells.[/quote]
No one in this thread has tried to say it was. What people have repeatedly stated was that it's an unerring attack that's does more damage than a dagger at long range at first level. Can you counter a dagger with stoneskin? Yeah, sure, just as you can counter a two-handed sword with stoneskin or a fist with dimension door. There are very few specific counters to magic missile and in my DMing and playing experience, it is rare that the spell is blocked/prevented.

Now, are the things you're talking about things that you've actually seen used a lot? Or are you just theorizing that they could be used often to block magic missile?

[quote]I see. You see magic as just a simple replacement of weapons and other "real" thigs.[/quote]
Conversations with you would be a lot less inane if you stopped putting words in peoples' mouths. You do this constantly.

[quote]I see it different. It should be special, i think. It should go beyond the usual into the abnormal; but also not be so freeform that a wizard can cast with impunity which is whre spell slots have their strengths as well as spell components and xp penalty for some spells as well. I don't want a wizard to be basically be someone who weilds a magic missle like some common dagger. That is just plain boring to me, and ruins the whole point of magic being wonderous.[/quote]
That's a really great rant against something I never suggested. I suggested taking the exact same list of spells in the PHB and dropping them in power by the equivalent of one or two levels and allowing wizards to cast more of them, and more often. Given the same overall body of tools, how does this suddenly make magic less wondrous?

Ars Magica allows magi to cast spells a lot. To me, its magic sure as hell feels a lot more wondrous than D&D's. Not because it's powerful, not because it's rare, but because the casters get to use their powers a lot and in many different ways. In my opinion, freedom and mutability make magic feel wondrous. As a player, I feel like I have many choices that I can switch up on a moment to moment basis. Unless you're very high level, even D&D sorcerers don't have that ability.

#79
Volourn

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"Volo, when will you learn how to use the quote function? Its very practical, you know.."

One does not need to learn something they already know how to do. I simply find it quicker, and easier to do this. Plus, the whining and flames (not by you; but by others) just makes it more enjoyable. :huh:


"Alarm has a much smaller AoE than magic missile -- and a lot of spells, really -- has range."

Of course, at night, magic missle's effectiveness is lessened due to the fact you can only target what you can see and darkness tends to put a damper on that - even dwarves have darkvision of 60' only; not exactly as long range as a normal magic missle.


"I'd say towns are the worst places, because it's so easy to get ambushed in them, especially if magic is being employed by the attackers."

Sure; but like I said, such lethal combat isn't that much of a common occurance in towns.


"In my experience, one-third to one-half of all D&D battles involve one side being unprepared. "

Really? I'd say no more than 1/3; but meh.


"Now, are the things you're talking about things that you've actually seen used a lot? Or are you just theorizing that they could be used often to block magic missile?"

Often enough to be considered as solid ways to deal with the spell. The problem is that you make it seem like magic missle is some type of super spell that has a habit of completely turning the tide of battle. I have almost never seen that occur. It's a useful spell. Nothing more or less. The only reasons why it's so popular is because it's 'auto hit', and does decent damage the higher you are. Certainly not because it'll break the backs of your enemies.


"if you stopped putting words in peoples' mouths. You do this constantly."

Maybe I am; maybe I'm not. However, youdid say you prefer to have a magic missle type spell that can basically do the sama damage a dagger does only and repeatedly more or less. When the words fit no need to deny it is my motto. Not to mention, I'm not the only one with this habit.


"Conversations with you would be a lot less inane"

If it's so horrible to converse with me you cna always stop doing so. I'll survive. I'm sure you will to. No worries for me.


"That's a really great rant against something I never suggested. I suggested taking the exact same list of spells in the PHB and dropping them in power by the equivalent of one or two levels and allowing wizards to cast more of them, and more often. Given the same overall body of tools, how does this suddenly make magic less wondrous?"

Yeah, make spells lower in level. I see. Because we all know that magic missle is the equal of fireball. Neato. And, while we're at it, let's allow people to spam fireball as often as they do magic awesome. Yup, that's so cool.


"Ars Magica allows magi to cast spells a lot. To me, its magic sure as hell feels a lot more wondrous than D&D's. Not because it's powerful, not because it's rare, but because the casters get to use their powers a lot and in many different ways. In my opinion, freedom and mutability make magic feel wondrous. As a player, I feel like I have many choices that I can switch up on a moment to moment basis. Unless you're very high level, even D&D sorcerers don't have that ability."

Agreed. Being able to cast spells numerous times repeatedly makes magic more special indeed. Espicially since D&D doens't exactly have some super low limit of how much you can cast. It just doens't allow you to spam magic repeatedly.

Ah well. To each own.

Have fun. :p

#80
Expresso

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J.E. Sawyer, I'm curious, how much did you had influence over the IWD2 magic system (spell selection etc.) and spell interface?




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