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ramza

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The three main things that irks me in 4e is the lack of the Crafting skill, multiclassing, and the removal of the Vancian spell system.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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The three main things that irks me in 4e is the lack of the Crafting skill, multiclassing, and the removal of the Vancian spell system.

 

And that's what is so funny to me. All of those features had the potential to be incredibly frustrating features of 3.5. Crafting really only existed to allow players to build rediculous magic items that would allow players to exploit imbalanced rules. Multiclassing, along with the prestige classes, really was one of the biggest danger zones for power creep. The Vancian spell system forced players to guess what they might fight today, and either guess right and nuke away an entire encounter, guess wrong and be useless, or at later levels, combo up rediculous stacking sets of spells and take on a party's worth of foes.

 

Also, all the cool spell options made fighters and barbarians cry, as they sat there eating damage so the caster could once again do all the fun stuff. Socerrer and Bard didn't have as many options, but still enough to make all the mundane classes annoyed that all they ever did was swing away.


My blood! He punched out all my blood! - Meet the Sandvich

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And that's what is so funny to me. All of those features had the potential to be incredibly frustrating features of 3.5. Crafting really only existed to allow players to build rediculous magic items that would allow players to exploit imbalanced rules. Multiclassing, along with the prestige classes, really was one of the biggest danger zones for power creep. The Vancian spell system forced players to guess what they might fight today, and either guess right and nuke away an entire encounter, guess wrong and be useless, or at later levels, combo up rediculous stacking sets of spells and take on a party's worth of foes.

 

Also, all the cool spell options made fighters and barbarians cry, as they sat there eating damage so the caster could once again do all the fun stuff. Socerrer and Bard didn't have as many options, but still enough to make all the mundane classes annoyed that all they ever did was swing away.

 

Well, I do tend to play wizards or fighter/wizards who specialized in creating items, weapons, and armor. I like playing characters who made things and specifically makes his or her own gear. You know, self-sufficient characters. Hell, in 3.5e I found a way, through a handy spell and a magic amulet, that allowed my wizard to heal himself through his arcane magic.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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I liked Vancian. On paper. I give it points for originality.


"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

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The Vancian spell system forced players to guess what they might fight today

 

How often does this happen though? If camped outside the glacier of the frost giant jarl you might want to, doh, learn a few fire ball spells. Granted there will be surprises, but you have to diversify a bit to deal with those.

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The Vancian spell system forced players to guess what they might fight today

 

How often does this happen though? If camped outside the glacier of the frost giant jarl you might want to, doh, learn a few fire ball spells. Granted there will be surprises, but you have to diversify a bit to deal with those.

 

Obviously there are times when the guesses should be easy. There are also plenty of times where it's not really, which forces players to either take the more boring utility spells or risk having very exciting spells that can't help the party. It is a pretty rad idea on paper, it just didn't work out well for a lot of players and DMs.


My blood! He punched out all my blood! - Meet the Sandvich

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When I play I play almost exclusively wizards and don't have than much of a problem with choosing the right spells at the right time. Mind you I did create quite a number of wands, and occasionally went into melee combat with swords drawn on occasion.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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At least the wizard had the option of altering his memorized spells. The sorceror was the one who could really get screwed in this regard. An elf sorceress focusing in enchantment spells for instance then delving into a crypt. Always hated sorcerer because of that.

 

If a wizard has even an inkling of what's comming up, and he should with some of the divination spells, he can usually make the right adjustments.

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I have made up my own spellcasting system which is a mixture between the system used for Wizards and the one used for Sorcerers. I also wanted to motivate players to keep their stats tied to their spellcasting ability high enough. This is done by rewarding them for investing points in those stats.

 

Removal of spell memorization system : all spellcasters have the same progression tables (max of 4 spells per spell level except for specialist wizards who get one additional spell per spell level). All spellcasters have spellbooks in which they copy scrolls (Spellcraft check is required). Spellcasters can copy on their spellbooks a maximum number spells equal to the number value of their primary stat that is above 10 (ie: if a wizard has 18 INT, he can learn 8 spells per spell level - I got inspired from 2E rules for this one). Spellcasters can however erase a known spell to make room for another one. Among those spells, they select a more restricted number of which will be available for casting. These spells are cast spontaneously and alternatively (in other words, if a wizard can select 5 spells to cast, he will be able to use any of these spells at any given time provided he still has spell uses left - just like a Sorcerer used to do). The number of spells available to cast is tied to the caster's primary stat modifier. Of course, a spellcaster may choose a different set of spells to cast the next day every time he is about to rest (this is directly inspired from the spell memorization system).

 

I hope it is clear enough. Don't hesitate to ask me questions.

 

Cheers.

 

PS: In case you are wondering what will happen to the Sorcerer class, I can tell you that I have mostly copied the core class from the Pathfinder RPG (with all these Bloodline powers). I believe these powers make up for the loss of those extra spell uses.

Edited by ramza

"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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At least the wizard had the option of altering his memorized spells. The sorceror was the one who could really get screwed in this regard. An elf sorceress focusing in enchantment spells for instance then delving into a crypt. Always hated sorcerer because of that.

 

If a wizard has even an inkling of what's comming up, and he should with some of the divination spells, he can usually make the right adjustments.

 

When I play a sorcerer I usually focus on summoning and conjuration spells.


Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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When I do Wizard or Sorcerer I went with straight Evocation and Conjuration, but I really liked to multiclass Fighter/Warmage.


In 7th grade, I teach the students how Chuck Norris took down the Roman Empire, so it is good that you are starting early on this curriculum.

 

R.I.P. KOTOR 2003-2008 KILLED BY THOSE GREEDY MONEY-HOARDING ************* AND THEIR *****-*** MMOS

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No comments on my alternative spellcasting system?


"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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No comments on my alternative spell casting system?

 

Int effects # of spells you can put into the book, but doesn't cap the highest level of which you are capable? So if you had, say, a 16 intelligence you could scribe 6 per level but couldn't learn any 7th(like 3e)?

 

The lower tiered spells, 1st & 2nd, are full of variety and usefulness, and I'd not want to be limited to just a handful in my book.

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INT (for wizards) effects BOTH the number of spells that can be learned and the highest level of which you are capable. So, in order to be able to cast 9th level spells, you need to have at least 19 of INT (preferably 20, in order to get +1 to your modifiers). With an INT of 20, you may learn up to 10 spells per spell level.

 

Amongst those 10 spells, you have to select those you are going to cast (the number is equal to your INT modifier - in other words, you get to choose 5 spells if you have an INT of 20). The advantage of this system is that it gives you both the flexibility of the wizard and that of the sorcerer: you have a scrollbook from which you pick some spells and you may cast those spontaneously as a sorcerer (there won't be memorized spell slots anymore). Of course, you can always change this selection of spells just before resting.

 

There are 2 main reason I created this alternate spellcasting system. First, I always found that the spell memorization system lacked of flexibility. You could have like 18 spells per spell level but could only cast those that you had specifically memorized (you couldn't even switch between your memorized spells). In that sense, the sorcerer's spontaneous casting seemed more appealing. However (and this is the second reason), while sorcerers could spontaneously cast any of their selected spells (as long as they still had spell uses), they didn't have that much choice/variety in the spells they could cast (5 spells known per spell level is really not enough).

 

So, I came up with this alternate rule. You may learn more spells, but (in order to balance things) you may not cast spontaneously all of them. You pick a selected number and if you don't like them, pick other spells before resting. With this rule, I also incite players to invest in their stat linked to their spellcasting ability, and and to go all the way up to level 20 with the same class (I am not a fan of multiclassing, so I try to make the core classes more interesting and attractive).

Edited by ramza

"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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If the number of known spells is too low for you, I have thought of allowing players to learn one additional spell per spell level for every 5 ranks spent in the Spellcraft skill. Is that better? I know that all these calculations look complicated, but they aren't really.


"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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I usually just give my players an extra spell known. Sometimes I give them extra spells per day too. Maybe that's why all my wizard players love my campaigns (me and four of my friends alternate DM duties).


In 7th grade, I teach the students how Chuck Norris took down the Roman Empire, so it is good that you are starting early on this curriculum.

 

R.I.P. KOTOR 2003-2008 KILLED BY THOSE GREEDY MONEY-HOARDING ************* AND THEIR *****-*** MMOS

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The Vancian spell system forced players to guess what they might fight today, and either guess right and nuke away an entire encounter, guess wrong and be useless, or at later levels, combo up rediculous stacking sets of spells and take on a party's worth of foes.

 

Which works great in theory, only it's never been my experience that's how the system worked out. In a game like D&D that has lots of combat, the vancian system tends to reward a constant supply of Magic Missiles, Fireballs and similar combat spells because with all the combat, a wizard can always be certain to use those spells. Attempts to be foresightful and memorize other spells invariably meets with getting it wrong and being useless, thereby punishing creative thinking.

 

In a different game, this might have been okay. A system like that could work in Call of Cthulhu or similar, since that is an investigation into identifying your enemy and then confront him on the basis of what you've discovered. Going up against the opposition without knowing it in CoC is suicide.

 

But D&D is very much a combat game, and with 3e, the game insisted on returning to the roots of Hack 'n Slash and dungeoncrawling. It insisted on focusing om mapmaking and monsterslashing, effectively turning away from RPG toward boardgaming. If the game had focused on investation, that would have been okay, but mention one dungeoncrawl that gives clues to what you'll find there. You almost never get that, because the game insists on surprising you with your next enemy, and so memorizing Detect Undead or similar is chancy at best, while you can use those extra Magic Missiles whether you face zombies, orcs or trolls. That being the case, for D&D at least, the vancian system ended up rewarding conventional use magic in the game over creative use. It may not have been the intent, but in my experience it was always the effect.

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You have something against Magic Missile, Fireball, etc? -_-


In 7th grade, I teach the students how Chuck Norris took down the Roman Empire, so it is good that you are starting early on this curriculum.

 

R.I.P. KOTOR 2003-2008 KILLED BY THOSE GREEDY MONEY-HOARDING ************* AND THEIR *****-*** MMOS

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If the game had focused on investation, that would have been okay, but mention one dungeoncrawl that gives clues to what you'll find there.

 

And invisibility/stealth/listen in no way help towards investigation? Players often investigate of their own volition, telling the dm they want to make a listen check, or whatever...

 

And of course the wizard has the option of going back and redoing his memorized spells after a rest. Something a sorcerer can't do.

 

All depends on the scenario and how much the dm lets players know in advance.

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What about my alternate spellcasting system??? :)


"Ooo, squirrels, Boo! I know I saw them! Quick, throw nuts!" -Minsc

"I am a well-known racist in the Realms! Elves? Dwarves? Ha! Kill'em all! Humans rule! -Me

 

Volourn will never grow up, he's like the Black Peter Pan, here to tell you that it might be great to always be a child, but everybody around is gonna hate it. :p

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You might want to start your own thread for that Ramza. Might get a bit more feedback there.


My blood! He punched out all my blood! - Meet the Sandvich

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You might want to start your own thread for that Ramza. Might get a bit more feedback there.

agree :p


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I might be a little behind or ahead but I was thinking that each spell having a different level would be cool. Say my fireball is level 100 therefore is does more damage than my level 1 fireball, it is calculated by usage so the more you use it the more it levels. ??


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""Savior, conqueror, hero, villain. You are all things, Revan

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Finally got my hands on a trio of 4E books....

 

First impression... DnD for dummies? :)

 

Hopefully that'll change after a full read.

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