Did magic-users use weapons more often in older editions?
+ Log in or register to post
Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 67
  1. #1
    Member
    Spellbinder (Lvl 16)

    Bullgrit's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Southern U.S.
    Posts
    2,576
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block Bullgrit


    Friend+

    Did magic-users use weapons more often in older editions?

    In older editions of D&D, where magic-users [the class] had fewer spells per day, did they use weapons (their daggers, staves, darts, etc.) more often than arcane-casters in later editions of D&D where they have more spells per day (and even unlimited at wills)?

    In my experience:

    Magic-users of BD&D and AD&D would use weapons, (especially missile weapons), fairly often during an adventure. They might go several combats never casting a spell, and just throw daggers or darts from the party center, or bash a lone goblin with their staff when forced into melee.

    But wizards/sorcerers of D&D3 used weapons less often in comparison. Heck, I've seen arcane casters *never* use a weapon in D&D3. I've even joked with with a Player over how her 8th-level wizard had a crossbow in their equipment list, but they've never fired a single bolt even at low levels. I joked about my own wizard character, "If I ever have to pull out my dagger, then we're in a lot of trouble."

    I haven't any real experience with the casters of D&D4, but I'd guess they wouldn't use weapons hardly ever, what with their at will spells.

    What has been your experience in this?

    Bullgrit

  2. #2
    Member
    Magsman (Lvl 14)

    gamerprinter's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ottawa, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    3,058
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block gamerprinter


    Friend+
    My communities:

    I remember wizards possessing daggers and darts in 1e/2e, but frankly I can't think of a single instance where they used one - I'm sure they did. Perhaps because their damage was insignificant nothing sticks out in memory. With 1e/2e wizards I played, I possessed a dagger usually, but I don't think I ever really used one in combat.

    I'm sure others would tell you different, but I'd say the difference between then and now, not much difference at all (rules differences, sure, but actual playing differences, I doubt it.)

    GP

  3. #3
    Member
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

    Crothian's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    44,849
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block Crothian


    Friend+
    Well, now that Wizards can cast more then one spell at first level it makes a difference. I remember watching people play a Wizard as they looked grief stricken on when they should cast that spell. Others just cast it quickly (depending on what the memorized) and then would wade into melee with their staff. Good Times!

  4. #4
    Back in the Basic/1eAD&D times I can remember stocking up on daggers and darts* and using them a lot.

    * I vaguely recall that darts were pretty powerful for their cost. Yes?

    In 3e my low-level wizards and such always had a crossbow, because at low levels (before the BAB differences between a wizard and a fighter get out of hand) it was reasonably accurate and did good damage.

    In 4e, the times I see casters use weapons are when (1) it's a weapliment or (2) they need to make an OA.

    Sometimes (2) can lead to hilarity; for example, if the wizard (or invoker, or whatever) crits with the OA despite having a crappy attack bonus.

  5. #5
    Member
    Enchanter (Lvl 12)



    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Augusta, Ga.
    Posts
    1,177
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block Stoat


    Friend+
    In my experience (which begins with 2E right after it was released) Wizards generally took staff as their weapon and usually used their staff until they hit second or third level.

    I generally made it a point to drop a Wand of Magic Missile or something similar into the game early on, and once that became available, the wizard stopped relying on weapons.

  6. #6
    Member
    Spellbinder (Lvl 16)



    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Posts
    6,079
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block Doug McCrae


    Friend+
    I've mostly played D&D wrong, with very few encounters per day - one or two - no matter what the edition, so seldom saw pointy thing wielding magic users. The most weapon-lovin' wizard I've seen is in the Temple of Elemental Evil PC game, which is based on 3e. That's the only time I've ever had sufficient encounters per day to force parsimony on the casters, something like a dozen or more.

    3e introduced reserve feats in Complete Arcane, which are prototype at-wills. I once played a warmage with the fire reserve feat named Flaming Helen, whose schtick was that no matter the problem she would solve it by 'burning it with fire'. Kind of a pastiche of the typical fireball happy D&D wizard. She was great fun to play and ended up bizarrely effective. Turns out you actually can solve all your problems by burning them with fire.

  7. #7
    Member
    Waghalter (Lvl 7)



    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Ithaca, NY
    Posts
    1,945
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block Canis


    Friend+
    Aside from the usual non-game geek drama incumbent upon nerds in middle school, the weapon-wielding wizard was the largest point of contention I can remember in my first gaming group.

    Oh, wizards carried and even used weapons, but they never stopped complaining about it. And if forced to use a weapon, the nature of said weapon was an endless font of recrimination and bile. Bitter debates about Gandalf's proficiency and skill level with a sword were commonplace. I was eventually forced to escape and join the football team or go barking mad over the whole nonsensical thing.

    I began to yearn in the silence of my soul for the death of Vancian casting, well before I even understood there was an alternative.

    Huzzah for the at-will/reserve spell! HUZZAH!!!

  8. #8
    Member
    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)



    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    4,119
    Reviews
    Read 2 Reviews

    Block Stormonu


    Friend+
    My communities:

    In the basic/1E/2E games I ran, wizard players rarely used weapons unless they were multiclassed. They did not have the protection, hit points or hit ability to be worth using weapons other than in self-defense. Ranged weapons generally only got use if the fighters weren't up in the melee already. I always offered to allow anyone who was playing a straight wizard to roll up a second character - a straight fighter - so they could be directly involved in combat if they wished. Time to rest/retreat was usually linked to the Wizard and/or Cleric running out of spells; often it was just too dangerous to continue forward without the backup they could provide.

    In 3E, that changed. It was rare for the wizard (or sorcerer) not to have enough spells to last for about as long as the rest of the party and constantly contribute to the group fight after fight. I had a lot of confusion when people talked about wizards using crossbows in combat in 3E; I didn't see that happening in any of the games I was running/playing in.

  9. #9
    Member
    Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)



    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    7,349
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    Block Mallus


    Friend+
    My communities:

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullgrit View Post
    I haven't any real experience with the casters of D&D4, but I'd guess they wouldn't use weapons hardly ever, what with their at will spells.
    Yep, 4e wizards would always use their spells (at-wills)

    3e wizards would use their cheap wands.

    1e-2e wizards world resort to darts, daggers, and staves. Oh, and flame oil.

    Frankly, with regard to this, the current iteration of the wizard is, well, more wizard-y.

  10. #10
    Member
    Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)



    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    4,119
    Reviews
    Read 2 Reviews

    Block Stormonu


    Friend+
    My communities:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mallus View Post
    Yep, 4e wizards would always use their spells (at-wills)

    3e wizards would use their cheap wands.

    1e-2e wizards world resort to darts, daggers, and staves. Oh, and flame oil.

    Frankly, with regard to this, the current iteration of the wizard is, well, more wizard-y.
    Oddly, 1E-3E, I did not have these experiences.

    1E-2E - Wizard "I'm out of spells - we better stop"
    3E - Wizard "Thanks to my 18 Int, I'm good for a bit longer. Oh, and then there's all these scrolls I've got too"

+ Log in or register to post
Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Similar Threads

  1. Retroclones and Older D&D Editions
    By Morrus in forum Roleplaying Games General Discussion
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: Tuesday, 13th November, 2012, 01:40 AM
  2. Retroclones and Older D&D Editions
    By Morrus in forum Public Wiki Pages
    Replies: 41
    Last Post: Tuesday, 13th November, 2012, 01:40 AM
  3. Would you like to see commemorative editions of the core rules of all older editions?
    By joethelawyer in forum Roleplaying Games General Discussion
    Replies: 71
    Last Post: Friday, 7th November, 2008, 02:48 PM
  4. D&D Miniatures - Older editions?
    By Thanee in forum Roleplaying Games General Discussion
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: Wednesday, 14th April, 2004, 11:03 AM
  5. Magic-users and weapons
    By Maitre Du Donjon in forum Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, and OSR Gaming
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Sunday, 25th May, 2003, 05:05 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •