L&L: Putting the Vance in Vancian - Page 9




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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Agent View Post
    Translation: The only way this works is if the version of the game I like is the "core" and everything I don't like is "optional".

    Which is a great design principle if they were designing a game exclusively for Odhanan. But they aren't. And everyone else has different ideas of what "the version of the game I like" is.
    The core of a modular system has to be dirt simple. Otherwise I'd have to buy a module to take skills and feats out of my game. Spicing up the soup is always easier than removing the garlic after it's done.

 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark CMG View Post
    While I'm not sure that I agree with the implementation, I find it flattering that they are thinking about naming a feat after me.
    You do realize that it was already the name of a spell as far back as 1e (IIRC)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odhanan View Post
    Skills run contrary to archetype/class-based design. I don't need both. It's just redundant and makes the game more nitpicky for no reason that cannot be accounted for by my own adjudication of the game. I prefer players to describe what they do instead of looking at their character sheet to see what modifier they have in this or that. The same way, I want players to describe to me what they do as their characters during combat. I don't want them to look at lists of feats and abilities wondering how to use the rules. I want them to think and imagine the heck out of the game itself.
    I totally understand the motivation to minimize calculations and character sheet reference, but I find the archtype comment interesting. Are you opposed to options in class abilities? Or do you think that two fighters with the same level, abilities scores and equipment should be identical from a game mechanics perspective?

    Asking, not judging...

    -KS

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRRNeiklot View Post
    The core of a modular system has to be dirt simple. Otherwise I'd have to buy a module to take skills and feats out of my game. Spicing up the soup is always easier than removing the garlic after it's done.
    In general, I agree. However, the idea that the basic/core game must present absolutely no hint of any optional ability or skill system that may be totally ignorable in itself, I think, goes a little beyond what's necessary in the name of simplicity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLance View Post
    You do realize that it was already the name of a spell as far back as 1e (IIRC)?

    Not core, at least, until 2E, IIRC. Might have been an Unearthed Arcana addition for 1E but I don't have that near to hand to check. (Little help! ) Of course, that became Arcane Mark with 3.XE. I suppose I can live with that tribute just as easily.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odhanan View Post
    I don't like the fact they exist in the first place. Just like Skills. I play AD&D First Ed now, primarily. One of the reasons I like this game is because I don't have to deal with all that BS at all. This is also the case of a lot of TSR-era fans out there.
    A lot of TSR fans aren't going to buy DDN no matter how that looks out, because it's not AD&D or OD&D.

    And, please, every edition has things we could call "BS", but this is only going to move us into edition warring.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark CMG View Post
    Not core, at least, until 2E, IIRC. Might have been an Unearthed Arcana addition for 1E but I don't have that near to hand to check. (Little help! )
    Yes, it was in Unearthed Arcana. Funny, I thought it came from some FR sourcebook, or maybe a Dragon magazine article (of course, it could have originally come from FR or Dragon before it got republished in UA).

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    Quote Originally Posted by KidSnide View Post
    I totally understand the motivation to minimize calculations and character sheet reference, but I find the archtype comment interesting. Are you opposed to options in class abilities? Or do you think that two fighters with the same level, abilities scores and equipment should be identical from a game mechanics perspective?

    Asking, not judging...

    -KS
    Are we talking about the core-sans-modules, or the whole game including modules? I have nothing against options... as options. I think that's really what is not computing with me right now: the core of the game is supposed to be just that. The core of the game experience. Customization and options are the realm of modules, of add-ons. I am more happy with a central core that relies on the imagination of the players primarily. I'd be fine with that kind of core. Other players who want options and stuff could use the modules.

    I think you can't go about this in 36 different ways: it is much simpler to add options than substract them. As such the core is the simplest expression of the game. It should be. From there you add options you can trigger on and off to reflect your particular playstyles.

    You can't start with feats and skills being the part of the core-sans-modules when these things are not core to the D&D experience itself, unless you're telling me that iterations such as AD&D, OD&D, B/X, Holmes et al. somehow "got it wrong" or should not be considered as being part of this shared experience, in which case there is SUCH a disconnect as to what we think the core of D&D is there can be no possible common ground from there.

    The aim for the designers shouldn't be IMO whether to have the core be/reflect AD&D OR 3rd ed OR 4th ed. The aim should be to have the core be what is COMMON between these iterations of the game so that, THEN, with modules, you can recreate AD&D AND 3rd ed AND 4th ed by toggling them on and off.

    Starting with Skills and Feats is a non-starter. It's bone-headed.

    It's a simple question of logic, in my opinion.
    Last edited by Odhanan; Monday, 27th February, 2012 at 11:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLance View Post
    Yes, it was in Unearthed Arcana. Funny, I thought it came from some FR sourcebook, or maybe a Dragon magazine article (of course, it could have originally come from FR or Dragon before it got republished in UA).

    Yeah, that might be the case. If I had to guess, I'd say Dragon magazine. I never collected FR stuff and I seem to recall knowing about it before UA.
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    I'm not usually one to pounce on Monte or the polls (and I'll continue to leave the polls alone for the moment), but I don't really follow this article, and I think it's a definition problem. I've bracketed that discussion below the sblock.

    WAT?

    Monte seems to define "Vancian Magic" as "Magic that is used by first preparing your magic spells that you can use from a broader list of spells you may know, and later expending that preparation."

    That's not one of the usual colloquial uses of the term (though to be fair to Monte, the colloquial uses of the term are all over the map).

    He then goes on to say that there should be lots of different spellcasting systems in the game, probably. Okay. So far, so good.

    Then he seems to leap out of nowhere with "something cool and magical, but not spells," without defining the apparently very specific thing he means by "spells."

    Which is a problem. I have no idea what specifically he means by "spells." And he seems to mean something very specific, since apparently a "spell" and "a minor-at will ability" such as "a blast of force" or "a telekinetic ability like mage hand" or things that, in previous e's, were spells (faithful hound and floating disc), are not the same thing. Now they are not spells...for some reason?

    As examples of "spells" he then points out, "fireballs and magic missiles."

    I don't quite understand how he's distinguishing spells from other things here, or, really, why. Isn't a blast of force you can use at will just an at-will spell? Or are "spells" necessarily Vancian in nature (e.g.: they must be prepared, and are spent once cast)? And if that's the case then how is a spell that has a lengthy duration (like a faithful hound or a floating disc) necessarily non-Vancian? I am not following his verbiage on this one. "Spells" don't necessarily indicate the specific things he seems to be assuming we all know they are.

    IMO, to take on more of his general "magic systems" topic, I think the "Vancian" prepare-and-expend system is great for the archetypal D&D "magic librarian" kind of wizard. Knowledgeable, clever, forward-thinking, planning, preparing...all these things work really well with Vancian casting, which reinforces the archetype, which is excellent.

    But it's not the only archetype of a "magic user" which is why it's awesome that they're exploring other systems. An ADE system makes sense for certain archetypes (warlocks come to mind, as they were in 3e as a trial run of the at-will system). A sorcerer's "x/day" kind of mechanic makes a lot of sense for other archetypes. A manna pool kind of mechanic makes a lot of sense for other archetypes (psionicistis?). A "chance to cast" kind of mechanic makes a lto of sense for other archetypes (clerics?). A pool of at-wills makes a lot of sense for other archetypes. And it's not just spellcasters -- there's no inherent reason martial characters shouldn't be able to try out different resource management systems if they want to. FIGHTERS should be able to prepare advanced moves for execution later if that's what the player wants and the DM is cool with it (a "strategist" sort of character makes a lot of sense with that kind of resource management system, in fact).

    As much as I don't quite grok what Monte means specifically in his examples, I do hope they're keeping in mind that resource management models don't need to be necessarily married to one class or another, and that vancian fighters probably should be as viable as all-at-will wizards, and vice-versa.
    Last edited by Kamikaze Midget; Monday, 27th February, 2012 at 11:56 PM.
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