Balancing Vancian


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    Balancing Vancian

    I plan on running an AD&D 2E or a 3.5 campaign soon, and I was trying to think of ways to balance casters a little better against non-casters. I know it wouldn't help out of combat, but do you think doubling casting times for all tier 1 and 2 classes could help even things out?

 

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    Alternate suggestion: have people run their spell lists by you and disallow things that are broken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLOTHmaster View Post
    I plan on running an AD&D 2E or a 3.5 campaign soon, and I was trying to think of ways to balance casters a little better against non-casters. I know it wouldn't help out of combat, but do you think doubling casting times for all tier 1 and 2 classes could help even things out?
    Why specifically are you trying to do this? Is this from an objection from your players, based on former poor experiences, read too many threads here that got you spooked, etc?

    Is this something "Broken" that needs to be fixed, for you and your players specifically?

    I personally dig casters.
    Last edited by RUMBLETiGER; Monday, 30th April, 2012 at 05:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLOTHmaster View Post
    I plan on running an AD&D 2E or a 3.5 campaign soon, and I was trying to think of ways to balance casters a little better against non-casters. I know it wouldn't help out of combat, but do you think doubling casting times for all tier 1 and 2 classes could help even things out?
    The rules for magic users in most D&D editions have some balancing factors that many folks houserule out: specifically, casting times and material spell components. 3.x removed most inconsequential material components, but they are a strong balancing factor for MUs in general when they're used as written in the rules (in addition to being a drain on funds for the PCs, which is never a bad thing). Michael Dobson's "Living In a Material World" in Dragon #81 offers some good additional insight into the value of material components in a campaign, as well as ways to try to manage them/make them more fun.

    3.x also provided bonus spells for high intelligence MUs, which was not a rule available in 1e (I can't speak to 2e on that front, sorry). Many 1e games I played similarly offered MUs the same spell bonuses that Clerics got, but for high Int scores. So, if you've got that in the game, taking them away also helps to balance out MUs vs. non-casters, as well as MUs vs. Clerics too.

    Not sure if any of this helps, or not, though, since you didn't raise specific Qs/concerns from your game??

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    If you are running a 2e game, just stick to the combat rules of rolling initiative for every round and that any point of damage to a caster before he finished casting will ruin the spell (and don't forget casting time and weapon speeds).

    One thing we did back when we played 2e was rolling for random new spells every time a Mage gained a level and strictly enforcing the learning chance for learning spells.

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    In 2e spellcasters do not rule as much in combat as they do in 3e. I would suggest not house ruling there.

    In 3e how would you double a standard action casting? Make it a full round casting time like the summon spells? That's a neat idea to make combat casting more costly and risky to do, taking away mobility beyond a five foot step and risking taking damage during casting beyond readied attacks. It would be slight nerf to combat casting.
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    Thanks guys, I'll probably end up doubling the casting times (standard -> full round) if 3e and just being strict with the rules if we end up doing 2e.

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    I would advise against that in 3e due to the fact that it won't do anything.

    Allow me to explain.

    Sorcerers cast metamagic'd spells as full round actions. Sorcerers who use metamagic'd spells in 3.5e are considered quite powerful. From this, I feel confident in concluding that upping the casting time on spells is going to accomplish diddly.

    If you want to solve a problem with a class that can cast broken spells, you really should consider removing the broken spells. Planar binding doesn't become more balanced if it takes half an hour minutes to cast or an entire day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandu View Post
    I would advise against that in 3e due to the fact that it won't do anything.

    Allow me to explain.

    Sorcerers cast metamagic'd spells as full round actions. Sorcerers who use metamagic'd spells in 3.5e are considered quite powerful. From this, I feel confident in concluding that upping the casting time on spells is going to accomplish diddly.

    If you want to solve a problem with a class that can cast broken spells, you really should consider removing the broken spells. Planar binding doesn't become more balanced if it takes half an hour minutes to cast or an entire day.
    I'm guessing his point is that the sorcerer would then be casting his metamagic spells over two full rounds?

    This would probably bring it more into play but really does screw the caster out of actions if he is metamagicing (and going to pretty much kill sorcerer metamagic).

    Personally you need to follow the rules of the spells. When you eliminate concentration from mattering, eliminate spell components, etc. you have an issue... But I would also suggest removing/modifying spells if you have specific issues with them. Using some of the old 2e rules helps to stop some abuse (costs of aging and other ill effects)... You could also link spells to various schools and methods... Since you're familiar with 2e you can translate a lot of the spell information from the 2e texts to 3.x such as Spell Rarities and regionals, etc.

    Making up a Common Book of Spells, then your various Arcane Colleges/Wizard's Circles/Orders/Covens/etc. may have access to others.

    Spellcasters should have limits... Of course most people on the board believe in an 'anything goes' way of spellcraft... Perhaps the Alter/Polymorph skill requires the hide of the creature to be able to take on the Aspect of the creature, similar to Skinwalkers or some of the versions of old witch myths. Plenty of options for flavor and control out there... Just use your imagination .

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