D&D 5th Edition New Legend and Lore is up! Magic Systems as DM Modules




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    ° Ignore Greg K

    New Legend and Lore is up! Magic Systems as DM Modules

    The new Legend and Lore is up and Mearls discusses taking a modular approach to spellcasting. It sounds like rather than assigning a spellcasting system to classes, the goal is to allow DMs to determine which magic systems are used when building their campaign settings. The DM will be able to choose between spell points, vancian, and other systems like casting as a 3e sorcerer.

    If correct, this is, in my opinion, the best news to date about the playtest. I like spontaneous casting from 3e (including the spontaneous divine casting variant from Unearthed Arcana).

    This option, however, won't be in the next playtest package, but one of the packages following.
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    Definitely interesting and sorta groundbreaking. Would be amazing if they can pull it off.

  • #3
    So much yes.

    I like how it's gone from wizards using only the vancian spell system, to Arcane Tradition giving you elements of other spell systems, to having the Vancian system incorporate different recharge rates, to maybe Arcane Tradition letting you completely switch to different spell systems, to why not make it a DM option independent of class. Aside from the idea itself, it really shows the merits of the feedback-iteration cycle. I'm glad they're listening to us.

    In terms of the idea itself, I love it. It solves the problem much like Specialties do--i.e., an easygoing DM will just let you pick whatever you want, but a DM with a vision for how he wants it to work can have it work the way he wants (substitute "group" for "DM" as necessary).

    I also like how it preserves the identity of the spell--so you can have a magic item that gives you extra spells, and any spellcasting class can use it, because a spell is a spell.

    (this guy called it... or maybe that's where they got the idea? )
    Last edited by GX.Sigma; Monday, 1st October, 2012 at 08:29 AM.

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    ° Ignore Magil
    I'm not quite as optimistic as I have some reservations about modules, but if they can successfully pull it off, then it'd probably work just fine.

    I just have reservations about the "can."

  • #5
    I am glad they finally came to this conclusion instead of trying to shove every possible hodgepodge class concept under one class. I was not looking forward to the Traditions with how each one was going to vary so much.

  • #6
    I really really dislike this idea.

    My hope is that it's (a) restricted to wizards and maybe clerics, since warlocks and sorcerers are cool as they are and very tied into their respective spellcasting mechanics, and (b) something they stick in a sidebar, so a beginner can pick up the wizard class without arguing with the DM.
    Last edited by ZombieRoboNinja; Monday, 1st October, 2012 at 09:55 AM.

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    ° Ignore Chris_Nightwing
    I will quote myself from a thread that proposed doing just this:

    Many people are calling for more tactical combat options, such as a grid, and a return to standard/move/minor actions. I'm sure some people would like to see the return of weapon damage type vs. armour type mechanics. There are probably some people that find attack vs. AC too simple, and want a complex maneuvering, thrusting and parrying system.

    Should we give them a dedicated combat chapter, and let the players and DM decide which system is being used? No. We use the simplest and most straightforward system as the core, and then we offer modules that describe these more complex scenarios - some of which might be available immediately with the publishing of the PHB, some of which might come later. I think that this has been accepted as a reasonable proposition.

    So why do something special for magic? Why not have the simplest possible core mechanic for spellcasting - a unified mechanic, the same as for physical combat - and then discuss alternatives in a module that may or may not be available immediately?
    This appears to be the approach - which is subtely different to 'choose a magic system for your game'. To me, having a default system is critical.
    Last edited by Chris_Nightwing; Monday, 1st October, 2012 at 09:56 AM.
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  • #8
    I also really don't get the focus the article places on the DM. I mean, obviously the DM gets to approve classes and races and such, but should every wizard player really have to prepare a sales pitch for his preferred casting method?

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    ° Ignore tlantl
    Good for them. I'm glad.

    Now they can get on with their modularity plan without having to try to make everything they design become the core ideas of the game. D&D isn't mana or spell points or slotless or classless. D&D has an identity of it's own and really needs to stay true to that identity or it's not D&D any more, it'd be just another RPG with the D&D logo plastered on it.

    They did that already and look where it got them.

    If they continue along the path they seem to have gotten side tracked by they will be in the same position they were in when they started this endeavor. A hand full of people will be playing D&D whatever and the rest of us will be doing the same thing we were doing before they announced Next.

    The difference is that I have brand new copies of the original game and that makes me happy.

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    ° Ignore UngeheuerLich
    Quote Originally Posted by ZombieRoboNinja View Post
    I really really dislike this idea.

    My hope is that it's (a) restricted to wizards and maybe clerics, since warlocks and sorcerers are cool as they are and very tied into their respective spellcasting mechanics, and (b) something they stick in a sidebar, so a beginner can pick up the wizard class without arguing with the DM.
    I am with you in that regard.

    The sorcerer and especially the warlock are very interesting classes right now. But I really can┤t imagine the warlock beeing affected greatly by how the wizard uses spells.

    The sorcerer however is no 3.5 sorcer. You could take the wizard and give him the sorcerer mechanic and now you have a 3.5 sorcerer. You could as well take the new sorcerer and give him traditional vancian magic give him a different origin and now you have something like the bladesinger (a fighter mage)

    And the cleric could made true vancian again if you like. (Now he uses a cool hybrid between vancian and 3.5 sorcery!)

    So my favourite version of 5e would give each class a distinct spellcasting mechanic, which all are based in the same system. And on the DM part, you could allow a single class to import a magic system from another one...

    it seems as if we start getting true modularity!

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