D&D 5th Edition New Legend and Lore is up! Magic Systems as DM Modules - Page 13





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  1. #121
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Nightwing View Post
    That's your preferred interpretation of how magic works. I don't see it myself, because then it means any monster with a magical attack (like, say, a Will O'Wisp) has to be knowledgeable in order to be able to do this thing repeatedly.
    Um... isn't that the difference between a Spell and a Spell Like Ability? (In the case of a Will O'Wisp it's simply an extraordinary ability not even Supernatural, let alone Spell Like).

    I much prefer the idea of always-accessible magic being an innate feature rather than learned. Simply for balance purposes, your Wizard can never know every spell, which to me isn't knowledge, but tricks, he can perform a few tricks. The book-learner can truly access all knowledge, but he'll never be able to do this without exercising his mind.
    This makes no sense to me given how specialised modern scientists have to be. Actually mastering something and being able to control it on the fly is very different from being a diletante.

 

  • #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    Um... isn't that the difference between a Spell and a Spell Like Ability? (In the case of a Will O'Wisp it's simply an extraordinary ability not even Supernatural, let alone Spell Like).
    I don't see why 3E mechanics are relevant? I'm talking about constructing a coherent system of 'magical physics' if you will. What they do is obviously not covered by normal physics, so it's magical, so I'd like it to be consistent with the way in which characters create and use magic.

    This makes no sense to me given how specialised modern scientists have to be. Actually mastering something and being able to control it on the fly is very different from being a diletante.
    It seems to me you're thinking more of a craftsman, they truly master a single specific art and nobody can take that away from them. Scientists (and I am one) have a broad skill set, and from one year to the next the actual tasks you're performing will change - a good scientist can adapt to a required task. For instance, knowledge of even one programming language opens up almost all of them to you, and you can use the most appropriate tool for a particular job. However, if you spend six months programming in Perl, you'll have to remind yourself how C++ works when you need that again.
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  • #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    And this is, to me, where the pre-4e D&D wizard has always appeared to be not fit for purpose. The wizard is not knowledge. He's no more "knowledge" than someone who takes a morning drink from the river Lethe for the benefit of their health. The wizard is quite literally the opposite of knowledge - he forgets his spells every time they are cast.

    To get the wizard to be knowledge and the sorceror talent, I'd swap their casting mechanics. The wizard is knowledge - he knows his spells. You can't take that away from him. The sorceror is the shortcut. He needs his cribsheet. He might be talented and capable of things the wizard isn't, but he neither knows nor masters his spells. Which is why he needs his book with him at all times - he does not know his spells. Talent, but never the effort needed for mastery. Especially not the mastery needed to change spells on the fly with metamagic feats. The ability to know your spells well enough to modify them on the fly? That's knowledge.
    You're not getting my point.

    My point was that character image and character casting resource don't have to correlate.

    What make a wizard a wizard to me the the understanding of the magic system. He knows why fireball requires bat guano. He'll tell you that "The pyromantic entanglement of the plane of fire and the material plane snags unto a bat as they fly and some of it is consumed. Their guano can be use to mimic true pyromancy when unlocked by the word "Fordigumaras" after a flame lock script is memorized."

    The sorcerer is all talent. All he knows it that if he thinks about hot things and points with a crooked finger, people burn up.

    Whether either uses spell slots or points is a whole other thing.
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  • #124
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Nightwing View Post
    I don't see why 3E mechanics are relevant? I'm talking about constructing a coherent system of 'magical physics' if you will. What they do is obviously not covered by normal physics, so it's magical, so I'd like it to be consistent with the way in which characters create and use magic.
    Spells are only one tiny subset of magic. A dragon flying or breathing fire is magical. But it is not a spell. The (Ex) (Su) (Sp) hierarchy makes sense from this perspective. And although a wizard and a dragon can both fly they don't do it the same way.

    It seems to me you're thinking more of a craftsman, they truly master a single specific art and nobody can take that away from them. Scientists (and I am one) have a broad skill set, and from one year to the next the actual tasks you're performing will change - a good scientist can adapt to a required task. For instance, knowledge of even one programming language opens up almost all of them to you, and you can use the most appropriate tool for a particular job. However, if you spend six months programming in Perl, you'll have to remind yourself how C++ works when you need that again.
    No. I'm talking about an actually diverse world that is too big for one person to undertand it all. Physicists are notorious for jumping into other subjects and getting things badly wrong because they think because they are physicists they know how things work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    Ah, the mythic "Good DM" strikes again. Clearly all of my 4e DMs were ignorant and stupid and playing the game wrong and any "Good DM" would be able to thwart those moments of fun-ruining disconnect that only a "Not Good DM" brings to this excellent, excellent, impeccable, and blameless framework.

    Yeah, I don't buy it.
    How about buying the suggestion that "When a DM does something that simultaneously conflicts with the rules of the game and makes it less fun for all concerned they are being a bad DM"?

    @pmerton has posted the rules of the game. There was a conflict there. It made it less fun. Evidently or you wouldn't complain.

    As I explained above, I don't think it's necessarily bad DMing to tell your player that, essentially, no they can't burn down Homlett with a wave of their hands.
    Of course they can't. What they can do is fire damage that may set things alight. It's going to take a lot more than one scorching burst or one fireball to burn down Homlett. Ever tried to start even a properly laid fire? A quick burst of fire may ignite kindling, but won't catch planks directly. It will, however, catch dry leaves on a tree - and then from there you have the kindling lit. Add a few more scorching bursts to add heat and you may well catch teh rest of the tree on fire.

    The game didn't really support her doing otherwise.
    Which is why you have a DM rather than playing a computer game. Fundamentally there's little difference between using scorching burst and using a number of prep methods.

  • #125
    Quote Originally Posted by Minigiant View Post
    You're not getting my point.

    My point was that character image and character casting resource don't have to correlate.
    No. You're missing mine. Which is that the D&D wizard isn't about understanding. He is about forgetfulness. He's about the one use trick. He's about performing magic by rote.

    Whether either uses spell slots or points is a whole other thing.
    Except that both fluff and mechanics matter. And Mr Forgetful does not match the fluff. Mr. Spell Master on the other hand matches the fluff of the spell master. Mechanics matter.

  • #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    No. You're missing mine. Which is that the D&D wizard isn't about understanding. He is about forgetfulness. He's about the one use trick. He's about performing magic by rote.
    Wizards understand the process. It's the application that conjures "forgetfulness" if you have it.

    This is why I prefer "prepare and used" over "memorized and forget."

    "The wizard uses his knowledge to prepare his spells, place them within his mind, and uses them when needed." = Sense

    "The wizard uses his knowledge to memorize his spells, place them within his mind, and casts them when need." = Nonsense


    Except that both fluff and mechanics matter. And Mr Forgetful does not match the fluff. Mr. Spell Master on the other hand matches the fluff of the spell master. Mechanics matter.
    Mr. Forgetful doesn't match the fluff (unless you handwave it as "Magic!" or claim wizards use memory tricks)

    But Mr. Prepared works just as well as Mr. Mana for a wizard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    Spells are only one tiny subset of magic. A dragon flying or breathing fire is magical. But it is not a spell. The (Ex) (Su) (Sp) hierarchy makes sense from this perspective. And although a wizard and a dragon can both fly they don't do it the same way.
    Right, so creatures with inherent magical abilities (abilities that go away in an antimagic field apparently) aren't particularly knowledgeable or scholarly, but cast far more similarly to Sorcerers. In fact, creatures with spell-like abilities are mentioned in 3E as sometimes being Sorcerer-like, and if you changed Sorcerer spellcasting to spell-like abilities rather than spells, they would behave exactly the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neonchameleon View Post
    No. You're missing mine. Which is that the D&D wizard isn't about understanding. He is about forgetfulness. He's about the one use trick. He's about performing magic by rote.

    Except that both fluff and mechanics matter. And Mr Forgetful does not match the fluff. Mr. Spell Master on the other hand matches the fluff of the spell master. Mechanics matter.
    I have to agree with Minigiant - you see forgetfulness as something it isn't. After a Wizard has cast all of his spells it's not that he's forgotten them, it's that his power is exhausted - he filled his mind with magic for the day, he needs to rest to get more. This works with all sorts of spellcasting mechanics but the key is that in the morning he explicitly prepares what he'll be able to do during the day. The Sorcerer doesn't - he has a number of innate abilities, he can't change them, but he can decide which to use in any given spellcast.
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  • #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    Clearly all of my 4e DMs were ignorant and stupid and playing the game wrong and any "Good DM" would be able to thwart those moments of fun-ruining disconnect that only a "Not Good DM" brings to this excellent, excellent, impeccable, and blameless framework.
    I didn't use the words "ignorant" or "stupid". I used the word "bad". And I quoted the rules of the game that establish the badness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget View Post
    I don't think it's necessarily bad DMing to tell your player that, essentially, no they can't burn down Homlett with a wave of their hands.
    Huh? Whether or not a mage can burn down Homlett with a wave of his/her hands strikes me as bein in the same category as whether or not a figher can cut down Homlett with a wave of his/her sword. That is, it's not primarily a question about action resolution mechanics, but about scene framing and social contract. (There is also @Neonchameleon 's point that it will take more than a single Scorching Burst to set a whole village alight.)

    If you think that Scorching Burst can't set wood on fire, how do you think it's hurting people?

  • #129
    Quote Originally Posted by Minigiant View Post
    Wizards understand the process. It's the application that conjures "forgetfulness" if you have it.

    This is why I prefer "prepare and used" over "memorized and forget."
    Mr Forgetful was explicitely the fluff in 1e and 2e due to a misapplication/partial application of the Dying Earth's magic. It's one of the reasins people detest Vancian Magic. 3e eased back on that fluff while not changing the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_Nightwing View Post
    Right, so creatures with inherent magical abilities (abilities that go away in an antimagic field apparently) aren't particularly knowledgeable or scholarly, but cast far more similarly to Sorcerers. In fact, creatures with spell-like abilities are mentioned in 3E as sometimes being Sorcerer-like, and if you changed Sorcerer spellcasting to spell-like abilities rather than spells, they would behave exactly the same.
    Indeed. If you learn magic to the standards of someone who can use it naturally you look like someone who can use it naturally. This doesn;t look like a problem to me.

    I have to agree with Minigiant - you see forgetfulness as something it isn't. After a Wizard has cast all of his spells it's not that he's forgotten them, it's that his power is exhausted
    No it isn't. That would be a spell point system. The only way to make 3.X wizards work is it's spell completion. That the spells all actually take five or more minutes to cast - but you can cast 90% of the ritual in advance. It's not that he's memorising the spell. It's that he's actually casting the spell. And at that point sorcerors and wizards cast so differently that I question that they should be using the same spell list.

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    @Neonchameleon

    I think this would be easier if you just stated which mechanics you would prefer for each caster. I can't get a handle on what you see in the Wizard and Sorcerer. Do you want the Wizard to use the same mechanics as the Sorcerer - learning something so well they do it as well as an innate caster? Do you want any preparation/choice in advance for Wizards? I just don't understand your replies any more.
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