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Thursday, 4th October, 2012, 03:02 PM #131
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
I hate the Dying Earth fluff and replaced it with my own
Wizards tattoo invisible arcane marks on themselves each day. When they cast spells, the marks disappear.
Sorcerers are born with these markings in their body from their heritage. Some more might sponatoeusly appear later in life. The marks are permanent and sorcerers need only activate them
Thursday, 4th October, 2012, 03:17 PM #132
Guide (Lvl 11)
Before 3e, there was a lot of fluff about Magic-Users "prepping" their spells, more than just "memorizing" them. He wasn't forgetful, he was using up magical "charges" that he built up during his study period. It wasn't a function of the Magic-User/Wizard, it was quirk in the function of magic when used by mortals. While that was basically the only game in town, that worked. 2e had many alternative spellcasters and specialist wizards, almost all of them worked the same way. The few that didn't were mostly niche classes from splat, that were often demonstrably "weaker" in their proficiency with magic.
With 3e, though, you have multiple casting styles right in the core. It is no longer a function of magic fluff, but of class fluff. Then you have the problem of the forgetful wizard fluff. The game was no longer making any fluff claims about the nature of magic, only the nature of casters. I think its a subtle but profound shift of thinking that lead to magic/casting becoming far more sweeping, flexible, and reliable in general.
Thursday, 4th October, 2012, 03:24 PM #133
Guide (Lvl 11)
Thursday, 4th October, 2012, 03:28 PM #134
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
You can set the themes two ways. Either you can control how the sorceror casts his magic or you can control what he can cast.
If the sorceror really is a wild caster I want him to either burn himself up, take backlash, have random effects, or the like. Random effects, hit point backlash, a chance for misfire. When a wild caster casts a spell you never know quite what is going to happen - and it's not going to be subtle but is going to be big.
If the sorceror is a channeller (as the 4e sorceror is) then you make the spells reflect this (so a storm sorceror manipulates weather magic, an elementalist manipulates their element) and they channel that one thing. And channellers have big, powerful, but not that controlled effects. They are channelling the raw energy of (whatever) rather than carefully building it. And everything should be on the theme.
Thursday, 4th October, 2012, 03:41 PM #135
Guide (Lvl 11)
I don't think I mind if Wizards can learn any spell in theory, and I think their spellcasting should be planned in some manner, even if just by assigning points to particular spell schools. Mastery of schools at different levels would also be nice, but require a sort of separate skill subsystem as things stand.
Thursday, 4th October, 2012, 03:56 PM #136
Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)
If I play a loremaster in 3.5 I don't play a wizard at all. I go for the bard (with Perform (Oratory)). They know about Stuff. They have magic and have mastered it. Versatile skills, and they can help you at what you are supposed to be good at.
The wizard has access to more powerful magic earlier, but the sorceror has better control over what he can cast when he can finally cast it. The uncontrolled one should get the powerful spells first but uses something (whether props such as books, lack of reliability, or burning thelselves up) to assist. And the controlled one should be better able to make fine differences in their spells. Which fits the narrative of the sorceror being better controlled than the wizard. (If they use the same casting system and rate then the whole thing just drops out and it's the spells that matter). Not that there's much in it - but what's in it is all there is between the mechanics of the classes.
Thursday, 4th October, 2012, 05:15 PM #137
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
I always felt sorcerer should hav had less spells per day (still more then wizard, and d6hd
Thursday, 4th October, 2012, 07:03 PM #138If the sorceror is a channeller (as the 4e sorceror is) then you make the spells reflect this (so a storm sorceror manipulates weather magic, an elementalist manipulates their element) and they channel that one thing. And channellers have big, powerful, but not that controlled effects. They are channelling the raw energy of (whatever) rather than carefully building it. And everything should be on the theme.
I'm a little confused over who's arguing what as to who should be the more controlled caster though... at one minute it looks like it's argued the sorcerer is more controlled, at another the wizard.
Thursday, 4th October, 2012, 10:46 PM #139
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
"Fire and forget" is kind of silly, but it's at least one way of modeling the amount of preparation and specificity a wizard needs going into combat with his magic.
Sunday, 7th October, 2012, 04:28 AM #140
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
No one in my group ever cared to play a 4e sorcerer, so my concept of the wizard/sorcerer distinction is mostly the 3x version. The way it seemed to me was that wizards and sorcerers shared a spell list because in the end, they were bringing about the exact same phenomena. Wizards did it by careful study and understanding of the phenomenon itself, sorcerers just sort of winged it with instinct. IIRC, the PHB said some sorcerers "claimed" a draconic or extraplanar bloodline, not that this was in fact the established source of their power. Having known an autistic savant who could play the piano like a master with no formal training whatsoever, the idea of a sorcerer just somehow figuring out how to do what a wizard spent years learning never sat ill with me.
Anyway, this to me is what the 3.x mechanics tried to model. The wizard had to undergo an intensive and life-long study of how magic worked and as a result, could learn a lot more spells. The sorcerer was stuck with whatever he could figure out with his own instincts, hence fewer spells and slower advancement. Whether this is a good way to model the difference or not is obviously up for debate. It doesn't (to me anyway) provide a solid rationale for a wizard only being able to use a prepared spell once without tacking on the fluff of "fire and forget" or "preparation means the spell is 90% cast and just waiting on the last component to set it off."
All that is to bring me to a slightly different idea. Consider two things:
First - Part of the goal for Next was to recapture some of the original feel of older editions (0D&D, 1e, 2e). Initially, the basic arcane class was called "magic user" specifically to avoid any connotations association with terms like wizard, sorcerer, warlock, witch, conjurer, magi, etc.
Second - So far, the idea seems to give each basic class build options. Fighters get fighting styles, rogues get schemes, and clerics get domains. Each class got two builds. It seemed like the arcane traditions were slated to occupy this spot for wizards. What if instead, the casting mechanic were to occupy that spot?
So in comparison to what we have so far with the other classes you might get a class called "Magic-User" (yes, they'd have to rename the background currently using that title) with the basics: d4 hit dice, poor weapon attack bonus, good magic attack bonus, no armor, few weapons, spells per day table.
Then add "arcane tradition" as the analogous choice to fighter style, rogue scheme, or cleric domain. The two basics could be "wizard" and "sorcerer".
Wizards would have a spellbook and the ability to record any arcane spell of a level they can cast in the spellbook. But they have to specifically prepare spell for each slot in the spells per day table.
Sorcerers would not have a spellbook and be limited to knowing a number of spells for each level equivalent to their slots per day, but could cast any spell they know by expending a slot of the same level (or higher).
The wizard gets more spells to choose from with the trade off that he has to prepare them and run the risk of choosing a spell that turns out to be suboptimal or possibly even useless in the day to come.
From there you could add a warlock tradition, an illusionist tradition, and so one each with a mechanic that modeled the fluff of the class.
Incidentally, if the above were to come about, I'm not whetted to calling the class "magic user" and making the traditions "wizard" and "sorcerer" and "warlock" and so on. If want to call the basic arcane class "wizard" and let the sorcerer and warlock be something totally different, that's fine.
I guess the major weakness here is that it rolls the different casting methods into wizard options and leaves the cleric out.
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