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Monday, 1st October, 2012, 05:30 PM #31
That's was the problem with the "scratch out" option in 4e as well. It only works if the class EXACTLY matches what you want, sans name. In reality, you were only getting 60% of what you wanted and 40% of what you didn't. (Or 80%/20% or whatever.)Drew Melbourne,
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Monday, 1st October, 2012, 05:32 PM #32
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
Monday, 1st October, 2012, 05:48 PM #33
Guide (Lvl 11)
a) If they are still hanging on to the idea of a Basic/Default version of the game, it may be that those classes still get different systems by default.
b) I don't think part of creating a caster will always be "argue with the DM for your casting method" I suspect that many/most DMs/campaigns will not care which one you pick. (So long as the methods are reasonably balanced with each other. I suppose.)
c) I'm not particularly attached to these names-mechanics pairings, since they hardly seem consistent across D&D history or the genre. (In my head, "Sorcerer" is still partially attached to Al-Qadim elementalist casters, frex.) For me, its not like the word "Warlock" conjures up images of anything like the later edition striker-dude (unless I'm thinking specifically about D&D already.)
Could you (or anyone else who feels the same way) explain or describe to me how they came to be so to your mind? Is it just playing within 3.x and 4e D&D or is it something more? What kinds of things are attached to "Sorcerer", "Warlock", "Wizard", etc. for you?
Monday, 1st October, 2012, 06:10 PM #34
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
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I have a side question- why isn't there a link to the article in the OP? I've noticed that this seems to be a burgeoning trend when talking about articles from the Wizards site, and I don't understand it.
Forgive me if this was mentioned already, I've only read the first page of the thread so far.
Monday, 1st October, 2012, 06:36 PM #35
Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)
Monday, 1st October, 2012, 06:44 PM #36
Superhero (Lvl 15)
So the difference between the Wizard and the Sorcerer is that one is a Wizard and the other is a Sorcerer.
Monday, 1st October, 2012, 07:12 PM #37
Time Agent (Lvl 24)
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But it's not all that.
In 4e, a Fighter and a Ranger had the same ADEU + Role Mechanic structure, so the play experience was very similar no matter the label on your class. You can make a persuasive case that it doesn't matter what you call it, since it behaves basically the same. The names have no real meaning in and of themselves, they're just words for lumps of ADEU powers + a Role Mechanic.
In 5e, a Wizard and a Sorcerer have a different play experience (or at least they SHOULD). Independent of whether you use spell points or spell slots, a Wizard's schtick is to prepare in advance the magic she will use from a vast library of potential tools, while a sorcerer's is to pick in the moment from a limited list that they can use repeatedly. Wizards pick the right tool for the right circumstance, while to a sorcerer, well, they have a hammer, and every problem is a potential nail.
So in 5e, if you crossed out "Wizard" and wrote "Sorcerer," the experience wouldn't be interchangeable. You'd still be preparing magic from a vast list, not calling it spontaneously from a small pool. Regardless of spell points or spell slots, the behavior is different for each class.
Class, Spell, and Magic Mechanics
It's a little unclear how this possibly intersects with the class list, or the spell list. It's a little unclear how this is going to shake out. But there's a few ways it could.
If you want to keep the classes, and the spell names (so that you still have "Sorcerers," "Wizards," "Magic Missile," and "Fireball"), you make the Magic Mechanic a purely mechanical expression of how the magic happens.
So you have a Warlock. And via her class, she has pact magic and can access the Fireball spell (she's got a pact with some efreet lord in the City of Brass perhaps!). And her choice of Magic Mechanics only affects things like the recharge rate, power level, and preferred tracking mechanism of the spell. So maybe she is a Vancian warlock, where she spends Spell Slots to cast Fireball. The warlock also has some unique class mechanics, like Eldritch Strike, that are kind of just part of the warlock bag.
And you have a Wizard. And via his class, he has scholarly magic and can access the Fireball spell (he found it in a dusty tome of some mad evoker). And his choice of Magic Mechanics means that maybe he is a Spell Point wizard, so he prepares his spells in the morning, and then spends Spell Points to cast magic from this custom list. And the wizard also has some unique class mechanics, like a Spellbook for learning and swapping out magic, that are just kind of part of the Wizard bag.
And then you have a Sorcerer. Via his class, he has heritage magic, and can access the Fireball spell (red dragon ancestry y'know!). And his choice of Magic Mechanics means that maybe he's a Reserve spellcaster, so he can use a little version of Fireball at-will and then blow up with a big Fireball all at once (but then loose the little fireball). And the Sorcerer also has some unique class mechanics, like a Bloodline Bonus that lets them use that high Charisma to influence creatures related to their bloodline (our sorcerer can win staring contests with Dragons!) that are just kind of part of the Sorcerer bag.
You've also got the Cleric. Via her class, she has divine magic, and can access the Fireball spell (it pays to worship Pele!). And her choice of Magic Mechanics means maybe she's a Wild Spellcaster, so she needs to make a d20 roll and can cast anything from a puff of flame to a raging torrent of fire. And the Cleric has some unique class mechanics, like Cure Wounds, that are just part of the Cleric bag.
Which means that you don't have to define a class by (a) a list of powers/spells, (b) a method of casting them, or (c) a particular requisite magic mechanic. You can define them by what they are in the story, and then let the players pick out their own preferred mechanics.
Conceivably, fighters and other martial classes could benefit from this as well. There's no conceptual reason why Expertise can't be a sort of universal potential martial mechanic, accessible by barbarians and rangers and rogues who want to have combat expertise, and why other things (like an Opportunist mechanic that lets a fighter use Dailies and Encounter powers or something) couldn't be rolled up in their place. Hypothetically, you could even cross streams and have a magical version of Expertise or a martial Vancian system.
And then for the newbies, you'd have a default mode. Fighters get Expertise dice, Warlocks are Infinite Spellcasters, Wizards are Vancian, or whatever. But you're not tethered to that.
And for us wonks, you could swap out the mechanics, independent of class.
It's an interesting idea, to silo things like that. It might not be the way they're actually going, there's plenty of other options, but it's got me thinkin'...
Last edited by I'm A Banana; Monday, 1st October, 2012 at 07:16 PM.
Monday, 1st October, 2012, 07:25 PM #38
The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)
If they are completely different people, then this statement of yours is utterly meaningless. Why should we expect people to be consistent with opinions they may never have had?
"There's a fine line between a superpower and a chronic medical condition."
- Doctor Impossible
Monday, 1st October, 2012, 07:26 PM #39
Guide (Lvl 11)
This is an excellent response. The primary benefit is that it gets around the "Wizard as Sacred Cow" problem by divorcing the class and name from the casting mechanic choice. Putting the choice of including mechanics firmly into the hands of the DM is also a nice hedge against the shift in game balance or world-building fluff that might come from having spontaneous casting Wizards vs. power points vs. prepared spell slots.
Yet even with these wide varieties in spell quantification the core of the Wizard is right there: his casting progression, his spell book, etc.
It'll be interesting to see how the systems play out against the spell book. The limit on the Sorcerer was that his spell variety was extremely limited compared to the Wizard. A mana-point or spontaneous slot Wizard is going to be very unbalanced if he can pull anything out of his book that he wants at any time. In all likelihood even the point-based and spontaneous slotted Wizards are going to still need to prepared spells out of their book every day - probably a more limited number than a caster who individually locks in his spell slots for the day.
If we used the play-test Wizard as a baseline for slots per level per day we'd probably see the Individual Prepared (1E Magic-User) variant getting the most slots (maybe +1 per level over baseline), the Spontaneous Slotted (3E Sorcerer) variant getting less spells than slots (-1 prepared spell per level under baseline, but full progression of spells per level, per day), and the Mana Point (3E Manifester) variant getting less slots and less spell levels per day (-1 prepared spell per level, -1 spell slot worth of points per level).
So for example:
Level 1 - 4
Level 2 - 5
Level 3 - 5/3
Level 4 - 5/4
Level 5 - 5/5/3
Level 1 - 3 (2 prepped to choose from)
Level 2 - 4 (3 prepped)
Level 3 - 4/2 (3/1 prepped)
Level 4 - 4/3 (3/2 prepped)
Level 5 - 4/4/2 (3/3/1 prepped)
Level 1 - 2 power points (2 prepped to choose from)
Level 2 - 3 power points (3 prepped to choose from)
Level 3 - 5 power points (3/1 prepped to choose from)
Level 4 - 7 power points (3/2 prepped to choose from)
Level 5 - 12 power points (3/3/1 prepped to choose from)
The Point-based option is probably going to be the hardest to balance because that sort of Wizard can basically eschew low-level spells to cast more high-level spells per day. His power-progression might be out of whack. If so perhaps putting a hard cap on how many max-level spells you can cast a day (no more than 4 or 5?) would reign that in a bit.
Whatever your Arcane Energy Management System as a Wizard, though, you uses your Intelligence to cast and you prepared all the spells you can cast each morning out of your spell book. You didn't steal them from an Archfiend. You didn't inherit them from having his sire cuckolded by a dragon. You got your magic the old fashioned way - study, experimentation, and a whole lot of practice.
Hah! If arcane power comes from Blood, Sweat, and Tears then the Wizard gets his from the sweat of his brow pouring feverishly over tomes and lab tables. The sorcerer gets it from his blood, while the warlock's path surely ends in tears.
- Marty Lund
Last edited by mlund; Monday, 1st October, 2012 at 07:30 PM.
Monday, 1st October, 2012, 07:58 PM #40
Thaumaturgist (Lvl 9)
What I'm trying to wrap my mind around is this:
If a spellcasting class doesn't have a fixed casting system, or proficiencies, or even hit dice... What's left? What makes the class distinctive, other than fluff?
The spell list, I guess. Sorcerer heritage powers? Warlock pact powers? Wizard... tradition powers, I suppose? (Would a Vancian sorcerer have to memorize his heritage powers, or what?)
Now, the warlock still kind of stands apart, but the sorcerer spell list is a subset of the wizard list. To what extent do we still need separate classes for the wizard and sorcerer?
And DEFCON 1: Dude. Enough with the shouting, okay? You'd think I kicked your dog or something.
"All right, I am not the Shadow. You have nothing at all to worry about. Except, oh, wait, I'm pointing a gun at you."