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D&D 5E 5e fireballs

Banshee16

First Post
You know, I'm thinking the love for things like spell learning chances is based around a mind-set not seen in D&D in some time.

Namely, that getting a PC to a high level (subjectively speaking) was an accomplishment. That to get where you are today, you had to scrimp and save and scrape by, and eke out every last exp you could lay your hands on against a hostile universe.

I don't think the last two editions have had that mindset. 3rd ed. introduced the wealth-by-level guidelines, and made it really easy to lay hands on whatever gear you thought you needed. 4th came right out and said (or at least strongly implied) that PCs should be given whatever magic items they thought they would like.

Before 3rd ed, you didn't have ANY official rules for building characters higher that 1st level. Even allowing the concept was up to your DM. 3rd ed made it easy, and expected.

I'm not saying that either play style was wrong. I love 3.5/pathfinder, but sometimes think a cold-blooded "earn your happy ending" game would be fun. But I think that WotC shifted the mind-set of the game to "play what you think would be fun", instead of the Gygaxian "play what you rolled and, if you're lucky, maybe you'll get to name level" thinking.

I think you're right. I did feel 3E and 4E made things too easy. I guess that makes me old school. I *do* think there may be a generational difference in terms of how newer/younger players view the game compared to older players.

I like that they've mentioned they're removing magic items from the progression system, so that character wealth is no longer tied to character level anymore. I *like* the idea of magic items being more rare and more special. Maybe minor stuff like wands and potions and scrolls are readily available, but that Frostbrand sword or Holy Avenger is something truly special, that you'd never find in a shop.

What about a combo system of some sort whereby players "buy" items for their PCs by expending level based points? But instead of the PC walking into a shop and buying that item they want, what you'd have is a pool of points they get based on level, and the player could determine, based on their vision for the character what items they'd like for their character, and the points are used to "spend" and get that item they want to have, by the GM then ensuring the item is recovered in game as a treasure or whatever.

Banshee
 

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Banshee16

First Post
See, the problem with including non-combat and combat spells together is that you have a limited number of spell slots. Which means that the narrow focus non-combat spells will virtually never be memorized unless you know that you're going to need them.

So, take something like Comprehend Languages. It's a pretty rare player that would take Comprehend Languages before, say, Sleep. And, because most of the situations where you would need Comprehend Languages (such as reading something) can typically wait until the next day, you probably have the spell in your book and then use it as is convenient.

I'd much prefer a system where your daily resources aren't being taken up by stuff that is so narrowly focused. Make something like Knock, or Comprehend Languages a ritual, have it cost something (not necessarily money - time is fine) and leave the daily resources for stuff that is going to make the game more exciting.

Maybe I've been in different kinds of games....those spells were always useful. I wouldn't have my mage entirely loaded with them, but I usually had some of them mixed into my spell selection. Whether it was Detect Magic, Read Languages, Tongues, Rope Trick, or something else, they were always ways to use them.

Banshee
 

JRRNeiklot

First Post
IMO, they can support the 1e play style without copying the exact mechanics.

Sure, I wouldn't expect - nor want - WOTC to duplicate the 1e mechanic. I can already play 1e if I want - and I do. But something similar with updated mechanics should be doable, and in fact has to be if they want my dollars.
 

Bluenose

Adventurer
Being a wizard is HARD. Otherwise, there'd be a ton of wizards, and the entire milieu changes. It changes from a psuedo-medieval world to the world of Harry Potter.

Would you advocate the Wizard being a "Rare" class in the Common/Uncommon/Rare system proposed for 5e?

And in practice, for PCs, being a wizard is as hard as rolling a good Int score and writing "Wizard" in the class line on your character sheet. Nothing more complicated than that. You might do it badly, but I'd like to believe that to be true of any class.
 

Hassassin

First Post
See, the problem with including non-combat and combat spells together is that you have a limited number of spell slots. Which means that the narrow focus non-combat spells will virtually never be memorized unless you know that you're going to need them.

So, take something like Comprehend Languages. It's a pretty rare player that would take Comprehend Languages before, say, Sleep. And, because most of the situations where you would need Comprehend Languages (such as reading something) can typically wait until the next day, you probably have the spell in your book and then use it as is convenient.

In 3.5, it is common for my wizardly characters to use most highest level spell slots for combat spells and most lower level spell slots for utility spells. When you have 4th level spells, you probably won't need sleep for anything, but comprehend languages is always useful. Even at first level my 0 level slots are usually been split between light and detect magic.

It's also common that I leave a mid level (one or two levels below highest) slot or two open so that 15 minutes' preparation gets me the right spell for the job.

These things are part of the reason I find playing a wizard fun and challenging.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
Would you advocate the Wizard being a "Rare" class in the Common/Uncommon/Rare system proposed for 5e?

And in practice, for PCs, being a wizard is as hard as rolling a good Int score and writing "Wizard" in the class line on your character sheet. Nothing more complicated than that. You might do it badly, but I'd like to believe that to be true of any class.

Until play begins, at which point "rairty" is defined by how many survive to reach level 2. I'm all for a class being "hard" to play and needing an exprienced player to run well. i think this is where the sorceror/wizard split should be -- sorcerors should be the new player/easy class and wizards should be the experienced player/hard class. Both cast magic missiles at the bad guys, but a lot of the surrounding elements are different and keyed to different difficulties.
 

Banshee16

First Post
In 3.5, it is common for my wizardly characters to use most highest level spell slots for combat spells and most lower level spell slots for utility spells. When you have 4th level spells, you probably won't need sleep for anything, but comprehend languages is always useful. Even at first level my 0 level slots are usually been split between light and detect magic.

It's also common that I leave a mid level (one or two levels below highest) slot or two open so that 15 minutes' preparation gets me the right spell for the job.

These things are part of the reason I find playing a wizard fun and challenging.

Could be useful for exploration to have higher level variants of some of those utility spells. In Robert Bakker's "Aspect Emperor" series, the sorcerers have different types of light spells, for instance. Your basic types, and then another that is sometimes used called "Bar of Heaven". It almost seems to open a gash to the plane of radiance (or whatever their equivalent is), and casts light through a wide area....such that if you're standing in a big underground cavern the size of a few football fields, the whole thing is lit up. It's considered a major expenditure though.

From a tactical perspective, it could be more useful for adventuring parties, to not be limited to a 20' radius of light or whatever.

Banshee
 

In 3.5, it is common for my wizardly characters to use most highest level spell slots for combat spells and most lower level spell slots for utility spells. When you have 4th level spells, you probably won't need sleep for anything, but comprehend languages is always useful. Even at first level my 0 level slots are usually been split between light and detect magic.

It's also common that I leave a mid level (one or two levels below highest) slot or two open so that 15 minutes' preparation gets me the right spell for the job.

These things are part of the reason I find playing a wizard fun and challenging.
Usually 1st level spells were still used as damage spells... they were quite potent: magic missile, chromatic orb, burning hands, colour spray too?
2nd level damage spells were usually quite bad and 2nd level had very good utility spells...

On adifferent note: In ADnD 2nd edition you could try again to learn a spell at next level. 16 int was not so bad, although usually you had a 17 or an 18 there.

Most points listed for balance were not so bad actually. Not beeing able to disrupt spells was very very unbalancing in 3.5. A small change, but big consequences.

Having at will spells on the other hand is no problem in my opinion, they just need to be less potent than a fighter´s sword.
 


Nebulous

Legend
All of these factors both make playing a magic user challenging and fun, and keep him from overshadowing the rest of the party. Now, I'm not saying it should be ported whole cloth into 5e, after all, then it would just be a clone of 1e. I am saying, if it ain't broke don't fix it. Keep the thematic elements of 1e magic, keep the strangeness of magic, keep drawbacks. I wouldn't mind seeing a few more spells per day at lower levels, but from about 5th level on, 1e is just about perfect. Enough to do the job, but not enough that you just spam the left mouse button.

Dude, awesome post. I'm with you on how spells should have casting times again. I really don't mind a wizard being uber powerful at high level, they should be the rare kind of person that reaches that level of aptitude, but it should be hard for him to reach it.
 

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