OneDnD Bard Playtest discussion

Chaosmancer

Legend
I would love each kind of spellcasting focus to grant a different spellcasting benefit. I would need these benefits to robustly balance with each other and be equally good choices.

Delete spellcasting "components" from the game. Instead, only the focus matters. Decide which focus the character concept is using.

Examples of focuses:
• Mind (trance, mystical experience, visualization, etcetera)
• Voice (improvising expressions of intention, chant, song, poem, command, reciting formula, etcetera)
• Body (dance, Airbender, nose wiggle, hand signs, magic-infused body, drop of blood, etcetera)
• Symbol (personal, traditional, sacred, necklace, tattoo, shield, etcetera)
• Text (personal, traditional, sacred text, diary, book of poetry, written oracles, spellbook, etcetera)
• Implement (wand, staff, rod, cane, distaff, orb, sword, musical instrument, etcetera)
• Components (protoscientific properties of various objects, animal/plant parts, tarot deck, etcetera)
• Pet (familiar)

I tried to give some minor benefits to the different foci. Increased range, +1 damage, the ability to have a reaction defense against a single element.

Problem I ran into was that component pouches were too generic, but also the most expensive. I think I mostly was going to just make their special thing being incredibly cheap.
 

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Yaarel

Mind Mage
I tried to give some minor benefits to the different foci. Increased range, +1 damage, the ability to have a reaction defense against a single element.
Choosing a Pet as a focus, can cast the spell via the Pet as the point of origin. This relates to range as well as other situationally excellent benefits. This can be the amount of design space for the respective benefits of other focuses.

Problem I ran into was that component pouches were too generic, but also the most expensive. I think I mostly was going to just make their special thing being incredibly cheap.
Yeah.

If the player wants their focus to cost one copper piece, that is fine. If the player wants to use a priceless magic item for the focus, that is fine too.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Doubt it will, but who knows.



If a Druid has Hide Armor, a Dex of 14, and a shield, then they know that Barkskin cannot offer them any additional protection. They have to know this, because it is true, and no druid in that situation will cast Barkskin. They may not think of it in terms of "I have an AC of 16, therefore the spell setting my AC to 16 is not helpful" but they still come to the same conclusion and have the same understanding.

Mages who can cast Mage Armor and wear normal armor are aware of how Mage Armor stacks up against their various choices. They would know for example that Mage Armor is superior to wearing a chain shirt, but inferior to them wearing plate armor (if their Dex score is less than 20)

However this is possible, it is possible, because these decisions are made. The caster has to be able to tell when a spell is and is not useful, otherwise every time that a Druid doesn't cast Barkskin because it won't change their AC, or a Hexblade uses Mage Armor because they have an 18 dexm instead of purchasing half-plate, they would be meta-gaming.
The player would, yes. The character, not so much. The wizard is not going to understand about dex and mage armor not being better than plate until a 20 dex, but if he has heavy armor proficiency may just feel more secure in plate or prefer it because it's shiny. Only the player is going to know to such fine detail that armor + dex modifiers = this number or that.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
The player would, yes. The character, not so much. The wizard is not going to understand about dex and mage armor not being better than plate until a 20 dex, but if he has heavy armor proficiency may just feel more secure in plate or prefer it because it's shiny. Only the player is going to know to such fine detail that armor + dex modifiers = this number or that.
Wouldn't that imply that most NPC's would use armor that wasn't efficient, because they didn't realize what the most effective defense is?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Wouldn't that imply that most NPC's would use armor that wasn't efficient, because they didn't realize what the most effective defense is?
They'd know roughly about the armor itself, and generally that plate mail(in later editions) slowed you down if you were quick, but not by how much specifically. NPCs often in modules wore armor that wasn't as good as they could get.

It's the player who in 3e knew that Full Plate only allowed you to use 1 point of dex bonus, not the PC.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
The player would, yes. The character, not so much. The wizard is not going to understand about dex and mage armor not being better than plate until a 20 dex, but if he has heavy armor proficiency may just feel more secure in plate or prefer it because it's shiny. Only the player is going to know to such fine detail that armor + dex modifiers = this number or that.

So... I have to make up reasons like "this armor is shinier" or "I just feel more secure this way" when I am a trained warrior deciding what protection will save my life?

Yeah, no. My character is a professional. They know their trade-craft, and they know that what they are choosing is the best option they have, because they are ensuring their lives by this equipment, so they are picking it for the effectiveness, not because of how it looks or how it makes them feel.

I would also tell any druid who felt the need to waste a spell slot and concentration for defenses that do not help them "because my character wouldn't know any better, and more armor is better" that they don't need to waste their resources like that. They are a professional, and they know their own abilities and how they work, they don't need to pretend to be ignorant just to satisfy some warped need to perfectly separate character and player knowledge.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Indeed. I have to assume characters know that things like a longsword does d8 damage and a rapier does d6, as well as "because of my Dexterity, studded leather armor provides just as good of protection as half plate. If people assumed that "more armor is better", then everyone who has proficiency and can afford it would wear full plate, regardless of their Dexterity bonus, because they would have no way of knowing if lighter armor would serve them better or not.

Does a character know what a +1 modifier is? Not in game mechanics terms, no, but they should understand what the difference means in their world. Otherwise, no one would understand what makes +2 weapons or armor better than +1.
 

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