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New Design: Wizards...

breschau

First Post
Here.

Article said:
Magic saturates the world and all the extraordinary realms beyond the world. Magic is an intrinsic force present in literally all things. Magic transforms and alters the natural world, sometimes actively and suddenly, other times subtly and over long centuries.

This arcane energy source is difficult to understand and even tougher to master. Those who do so through years of study, practice, and apprenticeship to accomplished masters are called wizards.

Wizards wield arcane magic. Wizards recognize reality for what it is: a thin veneer of structure supported and energized by a force that is ultimately changeable, to those who know its secrets. Thus wizards research esoteric rituals that allow them to alter time and space, hurl balls of fire that incinerate massed foes, and wield spells like warriors brandish swords. They call upon arcane strikes, power words, and spells to unleash raging torrents of cold, fire, or lighting, confuse and enthrall the weak-minded, or even turn invisible or walk through walls.

What sets wizards apart from others who attempt to wield arcane magic are wizards’ unique implements.

Most people recognize the four classic tools associated with wizardcraft: The Orb, Staff, Tome, or Wand.

Each implement focuses magic of a particular class slightly better than the wizard would be able to accomplish bare-handed. Thus wizards are rarely without wand and staff, orb and tome, or some other combination thereof.

A wizard’s orb grants better access to powers of terrain control and manipulation (such as clouds and walls), as well as retributive effects, detection and perception effects, and invisibility.

The staff is best suited to powers that forcefully project powers from the wizard, such as lines of lightning and cones of fire; however, a staff also has resonances with effects related to flight and telekinesis (pushing, pulling, or sliding creatures or objects).

A tome is tied to powers that reduce or neutralize an enemy’s capability in combat in some fashion, whether by slowing the foe, dazing, or through some other fashion. Tomes are also often important for spells of teleportation, summoning, shapechanging, and a few physical enhancement effects.

The wand is a perennial favorite, as it is an ideal conduit for powers that create effects well away from the wizard’s physical position, effects which include explosions of fire, bursts of cold, and other long-range effects that can affect several enemies at once. In addition, personal protections and countermagic effects may lie in wands.

Thus a wizard without an implement is like a slightly near-sighted man with glasses; the man can still see, but without his glasses, he can’t read the road sign across the way. In like wise, while wizard powers are associated with a particular implement, a wizard need not possess or hold a given implement to use its associated power. For instance, a wizard can cast the wand spell cinder storm even if he doesn’t own, has lost, or is not holding a magic wand. However, holding the associated implement grants a benefit to the wizard’s attack that is just like the benefit the warrior gains when attacking an enemy with a magic sword.
 

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Branduil

First Post
Wow, that's quite a big change. We kind of knew about it already, but it looks pretty comprehensive.
 

Baron Opal

First Post
A change from 8 schools of magic to 4? And each with a particular focus to improve the class?

Hmm... Every magician a generalist and specialist at the same time. You can utilize any spell, but perhaps only one focus can be special?
 

breschau

First Post
I'm kind of torn about the splitting of magic into implements. I can see the source material (LotR for the Staves being telekinetic, LotR for the Orbs being scrying and detection, Harry Potter for the Wands). And appreciate it, if they're using them as the material components. That might be cool.

It depends on how they pull it off in the real game.
 

breschau

First Post
Baron Opal said:
A change from 8 schools of magic to 4? And each with a particular focus to improve the class?

Hmm... Every magician a generalist and specialist at the same time. You can utilize any spell, but perhaps only one focus can be special?
That might be what was meant in a WotC post about silos being similar to majors and minors in school.

Total conjecture below: maybe those are the silos. You gain a # of spells per implement per level per/encounter. You can select (via talents or feats) which is your major (one implement) while the others are your minors (the other three). Again, this bits a guess.
 


Rechan

Adventurer
Where does he get all those marvelous toys...
The staff is best suited to powers that forcefully project powers from the wizard, such as lines of lightning and cones of fire; however, a staff also has resonances with effects related to flight and telekinesis (pushing, pulling, or sliding creatures or objects).
Someone's been reading The Dresden Files.
A tome is tied to powers that reduce or neutralize an enemy’s capability in combat in some fashion, whether by slowing the foe, dazing, or through some other fashion. Tomes are also often important for spells of teleportation, summoning, shapechanging, and a few physical enhancement effects.
I can't help but read this and imagine a wizard holding up an Algebra textbook at an Ogre. "Do your homework!" "Nooooo!" and the creature is thusly dazed. Or he reads a word problem and the ogre is slowed as he becomes confused.

Personally I think this is just a little gimmicky.
 


Fobok

First Post
I think I'll need time to process this. I knew wizards were getting some major changes, but I didn't realize *that* major.
 

Beckett

Explorer
Huh. Neat. Helps make a little more sense out of "+6 wands."

What it really makes me think of is the Dresden Files (books at least- never saw the show). For much of the series, Harry uses his staff as a focus for wind and force, and a blasting rod for more destructive spells (along with the Word and the Will).
 

Amy Kou'ai

First Post
I suspect that metamagic will move from the characters into the items. Think a "+1 lesser empowering orb" or something similar.
 

Driddle

First Post
It runs parallel to a warrior needing special implements -- armor and weapons -- to accomplish his own job. So I'm OK with it that way.

But.

Just seems sorta ... Something. I haven't figured it out yet.
 

Lackhand

First Post
I don't think that this rules out the eight schools of magic -- there's a lot invested in the specific number eight -- so much as it lowers their importance. There are a lot of spells for which tying them to specific schools is either difficult or irrelevant, where a case can be made for being of any of a variety of schools.

In the push for making things be at-will/per-encounter/per-day, it's probably quite hard to make Charm Person (1/day? 1/encounter?) the same "kind" of ability as Flaming Hands (at least eventually, I'd see no harm with that being "at will"). They're just not conversant with each other in terms of what they do, and leaving things asymmetric like that really, really hoses the Enchanter.

So some reshuffling seems necessary.

I think that the way I'd implement this is to have spells have a variety of descriptors, and to apply those descriptors exactly as appropriate, screw traditional schools: I can remember which school Bull's Strength is in, but I'm not sure it makes sense; Flaming Sphere was transmutation at one point, wasn't it?

I guess my point is that this is a really exciting change, but we don't know how it's implemented; my guess would be that it puts the [Enchantment] descriptor at the same level of importance as the [Fire] descriptor. For many spells, which school it's in doesn't really matter: a lot of things are Conjuration or Transmutation these days, just so they have somewhere to fit.

And that's only a guess ;) .

It's still completely possible that the eight schools are sticking around, but that the 4 implements operate at a different level, where each spell has a school (for feats to use) and a implement (for magic items) and a list of descriptors.

Anticipating Goodness.

ninja edit: I also like the fact that human wizards have to specialize somewhat, while Mariliths can get away with absolute moidah. Plus we can sort of play with Tarot-suit affinities now. Bonus points!
 
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Pygon

First Post
I hope I don't start thinking too heavily about getting a +2 tome, +3 wand, +1 staff and +4 orb. Less reliance on magic items!!!

The linky no worky, by the way. EDIT: Hmm, Wizards' site is down, that's why.

Well, if this is how it will work, I'll be targeting some items on enemy casters (assuming they aren't magical, of course).

As I think about it, I suppose it's not much different than a fighter wanting a magical blade, assuming that a wizard only specializes with one implement.
 
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Imp

First Post
I don't usually care much about exactly how a game outlines the use of magic, because I view it as a starting point for whatever I can dream up. So what matters to me is, what can I do with the story that's been given to me?

This looks hard to adapt to other concepts or campaign worlds. I don't think I'm happy about it.
 

Rechan

Adventurer
Baron Opal said:
A change from 8 schools of magic to 4? And each with a particular focus to improve the class?

Hmm... Every magician a generalist and specialist at the same time. You can utilize any spell, but perhaps only one focus can be special?
I don't think it's a change of "schools" so much as it is "You use this tool to do this kind of job". For instance, Evocation looks like it's handled both with a staff and a wand (Lightning bolt: staff, fireball: wand), "Protection and Countermagic" is also handled by wands, so minor adjuration. Adjuration, transmutation and likely Necromancy will get handled with Tomes. It sounds like Conjuration, Divination and Illusion are going to get handled by the Orbs (with things like Wall Evocation abilities folded in).

So I suspect that a specialized wizard would take a Talent Tree: Orbs and be good at Conjuration/Illusion/Divination. So his Orbs are real good.

My guess? A generalist wizard doesn't need to specialize in any of these, but he'll have to have one of his foci tools out to use them. I highly doubt he's going to be able to cast from his Orb on round One, his Staff from Round Two, and his Tomb on Round Three, because he can't juggle them all in his hands; I bet he'll need both hands to use one implement.
 

breschau

First Post
Pygon said:
I hope I don't start thinking too heavily about getting a +2 tome, +3 wand, +1 staff and +4 orb. Less reliance on magic items!!!

The linky no worky, by the way.
I just tried it again and it works. Don't know what to say. Check the D&D main page. It's front and center.
 

bording

Explorer
Arcane strikes, power words, and spells.

Anyone think those are the names for the at will/per encounter/per day abilities?
 

Gloombunny

First Post
Interesting...

I'm very disappointed that they didn't go with some sort of knife or sword as one of the tools, though.
 

I think this is, essentially, a complete replacement/reimagining of the "spell components" concept. And it doesn't bother me any more than spell components did. In fact, I think I prefer it; I love the notion of these sorts of things having an impact on spellcasting. Feels much more like magic's usually portrayed in fantasy and myth.
 

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