D&D 5E Shadowdark casting in standard 5E

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Oh! Question: Narratively, if one class was to have the roll-to-cast system, would you give it to Wizards or Sorcerers?

In my homebrew, I chose Sorcerers, but curious about your thinking.
Yeah, I would go with sorcerers, and leave wizards (in a hypothetical 5E take on this) as the Vancian casters, for tradition's sake.
 

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Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
EDIT: You reminded me, I ran a Freebooters on the Frontier game this weekend (PbtA + OSR + DCC-ish casting) and magic-user failed her first casting check of The Weakening Death of Youth (I forget the spell name exactly, something like that) on a wyvern, so I had her old magic-user begin to age in reverse like Merlin. It was fun in the moment, but feedback after from the magic-user player was a bit frustrated "love/hate the magic system" were her exact words.
I love the FotF magic system. So good. Although yes, the magic-user casting system can be a bit frustrating
 

Aldarc

Legend
Another thing that makes martials seemingly more okay with missing occasionally on their attacks is that they have more opportunities to roll dice on each of their turns-- either from Extra Attack, two-weapon fighting, gaining Advantage more often (due to only having attack rolls), etc. etc. So each turn a martial might be rolling two or more d20s with a chance to hit, and thus have less a chance to completely miss outright (and "wasting" their turn.) They might miss one but hit on the others.

For a caster, I would assume it's one and done, yes? One single caster roll more often than not for one single spell, so it ends up as all-or-nothing. Thus casters will feel the effects of "wasting turns" potentially more often. Just something to think about if comparing casters to martials in this way.
This was honestly something that made playing a caster fun in games like True 20 and Fantasy AGE. There was a lot of rolling to cast on my turns much like the martials. It also tended to speed combat up as result.
 

SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
This sounds like a system that many GMs would enjoy, but as a player, not so much. That's my honest reaction to most attempts to make the game more grounded and gritty. Coming back from OE days, it was incredibly frustrating to play a wizard for those first few levels. It seems like the game has been distancing itself from those days ever since.

It really does seem like there are a lot of GMs that would love to return to them, and if you can find players that are looking for that in a game, sounds great. I would definitely be sitting that campaign out having paid my dues as a low level OE/1E wizard back when I could game on a near daily basis.

I try not to yuck in other people's yums, so I'd suggest that if you would do something like this, you really need to take it into account in terms of everything that happens in the game. How many encounters will be typical for a session? How often will a wizard be able to cast spells in them? If you can keep that to the point where your players are having fun, I think you've got something. If they're waiting around for their few chances to do something, perhaps notsomuch.
 


Reynard

Legend
This sounds like a system that many GMs would enjoy, but as a player, not so much. That's my honest reaction to most attempts to make the game more grounded and gritty.
I'm not sure that's the reason to do this. It doesn't seem to have that effect in Shadowdark anyway. It is just easier to track and more swingy.
 

DarkCrisis

Reeks of Jedi
This sounds like a system that many GMs would enjoy, but as a player, not so much. That's my honest reaction to most attempts to make the game more grounded and gritty. Coming back from OE days, it was incredibly frustrating to play a wizard for those first few levels. It seems like the game has been distancing itself from those days ever since.

It really does seem like there are a lot of GMs that would love to return to them, and if you can find players that are looking for that in a game, sounds great. I would definitely be sitting that campaign out having paid my dues as a low level OE/1E wizard back when I could game on a near daily basis.

I try not to yuck in other people's yums, so I'd suggest that if you would do something like this, you really need to take it into account in terms of everything that happens in the game. How many encounters will be typical for a session? How often will a wizard be able to cast spells in them? If you can keep that to the point where your players are having fun, I think you've got something. If they're waiting around for their few chances to do something, perhaps notsomuch.

My POV, there is too much going on in a 5E character. How many times have you or a player forgot they had a feat or ability etc?

I know it happens in my 5E group all the time. Not to mention having to looking up what all these things did and how they may or may not apply to the situation.

Shadowdark keeps it simple. You don’t need 20 feats. You don’t need 10 race/class abilities that appear at different levels.

Truth be told, games/battles run much faster compared to 5E and I’m lovin’ it.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
This sounds like a system that many GMs would enjoy, but as a player, not so much. That's my honest reaction to most attempts to make the game more grounded and gritty. Coming back from OE days, it was incredibly frustrating to play a wizard for those first few levels. It seems like the game has been distancing itself from those days ever since.
Spellcasting in Shadowdark is a lot more satisfying at low levels than it is in OSE/BD&D, IMO. Unless you have a run of very bad luck (or are playing a spellcaster with terrible stats), you will probably get off many more spells a day than a counterpart in BD&D would. It's just that it's always a gamble, so spellcasters are more Gandalf than Elminster, and are more judicious in their spell use.

This is definitely something to get player buy-in on, though.

I strongly recommend, before anyone tries this in 5E, they grab the Shadowdark quickstarts (which have an insane amount of content in them, and are good through at least level 3 and include a large dungeon) and play through the system there and see what everyone thinks. It's free and requires creating no new rule systems to give it a whirl.
 

Reynard

Legend
I strongly recommend, before anyone tries this in 5E, they grab the Shadowdark quickstarts (which have an insane amount of content in them, and are good through at least level 3 and include a large dungeon) and play through the system there and see what everyone thinks. It's free and requires creating no new rule systems to give it a whirl.
Everyone should do that anyway!
 

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