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The Magic of Dusk - Magic The Gathering inspired setting.


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Murkmoldiev

First Post
I like it. And Im going to use you spells. I once made a MTG based module with the players journeying through various portals to the planes of various colors and fighting monsters and spells from those colors there :)
 

Michael Morris

First Post
I will probably post an updated version of the lists this evening. I'm closing in on having all the colors have the same number of spells. Why is this important? Class balance - specifically, color replaces the class lists.

Bards pick spells from the Blue and Green lists. Their class ability to steal off other class' lists simply let's them splash one of the three other colors. Green decks do this all the time anyway thanks to cards like Birds of Paradise and Utopia tree, so it fits. Clerics pick spells from the Gold and Purple lists. Druids pick from the Green (of course) and Gold lists. Wizards Blue and Red (making them highly elemental in feel) and Warlocks Purple and Red. I have ideas for the sorcerer that aren't fully fleshed out.

Paladin's and rangers are on my mind. Eldrich Knights and Arcane Tricksters will probably be limited to a single color.

EDIT: Access to a color will be split into minor and major. The access lists above are major access - all the spells for that color. Minor access is only half of them. The iconic spells of each color require major access - things that are also iconic to their classes - for example, Entangle requires major access to Green, Cure Wounds requires major access to Yellow and so on.
 
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Michael Morris

First Post
Yeah, this is going to work. Let's look at just the first level spells.

Abora (Green): Minor - Charm Person, Detect Poison and Disease, Expeditious Retreat, Fog Cloud, Hail of Thorns, Longstrider. Major - Animal Friendship, Ensnaring Strike, Entangle, Goodberry, Hunter's Mark, Speak with Animals.

Valra (Yellow): Minor - Alarm, Command, Heroism, Mage Armor, Purify Food and Drink, Shield. Major - Bless, Cure Wounds, Divine Favor, Healing Word, Sanctuary, Shield of Faith

Balcra (Blue): Minor - Comprehend Languages, Create or Destroy Water, Detect Magic, Disguise Self, Jump, Silent Image. Major - Color Spray, Feather Fall, Indentify, Illusory Script, Knock, Sleep.

Sodra (Purple): Minor - False Life, Grease, Inflict Wounds, Ray of Sickness, Unseen Servant, Wrathful Smite. Major - Bane, Armor of Agathys, Arms of Hadar, Duress, Dissonant Whispers, Hex

Shunra (Red): Minor - Compelled Duel, Faerie Fire, Quick, Reaching Weapon, Searing Smite, Thunderous Smite. Major - Burning Hands, Guiding Bolt, Hellish Rebuke, Magic Missile, Thunderwave, Witch Bolt


Repeating from the previous post - Bards have access Abora & Balcra. Clerics access Valra & Sodra. Druids access Abora & Valra. Warlocks access Shunra & Sodra and Wizards access Shunra & Balcra. Take a look at the lists above and see how much that changes these classes spell selections.

Sorcerers must have half their known spells match their alignment, whatever that is. The other half of their spell complement is comprised of the minor access spells of any color they choose.

Bards secret lore ability is still able to pluck spells from anywhere. A bard who picks the college of valor picks up minor access to Valra. A bard who picks the college of lore picks up minor access to Sodra. A new bard college will be made themed on Shunra and picking up minor access to her spells. Name suggestions for the college are welcome.

Clerics may pick up minor access to a color as determined by their path or god, or they will pick up some minor power to compensate for a reduced range of spell selection. Clerics who's ethos blocks them from actually using one more more spells from their home colors may be allowed to pick up a major. Overall this class may prove to be the trickiest to re-balance.

Druids of the moon pick up minor access to balcra, and druids of the land pick up minor access to shunra. "Golgari" druids, with minor access to Sodra, are coming.

Warlocks of the "old one" pick up minor access to balcra, warlocks of the fey pick up minor access to abora. Fiend warlocks need a small new power to compensate for a loss of access to spells. A new pact must be made for Valra

Wizards... oh boy. Wizards have access to all the spells of their school that are minor access. At the same levels that bards learn secrets the school wizards may learn one spell of their school regardless of color access restrictions.

Or... A wizard can forgo school specialization to pick up major access to a third color and minor access to the remaining two. Spells of the minor colors are considered one level higher than they actually are for these wizards.


As a draft, does this sound balanced?
 





Michael Morris

First Post
Spoilers added to make the first two posts more navigable.

I'm currently fleshing out the class options. The bard was easy enough - it only needed one new College. Clerics are turning out to be a pain in the neck. Seven domains won't go evenly into 5 alignments, and that's even if the domains lined up with the alignments - they don't. Some line up with the conflicts or shared traits of alignments

So I got out a notepad and wrote down the 5 alignments and their 10 pairings and picked out where the 7 existing domains go. This is what I came up with:

Alignments
G - Nature
Y - Light
B - Knowledge
P
R

Sympathies
GY - Life
YB
BP
PR
RG - Trickery

Antipathies or Conflicts
GB
BR - Tempest
RY - War
YP
PG

Tempest is a clash of elements, War a clash of law and chaos. Each sympathy is opposite to its shared opposition color, so Trickery opposes Knowledge. That's still 8 new gaps to fill in, but this structure clues in on what they must be..

Alignments
G - Nature
Y - Light
B - Knowledge
P - Death
R - Chaos

Sympathies
GY - Life
YB - Law
BP - Artifice
PR - Freedom
RG - Trickery

Antipathies or Conflicts
GB - Change
BR - Tempest
RY - War
YP - Spirit
PG - Decay

The gaps are the two I'm still thinking on.
 

Michael Morris

First Post
Alacrity updated. The former wording, affecting spells 3rd level or lower, was broken since as soon as you got 4th level spells you could start casting 3rd & under as bonus actions and 4th & up as regular actions, creating a 2 spell / turn casting situation that could rapidly get way out of hand. It now affects all spells, but since it forces them all to be bonus actions the caster remains limited to 1 spell / turn, at least until he starts burning charges off wands and casting from scrolls. If that is out of hand the effect may be extended to magic item use, though personally I don't give out enough magic items to cause it to go too bonkers.
 

Michael Morris

First Post
Here's an interesting tidbit that came up on the mirror thread on GITP concerning why each color is named the way it is.

  • Abora comes out of the word "Arbor" which is an old word for tree (think "Arbor Day"). Given the concerns of the alignment naming it for it's symbol shouldn't be surprising.
  • Valra comes out of "Valor" which is how Yellow sees itself more than others see it. Terms like 'honor' and 'valor' are thrown about by this alignment far, far more often than the other alignments, who rarely care about such things.
  • Balcra from "Balk" since the alignment fakes people out and loves illusion. Also, 'balk' can also mean hesitation - with Blue is well known for doing.
  • Shunra comes out of the word "Shun", for it is Red's nature to, at best, shun and at worst lash out at the outside world and the small handful of people in it that it values.
  • Sodra from "Sod" meaning "Earth" literally, but the term sod today usually refers to enriched fertilized soil. Death magic lies here because death is an experience only individuals comprehend. Sodra's link to mortality gives it a certain humility I want to underscore - that even while the magic of the alignment is viscous the alignment itself is not.
 

Michael Morris

First Post
Last night I built a series of tables to compare the color assignments of spells against the spell allocations of the classes. I then moved several spells to a color such that their origin class could still use them. I'm still working on this but I can't move *all* the spells over because that would lead to the classes being unbalanced. Their characters change. Note also that subclasses have slightly different spell lists from each other.

Bards: They lose the ability to raise dead and cure wounds as these are white major spells. They pick up a large number of nature and wilderness spells. In 1st edition D&D bards used the druid list, so this echo is nice to have. Their spell selections overlap with druids in Abora and wizards in Balcra, which lines up well with their history, and also forming one of the more eccentric lists in the game. College of Valor has minor Shunra, College of Lore has minor Valra, and the new College of Secrets has minor Sodra.

Clerics: Most cleric spells turned out Valran anyway, but they're going to need to rely on domains for what access they get to other colors. Sodra has the undeath spells but new to clerics will be the concentration interference spells (Addle) and mind blanking attacks out of Sodra. Still, the list feels like a cleric list. They overlap druids in Valra and Warlocks in Sodra.

Druids: Healing spells are divided between Abora and Valra. Abora gets most of the status removal effects, Valra gets the straight cures wounds spells and raise dead spells. As druids have access to both this means they, not clerics, are now the kings of healing. Their direct damage abilities take a dive, especially at 7th level where almost their entire spell selection was Shunran (red). They still have the ability to deal out damage, but its conditional and pales in comparison to the raw force wizards and warlocks can muster. There's some good ones though - Rusting Ray devastates constructs, Accelerated Decay can do a number on undead and under a clear sky Call lightning was reassigned to green so that at least this particular iconic attack spell would remain on their list. Green does "Damage via weather" where Red is more raw energy attack.

Warlocks are getting a scary boost in spells available count. By count they'll have twice as many spells at their disposal as before, from no less than the two most aggressive alignments in the world. Going into playtesting this one concerns me the most. On top of that, the patron type gives minor access to a third color - Fey green, Old one blue, A new yet to be devised patron for Valra and the existing fiend subclass will need a boost to offset having a smaller spell list than the other three.

Wizards in past D&D editions have had no rhyme or reason to their spells, which I've found annoying at times. Since all wizards cast from red and blue they now have an elemental feel to them. Blue also has mobility, illusion and divination effects well covered, red has the martial arcane spells like mage armor. The original wizard list also had a lot of Sodran magic, which is lost unless the player makes choices to recover it. In addition to a schools, a wizard can be a generalist, which has the powerful ability to add a third major domain and have minor access to both the remaining domains, meaning the ability to cast roughly 80% of the spells in the game. As a class, wizards can now cast anything, though individuals will always have types of spells they can't use.

Sorcerers likewise can cast anything, but they are far less codified. As a class they have no alignment of magic. Instead their own personal alignment influences they spells they can learn - they can always pick spells from that alignment freely. For the other alignments they must have twice as many minor spells known as major access spells, so gaining a major access spell from a color they've never learned before means picking up two other minor spells of that color. Since their spell selection is already tight this steers them mostly into 2, maybe 3 colors at most, but in a way they are the most flexible casters of all.

I really need feedback on these ideas. It's a massive amount of material to prepare and its very disheartening to read over the thread and seem to be talking to myself. Also, I know I'm making mistakes - I'd like some help in finding them.
 

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