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D&D 5E Too Much Spellcasting in Your D&D? Just Add a Little Lankhmar!

That's because the discussion is "I have an idea, what are your suggestions for making it workable?", not "Please tell me how bad my idea is and what I should be doing instead."
Sometimes people will tell you your idea is bad, because it is unworkable.

And maybe their suggestions for alternatives are worth reading?
 

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The question in the OP was what do you think' with an addition not to say that spells are cool and he is bad.

It was only later, when people told him what they thought that the premise was shifted to 'tell me how pretty and special this idea is, please pamper me with kitten snuggles and the praise of a stern but fair father'.
 

Voadam

Legend
3e D&D and later editions designed with a goal of all classes and characters being roughly power equivalent balanced for combat. Older editions had some leanings that way but also designed for some being worse at combat, the thief was a fairly weak combatant as could a low level magic user, in AD&D it was possible for a magic user to have a single push spell as their only offensive spell, and since gaining new spells was based on trading with other wizards or gaining scrolls or enemy spellbooks, it could easily be a non combat role class instead of the one shot sleep nuke offense considerations and that could continue for a number of levels.

Other games have niche roles with no guarantee of combat competency, Shadowrun being famous for having niche roles for limited character types where others could not participate during that activity in the game (decking, astral space, riggers piloting stuff). There are games where magic is an option, but it is not necessarily any good for combat.

I always preferred the everybody fights paradigm even in pre-3e D&D, but the Lankhmar set up is for that different nichier paradigm.

My understanding is that is the design goal here, having magic be generally not for combat, and not everybody participating in most everything. A specific intentional departure from the 5e base of everybody fights well and can generally contribute to most activities.

Criticisms that this cripples casting classes in combat and that there are alternatives to allow casting classes to still do magic in combat seem counter to the sought after design goal.
 

My understanding is that is the design goal here, having magic be generally not for combat, and not everybody participating in most everything. A specific intentional departure from the 5e base of everybody fights well and can generally contribute to most activities.

Criticisms that this cripples casting classes in combat and that there are alternatives to allow casting classes to still do magic in combat seem counter to the sought after design goal.

That is all well and good, but lets say I play a caster under these rules, and combat happens... what do I do?

Do I just sit this one out? Do I take potshots at the ogre with my sling, dealing 1d4 dmg per round, while everyone else does 1d8 with their longsword each round? I can't escape the feeling that with these rules, you are the fifth wheel whenever any combat occurs. And I can't imagine that being a lot of fun.

And what happens if my character is attacked? I'm not proficient in wearing armor, and casting defensive spells takes too long. Do I just hide underneath a table while the other players have fun playing the game without me?

Why would anyone want to play a caster under these rules?
 
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Voadam

Legend
That is all well and good, but lets say I play a caster under these rules, and combat happens... what do I do?

Do I just sit this one out? Do I take potshots at the ogre with my sling, dealing 1d4 dmg per round, while everyone else does 1d8 with their longsword each round? I can't escape the feeling that with these rules, you are the fifth wheel whenever any combat occurs. And I can't imagine that being a lot of fun.

And what happens if my character is attacked? I'm not proficient in wearing armor, and casting defensive spells takes too long. Do I just hide underneath a table while the other players have fun playing the game without me?

Why would anyone want to play a caster under these rules?
I imagine it would be a lot like what happens for a street samurai in Shadowrun when the mages go astral, or the decker jacks into cyberspace, or the rigger is driving. Or what half the party does in the Millenium Falcon when there is a ship battle and chase. Or in Mechwarrior where you can play a mech pilot or a mechanic or a security agent and there are Mech combats and political intrigue scenes, and so on. Or in D&D when the scout scouts ahead. Or what the low level magic users in older D&D did when they had no magical combat options and were stuck with daggers, d4 HD, and no armor, or the light armor, low HD, low accuracy thieves in most of D&D when combat broke out.

It is not my preferred paradigm of gaming, but there is a lot of stuff designed that way and I can imagine people having fun in specializing in one niche spotlight and playing not a superstar in other areas including combat.
 


Voadam

Legend
Shadowrun at least has worked very hard to remove the 'Decker is jacked in, time to go get dinner' effect.
Shadowrun always ticked me off in actual play by having such big specialized characters only stuff that took a significant amount of real time to resolve where the majority of characters just sit around waiting for the GM to bring the spotlight back to the group.

I loved the concepts of Shadowrun, but that aspect was never to my taste.
 

IME, it's really just the Decker though. The mage does NOT want to stay in the astral long because it is awful in there, and anytime the rigger (usually me) was doing something that required dice and abilities, it was usually something that required other characters to do stuff too. Then again, I wasn't the type to run off and start some crap across town or endorse plans that split the party nine ways to Sunday like a LOT of SR groups do.
 

Initially, I was not interested in the thread as I don't mind the level of magic in D&D. But the idea of it kept swimming in my head. First off, would I play in a campaign with these rules: Yes, I would. Would I play a Wizard: Maybe, but only after an in-depth talk with the DM regarding the Wizards role in the overall campaign.

I do have some reservations:
1) The netrunner effect. The rules as proposed seem to put the wizard either in a minor role (combat) or only one that matters role (non-combat) and nothing in-between. Which is fine, but for me not that compelling.
2) Lankhmar Solution. I have never been happy with D&D's attempt at capturing Lankhmar. Making casting longer and more rare is fine, but it doesn't impact the flavor of magic, I think you have to really look at spell selection to start impacting flavor.

So, for those wanting to limit magic in combat (but not get rid of it completely) I counter-propose The Amber Solution (2nd Amber series by Zelazny which focused on Corwin's son Merlin).

All spells are Rituals. Casters can complete a ritual except the last touches and "Hang" the spell. This reduces the casting time back to the casting time in the book, but Casters can only Hang a number of spells equal to their proficiency bonus plus if they have a familiar they can hang one spell on it.

This allows the caster to cast some spells in combat but not a lot. For me, it is a nice in-between step.
 

Voadam

Legend
Another consideration for Snarf and those considering this as a house rule

Is this a PC only limitation? Do you want a Thulsa Doom or lich NPC to work by different rules than the Mako PC sorcerer from Conan the Barbarian?

A lot of monsters in 5e have spellcasting, how will that be handled?
 

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