My Dirty Secret: I like D&D's magic system

Captain Deadpool

I'm an assassi... Horse Trainer
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Yorak said:
What I dislike is that you have to memorize certain spells, and then rememorize them once cast. If you happen to need Cone of Cold and you didn't memorize it this morning, well, sucks to be you.
Don't even get me started on the Magic Item Creation system. I mean, a wizard makes a magical sword and then gets -worse- at making magical swords?

:confused:

Sorry, I stray off topic easily. Perhaps I should sig that.
 

Sangrolu

Social Justice Ninja
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I've house ruled. I've tried variants. I've tried different games.

For me, its appeal endures. It manages to be accessible to players who would be put off by more complex system, affords the character a great deal of interesting effects while remaining fairly manageable.
 

Prairie Dragon

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Yorak said:
I have sort of a love-hate relationship with it. I love most of the spells. I don't even mind the "number of spells per day" system rather than a "magic point" system.

What I dislike is that you have to memorize certain spells, and then rememorize them once cast. If you happen to need Cone of Cold and you didn't memorize it this morning, well, sucks to be you. I happen to prefer a system where when you know a spell, you know it (without the use of various feats, thank you), and can cast it at any time (assuming you have enough spells / MP left).

Of course, they may have changed that since 3.5 came out. And there's also sorcerers, but how dumb is a system where the number of spells they can cast is based on Charisma? What the hell sense does that make?
Spell Points from Unearthed Arcana has changed all that....
 

Agamemnon

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Yorak said:
What I dislike is that you have to memorize certain spells, and then rememorize them once cast. If you happen to need Cone of Cold and you didn't memorize it this morning, well, sucks to be you. I happen to prefer a system where when you know a spell, you know it (without the use of various feats, thank you), and can cast it at any time (assuming you have enough spells / MP left).
Memorize was a bad word choice in previous edition. It implies simple remembering of information when it's supposed to mean storing arcane energy in your thoughts. When you cast the spell, you're casting the prepared energy out.

From 3rd edition onwards, you don't "memorize" spells. You "prepare" spells.
 

Bradford C. Walker

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Yorak said:
What I dislike is that you have to memorize certain spells, and then rememorize them once cast. If you happen to need Cone of Cold and you didn't memorize it this morning, well, sucks to be you. I happen to prefer a system where when you know a spell, you know it (without the use of various feats, thank you), and can cast it at any time (assuming you have enough spells / MP left).
It's Roger Zelazny's sorcery paradigm from Amber, actually. You prepare spells by pre-casting them, leaving out all but the last piece, and you can only prepare so many at a time because there's only so much space to hang spells; higher levels, for all intents and purposes, gets you more space and more options on how to use it. This is why the nomenclature change from "memorize" to "prepare" actually matters.
Of course, they may have changed that since 3.5 came out. And there's also sorcerers, but how dumb is a system where the number of spells they can cast is based on Charisma? What the hell sense does that make?
Charisma is force of personality; Charisma-bases spell-casting is the caster using his link to magic to impose his force of personality upon the world around him in specific techniques that he knows how to do- and the limits to his power are the limits to his ability in scale & scope to do this. This is an innate understanding, as much as using one's senses, which is why they're not funny wizards or clerics.

Makes perfect sense when you know the source material.
 

Bradford C. Walker

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Simple Man said:
Don't even get me started on the Magic Item Creation system. I mean, a wizard makes a magical sword and then gets -worse- at making magical swords?
No, he has a limit. The spending of XP to create items is to simulate item creation in the mode of Sauron making the One Ring; the use of XP is to spend personal might and power permanently to create something to amplify one's power or that of some other. As he can't spend so much XP that he drops in level, he'll hit that limit (the XP minimum for his current character level) and be unable to make anything more until he's again nutured himself enough to make that personal power available.
 

Fade

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Yorak said:
Of course, they may have changed that since 3.5 came out. And there's also sorcerers, but how dumb is a system where the number of spells they can cast is based on Charisma? What the hell sense does that make?
Charisma in 3E is not 'prettiness'. It's 'personal force', somewhat similar to the Polynesian concept of 'mana', and it makes perfect sense to me that it would affect your ability to directly manipulate reality by extending your will.
 

Albert

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Hmmm . . . I'm working on an Ars Magica mod, and the latest brainstorm I had would, I think, work fairly well to make magic more arcane.

I'll be using Harry Potter to illustrate how this works.



First, it's no longer necessary to learn the Arts to learn spells. Spells will, instead, be learned through Ordeals as described in the 4th Edition Mysteries suppliment.

Each spell would have an initiation of the same magnitude as the spell. To learn the spell, you have to complete an ordeal rated at at least the same difficulty as the magnitude of the ordeal, plus you have to accumulate additional ordeal points. (For a L1 initiation, you just need the L1 ordeal. For a L2, you need the L2 ordeal and 1 more initiation point. For a L3, you need the L3 and 3 more initiation points. For a L4, you need the L4 and 6 more initiation points. And so on.)


Now, for Harry Potter, everyone uses these wands, which are specifically matched to their owners. We'll assume that using a wand greatly reduces the effective magnitude of a spell. For minor spells, the wands reduce the magnitude so much that a couple of days of practice are all the students need to learn them. (Or, in the case of a driven soul like Hermione, a single afternoon, most of the time.)


Your character doesn't have a wand. So what does he do? He learns spells that have incorporated all sorts of wierd stuff into them. For example, Ravus's Stinking Cloud might require the caster to fart as part of the casting process (that would be worth a 3-5 point reduction in the magnitude of the spell, I think). Dorice's Wall of Surging Water might require a handful of specifically prepared water to be flung at the place where the wall is to form. Assumption of the Lupine Form might require a wolf pelt that the wizard hunted down and skinned in the proper ritual fashion.


Behind it all, the GM knows how the spells are constructed, but because the PCs are probably using these shortcuts rather than book-grinding for a couple of decades, _they_ don't know. Not for sure. And when you can't go and devise the super-best-most-effective-according-to-the-spreadsheet spells, it becomes a little more magical.

-Albert
 

Dr. Tran

...I'm NOT a Doctor!
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Agamemnon said:
Memorize was a bad word choice in previous edition. It implies simple remembering of information when it's supposed to mean storing arcane energy in your thoughts. When you cast the spell, you're casting the prepared energy out.

From 3rd edition onwards, you don't "memorize" spells. You "prepare" spells.
I like the quote from somebody that said "Spell power in D&D is based on how many magical animals you can fit in your head at once."

It was a nice image that makes D&D magic much easier to handle for me.
 

Nihtgenga

Actually likes daylight
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For me, the biggest problem was the wasted opportunity.

They have all these energy choices like fire, acid, sonics, etc. But very specific spells that use only certain energies. Ie. Fire balls but not frost balls. If you want to have wizard from the frozen north, he has to wait for Cone of Frost to have the right flavour.

Why they just didn't come up with some simple rules like 'acid does d4 instead of d6, but linger for a couple of rounds' and the like is just...typical.

D&D is always the game that just decided not to go the whole distance on everything it tried. For no good reason (don't get me started on 'unified d20 rolls' when skills, BAB and Saves operate on different scales. Again, for no good reason.)

Having said that, I'm still playing the damn thing. :eek:
 
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