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

Fade

Active member
Validated User
Nihtgenga said:
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.
Unless you pick up Energy Substitution: Ice as a metamagic feat, and can now prepare any energy spell as a ice-based variant.
 

Nihtgenga

Actually likes daylight
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Fade said:
Unless you pick up Energy Substitution: Ice as a metamagic feat, and can now prepare any energy spell as a ice-based variant.
Great. I have to waste a feat slot on a feat that isn't in the core rule book ( or the srd anyway).

Sigh. I don't so much hate D&D as am really frustrated with the damn thing.
 

Sparrow_Knight

Drifting...
Nihtgenga said:
Great. I have to waste a feat slot on a feat that isn't in the core rule book ( or the srd anyway).

Sigh. I don't so much hate D&D as am really frustrated with the damn thing.
Meh. I enjoy the feat myself, but anyone who's used to D&D 3.x at all can probably see that a Frostball spell (which is exactly the same as a Fireball except for damage type) would be a perfectly reasonable and balanced spell to learn in and of itself.

Really, all it takes is a little common sense to work simple things like this into the game...no need to be frustrated at all.
 

Thanuir

A theorist
Nihtgenga said:
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.)
I agree.

Then there is the entire world ful of things like antimagic. Gah. And "wizards can't heal". And "divine casters can't blast", though they can. And divine scrolls (hey, Gruumsh, I have this nice little scroll of heal from you, and will use it on the elf. No problem, right?). And on and on the list goes.
 

nargun

New member
Banned
Sparrow_Knight said:
Meh. I enjoy the feat myself, but anyone who's used to D&D 3.x at all can probably see that a Frostball spell (which is exactly the same as a Fireball except for damage type) would be a perfectly reasonable and balanced spell to learn in and of itself.

Really, all it takes is a little common sense to work simple things like this into the game...no need to be frustrated at all.
You've obviously never experienced the frustration owing to shit-poor documentation, then. It's *fine* if you know what you're doing, but seeing as the book doesn't tell you all this stuff, how in god's name are you supposed to work it out?

That's the frustration right there, see. Now, maybe your advanced psychic powers meant you could subsume knowledge from the mind of the author that did not make the page, but those of us who aren't so fortunate have to actually work it out by trial and error. You'll note the "error" part of "trial and error"; that means you do stuff wrong that doesn't work.

Frustrating, that is.

And as for your "common sense", well. *sure* it's common sense to the people who already know it. Doesn't fucking help when you're trying to work it out, now, does it?
 

Calithena

Fantasy Roleplayer
Also, it requires a subtle shift in sensibility.

Sonic and to a lesser degree acid are much less common with the canonical monsters and spells in D&D, and tend to do less and stranger (sonic) or longer lasting (acid) sorts of damage.

When you can substitute energy types freely, this goes away. In some ways this is better and in others worse. It's not obvious unless you've thought about it for a while or had someone tell you, though, and you may wind up making 'simple' changes in your game that actually wind up feeling quite different in the end if you go the energy substitution route.
 

Theron

The Best Legionnaire
Validated User
Dr. Tran said:
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.
Yes. That really fits well with the Vancian model, wherein spells often try to get out of the mage's head.

I recently saw an idea I really liked in a D&D story hour, that had wizards referring to spell slots and levels as "valences" and "valence shells". It had a wonderful pseudo-scientific, Vancian feel to it.
 

Theron

The Best Legionnaire
Validated User
Thanuir said:
This is the greatest flavourful problem in the system; the magic is bland. Simple as that.
That can be a problem. The same could be said of the entirety of the HERO System, but that's where the notion of special effects and GM intervention comes in. To me, finding rationales for such an odd and idiosyncratic approach to magic is part of the fun.
 

Jeph

生き物
Validated User
Theron said:
Yes. That really fits well with the Vancian model, wherein spells often try to get out of the mage's head.

I recently saw an idea I really liked in a D&D story hour, that had wizards referring to spell slots and levels as "valences" and "valence shells". It had a wonderful pseudo-scientific, Vancian feel to it.
For those who aren't in the know, the story hour that Theron is talking about is called Tales of Wyre, by Sepulchrave.

If you haven't already, read it.

It fucking rocks. Best tale of high-level D&D play I've ever seen.
 
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