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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vancian Magic - Light?

I read Monte's latest article on D&D 5e Its about Vancian Magic and how 5e is going to mix Vancian Magic with at will powers and what not.

From what I gather, it's not just adding a 4e type class to the caster's mix, but adding at will powers to the basic Wizard class - mixing at will and Vancian magic.

My "Old School" issue with at will powers is that the character with at will powers is never disarmed. Sure, a fighter without weapons can use his fists or improvise a weapon, but a caster that can always cast is never without an effective attack.

It goes against the whole "Vancian Magic" idea in the first place. Go with one or the other, but not both in the same caster. This isn't putting your peanut butter in my chocolate. Somethings just shouldn't be mixed.

12 comments:

  1. It would be nice to know, what spells would be at will powers...

    As more and more is leaked, the less I desire to even look at the game.

    ERIC!

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  2. It would be nice to know, what spells would be at will powers...

    As more and more is leaked, the less I desire to even look at the game.

    ERIC!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmmm, I might be interested in this, actually. I know, major heresy on my part, right? But if they don't go crazy on the at-will thing, and just give wizards a few options to use, then I might be alright with it. Call me crazy, but there you go.

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  4. At-will spells very quickly become uninteresting. "I cast yet another magic missile, whoopie." I played a couple of 4e spell casters and none of them had anywhere near the mystique of an AD&D magic-user with his one spell a day.

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  5. If an "unarmed" mage (one with no Vancian spells left) and an unarmed fighter (one without a weapon) both did the same damage (mage with his cantrip and fighter with his punch) where is the harm.
    At that point it is more about the esthetics than balance.

    What is the difference between a mage saying "I throw my darts for 1d4 damage" or "I cast my cantrip for 1d4 damage"? One keeps it magical and one doesn't, but the net effect is the same.

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  6. I can't remember where I saw it, but I ran across a really cool idea regarding Vancian magic. It basically allowed casters to perform very minor magics at-will, based on the spells they had memorized. So, a mage with Sleep might be able to help a companion fall asleep. Obviously this idea requires a lot of DM ruling and player cooperation, but I do think it is a neat idea.

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  7. David, are you thinking about this:
    http://www.philotomy.com/#special_effects?

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  8. What about this for a house rule (when playing Original/Basic D&D or Advanced D&D 1E or even 2E):

    1st level spells = can be cast at-will, but caster is still limited to prepping spell slots. Therefore, a 1st level caster must select the spell that they will be casting at-will for an entire day. Changing this would still require the traditional full-night's rest.

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  9. And so giving the 1st level M-U with a sleep spell the unlimited ability to put down creatures up to 4+4 HD, no save allowed. That doesn't strike me as a good idea.

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  10. Meh, I've always thought that Sleep should have a saving throw allowed for targets, anyway. Or at least that no-save HD threshold should be lowered. Plus, wizards are not invincible just because they can put a lot of creatures to sleep. There are creatures that are not affected by sleep, like the undead, that characters can run into. So unlimited Sleep spells do not equate to uber-powered low-level wizards, IMHO.

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  11. Also, you can tweak the house rule above to only allow a caster to select one of their first-level spell slots to count as an at-will spell (instead of all first level spells being at-will). So a MU that can cast 2 first-level spells can count one of those slots as an at-will spell.

    This is all just brainstorming in an effort to come up with just a little bit more low-level flexibility for casters.

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  12. This post had me rethinking memorized spell effects. I've blogged some houserules here:
    http://percentchancetoknow.blogspot.com/2012/02/magic-users-vancian-casting-spell.html

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