Saturday, May 3, 2014

Do You Allow Players in Your Campaigns to Research and Design Their Own Spells?

Maybe "allow" is too strong a word, but "encourage" probably wouldn't be right either.

Do players in your campaigns research and design actual new spells - something unique to your ruleset?

I remember back in my college years, I'd have players occasionally express a desire to tweak a spell already in one of the AD&D books with the desire to give it their own flavor, but nobody was designing anything truly new. I haven't come across even a desire to tweak a by-the-book spell in any of the campaigns I've run / played in in the last few years. Maybe it's a "lack of free time issue".

So, do you or your players research and design their own spells??


  1. I used to do it as a player all the time. Especially with 2e specialty priests. New God? Need new spells!

    Now It's something I as the DM do from time to time.

  2. I really enjoy playing and DMing magic user types, and this is one reason why. I try to keep spell level, constraints, and effects comparable to core spells, but I like seeing then come up with custom spells.

  3. Happily, I always like to see player engage with the rules and setting. You have to be willing to adjust spell power levels after seeing how they play out, you do not want them too strong or too weak in comparison to the core spells.

  4. Yes. Many of the spells in The Witch are from gaming sessions.

  5. Yes core feature of my wizard class

  6. Sure, but I think it's only happened twice in over 30 years.

  7. I never had a lot players do spell research, but that may be because I was always throwing non-BtB spells into the campaign. Some were useless but there were a few gems, too.

  8. no, but i do allow conversion spells from distant past systems, such as 2ed edition dnd or any other ones that are escaping me right now, granted they need approval from me before i allow anything into the game

  9. I find my players are such pronounced murder hobos that they rarely manage to maintain a stronghold for long and are showering their loot around to keep the (proverbial) ship from sinking, or doing their best to run away with the portable wealth.

    1. That's funny, I've played some pretty nasty PCs but we're usually so paranoid that we end up living in what's basically a dungeon (which B1 shows adventurers sometimes do) of fortified magical insanity. It's one thing to kill people and use intimidation, you just have to be discriminating and get the right friends. Main difference bergen being a dictator and a traitor.

  10. I would. But my current group isn't very ambitious or involved on the same level as I am when it comes to RPGs, especially between sessions.

  11. They have to. Wizards are rare and unsocial. They don't easily part with their secrets. They certainly don't share spells unless under duress except with a carefully chosen apprentice/successor.

    Besides, standardized spells make as little sense as standardized magic items and make magic boring and commonplace when it should be wondrous and frightening.


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