Is alternating casting systems enough to satisfy the “anti-vancian” crowd?

That’s the question basically. But more to the point, I don’t want to make generalizations but it seems that the “anti-vancian” crowd is majorly composed of 4th edition fans. But 4th edition did a lot more than just remove vancian magic from the game, it also toned down the overall power of magic a notch or two. Spell durations in 4th edition are pretty much either 1 round or save ends (a couple of rounds at most). When I read the numerous “I hate vancian” threads, it doesn’t seem like vancian magic is the only problem. Spells such as Grease or Web are as much of a problem as vancian magic to this crowd.

So this is basically the question. If you have an AEDU wizard that uses the same spell list as the vancian wizard, would you really be satisfied? Because this is not going to turn D&D Next into something similar to 4th edition.

I know I would pick the AEDU wizard over the vancian one because I like reliable casters. I wouldn't get anywhere close to a vancian wizard that has a save ends Grease spell.
I think you're conflating (at least) two issues.

A dislike of the Vancian system.

And a dislike of "overpowered magic".


I don't think it's your fault, though - a lot of people blend the two "concerns" together, and/or treat it as though it is the same issue.

But it isn't.


Also, I'd like to point out that not all people who dislike Vancian magic want magic to be "like 4e" - complaints about, and dislike of, the Vancian system have been around longer than 4e has.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
I think you're conflating (at least) two issues.

A dislike of the Vancian system.

And a dislike of "overpowered magic".


I don't think it's your fault, though - a lot of people blend the two "concerns" together, and/or treat it as though it is the same issue.

But it isn't.




I agree with you. And you even put the overpowered magic in between quotes. Whether it's overpowered or not is very subjective. I'm wondering if the anti vancian crowd is the same as the people that think spells such as Grease or Web in the current playtest are overpowered.
No idea.

My distaste for magic is usually the "super-ultra-mega-uber-high-superpower-magic" levels of magic, and things like instant "plot coupons" (yes, I'm going to take the term back ) that bypass or disrupt classic fantasy nearly all plots, unless very specific measures are taken.
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
No idea.

My distaste for magic is usually the "super-ultra-mega-uber-high-superpower-magic" levels of magic, and things like instant "plot coupons" (yes, I'm going to take the term back ) that bypass or disrupt classic fantasy nearly all plots, unless very specific measures are taken.



[snark]What you have something wrong with my improved invisible flying teleporting scrying Wizard with stone heart active?[/snark]
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I think the issue is going to come down to, will there be none vancian options for wizards. As it stands, having to pick another class defeats the point of none vancian options as people want none vancian options for the wizard.

 As a heads up im Pro 4e (and pro other editions) and I didn't think the powers for wizards were too bad, but I still think the new form of vancian in Next is shaping up nicely to be fun and not too gamebreaking. But if the wizard were to be OP for one reason or another I could overlook that, as in my view spells dont kill games, players do. I try my best to avoid blaming the rules for my players abusing them, the oft casual reminder that the DM can also break the party within the rules. 

p.s. that was a bit heavy, my players are smart enough not to abuse systems for OP characters. Simply put they arent rectal hats. 
Vancian is just a resource management system. I dislike it, but It's not a big deal to me. At worst, I can ban it and change to a different system (like I did in my 3.5 campaign, years ago). At best, it'll be roughly balanced with other systems and I won't have to ban it.

Overpowered spells are a much more important issue to me, but I got to say that I'm mostly ok with the current power of spells in the playtest. There are still some silly nuggets of overpoweredness (like hold person), but they can be fixed. 
Vancian casting certainly makes it more likely for "overpowering magic" to be a problem, as by it's structure:
a. All abilities are Daily Use, so must match/exceed the power of many rounds of non-daily attacking.
b. Spells can be multiplied so weak options (per spell leve) are discarded for the extra strong ones.
c. Casting Level 9 spells doesn't affect usage of Level 1 spells and vice versa, so there's no tradeoff to using the world ending magic. 

As a nonfan of Vancian magic, I also find the nature of having to pick the abilities for the day based on guesses (or worse, having the DM Eigen plot the day to have spells useful so you don't shoot yourself in the foot) to be an unpleasent, time wasting project.

A. AEDU ensured that magic didn't always need daily strength and that even the strongest Dailies had to be comparable with Fighter/Rogue techniques.  It also gave enough toys to make the temptation to nova and rest easier to resist.  A MP based system would instead allow weaker abilities to exist by being trivially cheap for the level learned.

B. AEDU (pre essentials, and some paragon exceptions) prevented multiplying your strongest ability so even the most overpowered effect had some limitation.  MP systems would allow multiple uses of a weak ability to compete with repetitions of the strongest ability in resources.

C. AEDU didn't address this directly, but since power was capped by class parity, it didn't matter than level 29 dailies got used every day.  As just mentioned, MP systems give good reasons not to cast godly magic.


AEDU (even with 4e spellbook) kept ability choice simple, while MP systems allow spontaneous casting, preventing start of day bookkeeping.        
    
I would just like to point out that 4th ed did have vancian magic for wizards. As a wizard, you got a spell book. That book would contain additional daily and utility spells that a wizard could chose to prep as their spells for the day. You could take feats for extra spells to add to your book, and even a feat so taht you could swap out spells in the middle of combat. Its just that some utility spells were encounters, and the wizard got at will spells too.

So, yeah, 4th ed had vancian caster :P I think people just don't like the set up that 3.5 or older editions had. Some complaints in this area are legit and other's arent. But, point is, wizards were vancian in 4th ed. Every edition of DnD wizards were vancian, but each edition gave a different kind of vancian system. 3.x worked alot differently than say, DnD Basic. Bot of those were different than 4th ed. And DnDN will be different from everything that came before it.

But every edition had the "wizard preps spells from a list of spells in his spell book" thing going on, in some form or another.

(P.S. wizards were my favorite class to play in both 3.x and 4th).
I think you're conflating (at least) two issues.

A dislike of the Vancian system.

And a dislike of "overpowered magic".


I don't think it's your fault, though - a lot of people blend the two "concerns" together, and/or treat it as though it is the same issue.

But it isn't.




I agree with you. And you even put the overpowered magic in between quotes. Whether it's overpowered or not is very subjective. I'm wondering if the anti vancian crowd is the same as the people that think spells such as Grease or Web in the current playtest are overpowered.




Agreed.
That’s the question basically. But more to the point, I don’t want to make generalizations but it seems that the “anti-vancian” crowd is majorly composed of 4th edition fans.


I have been a fan of every edition of D&D.  I came into the game with BECMI, but I mostly remember from AD&D 2e onward.  I recall having fun with each edition, but 4e was the one that I enjoyed the most.  IDK if that makes me a "4e fan" or a  "D&D fan, with a favorite edition."  I will say that I also don't like vancian.  For me, it's just not fun to use.  I don't want it removed from the game, because some people do enjoy it, and they should be able to use it.  I'm not sure if that makes me "anti-vancian," or just "pro fun."

But 4th edition did a lot more than just remove vancian magic from the game, it also toned down the overall power of magic a notch or two. Spell durations in 4th edition are pretty much either 1 round or save ends (a couple of rounds at most). When I read the numerous “I hate vancian” threads, it doesn’t seem like vancian magic is the only problem. Spells such as Grease or Web are as much of a problem as vancian magic to this crowd.


There are plenty of spells that can be abused, such they are overpowered for the level and durations they default to.  I think the answer to this however, is not so much reducing the effects of these spells (although the power of spells does need to be watched so it doesn't runaway on us) so much as it is to provide good adjudication advice that tells the DMs they can, and possibly should, reduce durations, and other spell factors, if the spells are being used for something other than the basic effect described in the description.  For example: Grease is meant to cover a floor, or a person's armor.  Casting it on an enemy's weapon handles should have a shorter duration.

So this is basically the question. If you have an AEDU wizard that uses the same spell list as the vancian wizard, would you really be satisfied? Because this is not going to turn D&D Next into something similar to 4th edition.


Yes and no.  No, I wouldn't be satisfied with an AEDU wizard because that just fills one of the gaps.  I maintain that we need modularity with regard to the spells per day mechanic so that people can use whatever they think is fun, regardless of the class they like.  However, I also say yes, because my personal problem with the vancian wizard is the having only one spells per day mechanic, and using one that I think isn't fun.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I don't think so.

Most of those who dislike the Vancian casting method seem to be pretty unreasonable about it.  
So I think that it's safe to say that you could fully design multiple perfect spell casting systems, each able to be swapped in/out of a class, & they STILL wouldn't be happy.
Why?
Because somewhere out there, somebodies playing with a spell casting system that they can't handle themselves for whatever reason.  Worse yet, someone near them, someone they might actually game with!, might read this method in their book & say "DM, can I use this for my caster?"
Or if they're DMing?  They might have to make a desicion & say _____ is not used in this campaign.
This seems to threaten them somehow.
So no, they won't accept the option even existing.

The same goes for whatever spells are todays topic.
Again, they can't handle _______ in their own games.  So they think the answers to remove the option of playing with it from everyone....
I don't think so.

Most of those who dislike the Vancian casting method seem to be pretty unreasonable about it.  
So I think that it's safe to say that you could fully design multiple perfect spell casting systems, each able to be swapped in/out of a class, & they STILL wouldn't be happy.
Why?
Because somewhere out there, somebodies playing with a spell casting system that they can't handle themselves for whatever reason.  Worse yet, someone near them, someone they might actually game with!, might read this method in their book & say "DM, can I use this for my caster?"
Or if they're DMing?  They might have to make a desicion & say _____ is not used in this campaign.
This seems to threaten them somehow.
So no, they won't accept the option even existing.

The same goes for whatever spells are todays topic of senseless mewling.
Again, they can't handle _______ in their own games.  So they think the answers to remove the option of playing with it from everyone....     



I think that's a rather unfair assessment. I'm pretty open to whatever casting style my players want to use. I just want them to have options, and I'd like it to all be balanced out.

My D&D Next Philosophy: In this age of user created content, Wizards needs to take a step toward embracing that. Modularity is certainly a start, but the best possible way for Wizards to encourage homebrew is to strip the mechanics of flavor, and to ensure that they are as balanced as possible. Players today should be able to start with a concept and build that character. They should not have to force it into narrowly-defined classes that restrict the ability to play the character you want.
I dislike Vancian Magic and always have since I started playing with 2e.

I would not consider myself a 4e player--I like most of the editions about equally (maybe I like 2e just slightly more), except I hate running 4e--so, I think your generalization is off.

And yes, I would be satisfied with alternate casting systems.  I think the Sorcerer's willpower is already better than Vancian, and if you give me a 100% at-will caster like the 3rd edition Warlock and Dragon Adept, or even a "proto-type encounter" caster like the 3rd edition Binder, I will be happy.

And no, I don't like the Next Warlock. 
That’s the question basically. But more to the point, I don’t want to make generalizations but it seems that the “anti-vancian” crowd is majorly composed of 4th edition fans. But 4th edition did a lot more than just remove vancian magic from the game, it also toned down the overall power of magic a notch or two. Spell durations in 4th edition are pretty much either 1 round or save ends (a couple of rounds at most). When I read the numerous “I hate vancian” threads, it doesn’t seem like vancian magic is the only problem. Spells such as Grease or Web are as much of a problem as vancian magic to this crowd.

So this is basically the question. If you have an AEDU wizard that uses the same spell list as the vancian wizard, would you really be satisfied? Because this is not going to turn D&D Next into something similar to 4th edition.

I know I would pick the AEDU wizard over the vancian one because I like reliable casters. I wouldn't get anywhere close to a vancian wizard that has a save ends Grease spell.



I think so, but only if it is an actual "alternating casting system", not only a different class with different powers, if I could play a wizard with the mechanic of the next warlock (for example) I think I could be quite satisfied (I have still to try to test the next warlock, so it's only a feeling at the moment).

No more vancian. No "edition war" for me, thank'you.
I'm not "anti-vancian".

I LOVE the Vancian system.

But I AM pro-options.

I'd like to be able to play a Vancian Sorcerer or Warlock.  Because I like the Vancian system AND I like the flavour and mechanics of the Sorcerer and Warlock classes.

I'd ALSO like to have the OPTION to play an AEDU or Spell Point Wizard.

Not necessarily because I will play it, but because I see a demand for it (from some of my own players, as well as others) and I'd like to see those preferences catered to in Next.


...


However D&D HAS had problems in EVERY edition with some spells being overpowered.

This seems to be something that the development team are working hard to fix, but is still needing more work (I'm looking at you Hold Person) especially to avoid "no-hit, no-save" spells.

So, no.

Just adding options for casting system to the arcane classes alone with NOT make me happy.

I DO want to see spells balanced properly for their level, against other spells AND against the abilities of other characters of the "same level" (ie. 9th lvl spells should be balanced against 18th lvl Fighter/Rogue/Warlord abilities).                        
I am more concerned about the scope of effects, and how choices effect the power of the class. As it was already stated, the daily effects have to be more powerful, just because the choices are limited each day. So with spells that tend to get abused like knowledge (divination, scry), movement (flight, speed, teleport, invisibility), mind control (charm, suggestion, geas), or something very powerful like wish there should be some limits placed on these to prevent an encounter from being trivialized, or the party always relying on the caster to save the day. How you can do this to keep the vancian supporters happy, that do not want the traditional spells changed drastically, versus those the do not like vancian because of the power of each effect, or having too many choices to select at a higher level will be a challenge.

Even if you bring in an alternate style that is close to 4E scale of vancian system and encounter powers, most likely the caster will still outshine other martial classes the higher the character levels.

I thought one avenue was to bring back a modified form of rituals from 4E to control some of the game changing spells from previous editions like wish. You would then start to differentiate spells that can effect the short term (more combat focused) versus spells that take a while to cast like wish (outside of combat). You could still preserve the old style spells, but at least with rituals being seperate, combat would scale better with all the classes.

Without seeing all the spells for each class to at least 10th level, it is hard to determine what they intend to do to scale spells back, before I can decide if anything else needs to be done.
having played from aDnD 2nd onword i'm not aopsed to vancian magic.
but i think it was a bit over powerd at times.

but to me the removal of caster level as a variable in spells might already be enough to change this.
so i was pretty exited when they said that spell level was gone and instead it matterd what level spell slot you used to prepare a spell.

unfortunatly i havent seen this back in the game test yet.
i at a minimum had expected to go to 1 cure woulds spell that would heal 1d8 per level of the spell slot used to cast it. 
having played from aDnD 2nd onword i'm not aopsed to vancian magic.
but i think it was a bit over powerd at times.

but to me the removal of caster level as a variable in spells might already be enough to change this.
so i was pretty exited when they said that spell level was gone and instead it matterd what level spell slot you used to prepare a spell.

unfortunatly i havent seen this back in the game test yet.
i at a minimum had expected to go to 1 cure woulds spell that would heal 1d8 per level of the spell slot used to cast it. 



That would be the way to go. Increase the damage dealt by spells by one dice per level of the spell slot used. Increase the hit point cap by 10 per spell slot used. Grant a -2 to saving throws per level of the spell slot used...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
That’s the question basically. But more to the point, I don’t want to make generalizations but it seems that the “anti-vancian” crowd is majorly composed of 4th edition fans.


I have been a fan of every edition of D&D.  I came into the game with BECMI, but I mostly remember from AD&D 2e onward.  I recall having fun with each edition, but 4e was the one that I enjoyed the most.  IDK if that makes me a "4e fan" or a  "D&D fan, with a favorite edition."  I will say that I also don't like vancian.  For me, it's just not fun to use.  I don't want it removed from the game, because some people do enjoy it, and they should be able to use it.  I'm not sure if that makes me "anti-vancian," or just "pro fun." 

I've been playing D&D since OD&D was made by a little company called Tactical Studies Rules. You know, the old blackmoor rules. Fun times. Since then I've played every version of D&D and had fun doing it.

So I'd say I'm pro D&D but I'm also “anti-vancian”. While I DID like 4e the best, I think I liked it so much because it got rid of vancian and the ability of casters to just be better than eveyone else. So I'd say the my being liking 4E was a least partially a result of me being “anti-vancian” but I was that way before there was even a 4e on the drawing board.

For myself, I'd rather play an encounter based caster like the warlock. I just hate daily powers and never really used them in 4e. Barring that, something like Sorcerer's willpower would at least make the dailies go down better by not locking me into a fixed arangement of spells. I HAVE to have 2 second level spells? Why can't I cast more more first? I got tired out and can only cast more powerful spells? Why did i just forget what I cast? Lame! (IMO)

Barring that, something like Sorcerer's willpower would at least make the dailies go down better by not locking me into a fixed arangement of spells. I HAVE to have 2 second level spells? Why can't I cast more more first? I got tired out and can only cast more powerful spells? Why did i just forget what I cast? Lame! (IMO)

Fun fact:  Spell levels and Willpower are directly interchangable.
community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/...

Barring that, something like Sorcerer's willpower would at least make the dailies go down better by not locking me into a fixed arangement of spells. I HAVE to have 2 second level spells? Why can't I cast more more first? I got tired out and can only cast more powerful spells? Why did i just forget what I cast? Lame! (IMO)

Fun fact:  Spell levels and Willpower are directly interchangable.
community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/...



Only if the DM you have allows them to be.  That's an important part of the equation that sometimes gets left out.  The "spell point fix" for vancian has been around in a prominent way since at least AD&D 2e (which is when I first heard it was a common replacement), but it's only usable if the DM says yes.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

The game is composed of encounters, and daily spellcasting is organized around something  like a day.
As long as the vancian spellcasting is not organized to handle any number of encounters, it will remain a problem.

Gamebreaking utility spells are not a problem with a vancian spellcaster, as long as these spell are from the highest spell level he can cast. The more he gains spell levels after this point, the more gamebreaking the spell becomes with the "spammable" keyword it gains.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Sign In to post comments