What is a Vancian system?

So there has been talk about Vancian system. For the most part when I search this I find no real definition. Seems like everyone already knows what it is. So what is it?
Ant Farm
I should probably look it up again as its been years since I've seen this reference but from what I recall the 1st edition method of how magic users memorized spells then forgot them after casting was based on a short story featuring two wizards by Jack Vance. 
Simply put - memorization of spells.

A bit more:
1) Spells must be prepared ahead of time, casted and once casted they are forgotten until prepared again.
2) Spells are specific and have a specifc purpose. Fire ball creates a blast of fire, but not changed to create a stream of fire.
3) Wizards have a finite capacity of spell use. They can only memorize so much.
4) Magic when casted the wizard had to use the proper commands - speaking or waving hands.

The whole concept is rumored to come from Dying Earth - which is set in the far future when the sun is about to explode and consume the earth. Magic (which was acutally derived from mathematics) and Technology were indistinguishable. Look up wikipedia for more information.

Interesting triva: Vecna, Ioun Stones, and spells (prismatic spray) come from Dying Earth.
Random Question pertaining to the origin of DnD - since magic was based on Dying Earth does that mean that DnD is actually a post apocalyptic genre? After all the orginial DnD had Barrier Peaks.
It is a system of spell casting. You had a certain number of spells a day. Had to prepare them and have all the necessary components in order to cast them. Most spells had a component that was needed (such as bat guano), a verbal element, and a physical element. If any one component was missing spellcasting got much harder.
And what a beautiful system it is!
Alignments are Fluid, meaning that they are based off of your actions, not your actions being based of the alignment.
It wasn't limited to wizards, all spellcasters were following this system.
To translate, they had a lot of daily powers of different levels following a progession table. That's all they had, no at-will, no encounter. Low levels for wizards were hell levels, no interest at all beside roleplaying, all level one spells were sleep and magic missiles, sometimes charm persons outside combat. Clerics were memorizing cure light wounds and bless, and were more able in melee than a rogue. The idea of balance was absent from spellcasting as they were the only classes to rely on daily ressources and having nothing else.

For examle, a 6th level wizard could cast X spells from the first spell level, X spells from the second spell level and X spells from the third spell level. Memorized at the start of the day without knowing anything of the future events. And these spells were subject to interruptions, resistances, immunities and… magic resistance.

My description can make you think that I absolutly does not regret pure vancian spellcasting, but it's worse than that. Because of these years of playing vancian spellcasters, I can't read daily powers description without feeling sick Smile 

At-will spells are beautiful, I was in love with the 3rd edition warlock. And it was a weak class...
From the all knowing wikipedia

Memorization — The game character must memorize a fixed number of spells from the list of all spells the character knows. This memorization can only occur once in a specified time period, usually a day, or it may require the character to rest for several hours. This system is sometimes called "Vancian" in the game designer community, since its first use, in Dungeons & Dragons, was inspired by the way magic works in Jack Vance's Dying Earth world.[1][2] 



I always thought a way to fix vancian was to fix the broken spells (knock, invisibility, Save or Die, etc) and allow a wizard to read spells directly out of his spell book, but increase the casting time for doing so. So he could cast that fireball from memory 3 times a day, or spend 3 turns reading the fireballs spell out of his book.

As for how long to increase the casting time, simple. Take the normal casting time and multiply by the spell level.

Magic missile would still be one round, but animate dead would now be 4 rounds if cast from the book. If a third level spell had a minute cast time normally then it would take 3 minutes to cast directly from the book.
Im sorry but ADEU is a French word for goodbye, not a combat system. You say, "Encounter Power" and I stop listening to you. [spoiler Have Played/Run] D&D 1st ed D&D 3.5 ed D&D 4th ed Shadowrun Star Wars SAGA Cyberpunk Interlock Unlimited Run.Net [/spoiler] I know my games, don't try to argue about them. [spoiler Alignment Explained] This is a very simple problem and I will outline it below. Their are two types of people Type 1: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "I am lawful good thus I must play lawful good" Type 2: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "My previous actions have made people and the gods view me as lawful good. The difference is subtle but it is the source of the misunderstanding. Alignment does not dictate how you play your character. All it does is tell you, the player, how the rest of the world views you, and your previous actions. Any future actions will be judged by their own merits. Say you're a baby eating pyromaniac. You are most likely chaotic evil. But one day you decide, "Hey all I really need is love." So you get a wife, have a kid, and get a kitten named Mr. Snook'ems. You become a member of the PTA and help build houses for the homeless. You are no longer chaotic evil. And just because you were once chaotic evil it does not mean that you have to stay chaotic evil. Alignment never dictates what you can do, it only says what you have done. Now that is cleared up here is a simple test. What is the alignment of... A Police officer: The average Citizen: A Vigilante: The answer is simple. The Police officer is lawful good. He uses the laws of the country and city to arrest people and make them pay their debt to society. The Citizen is Neutral good. He wants to live is a place that is Good and follows moral and ethical principle, but he sometimes finds the laws impedes him, and he wonders why we spend so much on poor people. The Vigilante is Chaotic Good. He wants to uphold the morals and ethics of society but finds that the bad guys often slip through the cracks in the law. He takes it upon himself to protect the people from these criminals. That is the basic breakdown of the good alignment axis. What needs to be remembered is that any one of these people can change alignments, easily. The Police officer could be bought off by a local gang, and suddenly he drops to lawful neutral. The average citizen might find that his neighbors dog is annoying, barking at night and keeping him up. So he poisons its food, now he is no longer good, he is stepping towards true neutral. Maybe the citizen really goes crazy also kills the neighbor, hello neutral evil. It is possible that the Vigilante realizes that the cops are actually doing a pretty good job and decides to become an officer himself, leaving his masked crime fighting days behind him. Now he is Lawful good. Your alignment is not carved in stone, it is malleable and will change to reflect your actions.[/spoiler]
Frankly I find the cast times on spells to be utterly boring. In my opinion nothing is worse in a visceral combat by going. "Okay I keep casting" and not even knowing if the target will be alive at the end of a cast. Not only have you wasted a few rounds but you don't contribute to the fight.
Frankly I find the cast times on spells to be utterly boring. In my opinion nothing is worse in a visceral combat by going. "Okay I keep casting" and not even knowing if the target will be alive at the end of a cast. Not only have you wasted a few rounds but you don't contribute to the fight.



Could you elaborate on this? I have never encountered this. 
Perhaps an example spell and situation you have encountered?
I was using master_drows example of casting from a spell book instead of memorization or having used all the spells for one day.
'A miserable leftover of past', would say Castlevania's Dracula.
I was giving the "cast out of book" as a fix. I saw a post earlier that all spells should be charged up, and that the number of turns spent charging should determine the power.

Plus most spells have a standard action cast time. A notable exception are the Summoning spells which have a 1 round cast time. So if you are casting a fireball and the enemy managed to flee before you completed that fireball then the DM needs to read the rules.

Also my cast out of book idea was in addition to normal spell casting. So you could still do standard action casting, but you would also have spells for later. I know the idea needs balance but I was just throwing it out there.
Im sorry but ADEU is a French word for goodbye, not a combat system. You say, "Encounter Power" and I stop listening to you. [spoiler Have Played/Run] D&D 1st ed D&D 3.5 ed D&D 4th ed Shadowrun Star Wars SAGA Cyberpunk Interlock Unlimited Run.Net [/spoiler] I know my games, don't try to argue about them. [spoiler Alignment Explained] This is a very simple problem and I will outline it below. Their are two types of people Type 1: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "I am lawful good thus I must play lawful good" Type 2: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "My previous actions have made people and the gods view me as lawful good. The difference is subtle but it is the source of the misunderstanding. Alignment does not dictate how you play your character. All it does is tell you, the player, how the rest of the world views you, and your previous actions. Any future actions will be judged by their own merits. Say you're a baby eating pyromaniac. You are most likely chaotic evil. But one day you decide, "Hey all I really need is love." So you get a wife, have a kid, and get a kitten named Mr. Snook'ems. You become a member of the PTA and help build houses for the homeless. You are no longer chaotic evil. And just because you were once chaotic evil it does not mean that you have to stay chaotic evil. Alignment never dictates what you can do, it only says what you have done. Now that is cleared up here is a simple test. What is the alignment of... A Police officer: The average Citizen: A Vigilante: The answer is simple. The Police officer is lawful good. He uses the laws of the country and city to arrest people and make them pay their debt to society. The Citizen is Neutral good. He wants to live is a place that is Good and follows moral and ethical principle, but he sometimes finds the laws impedes him, and he wonders why we spend so much on poor people. The Vigilante is Chaotic Good. He wants to uphold the morals and ethics of society but finds that the bad guys often slip through the cracks in the law. He takes it upon himself to protect the people from these criminals. That is the basic breakdown of the good alignment axis. What needs to be remembered is that any one of these people can change alignments, easily. The Police officer could be bought off by a local gang, and suddenly he drops to lawful neutral. The average citizen might find that his neighbors dog is annoying, barking at night and keeping him up. So he poisons its food, now he is no longer good, he is stepping towards true neutral. Maybe the citizen really goes crazy also kills the neighbor, hello neutral evil. It is possible that the Vigilante realizes that the cops are actually doing a pretty good job and decides to become an officer himself, leaving his masked crime fighting days behind him. Now he is Lawful good. Your alignment is not carved in stone, it is malleable and will change to reflect your actions.[/spoiler]
My thanks to the OP , for I too was confused by the term. I've played 2nd-4e but had never heard the system described with that terminology.
I played an AD&D 2nd. session where a 14th level wizard's spellbook has been destroyed (after some lost items saves).

He was allowed to write down his remaining memorized spells, and there wasn't a lot, after having kept them during another encounter. A dead weight chocked by his loss and ready to die rather than lose more spell knowledge.
Writing down his remaining spells costed a lot of money, and there wasn't first level spells remaining.
From there he had to buy spells, but he hasn't enough money to buy one tenth of the spells he had before, and he was restricted by the rule of spell knowledge (intelligence ability) to the same spells learnt before. Yes, wizards were costing a lot of money to a group, they were needing items like other members, and their spellbook were able to pay two kings ransoms. Imagine some people who wouldn't want to share some money to be sure that everybody in their country can eat, in the real world, that were abandonning far more than one share of the treasure to one party member in a fantasy game, where pressure of civilization is less present. Hilarious.

The wizard was happy to play a trickster profile before to realize that wizards considering the group as allies would never let its trickster wizard take a look at their spellbooks. And the "roleplaying opportunity" argument fell flat as we were limited in time to complete our mission, so the wizard were left with two options : to continue with a spell list mostly composed of "flexibility" spells rarely used or to leave with the hope to find a quick solution.

How to ruin a character by a attacking a single class feature, and this wasn't even the DM fault. Just unluck on three saves (one against spells from the character, and then items saves, one for the bag, one for the blanket the player suddenly remembered having rolling the spellbook into, and then one for the spellbook...)

He followed and we conveniently found a spellbook in an ancient tomb. A warrior-king ancient tomb. With a 14th level compatible spellbook inside... Because there would have been no reason for the group to keep the wizard with us. As there was no logical reason to let the wizard follow us in this tomb. He followed because he was a player with no option other than change character, the time his wizard finds a way to feed his spellbook. And that would logically be a very long time without adventuring. And it was a trickster type character that, after some times, the group would not accept back after having tasted another kind of wizard Smile

Then our group able to continue this last run after its archenemy and fight him.

Just an example why I have no regret or nostalgy regarding vancian spellcasting, and spellbooks as they were before.
The Vancian system was the old spell management system (mages and priests) where a characters spell allowance increased on a level by level basis.

for example:-

PC Level    Spell level
1                   1 (1st level)
2                   2 (1st level)
3                   2 (1st level) 1 (2nd level)

As you can see the spell level doesn't match the PC level so a 10th level spellcaster would have a maximum of 5th level spells available to them (from what I can remember), it worked ok but generally lead to the spellcaster using up all their spells early on in a campaign day (after all the spellcaster often couldn't fight toe to toe so using spells was what the character does).
But as you can see in the example spells above, a 3rd level caster would run out of spells after 3 round if they cast one spell per round (assuming all of their spells were appropriate to combat as the mage often had 'helping' spells - rituals in 4E).

As a system it worked ok but did often lead to a 5 minute adventuring day as after a few encounters the mage began whining that he wouldn't be able to do anything else that day and the priest informed the party that he had used up all his healing prayers (spells).
And it was a trickster type character that, after some times, the group would not accept back after having tasted another kind of wizard 


Of course not. Trickster's are tough and stringy. Much better to get an Illusionist. They taste like bubblegum!
;) 
Alignments are Fluid, meaning that they are based off of your actions, not your actions being based of the alignment.
Never liked this system. Never at all.

I think this should be done away with and and entirely new method of thinking should be used.  For spellcasters I think there should be a system to reflect the ebb and flow, rise and fall otheir powers. I've talked about spell points and mana pools in other threads.  I think this is a better way to handle spells.
If want certain flavors in the game like spell levels, spell books, metamagic feats. Here are some suggestions on how to handle them.

Spell Levels vs Spell Point cost (to cast a spell)
1st lvl = 1
2nd lvl =3
3rd lvl = 5
4th lvl = 7
5th lvl = 9
6th lvl = 11
7th lvl = 13
8th lvl=  15
9th lvl = 17

Each meta magic effect adds 3 points the cost
Spellbooks have to be studdied as part of replensihng you points. Instead of just a place for a character to store spells perhaps the ritual of studying also teaches the techniques which make casting spells easier over time, teaches how to continually expand your power (i.e. contain more power or spell points)                     
Also casting spelss directly from your spell books cost no points, but their is a very hihg percentage that you will burn that spell, just like casting from a scroll.
A magical focus is place to store Spell points.  Thus we would see more wizards looking a tad more traditional.  Be they carrying staves, wands, or whatever to choose.  Other magical focus could store specific things perhaps a wand of magic missles.  Thiis item would have a finite number of charges and then when those charges run if the caster so desired he could fuel the device with his own personal spell points.   
The Vancian system of spell casting was very organic. Perhaps overly so.

The idea of being able to change what you can do every day or every encounter is pretty neat, though. When I hear talk about "Vanican magic" that's really what I miss.


I heard a good suggestion on another thread that you could pick what spells you wanted for the day/encounter/whatever and make them more potent (do more damage, affect more area, get more range and/or add more conditions, stuff like that) by spending extra casting time or hit points on the spell. That seems cool and has the flexibility I was looking for!    
Each meta magic effect adds 3 points the cost



I'd recommend 1-4 points depending on the effect.
I know this may be blasphemy in some circles, but bare with me on this.
Take a look at the Pathfinder Ultimate Magic Book, there is a variant rune magic system in there, where you gain at each level, more spell components, (Fire ball, is Fire, Burst, and distance, or something like that) and then also look at the 3.5 Metamagic feats.
I'd say use those as the basis of your powering up spells, with a mana pool(Psion Power points, anyone) and Wallah! Maybe every morning, your mana regen's, and it would take a number of rounds, equal to the spell you build, to prepare it, and you can take a feat that allows you to half that time? And as a player, you can pre fabricate your spells, in non-session time, (letting the DM check them, of course) and you go on about your business. So you still have to 'prep' the spells you want to use, but you can 'prep' throughout the day.

And WotC can package up a bunch of the classic spells, built with the system, into an appendix in the PHB, or maybe as a Tome of Spells, so that new players don't have to build their own spells, they can have that quick reference guide.

How does that sound?
Alignments are Fluid, meaning that they are based off of your actions, not your actions being based of the alignment.
Each meta magic effect adds 3 points the cost



I'd recommend 1-4 points depending on the effect.




I guess I could go with 1-4... How about 2-5 this way I don't think people would spam them as much and use them more judiciously  
I know this may be blasphemy in some circles, but bare with me on this.
Take a look at the Pathfinder Ultimate Magic Book, there is a variant rune magic system in there, where you gain at each level, more spell components, (Fire ball, is Fire, Burst, and distance, or something like that) and then also look at the 3.5 Metamagic feats.
I'd say use those as the basis of your powering up spells, with a mana pool(Psion Power points, anyone) and Wallah! Maybe every morning, your mana regen's, and it would take a number of rounds, equal to the spell you build, to prepare it, and you can take a feat that allows you to half that time? And as a player, you can pre fabricate your spells, in non-session time, (letting the DM check them, of course) and you go on about your business. So you still have to 'prep' the spells you want to use, but you can 'prep' throughout the day.

And WotC can package up a bunch of the classic spells, built with the system, into an appendix in the PHB, or maybe as a Tome of Spells, so that new players don't have to build their own spells, they can have that quick reference guide.

How does that sound?




I actually like it alot, the only thing I don't like is that you regen your entire mana pool at the end of the day.  I woild prefere to see it come back over time. I also am not one who cares overly that every aspect of the characters are balanced.  One of the things that I've always loved is that Magic Users become very dangerous and scary at high levels.  I liked the fact that a group of adventures would have to plan and use tactics when it came to fighting the major mage of that demi-lich... cause all characters were not created equal. 
Ok, how would you do it over the span of the day, without over complicating a very complicated magic system? Would you rather see something like, say, every 3 hours you get 1.4 your total pool back? And how woul you handle the already prepared spells? Maybe not committing the mana, no that doesn't work... I'm not sure how to... Maybe upon completion of a 4 hour rest, you get half, and then the next 4 hours of the 8 hour rest, you regain the other half, and then you lose the remembered spells at the end of the 8 hours of rest in a 24 hour period? How about that? 
Alignments are Fluid, meaning that they are based off of your actions, not your actions being based of the alignment.
Ok, how would you do it over the span of the day, without over complicating a very complicated magic system?

A mana system cover that, with the obvious problem being exactly what the spell levels mean.

If each level is twice as meaningful as the previous one, it means a level 9 spell is the equivalent of 512 level 1 spells.  Does that seem right? I can't tell.

The problem with spell pools is the same problem seen with the 3.5 psions. It is hard to balance.

The spell words from pathfinders ultimate magic looked amazing when I read them. I have not found a Dm that would let me try them but I am very interested.

As far as recovery. I know that daily refresh is annoyingly simple but to do anything else is also bad. For example, If you use that rule that you get points back 4 hours after you use them then you get a lot more book keeping very fast. So daily refresh is just simple and easy.

I did experiment one time with a fatigue effect. So if you used 50% of your spells you became fatigued. Use 80% you became exhausted. I even allowed up to 125% but if you went over 100% their was a chance of unconsciousness or even death.


The post above talks about how a 9th level spell is being portrayed as 512 1st level spells. This is a common problem when balancing magic, and should be watched with a keen eye. 
Im sorry but ADEU is a French word for goodbye, not a combat system. You say, "Encounter Power" and I stop listening to you. [spoiler Have Played/Run] D&D 1st ed D&D 3.5 ed D&D 4th ed Shadowrun Star Wars SAGA Cyberpunk Interlock Unlimited Run.Net [/spoiler] I know my games, don't try to argue about them. [spoiler Alignment Explained] This is a very simple problem and I will outline it below. Their are two types of people Type 1: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "I am lawful good thus I must play lawful good" Type 2: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "My previous actions have made people and the gods view me as lawful good. The difference is subtle but it is the source of the misunderstanding. Alignment does not dictate how you play your character. All it does is tell you, the player, how the rest of the world views you, and your previous actions. Any future actions will be judged by their own merits. Say you're a baby eating pyromaniac. You are most likely chaotic evil. But one day you decide, "Hey all I really need is love." So you get a wife, have a kid, and get a kitten named Mr. Snook'ems. You become a member of the PTA and help build houses for the homeless. You are no longer chaotic evil. And just because you were once chaotic evil it does not mean that you have to stay chaotic evil. Alignment never dictates what you can do, it only says what you have done. Now that is cleared up here is a simple test. What is the alignment of... A Police officer: The average Citizen: A Vigilante: The answer is simple. The Police officer is lawful good. He uses the laws of the country and city to arrest people and make them pay their debt to society. The Citizen is Neutral good. He wants to live is a place that is Good and follows moral and ethical principle, but he sometimes finds the laws impedes him, and he wonders why we spend so much on poor people. The Vigilante is Chaotic Good. He wants to uphold the morals and ethics of society but finds that the bad guys often slip through the cracks in the law. He takes it upon himself to protect the people from these criminals. That is the basic breakdown of the good alignment axis. What needs to be remembered is that any one of these people can change alignments, easily. The Police officer could be bought off by a local gang, and suddenly he drops to lawful neutral. The average citizen might find that his neighbors dog is annoying, barking at night and keeping him up. So he poisons its food, now he is no longer good, he is stepping towards true neutral. Maybe the citizen really goes crazy also kills the neighbor, hello neutral evil. It is possible that the Vigilante realizes that the cops are actually doing a pretty good job and decides to become an officer himself, leaving his masked crime fighting days behind him. Now he is Lawful good. Your alignment is not carved in stone, it is malleable and will change to reflect your actions.[/spoiler]
I did experiment one time with a fatigue effect. So if you used 50% of your spells you became fatigued. Use 80% you became exhausted. I even allowed up to 125% but if you went over 100% their was a chance of unconsciousness or even death.

Consider this:
Wizards are not screwed over for hitpoints, like they always have been.
Casting spells is "payed for" in hitpoints.

Ok, how would you do it over the span of the day, without over complicating a very complicated magic system?

A mana system cover that, with the obvious problem being exactly what the spell levels mean.

If each level is twice as meaningful as the previous one, it means a level 9 spell is the equivalent of 512 level 1 spells.  Does that seem right? I can't tell.



Yeah, but we were discussing as to how a mana pool regen's. if you have it by the hour, then how do you incorporate the prepared spells? Straduss1 stated
I actually like it alot, the only thing I don't like is that you regen your entire mana pool at the end of the day.

So I was merely trying to build something, that wasn't overly complicated in the mana regen department. 
If we have it regen a portion every hour, then how do you divide the number of total mana pool by 24? Or do you do it at each 5 minute rest, a 1/8 get's regen'd? And how would these affect spell preparation, which I think most of us wizard players like?(Because otherwise we'd be playing Sorcerors) That's what I was trying to hash out here. 

Sorc's would have a smaller knowledge of spell components my proposed system, of course, possibly with a larger mana pool?

And you would get bonuses to your pool for a high (INT for wizards, wisdom for Divine, CHA for Bards and Sorcs, etc,) attribute? Say maybe a bonus each level equal to your att modifier? (So a 14 get's you +2, while a 17 get's you +3) Similar to how HP and CON went together.  
Alignments are Fluid, meaning that they are based off of your actions, not your actions being based of the alignment.
If we have it regen a portion every hour, then how do you divide the number of total mana pool by 24? Or do you do it at each 5 minute rest, a 1/8 get's regen'd? And how would these affect spell preparation, which I think most of us wizard players like?(Because otherwise we'd be playing Sorcerors) That's what I was trying to hash out here.

Assuming binary Vancian levels, it comes down to how often we want wizards casting spells of what level.  Under Binary Vancian, Fireball (level 3) would be 4 "mana" points.

I agree with you, MD. That's why I mentioned the Psions in my post! But People have posted that they wanted to get rid of the Vancian Method, and instead try a mana pool, and as long as they are willing to accept the unbalancing effect that that has on the Magic using classes, as compared to the martial classes, I'm willing to help there. 

I would not recommend the use of HP as mana. The Wizard has always had a lot in common with the American WWII Aircraft carriers. They both can be described as "A Heavy Weight Boxer, with a Glass Jaw." (Aircraft carrier's had a thin Hull, with explosives all over the ship, because they had to carry the fuel and ammo, for the fighters and bombers, as well as themselves) (I know, I'm a history geek, I accept this title) 
Alignments are Fluid, meaning that they are based off of your actions, not your actions being based of the alignment.
If we have it regen a portion every hour, then how do you divide the number of total mana pool by 24? Or do you do it at each 5 minute rest, a 1/8 get's regen'd? And how would these affect spell preparation, which I think most of us wizard players like?(Because otherwise we'd be playing Sorcerors) That's what I was trying to hash out here.

Assuming binary Vancian levels, it comes down to how often we want wizards casting spells of what level.  Under Binary Vancian, Fireball (level 3) would be 4 "mana" points.


I'm not familiar with the binary Vancian. Can you explain what that is? Up to this point, I haven't really touched the amount of mana it would take to cast a fireball, I don't have much in the way of knowledge for that side of the construction, that's why I didn't bother talking about how much each level should cost. I have been letting that problem stew in the back of my mind, but I haven't had any Eureka moments yet.
Alignments are Fluid, meaning that they are based off of your actions, not your actions being based of the alignment.
I'm not familiar with the binary Vancian.

Binary Vancian is simply the assumption that each spell-level is the equivalent of two of the previous spell-level.

The problem with spell pools is the same problem seen with the 3.5 psions. It is hard to balance.

The spell words from pathfinders ultimate magic looked amazing when I read them. I have not found a Dm that would let me try them but I am very interested.

As far as recovery. I know that daily refresh is annoyingly simple but to do anything else is also bad. For example, If you use that rule that you get points back 4 hours after you use them then you get a lot more book keeping very fast. So daily refresh is just simple and easy.

I did experiment one time with a fatigue effect. So if you used 50% of your spells you became fatigued. Use 80% you became exhausted. I even allowed up to 125% but if you went over 100% their was a chance of unconsciousness or even death.


The post above talks about how a 9th level spell is being portrayed as 512 1st level spells. This is a common problem when balancing magic, and should be watched with a keen eye. 



I'd let you run spellwords in my campaign, I am a DM that encourages such insanities. I'm not so fond of a Fatigue system, I am, in theory, (That's what the Dresden Files uses, and Hero System has a Fatigue/Mana Pool type of system going) but I'd want to see a better thing than just a percentage threshold, or burning HP(HP takes days, even weeks to come back, unless you use the Healing surges and second wind system of 4E, which is a controversial subject here, one that should be avoided on this thread, at least). 

So for a Mana Pool system, 
Cantrip Cost's you 1,
Level 1 Cost's you 3,
Level 2 Cost's you 5,
Level 3 Cost's you 9,
Level 4 Cost's you 17,
Level 5 Cost's you 33,
Level 6 Cost's you 65,
Level 7 Cost's you 129,
Level 8 Cost's you 257,
Level 9 Cost's you 513.

With this model, you only get 171 1st level spells per ninth level spell, but it's still pretty bad. Especially when you consider that a Wizard in 3.5, at 20th level, has 4 spell slots for each level, not counting any bonuses from high INT, or from spec'ing in a school. that is a lot of Magic Missiles. Even more Light spells. 

And I'm not a 4E player, so I haven't spent time learning about the rituals, or spells known in 4E, so if they have a better way of doing spell levels, I'm all ears. Other than the AEDU system. I'm fairly familar with that.

To prep the spells, you'd have to spend
1 round to prep a cantrip,
1 minute for a level 1,
2 minutes for a level 2,
3 minutes for a level 3,
4 minutes for a level 4,
5 for a 5,
6 for a 6,
7 for a 7,
8 for a 8,
and 9 for a 9 
Alignments are Fluid, meaning that they are based off of your actions, not your actions being based of the alignment.
Is there a reason why cantrips shouldn't be free?
Maybe have the spells equal in mana points something like, 
Level 1 costs 10 
Level 2 costs 15
Level 3 costs 22
Level 4 costs 33
Level 5 costs 49
Level 6 costs 73
Level 7 costs 109
Level 8 costs 163
Level 9 costs 244

Now a level 9 equals 24 level 1's, instead of the 171 of my last try. 
Alignments are Fluid, meaning that they are based off of your actions, not your actions being based of the alignment.
Is there a reason why cantrips shouldn't be free?


They take magical juice to create. And many of them(Light spell, to name one) are used so often, that maybe having them completly free is just crazy, when I have very nearly, yet still costing a teeny tiny amount of your mana pool.
Alignments are Fluid, meaning that they are based off of your actions, not your actions being based of the alignment.
The first breakdown you did for mana is interesting. With that idea a meteor swarm which does 2d6+6d6 and has 4 missiles will do 192 damage (max) but a burning hands (the only first level spell with AOE) will do between 1d4 and 5d4 depending on level, so 4 to 20 damage. The meteor swarm is between 48 and 9.8 times as powerful depending on the level of the burning hands. This might not be a bad deal, I mean Meteor swarm has the benefit of getting all of my damage now, if I wanted to do the same damage with burning hands I would have to cast it more than ten times. So if I needed something dead now, then meteor swarm is the answer, even though I'm not being efficient with my power.

The thing that bothers me is that for one meteor swarm I can get 57 fireballs. Why would I want one meteor swarm when I can launch fireballs for almost 10 minutes continuously?


I don't mind the second Mana points but I would knock off the last number, round, and make sure no two levels are the same.

So
Level 1 costs 1
Level 2 costs 2
Level 3 costs 3
Level 4 costs 4
Level 5 costs 5
Level 6 costs 7
Level 7 costs 10
Level 8 costs 16
Level 9 costs 24



  • WoTC does this "reduce, round, adjust" a lot already. If you ever find a table and can't figure out the mathematical pattern to then this is why. Just look at the gold per level table in the 3.5 DMG to see an example, it makes no sense half the time from a pattern standpoint.



This fixes a few problems like now 9th level spells are only 8 times as costly as 3rd level. But I get the problem in that a fireball only costs three times as much as magic missile or burning hands. A bargin to any wizard. 

How about we do what 4th did (continue reading first). There are not 9 levels of spells but a spell level for each character level. So a 16th level wizard has 16th level spells. Then the fireball spell would be a closer to a 6th level spell. I could get a fireball for the cost of 7 magic missiles. Sounds about right in terms of trade off.
In this new system a 9th level spell would be the same as a 5th level in the old one. So, Wall of Force and Teleport, I would pay the 24 magic missiles for those. (From this point on I do spells in terms of magic missile currency.)


The one major problem with mana point systems should be coming apparent right now. If I have 30 points I can get a single 9th level spell, or I can get six 5th level spells, or 30 first level spells. People complain about the 5 minute work day in D&D, this will make it the one minute work day, I will use my 9th level spell and be the one shot nuke.
The only fix to this is to have a lot of spell points. Like 100 so I can cast my 9th level and still have spell points left over for more combats. But now I will just cast four 9th level spells, nuke everything and then be done, so a 3 minute work day.
Maybe I need 300 spell points so I can cast twelve 9th level spells. But now I will just cast 7th level spells, at 10 points per spell I can cast 30, and since they are 77% as powerful as 9th level spells I will be able to carpet bomb villages. 

Do you see the problem with spell points? The only way to fix them is to not allow people to use their powerful spells, and that just makes them mad. This is the problem that was found with psionics in 3.5 They would just go all in and nuke everything. People quickly found ways to get a bunch of points so they could nuke every enemy that looked at them funny, and then people started to hate the party psion.

The only way to control a wizard is for the player to be able to manage his resources properly. Give him 50 points so he can cast his 9th level spells, but don't allow him to drag the party down because now he is useless. That is his own fault and the rest of the party should not give in to his complaining.

But at that point how is that different from vancian casting? Except that Vancian Casting makes sure he won't dump in one round but will take at least 10 (mid level caster). And if we get the same effect why are we redesigning the system?

I would not mind a non-vancian system. However, I have yet to see one with less flaws than the old Vancian system.
Im sorry but ADEU is a French word for goodbye, not a combat system. You say, "Encounter Power" and I stop listening to you. [spoiler Have Played/Run] D&D 1st ed D&D 3.5 ed D&D 4th ed Shadowrun Star Wars SAGA Cyberpunk Interlock Unlimited Run.Net [/spoiler] I know my games, don't try to argue about them. [spoiler Alignment Explained] This is a very simple problem and I will outline it below. Their are two types of people Type 1: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "I am lawful good thus I must play lawful good" Type 2: a lot of people (not all, but a lot) who play see alignment as "My previous actions have made people and the gods view me as lawful good. The difference is subtle but it is the source of the misunderstanding. Alignment does not dictate how you play your character. All it does is tell you, the player, how the rest of the world views you, and your previous actions. Any future actions will be judged by their own merits. Say you're a baby eating pyromaniac. You are most likely chaotic evil. But one day you decide, "Hey all I really need is love." So you get a wife, have a kid, and get a kitten named Mr. Snook'ems. You become a member of the PTA and help build houses for the homeless. You are no longer chaotic evil. And just because you were once chaotic evil it does not mean that you have to stay chaotic evil. Alignment never dictates what you can do, it only says what you have done. Now that is cleared up here is a simple test. What is the alignment of... A Police officer: The average Citizen: A Vigilante: The answer is simple. The Police officer is lawful good. He uses the laws of the country and city to arrest people and make them pay their debt to society. The Citizen is Neutral good. He wants to live is a place that is Good and follows moral and ethical principle, but he sometimes finds the laws impedes him, and he wonders why we spend so much on poor people. The Vigilante is Chaotic Good. He wants to uphold the morals and ethics of society but finds that the bad guys often slip through the cracks in the law. He takes it upon himself to protect the people from these criminals. That is the basic breakdown of the good alignment axis. What needs to be remembered is that any one of these people can change alignments, easily. The Police officer could be bought off by a local gang, and suddenly he drops to lawful neutral. The average citizen might find that his neighbors dog is annoying, barking at night and keeping him up. So he poisons its food, now he is no longer good, he is stepping towards true neutral. Maybe the citizen really goes crazy also kills the neighbor, hello neutral evil. It is possible that the Vigilante realizes that the cops are actually doing a pretty good job and decides to become an officer himself, leaving his masked crime fighting days behind him. Now he is Lawful good. Your alignment is not carved in stone, it is malleable and will change to reflect your actions.[/spoiler]
And I guess, that since we have this redesigning the ways of magic here, another pet-peeve of alot of people. Again, I don't know (I highly doubt it) if 4E fixed this, but can if you are going to have magic items, can we get a standard system of construction of magic items? Many of us have built our own magic items in 3.5, but we only had vague guidelines, and many others follow the thought process of "If there isn't a rule for it, than it isn't allowed". So Can we get a rule to be able to craft new magic items? I know that this is crazy, and possibly even more difficult then creating new spells, because you are trying to fit it into various wondrous items, that haven't been concived yet. But if nothing else, a "Player Characters are permitted to create new kinds of magic items" script in bold italic underscored letters at the first page of the list of wondrous items. 

(No, I do not game with people who follow that philosophy. I'm of the school of thought; "If there isn't a rule saying that you can't, then you can.") 
Alignments are Fluid, meaning that they are based off of your actions, not your actions being based of the alignment.
I love the idea of a mana system, The problems of a wizard being hard to balance allready exist in v1 - 3.5 so worrying about it now is a bit late IMO. I personally like spell casters to be the most fear'd thing. I also think some spells should become so easy to cast, a mage wouldn't give a 2nd thought - IE lighting a lantern with a spell, or lifting a book telekeneticly. With a mana pool I think this is more acompleshable.

  As for a 9th lvl one shot nuke, its pretty simple to disallow spells untill you reach that level. So a 9th lvl mage can nuke. A 8th lvl can't, or a 10th lvl that has never gained access to Nuke can't.

The whole storey about the poor mage who was dumb enough to keep his spellbook in a wraped blanket >.<, there are iron box's - chest, portable holes .. if you keep the wealth of a kingdom wraped in a blanket, you should be penalised for not playing the charactors intelegence, so the failed role was justified Tongue Out

I'm not sticking up for learning spells at all in fact when Im in DM seat (v3.5), any player can attempt to cast any spell from there spellbook, I don't encourage them to keep a list of what spells they have today. This has worked well for 6 years. The reason I do this is simple, I don't want my players sitting around time skipping because the cleric wants / needs to learn a spell, forcing me to maybe invoke another encounter or micro manage other parts of the storey. I will stick up for the cost invoked to the spellcaster financaily, as economics is very important, wealth should be gained - hence things to do with that wealth are just as important.

Calculating the MAX damage a spell does (192 damage) seems a waiste as thats not what you roll (Average bell curve gives 28), and brings me to something I consider very important in any edition, for any class HP's are far too important to be relied on a roll - i.e. A fighter should never have less HP total compared to a non mele based charactor, its pure common sense - Armed with this opinion I then believe damage is too important to be relied on a roll, though its great fun gathering lots of d6's n great to have to borrow other players just so you can cast your spell, a Base level damage should be decided - then a roll add'd. 2d6+6d6 would become a much speedeir calculation as a result if it was done for instance as 22 + 2d6 (x4). co - incidently I played AD&D with max'd HP's all the way up to 3.5 n it really helps balance desighn in what I throw at the players.

Something very inherntly wrong with v1 - 3.5 was the way mage ran out of spells, n were just deadwight to a party. Hopefully with a mana pool this can be remedied, I've never tried one in tabletop, so can't really add an awful lot to this. Most games incorparte ways to regain mana in the computer industry, so haveing a way to make mana potions seems a way to go, as is resting to replinish mana / mana restoring over time.

One of my pet hates in dealing with magic a lot of flavoir is lost in the current mechanics, Id like to see actions cost players, more than a spell slot / mana loss, if they need to do something in a hurry, cast a fireball instantly or without a need'd ingrediant, then they can Age, or temporaly lose HP, Ability points, reduced saveing throws -  to reflect the damge they do to themselves.


Ramble / Rant over Cool

Hitch  
  As for a 9th lvl one shot nuke, its pretty simple to disallow spells untill you reach that level. So a 9th lvl mage can nuke. A 8th lvl can't, or a 10th lvl that has never gained access to Nuke can't.

Ideally, a mana system would be a good excuse to condense the traditional nine spell levels down to four or five.

I love the idea of a mana system, The problems of a wizard being hard to balance allready exist in v1 - 3.5 so worrying about it now is a bit late IMO. I personally like spell casters to be the most fear'd thing. I also think some spells should become so easy to cast, a mage wouldn't give a 2nd thought - IE lighting a lantern with a spell, or lifting a book telekeneticly. With a mana pool I think this is more acompleshable.

  As for a 9th lvl one shot nuke, its pretty simple to disallow spells untill you reach that level. So a 9th lvl mage can nuke. A 8th lvl can't, or a 10th lvl that has never gained access to Nuke can't.

The whole storey about the poor mage who was dumb enough to keep his spellbook in a wraped blanket >.<, there="" are="" iron="" box="" s="" -="" chest="" portable="" holes="" if="" you="" keep="" the="" wealth="" of="" a="" kingdom="" wraped="" in="" blanket="" should="" be="" penalised="" for="" not="" playing="" charactors="" intelegence="" so="" failed="" role="" was="" justified="" img="" title="Tongue Out" border="0" alt="Tongue Out" src="http://community.wizards.com/tools/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-tongue-out.gif" br="" i="" m="" sticking="" up="" learning="" spells="" at="" all="" fact="" when="" im="" dm="" seat="" v3="" 5="" any="" player="" can="" attempt="" to="" cast="" spell="" from="" spellbook="" don="" t="" encourage="" them="" list="" what="" they="" have="" today="" this="" has="" worked="" well="" 6="" years="" reason="" do="" is="" simple="" want="" my="" players="" sitting="" around="" time="" skipping="" because="" cleric="" wants="" needs="" learn="" forcing="" me="" maybe="" invoke="" another="" encounter="" or="" micro="" manage="" other="" parts="" storey="" will="" stick="" cost="" invoked="" spellcaster="" financaily="" as="" economics="" very="" important="" gained="" hence="" things="" with="" that="" just="" data-mce-src="http://community.wizards.com/tools/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-tongue-out.gif">
Calculating the MAX damage a spell does (192 damage) seems a waiste as thats not what you roll (Average bell curve gives 28), and brings me to something I consider very important in any edition, for any class HP's are far too important to be relied on a roll - i.e. A fighter should never have less HP total compared to a non mele based charactor, its pure common sense - Armed with this opinion I then believe damage is too important to be relied on a roll, though its great fun gathering lots of d6's n great to have to borrow other players just so you can cast your spell, a Base level damage should be decided - then a roll add'd. 2d6+6d6 would become a much speedeir calculation as a result if it was done for instance as 22 + 2d6 (x4). co - incidently I played AD&D with max'd HP's all the way up to 3.5 n it really helps balance desighn in what I throw at the players.

Something very inherntly wrong with v1 - 3.5 was the way mage ran out of spells, n were just deadwight to a party. Hopefully with a mana pool this can be remedied, I've never tried one in tabletop, so can't really add an awful lot to this. Most games incorparte ways to regain mana in the computer industry, so haveing a way to make mana potions seems a way to go, as is resting to replinish mana / mana restoring over time.

One of my pet hates in dealing with magic a lot of flavoir is lost in the current mechanics, Id like to see actions cost players, more than a spell slot / mana loss, if they need to do something in a hurry, cast a fireball instantly or without a need'd ingrediant, then they can Age, or temporaly lose HP, Ability points, reduced saveing throws -  to reflect the damge they do to themselves.


Ramble / Rant over Cool

Hitch  


Well, as a Wizard playing person, I always had my Spell Book wrapped in water proofed canvas, so that it wouldn't get ruined if we got wet. I also have two lists for my spells memorized for the day, the first list is my standard list of spells memorized every day, with the second one being any changes I've made that morning. 
A house rule we had, was that you can cast directly out of your spellbook, as if it were a magic scroll, and just like the scroll, the spell disappeared after you casted it. 
I personally like the idea of a wizard having the ability to run out of juice, I think it's a good counter-balance to the sheer amount of firepower he/she can produce. Otherwise, why have fighters?
  As for a 9th lvl one shot nuke, its pretty simple to disallow spells untill you reach that level. So a 9th lvl mage can nuke. A 8th lvl can't, or a 10th lvl that has never gained access to Nuke can't.

Ideally, a mana system would be a good excuse to condense the traditional nine spell levels down to four or five.



Hm. I think if you made a cap on how much mana could be put into a single spell, decided by the class level, and modified by the controlling Att, you could help stop the Nuke thing. I have seen a Psion/Cerebromancer pump his Disentegration power to do 90 DMG, with teh Straight Sorc next to him, in the same round, only doing about 50-60 points of DMG, with the same spell. So I understand the Nuking problem, 

Maybe have the overchanneling effect raise the spell failure chance? And have adverse effects, dependant upon how badly you fail? Say: (These are all below the threshold required)
0-5%  Only lose the Mana spent.
6-10% Drain x2 mana.
11-20% Drain on Attribute(= to level of spell being pumped)
21-30% Drain on Attribute x2
31-40% Age 1 year.
41-50% Lose 1 level.
51-> Age 1 year, and lose 1 level.

This is just something I put together off the top of my head. 
Alignments are Fluid, meaning that they are based off of your actions, not your actions being based of the alignment.