Monte Cook's Vancian Magic Quote

Here's a clean start to this topic so everyone can see the actual quote:


12:58








Monte: I know it's a bit contreversial, but I think Vancian magic is a core element of D&D. Maybe it's not the only option for magic, but it's definitely an iconic and flavorful one that I would like to retain. It's also an interesting way to handle game balance. For example wizards have magical feats that are basically at will abilities. Balancing them with vancian magic which are essentially daily abilities is an interesting way to go, especially when comparing to the fighter and rogue who have more of an at-will style play. It offers a very different playstyle than those other classes, but those different playstyles are something we want to embrace.


This is from the Class Design discussion that took place on 1/27/12 at D&D XP.  It can be found here.
Just to be clear, there is no definitive confirmation about anything from this quote.  But what this quote strongly implies is that Monte favors the default workings of magic being more like old D&D and less like... well... everything else.

I STRONGLY oppose Vancian magic as part of the core workings of D&D, other than the mild form we see it with 4E (wizards choose from 2 Dailies and whatnot).  I would go so far as to say this is on my short list of a handful of issues that will be a deal-breaker for me. 

I have no problem whatsover with Vancian stuff being options for Wizards or other classes in optional modules.  That's what optional modules should be for: to give people stuff they like without bothering the heck out of people that don't want it.
Here are the reasons that Vancian magic should be offered in optional modules and not as part of the standard base-level D&D:

  1. It doesn't reflect fantasy fiction, except that of Jack Vance.  And that's a small niche, getting smaller every day.

  2. New players are confused and annoyed by the concept of fire-and-forget.  See #1.

  3. Players want to feel like Harry Potter and Gandalf.  See #1.

  4. Video games inform expectations for magic use nowadays, and no modern videogames outside of DDO have Vancian magic.  See #1.

  5. Lovers of Vancian magic are universally folks who have nostalgia for older versions of D&D.  Due to the lack of time machine technology, that group is an ever-shrinking faction and should not guide the course of the game.

Goken, just popping in to STRONGLY agree with you. I have no need whatsoever for the mechanics of D&D Next to feel like D&D Previous. And while I've never been a big fan of the 4e division of powers into encounter and daily abilites and what have you, I feel those mechanics lent to better balance across classes than anything we'd ever seen before in D&D, and represented a monumental step forward from the Vancian system of magic. 

I'm not a nostalgic person by nature, and I have no desire to return to the past for its own sake. I'm a fan of the setting and the stories that can be told within it, but I will happily replace the mechanics that facilitate these stories if a better set of mechanics comes along. And so I want the future shaped primarily by questions like "what is balanced" and "what is fun" and "what is easy for new players to learn" and "what reduces bookkeeping and speeds up play?" Whereas questions like "what is familiar" and "what feels like the D&D I was playing 10 years ago" lag far, far behind. And I certainly don't want to go from "better balance" to "worse balance", a move I consider the outright enemy of fun. 
6. Vancian magic is difficult to use for players that don't read up on the rules every month. They get lost in the giant spell lists and that leads to unnecesary bickering.
DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
Just to be clear, there is no definitive confirmation about anything from this quote.  But what this quote strongly implies is that Monte favors the default workings of magic being more like old D&D and less like... well... everything else.

Not exactly. When you read the whole transcript, he says Vancian is for Wizards, Clerics and Druids and that other casters will have other systems, like the Psion or Sorcerer or Warlock.

So if someone doesn't like the Vancian system, you'll have plenty of other options.

And on a personal note, yeah the Vancian system is core in DnD.


Thanks for that clarification, that's good to know.  It also makes sense, because that's the plan they used in 3E to satisfy both camps: Wizard vs. Sorceror offer two different systems to do the same thing.

I never liked that solution and I'll tell you why.  The flavor of Wizard and Sorceror were very different, and some of the mechanics followed those differences.  And in light of criticisms about the 3E system, the two classes are likely to be even more distinct.  So to me "just play another class if you don't like a Vancian wizard" is not an acceptable solution.  Mechanics that you hate shouldn't keep you from playing the character that you want.

As I said before, that's exactly what this module concept is supposed to be for:  Keeping divisive mechanics at arms length rather than forcing one answer to the divisive questions.
If wizards will have a feat that "patch" their inability to use at-wills, will fighter/rogues have a feat that "patches" their inability to use daily mechanics?

Will we see Vancian as it appeared in OD&D (small spell list, small spells per day, cannot memorize while in the dungeon/travelling, one hit inturrupts), as it appeared in AD&D (larger spell list, more spells per day, can memorize while in the dungeon/travelling but it takes extensive amounts of time and isn't viable for large spell lists or high level spells, one hit inturrupts), or as it appeared in 3e (behemoth sized spell list, enough spells per day that you will not run out, can memorize new spells as you adventure without needing to rest in some cases, virtually cannot be inturrupted)?

And why do we keep calling it Vancian if 4e of all editions was the closest to actually emulating the way magic works in Vance's Dying Earth novels?  3-4 super powerful core spells and a ton of minor abilities.
I found Cook's quote very encouraging, for two reasons:

1) It implies a return, at least in part, to the classic, iconic D&D method of spellcasting. That, along with mention in the same seminar about Charm Person being a "level 1 spell" and tweeted comments from a couple playtesters at DDXP about their wizards having a spellbook, and I have hope that wizards will feel more like older editions, and less like 4E wizards (which felt like 3E Sorcerers more than wizards). Vancian magic had its problems, but IMO 4E was too drastic a change. It's one of those moments that made me think, "this isn't D&D."

2) It implies that 5E will be more than *just* a return to old-style Vancian spellcasting, i.e. all the talk of feats giving at-will spellcasting, etc. There's some interesting new ideas hiding there.

This is what I want 5E to be: something that brings back the hallmarks of classic D&D, while still exploring new ideas.

I'm envisioning something right now where a wizard has a spellbook of spells that he knows; and a number of "slots" where he can lock in spells he can cast at-will; with the rest being "dailies' or "rituals" or what have you that he must prepare in the classic Vancian mode. Maybe those at-will slots are even interchangable; so that the wizard can exchange them day-to-day or adventure-to-adventure or level-to-level. I'm not sure how such a mechanic would play out, but it sounds kind of neat.
I just want to add another thing I hate about Vancian magic.  It makes no sense.  In the books by Jack Vance, spells are unique things with a sort of consciousness, and there was this very strange psychedelic explanation for why they leave your mind after you use them.  There's no such reason in D&D.  It doesn't fit with 'the scholar who delves into the mystic arts and learns new skills' vibe of the wizard, and it doesn't belong in modern fantasy.

Don't put the game ahead of the story.  The game's just the way to get to the story.  That's my 2c.
Just to be clear, there is no definitive confirmation about anything from this quote.  But what this quote strongly implies is that Monte favors the default workings of magic being more like old D&D and less like... well... everything else.

I STRONGLY oppose Vancian magic as part of the core workings of D&D, other than the mild form we see it with 4E (wizards choose from 2 Dailies and whatnot).  I would go so far as to say this is on my short list of a handful of issues that will be a deal-breaker for me. 

I have no problem whatsover with Vancian stuff being options for Wizards or other classes in optional modules.  That's what optional modules should be for: to give people stuff they like without bothering the heck out of people that don't want it.



also the style of vancian magic is not defined in the quote.
becouse the way the dailypowers are done in 4th is vancian in nature.

the vancian system basicly said nothing about limits on how many spells you can have in your spellbook.
in older editions thiswas not limited, in 4th there is a limit this is both well withing the boundries of the vancian system.

Also in the chat log are the remarks that rituals are here to stay some might have reduced casting time and gold cost.
and the remark that they like the way utility powers work for the wizard in 4th edition
For example wizards have magical feats that are basically at will abilities.
so rituals the same,utilities the same at wills trough feats.

that only leaves encounter attack powers and daily attack powers
Encounter attack powers are totaly non vancian in nature so scrap those.
it is also mentioned that powers/spells will not increase power with level.

so reading the chat log you could also see it like :
4th edition wizard mostly remains the same, though he now has to spend feats for his at will powers.
he loses his encounter powers and gets more low level daily powers instead.

in 4th you trade out lower level powers for higer level powers losing the lower level power the 5th edition wizard would keep his lower level dailies not having to swap them for higer ones.
if to that you add that instead of encounter powers the wizard  gets more lower level encounter powers 
a level 30 5th edition wizard may have access to the folowing

same amount of utility powers as in 4th
0 at wills unless he spends feats.
0 encounter powers.
3  1st level wizard daily powers
3  5th level wizard daily powers 
3  9th level wizard daily powers 
2  15th level wizard daily powers
2  19th level wizard daily powers
2  25th level wizard daily powers 
1  29th level wizard daily powers 


While I wouldn't call the return to Vancian-based wizardry a 'deal breaker' for me, it certainly does make me extremely wary. I liked 4Es AED division, and would be disappointed to see a wizard have to pick up a crossbow at low levels.

This is not because it resembles fantasy novels more or less closely (for the record, I think it resembles them far less if you can spam magic missile all day), but because it's a whole lot more fun for the general gaming public. Without spells, you don't seem much different from a well-equipped peasant with a crossbow. In novels, that's easy to write around. Not so much in a game.
Resident jark. Resident Minister of Education and Misinformation.
While I like the idea of vancian magic, but more balanced than previous editions, I do understand many players trepidation. However saying that DnD wizards are returning to the Vancian system does not mean that it will be identical to what has come before. To simply condenm the idea without seeing first is... well what so many people did with 4e. Once the rules are revealed via mass playtest, or whatever, and you don't like what you see, then condemn it. But keep an open mind until then. It sounds like it will only be the wizard getting the system anyway, so why let one rule for one class put you off of the entire edition?
While I like the idea of vancian magic, but more balanced than previous editions, I do understand many players trepidation. However saying that DnD wizards are returning to the Vancian system does not mean that it will be identical to what has come before. To simply condenm the idea without seeing first is... well what so many people did with 4e. Once the rules are revealed via mass playtest, or whatever, and you don't like what you see, then condemn it. But keep an open mind until then. It sounds like it will only be the wizard getting the system anyway, so why let one rule for one class put you off of the entire edition?


You're right, it's too early to know for sure, and open minds are best.  But I disagree with those that say "hey he could be talking about something like 4E" or "it might not be like the earlier editions".  If he's saying that he thinks it's core to D&D, that's exactly what he's saying - that it should be quite like the older editions.  Not necessarily exactly like, but clearly more similar than 4E was.

I just wanted to get ahead of this thing to help counter this "Vancian magic is core to D&D" idea of Monte's.  If they really care what people think, I maintain hope that it can be pushed into an optional wizard module.  Even if that module is released in the very first PHB, I'll be happy.  If every Wizard if built upon a foundation of Vancian magic, sad face will ensue.
The 4e approach to spells has been around for about three and a half years. The old way was D&D for about three and a half decades. It's core to D&D, but of course there is room for refinement.
While I wouldn't call the return to Vancian-based wizardry a 'deal breaker' for me, it certainly does make me extremely wary. I liked 4Es AED division, and would be disappointed to see a wizard have to pick up a crossbow at low levels.

This is not because it resembles fantasy novels more or less closely (for the record, I think it resembles them far less if you can spam magic missile all day), but because it's a whole lot more fun for the general gaming public. Without spells, you don't seem much different from a well-equipped peasant with a crossbow. In novels, that's easy to write around. Not so much in a game.


While I'm not a fan of the latest traditionalist auto-hitting magic missile, I question the core complaint here: that spamming at-will magic spells is not reflective of fantasy fiction.

Let me take three fantasy series that spring to mind:


  1. David Eddings's Belgariad - Magic was something you do with "the will and the word", and using it makes you tired.  But you can do minor tasks like lighting candles all day.  Powerful magic users could certainly do a lot more than that (and do it all day).

  2. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time - Magic users draw on the One Power, which requires effort by the user.  Minor uses, for war or otherwise by skilled practitioners, are the norm.

  3. J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter - Wizards and witches cast the deadliest of spells over and over again, provided they've mastered them (and thus are powerful).



I just want to add another thing I hate about Vancian magic.  It makes no sense.  In the books by Jack Vance, spells are unique things with a sort of consciousness, and there was this very strange psychedelic explanation for why they leave your mind after you use them.  There's no such reason in D&D.  It doesn't fit with 'the scholar who delves into the mystic arts and learns new skills' vibe of the wizard, and it doesn't belong in modern fantasy.

Don't put the game ahead of the story.  The game's just the way to get to the story.  That's my 2c.



Not knowing the explanation for something isn't the same as there not being an explanation.

You missed Spell Casting, page 40 of the 1st Edition AD&D DMG.

First paragraph:

 
All magic and cleric spells are similar in that the word sounds, when combined into whatever patterns are applicable, are charged with energy from the Positive or Negative Material Plane. When uttered, these sounds cause the release of this energy, which in turns triggers a set reaction. The release of the energy contained in these words is what causes the spell to be forgotten or the writing to disappear from the surface upon which it is written.



And then there's several paragraphs that explain the system more fully.

The final sentence, before the reference to Vance and Bellair, expresses the ultimate purpose of the preceding paragraphs:

If your players inquire as to how spells work, or fail to do so, you can explain, without difficulty, the precepts of the AD&D magic spell systems.



So - the AD&D spell system makes as much sense as any contrived magical system, and is fully explained in the first hardcover book devoted to the game. It's not "Vancian" - though it is reminiscent of it. It's its own thing.
I'm not worried about this as it pertains to casters, they were fun in every edition and returning to Vancian isn't that big of a deal for me. But the implication that the Fighter will return to a slower style, giving the same mediocre performance throughout the entire adventure whereas the Wizard will reclaim their ability to go nova at the critical point in the story and steal the show, is quite possibly going to drive me insane.

I found Cook's quote very encouraging, for two reasons:

1) It implies a return, at least in part, to the classic, iconic D&D method of spellcasting. That, along with mention in the same seminar about Charm Person being a "level 1 spell"


Where did you get that from?

Reading the transcript on enworld it states:
We find damage equivalence between offensive and other types of spells. Charm Person roughly 105 points of damage.



If 105 points of damage is considered standard for a level 1 spell, this edition will only attract the most hardcore "wizards=better" people. 

Admittedly, their transcript may be wrong, but I'd be interested to know what source you're working from? 
This may seem like I am pick on Goken100, and that is not my intention.  I do like to clarify for accuracy, though.  This prompts me to adress your points here. 


Here are the reasons that Vancian magic should be offered in optional modules and not as part of the standard base-level D&D:

  1. It doesn't reflect fantasy fiction, except that of Jack Vance.  And that's a small niche, getting smaller every day.

  2. New players are confused and annoyed by the concept of fire-and-forget.  See #1.

  3. Players want to feel like Harry Potter and Gandalf.  See #1.

  4. Video games inform expectations for magic use nowadays, and no modern videogames outside of DDO have Vancian magic.  See #1.

  5. Lovers of Vancian magic are universally folks who have nostalgia for older versions of D&D.  Due to the lack of time machine technology, that group is an ever-shrinking faction and should not guide the course of the game.





1)  Fantasy fiction, and legendary wizards are typified as being really only powerful if they prepare. They have plans and contengencies.  The 4th edition model is not reflecting this tradition of spell casting either.  Outside Harry Potter, most of the iconic wizards I can think of in fantasy either, rarely did anything like throwing a freaking fireball(sorry kids, Gandalf does not actually do a lot of spell slinging) or had a few tricks they could do in a pinch, but most of their spells required preperation of some sort.  Vancian magic does address this style of handling wizards, even if it's particularly flavor may vary from series to series.  Also, not for nothing, but most of the fantasy fiction in the past 30 years has featured wizards that were influenced by D&D, and not 4e.  If anything, they would be returning to the form that fiction was already drawing on. Two or thee series do not a genre make.  
2)New players are confused in general, by everything. They learn the magic in the classic D&D just as easily as 4e.  This is evidenced by the fact there is always an on rush of new players in every edition and none of the previous editions suffered from the problem of mass rage quits of all the people who wanted to play wizards.  As long as the explination is properly given, both styles are equal in difficulty to learn.  To say otherwise reflects your preference and not any imperical fact.  Do not confuse the two. 
3)This is once more, a reflection of the commenters desires, and not based on any real evidence. That is fine that you wish to feel like these characters, but bear in mind, Gandalf does not cast much at all in his appearances with in the lord of the rings.  Outside the flaming pine cones in the Hobbit, and maybe a light spell and the breaking of Saruman's staff, what does he cast?  Can you tell me?  Maybe some sort of Awaken magic on Theodin.  Also keep in mind he was a Maia which is like a lesser god.  He was not direct comparison.  As to Harry Potter, he does cast spells at will.  He lacks 4e's restrictions.  Shall remove those to make it more like him?
4) This is again, a subjective statement based on your presuppositions.  The expectations of wizards can come froma number of sources.  For what it is worth, D&D is not a video game.  To say we should model a video game denies the differences found in the two mediums.  This is not a strong argument one way or another. 
5)This is a broad statement, which is not a fact or even based on anything other than your disagreement with people who liked Vancian magic.  The people you are referring to here represent a wide swath of people and apparently their numbers are enough to to make a game like Pathfinder remarkably successful.  Many of them, are also the people who design much of the game content in 4e.  It may not be your cup of tea, and there is nothign wrong with that, but there is no basis for your statement beyond your prejudices.  The only way you could say what the community in general on this wants, is to survey them in a non biased, and clinical matter.  This is not a valid reason for the exclussion of Vancian magic.  

All of that said, the whole point of the modules is to give options to people who prefer somethign different, and still have it be D&D.  If you prefer the more video game inspired magic found in 4e, I am sure that will be a module that will be available at launch.

Will they launch with Vancian magic as the default, though?  I think so, and here is why.  One of the stated goals of this new edition is to pull in people who left when 4e came out.  One of the more common complaints was it stopped feeling like D&D.  The lack of Vancian Magic being an oft cited reason for that.  If they are returnign to a core D&D experience, then Vancian Magic will need to be part of that.  Like I said, though, they will also make sure the module reflecting 4e is out almost day one, at least I think they will.  Mainly due to the desire to not also alienate the 4e fans.  

Moving on. 
 
Piece of advice, take it as you will: Don't have 'critical points of the story' that are easy to identify and save up resources for.

Predictability is poor adventure design.

Anyway, as noted above, D&D magic is not precisely Vancian, and the metaphysics of it is fully explained in the AD&D DMG. It's D&D magic, it's not supposed to be anything but D&D magic.

That's why D&D magic "is" D&D - because it was designed for D&D. It's unique to this game. 
Piece of advice, take it as you will: Don't have 'critical points of the story' that are easy to identify and save up resources for.

Predictability is poor adventure design.


So when the party goes off to fight a dragon, you shouldn't have a dragon there, 'cause that would be predictable?

When they go to fight an archlich, it should turn out he doesn't exist?

No. Stories work really well with a climax. If you tear the climax out of all your adventures you lose an awful lot of the fun. 
not a fan of vancian magic, either. I started playing in an "astral energy" point system where each spell had a chance of failure if you didn't cast well enough, without backfiring but with energy loss and it worked pretty good.
I don't need that in D&D, but I was a huge fan of 4e's encounter and at will powers.
 
The biggest problem (besides not being logical) with VM for me is that it multiplies the daily power problem. Daily powers are EXTREMELY powerful when you get only one to two encounters per ingame day. Vancian magic enhances this efect even moreso.
Our preferred style of play uses some tough, but few encounters besides lots of roleplaying/exploring. How can a "at will using" class be as awesome in combat as a vancian wizard/cleric who can afford to toss away all his 10 spells in those two encounters? How can we prevent the "oh okay I'll go to sleep so I will have spell xy that we definitely need here" scenario? It's a bit foolish to put that responsibility on the DM's shoulders alone.

Or are we just "playing it wrong" and should use more combat per day in order to have balanced classes?
No - the Dragon should have some devious traps, minions, and tricks that force the wizard to actually fight his way in.

The archlich should have a "Mummy King" construct set up to fool the adventurers, then a demi-lich skull that still isn't him, and finally they have to go to another plane to kill him. 

I didn't say 'tear the climax out of your adventures'. I said 'Don't be predictable'. 
"Our preferred style of play uses some tough, but few encounters besides lots of roleplaying/exploring."

Start making the social interaction and exploring more difficult. If you give the wizard X resources to spend, and then don't present him with enough challenges to give him hard choices about how to spend them... that's not the game's problem.
Piece of advice, take it as you will: Don't have 'critical points of the story' that are easy to identify and save up resources for.

Predictability is poor adventure design.



Why does the Fighter have to be absent of this 'nova capacity' though. It's not that the Wizard can, it's that the Fighter can't. That's what bothers me. When the party is fighting a dragon and all the Fighter can do is the same thing he's been doing to everything else, whereas the Wizard unleashes a spell he's been holding back on.

I run games in Eberron. The party is constantly getting ambushed, betrayed, having new information revealed, etc. I like running very high action games where the party is cutting through the mooks, when an airship flies by and drops a Warforged Titan in the middle on the lightning rail they're riding. When that happens, the Wizard notes that this is his cue to stop thinking the world is made of cardboard and really dole out the harshness. The fact that the Fighter is incapable of this makes no sense to me, he should be able to pull out all the stops and go nova when the poodoo hits the fan.

I honestly like it when characters are able to hold back their biggest attacks for the climatic fight. I want the Fighter to retain the ability to do that.
No - the Dragon should have some devious traps, minions, and tricks that force the wizard to actually fight his way in.



But the climax is still the fight with the dragon, which is predictable, and can have spells conserved for it.

The archlich should have a "Mummy King" construct set up to fool the adventurers, then a demi-lich skull that still isn't him, and finally they have to go to another plane to kill him.


"Blew all my spells on that demi-lich fight. (which was, incidentally, the climax of this dungeon) guess we'd better rest before we head on to fight him in that other plane tomorrow"

I didn't say 'tear the climax out of your adventures'. I said 'Don't be predictable'.



You said, don't have predictable climaxes. Your examples still have predictable climaxes. You either A) didn't mean "don't have predictable climaxes" or B) don't know how to remove them.

"Our preferred style of play uses some tough, but few encounters besides lots of roleplaying/exploring."

Start making the social interaction and exploring more difficult. If you give the wizard X resources to spend, and then don't present him with enough challenges to give him hard choices about how to spend them... that's not the game's problem.


well... we tend to ropleplay social interaction which means rolling as few dice as possible, letting them set only a basic trend. Why not allow a super-logical argument or targetting an emotional sweetspot of a NPC if the player just verbally does this? Our players tend to be pretty creative in dialogues. So if the DM made them harder, they'd just... think harder

Besides, 4e doesn't have much "powers" for noncombat situations (yeah, some utility powers for skillchecks, but...) so there won't be a need to spare powers for noncombat situations since there are none.
Oneshotting interesting social situations with a spell also doesn't require too much creativity and might make casters even more unbalanced. That's what skills are for.
And 3E's wizards are overpowered for a ton of reasons that have little to do with Vancian casting. Like - ability to pick whatever spells they want, cast them in combat without fear of interruption, etc. Vancian casting works fine in AD&D - the problem isn't Vancian casting.

As for nova capacity, for many years D&D assumed Fighters and Magic Users worked much the same way. They quested for things that would make them more powerful. In the Fighter's case, it was magic items only he could use. In the Magic-User's case, he got a few spells at random every other level. Everything else he had to find in treasure hoards or convince someone to trade for. He didn't just get to pick.

In my AD&D game, when the Fighter wants to regulate, he spends some hoarded resources. Generally nasty, nasty ones. Arrows of Slaying, for instance.
"Our preferred style of play uses some tough, but few encounters besides lots of roleplaying/exploring."

Start making the social interaction and exploring more difficult. If you give the wizard X resources to spend, and then don't present him with enough challenges to give him hard choices about how to spend them... that's not the game's problem.


well... we tend to ropleplay social interaction which means rolling as few dice as possible, letting them set only a basic trend. Why not allow a super-logical argument or targetting an emotional sweetspot of a NPC if the player just verbally does this?



Why not allow a really awesomely described combat maneuver to do as much damage as a disintegrate? Have the next dragon be missing a few scales on his breast, really clearly describe that vulnerability. It's no extra work. Just put nova opportunities in for the fighter to find. Put a stalactite above the giant, that the fighter can shoot at to kill him.

You don't have to stat out the stalactite, or anything like that. You've decided you don't want a ton of little combats that whittle away resources - which the fighter is actually pretty good at. You changed the game to make it so there are just a few combats - which the wizard is pretty good at.

Or, you're the DM - balance the game for the way you play. Just think to yourself: Okay, the fighter's not having fun in these combats, because the core game assumes we'll have more combats. The wizard is supposed to do megadamage in 2 combats out of 10. But we only ever have 2 combats. The fighter is supposed to do normal damage in 10 combats. But we never have 10 combats. So, fighter does 5x damage from now on. 

Why not allow a really awesomely described combat maneuver to do as much damage as a disintegrate? Have the next dragon be missing a few scales on his breast, really clearly describe that vulnerability. It's no extra work. Just put nova opportunities in for the fighter to find. Put a stalactite above the giant, that the fighter can shoot at to kill him.

You don't have to stat out the stalactite, or anything like that. You've decided you don't want a ton of little combats that whittle away resources - which the fighter is actually pretty good at. You changed the game to make it so there are just a few combats - which the wizard is pretty good at.

Or, you're the DM - balance the game for the way you play. Just think to yourself: Okay, the fighter's not having fun in these combats, because the core game assumes we'll have more combats. The wizard is supposed to do megadamage in 2 combats out of 10. But we only ever have 2 combats. The fighter is supposed to do normal damage in 10 combats. But we never have 10 combats. So, fighter does 5x damage from now on.


Why not make this part of the Core rules in the first place though. I'm not even suggesting they have to use the same system, like 4th, but just giving the Fighter these awesome techniques in the first place. Letting the Fighter have the same ability to drastically alter the nature of an encounter just like the Wizard.

Could be like Tome of Battle, or it could be something completely different, but giving the Player the opportunity to say when he's going to pull off some crazy stunt or unleash his newest ultimate technique seems superior to me. If you're going to restrict the Fighter to making basic attacks and sometimes working with the DM to pull off something crazy, then restrict the Wizard in the same way.
 
Where did you get that from?

Reading the transcript on enworld it states:
We find damage equivalence between offensive and other types of spells. Charm Person roughly 105 points of damage.



If 105 points of damage is considered standard for a level 1 spell, this edition will only attract the most hardcore "wizards=better" people. 

Admittedly, their transcript may be wrong, but I'd be interested to know what source you're working from? 


The video put up by Obsidian Portal. He didn't say 105. He said 10.5. 

blog.obsidianportal.com/ddxp2012/
wizards should not have att will magic, it feels weird, a magic that doesent end. 
the fun of the magic is the wizard have to choose carefully how to use it, and when use it. 
and i dint like vencian magic, keep the theme, not the rules 

1)  Fantasy fiction, and legendary wizards are typified as being really only powerful if they prepare. They have plans and contengencies.  The 4th edition model is not reflecting this tradition of spell casting either.  Outside Harry Potter, most of the iconic wizards I can think of in fantasy either, rarely did anything like throwing a freaking fireball(sorry kids, Gandalf does not actually do a lot of spell slinging) or had a few tricks they could do in a pinch, but most of their spells required preperation of some sort.  Vancian magic does address this style of handling wizards, even if it's particularly flavor may vary from series to series.  Also, not for nothing, but most of the fantasy fiction in the past 30 years has featured wizards that were influenced by D&D, and not 4e.  If anything, they would be returning to the form that fiction was already drawing on. Two or thee series do not a genre make.  
 


I don't want to get into a big back-and-forth.  Suffice to say that I largely disagree with most of the poster's points, but am happy that we agree that the solution should be to offer module flexibility (slight differences on how that should be done, but we're close, and that's cool).

I do want to comment on that peice about legendary wizards needing to prepare, because I think it's interesting and strikes me as being completely wrong.  Here's a pretty good list of popular fantasy series.  Go through yourself and judge if there is any Vancian magic or great wizards that need to prepare.  I didn't find a whole lot.  Much more evident are the magic users that get tired when using their power.

I will note with shame that my favorite series of all time, Discworld, is the exception.  It features Vancian magic in the truest form, but you hardly ever hear about it any of the books written in the past 20 years.  The author, who has discussed it himself, writes to reflect a farcical version of popular fantasy fiction.  When he started, it only made sense to make a silly world with silly Vancian magic and silly Conan type characters.  But that was 1980.  We've moved on, so has Pratchett, and so should we.

The video put up by Obsidian Portal. He didn't say 105. He said 10.5. 

blog.obsidianportal.com/ddxp2012/


Okay, the transcript I was reading from is wrong.

Charm person as a 1st level spell, worth 10.5 damage? I have to wonder how limited it is, if it's only considered worth 10.5 damage. Because the 3.5 version certainly wasn't that weak.
The basic fighter will start out with alot of static options, but they've made it clear that these static bonuses can be traded out for combat manvuers and other features as well.

As for being forced to play a vancian style wizard vs. AEDU, I'm betting they have an option to trade spells for these special at-will feats and I bet they have feats for encounter powers as well. They did mention they will have modual stuff as well as basics in the core books.
Why not allow a really awesomely described combat maneuver to do as much damage as a disintegrate? Have the next dragon be missing a few scales on his breast, really clearly describe that vulnerability. It's no extra work. Just put nova opportunities in for the fighter to find. Put a stalactite above the giant, that the fighter can shoot at to kill him.

You don't have to stat out the stalactite, or anything like that. You've decided you don't want a ton of little combats that whittle away resources - which the fighter is actually pretty good at. You changed the game to make it so there are just a few combats - which the wizard is pretty good at.

Or, you're the DM - balance the game for the way you play. Just think to yourself: Okay, the fighter's not having fun in these combats, because the core game assumes we'll have more combats. The wizard is supposed to do megadamage in 2 combats out of 10. But we only ever have 2 combats. The fighter is supposed to do normal damage in 10 combats. But we never have 10 combats. So, fighter does 5x damage from now on.


Why not make this part of the Core rules in the first place though. I'm not even suggesting they have to use the same system, like 4th, but just giving the Fighter these awesome techniques in the first place. Letting the Fighter have the same ability to drastically alter the nature of an encounter just like the Wizard.

Could be like Tome of Battle, or it could be something completely different, but giving the Player the opportunity to say when he's going to pull off some crazy stunt or unleash his newest ultimate technique seems superior to me. If you're going to restrict the Fighter to making basic attacks and sometimes working with the DM to pull off something crazy, then restrict the Wizard in the same way.



I'd say it should be in the advice section, about "What to do when you change assumptions of the core game", and have a section for "just a few combats a day" with options the DM is advised to use, such as nova powers for fighters - or just increasing the damage they do, or whatever.

Thing is, there is a certain style of play the most basic original games assumed. It's written out in the AD&D PHB, under "Successful Play". So... that's kind of what the game was designed for. DMs were told to change what had to be changed to play the game how they wanted - and the DMG has good advice on how to do it, and tools to use. 

The Core game is going to have a playstyle it supports. It can't not. The simplest, most iconic playstyle is what you get when you strip down the game to fundamental principles - of which D&D magic is one. This isn't "Generic Fantasy RPG". D&D Magic is a fire-forget system that was created especially for D&D. It's not a copy of Vance's system. It's reminiscent of it.

So, the goal should be: How can I make D&D perfect for my group? What can the designers do to make it easy for me to make it perfect for my group?

It should not be: How can I make them print the D&D that's perfect for my group as Core? 
I'd say it should be in the advice section, about "What to do when you change assumptions of the core game", and have a section for "just a few combats a day" with options the DM is advised to use, such as nova powers for fighters - or just increasing the damage they do, or whatever.

Thing is, there is a certain style of play the most basic original games assumed. It's written out in the AD&D PHB, under "Successful Play". So... that's kind of what the game was designed for. DMs were told to change what had to be changed to play the game how they wanted - and the DMG has good advice on how to do it, and tools to use. 

The Core game is going to have a playstyle it supports. It can't not. The simplest, most iconic playstyle is what you get when you strip down the game to fundamental principles - of which D&D magic is one. This isn't "Generic Fantasy RPG". D&D Magic is a fire-forget system that was created especially for D&D. It's not a copy of Vance's system. It's reminiscent of it.

So, the goal should be: How can I make D&D perfect for my group? What can the designers do to make it easy for me to make it perfect for my group?

It should not be: How can I make them print the D&D that's perfect for my group as Core? 


Unfortunately I cannot accept that. I don't mind making changes and houserules for my game, but if I have to completely redefine the play of the Fighter just so he won't be relegated to being the Wizard's dog, then it just isn't worth buying the game in the first place. Yes, that's an exaggeration of the issue, but I played 3.5 as a straight Fighter with a Wizard in the party before. It's horrible, and it's not the DMs fault or even the Wizard player's fault. We play the game assuming that there are reasonable measures taken by the designers to ensure a semblance of parity between the classes. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that to be provided.

I don't mind making compromises to the older players, but this is just one thing I refuse to accept. If Wizards wants my money, then I need something more than "Make your attack. Did some cool damage. Do the same thing next turn." I know you and your group and the people who played those older editions will say something about creativity and DM giving you opportunities to actually do something else, but I'm afraid I don't buy into that line of logic. If that were true then Wizards could be limited to a magical base attack and every once in awhile they could converse with the DM about doing something cooler, and no one would complain.

I've got something I want. Wizards can provide it and have my money, or they can tell me to shove off and I'll have to settle with another product. Might as well make sure they know.
Here are the reasons that Vancian magic should be offered in optional modules and not as part of the standard base-level D&D:

  1. It doesn't reflect fantasy fiction, except that of Jack Vance.  And that's a small niche, getting smaller every day.

  2. New players are confused and annoyed by the concept of fire-and-forget.  See #1.

  3. Players want to feel like Harry Potter and Gandalf.  See #1.

  4. Video games inform expectations for magic use nowadays, and no modern videogames outside of DDO have Vancian magic.  See #1.

  5. Lovers of Vancian magic are universally folks who have nostalgia for older versions of D&D.  Due to the lack of time machine technology, that group is an ever-shrinking faction and should not guide the course of the game.




Good list... but the new edition sounds really more informed by that word ... I personally am not sure I am 100 percent against naming this the Anniversary Edition  --- and Embrace its Nostalgics.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

It was mention as well that certain SPELLS and character options can grant atwills as well as those feats.

This of course PROVES I WAS RIGHT!!!

well partly, still I get to do my I win dance.
I dislike vancian magic but it is a core part of D&D and it should return back to D&D. I'm hoping they revolutionize vancian magic like how 3.0 improved aspects of D&D (getting rid of thaco, tweaking saving throws into stats, etc...).
I personally dislike Vancian magic.  If it's the system used by the core caster classes, I'll be seriously hoping for another book to offer a method to convert them to another magic system (whether it's point-based, AEDU, or other) or, preferably, any of the magic systems that will be used.

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.