Magic Systems... what kind would you like to see?

I am not that fond of differing subsytems so my non-flavor ideas for elements of a magic system could be mechanics applied to extreme maneuvers by any class  

The Price of Power



  • Multi-action (multi-round) casting - hey just 2 standard action cost for more poweful battle field casting might be interesting (Note multi-action casting integrates with action points fairly nicely. )

  • Fatigue based (use hit points and/or healing surges - see bloodmage paragon path)

  • Repercussions (spells have side effects on there users - certain invoker spells in 4e)


Can decide what price you pay on the fly?, or is this spell or maneuver always a 2 round action which costs N hitpoints? shrug either or both... perhaps spells are always set and maneuvers are always decided on? 

This doesnt address out of combat magica or anything as I generally think limits and pricess appropriate on a battlefield simply dont work as well in another context. 
  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."

 

With the fatigue system it almost auto polices its own balance if you use your heroic reserves on a spell casting it makes you less heroic in the manner of being able to take the heat over the course of the day... and if you are spending hit points similarly during this battle.  With a more pure mana system that isnt so true. 

Its tempting and perhaps appropriate in some ways to give the spell caster the same healing surges and hit points as anyone as their spell casting will reduce their effective toughness anyway. This is rather like how the Paladin in 4e has nice healing surges for use with laying on hands. 

Fluff wise they dont have few hit points because they arent tough or unskilled at fighting ie they are very skilled at using magic to fight and defend with but they have fewer because they are busy paying Thrice Fold Returns or Staving off the Forces of Paradox or Channeling power through there body.

 
  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."

 

I like the fatigue system, as it lends itself well to story-telling, but I don't like directly draining HPs (assuming that lethality is based on HP damage).  Casters are usually pretty squishy, and it makes things too unpredictable when you have to start weighing things like "if my spell doesn't kill all of them, can I survive being hit?"  I'd rather have a separate pool of MPs to draw from.  That's not to say that I don't want to allow others the option.  Maybe casters can have a special feature that they can trade in to get one that lets them burn HPs for casting.

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

 

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

 

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

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

The warlock, sorceror, and Psion will use a different system or systems from the modifyable vancian system of Clerics, Wizards, and Druids. Priests are unknown, as are semi spell casting classes like the Paladin and Assassin.
The warlock, sorceror, and Psion will use a different system or systems from the modifyable vancian system of Clerics, Wizards, and Druids. Priests are unknown, as are semi spell casting classes like the Paladin and Assassin.



I thought they said those classes "could" use a different system, not that they had already decided they "would".  A minor verbal difference, I know, but it is quite significant in its potential ramifications.

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

 

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

 

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

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I like the fatigue system, as it lends itself well to story-telling, but I don't like directly draining HPs (assuming that lethality is based on HP damage).  Casters are usually pretty squishy, and it makes things too unpredictable when you have to start weighing things like "if my spell doesn't kill all of them, can I survive being hit?"  I'd rather have a separate pool of MPs to draw from.  That's not to say that I don't want to allow others the option.  Maybe casters can have a special feature that they can trade in to get one that lets them burn HPs for casting.


Oh the idea is you indeed dont make them quite as squishy... they make themselves squishy, I had the idea originally back in 1980 or so while hacking on AD&D... the concept was up the Wizards hit points to be like the clerics... then give spells a hit point cost and have a spell casting roll to see if you actually lost the htipoints.

In effect even though you might be in the back row, with a shield absorbing arrows you were draining yourself...

A separate pool is a pretty cheap price for power. 
  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."

 

Wall-o-text warning: I got carried away, and instead of just giving the gist of my idea, I ended up building the whole thing.


I've been working on something for the past day or two. The math is far from perfect, but I think it's a fairly good starting point for making a different system in D&D Next. Note that the numbers given are mroe or less arbitrary.


This system assumes and/or changes the following:



  • The standard level progression is 1 through 30, Heroic through Epic; same as in 4E.

  • As in 4E again, Milestones and Action Points are still part of an adventuring day. So are Healing Surges and Rituals.

  • Spell levels range from 1 to 10 and are acquired at levels 1, 3, 6, 9, 12 and every three levels thereafter, as opposed to the progression used in previous editions. Wizards can use their full range of spells by character level 29.

  • At first level, Wizards have two at-will spells (taken from the 4E at-will list, in this example) and two daily spells. Utility spells are gained at levels 2, 5, 8, 11 and so on.

  • As in previous editions, Wizards get a certain number of free spells of the new spell level when they attain it and additional spells may be learned through good old-fashioned booklearning.

  • Wizards gain one spell slot per character level, so that they have a total of three spell slots per spell level; the default distribution is two attack spells and one utility spell per spell level.

  • As stated in the seminars, spell damage and effects do not scale with level.

  • Spells must be prepared during an extended rest. This represents the Wizard storing its spells in its implement for later use. A spell may be prepared more than once.


So, with that in mind, here's what a level 1 Wizard might look like, spell-wise:



  • 2 at-will spells

  • Spell level 1: 2 attack (four known) / 0 utility


At level 3:



  • 2 at-will spells

  • Spell level 1: 2 attack (four known) / 1 utility (two known) 

  • Spell level 2: 1 attack (four known) / 0 utility


At level 5:



  • 2 at-will spells

  • Spell level 1: 2 attack (four known) / 1 utility (two known)

  • Spell level 2: 2 attack (four known) / 1 utility (two known) 


So that's fairly straightforward. Continuing in this fashion, a 30th level Wizard would have 20 daily attack spells and 10 utility spells. However, there are still a few problems with this model:



  1. The Wizard still has to (more or less) guess which spells will be (not) needed for the day.

  2. Once the daily attacks have been used up, a Wizard might still feel the need to rest, as all it has left are meager at-will powers that, while nice to have, are quite limited in power.

  3. Because spell effects don't scale with level, a 15th level Wizard may feel it has no use for level 1 and 2 spells, as their effects aren't as good against higher-level threats.


While 4E didn't get rid of the 5-minute work day, what it did (arguably) well was encourage players to prolong said work day through the use of short rests, Healing Surges, Milestones -- through which you gained Action Points -- and encounter powers.


Issues 1 and 2 are solved with Healing Surges. Add in a class feature that allows Wizards to use Healing Surges during short rests to replace/recharge a single spell. One replacement or recharge costs a Healing Surge, no matter the spell level. Didn't expect to meet fire elementals? Spend a Healing Surge to swap the Fireball spell you prepared for Bigby's Icy Grasp. You used up both ice spells and you know more fire elementals are up ahead? Use another Healing Surge to regain another usage of that spell. A well-protected Wizard can not only contribute to combat even after using up the spells, it can also use another resource to continue contributing. The use of Healing Surges here represents the physical and mental exertion required to manipulate complex arcane energies on such short notice and without proper preparation. As an alternate option, you can spend an Action Point to do so.


Number 3 is handled by another new class feature, but this one is a bit more complicated. Starting at level 12, whenever you attain a new spell level, a known spell three levels below can now be used as an encounter power, rather than daily. For example, at level 12 (when you learn 4th-level spells), you can select any one of your level 1 attack spells and use it as an encounter spell (Acid Arrow, which used to be daily, could be used every encounter). This is because as you increase in power, some of those spells have become so easy for you to cast that you can manifest them more than once per day, but not quite at-will. Although you are allowed only one encounter spell per spell level (and forfeit having a second daily attack spell), you can change which spell you want as an encounter spell using the previous class feature. Utility spells remain as-is and are not affected by this feature.


At level 12:



  • 2 at-will spells

  • Spell level 1: 1 encounter spell (four known) / 1 utility (two known)

  • Spell level 2: 2 attack (four known) / 1 utility (two known)

  • Spell level 3: 2 attack (four known) / 1 utility (two known)

  • Spell level 4: 1 attack (four known) / 0 utility


Okay, this has grown way bigger than I expected, so here's a quick list of other things we could consider for this class:



  • A class feature/feat/paragon path that allows the memorization of rituals instead of utility spells.

  • Epic feats/destinies that allow to turn encounter spells into at-will spells: invest enough feats in Epic play, and you'll be casting Fireball at-will!

  • Maybe allow having more utility spells than attack spells.

I like the fatigue system, as it lends itself well to story-telling, but I don't like directly draining HPs (assuming that lethality is based on HP damage).  Casters are usually pretty squishy, and it makes things too unpredictable when you have to start weighing things like "if my spell doesn't kill all of them, can I survive being hit?"  I'd rather have a separate pool of MPs to draw from.  That's not to say that I don't want to allow others the option.  Maybe casters can have a special feature that they can trade in to get one that lets them burn HPs for casting.


Oh the idea is you indeed dont make them quite as squishy... they make themselves squishy, I had the idea originally back in 1980 or so while hacking on AD&D... the concept was up the Wizards hit points to be like the clerics... then give spells a hit point cost and have a spell casting roll to see if you actually lost the htipoints.

In effect even though you might be in the back row, with a shield absorbing arrows you were draining yourself...

A separate pool is a pretty cheap price for power. 



Is it?  If you double the Wizard's HPs so they can burn them to cast, isn't that the same as giving them a pool of MPs equal to their HPs?  It's really just the same thing, only without the risk of accidental suicide.

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.

 
Is it?  If you double the Wizard's HPs so they can burn them to cast, isn't that the same as giving them a pool of MPs equal to their HPs?  It's really just the same thing, only without the risk of accidental suicide.


Hit points are restorable by the Leaders inspiration and invigoration. etc without having extra systems.

I think that risk and that choice is part of the flavor of it... and the damage could be made to be old fashioned subdual if one wanted  ie in 4e its a you knock yourself out... or utterly exhaust myself (not really unconcious)
 
  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."

 

I like the fatigue system, as it lends itself well to story-telling, but I don't like directly draining HPs (assuming that lethality is based on HP damage).  Casters are usually pretty squishy, and it makes things too unpredictable when you have to start weighing things like "if my spell doesn't kill all of them, can I survive being hit?"  I'd rather have a separate pool of MPs to draw from.  That's not to say that I don't want to allow others the option.  Maybe casters can have a special feature that they can trade in to get one that lets them burn HPs for casting.


Oh the idea is you indeed dont make them quite as squishy... they make themselves squishy, I had the idea originally back in 1980 or so while hacking on AD&D... the concept was up the Wizards hit points to be like the clerics... then give spells a hit point cost and have a spell casting roll to see if you actually lost the htipoints.

In effect even though you might be in the back row, with a shield absorbing arrows you were draining yourself...

A separate pool is a pretty cheap price for power. 


Have you ever played the d20 Star Wars Revised Core Rules?  Therein, the jedi use their vitality points (effectively hit points) to power their jedi abilities.  Personally, I didn't think it worked out so hot, but a buddy of mine really liked the concept.  At any rate, if you like burning hit points to cast spells, d20 Star Wars will give an idea of how it may work.

Of all the Magic systems I've played with in D&D my all time favorite is the True Sorcery one from Green Ronin.

Spellcasters could do just about anything they could think of but not easily and not quickly.  Powerful spells could take many rounds to cast and would inflict non-lethal damage on you when you used them.  At low levels if you tried a large damaging spell you ran a very real risk of taking yourself out of action along with your target, assuming you made the skill check to successfully cast it in the first place.  I spent a lot of time unconscious before I really got a handle on the system.

But I loved the versatility of it. 

Of the different systems WoTC has come out with over the years my preferred one is the Spell Point system they had in the 3.5 Unearthed Arcana.

Monte Cook's World of Darkness   had a good magic system as well.  Very versatile spell point based system with some fatigue rules in it but
it would be far too over powered for a D&D game.  If it was toned down a bit it would be nice to have in 5E
I have trouble remembering the details of all the spells in my spell list, and that leads to down time during the game. How about the following simplified Vancian system:

A 1st level wizard can prepare a total of 2 spells per day. 
A 7th level wizard can prepare a total of 3 spells per day.
A 16th level wizard can prepare a total of 4 spells per day.
.. etc

The available spells depend on character level, so a

A 1st level wizard can prepare 2 1st level spells.
A 3rd level wizard can prepare 2 2nd level spells. 
A 7th level wizard can prepare 3 3rd level spells.
A 10th level wizard can prepare 3 4th level spells.
.. etc

This means that a wizard can spend all his spell slots to prepare a single high level spell multiple times. (In addition to that he will have at-will powers.)

This could prevent a lot of bickering in my group, because the spellcasters wouldn't have to read up on their spells during the game. It would also worsen the effects of "quadratic damage scaling", but I guess that can be fixed during playtesting.
DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
Ideally, we wouldn't need a separate sub-system just to assure us that wizards and clerics and druids are special magical snowflakes, different from those nasty old common fighters and warlords and rogues.

But how often do we get 'ideally?'  Never.


If magic must have it's own special set of rules, I think 4e already has an excellent starting place that really gives magic a very different vibe than martial, and, into the bargain, could bring D&D magic back into line with the broader genre of heroic fantasy, myth, legend & literature. 

Rituals.

Magic is not like smacking someone upside the head with a mace.  Magic requires erudition, occult knowledge, mental discipline, rarefied components, apropriate time & place - a whole laundry list of esoterica.  It's not something you can do while a troll is trying to eat you face. 

Even Gandalf would draw a sword when faced with HTH combat.

That's not to say magic could never have an effect in combat.  A wizard could transform himself into some terrible monster to battle a hated foe, for instance, he just needs to wait until the stars are right and perform the propper spell, then run off to rip said foe apart before the conditions allowing the transformation end (or, alternately, before he loses himself in it and becomes a monster permanently).

That sort of thing would be tricky to implement in a balanced way, but it would make magic /genuinely/ different and special.




5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

I think that we should have Vancian casting back, but have the spells take longer. A fireball might take three rounds to cast like we know it to classically be, for example. During that time, the caster engages in a process of choices that are usually challenged by a required check to exert authority over the mystical arts. So, like, first round would be about establishing shape and size of the blast; second would involve deciding how the damage is done and how much damage will be done (like, d6s or d8s? Flat, or some ongoing?); third will involve picking targets and launching the attack. This'd be good because of all the returns to tradition (hey, it's what the people want), and I think that under a fleshed out version of this system you could really still maintain balance. And it'd solve the issue of wizards dominating battles, because you really could have wizards that do 4 damage, then 4 damage, then 4 damage, then 20 compared to the fighter's flat 12 (granted, I don't think a flat 12 suits the fighter either). It's a way to solve it that is simple to grasp ("wizards are awesome, but their magic takes time") without being lame ("but you get to spend that time making the spell fit the situation, and your tastes").
It has its flaws; a player could decide that it's no fun having no direct effect on the confrontation for two rounds while the Fighter's in the action. Though I think that could be mitigated by spells having a slight warping on the environment merely in the act of casting (so, making a Fireball might make things light on fire near you). It doesn't solve the Vancian work day issue, though I think adjusting spell lists so that it's not so much about power level as variety upon gaining levels would solve the issue (the issue arose when a wizard would gain new spells that did more damage, but would also be doing more damage with spells he already knew and could use simultaneously with the new spells; limiting spell choice so that you couldn't benefit from both would be the way to go).
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
 
Is it?  If you double the Wizard's HPs so they can burn them to cast, isn't that the same as giving them a pool of MPs equal to their HPs?  It's really just the same thing, only without the risk of accidental suicide.


Hit points are restorable by the Leaders inspiration and invigoration. etc without having extra systems.

I think that risk and that choice is part of the flavor of it... and the damage could be made to be old fashioned subdual if one wanted  ie in 4e its a you knock yourself out... or utterly exhaust myself (not really unconcious)
 



I want to follow up.. I like to visualize the wizard spending desparate effort with his magic to defend himself... ie that is how he is losing hit points and in fact this aspect was part of how Gygax described hit points... If magic use is both offensive and in desparate defense those magic points need to be connected.

Compartmentalizing the resources used for extreme offensive effort and extreme defensive effort actually seems to be wrong or at off purposes atleast.

  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."

 

Ideally, we wouldn't need a separate sub-system just to assure us that wizards and clerics and druids are special magical snowflakes, different from those nasty old common fighters and warlords and rogues.

But how often do we get 'ideally?'  Never.


If magic must have it's own special set of rules, I think 4e already has an excellent starting place that really gives magic a very different vibe than martial, and, into the bargain, could bring D&D magic back into line with the broader genre of heroic fantasy, myth, legend & literature. 

Rituals.

Magic is not like smacking someone upside the head with a mace.  Magic requires erudition, occult knowledge, mental discipline, rarefied components, apropriate time & place - a whole laundry list of esoterica.  It's not something you can do while a troll is trying to eat you face.   


Sure and Ritual magic needs to be given its due (generic components are bland)... I like time and place elements in particular...But I see some of what I am saying as increasing the connection between battlemagic and rituals, like maybe adding components to fast-cast magic adding multi-round casting to battle magics and similar things. I think/feel battle magic affecting multiple opponents are currently already under paid for (blaster mages are better than many single target strikers according to what I have heard). I also expressed my Price of Power concepts in a way that was emeniable to use by martial power via sacrifice moves and set ups and extremes of heroic exertion ... We should all be able to partake of awesomeness yes?
  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."

 

I think that we should have Vancian casting back, but have the spells take longer. A fireball might take three rounds to cast like we know it to classically be, for example. During that time, the caster engages in a process of choices that are usually challenged by a required check to exert authority over the mystical arts. So, like, first round would be about establishing shape and size of the blast; second would involve deciding how the damage is done and how much damage will be done (like, d6s or d8s? Flat, or some ongoing?); third will involve picking targets and launching the attack. This'd be good because of all the returns to tradition (hey, it's what the people want), and I think that under a fleshed out version of this system you could really still maintain balance. And it'd solve the issue of wizards dominating battles, because you really could have wizards that do 4 damage, then 4 damage, then 4 damage, then 20 compared to the fighter's flat 12 (granted, I don't think a flat 12 suits the fighter either). It's a way to solve it that is simple to grasp ("wizards are awesome, but their magic takes time") without being lame ("but you get to spend that time making the spell fit the situation, and your tastes").
It has its flaws; a player could decide that it's no fun having no direct effect on the confrontation for two rounds while the Fighter's in the action.



A spell that involves penetrating or undermining the enemies defenses is a pardigm from the RuneQuest spirit combat system....  But in general your post brings up the fact that these elements arent mutually exclusive. 
  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."

 

I'd like D&D to move more towards a generic type of fantasy system that could be applied to all types of fantasy, from the lowest of the low to the highest of the high - especially when it comes to magic.

There is no "one magic system to rule them all" so let's dispense with that idea right at the core rules.  There's no reason D&D Next can't have dozens of optional magic systems to fit any particular style or theme of magic a player might want.  In the core rules, put something super simple down as the magic system - along the line of GURPS' Syntactic Magic system.  Basically you pick a verb and noun combination to describe the effect of your spell, then pick it's range/target/duration/etc.  This gives you the cost to cast the spell - takes up only a few pages in a book and is very powerful and flexible, also easily customizable.

Outside of the core, let's have it all, pick whichever ones you want to use:
Vancian Magic (your traditional D&D magic system)
Power Magic (your 4E magic system)
Ritual Magic (more like real world beliefs on magic)
Pact Magic (a system of signing pacts with powerful beings like demons, angels, etc.)
etc., almost infinitely expandable really...
Ideally, we wouldn't need a separate sub-system just to assure us that wizards and clerics and druids are special magical snowflakes, different from those nasty old common fighters and warlords and rogues.

But how often do we get 'ideally?'  Never.





I disagree.  Ideally every type has a seperate sub-system to some degree so every class type has a unique special snowflake feel.  

As for magic I feel it does not feel very magical if it doe snot come with some kind of cost.  Whether it is extra time(Lankmar in 1-2e I think turned casting time into rounds, so that 3 segment fireball spell took 3 rounds). a strain in HP costs like shadowrun, or some kind of penalty like a status effect after casting spells is not too important to me.  But I think there should be a cost.  I have no problem with warriors using (HP cost or gathering their energy over a couple rounds or straining themselves and adding a status effect), but Ideally every class would feel distinct and different sub-systems that branch off but use a core system help reinforce that.  Like warriors might have status effects for big moves that put them at a combat penalty for the next X rounds, wizards might take multiple rounds to pull off spells, clerics might sacrifice health to perform miracles all different sub-systems and they all feel special.  
 
I disagree.  Ideally every type has a seperate sub-system to some degree so every class type has a unique special snowflake feel.  

As for magic I feel it does not feel very magical if it doe snot come with some kind of cost.  Whether it is extra time(Lankmar in 1-2e I think turned casting time into rounds, so that 3 segment fireball spell took 3 rounds). a strain in HP costs like shadowrun, or some kind of penalty like a status effect after casting spells is not too important to me.  But I think there should be a cost.  I have no problem with warriors using (HP cost or gathering their energy over a couple rounds or straining themselves and adding a status effect), but Ideally every class would feel distinct and different sub-systems that branch off but use a core system help reinforce that.  Like warriors might have status effects for big moves that put them at a combat penalty for the next X rounds, wizards might take multiple rounds to pull off spells, clerics might sacrifice health to perform miracles all different sub-systems and they all feel special.  



I think as long as you have a fair pattern of elements in a source it works to give it flavor... plus some ambiguity is entirely appropriate for one thing the Game World Flavor of those costs can vary.

A biggy here is that the expenditure of hit points is itself is intrinsically ambiguous.

Are you using life force to fuel your magic well that could be arcane version of spending hit points where as for divine its the vessel or channel becoming impure and growing tired.

The nature of Arcane Power is itself rather ambiguous source as well at core the Warlock is because it might be an other worldly power source and have the same style of limit as Divine not just mechanically but flavor wise they are much the same. 

The sorceror using the might in his own blood.. well how much more like expending hit points can you get?

Perhaps the repercussions idea might be appropriate IF you dont use a longer casting time ie..for truly adaptable flavor like a sorceror there is always a price but you choose what price to take?

What if the most powerful effects based on there divergence from your level require the highest costs. Extended casting time and Hitpoint cost and repercussions following up.
 
  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."

 

I want to follow up.. I like to visualize the wizard spending desparate effort with his magic to defend himself... ie that is how he is losing hit points and in fact this aspect was part of how Gygax described hit points... If magic use is both offensive and in desparate defense those magic points need to be connected.

Compartmentalizing the resources used for extreme offensive effort and extreme defensive effort actually seems to be wrong or at off purposes atleast.


I agree that the visual of a wizard expending her energy to cast spells is pretty blimy cool.

However, my experience playing games that use that paradigm is that it does not make a good game mechanic.  The wizard loosing her hit points, requiring the party to use up its healing resources, just because she is attempting to do her job irregardless of whether the spell actually even works, well, it makes for a less than satisfactory game experience. 

There are a bunch of RPGs that use a character's health to fuel magic.  Have you played any of them?
 
Have you ever played the d20 Star Wars Revised Core Rules?  Therein, the jedi use their vitality points (effectively hit points) to power their jedi abilities.  Personally, I didn't think it worked out so hot, but a buddy of mine really liked the concept.  At any rate, if you like burning hit points to cast spells, d20 Star Wars will give an idea of how it may work.




I have a brother obcessed with Star Wars I am wondering if I could tempt him in to trying out a bit... but I think I have heard the Star Wars Saga system rocks fundamentally.
  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."

 

 
Have you ever played the d20 Star Wars Revised Core Rules?  Therein, the jedi use their vitality points (effectively hit points) to power their jedi abilities.  Personally, I didn't think it worked out so hot, but a buddy of mine really liked the concept.  At any rate, if you like burning hit points to cast spells, d20 Star Wars will give an idea of how it may work.




I have a brother obcessed with Star Wars I am wondering if I could tempt him in to trying out a bit... but I think I have heard the Star Wars Saga system rocks fundamentally.



FYI, Star Wars Saga does not use health for the jedi to "cast spells".  It uses per encounter.

I love Saga, but bewarned as you are an afficionado of balance - the only game I have played that is more unbalanced than Saga is Rifts.
I want to follow up.. I like to visualize the wizard spending desparate effort with his magic to defend himself... ie that is how he is losing hit points and in fact this aspect was part of how Gygax described hit points... If magic use is both offensive and in desparate defense those magic points need to be connected.

Compartmentalizing the resources used for extreme offensive effort and extreme defensive effort actually seems to be wrong or at off purposes atleast.


I agree that the visual of a wizard expending her energy to cast spells is pretty blimy cool.

However, my experience playing games that use that paradigm is that it does not make a good game mechanic.  The wizard loosing her hit points, requiring the party to use up its healing resources, just because she is attempting to do her job irregardless of whether the spell actually even works, well, it makes for a less than satisfactory game experience. 

There are a bunch of RPGs that use a character's health to fuel magic.  Have you played any of them?


A bunch? in most cases I know of its Mana/Spell points.
I can see that you would really need it balanced around the expected hit point loss of others (perhaps have that be a threshold below which the cost goes up)
You are saying there is a value of preventing dipping too deap because that becomes a party burden... hmmm worth thinking about.

It might be as simple as you have to take other repercussions if you are bloodied when using this power.

Overcasting is like over risking of any sort if you think about it.... and whether somebody feels inclined to stop for the night for restoring the fatigued wizard because he or she is out of dailies or low on health seems a six of one, half a dozen of the other.

 
  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."

 

A bunch may be a bit of hyperbole on my part.  ;)

The only games I have experience playing that uses health for spellcasting is WotC's d20 Star Wars that came out before Saga and the 3.5 psion using Overchannel.

For me, neither of those systems worked very well in an actually playing the game sense.

Conversely, a good friend loves the way d20 Star Wars had jedi spending "hit points" to "cast spells".

Certainly the methodology by which it is implemented and how healing resources are divided up can potentially make or break the system.
Casters are usually pretty squishy



Not in 4th Ed.
I'd like D&D to move more towards a generic type of fantasy system that could be applied to all types of fantasy, from the lowest of the low to the highest of the high - especially when it comes to magic.

There is no "one magic system to rule them all" so let's dispense with that idea right at the core rules.  There's no reason D&D Next can't have dozens of optional magic systems to fit any particular style or theme of magic a player might want.  In the core rules, put something super simple down as the magic system - along the line of GURPS' Syntactic Magic system.  Basically you pick a verb and noun combination to describe the effect of your spell, then pick it's range/target/duration/etc.  This gives you the cost to cast the spell - takes up only a few pages in a book and is very powerful and flexible, also easily customizable.

Outside of the core, let's have it all, pick whichever ones you want to use:
Vancian Magic (your traditional D&D magic system)
Power Magic (your 4E magic system)
Ritual Magic (more like real world beliefs on magic)
Pact Magic (a system of signing pacts with powerful beings like demons, angels, etc.)
etc., almost infinitely expandable really...




Very well Said I'd like to add my two cents:

Please lay the Vanacian spell system to rest.  Let’s try spell points the level of the spell plus 1 after level 1.  Meta magic Feats/effects will cost you additional points based on the effect.  Characters only regenerate small portions of spell points per night of rest, meditation, or study.  I’d like to see places where natural arcane energies flow and these places arcane types could regenerate their powers quicker.


Spell points would as such:



  • 1st lvl = 1points

  • 2nd lvl = 3points

  • 3rd lvl = 4 points

  • 4th lvl = 5 points

  • 5th lvl = 6 points


And so on.


Faith Score: For divine casters instead of spell points. Let them have a Faith Score and they make a saving throw vs. that score.  Failure means they suffer feedback.  The higher the level of the divine spells the more intense the possible feedback.


Lastly a nod to 4E.  I think powers may be a way to work Psionics into the game where they work without imbalance. With at will, encounter, and daily powers.  All simple mechanics that give the each character unique flavor



 
Casters are usually pretty squishy


Not in 4th Ed.


Last I checked, yeah they were.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
Maybe a system of constantly regenerating stamina?  Or a power buildup or something like that?

Running off of straduss1's faith check idea.

i.e. focus checks for casting.  "When you cast a spell you make a focus check, on a failure of this check you take an overcharge point, which penalizes further focus checks.  After x overcharge points the caster passes out from mental strain.  If the caster spends an action refocusing their mind, they can remove an overcharge point."  Then have a higher DC for each respective spell level or whathave you.  Perhaps higher level spells even start inflicting more overcharge points (failing to focus a 9th level spell could very well knock a player down to needing several rounds of recovery before they can cast anything about 2nd level again)

Same thing could go for all classes really. I know after pulling several complex maneuvers in a fight, I get a bit woozy and need a second to catch my breath.  It could also really clarify warlord and bard "recovery" powers by having their words of encouragement restore focus to their allies to keep fighting, allowing a support role without necessarily requiring healing.
Please lay the Vanacian spell system to rest.  Let’s try spell points the level of the spell plus 1 after level 1.  Meta magic Feats/effects will cost you additional points based on the effect.  Characters only regenerate small portions of spell points per night of rest, meditation, or study.  I’d like to see places where natural arcane energies flow and these places arcane types could regenerate their powers quicker.


You might want to try adapting these rules for your D&D game (see link below), making the spell level cast or spell level plus one, if you prefer, add to the tally.  I used a threshold of double the caster's level before and it worked out pretty well, even if with a very different than standard D&D feel to it.  I also used a threshold of 0 before, which again is very different from standard but still fun.

www222.pair.com/sjohn/blueroom/unlimited...
if you're looking for a resource casters can expend, how about something like 4e's healing surges? it isn't hit points per se: it's ability to heal. since many casters are likely not on the front lines, they shouldn't be absorbing as much damage as other members of the party.

while there's certainly a lot of ways to expend healing surges in 4e, in the games with which i'm familiar, most characters--except the melee specialists--do not exhaust their healing surges.
if you're looking for a resource casters can expend, how about something like 4e's healing surges? it isn't hit points per se: it's ability to heal. since many casters are likely not on the front lines, they shouldn't be absorbing as much damage as other members of the party.

while there's certainly a lot of ways to expend healing surges in 4e, in the games with which i'm familiar, most characters--except the melee specialists--do not exhaust their healing surges.

We like the ritual that allows redistribution of healing surges (Comrades Succor) the "blood brotherhood bond" cut your palm, spit and grasp and reaffirm your fillial connection - in particulual  I like how it flavors for a Warlord. 
  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."

 

i'm not familiar with comrades succor, but it's a very useful one, esp if one has wildly disparate numbers of surges in the party.
Ideally, we wouldn't need a separate sub-system just to assure us that wizards and clerics and druids are special magical snowflakes, different from those nasty old common fighters and warlords and rogues.

But how often do we get 'ideally?'  Never.

I disagree.  Ideally every type has a seperate sub-system to some degree so every class type has a unique special snowflake feel.  

I was trying to get past this, but...

No, that's not ideal.  Disparate sub-stystems make a game needlessly complex and more prone to poor balance.  That's undesireably.  'Feel' is subjective.  Ideally, there'd be other ways than the rather sledge-hammer-like use of novel mechanics, to express the idea of two things being different.

We don't live in an ideal world. 

As for magic I feel it does not feel very magical if it doe snot come with some kind of cost.  Whether it is extra time(Lankmar in 1-2e I think turned casting time into rounds, so that 3 segment fireball spell took 3 rounds). a strain in HP costs like shadowrun, or some kind of penalty like a status effect after casting spells is not too important to me.  But I think there should be a cost.

Nod.  Garthanos does have some good ideas on that.

The 'cost' of magic in genre is often less direct than just an extreme exertion, rather, fate takes a hand to those that try to gain too much via magic, and the price evokes some sort of poetic justice.  

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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The DnDnext system needs to be encounter based.  The idea of daily resources is not good, characters should be the same going into each encounter so the DM can prepare each encounter with full knowledge of character ability going in.

So the best thing I can think of is something like 4e's system without dailies, but with an overcharge mechanic.  Make how each class overcharges spells different, spend extra actions, use hit points, use allies hit points, hit with at-wills, ect...

But to be honest it seems less and less likely that DnDnext will be anything but yet another retroclone/d20 knock off.  I own a ton of those already, and play in a weekly pathfinder game so unless they wow me with the playtest stuff it will get a pass from me.

Remember this is a public forum where people express their opinions assume there is a “In my humble opinion” in front of every post especially mine.  

 

Things you should check out because they are cool, like bow-ties and fezzes.

https://app.roll20.net/home  Roll20 great free virtual table top so you can play with old friends who are far away.

http://donjon.bin.sh/  Donjon has random treasure, maps, pick pocket results, etc.. for every edition of D&D.

 

The 'cost' of magic in genre is often less direct than just an extreme exertion, rather, fate takes a hand to those that try to gain too much via magic, and the price evokes some sort of poetic justice.  




True a system of broader scale  Karmic debt, Thricefold Returns, the you Reap what you Sowe or the Paradox system from WoD's Mage, Note at some level it can be viewed as a form of long term recurring injury like the version of the story Lancelots "wound that never quite healed" but took him down years later is a Martial Analog by the way.  In some ways you are talking the very "story" heavy price which is very hard to systemitize.
Hit points as Luck are rather an immediate thing but do not interact that much with story events other than the immediate. If you use some sort of Fate Point / Aspect system where more story power is quantised in player hands it would make doing that kind of thing more satisfying.
  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."

 

Bring back the Materias!!!

Oups, Wrong Game!

Seriously, I don't want to see the old 2nd Edition Magic System. Studying your spells for the day. I didn't like this system and I think any other system would be better.

At-Will, Encounters and Dailies were cool for Mages. ( I don't mind if a Melee doesn't get a Daily power, but it fits for a mage!

A pool on MP could be nice but I think it would feel too much Video Game. But I wouldn't be against it.

Using his own HP to cast? Hum, not sure!

But about MPs, what would be nice is that when you're out of MP, you could still continue to cast spells but you might lose conciousness or even die! ( I'm throwing an idea )

Spells that take more than a round to cast would be fun top see again! Or spell you could empower by channeling him one more round.

I'm playing: Abin Gadon, Halfling Bard Winston "Slurphnose", Gnome Sorcerer Pasiphaé, Minotaur Shaman Eglerion, Elf Ellyrian Reaver (Ranger) DMing: Le Trésor du Fluide (Treasure from the Fluid) Un Royaume d'une Grande Valeur (A Kingdom of Great Value) La Légende de Persitaa (Persitaa's Legend) Une Série de Petites Quêtes... (A serie of short quests) Playtesting: Caves of Chaos We're building the greatest adventure ever known to DnD players! Also playing Legend of the Five Rings and Warhammer Fantasy. Sébastien, Beloeil, Qc. I am Neutral Good and 32 years old.
The DnDnext system needs to be encounter based.  The idea of daily resources is not good, characters should be the same going into each encounter so the DM can prepare each encounter with full knowledge of character ability going in.



My main problem with this is that it totally destroys the point of making operational decisions. All that matters is what happens in the combat. Why does the DM need full knowledge of character ability going it? What's the point of that? So he can make all challenges the same? So he can prevent TPKs? It's not necessary to destroy the entire point of operational planning, just to make it so the party always faces a mechanically equal challenge. The whole point of operational planning is to make it so the party never faces an equal challenge. Why would you want to fight fair?
Are there any supporters of the 3.5e Expanded Psionics Handbook power point system out there?  I for one quite enjoyed it.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Are there any supporters of the 3.5e Expanded Psionics Handbook power point system out there?  I for one quite enjoyed it.



I loved the psychic warrior flavor in that (or is it a 3.0 version ?) is the only 3.x book I have. I dont recall details on the mechanics... might have to read that tonight.
  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."

 

Fortunately for you, the entire psionics system is in the d20 SRD.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition