Vancian magic, the return.

I just want to make sure I am reading this correctly.  With the new magic rules, you prepare a number of spells each day.  For example, the cleric of pelor knows cure light wounds, searing light, and spiritual hammer.  They then have two "spell slots" each day at first level.  When you spend a spell slot, you pick a prepared spell of that level or lower and you can cast it.  You use up the slot, but not the spell.  Meaning as a 1st level cleric you could cast two cure light wounds, or two seraing light, or tow spiritual hammers, or some combination, but basically two spells per long rest cycle.   Is this correct?  Its not like early editions where you prepare a particular spell list, and cast only those spells, ie if you want more than one cure light wounds you prepare it more than once.
It looks like clerics get set spells and can use up slots with spells that they know (free casting with spell slots).  Wizards it appears must chose which spells to memorize and can only cast those spells.
Hummm, your right, I had only breifly looked at the wizard, as I was more concerned with the amount of healing output from the cleric.  

I really don't care for this, to be honest, but there may be more options later on.   Maybe a Sorcerer class?  We will have to wait and see.
 
I think that once we all become reaquainted with the new vancian magic mechanics of DDN, it'll be one of the great strengths of this edition. I, for one, am glad to see its return to D&D.
Let me expand my last post.  When I said I didn't care for it I mean the wizards version of magic.  I think I could live with the cleric version.  I find classical vancian magic to be very restricitve.  It turns the wizards life into a guessing game.  Should I prepare a Knock Spell?  Well, if you hit that locked door you might save the day, but if there isn't one in the dungeon you just gave up a big part of yor offensive output at low level for a situational spell that won't do anything.  Similarly, prepare Comprehend Languages?  Maybe there is a puzzle that you will solve with it, but if not its dead weight and you have decrease your alreay limited contribution to combat.   I want to have the option of casting Knock, but if I don't need it I would like to be able to throw another Burning Hands or Shield instead.  In earlier editions the wizard spell lists were very large, and many spells were very situational.  If you knew what the situation was and could prepare for it it was great, but making you preselect your spells just makes you give up spell power playing "what if".
I hate, Hate, HATE Vancian Magic. It is a large part of what drove me away from Class/Level and toward Point Buy systems. I was SO glad to see it go away in 4E. But DDN seems to be taking a page from Pathfinder and 4E and letting Level 0 spells be infinitely repeatable while keeping the "big guns" as Fire and Forget Vancian. So it is more of a Hybrid-Vancian system, which is better than nothing but still not as good as burying Vancian for good.
Yeah, I'm glad wizards have something they can do besides "welp, I shot my one magic missile, goodnight" we saw in earlier editions.
FYI - I haven't read all the new stuff coming out in DDN, but I've found time to glance through a few pages.

My hope is that spells like knock can be used as ritual spells, as well as memorized.  Still useful spell, but when you have time, pull out the spell book, 10 minutes later, unlocked door.
So the Cleric gets Spirit Shaman casting? Why not just give that to the Wizard and all the other prepared casters too?
Because some people cannot separate the concept of "wizard" without "horribly restrictive Vancian spellcasting" due to nostalgia blinders.
Does anyone know if the higher level save or die spells are still going to exist in DDN?
@RickyLMyers - I really hope save vs death spells are brought back. I'm getting the feeling that they most likely will in some fashion, as the newest 4e book Into The Unknown has Power Word Kill and Wish as scrolls. I couldn't believe they had them in there, but it was, needless to say, very promising.
Ugg for me then... you wouldn't believe my history with saving throws... Even taking bonuses to saves, I've had man deaths due to saves.  One of the reason I really prefer 4e.
I agree that wizards must have some sort of restrictions when it comes to casting powerfull spells. But I hate the concept of selecting spells that you forget once they are cast. A better idea would be to select a few spells from your repertoire that you practice each day so you can cast them in that day. When you use a slot it just takes the slot out not the spell. But I guess they want to keep this system for sorcerers... The fact is wizards are supposed to have a big repertoire with a limited ability to cast and the cleric on the other hand have a limited repertoire with much more room for improvisation. Hard to say what is best.

Keeping D&D close to what is D&D is also a big design challenge. I think that D&D look and feel should be as close as possible to his origins. After all this IS the game we want to play. Other games are out there for thoses that don't agree on how it should be played. Another point, the gaming group is the absolute boss regarding to rules, you don't like it, you change it. This is true for ANY pen and paper rpg. This is the most important rule to keep in mind. I would go as far to say that this IS why p&p rpg are for. 
@RickyLMyers - I really hope save vs death spells are brought back. I'm getting the feeling that they most likely will in some fashion, as the newest 4e book Into The Unknown has Power Word Kill and Wish as scrolls. I couldn't believe they had them in there, but it was, needless to say, very promising.

That's wonderful. This quote basically says "I really hope that your entire character's existence, background, training, history, roleplaying, goals, practice, and future were completely irrelevant and can be wiped out with a single dice roll. Yay!"

@RickyLMyers - I really hope save vs death spells are brought back. I'm getting the feeling that they most likely will in some fashion, as the newest 4e book Into The Unknown has Power Word Kill and Wish as scrolls. I couldn't believe they had them in there, but it was, needless to say, very promising.

That's wonderful. This quote basically says "I really hope that your entire character's existence, background, training, history, roleplaying, goals, practice, and future were completely irrelevant and can be wiped out with a single dice roll. Yay!"


That is ALWAYS the case when you're in combat, unless you make sure that all of your characters have so many hit points that it'll take an hour of hacking by trolls to kill one of them.

The key to save-or-die mechanics is not to make them ubiquitous--they are a way of encouraging more cautious play among higher-level characters.

The mantra for save-or-die is, at least among those I've played with, "If you're rolling the die you already did something wrong."
 That's wonderful. This quote basically says "I really hope that your entire character's existence, background, training, history, roleplaying, goals, practice, and future were completely irrelevant and can be wiped out with a single dice roll. Yay!"




Life is like that, isn't it what makes it so exiting? I know d&d is not like real life, but fear should be in. 
My issue is not fear of death. It's having the chance to do anything about it.

Sure, combat is scary. But I have defenses, I have tactics, I have item powers and interrupts and reactions, and at the very least unless I'm fighting something eight levels above me I can take more than a single hit without being permadead.

Reducing all that to a single dice roll makes me wonder why I bothered to make a character in the first place.
Does anyone know if the higher level save or die spells are still going to exist in DDN?

I hope they're not core. They'd be fine as part of the "swinginess rules!" or "suck it, fighters" modules. Even though it HAS been present in many editions of D&D, I hope that they don't consider "it is routinely possible for characters to trivialize entire combat encounters with a single action" to be a core part of the D&D experience.

Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
My issue is not fear of death. It's having the chance to do anything about it.

Sure, combat is scary. But I have defenses, I have tactics, I have item powers and interrupts and reactions, and at the very least unless I'm fighting something eight levels above me I can take more than a single hit without being permadead.

Reducing all that to a single dice roll makes me wonder why I bothered to make a character in the first place.

How did you end up in a situation where you're the target of a permadeath spell in the first place?

Surely there's something you could have done about it before the moment the spell was cast?

i.e. a high-level wizard or cleric should be an obvious target for incapacitation at the very least, if there's a confrontation.
 That's wonderful. This quote basically says "I really hope that your entire character's existence, background, training, history, roleplaying, goals, practice, and future were completely irrelevant and can be wiped out with a single dice roll. Yay!"




Resurrection?
My issue is not fear of death. It's having the chance to do anything about it.




You had the chance to know your ennemy could do that, you had the chance to find a way to prevent this attack. When Perseus fought the medusa, he didn't go in head first staring into her gaze. He was more clever than that. You have the chance to be clever and avoid theses situations. 
Does anyone know if the higher level save or die spells are still going to exist in DDN?

I hope they're not core. They'd be fine as part of the "swinginess rules!" or "suck it, fighters" modules. Even though it HAS been present in many editions of D&D, I hope that they don't consider "it is routinely possible for characters to trivialize entire combat encounters with a single action" to be a core part of the D&D experience.


Ah, but it DOESN'T trivialize them at all!  Following on from my last post--if your wiz/cleric with an instakill spell is on the field of battle, you can be DAMNED sure that the opponents, if they're smart at all, will be doing everything in their power to keep that ability from being brought to bear.

And THAT, not hundreds of additional specific powers to use, is the sort of thing that makes for exciting, one-in-a-lifetime battles (at least in my experience).
My issue is not fear of death. It's having the chance to do anything about it.




You had the chance to know your ennemy could do that, you had the chance to find a way to prevent this attack. When Perseus fought the medusa, he didn't go in head first staring into her gaze. He was more clever than that. You have the chance to be clever and avoid theses situations. 



I think there is a very sharp divide in D&D players between those who see the heroes as achilles and those who see them as perseus.
I was SO glad to see it go away in 4E.

I'm frequently confused by how Daily wizard spells aren't regarded as negatively as Vancian casting is. In 4e for the Daily spells I have to pick between the options in my spellbook, and that is what I cast from that daily "slot" at which point I can't cast it again until an extended rest. In Vancian it works essentially the same way except I also have the option to stick the same spell into multiple Daily slots if I'm figuring it will be optimal to do so.

So basically the hybrid construct in D&DN is loosing encounter spells, but giving us 4e style at-will spells and slightly more versatile daily options.
My issue is not fear of death. It's having the chance to do anything about it.




You had the chance to know your ennemy could do that, you had the chance to find a way to prevent this attack. When Perseus fought the medusa, he didn't go in head first staring into her gaze. He was more clever than that. You have the chance to be clever and avoid theses situations. 



I think there is a very sharp divide in D&D players between those who see the heroes as achilles and those who see them as perseus.

I guess players should communicate what they want with the DM... Or find a good DM that makes them like and know how and WHY he runs his campaing as they are.


I think there is a very sharp divide in D&D players between those who see the heroes as achilles and those who see them as perseus.



BTW : Very clever observation Smile Didn't achille failled is save vs death from a single shot?
I was kinda hoping he wizard could decide which of his spells to cast when it matters, I don't like the guessing game, or the spell slot limitations, either. I'll keep using my spell points in 5e, too, long live house rules.

I do have players who like the Vancian system though so at least I got people wanting to playtest the wizard.

I can live without save or die, although they do add something to the game.
I was SO glad to see it go away in 4E.

I'm frequently confused by how Daily wizard spells aren't regarded as negatively as Vancian casting is. In 4e for the Daily spells I have to pick between the options in my spellbook, and that is what I cast from that daily "slot" at which point I can't cast it again until an extended rest. In Vancian it works essentially the same way except I also have the option to stick the same spell into multiple Daily slots if I'm figuring it will be optimal to do so.

So basically the hybrid construct in D&DN is loosing encounter spells, but giving us 4e style at-will spells and slightly more versatile daily options.

the difference is that in 4e, you always had a spell option each round, unless specific circumstances discouraged it, ie. opportunity attack from someone adjacent to you. You also had a 'medium' gun you could use only once in an encounter. Also, in 4e, you didn't have to gamble at swapping out a good combat spell for a utility that you may or may not end up using.
I'm frequently confused by how Daily wizard spells aren't regarded as negatively as Vancian casting is.


Because it wasn't limited to only a subset of classes, and because every class had useful things to do even after spending their Dailies.
the difference is that in 4e, you always had a spell option each round, unless specific circumstances discouraged it, ie. opportunity attack from someone adjacent to you. You also had a 'medium' gun you could use only once in an encounter. Also, in 4e, you didn't have to gamble at swapping out a good combat spell for a utility that you may or may not end up using.

5e is still giving you at will spells so you have a spell option every round.

Encounter spells being lost I agree is sad: Frankly a lot of the 2 or 3 per day powers in this playtest I think should be encounter powers.

But as far as daily spells: In 4e wizards *still* had to pick which specific utility they were going to have available during that day from those in their spellbook in each daily utility slot, and which combat spell was going into each daily combat spell slot: They could still very easily pick the wrong daily spells for what was coming up. Breaking what dailies you had to prepare during an extended rest into utility and combat makes them more restrictive since your brain had apparently been pre-formatted into utility and combat spell sections. Note that I frequently saw people not understand (or pretend to not understand, or houserule) the spellbook selection away and just freecast daily spells by slot, but the actual rules for 4e wizards are that you pick which specific daily spell you memorise for each slot, and no dupes allowed: Sounds pretty Vancian to me.


As a side note, the 5e wizard presented has 3/4/6 daily spells at level character levels 1/2/3, where the 4e wizard gets 1/2/2 at those levels.  So that conceptually gives 2/2/4 extra slots to make up for some of the lost encounter magic and allows a lot more potential variety in the daily selection.
Add me to the list of people who hate, HATE, HATE Vancian casting.

I think the "but 4e sort of had it" is irrelevant; it was clearly included in 4e in its most minimal form because people felt like they "had" to have a throwback to Vancian somewhere in the Wizard, but it was pretty minimal and could potentially be ignored if you wanted to play the Wizard like any other class.  It was a mechanic that was also only used on the Wizard and then was thrown out and not used ever again for the rest of 4e's lifetime, so I think the 4e team agreed that Vancian was only there as a nod to fans of older editions.  In many of my 4e games, the wizards in the groups would often forget to change their dailies and utilities after a long rest anyway because they were used to the normal AEDU system from all the other classes, and just played with the same ones equipped most of the time.

Bringing it back as a requirement for the main arcane caster and affixing it to all but the most minor spells is annoying.  I don't like it.

I'm not a big fan of "spell slots" like the cleric uses either; I fail to see how those are less confusing than AEDU in 4e, even though allegedly the reason for reverting is that the 4e system was too complex for people.
I'd much prefer a Spell Point system than spells prepared. Preparing spells into specific slots is kinda dumb. It's fine to give spells levels (you need a baseline of how draining they are, and how much arcane expertise you need to learn the spell in the first place), but saying you only get one Fireball a day, but have ten other spells available is silly, when two level 2 spells have as much "fire" in them as that Fireball.

Spell Points are also easier to track than spell slots, and easier to calculate (add 1/2 your casting attribute at each level to your spell points, rounded down).

You could concievable have martial maneuvers that use the same system, only with Stamina. 
My issue is not fear of death. It's having the chance to do anything about it.




You had the chance to know your ennemy could do that, you had the chance to find a way to prevent this attack. When Perseus fought the medusa, he didn't go in head first staring into her gaze. He was more clever than that. You have the chance to be clever and avoid theses situations. 



Who says any of the above is true?  What if its a creature you have never fought before?  What if its an ambush?  What if its a high level demon that can whip out a power word kill and it wins initiative?  What if its a threat that you didn't know was coming.  What if its just a freaking trap?

I find save or die, be it a spell, trap, or whatever, to be disruptive to storytelling.  Its just random character death.  Pointless character death.  A character death, while it should be possible, should be used for good story effect, and be meaninful to the group.  It shouldn't be that the thief forgot to say he was checking for traps and you eat a poison needle when you try to open the chest.
Add me to the list of people who hate, HATE, HATE Vancian casting.

I think the "but 4e sort of had it" is irrelevant; it was clearly included in 4e in its most minimal form because people felt like they "had" to have a throwback to Vancian somewhere in the Wizard, but it was pretty minimal and could potentially be ignored if you wanted to play the Wizard like any other class.  It was a mechanic that was also only used on the Wizard and then was thrown out and not used ever again for the rest of 4e's lifetime, so I think the 4e team agreed that Vancian was only there as a nod to fans of older editions.  In many of my 4e games, the wizards in the groups would often forget to change their dailies and utilities after a long rest anyway because they were used to the normal AEDU system from all the other classes, and just played with the same ones equipped most of the time.

Bringing it back as a requirement for the main arcane caster and affixing it to all but the most minor spells is annoying.  I don't like it.

I'm not a big fan of "spell slots" like the cleric uses either; I fail to see how those are less confusing than AEDU in 4e, even though allegedly the reason for reverting is that the 4e system was too complex for people.



+1

In the attempt to appeal to the Old Schoolers, D&D has abandoned the only significant advancement and radical change the game's made in its history.

4e had a "kind of/near/almost" Vancian system, but no one could say it was exactly like AD&D-->3.5e's Vancian Magic.

To go back to that system as the primary, or A primary magic system is a regression and only done to appeal to those who refuse to see D&D outside of its attachment to that particular sacred cow.

Spell Points (in past variant rules) aren't really any different, you still have a set of spells you know, you don't have spell slots, but once your points are spent you're done for the day.

I never understood this, and I don't mean I need some theorhetical discussion on how magic "works" when there is no such thing as magic--magic in a game is however it's designed to be.  Other games like Shadowrun, Earthdawn, Mage, etc., all have their own spin on Magic, but none have the inherently awkward and flawed Vancian mechanic as their core.

Yes, I suppose that's what "defined" D&D's magic, but that doesn't mean it's a good game system, nor should be retained solely for the nostalgia of the lapsed 1e/2e player base.

AEDU was a step in the right direction, perhaps it needed to be tweaked, especially for Wizards/Mages, but the core of the system was better than the "traditional" combination of Vancian Magic and Boring Fighters that has "defined" every previous edition of D&D.

"I'm just killing time, since it's killing us." --Cyon Fal'Duur, Pathfinder Chronicler: Rogue Ascendant


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

It's a bad game mechanic.
Worst system in gaming history if you ask me.

Some complain about AEDU because it's unrealistic to do somethings once per encounter/once per days.
But they celebrate immediately if wizard forget spells after they cast it?

Roll eye.
Anti-Vancian guys:

Given the stated design goals of 5E, is there any way you can see to justify overhauling the spell system of the iconic wizard class?

Because I can't.

On the other hand, I have a sneaking suspicion that we will eventually see a large variety of alternate magic systems in other classes.  The sorcerer, for instance, doesn't have the same kind of established pedigree as the wizard and may end up being your basic non-Vancian arcanist.  The warlock will almost certainly put its own dark twist on things.  (Idle idea:  Spells cost hit points or temporary blindness or other concrete drawbacks.)  And everybody already knows that the psion is going to be point based.

So please just chill for the moment.  Let the grognards have their wizard.  This is supposed to be the edition for everybody, and that includes them.

Is that so unreasonable?
Anti-Vancian guys:

Given the stated design goals of 5E, is there any way you can see to justify overhauling the spell system of the iconic wizard class?

Because I can't.

On the other hand, I have a sneaking suspicion that we will eventually see a large variety of alternate magic systems in other classes.  The sorcerer, for instance, doesn't have the same kind of established pedigree as the wizard and may end up being your basic non-Vancian arcanist.  The warlock will almost certainly put its own dark twist on things.  (Idle idea:  Spells cost hit points or temporary blindness or other concrete drawbacks.)  And everybody already knows that the psion is going to be point based.

So please just chill for the moment.  Let the grognards have their wizard.  This is supposed to be the edition for everybody, and that includes them.

Is that so unreasonable?



So, every arcane class has it's own set of rules? One class has Vancian, one class has spell points, one class has AEUD, another spends HP to cast spells, then you have psionics who use augment points. Is everyone still playing D&D together? Or is everyone playing their own game, and just sitting at the same table?

I'm really hoping the modular nature that Wizards has been touting comes out. So you have a choice between Vancian, AEUD, or other rulesets, but that the whole table is using the same basic ruleset.

 I really don't envy the DM who ends up having to moderate 4 or 5 different systems at once. You really think a prospective new D will step up to learn multiple rulesets at once?
as long as they drop the power cards I will be happy. My fighter doesn't need a stack of cards to fight.
Anti-Vancian guys:

Given the stated design goals of 5E, is there any way you can see to justify overhauling the spell system of the iconic wizard class?

Because I can't.

On the other hand, I have a sneaking suspicion that we will eventually see a large variety of alternate magic systems in other classes.  The sorcerer, for instance, doesn't have the same kind of established pedigree as the wizard and may end up being your basic non-Vancian arcanist.  The warlock will almost certainly put its own dark twist on things.  (Idle idea:  Spells cost hit points or temporary blindness or other concrete drawbacks.)  And everybody already knows that the psion is going to be point based.

So please just chill for the moment.  Let the grognards have their wizard.  This is supposed to be the edition for everybody, and that includes them.

Is that so unreasonable?



You do have a point, and Mearls has made it fairly clear that his Wizard is going to be Vancian and no amount of complaining from us is going to change it, so it's pointless to complain about.  But, I do think there is a large section of grognards who liked 1e/2e but didn't like Vancian.  I played 1e a bit as a kid and then started playing a lot with 2e, but the whole time, even when I was pretty young, I disliked Vancian and wished it worked differently.  I liked the old versions of D&D despite the Vancian mechanic, not because of it.  So I do think there are grognards who would be happy even without the Vancian system as long as they brought back some other sacred cows instead.  Vancian magic is the one sacred cow that I think is worst for the game.
as long as they drop the power cards I will be happy. My fighter doesn't need a stack of cards to fight.

If your fighter is too dumb to read a character sheet... then this is the right edition for you.

But I don't want the written, thought-out, mathematically sound and balanced encounter and daily powers traded for "leave it to the DM, if he's down maybe you could do it" because you think fighters have to be too dumb to know which end of the axe to hold.

Dumb people play fighters, smart people play wizards is almost exactly what Mearl's, the unspeakable horror, has stated is his goal for this edition. He's put his foot down, decided to ignore all feedback to the contrary and is trying to force his view of what D&D "should be" to the detriment of everyone who actually liked the idea of a savvy, versatile, intelligent blademaster or a wizard class that didn't involve oracles and fortune telling to know which dailies to pack that day. Don't even get me started on this-single-dice-roll-will-determine-your-entire-fate SoD idiocy.

Nostalgia has it's place. It's nice, comfortable, reminds you of your good old days when you had less fat and more hair. But you shouldn't wreck an entire "new" gaming system because you value nostalgia over balanced, well-thought out rules, classes and gameplay.