What we agree upon

*Edit: list below has been updated to reflect feedback from the thread*

  We have a lot of ‘holy war’ threads on these boards, about the many aspects of D&D we do not agree upon. But lately it looks like each side is realizing they cannot expect to have their way at the expense of the others.


So it may be interesting to focus on what we do generally agree upon (or at least we can live with), to see if this helps outline some kind of minimal common denominator.


I have no illusion there will be 100% consensus on anything, but if we can get most of the community to agree on some principles that may be start.


Note that this is aimed specifically to identify CORE features. There may be plenty of variations and options available through modules then.


I’ll try and make a start. People can then provide contributions in their posts and let’s see where we go.


General consesus (meaning most people are ok to have these among CORE features):  


-       6 abilities (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha)


-       Classes as fantasy archetypes


-       All races have access to all classes (unless stated otherwise for narrative reasons specific to each campaign)


-       Progression through levels


-       Progression (experience) not necessarily linked to kills, treasures or quantitative stats


-       Opportunities for characters customization and variety without creating major unbalance


-       Standard resolution method is d20+mods vs target value


-       Math balanced across all levels: attacks, defenses, saving throws…


-       Classes are roughly balanced with each other at all levels across the pillars


-       All classes are able to contribute meaningfully to the party at all levels


-       No class is indispensable


-       Grid is not required but can be used if desired


-       Effective ‘at-will’ resources available for all classes (this may include basic attacks)


-       Some form of long term (across encounters) resources available


-       Magical healing not mandatory


-       No ‘feat taxes’


-       Defined list of standard condition effects


-       Combat by default shouldn’t take too long (TBD)


-       Improvisation and re-fluffing allowed and encouraged (with guidelines)


-       DM 'minimal requirement' preparation job is lean


-       Little book-keeping needed during play


-       Rules are simple and clear, minimizing interpretations and debates during play


-       System mastery and optimization don’t make characters dramatically more effective




Controversial (potentially suitable for MODULES): 

- Save or Die mechanics

- Self-healing capabilities for all classes

- +X magic items

- Alignment mechanics          

- Scope of magic   

- 'Gritty' vs 'High Fantasy' style


Note: this doesn't mean the above cover all core features and all modules that may be included. It's just a stab to highlight some recurring topics and the general feeling about them.  

Take out self healing and leave in save or die an I can agree with the rest.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Take out self healing and leave in save or die an I can agree with the rest.



That's the kind of feedback I'm as looking for here. Thanks.
No problem.

I'd really like to see how long this list can be.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I'll have to look through this lust a little more closely, but leave self healing and SEVERELY LIMIT save or die (or just remove it entirely) and I'll be fine with it at first glance.
- in combat healing is not mandatory for group success

- groups with no spellcasters can overcome all challenges in any adventure published (aka magic users are not mandatory)

- interesting combat and non combat options available for non magical characters
That is mostly complete for me. I'd prefer the SoD stuff is packaged for easy removal, and any solution for healing that doesn't require specific classes to be mandatory (cleric) works for me.

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I think self healing for all classes should be recast as magical healing is not required. A lack of magical healing should not grind the pace down to one encouter a week because it takes that long to get your HP back. I think grittiness like that should be optional, not core. Describing this part in this way leaves more freedom in how you design the solution.

Yeah,

Magical healing not required is a different beast and I'm fine with that.

I prefer gritty but modular grit is fine by me.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Take out self healing and leave in save or die an I can agree with the rest.



I agree with this, tho the martial at-wills have to be non magical.
+1 to no martial magic

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Take out self healing and leave in save or die an I can agree with the rest.



I agree with this, tho the martial at-wills have to be non magical.


I agree with this, but would like to throw in an addendum that mythical is not always magical.
1. I like save or die
2. Magic should be allowed to do just about anything (Wish).  
3. +X magical items are great if they are coupled with monsters that are immunnue or resist non-magical weapons.
4. Alignment Mechanics should be optional.  
5.  I'm not a fan of self-healing for all classes.


2. Magic should be allowed to do just about anything (Wish). 


2a.Magic should be allowed to do just about anything, but casters themselves can only use a limited amount of magic comparitively.
So can we agree on a sliding scale of grittiness/mythic-ness?

I'd also like to offer "concise spell write-ups that minimize ambiguity."

... snip


-       Classes as fantasy archetypes



As long as the classes are not so entrenched in the archetype that they cannot deviate from them I'd be fine.

  

... snip


-       Progression (experience) not necessarily linked to kills, treasures or quantitative stats



This would be nice although in the editions that I'vee played (3.5 and 4e) that hasn't been handled very well.
  

... snip


-       System mastery and optimization don’t make characters dramatically more effective



A good goal, but I'm not sure optimization can really be held in check. 

So can we agree on a sliding scale of grittiness/mythic-ness? I'd also like to offer "concise spell write-ups that minimize ambiguity."



I like spell write-ups the way you do, but it seems a significant portion of the D&D community enjoy their spells to be flexable enough to be used in many ways allowing for creative out of the box cases. 

2. Magic should be allowed to do just about anything (Wish). 


2a.Magic should be allowed to do just about anything, but casters themselves can only use a limited amount of magic comparitively.



My solution would be to make the more world-bending spells to be present in the rulebook but in separate section than ordinary spells. If you want to learn "wish" you can't do it at-will when you level up, or with few research rolls and modest money expedienture. You have to find it somewhere, somewhere as epic as the spell is itself. Trade your soul with a demon? Step into Labyrinth of Madness to retrieve it? Steal it from gods? Defeat a guild of mages that hides it in a vault to keep the world safe? That kind of thing.
If mind-boggling spells are to be kept in the game for purpouse of keeping magic wondurous and epic, then force epic ways to get them. This will make them feel even more epic.

Artifact rules for spells?

I like it.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

2. Magic should be allowed to do just about anything (Wish). 


2a.Magic should be allowed to do just about anything, but casters themselves can only use a limited amount of magic comparitively.



My solution would be to make the more world-bending spells to be present in the rulebook but in separate section than ordinary spells. If you want to learn "wish" you can't do it at-will when you level up, or with few research rolls and modest money expedienture. You have to find it somewhere, somewhere as epic as the spell is itself. Trade your soul with a demon? Step into Labyrinth of Madness to retrieve it? Steal it from gods? Defeat a guild of mages that hides it in a vault to keep the world safe? That kind of thing.
If mind-boggling spells are to be kept in the game for purpouse of keeping magic wondurous and epic, then force epic ways to get them. This will make them feel even more epic.




I agree, there are clearly spells that require more talent from the DM.    Such spells should be identified in some way to make exclusion of them easy for those who are not practiced at improvising.      I do like how wizards in AD&D had to find their spells.   


1. I like save or die
2. Magic should be allowed to do just about anything (Wish).  
3. +X magical items are great if they are coupled with monsters that are immunnue or resist non-magical weapons.
4. Alignment Mechanics should be optional.  
5.  I'm not a fan of self-healing for all classes.



1. Most people don't.  This could be an artifact of all save or dies being magical, so there is a potential that adding the ability for non-casters to 'behead' save or die might change that.

2.  If magic can do just about anything, as you say through wish, that is an NPC ability.  That or you end up with non-casters that have 'superhero' abilities that again ruffle too many feathers.  You can't have a set of casting classes that can do 'just about anything' and a set of non-casting classes that improves solely through swinging their sword harder.  

3.  +X items don't work in bounded accuracy.  At that point a character is a sidekick to his gear.  It's fine when the character is +10BAB +5 STR + 3MW it's not ok when a character is +4 STR +6MW.

5.  You don't need all classes having self healing, but keep in mind that HP are an abstraction.  Regaining HP CANNOT solely be the domain of casters, or 1hp/day. 
2. Magic should be allowed to do just about anything (Wish). 


2a.Magic should be allowed to do just about anything, but casters themselves can only use a limited amount of magic comparitively.



My solution would be to make the more world-bending spells to be present in the rulebook but in separate section than ordinary spells. If you want to learn "wish" you can't do it at-will when you level up, or with few research rolls and modest money expedienture. You have to find it somewhere, somewhere as epic as the spell is itself. Trade your soul with a demon? Step into Labyrinth of Madness to retrieve it? Steal it from gods? Defeat a guild of mages that hides it in a vault to keep the world safe? That kind of thing.
If mind-boggling spells are to be kept in the game for purpouse of keeping magic wondurous and epic, then force epic ways to get them. This will make them feel even more epic.





That's actually not a bad idea.  I prefer the idea of paying feats for the broken spells, but I could see them on the level of arifacts.  I don't know about your campaigns but in all the years I've been playing the number of artifacts that made it into my games can fit on one hand.  You're not banning them, there there, but you don't have casters running around with quite as many plot coupons by default.

Note, I don't only lump high level spells into that.  Knock, Tensors, Poly and any number of low level spells should be on that list.  I personally like Knock doing nothing more than summoning a magical set of theives tools which you can then use YOUR SKILL with to pick the lock, maybe with a +1-2 bonus.
 
I think damage needs to stay "non-gritty" for core, in that getting knocked unconcious doesn't necessarily mean you are now sporting multiple orifices you weren't born with. Damage is as abstract as HP, and healing just as abstract. Core could focus on a more Final Fantasy "swooned" condition where after the fight you can recover non-magically. This allows for an easier effort to add grittiness, rather than trying to un-grit the core. Considering that some groups include young children, having a bloodless "core" seems like a decent idea.

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We have a lot of ‘holy war’ threads on these boards, about the many aspects of D&D we do not agree upon. But lately it looks like each side is realizing they cannot expect to have their way at the expense of the others.

I have not noticed any such realization.  Particularly, with the latest L&L, it's becoming clear that 5e is not really going to be able to cater to multiple play styles.

So it may be interesting to focus on what we do generally agree upon (or at least we can live with), to see if this helps outline some kind of minimal common denominator.

In no specific order, to me: 

-       6 abilities (Str, Dex, Con, Int, Wis, Cha)


Check.  

-       Classes as fantasy archetypes

Check.  But note that there is a pernicious double-standard when it comes to magic-using vs martial archetypes.

-       All races have access to all classes (unless stated otherwise for narrative reasons specific to each campaign)

Terribly not-AD&D.

-       Progression through levels

check

-       Progression (experience) not necessarily linked to kills, treasures or quantitative stats

check

-       Opportunities for characters customization and variety without creating major unbalance

I don't think so, a lot of folks demand major unbalance.

-       Standard resolution method is d20+mods vs DC or opposite roll

Prefferably DC.

-       Math balanced across all levels: attacks, defenses, saving throws…

Check.  Basically, 'game works at all levels.'  Why publish levels that aren't going to work?

-       Classes are roughly balanced with each other at all levels

Again, there are those who loath balance and will never accept it.

-       All classes are able to contribute meaningfully to the party at all levels

Ditto.

-       No class is indispensable


-       Grid is not required but can be used if desired

IMHO, this is a 'fakeversy' - no one really cares about 'da grid,' it's an artifact of the edition war, and an ironic one, since 3e and 4e both made good use of miniatures for tactical positioning and movement.  Unless the rules are abstract to the point of freestyle RP, they can easily handle using minis or not - they're a handy aid, nothing more.

-       Effective ‘at-will’ resources available for all classes (this may include basic attacks)

Sure, more power for casters, no problem.  

-       Some form of long term (across encounters) resources available

But not "for all classes?"

-       Some form of self-healing capability for all classes

There's a lot of hate out there for this, too.

-       No +x magic items (game not balanced around magic items assumptions)

Really?  Sounds like they're already in.

-       No ‘feat taxes’

Check

-       Defined list of conditions

Check

-       No ‘save or die’ mechanics

Seems like there's a lot of support for SoDs, still.

-       Alignment has not mechanical implications

definitely controversial

-       Combat shouldn’t take too long (say about 30’ per battle for an average encounter?)

Meh.  'Too long' is different for everyone.  Combat shouldn't be /boring/, because 45 minutes of boring seems like longer than 90 minutes of awesome.

-       Improvisation and re-fluffing allowed and encouraged (with guidelines)

Meh.  Another issue I'm not so sure about.  Re-fluffing should certainly be 'allowed,' but, like house rules, it's not something that could really be /stopped/.  Improvisation is a fine thing to include, but it doesn't absolve the game from presenting interesting options - especially not from doing so even-handedly.  (ie, devote 1/2 the book to spells and tell non-casters, 'that's OK, you can improvise!')

-       DM preparation job is lean

Really?  5e seems to want the DM to design and re-design the game continuously...

-       Little book-keeping needed during play

It'd be nice.

-       Rules are simple and clear, minimizing interpretations and debates during play

'Rules Lawyers' would be dissapointed.  5e has already taken a big step away from this, anyway.

-       System mastery and optimization don’t make characters dramatically more effective

If anything, this is a central aspect of the 3e/4e split.  3e rewards system mastery lavishly, 4e is easy to master with less extreme rewards.  Classic D&D doesn't reward the same kind of system mastery much at all, though it isn't exactly easy to master - you just don't have enough control over your character's abilities to engage in optimization.  

-       Magic has restrictions so it doesn’t become the goto solution for everything

IMX, no amount of restriction on magic that D&D has ever imposed is sufficient to accomplish this.  The only way to keep magic from being the goto solution for everything is simply not to let it solve everything.

 

 

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I agree with all of the original suggestions, except that:


  • Save or die effects should be available as a module, with some kind of harsh status effect as an alternative option. On this basis, I'd be happy for there to be non-magical save or die effects. Indeed, I'd expect it.

  • I prefer "magical healing not essential" rather than "everyone can self-heal".

  • I love the idea that the truly world-bending magics like wish should (by default, variable by module) only be available on an artifact-style basis. Spells in general should not be available by default; they should be found, bought, invented - whatever suits the playing style, setting and in-game economy.

  • I don't mind +X items, but what I want is no requirement to upgrade through those items.

  • No requirement for alignments; ideally several different alignment modules, all optional.

  • No class, or related group of classes, is mandatory.


This is a really good and positive thread.


Z.

Yeah and it would be easy to add a gritty module.

Gritty Module: getting hit actually represents taking wounds. Your max HP is halved and you recover 10% of your max HP per nights rest. You also get no HD.
1. I like save or die
2. Magic should be allowed to do just about anything (Wish).  
3. +X magical items are great if they are coupled with monsters that are immunnue or resist non-magical weapons.
4. Alignment Mechanics should be optional.  
5.  I'm not a fan of self-healing for all classes.



1. Most people don't.  This could be an artifact of all save or dies being magical, so there is a potential that adding the ability for non-casters to 'behead' save or die might change that.



That actually sounds very similar to a house rule for kill shots that we added to our 2e game.     For purpose of this thread; however, it's clear that we all don't agree that save or die should be completely removed.  In addition, there are varying degrees of acceptability.  Save once, twice, or three times it really doesn't matter.    Even the 4e version of the beholder had a save or die power.   


2.  If magic can do just about anything, as you say through wish, that is an NPC ability.  That or you end up with non-casters that have 'superhero' abilities that again ruffle too many feathers.  You can't have a set of casting classes that can do 'just about anything' and a set of non-casting classes that improves solely through swinging their sword harder.  



No, Wish is a PC spell not an NPC ability.   My opinion is that all classes should have access to powerful magic in some way or another, it is after all a magical world.   With that said, I don't agree that martial classes should be magical, but perhaps they should have some sort of inherent defence against magic.  After all, it really could be that magic doesn't work all that well on those who reject it.   Another way to balance it would be to provide  non-spell casting classes with magical items like a ring of three wishes, boots of flying, helm of teleportation.   In fact, I would really hate to play in a high level game in which the martial classes had no magical items to compete with the spell casters.  I just don't think that ever happened unless you had a terribly cheap DM.    Therefore, feathers only got ruffled when the DM failed to do his job.    It really is the DM's job to balance player expectations.  


3.  +X items don't work in bounded accuracy.  At that point a character is a sidekick to his gear.  It's fine when the character is +10BAB +5 STR + 3MW it's not ok when a character is +4 STR +6MW.



Player gear is very important to my style of play.   Even my players like writing background stories and elaborate descriptions for the gear they find.  It is perhaps one of the main reasons I really hated 4e magical items.   Magical gear really should provide you with an advantage that lifts you above norm.     As for bounded accuracy, magical +X items work perfectly fine.  They give the player an advantage over the mechanics and that's what magic should do.    My only hope is that magic does a bit more than simply provide you with a bonus to hit and damage.    I really want that +1 dagger to be important and not something that is disgarded.    If you need the dagger to hit demon in the next room then that weapon will be important.   You won't simply toss it away because your character uses a battleaxe. 


5.  You don't need all classes having self healing, but keep in mind that HP are an abstraction.  Regaining HP CANNOT solely be the domain of casters, or 1hp/day. 



And what if I want healing to be the sole domain of casters?   Should that option not be available?   



We have a lot of ‘holy war’ threads on these boards, about the many aspects of D&D we do not agree upon. But lately it looks like each side is realizing they cannot expect to have their way at the expense of the others.


So it may be interesting to focus on what we do generally agree upon (or at least we can live with), to see if this helps outline some kind of minimal common denominator.


I have no illusion there will be 100% consensus on anything, but if we can get most of the community to agree on some principles that may be start.


Note that this is aimed specifically to identify CORE features. There may be plenty of variations and options available through modules then.


I’ll try and make a start. People can then provide contributions in their posts and let’s see where we go.




That's really a great idea. Here si what I can say about:

-       Opportunities for characters customization and variety without creating major unbalance

-       System mastery and optimization don’t make characters dramatically more effective


This should be the core, yet I'd see a good use of a module that can actualy reward system mastery. There are a loat of people who have fun that way, let's give them what they want.

-       Classes are roughly balanced with each other at all levels

-       All classes are able to contribute meaningfully to the party at all levels


Yet not in the same way. I like a game where a fighter has a greater role in a fight and a rogue has a greater role in the exploration. Everyone whould equaly contribute along the adventure, not in every single moment of game.

-       Some form of self-healing capability for all classes


I dislike this. I hope this can easily houseruled away, or given in a module. 

-       No ‘save or die’ mechanics


I like them. But since so many people do not want save or die, permanent condition, levels or stat drain and this sort of things I will be happy with a gritty module. 

-       Magic has restrictions so it doesn’t become the goto solution for everything


Can a "dramatic magic module" or something like exist? 
Many people do not want too powerfull magic as many others do not want fancy manouvers or martial stuff that sound unreal, so here is what I think we can all agree: make a core with simple fighter and controlled magic. Then give modules with fancy stuff for martials and highly dramatic spells (wish, to say one).

Another thing many people argue about is abilities and hit point acqusition. Somebody want random, someone else hate random. Here is what I think: give different options.
For abilities you give some array, buypoint and random, as in 3rd edition manual (don't know about others). For hit point give a hit dice and say: when you level up you can roll the hit dice, take half the value or full value. Everyone's happy.

Edit: one think I forgot about. I'd like to see no difference between pc and npc option. Give npc options as done, than say that more important or stronger npc can go with all pc's options. And pc can take whatever npcs can.

Note, I don't only lump high level spells into that.  Knock, Tensors, Poly and any number of low level spells should be on that list.  I personally like Knock doing nothing more than summoning a magical set of theives tools which you can then use YOUR SKILL with to pick the lock, maybe with a +1-2 bonus.
 



For my style of play getting past the door has any number of solutions. The fighter could have a chime of opening, the druid could cast warp wood, the wizard can use a potion of giant strength, the paladin could use a potion of gasious form, etc.     

The idea that each class must have a domain of focus and that the domain can't be encroached upon just doesn't fit with my style of play.       For me, the wizard doesn't need magical items to use magic, the fighter doesn't need magic to fight, the rogue doesn't need to use magic to sneak past the guards, but magic keeps everyone at the same level.       To say that the only class that can fight in melee is the fighter, or that the only class who can open the lock or use poison is the rogue, just doesn't seem right to me.       


I like +x magic items. 

I'm not entirely opposed to save-or-die, at least in the newer version where there are stages and conditions before you get to the final save. In a way, really, 4e had a save or die mechanic, it's just that you had to fail three times before you died.

Other than those two, I am in full agreement.     

 

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2.  If magic can do just about anything, as you say through wish, that is an NPC ability.  That or you end up with non-casters that have 'superhero' abilities that again ruffle too many feathers.  You can't have a set of casting classes that can do 'just about anything' and a set of non-casting classes that improves solely through swinging their sword harder.  



No, Wish is a PC spell not an NPC ability.   My opinion is that all classes should have access to powerful magic in some way or another, it is after all a magical world.   With that said, I don't agree that martial classes should be magical, but perhaps they should have some sort of inherent defence against magic.  After all, it really could be that magic doesn't work all that well on those who reject it.   Another way to balance it would be to provide  non-spell casting classes with magical items like a ring of three wishes, boots of flying, helm of teleportation.   In fact, I would really hate to play in a high level game in which the martial classes had no magical items to compete with the spell casters.  I just don't think that ever happened unless you had a terribly cheap DM.    Therefore, feathers only got ruffled when the DM failed to do his job.    It really is the DM's job to balance player expectations.  




Completely 110% unacceptable.

1. Better at resisting magic doesn't change the fact that many spells are flat broken plot coupons.  Teleport being an easy one.  It does no damage, nobody resists it, but it breaks games.
2. Non-casters being reliant on using magic items to duplicate spell effects to be viable is not an acceptable state of affairs.  First, if they get a ring of wishes they can use 3 wishes, compared to the caster who can do it a couple times a day.  Second if their item is a ring of wishes then the wizard gets something else and pulls ahead in other areas.
3. Really related to point 2, the character should be what is strong and interesting.  He should never be a sidekick for his items.

There are only two ways to go, bring magic severely down to earth and expand non-casters along 4e lines or leave magic as it was in 2e/3.x and give non-casting classes "super human" powers starting around level 10. 



2.  If magic can do just about anything, as you say through wish, that is an NPC ability.  That or you end up with non-casters that have 'superhero' abilities that again ruffle too many feathers.  You can't have a set of casting classes that can do 'just about anything' and a set of non-casting classes that improves solely through swinging their sword harder.  



No, Wish is a PC spell not an NPC ability.   My opinion is that all classes should have access to powerful magic in some way or another, it is after all a magical world.   With that said, I don't agree that martial classes should be magical, but perhaps they should have some sort of inherent defence against magic.  After all, it really could be that magic doesn't work all that well on those who reject it.   Another way to balance it would be to provide  non-spell casting classes with magical items like a ring of three wishes, boots of flying, helm of teleportation.   In fact, I would really hate to play in a high level game in which the martial classes had no magical items to compete with the spell casters.  I just don't think that ever happened unless you had a terribly cheap DM.    Therefore, feathers only got ruffled when the DM failed to do his job.    It really is the DM's job to balance player expectations.  




Completely 110% unacceptable.

1. Better at resisting magic doesn't change the fact that many spells are flat broken plot coupons.  Teleport being an easy one.  It does no damage, nobody resists it, but it breaks games.
2. Non-casters being reliant on using magic items to duplicate spell effects to be viable is not an acceptable state of affairs.  First, if they get a ring of wishes they can use 3 wishes, compared to the caster who can do it a couple times a day.  Second if their item is a ring of wishes then the wizard gets something else and pulls ahead in other areas.
3. Really related to point 2, the character should be what is strong and interesting.  He should never be a sidekick for his items.

There are only two ways to go, bring magic severely down to earth and expand non-casters along 4e lines or leave magic as it was in 2e/3.x and give non-casting classes "super human" powers starting around level 10. 



Since some people, like me, want the one you call broken magic, why don't we look for an agreement? Give a module and say something like "here we give some greater spells. They can umbalance some games and require an expert dm to handle them, so use them carefuly." Can this be a good agreement? 



2.  If magic can do just about anything, as you say through wish, that is an NPC ability.  That or you end up with non-casters that have 'superhero' abilities that again ruffle too many feathers.  You can't have a set of casting classes that can do 'just about anything' and a set of non-casting classes that improves solely through swinging their sword harder.  



No, Wish is a PC spell not an NPC ability.   My opinion is that all classes should have access to powerful magic in some way or another, it is after all a magical world.   With that said, I don't agree that martial classes should be magical, but perhaps they should have some sort of inherent defence against magic.  After all, it really could be that magic doesn't work all that well on those who reject it.   Another way to balance it would be to provide  non-spell casting classes with magical items like a ring of three wishes, boots of flying, helm of teleportation.   In fact, I would really hate to play in a high level game in which the martial classes had no magical items to compete with the spell casters.  I just don't think that ever happened unless you had a terribly cheap DM.    Therefore, feathers only got ruffled when the DM failed to do his job.    It really is the DM's job to balance player expectations.  




Completely 110% unacceptable.

1. Better at resisting magic doesn't change the fact that many spells are flat broken plot coupons.  Teleport being an easy one.  It does no damage, nobody resists it, but it breaks games.
2. Non-casters being reliant on using magic items to duplicate spell effects to be viable is not an acceptable state of affairs.  First, if they get a ring of wishes they can use 3 wishes, compared to the caster who can do it a couple times a day.  Second if their item is a ring of wishes then the wizard gets something else and pulls ahead in other areas.
3. Really related to point 2, the character should be what is strong and interesting.  He should never be a sidekick for his items.

There are only two ways to go, bring magic severely down to earth and expand non-casters along 4e lines or leave magic as it was in 2e/3.x and give non-casting classes "super human" powers starting around level 10. 




You are 110% wrong, and getting off track.  Lets please not turn this thread into "Us vs Them"  and comment on what we do agree on, if you don't agree discuss it not attack each other. 

Can a "dramatic magic module" or something like exist? 
Many people do not want too powerfull magic as many others do not want fancy manouvers or martial stuff that sound unreal, so here is what I think we can all agree: make a core with simple fighter and controlled magic. Then give modules with fancy stuff for martials and highly dramatic spells (wish, to say one).




I think there pretty much as to be two power levels for both casters and non-casters.

As you say, some people won't be happy without world bending magic on tap all the time, often these same people dislike the idea that a non-caster could have maneuvers or abilities that compete.

Another crowd hates the idea that the 3.x(and previous to varying degrees) play a caster or be a second class citizen stuff could sneak back in.

If you present two options and a strong suggestion that you use either both high or both low that would have at least a chance of pleasing both groups.  If you want to run a game with super magic and mundane non-casters you have that option, just tell people what you have planned before the game and don't be surprised when you end up with three wizards and two clerics.

Can a "dramatic magic module" or something like exist? 
Many people do not want too powerfull magic as many others do not want fancy manouvers or martial stuff that sound unreal, so here is what I think we can all agree: make a core with simple fighter and controlled magic. Then give modules with fancy stuff for martials and highly dramatic spells (wish, to say one).




I think there pretty much as to be two power levels for both casters and non-casters.

As you say, some people won't be happy without world bending magic on tap all the time, often these same people dislike the idea that a non-caster could have maneuvers or abilities that compete.

Another crowd hates the idea that the 3.x(and previous to varying degrees) play a caster or be a second class citizen stuff could sneak back in.

If you present two options and a strong suggestion that you use either both high or both low that would have at least a chance of pleasing both groups.  If you want to run a game with super magic and mundane non-casters you have that option, just tell people what you have planned before the game and don't be surprised when you end up with three wizards and two clerics.



That's something I can play happily!

If you present two options and a strong suggestion that you use either both high or both low that would have at least a chance of pleasing both groups.  If you want to run a game with super magic and mundane non-casters you have that option, just tell people what you have planned before the game and don't be surprised when you end up with three wizards and two clerics.


This. Can we agree on something like this?


  • At higher levels (with some knock-on effects for lower levels), the break between 'gritty' and 'non-gritty' is sharp enough that we need 'High Magic' and 'Derring-Do' modules for the latter. The gritty version (which can be made even grittier if you pick an option that nerfs fast healing) should be tolerably balanced with the non-gritty one, but would be explicitly less flashy, with fewer powers that could bring a battle (or whole adventure) to a dead stop.


Thoughts?


Z.




2.  If magic can do just about anything, as you say through wish, that is an NPC ability.  That or you end up with non-casters that have 'superhero' abilities that again ruffle too many feathers.  You can't have a set of casting classes that can do 'just about anything' and a set of non-casting classes that improves solely through swinging their sword harder.  



No, Wish is a PC spell not an NPC ability.   My opinion is that all classes should have access to powerful magic in some way or another, it is after all a magical world.   With that said, I don't agree that martial classes should be magical, but perhaps they should have some sort of inherent defence against magic.  After all, it really could be that magic doesn't work all that well on those who reject it.   Another way to balance it would be to provide  non-spell casting classes with magical items like a ring of three wishes, boots of flying, helm of teleportation.   In fact, I would really hate to play in a high level game in which the martial classes had no magical items to compete with the spell casters.  I just don't think that ever happened unless you had a terribly cheap DM.    Therefore, feathers only got ruffled when the DM failed to do his job.    It really is the DM's job to balance player expectations.  




Completely 110% unacceptable.

1. Better at resisting magic doesn't change the fact that many spells are flat broken plot coupons.  Teleport being an easy one.  It does no damage, nobody resists it, but it breaks games.
2. Non-casters being reliant on using magic items to duplicate spell effects to be viable is not an acceptable state of affairs.  First, if they get a ring of wishes they can use 3 wishes, compared to the caster who can do it a couple times a day.  Second if their item is a ring of wishes then the wizard gets something else and pulls ahead in other areas.
3. Really related to point 2, the character should be what is strong and interesting.  He should never be a sidekick for his items.

There are only two ways to go, bring magic severely down to earth and expand non-casters along 4e lines or leave magic as it was in 2e/3.x and give non-casting classes "super human" powers starting around level 10. 



Well at least you proved my point that we don't 'all agree' on these issues.   

I'm perfectly happy with spells like that because they act as cues for role playing and serve to inspire improvisation.    As DM I like to be surprised by my players .  If all I'm doing is turning the big wheel of the machine for the entire session I get bored fast.      You have to understand that many old school gamers don't consider these spells to be broken plot coupons.   I've run many high level games in AD&D with players who had access to those spells and not once did they ever break my plot.    It just isn't possible to break a plot unless you are rail-roading your PC's down the garden path.      

Now, you might think that I'm 110% wrong , but I only explained how pre-4e systems worked.  The use of magical items as a balancing factor was a huge tool for the DM.      As for Wish, you should really read the 2e version of the spell before you comment.  No wizard is going to cast wish several times a day.   The spell aged the caster 5 years each time it was cast.     

Show

Wish

The wish spell is a more potent version of a limited wish. If it is used to alter reality with respect to damage sustained by a party, to bring a dead creature to life, or to escape from a difficult situation by lifting the spellcaster (and his party) from one place to another, it will not cause the wizard any disability. Other forms of wishes, however, cause the spellcaster to weaken (-3 on Strength) and require 2d4 days of bed rest due to the stresses thewish places upon time, space, and his body. Regardless of what is wished for, the exact terminology of the wishspell is likely to be carried out. Casting a wish spell ages the caster five years.

Discretionary power of the DM is necessary in order to maintain game balance. For example, wishing another creature dead is grossly unfair; the DM might well advance the spellcaster to a future period in which the creature is no longer alive, effectively putting the wishing character out of the campaign. 

 


And if they're playing an elf wizard with a lifespan of some 1200 years?  Or if they wish to live another thousand years?  Or if they're a Liche, undead, dragon etc?  It just doesn't play out like you would hope.  If they wanted to put a penalty like that on it should be more like "Casting Wish permantly reduces the casters constitution by 2, if the caster does not have a constitution score their charisma is reduced instead."

Besides, Wish is far from the worst offender.

 
Just make a superpower module. In this module spells can be broken and martial characters can be demigods.
And if they're playing an elf wizard with a lifespan of some 1200 years?

Wish magically ages you five years.  Whenever you suffer magical aging, you must roll System Shock or die.  Elves cannot be raised from the dead by most conventional means.

The metagame is not the game.

I would have all non spell caster classes do not under any circumstance have magical abilities.

Magic needs to be simplified. Clear concise explanations of what a spell does. Types of magic (schools) should have their names changed and become one with the "domains" of clerics.

Such as:

Combat spells-- spells that use arcane energy to cause damage to beings and objects. Gods of wars hand these spells out to their clerics.

Illusions spells-- spells that confuse a targets senses and prevent them from interacting with reality properly.

Elemental spells-- spells that create elemental effects for good or harm. Create fire vs fireball.

Transformation spells-- spells that alter the shape and characteristics of a being or object. 

etc...