This Thread is not to Bury Vancian Magic, but to Praise It.

There has been a lot of controversy about Vancian magic.  We all know what it is.  We've all heard criticisms of it (I've heard them as long as I've played that game, and I started in 1980).  We've all heard denials of those criticisms.  

I am not aware of having heard much said on the positive side.  That's what this thread is for.

Just to make this very clear:  This is not a thread to dump on Vancian casting.  We have enough of that, and endless opportunities for more.  I think we can just acknowledge that, yes, there are some valid criticisms of it as a system and a concept.  Neither is this a place to deny those criticisms.  This is not a thread for 'it's not that bad' or 'any good DM can fix it' or 'it'll be OK in DDN,' or anything like that.  Take the opportunity to talk about the positive things about the system that make it worth putting up with, or trying to fix, all the real and/or imagined negatives.   So, find something good to say about Vancian magic, or, if you want to condemn it, say nothing at all.


I'll start:

Casting my failing memory back to the early 80s, I can recall liking several things about playing casters, one of them actually had something to do with the Vancian system:

I liked the challenge of trying to guess at the best combination of spells to prepare for the day.   

There, that's one good thing about Vancian magic to put on the 'pro' side against all the bad stuff we've been hearing.  Any more?




PS:  Just as we're accustomed to seeing denials of the problems with Vancian magic, I don't expect us to get through this without seeing denials of the positives.  So foes of Vancian who must can vent their spleen in that manner, while staying on topic.  Should be a fresh perspective for both sides.

PPS:  Let's keep this to the Vancian system, itself, rather than specific spells, too.  Also, let's not get bent out of shape about the definition thereof or the words we used to describe it.  Just use your own words to describe what you like about it.

PPPS:   Y'know, why don't I keep a running tally of what we like, here:


Challenge of picking the right spells for the day: Tony Vargas, Valdark, Rhenny, gnome-in-denial, jaelis, abanathie, Ahglock, Admiral-JCJF, Hal_Magefire, Uskglass, dwetzel, Ivid_IV, ArjenL, arnwolf666

Resource management challenge: gnome-in-denial, Drycanth, jaelis, Galendril, abanathie, Ahglock, Nautilus, Abanathie, Admiral-JCJF, Uskglass, AquaticSpaceChicken, Zombie_Babies, Ivid_IV, arnwolf666 

Bookish/Lore-focus: spellbooks, 'name' spells, gaining new spells from books, scrolls, or research: Garthanos, Tony Vargas, Valdark, Rhenny, gnome-in-denial, Lesp, jaelis, Ahglock, MechaPilot, Pashalik-Mons, dwetzel, Maxperson, drzachary, PlanarRambler

Daily limit represents danger/strain of casting: Doctor Necrotic, Rhenny

Gauranteed casting, no spell failure/always work the same: Lawolf

Easy 'math?': Qmark.  

School specialization: Artifact, Admiral-JCJF

Vancian spells are more Powerful: TheOneWhoCallCrow, Drycanth, Galendril, arnwolf666

Vancian casters have greater Versatility: Lesp, DoctorNecrotic, Lawolf, Hal_Magefire, Promitheas, Zyph, Fabio_Milito_Pagliara, Zombie_Babies, Shasarak, arnwolf666

Same spell can only be cast so many times/day: Garthanos, Zombie_Babies

Systematic casting: prep the same spell repeatedly, or cast it every day: Lawolf

Spell levels: Lesp

Flavor/in-game rationale: Ahglock,
AquaticSpaceChicken, Fabio_Milito_Pagliara, Trillinon 

DM-controlled: Ivid_IV

Dying Earth Fan! PlanarRambler

Vancian casters' abilities drive party decisions: ArjenL 

 

 

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You ummm picked mine...  but the idea of gathering lost knowledge can be fun too.

See we can play nice. 
  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."

 

The way I've flavored/fluffed Vancian is that you can only take so much magic at once.  If you take in too much, it'll cost you (As posted before, the "Blood Magic" from D20 Dark Matter inspired this).  I kind of like that notion that no matter how powerful you are, you're still just human or dwarf or genasi or whatever...  You can only handle so much power before it overwhelms you.

An undead spectre occasionally returning to remind the fandom of its grim existence.

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
um... the math is easy.

"Two fireballs, knock, rope trick, alarm, identify, read magic, feather fall.  Done.  Next level I'll just add another knock and ice storm."
I loved the tie to hidden lore.

2e was my favorite in this regard.

Everything you got was something you had to adventure for or research and it cost you resources.

I love having to protect those resources as well.

Not casting a fireball because you know it will burn up that scroll in the treasure pile.

And yes prep was key.

Did you need jump or haste, or was combat where you should focus?

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

It makes casting a spell seem more difficult and quite different from using a skill or swinging a sword.   It grounds wizardry in a "bookishness" that adds flavor to the campaign world.  Every morning, I have to consciously read/prepare my spells.  With other spell casting mechanisms, it seems that the magic just resets too easily.


A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

I enjoyed playing specialists.  An Illusionist for instance, gained an extra illusion spell of each level he could cast but couldn't cast spells of necromancy, invocation, or abjuration.  In 3e, you could just choose two opposed schools (or a single one if you were a Diviner).

Advantage/disadvantage, give-n-take, yin/yang, it was cool.  Wasn't perfect but, I didn't necessarily want a perfect PC.  

My fighters always had 18/00 Strength though.  
/\ Art
More of the same... This is not so much "Vancian" spellcasting as it is specifically the Wizard and 2nd ed mechanics.

I loved not just "getting" spells when I leveled.  I had to study, hunt, and quest for them.  The DM would probably make it hard on me, but the payoff was huge.  It was fun to see how much I'd push myself to get that one spell, even if I didnt WANT it, I HAD TO HAVE IT, because I was a wizard, a knowledge horder, a keeper of arcane secrets.

I too liked the tactical game of "which spells to keep".  I liked how I could customize myself to work for all manner of situations IF I prepared for it and knew ahead of time my scenario.

Slightly off topic - I did like the twist Monte Cooke gave to Vancian spellcasting in Arcana Unearthed.  Very awesome D20 variant.   
More of the same... This is not so much "Vancian" spellcasting as it is specifically the Wizard and 2nd ed mechanics.

I loved not just "getting" spells when I leveled.  I had to study, hunt, and quest for them.  The DM would probably make it hard on me, but the payoff was huge.  It was fun to see how much I'd push myself to get that one spell, even if I didnt WANT it, I HAD TO HAVE IT, because I was a wizard, a knowledge horder, a keeper of arcane secrets.



I have a character in 4e who collects rituals.. its pretty darn cool. Oh look I have one for taming a Wardrake.
ever met a Wardrake ... no.... but I have that ritual.
  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."

 

You ummm picked mine...  but the idea of gathering lost knowledge can be fun too.

See we can play nice. 

Oh! Good point.  I should have thought of the joys of spell-hunting: lusting after each scroll and spellbook - particularly as I RP'd my first 4e wizard as being that way about rituals.  

 

 

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Its probably off topic but in Jack Vances novels one of the key features you saw was very personalized naming of spells ... the named spells in D&D  evoke that a little but not quite enough.

I like flavorful and poetic fighting maneuvers too.. reminds me of some of the names from the Hema studies found in europe and ones used in eatern lore both... Fantasy too, In particular Wheel of Times Heron Blade fighting moves.
  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 just recalled another and posted on another thread.

Custom spell making process.

When you worked with a DM and made a new spell that was YOUR spell.

You named it and no NPC or other PC could learn it unless they got your permission or stole your book.

Later campaigns could even feature it as a nod to characters past.

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

I just recalled another and posted on another thread. Custom spell making process.



Never seen it?
  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."

 

Valdark is right about the p.c.'s making their own spells post .This is correct- Otiluke, Bigby, Melf. All player characters who made their own spells and those spells became iconic spell that all players recognize. In some cases these were Gary's childrens characters in 1e.
I just recalled another and posted on another thread. Custom spell making process.



Never seen it?


Are you saying you never have or asking me a question?

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

Never seen it?

2E attempted to codify what Gygax and Arneson had allowed Melf and Bigby to do.
It didn't work out very well, because it was mostly "try to convince the DM to let you do whatever".

I just recalled another and posted on another thread. Custom spell making process. When you worked with a DM and made a new spell that was YOUR spell. You named it and no NPC or other PC could learn it unless they got your permission or stole your book. Later campaigns could even feature it as a nod to characters past.




While I love this concept I'd want better rules for how it worked in 1e and better guidelines for the results.

Devil as always is in the details
 
I just recalled another and posted on another thread. Custom spell making process.



Never seen it?


Are you saying you never have or asking me a question?



I have never seen it and was prompting for a source of mechanics .... I didnt play 2 only 1e. 
  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."

 

Thanks for the positive start! 

I'm compiling the "pros" in the first post. 

 

 

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I just recalled another and posted on another thread. Custom spell making process.



Never seen it?


Are you saying you never have or asking me a question?



I have never seen it and was prompting for a source of mechanics .... I didnt play 2 only 1e. 

It was in the 1e DMG, IIRC.   I'm considering this part of the 'lore focus,' if that's OK...

 

 

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um... the math is easy.

"Two fireballs, knock, rope trick, alarm, identify, read magic, feather fall.  Done.  Next level I'll just add another knock and ice storm."



I think 4es vancian is technically easier because you just have a card representing each no worry about counting duplicates... 

Yes 4es Wizards spells are Vancian. (very flavorable that way if you want)
  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 just recalled another and posted on another thread. Custom spell making process.



Never seen it?


Are you saying you never have or asking me a question?



I have never seen it and was prompting for a source of mechanics .... I didnt play 2 only 1e. 


I will look at the details again so I don't get it wrong(don't have my books with me right now) but I really enjoyed the process and carried over the concept to my 3e games. 

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

You know how bad I want to make my own spells?

I want to make an ice version of fireball. Do 5d6, instead of AoE you get to make a single target rolled a save or be prone. 

What I like about the system that it's more powerful then at will or encounter abilites. :P 
I loved being a low level mage and only having three spells available.
I love a spell book where I did not get the magic missle and had to figure out how to work with what I had.
I loved the look on the face of the DM when I sauntered up the the big bad knight that was backing our fighter down with a stern look and saying "I got this" and going "sleeeep".
DMG pg 263 "No matter what a rule's source, a rule serves you, not the other way around."
Knowing sleep was winning the spell lotto.. I never did.
  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 no fan of Vancian magic (I'm the "this doesn't match how magic works" sort), but there are things I do really like dependant on some things that are associated with vancian magic more than other resources systems D&D has used -

I like that there can be a scroll in the treasure and the wizard can copy it down and now that's something the wizard can just do. It's a sort of treasure that's otherwise not something you really see. (Something dependant on there being a class that knows a finite but uncapped number of spells, like the 3.5 Wizard.)

I like that in a system where wizards know a variable but potentially unlimited number of spells, there's a more naturalistic space for fairly narrow or niche spells unlikely to be chosen by a character who only gets a finite number. (Something dependant again on there being a class with access to an uncapped number of spells, like the 3.5 Wizard or Cleric.)

I like how spell levels allow for a reasonably natural and intuitive way for metamagic feats to work. (Something dependant on spell levels.)
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.
I guess to me there are two distinct components here, that don't have to go together.

One is having a spellbook you prepare spells from, which is fun because it leads to collecting spells, figuring out what spell to prepare, having lots of choices to reflect different situations, and the bookish feel of a sage and scholar. I kind of think that worrying about protecting your spellbook is fun too.

The second thing is the slot-per-day fire-and-forget mechanic. Nice things about that are the need to plan ahead and manage resources over multiple encounters. It makes long rests a little more interesting because an interruption can have significant consequences, and it makes long rests meaningful, breaking up an adventure into work days like a real job. It can also be a fun dynamic when you have a time limit and need to push through a long day... operating on low or no spells makes that feel more stressful and intense.

There has been a lot of controversy about Vancian magic.  We all know what it is.  We've all heard criticisms of it (I've heard them as long as I've played that game, and I started in 1980).  We've all heard denials of those criticisms.  

I am not aware of having heard much said on the positive side.  That's what this thread is for.

Just to make this very clear:  This is not a thread to dump on Vancian casting.  We have enough of that, and endless opportunities for more.  I think we can just acknowledge that, yes, there are some valid criticisms of it as a system and a concept.  Neither is this a place to deny those criticisms.  This is not a thread for 'it's not that bad' or 'any good DM can fix it' or 'it'll be OK in DDN,' or anything like that.  Take the opportunity to talk about the positive things about the system that make it worth putting up with, or trying to fix, all the real and/or imagined negatives.   So, find something good to say about Vancian magic, or, if you want to condemn it, say nothing at all.


I'll start:

Casting my failing memory back to the early 80s, I can recall liking several things about playing casters, one of them actually had something to do with the Vancian system:

I liked the challenge of trying to guess at the best combination of spells to prepare for the day.   

There, that's one good thing about Vancian magic to put on the 'pro' side against all the bad stuff we've been hearing.  Any more?




PS:  Just as we're accustomed to seeing denials of the problems with Vancian magic, I don't expect us to get through this without seeing denials of the positives.  So foes of Vancian who must can vent their spleen in that manner, while staying on topic.  Should be a fresh perspective for both sides.

PPS:  Let's keep this to the Vancian system, itself, rather than specific spells, too.



PPPS:   Y'know, why don't I keep a running tally of what we like, here:


Challenge of picking the right spells for the day:Tony Vargas, Valdark, Rhenny, gnome-in-denial

Resource management challenge:gnome-in-denial

Bookish/Lore-focus, 'name' spells, ever on the lookout for books & scrolls:Garthanos, Tony Vargas, Valdark, Rhenny, gnome-in-denial

Daily limit represents danger/strain of casting:Doctor Necrotic, Rhenny

Easy 'math?':Qmark.  

School specialization:Artifact

More Power:TheOneWhoCallCrow

#1 for me is that Vancian Magic allows for a wider variety of spells and even allows some pretty powerful spells applicable to specific instances.  I like having a character that has the option to fly, fireball, or any number of other activies.  But, has to chose carefully to determine which would be most useful for the day.
You fight for your freedom? Well, I fight for the freedom of all.
The cool thing about rituals was you might end up using an obscure highlly situational one.. because it didnt take up a valuable slot
  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'll go with first one.  There is a challenge of picking the right spell; I picked to diversify the capabilities of the party.  The Vancian system taught me to spread spells out based on effect and forced me to diversify those effects as much as possible.  That, in turn, forced me to creatively apply spells in different ways that weren't necessarily in the norm.  That made playing a wizard (or magic user) more enjoyable overall. 

  
I just recalled another and posted on another thread. Custom spell making process.



Never seen it?


Are you saying you never have or asking me a question?



I have never seen it and was prompting for a source of mechanics .... I didnt play 2 only 1e. 



The rules kind of changed over time in 2e.  Basics were design a spell base its level off existing spells, show it to your DM, and if allows it you are good to go for it.  It was incredibly slow, required expensive access to research materials and had a low chance of success that grew as you spent more time.  

Anyways, the things I love about vancian magic.

Resource management
Picking the right spells for the job
finding new spells
I liked the limits in earlier edition, magic resistance in 1-2e a save system that you couldn't bitch slap by targeting a weak save, real disruption etc.

and mostly magic felt more magical to me.  Most magic systems with magic points or the AeDU system felt more like super powers with the magic special effect tacked on.(obviously to me)

 But vancian had in depth rules for how it worked not only mechanically but in the game world, it was this long ritual process of holding a near complete ritual in your mind to finally be unleashed, it allowed the bizarre and fantastic into the world without feeling like GM fiat.  When you saw a flying castle it wasn;t just a set piece it was, wow can we figure out how to do that.  Conceptually I liked the ritual system in 4e, but something about it never really clicked for me.  It didn't seem to meld with the game world as well, the costs went from who would be dumb enough to ever use this to trivial over a couple adventures, without a ritual invention system it had less feel as the mad-science of a magical world.
Another thing I liked about Vancian is I can cast some spells one day and cast from a different list in my book the next day.  I'm not stuck with the same powers throughout my level, which I do indeed like.  Depending on the books available, the combos and mixtures are almost limitless.  I don't really care about optimization, but the ability to try something new every day can be fun.

An undead spectre occasionally returning to remind the fandom of its grim existence.

 

 

Some good pointers for the fellow hobbyist!:

  • KEEP D&D ALIVE, END EDITION WARS!
  • RESPECT PEOPLES' PREFERENCES
  • JUST ENJOY THE GAME!
There's more than one flavor of Vancian magic. What I'll call Classic Vancian is the system used by wizards from 1-3e, where you regularly preselected your daily spells, and they were all you had. 4e Vancian retained some daily resources while sharply shifting the focus to at-will/encounter resources. 5e Vancian promises to resemble Classic Vancian more, while providing some at-will resources (and maybe minor encounter resources).

I'll say something positive about the Classic Vancian variant, in particular the system used by wizards in 3rd Edition.

When your first-choice spells were gone, you had to think hard about how the rest of your spells might affect an encounter. This led to some fantastic creativity as lesser known spells were given a chance to shine.

There's more than one flavor of Vancian magic. What I'll call Classic Vancian is the system used by wizards from 1-3e, where you regularly preselected your daily spells, and they were all you had. 4e Vancian retained some daily resources while sharply shifting the focus to at-will/encounter resources. 5e Vancian promises to resemble Classic Vancian more, while providing some at-will resources (and maybe minor encounter resources).

I'll say something positive about the Classic Vancian variant, in particular the system used by wizards in 3rd Edition.

When your first-choice spells were gone, you had to think hard about how the rest of your spells might affect an encounter. This led to some fantastic creativity as lesser known spells were given a chance to shine.




I agree.  Like Forcecaging an ally when he was about to get eaten by a T-rex.  It kept him alive. Granted we had to gut the thing to get to him... That would have been the third time that would happened to him... 
Garthanos,

The rules are about two pages in length but they go basically like this.

Player decideds what he wants to accomplish and presents it to the DM.

Dm then talks it over with him and makes sure the spell will actually accomplish what the player is wanting to accomplish.

Then it says to make sure that it doesn't copy what another player has already made on their own so as to avoid stepping on that players toes.

Then it says not to allow things that are intended to "break the system"  and goes on to say don't let Clerics get Wizard stuff and vice versa. It also points out that reasearch is "not a way to cheat".

Then it says to ask the player what limits they think the spell should have.

"If the spell seems unacceptable, tell the player what the concerns are.  Usually an agreement can be reached on any problems."

The DM will decide level of the spell, components and research time.

This is done by comparing the spell to existing spells.  It gives guidlines on damage vs level and time/cost. 

Then it gives optional rules for researching over your spells known per level.

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

I have a question for fans of vancian magic - would 4e's version of vancian (the daily abilities for wizaards) have been more acceptable to you if there was more variety to choose from at each level and the ability to have more choices in your spellbook similar to what was present in previous editions.

In the "real" vancian system the number of spells available per day was FAR lower than dnd allowed but would that be acceptable to you if there was truly a wider range of choices than 4e allowed?

What is the "ideal" number of daily resources for your playstyle?
 
Thanks for the quick summary of the key points in the OP, it makes framing my response (some postive, some "responses" ;) ) far easier.

Challenge of picking the right spells for the day:

This has always been one of my favorite parts of Vancian casting.  Those key decisions... especially between utility (Fly, Invisibility, True Sight) and combat related (Haste, Acid Arrow, Disintegrate) spells.  Would the value of the utility spell outweigh having that "combat ender" on hand?

That's why I HATED the explosion of spells available in the late game.  This challenge went away almost entirely.  Equally bad was the "keep all utilities here" wands and staffs of 3.X.
     
Resource management challenge:

Pretty much as above, it's all about the decision when to use those precious few spells.

Again, I HATED the explosion of spells in the late game making this irellevant.  Though I LOVE the at-will of minor effects, just so I still feel "magical" when I'm between game changers... I'd prefer it didn't do more damage than a crossbow though.
    
Bookish/Lore-focus, 'name' spells, ever on the lookout for books & scrolls:

I've got one answer to this.

What do any of these have to do with Vancian casting?

...

That's right, NOTHING.

Which is precisely why I want to see "drop in, drop out" totally modular casting systems for alternative options in the Wizard class.        

Daily limit represents danger/strain of casting:

I do understand how other people "get" this "feel", but it just doesn't work that way for me.

Actual "risk" mechanics, damage or exhaustion would do this better for me.  

Easy 'math?':

Sure, but so does Spell Point, AEDU or Arcane Check as a system. 
 
School specialization:

Now we're onto something again!

The structure of Vancian DOES lend it'self well to this kind of design.  Though I think other systems can be MADE to do this as well, Vancian comes by it naturally, which is a strength.   
 
More Power:

Seriously?

We're calling Quadratic Wizards a "feature" now?

Bleah.

Count me out.   
I have a question for fans of vancian magic - would 4e's version of vancian (the daily abilities for wizaards) have been more acceptable to you if there was more variety to choose from at each level and the ability to have more choices in your spellbook similar to what was present in previous editions.

In the "real" vancian system the number of spells available per day was FAR lower than dnd allowed but would that be acceptable to you if there was truly a wider range of choices than 4e allowed?

What is the "ideal" number of daily resources for your playstyle?
 


Absolutely would have been more wizard like to me.

The last question is tougher to answer but I'd like to stress that the number of options available for memorization would have been a HUGE step in the right direction.

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

Even 4es encounter spells can be quite Vancian...  they just represent spells of lesser potency that your brain recovers from the stress of using faster... The essentials mage allows them to be swapped.

There werent enough rituals done on release of 4e either it was meant to be the go gather these component of the experience but it was under fed. 
  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."

 

Bookish/Lore-focus, 'name' spells, ever on the lookout for books & scrolls:Garthanos, Tony Vargas, Valdark, Rhenny, gnome-in-denial


This is probably my favorite thing about vancian casting as well.  Staying in the spirit of the thread, which will be a delicate walk here, I have to ask if this is part of the vancian system or a wizard class feature.  We've certainly seen vancian casters (clerics, sorcerers, druids, etc.) who use the vancian system but do not learn new spells from enemy spellbooks or found scrolls.  Since this appears to be something confined to the wizard, you can see my question as to whether this is actually part of the vancian system.

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.

Even 4es encounter spells can be quite Vancian...  they just represent spells of lesser potency that your brain recovers from the stress of using faster... The essentials mage allows them to be swapped.

There werent enough rituals done on release of 4e either it was meant to be the go gather these component of the experience but it was under fed. 


I've always felt that encounter spells from 4e can be seen as vancian if you just assume that the caster has memorized the same spell roughly 3-5 times.

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.

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