I like Vancian magic!

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I must admit that I really enjoy a Vancian styled magic system in my D&D.  Maybe it's because I'm older and have fond memories to AD&D and 2nd Edition.  Maybe it's because of the preparedness I have to consider when I play a spell casters (and the roll playing options that follow, "What do you mean you did choose fireball today?").  Maybe it is because as a DM I like PCs clever use of spells for unique situations (my favorite was a PC Wizard using "Gaseous Form" to get past a very nasty trap).  Maybe it's because every potential NPC spellcaster the PCs face could provide a new source of spells.  As a DM the spells I can drop into a campaign might give the PCs an idea about what threats may be in the future (Ray of Frost?  Oh maybe that's for the Hellhound we found guarding the elemental forge?).
Me too, for the Wizard, I also enjoy other casting styles, that's what other classes are for.
I enjoy it too.  I've had many great experiences tinkering with spell lists with different takes on the mechanics and fluff.  (I mostly fluff Vancian as, "you can only take in so much magic energy before it's too much for you")  Personally, I hope a fleshed out Vancian system is available, along with other styles, from the start.  D&D is everyone's game!  I should be able to play Vancian and another play, say, an at-will caster.

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I would like to hear what you Vancian-Lover think about this pseudo-vancian/encounter/spellpoint system i've come up with. It is not as complicated as that makes it sound.

community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/... 
I would like to hear what you Vancian-Lover think about this pseudo-vancian/encounter/spellpoint system i've come up with. It is not as complicated as that makes it sound.

community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/... 


Downsides:
- Adds an extra step to the preparation process
- Breaks with tradition

Upsides:
- ???

I don't see a reason to make this change.
I would like to hear what you Vancian-Lover think about this pseudo-vancian/encounter/spellpoint system i've come up with. It is not as complicated as that makes it sound.

community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/... 


Downsides:
- Adds an extra step to the preparation process
- Breaks with tradition

Upsides:
- ???

I don't see a reason to make this change.



The only extra step it adds to preparation is the refunding spells bit, and that isn't exactly rocket science. Extra steps aren't bad thing by themselves, only if they make something to complicated or time consuming. This does neither.

Breaking tradition is also not bad if it replaces it with something better. Everyone seemed pretty happy when 3E broke the tradition of heals are just like regular spells.

And if you can't see how being able to change spells in between encounters is an upside, then I don't know how to help you.

Basically your quote reads,

Downsides:
Change is bad
Change is bad

Upsides:
Well since change is bad, it can't be good 
Pyrate can you elaborate on the clever solution?  Since  vancian is an acquired taste, I'm sure  this thread will soon get flame-y, so before that happens, maybe we can reminisce about clever uses for spells. 

Xerxes: by limiting the number of spells memorized at one time, you'rereducing the 5mwd, so good.   And to avoid screams of nerf, you're balancing it with more flexibility.  So, good benefits there.  

You might add to your description what you're trying to fix.    Because, the complaints I hear about vancian are:  5mwd,overpowered spells, overly flexible spells become too powerful, scaling spells with levels makes wizards too powerful, and that spell points encourage people to spam the same spells all day.   By setting the gunpowder rate, you've fixed 5mwd.  The rest, you can make a case areproblems with spells, not your solution except spell points.  By clarifying what you're fixing and what you aren't, you will avoid people leveling complaints like: I hatefinger of death.

Also, I don't like the spammy nature of spell points, so I would add a restriction that you can only memorize the same spell once at the same time.   This would meanthat those who liked to spam would leave some spells un memorized, which is a cool tension! IMHO. 
'Breaks with tradition' is not a bad thing.

The whole point of the modular approach is so you can use whatever you enjoy, whether it's a general thing, or on a per-character basis ('I like Vancian, I just don't want to use it on this guy/in this game').  So, there should be Vancian wizards, spell point wizards, AEDU wizards, etc etc.

I personally don't care for Vancian magic because I hate the idea of 'running out of magic'; nothing makes me feel less like a wizard than having to be a half-assed crossbowman.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I prefer Vancian.  I dig the resource management thing. 

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I like Vancian magic!

Me too!
I like Vancian magic for wizards

+1 to Xerxes13 spellpoint-prep system, or something similar to that system.
I miss Vancian magic. Just wondered off one day. Talkin' about a new system they was buildin' out west. Thought there might be work out that-a-way. I said, "Write me every chance you get, so's I don't worry bout cha!" Then I got this here telegram from the po-leece. Seems another hobo ridin' the boxcars didn't like the idea of sleepin' for 8 hours after every combat. Vancian magic said, that wasn't his fault that folks is hard up and lookin' to exploit a system. That hobo said he had to watch his little sister's character die at the hands of a troll because some fool of a wizard had memorized "Rope trick" instead of "Melf's acid arrow". Said if the fella could'a cast it spontaneous-like, it would'a saved her little gnome cleric and she wouldn't have to be in no sanitarium in Vermont. That's when that young man took out a shiv and... well, I don't like to speak of it. I don't want to ruin your day. I'm sure you've got problems of your own. It's just... I really liked Vancian magic...
I'm happy for y'all.
Just to clarify, you mean the D&D Spell slot sytem, not Jack Vance's magic system for Dying Earth, right? 
I'd really like to see a real Vancian option. 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
I'll throw my hat in the ring on this as well.  Loved Vancian magic, and never had a five minute workday because of it.  I bought the AD&D 1e deluxe reprints recently.  Maybe I'll try to get my group to play some 1e in the near future.

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I bought the AD&D 1e deluxe reprints recently.  Maybe I'll try to get my group to play some 1e in the near future.




Me too (even though I have the originals), after playing this game for 26 years, going through every edition, I have come full circle, the only editions of D&D I now want to DM/play are 1st Ed and Basic (and I like my 5th Ed experiences so far).
I'm happy for y'all.
Just to clarify, you mean the D&D Spell slot sytem, not Jack Vance's magic system for Dying Earth, right? 
I'd really like to see a real Vancian option. 



Yes D&D magic lacked the charm of its literary inspiration although some of that was just presentational style ... binding it as a daily resource was unnecessary keeping the concurrent spell count limited to something more like 1 per 3 (int mod + levels) and re-memorizable when you have time to do it would go a long way ... in other words it would be strikingly like an encounter based resource...then make the non-casters all have encounter based cs dice (representing short term fatigue perhaps).
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

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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 am a fan of Vancian magic and the particular flavor it brought to D&D worlds. AD&D also had a nice spell point system which works great alongside the Vancian caster. The D&D next iteration of both systems looks good, the spells themselves leave a lot to be desired, but hopefully in a few more packets the spells will be more appealing. 
Vancian magic needs a big limitation on the utility spells spamming, including divination spells. Some spells should truly be limited to a daily use.
After the minor arcane, it's time to introduce major arcane that can't be memorized more than once at any given time.
Vancian magic needs a big limitation on the utility spells spamming, including divination spells. Some spells should truly be limited to a daily use.
After the minor arcane, it's time to introduce major arcane that can't be memorized more than once at any given time.



Do we have rituals thats that cant be fast cast?
  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 happy for y'all.
Just to clarify, you mean the D&D Spell slot sytem, not Jack Vance's magic system for Dying Earth, right? 
I'd really like to see a real Vancian option. 

Agreed, I'd love to see a list of exactly 100 spells all with their wonderful names.

And then some advanced book on mathematics that allows to create clones  
I have never liked it- i tolerated it in earlier editions when forced to do so.

 
I have never liked it- i tolerated it in earlier editions when forced to do so.




You were forced to play D&D, or forced to play a caster?
Forced to tolerate vancian casting.  Sometimes GM's had more acceptable (to me) alternatives.

And if I play dnd next I will once again tolerate it.(increasingly unlikely to be honest- the group I play with will most likely stick to 4e for our online games and do something else for our face to face games)  
I like Vancian magic - but I'm not a purist and I don't think that all a wizard's magic must be Vancian.

In short - the current approach (Vancian with very weak at-will magic) is close to how I would have done it.

I would probably cut back more on the spells per day because of it (I'm not completely sure why wizards got at-will spells AND a bump in the number of spells per day).  And I would definately cut back on the number of spells in the wizard's spell book.

But as far as casting mechanics - I like it.

But I would also probably like a system that cut back even further on their spells known and let them cast spontaneously. 

Or a complex system which made the highest level spells the caster knew Vancian but allowed him to cast the lower levels more spontaneously (due to having become more familiar with them over time).

Just so long as part of the wizard's daily routine is:  "What spells do I want to learn today" (and that rope trick spell saved that little gnome cleric a dozen times before we met that troll - but does anyone talk about that?  No -it's all 'let's blame the wizard.'  What about the ranger? - if he had noticed the trolls tracks I might have memorized Acid arrow that morning.) - the specific mechanics to reinforce that are not he most important.  (4E did not satisfy that because there were too few chioices on a daily basis - with the big choices having been made during character creation).

I'm waiting to see how the wizard traditions fits in.  I'm hoping it supplements Vancian memorization and doesn't replace it completly or make it unnecessary.

(Oh, and I don't trust spell point mechanisms unless the spells are specifically chosen to complement the system - most likely set-number-of-targets spells - because I think it is easly abused and potentially broken)

Carl
I would probably cut back more on the spells per day because of it (I'm not completely sure why wizards got at-will spells AND a bump in the number of spells per day).  And I would definately cut back on the number of spells in the wizard's spell book.



I'm kind of happy with the change. If the wizard could have more spells at lower levels and less spells at higher levels, I would be thrilled.

Low level vancian casters were kind of lame. Shooting darts and cast sleep once per day wasn't that fun.
Vancian magic needs a big limitation on the utility spells spamming, including divination spells. Some spells should truly be limited to a daily use.
After the minor arcane, it's time to introduce major arcane that can't be memorized more than once at any given time.



Do we have rituals thats that cant be fast cast?

I include spells like shapechange, monster summoning, teleport or polymorph, as I don't know which overpowered spells will come back with the vancian things. Personnally I had a sorcerer able to spam spells like Clairvoyance, prying eyes, and more than one transport spell. We had to discuss with the DM about the impact of these on the campaigns, because the mobility and flexibility of two characters in the party (including my sorcerer) were too effective and left the others acting at "street level". We had effectively two teams, with one able to coordinate the actions from five different organizations, including a nation.

The rest of the group didn't object, are they were participating to the decisions, and because not using these options would have been criminal. But they were basically reduced to be some advisors, as their actions as "street level" adventurers would have had too hazardous effects. At this point, their class meant nothing, each of them were leading large groups of men and hoped they had created more charismatic characters.

Being able to teleport four our more times in a day is overpowered depending on the number of contacts throughout the campaign world. I think that some spells really need a strict daily limit.

Pyrate can you elaborate on the clever solution?  Since  vancian is an acquired taste, I'm sure  this thread will soon get flame-y, so before that happens, maybe we can reminisce about clever uses for spells. 

Xerxes: by limiting the number of spells memorized at one time, you'rereducing the 5mwd, so good.   And to avoid screams of nerf, you're balancing it with more flexibility.  So, good benefits there.  

You might add to your description what you're trying to fix.    Because, the complaints I hear about vancian are:  5mwd,overpowered spells, overly flexible spells become too powerful, scaling spells with levels makes wizards too powerful, and that spell points encourage people to spam the same spells all day.   By setting the gunpowder rate, you've fixed 5mwd.  The rest, you can make a case areproblems with spells, not your solution except spell points.  By clarifying what you're fixing and what you aren't, you will avoid people leveling complaints like: I hatefinger of death.

Also, I don't like the spammy nature of spell points, so I would add a restriction that you can only memorize the same spell once at the same time.   This would meanthat those who liked to spam would leave some spells un memorized, which is a cool tension! IMHO. 



3.0 PC Wizard studies Gaseous Form not once but three times.  The party ends up blocked by a trap, pin holes pierce the walls and ceiling of a chamber.  When anything blocks the light from the holes the trap goes off and then magically resets.  On the far side is a pair of clay golems ready to mash the party and are immune the to magical traps effects.  Behind the party is a water trap with an undead albino crocodile that has killed 2 PCs already.  The Halfling Rogue can not find a way to bypass the trap (bad die rolls).  They can't go back and they can't go ahead.  The entire party is wounded.    The Halfling Rogues places the two dead PCs in his bag of holding.  The Wizard casts Gaseous Form on himself and the two remaining PCs (Halfling Rogue and Ranger) and off through the pin holes they go!  Absolutely brilliant idea!  Once outside the Wizard ends the spell and smashes a vial of ink on the area so they can return to the exact location and avoid the underwater trap with the crocodile.  Did I give the creative PC a bonus, oh heck yeah!

Currently I am being cautiously optimistic about broken spells from the past but you may be right.

Being able to teleport four our more times in a day is overpowered depending on the number of contacts throughout the campaign world. I think that some spells really need a strict daily limit.




4e made big campaign scale teleport in to very tame ritual it needed to be set up. And battle field teleportation became damn near common but mostly under control... which is kind of weird.
  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."

 


(Oh, and I don't trust spell point mechanisms unless the spells are specifically chosen to complement the system - most likely set-number-of-targets spells - because I think it is easly abused and potentially broken)

Carl



Ironically though I like them in theory I want it play tested to death, having some sort of repetition of magic is resisted by the environment (improve adversaries saving throws vs a magic if you are redoing it in a short period) to discourage pete and repeat boredom and or abusive combos might help.


  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 don't have a problem with Vancian magic. I don't think Vancian magic was ever really the issue for me. The issue for me are those specific spells that always seem to let wizards snag the spot light during all the pivotal moments of a campaign or that can completely destroy a story arc if you don't directly undermine wizard in some way.

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"It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare." - Edmund Burke
Based on replies in this thread, it seems like there's two (seemingly) pretty distinct group of people arguing for Vancian magic.

Some seem to want it because of tradition (I don't mean that in any derogatory sense- there's nothing wrong with tradition) or because they like that sort of spell slot approach and some seem to like the concept of  daily resource management (which could potentially be done by some other system).

Out of curiosity, Vancian fans, how many of you would be okay with some sort of alternate system that preserved the focus on daily resources while potentially losing the explicit spell slots?
I don't trust spell point mechanisms unless the spells are specifically chosen to complement the system - most likely set-number-of-targets spells - because I think it is easly abused and potentially broken


I agree completely, just taking a limited set of existing wizard spells and letting Sorcers go crazy with it just doesn't seem like a good idea. I mean, does anyone know what effect using Cause Fear 16 times per day would have on class balance (as an example, but it really could be most spells).
I don't trust spell point mechanisms unless the spells are specifically chosen to complement the system - most likely set-number-of-targets spells - because I think it is easly abused and potentially broken


I agree completely, just taking a limited set of existing wizard spells and letting Sorcers go crazy with it just doesn't seem like a good idea. I mean, does anyone know what effect using Cause Fear 16 times per day would have on class balance (as an example, but it really could be most spells).



If the spell is balanced in the first place, it shouldn't matter how many times you cast it.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I don't necessarily dislike vancian magic. It is far from anything I'd consider ideal, but it doesn't bother me if someone else at the table is using it or anything. I'm mostly concerned with the game balance issues it brings and the necessity to be glued to x number of encounters per day to maintain that balance.


If the spell is balanced in the first place, it shouldn't matter how many times you cast it.



Didn't 4E solve this by designating spells as either at-will / encounter / daily to balance them? They obviously thought that it mattered 100% how many times you could cast a spell based on how powerful it was, and took steps to organize them. Varying degrees of power do not imbalance a game. Improperly implementing those power-levels can and does imbalance a game.


If the spell is balanced in the first place, it shouldn't matter how many times you cast it.



Didn't 4E solve this by designating spells as either at-will / encounter / daily to balance them? They obviously thought that it mattered 100% how many times you could cast a spell based on how powerful it was, and took steps to organize them. Varying degrees of power do not imbalance a game. Improperly implementing those power-levels can and does imbalance a game.



The AEDU structure wasn't the only thing producing that balance. The daily attack powers available to wizard and clerics are far more prone to dramatically impact a combat encounter. Their utility powers tended towards having more notable effects on combat and non-combat situations. Class features and feat selection also play a significant role in balancing things out between the classes.


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Dreaming the Impossible Dream
Imagine a world where the first-time D&D player rolls stats, picks a race, picks a class, picks an alignment, and buys gear to create a character. Imagine if an experienced player, maybe the person helping our theoretical player learn the ropes, could also make a character by rolling ability scores and picking a race, class, feat, skills, class features, spells or powers, and so on. Those two players used different paths to build characters, but the system design allows them to play at the same table. -Mearl

"It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare." - Edmund Burke
I don't trust spell point mechanisms unless the spells are specifically chosen to complement the system - most likely set-number-of-targets spells - because I think it is easly abused and potentially broken


I agree completely, just taking a limited set of existing wizard spells and letting Sorcers go crazy with it just doesn't seem like a good idea. I mean, does anyone know what effect using Cause Fear 16 times per day would have on class balance (as an example, but it really could be most spells).



If the spell is balanced in the first place, it shouldn't matter how many times you cast it.



PRobably true.  But spells are complex enough that no edition has ever made them all perfectly balanced relative to each other (not even 4E) so why assume 5E will start?

One of the advantages of Vancian castng is that no matter how good a spell is - you can only cast it a set number of times per day - and the rest of your spells have to be used for something else.

So if (as an example) Cause Fear is broken you can only cast it once or twice a day when you first learn it and eventually max out at four times a day under a typical Vancian system (maybe more if you learn it in higher spell slots). But in a spell point system you can find that most effecient or broken spell and cast it over and over with no limitations.


One of the often overlooked advantages of the Vancian system is that the mechanics themselves put a brake on the worse abuses due to imbalanced spells - brakes which are removed when you go to less restrictive casting systems.

Carl
Out of curiosity, Vancian fans, how many of you would be okay with some sort of alternate system that preserved the focus on daily resources while potentially losing the explicit spell slots?



I would be entirely okay with an alternate system providing the three things I like with vancian casting.

* Few but powerful and significant spells, contrary to spammable and relatively meaningless spells.
* That spellcasters mostly use a slowly returning resource (daily, weekly, whatever)
* That wizards take a scholarly approach to magic which involes pre-preparation of spells, learning of spells, a spellbook etc.

I want the feeling of the traditional d&d wizard, the actual system is not really important.
(But 4Es system for instance, did not capture this feeling..)


Out of curiosity, Vancian fans, how many of you would be okay with some sort of alternate system that preserved the focus on daily resources while potentially losing the explicit spell slots?



I would be entirely okay with an alternate system providing the three things I like with vancian casting.

* Few but powerful and significant spells, contrary to spammable and relatively meaningless spells.
* That spellcasters mostly use a slowly returning resource (daily, weekly, whatever)
* That wizards take a scholarly approach to magic which involes pre-preparation of spells, learning of spells, a spellbook etc.

I want the feeling of the traditional d&d wizard, the actual system is not really important.
(But 4Es system for instance, did not capture this feeling..)



Few but powerful spells with no spammy attacks? Exactly what are spellcasters supposed to do when they don't want to waste a spell then?

I don't know about you, but you're almost describing a low level spellcaster in any previous edition where you spent levels 1-5 or so doing nothing. I remember those editions. They weren't fun.

Having weak spammy attacks fixes this problem by letting you be a spellcaster when you're not blowing things up.

I'll be up-front and admit that I love 4e. It fixed a LOT of the issues I was having with 2nd and 3rd. Sure it introduced it's own set of problems, but they were tame compared to the 2-handed combat monsters playing pet nodwick for their wizard/sorcerer/cleric/dual-progression prc overlords that 3e devolved into at the end of it's life (a lot like the multi-class abuses that plagued high-level 2nd edition. Don't get me started on the BS that was Skills and Powers...).

The only part of 4e that I think would have been better-off represented by the spell-slot system of previous editions was ritual magic.

That's it.

Take 4e, fix some of the problems the new systems introduced (too many powers per class for example...too much emphasis on playing with minis and a battle-mat...etc), drop gold-restrictive ritual magic, find some way to reintroduce random loot tables without borking balance, drop-kick skill challenges into the nether, and replace the overly long ability list for every class with a much smaller number of skills that tend to be more flexable and evolve as your character levels.

There. I just fixed 4e. Slap a 5e sticker on the cover and ship it.

The only times I won't hate on the spell-slot system are as a replacement for 4e's ritual magic system, or as an optional magic system for D&D that a) not default, and b) not core. I hate it. I will never make it onto my gaming table as a primary magic system ever again. Not for me as a player, and definetly not as a GM. I've seen it completely fail as a system too many times to ever give it another chance.
I don't know about you, but you're almost describing a low level spellcaster in any previous edition where you spent levels 1-5 or so doing nothing. I remember those editions. They weren't fun.



Well yes, that is exactly what I am describing...  with the difference that we found those editions fun.

I understand that some people hate that system and want wizards that allways have access to spammable magic.
That is a question of taste and preference.

I feel magic to be more like "magic" if it is rare, restricted in some ways but powerful when it is used. I also like the flavour of the traditional wizard.
I don't know about you, but you're almost describing a low level spellcaster in any previous edition where you spent levels 1-5 or so doing nothing. I remember those editions. They weren't fun.

An approach to solving this this problem I thought about way back in 3E involved the proliferation of spells like produce flame and flaming sphere that gave the caster something to do for many rounds.  A 1st-level wizard could cast one of his two 1st-level spells and get a decent magical attack for the rest of the fight, not just a single shot of magic missile.

A moot point, though, since it's pretty clear that at-will magic is here to stay in DDN.