How would you balance different casting systems?

Now that they've said there will be different casting systems, how do you hope they balance them against each other?
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
First of all, they only said that they were looking at the possibility, and we shouldn't expect casting systems on the module level (outside of classes) to definitely make it into the finished game.

That being said, I also disagree that the systems must all be perfectly balanced against each other, and I think it would be neat if Vancian was the middle-ground between encounter-based spell slots and ritual-only magic.

If I had to balance them against each other, though, I wouldn't be able to balance anything against Vancian without first making an assumption about how many rounds of combat there will be in a day, and I wouldn't be able to balance anything against an encounter-based resource unless I made assumptions as to the length of the average encounter.

Taking all of that into account, I would hope that Vancian casters would be balanced by knowing more spells and having few enough spell slots that not-casting was a viable choice to conserve power (maybe give them an inherent magic bonus to weapon damage, to make up for the fact that all basic attacks are expected to have +dice of damage behind them ), while the hot slot casters could know ~2 spells per spell level and have their spell slots regenerate (somewhat) between encounters, and the at-will casters would really only have one (or possibly two) combat-capable spells (such as a blasting spell or a healing spell) and only a handful of situational out-of-combat utility abilities that were clearly magical in nature.

The metagame is not the game.

wel they said the same spell list will be used with the same spells at the same spell levels.

first they will need to astablish equivelencies.
are 9 level 1 spell slots as powerfull as 1 level 9 spell slot ?

is being able to cast a 1st level as a encounter spell spell to 4 1st level spell slots or more ?

when these kind of rules have been established you can look at the other systems.

some systems will be setting specific.
for example defiling and preserving for the darksun campisn might be under or over powerd in other campaign setting when not used with the other darksun specific rules. 
wel they said the same spell list will be used with the same spells at the same spell levels.

first they will need to astablish equivelencies.
are 9 level 1 spell slots as powerfull as 1 level 9 spell slot ?

is being able to cast a 1st level as a encounter spell spell to 4 1st level spell slots or more ?

when these kind of rules have been established you can look at the other systems.

some systems will be setting specific.
for example defiling and preserving for the darksun campisn might be under or over powerd in other campaign setting when not used with the other darksun specific rules. 

I thought defiling was campaign specific.
Defiling is just casting spell like in other settings. In Dark Sun, it's the preservers who uses a new ecologic spellcasting style to avoid defiling.

Elminster in Dark Sun would just be a defiler until he learns the preserver's way of spellcasting.

Defiling has no impact on balance.


wel they said the same spell list will be used with the same spells at the same spell levels.

first they will need to astablish equivelencies.
are 9 level 1 spell slots as powerfull as 1 level 9 spell slot ?

is being able to cast a 1st level as a encounter spell spell to 4 1st level spell slots or more ?

when these kind of rules have been established you can look at the other systems.

some systems will be setting specific.
for example defiling and preserving for the darksun campisn might be under or over powerd in other campaign setting when not used with the other darksun specific rules. 

I thought defiling was campaign specific.
Defiling is just casting spell like in other settings. In Dark Sun, it's the preservers who uses a new ecologic spellcasting style to avoid defiling.

Elminster in Dark Sun would just be a defiler until he learns the preserver's way of spellcasting.

Defiling has no impact on balance.



but is they would make it a alternative way of casting they could go all out eith it from wat i understood the in game version was pretty toned down from how it was in the darksun novels.
Not hard.

Encounter = +2 spells slots  (i.e. burning hands as an encounter is a level 3 slot).
At-will = +4 spell slots (i.e. burning hands at will is a level 5 slot).

The add a few "negitive level" spells.  i.e. magic missile is a -3 slot, thus at will at level 1.  Minor illusion is a -1 spell, and an encounter at level 1.

Power Points =  1 point for a level 1 spell, 2 points for a level 2.  Simply add the number of slots you would normally get, then take off 10% for being flexible.

Encounter power points...  ok that's a bit trickier. 

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my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Encounter power points...  ok that's a bit trickier. 




  • Max PP = casting modifier + 1.

  • A spell of the highest level you can cast costs 3 PP.

  • A spell of the second highest level you can cast costs 2 PP.

  • Other spells you can cast cost 1 PP.

  • All points recover after five minutes.

  • Any spell that can be cast as a ritual can only be cast as a ritual.

The metagame is not the game.

To be honest, I think that "balance" is not going to be achievable. That's the inherent problem with having these systems. There's too much variance between groups, that one casting system will tend to be better with different group play-styles.

But the way that I think they can most effectively approximate balance is to make sure that each system scales properly. If not done properly, for example, encounter-only spell-casting will overpower vancian, at early levels, since getting a spell every encounter is better than having a selection of daily spells, if for no other reason than it gives more flexibility in how long the day erdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">canerdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"> go, but in higher level campaigns, vancian wizards (at least in prior editions) tend to have so many spells that the adventuring day is more independent of the wizard's spells, and the vancian wizard wins out by gaining more powerful spells.

So the way I would do it is like this:

Encounter wizards gain a certain, rather low, number of spell slots (maybe 2-3 at max, since rituals and minor spells eliminate the need for much more than that. At higher levels, like 10+, they might gain another spell). These spells refresh after a 10 minute rest. Or, if the wizard so chooses, they can spend that 10 minute rest replacing some of the spells with other spells from their spellbook

Daily wizards gain a certain number of spells, approximately equivalent to 2 times the average number of encounters in an adventuring day. Perhaps a little more than that, with extra lower level spell slots. This won't tend to grow with level, though. At higher levels, lower level spell-slots will be replaced, instead of added to

With spell-points, just take the number of spells a Vancian wizard could cast, create a conversion formula for points per spell-level, and give them that many points, minus a few due to the convenience.


 So, for example, say you had a First level wizard. They could either have:

3 First level vancian spells, 1 first level encounter spell, or 3 spell points (with first level spells being worth 1 point each) and a few known spells

After they have grown to 5th level, their spell slots max out, for the time being, and it becomes something like this:

4 first level vancian spells, 3 second level vancian spells, 2 third level vancian spells
or
1 third level encounter spell and 1 second level encounter spell
or
12 spell points (assuming spell points go at the rate of 1 spell point per spell-level), and a few known spells (maxing at third level)

I am currently raising funds to run for President in 2016. Too many administrations have overlooked the international menace, that is Carmen Sandiego. I shall devote any and all necessary military resources to bring her to justice.

I hope they dont balance them..   there is quite a nice opportunity here to empower the DM to create a setting (and apropriate levels of magic for that setting) by selecting what systems that are allowed.

Turning them all into hard-balanced mirror images destroys both the systems in themselves and that opportunity.
Since every edition of D&D has failed to balance even Vancian Casters against themselves (and each other), I don't hold out much hope that balance will be achieved in Next. 

4E got it somewhat right, if only because they limited the number of times you can change your load-out.  Few classes had the opportunity to effectively switch out their class as often as pre-4e Casters did. 

I am not inherently against different subsystems for different classes -- provided they're done well (i.e. they're fun and don't impinge on other peoples' fun).  I balked at 4e's "one size fits all" at first.  I have come to appreciate it as a simple, elegant splution to class design (from a playability standpoint for a DM - predictability is useful, and from a players standpoint learning new classes .. and finally from a balance standpoint). 

I guess the main thing is that it's pointless to really try to balance casting systems without regard to balancing the spells themselves.

Taking the example posted above : Burning Hands at will is worth a 5th level slot?  Really?  In 3rd edition, doiing 5d4 fire damage in a 15' cone at will sounds nifty, but by the time you get 5th level spells, is it really worth a slot ? Surely you'd be better off with a single extended Polymorph on the Fighter.  FWIW, an at-will Charm Person (also 1st level) is vastly more useful than an at-will Burning Hands.  And if it's something I can change my mind about between rests, it's even more poweful .. 
Day 1: Charm entire town. 
Day 2: March on Dungeon with different level 5 spells. 

The problem isn't solvable with a generic rule - Not all Spells are created Equal.
 
I hope they dont balance them..   there is quite a nice opportunity here to empower the DM to create a setting (and apropriate levels of magic for that setting) by selecting what systems that are allowed.

Turning them all into hard-balanced mirror images destroys both the systems in themselves and that opportunity.

This is the thing I will never understand: why should it be in the DM's hands to say what type of magic system the players get to use? Even when I DM, I don't see the logic behind it. Sure, they should have control of the setting, but I don't see the reason that casting systems need to fall in that umbrella.

In a book or other storytelling medium, it would be included in the setting, because it usually exists as something unique to the story world, or is otherwise special, but with roleplaying games, casting-systems should be no more the purview of the DM than any other class' features. Should the DM be able to say to the fighter "You know, you can't take the Duelist fighting style. You see, my campaign setting never developed swashbuckling, so if you want to be a fighter, you have to take either the slayer or protector fighting style."?

I am currently raising funds to run for President in 2016. Too many administrations have overlooked the international menace, that is Carmen Sandiego. I shall devote any and all necessary military resources to bring her to justice.

I hope they dont balance them..   there is quite a nice opportunity here to empower the DM to create a setting (and apropriate levels of magic for that setting) by selecting what systems that are allowed.

Turning them all into hard-balanced mirror images destroys both the systems in themselves and that opportunity.



The problem with this is some want balanced vancian and others want overpowered spell points or whatever combination you can come up with. I'd rather they have a module that explains how to change the power levels of casters without tying into their casting style.Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Since every edition of D&D has failed to balance even Vancian Casters against themselves (and each other), I don't hold out much hope that balance will be achieved in Next. 

4E got it somewhat right, if only because they limited the number of times you can change your load-out.  Few classes had the opportunity to effectively switch out their class as often as pre-4e Casters did. 

I am not inherently against different subsystems for different classes -- provided they're done well (i.e. they're fun and don't impinge on other peoples' fun).  I balked at 4e's "one size fits all" at first.  I have come to appreciate it as a simple, elegant splution to class design (from a playability standpoint for a DM - predictability is useful, and from a players standpoint learning new classes .. and finally from a balance standpoint). 

I guess the main thing is that it's pointless to really try to balance casting systems without regard to balancing the spells themselves.

Taking the example posted above : Burning Hands at will is worth a 5th level slot?  Really?  In 3rd edition, doiing 5d4 fire damage in a 15' cone at will sounds nifty, but by the time you get 5th level spells, is it really worth a slot ? Surely you'd be better off with a single extended Polymorph on the Fighter.  FWIW, an at-will Charm Person (also 1st level) is vastly more useful than an at-will Burning Hands.  And if it's something I can change my mind about between rests, it's even more poweful .. 
Day 1: Charm entire town. 
Day 2: March on Dungeon with different level 5 spells. 

The problem isn't solvable with a generic rule - Not all Spells are created Equal.
 



I agree they need to balance the spells out better. Maybe Charm Person only grants a +5 to bluff, diplomacy, or other social checks and the person it was cast on knows they did it 10 minutes later. This way its only broken at-will if the caster has an exceptionally high charisma. Maybe you could even tie into that, maybe it doesn't add a flat +5, maybe it brings your total modifiers to your skill checks up to +5 if it were below that and only grants a +1 if you are above that. Something like that. Once they balance the spells, then they can balance the casting systems against each other...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
You don't balance the casting systems, you balance the class using it.



  • AEDU casting classes get less flexibility by having a smaller amount of known spells and much, much fewer spell slots. 

  • PP casting classes get very few known spells each level but complete flexibility over what they cast in any given day.

  • Vancian casting classes can add any number of spells to their repetoire but are restricted only to what they have memorized per day.




You don't balance the casting systems, you balance the class using it.



  • AEDU casting classes get less flexibility by having a smaller amount of known spells and much, much fewer spell slots. 

  • PP casting classes get very few known spells each level but complete flexibility over what they cast in any given day.

  • Vancian casting classes can add any number of spells to their repetoire but are restricted only to what they have memorized per day.

You must have missed this: www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4.... Mearls, it seems has (sort of) come to his senses, and divorced casting style from class.

I am currently raising funds to run for President in 2016. Too many administrations have overlooked the international menace, that is Carmen Sandiego. I shall devote any and all necessary military resources to bring her to justice.

From what we have available as of playtest 2:

Spontaneous Vancian seems to be the baseline.
Fire & Forget Vancian gets +1 spell-per-level per spell-level
Points are derived from F&F, but delay spell-level access

This is how it was in August, when the community started reverse-engineering the spell system in an attempt to 'proof' how drop-in subsystems can work.
There just isn't enough informatin in Warlock to see how that gimmick fits in.  It may not actually be "spells" in any sense that fits the old spell-level concept.



You don't balance the casting systems, you balance the class using it.



  • AEDU casting classes get less flexibility by having a smaller amount of known spells and much, much fewer spell slots. 

  • PP casting classes get very few known spells each level but complete flexibility over what they cast in any given day.

  • Vancian casting classes can add any number of spells to their repetoire but are restricted only to what they have memorized per day.

You must have missed this: www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4.... Mearls, it seems has (sort of) come to his senses, and divorced casting style from class.

There's nothing "class" about any of that.


 You must have missed this: www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4.... Mearls, it seems has (sort of) come to his senses, and divorced casting style from class.


Heh, I just read it.  I think my earlier comments could still apply tho. 
You don't balance the casting systems, you balance the class using it.



  • AEDU casting classes get less flexibility by having a smaller amount of known spells and much, much fewer spell slots. 

  • PP casting classes get very few known spells each level but complete flexibility over what they cast in any given day.

  • Vancian casting classes can add any number of spells to their repertoire but are restricted only to what they have memorized per day.







I'd rather the Wizard retain their know a million spells bit, but the AEDU casters can only prepare a small number at a time, where a power point caster can prepare the same as a Vancian caster but knows a lot of the spells like all other Wizards, and the Vancian caster knows alot of spells, but can only prepare the ones they have slots for.

So what defines a Wizard would be:

  1. Starts with 5 spells known

  2. Learns Int mod spells every time they level up.

  3. Uses a spell book to prepare the spells

  4. Can change prepared spells on an extended rest.

Then AEDU would be defined by:

  1. Can prepare 2 minor, 1 encounter, and 1 daily spell at 1st level and gains 1 slot per level based on a chart swapping between encounter and daily spell slots.

  2. Can prepare lower level spells in higher level slots

  3. At a specific level they start swapping lower level slots for higher level slots.

Then Power Points would be defined by:

  1. Can prepare the same number of spells per level as the Vancian Wizard.

  2. Gains power points that are separated by level (to prevent spamming lower level spells or higher level spells) based on the Vancian advancement chart (maybe they get 1 less per spell level or something to offset the flexibility)

  3. Can take 1d6 points of damage per spell level to cast an additional spell of a level they don't have points for when they run out of points.

Then Vancian would be defined by:

  1. Prepare a number of spells per level ahead of time and can cast them once per prepared slot.

  2. Has more slots than power points by 1 per spell level than the Power Point Wizard.

You can change up the numbers a bit, but that's basically what I would want. If the spells themselves are balanced we won't see a problem because while the AEDU Wizard is casting 1 spell per encounter, the Vancian wizard is casting 3 different spells one per encounter so they get variety while the AEDU doesn't, but the AEDU would get one more cast (assuming the 4 default encounters in the play test packet). The power point caster would get to pick their spell at cast time, but would get one less spell per day than the Vancian caster at each spell level (topping out at 3 per spell level where the vancian would top out at 4 per spell level).Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Keep in mind, of course:
Well, I wanted to share some basic concepts with you that might not end up in the game, but are hopefully an interesting experiment.

While it isn't terribly likely that this idea, as outlined in the article, will be in the finished game, these thoughts can at least be a stepping stone in moving toward whatever the finalized mechanics might be.

The metagame is not the game.

Keep in mind, of course:
Well, I wanted to share some basic concepts with you that might not end up in the game, but are hopefully an interesting experiment.

While it isn't terribly likely that this idea, as outlined in the article, will be in the finished game, these thoughts can at least be a stepping stone in moving toward whatever the finalized mechanics might be.



Yes, that's completely relevant to how swappable casting systems balance against each other, thanks for posting!Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I'm pretty sure that's sarcasm, but it can be hard to tell with the smiley face.

But for the record, yes, challenging the premise of this thread is very much on-topic.  As I mentioned in post #2, the idea that the casting systems should be balanced against each other is an unwarranted assumption.  As I followed in post #19, since this is all just a thought experiment anyway, there's no reason to assume that this will be the final solution to different casting systems (I suppose that was mostly in response to Avric), but neither is it a reason to constrain our ideas at this point - the eventual goal cannot even be seen from here, and we won't know what that goal is until the book ships.

The metagame is not the game.

I'm pretty sure that's sarcasm, but it can be hard to tell with the smiley face.

But for the record, yes, challenging the premise of this thread is very much on-topic.  As I mentioned in post #2, the idea that the casting systems should be balanced against each other is an unwarranted assumption.  As I followed in post #19, since this is all just a thought experiment anyway, there's no reason to assume that this will be the final solution to different casting systems (I suppose that was mostly in response to Avric), but neither is it a reason to constrain our ideas at this point - the eventual goal cannot even be seen from here, and we won't know what that goal is until the book ships.



Actually we know what the goal is: To make a game that will appeal to all previous edition players and get the most customers through modularization. They said that it might not show up in the game, but it also means there is a chance it will show up in the game...Smile


"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.

I actually think it would be better if they don't bother trying to make them all the same, just close enough to function.


Really, what they need to do is look at like they would if they were going to go about making a set of character classes that all happen to be pure casters and then devise ways of accessing them.


We've got a variety of methods all ready from 3e alone; I think the 4e stuff will be the trickiest to integrate because it's so codified and formatted in a way that's totally different to everything else but I'm sure it's possible.



If I was to do this with 3e, I'd just rip every single caster class there is, compile their spell progressions and let players pick what progression they want with their wizard. If they wanted a half caster like a bard, I'd do the same thing for half progression classes.


I suspect that our first look at this (if they stick with it) will be something like what I'm describing with the more difficult (aedu) systems coming later after we've had a good ol' look.



Personally, I hope they don't bother actually trying to balance everything right to the letter. Some folks say they don't think doing it is achievable, and I don't know how much I believe that but I think the time you spend making sure all of them are 100% balanced against each other could be better spent elsewhere. Get it to 80% and move on to other things, I say.

Thats a very difficult goal in my opinion. Difficult but it could work.

I think an aedu system could be manageable, if they put some restrictions on what spells can be a,e,d and how often one should cast a spell when using it as u.

Or fine tuning spells with duration/damage alterations according to its frequency.
I'm really not that worried about how they're going to balance everything.

You'll have an assumed number of rounds per day and an assumed number of encounters per day. They'll adjust the number of "daily/encounter" spell slots of each level accordinlgy.

My only concern about these multiple casting systems is utility magic and encounter spell slots. A wizard that can cast invisbility once per day at the expense of 1/10 or 1/20 of his daily resources is one thing; having a wizard cast invisibility every 5 minutes is a whole different story.

It just means that they'll have to overload spells with extra keywords like 'daily only'. Hopefully, they'll manage to make everything simple.

Yeah the balance has to come from the means of access and not the spell list. The spells need to be described in a universal way that doesn't include any terms or mechancs that aren't present in all of the systems. Preferably they don't include terms that are present in any of the systems apart from spell level as the common marker.


The moment they have to reframe spells to accomodate a system, this whole thing will become very confusing.

I'd like to see Wizard magic characterized by memorizing spells once a day from a book.

Vancian is as a historical D&D wizard.

A Spell Point Wizard Might have a list of spells memorized that can change daily (with fewer spells than the Vancian wizard.  From this list he pays for his spells from a level based pool of Spell Points.

A Spell Point Wizard might have a spell point pool, and memorize his suite of spells at the beginning fo the day, much as a true Vancian caster with the exception that he focus on more or less higher or lower level spells.

An AEDU wizard would have a spell chart with # of spells of each type and the level of those spells.  A level one wizard might know 2 0-level spells at-will, 1-first level spell per encounter, and one first level spell per day.  By level 6, the wizard might know two 0 thru 1st level spells at will, 2 2nd level spells per encounter and 2 3rd level spells per day (or some other mix that approximates the same total usage as a Vancian Wizard.  This could either be a fixed list, but I think would serve the Wizard better to make these spells changable from the spellbook feature on a daily basis.

As a hybrid option, you could memorize the same spell multiple times to upgrade it to the next level of usage.  2 or 3 slots with charm person make it an encounter spell,  4 or 5 make it an at will spell.  This would have to be tightly balanced around the spell progression list, but has the bonus of being fairly organic to the Vancian rules set.

@Elictricbee


I can dig it, but what about casters that have other options?


What if, for example, we wanted to be able to use the sorcerer's magic system on a cleric? Or what about a warlock's system on a wizard class? Would we include class features that make up for their reduced spell selection?


Or would classes with reduced spell selection be in a different section of magic system options?



I'm not a great fan of having each spellcaster class broken up into families like that with new sets of magic systems to tack on, but often the means of access (as you aptly pointed out with your write up) is balanced by spell selection. So if I want to be a wizard with the warlock's pacts, would I then also get some kind of eldritch blast-like energy attack to go with it or would I just get a whole lot more pacts?


If the number of spells one can select is balanced against class features in this way, how could anyone present it in a sane way?

A lot of people are talking about a theoretical AEDU wizard, but given the idea Mearls talked about, I'm not seeing one.  I saw:

1) The traditional D&D vancian caster
2) A spell point caster
3) A spell slot caster

Encounter spells, or "signature spells" as they seem to be calling them, appears to be a function of tradition, and not casting system.

Am I misinterpreting things?
Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.
I'm in the camp that says the casting styles have to be balanced against each other, independently of what classes use them. That includes how many spells a character can use, how many they can know, and what level they acquire them at.

Then the classes elements other than casting system have to be balanced against each other. Do the warlock sorceror and wizard all get equivalent levels of extras? This part will be much harder because it is an apples and oranges comparison.

Does Eldritch blast = heavy armour and martial weapons = a familiar and a spellbook that bumps your # of known spells by 2? That sort of comparison.

Then bolt the two together, and write a dragon magazine article giving RP tips and a cool name for each of the nine permutations for those that want them.

@Elictricbee


I can dig it, but what about casters that have other options?


What if, for example, we wanted to be able to use the sorcerer's magic system on a cleric? Or what about a warlock's system on a wizard class? Would we include class features that make up for their reduced spell selection?


Or would classes with reduced spell selection be in a different section of magic system options?



I'm not a great fan of having each spellcaster class broken up into families like that with new sets of magic systems to tack on, but often the means of access (as you aptly pointed out with your write up) is balanced by spell selection. So if I want to be a wizard with the warlock's pacts, would I then also get some kind of eldritch blast-like energy attack to go with it or would I just get a whole lot more pacts?


If the number of spells one can select is balanced against class features in this way, how could anyone present it in a sane way?




At that point you would take the Warlock and then use your preferred casting system. Because what defines a Warlock is their pacts and eldritch blast. If you want those you gotta be a Warlock.

What defines the Sorcerer is a limited spell list and spontaneous casting as well as bloodlines.

What defines the Wizard is their ability to learn spells from scrolls and have a huge list to pull from. As well as their knowledge on arcane lore...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Utility encounters in 4ewere nice, but broken.   Inspire confidence (+2 to next skill check of called skill) became very very nice, and it was explicitly created to be balanced as an encounter (only lasted 5 min) 

I don't see how the current batch of spells that have duration 1 hr or more can be balanced as encounter powers without limiting duration.   Charm person is a good example of one that can get crazy, but anything that could be used as a utility with long duration is going to be problematic.   

Either wOtc changes encounters to only be battles whiledefining a bag of rats problem, or they change the durations on encounters to 5mini.  Anyone else see better ideas?
Utility encounters in 4ewere nice, but broken.   Inspire confidence (+2 to next skill check of called skill) became very very nice, and it was explicitly created to be balanced as an encounter (only lasted 5 min) 

I don't see how the current batch of spells that have duration 1 hr or more can be balanced as encounter powers without limiting duration.   Charm person is a good example of one that can get crazy, but anything that could be used as a utility with long duration is going to be problematic.   

Either wOtc changes encounters to only be battles whiledefining a bag of rats problem, or they change the durations on encounters to 5mini.  Anyone else see better ideas?



Yeah set the duration to 'concentrate' and assume that the moment they cought or sneeze or take a rest to recover the spell they stop concentrating. The laternative is to just list a lower duration with the spell something like:

Charm Person
1st-level enchantment
This spell twists a creature’s mind so that it sees you in the best possible light in the present circumstances. A hostile creature, for example, might not see you as a threat, while a bored shopkeeper might suddenly regard you with the trust of an old friend.
Effect: Choose a living humanoid within 50 feet of you. If the target’s hit point maximum is 25 or more, it makes a Wisdom saving throw. If it fails the saving throw or has a hit point maximum less than 25, it is charmed for 1 hour or until you or any of your companions harm it.
Encounter: The charm wears off after 1 minute, it cannot be used again against the same group.
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I'm in the camp that says the casting styles have to be balanced against each other, independently of what classes use them. That includes how many spells a character can use, how many they can know, and what level they acquire them at.

Then the classes elements other than casting system have to be balanced against each other. Do the warlock sorceror and wizard all get equivalent levels of extras? This part will be much harder because it is an apples and oranges comparison.

Does Eldritch blast = heavy armour and martial weapons = a familiar and a spellbook that bumps your # of known spells by 2? That sort of comparison.


Then bolt the two together, and write a dragon magazine article giving RP tips and a cool name for each of the nine permutations for those that want them.



Basically I agree with you, but what I'm struggling to get my head around is where we draw the line. Also there are magic systems, like pacts, that were never intended to deliver the same compliment of spells that a vancian system would have.


I think if I had to design this, I'd make it so all the systems delivered for a wizard: full 9 levels of progression, wide array of spells/day. After that I'd design the classes so they took spell selection away rather than try to add them in.


So for me, eldritch blast would mean a reduction in the base spell selection of whatever system they picked rather than a spellbook meaning a wider selection than what's called for.

I would remove a power point system from spell casting as that is the traditional realm of psionics. Then compare the differences between the vancian spells systems, and it boils down to at-will, daily, encounter, and ritual. The hardest one to adjust is encounter, so that should be the primary focus. But considering at-wills are the closest match, maybe the trade off is to grant more at-wills to mimic the encounter style and call it a day.

A wizard should be a mix of all of the above as already demonstrated, where a sorcerer should be more of a true vancian caster will high flexibility of using spell slots, where a warlock would specialize in at-wills and rituals.
I would remove a power point system from spell casting as that is the traditional realm of psionics. Then compare the differences between the vancian spells systems, and it boils down to at-will, daily, encounter, and ritual. The hardest one to adjust is encounter, so that should be the primary focus. But considering at-wills are the closest match, maybe the trade off is to grant more at-wills to mimic the encounter style and call it a day.

A wizard should be a mix of all of the above as already demonstrated, where a sorcerer should be more of a true vancian caster will high flexibility of using spell slots, where a warlock would specialize in at-wills and rituals.



We've had a spell point option for Wizards since 2E, lets be inclusive not exclusive...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.

@Elictricbee


I can dig it, but what about casters that have other options?


What if, for example, we wanted to be able to use the sorcerer's magic system on a cleric? Or what about a warlock's system on a wizard class? Would we include class features that make up for their reduced spell selection?


Or would classes with reduced spell selection be in a different section of magic system options?



I'm not a great fan of having each spellcaster class broken up into families like that with new sets of magic systems to tack on, but often the means of access (as you aptly pointed out with your write up) is balanced by spell selection. So if I want to be a wizard with the warlock's pacts, would I then also get some kind of eldritch blast-like energy attack to go with it or would I just get a whole lot more pacts?


If the number of spells one can select is balanced against class features in this way, how could anyone present it in a sane way?




Sorcerers could readily be modelled on 3rd edition sorcerers:

The Vancian option would be as a 3rd ed sorcerer with a list of spells known and a number of spells castable per day.  Perhaps with an optional modification that one spell slot per level could be floating and changed via a magic item(scroll or wand or staff) or ritual or the like.

The Spell point option would be like the Vancian option except instead of spells of each level castable per day, the class would have bank of spell points.

An AEDU sorcerer would have a list of spells that were castable at will, a number of encounter spells (that might increase somewhat over time) and a list to choose from (for example, cast any 2 of your encounters spells known).  Similarly, daily spells would be a list known and a number castable per day.

A Warlock has inconsistant mechanical foot print.  I think it best to allow it develop from story.  Playing up the pact angle, perhaps the Warlock could mirror the Spirit Shaman of 3rd.  They have a pact based list of spells known even shorter than the sorcerer's, but can freely change up that list once per day.  This may not be the best solution, as a lot of warlock RP potential can hang around a single patron. 

I think the Psionic room within this system is an augmentable power point system with chains and trees of powers. 

I think that Divine classes could mirror and riff off of the Arcane options.

My bad if power points was presented in 2E, I just had it in my head it was reserved for psionics. But overall as part of the compromise on casting systems, you will have to let go some of the classic representation of the classes, like a 3E sorcerer, or even a 4E warlock, just like the current wizard is a mix of all editions to represent one of the four core classes.

But I am curious if people will want the same thing done for the cleric, where where you have a version that is closer to 4E and maybe another that is closer to 1E.

The only way I see that happening for each class is to develop alternate mechanics. As the figher would probably be the toughest to tackle.

That's a tricky one, while I like shared spell-lists, I also like magic/casting style as part of class identity.

  • D&D's Vancian is a fixed-use, fixed-ratio system.
    Spells are used once and gone, and must be set up in a specific number per spell-level.

  • DDN Cleric and 3E Sorcerer are variable-use, fixed-ratio.
    Spells can be reused as long as resources still exist, but those resources are still a specific number per spell-level.

  • "Memorized Points" would be a fixed-use, variable-ratio system.
    The spells are still one-and-done intances, but the spells-per-level framework is no longer there.

  • "Spontaneous Points" would be a variable use, variable ratio
    The same spells can be used until points are gone.

  • AEDU is essentially a variable-use, fixed-ratio system, with multiple ratios.


On top of that, is Scope.  The wizard's "spell book" is theoretically infinite, while 3E sorcerer's is not, and 4E caster's is quite limited.

There's a lot of variable to track here, but it's not impossible.  A good approach would be to offset limitations with more quantity.  The Vancian guy and the AEDU guy should be able to cast more spells overall in a given timeframe, in exchange for having his immediate selection heavilly limited.
The AEDU guy should probably even have the edge (and he does, with at-wills and encounters) from only having six or seven spells in his "spellbook" at any given time.

I Apologize for the wall of text in advance.  I tried to post this in its own thread byt I think the length of the intial post was offputting.  I'll try it again here.

There are huge opportunities in moving magic system (Vancian /spell point/ recharge) out of the actual classes.  Ideally each spell casting class has access to spells, that can be dialed to Vancian casting, spell points, or recharge period.


The Wizard is the magical scientist who studies magic.  I think that a Wizard ought to be characterized by having a spell book and memorizing spells. 

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This can be Vancian with spell slots of each spell level.  It can also be a more free form with the Wizard memorizing X point’s worth of spells at a given level.  Spell points could allow for a hybrid, where the caster memorizes list of spells, and can freely expend spell points to cast any spell memorized.  It could even be 4th ed AEDU where each day he chooses X at wills, Y encounters and Z dailies. 


The Sorcerer is the magical artist who performs magic.  The Sorcerer ought to be characterized by having a range magic mastered (that often is tied to a bloodline or other source of magical ability concept). 
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This could vary from a 3rd edition Sorcerer to a spell point caster with a list of known spells to an AEDU style caster.  Sorcerer’s thematic use of magic could be reinforced by granting them access to thematically tied chains of spells as part of their spell selection instead of individual spells.  Fire sorcerer gets burning hands, scorching ray, fireball, wall of fire, delayed fireball etc.  In addition the innate nature of a sorcerer’s magic might allow them to more freely modify spells on the fly (through class features analogous to 3.5 metamagic).


The Warlock is the magical con-man who cheats magic out of the system.  I think the Warlock might have some standard abilities, including an at-will attack (eldritch blast style), and gain additional abilities through their patrons. 
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The warlock probably knows fewer spells than either of the other archetypes, but is limited in use by reset times (or lack of reset for at will abilities).  Changing spells for a Warlock becomes a matter of making new bargains with the same patron, or with new patrons.  Patron's access to spells could tie into some of the same chains that the sorcerer might use. I think there is interesting story potential making the patron as needy of and dependent on the warlock as the warlock is the patron. 


With all this said, most spells ought to be available in some form to all three classes.  The few that are specific ought to play to that class in question.  Wizard only spells involve written magic and memorized spells.  Sorcerer only magic should be tied to the sorcerer’s bloodline or source of magical power.  Warlock only magic might modify the caster’s eldritch blast. 

I could see similar design informing other classes that share a mostly common spell list.  Priests are akin to wizards in their study and memorization.  A clerics’ casting mirrors a sorcerer’s, with their spell selection guided by pantheon and deity instead of bloodline.  A Paladin might have his major attack be a smite that empowers his weapon attack as a parallel to the warlock’s eldritch blast.  However, instead of making pacts with mysterious patrons, a paladin receives boons for dedications to specific virtues.