How do people feel about a common spell list?

With all the talk of an overaching magic-user class and specific reference to a common spell list I find myself rather torn.

On the one hand, I sort of like the idea of a set of world magic, spells that have a name and a reputation.

On the other hand, it feels like I'm being short changed. How will my wizard feel different from my sorcerer or my warlock or my deathmage? If they all draw from the same spell list and he can do what she can do what he can do what it can do, won't it all feel the same? If the only way to distinguish between these sub-class flavours is the underlying mechanics of how I cast a spell...that seems like we're missing a trick.

Seeing my response, I realise that overall I am disapointed at the prospect of a common, generic spell list. It just feels a bit lazy. Recycling old spells with nothing fresh and new thrown in (of course, not actually having seen the common spell list, this is an assumption on my part, but one at least informed by the content of the D&D survey several surveys back, which was obviously pushing the idea of resurrecting the nostalgic spells of yore - foul necromancers!).

If D&D Next is going this direction, I'd like to see the common spell list expanded beyond the core 'traditional' spells of edition x to include new spells that capture some of the many cool spells that have been released over the ages.

I'd also like to see good categorisation of this list by magic type and/or school (fire magic, ice magic, death magic, enchantment, etc.). Then at least a DM would have the option to allow different sub-classes of magic user access to only specific areas of the spell list that make sense to their world setting and/or allow different sub-classes to be different in terms of the magic they can produce as well as how they access it.

How do you feel about a common spell list?
With all the talk of an overaching magic-user class and specific reference to a common spell list I find myself rather torn.

On the one hand, I sort of like the idea of a set of world magic, spells that have a name and a reputation.

On the other hand, it feels like I'm being short changed. How will my wizard feel different from my sorcerer or my warlock or my deathmage? If they all draw from the same spell list and he can do what she can do what he can do what it can do, won't it all feel the same? If the only way to distinguish between these sub-class flavours is the underlying mechanics of how I cast a spell...that seems like we're missing a trick.

Seeing my response, I realise that overall I am disapointed at the prospect of a common, generic spell list. It just feels a bit lazy. Recycling old spells with nothing fresh and new thrown in (of course, not actually having seen the common spell list, this is an assumption on my part, but one at least informed by the content of the D&D survey several surveys back, which was obviously pushing the idea of resurrecting the nostalgic spells of yore - foul necromancers!).

If D&D Next is going this direction, I'd like to see the common spell list expanded beyond the core 'traditional' spells of edition x to include new spells that capture some of the many cool spells that have been released over the ages.

I'd also like to see good categorisation of this list by magic type and/or school (fire magic, ice magic, death magic, enchantment, etc.). Then at least a DM would have the option to allow different sub-classes of magic user access to only specific areas of the spell list that make sense to their world setting and/or allow different sub-classes to be different in terms of the magic they can produce as well as how they access it.

How do you feel about a common spell list?



So long as they have individual spell lists like they did in 3e, I will be okay with a common spell list as well.  I see no reason that they cannot easily do both.
I wouldn't have a problem with it.

Firstly, various spellcasters would only feel the same if they selected the exact same spells.  A caster, regardless of class, who knows spells like Fireball and Lightning Bolt is not going to feel the same as a caster who knows Illusion and Domination spells.

This would also make it very easy to reflavor things, if everybody is drawing from the same spell list.  If you wanted to play a druid who was more of a 'I command nature', you could just play another class and pick appropriate spells, and call yourself a druid (though I'm hoping 5e isn't bringing back the power-loss aspect at all, I suspect I'll be disappointed on that front).
I guess my problem is not so much the common spell list as you could personalise your character by spell selection as you both suggest. My issue is more a creeping fear that the common spell list will just be the 'old favourites' of editions past and limit the number of viable character tropes as well as not really move the game on.

I'm not sure where this fear is coming from, so it may be completely unfounded.

As in one master list for all casters everywhere? No. Absolutely not.


But if you're talking about a master list for each power source: arcane, divine, primal, psionic.. yes. That'd be pretty cool and useful.



I came to this realisation about spell lists the first time I played the 3e archivist. I totally cheesed and cherry picked my way into pretty much whatever spell I wanted and figured I'd just be a "divine wizard." I was wrong; the archivist could not fill the arcanist role because even with virtually every divine spell available including substitute domain cheese, the spell list didn't allow me to do what an arcane caster did.


So in the end I played an exceptionally versatile melee character. It was really fun and it happened because the spell list guided me into a strategy I hadn't anticipated using.



Spell lists for each power source should inform the flavour of each type of caster. A psionic caster shouldn't feel the same as an arcane caster, and one big master list would spoil that uniqueness.

I'm in favor of a universal spell list, with arcane casters restricted by school and divine caster restricted by domain.  An evoker could only learn evocation spells, regardless of element, while an ice priest could only learn ice-based spells, regardless of form.

This would require tagging every spell as belonging to both a school and a domain.

The metagame is not the game.

I prefer one list for all spells. The level of spells depends *strictly* on whether they are more powerful than other spells or less powerful.

Class and builds that specialize in casting certain kinds of spells, such as spells belonging to specific schools, enjoy the ability to cast these spells using a higher level spellslot. But the spell levels themselves remain what they are.

The format above makes it easier to keep the 5e game running smoothly for years, because if a spell proves too powerful relative to spells of the same spell level, future errata can easily promote the spell to the appropriate spell level. Oppositely, if a spell seems too lame in comparison with same level spell, the errata can easily demote the spell, whereon it becomes valuable in comparison to its new lower spell level.

In sum, classes can achieve diversity by focusing on different schools/domains.
I don't mind classes sharing spells. I don't like classes having identical lists.

Especially like in the case of the wizard and sorceror where they are massive lists.

Bascially I would prefer a system where each class learns a limited selection of spells based on their in class decisions. I.e. a red dragon sorceror has a different series of spells than a green dragon sorceror or whatever other kinds of sorcs you get.

Clerics should have a set number of general spells they can learn and then have additional spells via domains.

Wizards should have access to different spells based on their level of school specialization.

This whole thing where you've got classes with identical or near identitical spell lists longer than the rest of the core rule book has to stop.

That said a flame priest, an evoker, and a red dragon sorceror could and should probably cast fireball, and have it be roughly the same. 
Common spell list?  No sir, I don't like it.

Most classes get their powers in completely different ways, even when they share the arcane/divine/psionic/primal source.  Each different method of gaining power needs to have its own spell list.  There is no reason to believe that a Dragon-Blooded Sorcerer is going to cast a Fireball, just like a Wizard who studied some dusty tome.  Why would the Sorcerer need components to use his birthright?  This is just one example of the inherent immersion breaking qualities of a common spell list.
Common spell list?  No sir, I don't like it.

Most classes get their powers in completely different ways, even when they share the arcane/divine/psionic/primal source.  Each different method of gaining power needs to have its own spell list.  There is no reason to believe that a Dragon-Blooded Sorcerer is going to cast a Fireball, just like a Wizard who studied some dusty tome.  Why would the Sorcerer need components to use his birthright?  This is just one example of the inherent immersion breaking qualities of a common spell list.



My solution to this is to toss components, and let the player describe his spells as working however he wants them to.
I am at odds I like the unique spell lists and the flavor they produce and I feel that having access to every spell instead of specializations is what has always made the Wizard class over powered. 

But having flame priests and evokers and the red dragon sorceor as rampant put it use atleast a mechanically the same fire magic isnt bad.

 
  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."

 

Common spell list?  No sir, I don't like it.

Most classes get their powers in completely different ways, even when they share the arcane/divine/psionic/primal source.  Each different method of gaining power needs to have its own spell list.  There is no reason to believe that a Dragon-Blooded Sorcerer is going to cast a Fireball, just like a Wizard who studied some dusty tome.  Why would the Sorcerer need components to use his birthright?  This is just one example of the inherent immersion breaking qualities of a common spell list.



My solution to this is to toss components, and let the player describe his spells as working however he wants them to.

Why should powers of differing origin have the same mechanical effect?  At that point, the description is completely separate from the mechanics.  You might as well take all fluff and flavor out of every book, and put in a paragraph that says "Let every player describe anything any way they want.  Then hobble their creativity with these rote and uniform mechanics that do not reflect their character or description whatsoever."
Each different method of gaining power needs to have its own spell list.  There is no reason to believe that a Dragon-Blooded Sorcerer is going to cast a Fireball, just like a Wizard who studied some dusty tome.

It all goes back to how much variety of magic you have within the setting.  Do the wizard and sorcerer really cast different spells, or do they just have different ways of accessing the same underlying power source?

Look at Shadowrun as an example.  They have between 2 and 12 different spellcasting philosophies, all working from the same spell list, and it works out just fine.  There's certainly no loss of flavor between a mage and a shaman!

Plus, it's a lot easier to balance spells when you don't have to try to creat six different variations that all fill the exact same niche.

The metagame is not the game.

Each different method of gaining power needs to have its own spell list.  There is no reason to believe that a Dragon-Blooded Sorcerer is going to cast a Fireball, just like a Wizard who studied some dusty tome.

It all goes back to how much variety of magic you have within the setting.  Do the wizard and sorcerer really cast different spells, or do they just have different ways of accessing the same underlying power source?

Look at Shadowrun as an example.  They have between 2 and 12 different spellcasting philosophies, all working from the same spell list, and it works out just fine.  There's certainly no loss of flavor between a mage and a shaman!

Plus, it's a lot easier to balance spells when you don't have to try to creat six different variations that all fill the exact same niche.

I've faulted Shdowrun's magic for precisely this kind of thing since 2nd Edition.  It doesn't really work out just fine in my book.  It breaks immersion to the point that I don't play magic users in Shadowrun, sticking to PhysAds and Street Sam.
Why should powers of differing origin have the same mechanical effect?



Simplicity and the freedom to reflavor it in whatever manner you see fit.

 
At that point, the description is completely separate from the mechanics.



Exactly.

  You might as well take all fluff and flavor out of every book, and put in a paragraph that says "Let every player describe anything any way they want.



That's precisely how it should work.  Freedom is a good thing.
I don't really mind if the classes share some spells. Honestly, if they didn't there would be posts everywhere about how wizards get X, but sorcerers don't. Clerics get Y, but Druids don't. A little bit of sharing is fine AS LONG AS they keep the spellcasting classes functioning differently. That's where it's really going to matter :P I just don't want to see another edition of sorcerer just being a repainted wizard.
My two copper.
LolaBonne, to me that is the illusion of freedom rather than freedom itself.  It is giving me permission to flavor things as I will, but taking away the power of that flavor to have any impact in game.  It reminds me of my current game, when I told the DM my character was making a monologue and not trying to enact a skill check.  After my monologue, his response was literally "Great!  Roll a Diplomacy check.".

How is removing description from mechanics "freedom"?
LolaBonne, to me that is the illusion of freedom rather than freedom itself.  It is giving me permission to flavor things as I will, but taking away the power of that flavor to have any impact in game.  It reminds me of my current game, when I told the DM my character was making a monologue and not trying to enact a skill check.  After my monologue, his response was literally "Great!  Roll a Diplomacy check.".

How is removing description from mechanics "freedom"?



Because you can describe the mechanics however you want.  The flavor will have as much impact as the players and DM decide it does, precisely as it should be; optional, not enforced.  You can describe your powers and your character precisely as you choose to.
LolaBonne, to me that is the illusion of freedom rather than freedom itself.  It is giving me permission to flavor things as I will, but taking away the power of that flavor to have any impact in game.  It reminds me of my current game, when I told the DM my character was making a monologue and not trying to enact a skill check.  After my monologue, his response was literally "Great!  Roll a Diplomacy check.".

How is removing description from mechanics "freedom"?



Because you can describe the mechanics however you want.  The flavor will have as much impact as the players and DM decide it does, precisely as it should be; optional, not enforced.  You can describe your powers and your character precisely as you choose to.


That can be quite staunching for new players. Not to mention it doesn't feel very D&D to me :P It's always had that light crust of baked in flavour.
My two copper.
Common spell list?  No sir, I don't like it.

Most classes get their powers in completely different ways, even when they share the arcane/divine/psionic/primal source.  Each different method of gaining power needs to have its own spell list.  There is no reason to believe that a Dragon-Blooded Sorcerer is going to cast a Fireball, just like a Wizard who studied some dusty tome.  Why would the Sorcerer need components to use his birthright?  This is just one example of the inherent immersion breaking qualities of a common spell list.



My solution to this is to toss components, and let the player describe his spells as working however he wants them to.

Why should powers of differing origin have the same mechanical effect?  At that point, the description is completely separate from the mechanics.  You might as well take all fluff and flavor out of every book, and put in a paragraph that says "Let every player describe anything any way they want.  Then hobble their creativity with these rote and uniform mechanics that do not reflect their character or description whatsoever."



I agree. Different mechanics help keep classes distinct. But at the very least, rename a spell for a cleric that comes from a wizard list.
LolaBonne, to me that is the illusion of freedom rather than freedom itself.  It is giving me permission to flavor things as I will, but taking away the power of that flavor to have any impact in game.  It reminds me of my current game, when I told the DM my character was making a monologue and not trying to enact a skill check.  After my monologue, his response was literally "Great!  Roll a Diplomacy check.".

How is removing description from mechanics "freedom"?



Because you can describe the mechanics however you want.  The flavor will have as much impact as the players and DM decide it does, precisely as it should be; optional, not enforced.  You can describe your powers and your character precisely as you choose to.

Wouldn't it be more freeing to have mechanics that reflect the varying options?  I'm not a big fan of tossing that much of the game to DM Fiat.  I'd like to know what to expect regarding the mechanics of the game I'm playing before I sit down to the gaming table.

I agree that classes should function differently.

I just don't see why everyone needs a different 20ft radius burst that deals 5-30 fire damage ability gained at or around level 6.
I'm stuck in the middle. I don't mind the common spell list for pretty much all of the classes. Mix in divine, arcane, primal, and as long as they have enough variety of spells at each level (so I can play the Shadowmancer, or the Pyromancer, or the Illusionist, or the Necromancer etc) I will not care in the slightest. Saves space in the book too, which means that you can have a much wider variety in the same number of pages (unlike having three different spells for fireball in three different classes)

However I do not like 'Magic User' in the slightest. I know it logically makes sense.

But, to tell the truth, I appreciated the new take on the Sorcerer. It was unique. It was fun. And it had a lot of potential.

If someone wanted to play a 3.5 sorcerer they could have used the wizard with the power points option, and done, there it is.

And really, to me, Magic User is a crap name. I'm playing a 'Magic User' sounds like some term from a scientific text rather than a D&D Handbook.

This said, if they combined Sorceror and Wizard into Magic User, how many more are they going to add? How varying can they make the mechanics within the class.

The Warlock - would have not fit with its current rules.

The Swordmage - could fit with a few tweaks probably.

The Ex 5e Sorcerer - could fit with a few tweaks... maybe.

I guess I'll hold back my judgement until I see it happen... 
I'm stuck in the middle. I don't mind the common spell list for pretty much all of the classes. Mix in divine, arcane, primal, and as long as they have enough variety of spells at each level (so I can play the Shadowmancer, or the Pyromancer, or the Illusionist, or the Necromancer etc) I will not care in the slightest.



I agree. The key here is to have enough variety such that you can play the character you want without it overlapping or stepping on the toes of another character (class or concept). If my fire mage is a fire mage only because I have burning hands and fireball, but I otherwise have to take pretty much the same (non-fire) spells as the necromancer, illusionist, etc, (all of whom can also take burning hands and fireball) then I'll be disappointed.

So, I'm sold. I see that a unified spell list (either a single list, though I'd prefer separate lists for divine, arcane and psionic) has real advantages in reducing repitition/redundancy and giving more space for true variety. I'd whole-heartedly support a common spell list as along as:

a) it contains enough variety to accomodate meaningful character concepts - that is, there are enough interesting choices that support each concept

b) the alternative spell casting mechanics also makes different characters feel distinct in play
I'm very happy that we will have a common spell list for classes, magical items, traps, hazards, and monsters.    It makes the game easy to learn and keeps down on redundancy.   

When I look at the 4e powers from all the arcane casters most of the older spells are still in the game.  In fact, I once made a list of all the spells and categorized them by their pre-4e school.   I found out that most of those spells still existed, it was just a shame that they were bolted on to specific classes.  For example, I wasn't too happy that the warlock was the only arcane class that could cast a spider climb spell.      From the perspective of a 2e player I just didn't see the point of hard coding all the spells.   It made creating new classes very difficult and I just felt robbed.


My vision would be each magic class that offers a unique perspective on "spells" would be represented by a circle, so if there are three unique systems (arcane, divine, and psionic), then there would be a cross section of the circles (center of the three) that would share common spells, but there would be enough design space for unique spells for each one.
My vision would be each magic class that offers a unique perspective on "spells" would be represented by a circle, so if there are three unique systems (arcane, divine, and psionic), then there would be a cross section of the circles (center of the three) that would share common spells, but there would be enough design space for unique spells for each one.


This is actually a common build in a lot of games. Players specialize and get certain spells, as well as pull from a "General" spell list as well. 
My two copper.

I'm not sure I see how every spell list needs mechanically similar spells. The whole point of having different families of casters sharing a different master list is so there aren't that many similarities, if any.


I like that it's impossible for a cleric to behave as a mage. If everyone's drawing from the same list then you're pretty much allowing exactly that.



In the case of pure casters, the spell list is pretty much the only thing that differentiates them from anything else. Maybe this is a move to trim out a whole list of classes? Like the druid and the cleric could just disappear at that point and you could just pick druid-like spells if you wanted a druid character?


Here's another big issue with this: if I've got a character concept and I really want to play it - let's say a psion - does that mean that pretty much I've got to trawl through the master list and hand pick the psionic-like spells? Or is the game going to supply me with a list of spells that are psionic-like? If they're going to supply such a list, what's the point of having a master spell list in the first place?



As far as balancing spells are concerned -


The mechanics should not overlap so much that the spell selection needs extensive erata in the event of an adjustment. If you have two spells that are really that mechanically similar, then probably it needs to be struck from one list entirely. Adjusting a spell's level is easy as long as the power sources don't overlap.


On the other hand, it feels like I'm being short changed. How will my wizard feel different from my sorcerer or my warlock or my deathmage? If they all draw from the same spell list and he can do what she can do what he can do what it can do, won't it all feel the same? If the only way to distinguish between these sub-class flavours is the underlying mechanics of how I cast a spell...that seems like we're missing a trick.



This is why every class that is released should have a unique set of mechanics that are only for itself. The wizard gets casting with traditions, the ex-sorcerer gets powerpoints with extra mechanics as they run low, the warlock only accesses spells as rituals and has its pact boons, etc.

If the class doesn't have any unique mechanics, it should be incorporated into another class.

ie. 3.5 sorcerer should be a Wizard with power points. As it had nothing really unique to it other than the different spellcasting system (bloodlines could be represented as a Tradition)

Or in this case, a Magic User with power points, if they change the class name (but I would prefer it stayed wizard, or became Mage: (Wizard/Sorcerer), Magic User sounds tacky.)

That said, I think the sorcerer was fine how it was. If someone wants to play the 3.5 one, just play a wizard with power points.

I'd prefer a separate spell list for all the caster classes. Lists that have little to no overlap. One of the nice things about 1e for me was the different lists for each major caster class. If you wanted to cast illusions you needed to be an illusionist, if you wanted to affect the natural world you needed to be a druid. 

Druids weren't shape changing animal murderers they were nature priests who needed to protect their animal companions not use them to do their fighting for them.  
If we're talking one common divine list and one common arcane list, then that would be fine with me. I look more to the individual class mechanics to differentiate one casting class from another, more than wether each class has its own list. With each casting class, I want to be doing something radically different, not just casting several variants of fireball with different names. That's not to say that classes shouldn't get unique spells when it feels right, probably in other non-core books. I just don't want to see shoehorned attempts at making 3 or 4 varieties of a spell just for differences sake, when 1 spell for all classes would be fine.

To a degree, I'm not quite sure how I feel about the possibility of a overarching magic-user category. It would be too easy to treat wizard, sorcerer, etc. as subclasses, with none of them really feeling like a proper D&D wizard or sorcerer. I would be for the idea of all arcane classes having a well of special abilites, feats and so on that they can all draw upon though, it makes little sense to have things created that only one class can make use of. However, ideally when I play a wizard I want it to feel like a traditional D&D wizard, and not the best approximation I could put together by choosing from menus or whatever.



I am completely against any system that allows any one class to cast any or all spells.
On first reading of the Legends and Lore article it seems as if all spell casters are being grouped as "Magic User." This would seem to indicate that there will indeed be a common spell list for magic users. However, it seems the cleric is not considered a magic user, so there would be a difference in divine and arcane spell lists.

Still arc lightening seems cool to be something only a warlock can do. The power of certian spells seem like it would only be a good idea for the Wizard/Sorc. to have to help maintain game balance. And with the new spell slots/power points/ who knows what else, keeping all spell classes balanced with each other let alone with everyone else seems harder if they have a common spell list.
I am completely against any system that allows any one class to cast any or all spells.

Definitely agreed.

The metagame is not the game.

The spells a given character can learn should be limited buy his internal class decisions (domains, school specilization, pact, bloodline ect.) each class should have a limited or even non-extant basic list of spells they can learn, supplemented buy the spell options from things such as domains, bloodlines, etc.
You might as well take all fluff and flavor out of every book, and put in a paragraph that says "Let every player describe anything any way they want.

Hm, that's another - minor - advantage I hadn't thought of, of 4E having a completely separate list of powers for each class.

Even when two powers from different classes are functionally identical, each can have its own default descriptive fluff.

And in 4E, each power DOES have its own default fluff. Whereas in 3E a lot of spells have no default fluff.

(Granted, some of that fluff is of pretty poor quality. The same is true of the 3E spells with fluff.)

But at the same time, 4E ALSO says, in effect, "Let every player describe anything any way they want."

And we use that. My most recent character is a Shaman whose name is a rough translation of "Jiminy", a Pixie described as an extremely-well-dressed cricket. His Spirit Companion appears to be a 3-foot-tall wooden marionette puppet, and their long-term goal is to turn the Spirit Companion into a real boy. 

Refluffing is easy in 4E because, while the mechanics usually match with the default fluff, it's completely clear which is which - and the mechanics don't carry extra baggage which serves no purpose other than to better match the default fluff.

------------------------------------------

Now as for 5E, I've seen nothing to indicate they want to have a list of spells where there's one class that can take any spell in the list.

Quite the contrary. Already there is one list of spells and the Cleric and Wizard both draw from that list... but there is also, for each class, a sub-list of which spells they are allowed to take and at what level. Some spells appear on both sub-lists, and some do not. I haven't checked in detail, but it's entirely possible that some spells appear at one level in one sub-list and a different level in the other. This was true of 3.5E and 3E PHBs and I'm pretty sure it was true of 1E (that was a long time ago) as well.
 
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
My biggest issue is what I like to call the 4e problem. A class can have very different mechanics from another class but the shared spell list will ensure that the classes play/seem the same. People constantly complained about classes seeming too similar despite having wildly different class mechanics.

Actually this is worse than in 4e where powers were more focused based on role. Now class A and class B actually have the same spells so their will be merit to such arguments. Eww.
Funny how things the grognards complain about were actually worse in 3e than 4e.
Tome of Battle had a common "spell list" that allowed some of the classes in that book to partially intersect in terms of "stuff they know", but not so much that there was a single class that got everything from all maneuvers.

I wouldn't be surprised if they'd go this route, with each class given a particular "school" (or in the case of the more spiritual folks, "religion") that they specialize in, along with a couple of "common stuff" that everyone under that particular archetype would have access to.  So classes can now be used to determine which schools of maneuvers/spells are available to you, regardless of spell system determined by the DM (after all, spell system is simply a resource management system).

It's almost like how I envisioned what I would've done with the powers of 4E, except here they leave it to the DM to determine the resource management system that would keep everything in line, be it
* Vancian pre-preparation system
* Expertise dice system
* Spell point system
* Encounter-based system

So if a particular DM wants his game to have martial classes being more like the Energizer bunny, he could have them all utilize the Expertise dice system, while his caster classes could be more "classic" so he would use Vancian magic system.  Another DM could have everyone using spell points, like how in CRPGs you have martial classes with "stamina" and caster classes with "mana" -- different names for the same resource management.  And then another DM could have "true Vancian" by allowing the casters to go for Encounter-based refreshing,  and martial classes being more of expertise dice.

Or whatever.


Given how different the Tome of Battle classes are from each other even though they share some maneuver lists, I wouldn't be against the idea of the same thing applying to all classes.  In short, I kinda like it

- - - - -
I think the best way to approach the problem of generalist wizard is by allowing him to cast only a select number of spells from each school, and limiting him to that.  Probably you can go about it in this manner:

SCHOOLS
Lesser Abjuration
Greater Abjuration
Lesser Conjuration
Greater Conjuration
Lesser Divination
Greater Divination
Lesser Enchantment
Greater Enchantment
Lesser Evocation
Greater Evocation
Lesser Illusion
Greater Illusion
Lesser Malediction
Greater Malediction
Lesser Necromancy
Greater Necromancy
Lesser Nethermancy
Greater Nethermancy
Lesser Sorcery
Greater Sorcery
Lesser Transmutation
Greater Transmutation 
Lesser Witchcraft
Greater Witchcraft

Wizards would be the only class that has access to all Lesser spells, but for him to have access to one Greater spell school, he'd have to lose access to most other Lesser schools.  It'll just be a matter of what happens to his existing spells once he specializes -- I suppose you could say that the spells simply don't make sense to him any more, so even if they're still in his spellbook, he can't memorize or prepare them at all (or maybe each spell he tries to prepare that isn't his specialization would cost twice the normal resources [2 spell slots, 2x spell points, etc.]).

Sorcerers would automatically have access to Lesser and Greater Sorcery, as well as Lesser Evocation and probably Lesser Illusion as well.

Warlocks would have access to Lesser and Greater Malediction, as well as Lesser Necromancy, Lesser Nethermancy and maybe Lesser Witchcraft as well.

etc. etc. etc.

I think that pretty much balances the Wizard, while keeping him thematically appropriate as a "jack of all spells".  The Bard would probably be able to access only Lesser Enchantment, Illusion and maybe Necromancy (for healing) as well, but will also have access to generic/lesser martial schools, as well as his own specialization (Songs), which would allow him to be both thematically appropriate and not have to be the "jokejack of all trades" mechanically.
Show

You are Red/Blue!
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You are both rational and emotional. You value creation and discovery, and feel strongly about what you create. At best, you're innovative and intuitive. At worst, you're scattered and unpredictable.

D&D Home Page - What Monster Are You? - D&D Compendium

57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
A common spell list is the inevitable consequence of the presence of two completely redundant, unnecessary classes in the sorcerer and warlock.
Common spell list?  No sir, I don't like it.

Most classes get their powers in completely different ways, even when they share the arcane/divine/psionic/primal source.  Each different method of gaining power needs to have its own spell list.  There is no reason to believe that a Dragon-Blooded Sorcerer is going to cast a Fireball, just like a Wizard who studied some dusty tome.  Why would the Sorcerer need components to use his birthright?  This is just one example of the inherent immersion breaking qualities of a common spell list.



My solution to this is to toss components, and let the player describe his spells as working however he wants them to.



Noble , but devisive and lacks D&D's legacy to be a creative game itself rather than mechanical.  Its better that they create definitive flavor for their spells to ensure they have an identity.  I think D&D tradition is to fluff.. players always have the option to "re-fluff", but without the fluff the game will be stale and rigidly mechanical.  This was one of the major turn offs for a lot of D&D players in 4th edition.

"Edition wars like all debates exist because people like debates"

http://www.gamersdungeon.net/

Sign In to post comments