Why D&D Next Is A Big Failure: Magic Is Still Stupid

Now, I don't mean magic in terms of traditional Vancian vs. spell points or a fatigue system. That's just resource management, which is something that can be easily fixed with rules modules.

No...my problem with D&D magic are the spells themselves, which have largely been an unfortunate holdover mechanic from prior editions that no one has had the wherewithal to do away with.

Ever notice that a good portion of the traditional spell list is made up of several slightly more powerful versions of the same spell? What the crap IS that anyway? Do we really need 8 slightly different versions of "Charm ____"? When is D&D finally going to move away from this sort of drooling, addle-witted cretinism? It could be fixed in D&D Next, and the playerbase would thank you for it.

Why do we still have spell levels? Why are we STILL clinging to this asinine relic that someone came up with before anyone actually knew how to design roleplaying games? Time to take that old dog out behind the barn and put it out of it's misery like Old Yeller. If D&D can evolve past THAC0 and thrive, then it can do without spell levels as well. Nobody but the most crazy and dogmatic Gygaxian Orthodox religious fanatic is going to miss them once they are gone.

Instead, spells effects should either scale along with the level of the caster, or have an effect that is equally effective across all levels. Many spells in prior editions already work like this to some degree...I say embrace this concept and run with it. And hey, since spell advancement is tied to character level in this proposed scheme, this means that 3E's crappy piecemeal multiclassing system which you insist on using even though it's garbage might actually work this time around instead of creating a scenario where 20th level characters only have 10th level abilities. Also, under this system then spell "slots" and spell "points" effectively become the same thing. All vancian lovers and vancian haters need to do is decide how they are regenerated. So make this happen soon please.

While were at it, since spell levels are replaced with scaling spell effects, lets consolidate spells with similar effects to free up room for  more content, and create stronger decision points for characters. So where there was once "Summon Monster I-IX", there is now simply "Summon Monster" which allows Joe Wizard to call more powerful stuff as he gains levels. "Charm Person", "Mass Charm Person" and "Charm Monster" become simply "Charm" which works on creatures within a certain range of the character's level (no more meta-gamey than Hit Dice). Do you have any idea how many pages this would free up?

Hey! Remember previous editions where high level casters got upwards of 36 spells per day? But then they would cast only like 12 of their highest level spells because most of the lower level spells have been rendered largely obsolete at this stage? Well if you do away with spells levels, scale spells to the level of the caster, and consolidate spells with similar effects, then you can also cut down on the alotted per diem spell slots to 12-15 or so (in addition to at-will cantrips and rituals). This would make higher level characters easier to manage, and would drastically decrease NPC bookkeeping for DM's. Some might freak out and think this means that spellcasters get less options, but then again the ability for a 20th level spellcaster to prepare 3rd level spells in 3E wasn't really a meaningful option, unless the spell was exploitable in such a way that it was still relevant to level appropriate challenges. Options that aren't meaningful are not really options at all.

Now you might wonder where these scaling spells leaves spells that have traditionally game buggering effects, like Planar Binding or Wish. Well those are the sor tof things that should be relegated to Rituals. See, as they currently stand in 5E rituals are a smelly turdcicle of a mechanic. It's just an alternate method for casting spells that you could otherwise prepare from your spell book. *YAWN* 4E didn't get everything right, but shunting problematic strategic spells into rituals was one of the game's better innovations. Rituals should be rituals and spells should be spells. They should not be drawn from the same pool. I think a good rule of thumb here is that anything that can potentially turn the tide of a single turn should be a cantrip, anything that can turn the tide of an encounter or challenge should be a spell, and anythign that can turn the tide of an adventure should be a ritual.

There's no GOOD reason to keep spells the way they have been. Magic is the one area where D&D needs to take a giant leap forward instead of wallowing in a miasma of old person smell like it has been for the first 3 editions. Afterall, if you're not going to evolve the game forward then there is no real point to dedicating time, resources, and manpower to making a new edition. Paying designers and developers to work on new and updated mechanics, and then going "Nawwww....let's just do what 1st edition did forever", is a giant waste of money and iit isn't going to get anyone to give up their current edition fo choice the way an updated D&D will.

So back to the drawing board, and have a revised spell list with the proposed changes on the playtest packet after next. Or scrap the whole project and just reprint the old stuff.
O.P. They are reprinting the old stuff.  And, yep the spell lists and levels part isn't changing for D&D 5th edition. Some of the spells got even less powerful though. So sorry, looks like more of the same is in store for you.
Although the OP is a little too ranty and undiplomatic for my tastes, I do have to agree with him a bit.  The devs mentioned that they wanted to scale magic by spell slot level.  With that in mind, Dominate and Charm could easily be the same spell with different power levels of effects depending on what level slot you use to cast it.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

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woah, OP, are you posting from some sort of futuristic timeline where 5e has already been released? or are you just making a pointless rant about a game that isn't even close to being finished?

while you may have some valid points hidden in that mire of negativity, you're missing out on a very big concept. dnd is a collective of all its editions and 5e is setting out to capture that collective into a condensed and filtered single game. this means that the wheel has already been invented and that the designers are just there to decide which spokes will go into it.

if you're so at odds with classic elements like vancian wizards and semi-redundant spell lists, then you probably won't have very much fun with 5e. 

Happy to be back on the best D&D forum on the internet!

Although the OP is a little too ranty and undiplomatic for my tastes, I do have to agree with him a bit.  The devs mentioned that they wanted to scale magic by spell slot level.  With that in mind, Dominate and Charm could easily be the same spell with different power levels of effects depending on what level slot you use to cast it.


I agree with the idea of reducing the spell lists by combining spells. Especially considering the limited number of spells one can prepare, this would be a really good idea. The damage spells already have boosts for higher level spell slots, why not others?
Although the OP is a little too ranty and undiplomatic for my tastes, I do have to agree with him a bit.  The devs mentioned that they wanted to scale magic by spell slot level.  With that in mind, Dominate and Charm could easily be the same spell with different power levels of effects depending on what level slot you use to cast it.


I agree with the idea of reducing the spell lists by combining spells. Especially considering the limited number of spells one can prepare, this would be a really good idea. The damage spells already have boosts for higher level spell slots, why not others?



my prime target for this would be the cure X wounds spells.
combine them into one spell healing for 1D8 per level of the spell slot used + some bonus

the spell could simply be called heal wounds 
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Popular= sales. You draw the conclusion. 

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Except we shouldn't have spell levels at all. Just straight X spells per day, where the spell is as powerful as the caster.
Being unwilling to ever examine whether it's possible to do something better because some people might like the old way and we don't want them to feel excluded doesn't seem like a good way to make a game. Yes, D&D needs to maintain some sort of fidelity to previous editions to feel like the same game, but the system isn't a black box monolith that we dare not disturb for fear of potentially collapsing the whole thing. It's totally possible to sanely examine the costs and benefits of adjustments to the spellcasting system, to play with them, and to see how the adjustments feel. If we're running with the notion that we can't mess with anything because it might spook someone, then our work is already done.
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Except we shouldn't have spell levels at all. Just straight X spells per day, where the spell is as powerful as the caster.


That doesn't actually work though.  Look at the Teleport spell.  I don't allow it because it short-circuits encounters, but it makes a good example.  Teleport is way too powerful to be accessible at level one.  If you want the spell in the game, but don't want it accessible at early levels, then you need some kind of spell level mechanic.  Now BESM d20 used a skill check with each spell having a DC instead of a level, but it still functions as a level for the spells because of the level required to have a snowball's chance of making the skill check.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

#BoobsNotBlood

Except we shouldn't have spell levels at all. Just straight X spells per day, where the spell is as powerful as the caster.



+1 for short and sweet

"The Apollo moon landing is off topic for this thread and this forum. Let's get back on topic." Crazy Monkey

Except we shouldn't have spell levels at all. Just straight X spells per day, where the spell is as powerful as the caster.



Ane problem with that would be that it would couse a big gap between a single class caster and a multi class one if they used 3.X style multi classing as they sugested.

If you go for a spell slot system a spell in a 2nd level spell slot cast by a 20th level caster is equaly powerfull as one cast by a 3rd level caster. 
(Assuming equal ability scores and bounded accuracy)
 
but it seems they already abandoned the bounded accuracy system by adding the  spellcasting bonus that scales with class level.
Except we shouldn't have spell levels at all. Just straight X spells per day, where the spell is as powerful as the caster.

Some of them can have scalable effects and damage. Others could have sacalable area of effect or duration.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Except we shouldn't have spell levels at all. Just straight X spells per day, where the spell is as powerful as the caster.


That doesn't actually work though.  Look at the Teleport spell.  I don't allow it because it short-circuits encounters, but it makes a good example.  Teleport is way too powerful to be accessible at level one.  If you want the spell in the game, but don't want it accessible at early levels, then you need some kind of spell level mechanic.  Now BESM d20 used a skill check with each spell having a DC instead of a level, but it still functions as a level for the spells because of the level required to have a snowball's chance of making the skill check.



Teleport effects were available from level one in 4E and it didn't break anything. Maybe long range teleports should be relegated to rituals.


Except we shouldn't have spell levels at all. Just straight X spells per day, where the spell is as powerful as the caster.


That doesn't actually work though.  Look at the Teleport spell.  I don't allow it because it short-circuits encounters, but it makes a good example.  Teleport is way too powerful to be accessible at level one.  If you want the spell in the game, but don't want it accessible at early levels, then you need some kind of spell level mechanic.  Now BESM d20 used a skill check with each spell having a DC instead of a level, but it still functions as a level for the spells because of the level required to have a snowball's chance of making the skill check.



Teleport effects were available from level one in 4E and it didn't break anything. Maybe long range teleports should be relegated to rituals.


That's very true, it just depends on how far you want to scale things.  Some things though, like raising the dead, or the wish spell, really need a bottom level for entry.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

#BoobsNotBlood

Rant, rant, rant. You know, this isn't a computer game. You don't need to know how to program to change the rules. The Vancian system is more complicated than the system you're suggesting. Just count up how many spells per day the spellcasting classes get and whenever the character prepares a spell, they automatically prepare the best version of that spell. Will it take some creativity and paperwork? Yup. Not anymore than creating new races, stories, or worlds.

I think it's rather silly that you would disown the game because they didn't write the rules to your liking, especially for a game that has been tailored to fit any particular's groups interests since conception. Hell, that's how it is for any role-playing game. Some of us like the Vancian system. For those who don't, I'm sure someone somewhere has thought of the same thing and built a system for it. And if they didn't, then you have a nice little pet project to do.
Except we shouldn't have spell levels at all. Just straight X spells per day, where the spell is as powerful as the caster.

That doesn't actually work though.  Look at the Teleport spell.  I don't allow it because it short-circuits encounters, but it makes a good example.  Teleport is way too powerful to be accessible at level one.


Didn't 4e show pretty effectively that a short range teleport is not a bad thing? You could easily have a level 1 available teleport that just takes someone a short distance, like 30' at level 1 and then increase it from there, likely in large steps.

However, while Teleport is probably not a good example, I would think that there is a number of spells that would be hard to scale down to a level 1 ability, but maybe these could simply be spells that you can cast before level X and then would scale upwards from there.
Except we shouldn't have spell levels at all. Just straight X spells per day, where the spell is as powerful as the caster.

That doesn't actually work though.  Look at the Teleport spell.  I don't allow it because it short-circuits encounters, but it makes a good example.  Teleport is way too powerful to be accessible at level one.


Didn't 4e show pretty effectively that a short range teleport is not a bad thing? You could easily have a level 1 available teleport that just takes someone a short distance, like 30' at level 1 and then increase it from there, likely in large steps.

However, while Teleport is probably not a good example, I would think that there is a number of spells that would be hard to scale down to a level 1 ability, but maybe these could simply be spells that you can cast before level X and then would scale upwards from there.


I think teleport still works because of the question of scaling.  Now yes, you can have an in-combat 30' teleport at level 1 or 2.  Makes sense and isn't OP.  But, how do you scale it up from there?  At what point do you go to miles, 10s of miles, and 100s of miles?

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

#BoobsNotBlood

I like what the idea is in the OPs post. It is not really something I see WotC doing anytime soon aside from a possible module. With spells that alter game mechanics like wish or res. spell just give them a minimum character level and that solves the issue. Those game breaking spells could be class features in essance instead of true "spells" with specific coditions for their use or time constraints or the like.
Except we shouldn't have spell levels at all. Just straight X spells per day, where the spell is as powerful as the caster.



So some spells can't be more powerful than others? Meteor Swarm isn't more powerful than Fireball? A spell that resurrects the dead isn't more powerful than a cure spell? Wish isn't more powerful than Prestidigitation? While I agree with you that spell levels are an outdated mechanic, I still think there should be "grades" of spells (i.e. cantrips, lesser, greater, epic). If you don't have any type of grades or tiers for spells, all spells are equal, and every caster has access to every spell from the very beginning of his career. There's really not anything to work up to, no ceilings to break though. Casters just do more damage or get a bit better at casting the same old spells. That's boring.
When it is a ritual like 4E's teleport circle?
Rituals are the third-worst change in the history of D&D. If I had a time machine, and the choice of going back in history to assassinate hitler, or keep rituals from ever polluting the D&D franchise, Well, I'd kill hitler, but i'd be hating on rituals while I was doing it.

That's very true, it just depends on how far you want to scale things.  Some things though, like raising the dead, or the wish spell, really need a bottom level for entry.



I would suggest scaling spellcasting by tiers...

So Dimension Door: Teleports subject over a short distance
Level 1-5 5 ft.
Level 6 - 10 10 ft.
Level 11 - 15 20 ft.
Level 16 - 20 50 ft

As for things like raise dead and wish...those should be rituals and not among a charater's regular per ddiem spell list

Rituals are the third-worst change in the history of D&D. If I had a time machine, and the choice of going back in history to assassinate hitler, or keep rituals from ever polluting the D&D franchise, Well, I'd kill hitler, but i'd be hating on rituals while I was doing it.

You are wrong.

You might dislike the implementation of rituals...but the idea of partitioning gameworld buggering effects into a more prohinitive resource management scheme was sound.


So some spells can't be more powerful than others? Meteor Swarm isn't more powerful than Fireball? A spell that resurrects the dead isn't more powerful than a cure spell? Wish isn't more powerful than Prestidigitation? While I agree with you that spell levels are an outdated mechanic, I still think there should be "grades" of spells (i.e. cantrips, lesser, greater, epic). If you don't have any type of grades or tiers for spells, all spells are equal, and every caster has access to every spell from the very beginning of his career. There's really not anything to work up to, no ceilings to break though. Casters just do more damage or get a bit better at casting the same old spells. That's boring.



Or some spells get relegated to rituals, while fireball just gets more and more powerful until it's effectively meteorswarm.

As for grades of spells, there would be cantrips, spells and rituals.

Also, Casters would still gain new spell slots and spells, just not 40 of them spread into different tiers. That's unwieldy and antiquated.

Rituals are the third-worst change in the history of D&D. If I had a time machine, and the choice of going back in history to assassinate hitler, or keep rituals from ever polluting the D&D franchise, Well, I'd kill hitler, but i'd be hating on rituals while I was doing it.

You are wrong.

You might dislike the implementation of rituals...but the idea of partitioning gameworld buggering effects into a more prohinitive resource management scheme was sound.


I agree, all that rituals really did is put an end to "well, I don't have that spell ready today, lets make camp, i'll learn it in the morning, then we'll sleep again, and i'll re-learn my usual spells again"

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Rant, rant, rant. You know, this isn't a computer game. You don't need to know how to program to change the rules. The Vancian system is more complicated than the system you're suggesting. Just count up how many spells per day the spellcasting classes get and whenever the character prepares a spell, they automatically prepare the best version of that spell. Will it take some creativity and paperwork? Yup. Not anymore than creating new races, stories, or worlds.

I think it's rather silly that you would disown the game because they didn't write the rules to your liking, especially for a game that has been tailored to fit any particular's groups interests since conception. Hell, that's how it is for any role-playing game. Some of us like the Vancian system. For those who don't, I'm sure someone somewhere has thought of the same thing and built a system for it. And if they didn't, then you have a nice little pet project to do.



This has nothing to do with the Vancian system. That's just a method for alloting and limiting access to magic. I have no problem with x spells per day.

My problem is with the structure of the spells themselves, and with spell levels. If you were to read Vance's Dying Earth novels, upon which vancian casting was based...you would find that there are no spell levels.

That's very true, it just depends on how far you want to scale things.  Some things though, like raising the dead, or the wish spell, really need a bottom level for entry.



I would suggest scaling spellcasting by tiers...

So Dimension Door: Teleports subject over a short distance
Level 1-5 5 ft.
Level 6 - 10 10 ft.
Level 11 - 15 20 ft.
Level 16 - 20 50 ft

As for things like raise dead and wish...those should be rituals and not among a charater's regular per ddiem spell list



Think that this would be more reasonable

Level 1-5 15 ft.
Level 6 - 10 20 ft.
Level 11 - 15 30 ft.
Level 16 - 20 50 ft 

Teleporting 5 feet would be pointless although I might be miss interpreting what you mean and it was per level and if thats the case NVM. 


Ane problem with that would be that it would couse a big gap between a single class caster and a multi class one if they used 3.X style multi classing as they sugested.

If you go for a spell slot system a spell in a 2nd level spell slot cast by a 20th level caster is equaly powerfull as one cast by a 3rd level caster. 
(Assuming equal ability scores and bounded accuracy)
 
but it seems they already abandoned the bounded accuracy system by adding the  spellcasting bonus that scales with class level.



but that's the problem with 3Emulticlassing...a 10th level rogue/10th level wizard is effectively a 10th level character with a few more HP.

That's why I say scale spells with character level. That way the 10rth level rogue/10th level wizard is as powerful as the game expects them to be, but they are more versatile and spread out than a focused single class character.

Heh, I sadly must agree with the original post.
Part of me dislikes the multiple versions of the same spells at different power levels in D&D.

Part of me remembers that game design is  not in a vacuum.

If you collapse the spells into each other to reduce the number, you must also lower the amount of spells a caster has access to at a given time.
Otherwise, once a caster has X spells prepared, he has a spell prepared for 90% situational at 90% effectiveness/efficiency. Then resources will be their only issue.

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You are wrong.

You might dislike the implementation of rituals...but the idea of partitioning gameworld buggering effects into a more prohinitive resource management scheme was sound.

What you call "game buggering," others call "imaginative." Without rituals, you had to actually strategize when making spell choices for the day, abd sometimes got the hilarious and wonderful fun of seeing mages come up with ways to use Tensers Floating Disk in combat. With rituals, all mages just became walking artillery, boring as dirt.
Part of me dislikes the multiple versions of the same spells at different power levels in D&D.

Part of me remembers that game design is  not in a vacuum.

If you collapse the spells into each other to reduce the number, you must also lower the amount of spells a caster has access to at a given time.
Otherwise, once a caster has X spells prepared, he has a spell prepared for 90% situational at 90% effectiveness/efficiency. Then resources will be their only issue.


That might be a good opportunity to make each spell special to the wizard, and making finding a new spell a big deal
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This is the kind of idea that sounds great until you sit down with the wizard spell list and try to work it.

What does a level 1 Polymorph look like? Stoneskin? Meteor Swarm? Finger of Death? How about a level 9 Speak with Dead or Resistance?

Sure, you could combine them in complex ways - you could have a Transform spell that starts as Alter Self and ends up as Shapechange. But at that point instead of 30 pages covering 100 spells you've got 30 pages covering 20 spells - so what's the big advantage over the current system?

Anyway, there's already a 5e spellcaster that works this way - the warlock. Fun class! Great mechanic! But not really a replacement for wizard/cleric spells.
You are wrong. You might dislike the implementation of rituals...but the idea of partitioning gameworld buggering effects into a more prohinitive resource management scheme was sound.

What you call "game buggering," others call "imaginative." Without rituals, you had to actually strategize when making spell choices for the day, abd sometimes got the hilarious and wonderful fun of seeing mages come up with ways to use Tensers Floating Disk in combat. With rituals, all mages just became walking artillery, boring as dirt.


That is one spell that should have never been made into a ritual it was a pure comedy spell and my DM allowed us to take rituals in place of utility spells because he hated that too.
What does a level 1 Polymorph look like?


A little like Alter Self, probably.  That being said, I don't disagree.  Some of the spells probably should be consolidated (like charm and dominate), while others probably can't be.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

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D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

#BoobsNotBlood

the whole reason diffrent levels of spells exisist is this:

1. you research and create a spell like bigbys hand spell, ect

2. you gain another level and you say i know i can make it more powerful or do diffrent things so you research more and create a new improved version

ect, ect.

to dumb down spells and remove most of the spell list is an option you have by homebrewing your own spell list. you as a dm controll what spells get into your game and shouldnt change the history of magic doing it.
the whole reason diffrent levels of spells exisist is this:

1. you research and create a spell like bigbys hand spell, ect

2. you gain another level and you say i know i can make it more powerful or do diffrent things so you research more and create a new improved version

ect, ect.

to dumb down spells and remove most of the spell list is an option you have by homebrewing your own spell list. you as a dm controll what spells get into your game and shouldnt change the history of magic doing it.


Consolidating isn't "dumbing down."  It's the idea that spell slots of higher level represent a greater expenditure of magical power/energy, and the realization that some higher and lower level spells exist on a spectrum of power for the same kind of effect.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

#BoobsNotBlood

While I would like to see a creative magic system I also feel it may not be for D&D. Part of the popularity of D&D is the shared experiences. When I tell a story where the Wizard cast Melf's Acid Arrow or Otto's Irresistible Dance we all know how that works and how it can effect an outcome.

But I did find a great Microlite20 magic system called Wayfarer that I am wanting to use in our next game. Say you want to cast an Evocation, you say how much damage, range, and area you want to affect and that determines the resource cost (in M20 it costs HP to cast spells and all classes get the same HP per level). Great concept but no one would have the shared D&D experience when they can't just name the spell they cast 

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

What you call "game buggering," others call "imaginative." Without rituals, you had to actually strategize when making spell choices for the day, abd sometimes got the hilarious and wonderful fun of seeing mages come up with ways to use Tensers Floating Disk in combat. With rituals, all mages just became walking artillery, boring as dirt.



That is an implementation issue as the OP said.   I can just as easily say what you call "boring as dirt" is "imaginative."  It is just how you implement them.  Rituals could be vancian, you have to prepare and charge the components each day; or they could be a method to extend magic to the non-magic (Conan used rituals); they could be reserved for epic game changing spells; or simple parlor tricks.  I find it hard to believe that such a flexible concept is the source of an evil in D&D.  Now they were used by have been bad, but the concept as a lot of potential.
Part of me dislikes the multiple versions of the same spells at different power levels in D&D.

Part of me remembers that game design is  not in a vacuum.

If you collapse the spells into each other to reduce the number, you must also lower the amount of spells a caster has access to at a given time.
Otherwise, once a caster has X spells prepared, he has a spell prepared for 90% situational at 90% effectiveness/efficiency. Then resources will be their only issue.


That might be a good opportunity to make each spell special to the wizard, and making finding a new spell a big deal



Doesn't work.

There are about 15-20 powerful effects in D&D spells. D&D balances casters by forcing them to collect the effects at higher strengths and removed limits while only allowing a percentage of their spells per day at full useable strength. If you make spells scales, you remove the collection aspect except for with "situational spells."

Versatility in Magic is D&D's limiter. If you remove that limit, you have to add another.

Design isn't a vacuum.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

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