Some considerations about at-will cantrips:

Some considerations about at-will cantrips:


The Development Team talked about the possibility of a non-at-will cantrips module. I personally have interest in seeing that. Now, I think there are some things that I want to talk about at-will cantrips:



  1. 1.      Wizards that rely on weapon attacks instead of at-will cantrips are another class. That is false because A) When we talk about a no at-will cantrip Wizard, we are talking about a no at-will cantrip Wizard, not other class. This is not unlike saying that a Non-Vancian Wizard is another class; B) A no at-will cantrip Wizard does not necessarily  have to rely on weapon attacks; and C) This can only be true in a system/setting with at-will cantrips, but this goes out of the window with systems/settings that don’t have them. Actually, in such cases, I would even say that weapon-users Wizards make sense.

  2. 2.      But why people don’t want to have at-will cantrips? This is a personal preference, and not liking this is not much different from liking it. Many people would talk about different reasons. Without talking that it’s not because someone would like the option to have a no at-will cantrip that the same someone don’t like. I personally think that without at-will cantrips the challenge of resource management increases.

  3. 3.      People who don’t want at-will cantrips want under/overpowered Wizards/Caster/Spellcasters. Okay, this not necessarily is a common talk, but I want to talk about it in the same way. No, that it’s not true. One don’t have nothing to do with the other. Personally I think that the module/dial to remove at-will cantrips should maintain balance. But, if the game is balanced with at-will cantrips, removing them may cause unbalance, but I believe that can be fixed.

  4. 4.      People who don’t want at-will cantrips want the return of the 5 minute work-day or No at-will cantrips cause the 5 minute work day. Again, the first is not necessary a common talk, but I want to talk about both. No, wanting at-will cantrips or not it’s not necessarily connected with wanting the 5mwd. And no, I would say that the lack of at-will cantrips does not necessarily cause the 5mwd. Actually the 5mwd is a huge issue, as tons of threads already demonstrated. Some believe it never existed, some believe that it still exist in D&D 4th E and D&D Next, it’s a long discussion. I think that, while discussing a no at-will cantrips module/dial, people should not puzzle about the 5mwd. Let’s leave that to other discussions, which I believe it’s a better place.


As a final consideration, many people don’t like at-will cantrips because they are at-will. It’s the very at-will nature of it that many people don’t like, and I believe that it’s a system wide issue, not a class issue. Also, some people may be just interested in such a module/dial.


I just wanted to share that. I’m personally happy with the answer. This is an expected possibility for like, many people. Also I would like to highlight some interesting points:



  1. I particularly am not against at-will cantrips, but I think that it’s not for every system or setting.

  2. The presence of absence of at-will cantrips does not necessarily have to do with low/high magic/fantasy setting.

  3. I researched the comments made when the idea of at-will magic/cantrips was lauched. It was with the Warlock class in the Complete Arcane book (3.5 E, 2004). Many people reacted negatively with the at-will spellcasting, many worried that such a thing would be overpowered. Interesting, many people said that the Warlock is underpowered when compared with the Wizard, the Cleric and the Druid, which, as far as I know (if I’m wrong, someone say it), none of them had at-will cantrips. Interesting...

Who's the other side of this? Where are the people who have any objections to a module that removes at-will cantrips? It's hard to imagine anyone objecting to such a module. Even if someone thinks that they're good for the game on the whole, that person can just not use the module.

Regarding the warlock - some people thought the 3.5 warlock was overpowered when it was released because people are not really that good at evaluating material that works in a semi-novel way, particularly when it comes to resource management. There's a long-term pattern on the part of both players and designers to misevaluate the relative value of being able to do something different numbers of times. In its core, 3.5 overestimated the degree to which "Do X a lot of times each day" was a limitation compared to "Do X infinite times each day". The 4e Psion is a comparatively rarer example of going to far in the other direction, not realizing that "Do something very good twelve times a day" is better than "Do something slightly better than that, but only a few times a day".
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Regarding the warlock - some people thought the 3.5 warlock was overpowered when it was released because people are not really that good at evaluating material that works in a semi-novel way, particularly when it comes to resource management.

I still think that the 3.5 warlock is overpowered, precisely because of its resource-management. Not so much in-combat, of course, or probably not at very high levels; but a low-level warlock is like an archer with an infinite number of arrows, or a guy carrying an infinite length of rope, (or a bag containing an infinite number of cookies). It will be used in some way that nobody ever expected.

The metagame is not the game.

i dont get why people have a problem with a wizard using a dagger or staff along with spells. a good hit with a staff can almost kill a goblin. i dont like the current cantrip system they need to make them level 0 spells and work on lowering damage at minimum. if a 1st level spell can be outdamaged by a cantrip then the issue is with either the damage level of 1st level spells which would drive anti wizard peeps crazy if they raised damage or lowering the amount or frequency of casting cantrips.
i dont get why people have a problem with a wizard using a dagger or staff along with spells.


It's just flavor.  At low levels, for some people, a wizard really can just feel like an unarmored (and slightly clumsy) Little John who dabbles in spells.

Some people prefer a low-level wizard to be someone who can cast spells (even if they're no more effective than bashing someone on the head with a quarterstaff) and dabbles in more serious magic.
The module for this personal preference can be written in one line.

"Optional Rule: For a lower-magic setting, your DM may decide that you can only cast 4 cantrips per day. If so, you gain a +1 weapon attack bonus."

Does that sit well with errybody? 
I don't use emoticons, and I'm also pretty pleasant. So if I say something that's rude or insulting, it's probably a joke.
i dont get why people have a problem with a wizard using a dagger or staff along with spells.


It's just flavor.  At low levels, for some people, a wizard really can just feel like an unarmored (and slightly clumsy) Little John who dabbles in spells.

Some people prefer a low-level wizard to be someone who can cast spells (even if they're no more effective than bashing someone on the head with a quarterstaff) and dabbles in more serious magic.



I stamp my staff on the ground and it shakes and shimmies and my enemies tumble around me... VS
 I do a spinning sweep tripping all the mooks who have me surrounded.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

i dont get why people have a problem with a wizard using a dagger or staff along with spells. a good hit with a staff can almost kill a goblin. i dont like the current cantrip system they need to make them level 0 spells and work on lowering damage at minimum. if a 1st level spell can be outdamaged by a cantrip then the issue is with either the damage level of 1st level spells which would drive anti wizard peeps crazy if they raised damage or lowering the amount or frequency of casting cantrips.


It's just flavor. At low levels, for some people, a wizard really can just feel like an unarmored (and slightly clumsy) Little John who dabbles in spells.

Some people prefer a low-level wizard to be someone who can cast spells (even if they're no more effective than bashing someone on the head with a quarterstaff) and dabbles in more serious magic.



I stamp my staff on the ground and it shakes and shimmies and my enemies tumble around me... VS
I do a spinning sweep tripping all the mooks who have me surrounded.

Now I will say some interesting. This issue of having or not at-will cantrips does not have only to do with fluff. It can also be a gameplay question. I actually believe that there is some difference in gameplay between those options. Although, talking about in AD&D terms, if you can cast some spells per day in a world where only 1% of the population can cast spells and without at-will magic, you are a Wizard above everything. You may not even need the former point.
Talking about in Cleric terms, if his at-will cantrips are balanced with the weapon’s attacks, he will have zero problems. The Wizard is trickier, but I believe it can be fixed. But yes, it would be relatively easier to write such a module then write some of the other modules.

"Optional Rule: For a lower-magic setting, your DM may decide that you can only cast 4 cantrips per day. If so, you gain a +1 weapon attack bonus."

Does that sit well with errybody? 

If you're going to remove the at-will ability of wizards, then you need to replace it with an at-will that is at least somewhat comparable. I would go with:

"Optional Rule: For a lower-magic setting, your DM may decide that you can only cast 4 cantrips per day. If so, you gain a +1 weapon attack bonus (increasing to +2 at level 6, and +3 at level 12) and +1 weapon damage bonus per level."

The metagame is not the game.

i dont get why people have a problem with a wizard using a dagger or staff along with spells. a good hit with a staff can almost kill a goblin. i dont like the current cantrip system they need to make them level 0 spells and work on lowering damage at minimum. if a 1st level spell can be outdamaged by a cantrip then the issue is with either the damage level of 1st level spells which would drive anti wizard peeps crazy if they raised damage or lowering the amount or frequency of casting cantrips.

It's just flavor. At low levels, for some people, a wizard really can just feel like an unarmored (and slightly clumsy) Little John who dabbles in spells. Some people prefer a low-level wizard to be someone who can cast spells (even if they're no more effective than bashing someone on the head with a quarterstaff) and dabbles in more serious magic.

I stamp my staff on the ground and it shakes and shimmies and my enemies tumble around me... VS I do a spinning sweep tripping all the mooks who have me surrounded.

Now I will say some interesting. This issue of having or not at-will cantrips does not have only to do with fluff. It can also be a gameplay question. I actually believe that there is some difference in gameplay between those options.


It can have a game play difference for some if it couldnt it wouldnt be fun (for instance the things around you might be immune to tripping or the area may be resistant to earth magics but ummm pretending its a power/potency difference really seems wrong.

  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."

 


  1. 1.      Wizards that rely on weapon attacks instead of at-will cantrips are another class. That is false because A) When we talk about a no at-will cantrip Wizard, we are talking about a no at-will cantrip Wizard, not other class. This is not unlike saying that a Non-Vancian Wizard is another class; B) A no at-will cantrip Wizard does not necessarily  have to rely on weapon attacks; and C) This can only be true in a system/setting with at-will cantrips, but this goes out of the window with systems/settings that don’t have them. Actually, in such cases, I would even say that weapon-users Wizards make sense.




I could be wrong, but I think you're misinterpreting the "a wizard without at-will cantrips is a different class" position.  It's not that anyone expects a different section in the PHB with its own HP progression and such under a separate heading that reads "Wizards without at-will Cantrips."  It's not even that at-will cantrips are a defining feature of the class, the way some people think vancian is defining and a wizard without vancian is really a sorcerer/psion/warlock in disguise (note, I'm not saying Vancian is or is not defining, that's a whole other thread).  

Rather, the "not a wizard without at-will cantrips" crowd does not feel like they are playing a spellcasting class - any spell casting class - if they cannot do magic all day long.  Without at-will magic, a Wizard does in fact have to rely on weapon attacks (or at least some form of mundane contribution, be it crossbows, oil flasks, improv attacks, or just dodge/aid another), at least on long days at low levels.  This is an undeniable fact.  You can argue about how often that is, and how long that day has to be, and whether it is fun to play a wizard that way, but you can't plausibly argue that it doesn't happen.  Some people, right or wrong, feel that a wizard who is shooting a crossbow isn't a wizard.  He's some kind of archer in a pointy hat.  His class is still wizard, he may have been a wizard six seconds earlier when he cast magic missile, but he's not being a wizard at that moment.  This bothers them.  There is nothing "false" about their belief or their feeling, it is a matter of opinion.  
Ahh, now something interesting. One of the reasons that I included here is because some people said that a Wizard without at-will cantrips is an entire another class. Yes, we can discuss all the things you said that we can. Yes, without at-will cantrips sometimes you will have to figure out, I wouldn't say that it is a problem by itself (resource management is the goal here). I talked about that because of specific cases in which people suggested that a Wizard that does not have at-will cantrips and have to do other things is another class entirely and we should play another class. How much magic the Wizard should have is indeed another discussion.
My proposal for those who wish to not have 'damaging cantrips' and think wizards should be using weapons when they can't or don't want to use their rare, Vancian spells is this:


Add a cantrip that summons a weapon useable by the wizard.  This weapon would be similar in most respects to any ordinary weapon (perhaps it ought to allow the wizard to fully affect creatures resistant to non-magical weapons) - but it is magical.  It is summoned when needed and it disappears when it is no longer necessary.

The wizard is still 'doing magic', and at the same time the wizard is attacking with a weapon - he is not firing off blasts of magical cold each round (which seems to offend some). 

edit: I'd also allow them to use their magical attack bonus with the summoned weapon so that they actually have a chance to hit something. 

Carl
.  Some people, right or wrong, feel that a wizard who is shooting a crossbow isn't a wizard.  He's some kind of archer in a pointy hat.  



Heh... tacky anti-tropic character not worthy of the name wizard...
Wizard with a staff or sword like gandalf .. yes definitely.. but making the mechanically practical thing so anti-fantasy thing like toting a crossbow.. yuck.  Note fighting with a staff unless you have decent shields and actually competance with that staff is also stupid - so to follow trope I think there is a barrier up.

About the only Fantasy Crossbowman = Witchhunter (cool in his own right and might even use a few spells to fight magic with magic).. but not a Wizard.

Yes its purely a flavor response.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I like wizards who occassionally have to resort to crossbows and darts at low levels.

To encourage this style of play, my housrule is that cantrips function kind of like encounter powers. In a given combat encounter, you can cast a number of cantrips up to the number you can prepare. After that, you're tapped out until you get chance to catch your breath.

This way, the utility cantrips are effectively at-will, and the combat cantrips are almost always available for use, while retaining some aspect of resource management and some of the "spell casting is taxing" flavour.

For my games, this strikes the perfect balance. Most of the time, this plays out in game the same as at-will cantrips. It just requires the player to think a little more, and to have a back-up handy.

It’s wise to address atwill damaging spells with alternatives. People seem awfully obsessive when exploring this topic.  I know I am. Class structure created to counter the 5mwd without a basis in fluff, logic or flavor makes me nauseous. I would assume that anyone who could stomach the blandness of cantrip gun/tasers just for the sake of having something magical to do are just obsessive in their own right.  I just hope wotc finally adds some real flavor to their alternatives giving the vancian tradition some diverse adventure/combat skills and a magical alternative more depth and flavor than the current Ray of Frost Spam.   


It’s wise to address atwill damaging spells with alternatives. People seem awfully obsessive when exploring this topic.  I know I am. Class structure created to counter the 5mwd without a basis in fluff, logic or flavor makes me nauseous. I would assume that anyone who could stomach the blandness of cantrip gun/tasers just for the sake of having something magical to do are just obsessive in their own right.  I just hope wotc finally adds some real flavor to their alternatives giving the vancian tradition some diverse adventure/combat skills and a magical alternative more depth and flavor than the current Ray of Frost Spam.   


"Fluff, logic or flavor"? The fluff and flavor of a wizard is that it is guy who casts magic spells. Cantrips at-will exist almost entirely for the sake of fluff and flavor. The number-crunchy mechanics aren't all that different from a wizard fighting with a weapon a big chunk of the time, but they're included because they fit the flavor of the class. It's like why monks and barbarians get limited armor proficiency, but then get defensive bonuses when not wearing armor. We don't just let them wear platemail (even though it maths out roughly similarly) because not wearing heavy armor is the flavor of the class. The game is about more than just the numbers, and at-will cantrips are one such concession to flavor.

The spells are simple because they're things that are likely to be done fairly regularly - and there are more complex cantrips available as well.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
"Fluff, logic or flavor"? The fluff and flavor of a wizard is that it is guy who casts magic spells. Cantrips at-will exist almost entirely for the sake of fluff and flavor. The number-crunchy mechanics aren't all that different from a wizard fighting with a weapon a big chunk of the time, but they're included because they fit the flavor of the class. It's like why monks and barbarians get limited armor proficiency, but then get defensive bonuses when not wearing armor. We don't just let them wear platemail (even though it maths out roughly similarly) because not wearing heavy armor is the flavor of the class. The game is about more than just the numbers, and at-will cantrips are one such concession to flavor.

The spells are simple because they're things that are likely to be done fairly regularly - and there are more complex cantrips available as well.




Spells themselves serve the purpose. Atwill cantrips as a form of casting those spells are a nod to what many dislike about vancian casters and their effect on the 5 mwd. That’s where their existence runs afoul of logic and flavor. It makes no sense for such a wizard to be so inept at atwill casting except for a small uniform selection of spell. The fluff by my definition would have been a cool and interesting reason why they can cast these spells 24/7 rain sleet or snow or some sort of feat based learned mechanic but we didn’t get either.

i dont get why people have a problem with a wizard using a dagger or staff along with spells.



I don't get why people have a problem with a wizard using ray of frost at-will. That said, I think they should have a cantrip for projecting a wizard's power through his staff.

Staff Strike
Evocation cantrip
You project magical force through your staff, delivering a powerful blow.
Requirement: You must be wielding a quarterstaff. 
Effect: Make an attack with your quarterstaff, using your magic attack bonus plus your Intelligence modifier instead of your weapon attack bonus plus Strength modifier. On a hit, the target takes 1[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier bludgeoning and force damage and is pushed 1 square away from you.
Special: If your caster level is 7th or higher, the damage is 2[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier. If your caster level is 11th or higher, the damage is 3[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier. If your caster level is 16th or higher, the damage is 4[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier.
i dont get why people have a problem with a wizard using a dagger or staff along with spells.



I don't get why people have a problem with a wizard using ray of frost at-will. That said, I think they should have a cantrip for projecting a wizard's power through his staff.

Staff Strike
Evocation cantrip
You project magical force through your staff, delivering a powerful blow.
Requirement: You must be wielding a quarterstaff. 
Effect: Make an attack with your quarterstaff, using your magic attack bonus plus your Intelligence modifier instead of your weapon attack bonus plus Strength modifier. On a hit, the target takes 1[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier bludgeoning and force damage and is pushed 1 square away from you.
Special: If your caster level is 7th or higher, the damage is 2[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier. If your caster level is 11th or higher, the damage is 3[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier. If your caster level is 16th or higher, the damage is 4[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier.




Why add Strength and Intelligence to the damage?    And a push?

I'd just add the Intelligence in place of the strength.  Or perhaps leave the damage dependant upon Dex or Strength - but allow the push due to the magical effect.

Otherwise, you end up making a low level wizard with a moderate strength able to do more damage than a low level fighter with the same weapon.  And push the target besides.

Also - just for the record:  The staff is a finesse weapon so it would normally use Dexterity not Strength.

Carl
i dont get why people have a problem with a wizard using a dagger or staff along with spells.



I don't get why people have a problem with a wizard using ray of frost at-will. That said, I think they should have a cantrip for projecting a wizard's power through his staff.

Staff Strike
Evocation cantrip
You project magical force through your staff, delivering a powerful blow.
Requirement: You must be wielding a quarterstaff. 
Effect: Make an attack with your quarterstaff, using your magic attack bonus plus your Intelligence modifier instead of your weapon attack bonus plus Strength modifier. On a hit, the target takes 1[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier bludgeoning and force damage and is pushed 1 square away from you.
Special: If your caster level is 7th or higher, the damage is 2[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier. If your caster level is 11th or higher, the damage is 3[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier. If your caster level is 16th or higher, the damage is 4[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier.


Interesting but why quarter staff? I thought that wizard staffs were out there in next?
i dont get why people have a problem with a wizard using a dagger or staff along with spells.



I don't get why people have a problem with a wizard using ray of frost at-will. That said, I think they should have a cantrip for projecting a wizard's power through his staff.

Staff Strike
Evocation cantrip
You project magical force through your staff, delivering a powerful blow.
Requirement: You must be wielding a quarterstaff. 
Effect: Make an attack with your quarterstaff, using your magic attack bonus plus your Intelligence modifier instead of your weapon attack bonus plus Strength modifier. On a hit, the target takes 1[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier bludgeoning and force damage and is pushed 1 square away from you.
Special: If your caster level is 7th or higher, the damage is 2[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier. If your caster level is 11th or higher, the damage is 3[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier. If your caster level is 16th or higher, the damage is 4[W] + Strength modifier + Intelligence modifier.



Love the push part but I agree with it not needing strength nor dex even I would like the weapon to gain reach ie be able to affect an enemy already 5 feet away... perhaps with [w] lost to that element.

Force Guided Strike - any weapon you are trained with (usually staves for wizards).
  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."

 

Staff Strike is making the mistake of thinking that when people say "it's important to me that sometimes the wizard hits things with a staff" that they mean "it's important to me that there's a wizard option that's a physical combat move", not "it's important to me that every wizard is sometimes stuck without spellcasting, because my lingering bitterness about 4e leads me to believe that everything about it is 'bad flavor', including the idea that primary spellcasters fight using magic."
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Staff Strike is making the mistake of thinking that when people say "it's important to me that sometimes the wizard hits things with a staff" that they mean 


I feel inclined to ignore what they mean... and get caught up in Gandalf battling Sarumon imagery.
  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."

 

Staff Strike is making the mistake of thinking that when people say "it's important to me that sometimes the wizard hits things with a staff" that they mean "it's important to me that there's a wizard option that's a physical combat move", not "it's important to me that every wizard is sometimes stuck without spellcasting, because my lingering bitterness about 4e leads me to believe that everything about it is 'bad flavor', including the idea that primary spellcasters fight using magic."

Thank you for that.

Danny

I see a wizard/mage as someone who uses a staff for two things:


  1. To power and enhance their spells in some way because of its magical properties

  2. To lean on when walking or standing still and looking haughty and superior

Not to hit things over the head with except annoying children, stupid halflings, and rude drunk dwarves. Afterall why would you use your expensive, magic soaked, rune covered, jewel encrusted, orb holding staff to hit anything as trivial as a Kobold. Its like using a Faberge egg to swat a rat. 

I see a wizard as being intelligence based and viewing anything remotely physical as not just beneath them but beyond them. They should not be crossbowmen in pretty hats and robes; in fact the idea of giving a clumsy supercillious wizard a crossbow should fill people with fear for their own safety.

So for me a wizard should have a plethora of at will cantrips to not just support adventuring (doing damage, creating light, making water drinkable, buffing friends, debuffing enemies) but to get them through their day from creating fires for brewing tea, shaving, tieing shoelaces, and helping translate languages, read books, scribe scrols etc. (most of the latter are not needed in game except for role playing). 

I see a wizard as someone who started as an apprentice at 12 or 14 and after many long years of study and practice, when they go to adventure at 21 is now highly competent in and reliant on magic. A case of why drive when you have chauffeur, why pore a drink when you have a butler.

So I am all for a bucket load of cantrips.


 
Limited cantrips for me. Can't stand the at-will stuff. And I love the idea of a staff-wielding wizard. 

My tuppence. 
"it's important to me that every wizard is sometimes stuck without spellcasting, because my lingering bitterness about 4e leads me to believe that everything about it is 'bad flavor', including the idea that primary spellcasters fight using magic."

Yes and no. Yes, because at-will magic destroys the flavor of the setting, and no because that idea preceded the conception of 4E by at least a decade.

The metagame is not the game.

Whoa:
First: I think that the people who don't like at-will cantrips do not like the at-will nature. This has nothing to do with 4th Edition. In fact, the idea of at-will spellcasting is from before 4th E. Why some people don't like it varies from person to person. But yes, apparently some people don't like the flavor of it. I personally have one case in which I don't like at-will cantrips, but that's a long story. So a module/dial that removes it is something expected.
Second: Yes, Wizards cast spells. But how many they cast, how frequent, how they cast and if they run out of magic and have to use something else or not are still completely debatable. A Wizard who runs out is a Wizard just like a Wizard with at-will cantrips.
Yes, Wizards cast spells. But how many they cast, how frequent, how they cast and if they run out of magic and have to use something else or not are still completely debatable..

I really see two cases:

1) High magic setting. Magic is easy. The fighter can learn some arcane spells, the bard can learn significant arcane magic while still focusing on music and skills, and the wizard is the best at arcane magic so that she can cast all day with no problem.
2) Low magic setting. Magic is hard. The fighter cannot learn arcane spells trivially, the bard focuses on music instead of learning to cast arcane spells, and the wizard is the best at arcane magic merely by virtue of being the only one who can use it (even though she is limited in its use).

I greatly prefer the second choice, because I find those settings easier to understand at an intuitive level. It meshes better with my sense of what a fun setting would be.

The metagame is not the game.




Mar 7, 2013 -- 2:36PM, cassi_brazuca wrote:

Yes, Wizards cast spells. But how many they cast, how frequent, how they cast and if they run out of magic and have to use something else or not are still completely debatable..




I really see two cases:

1) High magic setting. Magic is easy. The fighter can learn some arcane spells, the bard can learn significant arcane magic while still focusing on music and skills, and the wizard is the best at arcane magic so that she can cast all day with no problem.
2) Low magic setting. Magic is hard. The fighter cannot learn arcane spells trivially, the bard focuses on music instead of learning to cast arcane spells, and the wizard is the best at arcane magic merely by virtue of being the only one who can use it (even though she is limited in its use).

I greatly prefer the second choice, because I find those settings easier to understand at an intuitive level. It meshes better with my sense of what a fun setting would be.


This does not necessarily have something to do with high or low magic. This can also have to do with other setting elements, gameplay, or just people don't like it or want the module.
Yes, because at-will magic destroys the flavor of the setting,



Destroys the flavor of the setting? Don't you think you're being a bit overly dramatic? Cantrips are the weakest, most minor of all spells.

OH NO! A Wizard can cast light at will! The sky will surely fall! [/sarcasm]

Give me a break... 
Why add Strength and Intelligence to the damage?    And a push?



Because wizards don't get martial damage, and I also thought that it would help balance this against shocking grasp, which doesn't require a weapon and does more damage (d10) than a staff (d8). As for the push, all cantrips have a small bonus effect, and I thought giving a wizard a "get away from me!" power would be appropriate for their melee attack.

Anyway, it was just throwing out an idea. I didn't rigorously test it for balance or anything.

Mar 7, 2013 -- 1:51PM, Saelorn wrote:

Yes, because at-will magic destroys the flavor of the setting,




Destroys the flavor of the setting? Don't you think you're being a bit overly dramatic? Cantrips are the weakest, most minor of all spells.

OH NO! A Wizard can cast light at will! The sky will surely fall! [/sarcasm]

Give me a break... 


I don't think that at-will cantrips are for every setting and every system. It can certainly be annoying to have them.
Destroys the flavor of the setting? Don't you think you're being a bit overly dramatic? Cantrips are the weakest, most minor of all spells.



Dramatic yeah? That is funny to me. When I think it about it spaming, a gunlike spell could render a setting cheese in a good videogame or god forbid a good D&D flick.
Destroys the flavor of the setting? Don't you think you're being a bit overly dramatic? Cantrips are the weakest, most minor of all spells.



Dramatic yeah? That is funny to me. When I think it about it spaming, a gunlike spell could render a setting cheese in a good videogame or god forbid a good D&D flick.



i wont ever use them they do not balance well in dragonlance and my other homebrew setting i use
Destroys the flavor of the setting? Don't you think you're being a bit overly dramatic? Cantrips are the weakest, most minor of all spells.



Dramatic yeah? That is funny to me. When I think it about it spaming, a gunlike spell could render a setting cheese in a good videogame or god forbid a good D&D flick.

Care to elaborate? Bear in mind that it's more of a Nerf gunlike spell than an actual gunlike spell. It's significantly less dangerous than a normal ranged weapon.

Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Destroys the flavor of the setting? Don't you think you're being a bit overly dramatic? Cantrips are the weakest, most minor of all spells. 

When magic is at-will, it removes the incentive to ever not use it. If you can only cast light once or twice per day, then you always stop and consider whether now is the right time to do so.

It's not that it will destroy the game. It won't affect your power within the dungeon (or wilderness, or whatever), at least not to a degree worth mentioning. It affects the setting, though. It affects the commoners, who may have never seen magic before because the very few spellcasters they  have come across have never had sufficient reason to expend such limited resources. If you want to impress them by casting light, then that's an option.

The metagame is not the game.

When magic is at-will, it removes the incentive to ever not use it. If you can only cast light once or twice per day, then you always stop and consider whether now is the right time to do so.



The vast majority of spells aren't at-will, and those that are are so weak that there shouldn't be an incentive to not use them, IMO.

It's not that it will destroy the game. It won't affect your power within the dungeon (or wilderness, or whatever), at least not to a degree worth mentioning. It affects the setting, though. It affects the commoners, who may have never seen magic before because the very few spellcasters they  have come across have never had sufficient reason to expend such limited resources. If you want to impress them by casting light, then that's an option.



If wizards are rare in the setting, most commoners still won't see magic very often, despite wizards having a few spells they can cast at-will. Just because a wizard can cast something at-will doesn't mean he's going to run around casting it all the time! There are plenty of things that I, as a human being, can do at-will, like jumping jacks. But actually seeing me do a jumping jack is a rather rare sight.
Actually with scaling cantrips at level 16 are better than most 1st and 2nd damaging spells. This have to change.
But yes, I believe that it does not fit in every setting or every system. I personally have one case in which I don't like at-will cantrips, but that's a long story. A Wizard that never runs out of spells is like an archer who never run out of arrows or a modern soldier that never runs out of bullets or having an infinite supply of food and water. The concept of at-will cantrips is not something mechanically unbalanced (the actual execution, however, need some changes) but I have no problem in see why people don't like it.
The module for this personal preference can be written in one line.

"Optional Rule: For a lower-magic setting, your DM may decide that you can only cast 4 cantrips per day. If so, you gain a +1 weapon attack bonus."

Does that sit well with errybody? 



Here would be my choice:

Optional wizard class ability: You can only cast 4 (or maybe 6) cantrips per day but you receive 1 extra spell per day of your highest level spell.

 
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