Wizards and dice

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So with the last playtest packet many of the offensive spells now use a saving throw system unlike previous versions where the player would make an attack roll. In both of my games the wizards have commented on how this makes the wizard a bit dull since they are no longer rolling dice on their turn, other than the damage die. Is anyone else running into this same complaint?
The wizard player in our game today basically said just the opposite. He really liked that he could call up the spell and make the monsters save against them. He said it really made him feel like he wasn't just another attacking fighter and that his spells were powerful and had to be avoided, rather than him just missing.
The wizard in my group and I both feel the same way as Alienux's wizard.  To us, the save mechanic makes magic seem more magical and different from normal weapon attacks.   It's also nice because now (like 4e) different spells target different defenses.   It seemed weird when wizards had to roll "to hit" scores against AC.


A Brave Knight of WTF

I absolutely agree Drayven, my casters really feel the lack of attack rolls dimishes their fun.  I realize for some this "feels" like D&D, but I personally don't feel it adds anything to the game.  I agree that hitting "AC" doesn feel right for ceratin spells, but it makes sense with quite a few of them.

Also, speaking as a DM, having to roll a bunch of saves puts a bit more effort on me.  At least when is was an even mix, I got a break from rolling several d20s every single time.

D&D Next... waiting and seeing...

Agreed on the weirdness of targetting AC with a spell, I just wish there was some sort of like mental resistance that worked like AC so the work was on the attacker to hit, not the defender to avoid, if that makes any sense.
Also, speaking as a DM, having to roll a bunch of saves puts a bit more effort on me.  At least when is was an even mix, I got a break from rolling several d20s every single time.



For me as a DM, I didn't mind this at all. I still got to roll plenty of other dice (d6s, d8s) when monsters made a successful attack. I actually enjoyed making saves for the monsters during combat for a change.
Agreed on the weirdness of targetting AC with a spell, I just wish there was some sort of like mental resistance that worked like AC so the work was on the attacker to hit, not the defender to avoid, if that makes any sense.


Then we run into the four defenses of 4e.  I've got to say, I'm happier with one defense and the ability checks/saves stepping up to plate.

I did a quick skirmish with a wizard, and I kind of realized that I was jealous.  We were all concentrating on digits while he spent that time waving his hands around and exclaiming "that just happened!"  The save throws didn't bog game time down any more than another player's turn.

Though, I supposed I could see DM's getting tired of rolling so much.  Maybe just have the player roll the save throws in front of the DM?
Doesn't seem so fun to just go 'yeah, I do something'

I'd probably have the players roll the monsters save, either telling them the bonus or just getting the raw number off them.

"In the game there is magic" - Orethalion

 

Only got words in my copy.

I suggested having the player roll the resist, I was told "I train my dice to roll high" :P
I'm agreeing with Drayven27 re how much I like attack rolls by the wizard.  Without the attack roll, the wizard (or any kind of spell caster) NEVER gets the thrill of a critical hit.  As both a DM and a player, I think the players should have the fun of rolling the dice (attack and damage) as often as possible.
Whoever rolls I think we'll see a module/option for the reverse.  The math is the same no matter who rolls (unless a crit option is added for spells).

But I expect once AC is out of the picture the Magic Attack bonus should go away.  Basically Stat vs. Stat with Dodge adding a big bonus to Dex saves/Defenses. 
my players also thought it felt like it was taking away from the wizard.
And hitting AC for certain things also was off as well.

with rolling to hit, its the player who is in control of the outcome with a chance of getting a crit - with a save - its crossing your fingers you chose the right save.

It would be nice to see more variety of cantrips and maybe more cantrips known at higher levles to represent the extensive knowledge you've gained from learning 10+ higher level spells that you figured out a few ways to make more 0's work.

that way a wizard doesn't *have* to have all dammage cantrips, or choosing which saves can fit in his build and hopeing for the best.

EDIT :

As far as i know, there have *always* been crit rules for spells that attack vrs AC.
(correct me if im wrong) 
Whoever rolls I think we'll see a module/option for the reverse.  The math is the same no matter who rolls (unless a crit option is added for spells).




Not exactly, you need to add a correction bonus of +2 to the target defense, so his total defense is 10+old saving throw bonus+2, and the attack bonus for the wizard is old CD -10. With this conversion you can have the wizard roll to attack without changing anything balance wise.

The save idea is fine but players should be more engaged in it, and it makes more work for the DM.

I agree that sometimes in can be fun for the players not to know as it can build suspense, but if I throw my save dices continuesly behind my screen then the thrill disapear quickly. They just wait for me to say ok it hits or no sorry half dmg. And if I have to throw the saves in front of my players to build some thrill, then there is a problem.

When DMing I prefer not having to roll tons of dices, especially in front of players, and I am not a kind of game system robot. I already have to care about the monsters' attacks, be actively narrative, integrating story components, incarnate some monsters and sorry if I don't want on top of that to have to roll for my players during their turn. In my small amount of DMing experience, I have always found that the less a DM have to roll dices and make math, the best he can tell a story.

As a solution, I have made my players roll for the monsters' saves and then I just realized that finally, an attack roll would do just fine. What casters may need is attack rolls against abilities... but that is another thread.
Whoever rolls I think we'll see a module/option for the reverse.  The math is the same no matter who rolls (unless a crit option is added for spells).




Not exactly, you need to add a correction bonus of +2 to the target defense, so his total defense is 10+old saving throw bonus+2, and the attack bonus for the wizard is old CD -10. With this conversion you can have the wizard roll to attack without changing anything balance wise.




I'm a little confused here. What is CD?

Thanks

Sorry, my mistake, it was meant to be DC (Difficulty class). In the Italian version they translated it CD so i get confused at times.

So far my dislikes and likes about the wizard are along the lines of this, i don't like leaving it entirly up to the monster, nor do i like aiming at a defense (like in 4e) i do how ever like taking feats and equiping gear to increase success rate. in 3.5 i hated casting, so much, that i stoped playing casters all together, in 4.0 i avoided casters for their lack of accuracy (harder to hit certain defenses) 

I DM for my group so very seldomly do i get to be a PC,  but when i do wizard and sorcerer are my favorite two classes. one thing that turns me off is the lack of there being a special mechanic for magic. Magic i think shouldn't be somthing that is easily avoided and it should be more powerful then the swing of the sword.

That being said, i think that haveing somthing like a the way spell resistence in 3.5 worked, except, this threshold would be targeted like a AC, if you land the spell it hits normally, if you miss then you reduce the damage by the spell resistence thresh hold. by this definition all spells would hit.

Then you could have those that need a save such as with fort and will. the idea that a rogue can "dodge" a fire ball that just blew up in an open room and not take damage (3.5 rules) or in 4'e only take "half damage" is kinda redicules. now i can under stand certain monsters in the aspect.

The point i'm bringing up is that it feels nice letting the monsters save against it since it symbolizes that they have move or get messed up. But i feel it's to easy of a chance to avoid a spell.

I know magic is very limited as it is with the low spell count. I also know it does tons of damage. I just felt that 4E had it almost right. With gaining the bonuses through items and feats, you could land spell alot more often then any other edition, but they were also watered down counterparts to other editions.

The spells and other martial powers in 4E were to closely related in damage, and landed about the same amount of times.

But the Question in hand is, should wizards get to roll more dice.

My overall answer, there should be a decent balance between the two, possibly make it a contest to int vs dex (as in ray of frost) this would make the dm roll the dice he would have anyways, while still pitting the wizard against the monster. and it would give the chance of spell crit on spells that normally wouldn't. Also the wizard would be like " u mad bro" when the monster fails because he accomplished somthing. instead of going, "save or damage" like a sales clerk.

MY personal preference would be somthing simliar to 3.5 rules with a touch of 4e in there. the casting currently feels way to much just like 3.5, but then this edition is almost a glorified 3.5 anyways. 
I DMd a session last night for 3 players, and everyone got used to using the Save mechanic, and eventually we really liked it.   To tell the truth, I think it made each turn go a tiny bit quicker because as DM, I didn't wait for the player whenever he said he would cast a spell, I tried to roll the saves as soon as possible, and the player rolled damage.   Doing it simultaneously kept the player in the game.   For most spells, foes take 1/2 damage even on a save, so the player always felt involved.

A Brave Knight of WTF

My group just tried out D&D Next last night.  We actually had a discussion about this very topic while playing.  The cleric in the group was not fond of the save mechanic, he is used to 4th edition, and frankly, enjoys rolling dice.  He wanted to make attack rolls with lance of faith rather than leaving it in my hands as the DM to roll a save.  The wizard, on the other hand, loved the mechanic, and did not find rolling to be essential to his fun.  He has been playing since 2nd edition, and liked being able to force the monster to save.

The point here is that different players enjoy different mechanics.  When we play next, I plan to take a minute to figure out an accurate reversal, so that my players can choose between rolling their attacks and forcing their saves.  I feel like this option should be present in the default game, and would open up spellcasters to play how they want to play.
I DMd a session last night for 3 players, and everyone got used to using the Save mechanic, and eventually we really liked it.   To tell the truth, I think it made each turn go a tiny bit quicker because as DM, I didn't wait for the player whenever he said he would cast a spell, I tried to roll the saves as soon as possible, and the player rolled damage.   Doing it simultaneously kept the player in the game.   For most spells, foes take 1/2 damage even on a save, so the player always felt involved.



As I mentioned in the other thread, I like this idea of having magic users roll damage simultaneousely with the DM rolling the save. It keeps everyone involved and able to play the current RAW.

I feel like this option should be present in the default game, and would open up spellcasters to play how they want to play.



It actually was in the last packet. There were some spells that work like they do now, but many actually required a magic attack roll. The save roll for monsters on almost all spells is just in the latest playtest material, so we really don't know how it will end up in the final product.
They really need both Roll to Attack and Roll to Evade mechanics for spells. Some spells need to be targeted and cast in a way that makes them effective like Acid Arrow. A saving throw against an magic acid arrow is silly. Other spells are cast in a area, and might have a secondary effect like Thunderwave. A concussive blast that needed to penitrate armor, would not be much of a blast at all!
This is super homebrew but if your players want to roll for success you could add in your mechanic that indicated if they fizzeled the spell or not. Such as they need above the spell slot used to indicate success and under the failed, but get to keep the slot. A natural-20 can be a critical of the spell, if offensive, and they can roll twice the damage.

If anything this would add a realistic approach to casting, if some what raw.

 

 

This issue was a constant annoyance at my table last night. Our wizard and cleric, both coming from 4e, kept forgetting and rolling attacks anyway. I'm about to just house rule in attacker rolls.
"So shall it be! Dear-bought those songs shall be be accounted, and yet shall be well-bought. For the price could be no other. Thus even as Eru spoke to us shall beauty not before conceived be brought into Eä, and evil yet be good to have been." - Manwë, High King of the Valar
They really need both Roll to Attack and Roll to Evade mechanics for spells. Some spells need to be targeted and cast in a way that makes them effective like Acid Arrow. A saving throw against an magic acid arrow is silly. Other spells are cast in a area, and might have a secondary effect like Thunderwave. A concussive blast that needed to penitrate armor, would not be much of a blast at all!



This man speaks wisdom.

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We're thinking of something along the lines like "If the save is a natural "1", the spell is a critical hit."  Not sure what effect to put on since rolling damage and adding it to the maximum like weapons means some spells are way too powerful, but simply doing max damage negates the special feeling of a crit because on occasion you can simply roll max damage.

Maybe extra damage dice equal to the caster's magical ability modifier or something.
My group just tried out D&D Next last night.  We actually had a discussion about this very topic while playing.  The cleric in the group was not fond of the save mechanic, he is used to 4th edition, and frankly, enjoys rolling dice.  He wanted to make attack rolls with lance of faith rather than leaving it in my hands as the DM to roll a save.  The wizard, on the other hand, loved the mechanic, and did not find rolling to be essential to his fun.  He has been playing since 2nd edition, and liked being able to force the monster to save.

The point here is that different players enjoy different mechanics.  When we play next, I plan to take a minute to figure out an accurate reversal, so that my players can choose between rolling their attacks and forcing their saves.  I feel like this option should be present in the default game, and would open up spellcasters to play how they want to play.

Yeah this is a great idea for players who like rolling attacks.

You could easily have the player make an anti-save roll for the target.

Say the save chance is 13+ on a d20. 

So there are 8 chances in 20 that the spell fails. Either the target rolls a d20 to save, and needs a 13+ to avoid the spell, or the caster can roll "to hit" and needs a 9+ to land it. Same math, different rolls to fit the player preference.

ps - i am in the like saving throws camp
The idea of a Wizard rolling, for me reflects only a concept of degree of success. I would not like a spell not "to hit". "Resisted or Saved" sounds fair and correct enough. Magic should hit always (that's what I've understood from many players likes&dislikes)....the matter is who can work around it to survive...With the exception of doing something wrong when weaving strong magic (ritual, higher lvl spell than yours, scroll that is not yours writing etc )! 

But since all spellcasters memorize their moves and words ...they can't fail for they spells. Why should they? But what about rolling when you want to cast extra unmemorized spells that you know of course. That could sound interesting....and fair. You want to risk mr.Mage ....then roll for it!


 Since there is no degree of success in any other common attack rolls(melee ,ranged) there is no big deal, to put it when casting. I Agree that it would be nice for spellcasters to have to roll a Arcane skill to properly weave the essence of magic (in most Faerun novels they actually do and not only in FR!), but i thing it should not be for memorized spells.

Many ideas could come though if they rolled for spells, there could be Fumbles&Crits if they did, like (Free Metamagic influence on a Crit or Uncontrolled events on a 1).  Optional rules for Fatigue from spells will also add flavor (especially if added as an effect for casting unmemorized spells).  Many options many ideas...
The idea of a Wizard rolling, for me reflects only a concept of degree of success. I would not like a spell not "to hit". "Resisted or Saved" sounds fair and correct enough. Magic should hit always (that's what I've understood from many players likes&dislikes)....the matter is who can work around it to survive...With the exception of doing something wrong when weaving strong magic (ritual, higher lvl spell than yours, scroll that is not yours writing etc )! 

But since all spellcasters memorize their moves and words ...they can't fail for they spells. Why should they? But what about rolling when you want to cast extra unmemorized spells that you know of course. That could sound interesting....and fair. You want to risk mr.Mage ....then roll for it!


 Since there is no degree of success in any other common attack rolls(melee ,ranged) there is no big deal, to put it when casting. I Agree that it would be nice for spellcasters to have to roll a Arcane skill to properly weave the essence of magic (in most Faerun novels they actually do and not only in FR!), but i thing it should not be for memorized spells.

Many ideas could come though if they rolled for spells, there could be Fumbles&Crits if they did, like (Free Metamagic influence on a Crit or Uncontrolled events on a 1).  Optional rules for Fatigue from spells will also add flavor (especially if added as an effect for casting unmemorized spells).  Many options many ideas...



To the best of my knowledge, offensive spells can not be cast as Rituals. However, if one could cast them as such it would add that much more to the wizard. Applying the method described above would make wizards strategize more with what spells they prepare vs picking a few spells they like and keeping the rest for their "collection". It would also give the wizard incentive to seek out spells for their spellbook, rather then hording magic items like a rogue. 

I am planing on allowing my casters to tole for beam attacks and keep saves for charm illusion and aoe effect. Though I personaly like the saves, I still want my players to have options.