Question For AD&D/3rd Ed Players: Vancian Magic.



This thread is going with the assumption that you actually like Vancian magic and want to see things like the 8 schools of magic return and do not care about things like wish spells.


Put simply what power level/balance do you want to see D&DN magic to have. These days the kids seem to like balance more and they do not like Spelldancers to have the ability to dance up infinite ability scores with a simple build that makes Pun Pun look silly.


I like ye olde classic wizards and priests etc mostly because thats what D&D has always had. I do not want spellcasting classes to be that drastically different from those I picked up twenty odd years ago. I do not care if they add other options to the game such as Warlocks, Sorcerers etc but I have certain expectations about what spellcasters can and can't do so no healing spells for wizards for example. A white mage class or prestige class that is arcane and heal I do not care about.


Anyway feel free to disagree here but 3rd ed was kind of broken in terms of magic due to the changeover from AD&D to 3rd ed. Put simply they buffed the spellcasters and nerfed the fighter (they did buff the thief/rogue though). This lead to things like CoDzilla which AD&D lacked although to be far wizards were the most powerful class there at higher level but they progressed slower and thieves and paladins were probably the weak classes. In terms of spellcaster power I would rate the classic D&D editions like this.


3.0 (haste, timestop, CodZilla in splats, Spelldancer, Incantrix, Red Wizard, Shadow Adept)
3.5
Pathfinder
AD&D
BECMI


3.0 was the big offender in 3rd ed, 3.5 actually nerfed spellcasters and Pathfinder nerfed them again. Personally I did not mind the nerfs as something needed to be done about the spellcasters in 3.5. Anyway what power level do you expect/want from vancian magic? I kind of like the D&DN concentration mechanic which kind of limits the amount of spells one can stack which I am fine with. Improved Invisibility +Fly is a very old AD&D spell combo for example that was easy to recycle in 3rd ed as well.

 Some spells should have some amount of DM arbitration built in such as wish. I "wish for a castle" could have results anywhere from getting a castle to having a castle appear above you and falling on you for 100d6 or more damage. That has always been one of the charms IMHO of the wish spell. 

 So where do you want the power level of magic to be and how important is balance to the grogs? Do people want 3.0 spell power or BECM levels of magic? If they made Pathfinder 2 or AD&D 3rd ed what would you want from vancian magic? Should they send Clerics and Druids back to level 7 magic as they are gish classes and that was one of the trade offs they used to have for better weapons, armor and combat ability? If you do not like vancian magic please feel free to start your own thread.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Please  define vancian magic in context of this thread because before I participate I need to know if you refer to the daily magic system, the spell slot system, or one of the other things that have little to do with the works of Vance that are oft associatend with vancian casting in DnD.

For example while I have no problems with spell slots or daily spells in and of themselves, and find them useful for some things, i despise unlimited spell access classes. And depending on your definition of Vancian castign I may or may not meet the 'likes vancian casting' requirement.
And depending on your definition of Vancian castign I may or may not meet the 'likes vancian casting' requirement.

Considering the thread title, "Vancian" seems to mean the "Spells per Level" tables and fire&forget casting.

i support the ad&d version of magic, i like "fire and forget". it works and i havent had issues with runaway magic in my campaigns since i started running games with 2nd edition.
And depending on your definition of Vancian castign I may or may not meet the 'likes vancian casting' requirement.

Considering the thread title, "Vancian" seems to mean the "Spells per Level" tables and fire&forget casting.




 More or less this. They have tweaked it for D&DN but it resembles classic D&D magic.

Vancian magic= spell system of BECMI,AD&D, 3rd ed. Fire and forget, spell components, some restrictions etc.

 Apart from that discuss class balance, individual spells, and more or less anything else you can think of. Miss the 1st ed illusionist bring it up, lie the Pathfinder Sorcerer throw it in, optional rules from Spells and Magic fire away. 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Well in that case the power level I expect is the same as the power level for any other character at a given level with the same level of min-maxing. 

The biggest  problem with 3e and 5e is not the base magic system (though that could use some work), it's the spells and the classes. The classes especially are allowed far too much access to too many different spells, and pay no opportunity costs to get more as they are released into the game. The brokeness of various spells is also troublesome but again that's the fault of the devs not tailoring the spells to fit the system, rather  than the system being inherently bad.

I want magic to be significant but not essential. A warlord, a rogue, a fighter, and a barbarian, should be just as useful and capable a party as a wizard, cleric, druid, and bard of the same level, but the two parties should solve their problems differently.
Zardnaar- c'mon bro. you know what I like. 
 I also assume you know why. So here's my issue: What I like isn't what others like nor is it the general direction Next is likely to take. I am better off just Playing AD&D. Also Pathfiinder for my new school fix. As it sits now Next is dull as dirt to me. Well, as of last December anyway. I'd rather just move on than give more ignored input.
I liked AD&D, and I didn't mind Vancian, although at times my high school group (back in the day) yearned for mana points and more fluid spell casting. The interesting thing I'm finding now as I think more about it for D&DNext is that Vancian is really the most controlled and easiest way for D&D to control caster dominance.

With both the current D&DNext system that allows spellcasters to cast any prepared spell as long as he or she has spell slots available, and with a mana point system that allows the same versatility, the Wizard can more easily abuse the system. For example, a 10th level wizard in the current playtest can cast 5 polymorph spells if he wants to use all available spell slots, or he can cast 8 fireball spells (plus 1 extra using Arcane Recovery). This could really become abused. Imagine casting 2 fireballs in each of 4 encounters (some of which will be 6d6, some 7d6, some 8d6)...not very challenging unless every creature has fire resistance or immunity.

If a fluid casting, or mana point system, could be combined with limitations that don't allow for overpowered spell activity, I'd be more happy with it.

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Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

Give me somewhere between the BECMI and AD&D power level for mages.

Most potent buffs requiring concentration (so you can't have more than one applied at a time) is a great limiter on a number of combos.  Another one is spells that have some sort of backlash to them: haste that causes premature aging, for instance.  It doesn't even have to be harmful to the caster, just inconveinent -- for instance, if "Knock" makes a loud knocking sound when it opens a lock, you're still going to need your rogue for all manner of infiltration, aren't you?

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Actually requiring the big buffs to eat actions is a pretty good idea, limit the CoDzilla and promote teamwork instead of the smart move being to give yourself all the nice self only boosts on your spell list.

THat's another thing, the self only boosts probably should die. 
to me the thing that mostly made wizards over powerd in 3.X was the change made in memorising spells.

In ADnD 2nd it took 10 minutes per spell level to memorise spells, so a level 20 would take 27+ hours to memorise all spells if he had non left.
This often ment that high level spells where not a daily recource but more simular to a adventure recource.
As you had to keep in mind that you might not be able to re memorise al your spells the next day due to the time it took to memorise.
Becouse of this ADnD 2nd wizards tended to be more reluctent about spam casting higer level spells.
This made very powerfull higer level spells less of a problem.


In 3.X it was canged it to that you can memorise all your spell slots in 1 hour.
Turning then in a truly daily recource, but kept the power level of the spells the same.
So no longer did wizards have to hold back on spellcasting due to the time it took to memorise.
And could just go full force blasting out higher level spells.


.
I've only ever heard people whine about magic being over-powered on internet board. Never in an actual game. Ever. At all.

I disagree with the thread's premise.
the benefit of making wizards actually picking spells at the begining of a game day was that he had to consider all options. which limited the 4 fireballs ect by a ton.
Didn't some editions max out at 7th level spells? I say they should do that again. Start with access to 1st level spells then gain a new tier of spells every 3 levels.
Didn't some editions max out at 7th level spells? I say they should do that again. Start with access to 1st level spells then gain a new tier of spells every 3 levels.




there were a few ways that wizard power was put into check in 2nd edition:

1. limits on max spell level you could cast based on int.
2. limits on max spells you could know in a level based on int.
3. losing spells you memorized when cast or knocked out
4. rare material components
5. inability to wear any armor to cast
6. each spell had a casting time related to power of spell
7. taking damage or being distracted interupted the casting
8. finding spells did not guarentee you could scribe them into spell book or use them
9. each spell had its own amount of time needed to memorize based on level.

some camps think these things get in the way of fun. i think challenges are fun, and anything that makes you work hard to get what you want is a great system to play in.

the real question is how many of these balancing tools were removed in 3rd and 4th and what was used to balance the class then?
Didn't some editions max out at 7th level spells? I say they should do that again. Start with access to 1st level spells then gain a new tier of spells every 3 levels.




there were a few ways that wizard power was put into check in 2nd edition:

1. limits on max spell level you could cast based on int.
2. limits on max spells you could know in a level based on int.
3. losing spells you memorized when cast or knocked out
4. rare material components
5. inability to wear any armor to cast
6. each spell had a casting time related to power of spell
7. taking damage or being distracted interupted the casting
8. finding spells did not guarentee you could scribe them into spell book or use them

some camps think these things get in the way of fun. i think challenges are fun, and anything that makes you work hard to get what you want is a great system to play in.

the real question is how many of these balancing tools were removed in 3rd and 4th and what was used to balance the class then?



I think you should add memorising time to that list.
in AdnD 2nd it took 1 hour to memorise a 6th level spell.
while in 3.X you can memorise all your spels in the same hour

Didn't some editions max out at 7th level spells? I say they should do that again. Start with access to 1st level spells then gain a new tier of spells every 3 levels.




there were a few ways that wizard power was put into check in 2nd edition:

1. limits on max spell level you could cast based on int.
2. limits on max spells you could know in a level based on int.
3. losing spells you memorized when cast or knocked out
4. rare material components
5. inability to wear any armor to cast
6. each spell had a casting time related to power of spell
7. taking damage or being distracted interupted the casting
8. finding spells did not guarentee you could scribe them into spell book or use them

some camps think these things get in the way of fun. i think challenges are fun, and anything that makes you work hard to get what you want is a great system to play in.

the real question is how many of these balancing tools were removed in 3rd and 4th and what was used to balance the class then?



I think you should add memorising time to that list.
in AdnD 2nd it took 1 hour to memorise a 6th level spell.
while in 3.X you can memorise all your spels in the same hour




done, its added thanks alot.

I personally like the idea of having some really powerful magical options the kinds of things that can change the narrative landscape like Wish could.  But I think powers like these should come at a great cost and even those that can perform them don't do it lightly, like Wish consuming an Artifact as a material component or the life of the caster.

May 17, 2013 -- 6:37PM, Lawolf wrote:

Didn't some editions max out at 7th level spells? I say they should do that again. Start with access to 1st level spells then gain a new tier of spells every 3 levels.





there were a few ways that wizard power was put into check in 2nd edition:

1. limits on max spell level you could cast based on int.
2. limits on max spells you could know in a level based on int.
3. losing spells you memorized when cast or knocked out
4. rare material components
5. inability to wear any armor to cast
6. each spell had a casting time related to power of spell
7. taking damage or being distracted interupted the casting
8. finding spells did not guarentee you could scribe them into spell book or use them
9. each spell had its own amount of time needed to memorize based on level.

some camps think these things get in the way of fun. i think challenges are fun, and anything that makes you work hard to get what you want is a great system to play in.

the real question is how many of these balancing tools were removed in 3rd and 4th and what was used to balance the class then?


Nice list. I do like the idea of limits. The costs and benefits make playing the wizard more interesting in my opinion.

Funny, a few days ago I was thinking about the roll to learn new spell. I miss it.

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 




May 17, 2013 -- 6:37PM, Lawolf wrote:

Didn't some editions max out at 7th level spells? I say they should do that again. Start with access to 1st level spells then gain a new tier of spells every 3 levels.







there were a few ways that wizard power was put into check in 2nd edition:

1. limits on max spell level you could cast based on int.
2. limits on max spells you could know in a level based on int.
3. losing spells you memorized when cast or knocked out
4. rare material components
5. inability to wear any armor to cast
6. each spell had a casting time related to power of spell
7. taking damage or being distracted interupted the casting
8. finding spells did not guarentee you could scribe them into spell book or use them
9. each spell had its own amount of time needed to memorize based on level.

some camps think these things get in the way of fun. i think challenges are fun, and anything that makes you work hard to get what you want is a great system to play in.

the real question is how many of these balancing tools were removed in 3rd and 4th and what was used to balance the class then?


Nice list. I do like the idea of limits. The costs and benefits make playing the wizard more interesting in my opinion. Funny, a few days ago I was thinking about the roll to learn new spell. I miss it.



when i play its almost wizards. i love spell research and role playing going thru dusty tomes.
My introduction to fantasy was the Dragonlance novels, so vancian magic is really one of those foundations of my fanhood prior to playing the game. I like it mostly because it was first.

I prefer a grittier game, and while I get that D&D perhaps isn't the best place to get that, I would prefer D&D move in that direction at least slightly. We have a perceived sweet-spot in d20 of the 1-6 area, and I'd like to see that level of relative power expanded to 12-15. This applies not just to magic, but to the game as a whole.

The tough part is doing so without losing the sense of progression. Less a concern for me... I'm very much a "journey is the reward" kind of guy, but still, I don't wanna deny the more gamist among us their thrills.

What I'd really like to see is the first 10 levels represent a grittier game, the 11-15 range represent the growth from local hero to legendary figure, and 16-10 be the high end of what you might expect in a typical campaign. Epic, ancient dragon riding, planeswalking, god murdering should be reserved for epic levels (in order to give them reason to exist in the first place).

Basically, i want to see everything brought back down to earth. I see D&DN sadly going the other direction, with what was once a 5th level ability for a druid turned into a starting ability, and wizards and clerics having spells they can cast every round that is a better attack than a fighter (compounded by bounded accuacy, which on its own, I like, but combined with Lance of Faith, etc, it makes a couple of cantrips the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen in a D&D game).

First character created in one of my first test game of D&DN... the monk was shooting fireballs from his hand. 1st level characters should not be capable of anything that extraordinary unless they are, specifically, magic users, and even then, the magic should be something to be conserved and very judiciously applied. 

Yes, I believe in the paper 1st level wizard. I do believe that to attain the power he can attain, he must spend the first 5 or so levels absolutely dependant on the rest of the party to stay alive. He should be surgical, able to turn the tide of battle with a well-placed spell, but also, failing that, pay the price for that failure. Wizard is an all-or-nothing proposition. They're only the "win" button if they're properly prepared.

Perhaps that's the problem... perhaps FEWER spell slots are what will swing it properly. Make preperation, spell selection MORE improtant, not less.

Anyways, didn't think about this in-depth, just babbled. Hope I said something of interest. 
I personally like the idea of having some really powerful magical options the kinds of things that can change the narrative landscape like Wish could.  But I think powers like these should come at a great cost and even those that can perform them don't do it lightly, like Wish consuming an Artifact as a material component or the life of the caster.




for the wish and other powerful spells having to go for instance into tomb of horrors for a diamond of a size usable to cast is another great way to balance. first convincing the party to go with is one thing, then acutally getting it is another. it also limits the spells to appropiate casting times.
My introduction to fantasy was the Dragonlance novels, so vancian magic is really one of those foundations of my fanhood prior to playing the game. I like it mostly because it was first.

I prefer a grittier game, and while I get that D&D perhaps isn't the best place to get that, I would prefer D&D move in that direction at least slightly. We have a perceived sweet-spot in d20 of the 1-6 area, and I'd like to see that level of relative power expanded to 12-15. This applies not just to magic, but to the game as a whole.

The tough part is doing so without losing the sense of progression. Less a concern for me... I'm very much a "journey is the reward" kind of guy, but still, I don't wanna deny the more gamist among us their thrills.

What I'd really like to see is the first 10 levels represent a grittier game, the 11-15 range represent the growth from local hero to legendary figure, and 16-10 be the high end of what you might expect in a typical campaign. Epic, ancient dragon riding, planeswalking, god murdering should be reserved for epic levels (in order to give them reason to exist in the first place).

Basically, i want to see everything brought back down to earth. I see D&DN sadly going the other direction, with what was once a 5th level ability for a druid turned into a starting ability, and wizards and clerics having spells they can cast every round that is a better attack than a fighter (compounded by bounded accuacy, which on its own, I like, but combined with Lance of Faith, etc, it makes a couple of cantrips the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen in a D&D game).

First character created in one of my first test game of D&DN... the monk was shooting fireballs from his hand. 1st level characters should not be capable of anything that extraordinary unless they are, specifically, magic users, and even then, the magic should be something to be conserved and very judiciously applied. 

Yes, I believe in the paper 1st level wizard. I do believe that to attain the power he can attain, he must spend the first 5 or so levels absolutely dependant on the rest of the party to stay alive. He should be surgical, able to turn the tide of battle with a well-placed spell, but also, failing that, pay the price for that failure. Wizard is an all-or-nothing proposition. They're only the "win" button if they're properly prepared.

Perhaps that's the problem... perhaps FEWER spell slots are what will swing it properly. Make preperation, spell selection MORE improtant, not less.

Anyways, didn't think about this in-depth, just babbled. Hope I said something of interest. 



i agree with some of what you said. when i play a wizard if i can swing my staff to save a spell i do it. i see my spells are a critical rescource, not something to be wasted because using a dagger is beneath me.

 How do people feel about buying spell scrolls and automatic access to spells as one levels up?

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Didn't some editions max out at 7th level spells? I say they should do that again. Start with access to 1st level spells then gain a new tier of spells every 3 levels.



Clerics, Druids and Priests were limited to level 7 spells. THey also took longer to cast.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

 How do people feel about buying spell scrolls and automatic access to spells as one levels up?



I hate automatic access to non-specialists.  It's a benefit to specialists (or should be, imo) that generalists just don't need.  Same with 'buying scrolls'.  Running to Ye Olde Seven and Eleven to pick up a quiver of scrolls is (again, to me) idiotic.

But everything they've done with wizards since 2E seems to be simply begging for them to destroy games, with 3.5 being the most egregious offender.  I like the way D&D has presented magic in the past.  I like powerful spells at a cost, and I like risk in some spells (hi, teleport!).  But I don't like it at the expense of the warriors and rogues.  Sure, I can compensate for it; any DM worth a darn can.  But the removal of the -many- limitations on spellcasters was, hands down, the absolute worst decision ever made in the history of the franchise.  It's no secret I don't like 4e very much for my needs, but even that was a better decision than removing the restrictions from casters.  Whoever came up with that idea should never work in the industry again.

So, to answer...I want the following:
1. Powerful, occasionally risky magic with stacking effects (read: disincentives).  These have existed since the days of '3 abjurations in proximity clash enough to make a visible presence'.
2. NO spontaneous learning for wizards.
3. Spell research
4. None of this 'memorize anytime you have 10 spare minutes' junk.  Spells are memorized when the mind is fresh.
5. A return of -all- caster weaknesses.  One hit = disrupted, 15 minutes per spell level, heavy tomes that didn't hold that many spells, everything.  They served a purpose, and 3.5 shows clearly what that purpose was.

And as an additional...put the big reality-changing spells in a 'Realm Spell' category a la Birthright.  Wish, Earthquake, Weather Control...you get the picture.  But the spells should definitely be in there.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."


Zard...
First let me state that anyone trying to make a really overpowered character in 3e, by using splat books indiscriminatelly, the way they were not made to be used... and goes for a caster, any caster... is doin't it wrong! Really really wrong! The most possibly overpowered character in 3e is the Fighter. Anyone who calls the Fighter weak in 3e has no right to proclaim himself a powergamer. Laughing
Learn how to make and play an overpowered Fighter if you're into super-mega-heroic games with giant numbers, and you'll have all other classes eating the dust.


Now assuming you're playing a good and reasonable game of D&D as it was meant to... and by that I mean not picking a giant pile of all 3e splat books and saying to your players "Hey guys, look what I got! Let's use EVERYTHING!"... then I find that 3e Fighter is still a pretty good class, absolutelly on par with any caster. Of course each has its own strong points. And of course if played well, not by a short-sighted player who can only "I roll to hit... I roll damage... I roll to hit... I roll damage..." unless there's some big rule or ability in capital letters screaming at him that he can do something else.

To be frank the Fighter in 3e is not only probably the most diverse class but the most effective of the warrior-types for combat situations (mechanically speaking). I've had players along the years who play the FIghter really well in 3e, and I know all its potential... to the point that sometimes I even buff other warriors like the Barbarian and the Paladin a bit, just to give players a bit more incentive to play something else other than the FIghter, which is by far the most played class in my 3e games.


So why am I saying all that... just to get to the point of saying that if anything, I think 2e and 3e had about the same balance between Fighters and Casters... and if anything 3e brought the Fighter-types closer to casters in raw power at high levels.

3e buffed ALL classes... casters and non-casters alike. It raised the standards (numerically) for the entire game. Which I didn't particularly like. I think this was an unnecessary inflation in the system. And this causes the game to focus more and more on specialized characters. You either are very good at doing something or you don't even bother trying. Now, 3e didn't go to this extreme in number inflation. At least not if you played it by core standards and using splats as they were made to be used. But anyway it had some unnecessary inflation.


And that is one reason why I like 2e standards better, for spellcasting and everything else. It's not that 2e spellcasting was less overpowered, both 2e and 3e were balanced for its own standards. But the standards pre-inflation (in 2e) made for a smaller gap between the specialized character and the average character. Of course the specialized character has to shine on what he does best, but in games where not doing what you're specialized at ammounts to very little... people tend to stick to doing more frequently only the fewer things they are really good at. 

"I'm a wizard and I'm out of spells... hey I can still shoot a crossbow or hit with a staff for 1d6 damage." That's one thing if the melee-ers do 12 or 15 damage with their attacks, it's not as good but still useful... but if they do 30 or 40 and the game is following those damage standards why would you even bother with a mere 1d6?


Now in fact... 2e spells were more "overpowered" in terms of raw potential of each spell, if you compare what they could do with the standards of 2e edition (even if the absolute numerical values were lower than in 3e). But in 2e casters were severely limited by a number of things already mentioned by others in this post. Casting magic was a hard process full of limitations and peculiarities.

This leads me to another change I didn't like much in 3e spellcasting... How the game seemed to offer a way out of every limitation normally imposed to spellcasting. There was always some feat or class ability or whatever that could bypass a certain limitation.

2e's hard-imposed limitations may seem more cruel on casters at first... but the truth is those limitations allowed for spells to be more powerful (relativelly speaking, to 2e's own standards), for magic to be something really amazing, without making the casters themselves overpowered. Even a really high level wizard in 2e would be in a serious tight spot if caught in an unfavorable situation.

Take Raistlin for example. He was a powerful and feared wizard, that could do the most amazing things with his magic, but he would also have been squished like a bug in many ocasions if not for his brother, the fighter, being there. 
While I like AD&Ds Vancian system (3E was broken beyond redemption as far as spellcasting went), I like Next's spell slot system better for most classes. I would probably like Fire and Forget returned to the Wizard class, since it fits the theme of the wizard (memorize from spellbook and it's burned out of your mind when cast). Divine casters are actually prayers, so it doesn't make sense to limit them to Fire & Forget. Sorcerers are suppose to be innate magic, so they shouldn't ever prepare or forget spells (they have fewer spells available, but more flexibility in use than a wizard). I don't know about Warlock... it depends on how they set the fluff (from packet 2 I would keep it like the sorcerer).
In context of thread, with "Vancian" as Spell-slot fire and forget with components ect...
I actually enjoy it at times. 
Personal preference would be if anyone could memorize a spell, but only designated casters (of appropriate level, ect who had designated a bit of brain space read:spell slot) could cast it without the chance for it going awry. 
However, spell missfire would be such a complicated subsystem as to be unweildly.

 How do people feel about buying spell scrolls and automatic access to spells as one levels up?


Spell scrolls are fine... so long as one can't learn the spell from the scroll.
I recall not which edition it was, but I do remember in one that Spell Scrolls were different because part of the magic was in the inks, vellum, ect... and thus the actual spell spelled out was useless for anything other than releasing the magic trapped in what was effectively a one use wand.

Automatic access to spells as one levels... I am torn on this one, while I like it in concept and think Wizards should be able to advance their studies along, I prefer a vigorous spell research cost/system. Specialist may spontaneously develop new magics, but I like the idea of tomes being as vital to Mages as mystic arms are to Warriors. Not required, but so very useful. Time and Money have proven subjective balancers, but I am at a loss for a good alternative.


I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
More or less this. They have tweaked it for D&DN but it resembles classic D&D magic.

Vancian magic= spell system of BECMI,AD&D, 3rd ed. Fire and forget, spell components, some restrictions etc.

Never particularly cared for D&D Vancian, but I've nothing against someone who does.

I'd like to see Points and Pokerchip as an option, right along side traditional.  We may have to fudge some numbers around to normalize them at the same table.



This thread is going with the assumption that you actually like Vancian magic and want to see things like the 8 schools of magic return and do not care about things like wish spells.


Put simply what power level/balance do you want to see D&DN magic to have. These days the kids seem to like balance more and they do not like Spelldancers to have the ability to dance up infinite ability scores with a simple build that makes Pun Pun look silly.


I like ye olde classic wizards and priests etc mostly because thats what D&D has always had. I do not want spellcasting classes to be that drastically different from those I picked up twenty odd years ago. I do not care if they add other options to the game such as Warlocks, Sorcerers etc but I have certain expectations about what spellcasters can and can't do so no healing spells for wizards for example. A white mage class or prestige class that is arcane and heal I do not care about.


Anyway feel free to disagree here but 3rd ed was kind of broken in terms of magic due to the changeover from AD&D to 3rd ed. Put simply they buffed the spellcasters and nerfed the fighter (they did buff the thief/rogue though). This lead to things like CoDzilla which AD&D lacked although to be far wizards were the most powerful class there at higher level but they progressed slower and thieves and paladins were probably the weak classes. In terms of spellcaster power I would rate the classic D&D editions like this.


3.0 (haste, timestop, CodZilla in splats, Spelldancer, Incantrix, Red Wizard, Shadow Adept)
3.5
Pathfinder
AD&D
BECMI


3.0 was the big offender in 3rd ed, 3.5 actually nerfed spellcasters and Pathfinder nerfed them again. Personally I did not mind the nerfs as something needed to be done about the spellcasters in 3.5. Anyway what power level do you expect/want from vancian magic? I kind of like the D&DN concentration mechanic which kind of limits the amount of spells one can stack which I am fine with. Improved Invisibility +Fly is a very old AD&D spell combo for example that was easy to recycle in 3rd ed as well.

 Some spells should have some amount of DM arbitration built in such as wish. I "wish for a castle" could have results anywhere from getting a castle to having a castle appear above you and falling on you for 100d6 or more damage. That has always been one of the charms IMHO of the wish spell. 

 So where do you want the power level of magic to be and how important is balance to the grogs? Do people want 3.0 spell power or BECM levels of magic? If they made Pathfinder 2 or AD&D 3rd ed what would you want from vancian magic? Should they send Clerics and Druids back to level 7 magic as they are gish classes and that was one of the trade offs they used to have for better weapons, armor and combat ability? If you do not like vancian magic please feel free to start your own thread.




I'd like to see the casters pulled back to where they were when I started, with AD&D.

Every edition since then has added spells, caster flexibility and decreased limitations.

Only with an AD&D approach would a pure Vancian caster be ok.

Every edition since then has added spells, caster flexibility and decreased limitations.

I really, really do not like coupling max spell-level to INT.
I can live with a 'maximum known spells' tied to INT, so long as a sudden jump to "all of them" does not exist, and a mechanism for replacing known spells is implemented.

Max spell tied to int is good in theory, in practice i makes 18s and 19s mandatory or at least pervcieved that was as you still get the spell slot and in 3rd ed you could use metamaigc on lower level spells in the slot if you were a dumb wizard.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Max spell tied to int is good in theory, in practice i makes 18s and 19s mandatory or at least pervcieved that was as you still get the spell slot and in 3rd ed you could use metamaigc on lower level spells in the slot if you were a dumb wizard.

In practice, it stops a wizard's advancement dead.
That to Qmark. I can't remember if BECM tied spells to intelligence.

 How do people feel about buffing spell resistence for the monster. Right now it is advantage on saving throws (use spells with no save) but how about advantage and half damage? 2nd Ed SR/MR is a bit clunky these days and I do not see them reusing it, SR in 3rd ed was mostly a joke. Some of the tougher D&DN monsters take half damage fom non magical weapons and the toughest ones take half damage from all weapons. Same idea with magic just make them take half damage. 

 Spell resistance right now can become a feat or class ability (mage slayer). 

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

That to Qmark. I can't remember if BECM tied spells to intelligence.

 How do people feel about buffing spell resistence for the monster. Right now it is advantage on saving throws (use spells with no save) but how about advantage and half damage? 2nd Ed SR/MR is a bit clunky these days and I do not see them reusing it, SR in 3rd ed was mostly a joke. Some of the tougher D&DN monsters take half damage fom non magical weapons and the toughest ones take half damage from all weapons. Same idea with magic just make them take half damage. 

 Spell resistance right now can become a feat or class ability (mage slayer). 



I don't think upgrading the "screw you casters" creatures and expecting them to be used in every campaign is the best response.
How do people feel about buffing spell resistence for the monster.

Universal SR starts to fall under that 'D-Word' that just starts fights.

I'd like to see a sort of Pokemon keyword-based resistance/vulnerability (aka "it's super effective!")
FWIW, I'd be alright stipulating the intelligence/max spell level thing if all the others were in place.

Vancian, to me, is the heart of the D&D magic system.  But Vancian with unrestricted casters is veritable suicide.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."

But Vancian with unrestricted casters is veritable suicide.

Vancian with Divine/Arcane being the only meaningful safetyvalve is where they screwed up.
Clerics and Wizards are classes with theoretically infinite numbers of class abilities which unlock a quantum of that infinity at about every other level.



I recall not which edition it was, but I do remember in one that Spell Scrolls were different because part of the magic was in the inks, vellum, ect... and thus the actual spell spelled out was useless for anything other than releasing the magic trapped in what was effectively a one use wand.





This was true in 4e, and for that matter you needed components in addition to the scroll. On the plus side, scrolls were half casting time, and anyone could use them.
Frankly I'm not a fan of spell resistance period, It always felt like the game was admitting that they made the casters OP and needed to graft on this mess to make casters semi-randomly fail in order to make fighters useful at higher levels, and then created spells that ignored SR.

BAsically it seems like it should be an ability only for monsters with specific reasons to be resistant to magic and thent he form the resistance takes might vary from beast to beast. So for example adaptive monsters may only be affected by a spell the first time it's cast on them in a day, but be immune to that spell or similar there after. Or maybe it reflects spells, or maybe it gains a benefit in addition the spell's normal effect so if you fire ball it it gains super speed or somethign.

 
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