PDA

View Full Version : Magic that is class neutral?



harpy
2009-12-08, 05:34 PM
One of the things I've tossed around for awhile was the idea of magic being class neutral in the system.

Just as anyone can pick up a sword and stab someone, anyone who can read or recite can lean a spell, and it just comes down to your mental stats as to how well you'd be able to pull off the magic, just as your physical stats have a huge influence on your ability to fight in combat.

Has this been attempted yet?

Pharaoh's Fist
2009-12-08, 05:36 PM
Yes, it has been.

ShakeHandsMan
2009-12-09, 03:30 PM
Its called 4e. Everyone can do everything, given enough time.

Optimystik
2009-12-09, 03:41 PM
Universal magic?

Just make incantations (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/incantations.htm) for every spell. Or have just one spellcaster class (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/genericClasses.htm) that everyone is free to take levels in.

Ryumaru
2009-12-09, 03:43 PM
Its called 4e. Everyone can do everything, given enough time.

But as I found out now I'm learning it, you have to jump through several hundred hoops to have a decent Ranger who uses a two-hander, and not dual-wield. >.<

Siegel
2009-12-09, 03:46 PM
Its called 4e. Everyone can do everything, given enough time.

I'm getting tired of those posts...

ericgrau
2009-12-09, 03:55 PM
Ya 4e magic isn't all that hot for non-mages IIRC.

One way I thought of doing it was to eliminate the wizard / etc. classes and price spells similar to scrolls. Actually components involved in that cost can be whatever flavorful things you decide to use.

ShakeHandsMan
2009-12-09, 03:55 PM
But as I found out now I'm learning it, you have to jump through several hundred hoops to have a decent Ranger who uses a two-hander, and not dual-wield. >.<

Funny that its easier for a ranger to pick up spells and use them correctly, then to just hold a sword in 2 hands :smallamused:

Ryumaru
2009-12-09, 03:59 PM
Funny that its easier for a ranger to pick up spells and use them correctly, then to just hold a sword in 2 hands

Sadly so. x.x God forbid I don't want to play a dual-longsword Ranger and want a BFS. >.<

Starbuck_II
2009-12-09, 04:01 PM
One of the things I've tossed around for awhile was the idea of magic being class neutral in the system.

Just as anyone can pick up a sword and stab someone, anyone who can read or recite can lean a spell, and it just comes down to your mental stats as to how well you'd be able to pull off the magic, just as your physical stats have a huge influence on your ability to fight in combat.

Has this been attempted yet?

2E did this for Psionics. Everyone has a chance to be psionic.

ShakeHandsMan
2009-12-09, 04:03 PM
2E did this for Psionics. Everyone has a chance to be psionic.

IIRC (its been a while) the mechanic for this was a d% or something similar rolled during character creation, and if you rolled poorly too bad. I think OP is looking for some way to enable everyone to have access to spells or powers.

Mark Hall
2009-12-09, 04:04 PM
Here's the thing... even if you have magic that is class-neutral, there's still going to be specialists in it. What I would do first is put everyone on the Wizard system... you keep a spellbook, and fill it with the spells you know, and prepare certain spells each day. The list would probably resemble a hybrid wizard/cleric list, or maybe adept.

You then can cast spells-per-day equal to your bonus spells, plus more if you're in a class that specialize in these sorts of things (i.e. wizards).

There are a few ways you can go with this idea. First is that there is one stat which gives you spell bonuses... everyone who is smart enough can figure out a few wizard spells. The other is that you've got a variety of types of casting, and each attribute gives you bonus spells on their list. If you have a 15 Int, a 16 Wisdom, and a 12 Charisma, you can cast one 1st and one 2nd level Wizard spell, one first, one second, and one third level cleric spell, and one first level Bard spell (I went with Bards since they have a unique list compared to sorcerers and wizards).

One thing to note, however: This plays merry hell with spell trigger and spell completion items.

Prime32
2009-12-09, 04:13 PM
I once threw together a set of house rules for a wuxia-esque game where ToB manouvers were class-neutral and based on your BAB (you use your character level in other places where you would normally have used your BAB) but it hasn't seen use.

Tequila Sunrise
2009-12-09, 04:17 PM
With regard to 3e, I don't see the real need to have all those spell lists. With a few exceptions like True Strike, what's so bad about a divine caster throwing fire balls around or arcane casters curing wounds? Without spell lists, all you'd have to do is take levels in whichever class agrees with your best mental stat. I don't know if that's class neutral enough for ya, but I think it's better.

Doc Roc
2009-12-09, 04:19 PM
Working on it extensively right now. Considering release on saturday.

Yakk
2009-12-09, 04:26 PM
But as I found out now I'm learning it, you have to jump through several hundred hoops to have a decent Ranger who uses a two-hander, and not dual-wield. >.<
Answer A: go Beast Companion. Lots of the beast based powers don't require dual wielding.

Answer B: Grab a double-weapon. Both a 2-hander, and a pair of weapons.

Answer C: Play a Barbarian or an Avenger or a Fighter, and be trained in nature.

Answer D: Do some combination of the above with the Hybrid class, or multiclass, rules.

Mark Hall
2009-12-09, 04:28 PM
With regard to 3e, I don't see the real need to have all those spell lists. With a few exceptions like True Strike, what's so bad about a divine caster throwing fire balls around or arcane casters curing wounds? Without spell lists, all you'd have to do is take levels in whichever class agrees with your best mental stat. I don't know if that's class neutral enough for ya, but I think it's better.

Agree whole-heartedly. If clerics weren't a sacred cow, I think it would've been best if they'd been jettisoned entirely, with primary spellcasters all starting off, at least, as fragile and weapons-poor.

Doc Roc
2009-12-09, 04:30 PM
Agree whole-heartedly. If clerics weren't a sacred cow, I think it would've been best if they'd been jettisoned entirely, with primary spellcasters all starting off, at least, as fragile and weapons-poor.

Erm, except that in early editions, "clerics" didn't play like that _at_all_. So..... is this some sort of spontaneously generative sacred cow?

Ryumaru
2009-12-09, 04:40 PM
Answer A: go Beast Companion. Lots of the beast based powers don't require dual wielding.

Answer B: Grab a double-weapon. Both a 2-hander, and a pair of weapons.

Answer C: Play a Barbarian or an Avenger or a Fighter, and be trained in nature.

Answer D: Do some combination of the above with the Hybrid class, or multiclass, rules.

A: |Don't want a companion.

B: Hate the look of silly things like double-swords. I'm looking for the full on 7ft greatsword effect.

C: Not what I'm looking for. Actually want to be a Ranger with Archery, who mixes it up in melee with a two-hander who doesn't suck at it.

D: Still seems a lot of hoop jumping for just making one part of a character fit in place.

Starbuck_II
2009-12-09, 04:56 PM
C: Not what I'm looking for. Actually want to be a Ranger with Archery, who mixes it up in melee with a two-hander who doesn't suck at it.


What part of being a Ranger appeals to you? The name?
Because that is fluff.

Ryumaru
2009-12-09, 04:59 PM
A woods-man who can shoot the crap out of stuff, and then whip out a two-hander and go to town on some orcs. More a mix of Aragorn and Legolas, than the overly boring (I see enough people on dual-wielding on WoW >.>) 'It's either shooting stuff or dual-wielding'

Mark Hall
2009-12-09, 05:16 PM
Erm, except that in early editions, "clerics" didn't play like that _at_all_. So..... is this some sort of spontaneously generative sacred cow?

Depends on what you mean by "early editions" and "play like that".

In 1st and 2nd editions, Clerics were pretty stout. While they didn't have DMM cheese, the core cleric had full casting from 1st level on, plus good armor and OK weapons (the warhammer is woefully overlooked). Some of the spells introduced (like Divine Power or Righteous Might) gave them another level of power in d20, they were still very close in AD&D to the concept you get in 3e, especially when you compare them to the other classes of their edition.

In D&D (which I am far less familiar with), they still weren't bad. While they had a delayed spell casting, they still had decent armor and ok weapons. Even discounting these, though, you're looking at 20+ years of "cleric" meaning "someone with strong spells, strong armor, and ok weapons." And turn undead, but that's beside the point.

If you move clerics in with wizards (i.e. no armor, few weapons), while keeping their spellcasting primary, you change the D&D archetype of cleric a lot... but you also remove a primary imbalance. If you change "Arcane Spell Failure" to simply "Spell Failure", you remove another... while wizards may be able to get a +8 armor class, it costs them either substantial money or spell slots... it costs a cleric 1500gp.

Saintjebus
2009-12-09, 05:26 PM
A woods-man who can shoot the crap out of stuff, and then whip out a two-hander and go to town on some orcs. More a mix of Aragorn and Legolas, than the overly boring (I see enough people on dual-wielding on WoW >.>) 'It's either shooting stuff or dual-wielding'

That sounds like a fighter multiclassed to ranger/rogue. The fighter powers get you your two-hander powers, and your ranger/rogue nets you ranged powers. Or you could do it the other way around: Ranger multiclassed to fighter. Either way will get you what you want.

Artanis
2009-12-09, 05:27 PM
A woods-man who can shoot the crap out of stuff, and then whip out a two-hander and go to town on some orcs. More a mix of Aragorn and Legolas, than the overly boring (I see enough people on dual-wielding on WoW >.>) 'It's either shooting stuff or dual-wielding'

Ranger with Avenger multiclass.

Avengers run on WIS, and since Rangers use WIS as a secondary stat, you don't have to worry about MAD. Swap out for some Avenger melee powers, and there ya go.

Nero24200
2009-12-09, 05:38 PM
A mechanic exists for allowing non-casters access to magic, it's called Use Magic Device. Though if you wish for magic to be a little more easy to use, perhaps removing UMD and simply saying that if your scores are X high you can use certain scrolls/wands.

Starsinger
2009-12-10, 08:59 AM
A mechanic exists for allowing non-casters access to magic, it's called Use Magic Device. Though if you wish for magic to be a little more easy to use, perhaps removing UMD and simply saying that if your scores are X high you can use certain scrolls/wands.

Or the precursor to 4e's Ritual system (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/incantations.htm) (which noone seems to remember when they say things like

Its called 4e. Everyone can do everything, given enough time.

in regards to rituals)

Ashtar
2009-12-10, 09:10 AM
Or simply choose a Non-D20 system (GURPS), or modifying the D20 so that spells (or spell schools) become skills. Thing is, usually that throws vancian magic out of the window. For example, "Arcane Magic" or "Divine Magic" could be simply cross class skills to everyone but primary casters. It would require some fiddling (What is your Caster level ? Skill Rank-3 / -2 ?), maybe adding more skill points.

In a spell school system, you could have a Fighter with 6 ranks in Arcane Necromancy (assuming 1 rank = 1 caster level) using Vampiric touch in combat.

The whole thing needs some fiddling around, but it's possible.

Vizzerdrix
2009-12-10, 09:43 AM
Or simply choose a Non-D20 system (GURPS), or modifying the D20 so that spells (or spell schools) become skills. Thing is, usually that throws vancian magic out of the window. For example, "Arcane Magic" or "Divine Magic" could be simply cross class skills to everyone but primary casters. It would require some fiddling (What is your Caster level ? Skill Rank-3 / -2 ?), maybe adding more skill points.

In a spell school system, you could have a Fighter with 6 ranks in Arcane Necromancy (assuming 1 rank = 1 caster level) using Vampiric touch in combat.

The whole thing needs some fiddling around, but it's possible.

Hmm... Maybe even make it a bit more sorc like. Say you had 5 ranks in Cast: Conjuration. This would grant you a number of spells with total spell levels = 5. So you's be able to have either 5 0th and 1st level spells, a 2nd and 3rd level spell, ect. But you can only ever have spells whos level is half you HD, rounded down (Example: Bob the Fighter1 has 4 ranks in Cast: Conjuration. He can select 4 spells, but half of 1 rounded down means he can only take 0th level spells). When ever you add more points to the skill you can re asign half the existing points to new spells.

Casting them could be a skill check = 10+spell's level and/or desired Caster level. You can not apply any feats to the spells granted in this way (so casters still get that going for them) Not sure if it should have a limit or not though.

bosssmiley
2009-12-10, 10:31 AM
One of the things I've tossed around for awhile was the idea of magic being class neutral in the system.

Just as anyone can pick up a sword and stab someone, anyone who can read or recite can lean a spell, and it just comes down to your mental stats as to how well you'd be able to pull off the magic, just as your physical stats have a huge influence on your ability to fight in combat.

Has this been attempted yet?

Yes, by Steve Perrin. He even published and released his D&D houserules as a system in its own right. You might know it as Basic Role-Playing, the game engine for RuneQuest, Call of Cthulhu, Elric, Pendragon, etc. :smallamused:

(RuneQuest is relevant to your interests here. Anyone can learn magic, because the world is inherently magical.)

Doc Roc
2009-12-10, 12:30 PM
Or the precursor to 4e's Ritual system (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/incantations.htm) (which noone seems to remember when they say things like in regards to rituals)

Well there was that whole part where they're terrible, useless, and broken, existing in a state of quantum sucky-imposition.
Seriously, a crappy damage spell that takes 90 minutes to cast? And sends you to Dis?
And it's even from unearthed arcana, which gave us flaws.

9mm
2009-12-10, 01:20 PM
Erm, except that in early editions, "clerics" didn't play like that _at_all_. So..... is this some sort of spontaneously generative sacred cow?

yes... and they have the ablity to spontaneously cast "create chocolate milk."

Fitz10019
2009-12-10, 01:44 PM
A 2nd to the adapt Use Magic Device skill suggestion. Make it a class skill for everyone, or character level plus Charisma or something. Scale the UMD requirement more generously to the spell level of the scrolls and wands.

DM: Roll initiative.
Fighter: Hey, wizard, buff me.
Wizard: Hey, fighter, buff yourself.

Roderick_BR
2009-12-10, 02:05 PM
Here's the thing... even if you have magic that is class-neutral, there's still going to be specialists in it. What I would do first is put everyone on the Wizard system... you keep a spellbook, and fill it with the spells you know, and prepare certain spells each day. The list would probably resemble a hybrid wizard/cleric list, or maybe adept.

You then can cast spells-per-day equal to your bonus spells, plus more if you're in a class that specialize in these sorts of things (i.e. wizards).

There are a few ways you can go with this idea. First is that there is one stat which gives you spell bonuses... everyone who is smart enough can figure out a few wizard spells. The other is that you've got a variety of types of casting, and each attribute gives you bonus spells on their list. If you have a 15 Int, a 16 Wisdom, and a 12 Charisma, you can cast one 1st and one 2nd level Wizard spell, one first, one second, and one third level cleric spell, and one first level Bard spell (I went with Bards since they have a unique list compared to sorcerers and wizards).

One thing to note, however: This plays merry hell with spell trigger and spell completion items.
That's interesting for a high-magic campaign without having to resort to gestalting everyone into wizard/sorcerers or making incantations/rituals.

Anonymouswizard
2009-12-10, 02:50 PM
Feat:
Spell casting
Prerequisite: int wis or cha 12+.
Benefit: you can cast either arcane or divine spells, depending on whether you used intelligence or charisma for qualifying, in which case you cast arcane spells; or wisdom, in which case you cast divine spells. Your spells per day is equal to your bonus spells from your ability score. The highest level spell you can cast is equal to half your character level.

?

Mark Hall
2009-12-10, 03:11 PM
Feat:
Spell casting
Prerequisite: int wis or cha 12+.
Benefit: you can cast either arcane or divine spells, depending on whether you used intelligence or charisma for qualifying, in which case you cast arcane spells; or wisdom, in which case you cast divine spells. Your spells per day is equal to your bonus spells from your ability score. The highest level spell you can cast is equal to half your character level.

?

The problem I have with this (and with my own suggestion, above), is that while casters-who-study will have 0th level spells, those who do not will not. At 18th level, I can cast 9th level spells, but I can't cast cantrips?

DragoonWraith
2009-12-10, 03:52 PM
Not unknown, there are several caster classes without cantrips. And not all of them are fast-start caster PrCs (like Suel Arcanamach or Sublime Chord or whatever) - IIRC, the Dread Necromancer doesn't get cantrips.

Or say they can cast a number of cantrips equal to half their relevant ability score. That should work.

Vizzerdrix
2009-12-12, 09:32 AM
I like this idea. we should hash something out.

PlzBreakMyCmpAn
2009-12-13, 02:30 PM
[stuff] And turn undead, but that's beside the point.What? That's all I was interested in! Because commanding more than your parties combined HD in 1 creature is just too cool to not do.

Comet
2009-12-13, 03:35 PM
Doesn't multiclassing exist for this purpose? If you know wizardry, you have a few levels of wizard.

A non class-based system is another option.

Ernir
2009-12-13, 03:59 PM
Feat:
Spell casting
Prerequisite: int wis or cha 12+.
Benefit: you can cast either arcane or divine spells, depending on whether you used intelligence or charisma for qualifying, in which case you cast arcane spells; or wisdom, in which case you cast divine spells. Your spells per day is equal to your bonus spells from your ability score. The highest level spell you can cast is equal to half your character level.

?
Woah. Best feat ever. :smalltongue:

But really, I think this:

A non class-based system is another option.
Is what you are looking for. =/