PDA

View Full Version : Alternate wizard system questions



Odynoneeye
2009-12-14, 04:09 PM
Hello all,

For my campaign setting I have been working on I realized that I needed a new system of magic usage for the wizard. I've never really liked the way the magic schools were set up in the new editions, and I'm looking for something smaller and a bit more fun.

I was working with the idea of squishing all of the magic schools down into three or four schools and restricting the wizard to a certain school. (All wizards would be specialized). But It wasn't working for the base types of spells and It was a pain in the behind.)

I've considered a point-buy system similar to psyonics, but that just seemed like a cheep shot and way over done.

I'm looking for something innovative and new. I need to make the wizard more specialized but at the same time allow for the possibility of become a master in all aspects of the arcane arts.

Anyways I just thought I'd toss this out to all of you and see what comes up. I'm completely stumped right now guy, so any ideas would be most welcome! :p

dsmiles
2009-12-14, 04:11 PM
I use the magic system from BESM: The Slayers d20. Lots of fun, very fast paced, action and humor packed, and did I mention fun?

Anonymouswizard
2009-12-14, 04:13 PM
Invocations, hp draining.

I'd say invocations and a psionic focus system. Maybe hp draining or the similar. But don't go for anything you don't want to do.

Thatguyoverther
2009-12-14, 04:21 PM
I've been toying with the idea of creating a mana based system.

Basically, wizards aren't limited by the amount of spells they can memorize but the amount of mana they can pull from the surrounding area to power their spells.

It would be sort of like a spell point variant, except that all the wizards in a small geographic location are using the same spell points. Once all the points in a given area are used up then no more spells can be case until the location naturally regenerates the mana.

Ley lines and particularly potent places of power would be an additional resources coveted by nations. With cities being built around places of power where more spells can be cast. There would probably be strict restrictions on the number of spells that could be legally cast in a city since the mana has to be used by everyone.

It's still an idea bouncing around my head, I haven't bothered creating any stats for it yet.

Bonecrusher Doc
2009-12-14, 04:27 PM
I know this sort of thing has been mentioned before, but I'd like to see something that causes a magic user to become fatigued and then exhausted after using powerful spells.

Odynoneeye
2009-12-14, 04:39 PM
Hey everyone! Wow, thanks for all of the quick replies!:smallsmile:

So here's what I was thinking of in more detail. The idea's you have all given me so-far are great, but I should probably give you all some more background on the world so you know what sort of roles wizards play.

Almost anyone can become a Wizard in my world as magic is essentially everywhere, however there are different concentrations of magic in different people so only some people can become great. Also Wizardry is a life-long artform that one must study passionately, which means that unless you are really willing to devote your life to it, you are never going to be able to do more then cast one or two cantrips as a sort of magic trick.

There are two landmasses in my world that are competing with each other. one uses technology, and one uses magic. Ishaln, (The land that uses magic), is home to massive academy's of magic where thousands of people study to archive a sort of magical nirvana.

Sorcerers are very rare in my world and are quite evil. They have been imbued with so much magical energy at birth that their minds have become an open gateway for demons, creatures of shadow, and god-knows-what from the realm of chaos. So Sorcerers are not a playable class.

So Anyways, I was thinking I need something wizardish for the wizard class. I need something that reflects the level of effort they have put into learning the artform.

I still want to stick with the 'schools of magic' idea but I need to refine it and make it more like areas of study where a wizard can get a degree in a certain magical art.

Gah, brain fart. :smallbiggrin:

Anyways, more ideas are always welcome! Thanks again,

~O

Bonecrusher Doc
2009-12-14, 04:42 PM
You could use something like skill points in different aspects of magic.

Odynoneeye
2009-12-14, 04:57 PM
You could use something like skill points in different aspects of magic.

Huh, that's a good idea! I'll run some stuff around and see what i come up with. Thanks man!

(In the mean time everyone can continue to hit me with ideas! Ideas are good!) :smallbiggrin:

Odynoneeye
2009-12-14, 05:28 PM
So here's an idea based of the skill point idea. This is pretty rough, but it might work. It would mean that having high ability scores would actually mean something. :smallsmile:

So it would take a certain number of spell points to allow the wizard to cast spells from a certain level in a certain field. Much more specialized, but there could be ways for the wizard to gain more /level and maybe become a master in all of the spells. maybe something to do with an age modifier too?


Wizard spell school by skill point.

Wizards gain spell points per level equal to: 1+INT modifier + WIS Modifier x 2

A wizard with +4 INT and +4 WIS would gain ten points per level.

Evocation
Level
1.) 2
2.) 6
3.) 12
4.) 25
5.) 35
6.) 50
7.) 70
8.) 95
9.) 130


Transmutation

Level
1.) 4
2.) 12
3.) 24
4.) 35
5.) 55
6.) 72
7.) 95
8.) 135
9.) 150

Maroon
2009-12-14, 06:06 PM
I'm looking for something innovative and new. I need to make the wizard more specialized but at the same time allow for the possibility of become a master in all aspects of the arcane arts.
Easy. You start wizards off with just a few spells, and restrict access to new spells until they gain more levels.

What?

Seriously. Isn't this already at the root of all D&D? You give a player some spell slots, and they fill them with stuff they think makes a good wizard. Eventually they're going to get bored of their spells and start looking for different spells, and they branch out. You don't need to make some arbitrary divisions between spells (mostly because it's a lot of work doing nothing you couldn't do on the go and you're going to give in to a player who wants spell X of restricted school Y eventually, anyway).

How's this for an idea? I got it from B/X D&D. Spellbooks contain a number of spells equal to the number and level of spells the caster may cast in a single day. There are two ways of acquiring new spells: learn them from someone else or through spell research. Spells can't be copied from scrolls (if you have scrolls) or from captured spell books (if you have spellbooks).

This automatically specializes wizards. Each wizard is different. One could be a master pyromancer because he has Fireball in his spellbook, the other a famed mystic that can communicate with otherworldly beings because he has Contact Other Plane in his spellbook. Assuming you don't have your players on rails, they will seek out teachers that have the spells they want, or, failing that, spend time researching them. If you feel generous, you could give a bonus to spell research if the wizard has captured a spellbook with the spell they're researching in it, to accommodate for the backstabbing wizard archetype.

If you don't like spellbooks, you can crib some rules about crafting wands and staves and use those, so instead of scribing spells into a spellbook, a wizard carves magic runes into their staff, or crafts a wand for every spell. Or tattoos, or crystals, or alchemical formulas... anything. There's a lot of old-school blogs around with ideas for these kind of things. For instance, here (http://trollandflame.blogspot.com/2009/10/magical-monday-magic-yeah-we-got-some.html).

Reading your last two posts, I see the stuff I've outlined above would fit well with your "magic takes life-long devotion" idea but not so well with your "massive academy where wizards undermine their own power by spreading it around like it's candy" idea. I can also see you're way over-complicating things. Skill points? Age modifier?

erikun
2009-12-14, 06:19 PM
You could try an older system of wizard specialization. Basically, the specialist wizard gains benefits from specializing (one extra spell slot/level, +1 DC to their school) but bans the "opposing" school and takes penalities (-2 DC, -2 Spellcraft to learn) from schools "adjacent" to the opposing school. It relies on the old Arcane School Wheel, which you can see here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spells_of_Dungeons_%26_Dragons#Arcane_magic). (Alteration = Transmutation)

For example, a Conjurer has to ban Divination, and takes a penality to the Transmutation and Evocation schools. You might also specify that they can't get a spell from these three opposed schools as their two-free-per-level.

Odynoneeye
2009-12-14, 06:48 PM
erikun -
Well I have thought about using the AD&D approach, but it just doesn't quite work the way I want it too. essentially I'm looking for a way to make a set of clear and only moderately complicated rules which show which subjects a wizard has studied.



Maroon -

Good points all around. Age modifier was a bit over the top. I already have enough onuses and restrictions based on age, I don't need to add more.
Thanks for the link by the way, I must admit I spend little time on the Internet surfing, (Or doing much of anything actually), so I miss allot of material.

So you have some good points, and I like the spell book idea, but it still doesn't fit with the basic idea of the magic in my world.

See Wizards in Eurd, (My campaign setting), don't hoard their abilities, and there are actual schools all over the place that teach magic. Essentially there are tons of collages, junior collages, and universities in the world that teach magic. What I need is a way of reflecting that system.

I.E. A wizard chooses to spend all of his time taking classes in the 'Divination' area of studies, and no time at all on any other areas of magic. An area of magic would have to be vastly different, (like arts and crafts to automobile repair).

I think what I might be tending towards though is something more similar to the Discworld wizards except that they don't hoard knowledge or stab each-other in the back.

Hmm, anyways, there are all just ideas. Thanks a ton to everyone has posted so far, and to everyone who will post in the future! :smallsmile:

Odynoneeye
2009-12-14, 07:34 PM
So expanding upon the idea of a system using some sort of points, I think I have something that might work better the the current system.


Wizards gain spell points per level equal to: 5+INT modifier + WIS Modifier x 2
A wizard with +4 INT and +4 WIS would gain eighteen points per level.

A wizard starts knowing all Cantrip spells.

In order to learn spells from a certain school a wizard would have to spend his accumulated spell points to learn a spell level in a certain area of magic. I.E. A wizard would have to spend 25 of his spell points to open up the possibility of learning 4th level evocation spells.

The goal of this point system is to force the wizard to be more specialized if he ever wants to gain access to all of the high level spells, but allows a wizard to also choose to become more generalized and get to only medium level spells in several different spell areas.

Evocation, Transmutation, Conjuration, Abjuration, Divination, Illusion, Death
Spell Level
1.) 5
2.) 12
3.) 20
4.) 30
5.) 45
6.) 75
7.) 100
8.) 140
9.) 200

This is not effected, nor does it have any effect, upon the wizards spells per day list. The spells per day list only shows how many spells a wizard could cast 'if' he had access to that level of spells. If he does not have access to that level of spells then he can not cast that level of spells. And of course a wizard who reaches 9th level spells in Divination would have access to all the spells per day up to 9th for divination spells, but would be unable to cast 9th level Transmutation spells unless he also had reached 9th level in that field as well.

A wizard may bypass this by finding an alternate means of learning spells, (other then the traditional method of studying).

For instance a wizard could be taught a spell from a different field of magic by another wizard who was willing to teach that spell. Or the Wizard might learn a new spell from an ancient spell book if he takes the time to sit down and figure it out. Of course even if he is taught a spell he must be able to cast that spell on his spells per day chart.

Also a wizard may not automatically learn spells just because he gains access to that field of magic. When a wizard learns a new field of magic, he gains one 'free' spell, from the field of magic which he has just learned, which he may place in his spellbook. A wizard must find a source of learning to actually learn new spells. (I.E. Another wizard, a library, ancient scrolls etc.) This means that to learn all possible spells a wizard must actually spend time seeking out all possible sources of magic. Some fellow wizards might be unwilling to teach certain spells that they themselves spent much time learning, dragons are unlikely to part with the ancient tomes of knowledge and priests are sure to have hidden the secrets of the 'unnatural' Arcane magic away in secret vaults. The search for magic will not be easy.

Anonymouswizard
2009-12-15, 12:29 PM
I've been toying with the idea of creating a mana based system.

Basically, wizards aren't limited by the amount of spells they can memorize but the amount of mana they can pull from the surrounding area to power their spells.

It would be sort of like a spell point variant, except that all the wizards in a small geographic location are using the same spell points. Once all the points in a given area are used up then no more spells can be case until the location naturally regenerates the mana.

Ley lines and particularly potent places of power would be an additional resources coveted by nations. With cities being built around places of power where more spells can be cast. There would probably be strict restrictions on the number of spells that could be legally cast in a city since the mana has to be used by everyone.

It's still an idea bouncing around my head, I haven't bothered creating any stats for it yet.

I would like A system like that. Maybe wizards are restricted to their memorized spells per day as well but use sorcerer SPD and sorcerers can fling spells all day? I also have a wizard class for an earthsea like magic system, but I am not sure how to split up the words.

And how do you work out how much magic a spellcaster can draw on. Do you work by geographical location, Xfeet around the caster? The first is most likely the easiest, but I hope you will comment when these two systems get posted.

dsmiles
2009-12-15, 12:48 PM
I once tried to reason out how to make the "The Will and the Word" system from the Belgariad and Mallorean work. It ended up way too powerful for anybody with a good grasp of language.

Draz74
2009-12-15, 12:54 PM
Yeah, the Belgariad magic system is almost like, "The only spell you know is Wish, with no XP component."


I was working with the idea of squishing all of the magic schools down into three or four schools and restricting the wizard to a certain school. (All wizards would be specialized). But It wasn't working for the base types of spells and It was a pain in the behind.)
This actually sounds a lot like what Fax is planning for his [d20r] Wizard.


I've considered a point-buy system similar to psyonics, but that just seemed like a cheep shot and way over done.
What I'm planning is something like this, but with Magic Points on a per-encounter basis, rather than per-day. Recovering your MP (between battles, generally) eventually makes you Fatigued and Exhausted and so forth.

Odynoneeye
2009-12-15, 03:51 PM
Yay, more possts! I looove more posts. :smallbiggrin:

Ok so I have to admit that after thinking about it, the layline idea sounds pretty awesome... And I don't thank that the spell point Idea and the layline idea would be mutually exclusive. They could both work together, I'd just have to re-invent the actual rules for casting spells...

Yeah, I ran across Fax's D20r system, (which is very awesome by the way), but his wizard seemed a little too complicated. (My players aren't that smart.) :smallamused:

I would LOVE to use an Earthsea system, but it would be rather complicated m'thinks, what with all the words. (Plus I'm not entirely sure it would mesh perfectly with the cannon of my world)





More ideas be welcome!:smalltongue:

Narmy
2009-12-15, 04:30 PM
Say that the gods banned the practice of universalist magic as it was too powerful.

And that all wizards are now STRAIGHT OUT SPECIALISTS.

Anyone who is known to be a universalist is usually hunted down by the masses (like the old school witchs).

Might add some fun to a game for ya, not sure.

Sorcerers gotta be careful, that's for sure.

Random_person
2009-12-15, 09:12 PM
I once tried to reason out how to make the "The Will and the Word" system from the Belgariad and Mallorean work. It ended up way too powerful for anybody with a good grasp of language.

Unfortunately, all of the cool magic systems other than psionics-mapping or Vancian systems tend to be incredibly powerful if put in the hands of a PC. I am currently working on a magic system (see sig), but it is going slowly, simply because at every step of the way I have to think "what will an optomizer do if he sees this?"

Odynoneeye
2009-12-16, 01:20 PM
True enough. I really want to make something new and unique, but balanced, and yet powerful. And it has to be simple enough for my players to comprehend. (I'm not working with rocket scientists here). :smallbiggrin::smallwink:

Ahh well, something will work out if I keep at it.

Random_person
2009-12-16, 03:19 PM
Have you looked at Truenaming? There are plenty of good fixes floating around, and it is not particularly common. Alchemy classes were flying around like nobody's business a little while ago as well. I also have a couple of bare-bones kind of magic systems in the spoiler in my sig.