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View Full Version : Gamer Tales Have you ever seen Material Spell Components enforced?



DoomHat
2015-10-19, 04:36 AM
I was reading some caster vs martial arguments recently (mostly regarding 5e), started meditating on how to deal with the power/utility gap, and it occurred to me that I've never seen anyone in those argument's bring up the existence of Material Component requirements in a lot of the more powerful spells.

Sure, it's true that fighters don't have anything like a class features that allows them to deal 10d8 damage each to 4 targets within 30 feet of one another. However, what everyone seems to forget is that if a wizard wants to do that, they should first have to use up a turn digging around in their pockets for a piece of animal fur, a small crystalline rod, and exactly 3 silver pins.

An 11th level wizard can technically cast Chain Lighting once a day, but only as many times per expedition as they've got arcane ammo bundles each containing a scrap of fur, a small crystalline rod, and a set of 3 silver pins.

High level magic is a lot less zany if high powered spells take an additional round to cast do to the caster needing to dig out and sort the necessary ingredients, rely on a limited supply of said ingredients, and the DM takes into account that in any setting where magic is relatively common, smart warriors are going to start holding readied actions to disrupt the first jackass they see pulling a wad of bat guano and sulfur from their back pocket.

EDIT: Keep in mind my primary concern/idea here is finding a simple way to limit the number of big time spells a caster can use per journey out of civilization. It seems from most of the replies here, it's simply way too much of a nuance to keep track of how many individual newt eyes and frog toes a mage has, but what if M components were boiled down to a single form of scarce resource?

No matter how rich a mage is, the most they'll ever likely to be able to buy in a given town is 1d6+4 charges of vague brand spell sauce. Costs for charges of all-purpose spell sauce can be hand-waved, while individual charges for specifically gp priced spells have to be taken out of the party bank account. Basically this would just give casters an easy to manage secondary resource track. Their spell slots have a daily cool down, but they need to refresh their 'mana' by either returning to town, or finding some intermittently in loot along the way.

hifidelity2
2015-10-19, 04:42 AM
I only enforce it for the very powerful spells / very exotic components or if they have been in the wilderness fro a long time and might be running out
For normal spells I assume that the MU has them in little pouches already labelled up and in an easy to get location

Hawkstar
2015-10-19, 04:54 AM
An 11th level wizard can technically cast Chain Lighting once a day, but only as many times per expedition as they've got arcane ammo bundles each containing a scrap of fur, a small crystalline rod, and a set of 3 silver pins.

Explicitly per the rules, procuring material components is part of casting the spell, and the spell pouch has infinite costless components.

hymer
2015-10-19, 05:07 AM
We enforce material components at my table for systems that has them - them's the rules, after all. :smallsmile: The only real damper they include are for stuff that costs a hump of gold to cast each time (which you generally don't cast that often anyway), and for the casters to find and appropriate/procure the appropriate expensive foci before they can cast certain spells.
The difference is fairly small, but it does mean that casters need to work on their equipment a bit. Melee generally are very equipment dedendent, and material components makes the difference a little smaller.

Necroticplague
2015-10-19, 05:25 AM
Yes, I do. However, as per the rules, getting the spell component is part of the action to cast the spell, and its assumed you have everything to cast in a spell component pouch, with the exception of valuable components. Having the caster have to keep track of absolutely every single little bauble they have would add nothing to the game but a giant pain in the rear of the caster, who already has enough bookkeeping as is.

DoomHat
2015-10-19, 05:29 AM
Explicitly per the rules, procuring material components is part of casting the spell, and the spell pouch has infinite costless components.

Whelp, that would explain why it's never brought up. It strikes me as incredibly stupid though. I'm not sure how anyone can reach down into a belt pouch and snatch out, specifically, a ball of sulfur/dung in among a dense clutter of rose petals, whole crickets, gem shards, loose needles, and seven varieties of dust as a free action.

Also, at that point, why even specify required ingredients at all if the game is just going to turn around and hand-wave them into irrelevance? At the very least it means that a wizard can be "disarmed" if their hip mounted random junk collection is confiscated I guess.

Whyrocknodie
2015-10-19, 06:40 AM
Presumably the caster would keep the material components for his Chain Lightning spell in a neat little bundle, ready to be pulled out and used. I can't think of a reason to leave them all loose.

Khedrac
2015-10-19, 06:41 AM
First of, whilst 3.X D&D introduced the Spell Component Pouch to make things a lot simpler, I have never seen this not enforced.
Admittedly for as long as I have played it is usually only comes up in exceptional circumstances.

Interestingly there is a big exception to this, and this is for the costly spell components, particularly for healing and related spells. There we usually just knock off the value thereof assuming that enough had been pre-purchased by the party to meet the current needs.
A lot of this relates to how crippling it can be for a party not to have the healing compared to not having the blasting.

Looking back to 1st Ed there is always the module A4 - In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords.
This module was a tournament module that started the characters with loincloths and very little else. There were a few spells the clerics had and none for the wizards.
In the adventure one can find a few scrolls which could be learnt to memory instead of cast, but then where are the spell components?
The adventure also specifically pointed out which items one found were technically spell components for available spells (such as the fire beetle legs and some sulfur or phosphorus iirc).

Zejety
2015-10-19, 06:43 AM
Presumably the caster would keep the material components for his Chain Lightning spell in a neat little bundle, ready to be pulled out and used. I can't think of a reason to leave them all loose.
One could even argue that this is part of the daily preparation. :P

Kami2awa
2015-10-19, 06:53 AM
An extension of this is that spell component pouches, spell foci, holy symbols, etc can be sundered, hit with Shatter or Mage Hand, pickpocketed, and so on, which rarely seems to come up. Furthermore, wouldn't water (even heavy rain) be problem for a lot of components? Are spell component pouches waterproof? Does that stop you Create Water-ing inside one (you can't Create Water inside creatures, but since when is a pouch a creature?)

DoomHat
2015-10-19, 07:12 AM
It might be worth while to test a house rule of treating one's spell component utility belt like a quiver of arrows.

Before setting out from civilization, a caster needs to note down how many "charges" of spell component they have access to. In that way, a caster is limited in the total number of big ticket spells they can cast on a given outing, which prevents the hell out of 5 minute adventuring days, and encourages greater rationing of magic power.

Prince Zahn
2015-10-19, 07:24 AM
The only time my DM ever cared about material components (to my recollection) was to cast the Identify spell. We bickered about it for days. But in the case of 5e, casters can rest easy knowing that MOST spells with pricy M components only need to be payed once.

On some characters, I make a big deal over V and S components as well... It's an easy excuse for a character to make catch phrases :smalltongue:

goto124
2015-10-19, 07:30 AM
This has been brought up before in one of the DnD subforums (probably 3.5e).

A poster recalled that it only increased bookkeeping, and made casters annoying to play without actually helping anything.

JeenLeen
2015-10-19, 08:25 AM
With most of the other posters here, I've seen it enforced in games, but only insofar as having a pouch is required and it by default has all the components one needs (as long as they have no explicit cost.)
I have had some debate about spells that list something like holy water as a material cost. The spell itself doesn't state a GP cost for the holy water, but holy water is an item with a cost. Not sure if you pay that, have to have it in your inventory and use it up, or what.
For pricey components and foci, in our games we would buy them and track how much we had of what (i.e, not just subtract the GP cost), so we would generally have a lot of diamond dust and whatever a caster in particular used.

The pouch does put a wizard up to risk of sundering, and I think both somatic and material components are hard to get when grappled (but I could be misremembering the rules.) So it can come up.

For sundering/pickpocketing, most optimized/paranoid wizards I've seen would carry multiple pouches, and possibly even carry a dummy pouch (and spellbook) obviously on their person, while their real ones are in a pocket or elsewhere easily accessible but not where a guy would first choose to sunder. So even if you could Create Water in one pouch, that wouldn't necessarily render a prepared wizard componentless (assuming Create Water would do that in the first place.) Note that, at least at low level and before Bags of Holding, pouches can weigh a relevant amount for a wizard who has dumped Strength, if your GM also enforces encumbrance and carrying capacity.

Radar
2015-10-19, 08:39 AM
I can see it being enforced in survival scenarios, where all resources are ment to be scarce. Otherwise it doesn't add that much and from some point it only bogs down the game without impading the casters in any way. Backup component pouches and foci can be bought for an insignificant part of WBL, so a fairly prepared player would not be found without ways to cast spells.

There is also a problem of casters becoming all or nothing classes, which is not a good thing. The spells are still overpowered, but the caster will simply become stingy with them and do nothing instead.

Instead one should either depower the spells themselves (an almost impossible task, since there are so many of them), or make casting more difficult or risky. This was IMO fairly well made in AD&D with the action sequence: all actions took some time in a turn (so you didn't do your actions at your initiative tick, but a few ticks later depending on the task). In particular casting a spell took longer for higher level spells (1st level spell was cast in one tick, 9th level spell in nine). At the same time hiting the caster automaticaly canceled the casting (no Concentration checks as in 3.5e, which become way too easy too quickly). This means you didn't need to waste your turn to ready an action to maybe disrupt casting - you could decide on the spot after the caster starts chanting and waving hands and as long as you hit, the spell was disrupted and lost. Caster were still immensly powerful, but they were at the same time vulnerable, which made warrior type characters relevant and able to confront casters directly.

Quertus
2015-10-19, 09:34 AM
Back in 2e, there was actually a table listing individual prices for individual components. Need a bit of wax and an eye lash? That'll be X copper pieces.

I've done the bookkeeping before, and it's... as fun as any other bookkeeping. 3.x spell component pouch and Eschew Materials, please.

Suppose your fighter creates a grip for his sword. Really, how many swings is the wrap on the hilt of the fighter's sword really good for? How much does that wrap degrade when it gets wet, or soaked in blood --> how many "charges" does the wrap lose for these conditions? Has anyone in D&D ever had to buy new shoe/boot laces, because theirs wore out? Do you really want this level of realistic bookkeeping?

Now, other than just for flavor and historic precedent (and for allowing people to cheat (yeah, I know I have 0 ranks in spellcraft, but what does the wizard have in his hands? A glass rod, and what? Uh-oh!)), having individual components listed can be fun when the wizard has a reason to need components. If captured, trying to recover components and seeing which spells you can manage to pull off with what you can find could, I imagine, be fun.

Eldan
2015-10-19, 09:54 AM
Also, at that point, why even specify required ingredients at all if the game is just going to turn around and hand-wave them into irrelevance? At the very least it means that a wizard can be "disarmed" if their hip mounted random junk collection is confiscated I guess.

That's the idea, I'd assume. Also no spellcasting when grapped, or similar.

Amazon
2015-10-19, 10:17 AM
In my games I make the spell components part of the ritual to prepare the spell not to cast.

This way it is necessary to carry around a bag of bat **** when casting fireball.

Just dump it in the pentagram while preparing the said spell.

It gives the spell preparation a more occult feel and make spell components useful.

Anonymouswizard
2015-10-19, 10:18 AM
I've considered making a game system for a novel setting I have in development, set a few generations after the novel and in a different region, where magic is based entirely on material components and focuses, to the point that spell component pouches would be considered useless. If a mage expects to use magic he will lug around at least a backpack filled with crystals, different animal bones, dried herbs, wands of various woods, chalk, incense, coal, and so on, and the stereotypical wizard is not a scholar, but 'wandering magician with a cart', and good magicians are merchants as well.

But this is less enforcing components for balance, and more building a system around the assumption of material components being important. With infinite components a magician has no limiting factor.

Velaryon
2015-10-19, 10:21 AM
I handle it like I suspect most DMs do: as long as the spellcaster owns a component pouch, we assume he has all the components he needs that don't have a listed cost. Components that do have a material cost (such as the gems for animate dead), have to be purchased individually.

In practice, this has resulted in my party's Dread Necromancer always needing to buy more gems, which is a trivial expense relative to how much wealth he has. It does result in savvy shopkeepers figuring out just what kind of caster he is, but otherwise it really doesn't amount to much of a change. Just a little bit of resource management.

Segev
2015-10-19, 10:30 AM
It's worth noting that the humble Sleight Of Hand skill's pickpocket function can be used by a rogue to severely dampen a spellcaster's repertoire. That DC 20 ensures successful theft; it doesn't have to go unnoticed to inconvenience the mage considerably.

Geddy2112
2015-10-19, 10:31 AM
Not explicitly, but at our table, if your spell component pouch is stolen/destroyed you can't cast material spells it until it is replaced. We also assume during downtime a caster will replenish components by buying or finding them. Bat guano for a fireball is pretty easy to come by in a dungeon, and any port town is going to have a glut of octopus and squid for a black tentacles spell.

Of course, costed components are enforced.

Morty
2015-10-19, 10:42 AM
Paying attention to the material components of every spell is a pretty terrible way of giving magic a drawback. Making something annoying to use is not going to offset its power. Material spell components make sense if they're actually valuable, difficult to get an used to perform large-scale acts of magic.

sktarq
2015-10-19, 11:51 AM
The basic-do you have your material component pouch on you? Level we always do.

Have done the harder -well how much sulfur do you have on you and you use .5 Oz each casting type.

(Edit: note the later was also only tested by me in 2e and 3.5e so 4e and 5e may see your mileage vary)

I recommend the later in only two situations:

One: advanced groups that are already logistics heavy and like it that way. Some people get their jollies from overcoming the logistics and view food rations, porter numbers etc as immersive. The tracking of spell components fits right into this and often plays well.

Two: Low magic settings. If the society doesn't like or rarely sees magic there will less support for it infrastructure wise. Wizards just are not common enough to provide a market that incentivises stocking spell components let alone trading them from production centres out into the boonies. Thus by forcing the wizard to play out finding bats, custom ordering silver needles, etc he gets the sense of how unwelcome or special his magic is. It also helps because the less magic there is in the world the more advantage a magic user has because magic counter measures and even magic knowledge is rare. This also tends to get wizards to focus on using their magic more sparingly which fits the low magic theme. Also if spell components are not widely traded or if there are strong local views about certain kinds of magic then sometimes certain spells become hard to cast because nobody in a region stocks the material components. If a nation associates fire with evil (esp magical fire) then the coments of known fire spells may be banned. Which leads into why even wizards that don't buy into the fire=evil thing from that area still prefer to use lightning bolt over fireball. In the game of this I ran and two played needing a small town or larger for common components seemed to work and needing small city or above for exotic (not necessarily intrinically expensive just not locally producable) components worked well.

DoomHat
2015-10-19, 11:53 AM
Edited the original post to narrow the focus of the discussion...


EDIT: Keep in mind my primary concern/idea here is finding a simple way to limit the number of stronger spells a caster can use per journey out of civilization. I've learned from most of the replies here, it's simply way too much of a nuance to keep track of how many individual newt eyes and frog toes a mage has, but what if M components were boiled down to a single form of scarce resource?

No matter how rich a mage is, the most they'll ever likely to be able to buy in a given town is 1d6+4 charges of vague brand spell sauce. Costs for charges of all-purpose spell sauce can be hand-waved, while individual charges for specifically gp priced spells have to be taken out of the party bank account. Basically this would just give casters an easy to manage secondary resource track. Their spell slots have a daily cool down, but they need to refresh their 'mana' by either returning to town, or finding some intermittently in loot along the way.

Palegreenpants
2015-10-19, 12:02 PM
Lurker here.

I, as a GM, enforce components in only one game system (Renaissance.) The system is very specific when it comes to components, and gathering them is an important part of playing a witch/magician. My players are always on the lookout for fireflies, toad poo, bits of fleece, needles, and that sort of thing. All in all, the fetching of ingredients makes quite a bit of fun, and rather necessarily limited the use of magic (which is highly potent in Renaissance.)

Edit: Its also worth noting that Renaissance is a system that discourages wanton engagement in combat. If you fail to plan for a fight, there's a good chance that someone in the party will be seriously hurt/killed.

MrUberGr
2015-10-19, 04:30 PM
IMO your argument is void, since something that has no cost goes by unmentioned. Just like you don't say "I go poop, shave and take a long shower" once you reach an inn after traveling, it's the same thing. Also, everyone is talking about materials and component pouches. No one seems to remember that casters can use foci. For example, a wizard can forget about his component pouch and just rely on his staff since,


A character can use a component pouch or a spellcasting focus (found in chapter 5) in place of the components specified for a spell.

If he decides to use a component pouch, it is more realistic that a wizard's component pouch may run out at some time, and what you could do is every X sessions he's gonna have to spend 10gp to buy a new one. That's what I used to rule as DM both for this as well as for quivers. On the other hand, Thieves Tools has a set amount of uses, and whenever a pick lock attempt failed by 10 the pick would break.
Anyway, do you think that micromanaging resources is what makes DnD fun? Using a much broader measure would be better. "You've been in the wilderness searching for the goblin HQ about a month now. You're getting low on resources and are not sure how many more of those pesky ambushes you can fall in before having to return to the town." , would be more than enough in order to spur your players and give them a sense of urgency. "10 arrows left in your quiver" would probably lead to some annoying conversations about whether or not the archer can reclaim used arrows, or try to create new arrows, right there in the middle of a forest, because, wood is all around us dammit.

As for digging through loose material, do you really think someone who dedicated the better part of his life in studying a subject would be a slob when it came to it? As Whyrocknodie said he'd probably prepare every component bundle during the daily preparation.

However, of course, if for some reason the component pouch/arcane focus is lost/taken, then the caster might have to get to work. If he's in a prison for example, he might want to actually collect guano from the pesky bats at the corner of his cell, and some sulfur from a torch or from the courtyard where it is used as pest repellent. Then he can blast that unsuspecting guard away. Using the concern of materials for a session or two would probably be very fun, but using it as a daily concern to "balance" casters, would most definitely either lead to forgetting about the rule, or some serious arguments for nothing.

"Fortunately" for me, my left leg was badly scorched by a dragon, leaving me with the excuse that my staff is my walking stick! :smallbiggrin:

Mark Hall
2015-10-19, 04:45 PM
Explicitly per the rules, procuring material components is part of casting the spell, and the spell pouch has infinite costless components.

Only if you're playing one of the later games. I saw them enforced a lot more under 2e and 1e rules, which didn't include spell component pouches as a generic thing... you might have a pouch into which you put spell components, but the spell component pouch of 3.x and later? That would've been a minor magical item in earlier games. Games which had less problem with balance between casters and non-casters, because there were more restrictions on casters.

Solaris
2015-10-19, 04:50 PM
EDIT: Keep in mind my primary concern/idea here is finding a simple way to limit the number of big time spells a caster can use per journey out of civilization. It seems from most of the replies here, it's simply way too much of a nuance to keep track of how many individual newt eyes and frog toes a mage has, but what if M components were boiled down to a single form of scarce resource?

No matter how rich a mage is, the most they'll ever likely to be able to buy in a given town is 1d6+4 charges of vague brand spell sauce. Costs for charges of all-purpose spell sauce can be hand-waved, while individual charges for specifically gp priced spells have to be taken out of the party bank account. Basically this would just give casters an easy to manage secondary resource track. Their spell slots have a daily cool down, but they need to refresh their 'mana' by either returning to town, or finding some intermittently in loot along the way.

My first reaction to this was unpleasant, but then I thought about Dune.
He who controls the spell sauce controls the universe.

Deophaun
2015-10-19, 05:01 PM
Also, at that point, why even specify required ingredients at all if the game is just going to turn around and hand-wave them into irrelevance?

Because Gygax and friends had a punny sense of humor.

No, that's the actual reason. You are fretting over a bunch of bad jokes the creators injected into the system on a lark. Is it any wonder that they've been sidelined or flat-out abandoned in later editions?

Anonymouswizard
2015-10-19, 05:11 PM
EDIT: Keep in mind my primary concern/idea here is finding a simple way to limit the number of big time spells a caster can use per journey out of civilization. It seems from most of the replies here, it's simply way too much of a nuance to keep track of how many individual newt eyes and frog toes a mage has, but what if M components were boiled down to a single form of scarce resource?

No matter how rich a mage is, the most they'll ever likely to be able to buy in a given town is 1d6+4 charges of vague brand spell sauce. Costs for charges of all-purpose spell sauce can be hand-waved, while individual charges for specifically gp priced spells have to be taken out of the party bank account. Basically this would just give casters an easy to manage secondary resource track. Their spell slots have a daily cool down, but they need to refresh their 'mana' by either returning to town, or finding some intermittently in loot along the way.

It sounds like a boring 'oh hey, you wanted to be able to cast your big spell? Well despite it being 3 sessions since you last went to town, and because you cast chain lightning 10 times in those 3 sessions, you can't cast meteor swarm. Should have conserved the spell sauce'.

If you are just going to have just a 'generic components' limit why not just say 'spell slots above level 6 recharge slower' or 'no spells above level 7' or whatever. It's nowhere near as interesting as magic where you might need to go out of your way to get some more powedered glass, but if the spell needs out of date honey your fine.

I also don't think you should have to track renewable and non-renewable resources at the same time. In my game, most of the time wizards can spend a couple of minutes casting any spell they have the ritual and components for, or in the name of fun they can also put spells in glass balls to cast within a couple of seconds (which would take at least the full turn to retrieve and cast). But they don't have to keep track of any sort of 'mana' resource, because they already have lots of bookkeeping. Those spell marbles are simply items that require a 'rare' focus and several 'uncommon' components to create. The entire idea is so that wizards have to spend time managing their resources, but in a way more like the ranger buying special arrows than daily spell slots.

DoomHat
2015-10-19, 05:54 PM
IMO your argument is void, since something that has no cost goes by unmentioned. Just like you don't say "I go poop, shave and take a long shower" once you reach an inn after traveling, it's the same thing. Also, everyone is talking about materials and component pouches. No one seems to remember that casters can use foci. For example, a wizard can forget about his component pouch and just rely on his staff since,

Because Gygax and friends had a punny sense of humor.

No, that's the actual reason. You are fretting over a bunch of bad jokes the creators injected into the system on a lark. Is it any wonder that they've been sidelined or flat-out abandoned in later editions?

I can't help but feel a little insulted by the degree to which you guys have missed the point.
My primary concern/idea here is finding a simple way to limit the number of big time spells a caster can use per journey out of civilization. Ritual components fueling magic spells is a classic troupe in myth and fantasy, which I think can be leveraged to make magic a little less blatantly overpowered in D&D. As I've already said, I agree that counting each and every newt eye and pound of butterfly wings is unreasonable. That said, "you have 11 spells worth of casting materials" is pretty strait forward, and can potentially get the job done.


My first reaction to this was unpleasant, but then I thought about Dune.
He who controls the spell sauce controls the universe.
I actually just used "sauce" as a cheeky shorthand for bundles of assorted spell items, but this legitimately made me giggle. It's also an interesting thought. If vials of "processed mana" or some such were the spell component, then there could be a lot of interesting setting implications and consequences for players to interact with.


It sounds like a boring 'oh hey, you wanted to be able to cast your big spell? Well despite it being 3 sessions since you last went to town, and because you cast chain lightning 10 times in those 3 sessions, you can't cast meteor swarm. Should have conserved the spell sauce'.

If you are just going to have just a 'generic components' limit why not just say 'spell slots above level 6 recharge slower' or 'no spells above level 7' or whatever. It's nowhere near as interesting as magic where you might need to go out of your way to get some more powedered glass, but if the spell needs out of date honey your fine.
As a GM, and to a lesser extent a game designer, my immediate reaction is, "Holy funk, you've cast Chain Lighting 10 times over the course of only 3 sessions? You probably should have conserved your spell sauce." Also, keep in mind that as GM, you can very easily allow the party to come across more charges of material mid adventure.

I agree that having casters collect peculiar scraps and trinkets to power their mojo is more interesting, but as said by a lot of people up to this point, its also probably more trouble then it's worth. As to just changing the rate of refresh on certain levels of spell, that's also a good bit of extra bookkeeping, and just not as simple and tension building as requiring a small supply of ammo.

Morty
2015-10-19, 06:00 PM
If we're talking about putting more emphasis on resource requirements for the bigger, more game-changing spells, I feel like that's a valid approach. I think that it should be reserved to the kind of spells you don't cast during an adventure - in fact, requiring specific components might be a way of distinguishing between "adventure" spells and "downtime" spells.

Anonymouswizard
2015-10-19, 06:23 PM
As a GM, and to a lesser extent a game designer, my immediate reaction is, "Holy funk, you've cast Chain Lighting 10 times over the course of only 3 sessions? You probably should have conserved your spell sauce." Also, keep in mind that as GM, you can very easily allow the party to come across more charges of material mid adventure.

Part of the problem is, in D&D, you're saying my 20th level wizard goes into town, buys components for high level spells, and doesn't have as many charges as his high level spell slots?

I also am highly against the 'well PCs can just find more on their adventure' excuse. I'm a firm believer that the PCs should have the ability to be carrying everything they'll need when they set out on an adventure. Otherwise we might as just say 'you shouldn't give PCs starting equipment, they can just find it on their adventure!' It may be fun once in a while (I played a very one game once where my character was the best fighter because he was the only one who thought to make a sling, I had to leave before it really got going though), but having to rely on it time after time is just plain annoying.

Now if the system was built around the idea that you had a limited number of 'mana vials' and used them up to cast spells that's fine, because that's what the system is ideally designed to make fun.


I agree that having casters collect peculiar scraps and trinkets to power their mojo is more interesting, but as said by a lot of people up to this point, its also probably more trouble then it's worth. As to just changing the rate of refresh on certain levels of spell, that's also a good bit of extra bookkeeping, and just not as simple and tension building as requiring a small supply of ammo.

A small supply of ammo is 'tension building'. You heard it here people, it's not annoying, it's a device to build tension.

You know, part of the problem is you seem to be coming from a very D&D view on material components, where they are either insignificant or a way to reduce power. I'm coming from a position where I've built a magic system around material components, and find the idea that 'you can cast any spell you've bought the components for when you have access to your lab, but otherwise your backpack can hold the components and foci to 10 spells, with that increasing to 13 if you use your belt as storage, plus a belt pouch can carry up to 20 spell marbles' to be a more interesting way to limit spellcasting than 'you have spell slots and have to carry mana vials'. You may notice that I haven't recommended having both a 'mana' system and a 'components' system game wise, because the tracking gets to complex.

For the record, when I've finished my system, it'll be organised to reduce bookkeeping. So the spell will list it's components, then give the component's cost and value in HU (Hauling Units, which are what storage and encumbrance are measured in until I come up with a decent name), then give a separate value for foci. Players will have space on their sheet to write the foci and sets of components they have, in the style spell name-components-amount. It's in essence a flavourful way of 'recharging your slots' by buying materials, although you can cannibalise other spell's components if needed.

Drynwyn
2015-10-19, 06:36 PM
Aside from the issues discussed above, there's one big-ticket problem that hasn't been addressed- namely, teleporting. Maybe the wizard can only carry so many bundles of spell components, but Teleport has no material component, and can be used to immediately be at a location where the wizard can acquire additional spell components at his leisure.

Darth Ultron
2015-10-19, 07:01 PM
I have always enforced material spell components in my games. I simply ignore things like the ''spell component pouch''. Material spell components are a great way to limit the power of any spell caster and they work great.

Sure some players it is ''a lot'' a trouble and bother to keep track of material components...though, oddly, the every same player goes through ''a lot'' of trouble keeping track of spells, effects, stacking, exploits, and so on.

And it is easy to stop the jerk player who wants to do dumb stuff like ''buy a billion pounds of sulfur''. Material components need to be harvested in a set time and place and way...and it changes often too. So you can't just have a bag with a billion feathers in it, you need ''a feather taken from a live bird just after dawn''.

I also allow alternative components and power components too.

Drynwyn
2015-10-19, 07:23 PM
Material components need to be harvested in a set time and place and way...and it changes often too. So you can't just have a bag with a billion feathers in it, you need ''a feather taken from a live bird just after dawn''.


The issue with this sort of thing is that it can very quickly turn into "You don't get to use your magic unless the GM says you can", which in turn will frustrate players who feel (rightly or not) that you are restricting the availability of spell components based not on the conditions in the game world, but the needs of your pre-conceived plot or "right" solution to a given problem.

DoomHat
2015-10-19, 07:30 PM
@Anonymouswizard
Am I coming at this D&D issue in the game of D&D from a D&D perspective? Maybe so.

I find it interesting that you seem to be deriding me for suggesting adding a simple ammo system to the existing rules, (insisting that the whole notion of ammo is inherently frustrating and leads to excessive book keeping) then turn around and sing the praises of your own extensively home-brewed system involving (as best as I'm able to parse) counting down one or two variety's of expendable resource and tracking some form of encumbrance? All of which requires its own tracking sheet?

Really, if you're in the right, then I think I'm content to just go ahead and be wrong.

@Drynwyn
You're right, Teleport is a pretty significant kick in the teeth. The only way I can think to fix it is (in 5e anyway) removing the Permanent Circle and Associated Object options, meaning that each casting of Teleport has at best a 1in4 chance of landing off target. That or restricting Teleportation all together.

Deophaun
2015-10-19, 07:40 PM
I can't help but feel a little insulted by the degree to which you guys have missed the point.
You asked a question. I answered. If you are offended that people answer your questions, don't ask them.

My primary concern/idea here is finding a simple way to limit the number of big time spells a caster can use per journey out of civilization. Ritual components fueling magic spells is a classic troupe in myth and fantasy, which I think can be leveraged to make magic a little less blatantly overpowered in D&D. As I've already said, I agree that counting each and every newt eye and pound of butterfly wings is unreasonable. That said, "you have 11 spells worth of casting materials" is pretty strait forward, and can potentially get the job done.
A) It's a terrible mechanism: "You can use your class features a number of times equal to DM fiat" is bad. Don't do it. If you don't like the class or the spells, don't allow them in the game to begin with.

B) It won't fix anything. You are telling the player with system mastery not to mess around with BFC or support or blasting and instead go for straight for your campaign's jugular. Meanwhile, the player without system mastery was never the problem to begin with, but you're hobbling him just because.

Anonymouswizard
2015-10-19, 08:17 PM
@Anonymouswizard
Am I coming at this D&D issue in the game of D&D from a D&D perspective? Maybe so.

First off, I never saw a D&D tag on the thread, so I thought I'd answer from a view where the system is built around material components.


I find it interesting that you seem to be deriding me for suggesting adding a simple ammo system to the existing rules, (insisting that the whole notion of ammo is inherently frustrating and leads to excessive book keeping)

Your 'simple ammo system' causes issues in that, IIRC, in 3.5 a lot of powerful spells either have insignificant material components or XP costs (because the designers had this idea that lost XP hurts a lot more than lost gp, YMMV). Your lumping some spells in with ones that cost magnitudes more, while casters can still spam Wish as long as they have XP.

It also increases bookkeeping where you're already tracking spell levels separately, and in 2e if you don't mind the extra bookkeeping you're probably going to just use the 'spell components' optional rule.

It's also annoying to have to keep track of two resources, although I can do it and enjoy it despite that.


then turn around and sing the praises of your own extensively home-brewed system involving (as best as I'm able to parse) counting down one or two variety's of expendable resource and tracking some form of encumbrance? All of which requires its own tracking sheet?

First off, you seem to think this is esstensively homebrewed from D&D. It's more along the lines of a simplified GURPS with two extra stats and a homebrew magic system. (EDIT: I forgot to mention, 90% of it is crap and I'm working on improving it, starting by differentiating it from GURPS by making it roll over, I only brought it up because I have no experience with published component-based systems)

Second, I'm still working out the sheet, but these resources will either expand the 'spells known' section to an entire sheet or be tagged onto the equipment sheet, likely the former (which brings the sheet up to four pages : 'stats and skills' , 'magic', 'equipment' and 'background'), with a smaller section for the simpler two page sheet.

Third, you need to keep track of spell components the same way as an archer would special arrows, it's just if you're out of the ingredients for the seeking spell you can canibalise your stocks for the scrying and summoning spells. The encumbrance system is basically just D&D's/GURPS's/insert game here's but caring more about volume than wait, spell components are included so that, when a fighter has to pick between a spare sword and rope, the wizard needs to decide if he thinks a passwall or water breathing spell is worth bringing with him.


Really, if you're in the right, then I think I'm content to just go ahead and be wrong.

I'm just giving my view, which is 'if going with the ammo system, make it the primary system instead of a tacked on limitation'. In essence 'don't have two things intended to do the same thing'.

Baator, have it include 'uber mana vials' needed to cast big spells that a normal mana vial won't cut. At least then I'm not dealing with two systems trying to do the same thing.

prufock
2015-10-19, 08:50 PM
My primary concern/idea here is finding a simple way to limit the number of big time spells a caster can use per journey out of civilization. Ritual components fueling magic spells is a classic troupe in myth and fantasy, which I think can be leveraged to make magic a little less blatantly overpowered in D&D. As I've already said, I agree that counting each and every newt eye and pound of butterfly wings is unreasonable. That said, "you have 11 spells worth of casting materials" is pretty strait forward, and can potentially get the job done.
This mechanic already exists. They're called "spell slots."

sktarq
2015-10-19, 09:15 PM
okay-lets go through with a modicum of logic.

the vast majority of wizards can not cast 3rd level or higher spells. (see that whole how many people of what level chart that floats into each edition) so most wizards don't need any of the spell components for anything of over 2nd level. So why would the spell component pouch assembler put them in? This could lead to all kinds of thinking- Pyromancers pack that has the components for all the fire spells that the assembler knows about etc. It could be ridiculously complex but lets try to avoid that.

as a somewhat simplified form:

spell component pouch covers the non "costly" components of all 1-X level spells say
advanced spell component pouch cover Z uses of spells (with non "costly" components) from levels (x+1)-Y
and all spells of level (Y+1)-9 component needs to tracked separately as there are so few customers to make component pouches for at this point?

personally Id pick x=3, y=6, and Z=10 or 20 but it's the theory that I'm presenting

snacksmoto
2015-10-19, 09:22 PM
We're using a mix of hand waiving, foci and bookkeeping.

If you have the component pouch, as per the rules, you are assumed to have the non-GP listed spell components. Waive the hands and *poof*. GP listed components still need bookkeeping.

If you don't have the component pouch, you have two options.
To replace the material component you need to have your spellcasting focus and a reason in the character's background as to why you have it. This is obviously easiest to explain for pure clerics and wizards.
My ranger character doesn't have any explanation to have a spellcasting focus or what it could be, so he doesn't have one. We also haven't come across any shop owners nor travelling merchants of any kind as an opportunity to purchase a component pouch. Therefore, he needs to scrounge and forage for "charges" of appropriately listed spell components. It has turned into a bit of an ongoing "side quest".

We travelled past some woods and had to declare that I was on the lookout for some appropriate bushes for handfuls of thorns. The DM did a simple d20 roll to determine if there were any appropriate bushes. It was a really good roll so, for the number of "charges", I got to roll a large die with a decent bonus. In another session, my character got his hands on a belt of pouches that will likely become his "component pouch". All the situation requires now is an in-game logical reason to come across a merchant with spell components, or plunder the contents from a magic wielding opponent.
If something should happen to the component pouch afterwards, we can assume he still has at least a couple of "charges" of thorns stashed in another pouch.

Darth Ultron
2015-10-19, 10:33 PM
The issue with this sort of thing is that it can very quickly turn into "You don't get to use your magic unless the GM says you can", which in turn will frustrate players who feel (rightly or not) that you are restricting the availability of spell components based not on the conditions in the game world, but the needs of your pre-conceived plot or "right" solution to a given problem.

This is true, but any player can really complain about anything. No matter what a DM does, or does not do, can be seen in a negative way.

Drynwyn
2015-10-19, 10:50 PM
This is true, but any player can really complain about anything. No matter what a DM does, or does not do, can be seen in a negative way.

That statement, while true, doesn't stand as a logical defense. Anything you do CAN frustrate players, but just because that is the case does not mean that certain practices are not more or less likely to do provoke frustration, and as a result, complaining. If you could defend RPG mechanics or DM'ing practices by saying "Well, players CAN complain about anything", this entire subforum's discussion would be pointless. (Well, except for the rules interpretation questions and the motivator thread. Heh heh, motivators.)

Darth Ultron
2015-10-20, 12:10 AM
That statement, while true, doesn't stand as a logical defense.

Is it a logical complaint though? Maybe not... Most complaints are not, after all.

Material components, if done right, bring a huge amount of balance to spellcasters.

Deophaun
2015-10-20, 12:16 AM
Material components, if done right, bring a huge amount of balance to spellcasters.
"Done right" either requires players that do not know how to work around the restrictions, or a system that isn't D&D 3.5.

Solaris
2015-10-20, 12:23 AM
I'm sorry, the only times I've seen material components used as a sort of balancing mechanism in D&D 3.5E it's been a gamer horror story.

BWR
2015-10-20, 01:13 AM
It really depends on the group. One group only pays attention to things with actual gp cost and as long as you have the component pouch, you're fine for all the others. Never mind that it's the same one you've been using for 60 years and 20 levels.

The other: any spell with unusual (even if technically free) or expensive components is tracked to a certain degree, and we generally make some sort of attempt to think about the problems of too many components, size and fragility. carrying around live spiders for Spider Climb can prove difficult sometimes. Also, picking things up while you are adventuring is perfectly fine, as long as it makes sense for the components to be there. In the case of live spiders, generally you can find that pretty easily out in the wild, but good luck finding them in snowy terrain or deserts.
Anything with some sort of significant cost, e.g. diamonds or 'bone from a creature hanged for murder' type of costless components are tracked rigorously. For more mundane 'costless' components like bits of fur or pinches of sulphur, we generally accept just buying a new component pouch every now and then (usually between adventures) because there is a limit to how much bookkeeping we want to do. If anyone actually wishes to keep detailed track of how many castings of all spells they have, they are free to do so.

Drynwyn
2015-10-20, 08:14 AM
Is it a logical complaint though? Maybe not... Most complaints are not, after all.

Material components, if done right, bring a huge amount of balance to spellcasters.

I strongly disagree with your statement that most complaints are not logical. If your players are complaining, it's probably because something isn't fun for them, not because they're entitled whiners. Having fun is the whole point of D&D- therefore, if something isn't fun for your players, they have every right to take issue with it.

I'm not saying that material components being hard to find is inherently bad- it's just that if they are rigorously enforced, their availability should be consistent and clear to players. Otherwise, spellcasting players could well be very, very frustrated and not have fun, because they feel like they have to obtain the GM's tacit approval before using any of their class features.

Hawkstar
2015-10-20, 08:21 AM
This mechanic already exists. They're called "spell slots."
But spell slots don't provide fine enough control for some people, due to how flexible and interchangeable they are.

goto124
2015-10-20, 08:31 AM
Material components, if done right, bring a huge amount of balance to spellcasters.

So, how do you suggest we do it right?

wumpus
2015-10-20, 09:32 AM
I'm pretty sure they are enforced for Raise Dead (at least, assuming you aren't capable of True Resurrecting the rest of the party on the spot).

It seems telling that even though this isn't strictly under D&D, non-D&D games are barely mentioned. Probably due to spell components being a bad joke, they were barely copied to other games. From what I read, way back in the day Chivalry and Sorcery? had extremely complicated spell casting rules which almost certainly required the sorcerer to find obscure ingredients.

Does anybody use [non-standard] spell components as a Macguffin? Something for the local High Priest or wizard for a specific ritual? An added bonus would be to tie the ritual to the solstice, planar alignment, etc. to add a time limit (2 full rests, and if you get interrupted it still counts).

Quertus
2015-10-20, 10:02 AM
Material components, if done right, bring a huge amount of balance to spellcasters.

Blood component from Tainted Sorcerer... so the only balanced spellcasters that are fun / easy / not (even more) obnoxiously heavy on bookkeeping are Tainted Sorcerers?

No, sorry - Eschew Materials. So... to be balanced, casters require a feat tax?

Guessing that's not your idea of "done right".

I'll concede that limiting the character with the grenades / BFG to having less ammo than the character with the handgun can be a balancing factor. Of course, the 3e Keen Vorpal Improved Crit Disciple of Dispater Weapon Master Great Cleave (etc etc) army destroyer doesn't have any charges for his attacks. Would you recommend that, for balance, he should?

But, as mentioned before, what's wrong with spell slots (or spell points, or power points, or...) as a balancing factor? The fact that they can be recovered by rest? If that is the issue a) rest can be interrupted (although doing so constantly is obnoxious); b) no one else has to run out of ammo either - the archer can find wood & feathers to craft new arrows, anyone can certainly find stones for their sling... so left out in the wilderness for months on end, no adventurer should be left without ammo. Without wands / scrolls / healing potions / etc? Probably. And this is where that which I believe to be most people's view of the Wizard begins to suffer from attrition.


Also, picking things up while you are adventuring is perfectly fine, as long as it makes sense for the components to be there. In the case of live spiders, generally you can find that pretty easily out in the wild, but good luck finding them in snowy terrain or deserts.

Desert: Tapdoor spider? Camel Spider? Desert spider???
Arctic: Arctic spider?

Quick google-foo: http://www.arizonensis.org/sonoran/fieldguide/arthropoda/arachnida.html lists 25 spiders native to 1 desert, and says, "Many species in the Sonoran Desert ... only a few are depicted here"

http://animals.mom.me/spiders-arctic-6713.html: "Spiders make up a significant portion of the animal population in the Arctic". Lists (at least) Crab, Erigoninae, Funnel, and Wolf Spiders.

So... maybe a higher DC check, but I think I'll roll survival (or, you know, let the Ranger do it, so I'm not stepping on their toes) to collect 1 meal worth of spiders and be set for a lifetime of casting spider climb. ;)

Satinavian
2015-10-20, 10:14 AM
It seems telling that even though this isn't strictly under D&D, non-D&D games are barely mentioned. Probably due to spell components being a bad joke, they were barely copied to other games. From what I read, way back in the day Chivalry and Sorcery? had extremely complicated spell casting rules which almost certainly required the sorcerer to find obscure ingredients.Most other games that have spell components only use them for the role that is filled by expensive spell components in D&D.

Joe the Rat
2015-10-20, 11:19 AM
OP: 3.x? it sounds like a 3.x issue.

Define "Big Time Spell." What is it you are trying to limit? Fireballs? Mass Hypnosis? Animate Dead? Overland Flight? Are they spells that already have Big Ticket Components? Do they have components? because some big spells don't have material components, and are as such unlimited.


Are you tracking ammo and rations? There may be less impact, but equal effort on tracking these things. It makes the casters less singled out, and makes clear you are playing the resource game. And make sure hunting/foraging/finding water sources to refill those waterskins every day is touched upon. Which also applies to spellcasters, as some classic components (the ones that aren't $1000 of coc diamond dust) could be recovered through a bit of foraging. All wizards need tweezers, snips, a rock hammer, and a butterfly net.


On enforcement:
From my experience pre 3rd, when it was tracked, it was abstracted. You effectively had a stick of component-butter, and lopped of a number of teaspoons equal to spell level. Once you used up your butter, you needed to restock to cast those M spells. High dollar components may have worked differently, but when we played that high, we didn't track it.

3.x:Component pouches and holy symbols. No material on hand, no F/DF/M spells for you (barring Eschew Materials).

5e: Components are reusable unless otherwise stated, if it's got a price tag you need to have that specific component. Not really helpful for your the question here, but I bring it up because I'm in a game where we started with nothing on hand, and had to scrounge or work around our M spells until we could recover our stuff. After that, we've been quite aware of our required components... just in case. We're also tracking rations, as it's a survival situation - but thanks to ridiculously good rolls, typically arrive at a destination with more food than we started with.

Seward
2015-10-20, 11:37 AM
Enforced primarily in the following:

expensive material components or foci

prison or capture scenarios

sometimes disguise scenarios (why does that barbarian have a spell component pouch?)

very rarely you'll see something like sundering spell component pouch and/or divine focus to limit the options of the enemy spellcaster (protip - more useful on clerics, druids and wizards than on spontanteous casters, who will hammer you with their best VS spell until you die)

PC's would often have multiple spell component pouches and/or divine foci. NPCs usually don't.

All of these observations from AD&D through Pathfinder (3.75 so to speak). I don't remember if 4th edition had material components and I've never played 5th ed.

In most other systems with magic and components (eg Dresden Files, Ars Magica) they are primarily for rituals, or for shortcut-aids to casting where you can still try without the props, but it's harder or riskier.

Pex
2015-10-20, 12:39 PM
Only for spells with intrinsic value components just to mark off the gp cost.

There was also that one time in 2E long ago when a DM had an irate hate on the spell Color Spray and conveniently arranged for me to lose my colored sand due to a tear in my spell component pouch from an arrow where as losing a particular spell component never happened before or since.

Talion
2015-10-20, 12:47 PM
My group is serious about Foci. But so long as we have a pouch we're generally good unless the component is particularly expensive. In some games we will go through with micromanaging things, which can get very interesting when you run out of material for fireballs, but we'll usually keep things loose and simple in this regard. How we micromanage the rest of the system on the other hand...

That being said, most of us are paranoid to the point of keeping a spare pouch around in case it gets lost/stolen/destroyed. The same goes for our spellbooks, though I personally prefer to memorize spells permanently however I can, even if it means losing out on a bit of functionality. It doesn't generally happen, but we prefer to nip things like that in the bud as much as we can.

Jormengand
2015-10-20, 03:35 PM
No. I guess it's just as well that sorcerers get EM as a bonus feat in Pathfinder and that the feat just sits around being generally existent in 3.5, so that players can get around them in those rare and terrible circumstances when a DM actually does take notice of what are, essentially, a set of little jokes made by the game designers.

Drynwyn
2015-10-20, 03:46 PM
Eschew Materials does abruptly becomes a hell of a lot better in 3.5 and Pathfinder if you are in a setting/campaign type where it is wise not to look like a wizard- either because magic is restricted or illegal, or because you don't want anyone to have advance warning that you can throw fireballs. (For example, Dark Sun, or an intrigue and infiltration heavy game.)

Also, note that unless your spell component pouch is magic, an enemy can, by RAW, shatter it with ease.

Keltest
2015-10-20, 03:49 PM
In general, the games ive played only have it a factor when the components are rare like with Resurrection and the diamonds, or when you would be in a situation where you would be deprived of all your gear, including your clothes and component pouch.

Darth Ultron
2015-10-21, 03:21 AM
"Done right" either requires players that do not know how to work around the restrictions, or a system that isn't D&D 3.5.

You just have ''restrictions'' that can not be worked around. A lot like all the rest of the game rules. Unless your talking about some variant game where everyone just ''works around'' everything and freeforms.


I strongly disagree with your statement that most complaints are not logical. If your players are complaining, it's probably because something isn't fun for them, not because they're entitled whiners. Having fun is the whole point of D&D- therefore, if something isn't fun for your players, they have every right to take issue with it.

Complants are mostly not logical, with only a handfull being logical. Just take a player that says ''keeping track of spell components is too hard''. That same player has a Thrallherd character with leadership and a whole army of characters...but, that is not ''too hard'' to keep track of...amazingly.




I'm not saying that material components being hard to find is inherently bad- it's just that if they are rigorously enforced, their availability should be consistent and clear to players. Otherwise, spellcasting players could well be very, very frustrated and not have fun, because they feel like they have to obtain the GM's tacit approval before using any of their class features.


You really only get this type of reaction from the players that think D&D is a game they are playing against the DM. And sure if your the type of player that wants to ''beat the DM'' as your idea of fun, then you won't like things that don't let you do that.


So, how do you suggest we do it right?

Well, every game is different and it does depend what you think is right. I want to limit spellcasters from endlessly spaming whatever spells they like endlessly during a game and limit their overwheming power. So that is my goal. And material components work great for this goal.

So first off each material component has specifics, you can't just grab a feather, it needs to be ''a feather from a live bird taken in the shade of a tree''. The lower level spells have simple ones, higher level ones are more complex. Lower level spells change daily, high level ones weekly.

Jormengand
2015-10-21, 07:37 AM
So first off each material component has specifics, you can't just grab a feather, it needs to be ''a feather from a live bird taken in the shade of a tree''. The lower level spells have simple ones, higher level ones are more complex. Lower level spells change daily, high level ones weekly.

News flash: most people play D&D for epic fantasy adventures, not to kidnap birds, put them in cages under trees, and steal their feathers regularly just so they can cast spells. Tracking half a dozen thralls is far, far easier than tracking all your materials, where they came from, the circumstances under which they were collected, and how many you have anyway.

Anonymouswizard
2015-10-21, 08:24 AM
News flash: most people play D&D for epic fantasy adventures, not to kidnap birds, put them in cages under trees, and steal their feathers regularly just so they can cast spells. Tracking half a dozen thralls is far, far easier than tracking all your materials, where they came from, the circumstances under which they were collected, and how many you have anyway.

Don't forget all your thralls' materials.

Segev
2015-10-21, 08:34 AM
If you want to inject a concern about material components specifically as a pressure to "get back to civilization" periodically, I suggest doing it in the following fashion:

Assume that, for the most part, the reason the spell component pouch never runs dry is that casters, as part of their class training, know what to look for and how to scrounge it up under most circumstances, and maintain a higher regular supply of things that are a little harder to come by "normally." (e.g. if they're in a cave, they gather more bat guano than they might need in the short term specifically because they aren't always in caves; they may also cast from the environment rather than their pouch in such circumstances.)

When you wish to create some pressure, pay close attention to the environment through which they're travelling, and to what spells they're casting heavily. Examine the material components for those. If you think one component would be hard to find, inform them, as they prepare spells the next morning, that they notice they haven't been finding bitumen lately, and their supply is running low. They estimate they have approximately a Spellcraft check result's casting's left.

This will typically be a lot, but even knowing you "only" have (say) 26 castings left will put pressure on a PC. Don't over-use this; it will get annoying.



The other way to do it - iff you and your group enjoy this level of bookkeeping - is to tell them that their spell component pouch holds N spells' worth of material components, and that they must determine which spells they store components for in them. (I'd suggest something in the order of 50, so that most casters won't need more than one spell component pouch just to burn all their daily spells.) They then track components like ammo. Assign Spellcraft DCs to components in order to be able to find more in the environment, and make them available for a nominal fee (at most the cost of a new pouch, which would be considered fully stocked) in towns that have any "adventurer supplies" at all.

This is a direct nerf, however, and any of these measures will likely cause the players to value Eschew Materials enough to seek it out.

I think a more interesting and valuable method would be to allow for particularly exotic and rare components to apply "extra" effects to spells that use them. Black Lore of Moil creates a need for expensive components to do extra damage with necromancy spells. The optional "metamagic components" rules provide for ways to use more expensive (i.e. rare) components than the usual to apply metamagic effects.

Perhaps sulfur mined from Baator maximizes fireballs it's used on. Maybe the endangered spruce-fir moss spider yields an Extended spider climb when used as a component in that spell. Fur from a half-blue dragon might yield an Enlarged lightning bolt. These rarer components would have market values greater than 1 gp, thus rendering them too expensive for "free" access from either a spell component pouch or Eschew Materials.

GloatingSwine
2015-10-21, 08:44 AM
Whelp, that would explain why it's never brought up. It strikes me as incredibly stupid though. I'm not sure how anyone can reach down into a belt pouch and snatch out, specifically, a ball of sulfur/dung in among a dense clutter of rose petals, whole crickets, gem shards, loose needles, and seven varieties of dust as a free action.

The wizard is secretly decked out like a Rob Liefeld character under his robes. That's how he gets it right, one pouch per spell.

Keltest
2015-10-21, 09:04 AM
The wizard is secretly decked out like a Rob Liefeld character under his robes. That's how he gets it right, one pouch per spell.

Pretty much. It isn't so much a component pouch as a component bandolier.

Psyren
2015-10-21, 10:43 AM
For the "multipouch" folks, I think a drawback here would be a decent compromise. Say you can only have one pouch on your person, and you have to go to storage (e.g. your haversack) to get the backup, which takes an action of some kind. Now things like sundering or stealing pouches have more meaning but the group isn't forced to play Spreadsheets and Dragons to track all the cheap components.

I think this drawback is big enough to matter (Eschew Materials becomes more attractive without seeming mandatory) but small enough to be a meaningful choice (once I have a haversack and can pull the next pouch as a move action and continue casting without missing a beat, I might decide that Eschew Materials isn't worthwhile - plus an enemy can interfere with my haversack or backpack or what have you as well, creating counterplay.)

DoomHat
2015-10-21, 11:21 AM
To all those who bring up that fact that this proposal would be a direct nerf, putting a strain on casters that no other class type would have to tolerate; that is precisely the point of this thought exorcise. Casters posses capacities far, far, in excess of what non-casters are capable of, frequently at virtually no cost.

It goes without saying that Eschew Materials would be banned outright.

Morbis Meh
2015-10-21, 12:23 PM
To all those who bring up that fact that this proposal would be a direct nerf, putting a strain on casters that no other class type would have to tolerate; that is precisely the point of this thought exorcise. Casters posses capacities far, far, in excess of what non-casters are capable of, frequently at virtually no cost.

It goes without saying that Eschew Materials would be banned outright.

See the main problem with your argument that you keep failing to understand is that you are not directly curbing the power of the wizard, the spells that are a problem are still there and will still have the same effect. All you are doing is making a class a lot more tedious to play which will just make people not want to play it because it is far more of a hassle to play it and will cause the party IC to have to go on random scavenger hunts or constant breaks so the player playing a wizard can actively contribute in the game. Making them conserve resources is fine, they have to do that with their spell slots on a daily basis, complaining they cast the same spell several times over the course of multiple days is nothing short of silly because that is what they can do, it's what the class is designed for since they have limit spells known.

So effectively this 'nerf' is far too polar either the wizard is as strong as they were before the nerf or effectively a civilian because they are unable to do anything, in other words bad game design. You need to find a way to scale back the power the wizard has rather than limit their access to said power otherwise the player will just get bored from the tedium.

Keltest
2015-10-21, 12:24 PM
See the main problem with your argument that you keep failing to understand is that you are not directly curbing the power of the wizard, the spells that are a problem are still there and will still have the same effect. All you are doing is making a class a lot more tedious to play which will just make people not want to play it because it is far more of a hassle to play it and will cause the party IC to have to go on random scavenger hunts or constant breaks so the player playing a wizard can actively contribute in the game. Making them conserve resources is fine, they have to do that with their spell slots on a daily basis, complaining they cast the same spell several times over the course of multiple days is nothing short of silly because that is what they can do, it's what the class is designed for since they have limit spells known.

So effectively this 'nerf' is far too polar either the wizard is as strong as they were before the nerf or effectively a civilian because they are unable to do anything, in other words bad game design. You need to find a way to scale back the power the wizard has rather than limit their access to said power otherwise the player will just get bored from the tedium.

Isnt there a guy around here somewhere with a sig that basically says "Making powerful abilities tedious to use does not make them any less powerful"?

DoomHat
2015-10-21, 12:28 PM
Something I think a lot of people are missing is that I don't propose this be applied to ALL spells, only the significantly game warping ones. A caster can still use a lot of abilities without the need for components, so they won't be helpless without them.

The point is to make the big flashy super spells feel more special and rare.

Arbane
2015-10-21, 01:12 PM
Isnt there a guy around here somewhere with a sig that basically says "Making powerful abilities tedious to use does not make them any less powerful"?

Grod the Giant, yep.

Also, remember there's a fair number of spells that don't require material components at all. Expect those to become more popular under these circumstances.

Segev
2015-10-21, 01:23 PM
Ultimately, if you're planning to do this for "balance" reasons, don't.

It won't work. It's attacking the wrong thing, and doing it weakly at best. All it will do is be mildly irksome. Casters will play around it, and do so quite effectively. Even if it means those material-component spells just get cast ahead of time, or put in items. It really, really won't slow the caster down; it will only make it more annoying for everybody at the table.

Hawkstar
2015-10-21, 01:45 PM
Isnt there a guy around here somewhere with a sig that basically says "Making powerful abilities tedious to use does not make them any less powerful"?If the tedium to use does reduce the amount of time the power can be used, it does make it less powerful.

Power is work over time. Some abilities are able to do more work in less time (Powerful abilities). Ultimately, though the work done is the main factor - particularly, the amount of work done over a course of time. I can demonstrate with blasting: A wizard who has the power to deal 10d6 damage in one round has a power of 10d6/round, compared to a fighter with 6d6 damage/round (2d6+3 x2. He's a pretty bad fighter, but whatever.). But if the wizard can only use his power twice in a battle, he deals 20d6 over however many rounds the battle takes, say... 5 total. His actual power is 4d6/round, though his spell is 10d6/round. Power of 10d6/round is pretty extreme, but the actual 4d6/round is much more manageable, even though it's in a single burst. Likewise, if a power is made tedious enough that is use is moderated, its power over the course of the campaign is dramatically reduced.

There is a middle ground between "All 9th-level spells are Gate/Shapechange/TruePolymorph/Wish" and "Gate/Shapechange/TruePolymorph/Wish are Banned", and it doesn't have to be "Gate/Shapechange/TruePolymorph/Wish hits your WBL".
Grod the Giant, yep.

Also, remember there's a fair number of spells that don't require material components at all. Expect those to become more popular under these circumstances.If the componentless spells offer less bang for the spell slot, that may be the point.

Segev
2015-10-21, 01:54 PM
There is a middle ground between "All 9th-level spells are Gate/Shapechange/TruePolymorph/Wish" and "Gate/Shapechange/TruePolymorph/Wish are Banned", and it doesn't have to be "Gate/Shapechange/TruePolymorph/Wish hits your WBL".If the componentless spells offer less bang for the spell slot, that may be the point.

Of course there is. But that doesn't mean that any given solution will achieve that middle ground.

For one thing, of those, only Shapechange even has a Focus, let along a material component. For another, even if you introduced a material component and required an extra full round action to retrieve it before one of those spells could be cast, it just means that Wish is cast when not under pressure, Gate is cast during downtime, and Shapechange is cast in the morning after breakfast and periodically again to refresh it as needed. All at times when that one round won't make a difference.

If you want to try to create a more game-pacing related metric, instead you should figure out how many encounters you expect PCs to have between levels, divide that by 4, and then multiply the spells per day by that number. That's how many spells the caster can cast, period, until he levels up again. Now he has a truly finite number of castings, but it should be "enough" to get through the level.

If you want more story-centric limits, then really D&D's casting mechanics aren't going to be helpful to you. You can do it, but a simple restriction to material components won't achieve it. It takes more than that.

Deophaun
2015-10-21, 02:13 PM
You just have ''restrictions'' that can not be worked around.
I laughed at that. I really did.


To all those who bring up that fact that this proposal would be a direct nerf, putting a strain on casters that no other class type would have to tolerate; that is precisely the point of this thought exorcise.
No. You are putting constraints on the warmage, the dread necromancer, the beguiler, and the bard, and leaving CoDzillas alone. And since the restrictions hit the Tier 3 casters as hard as they do the single Tier 1 caster you do hit, you're telling the Tier 3s to play wizards (or clerics) instead. That means your proposal is terrible.

Hawkstar
2015-10-21, 02:13 PM
If you want to try to create a more game-pacing related metric, instead you should figure out how many encounters you expect PCs to have between levels, divide that by 4, and then multiply the spells per day by that number. That's how many spells the caster can cast, period, until he levels up again. Now he has a truly finite number of castings, but it should be "enough" to get through the level.
But it does nothing to alleviate wanting to cast, say, Fireball over Haste. In fact, it does just the opposite - by limiting spell slots to all use a single resource, then constraining it in such a manner, you encourage characters to always go for the most powerful spell within that level.

Segev
2015-10-21, 02:16 PM
But it does nothing to alleviate wanting to cast, say, Fireball over Haste. In fact, it does just the opposite - by limiting spell slots to all use a single resource, then constraining it in such a manner, you encourage characters to always go for the most powerful spell within that level.

Er... I fail to see how this is any different than "you have 5 3rd level spells today; are you preparing Fireball or Haste?"

You still "encourage" the same "best spells" as before.

DoomHat
2015-10-21, 02:21 PM
Again, reminder, only top tier spells are intended to be taxed.

Segev
2015-10-21, 02:31 PM
Again, reminder, only top tier spells are intended to be taxed.

Irrelevant. The tax proposed won't hinder them as desired.

Hawkstar
2015-10-21, 02:35 PM
Er... I fail to see how this is any different than "you have 5 3rd level spells today; are you preparing Fireball or Haste?"

You still "encourage" the same "best spells" as before.Not if the 'best' spells of each level have an additional cost. Do you think all 3rd-level spells are equal in power, or something?

Zale
2015-10-21, 04:22 PM
I think a more interesting and valuable method would be to allow for particularly exotic and rare components to apply "extra" effects to spells that use them. Black Lore of Moil creates a need for expensive components to do extra damage with necromancy spells. The optional "metamagic components" rules provide for ways to use more expensive (i.e. rare) components than the usual to apply metamagic effects.

Perhaps sulfur mined from Baator maximizes fireballs it's used on. Maybe the endangered spruce-fir moss spider yields an Extended spider climb when used as a component in that spell. Fur from a half-blue dragon might yield an Enlarged lightning bolt. These rarer components would have market values greater than 1 gp, thus rendering them too expensive for "free" access from either a spell component pouch or Eschew Materials.

There was a variant that added meta-magic material components (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/metamagicComponents.htm).


If the tedium to use does reduce the amount of time the power can be used, it does make it less powerful.

Power is work over time. Some abilities are able to do more work in less time (Powerful abilities). Ultimately, though the work done is the main factor - particularly, the amount of work done over a course of time. I can demonstrate with blasting: A wizard who has the power to deal 10d6 damage in one round has a power of 10d6/round, compared to a fighter with 6d6 damage/round (2d6+3 x2. He's a pretty bad fighter, but whatever.). But if the wizard can only use his power twice in a battle, he deals 20d6 over however many rounds the battle takes, say... 5 total. His actual power is 4d6/round, though his spell is 10d6/round. Power of 10d6/round is pretty extreme, but the actual 4d6/round is much more manageable, even though it's in a single burst. Likewise, if a power is made tedious enough that is use is moderated, its power over the course of the campaign is dramatically reduced.

There is a middle ground between "All 9th-level spells are Gate/Shapechange/TruePolymorph/Wish" and "Gate/Shapechange/TruePolymorph/Wish are Banned", and it doesn't have to be "Gate/Shapechange/TruePolymorph/Wish hits your WBL".If the componentless spells offer less bang for the spell slot, that may be the point.

Let's say you're playing a video game; there's this sword- the sword takes a tedious side quest to get a hold of, but once you get it the game becomes a joke- You just glide through it on the monster-crushing power of the sword.

Making that sword harder to get doesn't make the sword less powerful, it just makes it a less desirable option. And those aren't the same thing, because if someone really wants to, they can still turn the game into a joke, it's just more annoying for them to do so.

A better approach might be to make the sword very useful, but not game-breaking, rather than making the sword really, really tedious to acquire- I mean imagine an MMO with a game-breaking awful weapon like that. Someone would get the darn thing; then they'd outstrip everyone else by miles.

And wouldn't it suck to be everyone left in the dust?

Telok
2015-10-21, 04:32 PM
The systems where material components seem to work best is the point buy systems. These systems quantify the power of a spell and impose a cost for that. Material components, extended casting times, and easy disruption of the casting are all modifiers that reduce the cost of the spell on the character by placing an in-play cost on the actions of the character.

The earlier versions of D&D used that same idea of balancing the power of a spell with a cost and simply used the spell's level as the final price of the spell. The 3rd and later editions have all continually reduced the costs, difficulty, and danger of casting spells without actually reducing the effects of spells. The cost of spellcasting is disassociated with the power of spellcasting now, which is why everyone whines about caster/martial balance in D&D.

Attempts to return spellcasting to something like it's earlier form are derided as being too difficult or too annoying because they involve more thought than declaring an effect and marking off a daily slot. Efforts to balance the spells themselves to the correct spell levels fail due to the sheer number of published spells and the lack of any unifying mechanic or cost/benefit equation in the system.

There are essentially a few solutions to this.
1) Accept that tracking numbers of arrows and rations is too much work for some people and any form of component tracking will be unacceptable.
2) Get your group to buy into AD&D style spellcasting and never tell anyone (see #1 above).
3) Write, publish, and distribute several books of balanced spells, then try to get people to use them.
4) Throw out the system and try something different, casting (Spheres of Power) or game (Gurps, Hero, etc.) doesn't matter.
5) Live with the current state of things and don't play non-casters after a certain level.

Alent
2015-10-21, 05:15 PM
My group has discussed this a few times, and we always keep coming back to the rules for material components being more incomplete than a highschool student's last minute homework.

How are we supposed to enforce carrying weights when we don't know quantity or mass, just the GP value? Some of these "rare materials" used to balance things are extremely common and can be farmed in larger quantities than your spells per day can consume. Some of these things can be crafted for free. Some of these things require refrigeration but can be kept in a spell component pouch indefinitely. Worse yet, most spells don't actually have material spell components, that was sort of a thing that got forgot halfway through the CRB and the splatbooks rarely bothered.

It's especially noticeable if you enforce it and a player declares war on catgirls by bringing science in:

"I buy 10 pounds of Graphite Dust and cast fabricate to make Diamond dust from the carbon. How much gold worth of Diamond dust do I get?"
"I don't know, the rules don't actually say how much diamond dust you get for 1000 gold."

In this same vein, the Giant already made a joke about the poor apprentice who haggled herself out of being able to cast a spell (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0677.html).

Basically, the system falls apart if you look at it. It can be fixed, but that's a ton of time spent for very little gain.

Darth Ultron
2015-10-21, 08:05 PM
Isnt there a guy around here somewhere with a sig that basically says "Making powerful abilities tedious to use does not make them any less powerful"?

Well, an ability that is powerful, is still powerful even if it is tedious to use....that is a given. But making the ability ''tedious'' is not meant to make the ability less powerful....it makes the class with that ability less powerful. So a character still has the powerful ability to do 100d100 damage and ruin the game for everyone else....but they can't use it at will.

goto124
2015-10-21, 08:26 PM
1) Accept that tracking numbers of arrows and rations is too much work for some people and any form of component tracking will be unacceptable.
2) Get your group to buy into AD&D style spellcasting and never tell anyone (see #1 above).
3) Write, publish, and distribute several books of balanced spells, then try to get people to use them.
4) Throw out the system and try something different, casting (Spheres of Power) or game (Gurps, Hero, etc.) doesn't matter.
5) Live with the current state of things and don't play non-casters after a certain level.

6) Live with the current state of things and play nothing but casters so that there are no mundanes to feel left out :smalltongue:

Is there no method of using an adjusted version of the DnD system that solves a good part of the problem?

... what was our problem again?

Jormengand
2015-10-21, 08:36 PM
Well, an ability that is powerful, is still powerful even if it is tedious to use....that is a given. But making the ability ''tedious'' is not meant to make the ability less powerful....it makes the class with that ability less powerful. So a character still has the powerful ability to do 100d100 damage and ruin the game for everyone else....but they can't use it at will.

Right, but there is a difference between "This is restricted in how often you can do it" and "This has an annoying and arbitrary restriction which is only going to annoy all those involved, user or otherwise."

Solaris
2015-10-21, 08:57 PM
Well, an ability that is powerful, is still powerful even if it is tedious to use....that is a given. But making the ability ''tedious'' is not meant to make the ability less powerful....it makes the class with that ability less powerful. So a character still has the powerful ability to do 100d100 damage and ruin the game for everyone else....but they can't use it at will.

It doesn't really make that class less powerful, it just wastes more play time while the player goes through the tedium of using his class features.

Keltest
2015-10-21, 09:12 PM
It doesn't really make that class less powerful, it just wastes more play time while the player goes through the tedium of using his class features.

Exactly. A spell that kills a city's population of people is still going to kill that city's population of people even if the person casting it has to say "I spend two weeks making sure I have the requisite bat poop for this spell, now let me cast it already!"

oxybe
2015-10-21, 09:49 PM
Well, an ability that is powerful, is still powerful even if it is tedious to use....that is a given. But making the ability ''tedious'' is not meant to make the ability less powerful....it makes the class with that ability less powerful. So a character still has the powerful ability to do 100d100 damage and ruin the game for everyone else....but they can't use it at will.

Now, i'll start talking in hyperbole in a moment, but try to understand what people are saying.

Let's say the player has an ability called "I win". this allows the player to, regardless of situation, succeed in having it turn overwhelmingly in his favor, effectively letting him win at whatever is going on.

The specifics of the situation, from damage dealing to social don't really matter. just that the player has the ability to radically change the course of an event so he can go "I win".

Now, high level 3rd ed play can easily fall to a mix of several characters yelling "I win" at once and the game turning into a match of "nuh-uh" and "uh-huh".

putting restrictions on the use of "I win" doesn't change the end effect though, that if available the player can still go "I win" and change the situation so that it favors him: he just needs to find a way to prepare for it in advance and trust me, players will find ways to engineer this preparation.

Making it a hassle doesn't stop the fact that once they're done with the hassle part, they win.

DoomHat
2015-10-22, 10:43 AM
It does however vastly cut down on the number of times it's possible or feasible to shout "I win!".
If materials are sufficiently controlled, the opportunity to yell "I win!" might at least feel special and earned rather then an inherent right, blown through for the fourth time in a given in-game day.

One thing I know I'm pretty set on at this point, spells like Wish, Gate, and Resurrection, can't just be bought, they should need fuel that can only be quested for.

Jormengand
2015-10-22, 10:57 AM
One thing I know I'm pretty set on at this point, spells like Wish, Gate, and Resurrection, can't just be bought, they should need fuel that can only be quested for.

Then they should not be player character abilities in the first instance.

DoomHat
2015-10-22, 11:20 AM
Then they should not be player character abilities in the first instance.

I'm in favor of players having long term proactive ambitions. Having Wish as an option technically available to players lends itself easily to inspiring building an entire campaign (or at least a major quest) around getting the chance to actually use it.

Duke of URRL
2015-10-22, 04:20 PM
Making it a hassle doesn't stop the fact that once they're done with the hassle part, they win.

But what about the hassle that stops the win? That is something. If by default a player can ''I win'' all day and night, and the hassle cuts that down to once or twice a day, that is a huge impact.

oxybe
2015-10-22, 04:30 PM
It does however vastly cut down on the number of times it's possible or feasible to shout "I win!".
If materials are sufficiently controlled, the opportunity to yell "I win!" might at least feel special and earned rather then an inherent right, blown through for the fourth time in a given in-game day.

One thing I know I'm pretty set on at this point, spells like Wish, Gate, and Resurrection, can't just be bought, they should need fuel that can only be quested for.

the thing with this "sufficiently controlled" mentality is you're turning it from a player ability to a GM Ex Machina, IE: Here, I present you a win button, and I will only unlock it's use when I deem it ok.

at that point, why even have it available as a player option? player options are meant to be used and expected to be used to solve problems on that scope. If you're going to put enough limits on them to make them generally unusable, don't allow the option, period.

The main problem I see is that GMs aren't adjusting the scope of the game to match player abilities, or trying to artificially constrain the game to a scope. At the levels where Wish is a thing, 5 goblins and a few orcs should not even be a blip on your radar. An ogre warband should be something you deal with with a wave of your hand, like swatting an annoying mosquito before breakfast. You should be engaging in situations that require warping reality, not situations that are trivialized by it.

It's simply raising the scope of power. In 3rd ed if your monsters aren't equipped to handle flying enemies by the time the PCs reach level 5-6, you're going to have a hard time. by level 9-11, you're hitting teleportation, extreme duration flight and crippling debuffs... if your adventures aren't tuned to those abilities you will find them getting solved very easily.

level 15-17 is where we get the really crazy "No reality, you can't have another Fudgesicle. Go play with legos in the living room while the casters talk adult stuff." and you need to adjust your expectations on the adventures possible as a result.

otherwise, either be VERY forward with the expectation that those spells aren't going to be featured or just end the campaign before it reaches that level.

the "i'm going to tighten the chain so much it hurts" is not conductive to good play IME. it's frustrating on the player side and feels extremely forced, plus as a GM it's annoying to simply have to create a bunch of artificial hoops the players must jump through. I'll very much admit that it's the reason I burnt out running 3rd ed past level 13-15: making adventures in that scope took too much from me, so I wrapped up the campaign and let someone else run. I would much rather wrap up a campaign then start putting constraints on the players.

oxybe
2015-10-22, 04:41 PM
But what about the hassle that stops the win? That is something. If by default a player can ''I win'' all day and night, and the hassle cuts that down to once or twice a day, that is a huge impact.

not really. all you're doing is whittling at the players' options with fake encounters, those meant simply to waste resources, until they're out of win buttons, at which point you're throwing the "real" ones at them.

Fact of the matter is, I've played very few campaigns where we needed more then one or two win buttons in a day's time.

Think of it this way: a fighter can swing his sword all day long, much longer then what a traditional 3.5 wizard can cast spells. but the fighter isn't required to swing all day long even though he can. only a few times a day is his ability to do so actually required (combat).

the more reality warping powers, wish and the like, are akin to the "LAUNCH THE MISSLE" button. You don't push it every encounter... you have smaller ones to handle your everyday occurrences, but when a big issue happens, the "i win" button gets brought out and trivializes it. You already can only cast few high level spells, 2-3 of your highest level ones when you first get them. you use your spells of the lower 2 levels usually before you unleash the big ones.

Again: you're not solving any problem other then simply artificially wasting or restricting player resources. either remove them entirely and make it clear or end the campaign before it becomes an issue if you can't handle the scope of them.

TheIronGolem
2015-10-22, 05:03 PM
But what about the hassle that stops the win? That is something. If by default a player can ''I win'' all day and night, and the hassle cuts that down to once or twice a day, that is a huge impact.

It seems like a huge impact at first, but it isn't. "I win" abilities get called such because they break the game somehow. A game that gets broken "only" once or twice a day is still broken, regardless of how much tedious busywork was done to enable that breakage. If someone is throwing bricks through your window and you respond by taking away most of their bricks, you're still going to have a drafty house.

But even if we ignore that and assume that game-breakers are okay if saddled with a frequency constraint, the "count your bat poops" approach ignores the fact that there are already perfectly good constraints built into the system that can be tweaked. If Spell X is breaking your game but you don't want to remove it entirely, you can increase its level, make it take up one or more additional spell slots, or stipulate that it can only be prepared Y times. For point systems, you can increase the spell's point cost, or maybe reduce players' overall points. Any of those solutions will get you the same effect (Spell X is usable less often) while adding little or no extra busywork.

Hawkstar
2015-10-22, 08:50 PM
It doesn't really make that class less powerful, it just wastes more play time while the player goes through the tedium of using his class features.By wasting more play time, it increases the amount of time it takes to do the work of the spell. Therefore, the spell is made less powerful. A party that plows through six encounters in a day or session is more powerful than one that dithers about and only gets through four.

Keltest
2015-10-22, 08:59 PM
By wasting more play time, it increases the amount of time it takes to do the work of the spell. Therefore, the spell is made less powerful. A party that plows through six encounters in a day or session is more powerful than one that dithers about and only gets through four.

not really. Otherwise the party that spends all session beating up, say, a god, is less powerful than the party that wipes out half a dozen goblin camps. Out of character time spent doing a task is an absolutely terrible metric of power.

Hawkstar
2015-10-22, 09:01 PM
not really. Otherwise the party that spends all session beating up, say, a god, is less powerful than the party that wipes out half a dozen goblin camps. Out of character time spent doing a task is an absolutely terrible metric of power.

Beating up a God is more work than wiping out goblin camps. But beating up one god is less powerful than beating up three gods of equal power in the same timespan.

It's not the power that you're having a problem with - it's the work.

oxybe
2015-10-22, 09:13 PM
The upper limit of the power hasn't changed though, all it means is they're going through less encounters by way of making things a hassle. The actual power of the characters hasn't changed. You haven't changed the scope of what the characters can actually handle, you just changed the number of times they do it.

the practical difference between having 3 rockets instead of 6 in your rocket launcher is minuscule. you can still only launch one rocket at a time, each rocket still deals rocket-levels of damage.

you're only mitigating the number of times they can launch the rocket, but every time it's launched you still have to deal with the repercussions of that rocket hitting.

Coidzor
2015-10-22, 09:20 PM
Yes. Never cast the Identify spell in D&D 3e without Pearls to burn. Except for when we had Cloistered Clerics who got Identify without the spell component.

As for the more fiddly ones that don't have costs listed, that's what spell component pouches and arcane foci are for. Except for games where they aren't for that.

Zale
2015-10-22, 10:27 PM
It does however vastly cut down on the number of times it's possible or feasible to shout "I win!".
If materials are sufficiently controlled, the opportunity to yell "I win!" might at least feel special and earned rather then an inherent right, blown through for the fourth time in a given in-game day.

One thing I know I'm pretty set on at this point, spells like Wish, Gate, and Resurrection, can't just be bought, they should need fuel that can only be quested for.

Like, I don't care for this sort of restriction, because I don't feel like it's going to do the job, however.

If you really wanted to, the best way I can think of is as followed:

Tag the spells with a new descriptor: Quest.

A spell with Quest requires a powerful magic reagent to use, like the heart of a dragon or the freely given horn of a unicorn. Without the reagent, which is consumed by the casting, the spell may not be used or emulated in any way. No items may be constructed which give free use of a spell with Quest, nor may a spell capable of copying or emulating other spells do so without replicating the cost.

Keep in mind that there is no specific reagent needed, nor are they given specific costs. Players should be able to freely proffer alternatives, like powerful magic items or the like. If the rarity and value of the item fits, let them use it.

However, the DM should keep in mind that spells are made to be used; if you feel uncomfortable with the power of the spell, you should remove or alter the spell, not simply make it a Quest spell. You should allow the spellcaster to use their Quest spells at least some of the time- at least once every few sessions, because otherwise it might not as well be on their spell lists.

I'd personally rather remove or change the spells themselves, but hey, if you don't want to, here's a solution I, as a player, wouldn't feel utterly cheated or annoyed by.

Sir Chuckles
2015-10-22, 10:58 PM
By wasting more play time, it increases the amount of time it takes to do the work of the spell. Therefore, the spell is made less powerful. A party that plows through six encounters in a day or session is more powerful than one that dithers about and only gets through four.

Hmmm...no.
You're not weakening the party, you're making your players have less play time because Steve needs to spend 10 minutes every turn figuring out if you're going to let him use his class abilities. Thus, it is less fun and less productive for everyone involved, except perhaps the DM who implemented the rule. Defeating less enemies is not the result of the party being weaker, it's the result of you playing the game less.

Has anyone wholly stated Grod's Law (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=17613518&postcount=102)? I hate to be the guy who invokes laws/fallacies, but this same conversation is what caused the creation of Grod's Law.

Deophaun
2015-10-22, 11:28 PM
Here is the only time that I have ever instituted controlling something through Material Spell Components. It was successful, but the example is instructive for why this is a bad thing generally:

In 4e, I wanted to re-introduce wish, or something like it. Its power was going to be greater; this wasn't a spell that you ever cast to replicate another spell. No, this was something that you used to rewrite history and declare yourself emperor of the world, ascend to immortality, or discover where your missing sock disappeared to. I reintroduced it as a ritual: anyone with the ritual casting feat could cast it, even the BSF!

How I controlled it was casting it required a special constructed tower located on a powerful magic ley line, and it was essentially four rituals, each one tied to one of the four seasons, and they had rather dramatic side effects (blood snow, vermin swarms, celestial bells ringing throughout the land, that kind of thing). So, this spell was neither subtle to cast, nor quick, and its effects threatened anyone and everyone with something to lose. Basically, trying to cast this spell was a clear declaration of war on every powerful entity close enough to care and it gave them around a year to respond.

This is what the campaign was about, and I figured at the very least it was a nice climax for the Paragon levels and could set up the Epic Destinies well.

They could figure out the ritual easy enough; it was one of the first things they did. The Wizard added it to his ritual book, eager to learn how to cast--"oh hell guys, we aren't going to be able to pull this off, and if this guy completes it, we're all screwed." At the end, I intended to give the PCs the wish as a reward on top of their normal loot. But, it didn't turn out that way and they wound up blowing up the tower instead. Afterwards, "let's cast wish" never came up as a possible solution to their problems, even though the instructions sat happily in the party's inventory for the rest of the campaign.

Why did this work? Because this wish was never intended to be a class feature, and because this was 4e, so there were no game-breaking abilities for players to navigate around these restrictions. No one came into this game planning to cast wish. It was firmly a DM toy.

And that's what you do when you successfully control magic through material components: you transform them into DM toys, not Player toys. Considering how many toys the DM has already, it's a bit crass to be coveting the toys of others.

goto124
2015-10-23, 02:59 AM
That kind of Wish isn't a spell in the traditional sense.

It's a quest reward. It takes an entire campaign's worth of time (IC and OOC) to cast it, if you even make it all the way there.

Telok
2015-10-23, 05:05 AM
That kind of Wish isn't a spell in the traditional sense...


This spell fulfills any wish of the caster. It can remove damage, restore the dead to life, or teleport the caster and the party to some other place, without causing the caster any issues. Wishes come true literally, according to the wording of the wish. All wishes age the caster 5 years. Stronger wishes impose a -3 penalty on Strength on the caster and require 2d4 days of bed rest for the caster due to the stresses the spell places on time, space, and the body.

The DM may pervert wishes that would hurt the game's balance -- for instance, wishing a creature dead is likely to be perverted, perhaps advancing the caster in time to a period where the creature is no longer alive, removing the caster from the campaign as a result.

Yeah, there used to be consequences to casting Wish.

Now the first wish is for a Thought Bottle and everything after that is free. Post AD&D the restrictions on spallcasting were removed because people thought they were annoying, and now you complain that the mundanes can't keep up with the casters. Turns out what was annoying people was the game balance mechanic. Some of us never had a problem with it, the hyperbole about stopping the game for fifteen minutes to RP gathering berries or having to play 'mother may I' to cast spells is just that, hyperbole.

If a game balance mechanic annoys you then throw out that part of the system and redesign it completely. Don't just remove the mechanic. Especially don't remove the mechanic and then complain about the balance you wrecked.

Hawkstar
2015-10-23, 08:49 AM
The upper limit of the power hasn't changed though, all it means is they're going through less encounters by way of making things a hassle. The actual power of the characters hasn't changed. You haven't changed the scope of what the characters can actually handle, you just changed the number of times they do it.

the practical difference between having 3 rockets instead of 6 in your rocket launcher is minuscule. you can still only launch one rocket at a time, each rocket still deals rocket-levels of damage.

you're only mitigating the number of times they can launch the rocket, but every time it's launched you still have to deal with the repercussions of that rocket hitting.Yes, and? It's easier to deal with three rockets than six.

Solaris
2015-10-23, 08:49 AM
Yeah, there used to be consequences to casting Wish.

Now the first wish is for a Thought Bottle and everything after that is free. Post AD&D the restrictions on spallcasting were removed because people thought they were annoying, and now you complain that the mundanes can't keep up with the casters. Turns out what was annoying people was the game balance mechanic. Some of us never had a problem with it, the hyperbole about stopping the game for fifteen minutes to RP gathering berries or having to play 'mother may I' to cast spells is just that, hyperbole.

If a game balance mechanic annoys you then throw out that part of the system and redesign it completely. Don't just remove the mechanic. Especially don't remove the mechanic and then complain about the balance you wrecked.

Aging five years wasn't that much of a consequence - especially if you were an elf.

And no, no it's not hyperbole. It's a reasonable estimation based on the suggestion of limiting spells based on material components.
Limiting spells by material components didn't really work in AD&D, and it doesn't work in 3.XE. If you want to balance spellcasters, find some other way to do it.


Yes, and? It's easier to deal with three rockets than six.

Not if you're only getting into three fights at a time because you only have to go restock on the rockets more frequently. It's just making everyone wait longer for that fourth fight.

Seward
2015-10-23, 10:23 AM
One thing I know I'm pretty set on at this point, spells like Wish, Gate, and Resurrection, can't just be bought, they should need fuel that can only be quested for.


In first edition, they were paid for with years off your life. (not a problem for elves, but they were restricted to 11th level spellcasting). Magic item crafting with arcane magic cost constitution, a much harder resource, but for most characters any constitution between 8 and 15 was mechanically identical, so you could make some items as a wizard once you made it to 12th level and could cast "enchant an item". (Divine items were more "by permission of your god"). Second edition I don't know as well, except you saw higher level elves in some settings that could ignore the age costs of some spells.

In 3.x the primary currency was experience for such spells (ie, you do a quest to get the XP, any quest) and also often a moderate amount of cash (for your level - very expensive if you are buying it from somebody else when low level). Ditto any kind of crafting, although xp cost was lower.

People used the spells regardless of the cost, but the limits were severe enough it wasn't casual. There does come a point though where some costs (especially cash-only) are trivial. By the time you are epic the material cost of a true rez is pocket change and your cohort at home guarding the stronghold can cast it - a "body recovery" is more about getting your gear back than about coming back from death.

Keltest
2015-10-23, 11:37 AM
Yes, and? It's easier to deal with three rockets than six.

In the game though there is no time break between sessions. The power of the spell isn't being affected, youre just wasting the time of people out of character. Its analogous to shortening the time of sessions.

Radar
2015-10-23, 11:43 AM
Yeah, there used to be consequences to casting Wish.

Now the first wish is for a Thought Bottle and everything after that is free. Post AD&D the restrictions on spallcasting were removed because people thought they were annoying, and now you complain that the mundanes can't keep up with the casters. Turns out what was annoying people was the game balance mechanic. Some of us never had a problem with it, the hyperbole about stopping the game for fifteen minutes to RP gathering berries or having to play 'mother may I' to cast spells is just that, hyperbole.

If a game balance mechanic annoys you then throw out that part of the system and redesign it completely. Don't just remove the mechanic. Especially don't remove the mechanic and then complain about the balance you wrecked.
There were many different factors in AD&D that balanced casters and non-casters. Material components for spells weren't even the only reason casting the best spells was limited: there were no bonus spell slots for high Int after all.

The most important reason casters were more balanced on average was that they were fragile (AFAIK no Con bonus to HP, fewer "can't hit me" spells or abilities and with lower effectiveness) and casting in combat could have been easily disrupted (moreso for higher level spells due to casting time). Different XP curves for different classes also allowed for some fine-tuning.

In the process of changing the rules from AD&D to 3ed a lot of those limiters were removed (simplification of initiative rules removed most of the risk of casting in combat for example; streamlining of HP per level rules gave caster a boost in early levels just as a common XP progression for all classes canceled the slight advantage non-casters had in that regard) and additional changes were made to make the game less lethal or more forgiving (Concentration checks for disrupting casting; no move and full attack which also nerfed non-casters heavily).

Funny thing is, 3.5ed is well balanced, but only if arcane casters are blasters and divine casters are healers - even the bonus spell slots make sense due to overall HP increase. It's just that noone forsaw that the metagame shifted drasticaly with all those changes.


Also:

In the game though there is no time break between sessions. The power of the spell isn't being affected, youre just wasting the time of people out of character. Its analogous to shortening the time of sessions.
This, so very much this.

Deophaun
2015-10-23, 01:13 PM
It's a quest reward.
That's the point; when you limit a class feature to DM fiat, it ceases to be a class feature and instead becomes a quest reward. The players in my campaign could no more control when they would get another opportunity at a wish as anyone who plays under a Material-restricted campaign can control when they get to cast their spells.

oxybe
2015-10-23, 03:02 PM
Yes, and? It's easier to deal with three rockets than six.

No it isn't.

If you have to go out of your way to make using rockets a hassle, you've proven you can't deal with them because why else would you be making it a hassle?

Those three rockets can cause plenty of problems by themselves, especially in the hands of a creative player.

The correct answer is not "make using rockets a hassle" because someone will circumvent it. We found ways around the hassles in 2nd ed and we darn will find ways around hassles in your proposed system.

The correct answer is "what rockets?". don't give the rockets to begin with if you're not willing to handle the players having them! the worst thing a game can do is be un-fun and boring. making things a hassle is not fun or engaging. it's busywork on everyone's end for little applicable payoff.

Hawkstar
2015-10-23, 04:26 PM
In the game though there is no time break between sessions. The power of the spell isn't being affected, youre just wasting the time of people out of character. Its analogous to shortening the time of sessions.

It allows players to dictate the pace of their sessions. If they want to get more done in a session, they skimp on the time-consuming actions.

Keltest
2015-10-23, 04:29 PM
It allows players to dictate the pace of their sessions. If they want to get more done in a session, they skimp on the time-consuming actions.

Which is an entirely separate issue from spells being too powerful. You know what else they can do to determine how much they get done in a session? Shorten or lengthen the sessions.

Hawkstar
2015-10-23, 04:34 PM
No it isn't.

If you have to go out of your way to make using rockets a hassle, you've proven you can't deal with them because why else would you be making it a hassle?It says you can't handle as many rockets as the players are using, not that you can't handle them at all.


Those three rockets can cause plenty of problems by themselves, especially in the hands of a creative player.No they can't.


The correct answer is not "make using rockets a hassle" because someone will circumvent it. We found ways around the hassles in 2nd ed and we darn will find ways around hassles in your proposed system.

The correct answer is "what rockets?". don't give the rockets to begin with if you're not willing to handle the players having them! the worst thing a game can do is be un-fun and boring. making things a hassle is not fun or engaging. it's busywork on everyone's end for little applicable payoff.Have you never played any shooters of any sort? A few rockets are not the problem a bunch of rockets or unlimited rockets are. If something's a hassle or un-fun to use on a regular basis, then you only use it when you absolutely need to.

Because I can let and enjoy you having one or two rockets to use on problems over the course of adventure doesn't mean I can handle you having ALL THE ROCKETS! ALL THE TIME! NOTHING BUT ROCKETS!


Which is an entirely separate issue from spells being too powerful. You know what else they can do to determine how much they get done in a session? Shorten or lengthen the sessions.They can shorten sessions if they want, but not lengthen them - they'd run into time constraints. Such as mine.

Deophaun
2015-10-23, 04:45 PM
It allows players to dictate the pace of their sessions. If they want to get more done in a session, they skimp on the time-consuming actions.
Anything that is designed to punish players by making the game less fun is actually a problem masquerading as a solution.

Have you never played any shooters of any sort?
Tabletop RPGs are not shooters. The problems with infinite ammo in a shooter do not apply when players can have five or more minutes between rounds to contemplate the optimal use of their limited resources.

Keltest
2015-10-23, 04:47 PM
They can shorten sessions if they want, but not lengthen them - they'd run into time constraints. Such as mine.

Youre missing the point. If session productivity is the problem, there are plenty of ways to solve it besides annoying your players. But it isn't the problem because it has nothing to do with the power of high level spells.

oxybe
2015-10-23, 06:30 PM
It says you can't handle as many rockets as the players are using, not that you can't handle them at all.

No they can't.

Have you never played any shooters of any sort? A few rockets are not the problem a bunch of rockets or unlimited rockets are. If something's a hassle or un-fun to use on a regular basis, then you only use it when you absolutely need to.

Because I can let and enjoy you having one or two rockets to use on problems over the course of adventure doesn't mean I can handle you having ALL THE ROCKETS! ALL THE TIME! NOTHING BUT ROCKETS!

They can shorten sessions if they want, but not lengthen them - they'd run into time constraints. Such as mine.

~1250 hours in valve's TF2 and very rarely do you run out of rockets as ammo packs are plentiful and when you kill someone they drop a nice ammo pouch.

the difference is that TF2 actually attempted to balanced the soldier's rockets against other weapons instead of going "solly wins cause rockets lol" and the dev team are still working at fine tuning the balance of them as they're getting ready to setup competitive play.

one of the recent updates, Gun Mettle, actually changed around ~20 weapons to make them more balanced. In fact, they gave one rocket launcher MORE ammo held, among other things, making it more competitive.

This is because they want to give players viable options, where instead of making powerful ones a hassle to use, they tweak the power and stats so they're on par with other competitive ones.

so yes I play shooters, I don't know which videogames you play but if they keep the "strong" ones behind a wall of hassles, that's bad design and competitive players will ignore them barring very obvious times where it would need to be used.

Darth Ultron
2015-10-24, 12:34 PM
It doesn't really make that class less powerful, it just wastes more play time while the player goes through the tedium of using his class features.

A good half the point is that the players that cause the most problems are amazingly the exact same players that won't go through the ''tedium''. The average good mature player has no problem with the ''tedium'', as they are not playing the game to be a jerk or trying to have fun by ruining the fun of others or any of the other negative things the bad immature players do.


Exactly. A spell that kills a city's population of people is still going to kill that city's population of people even if the person casting it has to say "I spend two weeks making sure I have the requisite bat poop for this spell, now let me cast it already!"

That is why there is a right and wrong way to do things. If you set it up so a player can just sit back and say ''ok, my character does whatever and then casts the spell'', that is the wrong way.



You're not weakening the party, you're making your players have less play time because Steve needs to spend 10 minutes every turn figuring out if you're going to let him use his class abilities. Thus, it is less fun and less productive for everyone involved, except perhaps the DM who implemented the rule.

There is always Option B ''Well, using my spell will waste game time...so I will just not do that, won't use the spell and I'll do something else.''


Anything that is designed to punish players by making the game less fun is actually a problem masquerading as a solution.


Except that a punishment to a player is simply anything they don't like.

oxybe
2015-10-24, 01:35 PM
no you're punishing the mature player and dissuading the casual one.

to quote Grod's Fallacy:

"The disruptive munchkin ignores it, argues it, or forces the rest of the group to suffer through it. His power remains the same, and he gets more annoying to play with.

The inappropriate powergamer figures out how to circumvent the restriction. His power remains the same.

The reasonable player either figures out how to circumvent the restriction (rendering it mood), avoids the class (turning it into a ban) or suffers through it. His power remains the same and/or his enjoyment goes down.

The new player avoids the class or suffers through it. His enjoyment goes down."

I would expect mature players to simply discuss with the group as to why they're banning things instead of forcing tedium on the group for little to no gain.

I just don't see any positive gain by making everything a dog and pony show. I game to have fun, not do accounting and busywork.

Darth Ultron
2015-10-24, 02:34 PM
I just don't see any positive gain by making everything a dog and pony show. I game to have fun, not do accounting and busywork.

The gain is adjusting the power levels in the game so everyone can have fun. And material components, if done right, can do that very well.

It is really not that much of a ''tedious burden'' for a player to keep track of material components for something like a dozen spells.

Though it is like anything else in D&D: it depends how you play the game. For example the spells per day is a limit on a spellcasters power, but it assumes that a day is a long time. Some games nullify that with the 15 minute day. It does depend on how you play the game.

Hawkstar
2015-10-24, 05:05 PM
no you're punishing the mature player and dissuading the casual one.

to quote Grod's Fallacy:

"The disruptive munchkin ignores it, argues it, or forces the rest of the group to suffer through it. His power remains the same, and he gets more annoying to play with.The disruptive munchkin isn't playing.


The inappropriate powergamer figures out how to circumvent the restriction. His power remains the same.No ways to circumvent it.


The reasonable player either figures out how to circumvent the restriction (rendering it mood), avoids the class (turning it into a ban) or suffers through it. His power remains the same and/or his enjoyment goes down.

The new player avoids the class or suffers through it. His enjoyment goes down."No restriction, the class is still powerful without the spell/mechanic. And if he considers it 'suffering', he needs to recalibrate his expectations, since the same could be said of any restriction, such as the need to actually prepare the spells you have in your spellbook, or having only limited spell slots, or having a once-a-day power, or a feat or combat style requiring specific weapons, etc.


I would expect mature players to simply discuss with the group as to why they're banning things instead of forcing tedium on the group for little to no gain.It's not being banned. It's being regulated.


It also increases engagement with the class and mechanics, by iincreasing interaction between game and world elements.

Sir Chuckles
2015-10-25, 05:12 AM
The disruptive munchkin isn't playing.
You cannot guarantee that.

No ways to circumvent it.
If we're speaking 3.5, there are going to be ways to circumvent it. Without a massive amount of DM overwatch and "nope-ing", there will be a way to circumvent it.

No restriction, the class is still powerful without the spell/mechanic. And if he considers it 'suffering', he needs to recalibrate his expectations, since the same could be said of any restriction, such as the need to actually prepare the spells you have in your spellbook, or having only limited spell slots, or having a once-a-day power, or a feat or combat style requiring specific weapons, etc.
You've listed things that are inherently built into the game. Things that are intended, and things that can be overcome by a bit of clever thinking.
Material components are bad jokes. A tart a wiggling a feather for Hideous Laughter. Sand for Sleep. Fleece (wool) for Silent Image.


It's not being banned. It's being regulated.
It's being effectively banned.


It also increases engagement with the class and mechanics, by iincreasing interaction between game and world elements.

Making someone hunt for material components and keep track of the minutiae would only increase engagement for people who are already playing for that part of the game.
It makes it less engaging for the people who do not want to do that, and actively slows the enjoyment of those who are just in proximity, as they have to wait longer for them to take action.

Let's do some theorycrafting.
What if I, as a DM, found that charging was overpowered. To regulate it's usage, I implement a Fire Emblem-eqsue weapon durability system. Charging and attacking while raging increases the amount of durability used on hit, actively "regulating" how often the Chargebarian can charge.

Does this sound fun? Not "fun in a particularly themed campaign", but fun and enjoyable for everyone in general? Does it add to the game because the two-weapon fighting Rogue has to buy half a dozen daggers before each dungeon?

Even if I said "but a weaponsmithing check can restore some usages!", it becomes a skill point tax on just about anyone who frequently hits things with weapons.
Thus, in the end, we end up with more unarmed builds and casters, because people wouldn't want to deal with that.

Darth Ultron
2015-10-25, 09:39 AM
Let's do some theorycrafting.
What if I, as a DM, found that charging was overpowered. To regulate it's usage, I implement a Fire Emblem-eqsue weapon durability system. Charging and attacking while raging increases the amount of durability used on hit, actively "regulating" how often the Chargebarian can charge.

Does this sound fun? Not "fun in a particularly themed campaign", but fun and enjoyable for everyone in general? Does it add to the game because the two-weapon fighting Rogue has to buy half a dozen daggers before each dungeon?

Even if I said "but a weaponsmithing check can restore some usages!", it becomes a skill point tax on just about anyone who frequently hits things with weapons.
Thus, in the end, we end up with more unarmed builds and casters, because people wouldn't want to deal with that.

Does everything need to be ''fun''? Is it ''fun'' to keep track of hit points? Is it ''fun'' to keep track of magic item charges and uses per day? Is it ''fun'' to keep track of and abilities number of uses?

And why is something only a ''tax'' if players don't like it? Is healing a ''tax''? Do players cry about the healing they are ''forced'' to buy?

Jormengand
2015-10-25, 10:12 AM
Does everything need to be ''fun''? Is it ''fun'' to keep track of hit points? Is it ''fun'' to keep track of magic item charges and uses per day? Is it ''fun'' to keep track of and abilities number of uses?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, because they're not arbitrary restrictions and they have tactical value. Next?

Solaris
2015-10-25, 11:47 AM
Does everything need to be ''fun''? Is it ''fun'' to keep track of hit points? Is it ''fun'' to keep track of magic item charges and uses per day? Is it ''fun'' to keep track of and abilities number of uses?

You say that is if there were perhaps some other reason to play these games.

All of those things add to the fun by adding to the challenge with only a minimum of bookkeeping tedium. Proposed mechanisms of managing spellcasting through material component micromanagement might add to the fun, but only if you really hate the players playing spellcasters delight in using the encumbrance rules to keep track of every ounce your character carries, and look forward to tax season each year because of all the delightful bookkeeping and accounting you get to do.


And why is something only a ''tax'' if players don't like it? Is healing a ''tax''? Do players cry about the healing they are ''forced'' to buy?

Because if you liked it, it would be the goal and not the thing you paid to get to the goal.
No, healing is not a "tax", it's a byproduct of the hit point system. That's a misapplication of the term.

Thrudd
2015-10-25, 12:12 PM
Costless material components can be tracked abstractly, the same as rations are. Any given pouch can only hold so much stuff, it is reasonable that you could run out if you don't plan accordingly. Each pouch holds ten spells worth of materials and weighs 1 lb or 2 lb or whatever DM decides. When you cast a spell with consumeable material components, mark off one bundle of components from your inventory. Obviously, high cost components for specific spells, or foci which are not destroyed during casting are tracked individually. During down time between expeditions, a magic user is assumed to be spending a portion of that time collecting and organizing spell components. The reason it is nice to know specific components for specific spells is so, if opportunity presents itself, the magic user can procure them ad hoc during an expedition in the case of having expended all their prepared bundles or lost their pouch.

The logistics decision they need to make is based on encumbrance more than anything: how many pouches/how much weight worth of spell components do they want to carry with them? This obviously subtracts some from the amount of other gear they can carry and treasure they can personally haul back. I don't want it to be a huge bookeeping thing with every single ounce of guano accounted for, but I do want the players to have to account for it somehow. Also, I like to enable the occasional roleplaying scene of a wizard pulling the party to the side of their route so he can frantically gather bat poo from a cave he saw, or spending some time chipping some quartz crystals out of a cliff face, or being excited about finding a dead rat in a pile of rags in the corner of a room (he needs the fur, or bones, or both).

The primary thing which limits caster power at high levels is the casting time and preparation time for higher level spells, the materials issue I expect to be trivial to overcome with smart planning, same as with water and rations (trivial to overcome doesn't mean it should be ignored, just that it isn't the focus of the game). In 1e, 15 min per spell level, per spell in order to memorize. That's after getting an uninterrupted night's rest. A 3rd level spell takes 45 minutes to memorize, and that's just one of them. Spending the night in the dungeon, and then expecting to be able to recover all your spells is increasingly difficult the higher level you are. A level 10 character could easily spend an entire day doing nothing but memorizing spells.

Also, spells generally have a casting time of 6 seconds per spell level, and the caster must be stationary and uninterrupted during that entire period, doing nothing but casting the spell. You need to declare what spell you're casting before initiative is rolled, and the casting time begins when it gets to your turn. So spells higher than level 2 or so are almost always going to go off after every other participant in the battle has had at least one turn to act (especially with group initiative as is normally the case).

Solaris
2015-10-25, 12:43 PM
Also, I like to enable the occasional roleplaying scene of a wizard pulling the party to the side of their route so he can frantically gather bat poo from a cave he saw, or spending some time chipping some quartz crystals out of a cliff face, or being excited about finding a dead rat in a pile of rags in the corner of a room (he needs the fur, or bones, or both).

I think this is the sort of thing that works better in a story than it does in the game unless it's handled carefully and used sparingly. The rest of the party's just going to be twiddling their thumbs while the wizard plays the scavenger hunt minigame, after all.

Keltest
2015-10-25, 01:09 PM
I think this is the sort of thing that works better in a story than it does in the game unless it's handled carefully and used sparingly. The rest of the party's just going to be twiddling their thumbs while the wizard plays the scavenger hunt minigame, after all.

Unless the cave is filled with wandering Half-Dragon Dire Bats the wizard doesn't know about, in which case fun times are had for the rest of the party.

Darth Ultron
2015-10-25, 03:18 PM
Yes, yes, yes, yes, because they're not arbitrary restrictions and they have tactical value. Next?

Sorry they seem ''arbitrary'' to me. See how the cherry picking works? You can't say something is ''wrong'' just as you don't ''like'' it.


You say that is if there were perhaps some other reason to play these games.

More to the point is that ''not everything in the game is pure fun''.



Because if you liked it, it would be the goal and not the thing you paid to get to the goal.
No, healing is not a "tax", it's a byproduct of the hit point system. That's a misapplication of the term.

And here is the cherry picking again. Because the players like healing, it is not a tax.

Solaris
2015-10-25, 04:31 PM
Sorry they seem ''arbitrary'' to me. See how the cherry picking works? You can't say something is ''wrong'' just as you don't ''like'' it.

It only seems arbitrary if you operate from the assumption that the purpose of these games is anything but fun.
Tedium =/= fun.


More to the point is that ''not everything in the game is pure fun''.

No. Everything in the game is either itself fun or, through its presence, facilitates fun.
If it isn't, it is counterproductive and needs to be trimmed off. See: Next to nobody uses encumbrance.


And here is the cherry picking again. Because the players like healing, it is not a tax.

I'm sorry the definitions don't suit you, but it's not "cherry picking" when we're talking about things that are and are not fun in a game and whether or not they should be there. There is literally no other purpose to the game other than to play it and have fun.

oxybe
2015-10-25, 05:57 PM
Forcing a cleric to be a healbot is a tax. this is why healing in 4th was often a minor action and spread to many classes that were capable of healing in addition to doing other stuff on their turns. If there are other healing methods readily available, it's not a tax.


It's not being banned. It's being regulated.

this is called a soft ban: where something is effectively banned without having to write down "this is banned".

You see it often in competitive games, like how Akuma was often softbanned in old street fighter tournaments as he was an overpowered character (slightly less HP but far faster and damaging then others, with a powerful skillset) at the time. There were rarely actual "you can't use akuma" rules, but it was considered in bad taste and form to use the character in many tournaments. so he was "banned" via a gentleman's agreement.

A closer TTRPG example would be going "only good characters" as a soft ban on evil characters. a hard ban would going "no evil characters" as it's explicitly stated this time around.

This is effectively a soft ban on casters, wherein you're adding extra rules to make playing them a pain and a hassle.

forcing the wizard to scuttle about and micromanage several lists of components isn't roleplaying: it's tedious bookkeeping and it's not really fun for anyone other then people who like bookkeeping.


Does everything need to be ''fun''? Is it ''fun'' to keep track of hit points? Is it ''fun'' to keep track of magic item charges and uses per day? Is it ''fun'' to keep track of and abilities number of uses?
those require far less tracking and management then your proposed spell component regulations, as HP management usually comes down to "do we have healing? Y/N. If Y then heal, if N then rest/leave". item charge, uses and those abilities tend to be a static "is it available?" Y/N. the tracking isn't an issue, it's the whole gathering rigamarole that's involved before you can even get to tracking them we're all taking issue with, that instead of fixing the spells or banning them outright, you're leaving everything as is but making gathering them a tedious affair that if the player can bypass or find a way to easily stock up on them, you've done nothing to solve the problem and instead likely dissuaded the casual player from even trying.

in the subsystems you mentioned there is no mucking about having to go scour the countryside for a the breath of a dying man, the shell of an egg laid by a rooster, the feathers of a dove under shade or some sort of similar BS. "is it available Y/N" is far less tedium then your proposed system.


More to the point is that ''not everything in the game is pure fun''.
You are bad at game design.

Games are meant to be fun, or at least engaging with the audience (which is what most people shorthand to when they say "fun"). adding further constraints on casting does not automatically create more engaging gameplay, especially in a group game where this means spotlighting the caster who's simply doing busywork.

Look at horror videogames. many of the good ones give you limited ammunition, right?

The important thing though is that the ammunition is often very visible to the player and you don't really need to hunt for it. heck it's often easier to find ammunition then the various keys and whatnot you need to progress. You can see those bullets on the shelf or table and pick them up with relative ease. The interesting thing is that you don't have enough bullets to kill every enemy so your choices are often "run, melee or use a bullet now that can't be used later".

None of those options are make the play tedious, in truth unless the monster AI is particularly bad or they can be stunlocked with melee your best option is often to run away (which you're often capable of) if you plan on conserving ammuntion if you're bad at melee (and thus want to conserve your limited healing items), and the end result is often more engaging gameplay.

This is because they removed a lot of the tedium yet still managed to engage by giving the player tools with limited uses.

What you're doing is giving the player free reign of powerful tools but making obtaining them tedious. You're turning the "get the bullets" into "find all the materials needed to make gunpowder, mix it into the right amounts, make and pack your own cartidges and THEN you can start firing your gun".

There are ways to put limits on player power and keep it engaging, but making it tedious is one of the worst ways possible if you're looking to engage the player while limiting their power.

Darth Ultron
2015-10-25, 06:09 PM
No. Everything in the game is either itself fun or, through its presence, facilitates fun.
If it isn't, it is counterproductive and needs to be trimmed off. See: Next to nobody uses encumbrance.

Nobody? My group does. And I'm sure I'm not the only one in the world. I'll give you the average casual game does not use encumbrance. And optimizer types ignore it by having near infinite extra dimensional spaces.

I'd note encumbrance is another great way to balance the game(even more so if you remove easy access to the dimensional stuff)



I'm sorry the definitions don't suit you, but it's not "cherry picking" when we're talking about things that are and are not fun in a game and whether or not they should be there. There is literally no other purpose to the game other than to play it and have fun.

Well, we were not talking about what you thought was fun, it was ''what is an RPG tax''? And it is ''something you must do or take to stay competitive and stay viable, changing it from a choice to a necessity. '' So that would cover magical healing. Very few players would play the game without magical healing(even in a no character death type game).

DoomHat
2015-10-25, 06:10 PM
So, I notice that the detractors seem to take the least charitable possible interpretation of the idea of the use material components.

Can we please turn down the hyperbole? No one at this point is suggesting that anyone track every damn cricket and ounce of sand for each and every spell, or that every individual listed spell would require materials in the first place. A restriction is not identical to a ban, don't be silly. By that logic, omg, Raise Dead is totally banned according to 5th ed RAW because you not only have to find diamonds, which is something you're not necessarily guaranteed to encounter within 10 days of a party member dying, but 500gp worth! And just because it's worth that much doesn't mean you aren't going to get price gouged by a merchant wtf!

The argument that material components make class abilities subject to GM whim is also rather poor. You realize that literally everything that happens in a given game is subject to GM whim yes? It's up to the whim of the GM whether or not armor AC has any meaning, because you could easily spend most or all of the game fighting nothing but creatures with brutal touch-attack effects. Its up to the GM if the party ever encounters an NPC who's anything other then hostile.

If a player expresses interest in a particular spell by taking it on their list of knowns, the DM is obliged to give them the chance to cast it at least once, just as surely as the trip fighter should have the opportunity to fight things other then birds, ghosts, and slime.

Kudos to Thrudd for at least proposing something constructive rather then just staunchly suggesting the only viable solution is 'getting over it' and accepting that games with powerful casters are simply games solely about powerful casters, and anyone who disagrees can play a mundane powered sidekick, or move on to a different game.

Thrudd
2015-10-25, 06:39 PM
I think this is the sort of thing that works better in a story than it does in the game unless it's handled carefully and used sparingly. The rest of the party's just going to be twiddling their thumbs while the wizard plays the scavenger hunt minigame, after all.

Yes, it shouldn't happen much, not be the focus of the game. Components are freely available in any amount desired whenever the magic user player wants to spend a day or so procuring them in safe areas (in/near a town or around an established camp). They just have to write down how many spells worth they are carrying, don't even need to specify what spells they are for. But if it so happens that they find themselves without (which shouldn't happen often if at all) I will also allow piecemeal procurement in dangerous wilderness or dungeons. In some situations, the rest of the party might also be motivated to help the wizard find his bat guano, since it means he'll have access to a fireball that will help everyone. If it's too much of a diversion from the primary focus of the expedition, the players would normally decide to go on without, or retreat to safety and restock. I find that the increased engagement with the environment and the profession of the character is desirable enough that a few small diversions are acceptable.

Darth Ultron
2015-10-25, 06:39 PM
staunchly suggesting the only viable solution is 'getting over it' and accepting that games with powerful casters are simply games solely about powerful casters, and anyone who disagrees can play a mundane powered sidekick, or move on to a different game.

It is kind of amazing that most people are just saying ''you must ignore the material spell component rule''.




You are bad at game design.

Thank you for the direct personal attack and the insult.



Games are meant to be fun, or at least engaging with the audience (which is what most people shorthand to when they say "fun"). adding further constraints on casting does not automatically create more engaging gameplay, especially in a group game where this means spotlighting the caster who's simply doing busywork.

Engaging is a much better word then fun.



Look at horror videogames. many of the good ones give you limited ammunition, right?

The important thing though is that the ammunition is often very visible to the player and you don't really need to hunt for it. heck it's often easier to find ammunition then the various keys and whatnot you need to progress. You can see those bullets on the shelf or table and pick them up with relative ease. The interesting thing is that you don't have enough bullets to kill every enemy so your choices are often "run, melee or use a bullet now that can't be used later".

So your example is to use video games made for the lowest type of casual simple minded gamer?




This is because they removed a lot of the tedium yet still managed to engage by giving the player tools with limited uses.

So your ok with limited uses, just not with doing anything to get them? So you'd be ok with the houserule of ''the DM will sprinkle your needed material spell components around the game world. They will be super easy to find and pick up, but you will only find a couple every so often.'' So that way a player will find the needed components from time to time, but not enough to cast all their characters spells all the time.




There are ways to put limits on player power and keep it engaging, but making it tedious is one of the worst ways possible if you're looking to engage the player while limiting their power.

As I mentioned, just saying ''this game uses material components'' amazingly stops most players that would make problems with a spellcasting character. They will either play something else or not play at all. And amazingly the other players don't seem to mind playing a spellcaster that can't ruin the game or ruin the fun for others.

Necroticplague
2015-10-25, 07:15 PM
Assuming spells with components are more powerful than ones without components of the same level (which is A: not true in my experience, and B: a requirement for this lazy balance attempt to be even remotely sensible), I still don't think this is a very good idea. It turns being able to cast into a binary state that's bad for balance. Either you have components, you can cast the spells that require material components, and thus your power is being skewed by you being more powerful, or you lack such, thus can't cast, and your power is less than appropriate. At no point is your power level actually balanced compared to others.

Honest Tiefling
2015-10-25, 07:40 PM
In my groups, no, never. Then again, I play with people who'd steal it and try to use it to Macguyer their way out of things, such as feeding the tiny tarts to guard dogs to aid in a Wild Empathy check or try to make the copper wire into improvised lock picks.

To the OP, have you considered an alternate form of a material component? 4th edition had Residium, which is basically magic dust used to fuel other magic. Far easier to track if all spells use the same component. Also, blood from slain enemies might work well for a bit of a necromantic feel.

A concern I have is that while the mage player will want to spend time restoring lost components, the rest of the party won't. The mage player could quickly take the spotlight away as they try to hunt down a cave of bats, leaving the rest of the party bored. There is also the concern that frequent trips to the city for one player will irk the rest. This is why I ask about a more universal compoent that can be restored but must be tracked. Enemy spellcasters would have the magic dust, so fighting alongside the rest of the party against such foes will also replenish stores without needing a million sidequests or derailing the party constantly.

One question I must ask is, however, how organized are your players? If they were quite organized this could work. If not...No form of it will ever work.

Solaris
2015-10-25, 07:42 PM
Nobody? My group does. And I'm sure I'm not the only one in the world. I'll give you the average casual game does not use encumbrance. And optimizer types ignore it by having near infinite extra dimensional spaces.

The fact that you do, however, doesn't change the fact that it's one of the most oft-ignored rules of the game. If you're playing with a group that enjoys bookkeeping, swell. Adopt all the minutiae-obsessed rules you desire. Asserting that it's the norm, however, or that it's a way to balance casters, is simply not well-supported.

"Optimizer types" is a term that's so broad as to be be essentially meaningless; it could include the worst sorts of min-maxing munchkins as well as someone who takes a CW samurai and makes it viable in play. Considering the most potent optimization in 3.X involves spellcasting... I guess I missed where a cleric, sorcerer, or druid had to worry about the encumbrance of his awesomeness. Or a wizard, for that matter; spellbooks aren't terribly heavy, after all. I don't really see many builds that are reliant on having specific gear, much less large amounts of heavy equipment.


I'd note encumbrance is another great way to balance the game(even more so if you remove easy access to the dimensional stuff)

I'm going to assume you're not playing any of the latter editions in D&D, and are playing a game where spellcasters are either weaker than warriors or are dependent on bulky items. Or AD&D after the first few levels, for that matter.


Well, we were not talking about what you thought was fun, it was ''what is an RPG tax''? And it is ''something you must do or take to stay competitive and stay viable, changing it from a choice to a necessity. '' So that would cover magical healing. Very few players would play the game without magical healing(even in a no character death type game).

Except "What is fun in a game" is part and parcel to the point about what is and is not an "RPG tax".
Your definition is wrong. An "RPG tax", as in a "feat tax", is a lesser or unwanted ability paid as an investment or fee to get a desired and more potent ability in return. It differs from a well-designed feat chain in that the feats paid as taxes aren't good or useful, whereas the feats in a feat chain are. Dodge and Mobility, for example, are feat taxes because they're such "meh" feats, whereas taking Power Attack to get Leap Attack is a feat chain because Power Attack is actually a useful feat.


So, I notice that the detractors seem to take the least charitable possible interpretation of the idea of the use material components.

Can we please turn down the hyperbole? No one at this point is suggesting that anyone track every damn cricket and ounce of sand for each and every spell, or that every individual listed spell would require materials in the first place. A restriction is not identical to a ban, don't be silly. By that logic, omg, Raise Dead is totally banned according to 5th ed RAW because you not only have to find diamonds, which is something you're not necessarily guaranteed to encounter within 10 days of a party member dying, but 500gp worth! And just because it's worth that much doesn't mean you aren't going to get price gouged by a merchant wtf!

The argument that material components make class abilities subject to GM whim is also rather poor. You realize that literally everything that happens in a given game is subject to GM whim yes? It's up to the whim of the GM whether or not armor AC has any meaning, because you could easily spend most or all of the game fighting nothing but creatures with brutal touch-attack effects. Its up to the GM if the party ever encounters an NPC who's anything other then hostile.

If a player expresses interest in a particular spell by taking it on their list of knowns, the DM is obliged to give them the chance to cast it at least once, just as surely as the trip fighter should have the opportunity to fight things other then birds, ghosts, and slime.

Kudos to Thrudd for at least proposing something constructive rather then just staunchly suggesting the only viable solution is 'getting over it' and accepting that games with powerful casters are simply games solely about powerful casters, and anyone who disagrees can play a mundane powered sidekick, or move on to a different game.

In our defense, you may not be talking about tracking the crickets and sand, but other posters here really do seem to be (unless I'm misunderstanding your intent there, Darth Ultron, when you assert that tracking the components is fun). Even so, bookkeeping minutiae being less than fun for most groups is only half of the point.

The other half is that material components aren't a good means to regulate spellcasters.

I'm glad you bring up raise dead, because that's an example of material components deliberately invoked in order to prevent a spell's being over-used. It's also an example of how this is an ineffective means of control, what with the revolving-door afterlife and all.
If you don't have the diamonds, it is effectively banned. The DM doesn't need to provide the diamonds, after all. That's what oxybe was referring to when he was talking about a soft ban.
More importantly, though, the expensive material components really don't work all that well as a means to prevent characters coming back from the dead after they reach a certain point, because getting the diamonds becomes trivially easy for them even if the DM actively opposes it. That's what makes it an ineffective control.
Thus, material components don't work as a means of regulating spellcaster power. If you take it more broadly and apply it to all of the spells of a certain level (because if it's only some spells, the spell libraries are so huge as to render it an enormous chore to pick out every good spell and nerf it with an expensive material component requirement), then you're either going to shorten the amount of time in between shopping trips (if it's of limited availability due to location) or you're going to shorten the amount of time spent dungeon-crawling or otherwise actually doing things (if it's of limited availability due to time). I speak from experience, you see, because I formerly tried having an expensive material component as part of spellcasting with a cost scaling with the spell's level. It had no meaningful impact on the caster's ability to impact the game, because he was still able to cast all of the same spells he was before (the spells still existed, after all), it just meant that more treasure was getting sold off to fund his spells. Considering the beatsticks are more dependent on treasure than casters are, this was rather counterproductive.
Thus, if you want to regulate spellcaster power, it's better to go through and hard ban the most broken spells, speak to your players about what is and is not acceptable behavior, and limit the things like gate, wish, and raise dead to quest objects rather than class features, and it's why I ignore the expensive material components on a lot of spells. If you're playing with spellcasters who need to be so regulated, that's an OOC problem and not an IC problem. The better solution for that is an OOC solution, not an IC one. I, for one, have not had any problem with spellcasters outshining everyone else because my players aren't asshats; I refuse to play with anyone who needs to be regulated, moderated, or controlled in order to get along at my table. It's bad enough that I have to share a society with those antisocial trolls, I'm not about to encourage their presence in my games.

To be fair, way back on the first page (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?451501-Have-you-ever-seen-Material-Spell-Components-enforced&p=19969621#post19969621), back before we wandered into what is and is not good game design, there was a glimmer of encouragement. I still like the idea of "spell sauce" as a setting component, though obviously not necessarily as a sauce. It's appealed to me for some time, which is why I tried implementing it in a campaign setting.
It didn't work out so well as a means of regulating caster power. It works nicely as a setting concept if you erase the material components of spells and replace them with "spellstone" (what I'd called it in my setting, replace as you like) and expensive components with more spellstone, especially if you're cribbing plot points from Dune, and involving the wizard equivalent of weapons smugglers and drug cartels.

Now if you want to talk about something else, swell. Post more about your idea and how it's different than just complaining about us talking about tangentially related subjects. Otherwise, you don't really have much ground to stand on when you complain about us discussing the implementation and ramification of enforcing material components.


It is kind of amazing that most people are just saying ''you must ignore the material spell component rule''.

Where are we saying this? Quote a post, please.
'Cause what I'm seeing isn't "You must ignore the material spell component rule," it's "The material spell component rules aren't there to provide game balance, so don't rely on them for it."


Thank you for the direct personal attack and the insult.

It's neither. It was a statement supported with evidence.


Engaging is a much better word then fun.

Not when we're talking about games, it's not. Math homework and filing tax returns can be the same sort of 'engaging' as keeping track of all the spell components, but that doesn't mean I want to do those, either.


So your example is to use video games made for the lowest type of casual simple minded gamer?

Let's be fair, it's not like D&D is rocket surgery or high art. It is, in fact, a game with no more credibility or prestige than playing video games or watching movies.
You probably shouldn't heap contempt on video gamers right after complaining about a perceived insult. 'Tis bad form.


As I mentioned, just saying ''this game uses material components'' amazingly stops most players that would make problems with a spellcasting character. They will either play something else or not play at all. And amazingly the other players don't seem to mind playing a spellcaster that can't ruin the game or ruin the fun for others.

It wouldn't even slow me down, and depending on how you run the show I might take it as a challenge to break the game to show you why it doesn't work so well.
Also, you're kinda starting to sound like Jedipotter in your ideas about how to regulate and maintain spellcasters. That's... that's not a good thing. I'm not trying to be mean here, but maybe it'd be good for you to take a look at some of those discussions involving him and his rules for material components. We are, after all, trotting out a lot of the same points here that I saw in those.

Telok
2015-10-25, 09:08 PM
The fact that you do, however, doesn't change the fact that it's one of the most oft-ignored rules of the game. If you're playing with a group that enjoys bookkeeping, swell. Adopt all the minutiae-obsessed rules you desire. Asserting that it's the norm, however, or that it's a way to balance casters, is simply not well-supported.

Actually the Fort save at 50 points of damage (not a death effect, no immunities) is the most often ignored. As written, everyone who has "Spell component pouch" somewhere on a character sheet isn't ignoring material components.

Sir Chuckles
2015-10-25, 09:16 PM
It is kind of amazing that most people are just saying ''you must ignore the material spell component rule''.
The rule regarding spell components is that having a spell component pouch allows you to assume that you have the costless component ready to go.
In all honesty, I sometime enforce the tracking of spell components, but when I do so, it's because I'm using my setting that uses magic rocks as spell "fuel". It's not a way to force balance through convoluted tracking.

And on the subject of encumbrance, it's an even worse example. When I say I don't enforce encumbrance, it doesn't mean I let people carry whatever, it means I bother with tracking every piece of copper's weight.
And the other problem is that it, more often than not, harms the non-casters more. A Wizard gets by with a spellbook, a stick, a spell component bag, and some robes. The Rogue, who likely has lower strength, is often the one packing the grappling hooks, the rope, the locks, the keys, the money, the 7 concealed daggers and two rapiers, his chainshirt, and then who knows what else?


Also, you're kinda starting to sound like Jedipotter in your ideas about how to regulate and maintain spellcasters. That's... that's not a good thing.
Combo that with the name of Darth Ultron, and you're scaring me, dude.

oxybe
2015-10-25, 09:20 PM
It is kind of amazing that most people are just saying ''you must ignore the material spell component rule''.
We're not saying to ignore it, we're saying don't use it as a softban on the wizard's ability to be a wizard if the problem you're having is the wizard's power. ban them outright or rework the spells. Forcing tedium is a bad way to balance things and never works out as intended


Thank you for the direct personal attack and the insult.
You're welcome.


Engaging is a much better word then fun.
It is, but note that when most people use fun in terms of gameplay, they very often mean being actively engaged by it in a way that enhances the enjoyment of the game. This could mean, and often does, that it brings certain themes or ideas at the forefront in an interesting way that the player interacts with.


So your example is to use video games made for the lowest type of casual simple minded gamer?
Well it seems you don't quite mind throwing insults yourself, so i guess we're even then. Then again I wouldn't call the original Silent Hill or Resident Evil for the "lowest type of casual simple minded gamer" but then again D&D itself doesn't purport to require a degree in rocket surgery, does it?

I mean, throughout the years it's clearly tried to appeal to the, how did you call them, "lowest type of casual simple minded gamer" with the fighter classes, who's game-given option are usually "punch it" and "punch it harder" with anything else basically asking GM permission. so yeah, making the wizard appealing to a demographic they're already trying to cater to doesn't seem like a bad idea.

Then again, I do find the idea that the supposed upper eshelon of gamers find things like tracking several lists to be the height of roleplaying gaming to be deeply flawed at best.

That and do note that videogames, a medium that started about the same time as TTRPGs, yet has made FAR more headway into the mainstream public and has a much larger playerbase then traditional RPGs. They must be doing something right and drawing inspiration from another medium shouldn't be seen as a bad thing, doubly so since D&D itself draws one of it's oldest mechanics from ideas it took from another medium: Jack Vance's novels.


So your ok with limited uses, just not with doing anything to get them? So you'd be ok with the houserule of ''the DM will sprinkle your needed material spell components around the game world. They will be super easy to find and pick up, but you will only find a couple every so often.'' So that way a player will find the needed components from time to time, but not enough to cast all their characters spells all the time.

I still wouldn't play in a game that requires me to track how many grasshopper legs or strands of cotton i carry though. again: the games I mentioned give you more then enough ammunition to handle any one or two given situations and the type of ammunition is usually 3-4 types at most (handgun, buckshot, rifle, grenade), not a laundry list of potential ones and you're often given some sort of out of a bad situation, even if it's just to beat tracks, so you're not going to be hurting for ammunition if you play smart: you're just not solving all problems with "... and then BULLETS!".

looking at 4th ed, it had "residuum". One ritual a trained caster could learn would allow you to disenchant a magic item, destroying it into an amount of generic magic dust/essence thing that could be used in rituals in place of particular components for rituals. This raw magical extract that could go towards making new items or casting ritual magic.

Something like this in place of the current "you have 4 pieces of cured leather (mage armor), 6 bits of cotton (silent image), some powdered iron (enlarge/reduce person) and a stick of butter (grease)" if you're going to force tracking for some commonly cast 1st level spells would make it more bearable... something akin to 1gp worth of residuum = 10 casting of low material cost spells. you're still bookkeeping, but it's wrapping it all up into something that's far easier to track and obtain: anyone trained in an item crafting feat can disenchant an item into an amount of residuum equal to a third (just to throw a number out there) of it's buying cost.

As you generally craft an item at 1/2 it's purchase value, you can't just swap out your items willy-nilly, this means a 9000gp cost item is crafted & sold for 4500gp or disenchanted in a pinch for 3000gp of residuum which can be used in place of expensive components, like diamonds, for revival or put back into item crafting.

This makes it easier for casters to cast their more expensive spells in a situation where the GM is being stingy if they really need to and as a GM you can give raw residuum that the player can spend on whatever spells he needs. If you really want to, you can split the difference with arcane/divine residuum or lesser/normal/greater residuum that's used for level 1-3/6/9 spells akin to what metamagic rods do.

It's still a bit of a hassle, but at this point the player is tracking from one common pool of stuff rather then several they need to create a grocery list for before adventuring. Do note that a spell component pouch's 15 gp price, under this type of system could easily be reflavoured as a satchel of 150 uses of the stuff used for casting low level spells. alternatively you could use most of it to brew a healing potion (12.5gp) while holed up in a dungeon, cave system or on the road if you really needed it, but be left with 2.5gp worth of residuum to cast your spells with. if you find out you don't need the potion, you can turn it back into it's base components, for about 8.3gp worth of residuum. it also lets party members get rid of low-level potions & scrolls they don't plan on using immediately and can't offload them for GP for any reasons.

At this point it is more about monitoring your amount of residuum and estimating how much you might need on a given adventure rather then shopping and hoping the party will let you do so, and expending it too much could end up with you being without spells. As such you trade off several casting of higher level spells for the ease of availability of some commonly used low-level ones.


As I mentioned, just saying ''this game uses material components'' amazingly stops most players that would make problems with a spellcasting character. They will either play something else or not play at all. And amazingly the other players don't seem to mind playing a spellcaster that can't ruin the game or ruin the fun for others.

amazingly, i found that you're quite wrong. the thing that pushes most people away from spellcasters is that they're already straddled with a bit of tedium and complexity built in, especially at high level: namely spell selection on a daily basis or trying to guess what loadout will be applicable for any given situation.

again: the people who wouldn't ruin it before the enforcement are the ones hurt the most by forcing far more restrictions on casters. at best they'll suffer through the extra tedium and the people who were on the fence about maybe playing them will likely go "bugger to that noise" once it becomes a hassle.

munchkins will either find a way around it or another way to ruin your fun while more experienced players will find ways around it, something that experienced or clever players have been doing for decades when restrictions are put in front of them regardless of medium and if they want to play a caster this won't curtail them unless you enforce it to the point of being a soft ban.

Chauncymancer
2015-10-25, 09:33 PM
Also, at that point, why even specify required ingredients at all if the game is just going to turn around and hand-wave them into irrelevance? At the very least it means that a wizard can be "disarmed" if their hip mounted random junk collection is confiscated I guess.

The reason to require ingredients is that when you fiat capture the wizard you can disarm him.
The reason for *specific* ingredients is that they are... puns. They're all jokes.

Darth Ultron
2015-10-25, 10:27 PM
It's neither. It was a statement supported with evidence.


It was both, you can't directly insult and and attack someone and just say ''oh, it's ok as it is a fact''



You probably shouldn't heap contempt on video gamers right after complaining about a perceived insult. 'Tis bad form.

You might note ''vague contempt'' is not a direct personal attack aimed directly at you and the way you are and the way you play the game. You know, like you did.


So I know there are lots of people that ignore material components, encumbrance, hit points, negative levels, traps and harmful conditions (things like blindness) or anything else they don't like in the game. And that is fine.

I'll just say, enforcing material spell components the right way do a great job making spellcasters a lot less overwhelming and dominant in game play. Do some players not like keeping track of what feather they got from what bird at what time, sure. Tons of them. Though there are plenty of players that have problems with anything.

And again, amazingly, the players that don't play spellcasters because of the use of material components are exactly the ones that cause the problems. The other player types have no problem with it. It all works out in the end.

Necroticplague
2015-10-26, 07:00 AM
I'll just say, enforcing material spell components the right way do a great job making spellcasters a lot less overwhelming and dominant in game play. Do some players not like keeping track of what feather they got from what bird at what time, sure. Tons of them. Though there are plenty of players that have problems with anything.

And again, amazingly, the players that don't play spellcasters because of the use of material components are exactly the ones that cause the problems. The other player types have no problem with it. It all works out in the end.

Dude, in my own experience, it's the other way around. Greifers and trolls use rules like this as an excuse to be unhelpful ("Sorry, can't buff you, might need this component later"), while the ones who actually want to be useful will be hamstrung by the fact that they only have so many buffs to pass around. Selfish pricks would take this as a good reason to hog up more of the spotlight with them going on sidequests to hunt down more components, while more fairness-minded or shy ones will resent having to. Powergamers will just stock up on so many components that the rule may as well not exist, except to drain loot he doesn't really need anyway.

Solaris
2015-10-26, 03:40 PM
It was both, you can't directly insult and and attack someone and just say ''oh, it's ok as it is a fact''

No.
Criticism is not a synonym with insult, unless you're the sort who has to take everything personally, make everything personal, and refuse any ideas that come from other people unless you already agree with them.


You might note ''vague contempt'' is not a direct personal attack aimed directly at you and the way you are and the way you play the game. You know, like you did.

Seriously? You're going to try this?
You insulted an entire group of people, then whined about some criticism that wasn't couched in the kindest and gentlest of terms possible. You have zero ground to stand on when making this complaint.
Also, you're going to need either a citation or a retraction for that claim that I personally attacked "you and the way you are and the way you play the game". Those first two in particular are absolutely ludicrous, because the only one who's making things personal here is you. I, for one, have absolutely no concern about who or what you or anyone else here is because that's not what we're talking about here. If you can't grok that, maybe you should leave the thread before you get more upset.
That's even without the sheer hilarity of looking down your nose at people who play video games from the lofty perch of playing tabletop RPGs. It's like one inmate at the asylum looking at the other and calling him crazy.


So I know there are lots of people that ignore material components, encumbrance, hit points, negative levels, traps and harmful conditions (things like blindness) or anything else they don't like in the game. And that is fine.

Strawmanning. Nobody here has asserted any of that except encumbrance.


I'll just say, enforcing material spell components the right way do a great job making spellcasters a lot less overwhelming and dominant in game play.

And you'd be wrong. Moreover, because you haven't really addressed any issues raised up with that, you've failed to convince anybody of your assertion's validity. Simply repeating it over and over again doesn't lend it an ounce of credibility.


Do some players not like keeping track of what feather they got from what bird at what time, sure. Tons of them. Though there are plenty of players that have problems with anything.

Saying "There are plenty of players who have problems with anything" is a cop-out; you're refusing to address the issues raised up about why and how material components fail as a means of regulating spellcaster power.


And again, amazingly, the players that don't play spellcasters because of the use of material components are exactly the ones that cause the problems. The other player types have no problem with it. It all works out in the end.

Unsupported assertion with no genetic validity. Here's why: Claiming that someone is a problem player because they don't like bookkeeping minutiae and tedious accounting is ridiculous, because there's no correlation between a player's quality and how much they enjoy accountant work. You are, in essence, making the claim that only people who like rules-heavy, incredibly fiddly systems are good players and people who don't are problem players.

oxybe
2015-10-26, 05:10 PM
So I know there are lots of people that ignore material components, encumbrance, hit points, negative levels, traps and harmful conditions (things like blindness) or anything else they don't like in the game. And that is fine.

Going by the core rules, spell component pouch or eshew materials covers those fiddly components so we ignore them via using the rules. enforcing the tracking of every stick of butter is never houseruled in by any group i've ever played in because it's needlessly tedious and doesn't make the class more accessible to anyone.

encumbrance is usually ignored because handy haversack / bag of holding / portable hole / a pack mule. 4 PCs with 4 bag of holding can carry 1000lb of loot in 60lb of bag. even a character with 8 str can carry that without much problem past level 3-4.

HP, negative levels & harmful conditions are tracked because they're mechanics that directly affect your character, barring immunities, like the elf being immune to sleep/ghoul paralysis or the pathfinder dhampir ignoring many penalties around negative levels


I'll just say, enforcing material spell components the right way do a great job making spellcasters a lot less overwhelming and dominant in game play. Do some players not like keeping track of what feather they got from what bird at what time, sure. Tons of them. Though there are plenty of players that have problems with anything.

yes, but you're not saying how it solves the problem of the wizard's upper end power, which is the issue at hand: you can't handle the wizard blowing up your encounters with his already limited number of upper level spells, which means that anytime the wizard DOES have the component he can trivialize the encounter.

Might as well as just say "well double up on the number of encounters the wizard can win until he's out of i-win spells".

Putting the wizard through the wringer trying to get those components dissuades casual players from playing the class because it's a hassle. more experienced players will try or find ways to circumvent those hassles, making them moot. disruptive players will embrace those hassles and annoy the party with them.


And again, amazingly, the players that don't play spellcasters because of the use of material components are exactly the ones that cause the problems. The other player types have no problem with it. It all works out in the end.

no they're not and it doesn't work out. see above.

the problem you seem to have is players using the wizard in a semi-intelligent manner by using spells outside the the mindless blaster variety.

if that's the problem, then your problem is one that is fundamental with the system: wizards have too many powerful options and reducing them to dumb blasters (noting that even traditional blaster) is a horrible way to curtail them: look at the problem spells and fix them instead of making the class as a whole a PITA.

because the second you get a player who doesn't mind or finds a way around your bookkeeping, you're back at square one.

Telok
2015-10-26, 06:31 PM
Dude, in my own experience, it's the other way around. Greifers and trolls use rules like this as an excuse to be unhelpful ("Sorry, can't buff you, might need this component later"), while the ones who actually want to be useful will be hamstrung by the fact that they only have so many buffs to pass around. Selfish pricks would take this as a good reason to hog up more of the spotlight with them going on sidequests to hunt down more components, while more fairness-minded or shy ones will resent having to. Powergamers will just stock up on so many components that the rule may as well not exist, except to drain loot he doesn't really need anyway.
That's not the material components though, that's the players. If you ran a "no magic, only psionics" game they'd do the same thing.

I wonder. If you had a system where spell casting needed a wand and wands had charges would that be ok? Something like a 3.5 sorcerer that required a 20 gp charged wand instead of the VSM system. Of course the wands are available everywhere magic isn't illegal and the sorcerer can always make them for free during downtime.

Mark Hall
2015-10-26, 06:34 PM
I wonder. If you had a system where spell casting needed a wand and wands had charges would that be ok? Something like a 3.5 sorcerer that required a 20 gp charged wand instead of the VSM system. Of course the wands are available everywhere magic isn't illegal and the sorcerer can always make them for free during downtime.

I'm reminded of ritual components in 4e... wasn't there one component that was pretty universal, that you more or less just said "Yeah, I have X gp of ritualarium, and so I don't need to worry about candles and such"?

oxybe
2015-10-26, 06:40 PM
@Mark Hall i mentioned Residuum on post 146 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=19995617&postcount=146).

themaque
2015-10-26, 08:06 PM
I've seen it loosely enforced before and once seriously.

2nd edition where you are scrounging caves for guano and coming up with wire cages to keep live spiders. It was... a pain but kind of fun at the same time. If the game had continued I had plans not only to be an Adventurer but also Quest giver.

"Go to the caves, deep in the Crimson Hills and fetch me the moss that grows there, the much from the floor, and three flow worms! I shall require them on my return to this dimension!"

It was fun for the time, but that was a long time ago when I had more time/patients for games. I'm known for loving the minutia and paperwork but I don't think it would make a very fun game except for a small portion of players and extreme simulation-ists.

Sometimes You just want to blow up a bad guy and not worry about the extraneous Sh... Guano.

JusticeZero
2015-10-28, 12:47 AM
I have, it worked fine. You just had to have the components and they would be consumed, getting them set up was part memorization. But some of the ingredients, while theoretically free, are hard to procure in quantities you might want for a nifty spell you want to use a lot. Does add a lot of bookkeeping though.

Necroticplague
2015-10-28, 08:34 AM
That's not the material components though, that's the players. If you ran a "no magic, only psionics" game they'd do the same thing..

That's my point. I was replying to "The other player types have no problem with it.", which I believe to be false.

Darth Ultron
2015-10-28, 08:28 PM
no they're not and it doesn't work out. see above.


All I can say is enforcing components, in the right way, works. Sure, fixing spells and limiting the players access to spells and not allowing 15 minute days are all other things that can be done.

Most of the problems your taking about come from the game style of ''Rules First and the DM is just a Player''. And, yes, that play style if full of problems. But lots of people like that play style. And the ''Player vs DM style'' has a lot of the problems you mention too, but that s another style full of problems.

Though the ''DM is always right'' style does not have any of the problems you mention. So when any play tried to do anything stupid, annoying or disruptive the DM can just say ''no that does not happen''. But that goes far beyond just enforcing material components.

oxybe
2015-10-28, 09:01 PM
and yet you still don't show how

"And again, amazingly, the players that don't play spellcasters because of the use of material components are exactly the ones that cause the problems. The other player types have no problem with it. It all works out in the end."

is in any way true.

A-hole munchkins will be abusing this force the game to focus on them and make scene of the ordeal.

experienced players will find workarounds or ways to farm the materials, making the whole "enforcement" a near non-issue for them.

newbies and casual players will be turned off the casters as you're taking the more complicated classes, adding extra an extra layer of hassle to it and they're likely not the people to cause issues in the first place.

The problems i'm talking about come from almost two decades of playing various games and seeing how players react to materials as a power limiter and how it's never really worked in that aspect and really only served to push people away from the classes affected, acting almost as a soft ban if too sparse or too much of a hassle.

You said "the right way" this is the "any good GM" argument where "any good GM can make X work" where instead of explaining how it leads to it working you're just saying "well if you do it the right way it works".

what is the right way?

i've been gaming for 17-18 years now and i've never seen this miraculous "right way" across any medium they've tried to apply it to.

Telok
2015-10-28, 10:05 PM
newbies and casual players will be turned off the casters as you're taking the more complicated classes, adding extra an extra layer of hassle to it and they're likely not the people to cause issues in the first place.

Well I don't know about that, the very first D&D character I played back in the early 90's was a wizard and I had to track components. Come to think that was my very first roleplaying game character too.

I never had a problem with it.

nyjastul69
2015-10-28, 10:55 PM
It only seems arbitrary if you operate from the assumption that the purpose of these games is anything but fun.
Tedium =/= fun.



No. Everything in the game is either itself fun or, through its presence, facilitates fun.
If it isn't, it is counterproductive and needs to be trimmed off. See: Next to nobody uses encumbrance.



I'm sorry the definitions don't suit you, but it's not "cherry picking" when we're talking about things that are and are not fun in a game and whether or not they should be there. There is literally no other purpose to the game other than to play it and have fun..

This post is as far as I've read. Ummm... I actually like certain tediums of the game. I find them engaging. Also, there are people who use encumbrance. Where did you get your facts from?

goto124
2015-10-28, 11:25 PM
So... include spell components only if it's part of the style of the game. Which would include other things such as encumbrance and rations.

Radar
2015-10-29, 04:41 AM
Though the ''DM is always right'' style does not have any of the problems you mention. So when any play tried to do anything stupid, annoying or disruptive the DM can just say ''no that does not happen''. But that goes far beyond just enforcing material components.
This is tanglential, but such a style has it's own set of problems, because it's very easy to make the players feel they don't have any agency in the game, that they aren't free to play their characters the way they envisioned, that their success or failure does not depend on them. Munchkinery or rampant powergaming are OOC problems and should be solved OOC. Breaking the rules by the DM or not having rules which even DM has to obay can be very disrupting to the game in of itself.

Frozen_Feet
2015-10-29, 10:09 AM
So... include spell components only if it's part of the style of the game. Which would include other things such as encumbrance and rations.

Style affects granularity at which things should be modeled, yes. Tracking spell components, rations and encumberance becomes useful in a relatively open-ended game scenario which can last for unlimited in-game time. They serve to remind of passing of time and place natural limits on what characters can do. Having to return to safety to restock supplies creates a nice, cyclical structure and gives players incentive to revisit and defend old places.

Solaris
2015-10-29, 10:36 AM
This post is as far as I've read. Ummm... I actually like certain tediums of the game. I find them engaging. Also, there are people who use encumbrance. Where did you get your facts from?

Good for you. Exceptions do not disprove the rule. Some people enjoy mathematics and accounting, but that doesn't make either of those a terribly popular pastime.

I got my facts from a couple of decades of gaming, discussion, study of game design, and an awareness of human nature. {{Scrubbed}}

nyjastul69
2015-10-29, 10:52 AM
Good for you. Exceptions do not disprove the rule. Some people enjoy mathematics and accounting, but that doesn't make either of those a terribly popular pastime.

I got my facts from a couple of decades of gaming, discussion, study of game design, and an awareness of human nature. I {{Scrubbed}}.

Fair enough I suppose. As much as my exception proves nothing, your personal experiences proves precisely as much. {{Scrubbed}}

Piedmon_Sama
2015-10-29, 04:58 PM
I've been playing this game for fifteen years and never known a single DM who would actually bother to keep track of the Wizard/Sorcerer's spell components (I like to think I would have but, fortunately, I've never had anyone choose a full arcane casting class in one of my games).

Hawkstar
2015-10-31, 09:24 PM
Some people enjoy mathematics and accounting, but that doesn't make either of those a terribly popular pastime.When mathematics and accounting become involved in blowing **** up or creating wonders, they become a hell of a lot more fun than blowing **** up/creating wonders without the mathematics and accounting.

Enforced material components worked well in AD&D. The focus should be on Group Play, with spells being powerful, and a concern for the whole party. It doesn't work in "Every man for himself" gameplay, though. The wizard is the team Bazooka. He needs specialized ammo to shine, though. And he doesn't have enough to be the go-to guy for every problem. That said, I don't think Sorcerers in 3.P should have to deal with Material Components (Which should largely be a Wizard thing, in exchange for getting the greatest selection of spells, most powerful spells, earlier access to the spells and ability to use any of them, while a sorcerer just has class features disguised as spells) Wizards need to actually interface with their casting on a more intimate level.

Darth Ultron
2015-10-31, 10:01 PM
. That said, I don't think Sorcerers in 3.P should have to deal with Material Components (Which should largely be a Wizard thing, in exchange for getting the greatest selection of spells, most powerful spells, earlier access to the spells and ability to use any of them, while a sorcerer just has class features disguised as spells) Wizards need to actually interface with their casting on a more intimate level.

I disagree. As long as a Sorcerer uses magic exactly like a wizard and uses the wizard spells, they should get material components too. Though I'll be the first to say that sorcerer's should have unique magic that does not just allow them to cast wizard spells. Though the 3x/P folks could not be bothered to do this and just made them just like wizards except for a small tweek or two.

oxybe
2015-10-31, 10:24 PM
When mathematics and accounting become involved in blowing **** up or creating wonders, they become a hell of a lot more fun than blowing **** up/creating wonders without the mathematics and accounting.

have you, like, played any videogame? the most accounting we have to do is usually "do we have the kaboom?" and for the most part the answer is "yes" if the kaboom is considered a key part of gameplay. you rarely have to go out of your way to find it.

Do you really think playing the Soldier in TF2 would be a much better experience if you had to first make a phone call to your superior officer (knowing TF2 cannon and the Soldier character, his superior officer is likely a racoon in a hat) and order a specific amount of ordinance, then when it gets delivered you have to sign for it, and at the end of every match you have to make a report to your Racoon officer about how you used your ordinance as well as the expenses you accrued while on sortie, then finally report to Medic to check for any instance.

but maybe that's not the sort of math and accounting or building and destroying you're talking about, so let's look at minecraft:

When i play minecraft i simply accrue as much material as i'm comfortable with and then build. or destroy. depends on the mods i'm using and the mood i'm in, but that time spent crafting and mining? it's done entirely solo and i don't have 3-5 other people waiting for me to finish up so we can get onto doing something else. very rarely do i chart out how much of a given material i'll need for a build as material in that game is usually pretty easy to get large amounts of. specific machines or recipes yes, to a certain extent will require mapping out, but materials in the game can very easily found in excess when you reach certain milestones in modded minecraft. requiring the 135 blocks of sand and 112 bricks to make the 28 coal coke oven requires "accounting" but that's simply going "welp, gonna find me a river and have like, 4-5 wooden shovels and a few minutes of digging" and then you're done: you throw those 4-5 stacks of materials into the 3x3 crafting grid then build the structure and you're off making coal coke and creosote oil.

even early game ore duplication isn't hard to do and when you finally get an automated quarry to get materials when you're out and about you start doing more complex builds. a proper sorting system and better or larger quarry allows you to go even bigger.

but very rarely am i so strapped for materials that it's frustrating and i usually have a good store on hand, even in the early game, with easy enough access to more.

so yeah, even in a game that's focused almost entirely about building and destroying you can still do the two of them without worrying too much about accounting or math as materials are usually pretty easy to get.

this is because accounting and tedium do not generally make for fun or engaging group play and enforcing requiring your wizard to map out how many sticks of butter he'll need on the adventure before he can get back to town is just not engaging gameplay.

Hawkstar
2015-11-01, 01:31 AM
I disagree. As long as a Sorcerer uses magic exactly like a wizard ...
Which is never. Sorcerers never use magic exactly like a wizard, and if you think they do, you're either playing them wrong, or forcing someone else to play them wrong.
have you, like, played any videogame? the most accounting we have to do is usually "do we have the kaboom?" and for the most part the answer is "yes" if the kaboom is considered a key part of gameplay. you rarely have to go out of your way to find it.

Do you really think playing the Soldier in TF2 would be a much better experience if you had to first make a phone call to your superior officer (knowing TF2 cannon and the Soldier character, his superior officer is likely a racoon in a hat) and order a specific amount of ordinance, then when it gets delivered you have to sign for it, and at the end of every match you have to make a report to your Racoon officer about how you used your ordinance as well as the expenses you accrued while on sortie, then finally report to Medic to check for any instance.Team Fortress 2 is the worst example, because it's a twitch-based instant-action shooter completely lacking in strategic value (Though it does emphasize tactics). Try League of Legends or DotA instead? Or even Left4Dead. Or Halo (Though that's more map awareness and weapon management).


When i play minecraft i simply accrue as much material as i'm comfortable with and then build. or destroy. depends on the mods i'm using and the mood i'm in, but that time spent crafting and mining? it's done entirely solo and i don't have 3-5 other people waiting for me to finish up so we can get onto doing something else. very rarely do i chart out how much of a given material i'll need for a build as material in that game is usually pretty easy to get large amounts of. specific machines or recipes yes, to a certain extent will require mapping out, but materials in the game can very easily found in excess when you reach certain milestones in modded minecraft. requiring the 135 blocks of sand and 112 bricks to make the 28 coal coke oven requires "accounting" but that's simply going "welp, gonna find me a river and have like, 4-5 wooden shovels and a few minutes of digging" and then you're done: you throw those 4-5 stacks of materials into the 3x3 crafting grid then build the structure and you're off making coal coke and creosote oil.

even early game ore duplication isn't hard to do and when you finally get an automated quarry to get materials when you're out and about you start doing more complex builds. a proper sorting system and better or larger quarry allows you to go even bigger.

but very rarely am i so strapped for materials that it's frustrating and i usually have a good store on hand, even in the early game, with easy enough access to more.

so yeah, even in a game that's focused almost entirely about building and destroying you can still do the two of them without worrying too much about accounting or math as materials are usually pretty easy to get.You have too much time on your hands in Minecraft.


this is because accounting and tedium do not generally make for fun or engaging group play and enforcing requiring your wizard to map out how many sticks of butter he'll need on the adventure before he can get back to town is just not engaging gameplay.We'll have to disagree on this point.

Keltest
2015-11-01, 06:47 AM
Team Fortress 2 is the worst example, because it's a twitch-based instant-action shooter completely lacking in strategic value (Though it does emphasize tactics). Try League of Legends or DotA instead? Or even Left4Dead. Or Halo (Though that's more map awareness and weapon management). I have tried them, and oddly enough none of them require you to make a spreadsheet before playing. The resources are available enough that if you run dry you can just make a quick trip back to a predetermined point with minimal time out of action. Also, you don't typically prevent anybody on either side from doing anything else while resupplying.


You have too much time on your hands in Minecraft. You seem to have missed his point.

Darth Ultron
2015-11-01, 10:14 AM
Which is never. Sorcerers never use magic exactly like a wizard, and if you think they do, you're either playing them wrong, or forcing someone else to play them wrong.

Well the 3x/P sorcerer casts the exact same spells as a wizard using all the same spellcasting rules. The only difference is how they select/memorize spells. In 3x/P a sorcerer, quite stupidly, learns all the exact book details of a spell from nothing....that takes a normal wizard much study.

Sorcerers should have a unique type of magic, one that does not cast the exact same spells as wizards.

Frozen_Feet
2015-11-01, 02:07 PM
To those talking about videogames, why do you think shooters or point-and-click tower defense games are the relevant comparison points to tabletop games?

You know, as opposed to something like Nethack, ADOM, Dwarf Fortress and other roguelikes which actually try to emulate tabletop games? Or mainstream CRPGs? Games which have actually had spell components, encumberance, food etc. as important game elements?

Or turn-based strategy games like Diplomacy? Or 4X space strategy games? Or tabletop wargames?

AD&D was originally made by people to people, who were used to playing tabletop wargames. Said games often contain a huge amount of number-crunching and referencing various charts, tables and rulebooks, with a single player's single turn lasting half an hour.

Compared to managing an army in a game like that, keeping track of one character's supplies is trivial.

TheIronGolem
2015-11-01, 02:54 PM
AD&D was originally made by people to people, who were used to playing tabletop wargames. Said games often contain a huge amount of number-crunching and referencing various charts, tables and rulebooks, with a single player's single turn lasting half an hour.

Compared to managing an army in a game like that, keeping track of one character's supplies is trivial.

1) So what? If I don't want to count bat poops to play a wizard, the existence of some other game where you have to do even more homework isn't going to make me excited about counting bat poops.
2) Note that even among wargames, the most enduring and popular ones are usually the ones like Risk or Axis and Allies; i.e. the ones where you don't have a ton of fiddly bookkeeping involved with every player's turn.

Frozen_Feet
2015-11-01, 04:05 PM
1) The point is that your expectations of tedious depend on what you've played in the past.

2) Kriegsspiel endures just as well and it invented fiddly book-keeping in wargames. So does Warhammer.

oxybe
2015-11-01, 07:29 PM
To those talking about videogames, why do you think shooters or point-and-click tower defense games are the relevant comparison points to tabletop games?

You know, as opposed to something like Nethack, ADOM, Dwarf Fortress and other roguelikes which actually try to emulate tabletop games? Or mainstream CRPGs? Games which have actually had spell components, encumberance, food etc. as important game elements?

Or turn-based strategy games like Diplomacy? Or 4X space strategy games? Or tabletop wargames?

AD&D was originally made by people to people, who were used to playing tabletop wargames. Said games often contain a huge amount of number-crunching and referencing various charts, tables and rulebooks, with a single player's single turn lasting half an hour.

Compared to managing an army in a game like that, keeping track of one character's supplies is trivial.

one, i use games that focused on singular characters since D&D does the same: you rarely control more then one character in D&D as that was the experience the original rules wanted to focus on: bring it from controlling an army to a singular unit.

dwarf fortress, 4x games and certain types tabletop wargames are billed as resource management games. it's part of the expected experience written in it's taglines. D&D has never billed itself as a resource management game: it's always, to my knowledge, billed itself as a game of high adventure and excitement. D&D proposes a game of a group of adventurers going out and, well, adventuring: exploring strange locales, fighting monsters and finding treasure. Not one waiting for the wizard to count the number of butter sticks he may or may not need. even then, in games like dwarf fortress, you do try to make your dwarf complex as efficient as you can, less you leave the dwarves to their own largely unhinged devices.

expectations of games should be based off the game's taglines not simply based on what you're used to in other games (though looking at how other games work within the genre can help you find ways to make your game better). if i'm going to play, say TF2, i expect a shooter like the one the back of the box describes, not a Final Fantasy 5-esque JRPG. Same with Civilization, dungeons of dreadmoor, or receteer: those games have certain expectations based off the gameplay and themes it says it focuses on.

as for something like comparing it roguelikes, you'll notice that most of them have no ability to reliably harvest materials or even replant for a future harvest and you're expected to play with what you find... your character decisions are usually kept to very minimal on the outset of entering the dungeon. an entrepreneurial D&D character should definitely be capable of doing those things if they're settled in a given location, especially when we're talking things as relatively mundane as gathering butter and cotton needed for common spells, unless you're telling me that the butter barons in the typical D&D world has a hard limit on 2 sticks per household and have regular audits.

it should also be noted that D&D is famous for a few items: the bag of holding and it's ilk, the handy haversack & portable hole, exist entirely to make carrying capacity a non-issue. IE: reduce bookkeeping.

The devs over the years must have noticed that a significant enough base of players weren't too fond of the management mechanics as they added other items, like the quiver of ehlonna/endless quiver type items make counting ammunition a non-issue and the ring of sustenance so you don't worry about food and drink. even some spells, ropetrick and the magnificient mansion lines exist to make camping out far less tedious as you don't need to worry as much about shelter.

This is mainly because you focus less on the adventure when you worry about the GM putting a stranglehold on components, which runs against the proposed game type.


Team Fortress 2 is the worst example, because it's a twitch-based instant-action shooter completely lacking in strategic value (Though it does emphasize tactics). Try League of Legends or DotA instead? Or even Left4Dead. Or Halo (Though that's more map awareness and weapon management).

League? played quite a bit of that game. never cared for the competitive aspect so i couldn't tell you if i was bronze tier scrub or not, but me an the housemates had a lan setup and often played 5's or 3's with a group of friends in the house. outside of the early game, you focus more on managing your cooldown then any particular resource. early game ability spam can leave you starved for mana (the one resource almost everyone from the pint-sized evil mage Veigar, to the "effectively a paladin" Leona to the Piltover terrorist Jinx uses, outside of characters who manage their own resources like Tryndamere) but late game you usually have more then enough for any activation outside of unexpectedly prolongued engagements.

and even then it's just one recall away to get fully topped up and a mad dash back to your lane.

so yeah. bad choice of game to highlight as an example of resource management since the evil wizard, the divinely blessed paladin & the wholly mundane rocket/minigun user all draw from the same generic resource pool for ALL their abilities, and the focus is more on cooldown management then a limited resource

as for the "twitch-based instant-action shooter completely lacking in strategic value" comment, note that traditional D&D combats tend to be over in 3-4 rounds, which means about 18-24 seconds in game time. D&D, especially 3+ is all about instant action if you're looking at it from in-game time perspective. a "long" encounter, one that lasts for 10 rounds in D&D is only a minute long using in-game time. the fact that casting a spell requires only a fraction of your 6 second round means that "instant-action" probably describes D&D's combat pretty well, the fact that many spells can end encounters by themselves and the race for high initiative can be a significant determinant in the flow of combat can, again, indicate a leaning towards "twitch-based" combat.

slower to resolve, sure, this is because we don't have a computer running things in the background, but which scenario does the rules lean more towards: "wizard stands around fiddling around in pouch for exact components, chants spell and does complex hand gestures" or "waves hand, says a few words and keeps moving"?

in 2nd ed D&D (or was it first?) where rounds were counted in minutes, the former would be more appropriate, but since the 2000s the game has been more firmly encroached in the latter.

the comparison to a game of quick reflexes seems appropriate when put into that context.

plus I mainly play pyro in TF2: the most twitch i have to do is either hold my cursor on the enemy and press q after i M2'd them while holding down M1 in the rare chance i use my degreaser+reserve shooter combo or be ready to press M2 to reflect a rocket while in combat with a soldier an noticing animation tells, though for the most part it's pretty easy to take your time and reflect them from afar. pyro is really more about abusing enemy mistakes and map awareness. my second most played class is engineer, the guy who builds a auto-targetting sentry to guard an area guards the area around it. team comp and loadout choice is also very important depending on game type and map choice so there is strategy involved.


You have too much time on your hands in Minecraft.

actually, i don't. i've just been playing since the alpha so i've picked up various techniques to make my life easier, though you yourself seem to have quite a bit of time on your hands when playing D&D though since you don't seem mind telling your group to wait as you go about shopping and bargain hunting for reagents or harvesting in the wild for bits and bobs just so you can use your class abilities.

Jormengand
2015-11-02, 10:13 AM
So does Warhammer.

Warhammer is dead in the first instance and didn't make you track ammo in the second; neither do 40K (except for hunter-killer and doomstrike missiles) or Age of Sigmar.

Segev
2015-11-02, 11:03 AM
I'm getting the impression people are arguing past each other at this point.

We are all still remembering that spell component pouches cover the RAW completely, and that thus "ignoring" material components by virtue of "I have a spell component pouch" is not, in fact, ignoring material components, right?

(It doesn't come up often, but depriving a caster of his spell component pouch is a good way to limit him a bit in an encounter. Usually less infuriating than depriving a wizard of his spellbook, and more immediately effective, since the wizard sans spellbook is only stymied when he goes to renew his prepared spells.)

themaque
2015-11-03, 01:43 PM
Well the 3x/P sorcerer casts the exact same spells as a wizard using all the same spellcasting rules. The only difference is how they select/memorize spells. In 3x/P a sorcerer, quite stupidly, learns all the exact book details of a spell from nothing....that takes a normal wizard much study.

Sorcerers should have a unique type of magic, one that does not cast the exact same spells as wizards.

Mechanically, the spell effects are just the same as a wizard, true. The argument that they should have a completely different line up of spells with just some minor overlap does have Merritt, but with their current rules it allows for greater flexibility in builds. but i digress, there are a plethora of threads dedicated to that.

Thematically they are very different, hence why the Eschew materials mechanically. While the wizard relies on tricks and exploits to garner their effects, the Sorcerer is a part of magic itself.

From my experience they end up feeling very different in actual play.