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    Default [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    What would happen if I made wizards MAD like this;

    • Intelligence decides max spell level they can learn
    • Constitution decides how many bonus spells they get
    • and Charisma decides the spell DC


    (I suppose you could exchange intelligence with wisdom for the divine casters, and make sorcerers abide to the same rules as the wizards, but anyway, that's of little consequence, so ignore it for now)

    Also, I was thinking of making spellcasting cause the wizard damage equal to the spell's level multiplied with X. What would make a good multiplier? (Or do you think I should assign different multipliers depending on the spells?)

    Ah, I realize that this might very well be a repeat of some old thread. My excuses, but I blame it on the search functions.
    Last edited by Learnedguy; 2008-12-28 at 04:44 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Why on earth constitution? Or, for that matter, charisma? Wizards aren't known for being friendly and social-like.

    Also, I was thinking of making spellcasting cause the wizard damage equal to the spell's level multiplied with X.
    It should probably be exponential. X=1 sounds about right for level-1 spells, but is too weak for level-5 and up.
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Your ability dependency would make tweaking a wizard more interesting, it basically creates two sub-types (high DC save or X wizard / buff-debuff area control wizard).

    Why should casting spells hurt a caster, are you trying to make a magic is dangerous mechanic. Maybe it would be better if you created a backfire effect for each spell, and let the spell casters make checks against backfire?
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Why on earth constitution? Or, for that matter, charisma? Wizards aren't known for being friendly and social-like.
    Well now they are

    Well, I just put the onesI thought would suit best. Charisma because they use sheer force of personality to power up those spells and constitution because they need endurance to cast many spells (especially when I apply the damage when casting).

    Anyway, it doesn't have to be constitution and charisma. It could be strength and wisdom instead for that matter.

    Why should casting spells hurt a caster, are you trying to make a magic is dangerous mechanic. Maybe it would be better if you created a backfire effect for each spell, and let the spell casters make checks against backfire?
    Because even without bonus spells wizards still get quite a few slots. Making the spells hurt them will thus;
    A, Encourage them to raise their constitution
    B, Make them think a bit more before nova:ing the opponent
    C, Keep the "Frail wizard" stereotype even though they got an 18 in con.

    Or so I hope.

    (Backfire isn't a bad idea either. A little bit more dice rolling I suppose, but if that's what you like...)
    Last edited by Learnedguy; 2008-12-28 at 04:56 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    I like the idea of spellcasting hurting the caster, but perhaps you should use a number of D4 equal to the spelllevel? So perhaps casting a 9th level spell does 9d4 damage, since you are altering reality on a mind-boggling scale, this represents the drain on your person, you become tired.

    Honestly, most magic system pre-D&D are like this in some way. Most non-Modern fantasy portrays magic as being a drain on the caster in some way.

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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Quote Originally Posted by TempusCCK View Post
    I like the idea of spellcasting hurting the caster, but perhaps you should use a number of D4 equal to the spelllevel? So perhaps casting a 9th level spell does 9d4 damage, since you are altering reality on a mind-boggling scale, this represents the drain on your person, you become tired.

    Honestly, most magic system pre-D&D are like this in some way. Most non-Modern fantasy portrays magic as being a drain on the caster in some way.
    Just to provide further material for thinking about drain mechanics, the third party supplements Slayers d20 and Advanced d20 Magic used something along the lines of what you're thinking, Tempus. It's slotless casting, mind you, so you can theoretically cast all day. Lots of potential for ways around the drain and all, but it's an interesting springboard for creating a drain-based system. I think this site includes the basic rules...

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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    The other problem is see with that is that it only makes you fatigued and exhausted, which really doesn't conflict with the ability to cast spells. I also dislike the multiple checks. "If you do not meet the Fort save DC, roll another save to see if you become fatigued.." A penalty to strength and dex? Makes the Wizard slightly easier to hit.

    That being said, it's a good springboard, maybe the DC system they use could be applied to take away hitpoints or some ability to cast spells, for instance, we could streamline the system, require Fort checks for spells, and every time they fail a fort check they could take an intellect penalty, showing that they are being drained of the ability to focus, or of course, they could just lose hitpoints on the failed save too...

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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Wizards have naturally high INT score, and usually pump their CON stat so they get more HP.

    If someone wants to become a focused specialist enchanter wizard, i can see a CON/INT/CHA wizard. And it will rule.
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    I actually developed something alonng these lines. Basically for each spell you do a caster level check though the DC isn't very high. Then if you fail you make another caster level check this time double the original DC. Success nothing happens and you only lose your action. Failure and you take 1d4 damage per spell level and you lose the slot and any costs associated with the spell.
    Last edited by Frog Dragon; 2008-12-28 at 06:39 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Simple is almost always better, and you'll get most of the improvement you want just by adding a second dependent ability. Just follow the Favored Soul approach: one stat for spells per day, and another for spell DC. Forcing Wizards to use Charisma for spell DCs is simple and effective.

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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    It even makes some sense: You can learn spells with intelligence but you need force of personality to cast spells effective^^
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Why on earth constitution? Or, for that matter, charisma? Wizards aren't known for being friendly and social-like.
    But they're known for being majestic and awe-inspiring. The powerful ones, at least.

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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Force of your mind determines the power of your spell. I think Charisma to save DCs is trivial. Con to memorizing makes less sense; it's not like you scribed the spells on your body or something. Not to mention, Wizards already always buff Con right after Int. Wis would be more interesting. Right now it's a dump for Wizards.

    Also, for Charisma making them sociable, remember that Sorcerers are Charisma-based and yet, the stereotypical Sorcerer is even more eccentric than your average Wizard. Just because you're charismatic doesn't mean you actually act in socially active nor leadership role. If anything, high Cha Wizard easily makes for one of those unwilling leaders. He doesn't really want to lead, nor take the limelight in conversation (just because you have high Charisma doesn't mean you're comfortable as the center of attention), but people just listen to him so he finds himself with little choice.
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Quote Originally Posted by Learnedguy View Post
    Also, I was thinking of making spellcasting cause the wizard damage equal to the spell's level multiplied with X. What would make a good multiplier? (Or do you think I should assign different multipliers depending on the spells?)
    Funny. Not long ago, I was making some rules for that. Like, every level of the spell deals the caster 1 point of "mana burn". For all mechanics, it counts like non-lethal damage, stacking with it, but can't be avoided by immunity to nonlethal damage. Resting restores the mana burn damage like normal damage (1 x level/8 hours of rest). Zero level spells deals no mana burn.

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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    The Spellcaster drain effect does not exist in DnD; thus making Wizards (or any spellcaster for that matter) way too powerful. A CON damage, or HP damage effect would be too harsh, IMO.

    Losing the ability to focus on the spell being cast, though, is intriguing. I would
    make it a concentration check to be able to cast a spell the following round; something like 15+2x or 3x the spell level.

    I am also working on some houserules for Spellcaster Psychosis effects. For example, shapechange ability (spell, power, Wild Shape, polymorph, etc.) causes the caster to become more and more feral, or at the extremes losing grip on reality itself. Stuff like that. Of course it will scale with the amount of casting being done and the level of the ability.
    Last edited by Quirinus_Obsidian; 2008-12-28 at 11:17 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    Force of your mind determines the power of your spell. I think Charisma to save DCs is trivial. Con to memorizing makes less sense; it's not like you scribed the spells on your body or something. Not to mention, Wizards already always buff Con right after Int. Wis would be more interesting. Right now it's a dump for Wizards.
    Actually, this is a case of a refluff. The con isn't used to memorize, it's used because it's a physical effort to cast spells. A more fit person can cast more spells per day (or something like that. Exchange it con with wisdom and we get something along the lines of " amount of spells per day is decided by willpower")

    Wis instead of con got the advantage of being even more MADer than the initial houserule.
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    In 2nd edition if a wizard wanted to specialise they needed certain stats to be high enough. Different schools needed different stats/values. For example, I think it was illusion that needed 15 cha as well as int. You could use something similar and force specialisation. Just change the stat values for 3rd edition.
    Last edited by Jimp; 2008-12-28 at 02:59 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    There's actually alot of good ideas coming out of this thread.

    One, I like the non-lethal damage compared to lethal damage, it more adequately represents the idea, I didn't think of it at all.

    Two, having a certain stat high enough to specialize. This idea is all kinds of good. I love it. Wisdom for Divination (Combine that with making Divination a school where you have to ban two other schools, because it is not any less powerful than any other school.) Cha for Enchantment and Illusion, Dex for Evocation (Have to have the ability to send the spells where you want them to go, of course) Wisdom for Necro, as well as Conjuration, and probably Transmutation as well.

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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    MAD?

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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Wisdom fits more than Con thematically. Dexterity might be another option instead of Charisma, but it doesn't fit for spells that have no somatic components...

    With Int the way it is, wizards have no incentive to ever raise it about 19. Is this a problem? Int should still probably be their highest stat, since that ensures that they have knowledge skills that are thematically important (instead of, say, a ton of HP or whatever from putting those skill points elsewhere.)

    C, Keep the "Frail wizard" stereotype even though they got an 18 in con.
    I disagree with this. I don't think you should give wizards a reason to raise Con beyond the existing HP bonus (so I don't think it should be used for any part of spellcasting), but given that, I also don't think that you should deliberately enforce the 'frail wizard' stereotype.

    Making wizards more MAD (without including Con) will already enforce it much more strongly than it already is. And the fact is... all of the 'armored mage' PRCs and so forth are mechanically far less powerful than a full wizard. If someone wants to give up arcane ability in order to play a physically tough wizard, let them. They're essentially giving up mechanical power to better reflect their character concept, no need to punish them just because your concept of wizards is squishy.

    (This is a problem that WotC had a lot with early fighter-mage PRCs, when they'd drastically overrate how valuable casting in armor really is. But even the more recent ones are nowhere near as strong as a full wizard.)
    Last edited by Aquillion; 2008-12-28 at 10:22 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    I have suggested this in the past, but with the set-up of Intelligence (understanding of complexity) determines maximum spell level, Charisma (force of will) determines DC, and Wisdom (endurance of mental reserves) as determining bonus spells.
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    I have suggested this in the past, but with the set-up of Intelligence (understanding of complexity) determines maximum spell level, Charisma (force of will) determines DC, and Wisdom (endurance of mental reserves) as determining bonus spells.
    Seems odd to me to make Int the lowest mental stat for Wizards.

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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    I've thought something along the same lines. Wizards would need Int: For highest spell level available (the ability to understand the spell formula). Wis for bonus spells per day (intuition to better utilise the invisible and intangable energy you can safely focus). Cha for Spell DC (coaxing more energy into the spell).
    Sorcerers would have Cha for highest level available, Wis for spell DC (knowledge of the self leads to more power afterall, though I've thought about moving it to Con recently) and Int for bonus spells per day (knowledge of what your working with allows you to do it more effecently).
    Clerics would need Wis for highest spell level availible(only the pious are given power), Cha for spells per day(Coaxing more power from your god/power), and Int for Spell DC(knowledge of the magical energies you are granted). Druids would simply be Clerics of a nature deity and don't exist as a seperate class.

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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    I've thought something along the same lines. Wizards would need Int: For highest spell level available (the ability to understand the spell formula). Wis for bonus spells per day (intuition to better utilise the invisible and intangable energy you can safely focus). Cha for Spell DC (coaxing more energy into the spell).
    Sorcerers would have Cha for highest level available, Wis for spell DC (knowledge of the self leads to more power afterall, though I've thought about moving it to Con recently) and Int for bonus spells per day (knowledge of what your working with allows you to do it more effecently).
    Clerics would need Wis for highest spell level availible(only the pious are given power), Cha for spells per day(Coaxing more power from your god/power), and Int for Spell DC(knowledge of the magical energies you are granted). Druids would simply be Clerics of a nature deity and don't exist as a seperate class.
    See, this is just weird. Sorcerers have Cha as the lowest mental stat, Wizards have Int as lowest, and Clerics have Wisdom as the lowest stat.

    Why would you completely destroy the archetypes?

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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood_Lord View Post
    Seems odd to me to make Int the lowest mental stat for Wizards.
    Why would Intelligence be their lowest stat?

    Unless they have at least a 19, they're not casting the most powerful spells available. They don't, technically, need any higher than that (except to cast Epic spells, gain bonuses to Spellcraft and thus learn spells), but in a point-buy system, intelligence is going to need to be one of your highest stats to get the most out of a wizard. Wisdom is useful, but not necessary. Charisma is great, but most of the batman builds emphasize giving your enemies as few chances to save as possible.
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Having separate stats for highest spell level and save DC seems silly to me. Why isn't the stat that lets you know fancy spells also letting you know more of them at once? Two stats is more than enough: INT for spells (since the wizard needs to be smart to understand them) and WIS (exploiting the enemy's weakness) or CHA (persuading the target the spell worked) for DCs, depending on the school (Illusion, Abjuration and Enchantment, as well as Conjuration to convince things to appear would be CHA, Divination, Evocation and Transmutation would definitely be WIS). Then we have two kinds of wizards: those who buff their friends with a lot of spells and those who pack a punch with a few irresistible spells per day. The Batmen who want to have every spell for every situation prepared have to juggle 3 stats, everyone else gets along fine with one or two.

    @^: Yeah, 19 for INT, and then high 20s if not 30s for whatever their save DCs are based on. Periapts of Wisdom and Cloaks of Charisma as well as Tomes and Wish can make your stats skyrocket, don'tchaknow.
    Last edited by Flickerdart; 2008-12-28 at 11:10 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    What does MAD mean?

    Also, is this trying to be a way to make wizards balanced? What is it for?
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    MAD. Multiple Ability Dependence.

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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Having separate stats for highest spell level and save DC seems silly to me. Why isn't the stat that lets you know fancy spells also letting you know more of them at once?
    It's not a matter of knowing more of them... it's a matter of being able to manage energy well enough to prepare more of them at once. By forcing multiple stats, you make it more difficult (dare I say, expensive) to have all of them high at once. You want to Item, Wish and Tome your way to high stats relevant stats? Sure, you only need a 19 in one, but then you're going to want really high in two... which is better, from a balance standpoint, than needing only one.
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    Default Re: [3.X ed] Making the wizards MAD

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Why would Intelligence be their lowest stat?

    Unless they have at least a 19, they're not casting the most powerful spells available. They don't, technically, need any higher than that (except to cast Epic spells, gain bonuses to Spellcraft and thus learn spells), but in a point-buy system, intelligence is going to need to be one of your highest stats to get the most out of a wizard. Wisdom is useful, but not necessary. Charisma is great, but most of the batman builds emphasize giving your enemies as few chances to save as possible.
    Well a level 1-6 Wizard could get by on a Int of 13. Get a +2 Item, and it's up to level 10. At level 11, get a +4 item and at level 15 a +6.

    Alternatively, if it where just natural scores, grab a Gray elf or other Int boosting race (preferably also Cha, like one of the lesser Gensai) start with a PB of 16 int, and probably 16 Cha or Wis, then after racials it's 18. That's if high level.

    The worst problem with sure a plan is that if a stat, like Int, only matters for highest level of spells cast, and nothing else, People know how long the game is going to last, or they make a character with 14 int, play it till level 10, and then they die. Two stats is fine, especially since some people actually play with 28PB the poor bastards, and with that, you have crap stats like:

    Str 8
    Dex 12
    Con 14
    Int 14
    Wis 14
    Cha 14

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