Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GnomeWorks's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Green Bay, WI

    Default The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Alright, folks, I would like some assistance. First, though, a story.

    I am greatly, greatly irritated with the wizard (and by extension, the sorcerer) in 3.5. I have long since replaced the cleric with a variant class that draws heavily from the Truenaming modification from these boards, and replaced the druid with a variant system of my own design.

    As such, the wizard is pretty much the sole remaining "tier 1" class in my setting... and it must go.

    My primary irritations are these.

    • Spell Slots. Personally, I detest preparing spells, and none of my players have played a wizard, in five years of gaming. They have played plenty of other "spellcasters," both official and hombrew - but wizard remains untouched. It is my belief that their method of casting is the reason, and my distaste for it has finally cinched the deal: spell slots have to go.
    • Too Much Variety. With the plethora of sourcebooks available, wizards can do literally anything. In my setting, wizards are the primary caster of Magic, and compete with eight other similar "casters" for other things (psionicists for psionics, epochents for time, priests for the divine, etc). Each of these other eight have their niches, their strengths and their weaknesses - wizards, however, can do literally anything, and as such are significantly overpowered compared to these other eight casters. Their abilities need to be toned down.
    • Lacking Flavor. Wizards have lost, in my mind, a good deal of flavor in 3.5. For whatever reason, in my mind wizards lack a central theme, a core feel that pervades them. Magic is just... magic, and that makes it uninteresting. I want magic as presented in my setting to be interesting, to do things that aren't necessarily immediately relevant to combat.

    The mage, then, would be a class that is a culmination of these desires: no spell slots, a defined niche, and an interesting flavor.

    To that end, I have cribbed material from another game system: White Wolf's Mage: The Awakening. While most of the flavor of the game is... not what I'm looking for, the spellcasting system is certainly fresh and interesting, if only due to my personal unfamiliarity with it. Combined with some other concepts, I have made that the focus of the class I would like to write. While full write-ups are not available, you can find a list of the spells available to mages in said game here.

    However... there are snags in the design process. In particular, I am not pleased with the "paths" Mage uses; in addition, two of them - Time and Space - are particularly egregious, in that they step completely and utterly on the toes of the epochent, a class whose sole business is manipulation of time and space. I would like to retain the classic D&D schools of magic, but am uncertain how to divide the spells among them.

    I am also at a loss as to how to handle implements, a concept that I'd greatly like to borrow from 4e, but do so with more... style. I have no idea how to deal with them, so any ideas in that regard would be appreciated.

    This is not a finished work. I am essentially posting this here to get feedback on what is already done, and to see if folks here have any ideas on how to improve on the framework I've already constructed - or possibly thoughts on how to revamp it entirely, if such is necessary or would make the class more interesting.

    -----

    Mage
    "Reality is malleable. Anything is possible."

    Spoiler
    Show


    Tellah, iconic mage

    Hidden in the depths of reality, in places where surely no mortal mind was meant to venture, lie secrets: ancient pathways of power, hewn into the metaphysical depths by forces beyond mortal ken. Some of these pathways are accessible only by strange words in alien tongues; some, by bizarre hand gestures; and yet others are unlocked by the combining of seemingly innocuous materials. When a pathway's methods are invoked, the mind calling upon it fills with a sudden surge of energy and knowledge - and the ability to modify the world in some fashion.

    These "short-cuts" in reality are the purview of the mage. By studying these pathways, he gains access to abilities that change and modify the world at his whim. By constantly exercising his mind, he expands his ability to handle the rush of power that comes with the unlocking of these metaphysical leylines, and can plumb their depths for greater and more expansive ways to modify reality.

    Knowing that these short-cuts in reality exist, and even how to unlock them, is insufficient to using them: a mortal must be mentally prepared for the rush of energy in the mind upon their unlocking, and understand how to put that power to use. Mages dedicate themselves to the study of these methods.

    Table: The Mage
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Mana Die|Ruling Spell Access|Common Spell Access|Inferior Spell Access
    1|+0|+0|+0|+2|Paths, Arcane Implement, Expressions of Magic|d4|Apprentice|---|---
    2|+1|+0|+0|+3||d4|Apprentice|---|---
    3|+1|+1|+1|+3||d4|Apprentice|---|---
    4|+2|+1|+1|+4||d4|Apprentice|Initiate|---
    5|+2|+1|+1|+4||d4|Journeyman|Initiate|---
    6|+3|+2|+2|+5||d6|Journeyman|Initiate|---
    7|+3|+2|+2|+5||d6|Journeyman|Initiate|Initiate
    8|+4|+2|+2|+6||d6|Journeyman|Apprentice|Initiate
    9|+4|+3|+3|+6||d6|Journeyman|Apprentice|Initiate
    10|+5|+3|+3|+7|Mage Talent|d6|Adept|Apprentice|Initiate
    11|+5|+3|+3|+7||d8|Adept|Apprentice|Initiate
    12|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8|Mage Talent|d8|Adept|Apprentice|Initiate
    13|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8||d8|Adept|Journeyman|Initiate
    14|+7/+2|+4|+4|+9|Mage Talent|d8|Adept|Journeyman|Apprentice
    15|+7/+2|+5|+5|+9||d8|Adept|Journeyman|Apprentice
    16|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10|Mage Talent|d10|Master|Journeyman|Apprentice
    17|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10||d10|Master|Journeyman|Apprentice
    18|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Mage Talent|d10|Master|Journeyman|Apprentice
    19|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11||d10|Master|Adept|Apprentice
    20|+10/+5|+6|+6|+12|Mage Talent|d10|Master|Adept|Apprentice[/table]

    Game Rule Information
    Mages have the following game statistics.

    Abilities: Intelligence is the prime ability for the mage. With a higher intelligence, his mental fortitude improves, allowing him to command more magical energy, as well as access the deeper secrets of the universe.

    Hit Die: d6.

    Class Skills: The Mage’s class skills are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).

    Skill Points at First Level: (2 + Int mod) x 4.

    Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int mod.

    Alignment: Any.

    Starting Age: Moderate.

    Starting Gold: 4d4 x 10gp.

    Favored By: Elf, Esper.

    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the mage.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Mages are proficient with simple weapons, but no armor except robes. Mages are not proficient with shields.

    Mana Points: A mage's ability to command magic is represented by his mana points. To cast spells, he must expend mana, and when his pool is empty, he cannot cast until he has rested.

    At each caster level, a mage gains additional mana points, as per the table above. A mage rolls for mana points much like a character rolls for hit points. A mage adds his Intelligence modifier to his mana die; as with hit points, later changes in his Intelligence score are retroactive to his mana points.

    A character whose first level is taken in mage receives the maximum result for his mana die (just as he receives the maximum result for hit points). A character who multiclasses into mage after first level rolls his mana die as normal.

    Casting a spell requires mana expenditure as per the list below.

    • Initiate: 1 mp.
    • Apprentice: 4 mp.
    • Journeyman: 9 mp.
    • Adept: 16 mp.
    • Master: 25 mp.

    A mage completely replenishes his mana points after a night's rest.

    Spells: The abilities granted to a mage through an understanding of the magical pathways hewn into the metaphysical underside of the universe are known as "spells."

    Spells are divided into ten categories, called paths; these groupings are relevant to your ability to access spells.

    In addition, in order to cast a spell, you must have a minimum Intelligence score, based upon the grade of the spell.

    • Initiate: 11
    • Apprentice: 13
    • Journeyman: 15
    • Adept: 17
    • Master: 19

    At first level, you know a number of Initiate spells equal to 4 + your Intelligence modifier, and a number of Apprentice spells equal to 2 + your Intelligence modifier. You can select spells from either of your ruling paths (see below).

    Each time you gain a level, you automatically learn a number of spells equal to your Intelligence modifier. At least one of these spells must be from one of your ruling paths, and no more than one can be from your inferior path.

    Paths: Upon beginning his training, the mage finds a certain affinity for certain paths over others. This could be due to any number of factors, such as a metaphysical leyline for some paths crossing over his hometown, or simply having a preference for some over others.

    When you take your first level in mage, you must select two paths as your ruling paths, and one path as your inferior path. All other paths become your common paths. Your studies begin solely in your ruling paths, but you gradually learn to branch out into your common paths; eventually, you learn the basics of your inferior path, but never to the strength of your other paths.

    The paths are as follows.

    • Death: wielding power over darkness, decay, ectoplasm, enervation, ghosts, and soul stealing.
    • Elements: wielding power over electricity, elemental fire, gravity, heat, kinetic energy, light, physics, radiation, sound, and weather.
    • Fate: wielding power over blessings, curses, destiny, fortune, oaths, and probability.
    • Life: wielding power over disease, evolution, healing, metamorphosis, and vigor.
    • Matter: wielding power over alchemy, elemental air, elemental earth, elemental water, shaping, and transmutation.
    • Mind: wielding power over communication, hallucinations, mental projection, mind control, and telepathy.
    • Prime: wielding power over illusions, magical imbuement, mana, and the nature of Magic itself.
    • Space: wielding power over conjuration, scrying, sympathy, teleportation, and wards.
    • Spirit: wielding power over exorcism, soul retrieval, and spirits.
    • Time: wielding power over divination, prophecy, and temporal acceleration/deceleration.

    Arcane Implement: At first level, the mage chooses a particular implement to assist him as a mental focus. Some implements serve as a receptacle for arcane power, allowing the mage to draw mana from it when the need is dire; others grant the mage benefits when using spells of certain paths.

    The four types of implements are tomes, staffs, wands, and orbs.

    Expressions of Magic (Sp): As a mage, you are able to produce a number of minor magical effects, provided you have at least 1 mp remaining.

    At first level, you can produce the following effects at will, so long as you have at least 1 mp.

    • arcane mark
    • detect magic
    • prestidigitation

    Mage Talent: At tenth level, and every two levels thereafter, the mage's understanding of the arcane deepens. He may select one of the following talents.

    • Channel: You may, as a swift action, sacrifice any number of hit points. You gain temporary mana equal to half the amount of hit points you sacrificed, rounded down. Temporary mana lasts for 1 round per point of Intelligence modifier you have, and can put you over your maximum mana. In addition, you can go into lifeburn (Lifeburn: You may, as a swift action, go to 0 hit points. If you do, the base mana cost of all your spells becomes 0, and you gain the benefits of the doublecast talent. This effect lasts for 1 round per point of Intelligence modifier, during which you are immune to damage, can only be destroyed by effects that ignore hit points (such as a sphere of annihilation), and you ignore any penalties for being staggered. After the effect ends, you permanently and irrevocably die. You can only use this ability if you are at 1 or more hit points.)
    • Disciplined Mind: Whenever you would gain a mana die, you may roll twice and take the result of your choice. When you take this talent, you may reroll all the mana dice you have accumulated thus far, and take the total of that reroll or your current total (remember that if mage was your first class, your first level's mana die is maximized).
    • Focused Mind: You gain an additional +1 magic point per caster level. You can take this talent multiple times; its effects stack. (Prerequisites: Disciplined Mind)
    • Dilettante: Choose two common paths. You can access spells one grade higher for those paths (so if you could normally access apprentice spells, you can now access journeyman spells), and immediately learn two spells of the new grade from each path. (Special: You cannot take this talent and the generalist or specialist talents)
    • Doublecast: You can, as a full-round action, cast two spells simultaneously. The combined mana cost of the two spells can be no greater than double your caster level.
    • Quadramagic: You can, as a full-round action, cast four spells simultaneously. The combined mana cost of the four spells can be no greater than triple your caster level. (Prerequisites: Doublecast)
    • Expanded Implements: Choose another magical implement (tome, staff, wand, or orb). You gain affinity for the chosen implement type, as though you had chosen it at first level. You can take this talent up to three times; each time you do, select a new implement.
    • Generalist: Your inferior path becomes a common path, and you immediately learn two spells from each grade that you can now access for that path. Your mage level is treated as three levels lower for determining your spell access to your ruling paths. (Special: You cannot take this talent and the dilettante or specialist talents)
    • Specialist: Treat your mage level as two levels higher for determining your spell access to your ruling paths. In addition, learn two additional spells of each grade for each of your ruling paths, and when you gain access to a new grade of spells in those paths, immediately learn one spell of the new grade. Your mage level is treated as four levels lower for determining your spell access to your inferior path, and as one level lower for determining your spell access to your common paths. (Special: You cannot take this talent and the dilettante or generalist talents)
    • Wish (Sp): You gain knowledge of the wish spell. (Prerequisites: Caster level 16th+, must be able to access Master spells)
    • Feat: The mage may gain a bonus feat in place of a talent.

    -----

    As mentioned above, the spell-list for mages can be found here.

    Comments from individuals that are already familiar with Mage would be greatly appreciated, as I myself have only a passing familiarity with the system and would definitely appreciate some feedback on how this stuff actually works. Keep in mind, though, that I'm dropping a huge number of Mage concepts (gnosis, wisdom, the covert/vulgar divide, disbelief, etc), and that spells always cost mana to cast.

    Feedback and thoughts from anyone else is also appreciated. As mentioned, this is a work in progress, so if something isn't clear, feel free to call me out on it and I'll try to explain.

    In terms of what still needs to be developed - I have no idea what to do with implements. Also, I'd like some abilities to throw in at either at 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th, or 3rd, 5th, 7th (and possibly 9th); those would be nice, but not necessarily required; in particular, if anyone has ideas for how to expand the at-will abilities mages can use at 1st, that'd be fantastic.

    Thanks for reading.
    Mechanics should reflect flavor. Always.
    Journey: The journey of a thousand steps begins beneath your feet... (WIP)

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    That... is an excellent adaptation of the Mage system. Only 'disagreement' of sorts comes from my experience with the game itself; there are quite simply no 'spells'. Just rotes, or to be exact, spells that you have cast so many times that are sort of 'automatic' and well-researched. Not as adaptable but more or less definite and clear in what they do. Like driving a car; you can drive any car but the one you know, you are more comfortable with. Instead, in Mage (or the version I played at least) you have your spheres and what you can do with them. Then, when you want to do something, you gather up the effects of it from here and there and just roll the dice to see if you make it. Essentially, every time you research a new spell to fit your needs. Rotes just make the whole thing faster (though they have other benefits but that's a bit too much).

    Anyway, I'd give it two thumbs up. Though, luck plays an important role in it. Maybe some feats would grant more MP in case people messed up their MP dice? Also, you could work on your own spells and use DnD mechanics, rather than White Wolf. After all, damage is completely different considering that in WoD you have just 6 health levels while DnD can hit the two hundreds.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Hyooz's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Might be worth investigating the UA Spell Points System. It's at least a pretty solid start toward what you seem to want. It doesn't do away with spell slots entirely but it is a huge step away from Vancian casting. You choose spells available to you today at the start of the day and from there cast them willy-nilly by spending points from your spell point pool.

    From there it shouldn't be too hard to come up with a way to entirely remove spell slots. Just a smaller list of spells known, and having them all available whenever is... basically what you seem to be trying to do.

    As far as Wizards having too much variety - look at classes like the Duskblade, Dread Necromancer and the Beguiler. You could easily have wizard specialize in such a way like these classes do - limit part of their spell list to their selected school and allow some variety in the other spells just so they aren't totally useless when their specialty is unavailable.

    Personally, I completely disagree on the aspect of wizards lacking flavor, but opinions are just that. Well, that might come from what my own ideas of class flavor should be (I personally like the fact that playing a wizard just means I'm playing a guy who can use magic - that lets me craft every other part of his flavor exactly how I want. Maybe he uses a staff, maybe he's Gandalf, maybe he's a crazed gnome, whatever.)

    As for the Class itself:

    I like several of the things you've done here. Expressions of Magic should definitely just... be a thing in DnD as far as I'm concerned and the Mage Talents are an interesting idea, but some of them need a little clarification here and there.

    Primary concerns:

    The White Wolf Mage system just doesn't translate over smoothly without reworking the spells entirely. It assumes a lot of the White Wolf world, and assumes a totally different style of game than DnD supports well. Say I'm a level 1 Death Mage. What can I do in combat? None of these spells will be doing 1d6 or whatever damage. Spells like Soul Jar may-or-may-not mimic the effects of 5th level spells (Magic Jar) and I can maybe summon a ghost, but I'm, by and large, left without much of an option in combat.

    The spells will need to be entirely rewritten, is essentially what I'm saying. A spell like Kinetic Blow literally does nothing meaningful in DnD (bashing and lethal blows don't exist.) So you have an issue of wizards who can do anything, to wizards who can do... almost nothing.

    My suggestion? Ditch the White Wolf system entirely. Develop your own spell lists for different specializations of Mage (again, using classes like the Dread Necromancer as inspiration) and do something similar to what you have here. Normal wizard spell level progression for your "main" specialization, a slowed second one, and a very slowed 'common.' Know what I mean?

    As far as filling those dead levels, some "Apprentice Talents" or something similar would do the trick.

    Implements... I don't see the necessity. I say let the player decide how his spells get cast. One of my wizards casts his spells by yelling at a snake... its best not to ask questions about that one.

    Oh, if you decide to switch to spell points or stick with mana... please normalize the amount of points they get at any given level. Rolling to see how good you are at the <i>only thing you can do</i> kind of sucks, and opens the door for one level 20 Mage having orders of magnitude more mana than another level 20 Mage who happened to roll 1's every time.

    Honestly, you could probably just expand the Mage Talent availability all the way to early levels. Anything too scary has requirements on it, and there's enough stuff there that stacks nicely, that more being available would rock.

    EDIT:

    For an example of the spell progressions I'm talking about, I'll whip up a table:

    {table=head]Level|Primary|Secondary|Common
    1|1st|1st|1st
    2|1st|1st|1st
    3|2nd|1st|1st
    4|2nd|2nd|1st
    5|3rd|2nd|1st
    6|3rd|2nd|2nd
    7|4th|3rd|2nd
    8|4th|3rd|2nd
    9|5th|3rd|2nd
    10|5th|3rd|3rd
    11|6th|4th|3rd
    12|6th|4th|3rd
    13|7th|4th|3rd
    14|7th|4th|4th
    15|8th|5th|4th
    16|8th|5th|4th
    17|9th|5th|4th
    18|9th|5th|5th
    19|9th|6th|5th
    20|9th|6th|5th
    [/table]
    Last edited by Hyooz; 2010-12-01 at 07:03 PM.

    Current Contest Entries:

    Prestige Class Contest: In the Shadows -The Ghost Wyrm

    Base Class Contest: Altar of Naught - The Nihilist

    Monster Competition: Beings of Legend - The Omni Template

    Spoiler
    Show


  4. - Top - End - #4
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GnomeWorks's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Green Bay, WI

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Soulblazer87 View Post
    That... is an excellent adaptation of the Mage system.
    Danke!

    Only 'disagreement' of sorts comes from my experience with the game itself; there are quite simply no 'spells'. Just rotes, or to be exact, spells that you have cast so many times that are sort of 'automatic' and well-researched.
    Freeform casting systems are, in my mind, too much of a pain to deal with. The rotes seem like they could work by themselves, and seem to cover a lot of bases without covering too much ground, so I decided to run with them.

    Anyway, I'd give it two thumbs up. Though, luck plays an important role in it. Maybe some feats would grant more MP in case people messed up their MP dice? Also, you could work on your own spells and use DnD mechanics, rather than White Wolf. After all, damage is completely different considering that in WoD you have just 6 health levels while DnD can hit the two hundreds.
    I've crunched the numbers on MP quite a bit, and even if you are unfortunate enough to roll 1's every level, if you have a 20 Int, you're still doing alright - not awesome, but not gimped, either. Also note that there is a mage talent that gives you +1 MP/level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyooz
    Might be worth investigating the UA Spell Points System. It's at least a pretty solid start toward what you seem to want. It doesn't do away with spell slots entirely but it is a huge step away from Vancian casting. You choose spells available to you today at the start of the day and from there cast them willy-nilly by spending points from your spell point pool.
    Where's the fun in using a system that already exists?

    Besides, that assumes a 9-level spell system. I'm leaning towards moving away from the base spells entirely.

    As far as Wizards having too much variety - look at classes like the Duskblade, Dread Necromancer and the Beguiler. You could easily have wizard specialize in such a way like these classes do - limit part of their spell list to their selected school and allow some variety in the other spells just so they aren't totally useless when their specialty is unavailable.
    I'm not really a fan of that method. For one thing, that still leaves all the ridiculous sourcebooks open, of which I'm not a fan. I want a single base class that replaces the wizard entirely, and is the primary spellcasting class.

    Personally, I completely disagree on the aspect of wizards lacking flavor, but opinions are just that. Well, that might come from what my own ideas of class flavor should be (I personally like the fact that playing a wizard just means I'm playing a guy who can use magic - that lets me craft every other part of his flavor exactly how I want. Maybe he uses a staff, maybe he's Gandalf, maybe he's a crazed gnome, whatever.)
    I want the mage to be similar in that regard - but standard d20 wizards fall flat on that, IMO. It's not so much the class, necessarily, that's the problem: it's also the spell system, which the wizard uses. Replacing the spell system requires writing a new class, as well.

    The White Wolf Mage system just doesn't translate over smoothly without reworking the spells entirely. It assumes a lot of the White Wolf world, and assumes a totally different style of game than DnD supports well. Say I'm a level 1 Death Mage. What can I do in combat? None of these spells will be doing 1d6 or whatever damage. Spells like Soul Jar may-or-may-not mimic the effects of 5th level spells (Magic Jar) and I can maybe summon a ghost, but I'm, by and large, left without much of an option in combat.
    I'm well aware that WW Mages don't necessarily have a lot to do in combat, but I am totally okay with this idea. My problem with d20 magic is that it seems entirely too focused on combat, and moving to a magic system that is a bit more varied and can do weird things that aren't immediately relevant to combat is neat, IMO.

    I would be down for importing a few standard d20 spells to these paths, to allow mages some amount of combat ability. It's almost necessary, really, given the combat-centric nature of d20. But I don't want every other spell being combat-centric.

    Mages being able to do things at first level that normal d20 wizards couldn't do until 7th or 9th... eh. Not that big a deal, IMO. If there is something ridiculously broken, I'd remove it, but I'm not too worried about it.

    The spells will need to be entirely rewritten, is essentially what I'm saying. A spell like Kinetic Blow literally does nothing meaningful in DnD (bashing and lethal blows don't exist.) So you have an issue of wizards who can do anything, to wizards who can do... almost nothing.
    Oh ya, I'm aware that anything that deals damage or deals with the more mechanical aspects of WW's system will have to be redone. But that's something that can be dealt with later, IMO, after the base class is hashed out.

    My suggestion? Ditch the White Wolf system entirely. Develop your own spell lists for different specializations of Mage (again, using classes like the Dread Necromancer as inspiration) and do something similar to what you have here. Normal wizard spell level progression for your "main" specialization, a slowed second one, and a very slowed 'common.' Know what I mean?
    Eh. Not a fan of that method, as I said.

    As far as filling those dead levels, some "Apprentice Talents" or something similar would do the trick.
    I'm aware of how to do it, as I've done with it other caster classes. The question is what to do with them - what sorts of abilities to give them.

    Implements... I don't see the necessity. I say let the player decide how his spells get cast. One of my wizards casts his spells by yelling at a snake... its best not to ask questions about that one.
    I'm not seeing the implements specifically as a "this is how I cast my spells" thing, more of a... supplement. I don't know. I really liked that 4e did that, and made each of them different, and thought it was neat, flavor-wise. Even Gandalf had a staff.

    Oh, if you decide to switch to spell points or stick with mana... please normalize the amount of points they get at any given level. Rolling to see how good you are at the <i>only thing you can do</i> kind of sucks, and opens the door for one level 20 Mage having orders of magnitude more mana than another level 20 Mage who happened to roll 1's every time.
    Nope, sorry. I have a number of other classes that have rolls involved in using their primary casting abilities, and see no issue with this one. Magic is not an exact science: why is that mage more powerful than that one? Don't know, it's magic. A wizard did it.

    Honestly, you could probably just expand the Mage Talent availability all the way to early levels. Anything too scary has requirements on it, and there's enough stuff there that stacks nicely, that more being available would rock.
    I'd rather have a different suite of abilities to choose from, for the first ten levels, and allow the Mage Talent to pick one from that earlier ability set. Again, the question is what to put in said earlier list.

    For an example of the spell progressions I'm talking about, I'll whip up a table:
    I don't want to deal with high-level spells anymore.
    Mechanics should reflect flavor. Always.
    Journey: The journey of a thousand steps begins beneath your feet... (WIP)

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Ye gods, don't use UA's spell point system. It's almost as broken as the psionics system, only with more MP and without needing to augment. Instead, a better option, even as an idea, would be DnD wikia's spell point system. Instead of giving you more MP per level... it instead reduces the costs! That could at least be worked into a talent for the major paths.

    I agree that freeform magic systems are too much of a hassle in DnD at least, but you could add a linkie or two for people to make their own spells. Having some basis on what's possible and what's not will help people homebrew more on this class.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    IcarusWings's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Too close to the sun
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Soulblazer87 View Post
    Ye gods, don't use UA's spell point system. It's almost as broken as the psionics system, only with more MP and without needing to augment. Instead, a better option, even as an idea, would be DnD wikia's spell point system. Instead of giving you more MP per level... it instead reduces the costs! That could at least be worked into a talent for the major paths.

    I agree that freeform magic systems are too much of a hassle in DnD at least, but you could add a linkie or two for people to make their own spells. Having some basis on what's possible and what's not will help people homebrew more on this class.
    Psionics isn't really unbalanced.
    You gotta' let me know, are we human,
    Or are we dancers?
    My signs are vital, my hands are cold,
    And I'm on my knees, begging for the answer,
    Are we human, or are we dancers?

    - Human, The Killers


  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Hyooz's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Soulblazer87 View Post
    Ye gods, don't use UA's spell point system. It's almost as broken as the psionics system
    So it's remarkably well balanced and not broken at all?

    Good to know.

    Current Contest Entries:

    Prestige Class Contest: In the Shadows -The Ghost Wyrm

    Base Class Contest: Altar of Naught - The Nihilist

    Monster Competition: Beings of Legend - The Omni Template

    Spoiler
    Show


  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yuki Akuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    The Land of Angles
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Soulblazer87 View Post
    That... is an excellent adaptation of the Mage system. Only 'disagreement' of sorts comes from my experience with the game itself; there are quite simply no 'spells'. Just rotes, or to be exact, spells that you have cast so many times that are sort of 'automatic' and well-researched.
    That was true in Mage: the Ascension. As this is based on Awakening (as shown by the Death and Fate arcana and no mention of Entropy), that's not really true.
    There's no wrong way to play. - S. John Ross

    Dreamer Pony is by Akrim.elf.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Baiyan, God of Joy, by GryffonDurime, while the C.U.T.E Scardycat and Dreamer are by Tomb Raven.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Actually, the UA system is broken as is the psionics. Want to go damage wise? Spam mind thrust augmented to the maximum; 20D10 each and every round. See your average beastie live through that, and it's a level 1 power. Seriously, that's a bit too much. Want to go alternate damage? You can pretty much do anything a Wizard can, with even more freedom! Think Wizard but without having to prepare spells AND without a limit on how many times you can cast of a single level. No, this is clearly an unbalanced system. Stemming from unbalanced rules maybe, but it is unbalanced.

    As I have only read Ascension, I can't really say much. I thought that White Wolf had kept the same system more or less. Anyway, the point is; free-form casting in DnD is bad. This system is actually better, at least to me, than the original Wizard system. It forces the players to actually think their choices not only of the future but of the 'right now'. Much better than playing a 'generalist' wizard who can do anything.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Volthawk's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    London, England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Soulblazer87 View Post
    Actually, the UA system is broken as is the psionics. Want to go damage wise? Spam mind thrust augmented to the maximum; 20D10 each and every round. See your average beastie live through that, and it's a level 1 power. Seriously, that's a bit too much. Want to go alternate damage? You can pretty much do anything a Wizard can, with even more freedom! Think Wizard but without having to prepare spells AND without a limit on how many times you can cast of a single level. No, this is clearly an unbalanced system. Stemming from unbalanced rules maybe, but it is unbalanced.
    Um, you do know the rule that you can't spend more PP than your manifester level on a single power, right? So that 20d10 would be at level 20, costing 20pp. And you only have a certain amount of powers known, you know.
    Last edited by Volthawk; 2010-12-02 at 12:10 PM.
    Blake avatar by Cuthalion

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GnomeWorks's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Green Bay, WI

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Sorry, but I'm going to generally agree with folk that think that 3.5 psionics are broken. I'm not entirely certain what happened, exactly, but the game I ran back in '05 had a psion who was... entirely too ridiculous. 20d10 mind thrusts with save DCs in the low- to mid-30's, able to penetrate power resistance like it basically wasn't there (until endgame, anyway), and he could pretty much do that all day long. Not to mention an assortment of other tricks up his sleeve.

    Not that that matters, so far as I'm concerned, since I have also totally revamped psionics IMC, and... it looks pretty much nothing like what I'm going for with the mage, here.
    Mechanics should reflect flavor. Always.
    Journey: The journey of a thousand steps begins beneath your feet... (WIP)

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    So, Volt, you want to tell me that effectively dealing a fighter's HD in damage every round does not bother you at all?

    Limited powers? In what shape or form? You get general elemental powers. In other words, you choose the element when manifesting them, NOT when learning them. So, one power can be five. Want more? Mental Crush. Kills ANYTHING in one shot. Wham-bam-thank you mam. All you need is Mind Crush, an elemental AoE (which isn't even kineticist) and Mental Crush for your damage. The rest can be buffs, support or alternate shapes of damage. Seriously, psionics were seriously overpowered.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Hyooz's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Quote Originally Posted by GnomeWorks View Post
    Sorry, but I'm going to generally agree with folk that think that 3.5 psionics are broken. I'm not entirely certain what happened, exactly, but the game I ran back in '05 had a psion who was... entirely too ridiculous. 20d10 mind thrusts with save DCs in the low- to mid-30's, able to penetrate power resistance like it basically wasn't there (until endgame, anyway), and he could pretty much do that all day long. Not to mention an assortment of other tricks up his sleeve.
    Unless your characters were level 20 psions, that's impossible. If they were, that's hardly broken.

    Current Contest Entries:

    Prestige Class Contest: In the Shadows -The Ghost Wyrm

    Base Class Contest: Altar of Naught - The Nihilist

    Monster Competition: Beings of Legend - The Omni Template

    Spoiler
    Show


  14. - Top - End - #14
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GnomeWorks's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Green Bay, WI

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyooz View Post
    Unless your characters were level 20 psions, that's impossible. If they were, that's hardly broken.
    Throwing Xd10 damage at things, where X equals your level, all day every day is ridiculous at any speed.

    Admittedly at lower levels it wasn't so absurd. I think somewhere around 10th or 11th is where he started getting entirely ridiculous. Not overpowered, but bad. I think 15th is about when he started to seriously overshadow other party members.
    Mechanics should reflect flavor. Always.
    Journey: The journey of a thousand steps begins beneath your feet... (WIP)

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Volthawk's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    London, England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Soulblazer87 View Post
    So, Volt, you want to tell me that effectively dealing a fighter's HD in damage every round does not bother you at all?
    Well, fighters have Con bonuses, and other stuff. Besides, it's not foolproof. Will negates.

    Quote Originally Posted by GnomeWorks View Post
    Throwing Xd10 damage at things, where X equals your level, all day every day is ridiculous at any speed.

    Admittedly at lower levels it wasn't so absurd. I think somewhere around 10th or 11th is where he started getting entirely ridiculous. Not overpowered, but bad. I think 15th is about when he started to seriously overshadow other party members.
    Where do you get 'all day' from? They do have PP limits.

    Also, what was the rest of the party, and optimisation level? I mean, if you all had fighters who took bad feats...

    ---

    Look, I don't examine balance and the like. The guys over at the Roleplaying Forum will explain it all for you.

    EDIT: Hey, look. I found one for you.
    Last edited by Volthawk; 2010-12-02 at 01:18 PM.
    Blake avatar by Cuthalion

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GnomeWorks's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Green Bay, WI

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Volt View Post
    Where do you get 'all day' from? They do have PP limits.
    Which was not really much of a barrier to the "all day" thing. I double-checked his maths for his PP regularly; I'm pretty sure I had about a month stint of checking his maths every session, because it seemed too ridiculous.

    Take a 15th-level psion. PP cap is 15, okay. How many PP does a 15th-level psion have base, like... 195? And that's not counting an Int in the mid 20's? Seriously. That might as well be infinite.

    Also, what was the rest of the party, and optimisation level? I mean, if you all had fighters who took bad feats...
    You sure you want to ask that question?

    Look, I don't examine balance and the like. The guys over at the Roleplaying Forum will explain it all for you.
    I detect a hint of condescension.
    Mechanics should reflect flavor. Always.
    Journey: The journey of a thousand steps begins beneath your feet... (WIP)

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    gkathellar's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Beyond the Ninth Wave
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Of course your player's psion was overshadowing other characters. Psions are Tier 2 - they break the game. Not as badly as wizards or erudites, mind you, but about as well as sorcerers. Mind Thrust barely even registers on the scale of things full-list casters like that can do.
    Quote Originally Posted by KKL
    D&D is its own momentum and does its own fantasy. It emulates itself in an incestuous mess.

    Play Legend. / Legend IRC.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
     
    The Glyphstone's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Soulblazer87 View Post
    Ye gods, don't use UA's spell point system. It's almost as broken as the psionics system, only with more MP and without needing to augment. Instead, a better option, even as an idea, would be DnD wikia's spell point system. Instead of giving you more MP per level... it instead reduces the costs! That could at least be worked into a talent for the major paths.
    The irony in this post is staggering - claiming psionics is broken, and suggesting D&D Wiki as a balanced alternative...

    Point being, discussions of if Psionics are broken or not is Off Topic, and should be continued in Roleplaying. This thread is for discussing and critiquing the OP's homebrew class.

    Great Modthulhu: So sayeth...well...me.

    Hush, you.

    Great Modthulhu: No.


    Personally, when I looked at the topic title, my thought was "wait, the D&D wizard is broken - true...so he wants to swap it for the Awakening/Ascension mage? Lol whut." But this does look like a fairly good adaptation of the spirit, though I'm agreed with the comment that certain school/spheres could leave a mage rather hampered in the sadly combat-focused world of D&D. I'd recommend having every sphere get a basic 'nuke' spell at Apprentice, instead of...Adept? 4-dots in NWoD Mage has a Lethal-damage spell for all spheres, I think. A scaling 1d6/x levels blast spell, maybe scaling better for Death or Forces than Life or Matter, would solve that neatly.
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2010-12-02 at 03:15 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by GungHo, on Battletech
    The Atlas is also goofy but it has that whole "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" menacing smile thing going for it. The guy who drew that one up was obviously taken to the Nutcracker when he was a child... and he was screaming in terror the entire time.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Enterti, Cogidubnus
    Glyphstone, out of all the playground I think you scare me the most...
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode
    Glyphstone, you are an evil person :D

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GnomeWorks's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Green Bay, WI

    Default Re: The Mage (3.5 base class, work in progress, heavy references to WW's Mage)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Personally, when I looked at the topic title, my thought was "wait, the D&D wizard is broken - true...so he wants to swap it for the Awakening/Ascension mage? Lol whut." But this does look like a fairly good adaptation of the spirit, though I'm agreed with the comment that certain school/spheres could leave a mage rather hampered in the sadly combat-focused world of D&D. I'd recommend having every sphere get a basic 'nuke' spell at Apprentice, instead of...Adept? 4-dots in NWoD Mage has a Lethal-damage spell for all spheres, I think. A scaling 1d6/x levels blast spell, maybe scaling better for Death or Forces than Life or Matter, would solve that neatly.
    I'm okay with that idea. However, as I mentioned in the first post, I'd also like to move back to the 9-school setup from D&D, rather than the 10-path thing from Mage - primarily by shoehorning the Mage spells into the D&D schools.

    I'd also gut the Time and Space paths, because there is way too much toe-steppage going on there.

    As I've mentioned, though, right now I want to focus on the class, and not so much the spells - those can come after the class is done. Multiple comments now would suggest that what's there is good (aside from some folks not liking the rolling for MP thing, but tough luck, that's staying ), but it's not finished - there are still questions, and perhaps some filling-out to do for the lower levels.

    My big question is still implements. I want to do something with them, but I have no idea where to take them.
    Mechanics should reflect flavor. Always.
    Journey: The journey of a thousand steps begins beneath your feet... (WIP)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •