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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    *snip*
    I think you are taking my point in a different way then intended:

    The Wizard comes with her an expectation that you will have access to a significant portion of magic, as well as a significant portion of magic

    The Mage is expected to have to specialize in order to get decent arcane power.


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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Hm. I'm torn.

    On the one hand, this looks like a potentially interesting project. On the other, it seems lacking in organization and leadership, and seems to be clinging a bit to close to 3.5 (and what I perceive as the problems thereof) for me to be willing to commit time and energy to it.

    I guess I haven't seen the following yet: what differentiates this system from 3.5? What is the selling point that might make me, as a homebrewer with some system design chops, consider working on this project instead of something else?

    In short, this is reading (so far) as just a bunch of new classes and some optional rules thrown on the 3.5 framework. Is that, effectively, what you envision this project as? Or are you trying to make a new, 3.5-inspired system? If so, what sort of system?

    The former isn't interesting to me...the latter, if it is organized, IS, and I'd potentially have a number of ideas to throw against it (and hell...even some pre-existing system thoughts along 3.5/E6/4e "steal-the-best-from-all-the-systems-and-add-more" lines).

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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Where do you take those definitions from? Mage is just an Anglicized version of Magus. Someone who does magic (or a Persian priest). Wizard is just a "wise person".

    So, for me, Mage just sounds like someone who has magic in general. Everything from Warlocks to Sorcerers. Wizard is more specific as the learned spellcaster.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_in_Tonic View Post
    The former isn't interesting to me...the latter, if it is organized, IS, and I'd potentially have a number of ideas to throw against it (and hell...even some pre-existing system thoughts along 3.5/E6/4e "steal-the-best-from-all-the-systems-and-add-more" lines).
    So far, to me, it seems to be somewhere in the middle, though I'd much like it to go in the direction of the latter, but some here might think that that wouldn't be much of a 3.5 Fix anymore, but a new thing altogether.

    "Steal-the-best-from-all-the-systems-and-add-more" is a pretty great design philosophy IMO, after all. (Heck, I implement stunting from Exalted at times because awesomefun.)
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    So far, to me, it seems to be somewhere in the middle, though I'd much like it to go in the direction of the latter, but some here might think that that wouldn't be much of a 3.5 Fix anymore, but a new thing altogether.
    I guess that's sort of my point. There are a lot of 3.5 fixes floating around, and each has its ups and downs...but none of them really manage to fix 3.5. I've come to the conclusion that I'm not sure it's possible without re-writing the core of the game...and making a new system. Maybe it's just you and I, Morph, but I think that's definitely the strongest approach. Salvage what's good, and rebuild it from the ground up.

    "Steal-the-best-from-all-the-systems-and-add-more" is a pretty great design philosophy IMO, after all. (Heck, I implement stunting from Exalted at times because awesomefun.)
    It's how a good system is made, IMO. Hell, my latest thoughts have been directed towards melding 3.5, 4e, and 5e with some rules-light ideas taken from the FATE system and directed at allowing player interaction with the plot and character aspects. It's really fun theory-crafting, and might turn out to be really fun in actual play as well.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    I think my fix is "Don't fix what ain't broke". I like 3.5 and I think it is not fundamentally a bad system. There isn't much that needs to be fixed, just some of the worst excesses.

    That said: what do you think needs to be done, then? What are the problems?
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-09-25 at 03:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_in_Tonic View Post
    I guess that's sort of my point. There are a lot of 3.5 fixes floating around, and each has its ups and downs...but none of them really manage to fix 3.5. I've come to the conclusion that I'm not sure it's possible without re-writing the core of the game...and making a new system. Maybe it's just you and I, Morph, but I think that's definitely the strongest approach. Salvage what's good, and rebuild it from the ground up.
    I agree with you, as I mentioned earlier in the thread a 3.5 fix is something I'm not really interested in, but a new system being built from the ground up, maybe drawing from 3.5 for some things, would be preferable.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    So, for me, Mage just sounds like someone who has magic in general. Everything from Warlocks to Sorcerers. Wizard is more specific as the learned spellcaster.
    You simultaneously see my idea and are blind to it.
    Last edited by toapat; 2012-09-25 at 04:01 PM.


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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    What are the problems?
    In no particular order, and just off the top of my head...

    • Core system scales incredibly oddly, meaning that characters have false "choices" that they just can't utilize. No Wizard will *ever* draw a dagger, even in a moment where drawing a dagger and attacking would be a great in-character choice. AC is incredibly strong at low levels, and becomes useless. Some saves are basically assured, others are 1-in-20 chances.
    • Weapon system is another example of this "false choice." Some weapons are just flat-out useless.
    • Over dependence on magic items and numeric bonuses, rather than on giving players fun options.
    • Over reliance on micro-bonuses and penalties that stack. Who remembers their +1 to attack rolls against Giants, and who really feels rewarded by that ability? When you've got 4-5 minor bonuses kicking in, it's a LOT of book-keeping, and the feeling of reward isn't that strong.
    • The multiple-attack-per-round system is clunky: standard combat in D&D just doesn't flow nicely.
    • The design of the system is (intentionally, in fact) to some extent reward system knowledge and making good choices...which means that, within the game, there are bad choices. This is there in feats and classes and spells, but can also be found in combat, stat distribution, and all sorts of other things. I can't call intentionally leaving sub-par options to be good design.
    • Finally (again, off the top of my head), D&D is overly mechanical. I'd love to see a system interact more with the actual Role-playing portion of being an RPG. D&D is based on a wargame and, although it has evolved, that is still apparent in how it carries itself. I think you could hybridize that easily for a system with mechanical depth and options that flows nicely at the game table. 3.5 fails to really accomplish that, in my mind. I think we can do better.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    I like djinn's post about listing what isn't good about 3rd edition that could stand to be changed. Perhaps we should go about listing some of our personal beefs to figure out what things might be changed?

    Also, Djinn, know that we did only get off the ground yesterday. Organization wise, we're getting it together. Should be more apparent in short order.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    You simultaneously see my idea and are blind to it.
    I simply don't get what you mean, yes. You seem to say that casters should specialize, and I agree to that. But in addition, you seem to add some definition of the words "wizard" and "mage" on top of it, a definition I have never heard before and doesn't seem to be connected to the meaning of those words.
    And if I'm blind to your idea, how about explaining it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_in_Tonic View Post
    In no particular order, and just off the top of my head...

    • Core system scales incredibly oddly, meaning that characters have false "choices" that they just can't utilize. No Wizard will *ever* draw a dagger, even in a moment where drawing a dagger and attacking would be a great in-character choice. AC is incredibly strong at low levels, and becomes useless. Some saves are basically assured, others are 1-in-20 chances.
    • Ah. I'm bad at that, I must admit. Scaling is complicated, and I'm not sure I have the time, skill or patience to simulate all the maths necessary for this.

    • Weapon system is another example of this "false choice." Some weapons are just flat-out useless.
    Agreed, and needs to be changed. Especially exotic weapons.

  12. Over dependence on magic items and numeric bonuses, rather than on giving players fun options.
  13. Over reliance on micro-bonuses and penalties that stack. Who remembers their +1 to attack rolls against Giants, and who really feels rewarded by that ability? When you've got 4-5 minor bonuses kicking in, it's a LOT of book-keeping, and the feeling of reward isn't that strong.
I think we addressed this. We all want most of the numerical bonuses gone: those from items and feats, at least.

  • The design of the system is (intentionally, in fact) to some extent reward system knowledge and making good choices...which means that, within the game, there are bad choices. This is there in feats and classes and spells, but can also be found in combat, stat distribution, and all sorts of other things. I can't call intentionally leaving sub-par options to be good design.
  • Agreed, and that article was always incredibly stupid. Our task would be finding the worst choices and eliminating them. As well as the best.

  • The multiple-attack-per-round system is clunky: standard combat in D&D just doesn't flow nicely.
  • Finally (again, off the top of my head), D&D is overly mechanical. I'd love to see a system interact more with the actual Role-playing portion of being an RPG. D&D is based on a wargame and, although it has evolved, that is still apparent in how it carries itself. I think you could hybridize that easily for a system with mechanical depth and options that flows nicely at the game table. 3.5 fails to really accomplish that, in my mind. I think we can do better.
  • Mechanical, I think, is just how D&D is, and I think I like it that way. Strange: really. I run games that are hours of talking with no dice rolls involved, but when the dice come out, I want a detailed system to know how everything works.
    Can't say I ever had much of a flow problem, though. Except that combat takes too long. I'd rather have combat that is over in two or three rounds.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-09-25 at 04:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    My issues with 3.X are a little more fundamental. I want to change up how defenses are handled. What the attributes are. How skills and non-combat situations in general are handled. How abilities and feats are distributed. What it means to be an Arcane caster vs a Divine Caster vs a Psionic character. I want to see clearly defined tiers with mini E6 style systems built in (ie you hit level 6, you stay there until you do something that actually pushes you over the edge from heroic into Paragon territory in game. You still progress, gaining feats/abilities, but as soon as you hit paragon, it's a noticeable jump in power, options, and how the game feels).

    That's in addition to the standard "Bring Fighters up, force Casters down, and fix the scaling" issues that pretty much everyone generally agrees on in principle if not in implementation.

    I also agree with Djinn on action economy. The full round action in general I find problematic. Personally, I've personally been toying with the idea of getting rid of full attacks, but instead gaining extra swift actions as you go up in level (likely coinciding with tier breaks). So you sort of get the same effect, but with a more flexible action type, making the effect of it much more noticeable.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Good idea by Wombat there. Here's a list of things I think need to change in D&D:

    Classes with incredibly narrow focus, or no unique abilities just need to go. I'm looking at the fighter mainly here. As I've mentioned in the chat, I could see fighter being dropped entirely as a class, replaced by the Paladin, Ranger, Barbarian, Rogue and a Knight or Marshal class as necessary. Because Fighter is just not an archetype that seems to work well. Or occur much in fiction, either. Everyone should have something to contribute not only in combat (and then not only at the lowest levels) but also out of it. Everyone should be able to solve some problems and make choices.

    Overpowered magic. I don't have any problem with magic being very powerful. It should have the potential for that. However, it should not be more powerful than other options at the same level. I've talked about this more in other threads: plane-shifting, demon-summoning, weather-controlling, illusion-creating quasi-immortals don't belong in the same group as guys who are pretty good with swords. Specifically, magic should stop stepping on the toes of other classes, and it should not have effects that are versatile enough to apply to almost every situation. Spells should be specialized, so that preparing the right or wrong spell actually matters. Also, fewer binary effects that result in either total immunity or instant loss in an encounter.

    More abilities, fewer numbers. Toughness and Weapon Focus are boring, boring feats. They shouldn't exist.

    More interesting races. (LA 0) Races aren't different enough, vary too much in power level and often give bonuses that are so situational that they never do anything. Plus, they weirdly mingle cultural and biological abilities. And there's too many pseudo-humans with 1 weird additional feature.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    And if I'm blind to your idea, how about explaining it?
    Mage means a Caster who is specialized

    Wizard means a caster who can do everything, as a result of incredible tallent, knowledge, or Vance


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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    My issues with 3.X are a little more fundamental. I want to change up how defenses are handled. What the attributes are. How skills and non-combat situations in general are handled. How abilities and feats are distributed. What it means to be an Arcane caster vs a Divine Caster vs a Psionic character. I want to see clearly defined tiers with mini E6 style systems built in (ie you hit level 6, you stay there until you do something that actually pushes you over the edge from heroic into Paragon territory in game. You still progress, gaining feats/abilities, but as soon as you hit paragon, it's a noticeable jump in power, options, and how the game feels)
    Oh, I'd agree with this completely. I re-wrote hit points, attack bonuses, defenses, how damage is dealt, and a number of other things. They're places I could improve...just not areas in 3.5 that I think don't work. They might not work as well as I'd LIKE, but they're functional. I think my old G7 (G6, and G6+1) project shows a bit more how I was thinking about that sort of thing, if anyone here is familiar with those old threads.
    Last edited by Djinn_in_Tonic; 2012-09-25 at 04:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    Mage means a Caster who is specialized

    Wizard means a caster who can do everything, as a result of incredible tallent, knowledge, or Vance
    Again with the definition.
    My question still stands. Where did you get this definition?
    Because it sure as hell isn't anywhere in D&D. In fact, I don't know anything in D&D that uses just the word "mage". It's also not in the dictionary, nor in any other roleplaying game I ever played.
    Perhaps it means these things to you, but it doesn't to me.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    I think the goal is to have a reasonably well-balanced system that still 'feels' like 3.5 D&D.

    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn_in_Tonic View Post
    In no particular order, and just off the top of my head...

    [LIST][*]Core system scales incredibly oddly, meaning that characters have false "choices" that they just can't utilize. No Wizard will *ever* draw a dagger, even in a moment where drawing a dagger and attacking would be a great in-character choice. AC is incredibly strong at low levels, and becomes useless. Some saves are basically assured, others are 1-in-20 chances.
    Correcting math should certainly be a "thing" in this fix, I agree. I have no idea how to accomplish such, though.

    Weapon system is another example of this "false choice." Some weapons are just flat-out useless.
    Really? I feel like apart from "extra" qualities like reach or tripping, most two-handed weapons become indistinguishable after a few levels.

    Over dependence on magic items and numeric bonuses, rather than on giving players fun options.
    I think that's been a stated goal. I know I've said it a few times.

    [*]Over reliance on micro-bonuses and penalties that stack. Who remembers their +1 to attack rolls against Giants, and who really feels rewarded by that ability? When you've got 4-5 minor bonuses kicking in, it's a LOT of book-keeping, and the feeling of reward isn't that strong.
    I support this one fully.

    The multiple-attack-per-round system is clunky: standard combat in D&D just doesn't flow nicely.
    Agreed. Perhaps we could seal a page from Mutants and Mastermind's Multiattack option, where you deal extra damage when your attack roll beats the target's defense by a certain amounts, representing extra attacks landing. Certain options, like two-weapon fighting, could lower the threshold, while others, like two-handed weapons, could raise it.

    The design of the system is (intentionally, in fact) to some extent reward system knowledge and making good choices...which means that, within the game, there are bad choices. This is there in feats and classes and spells, but can also be found in combat, stat distribution, and all sorts of other things. I can't call intentionally leaving sub-par options to be good design.
    We'd like to include plenty of meaningful choices, while cutting out as many subpar options as possible. A lot of that should come in the class and feat revisions.

    Finally (again, off the top of my head), D&D is overly mechanical. I'd love to see a system interact more with the actual Role-playing portion of being an RPG. D&D is based on a wargame and, although it has evolved, that is still apparent in how it carries itself. I think you could hybridize that easily for a system with mechanical depth and options that flows nicely at the game table. 3.5 fails to really accomplish that, in my mind. I think we can do better.
    Mmm. I feel like the tactical wargame nature is part of the appeal of the game, myself. Ways to address roleplaying...
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Again with the definition.
    My question still stands. Where did you get this definition?
    Because it sure as hell isn't anywhere in D&D. In fact, I don't know anything in D&D that uses just the word "mage". It's also not in the dictionary, nor in any other roleplaying game I ever played.
    Perhaps it means these things to you, but it doesn't to me.
    it is standard to Fantasy RPGs whose heritage is closer to Diablo then DnD. Diablo even acknowledges this in the third installment with the Wizard's lore. the Wizard is a godlike being who mastered in the course of 6 months what takes other magi decades to learn. Most casters in Diabloverse refer to themselves as sorcerers though.

    and no, just because there is a pair of official supplements of D2 for 3rd, does not make it any closer then 14 times removed.
    Last edited by toapat; 2012-09-25 at 05:10 PM.


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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    it is standard to Fantasy RPGs whose heritage is closer to Diablo then DnD.
    what

    No. Just, no. Diablo was only released in 1997 (effectively; in actuality on December 31st 1996). I never even heard of it until 2007 or so, even hanging out with the video gamer crowd a lot. Every source on RPG history I've ever read or watched has mentioned DnD as one of the prime original sources for it. Every single one.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    what

    No. Just, no. Diablo was only released in 1997 (effectively; in actuality on December 31st 1996). I never even heard of it until 2007 or so, even hanging out with the video gamer crowd a lot. Every source on RPG history I've ever read or watched has mentioned DnD as one of the prime original sources for it. Every single one.
    DnD is still a significant distance back in the family tree. Inspiration, and where the actual mechanics come from, are completely different.

    and 14 times removed is about how far D1 is from DnD, and that is because Ultima, as well as a series which i am currently completely missing what the name was, both had taken DnD pretty far from a basic system for a rolled dice turn by turn game into something people could play actively and dynamically.
    Last edited by toapat; 2012-09-25 at 05:56 PM.


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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Well, that's a nice little aside and all, but we are doing pen and paper here. Diablo is a computer game, and not one that ever had any large influence on pen and paper. D&D, specifically. So, I see no reason to use Diablo lore over D&D lore for names. Especially when the name "Mage" is rather bland.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Well, that's a nice little aside and all, but we are doing pen and paper here. Diablo is a computer game, and not one that ever had any large influence on pen and paper. D&D, specifically. So, I see no reason to use Diablo lore over D&D lore for names. Especially when the name "Mage" is rather bland.
    its not the point, Diablo lampshaded and defied a common trope.

    and Diablo has had a huge impact on RPGs, even moreso then DnD in recent times, because of how blizzard balanced weapons and the fact that they came out with Talent Trees, a system that has seen more legitimate use then Feats/Perks has.

    asto non-flavorful: The only generic and flavorful caster name type is Warlock, and that is because it immediately says what the caster does, as well as where and how they get their power.
    Last edited by toapat; 2012-09-25 at 06:16 PM.


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    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    its not the point, Diablo lampshaded and defied a common trope.

    and Diablo has had a huge impact on RPGs, even moreso then DnD in recent times, because of how blizzard balanced weapons and the fact that they came out with Talent Trees, a system that has seen more legitimate use then Feats/Perks has.

    asto non-flavorful: The only generic and flavorful caster name type is Warlock, and that is because it immediately says what the caster does, as well as where and how they get their power.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    By breaking oaths and getting exiled from their clan in Scotland?
    lol, i realized and edited that last part to actually make sense.

    i mean in context of an RPG setting. yes, every single caster name except for Cleric/Priest is taken from something completely different, doesnt change the fact that there are typical things that each one has.


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    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    asto non-flavorful: The only generic and flavorful caster name type is Warlock, and that is because it immediately says what the caster does, as well as where and how they get their power.
    Not really.

    In any case, it's (no offense) a pretty silly thing to be arguing about, especially this early in the preceding. Of course we're not going to make do-everything-the-best tier 1 classes, wizard or not.

    In any case, I feel somewhat inspired by my earlier response to Djinn. If no-one minds, I think I'll actually write up a set of alignment/story point rules aimed at promoting role playing, and post them here later tonight.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    a pretty silly thing
    in some ways, yes, in others no.

    it definitively cant be said to not be a silly argument

    on the other hand, there are expectations. If Apple decided that the Iphone 5 should not be able to play MP3s, they would face massive backlash from consumers, because a glorified Ipod with wireless booster is expected to be able to do the same things the original Ipod was able to, but also make phonecalls.


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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    lol, i realized and edited that last part to actually make sense.

    i mean in context of an RPG setting. yes, every single caster name except for Cleric/Priest is taken from something completely different, doesnt change the fact that there are typical things that each one has.
    Not really. Definitions can vary all over. Like in the Dresden files, where a sorcerer is someone talented but untrained, a wizard is a sorcerer that has gone through a full apprenticeship and a warlock is someone who has broken one of the magical laws.

    Really, there's no single definition that applies to all fantasy. Warlock has an idea of dark power behind it, even if the word means just "liar" or "oathbreaker", if you go down to the root. A wizard is a wise person, so for me I'd say someone who has studied magic carefully. A mage is just... someone who used magic. It doesn't tell you anything.

    Edit: I dislike story points and similar rules rewards for roleplaying. That makes it just feel to me as if good roleplaying isn't its own reward, you just try to push the GM's buttons to get points out of him. The reward for good roleplaying should be ingame benefits, if any.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-09-25 at 06:28 PM.
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Edit: I dislike story points and similar rules rewards for roleplaying. That makes it just feel to me as if good roleplaying isn't its own reward, you just try to push the GM's buttons to get points out of him. The reward for good roleplaying should be ingame benefits, if any.
    The thing about story points as a reward is that they go back into roleplaying. They give the players a mechanical way to gain input into the world. I'm thinking of uses along the lines of the contacts system, or the edit scene option in M&M-- ways for the players to add their own adventure hooks and suchlike. Story point uses would be along the lines of "So I know this scribe who lives in the next village who might be able to help us translate the ancient runes," or "it turns out that these were the same bandits who attacked my village two years ago." (Vetted by the DM, of course).
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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    there's no single definition that applies to all fantasy.
    and here is the problem, you are trying to counterpoint High Fantasy with Dark Fantasy. If i see the term warlock without the associated witch, i expect a spellcaster who gains their magic through bargains, while a sorcerer is going to be someone who naturally can perform magic. a Mage is a blanket term for arcane casters in high fantasy, as well as specifying those who learned magic which follows certain paths of logic or carry themes. Wizard is just the inverse, an arcane caster who learns multiple unrelatable types of magic, such as Divination and Force magic.


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    Default Re: Gaols and Giants - The Playground rewrites third Edition

    A quick interjection because I do not want to see this dissolve into pointless arguments:

    The wizard, and indeed the entire idea of vancian casting, has nothing to do with specialization or lack thereof (or, for that matter, a high or low level of power). All that is being stated is that vancian casting is an efficient method of simulating a scholarly caster, as opposed to an individual with inherent power.

    (and on a personal note the word wizard, removed from an "optimal 3.5 build" context, implies specialization and study in a singular field in my mind. Arguing over your own feelings of a word doesn't do much when others have differing internal and external definitions).
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