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Thread: G&G: Magic

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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Ok, I went back in and added some pulled-from-thin-air numbers to my Fatigue system. Math needs some work that I'm not good at.

    It occurs to me that with a system like this one, we might not actually need spells/day. Instead, casters get tired enough that they can't make the check to cast. Kind of like how Truenamers were supposed to work.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    I didn't have slots per day in my system... just saying. It was basically a fatigue-based resource too. I just used points instead of rolls, since it's a bit more controllable.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-10-06 at 01:06 PM.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I didn't have slots per day in my system... just saying. It was basically a fatigue-based resource too. I just used points instead of rolls, since it's a bit more controllable.
    Yeah, but I can't seem to find a full version of your system. And from what I've seen, it makes a bunch more changes to the basic magic system.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    A Fort/Will save for every spell cast seems like it' a bit tough. Assuming I'm reading Grod's system right, it seems like:

    -Each spell cast you roll a saving throw DC equals your total fatigue
    -If you succeed on the spell, fatigue increases by spell level, else fatigue+1.

    I'm not sure the extra randomized point of failure is really needed here, or that it works well as a constraining resource. I mean, you're talking about just using fatigue and getting rid of spell slots, if you do that a first level Wizard might get anywhere between 2 and 22 first level spells per day, Depending on how lucky he is. I mean if you really want a fatigue system, why not just make it an actual point based system rather than having the randomized saving throw mechanic to cast?
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Hmm. Yeah, good point...

    How does it work if we stick with spell slots? Acting as a sort of brake on magic spamming?
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    How would that work? You'd just have two resources that can run out , stopping you from casting. Seems redundant to me.

    Plus, why do we need a limit on spamming? Wizards should have something to do every turn. And especially at high levels, that something should be casting spells.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Checks or Rolls to cast spells

    I've got my own huge magic fix that this comes from, but the most basic problem I have with magic is that is is automatically succesful. Barring spell-resistance, any character can simply declare "I cast Fireball" and the game makes it so.
    Some creatures have or can gain Spell resistance, and some spells require attack rolls, but many of the most game-breaking spells don't interact with either of those mechanics.

    Keeping things really simple, you could say every spell, every time it needs to be cast, requires a check equal to 10+twice the spell's level. It can either be a Spellcraft skill check, or a casting-stat ability check (or a non-casting stat ability if you want to make casters more MAD), or just about anything else, so long as there is some possibility for failure.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-10-07 at 10:53 AM.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    Checks or Rolls to cast spells

    I've got my own huge magic fix that this comes from, but the most basic problem I have with magic is that is is automatically succesful. Barring spell-resistance, any character can simply declare "I cast Fireball" and the game makes it so.
    Some creatures have or can gain Spell resistance, and some spells require attack rolls, but many of the most game-breaking spells don't interact with either of those mechanics.

    Keeping things really simple, you could say every spell, every time it needs to be cast, requires a check equal to 10+twice the spell's level. It can either be a Spellcraft skill check, or a casting-stat ability check (or a non-casting stat ability if you want to make casters more MAD), or just about anything else, so long as there is some possibility for failure.
    This was sort of the original Fatigue idea. There is a roll to cast, and the more you cast, the harder it is to make the roll. I agree that we need something like this, though, even if fatigue is not the way to go on it.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    I have one problem with that. The wizard is using a limited resource, (prepared) spells. Everyone else has unlimited resources. The fighter can attack as often as he wants. The rogue can pick as many locks as he wants. The wizard runs out of magic.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    This was sort of the original Fatigue idea. There is a roll to cast, and the more you cast, the harder it is to make the roll. I agree that we need something like this, though, even if fatigue is not the way to go on it.
    Yeah, I'm not sure D&D is really set up to handle fatigue-mechanics very well. The only similar thing I've considered was a mechanic called spell-burnout, where you just couldn't cast the same spell repeatedly. Or rather, trying to spam one spell over and over again made it harder each time, but I scrapped it in favor of other limits.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I have one problem with that. The wizard is using a limited resource, (prepared) spells. Everyone else has unlimited resources. The fighter can attack as often as he wants. The rogue can pick as many locks as he wants. The wizard runs out of magic.
    True, but magic is already more powerful and more versatile than skill checks and attack rolls, which I consider to be a balancing factor. Also, failing to cast a spell does not mean you lose the spell, it simply doesn't activate. So for example, if a wizard prepared the Knock spell, which automatically opens locks, then he can try again and again on his Spellcraft roll until his suceeds in casting the spell.

    Also, while you can say that theoretically your Fighter can make infinite attack rolls, the amount of combat he can be involved in is limited by his HP. Also, most skill checks either have limited opportunities for use (how many locks does your Rogue pick in a given game?) or they are in fact limited to how many attempts you can make (like Diplomacy).

    So take a look at how many attack rolls and skill checks the other characters are ACTUALLY making, and if in a game-day the wizard or sorcerer is casting about the same number of spells, then I don't think you have a problem.

    If you are really worried about the Fighter eclipsing the wizard, then try to fix Grod's fatigue-style system, so that melee combat get's harder and harder the more you do it.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-10-07 at 11:12 AM.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    True, but magic is already more powerful and more versatile than skill checks and attack rolls, which I consider to be a balancing factor. Also, failing to cast a spell does not mean you lose the spell, it simply doesn't activate. So for example, if a wizard prepared the Knock spell, which automatically opens locks, then he can try again and again on his Spellcraft roll until his suceeds in casting the spell..
    It doesn't have to be. Magic is more versatile in 3.5. One of the aimes we have here is making it less so. Especially with things like Knock, which just need to go.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I have one problem with that. The wizard is using a limited resource, (prepared) spells. Everyone else has unlimited resources. The fighter can attack as often as he wants. The rogue can pick as many locks as he wants. The wizard runs out of magic.
    Running out of magic is a standard thing in every edition up through 3rd. Spontaneous, prepared, it didn't matter - magic was a limited daily resource on most characters that had it. And those few who weren't limited, like the warlock, were very sharply limited in selections or had powers not on the scale of spells to compensate. And they often had a much more narrow set of utility options.

    Running out of spells is also the (admittedly weak) justification for spell power being stronger than the power of other actions. If you get fewer of them in a day, you need them to be stronger to contribute the same to overcoming challenges as the rest of the party with their unlimited actions. Ideally that sort of thing leads to a system with two different resource management schemes, where some people use their best option as often as possible and others have to be more judicious with how they spend their resources (possibly not even using a good one over the course of an entire encounter).

    Now, that requires some particular adventure design ideas so that the limited guy can't afford to nova all the time and rest afterwards (to limit workday concerns). If you can't just nova once or twice a day to end the adventure and have to actually be judicious with your slots (timed adventure, long adventure, etc.), then there's more opportunity for the less strong but unlimited actions of everyone else to equal your more limited contributions. It also has spell DC stacking and scaling working against it, since you don't want the limited character to be able to fall back on spells from a much lower level and get similar effects as their highest level stuff, because that increases the amount of useful combat options they have and decreases their need to reserve spells for later encounters.

    If you're going to be redoing an edition anyway, you can tweak a lot of that stuff to better support the resource differences. Then lower level slots get used for utility stuff because it's not worth putting combat effects in there, and you get limited but strong combat and utility guy up against not as strong but unlimited combat and utility guy, and they share the spotlight more effectively.

    Or you can go with the unlimited effect plan, and just take the warlock approach or rewrite spells down in power so that they're not much better than the non-magical equivalent. Faster maybe, more reliable, whatever you want to differentiate them, just not much stronger. A fireball spell that was close range, 5' radius burst, 6d6 or 8d6 save for half, scaling DC, useable at-will isn't that much better than a full attack greatsword fighter or a TWF sneak attacking rogue (assuming that the classes look roughly the same anyway). This approach means you rewrite a lot of the spells on top of the magic system, but you're already rewriting a bunch of stuff anyway.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    I think you misunderstood me. My problem is not magic running out. I'm okay with that. I don't like unlimited magic systems much, they often end up pale and flavourless, and limited in tactical and strategic choices.

    My problem is this: the wizard has limited resources much more directly than other classes. Giving him the same failure chance means that he is directly wasting resources in addition to time, while the unlimited action people only waste time.
    Furthermore, if the wizard has a fatigue roll, his chance to fail can be even larger than that of the fighter at missing his attack roll. Finally, the other characters can usually use several attacks or actions per turn, while wizards are mostly limited to one. If the wizard screws up his spell, he did nothing all turn. The fighter still gets his other three attacks.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    It doesn't have to be. Magic is more versatile in 3.5. One of the aimes we have here is making it less so. Especially with things like Knock, which just need to go.
    I actually don't mind magic being very versatile, so long as no one class has access to all of magic's tricks, and more classes get some magic (or something LIKE magic). In my fantasy games, I don't have any problem with thinking "it's not magic vs mundane, it's magic A vs magic B"
    In some respects, power and versatility are one and the same, and you won't get very far trying to limit yourself to just one or the other. I fully acknowledge that there is no single, simple fix that you could make, I am suggesting one thing that you could use in combination with your other updates.

    My philosophy behind the spell-check roll was that virtually everything in the game requires or could require a dice-roll, and has the possibility of failure (the conequences can range from non-existent to dire)...except for magic. If I where DMing a game and wanted to be painfully tedious I could ask my players to make a Balance check to walk down the street without tripping (DC 1), and it would be harder for the wizard to suceed at this than to alter the very fabric of reality. I tried to change that.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    My problem is this: the wizard has limited resources much more directly than other classes. Giving him the same failure chance means that he is directly wasting resources in addition to time, while the unlimited action people only waste time.
    Furthermore, if the wizard has a fatigue roll, his chance to fail can be even larger than that of the fighter at missing his attack roll. Finally, the other characters can usually use several attacks or actions per turn, while wizards are mostly limited to one. If the wizard screws up his spell, he did nothing all turn. The fighter still gets his other three attacks.
    And my point was that the wizard's resources are not the same as those of the fighter, and so shouldn't be subject to the same standards when measuring their cost or benefit. I'ts like trying to compare 4 handguns to a nuke, and claiming the fighter has "more" resources.
    A fighter might get 4 attacks per turn if he uses a Full-round action (which prohibits him from doing a lot of other things), but he might miss with all of them. This doesn't mean the fighter "did nothing" that round, it means he tried but failed to accomplish what he set out to do.

    A fighter can move his speed and make a single attack. A wizard can move his speed and cast a single standard action spell. And frequently, a wizard doesn't have to move to get in range. If a fighter forgoes movement, he can make multiple attacks. If you want, add a mechanic that lets a wizard (or other magic user) take a full round action to cast a standard action spell and increase the chance of it functioning succesfully.
    In my mind, the game is all about trade-offs (or if your into economics, opportunity costs). Everything you choose to do means you can't do something else.


    Edit-edit: another problem I have with magic is that many high level spells still stick to the standard-action cast time, despite the fact that magic users can subvert the normal action economy much more easily (Celerity, Time Stop, etc) and high level spells are on a completely different scale from the kind of actions non-magic users can accomplish.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-10-07 at 12:31 PM.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I think you misunderstood me. My problem is not magic running out. I'm okay with that. I don't like unlimited magic systems much, they often end up pale and flavourless, and limited in tactical and strategic choices.

    My problem is this: the wizard has limited resources much more directly than other classes. Giving him the same failure chance means that he is directly wasting resources in addition to time, while the unlimited action people only waste time.
    Furthermore, if the wizard has a fatigue roll, his chance to fail can be even larger than that of the fighter at missing his attack roll. Finally, the other characters can usually use several attacks or actions per turn, while wizards are mostly limited to one. If the wizard screws up his spell, he did nothing all turn. The fighter still gets his other three attacks.
    Sorry, I may have read more into your previous comment that "Wizards should have something to do every turn. And especially at high levels, that something should be casting spells." than you intended. Taken to it's conclusion, that statement is incompatible with your position that it's okay for magic to run out. A bit more nuance on your position or goals might be needed.

    But before that, I would suggest that comparing the multiple attacks of a fighter to the single spell of a wizard is exactly the sort of thing you would want to do in an unlimited magic system, and not in a limited one. In a sharply limited system with adventures designed to limit novas, you might only cast 1 or 2 serious spells per combat. The other actions that you take while you conserve resources would probably be things that came from class features or like reserve feats, and would me on the order of (if not slightly less than) other people's combat turns.

    While I would agree that losing the resources without effect is probably unworkable, setting it up so that a caster fails to get a spell off and wastes time just means that sometimes they don't get to use a spell as effectively as they might have wanted. If you're worried about them wasting actual rounds of combat time, then it might work to allow them to fall back on a class feature backup feature instead of their spell (targeting the same place) and try the spell again in a future round instead. It's an somewhat effective caster nerf by making them less reliable.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    On the subject of limited spell slots and going nova:

    My personal experience from running games (level 6-14 or so) is that it's not easy to make the caster run out of spells. Or, rather, it is easy, but requires a lot of filler encounters. Which may be OK for some groups, but when even an easy encounter takes an hour or so of game time, I kind of want fights to be meaningful, and not just "random dungeon crawl battle #146." In a year and a half of playing, I could count the number of 3-encounter days on the fingers of one hand. I mean, it worked out well, but... I don't want a system that forces you to have a specific number of encounters per day to be balanced. That just smacks of poor game design to me.

    Personally, I prefer recharge times. It feels more natural than flat per-encounter or per-day abilities, but it's not unlimited either.
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    It seems to me that the high versatility of magic is one of its draws, and that is a good thing. The problem is that it doesn't pay for that versatility with power. So perhaps the best approach is to simply leave it as versatile as 3.5 or even more so, but severely cut its power (or improve defenses against it, which comes out to roughly the same thing.)
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    It seems to me that the high versatility of magic is one of its draws, and that is a good thing. The problem is that it doesn't pay for that versatility with power. So perhaps the best approach is to simply leave it as versatile as 3.5 or even more so, but severely cut its power (or improve defenses against it, which comes out to roughly the same thing.)
    The Condition Tracks (quite similar to your own fix, if I remember correctly) I proposed should help cut down offensive power a decent amount.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2012-10-07 at 06:18 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    The Condition Tracks (quite similar to your own fix, if I remember correctly) I proposed should help cut down offensive power a decent amount.
    Link just goes back to the forum itself, but that would work.

    Another good idea might be as simple as improving save progressions, plus giving fighters good Will saves. (My own system remake does both of those, although it moves certain noncombat spell types, such as illusions and charms, to "insight" saves, which fighters don't have good ones of.)
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    Link just goes back to the forum itself, but that would work.

    Another good idea might be as simple as improving save progressions, plus giving fighters good Will saves. (My own system remake does both of those, although it moves certain noncombat spell types, such as illusions and charms, to "insight" saves, which fighters don't have good ones of.)
    Whoops. Fixed that.

    Saves... mmm. There should probably be a medium save that scales at the same rate as the DCs, a good save that scales faster, and a poor save that scales lower? Or should we keep the good saves and DCs scaling at about the same rate?
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    You know what? Let's back this all up. Do we need a new casting system at all? All things considered, I'm going to say no.

    After all, what are the three biggest power advantages magic has over mundane? Options, targeting binary defenses, and certain flat-out overpowered spells (polymorph, planar binding, etc).

    No look at what we're doing.
    • Options: Most well-regarded homebrew gives base classes options. Things like maneuvers are one way of doing this, but... Look at, say, Jiriku's big Fighter/Barbarian/Marshal fix. Heck, look at my Savage-- the class only has 4 abilities over 20 levels that aren't picked off a list. We'll be redoing all the base classes nearer the end of the project; both in- and out-of-combat options will be priorities.
    • Binary Defenses: See the earlier discussion of condition tracks, and specific thread. (Link should work now). You have to hit someone repeated, or they have to have a really bad save, to instantly cripple a foe with a single spell. Base classes will also be getting some snazzy save-resisted abilities of their own.
    • Overpowered Spells: We'll be going over the spell list. Thankfully, most of the worst offenders are either in the PHB, or are based on conditions, reducing the magnitude of the task.


    The only remaining issue is magic-working-every-time. I think adding a check of some sort-- with no consequence on a failure except a wasted action-- is a good decision. Heck, most new players take a while to get over the "what do I roll to cast this spell?" phase, so it shouldn't be a difficult transition.

    A DC 10 + twice spell level caster level check should be OK-- with the scaling, a wizard-style full caster starts at a DC 11 to cast his highest spell, and a sorcerer-style 1-level-delay starts at a DC 10, with it getting easier to cast lower-level spells. I suppose we could kick it up to 15 + lv times 2, but that starts to hurt low-level casters, who already feel enough pain. If we make it a skill, it gets too hard to take optimized checks and scaling modifiers into account.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    I think the point I was trying to address was that a lot of people simply dislike the current Vancian system and would prefer a different one.

    That said, I think with a few minor fixes, the slot system would be totally workable. I still think increasing most casting times and make a few spells only useful out of combat is a good idea. Apart from that, fixing binary defences and targeting single spells is a good way.

    Now, instead of a check, my approach was mostly to make defensive casting difficult to impossible. Magic already provokes attacks of opportunity and can be disrupted. Does it also need checks? I like the idea of "We need to get to the mage, and quick, or he'll ruin our day!" where you try and get past the meat shield before hte wizard is done chanting.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    The only remaining issue is magic-working-every-time. I think adding a check of some sort-- with no consequence on a failure except a wasted action-- is a good decision. Heck, most new players take a while to get over the "what do I roll to cast this spell?" phase, so it shouldn't be a difficult transition.

    A DC 10 + twice spell level caster level check should be OK-- with the scaling, a wizard-style full caster starts at a DC 11 to cast his highest spell, and a sorcerer-style 1-level-delay starts at a DC 10, with it getting easier to cast lower-level spells. I suppose we could kick it up to 15 + lv times 2, but that starts to hurt low-level casters, who already feel enough pain. If we make it a skill, it gets too hard to take optimized checks and scaling modifiers into account.
    Thanks for the vote of confidence! If you feel that the 10+ twice spell level is to low, I would rather do 10+ three times spell level instead of 15+ twice SL, because it's less punishing for lower level players. Magic already scales more quickly at the top end, so asking for a tough-to make check for 9th level spells doesn't seem to much of a stretch for me. Also, I think it would encourage players away from trying to blow all their top level spells in one combat (going nova) just because they are less likely to actually succeed at using them all up in rapid fashion.

    That is entirely speculative on my part though, and it also dependent on the availability of magic items that boost the check. I've done some minimal play-testing with the 10+2xSL and I think it works pretty well, but the 3xSL version is completely theoretical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Now, instead of a check, my approach was mostly to make defensive casting difficult to impossible. Magic already provokes attacks of opportunity and can be disrupted. Does it also need checks? I like the idea of "We need to get to the mage, and quick, or he'll ruin our day!" where you try and get past the meat shield before hte wizard is done chanting.
    The problem I have with this style of set-up is that it forces people into very specific roles. The wizard is your "big-gun" killer, and everyone else is a meat-shield in one way or another. Its tougher (not impossible, I admit) to play an offensively-themed melee character when I need to stay behind and guard my squishy little buddy.
    I don't have a problem with providing options to set up the party taht way if your group agrees, but I don't like to pigeonhole classes into specific roles. I think there should be enough options so that the wizard can fulfill one of several options, so long as you need to sacrifice the ability to fulfill other options all the time.


    Assuming this thread is still in the brain-storming mode, it might be worthwhile to consider regrouping spells (at least the ones on the Sorc/Wiz spell list) for specialized wizards by function instead of by school. Shooting from the hip here (metaphorically), you can have other-player buff spells, self-buff or defensive spells, quick but lightweight spells, big spells that take a long time to cast, summoning spells, transformative spells, etc. And every wizard (or other similar class) picks one or maybe two groups.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    If you feel that the 10+ twice spell level is to low, I would rather do 10+ three times spell level instead of 15+ twice SL, because it's less punishing for lower level players. Magic already scales more quickly at the top end, so asking for a tough-to make check for 9th level spells doesn't seem to much of a stretch for me. Also, I think it would encourage players away from trying to blow all their top level spells in one combat (going nova) just because they are less likely to actually succeed at using them all up in rapid fashion.

    That is entirely speculative on my part though, and it also dependent on the availability of magic items that boost the check. I've done some minimal play-testing with the 10+2xSL and I think it works pretty well, but the 3xSL version is completely theoretical.
    Let's go with 15 as the base instead of 10, to deal with the initial +3 bonus that fully trained skills get and the likely high relevant attribute modifier (which I will assume is +3 here, because it's convenient) and to make comparisons more clear. I'll make a note about the 10 base afterwards. It's not actually very punishing for players, unless you want them to succeed more often than 55%-65% of the time out the gate, in which case you can just drop the 15 by a point or three.

    15 + 2 x SL grows at exactly the same rate as the sill check you're using to cast it for a full caster (partial progression casters grow slower for obvious reasons). If you start out having a 55% chance of getting your top spell off (+3 key attribute modifier), you will continue to have approximately that for your highest level spells without feat or gear investment and no attribute increases (at least until level 19, when you don't get a new top level spell). 10 + 3 x SL grows faster than your skill check. If you start out having a 55% chance of getting your top spell off, that slowly drops until you only have a 10% chance of getting your top spells off at level 17 without feat or gear investment and no attribute increases. You can get all the way up to 25% by level 20.

    Going with 10 as a base instead of 15 just boosts these odds by 25% at every level. In the "+ 2 x SL" setup, it means you don't fail your spells very often at all, maybe 1 in 5 when you first get a new spell level. In the "+ 3 x SL" setup, that means that you start being very unlikely to fail your casting checks and wind up passing higher level ones a third of the time when you get them and more often as you level a bit more.

    But those completely ignored numeric boosters, and there are likely to be some floating around. All of those will make the odds of success better. So which one of these you go with should depend on how common attribute boosts are (both inherent and gear based) and whether gear boosters for the skill can boost a casting check or not (since +10 items are relatively cheap and you can get up to +30 pre-epic). And on whether you want characters without that gear to feel "gimped" in some way, so that the gear is seen as a requirement or tax to continue to perform at the expected level. And whether you want to make higher level spells less reliable than lower level options. Lots of decisions and design calls basically.

    Edit - put another way, the x3 progression needs the casters to try to find an extra +1 to the skill every 2 levels. They can do this with attribute boosts (gear and otherwise) and feats to some extent. So if those are in the game, and you want people to invest those things in their casting, then it might be a good fit. If you don't want them doing that, but broadening their abilities instead of specializing to remain relevant, do something else and don't allow specialization that would exceed your maximum success thresholds. Neither is right except in so far as it promotes the sort of behaviors you want at the table, which should probably be sorted.
    Last edited by tarkisflux; 2012-10-08 at 01:43 PM.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    I think a lot of the problems I wanted to address in my fix were more in-game logical than purely for the balanced rules. There are questions that come up when you explain the rules to someone:
    If the wizard is pre-casting his spells and only completing them later, how come he can prepare exactly seven first level spells, three second level spells and one third level spell, instead of using that memory space (or whatever) for more third level spells, which are more powerful?
    How come he can only prepare them once a day?

    And so on. We should at least address those points in some way, if we want it to make sense.

    And that's without going into Sorcerers, who would make more sense with power points anyway, I think.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-10-08 at 01:55 PM.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I think a lot of the problems I wanted to address in my fix were more in-game logical than purely for the balanced rules. There are questions that come up when you explain the rules to someone:
    If the wizard is pre-casting his spells and only completing them later, how come he can prepare exactly seven first level spells, three second level spells and one third level spell, instead of using that memory space (or whatever) for more third level spells, which are more powerful?
    How come he can only prepare them once a day?

    And so on. We should at least address those points in some way, if we want it to make sense.

    And that's without going into Sorcerers, who would make more sense with power points anyway, I think.
    If that's what you want to address, simpler is better. You're already resigning yourself to rewriting a large number of spells to reduce their effectiveness, as far as I can tell, so why not go the whole nine yards and use a standard point system as the casting baseline. Have Wizards prepare their spells in advance, but still using points to do so. Other casters have a more limited spell list, but can spend their points as needed, rather than prepackaging them.

    As far as only being able to prepare once per day. I personally prefer encounter based resources. If you need daily resources, I prefer daily resources with an encounter based usage. For example, healing surges worked to allow encounter based hit points, while still leaving HP as a daily resource. You could do something like that, limiting base spell points to what you think is a reasonable per encounter limit, but give them a set of spell surges that can be used to refresh their spellpoints. You tailor the amount of surges to how long you want a standard adventuring day to be (and can even make notes for quick and easy adaptation for DMs who want to run heavier/lighter combat games).

    Just a thought.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    That's actually pretty much what I did. They have a number of points they can use to prepare spells, and a short rest gives them their points back.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    @tarkisflux
    You can use whatever formula you want to make it work best for your games; a skill check, an ability check, or even something else entirely if you want to change things much more. I found that for my purposes the first version I outlined was a good combination of simple and effective.

    Overall I just wanted there to be some sort of action that you needed to take along the same lines as an attack roll or skill check. Not only does this introduce a chance for failure, it also adds in the potential for other conditions or modifiers that can make casting more or less difficult, again, similarly to other in-game functions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    If that's what you want to address, simpler is better. You're already resigning yourself to rewriting a large number of spells to reduce their effectiveness, as far as I can tell, so why not go the whole nine yards and use a standard point system as the casting baseline. Have Wizards prepare their spells in advance, but still using points to do so. Other casters have a more limited spell list, but can spend their points as needed, rather than prepackaging them.
    That seems like a viable option; I only have one concern: it seems like it would make it possible for players to go nova and cut the day short even more easily (because you can legitimately claim you are entirely out of spells, instead of just good ones), which assuming you DM doesn't let you get away with that, puts even more emphasis on the player for figuring out what to use ahead of time. It's pushing the class towards being very accounting- heavy, which isn't necessarily all bad, just something to be wary of, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    That's actually pretty much what I did. They have a number of points they can use to prepare spells, and a short rest gives them their points back.
    Why do they get their points back after a short rest? If that's the model you are using, why should the wizard ever prepare anything but his highest level spells? It seems like it'd doing away with the entire concept of limited resources.
    I would rather limit the setup to a certain number of points per day that are regained entirely after 8 hours of rest, or have points regenerate slowly but continuously all day long.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Well, you don't often have the time to just get half an hour or an hour of rest and quiet meditation during an adventure, do you. And when you have that time, well, then you could get all manner of resources anyway, usually.
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    Default Re: G&G: Magic

    Not complaining, Eldan, but weren't you earlier arguing against a spell-point system?

    Personally, I dislike prepared casting in general. Not only is it far harder to balance, it's been my experience that players avoid prepared classes like the plague, disliking both the bookkeeping and the hassle of preparing spells every day. When one guy did play a druid, he used more-or-less the same set of spells every day.

    I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my wizard fix before, but it's how I'd like to see the class: a small set of spontaneous spells for use in battle, a potentially-unlimited spellbook for out-of-battle spells (8-10 minutes/spell level casting time), and a lot of bonus feats and unique "spell tricks" (changing the area, element type, and so on) to add variety to their combat abilities. For divine classes, a "pray for a miracle" ability could be added, taking time and possibly resources to temporarily add a spell to your list.

    Spontaneous casters can be spell points or spell slots, it matters not. For my sorcerer fix (same thread), I took my own shot at spell points, without the "spend-more-points-to-boost-effect" of psionics. He regained spell points over time. He also got playtested, at least a bit, and got a fairly positive review from the entire group, apparently.



    On the subject of a casting roll, I'd kind of like to stick to a simple caster level check to avoid the mess
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