Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ReaderAt2046's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Non-Vancian magic

    Some time back I came up with a hypothetical non-Vancian magic system that could work for a D&D-esque game. I would appreciate feedback either on major problems or minor tweaks.

    The key to this is a new resource called "mana". Mana is the reserve of magic that each spellcaster has on hand, and it ranges from tiny to massive. Mana would be gained each level just like HP, with the relevant modifier being Wisdom.

    Spell levels still exist in this world, but mean rather different things.

    A character learns spells by taking the Learn Spell feat, which allows them to learn a number of spells equal to 1+their Intelligence modifier (minimum 1). This feat can be taken as many times as the character wants. A character can't learn a spell of higher level than their caster level and you can't learn the same spell more than once.

    To actually cast a spell they've learned, a character must expend a number of mana equal to the spell's level. Spent mana regenerates at the rate of 1 mana per hour, with a bonus 1 for every 8 hours of rest.

    Special rules:

    Blindcasting: A character may attempt to cast a spell that they haven't learned by simply concentrating on what they want and letting the magic take its own form. However, doing so doubles the spell's level for terms of cost, which also means that you can't blindcast a spell whose level is more than half your caster level.

    Lifecasting: In an emergency, a caster can elect to use his own vis as the fuel for spells. Once per turn, a character may add mana up to his caster level to his mana pool as a free action. However, for each mana added in this manner, the character loses 1d6 life.

    Casting from scrolls: If a character has a scroll or other written description of a spell, he may cast it as if he had learned it. This does not cause him to actually learn it, so he will need the scroll again to repeat this in the future.

    0-level spells. 0-level spells represent the most basic magic tricks. Anyone with at least one caster level is assumed to know all 0-level spells, and they cost no mana to cast. They would be such things as "light fire", "glowy ball of light", etc

    Classes

    Wizard, warlock, and sorceror would all be combined into a single class which I'm calling "Mage". Mages would get either 2(1d6+Wis) or 1d10+Wis mana per level (I haven't decided which yet) and would have "Learn Spell" as a starter feat.

    Bards, paladins, and druids would get 1d6+Wis mana per level. I have considered giving druids and paladins an "attunement bonus" which would probably manifest as certain spells being priced as though they were one level lower, but I haven't decided yet.

    Cleric magic should probably stay Vancian, since it actually fits well with the concept of requesting magical favors from a deity.

    So that's my magic system. Thoughts?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    toapat's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Non-Vancian magic

    this isnt really a new concept, Mana pool systems have been attempted and most of them dont work effectively.

    the other most significant problem is that a mana pool system falls apart when you have a 6 attribute system.

    Wordcasting seems to actually be what you want in terms of a spellcasting system. Wordcasting is also a reverse-engineering of the Pathfinder system


    My Homebrew: found here.
    When you Absolutely, Positively, Gotta Drop some Huge rocks, Accept NO Substitutes

    PM Me if you would like a table from my homebrew reconstructed.

    I use Red when I'm angry, I use blue when I'm excited.
    Drow avatar @ myself

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    TheWombatOfDoom's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Aldain
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Non-Vancian magic

    forgive me not knowing the term, but what exactly is vanician magic? I've played D & D for awhile, and am familiar with quite a bit of the system, but I'd never encountered the term until I entered the forums.
    Scientific Name: Wombous apocolypticus | Diet: Apocolypse Pie | Cuddly: Yes

    World Building Project:
    Magic
    : The Stuff of Sentience | Fate: The Fabric of Physics | Luck: The Basis of Biology

    Order of the Stick Projects:
    Annotation of the Comic | Spell Compendium of the Comic | Transcription of the Comic
    Dad-a-chum? Dum-a-chum? Ded-a-chek? Did-a-chick?
    Extended Signature | My DeviantArt
    (you can't take the sky from me)

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ReaderAt2046's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Non-Vancian magic

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    the other most significant problem is that a mana pool system falls apart when you have a 6 attribute system.
    Why? It seems to me that it would work just fine, just like Hp do. I don't see why having a six-attribute system interferes with mana-pool ideas.

    @Wombat Vancian magic is technically a magic system where spells erase themselves from the mage's mind after use, but it is generally used for any system where you have to pick exactly which spells you are going to be able to cast and you can't cast a spell twice unless you "researched" it twice.
    Last edited by ReaderAt2046; 2012-10-15 at 11:20 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    toapat's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Non-Vancian magic

    Quote Originally Posted by ReaderAt2046 View Post
    Why? It seems to me that it would work just fine, just like Hp do. I don't see why having a six-attribute system interferes with mana-pool ideas.
    because Manapool systems run off the assumption that a PC is only as functionally wise as the Player holding the sheet.

    Int thus determines Mana pool size, while Cha determines Regained/period.

    you also cant just fix it with Manacost=Spell Level. Look back at TBC WoW, Paladins were the prefered healers because they had a heal several magnitudes more effective for it's manacost which also happened to cost less per point of healing then anything Priests and Shamans got. Druids were still healers because they had regeneration/rejuvination heal over time spells which Priests and Shamans didnt get.

    @ Wombat: A Magic System as devised by Jack Vance. Magic is all ritualistic, but the rituals have last second savestates that allow them to be saved for later.
    Last edited by toapat; 2012-10-15 at 11:29 AM.


    My Homebrew: found here.
    When you Absolutely, Positively, Gotta Drop some Huge rocks, Accept NO Substitutes

    PM Me if you would like a table from my homebrew reconstructed.

    I use Red when I'm angry, I use blue when I'm excited.
    Drow avatar @ myself

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ReaderAt2046's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Non-Vancian magic

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    because Manapool systems run off the assumption that a PC is only as functionally wise as the Player holding the sheet.

    Int thus determines Mana pool size, while Cha determines Regained/period.
    That is not true in my system and I can see absolutely no reason why it should be. Wisdom is the statistic that represensts the soul and attunement with supernatural forces, so it determines mana pools. Intelligence represnts learning and reasoning, so it determines how many spells you can learn. Charisma is force of will, so it will apply to caster level checks and spellcraft checks (not stated above, in case you're wondering).

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    you also cant just fix it with Manacost=Spell Level. Look back at TBC WoW, Paladins were the prefered healers because they had a heal several magnitudes more effective for it's manacost which also happened to cost less per point of healing then anything Priests and Shamans got. Druids were still healers because they had regeneration/rejuvination heal over time spells which Priests and Shamans didnt get.
    That's what I was trying to get at with the attunement idea, having certain classes have an aptitude to certain kinds of magic.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    CA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Non-Vancian magic

    I think you may need to revise your numbers quite a bit.

    The mana pool seems very high compared to spell costs. If you can swing 18 Wis (trivial at higher levels for a secondary attribute), you are basically able to cast one 9th level spell per level with average mana as a mage (and that using the weaker 1d10+Wis/level). However, the regeneration rate is very slow, so it's not really a daily pool. This makes it even harder to properly gauge a caster's available power for a given encounter, allowing them to potentially nova to massive effect, but doing so could leave them quite low for several days.

    Also, unless you're revising the spells to be on a 20 spell level system, by these rules people are casting higher level spells far faster (getting 9th level spells when the game assumes they have access to 5th level spells). This is only exasperated by Blindcasting, which basically lets you cast any spell you want at the same level that a caster would normally get access to spells of that level. Even setting this to half caster level, which more accurately represents current spell level access, you run into the possibility of artificial increases to caster level giving casters access to higher level spells early.

    Lifecasting is also problematic. Converting hit points to spells is generally a good deal, because converting spells to hit points is already quite easy. A Lesser Vigor spell costs 1d6 hit points to cast, and restores 10 + caster level hit points over its course, making unlimited magic trivial at level 1. Likewise, even a single point of Fast Healing basically gives any caster basically limitless magic. There might be a bit of risk to it in combat, but you still have a plentiful mana pool to fall back on, and this is using fairly slow methods of healing. Snag a Heal spell, and you're basically always a standard action away from all the casting power you need. Basically, any hp-to-mp system needs some way to make sure the hit points can't be restored with normal healing.

    Which...basically means casters under this system could fairly easily cast any spell they want an unlimited number of times per day.
    A role playing game is three things. It is an interactive story, a game of chance, and a process in critical thinking.

    If brevity is the soul of wit, I'm witty like a vampire!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Here
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Non-Vancian magic

    My immediate impressions: this system will have to be balanced against the cleric all the time. And I don't know if you will manage.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ReaderAt2046's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Non-Vancian magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    I think you may need to revise your numbers quite a bit.

    The mana pool seems very high compared to spell costs. If you can swing 18 Wis (trivial at higher levels for a secondary attribute), you are basically able to cast one 9th level spell per level with average mana as a mage (and that using the weaker 1d10+Wis/level). However, the regeneration rate is very slow, so it's not really a daily pool. This makes it even harder to properly gauge a caster's available power for a given encounter, allowing them to potentially nova to massive effect, but doing so could leave them quite low for several days.

    Also, unless you're revising the spells to be on a 20 spell level system, by these rules people are casting higher level spells far faster (getting 9th level spells when the game assumes they have access to 5th level spells). This is only exasperated by Blindcasting, which basically lets you cast any spell you want at the same level that a caster would normally get access to spells of that level. Even setting this to half caster level, which more accurately represents current spell level access, you run into the possibility of artificial increases to caster level giving casters access to higher level spells early.

    Lifecasting is also problematic. Converting hit points to spells is generally a good deal, because converting spells to hit points is already quite easy. A Lesser Vigor spell costs 1d6 hit points to cast, and restores 10 + caster level hit points over its course, making unlimited magic trivial at level 1. Likewise, even a single point of Fast Healing basically gives any caster basically limitless magic. There might be a bit of risk to it in combat, but you still have a plentiful mana pool to fall back on, and this is using fairly slow methods of healing. Snag a Heal spell, and you're basically always a standard action away from all the casting power you need. Basically, any hp-to-mp system needs some way to make sure the hit points can't be restored with normal healing.

    Which...basically means casters under this system could fairly easily cast any spell they want an unlimited number of times per day.
    This was exactly the sort of fine-tuning advice I wanted. First, I think I'll cut Lifecasting out entirely, since you have a point about it being too complicated. About the issues of the mana pool, I can alter that in a number of ways if necessary, but what you were saying about the mana pool being very high compared to spell costs was something of the flavor I was looking for, and I do like the idea that using up all your juice leaves you weak for a few days. On second thought, though, I might alter the rejuviantion effect to match that of Hp regain, which would make the recharge rate roughly proportionate to the mage's total power (good). I do admit that this runs a bit into Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards, but all D&D rather does that.

    Again, thanks for the advice!

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Amechra's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Where I live.

    Default Re: Non-Vancian magic

    You could keep Lifecasting... if you made the damage require natural healing instead of just casting heal spells.

Posting Permissions

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