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    Default Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    One thing that has always bothered me about DnD, is the fact that the magic system makes no sense. Why does the character have to 'prepare' spells and loses them as soon as he casts them? What exactly is happening to the character as far as the story goes? I have never been able to make any real sense out of it.

    I'm mostly referring to wizards, the system for divine spell casters does make sense since they have to pray for their spells and all. But for wizards, I just can't figure out what's going on. Even the sorcerer-like system is a bit baffling since they have a limited number of uses for each level of spells. The reason I prefer sorcerers over wizards though is because their system makes more sense (its alot like a mana system really, and infact you could probably easily replace their magic system with one if you wanted without any real change in functionality), and it requires alot less note-keeping.

    I was actually upset when they changed the magic system in DnD4. Why would i be upset over it if I didnt like it? Because they got rid of sorcerers, one of my favorite classes (along with bards and monks). And the new wizards don't really give off that intellectual feel that the old wizards did.

    Could someone please explain the wizard's magic system to me as far as the story is concerned?

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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    Essentially, they use "words of power" and these words "invoke and shape the energy to their will." Look up Vancian spell casting.
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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by xBlackWolfx View Post
    Could someone please explain the wizard's magic system to me as far as the story is concerned?
    One simple way to do it is remembering that when you "prepare" spells you really are casting them: The actions involved in casting afterwards are the equivalent of producing something from your bag and throwing it at the target.

    The fact you can only have so many goods at any one time boils down to some personal characteristic, like how much power you can hold, how much of each spell you can remember...You just can't hold any more.


    Another one I like is a bit more direct: You do remember the spell entirely as you studied it earlier, but when you cast you simply...forget it. It's gone from your mind, and that terrifies some wizards so much they never cast spells again if they can help it.

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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andreaz View Post
    One simple way to do it is remembering that when you "prepare" spells you really are casting them: The actions involved in casting afterwards are the equivalent of producing something from your bag and throwing it at the target.

    The fact you can only have so many goods at any one time boils down to some personal characteristic, like how much power you can hold, how much of each spell you can remember...You just can't hold any more.
    This. You're not memorizing/forgetting; you're preparing. You spend a good chunk of time in the morning setting up complex energy-patterns and imprinting them on your brain and soul such that they can be unleashed using a quick series of gestures and trigger-words. It makes sense for the casting mechanic and explains how scrolls work; scroll writing uses the same process but imbues the energy-pattern in a physical receptacle that is destroyed by the unleashing of those energies.
    Last edited by Lapak; 2012-11-19 at 02:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    The idea is that when a wizard is "preparing" a spell, they are actually casting it, to about 99% completion. Then, they hold the almost-cast spell until they complete the casting, whenever they happen to need that spell.

    In essence, all wizard spells take a very long time to cast, and the preparation process is the majority of the casting, leaving only the final, simple bits for when the wizard needs the spell. They have to prepare a spell more than once because in order to cast it twice, they have to cast it twice. And the casting takes a while, so they do most of it twice at the beginning of the day, so they can finish up the last little bits and not need to say to the horrible demon trying to eat their face, "Hey, could you hold on for fifteen minutes while I cast this spell to blow you up?"

    As for the spell slots only coming pre-partitioned into specific spell levels, it's not a given explaination, but I came up with this during a chemistry class: in chemistry and physics, electrons can only possess certain amounts of energy. Electrons exist around atoms in specific "shells" or "levels," and each level has a very specific amount of energy that the electrons in that shell have. If you try to give an electron energy, you have to give it exactly enough to get it to the next level, or else the electron ignores you. Likewise, when an electron goes down a level, it sends out a puff of energy that exactly equals the difference between the two levels.

    My explaination was that magic is like electrons - magical energy can only exist in certain amounts. You can have a weak amount of magic (a level 1 spell), or a stronger amount (a level 2 spell), but you can't give a specific working of magic any amount in between those two values. The weave of magic will simply ignore you if you try, and nothing will happen. Which is why casters have their spells pre-partitioned: how much magical energy they can move per day is determined by their class and ability scores, and they divide it up between the various amounts of energy that spells can exist at, trying to get as many high-level spells as possible. The numbers in the chart is the result of their attempts.

    Hopefully that helps, and makes sense!


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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    I dont like the memorization method (how exactly do you memorize something multiple times anyway?), but the whole pre-casting thing does make sense, even if it is a little wierd.

    The sorcerer explaination on the other hand, makes no sense to me. Of course that may just be because I don't know crap about physics outside of the fact that atoms are made out of protons, neutrons, and electrons.

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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by xBlackWolfx View Post
    The sorcerer explaination on the other hand, makes no sense to me. Of course that may just be because I don't know crap about physics outside of the fact that atoms are made out of protons, neutrons, and electrons.
    Sorcerer: They "just have" those magics, and they have only so much energy to pour before they run out.
    Physics: Atoms have layers, levels in which electrons rest. Their "natural positions". Shoving electrons on the wrong layers just results in them leaving the wrong layers.
    Arcaneries apply the same here...each level has a specific characteristic that doesn't fit in the others, and again they can only hold so much.

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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    The simple answer:
    It doesn't make sense at all. Use the spellpoint system if it bugs you. The Vancian casting stuff has historical reasons.

    The in-game answer:
    Casting spells takes time. More time than you have during an encounter. That's why you prepare the spells: spells actually cause a change in your thought structure (your mind). When preparing spells, you change your brain patterns to hold the pattern of a spell. When you complete the spell (by using an action), the pattern unfolds itself into reality, and the part of your brain that used to hold the spell pattern is exhausted. That's why you need to rest in order to be able to prepare spells again.

    If you want to prepare a spell twice, it takes twice as much of your brain capacity, because a spell pattern can only be used once: once it's "unfolded", it's gone from your mind. Higher level mages have more training in how to use their spell capacity, and can prepare spells faster and more compact than low-level casters.
    Last edited by Cybris75; 2012-11-19 at 02:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Absol197 View Post
    The idea is that when a wizard is "preparing" a spell, they are actually casting it, to about 99% completion. Then, they hold the almost-cast spell until they complete the casting, whenever they happen to need that spell.

    In essence, all wizard spells take a very long time to cast, and the preparation process is the majority of the casting, leaving only the final, simple bits for when the wizard needs the spell. They have to prepare a spell more than once because in order to cast it twice, they have to cast it twice. And the casting takes a while, so they do most of it twice at the beginning of the day, so they can finish up the last little bits and not need to say to the horrible demon trying to eat their face, "Hey, could you hold on for fifteen minutes while I cast this spell to blow you up?"

    As for the spell slots only coming pre-partitioned into specific spell levels, it's not a given explaination, but I came up with this during a chemistry class: in chemistry and physics, electrons can only possess certain amounts of energy. Electrons exist around atoms in specific "shells" or "levels," and each level has a very specific amount of energy that the electrons in that shell have. If you try to give an electron energy, you have to give it exactly enough to get it to the next level, or else the electron ignores you. Likewise, when an electron goes down a level, it sends out a puff of energy that exactly equals the difference between the two levels.

    My explaination was that magic is like electrons - magical energy can only exist in certain amounts. You can have a weak amount of magic (a level 1 spell), or a stronger amount (a level 2 spell), but you can't give a specific working of magic any amount in between those two values. The weave of magic will simply ignore you if you try, and nothing will happen. Which is why casters have their spells pre-partitioned: how much magical energy they can move per day is determined by their class and ability scores, and they divide it up between the various amounts of energy that spells can exist at, trying to get as many high-level spells as possible. The numbers in the chart is the result of their attempts.

    Hopefully that helps, and makes sense!


    ~Phoenix~
    This covers the basics. Part of why spells exist as isolate, separate entities that are hard to modify is because in Vancian casting, magic is poorly understood. Wizards have, over millenia, slowly constructed elaborate rituals that lead to specific outcomes but they just know what it does, rather than understanding why it does what it does. Why a certain sequence of hand movements and words of power leads to releasing a fireball, for instance.

    For this reason, mages basically learn rituals by heart and as they increase in power their minds become able to hold more powerful rituals (or more of the lesser rituals) that can then be unleashed with the spellcasting process. So, separate spells and strict spell levels exist 'cause Magi don't really know what they're doing but rather just follow strict formulae that they know will lead to a certain outcome and thus these separate spells are all they're able to harness (metamagic of course allows modifying spells in 3.X, giving them a little control over the specifics).


    This is how it was in the olden editions of D&D (and Jack Vance's world) anyways, and since 3.5 doesn't offer any explanation there's no real reason to expect for it to have changed.
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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    If you really want to understand what Vancian magic entails from an RP-perspective, read Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight. Early on it gives an explanation for why Raistlin is always having to study his spellbook.
    Raistlin memorizes the words to a spell but the very act of casting causes those words to 'flicker and fade' from his mind afterward.
    Think of it as the difference between short-term and long-term memory.
    That combined with Absol197's explanation about the spell being 99% cast beforehand and then held at the ready.
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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    Vancian spellcasting, i.e. prepared spell casting, is very simply explained.

    Magic permeates the world of Dungeons and Dragons. Fighters who train and fight soak up magic and unconsciously work it into their muscles and form - that's how a human can wrestle a dragon to the ground, and survive dropping from orbit.

    Wizards, through long and diligent practice, create structures in their minds that alter the flow of magic through their bodies. Essentially, like a fish-trap, they construct a box and magic flows into it, and fills it up, and then sits there like a fly trapped in amber. And then they release it, through words and gestures that focus their minds to create a gate in the box that shapes the magic in a certain way - into a gout of fire, or a planar rift, or into a large hand-shaped construct of force. This naturally takes a toll on their mind - it's why only strong-minded people can become wizards in the first place. After a certain number of spells, they simply can't construct any more traps in their mind - and as they cast spells, their mind gets worn out, and they have to wait for it to mend before they can prepare more magic-traps. That's why they're limited per-day - it's literally all their mind can handle. And as they grow in power and experience (and their mind builds up some tolerance for magical energy) they can 'prepare' more spells per day, and stronger ones.

    Sorcerers have virally-altered DNA inherited from one of the genetically engineered races (Dragons, Outsiders, Aberrations) that acts as a natural channel for magic, but one which they lack the appropriate brain type to control easily. So they can instinctively channel magic around them, but lack the knowledge of how to do so effortlessly into any form they wish - they're limited to forms they know how to do. And after channeling a certain amount of energy, like wizards, their mind gets worn out and can't do it anymore and needs a rest before it can do more of it.

    Clerics say that their god only grants them a certain number of spells, but i'd say that in reality their minds are handling actual magical energy and it's not that the gods are miserly, but rather that the gods don't channel so much magical energy into their believers' minds that their believers' minds explode.

    And so on and so forth.

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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    Hmm. But if you were sustaining these spells at 99%, it makes more sense to me for Charisma to factor into it, because you're literally using willpower to keep the spells from going off.

    (This also proposes an interesting idea to me: come up with a weird game mechanic that doesn't have a fluff explanation, and see how people manage to justify it.)
    Last edited by CarpeGuitarrem; 2012-11-19 at 03:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeGuitarrem View Post
    Hmm. But if you were sustaining these spells at 99%, it makes more sense to me for Charisma to factor into it, because you're literally using willpower to keep the spells from going off.

    (This also proposes an interesting idea to me: come up with a weird game mechanic that doesn't have a fluff explanation, and see how people manage to justify it.)
    It's less about willpower and more about mental capacity. You basically precast the spell, store it in your mind and draw upon it when need be.
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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeGuitarrem View Post
    Hmm. But if you were sustaining these spells at 99%, it makes more sense to me for Charisma to factor into it, because you're literally using willpower to keep the spells from going off.

    (This also proposes an interesting idea to me: come up with a weird game mechanic that doesn't have a fluff explanation, and see how people manage to justify it.)
    You're not sustaining anything at 99%. You're charging up ambient magic inside your head. That's why you can 'lose' prepared spells and why you need to study at the start of the day - you're 'setting up' your magic wells.

    If the trap you've laid in your head for the magic is not designed well, it doesn't work, and either horrible things happen to you or nothing at all happens. It's about how well you designed the trap, not your force of will. Sorcerers are the ones using force of will, as they are literally channeling magic specifically at the time of casting. Thus, wizards use int, sorcerers use cha. Cause wizards don't have daddy (or mommy's) super genetic engineered built-in magic traps, so they have to make their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    [snip]
    For this reason, mages basically learn rituals by heart and as they increase in power their minds become able to hold more powerful rituals (or more of the lesser rituals) that can then be unleashed with the spellcasting process. So, separate spells and strict spell levels exist 'cause Magi don't really know what they're doing but rather just follow strict formulae that they know will lead to a certain outcome and thus these separate spells are all they're able to harness (metamagic of course allows modifying spells in 3.X, giving them a little control over the specifics).
    [snip]
    So Vancian magic is a Black Box?

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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeGuitarrem View Post
    Hmm. But if you were sustaining these spells at 99%, it makes more sense to me for Charisma to factor into it, because you're literally using willpower to keep the spells from going off.

    (This also proposes an interesting idea to me: come up with a weird game mechanic that doesn't have a fluff explanation, and see how people manage to justify it.)
    This is one of those things where the explanation came built in, which is why it's called 'Vancian' casting to begin with. Mazirian the Magician, the first story in Vance's Dying Earth collection, gets fairly specific about the mechanics of magic in the setting in terms of holding a matrix of spell energy in your head, etc. The followup stories got more explicit about the fact that the magicians didn't really understand how this worked and no new spells were being created (which, if adopted wholesale into a D&D campaign, gave wizards an awfully good reason to go digging in ancient ruins.)

    The greatest magician in the setting, and the only creative one I'm aware of, credits his mastery to the fact that he went to a great deal of effort to understand the discipline that underlies magic and supports it - a long-lost and obscure knowledge of the ancients known as Mathematics.

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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    To present the spell levels explanation in a simpler manner:

    Magic only comes in distinct amounts of power. These correspond to spell levels. You can use more power than necessary to cast a given spell (a higher slot), but not less (a 1st level slot simply is not large enough to power a Haste spell).
    From Versatile Spellcaster we can guess that each higher spell level corresponds to about twice the power of the previous one (a 3rd level spell is as "big" as two 2nd level spells, etc.)
    Sorcerers can only use their total spell power for the day in certain distinct chunks (yes, the explanation is slightly weak here).

    The biggest problem is different lists having spells at different levels. Sometimes it's easy to explain, such as differences on the Cleric/Druid/Sorc/Wiz/Domains lists. The differences in how they cast/the very nature of the spells make them require less power in some cases. The arcane version of Animate Dead takes twice as much power as the divine one, for whatever reason.
    Cases like the Trapsmith spell list are more difficult. I don't really have a good explanation that doesn't contradict mechanics elsewhere for that.

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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    Sigh, typical nerd ego stroking.

    Like that goddamn series of books where knowing programming logic = magic.


    I don't care about Jack Vance or his books. I'm describing the system of magic as described in DnD 3.5 and how it would/could/does make sense in terms of a unified roleplaying setting.

    I understand that to be the OP's question - not the historical details of Jack Vance or whatever his explanation for a system of magic similar to the one in the DnD system was.


    There's nothing, in 3.5, that says that DnD is a black box system. If we assume that magic is an energy, and that energy can be shaped and channeled by the conscious thoughts of sentient (or even nonsentient) beings, then wham, bam, thank you ma'am the mystery is explained. People (human or otherwise) have developed methods of thought or other techniques to use a useful resource (magic) in their attempts to survive and breed.

    And... it works out well for them!

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    Quote Originally Posted by xBlackWolfx View Post
    I dont like the memorization method (how exactly do you memorize something multiple times anyway?), but the whole pre-casting thing does make sense, even if it is a little wierd.

    The sorcerer explaination on the other hand, makes no sense to me. Of course that may just be because I don't know crap about physics outside of the fact that atoms are made out of protons, neutrons, and electrons.
    Maybe if I use some numbers it'll help. Please note that I'm pulling these numbers out of my nether regions - they're entirely made up, but hopefully they'll help get the point across.

    You know the classic picture of an atom, which is a bunch of protons and neutrons stuck together in the center, with electrons orbiting around it, right? Well, imagine if the center was the sun, and the electrons were the planets. Not all of the planets are the same distance from the sun; Mercury is very close, while Neptune is really far away. Electrons function the same way: some orbit close to the nucleus, while others are farther away.

    For the purposes of this example, we can call them 1 through 9. 1 is the closest, 9 is the furthest. An electron in orbit 1 will always have exactly 12 points of energy. Maybe we say orbit 2 has 37 points, orbit 3 has 45 points, so on and so forth.

    Let's say you have an electron in orbit 2. Like I said before, it will always have 37 points. If you try to give it 1 more point of energy, nothing will happen. It will ignore you, and for all intents and purposes, you don't exist. However, if you try to give it exactly 8 points, then you would put it at 45 points, which is how much energy it can have in orbit 3. This time, something will happen: the electron will take your energy, and zip out to the 3rd orbit, and then hang there.

    In effect, energy can only exist in "packets" that are of specific sizes. For some reason, that's just how it works. You can't have 36 points of energy at once, or 38, or 10, or any number that isn't 12, 37, 45, or the values of the other orbits.

    The idea is that spells are the same way: magical energy can only exist in 12 (0-level), 37 (1st-level), 45 (2nd-level), etc. point packets. So if a spellcaster can generate 100 points of magic per day, he has to divide that up. He can only do two 1st-level spells (37*2 = 74). The rest of his magical potential goes to 0-level spells, of which he can cast 2 (12*2 = 24). The other 2 points of his are wasted. The chart of spells/level/day is your character going through this process and optimizing his magic points to give him as many high level spells as possible.

    ...Huh, that was kinda long. Hopefully that helped clarify - sometimes using actual examples is more useful that theory - but if it didn't I'll give it a rest.


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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    Sigh, typical nerd ego stroking.

    Like that goddamn series of books where knowing programming logic = magic.
    Not so much nerd ego-stroking as nihilism, really. It's set in a future so far ahead that the sun is going out and both the Earth and humanity are in their last gasp - it's more a commentary on people ceasing to care when the end is upon them than an endorsement of nerdishness or science. Science is in the past, art is in the past, morality is in the past, everything but the final going-through-the-motions is more or less done with. None of which is relevant to the discussion at hand, especially if -
    I don't care about Jack Vance or his books.
    - I was just responding to the post I quoted, giving some context that opposes the idea that people were pulling this out of the air to justify a mechanism that was made out of whole cloth.
    I'm describing the system of magic as described in DnD 3.5 and how it would/could/does make sense in terms of a unified roleplaying setting.

    I understand that to be the OP's question - not the historical details of Jack Vance or whatever his explanation for a system of magic similar to the one in the DnD system was.


    There's nothing, in 3.5, that says that DnD is a black box system. If we assume that magic is an energy, and that energy can be shaped and channeled by the conscious thoughts of sentient (or even nonsentient) beings, then wham, bam, thank you ma'am the mystery is explained. People (human or otherwise) have developed methods of thought or other techniques to use a useful resource (magic) in their attempts to survive and breed.

    And... it works out well for them!
    Indeed, and your explanation works just fine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by xBlackWolfx View Post
    I was actually upset when they changed the magic system in DnD4. Why would i be upset over it if I didnt like it? Because they got rid of sorcerers, one of my favorite classes (along with bards and monks).
    I just want to point out that Sorcerers, Bards and Monks all exist in D&D4 in Player's Handbook 2 (for Sorcerers and Bards) and Player's Handbook 3 (Monks).
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    Quote Originally Posted by xBlackWolfx View Post
    One thing that has always bothered me about DnD, is the fact that the magic system makes no sense. Why does the character have to 'prepare' spells and loses them as soon as he casts them? What exactly is happening to the character as far as the story goes? I have never been able to make any real sense out of it.

    I'm mostly referring to wizards, the system for divine spell casters does make sense since they have to pray for their spells and all. But for wizards, I just can't figure out what's going on. Even the sorcerer-like system is a bit baffling since they have a limited number of uses for each level of spells. The reason I prefer sorcerers over wizards though is because their system makes more sense (its alot like a mana system really, and infact you could probably easily replace their magic system with one if you wanted without any real change in functionality), and it requires alot less note-keeping.

    I was actually upset when they changed the magic system in DnD4. Why would i be upset over it if I didnt like it? Because they got rid of sorcerers, one of my favorite classes (along with bards and monks). And the new wizards don't really give off that intellectual feel that the old wizards did.

    Could someone please explain the wizard's magic system to me as far as the story is concerned?
    Kinetic and Potential Energy.

    When you prepare a spell you use magic energies to create potential energy in your brain that is stored until you release the trigger thus changing the potential energies into kinetic energy (spell effect).

    Go look into the PHB or DMG from 2nd edition.

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    Default Re: Explain the magic system to me RP-wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    I just want to point out that Sorcerers, Bards and Monks all exist in D&D4 in Player's Handbook 2 (for Sorcerers and Bards) and Player's Handbook 3 (Monks).
    Yeah. A lot of the "standard" classes were put in the PHB2. But there were some new classes in the PHB, and other great classes were put into the PHB2.

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    I can create a class about using the Forgery skill, and call it the Monk, or the Sorcerer, but it won't be the same as the DnD 3.5 sorcerer.

    At the risk of making this an edition war thread, I believe that to be the essence of the OP's statement about disliking the way sorcerer was 'removed' from 4e.

    Regardless of liking which edition better for whatever reasons, I believe it to be relatively uncontested that the capabilities and execution of those capabilities is vastly different between the 3.5 wizard and sorcerer and the 4e wizard and sorcerer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    I can create a class about using the Forgery skill, and call it the Monk, or the Sorcerer, but it won't be the same as the DnD 3.5 sorcerer.

    At the risk of making this an edition war thread, I believe that to be the essence of the OP's statement about disliking the way sorcerer was 'removed' from 4e.

    Regardless of liking which edition better for whatever reasons, I believe it to be relatively uncontested that the capabilities and execution of those capabilities is vastly different between the 3.5 wizard and sorcerer and the 4e wizard and sorcerer.


    I don't see your logic. The 4e wizard is also quite different (although perhaps not so much as the sorcerer), and the three classes he mentioned were also all not in the PHB1.

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    Yeah, this is more likely a case of not liking the initial 4E release and never looking back.
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    To elaborate on certain ideas:
    Arcane spells are discrete entities, that are hard to muddle with. The art of metamagic is in essence the study and practice of altering those elements. It requires a lot of learning and practice (hence why each particular modification requires a feat), and also necessitates a significant increase in the amount of energy and brain space needed to create and house the modified spell. Wizards frequently pick up some knowlegde over the course of their studies (bonus feats), though many also naturally learn manners of storing magical energies into useful external patterns for future use (since wizard bonus feats can also be used for item creation). However both wizards and sorcerers can sit down and study this process of modification seperately from their normal studies (spend a regular feat on them). Sorcerers have to dedicate time and energy learning these modifications seperate from their normal training, since their fundamental means of aquiring power is based on the study and excitation of their natural talents, not a study of the nature of magic iteslf (explaining why they don't get bonus feats). Clerics and druids can also apply these lessons. They may receive their magic from a divine source, but by understanding the shapes and energy levels involved and how to modify them, they may reshape the forms into the larger modified forms that arcanists have devised. When an arcanist spends time creating a new spell they consciously testing the shapes into which the universe allows magic to be held, and by studying the shapes and energy levels they may ultimately find the shape, amount of energy, and outside materials are needed to achieve the objective effect, however they likely do not know why that shape and energy level achieve what they do. This rarely happens at lower caster levels since there is a wide variety of known spells can accomplish a great many things, however at the very highest levels a magician's repertoire is frequently stymied by the lack of proper forms in which to place the titanic energies they frequently utilize, and thus they take the time to devise new ones. This is further necessitated by the secrecy and paranoia that tend to overtake wizards as they grow in power.

    The study of psionics understands the basic energies that power spells, but choose to shape them of their own accord as opposed to utilizing the preexisting shapes the cosmos provides. They have a great advantage in flexibility, but they must thoroughly understand what the shapes they are making mean, and how energy is appplied to them. As a result they can't quickly add massive numbers of effects to their repertoire the way wizards can. The other diasadvantage is that their self constructed forms do not gain greater power with experience and understanding (the free scaling of spells), but most of the time they may almost freely add as much energy as their body can call upon to enhance it, which requires more energy, but it is often unbound, unlike the power of spells, which grows with understanding, but can only ever get so powerful without metamagic. Metapsionics offers ways of augmenting powers beyond their natural scope, however since this is a somewhat unnatural modification, a further amount of mental exertion (psi focus) is needed to keep the power in the altered form. Their are limits to the amount energy that may be called upon by any psion, but they are based on the experience and knowledge of the psion in question. Even if they lack any 5th level powers, a 9th level psion can still channel the energy need to power such an effect, and as such can sometimes achieve similar results by applying more power to lower level forms.

    A wilder's powers are gained from flashes of insight, as opposed to dedicated study and manipulation of energy forms. Their powers are fueled by raw emotional power and turmoil, leading to them frequently channel more than their body can safely contain, occasionally leading to obvious result (pain, energy loss, and disorientation). They can have even more power in their energy forms, but with less puisance and understanding. Instead of relying upon understanding knowledge to guide the energy into shape, the use raw willpower to force it into shape.

    I'm still working out how this theory applies to incarnum and other systems, but this is how my basic understanding works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Stabber View Post
    *snip*
    How would you do independent spell research? With so many spells named after their inventors, that's a fairly big part of at least Greyhawk. Something like: "There are near countless ready magical shapes in existence and researching is the act of trying to uncover the one that does what you seek to accomplish"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    How would you do independent spell research? With so many spells named after their inventors, that's a fairly big part of at least Greyhawk. Something like: "There are near countless ready magical shapes in existence and researching is the act of trying to uncover the one that does what you seek to accomplish"?
    Something like that. Similar how we name scientific discoveries after their discoverer. We have Hawking's radiation because of Steven Hawking. On another planet it might be called Troscor radiation after Mokak Troskor's failure to destroy the planet with tiny black holes (that was pretty much the end of his career in villiany).
    Last edited by Darth Stabber; 2012-11-20 at 04:26 AM.
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    This whole topic shows the reason why I prefer psionics.
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