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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    This project is a lot of work. Who knew rewriting large parts of D&D from the ground up would be time consuming.. :P

    All themes are done.
    I reworked my spell balance spreadsheet to more accurately calculate value. That has helped quite a bit.
    Summoning spells have been refined, but I recently changed one of their modifiers so I need to recalculate them all.
    I started on classes this weekend. It's going quite well, though it's lots of work.
    I considered refactoring how subclasses are done, but I'm going to focus on finishing with the subclasses that I have now and then potentially changing the structure or adding on.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Was talking with K about it, and figured you would have to rewrite almost every class to adapt/balance it all out. I don't know how you have the patience

    Small question, are you adding Sword Burst, Greenflame Blade etc cantrips?

    Looking forward to seeing the class stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Small question, are you adding Sword Burst, Greenflame Blade etc cantrips?
    Green-Flame Blade and Booming Blade will not be added (they don't exist in my current rules). They are massively out of line in terms of power and their use case is already covered by current things like Arcane Channeling or Mage's 11th level that lets them cast a spell through an attack. The same system is being expanded to all gish classes in my new version so the desired functionality will exist, just not in those forms.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Makes sense. How about Sword Burst in the Force theme?

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    I spend 6 mana casting meteor swarm: Each creature I hit with a meteor takes 10d6 total damage.
    Instead, I could've cast burning hands for 6 mana and dealt 18d6 damage to what is probably all of the targets I'd want to hit with meteor swarm anyways, dealing almost twice as much damage in the process.

    Meteor swarm, in this case, does have the additional benefit of having a 1 mile range, but... It just doesn't seem right that it'd do less damage to a single target than burning hands would, y'know?

    Are you planning on keeping or doing away with the "You can cast a spell of X mana a maximum of Y times before finishing a long rest"?
    From my understanding, it serves as a great way of limiting higher level spells, allowing them to be more powerful than their lower level versions when cast at the same amount of mana. It feels like you'd be planning on doing away with that rule, given how low the numbers on 4-6 mana spells are in comparison to 1-3 mana ones (I haven't looked through everything, so I can't say for sure that ALL of the 4-6 mana spells are generally just as powerful as 1-3 mana ones when cast using the same amount of mana, but I did get that impression from skimming through the doc).


    I wanted to make a joke using this quote, but I can't think of any way of leading into it, so just have it anyways:

    "When I order some 6 mana meteors I expect big ones. Not the lousy baby pebbles the sky insists on delivering to me these days."
    -Tim, the meteormancer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Makes sense. How about Sword Burst in the Force theme?
    I currently have Sword burst grouped with Cloud of Daggers and Blade Barrier. I have them in Unthemed spells under "Blade spells". I'll likely let you choose any "Unthemed" spell if you have another.


    Quote Originally Posted by Terra Reveene View Post
    I spend 6 mana casting meteor swarm: Each creature I hit with a meteor takes 10d6 total damage.
    Instead, I could've cast burning hands for 6 mana and dealt 18d6 damage to what is probably all of the targets I'd want to hit with meteor swarm anyways, dealing almost twice as much damage in the process.

    Meteor swarm, in this case, does have the additional benefit of having a 1 mile range, but... It just doesn't seem right that it'd do less damage to a single target than burning hands would, y'know?

    Are you planning on keeping or doing away with the "You can cast a spell of X mana a maximum of Y times before finishing a long rest"?
    From my understanding, it serves as a great way of limiting higher level spells, allowing them to be more powerful than their lower level versions when cast at the same amount of mana. It feels like you'd be planning on doing away with that rule, given how low the numbers on 4-6 mana spells are in comparison to 1-3 mana ones (I haven't looked through everything, so I can't say for sure that ALL of the 4-6 mana spells are generally just as powerful as 1-3 mana ones when cast using the same amount of mana, but I did get that impression from skimming through the doc).
    6 mana spells are limited: "Spells using 6 mana are particularly taxing to cast. Once you cast a spell using 6 mana, you canít cast another spell using 6 mana until you finish a long rest." This remains primarily for non damaging spells.

    Burning Hands at 6 mana is a 90 foot cone. I've just noticed that I didn't count this out perfectly, but it'd be around 212 squares. I estimate that'd be around 5 creatures. Damage to secondary targets is less valuable which equates a 90 foot cone to about 233% modifier of normal damage. Burning hands does 18d6 as you say. But that has some drawbacks like being in melee range.

    Meteor Swarm has 4 Sphere aoes. Each sphere has a 35 foot radius which is 176 squares for each sphere. Sphere have a modifier of about 250%. Each sphere can be targeted individually, allowing for significantly more creatures hit for 10d6. Upon inspection I've noticed that Meteor Swarm was not taking its 4 AoEs into consideration Its current 10d6 is quite too high actually. I should probably combine Fire Storm and Meteor Swarm into one spell with multiple AoE 10s.

    Every spell has their own niche. Meteor Swarm is useful for wiping out a horde of enemies really far from you. Burning Hands is useful for wiping out a few enemies really close to you. The goal of the system is that a 6 mana spell is equivalent to a 2 mana spell cast at 6th level. Meteor Swarm, by RAW, does insane amounts of damage - far beyond the DMG recommendations for 9th level spells. If I were to restore it to 40d6 then the damage value would be around 353 in comparison to the ~88 that it currently is (6 mana spell aim to do around 85 damage).

    If you think 6 mana spells should be earth shattering then you could include some random "if you cast this at 6 mana, you deal X amount more damage". That, and RAW, doesn't align with the DMG guidelines for spells.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    If you think 6 mana spells should be earth shattering then you could include some random "if you cast this at 6 mana, you deal X amount more damage". That, and RAW, doesn't align with the DMG guidelines for spells.
    I believe you if you tell me your Meteor Swarm does just as much damage as it's supposed to (or more, in this case). I'm just saying I think it's very odd for a meteor to do as little damage to any one target as it does currently (thematically speaking). When I drop a meteor on something, I expect it to take severe damage, perhaps not even being left alive.
    Although I now realize that the size of each meteor is not specified, so perhaps I am in the wrong there. I was thinking more in terms of "I drop these four meteors, one in each of these spots", not "I rain down meteors in these four areas (more than one per area)".

    It'd be interesting if you could choose (to a certain extent) the size of each meteor, allowing you to pick between 2, maybe 3 different modes with different damage amounts. So you could choose to drop the current pebble storm (more like fairly well sized rocks what with the 10d6 damage, but w/e) in four different areas, or choose to drop fewer but larger rocks over fewer (maybe even just one) area, or choose to drop a single big one in a very small area.

    EDIT: Corrected some wording.

    And to be clear: I don't like the normal PHB meteor swarm spell, I think it's far too powerful. I'm opting to change it once I get there.
    Last edited by Terra Reveene; 2018-04-16 at 09:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)


    This is a comparison of the three spells. Burning hands is the fire, Fire storm (8 aoes) is the blue squares, and Meteor Swarm is the red spheres. You can instantly see that the area covered by meteor swarm is almost 10x as much as fire storm and ~3-4x as much as Burning Hands. That's not even taking into account the ability to spread them out.

    Larger area = more creatures = more total damage. Even after accounting for damage being less valuable split across multiple creatures Meteor Swarm is off the deep end in terms of balance. It could become "Meteor" without the swarm, but then it's just a big fireball. Minute Meteors also uses meteors so I wouldn't get too caught up on this idea of giant meteors - that's not how the spell functioned in old editions either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Terra Reveene View Post
    It'd be interesting if you could choose (to a certain extent) the size of each meteor, allowing you to pick between 2, maybe 3 different modes with different damage amounts. So you could choose to drop the current pebble storm (more like fairly well sized rocks what with the 10d6 damage, but w/e) in four different areas, or choose to drop fewer but larger rocks over fewer (maybe even just one) area, or choose to drop a single big one in a very small area.
    That's not a bad idea, though fire storm should be aborbed in at that point.

    EDIT: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-sp.../meteor-swarm/ is quite different from what it is in 5e.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    This is a comparison of the three spells. Burning hands is the fire, Fire storm (8 aoes) is the blue squares, and Meteor Swarm is the red spheres. You can instantly see that the area covered by meteor swarm is almost 10x as much as fire storm and ~3-4x as much as Burning Hands. That's not even taking into account the ability to spread them out.
    Seems about right.

    I'm not saying your damage + AoE numbers are wrong, I'm just stating that I initially thought of them to be odd; Mainly because in my mind you were summoning 4 meteors, but that just isn't the case as I came to realize upon taking a second look at the wording of the spell.

    I did leave my initial comment very ambiguous, was hoping that my second comment could clear things up but I'm not sure if it did? Hope this clears things up a bit though.
    Last edited by Terra Reveene; 2018-04-16 at 01:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Updated Thematic spells.

    Still need to throw the unthemed ones on there and recalculate all the summoned creatures.

    I'll see if I can get an alpha version of classes up tonight as well.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Looking forward to it.
    Will have to go through all the spells a bit more thoroughly, now that you're almost done.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Kryx's Houserules will be the new URL of my rules. Races will be included when those are more polished.

    This should not be considered complete or even playtest ready. Still TODO:
    • Recalculate summon spells
    • Add "unthemed spells" as their own theme
    • Add spells inspired by 5e mystic disciplines
    • Modify classes and subclasses
    • Cleanup

    I've done a once over on all classes I believe, but it was at a very high level so don't expect perfect quality. I'll need to go over each class and subclass individually.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Well this gets the brain working :)

    Issues that stood out at first glance:
    1. Magical Insights had no limitations on choice. Eg. Sorcerers can take Life at level 1.
    2. Magical Insights seems to make all classes Spells Known, and I think removing Prepared casters really removes something from the system.
    3. If you wanted to be more of a generalist, you'll have very few actual spells, but a very large amount of cantrips.

    What I'd like to see:
    1. Once you know a theme, you automatically know all spells as soon as your mana limit reaches the level needed to cast it. Otherwise I'm not sure what the point of putting spells into themes actually is.
    2. Class restrictions on themes. No Life theme for arcane casters
    3. Predetermined themes. eg. Acolyte would gain whatever themes fit all Acolytes, like Divine, Divination and Protection. Depending on their god, they then choose Life or Death, and Light or Shadow. Then depending on which domain they pick, the gain one or more additional themes. Any theme granted by a class feature bypasses any restriction to the theme. So a Celestial origin Sorcerer might gain access to Divine theme, normally restricted to divine classes. For domains, you could set a list of possibilities appropriate, and let them pick X themes from that list. A domain like Knowledge might get to pick from a really large list(or all 33 themes if appropriate), and gain additional themes at level 6(Magical Secrets) for example.
    I think the biggest challenge here would be what base classes get which themes added to their list to choose from, and how many can they choose.

    If the amount of themes for traditionally Prepared casters is large enough, then you could bring back Prepared Spells.
    For the Spells Known casters, keep the amount of themes they know more restricted. Which should be pretty easy. Arcane casters get Arcane theme for example, and then a choice of X themes from a list determined by class/subclass/origin(sorc/warlock) etc.
    Knowing all spells in a theme, still has the large number of cantrips known issue mentioned above. Although I'm not convinced its actually an issue, as you aren't cherry picking the best cantrips, you're picking whole themes.

    You could then have a talent to gain an additional theme, as long as the meet the prereqs for that theme.

    I think its important to make sure arcane casters don't get access to traditional divine themes(Life/Divine theme), and vice versa - unless they gain access through a specialization like Domain or Origin. The choice shouldn't be on their general list to choose from. Also traditional magic users getting access to psionics doesn't seem right either.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Another thought, you could have specialists be better at their chosen theme, or expand their spells lists without giving them full access to a theme.

    Examples, a specialist(eg. Wizard specialists, Acolyte domains etc) might be able to cast spells as though they spent mana equal to mana expended +1, X amount of times per short rest.
    If 6 mana spells are draining, and you can only cast one per long rest, a specialist can cast a 6 mana spell from their specialty theme without it counting toward that limit once a day(so 2 per day, as long as one is from their specialty theme).

    On spell list expansion, Protection domain might pick one defensive spell each time their mana limit increases from the following list(this is an example, not a complete list): Earthen Bulwark, Protection from Flames, Shield, Ice Block etc.

    That way specialists are set apart by their access and the power they add to their specialty.
    A class like the bard has no specialty bonuses exactly, but has increased choice due to their "jack of all trades" nature. Although they might get access to the Life theme, the don't get the "mana expended +1" that a Life domain cleric would.
    A Wizard might have a large access, but their specialty bonus applies to certain spells, not themes.
    A Sorcerer would have less themes, but their specialty bonus applies to all spells in one theme(possibly two later on, if its from their Origin themes).

    I'm trying to give you ideas to hopefully consider while you're in the "spell system integration to classes" phase. Obviously the specific number of themes and class features are not number crunched in any way. These are general ideas only.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    2. Magical Insights seems to make all classes Spells Known, and I think removing Prepared casters really removes something from the system.
    We talked about this before:

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    All classes will have spells known, including the Mage, Acolyte, and Naturalist.
    • The Naturalist will swap completely and will not have any special abilities - at least that's my plan.
    • The Acolyte, due to their divine connection, will be able to change a set amount of spells known on rests (that is effectively what prepared spells are, but this way is far simpler).
    • The Mage, due to their spellbook, will be able to change a set amount of spells known on rests. Their spellbook will add new spells on level and when they buy them, but they will still know the exact same amount of spells known as a Sorcerer, but will be able to change X amount on each rest. To swap to a new spell the spell must be of a theme they know. If they don't know the theme then they'll have to swap multiple spells. It should all work out in that regard.
    Spells Prepared, by RAW, is just Spells Known with significantly more spells known and the ability to swap them all out on a long rest.

    Acolyte/Mage retain the ability to swap spells out - the only thing that actually changes mechanically is the amount of spells changed.

    This method exposes Prepared for the huge mechanical benefit that it is. "Prepared" is just a flavored version of spells temporarily known which is captured with the Acolyte and Mage features so there isn't a need for "prepared" with the mechanics that have been added I believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    3. If you wanted to be more of a generalist, you'll have very few actual spells, but a very large amount of cantrips.
    You can have up to proficiency bonus number of themes, so 6. As stated as one of the goals of this project is there is a tradeoff between generalism and specialization. Generalism knows less spells, but from more themes. Balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    1. Magical Insights had no limitations on choice. Eg. Sorcerers can take Life at level 1.
    2. Class restrictions on themes. No Life theme for arcane casters

    I think its important to make sure arcane casters don't get access to traditional divine themes(Life/Divine theme), and vice versa - unless they gain access through a specialization like Domain or Origin. The choice shouldn't be on their general list to choose from. Also traditional magic users getting access to psionics doesn't seem right either.
    Your desired limitations do not align with RAW 5e, much less my variation of it. There are a significant number of examples of the traditional Arcane/Divine line being crossed in RAW and UA 5e: Celestial Warlock, Divine Soul Sorcerer, Light Cleric, Tempest Cleric, Trickery Cleric, Arcana Cleric, Shadow Monk, Sun Soul Monk, Horizon Walker Ranger, Theurgy Wizard. Beyond RAW there are hundreds of implementation of Arcane Paladins, Divine Wizards, and many other ideas that break the traditional Arcane/Divine divide of older editions.

    Examples:
    • Why shouldn't a Celestial Occultist/Sorcerer be able to take the Life theme? How about the Light and Divine theme? All of those are in the traditional realm of celestial magic so a creature infused with celestial magic should have access to them.
    • How about a Cleric dedicated to an Arcane deity? They should have quite the access to "Arcane" spells (not the theme, just arcane feeling). For example if a Cleric chooses Auril then they'd likely choose the Frost and Undeath themes. Why should that be restricted?

    I can't possibly create enough combinations of subclasses that grant the ability to pick a myriad of different themes as the combinations would number in the thousands. Instead, it has been left up to the player to make thematic options appropriate for their character.

    To touch on psionics: this line has been significantly blurred for a very long time. Telepathy, Telekinesis, and many other "psionic" features have existed in traditional D&D magic since the beginning. If you believe there is some extreme outlier feel free to point it out, but a Mind Mage shouldn't be limited by lines drawn by D&D 3.5 that have since been bulldozed by 5e.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    3. Predetermined themes. eg. Acolyte would gain whatever themes fit all Acolytes, like Divine, Divination and Protection. Depending on their god, they then choose Life or Death, and Light or Shadow. Then depending on which domain they pick, the gain one or more additional themes. Any theme granted by a class feature bypasses any restriction to the theme. So a Celestial origin Sorcerer might gain access to Divine theme, normally restricted to divine classes. For domains, you could set a list of possibilities appropriate, and let them pick X themes from that list. A domain like Knowledge might get to pick from a really large list(or all 33 themes if appropriate), and gain additional themes at level 6(Magical Secrets) for example.
    I think the biggest challenge here would be what base classes get which themes added to their list to choose from, and how many can they choose.
    I've heavily considered this, but I believe it to be a misguided option for most classes. It would make sense for a Naturalist to have the Nature theme or possibly the Mage to have the Arcane theme, but classes like Acolyte won't always be connected to their deity in a "Divine" way. An example to show this would be the Arcane Acolyte that I mentioned before. This Acolyte could entirely ignore the Divine domain in favor of Arcane, Alteration, and Illusion for example. Or perhaps it's more of an Oracle and goes for Fate and Divination. Forcing Divine as a theme doesn't seem appropriate for all, or even most, acolytes.
    To highlight the issue of subclass based themes: What theme does the Celestial Occultist/Sorcerer get? Divine, Life, or Light? And now I have to make a subclass for every possible combination of themes.
    A Mage might not study traditional "Arcane" magic either - perhaps they study shadow magic, never touching Arcane.

    Alternatively I may wipe out subclasses for casters and have features based on a theme and you can choose 1 feature from X themes. I think that's a more sustainable design to capture many more ideas.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    1. Once you know a theme, you automatically know all spells as soon as your mana limit reaches the level needed to cast it. Otherwise I'm not sure what the point of putting spells into themes actually is.
    This would be absolutely ridiculously powerful. In 5e characters "know" (either know or prepared) about 25 spells. Each theme currently has 15-25 spells. So granting all of those spells would give characters somewhere around 35 spells known scaling up to 100+ when they have 6 themes. This is not a valid approach with the current setup nor do I think it's a good approach. Characters should choose which spells they want. For example if I have the fire theme I may just want raw fire power and not to have the ability to animate fire. Sure, I could ignore that spell, but that doesn't work well at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    You could then have a talent to gain an additional theme, as long as the meet the prereqs for that theme.
    There will possibly be a talent. I'll have to explore the idea after setting the base system.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Another thought, you could have specialists be better at their chosen theme, or expand their spells lists without giving them full access to a theme.

    I'm trying to give you ideas to hopefully consider while you're in the "spell system integration to classes" phase. Obviously the specific number of themes and class features are not number crunched in any way. These are general ideas only.
    It's too early to talk about edge cases that break the rules when the system isn't fully realized, but thanks for some things to consider.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Examples, a specialist(eg. Wizard specialists, Acolyte domains etc) might be able to cast spells as though they spent mana equal to mana expended +1, X amount of times per short rest.
    The Monk already has this as a 14th level feature. Though a Monk is generally limited to 1 theme (sometimes 2) so this power imbalance is managed as they also have a half caster mana limit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    If 6 mana spells are draining, and you can only cast one per long rest, a specialist can cast a 6 mana spell from their specialty theme without it counting toward that limit once a day(so 2 per day, as long as one is from their specialty theme).
    The 6 mana limitation should never be allowed to be bypassed. Wish and other powerful 6 mana spells are purposefully placed at 6 mana to limit their usage. Otherwise I could reduce their effectiveness and put them at 5 mana.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    On spell list expansion, Protection domain might pick one defensive spell each time their mana limit increases from the following list(this is an example, not a complete list): Earthen Bulwark, Protection from Flames, Shield, Ice Block etc.
    All of those spells are nearly identical, just with a different thematic flavor. I do not expect characters to pick up more than 1 in most cases.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    It feels strange that any caster can heal and raise dead with a single theme.
    Some non-divine 5e classes do have a subclass that gets access to some heal/group heal/resurrect spells, but generally not all of them. Individuals will be different depending on their choices, but the classes would seem far to similar by the looks, as any class can choose any theme. Wizard healers would be interesting I admit :)
    Psions might be the same, with exactly the same spell selection as every other caster. Nothing seems to separate psionics from magic. In order to attain balance, some of the flavor seems lost.

    With 33 themes(plus unthemed), its hard to imagine a real generalist, that has access to at least half of those themes. That would leave you with around 15 cantrips, and 15 spells at level 20.
    5e when a wizard finds a new spell, he puts it in his spellbook and he's good to go. This way if its not in a theme you have access to, it'll take you two levels to use that one spell.

    After you've finished, I'll have another look and try converting some characters I have, and making up some new concept characters. I'm probably completely wrong on all this.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    It feels strange that any caster can heal and raise dead with a single theme.
    Some non-divine 5e classes do have a subclass that gets access to some heal/group heal/resurrect spells, but generally not all of them. Individuals will be different depending on their choices, but the classes would seem far to similar by the looks, as any class can choose any theme. Wizard healers would be interesting I admit :)
    I'm open to ideas to raise the barrier, but it shouldn't be off-limits. I'm highly considering ditching subclasses in favor of theme features so that doesn't seem like the right direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Psions might be the same, with exactly the same spell selection as every other caster. Nothing seems to separate psionics from magic. In order to attain balance, some of the flavor seems lost.
    Psionics is the exact same as magic - it's just mind based magic. But it has always had the same themes (schools) as traditional magic. Look at 3.5/Pathfinder psionics for example and you'll see the psionic disciplines are just slight variants of schools, but all the same kind of ideas (teleportation, charming, etc). There doesn't need to be a separation it seems. Why shouldn't a Mage be able to use telepathy?
    Again look at spells like Telekinesis and Telepathy: You likely have no issue with those being on the RAW Wizard spell list. Other "psionic" spells are the same unless I'm missing specific ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    With 33 themes(plus unthemed), its hard to imagine a real generalist, that has access to at least half of those themes.
    As I wrote above the maximum number of themes is 6. 6 provides around 120 spell options and should offer plenty of ways of solving problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    5e when a wizard finds a new spell, he puts it in his spellbook and he's good to go. This way if its not in a theme you have access to, it'll take you two levels to use that one spell.
    Yes, diversity has a cost of magical insights. No class, including the Mage, is able to access all of the themes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    After you've finished, I'll have another look and try converting some characters I have, and making up some new concept characters. I'm probably completely wrong on all this.
    I will provide a "Traditional" implementation when it's done to outline how a "Standard Cleric" could work, though that depends on how the system looks at the end. http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/sphere-paladin type pages are a good example of this.

    Spheres of Power is a large influencer of these ideas. It is a massively popular project for Pathfinder. The ideas of themes originates there and there are many similarities. I'd suggest checking that out.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Psionics is the exact same as magic - it's just mind based magic. But it has always had the same themes (schools) as traditional magic. Look at 3.5/Pathfinder psionics for example and you'll see the psionic disciplines are just slight variants of schools, but all the same kind of ideas (teleportation, charming, etc). There doesn't need to be a separation it seems. Why shouldn't a Mage be able to use telepathy?
    Again look at spells like Telekinesis and Telepathy: You likely have no issue with those being on the RAW Wizard spell list. Other "psionic" spells are the same unless I'm missing specific ones.
    My introduction to psionics was in 2e I think, where they were completely separate things. Psionics worked in dead magic zones, and got past a lot of magic defenses, although was more limited in other areas. For example, Cloud Mind I believe was the psionic version of Invisibility, but where Inv was an illusion you put around yourself, Cloud Mind wiped you from someones mind. I did like the distinction initially, but ingame, psionics(which in our games was rarer than magic), seemed overpowered because it didn't interact with magic. So I liked when they both became the same source of energy but accessed differently, just so they interacted with each.
    Your example of Telekinesis and Telepathy I understand, and you're right I don't have issue with it. There has always been varying degrees of overlap between psionics and magic, and also between divine and arcane(Detect Magic, Hold Person etc). Psionics sometimes varied in its application as I mentioned with Cloud Mind, but the effects were similar, and in other cases identical.
    But even saying Psionics is magic, its still possible to make it feel different, by having some exclusive options, and keeping the old Visual, Olfactory etc instead of magics VSM(as you did in your last version). That's why each class has its own spell list, even if there are overlaps, and ways to access those other lists in limited number. Everyone having access to everything(limited to any 6 themes of course), makes casters feel to similar in my opinion, although the individual characters would of course be different due to the limited selection. I might just be stuck in the old way of thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    As I wrote above the maximum number of themes is 6. 6 provides around 120 spell options and should offer plenty of ways of solving problems.
    Sorry I missed that max 6 first time. That's even stranger to me. A "generalist" has access to 6 of 33 themes. That's not exactly a generalist, although it could be broad with choices like Fire, Beast, Life, Arcane, Mind and Teleportation. If you put the list of spells you could possibly have for a lvl 20 wizard side by side, standard 5e and themes, they would barely look related. And having 120 spells from 6 themes means they are all quite similar, not a broad range of options for something like a wizard.
    But this might be the goal of your themes, to completely change the look and feel of all casters.

    I've never played Pathfinder. I don't have time right now to look through the links, but I'll try take a look later.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    But even saying Psionics is magic, its still possible to make it feel different, by having some exclusive options, and keeping the old Visual, Olfactory etc instead of magics VSM(as you did in your last version). That's why each class has its own spell list, even if there are overlaps, and ways to access those other lists in limited number.
    Psionics was historically a way of using a new spell system with many of the exact same spells, sometimes rebranded.

    The idea of using your mind to impact the world is very much possible with themes - there are many spells that do so. Most are under the mind or telepathy themes. What do you believe is missing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Everyone having access to everything(limited to any 6 themes of course), makes casters feel to similar in my opinion, although the individual characters would of course be different due to the limited selection. I might just be stuck in the old way of thinking.
    A class determines where you magic comes from, not necessarily the type of magic.
    An Acolyte gets power from their deity
    A Mage gets power from study
    A Minstrel gets power from their voice/instrument
    A Monk gets power from their inner Ki
    A Naturalist gets power from nature
    An Occultist gets power from their patron
    A Psionicist gets power from their inner mental strength
    A Sorcerer gets power from their heritage

    None of those dictate the type of power they exude except the Naturalist. An Acolyte's Deity could represent any of the themes as could an Occultist's Patron and a Sorcerer's heritage. Those classes at least should have a wide variety of options.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Sorry I missed that max 6 first time. That's even stranger to me. A "generalist" has access to 6 of 33 themes. That's not exactly a generalist, although it could be broad with choices like Fire, Beast, Life, Arcane, Mind and Teleportation. If you put the list of spells you could possibly have for a lvl 20 wizard side by side, standard 5e and themes, they would barely look related. And having 120 spells from 6 themes means they are all quite similar, not a broad range of options for something like a wizard.
    Where is this "generalist" idea coming from? By RAW:
    A Bard has 113 spells on their list
    A Cleric has 99 spells on their list
    A Druid has 126 spells on their list
    A Paladin has 45 spells on their list
    A Ranger has 49 spells on their list
    A Sorcerer has 137 spells on their list
    A Warlock has 71 spells on their list
    A Wizard has 230 spells on their list

    6 themes, which provide access to 120 spells, provides a very similar amount of spells to most RAW casters. Also keep in mind that many spells have been combined so 120 is more like 140-160 RAW spells. Where is the issue? Wizard? Wizard has spellbook which allows them to swap freely between spells - they have plenty of access to be a "generalist" if they choose appropriate themes. Or they could choose to focus on a few - both options are viable options.
    Besides, pure number of spells shouldn't indicate generalism. In RAW 5e half of spells are garbage spells either due to damage issues or other balance issues. If you look at a Wizard guide you'll see not all are great options. My rules change that, significantly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    But this might be the goal of your themes, to completely change the look and feel of all casters.
    The goal is to provide significantly more player choice in the theme of their character and access to more spells that fit the theme of their character. A fire mage for example should have access to all fire spells which isn't the case by RAW.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Psionics was historically a way of using a new spell system with many of the exact same spells, sometimes rebranded.
    The idea of using your mind to impact the world is very much possible with themes - there are many spells that do so. Most are under the mind or telepathy themes. What do you believe is missing?
    Flavor, specifically for the classes access to magic. It might not be as much of an issue as I think it is, won't know until I start making up different classes with identical themes. But Wizards casting cure spells and raising dead, that just isn't a thing as far as I know. Sorcerer(Divine) can get Cure Wounds, but not all the heal spells, and raise spells. Non-Cleric/Paladin's get limited access to those type of spells. Druids reincarnate, not raise dead. Even Bards have some, but not all. There is absolutely a lot of overlap in some areas, but its never been a free-for-all when it comes to what options you have to choose from. An atheist wizard learning Life spells from a book just doesn't fit any dnd game I've ever played.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    None of those dictate the type of power they exude except the Naturalist. An Acolyte's Deity could represent any of the themes as could an Occultist's Patron and a Sorcerer's heritage. Those classes at least should have a wide variety of options. 6 themes, which provide access to 120 spells, provides a very similar amount of spells to most RAW casters.
    A similar number of options yes, but I'm not seeing the wide variety exactly. 6 of 33 themes maximum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Where is this "generalist" idea coming from? By RAW:
    A Bard has 113 spells on their list
    A Cleric has 99 spells on their list
    A Druid has 126 spells on their list
    A Paladin has 45 spells on their list
    A Ranger has 49 spells on their list
    A Sorcerer has 137 spells on their list
    A Warlock has 71 spells on their list
    A Wizard has 230 spells on their list
    I think Wizard. Even though all wizards are technically specialists, they have access to the full wizard spell list. As you mentioned, a lot of spells were fringe at best, but that was a strength of the wizard. He could learn those fringe spells, just in case it that situation came up. I doubt many Warlocks or Bards would choose something like Illusory Script because it takes up a valuable "spells known" slot. But a wizard can learn it just in case, it just costs him a bit of gold. It's not on the Sorcerer list, because it doesn't really suit their type of power - even though Bard/Wiz/Sorc/Lock all share "arcane magic".

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Besides, pure number of spells shouldn't indicate generalism. In RAW 5e half of spells are garbage spells either due to damage issues or other balance issues. If you look at a Wizard guide you'll see not all are great options. My rules change that, significantly.
    No, not all are great options, but some do have cool fringe uses, that a wizard can take advantage of as I mentioned above. And I agree completely, your rules have changed things significantly for the better imo. It's access I'm having an issue with, but I'm have trouble thinking of a solution to propose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    The goal is to provide significantly more player choice in the theme of their character and access to more spells that fit the theme of their character. A fire mage for example should have access to all fire spells which isn't the case by RAW.
    I understand that, and think its a really good idea. Some spells that have previously been locked to other classes for no good reason, you've definitely fixed.

    I think my two main problems are:
    1. Certain classes getting unrestricted access to the some themes(Life being the most obvious), as opposed to some archtypes/subclasses getting limited access.
    2. The flavor of the caster classes are now to similar. The difference between a Psion and Wizard is barely perceptible - same magic, same casting style, same spell access, same class features, slightly different specialization features. With the removal of Verbal/Somatic, and the psionics Visual/Olfactory etc, the difference is even less.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    I believe your approach is very close minded. Lets focus on the main complaints and then get to the nitty gritty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    I think my two main problems are:
    1. Certain classes getting unrestricted access to the some themes(Life being the most obvious), as opposed to some archtypes/subclasses getting limited access.
    I acknowledge your complaints and I doubt you'll be the only one to have them, but I would really challenge you to think beyond your self-imposed prejudices. Maybe certain themes should be limited, but I believe your current desires do not align with character concepts.

    Some challenging questions:
    1. Why should the Cleric be the only class that can heal well or that can resurrect people? Why can't a Celestial Occultist/Sorcerer do so? Why can't a Witch of the wilds with ancient power do so? Why can't a Naturalist do so when fey are known for healing springs or stories of people being resurrected by the wild?
    2. Why shouldn't a Wizard be able to cure wounds and raise the dead? Google "D&D 5e white mage" and you'll see many variations of a Wizard who casts healing magic. A Wizard can already raise the undead through their various necromancy spells as well as preserve bodies via spells like Gentle Repose. A Wizard generally wouldn't focus on a Life theme, but if one wanted to there is definitinely historical ideas within fantasy RPGs that fulfill that idea. Keep in mind if a Wizard chooses to learn the Life theme then their versatility in other areas is diminished.
    3. Why shouldn't a Sorcerer be able to cast heal and raise spells? By RAW a Celestial Warlock gets cure wounds, lesser restoration, revivify, and greater restoration. It ticks all the boxes that you say a Divine Sorcerer should not get. Why shouldn't an Occultist who has a Patron who is a celestial or Celestial Heritage be able to access the things that a Celestial Warlock can, or even further: Why can't they access the whole theme? It's quite ridiculous that a Celestial can bestow a Warlock magic and yet the Warlock is unable to use the types of spells their Patron could generally give. Additionally they are bound to a spell list that has no connection to their Patron.


    In general I think you're undervaluing the cost of taking a theme.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    2. The flavor of the caster classes are now to similar. The difference between a Psion and Wizard is barely perceptible - same magic, same casting style, same spell access, same class features, slightly different specialization features. With the removal of Verbal/Somatic, and the psionics Visual/Olfactory etc, the difference is even less.
    The flavor of casters has not changed at all. What has changed is spell lists. I would challenge your Psion/Wizard comparison by proposing a comparison of an Occultist/Sorcerer. In 5e they are incredibly similar classes. I once combined them, but now I've kept their identities in their classes and just share subclasses. I'll probably do the same with Psion/Wizard.
    What is wrong with such an approach? A Psion and Wizard are actually nearly identical besides how they cast spell.



    Nitty Gritty:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Flavor, specifically for the classes access to magic. It might not be as much of an issue as I think it is, won't know until I start making up different classes with identical themes.
    Focusing on psionics: what flavor is missing? Their class describes how they cast spells and the spells describe what they do. Wizard's Arcane spells don't specify that the wizard "pulls on the threads of magic", nor does the Psion's spells.

    So what, specifically is missing regarding psionics? It sounds like you want the 3.5 approach of copying arcane spells and renaming them with psionic terms, but there aren't even arcane terms in the normal spell so the spells work for both. The same is true for the Arcane/Divine divide: it has been heavily squashed in 5e.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    A similar number of options yes, but I'm not seeing the wide variety exactly. 6 of 33 themes maximum.
    6/33 is not the full picture, at all. A Wizard will still have a significant amount of variety with the ability to swap their spells as desired to fit the situation at hand. Their flavor and playstyle is full preserved albeit in a way that is more balanced.

    A RAW Wizard's breath of options is far beyond that which should be available to a single class. They have nearly double the options of spells that step on the toes of every other arcane caster. So it's by design that the Wizard no longer has un unreasonable and unbalanced amount of spell options.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    I think Wizard. Even though all wizards are technically specialists, they have access to the full wizard spell list.
    A Wizard, by RAW 5e, focuses on 1 school as shown by their subclasses. While generalist wizard is a common desire, I'd argue the idea of a generalist wizard that has access to hundreds of more spells than other casters does not match with the balance of 5e.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    As you mentioned, a lot of spells were fringe at best, but that was a strength of the wizard. He could learn those fringe spells, just in case it that situation came up.
    That situation is still true - the Wizard still has a spellbook that allows them to store "fringe" spells and pull them up as needed.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Some challenging questions:
    1. Why should the Cleric be the only class that can heal well or that can resurrect people? Why can't a Celestial Occultist/Sorcerer do so? Why can't a Witch of the wilds with ancient power do so? Why can't a Naturalist do so when fey are known for healing springs or stories of people being resurrected by the wild?
    2. Why shouldn't a Wizard be able to cure wounds and raise the dead? Google "D&D 5e white mage" and you'll see many variations of a Wizard who casts healing magic. A Wizard can already raise the undead through their various necromancy spells as well as preserve bodies via spells like Gentle Repose. A Wizard generally wouldn't focus on a Life theme, but if one wanted to there is definitinely historical ideas within fantasy RPGs that fulfill that idea. Keep in mind if a Wizard chooses to learn the Life theme then their versatility in other areas is diminished.
    3. Why shouldn't a Sorcerer be able to cast heal and raise spells? By RAW a Celestial Warlock gets cure wounds, lesser restoration, revivify, and greater restoration. It ticks all the boxes that you say a Divine Sorcerer should not get. Why shouldn't an Occultist who has a Patron who is a celestial or Celestial Heritage be able to access the things that a Celestial Warlock can, or even further: Why can't they access the whole theme? It's quite ridiculous that a Celestial can bestow a Warlock magic and yet the Warlock is unable to use the types of spells their Patron could generally give. Additionally they are bound to a spell list that has no connection to their Patron.
    Examples of limited access, which I don't have issue with. Clerics have always been the ones to have full access, with the exception of Reincarnate. The white mage I looked at, was unofficial(for dnd at least), and was a wizard tradition. So the access to all the Life spells was limited, and it was further limited to a single tradition.
    Celestial Warlock has some good access, but not full access. Sorcerer should probably match the Warlocks access. In all games of DnD I've played in the last 25 years, if you want the full access to healing, you go cleric. It's rigid thinking I'm sure, it just wouldn't feel like DnD to me if some of those more traditional boundaries weren't in place. It would feel more like a generic fantasy rule set. Which isn't bad, I just know I couldn't bring it to my dnd group, which is always the perspective I'm coming from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    In general I think you're undervaluing the cost of taking a theme.
    I understand 1 of 6 themes is a cost, but its cheaper than having to multi-class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    The flavor of casters has not changed at all. What has changed is spell lists.
    That's a pretty large part of flavor in my opinion. Wizards have never been able to heal like a Cleric in DnD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    I would challenge your Psion/Wizard comparison by proposing a comparison of an Occultist/Sorcerer. In 5e they are incredibly similar classes. I once combined them, but now I've kept their identities in their classes and just share subclasses. I'll probably do the same with Psion/Wizard.
    What is wrong with such an approach? A Psion and Wizard are actually nearly identical besides how they cast spell.
    I used psionics in 2nd, a little in 3.5, and some in 4e(but I'll exclude 4e as it doesn't usually fit with anything), and a psion never felt like a wizard. The Psion in your latest doc, doesn't feel remotely similar to the stuff I played in the past. It feels like a wizard. Old psions did not feel like wizards. A combination of how they use their power(components), and slight differences in many powers. There will always be overlap, there are only so many unique effects and mechanics you can come up with that are also balanced. I mentioned Cloud Mind before. Another was Body Adjustment(I think). You could heal yourself. Similar to Cure Wounds, but you could only use it on yourself. There was quite a few powers like that, that worked slightly different, and that made a big different to flavor. At least for me. For more examples I'd have to go through the old psionic stuff to compare.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    So what, specifically is missing regarding psionics? It sounds like you want the 3.5 approach of copying arcane spells and renaming them with psionic terms.
    The things I listed above. Those slight changes to overlapping spells, limitations on types of spells, differing components(which I saw you have removed).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    6/33 is not the full picture, at all. A Wizard will still have a significant amount of variety with the ability to swap their spells as desired to fit the situation at hand. Their flavor and playstyle is full preserved albeit in a way that is more balanced.
    A RAW Wizard's breath of options is far beyond that which should be available to a single class. They have nearly double the options of spells that step on the toes of every other arcane caster. So it's by design that the Wizard no longer has an unreasonable and unbalanced amount of spell options.
    Really? I've never seen a wizard with all those spells. I've mentioned before I don't play wizards, but I'm pretty sure they learn 2 spells per level. The rest they have to find. Comparing to a Cleric(another prepared caster), who gets every single spell on their spell list as soon as they are able to cast it. Wizards can get more spell options than Clerics, but they have to work hard to get there. Your way is definitely balanced, they all feel the same. I know wizards can still learn new spells and swap them out, as long as its from one of their 6 of 33 themes. I'm just not sure thats much of an advantage over a Sorcerer who chooses wisely, from the same 6 of 33 themes. A wizard still can't learn invisibility unless he has access to that theme, and that requires two levels worth of Magical Insight(beyond 1st). When a wizard finds another wizards 20th level spellbook, there is a very good chance he won't be able to learn anything because with 33 themes, the 1-6 they chose could easy be different. At that is an example of why I think the flavor has changed, because its missing some of the common threads through the various editions of DnD. If you were a wizard, and you found another wizards spellbook, it was exciting. The chance you both had identical spells was near zero, so you were going to learn something new, maybe a lot.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    The white mage I looked at, was unofficial(for dnd at least), and was a wizard tradition. So the access to all the Life spells was limited, and it was further limited to a single tradition.
    *sigh*. White mage isn't official just as an Arcane Paladin isn't official just as hundreds of other fantasy ideas aren't official. Official does not indicate whether they should exist or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Celestial Warlock has some good access, but not full access. Sorcerer should probably match the Warlocks access.
    You've missed the point so I'm going to repeat it:
    Why shouldn't an Occultist who has a Patron who is a celestial or Celestial Heritage be able to access the things that a Celestial Warlock can, or even further: Why can't they access the whole theme? It's quite ridiculous that a Celestial can bestow a Warlock magic and yet the Warlock is unable to use the types of spells their Patron could generally give. Additionally they are bound to a spell list that has no connection to their Patron.
    RAW's "window into an idea" is insufficient and too limited for the reasons I've stated above. Subclass spell lists do not solve the issue that I'm trying to address so continually pointing to them will get us no where.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    In all games of DnD I've played in the last 25 years, if you want the full access to healing, you go cleric. It's rigid thinking I'm sure, it just wouldn't feel like DnD to me if some of those more traditional boundaries weren't in place. It would feel more like a generic fantasy rule set. Which isn't bad, I just know I couldn't bring it to my dnd group, which is always the perspective I'm coming from.
    See above, this rigidness is something I'm removing by design. As above, perhaps there are some limitations to add, but a Celestial Occultist/Sorcerer should unquestionably have full access to celestially themed spells. We can work further on other classes (Wizard), but if you are not in agreement with that then this isn't the right project for you.




    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Really? I've never seen a wizard with all those spells. I've mentioned before I don't play wizards, but I'm pretty sure they learn 2 spells per level. The rest they have to find. Comparing to a Cleric(another prepared caster), who gets every single spell on their spell list as soon as they are able to cast it. Wizards can get more spell options than Clerics, but they have to work hard to get there.
    Please focus on mechanics when discussing balance.
    By RAW:
    • A Bard has 22 spells known
    • A Sorcerer has 15 spells known
    • A Warlock has 19 spells known
    • A Wizard has 44 spells known. They can prepare 31 each day. Not only do they know 2-3x as many spells, but they have ~2x as many options in every combat and can also swap them out. That's horrendously unbalanced not to mention the spell list disparities.

    "The rest they have to find" doesn't matter when they already have 2-3x as many spells as other arcane casters. A Cleric gets all their spells, but their list is 99 spells and generally considered significantly less valuable than a Wizard's spell list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Your way is definitely balanced, they all feel the same.
    They aren't the same, at all... one can swap out their spells while the other can't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    At that is an example of why I think the flavor has changed, because its missing some of the common threads through the various editions of DnD. If you were a wizard, and you found another wizards spellbook, it was exciting. The chance you both had identical spells was near zero, so you were going to learn something new, maybe a lot.
    It is a design goal to not allow a quadratic Wizard class that is better than every other class.




    Continually asking for RAW 5e's rigidness and me continually saying "that's not the goal" is getting us no where. This system will never provide something that matches RAW's rigidness. It is designed to be more open to character ideas than the RAW system. This system may provide some restrictions, but what you're asking for with statements like "only the cleric can heal well" is not a goal I'm looking to match. Additionally continuing to repeat "6 of 33 themes" gets us no where. I do not believe you have really considered the diversity a Wizard can provide with 6 themes.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    I'll drop it, I'll have a look at the final product. Apologies for being a pain

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    I found an interesting thread that discussed the exact topic that we've been discussing: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2svm1?Do...-the-flavor-of

    The posters on that thread share the same thoughts as I do.

    It also reminded me of the Mystic Theurge - a Arcane/Divine prestige class (typically Wizard/Cleric). That really embodies the main complaint that you've raised so there is historical precedent in D&D.

    Beyond casting traditions which people can use to emulate traditional limitations I think the current classes that I have are empty shells. They need more class features that make them unique from one another.

    I've been busy with other stuff lately, but I'll try to hop back to this project soon.
    Last edited by Kryx; 2018-04-28 at 05:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Interesting read. Not familiar with the system, but sounded similar to DnD, so think I followed it.

    I can see both sides. I like the idea of certain restrictions, like "If you take X sphere, you can't take Y sphere". But their could be casting traditions which bypass that restriction, like the cleric of a god who holds sway over Life and Death, but maybe they are locked out from taking Undeath.
    Life sphere could be generally locked to arcane casters, but a Mystic Theurge or White Wizard casting tradition would get access to it.
    The best place I can see to put restrictions, would be within each casting tradition, saying what spheres they can and can't access. Only slightly restrictive, like Life and Divine for arcane casters in general, so it doesn't limit creativity too much.

    I like the concept, creating a shell to provide the most room for creativity.

    ZZTRaider: "Normally, there's a lot of flavor built into the spell list for each class. The Cleric's spell list looks a lot different than the Wizard's, for example, and the differences reflect a lot about the different flavors of the classes. A Wizard can be just as competent a healer as a Cleric, and that feels a little weird."
    "Where it's breaking down for me is trying to figure out how to keep clear differences between different types of casters (not just arcane vs divine, but even things like Bard vs Wizard and Warpriest vs Inquisitor) without introducing a lot of bookkeeping or causing issues with multiclassing."

    This sums up my concerns. I think this can be overcome by limitations. Like what spheres should ALL clerics have access to, all wizards etc. Then 1-2 locked spheres can be accessed via specific casting traditions/deity followed.

    Another thing I think really separates casters is components and implements/focuses. I liked that 5e had the focus as "ignore material components below 10gp". It saved on a lot of book keeping.
    However, I think each spell needs clear components. Clerics usually call to their god, wizards use a lot of hand gestures, psions have a completely different set of components so they feel completely different. From spell to spell, it makes a big difference if the DM says the spell is V, S, or V+S. Usually, you've always needed training to ignore V or S(Warcaster, Subtle Casting etc). Removing the whole component system removes a lot of flavor in my opinion.

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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Restriction on a design level should be handled with care as it closes off the system to the characters that I, myself, think should exist. It wouldn't allow for players and GMs to determine what type of characters should exist. That was the whole conversation in that thread, the whole point of Spheres of Power, and the whole point of this Theme system: Players and GMs should determine characters, not me as a designer.
    For example there are plenty of character ideas where Life, Death, and Undeath together would make perfect sense.

    That said there could be some restrictions that also make sense. For example Mage being restricted from the Life theme, but opened up via a subclass or talent. Clerics should choose their Themes based on their deity's domains. They could choose multiple deities or select other themes once they know the domains of their deity. Clerics should be restricted based on their deity, but also open ended as deities generally only have 2-3 domains. I'll have to figure out how to manage that. Psionicist should be forced toward the Mind theme, Minstrel pushed toward Charm, etc.

    I think the thread handled my approach for restrictions:
    Quote Originally Posted by http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2svm1?Does-Spheres-of-Power-dilute-the-flavor-of#6
    If you, as the GM, feel that your world should have different restrictions or rules to separate divine and arcane casting, it also provides tools for that in the Casting Traditions, or you can customize it in different ways.
    This post outlines the approach I'm taking in regards to Mages:
    Quote Originally Posted by http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2svm1?Does-Spheres-of-Power-dilute-the-flavor-of#10
    if someone is a conjurer, they are a CONJURER. They summon things. They form bindings with otherworldly beings and tap into their power to destroy their foes. A shapeshifter is a SHAPESHIFTER, solving problems by changing forms.

    Magic OUGHT to have a shtick, in my opinion. Wizards are all the same after a while because arcane schools are basically just a decoration. The diviner's still conjuring minions and throwing acid and lightning, the evoker's still gazing into the future and turning into a dragon, the transmuter's still mind-controlling some enemies while weaving an illusion to scare off others...it's a buffet table. Wizards are supposed to be magical scientists, but instead of being like real-life scientists who are experts in a field like technology or biology or weather or sociology or economics, they're like movie scientists who are good at EVERY field because it's all science, right?
    This post outlines the issue of the spell lists and what a system like Spheres of Power or my own Themes system solves:
    Quote Originally Posted by http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2svm1?Does-Spheres-of-Power-dilute-the-flavor-of#10
    One of my biggest issues with the spells in Pathfinder is that the Wizard's casting doesn't actually resemble anything outside of D&D/Pathfinder, including the works of Jack Vance that it's supposedly based off of. Spheres of Power lets you emulate pretty much anything though, whether it's Gandalf or Radagast the Brown, the spellcasting techniques in Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series, Jim Butcher's Dresden Files casting, Conan-esque magic, or yes, the magic you see in pretty much any anime. The Armorist class is pretty much your direct portal to playing a character like Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail.

    ===================

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    ZZTRaider: "Normally, there's a lot of flavor built into the spell list for each class. The Cleric's spell list looks a lot different than the Wizard's, for example, and the differences reflect a lot about the different flavors of the classes. A Wizard can be just as competent a healer as a Cleric, and that feels a little weird."
    "Where it's breaking down for me is trying to figure out how to keep clear differences between different types of casters (not just arcane vs divine, but even things like Bard vs Wizard and Warpriest vs Inquisitor) without introducing a lot of bookkeeping or causing issues with multiclassing."
    This sums up my concerns. I think this can be overcome by limitations. Like what spheres should ALL clerics have access to, all wizards etc. Then 1-2 locked spheres can be accessed via specific casting traditions/deity followed.
    I believe this can be resolved by the things I mention above and expanding on the classes themselves. Classes need to be full of flavor and featurers instead of empty shells with spellcasting added on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    Another thing I think really separates casters is components and implements/focuses. I liked that 5e had the focus as "ignore material components below 10gp". It saved on a lot of book keeping.
    However, I think each spell needs clear components. Clerics usually call to their god, wizards use a lot of hand gestures, psions have a completely different set of components so they feel completely different. From spell to spell, it makes a big difference if the DM says the spell is V, S, or V+S. Usually, you've always needed training to ignore V or S(Warcaster, Subtle Casting etc). Removing the whole component system removes a lot of flavor in my opinion.
    We discussed this earlier in the thread. See
    Quote Originally Posted by Kryx View Post
    Check out Fixing Spell Components: Keep Your Flavour, Mike Mearls, I Donít Like It. Spell components, as they work in D&D, only capture a small subset of fantasy ways of casting a spell. It should be an option to use them, but I'm aiming to not have it be the default option. In general they have almost no impact on mechanical balance, only hinder some cases like TWF, Sword & Board, etc.
    I'm aiming to provide them as a variant option, but we'll see how that is fleshed out when I get there.
    http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/ca...aditions#toc57 is an example of one such tradition.


    To an earlier discussion: Cloud Mind exists in "Blind Spot" - it's from the UA Mystic and fills the same niche.

  28. - Top - End - #238
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Looking forward to seeing all the class stuff. I do really like the theme magic.

    I only play DnD, so that's how I view it, with the intent of hopefully using it. I know you're designing it with a wider scope.
    It would be easy enough to put restrictions in per campaign as needed as you said.

  29. - Top - End - #239
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ugganaut View Post
    I only play DnD, so that's how I view it [....] I know you're designing it with a wider scope.
    The scope is to play D&D, not another game.. I know what you mean, but the way you've phrased your thoughts here doesn't represent this project well.

  30. - Top - End - #240
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Structural Class Changes (Mana, Talents, Clear gish structure)

    Been looking through Monk, and Open Hand Technique seems really weak compared to other classes getting Ki Blast and Spells.
    They used to get Disorienting Strike, Knockback Kick and Sweeping Strike for free. Now its a much weaker version of Disorienting Strike(at-will/no ki/self only), and Wis to initiative.
    At level 2, 5, 9, 13, 17, when other traditions get access to new spells, Open Hand gets nothing. Kensai gets access to more weapons, and Drunk Master starts off with more interesting/slightly stronger abilities.
    Am I missing something?

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