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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:02 pm 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot

Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:17 am
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Spells known: I'm interested in how this will work out (or has to date). Will we have:

(a) a limit to the number of level 1 spells known, level 2, etc. as found in D&D? Or
(b) a set number of spells of any level the wizard knows; with some more complex spells only learnable at higher levels, but otherwise not differentiated on the Spells Per Day list?

Secondly, I'd like to know about learning new spells. Does the wizard find spells to transcribe into his spellbook at any time? Do they learn them as they go up in level and only then?

How often can they re-memorize spells? Ie: if the spell is lost, can they just sit back down for an hour, or do they need to sleep 8 hours?

Years back I posted an idea on Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved site, about learning spells. The geist of it was that I wasn't sure where the magus and others got their spell knowledge from, and I still can't really remember. it seemed they just accessed the same expansive list, like Clerics do. I proposed (iirc) that they needed a spellbook, or source to memorize off of. Some particular spells, exotic ones, could only be prepared using a particular book or source; the Necronomicon, for example, could have the only copy of "create deadite" in existence, and be impossible to copy into a book in any way, so to memorize "create Deadite" you'd need the Necronomicon.

It sounds like, if it's a game where spells need to be 'memorized" from a spellbook, that it would be an interesting mechanic. Also, for exotic spells, the reason Wizards would set up shop and take over a dungeon or lost temple: they want the spell written on the dead giant's crypt, or what have you. heck, if it was written on the body of a powerful monster, they could have a deal going whereby they sacrifice creatures to it, if it lets them re-prepare the spell whenever they 'forget' it.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:35 pm 
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fireinthedust wrote:
Years back I posted an idea on Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved site, about learning spells. The geist of it was that I wasn't sure where the magus and others got their spell knowledge from, and I still can't really remember. it seemed they just accessed the same expansive list, like Clerics do. I proposed (iirc) that they needed a spellbook, or source to memorize off of. Some particular spells, exotic ones, could only be prepared using a particular book or source; the Necronomicon, for example, could have the only copy of "create deadite" in existence, and be impossible to copy into a book in any way, so to memorize "create Deadite" you'd need the Necronomicon.

It sounds like, if it's a game where spells need to be 'memorized" from a spellbook, that it would be an interesting mechanic. Also, for exotic spells, the reason Wizards would set up shop and take over a dungeon or lost temple: they want the spell written on the dead giant's crypt, or what have you. heck, if it was written on the body of a powerful monster, they could have a deal going whereby they sacrifice creatures to it, if it lets them re-prepare the spell whenever they 'forget' it.

Yeah, I think you'll like how it works in DCC RPG. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:59 pm 
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Machpants wrote:
"If the shield spell was cast many rounds ago, how are you to remember the actual spell check the shield caster got? I certainly don't want to bother taking note of that... although admittedly, thinking about it, at least you would have a range for the check so you knew what effect you had produced. Even if it would be annoying to have to note the exact number.


Good point, though in playtests, I usually just "ballpark it"; i.e., if the magic shield was cast by a level 3 wizard I just assume they have around a +5 spell check and give them an "average" 11 + 5 = 16 result. I suppose I should put this in the rules. :) Usually in opposed caster situations it's PC vs. NPC and you can ballpark the NPC result - there's a typical range for casters based on their level.

dkeester wrote:
I have a small suggestion for addition to Spellburn. Give each entity a preferred attribute for Spellburn and allow any attribute to be used. Some demons might want a point of Luck, some celestial allies might want a point of Charisma (i.e. ritual scarification, a brand, or a specific tattoo), etc. If you give the entity the attribute point it wants, it is more likely to help you.

Mechanically giving a point in a preferred attribute could count for double. So, if the demon wants Strength and you give it Stamina it is worth +1, but if you give it Strength it is worth +2.

Another thought I just had. What about permanent effects? By temporary expenditure means the attribute damage from Spellburn heals over time. What about having 'Permanent Spellburn' for a few limited things. The caster wants to sacrifice a permanent part of himself to create a permanent effect on himself (e.g. Magic Shield as a permanent spell effect) or on an enemy (e.g. striking the foe dead by destroying his eternal soul) this costs him a point (or more) of Spellburn which he never regenerates. This could roleplay as the caster cutting off one of his fingers as a sacrifice or something similar.



Or would these be better suited to an Appendix entry, or getting added to my soon to be created "Doug's DCC RPG Houserules" document?

EDIT: Also, what about sacrificing others to fuel spells?


All of these are great ideas! I am continually having to self-edit because the rules create cool ideas that spin off into additional word count and then I find myself too far along on something that’s more of “supplement material” then “core material.” I can see the rules are also filling you with cool ideas – which is great. Some parts of what you noted above are in the rules already but you’re onto some new ground as well. Once the book comes out you should definitely do your own house rules document, like you mentioned!

The one thing I am avoiding is getting too close to “sacrificing others,” as you called it. Admittedly, that IS a part of Appendix N (I was just reading one of Merritt’s books, Creep Shadow Creep, where human sacrifice is a key part of the summoning rituals), but that’s a little too far past my personal “PG-13 threshold.”

Stainless wrote:
However, when I read the example of the mechanics for Magic Missiles, the thoughts that came to me were, "This is just one spell, so is it likely to be a constant book-consulting, page-turning game when it comes to magic? If so, isn't that kind of counter to one of the design goals of making the system streamlined?"


We’ve got it formatted such that spellcasting is “flip-free.” In play I pass out the “spell pages” to the wizard for his spells – each spell is on one 8.5x11 page, and the wizard PCs usually have 4-6 of these depending on level. It’s easy to reference. In the final printed book the spell tables will be formatted so they’re easy to find (and “permission granted to photocopy for personal use, etc.”).

Stainless wrote:
I'm sure it will get ironed out during the play testing and everyone involved is well aware of the potential issues. However, I still feel I need to say, be careful you don't "throw the baby out with the bathwater." The immediate feedback to this thread has been essentially, "simplify it a bit more", which appears to confirm the point above.


You’ll all get a chance to play in a couple months, and hopefully it will come out simpler in play than it seems here. Trust me, it’s pretty simple in play.

fireinthedust wrote:
Spells known: I'm interested in how this will work out (or has to date). Will we have:

(a) a limit to the number of level 1 spells known, level 2, etc. as found in D&D? Or
(b) a set number of spells of any level the wizard knows; with some more complex spells only learnable at higher levels, but otherwise not differentiated on the Spells Per Day list?


Option B in your list above. At least as I’m playing right now and it’s working out pretty good.

fireinthedust wrote:
Secondly, I'd like to know about learning new spells. Does the wizard find spells to transcribe into his spellbook at any time? Do they learn them as they go up in level and only then?


Good question and the subject of some recent internal debate in one of my games. :) Personally I like the unpredictable nature of spell acquisition as evidenced in Appendix N, especially Vance and the Harold Shea books, so the rules as written have initial spell acquisition based on random determination, and future spell acquisition based on finding the knowledge. You don’t just “learn” a spell when you level up…finding the knowledge, materials, and rites to cast that spell is actually part of the in-game experience, and may in some cases be the reason behind an adventure! Leveling up reflects the skill level to cast the spell properly, not the acquisition of the knowledge; for example, a wizard may have a library of 20 spells, but he’s only skilled enough to really pull off five of them with any consistently, and when he levels up he finally is competent enough to consistently cast a sixth spell. (Kind of like a martial artist who knows how to throw a spinning back kick in theory, and maybe even in the gym, but remembering how to do it under pressure in a real fight is a completely different story…)

The catch so far is that random determination of initial spell acquisition can, frankly, result in some really gimpy wizards. It’s conceptually cool but man, I’ve seen some lame wizards generated that way. Nobody wants to play the wizard whose spell selection consists of comprehend languages, cantrip, mending, and detect magic. And if the DM isn’t good about granting adventure hooks to find new spells…

So the theory is there; the practice may require some tweaking.

fireinthedust wrote:
How often can they re-memorize spells? Ie: if the spell is lost, can they just sit back down for an hour, or do they need to sleep 8 hours?


Next day – sleep 8 hours.

fireinthedust wrote:
Years back I posted an idea on Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved site, about learning spells. The geist of it was that I wasn't sure where the magus and others got their spell knowledge from, and I still can't really remember. it seemed they just accessed the same expansive list, like Clerics do. I proposed (iirc) that they needed a spellbook, or source to memorize off of. Some particular spells, exotic ones, could only be prepared using a particular book or source; the Necronomicon, for example, could have the only copy of "create deadite" in existence, and be impossible to copy into a book in any way, so to memorize "create Deadite" you'd need the Necronomicon.

It sounds like, if it's a game where spells need to be 'memorized" from a spellbook, that it would be an interesting mechanic. Also, for exotic spells, the reason Wizards would set up shop and take over a dungeon or lost temple: they want the spell written on the dead giant's crypt, or what have you. heck, if it was written on the body of a powerful monster, they could have a deal going whereby they sacrifice creatures to it, if it lets them re-prepare the spell whenever they 'forget' it.


Totally agree with everything you’re saying! And there are similar themes in DCC RPG. One of the modules currently being outlined involves a plot along these lines…

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:59 am 
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Thanks for the reply Joseph, and yeah winging it for NPC spell-caster rolls is good, though I'd also love to throw in a few spectacular results/failures for laughs!

As to random spells, that brings back bad, well good but bad, memories. My first real game of DnD (that was not a quick bash round Bargle's dungeon with my mate's older brother as DM) involved that.... I roll up my Magic User and the DM says roll your spells and sex. WHAT, roll my sex? To which I replied find it in the rule book buddy, even a newb like me is not putting up with that! However I rolled my spell, Floating Disk.... when I managed to level up, Shield. OH the power! Still that floating Disk gave rides to the goblins and got us over pits and...

Not so bad really ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 5:58 am 
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As someone who used to play Rolemaster (a little) this sort of stuff is fun at first, but quickly gets old. At least it doesn't have the draconian sort of penalties that game has.

But it seems like DCC will be a lot better for short scenarios (like at Cons) than long campaigns. That's not a bad thing, Call of Cthulhu basically follows the same sort of model (as investigator life is quite short and skills mostly fail). And indeed, that actually fits the DCC name...


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:06 am 
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goodmangames wrote:
The one thing I am avoiding is getting too close to “sacrificing others,” as you called it. Admittedly, that IS a part of Appendix N (I was just reading one of Merritt’s books, Creep Shadow Creep, where human sacrifice is a key part of the summoning rituals), but that’s a little too far past my personal “PG-13 threshold.”


Just make the wording ambiguous and you can have it both ways. Something like "sacrifice x number of hit points of blood". It doesn't say whose blood or even if you have to kill someone. If you're a nice wizard, you sacrifice a chicken or cut yourself. If you're a bad guy, you have a supply of virgins to sacrifice. CoC and WFRP, among others I'm sure, have had human sacrifices in their magic system for a long time and nobody has protested them.

goodmangames wrote:
The catch so far is that random determination of initial spell acquisition can, frankly, result in some really gimpy wizards. It’s conceptually cool but man, I’ve seen some lame wizards generated that way. Nobody wants to play the wizard whose spell selection consists of comprehend languages, cantrip, mending, and detect magic. And if the DM isn’t good about granting adventure hooks to find new spells…


I played a mage in a 2e game once where we did random spells. My best spell at 1st level was Taunt. No, I didn't live very long. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
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mshensley wrote:
Just make the wording ambiguous and you can have it both ways. Something like "sacrifice x number of hit points of blood". It doesn't say whose blood or even if you have to kill someone. If you're a nice wizard, you sacrifice a chicken or cut yourself. If you're a bad guy, you have a supply of virgins to sacrifice. CoC and WFRP, among others I'm sure, have had human sacrifices in their magic system for a long time and nobody has protested them.


If DCC doesn't include rules for sacrifice, I will in my rules for Rituals. It won't be "self sacrifice" because I feel that's already covered in Spellburn and the patron rules. But some Rituals, as I've been developing them, are really powerful and require "supplemental elements" to make them work -- like a Magic Circle, a lock of the target's hair, the sacrifice of a nubile, red-haired virgin born on the week of Halloween, etc.

Some of those supplemental elements/rituals would require a roll of their own. Most wouldn't. But the ones that do would likely be the kind of rolls a DM would make behind the screen. Things like determining how strong the Magic Circle is or how long it lasts or whether or not the red-haired virgin's boyfriend shows up to try to save her or whether the whole town shows up. Or whether she's actually a virgin... which is a whole other story.

I agree that it fails the PG-13 test. But I think there's different levels of failing that test. I mean, sure it lacks political correctness. And it's a bit of a callous attitude towards human life. But I think it's in the spirit of the genre -- an evil ritual may require sacrifice of goat, chicken or attractive young female, dagger not included. There are topics I'd stay away from -- like Sex Magic, anything involving kids or evolution. No one wants to be picketed by the church down the street. But I don't think anyone finds the idea of foul magics requiring the presence and possible expiration of a young maiden terribly objectionable. I think that's moved on to the area of campy silliness. It's almost expected that if a Sorcerer is going to destroy the world then he'll have to have an unspoiled, swimsuit model in a chainmail bikini (or Speedo -- preferences vary, themes do not) tied to a rock somewhere.

And, yes, the Ritual Sacrifice chart will be very difficult for the practitioner to succeed on. That's the point. Ritual Sacrifice in genre (IMO) has more to do with WHO SHOWS UP TO KILL THE SORCERER than it does with the sacrifice actually taking place and the spell going off. So I'd think of it as more of a Random Encounter chart than a Sacrifice Hit Location chart. Ritual Sacrifice should be really hard to do, IMO. It's the blackest of arts and those always require more effort and drain on the part of the practitioner. Requiring the Sorcerer (or his minions) to kill off the sacrifice's rescuers is just more "Blood for Arioch" at the end of the day, ain't it?

Of course, in the case of Animal Sacrifice that opens up all sorts of interesting possibilities. But animals have a tougher time of it, IMO. Although I do think it would be hilarious if a farmer showed up to stop a ritual sacrifice and get his chicken back from an evil sorcerer. Stuff like that. Yeah, that's why I do this.

Farmer Ted -- Sorcerer Killer.

And his chicken, Drumstick.

NOBODY ties Drumstick to an altar.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:30 am 
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smathis wrote:
Although I do think it would be hilarious if a farmer showed up to stop a ritual sacrifice and get his chicken back from an evil sorcerer.


:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:40 am 
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smathis wrote:
Of course, in the case of Animal Sacrifice that opens up all sorts of interesting possibilities. But animals have a tougher time of it, IMO. Although I do think it would be hilarious if a farmer showed up to stop a ritual sacrifice and get his chicken back from an evil sorcerer. Stuff like that. Yeah, that's why I do this.

Farmer Ted -- Sorcerer Killer.

And his chicken, Drumstick.

NOBODY ties Drumstick to an altar.


Sounds like a great idea for a zero level adventure!

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:04 am 
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Finding the components (recipe, arcane words, ingredients) in order to memorize a new spell was already in Arneson's mind since 1970/73: in his original game (cloned by another game), a wizard had to gather components, to spend time in a ritual and only then he was able to earn that particular spell.

More importantly, often the wizard imbued the spell itself inside an object (vial, wand, etc.): if that object was lost, the wizard had to repeat all the process.


I think it'd be cool if something similar be applied to the most lethal and powerful spells.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:39 pm 
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I was just thinking about the magic missile table. It's a bit oppressive. If every spell looks like that, it's gonna take up a lot of space and seem overwhelming. I'd prefer one table for all spells, kinda like the wild magic table from 2e. Put the table on the gm screen and call it a day.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:41 pm 
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JRR wrote:
I was just thinking about the magic missile table. It's a bit oppressive. If every spell looks like that, it's gonna take up a lot of space and seem overwhelming. I'd prefer one table for all spells, kinda like the wild magic table from 2e. Put the table on the gm screen and call it a day.

Since all spells work differently, a single table won't fit them all. But I'm sure we won't get as many spells as in 3e, since this way one spell can cover more - that magic missile above would be 3-4 spells in D&D.

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:57 pm 
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goodmangames wrote:
where human sacrifice is a key part of the summoning rituals), but that’s a little too far past my personal “PG-13 threshold.”


3PP product! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:58 pm 
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Why not?

Something like:

Natural 1: Spell takes effect on random creature or area.
1-11: Lost. Failure.
12-13: Spell Does minimum possible damage.
14-17: Spell has standard effect.
18-19: Increase damage dice by one step.
20-23: Increase aoe or targets affected by 50%
24-27: Increase range by 50%.
28-29: Increase damage dice by one step.
30-31: Increase aoe or targets affected by 50%
32+: Spell has maximum possible effect.

Each step is cumulative.

Of course this is only for damaging spells, someone more clever than I could probably put together a more encompassing table or just have one table for damaging spells and another for status effects. Admittedly, there will be exceptions, but these could be handled in those spells descriptions. One or two tables could handle 90% of all spells.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:01 pm 
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Ravenheart87 wrote:
JRR wrote:
I was just thinking about the magic missile table. It's a bit oppressive. If every spell looks like that, it's gonna take up a lot of space and seem overwhelming. I'd prefer one table for all spells, kinda like the wild magic table from 2e. Put the table on the gm screen and call it a day.


That'd be an interesting 3PP product. Roll spell-casting as normal then, depending on how high is the roll, damage is minimum, average, or max and/or adds an additional effect. I remember there was a d20 supp that had charts for spell casting crit rolls that did something similar.

Ravenheart87 wrote:
Since all spells work differently, a single table won't fit them all. But I'm sure we won't get as many spells as in 3e, since this way one spell can cover more - that magic missile above would be 3-4 spells in D&D.


Also, Goodman's debating if PC level reaches as high as 20. Think he was lookin' at 10th as max level.

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:05 pm 
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JRR wrote:
Why not?

Something like:

Natural 1: Spell takes effect on random creature or area.
1-11: Lost. Failure.
12-13: Spell Does minimum possible damage.
14-17: Spell has standard effect.
18-19: Increase damage dice by one step.
20-23: Increase aoe or targets affected by 50%
24-27: Increase range by 50%.
28-29: Increase damage dice by one step.
30-31: Increase aoe or targets affected by 50%
32+: Spell has maximum possible effect.

Each step is cumulative.

Of course this is only for damaging spells, someone more clever than I could probably put together a more encompassing table or just have one table for damaging spells and another for status effects. Admittedly, there will be exceptions, but these could be handled in those spells descriptions. One or two tables could handle 90% of all spells.


Coolio. Let's put the above under optional rule or maybe expanded into a 3PP product :D

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:10 pm 
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JRR wrote:
Why not?

Something like:

Natural 1: Spell takes effect on random creature or area.
1-11: Lost. Failure.
12-13: Spell Does minimum possible damage.
14-17: Spell has standard effect.
18-19: Increase damage dice by one step.
20-23: Increase aoe or targets affected by 50%
24-27: Increase range by 50%.
28-29: Increase damage dice by one step.
30-31: Increase aoe or targets affected by 50%
32+: Spell has maximum possible effect.

Each step is cumulative.

Of course this is only for damaging spells, someone more clever than I could probably put together a more encompassing table or just have one table for damaging spells and another for status effects. Admittedly, there will be exceptions, but these could be handled in those spells descriptions. One or two tables could handle 90% of all spells.


I think this would be good as an option in a 3pp (or an Annual ?) but I prefer to have just the specific tables in the rulebook as I find this a bit limited, lacking the details and flavour in Joseph's.

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:30 pm 
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JRR wrote:
Why not?

Something like:

Natural 1: Spell takes effect on random creature or area.
1-11: Lost. Failure.
12-13: Spell Does minimum possible damage.
14-17: Spell has standard effect.
18-19: Increase damage dice by one step.
20-23: Increase aoe or targets affected by 50%
24-27: Increase range by 50%.
28-29: Increase damage dice by one step.
30-31: Increase aoe or targets affected by 50%
32+: Spell has maximum possible effect.

Each step is cumulative.

Of course this is only for damaging spells, someone more clever than I could probably put together a more encompassing table or just have one table for damaging spells and another for status effects. Admittedly, there will be exceptions, but these could be handled in those spells descriptions. One or two tables could handle 90% of all spells.


Yeeeeaaahhh.... meh, to me that seems boring. I don't want to do math, I want spells to be organic, different.

Granted, it's a very good "crib notes" for designing spell charts. A general rule that, sure, could be very useful.

However, the individual spells are supposed to do different things. Fireball could just get bigger and bigger, but your chart doesn't do anything other than just that: a bigger and bigger fireball. What if, instead, a really high roll could randomly transform the initial Fireball into, say, 1d4 fire elementals? Or have knockback effects (always lacking for the standard Fireball, imho; basically just an area of fire rather than an explosion)? Or disintegrate a target's flammable equipment? Those effects work for the particular spell, but not for a 3e/4e-style feat progression (ie: increase by 50%, maximize, etc.).

Some spells, like Comprehend Languages, have no damage effects. Tasha's Uncontrollable, Hideous Laughter... how would that work? More people burst out laughing? Con damage from laughing so hard?


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:36 pm 
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joela wrote:
Also, Goodman's debating if PC level reaches as high as 20. Think he was lookin' at 10th as max level.


Hrm, I am of two minds about this.

On the one hand, I can't think of a game where we didn't just start at high levels, where we've gone past level 7; or needed to go there, thus my home game's preference for E6.

On the other, it's handy to be able to build NPCs that are much higher level, especially BBEGs.

And Monsters that are higher level, or a guide to making standard vs. unique/powerful monsters, would be good to have rules for.

But yeah, most PCs, and indeed game structure for things like DCs for climb checks, break down reality when they go too high. IME, at least.

Maybe capstone 10th level abilities and an understanding that PCs don't need to go past them; but guidelines for "Epic" characters?


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:38 pm 
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goodmangames wrote:
We’ve got it formatted such that spellcasting is “flip-free.” In play I pass out the “spell pages” to the wizard for his spells – each spell is on one 8.5x11 page, and the wizard PCs usually have 4-6 of these depending on level. It’s easy to reference. In the final printed book the spell tables will be formatted so they’re easy to find (and “permission granted to photocopy for personal use, etc.”).

I've mentioned this previously, but this is another excellent candidate for a supplemental pdf that's available on the goodman site to all those who've purchased the rules. This might include tables for spells, what have you. Anything that might fit into a DMG screen would be something I'd look to purchase. Or any type of "look up" that a player might take during the course of play.

Nothing extravagant, no art (unless it's something cool / full-page that might adorn a screen!), just the tables and lists necessary for play.

I'm eager to hear how the cleric spells work. And on the topic of complete randomization of spells for a starting character...how about letting them select one. All the rest are random. This way they get "something" that they can use as their primary spell. Just a thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:59 pm 
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fireinthedust wrote:
On the one hand, I can't think of a game where we didn't just start at high levels, where we've gone past level 7; or needed to go there, thus my home game's preference for E6.


Mine too. But I'm only of one mind. I'd prefer to build BBEG's as their own thing. I never cared for 3e's NPC creation. And NPC "builds" aren't always that much fun to fight. At least, not as much fun, IMO, as a monster that's been created specifically to be fun to fight.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:00 pm 
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mntnjeff wrote:
And on the topic of complete randomization of spells for a starting character...how about letting them select one. All the rest are random. This way they get "something" that they can use as their primary spell. Just a thought.


I think that's a great idea. Easy to houserule but it's a great suggestion.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:57 pm 
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fireinthedust wrote:

Yeeeeaaahhh.... meh, to me that seems boring. I don't want to do math, I want spells to be organic, different.


Yeah, Mr Goodman's original table has a lot more flavor, I don't deny that. But pair that with say, 10 spells per level x 9 spell levels, and the spell section of the core book will be HUGE. Besides, I'm sure GG can come up with tables a hell of a lot better than the crib notes I posted. I was just making an example. I just want to see spell casting simple, fast, and fun. I'm afraid spellcasting will be an exercise in consulting the book of armaments if every spell has a table like the mm one.


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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:58 pm 
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I think you are getting your spell numbers WAY high,
", and the wizard PCs usually have 4-6 of these depending on level" from Joseph about spell numbers on cards at the table. So that reduces the number of spells in the book.

Anyway IMO the spell tables for each spell are a DCC RPG USP ;) I have enough games with 100% cert spells or slight variation (like 3e wild magic or fail just means no spell). I want something new, and this looooksgood :)

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 Post subject: Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:45 pm 
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JRR wrote:
fireinthedust wrote:

Yeeeeaaahhh.... meh, to me that seems boring. I don't want to do math, I want spells to be organic, different.


Yeah, Mr Goodman's original table has a lot more flavor, I don't deny that. But pair that with say, 10 spells per level x 9 spell levels, and the spell section of the core book will be HUGE. Besides, I'm sure GG can come up with tables a hell of a lot better than the crib notes I posted. I was just making an example. I just want to see spell casting simple, fast, and fun. I'm afraid spellcasting will be an exercise in consulting the book of armaments if every spell has a table like the mm one.


In the playtests each spell with its table was printed on a sheet of paper, one per spell. When the book comes out this will be the way I play spell casting characters. I will photocopy the appropriate pages so that I have a physical spellbook for the character to go with the character sheet. I played a Cleric in one playtest. Using this method worked well. It takes a bit of work ahead of time, but plays well at the table.

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