Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by Stainless » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:15 pm

Machpants wrote:... just hurry up and release the thing! LOL
OK everyone, all together now, and make sure you hit the high notes....
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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by jmucchiello » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:45 pm

I find all these comments about permission to photocopy distressing. I'd rather copy/paste the actual text/chart from a PDF or a DCC Reference Document. Streamlined or not, I just about always would print a character sheet containing my spells fully lifted from the rule book just to avoid wear and tear on the rule book. For 3e of course I had the SRD. In 2e I had the AD&D core rule set CD that contained all the books on PDF and could be used to get the spell text.

Based on magic missile, I would be surprised if the layout guy could not fit 3 or more spells on each page of the rulebook. That's only 3 pages or so per level if each level has 10 spells. And 10 spells in this format is a lot. The real question after that becomes is priest magic different from arcane magic?

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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by Ravenheart87 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:17 am

jmucchiello wrote:I find all these comments about permission to photocopy distressing. I'd rather copy/paste the actual text/chart from a PDF or a DCC Reference Document. Streamlined or not, I just about always would print a character sheet containing my spells fully lifted from the rule book just to avoid wear and tear on the rule book. For 3e of course I had the SRD. In 2e I had the AD&D core rule set CD that contained all the books on PDF and could be used to get the spell text.

Based on magic missile, I would be surprised if the layout guy could not fit 3 or more spells on each page of the rulebook. That's only 3 pages or so per level if each level has 10 spells. And 10 spells in this format is a lot. The real question after that becomes is priest magic different from arcane magic?
I think the first problem could be solved by giving a free pdf to those, who buy the book, or at least a coupon to buy the pdf version cheaper.
About the second: I think it won't be a problem to include 4 spells per page, and since one spell has multiple power levels, we won't need so many spells as in 3e. Also, we son't know yeat how will be spell levels solved - I think we don't need them, thanks to how the spells are done.

And yeah, I want to hear about too, how divine magic will work.
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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by smathis » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:12 am

Ravenheart87 wrote:I think the first problem could be solved by giving a free pdf to those, who buy the book, or at least a coupon to buy the pdf version cheaper.
About the second: I think it won't be a problem to include 4 spells per page, and since one spell has multiple power levels, we won't need so many spells as in 3e. Also, we son't know yeat how will be spell levels solved - I think we don't need them, thanks to how the spells are done.

And yeah, I want to hear about too, how divine magic will work.
Free PDF or option for a discounted one would be nice, IMO. Looking at the table for Magic Missile, I'm thinking more like 2 spells per page. But I think that depends on the size of the book, formatting, art, etc. I'm sure there will be flavor text and other stats for Spells too.

But I think you're right about fewer spells. There won't be a Fireball and Delayed Blast Fireball and Hronghus' Most Excellent Fireball. There will just be Fireball and various effects building off that. So, instead of 10 spells per level. We might be looking at 20 spells for the whole shebang. Too soon to tell at the moment.

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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by jmucchiello » Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:27 am

smathis wrote:
Ravenheart87 wrote:About the second: I think it won't be a problem to include 4 spells per page
Looking at the table for Magic Missile, I'm thinking more like 2 spells per page
I picked 3 spells per page and 10 spells/3 pages for a reason based on having release OGL stuff in the past. 4 is also possible but frankly I'm hoping "higher" level spells are even more complex than MM.

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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by smathis » Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:11 pm

jmucchiello wrote:I picked 3 spells per page and 10 spells/3 pages for a reason based on having release OGL stuff in the past. 4 is also possible but frankly I'm hoping "higher" level spells are even more complex than MM.
That may be accurate. I think it depends on flavor text, any other stats they want to include and images and such. I'm sure there will be more to each spell than just the table -- descriptions, alternate names, level, magic/divine etc. It's hard to say how big those sections will need to be.

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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by mntnjeff » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:14 pm

A couple things occur to me upon perusing this fine thread...

1. I LOVE the idea of spell cards... LOVE. "Draw from this deck if you roll this. Or from this deck if you roll this." Only drawback is price. And that's a mighty strong motivator / inhibitor, so I can totally see this being an issue.

2. A 10th level spell caster? From what I've seen I'm not sure that this person who's reached 10th level is going to be anything resembling "sane"...if indeed they have the "luck" of reaching that prestigious level w/out becoming some dark lord's be-yatch. I think this might be moot.

3. I've got a house rule that I've been playing with for a few years now. When a 1st level spell is cast the mage rolls a d6.
--On a roll of 1 the spell has no effect and is lost. (fizzles)
--On a 2 it is drastically reduced and is lost.
--On a 3 or 4 it functions as per the rules. (cast and lost)
--On a 5 it is cast and NOT lost.
--On a 6 it is increased in some way and is NOT lost

I leave the details up to the DM. (me) Sort of like a critical or a cruddy (20 or a 1), in melee combat. It requires a bit of even handed adjudication...but we're all grown ups here right?

It's super simple and usually tailored to the situation. Which can be fun. It still keeps a bit of the "swinginess" but veers away from the large table lookup issue. (NOTE: I'm not actually complaining about the tables...if they're easily (player) accessible, then I have no issues. I'm just suggesting simple alternatives.)

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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by finarvyn » Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:18 pm

jmucchiello wrote:I find all these comments about permission to photocopy distressing. I'd rather copy/paste the actual text/chart from a PDF or a DCC Reference Document.
I suspect that "permission to photocopy" is being used in a generic sense -- this could represent Xeroxing a printed page or copy/paste from a PDF or doc file.

I haven't gotten the impression that this stuff will be kept from us at the end.
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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by GnomeBoy » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:03 pm

finarvyn wrote:I suspect that "permission to photocopy" is being used in a generic sense -- this could represent Xeroxing a printed page or copy/paste from a PDF or doc file.

I haven't gotten the impression that this stuff will be kept from us at the end.
I think I heard a rumor of a suggestion of a hint of a notion that there's going to be a pdf beta-test document out in a few months, or somesuch... But heck, it probably won't have any spells in it, I'd guess... 8)
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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by goodmangames » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:41 pm

Did I mention that I love old-school art? The other part of the DCC RPG project, that I haven't really discussed specifically, is that it's also an excuse for me to commission some awesome art from some awesome artists. So, as to the question of "How many spells will fit on a page?"...around 3 usually fit (good guess!) but what I'd rather do is have just 1 spell per page and then some badass art around it. The Dungeon Alphabet was a test model for the DCC RPG layout, if you're familiar with that most excellent book by Michael Curtis...
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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by goodmangames » Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:43 pm

And just for kicks, this is what I mean by "badass art." Did you know that Emirikol the Chaotic's infamous rampage was thwarted mere seconds after it begun by Lokerimon the Lawful?

More will be on display at Gary Con...

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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by Ravenheart87 » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:12 pm

goodmangames wrote:And just for kicks, this is what I mean by "badass art." Did you know that Emirikol the Chaotic's infamous rampage was thwarted mere seconds after it begun by Lokerimon the Lawful?

More will be on display at Gary Con...
Poor Emirikol... Was hit in the head with a dagger (or throwing axe?) in HackMaster 4e, and now this? :lol:
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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by finarvyn » Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:31 am

GnomeBoy wrote:I think I heard a rumor of a suggestion of a hint of a notion that there's going to be a pdf beta-test document out in a few months, or somesuch... But heck, it probably won't have any spells in it, I'd guess... 8)
A playtest doc without spells wouldn't make any sense. It might not have the full range, but it has to have at least a few. Otherwise, how would one do a proper playtest?

My understanding is that the beta playtest doc is supposed to be out around the middle of June.
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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by goodmangames » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:05 am

finarvyn wrote:A playtest doc without spells wouldn't make any sense. It might not have the full range, but it has to have at least a few. Otherwise, how would one do a proper playtest?

My understanding is that the beta playtest doc is supposed to be out around the middle of June.
Don't worry, there will be spells in the playtest doc! The goal is for the playtest rules to release about a week before Free RPG Day, which will give everyone time to read them before they go to their local game store and pick up the playtest adventure module being given away for free on Free RPG Day.
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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by GnomeBoy » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:09 am

*bangs side of forums with fist*

*checks facetiousness settings*

...maybe I needed another 'of a' phrase in there... :?

At least my thump to the side of the forums corrected the horizontal hold!
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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by jmucchiello » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:43 am

goodmangames wrote:Did I mention that I love old-school art? The other part of the DCC RPG project, that I haven't really discussed specifically, is that it's also an excuse for me to commission some awesome art from some awesome artists.
He's attempting to change the subj-- ooo, pretty.
So, as to the question of "How many spells will fit on a page?"...around 3 usually fit (good guess!) but what I'd rather do is have just 1 spell per page and then some badass art around it. The Dungeon Alphabet was a test model for the DCC RPG layout, if you're familiar with that most excellent book by Michael Curtis...
I don't know the product. But, that does not sound streamlined at all unless you planning to release the book in digest size. A5/half-letter or 6x9 maybe. A full-size book with 20-30 pages where most of the page is artwork may be pretty but I can imagine enjoying it at a weekly game. Too much potential page turning.

(I still get a trickle of income from RPGNow. I know how RPG layout works. And these long format spells have turned me from "will look at" to "should buy" on DCCRPG. Have friendly 3pp licensing and that becomes "will buy" and "will release a grimiore product". But that is a different topic.)

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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by Geoffrey » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:33 am

goodmangames wrote:The Dungeon Alphabet was a test model for the DCC RPG layout, if you're familiar with that most excellent book by Michael Curtis...
Big, BIG thumbs up on that. The layout of the Dungeon Alphabet is nothing short of awesome. I especially like when the art interacts with the text, as on the "O Is for Oozes" page. :mrgreen:

And that's a great drawing of Lokerimon the Lawful.
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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by finarvyn » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:46 pm

Geoffrey wrote:
goodmangames wrote:The Dungeon Alphabet was a test model for the DCC RPG layout, if you're familiar with that most excellent book by Michael Curtis...
Big, BIG thumbs up on that. The layout of the Dungeon Alphabet is nothing short of awesome.
Agreed. Dungeon Alphabet is an awesome book. A nice blend of text and tables and art. I'm glad to hear that DCC will be similar in format!
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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by jmucchiello » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:57 pm

So I looked at the preview at RPGNow. I think it works great in an anthology work which Dungeon Alphabet seems to be: a page of altars, a page of books, etc. But in a core game rules book? How many pages is the book going to be? If it's around 64 there's not enough room for a full RPG and 35%+ artwork. If it's around 128, it becomes a dauntingly high cost for all the artwork. I just don't see how that's possible.

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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by mxyzplk » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:21 pm

Not to get back on topic, but I love the idea of having to roll for spells. I'm not as sold on having every single spell be its own minigame, but variability, yes.

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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by mshensley » Thu May 05, 2011 4:27 am

Will there be another blog post before we get the beta rules?

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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by goodmangames » Mon May 16, 2011 9:13 pm

Maybe. Hopefully. But right now all my energies are going into these doggone beta rules! Harley had mentioned he had some thoughts on putting together DCC RPG adventures. It's not the same as writing traditional D&D modules - we're going for a more vintage flavor. So hopefully I can pass the buck to him and he can give us a neat little designer's diary entry shortly, but we'll see because he's also got some deadlines in front of him...
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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by finarvyn » Tue May 17, 2011 2:42 am

Well certainly if getting another blog out means the delay of the Beta rules we would rather not get that extra blog. :P

I think that folks are just a little restless. (1) The boards are a little quiet recently and folks are clinging to anything that they can chatter about. (2) As June gets closer and closer I think that more folks can feel the anticipation building.

Totally natural! 8)
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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by robertsconley » Mon May 23, 2011 5:40 am

goodmangames wrote:And just for kicks, this is what I mean by "badass art." Did you know that Emirikol the Chaotic's infamous rampage was thwarted mere seconds after it begun by Lokerimon the Lawful?
Emirikol was hosed anyway as he was riding towards a castle courtyard. But it is good that Lokerimon got him. :D

Image

Image

Image

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http://batintheattic.blogspot.com/2010/ ... -ride.html

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Re: Designer's Blog #3: What Do You Mean, "Vancian"?

Post by Atlatl Jones » Mon May 23, 2011 2:16 pm

I'm curious why Spellburn can only be applied to physical attributes? Surely addling your wits or damaging your sanity, personality, and luck would be appropriate for the magic in many Appendix N books. Sure it's a really bad idea for a wizard to spellburn his intelligence or luck, but it would be worth it as a last-ditch measure, in desperate times.

The magic missile spell chart looked intimidatingly complicated at first, but then noticed that most of the complexity is in the 29-32 range, which essentially are a form of critical hit. It's a bit wordy, and maybe a bit too complicated still, but nothing

As for ritual magic, another option is to allow rituals to give a better "ratio" on spellburn. A simple ritual magic rule would allow casting a spell ritually to gain a +3 on your spellcasting roll for every 2 points of burn. Or have different lengths of rituals. A short (1 minute/spell level) ritual could give +4 for every 3 burn, a 10 minute/level ritual could give +3 for 2 burn, and a long (1 hour/level) could give +4 for 2 burn.

This rule even reflects why ritual magic is so exhausting: in order to use it, you need to burn your attributes.

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