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 Post subject: 1st Level Wizards
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:28 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:26 am
Posts: 13
I posted this on Enworld, but thought I'd re-post it here for feedback
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At 1st level a wizard determines 4 spells that he knows, representing years of study and practice.


You have a 0-level character that goes on an adventure. Great, they survive and become a 1st level Wizard. Is the gap between 0 level and the first adventure suppose to be years? Did that farmer study magic with his hen (or randomly determined farm animals) for years before going on his 0 level adventure? Perhaps the farmer's hen is his patron!

Of course, this is nothing that a clever Judge couldn't resolve. Perhaps the character's patron allowed them to study in some extraplaner space where time doesn't move at the same rate. The wizard could come back years older then his other 0 level adventurerers.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st Level Wizards
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:56 pm 
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I'd say this: throw out realism in this case and stick to a good storyline.

The 0-level character funnel really doesn't address the fact that a person would have lived for many years before becoming first level, and it doesn't accurately simulate the actual study needed to advance to first level. What it does is to provide a random method to generate characters.

I suppose you could scrap the 0-level adventure entirely, just generate several characters, turn them over and mix them up, then randomly select one that you get to keep. Same result, not as much fun. The 0-level process allows you to get the "feel" of the character before anything really happens to him. Once they pass that initial test, they are worthy to become "real characters."

If you really need realism, simply rules that a year passes between the 0-level adventure and the start of the campaign. That gives each character "time" to figure out how to do stuff -- not just memorizing spells but how to use a sword, pick a lock, or whatever.

Keep in mind that many of the "pulp" S&S fiction (Conan, Fafhrd & Mouser, Elric...) was in the form of short stories without a clearly defined time reference, so many years could occur between stories.

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 Post subject: Re: 1st Level Wizards
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 2:09 pm
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Some starting occupations are surely more Wizard-oriented (Wizard's Apprentice, Fortune Teller, Shaman, Elven Sage).

Some other occupations can allow you to study magic for personal interest (a young Noble could have read some magic essays in his family's library).

In any other case, IMHO nothing forbids you to be a gifted guy (maybe having unhuman ancestors) or to be contacted by your patron entity (sealing a pact with you and granting you magic knowledge) off-scene.


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 Post subject: Re: 1st Level Wizards
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:12 am 
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Yeah, I don't think the 0 level to 1st level wizard / elf is a huge problem. It's just an interesting quirk that didn't work fit well with the 0 level funnel. The bargaining with powers is really interesting and could easily cover the years of training. When you get these powers messing with mortals, anything can happen and feel correct.


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