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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:34 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver
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finarvyn wrote:
geordie racer wrote:
I'm in favour of getting rid of spell level
Remember that spell level does serve a purpose -- it puts spells into piles so that young wizards can't try the hardest spells right away.

So you use an idea like jmucchiello's class dice for wizards as the numbers are already there on the chart. You can regulate the attempts at higher rolls by making them harder (and therefore more expensive in terms of stats lose to Spellburn) and giving a greater chance of corruption.

As for Magic Missile losing it's pizzazz - look at the chart - by higher levels it's a remotely targeted rocket strike. :shock:

Having the effects of the spells scale achieves two things:
- it makes the 'low-level' spells remain a viable option at high levels. Which doesn't happen in D&D.
- it allows players with low-level characters to attempt greater effects with spellburn if they dare, casting such a spell will cost them dear.

The answer's already there in the tables. It just needs some work, not more DCs, not more spell levels. If there are spells you think shouldn't even be attempted by low levellers, then make them only available through the Patrons.

edit: I'm playing in a 5th level Wizards-only 'whodunnit'-style mystery tonight. Totally psyched about it because I usually always end up DMing. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 3:20 am 
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Personally, I really like the idea (though the layout seems a bit clumsy) of the spell tables - each spell is really 3 to 7 "other spells" (Comprehend Languages merges Read Languages, and Tongues and adds in some area effect variations; Magic Missile combines three or for very similar spells, etc.)

One thing though - there was mention of "Reversible spells" but I'm almost through the magic-user list and haven't seen any (Comprehend Languages should have an "opposite number" I think)? Are there any or can that section of the introductory text be deleted?


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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:24 am 
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Hi everyone.

I suggest:

1) Few Core Spells - even fewer than we have now. Like 10 Level 1, 6 level 2, 4 level 3, 2 level 4 and 1 level 5 spells in the Core Book. This could be accomplished by moving certain spells to higher levels. Maybe Magic Missile, since it seems to be deemed powerful, you can shift it to 2nd level. And Summoning magic too. It's not hard, would save you work and keep the book light

2) Online Spell Database - with single Spell cards on pdf. Maybe you could post a couple new spells every month or so on the website.

3) Give precise guidelines to create our own spells. I like, in this world where magic is crazy and difficult to come by, the idea that the WIZ might ask me :
"Hey I can cast level 4 spells! Where can i find one?"
I don't want to answer "Look page 120 of the Core Book and pick"
I like "Well you could do some research" He'd discover an ancient crypt where a dark tome is kept, a grimoire of great powers. In that grimoire, I, the DM, can actually put any spell I can devise ;) While level 1 spells should be somewhat common (in DCC terms), higher level ones should be VERY RARE. Maybe a player will ask you, the DM, " i want to research a spell that allows me and my friends to fly over that chasm." You take some time, maybe run another little adventure in the meantime, have the player roll some (like... 10) spellchecks to see if he got any corruption in the process, then hand him out the Fly spell you devised for him!

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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:47 am 
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abk108 wrote:
Hi everyone.

I suggest:

1) Few Core Spells - even fewer than we have now. ...
3) Give precise guidelines to create our own spells.


Those two elements add up to a freeform spell system.

There are a few notable freeform systems.

1. Castle Falkenstein allowed some customization;
2. Ars Magica was a milestone in customizable effects;
3. The D&D Epic Level Handbook allowed spell "seeds";
4. Iron Heroes Arcanists and Spiritualists have customizable magic.

I don't know if the DCC creator *wants* a freeform system. I presume that he has played several of the above systems, or seen other people play them. If he wanted a freeform system, he might have started from that point. Then again, maybe he's pondering whether to make the system freeform.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:17 am 
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I want the game to encourage player invention of spells, but I don't think an attempt to codify it is a good thing. I also want a game where most published adventures, etc. conform to the same fundamentals. If a module or setting creator wants to invent and add a spell or two to the game repertoire, that is awesome. But, I'd rather not have something where every wizard needs their own ten page personal spell results list.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:24 pm 
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abk108 wrote:
3) Give precise guidelines to create our own spells.

The word precise should never be applied to anything in DCCRPG. It is a fun-lovin', free-wheeling, go-with-the-flow kind of RPG.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:20 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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First off, I'm really liking the magic system in general in DCC, and I've been interested in reducing the spell bloat of AD&D for a long time. The spell charts are really cool, I was pleased to see some higher-level spell effects being folded into high rolls, and would be tempted to do more of this if I started houseruling for campaign play with DCC. I should probably state my bias as an appreciator of charts in general! :oops: Take the individualized skill tables for Rolemaster (in School of Hard Knocks). Pain in the ass? Kinda. Worth it? I thought so! Much more so than RM's individual weapon combat tables. Why? The weapon tables were lists of damage and critical hit types - the skill resolution tables had character - and high rolls could produce greater effects.

Now RM also started off with a general resolution table and later developed individualized ones - and I'm not sure that the general table (the Fin brought up above) would translate too well to the spells. Maybe as a suggested guideline for GM's dealing with spell invention, OK.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:53 pm 
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ragnorakk wrote:
I should probably state my bias as an appreciator of charts in general!


You and me both! Charts add an "old school" feel like I haven't seen in years.

I believe the approach the DCC RPG towards spells is refreshing. I'm in favor of the "one spell per page" concept, for it really is thinking outside the box. As others above have mentioned, having a core set of spells coming out with the finished product is wise. Then, I'd suggest releasing .pdfs and/or print versions of additional spells once or twice a year, as the market will bare. However, each additional spell compendium must build upon the previous release, i.e. each work must have a comprehensive listing of all "official DCC RPG" spells with references to where they are each located.

Also, don't try to have each spell cover several previous edition spells. I think it is quite fine to have numerous spells dealing with electricity (shocking grasp, lightning bolt, electric orb, perhaps even one named Tesla's Coil) and others with different elements, i.e. fire, cold, water, etc. With each spell being rare, having a fire wizard cabal which jealously guards their power over flame would be a great "hook" to get adventurers involved; their wizard seeks to get his hands on a tome containing flame strike or fire arrow! That would be grand.

My two cents worth.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:20 pm 
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geordie racer wrote:
finarvyn wrote:
geordie racer wrote:
I'm in favour of getting rid of spell level
Remember that spell level does serve a purpose -- it puts spells into piles so that young wizards can't try the hardest spells right away.

So you use an idea like jmucchiello's class dice for wizards as the numbers are already there on the chart. You can regulate the attempts at higher rolls by making them harder (and therefore more expensive in terms of stats lose to Spellburn) and giving a greater chance of corruption.


To me, lower-level wizards being able to try to cast high-level spells, but it being a dangerous thing to do, feels more like magic in most fiction (Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer's apprentice for example).

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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:52 pm 
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AgeOfFable wrote:
To me, lower-level wizards being able to try to cast high-level spells, but it being a dangerous thing to do, feels more like magic in most fiction (Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer's apprentice for example).

No one listens to me when I say this. No spell levels!!


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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:30 am 
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jmucchiello wrote:
AgeOfFable wrote:
To me, lower-level wizards being able to try to cast high-level spells, but it being a dangerous thing to do, feels more like magic in most fiction (Mickey Mouse as the sorcerer's apprentice for example).

No one listens to me when I say this. No spell levels!!


I do! :mrgreen: Only we need spell effects charts that stop the 1st level, 10 INT wizard from getting the best effects. No matter how much he spellburns, no matter how lucky is the halfling on his side. I think that the maximum result attainable should be 25+Caster Level.

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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:25 am 
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Good luck trying to regulate this with spell burn, mercurial magic, luck burn, halfling luck bonuses, items, intelligence bonus, elf lucky spells, birth augurs, criticals and class die all affecting the casting roll.

The problem with removing spell levels is that there are too many ways to boost your roll and unless you put hard caps (like what abk108 is suggesting) or something, I dare someone to try and create charts for all the spells that can account for all these potential bonuses, be suitable for low level, and still be applicable at higher levels. Spell levels (and DM skills) are about the only tool we have right now to keep things "sane". Even then the spell levels don't work when a spell is wildly out of whack like Magic Missile. Personally I intend to limit lower level mages from the top effects if the game doesn't find some way to do so through better chart values (and maybe changing the bonuses) by November. A simple system that limits casters to the effects at 23 + (caster level x 2) is good enough for me. Thus a level 1 mage could get a 1-25, a level 2 a 1-27 and so on. Not saying those are the exact numbers I would use but something like that, maybe adding in int modifier or a birth augur when calculating the max effect for each level.

Anyway as I've stated I still see no reason why you can't keep the spell levels for those that want them and those that don't can just remove them. Why push to remove them when many (most?) of us want them?


Last edited by bholmes4 on Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:37 pm 
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yfr wrote:
There are a few notable freeform systems.

1. Castle Falkenstein allowed some customization;
2. Ars Magica was a milestone in customizable effects;
3. The D&D Epic Level Handbook allowed spell "seeds";
4. Iron Heroes Arcanists and Spiritualists have customizable magic.

I don't know if the DCC creator *wants* a freeform system. I presume that he has played several of the above systems, or seen other people play them. If he wanted a freeform system, he might have started from that point. Then again, maybe he's pondering whether to make the system freeform.


Don't forget Monte Cook's World of Darkness d20 game. Also a freeform spell system. One of the better ones for d20, IMO, if a bit high on the power level for my tastes.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:21 pm 
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...and the freeform system in the Maelstrom rpg, where subtle 'well, it could happen' stuff was easier to cast than overt outrageously impossible effects.

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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:15 pm 
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Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer

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abk108 wrote:
Only we need spell effects charts that stop the 1st level, 10 INT wizard from getting the best effects. No matter how much he spellburns, no matter how lucky is the halfling on his side. I think that the maximum result attainable should be 25+Caster Level.

I'm not sure that is necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:05 am 
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Harley Stroh wrote:
It will be interesting to hear what people think about this. I know I've said it before, but I'm a fan of the "spellbook" model: showing up with my wizard character sheet and my sheaf of 7 spells that I jealously guard. (And of course, my PC has renamed all the spells to hide them from the prying eyes of demons and devils, and I've scrawled different sigils, signs and warnings on each sheet, etc.)

But I'm that sort of geek. I like having that spiral binder dedicated to my PC. It certainly doesn't appeal to everyone, nor should it.

So, I guess as far as polls go, count me in as one fan in the "keep spells long" column.

//H


I have no problem with the spell length. In fact, one player had the pdf open on his laptop and would refer to it when readying his elf's spells. And when I played 3.x/play Pathfinder RPG, I simply earmark my spellcaster's spells with stickies.

I know GMS (Judges) and players are getting up in years, but do that many folks find it difficult to mark off spells in the books that such pages are dealbreakers?

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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 7:53 am 
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I'll throw for the elimination of spell levels along with bundling spell effects together, though I know this is not likely something to be whole-cloth implemented in DCC. The escalating effects of spells does provide some fun for home tinkering though. A valid point raised above about the danger of bonus bloat skewing being a potential problem, but I have not run the system with higher level characters, so I've got no first-hand with that.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:12 am 
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I'm of a totally different mindset.

I do not mind the spells at all and although players do need to copy there spells down all of my players have done so on there own. My wife has her own little spellbook done!

The Dice are a deal breaker for many people I have talked to. I just paid $30 for dice,just for two sets of none inked dice! Lets put aside the fact that the dice I received are horrid and will not even roll right(because I hope that will be taken care of) and just realize that that $30 gets added on top of the price of the game!

I really do feel the dice are going to be the largest thing that turns people away from the game. None of my people want to use the alternate methods for rolling those numbers.Also depending on what class your character is and what you want to do weapon wise you might be rolling those funky dice or strange dice alternate methods every single round!

There are too many really good games out there that do not have this extra hassle. I feel this extra barrier is not needed.


I am a perfect example of this. I had already dismissed the game and would not be playing it if not for a twist of fate,BECAUSE of the dice and other strangeness.

Yes I now love the funky dice and also love the strangeness of the game but that doesn't change that at least for me the dice played a large part of the negative feeling I got from the game.


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 Post subject: Re: Spells, and what to do with them.... [long]
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 12:48 pm 
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* I really like the idea of being able to print/photocopy the spell pages so that you can make a "spell book" of the spells that you know as a wizard.

* Further, I also like the idea (maybe mentioned in another forum?) that spells shouldn't have LEVELS, they should just have increasingly difficulties and nastier effects if you fail the rolls. Of course, that may mean that spellburn may have to be revisited, especially in the case of non-adventuring time.

* As to being able to get high results, I have always liked Earthdawn's "Rule of Three." Basically, you can only use the highest three bonuses to a roll. It was their way of getting rid of "stacking" before d20 came out with different types of bonuses (enchantment, morale, luck, etc. etc.).


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