Ravidge
 member, 12 posts
Fri 10 Nov 2017
at 17:04
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
Thanks for the input, I was thinking, that things like wizard towers, colleges, and libraries would play a much more significant role.

I was also thinking this would be a good setting for running political/conquest games, as well as high seas and desert campaigns since the low magic gets rid of the argument of why are we sailing when we could just teleport there argument...
Ravidge
 member, 13 posts
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 23:22
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
I definitely think having naturally high DCs for creating spells makes sense and tightly controlled magical institutes that provide varying bonuses to skill checks depending on the power of the organization backing the institute makes a lot of sense and is a good idea. Also adding in the need of a basic laboratory to do experiments makes sense too. Furthermore, it would make sense that if you were going to do experiments that might offend other organizations/gods you would want ever increasing levels of divination blocking spells covering said lab.

I can see having such a setup be a good source for adventures for a group of wizards. If the group cannot gain access to those institutes it would force them to find and explore ruins and what not to find spells and research and perhaps also to find materials for constructing their own wizard tower.

I must say I do like your idea of iterative progressions of spells as it makes a decent amount of sense. However, as GreyGriffin said being so restrictive would overly limit and handicap wizards. Further, from a design perspective I think to pull it off I would really need to create something like a spell tree diagram that shows how one spell leads into another. though I find that pretty cool in theory it would be a be a huge undertaking to make and use. I fear it would end up loosing too much focus and going overboard on complexity. I want to add in enough complexity to make a wizard college type game interesting and viable but still leave enough loopholes that it is possible to run games that do not focus wholly on developing your spell book for any wizard involved... I want spells from the PHB such as fireball to be common enough that most everyone has heard of them and they wouldn't be overly hard to get a hold of (killing a wizard from another organization and stealing his spellbook for example). Also it seems reasonable that there would be more than one way to create the fireball spell which would only make it that much more of a nightmare to try and come up with an iterative process for spell progression.

I also want to leave things open for creating home-brew spells. For example in such a world killing people to steal their spellbooks becomes extraordinarily more enticing. So creating lesser forms of explosive runes that destroy your spellbook if someone tries to read it without the correct password become very important.
GreyGriffin
 member, 178 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Sun 12 Nov 2017
at 09:27
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
Just a word of warning: Skill DCs, especially static DCs, are a dodgy method of control for any given action.  If there is a skill check, there is a way to stack your bonus up to reach it.  It's not my field of CharOp, but be aware that there are level 1 Bards who can take 10 on Diplomacy to turn any Hostile creature at least Neutral, and it gets worse from there.

And if you adjust your skill check DCs to account for such stratospheric bonuses, there is no way for the player who doesn't go through the same CharOp hoops to do it can't approach the necessary bonuses to succeed.

It's a bit of a catch 22.
Ravidge
 member, 14 posts
Mon 13 Nov 2017
at 18:18
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
Ya that was one of my concerns with doing skill checks, yet I couldn't think of any better way to go about it and that is why I also had three different skills needed. I figured while it is easy to get one that has stupid bonuses it is a lot harder to get three or four. Also the main way I have found to keep people from abusing the rules is to not let them do it in the first place.
Do you have any ideas of what might work better than skill checks?
Karack
 member, 151 posts
Tue 14 Nov 2017
at 04:13
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
yes, rp. give them an initial -100 to their check. i don't care how much charop they pull off, they won't succeed against that without good rp to alleviate that penalty. if there's good rp going on and everyone is having fun, then again it doesn't matter how much charop they pulled off. all is good.

of course, this assumes you want this as a focus of your game. if this sort of stuff is supposed to happen in the background, behind the scenes, during downtime, then i think you might be stuck with skill checks. in that case, you're right. take a fine tooth comb to the char sheets up front and get rid of any that are too heavily optimized. in this case, be up front with your players as to how much optimization you're expecting and how much you will allow. as long as everyone is on the same page, it should work out ok.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1227 posts
Wed 15 Nov 2017
at 10:35
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
I generally just make the mechanics reactive to the rp. As in, the player can't just say "Oh, I rolled a X to do Y." Instead, they have to roleplay the scenario out in order to get a check at all. Eventually players start seeing the narrative potential and that multiple skills can be applied.

This is aided greatly by being more narrative in your descriptions. It isn't a poison dart trap they found, it is a pressure plate with holes in the nearby wall.

For example, when the aforementioned pressure plate is encountered, players can jump over it, walk around it, do a wall run over it, get a plank and a block to make a bridge over it, use wax to plug the holes, or try to shim the plate so it doesn't depress. Only the last two use disable device, the others use athletics, acrobatics, or in the case of the bridge, a simple dex + str check to avoid slamming the board into the plate and setting it off.

Or better yet, get the table from the last room and stick it in front of the holes. Of course, the wouldn't work against poison gas, but hey.

In any case, when the players start needed to actually find a way around traps instead of relying purely on the dice, things get better.

This message was last edited by the user at 04:41, Mon 20 Nov 2017.

Ravidge
 member, 24 posts
Mon 19 Feb 2018
at 15:23
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
So looking at another addition specific for conjuration spells and wanted to get thoughts on it.
Using DMG alternate summoning rules pg37; as well as the UA alternate summoning http://www.d20srd.org/srd/vari...nMonsterVariants.htm

The thought process is two fold. First summoning is related to your connection/understanding of a plane. So if you are a follower of a specific god you would have a strong connection to the plane that god is from which would allow you to summon creatures from said plane. Or as a wizard with a strong affinity to fire element and who has researched a specific plane of fire thoroughly you are able to contact creatures from that plane.

Furthermore, I think the DMG alternate summoning where you summon unique creatures and form somewhat of a relationship with said summons would make for a bit of added power in exchange for the planar restriction.

Since this alternate summoning rule is left pretty vague I was hoping to get some suggestions on how to better flesh it out. I am stuck on how you initially make contact with these individual summons. Since this would be a game more focused on magic and its structure I was thinking possibly that I could add in two different forms of summon monster/summon nature's ally. The first would be similar to the rituals presented in UA where it is a spell that is activated for a long period of time say 8 hours where you are contacting spirits from said plane and trying to form a contract with them. This contract could be as simple as agreeing to give an offering of dried meat to summon it to your aid; to as complex as offering assistance to the creatures' people on the material plane.

Also this alternate makes hints at the summoned creatures being able to grow in power but doesn't go to far into detail besides traveling to that plane or using higher end summoning spells. Does any one have any interesting ideas on how to facilitate growth of summoned creatures? I was thinking possibly quests to find specific items or materials that could be offered as part of the summing ritual like the heart of a troll or things like that. But I am a bit worried that would become to much of a mmo grindfest type of feature...

Does this sound reasonable and interesting from the standpoint of a magic focused game? Would it be better to offer it as a rule people could use if they are interested or make mandatory? Any other thoughts, ideas, worries?
Ramidel
 member, 1357 posts
 Err on the side
 of awesome.
Tue 20 Feb 2018
at 04:30
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
My question: How do most people tell a sorcerer from a wizard?
Ravidge
 member, 25 posts
Tue 20 Feb 2018
at 16:08
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
Only nobility is allowed to become wizards and the different countries record who has under gone wizard training and provide said wizard with proof of identification identifying where they received initial training. So anyone who displays magic and cannot provide identification as a wizard is assumed to be a sorcerer and treated as such. Furthermore, I am using a slight tweak of detect magic using the assumption that anyone who practices magic will naturally emanate it from themselves and be detected with the spell.

For the moment that is as far as I have gotten down that rabbit hole. I am planning to have one of the major gods and his religion to be anti arcane magic but I am still fleshing that out and not sure if I want to make any custom spells or anything like that.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1281 posts
Tue 20 Feb 2018
at 22:58
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
As far as I'm concerned there is no connection between classes and IC social/job positions. The fluff there is just a default, but intended to be altered to fit the setting.

For example, in one setting, you might have a wizard college, both a sorcerer and wizard class could graduate from the college and both be called "wizards" or "mages" IC, the difference in casting being a matter of specializing in different techniques (the sorcerer having specialized in a handful of spells, increasing efficiency in energy/mana use at the expense of spell flexibility, while the wizard specialized in spell flexibility at the expense of casting efficiency).
LunarKitty
 member, 358 posts
Wed 21 Feb 2018
at 02:17
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
Well, up to a certain point. It is certainly possible to switch the default fluff in the sorcerer, but I think it would be a disservice to the class. It opens up a lot of possible character concepts that aren't possible with a wizard, and no matter how much you change and try to alter the default flavor of the wizard, it just doesn't get to cover the same concepts, it cannot do any caster that didn't want to be a spellcaster in the first place, or that had no room for the mandatory training in the backstory, or just any caster that cannot read. On the other hand, sorcerers -with their default flavor- can come from any place and any station in life, taking that away would be a shame.

This message was last edited by the user at 02:18, Wed 21 Feb.

DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1282 posts
Wed 21 Feb 2018
at 05:56
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
On the contrary, a so-called spellbook can take any form you desire. A tribal spellcaster for example, might have a belt of fetishes or charms that she meditates with to recall a magic into place, or for an unwitting wizard, perhaps strange magical runes appear on their body and they "prepare" their spell by touching it where upon it fades and appears in their mind till cast.

It seems limiting only because people look first to the mechanics and written fluff and start there for character ideas or alterations, but if start from character concepts first, then try to find a class that can be molded to the concept, you'll find the classes can be used for far more than expdcted.

Still not as good as classless, but not as limiting as folks tend to believe.
LunarKitty
 member, 359 posts
Wed 21 Feb 2018
at 16:05
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
These are dancing around the concept. The belt with charms still implies a certain kind of literacy and the required training and remains a voluntary act . And your mystical tattoo isn't a straight refluff, as it alters the mechanics. By the mechanics, a spellbook is an external commodity that can be created, destroyed, bought and sold, and it entails a monetary cost. Also a spell can be prepared multiple times. None of those are possible under the tattoo example. (I would also say that the mere need to prepare is incompatible with an unwitting caster)
Ravidge
 member, 26 posts
Thu 22 Feb 2018
at 04:00
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
In reply to DarkLightHitomi (msg # 17):

I am a little lost as to what point you were trying to make. Do you dislike the idea that a wizard would need to be a noble?

Honestly if you look at it from an economics point of view where most people are making a few coppers a week you would have to be quite rich to pay the 100gp/page to get spells. And if you want to get into an argument on 'fluff' getting all level 0 spells plus three level 1 spells for free (minimum of 2,115 gp for a core only spell book with no bonus spells) to start along with two spells for free at each level (>=200gp/per level) is fluff to make it possible for a character under level 3 to become a wizard. I don't car how you dress it up whether you are writing runes on bones, or carrying fetish trophies, or whatever else you can think of as the medium all the special materials you need to make your 'spell book' to be a wizard is cost restrictive and not done on your own. The whole point of the class is you have to have someone else teaching you to become a wizard, and although it is left to 'fluff' you have to have some way to bankroll becoming one too.

On the other hand sorcerer automatically learns spells every time she levels up whether or not she does any research studying, has a teacher/mentor showing her how, or has any money. Sure she can go to a college and be trained to hone her craft but the point of the class is she doesn't have to.

Now here is the important distinction between a wizard and a sorcerer. No matter how you fluff it up a sorcerer naturally knows every spell she has, this is why she doesn't need to prepare and why she has a limited set of spells (since she can only remember so much?). Whereas, a wizard has to constantly study his butt off, each day he has to do a refresher and reread through the spell a few times so that he can remember it and use it for that day. Each time he wants to learn a new spell he has to fully understand and comprehend it, sure we normally use 'fluff' and maybe a few rolls of the dice to get through this need it doesn't make it any less of an importance to the wizard.

Furthermore, the idea that a sorcerer is a born arcanist isn't 'simple fluff' that can be thrown away at a whim. Hell almost every single class specific feat for a sorcerer is based around the idea that your magic comes from a bloodline and you want to enhance your bloodline.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1284 posts
Thu 22 Feb 2018
at 05:37
[Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
My point was that fluff is not as limiting as you think, you can have the mechanics represent whatever you want.

The free spells a wizard gets is presumed to be self-study and development according to the book, not tutoring.

Regardless, the monetary cost isn't there for fluff, it is there for mechanical balancing, you know, the Ironman Principal. The cost exists so the wizard has to spend cash on using class features just like a fighter or rogue does.

Also, there is nothing that says a sorcerer automatically knows their spells.

Also, a wizard does not read a spellbook to remind herself how to cast the spells, but rather spell preparation is casting the spell ahead of time, then completing the effect later, just like spell completion items. That is why wizards do not spend extra time casting metamagic feat altered spells, because the spells are already "assembled" and casting consists of just the final items, such as selecting target.
Ravidge
 member, 27 posts
Thu 22 Feb 2018
at 15:54
Re: [Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
DarkLightHitomi:
The free spells a wizard gets is presumed to be self-study and development according to the book, not tutoring.

Regardless, the monetary cost isn't there for fluff, it is there for mechanical balancing, you know, the Ironman Principal. The cost exists so the wizard has to spend cash on using class features just like a fighter or rogue does.


Honestly did you actually read what I wrote?...

I wasn't arguing how a wizard learns his free spells, that really holds no baring on what I said. According to the mechanics of the game each page of a spell costs 100gp to write (or to make in the case of alternate things replacing the book), furthermore, each spell must take up a minimum of one page. So your starting spell book would cost a minimum of 2115gp to make assuming you don't add read magic since all wizards have it memorized, you aren't using extra books that increase the number of level-0 spells, and gain no bonus spells. Furthermore, it would be a minimum cost of 200gp for your new spells each level to write them into your spell book. The creators of the game pulled these costs out because otherwise no character below level 3 could become a wizard with the starting gold of a level 1 character and would struggle there after for a decent amount of time each level because all their money goes right into their spell book. End of story.

quote:
Also, there is nothing that says a sorcerer automatically knows their spells.


seriously, really? there is nothing? have you read the players handbook before?

I know you claim it is all fluff and that is true if you are playing your classless whatevers but that simply isn't at all true for d&d 3.5. The spells they gain are called 'spells known'. The first line of sorcerer description in the phb is to the effect of they automatically know all there spells without having to spend time learning them. Whether or not you want to keep that in your specific campaign is up to you but the class was literally built around the idea of innate magic, which is also why they struggle with metamagic.

quote:
Also, a wizard does not read a spellbook to remind herself how to cast the spells, but rather spell preparation is casting the spell ahead of time, then completing the effect later, just like spell completion items. That is why wizards do not spend extra time casting metamagic feat altered spells, because the spells are already "assembled" and casting consists of just the final items, such as selecting target.


Again you leave me questioning whether you have in fact read the Players handbook.

Yes wizards prepare/assemble their spells ahead of time and cast them to a certain extent so they don't spend as much time casting in the field. However, a very important part of that spell prep/assembly is reading the spell. They clearly state read magic and any spells you have associated with mastery are the only spells you can cast without a spell book; and why is that? Because they literally have to reread the spell each time they wish to prepare it because they don't have it memorized. The book clearly states this, heck the srd clearly states this.
Rothos1
 member, 505 posts
Thu 22 Feb 2018
at 20:32
Re: [Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
I'm willing to give it a go.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1285 posts
Sat 24 Feb 2018
at 01:45
Re: [Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
You are taking multiple things and treating them as one or synonmous, when they aren't.

Yoh also clearly are not seeing the line between mechanics and fluff.


Mechanically, sorcerers have a small selection of spells they can cast, but they do not require preparation, while a wizard has a library of spells but must prep each spell to cast them. Any reasoning behind this is pure fluff.

Maybe sorcerers don't know anything about magic, they just do stuff, or maybe they are just as studied wizards but focus so they can skip the preparation requirements. As fluff, it is your choice. You are not limited to saying sorcerers must be innate because the description.

Likewise, a wizard gets spells without paying for them, but they have the option to spend gold on more spells. Any explanation is pure fluff. They might have spent gold that is hand-waved away, or maybe the purchased "inscribing" materials are used to magically transfer and translate the spell instead of copying/translating by hand (which might be prone to errors due the complexity). That is a potential and perfectly valid explanation for why it would cost a wizard gold to copy a spell from another source but not pay the same costs for their own development. You can come up with any number wildly different explanations for it.

As for memorizing, I wasn't meaning that a wizard knows all their spells perfectly, I just meant that the reason behind using a spellbook doesn't need to be a lack of knowing the spell, but rather other possibilities exist, I.E. the spellbook is a reference, just like any programmer uses references and documents their code, yet if the programmer really had to make do without references and documention, they could but with more difficulty, time, and effort. The same might apply to wizards. The spellbook is their references and notes, but need not be the entirety of their knowledge of a spell.

The point is, you are extrapolating a lot from the fluff and developing a set of additional rules based on what makes sense to you, but forgetting that much of what you are extrapolating from is nothing but fluff and can therefore be altered for drastically different results.
Ravidge
 member, 28 posts
Sat 24 Feb 2018
at 02:48
Re: [Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
A computer programmer can still write programs without reference material. A wizard without a spellbook can not cast spells besides the ones they already prepared that day and spells they have mastered using the master feat. The mechanics and rules seem pretty clear on this. If you don't believe me next time you play a wizard in a game burn your spellbook and tell the DM "its just a reference, I can still get by without it." And see how far you get.

While on that note after you burn your spellbook ask the DM how much it will be to replace it with all those same spells you got for free the first time...
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1287 posts
Sat 24 Feb 2018
at 06:04
Re: [Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
You are still missing the point. Fluff is the "why" and the thing represented. The mechanics don't care what they represent. You can freely change what the mechanics represent without changing the mechanics.

The thing is, that yes, the fluff will always impact the game, oftentimes in ways the mechanics designers never thought of. But that is why you have a gm, to handle those times.

Furthermore, as a player, you can agree to generally follow the mechanics even if fluff-wise you found, or created, a loophole that gives you other options.

More than that, I gave a few simplistic examples, not highly detailed "all bases are covered" examples. A, because [see my previous point], and B, I shouldn't have to in order for you to realize what I'm getting at.

You are trying so very hard to tell me how wrong I am because of irrelevant facts, instead of taking my statements as imperfect examples of something I'm trying to communicate. So why don't you step back and look at the general concepts of what I'vs been saying instead if worrying about details that don't really matter.
LunarKitty
 member, 361 posts
Sat 24 Feb 2018
at 11:31
Re: [Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
In reply to DarkLightHitomi (msg # 27):

Well, you can refluff a sorcerer to have an academic scholarly caster -I'm just telling that you shouldn't because the next point-, but you can't refluff a wizard into an unwitting innate caster, the mechanics require a deliberate preparation of each individual spell ahead of time -possibly multiple times- and the overall reliance on an external commodity -as it can be bought/sold/destroyed/taken away- for it that can be expanded/replaced by using gold even if the first is free.

Your examples fail to exemplify how you can get an innate caster out of the wizard I say that you just can't by mere refluff, as the mechanics are the limiting factor. If you want to make your point you need an example that covers all of the bases. Your tattoo wizard, either violates the mechanics or fails to be an unwitting innate caster and that is only one quite specific character that looks nothing like a generic sorcerer.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1289 posts
Sat 24 Feb 2018
at 14:26
Re: [Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]

This message was deleted by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 14:37, Sat 24 Feb.

DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1290 posts
Sat 24 Feb 2018
at 14:42
Re: [Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
It seems examples aren't allowed, so I'll pm the example to anyone following along that'd like to see how it's done.
Ravidge
 member, 29 posts
Sun 25 Feb 2018
at 04:02
Re: [Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
I am sorry but you can't be giving examples that violate the mechanics of the game and then get pissed because we don't like your examples because they violate the rules of the game... You have been arguing that fluff isn't important only mechanics. Then right after saying you can over ride mechanics with fluff. Honestly what has been bugging me is I think both are important all the time and most of your examples point to the only thing that is important is what suites you at a given time. Which isn't how the game works.
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 1291 posts
Sun 25 Feb 2018
at 11:10
Re: [Advice/Interest D&D 3.5]
That is not what I've been saying at all. Clearly we are not communicating very well.

My point is and has been, that you can radically and completely alter the fluff beyond recognition without altering the mechanics (which may or may not impact expectations of emergent consequences depending on what changes you make).

I gave a couple quick examples intended simply to show what I meant, but that had not been deeply considered in terms of minor details as I didn't think it was needed to have some absolutely perfect and playable examle right down to solving spelling errors just to get my point across.

I was then asked to provide a concrete example. So I did. I made a character concept that radically altered the wizard's fluff while leaving the mechanics alone. That example does not change or break the mechanics in any way.

Another example is to look at the bard class. The bard class is actually better at representing a noble than a minstral if you use perform oratory for your perform skill. Nobles were highly educated in many subjects including combat, and logically, that training would extend to magic in a world that has magic. They are also leaders. Everything about the bard class fits the concept of a noble perfectly in a mechanical sense. Only the fluff says minstral.

You keep trying to use the book's fluff to extend mechanics beyond the rules as written and using those extensions as though they are just as rock solid as the written rules, which is unreasonably restrictive in it's own right, but even more so when consider just how much the dmg, and the original game creators, encouraged so strongly changing the mechanics not only to suit the setting and campaign, but even to change mechanics to fit individual character concepts. The dmg gives examples even.

Yet now-a-days, folks find the very notion of altering mechanics to suit a single player's concept as anathema to the "religion of rpgs," but here were posted claims that extended that anathema beyond just the mechanics. So I try to point out just how capable a little bit of thought can expand the field of options even without altering the mechanics.

I do so in the small hope that soneone, whether you or simply someone else reading this, finds that spirit Gygax talked about, even just a little bit, to have fun playing something without needing ghe books to explicitly define it. Once that is found, then one will realize just how tiny, inflexible, and constrained the world was, and how much fun they were missing out on. And if you realize it, even better.

So tell me, what is so incredibly important about those books and rules that you can't accept wiping even just the the fluff clean, rewriting that fluff from scratch?

What is so important that those books must be treated with reverence akin to the bible itself?