Candlekeep Forum
Candlekeep Forum
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Active Polls | Members | Private Messages | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Forgotten Realms Products
 D&D Core Products
 Power level, perceptions, and misconceptions
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Previous Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 2

Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3993 Posts

Posted - 26 Apr 2020 :  15:12:02  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One of the cool ideas 4th Edition put forth was the idea of using Residuum when a magical item was broken down (as in the Ritual Disenchant Magic Item). Firstly, it allowed you to get something for that odd +2 three sectioned quarterstaff no one is proficient in and allowed you to use that "magical dust" as gold for trading AND you can use it in place of other reagents and components when crafting rituals. In 3.5, I certainly would entertain the idea that Residuum works in much the same way expensive components do - you can use that 5 gp of jade to cast Hail of Stone OR 5 gp worth of Residuum in the same way. The thing is, you can only get Residuum by disenchanting magic items. In 4E the conversion was 20% residuum of common items, 50% uncommon, 100% of rare. So in 3.5 terms I'd say weapons and armor of +1/+2 is Common, +3/+4 uncommon, +5 and above is rare. You'd also have to parcel out other items like staffs, wands, rings, and wondrous items but that shouldn't be too difficult.

I also recall somewhere about certain size of towns having an appropriate amount of magic items on hand, but I can't really remember where? It might have been in the DMG but I don't see it there. But basically you walk to a Hamlet or small town and you're likely to just find some potions and maybe a scroll of low level. A large town and you can find +1 items and maybe level 3 scrolls and like-level potions. Etc. So a place like Waterdeep or Suzail should have someone willing to make the magic item you want or possibly have one on hand. The way I handle it is flat bonuses (+1 to +5) are fairly common to come buy (depending on town) but a +2 flaming burst longsword is far less common and the rarity increases significantly with each magic enhancement placed on it. Named weapons are exceedingly rare - like Flametongue or Frost Brand and of course Realms-specific items are one of a kind.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
Go to Top of Page

Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3993 Posts

Posted - 26 Apr 2020 :  15:24:34  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I can see spells being crafted in other languages, but I otherwise disagree with this idea. I don't see a need to be able to say "where is the bathroom?" in a particular language just to be able to cast a spell in that language -- you don't need to understand words to be able to memorize them. How many of us speak Japanese, and how many sing along with the chorus of Mr. Roboto despite not knowning Japanese? I once memorized about half of a song from Macross Plus, despite only knowing maybe three words in the entire song, and there's a couple Irish tunes I can sing along with despite not knowing a word of the language.

Further, it's canon that spellcasters are constantly tinkering with spells, which could include changing the language of them.

In the Dresden Files books, Harry talks about how it's not the language that's important -- it's all in the intent. He uses Latin-ish words for his spells, because he found that an easier way to focus than some other languages. As I recall, his first instructor, Justin DuMorne, favored Egyptian.

What I could see doing is having a wizard use a similar approach -- he's got one language that he uses almost exclusively for magic. Any new spells he learns, he's got to translate into that language. He doesn't necessarily have to know the original language of the spell, but he either needs to have seen the spell cast, or he needs something to assist with the translation (a book, someone that does speak the language, etc).



I feel this is one in-game way to help wrangle in otherwise absurdly broken aspect that Magic was - at least in 3rd Edition. Speaking with a friend, he and his old D&D group disassembled 3.5 and decided that the only real fair way to make it more balanced was to splinter off each "style" of wizard into their own class and not allow too much cross-combination of spells. A Warmage (blasty), the Dread Necromancer, a Conjurer, etc. I'm not saying this was the best way to handle it, but it certainly showed that many people believed there was a balance problem.

I like the language-based aspect because it means that the caster has to focus his skills on more than just Concentration, Decipher Script, Knowledge, and Spellcraft. 2 points to learn Ignan to unlock all the Fire-spells; Terran to unlock Earth-based spells etc seems like a small investment for a significant bonus. It also means access isn't instantly granted with almost no consequences.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
33885 Posts

Posted - 26 Apr 2020 :  15:44:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I see it going the other way, myself: a caster has to spend skill slots on otherwise useless abilities just to be able to use his class features.

That's why I suggest splitting the difference: one dedicated language and everything has to be translated to that language. It doesn't penalize the caster for not knowing languages that they'll only use a few words of, and it keeps with prior Realmslore of mages altering their spells and how they write them down, to suit themselves.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!

Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 26 Apr 2020 16:32:27
Go to Top of Page

Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3993 Posts

Posted - 26 Apr 2020 :  16:46:18  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I see it going the other way, myself: a caster has to spend skill slots on otherwise useless abilities just to be able to use his class features.



Unfortunately that's the nature of 3.5 D&D. Warrior classes (namely Fighter, Paladin, Crusader, etc.) automatically get free Heavy Armor Proficiency BUT has to spend gold just to use his class feature since heavy armor is all out of their price range at 1st level.

Now I don't know if I'd make every school of magic require a different language - that seems a bit more in-depth than what I'm looking for - but the sub-descriptors of alignment and the four elemental aspects (air, earth, fire, water) sure I could see the need to know that language to summon forth magic of those planes. Universal spells need no language requirements and of course this only affects spells that need verbal. I probably also wouldn't require a separate check light Slight of Hand either (again, too in-depth for me) but a prerequisite Dex stat to show that you have the inclination naturally for the hand motions and gestures for Somatic components (unless you take the feat Somatic Weaponry (use weapons for somatic component) does make a bit of sense (just like you need Dexterity 15 to two-weapon fight).

The thing is, magic is a trump-all element where MOST of the restrictions are either ignored or easily played off with common sense and tactics. Other classes are more defined and restricted by the rules and they're all exception-based design (meaning you take X, Y, and Z penalties BUT there's an exception if you take A, B, and C). None of that really applies to magic. Heck I was toying with the idea that certain based spells of higher level require a number of spells known/prepared to use them (similar to the Tome of Battle where you need to have so many known of one discipline to use a higher one). This would mean to cast Fireball (a 3rd level Evocation [Fire]) spell, you'd also need to have known a 2nd or 1st level [Fire] based spell (it can be from any school).

This, however, requires a massive overhaul of the 3.5 spell system that I just don't have the heart or desire to do. I just think that there needs to be some element of difficulty in how spellcasters simply can do all their great magicks (pertaining to 3.5).

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 26 Apr 2020 17:22:48
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
33885 Posts

Posted - 26 Apr 2020 :  18:02:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I should think that sticking with component restrictions would tend to help curb some of the issues with mages. Most games I've played, material components are generally just assumed to be there.

There is a difference with needing gold for class skills and needing a language, though... A warrior that finds armor can still wear it, even if he didn't purchase it. Saying a spellcaster can't cast any fire spells if he doesn't know a language that he'll only use for those spells is a different story. Especially since -- as I noted earlier -- you don't need to actually understand a language to repeat words from it. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!

Characters can always get more gold. More skill slots? Those aren't as readily acquired.

Like I said, I can see one required language for magic, but I think more than one language is just penalizing the caster for being a caster.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3993 Posts

Posted - 26 Apr 2020 :  21:29:18  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I should think that sticking with component restrictions would tend to help curb some of the issues with mages. Most games I've played, material components are generally just assumed to be there.


Well yes, that's sort of the issue. With components, you either have them or don't, and generally at 5gp most people buy them and it's assumed that you replenish in town or during the Adventure. Not only that, but one bag instantly has ALL the components you'll ever need so long as they're not "expensive" (anything deemed under 1gp). And there's not a lot of spells in the PHB that are too expensive.

What needs to be done is that there should be a limit on just how many casting these bags have. Whether it's a dozen, 20, etc so that the wizard needs to at least track something. If people are going to track rations, arrows, javelins, etc then Spell Components shouldn't get a free pass.

quote:

There is a difference with needing gold for class skills and needing a language, though... A warrior that finds armor can still wear it, even if he didn't purchase it. Saying a spellcaster can't cast any fire spells if he doesn't know a language that he'll only use for those spells is a different story. Especially since -- as I noted earlier -- you don't need to actually understand a language to repeat words from it. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto!


One requires a Player decision and once selected, has it always (choosing skill points on languages) and one requires DM intervention to be allowed. A Fighter only "finds" heavy armor if the DM puts it in. A Fighter only buys Heavy armor if the DM puts enough gold in the Adventure for the Fighter to buy some. Aside from putting ranks into Craft (armorsmithing) and make their own, it's completely out of their hands.

The wizard has a choice early on: focus on more fire and damaging spells (burning hands, lesser orb of fire, flare) and grab Ignan or choose Rulathek and get some illusion spells (color spray, disguise self). If I get say 20 skill ranks, I also throw 2 points in and have both! A Fighter who rolls for GP gets 6d4x10 might roll max and get 240 gp. This is the only way to get heavy armor (splint is 200gp and the cheapest). I just rolled 6d4 x20 and the BEST I got was 190gp.

To me, I much rather have agency as a player than rely on the DM and a nice group just so I can utilize my class features.

quote:

Characters can always get more gold. More skill slots? Those aren't as readily acquired.

Like I said, I can see one required language for magic, but I think more than one language is just penalizing the caster for being a caster.



I see it as more of a decision on part of the player and not always having something for nothing. Again, wizard (specifically in 3.5) have the greatest versatility next to the Druid in magic and that ability is one reason they're a tier 1 class and really broken levels down the road.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
33885 Posts

Posted - 26 Apr 2020 :  21:57:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's still a hell of a difference between being limited by gold or being unable to use the single defining feature of your class unless you want to waste skill slots on it.

I'm not saying you're wrong for wanting to limit wizards, but making them learn an entire language just to be able to memorize a few written words is way too limiting. You're basically giving them a choice: cast spells and be unable to do anything else at all, or be forever limited as a caster because you wanted to be able to do something other than cast spells.

If I was sitting down to a game table and I was told my caster had to learn a language for every type of spell he was going to cast, I'd never play a caster.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!

Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 26 Apr 2020 21:58:13
Go to Top of Page

Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 27 Apr 2020 :  00:45:06  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll get the "quickies" first. You will find our sessions were indeed heavy on tracking. Thank goodness for spreadsheets!

I support the hp caps starting at level 9 or level 10 just like in 1ed and 2ed. The only reason I did not do that in this particular instance was because as DM, I wanted to avoid insta-kill for either the party or monsters while we were still learning 3.0ed epic. The more I pondered Diffan's feedback, the more I thought this is a great way to discourage the potential murderhobo who might ask to join the campaign. Our campaigns focus as much on business, exploration and politics as combat.

The skill point caps would not be affected by negative Int modifiers, just like high level hp would not be affected by negative Con modifiers. Skill point additions are kept even to account for cross-class skills. The group consolidates some skills much like 4ed or 5ed, such as folding Spellcraft under Arcana, Hide and Move Silently under Stealth, etc.

Here is where I hit myself over the head for bad communication on a Candlekeep thread. All the stuff about languages, Perform (oratory), Sleight of Hand, etc. was about casting spells at a caster level higher than 20. I did not indent the bullets further to emphasize they were sub-bullets. Reserve feats, domain powers in our campaign never increase a caster level above 20 by themselves. We put a conditional cap at caster level 20 to prevent high damage output, but more importantly, not to steamroller/obliterate spell resistances above 30. These provisions do not apply at caster level under 20, except when researching original spells. Then the language requirements apply. By the way, our houserule treats Speak Language as a class skill for clerics and wizards. In social interactions, they serve as handy translators without causing undue alarm by casting tongues or comprehend languages.

EDIT: The language paragraph below applies specifically to wizards and to original spell research. With your feedback, I believe in particular we can illustrate a substantive difference between wizardry and sorcery.

"Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto" works perfectly as long as the caster is satisfied with CL 20. Casting spells at a higher capacity, however, is when we leave Styx territory. Combining Eragon and the Ignan example, the epic spellcaster understands "Brsingr" is not merely a word for fire, "Brsingr" is fire. To unlock magic's full potential, the researcher ultimately must bypass all derivative sources and go to the primary source.

EDIT: The skill paragraph below applies to arcane spellcasters. Based upon some reflection from Diffan's and Wooly Rupert's commentaries, I would posit wizards will have a harder time adjusting than sorcerors or warmages.

Perform and Sleight of Hand are not house-ruled to be class skills for clerics, druids, sorcerors and wizards. In blunt crass metagaming terms, they are meant to be inconvenient hurdles for the arcane spellcaster to hinder runaway caster levels. They also encourage full spellcasters to treat the party's bard and rogue very nicely *hint hint* to teach them these skills. Casting at epic levels requires the caster to have full vocal control and convey intent without even the slightest quaver in the voice. Sleight of Hand is the closest skill we had to force the caster to have full motor control of hands and fingers. It has nothing to do with hiding or palming small objects, and 5+ ranks in Bluff do not help in any way shape or form with the intricate gesticulations of spellcasting. If the spellcaster learns a few parlor tricks along the way, great.

And yes, tracking spell component pouches and expensive materials is on the books.

Our game is more stringent on permanent magic items than perhaps many Candlekeep scribes are used to. Wealth by level is more a very loose guideline. Magic items typically consist of potions, wands or scrolls with low level. The party will probably find or seize a dagger +1 when the average character level is 5 or 6.

Considering combat with foes that have damage reduction, characters with full BAB have some level-scaling capacity to bypass said damage reduction even with non-magical weapons. Characters with full BAB also have some class level-scaling capacity to reduce armor check and speed penalties for armor with which they are proficient. We also allowed class level-scaling increases in encumbrance limits for characters with full BAB classes. By the way, we included these features for crusaders and warblades too.
The problem was less between fighter, monk and paladin vs. ToB (which was not yet published) than it was wizard/cleric/druid/sorcerer vs everyone else.

Lastly, our group basically reconstructed fighters from scratch. The changes would merit a separate thread, and they reflect some unique features-quirks if you will-of our campaign where magic (and psionics) can not be taken from granted and is not always reliable. Think other planes of existence with the rules adapted from 1ed and 2ed. The premise is anything a fighter can do, any other class can do, and that is totally OK.






Edited by - Delnyn on 27 Apr 2020 01:25:44
Go to Top of Page

Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
33885 Posts

Posted - 27 Apr 2020 :  01:44:36  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, doing the language thing only at higher levels makes it far less painful. Still not a fan, but I'll not pursue it further.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
Go to Top of Page

Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 27 Apr 2020 :  02:41:07  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Okay, doing the language thing only at higher levels makes it far less painful. Still not a fan, but I'll not pursue it further.



No problem. I still appreciate and solicit the feedback from you and the rest of the Candlekeep community. Compared to the train wreck over which I presided in 2003, the differences of opinion here are a cake walk. Too bad I did not learn of this site's existence until 5 or 6 years ago.
Go to Top of Page

Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 27 Apr 2020 :  03:57:29  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The issue of languages got me wondering how other players handled interactions between characters and sapient monsters. We seem to have a consensus that Common is good enough for "Where is the bathroom?" but deeper more nuances conversations with other humanoids needs to be in the regional language such as Damaran or Illuskan. I would propose it is the same when dealing with dragons, elementals, fey and especially outsiders, and even more vital.

Sure, many fiends have telepathy to make some kind of conversation easy. That said, not knowing the fiend's native language sounds like the player would be at a distinct disadvantage. Signing a baatezu contract, for example, without being able to read, speak and write Infernal is insanely reckless. And don't be surprised if the baatezu snuck in provisions that nullify certain provisions and enforce others in the contract if the signer casts comprehend languages before attempting to sign anything.

Investing in such languages as Draconic, Sylvan, Terran or Abyssal sounds like a worthwhile endeavor, especially for characters who like to call or summon creatures.
Go to Top of Page

Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3993 Posts

Posted - 30 Apr 2020 :  15:05:46  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Depends on the interaction, honestly. Significant dialogue would require knowledge of that creature's native language but to simply curse at them, Intimidate them, or for quick phrases I think Common is good enough.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
Go to Top of Page

Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 30 Apr 2020 :  23:35:37  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

Depends on the interaction, honestly. Significant dialogue would require knowledge of that creature's native language but to simply curse at them, Intimidate them, or for quick phrases I think Common is good enough.



Ask the pit fiend in Common. "Where is the bathroom? Oh, your leg!" Yep, that is an effective curse. Roll for intiative...
Go to Top of Page

sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
9507 Posts

Posted - 01 May 2020 :  16:09:04  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

Depends on the interaction, honestly. Significant dialogue would require knowledge of that creature's native language but to simply curse at them, Intimidate them, or for quick phrases I think Common is good enough.



Ask the pit fiend in Common. "Where is the bathroom? Oh, your leg!" Yep, that is an effective curse. Roll for intiative...



And thus the spell "summon incontinent puppy" was born.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page
 New Topic  New Poll New Poll
 Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Candlekeep Forum © 1999-2020 Candlekeep.com Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000