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Critique Please: Dower Mage

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Anonymous
May 3, 2005 5:54:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Dower Mage
Alignment: Any.
Hit Die: d4.

*MAJOR CHANGES*
- Removed Familiar.
- Removed Bonus Feats.
- Removed Bonus Languages.
- Doubled Arcane Spell Failure chance for casting in armor.
- Every spell has chance to fail and cause temporary con loss.
+ Spontaneous Casting as per Sorcerer.
+ Spell progression as per Wizard.
+ Number of spells castable per day as per Sorcerer.

Class Skills
The Dower Mage's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all
skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft
(Int). See Chapter 4: Skills for skill descriptions.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Dower Mage
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special 0 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st +0 0 0 2 Scribe Scroll 5 3 - - - - - - - -
2nd +1 0 0 3 6 4 - - - - - - - -
3rd +1 1 1 3 6 5 3 - - - - - - -
4th +2 1 1 4 6 6 4 - - - - - - -
5th +2 1 1 4 6 6 5 3 - - - - - -
6th +3 2 2 5 6 6 6 4 - - - - - -
7th +3 2 2 5 6 6 6 5 3 - - - - -
8th +4 2 2 6 6 6 6 6 4 - - - - -
9th +4 3 3 6 6 6 6 6 5 3 - - - -
10th +5 3 3 7 6 6 6 6 6 4 - - - -
11th +5 3 3 7 6 6 6 6 6 5 3 - - -
12th +6/+1 4 4 8 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 - - -
13th +6/+1 4 4 8 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3 - -
14th +7/+2 4 4 9 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 - -
15th +7/+2 5 5 9 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3 -
16th +8/+3 5 5 10 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4 -
17th +8/+3 5 5 10 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 3
18th +9/+4 6 6 11 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 4
19th +9/+4 6 6 11 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5
20th +10/+5 6 6 12 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the Dower Mage.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dower Mages are proficient with club,
dagger, dart, sling, sickle, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of
armor or shield. Dower Mages are particularly adversely affected by
armor. Arcane spell failure chances are doubled for Dower Mages.

Spells: A Dower Mage casts arcane spells which are drawn from the
sorcerer/wizard spell list. Unlike Wizards, he can cast any spell he
knows without preparing it ahead of time. A Dower Mage may know any
number of spells.

To learn or to cast a spell, a Dower Mage must have an Intelligence
score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for
a saving throw against a Dower Mage's spell is 10 + the spell level +
the Dower Mage's Intelligence modifier.

A Dower Mage must study his spellbook each day to refresh his memory
and restore his link to the spells he knows. He does not actually
prepare his spells but he must spend the time reading over them and
refreshing them in his mind. He cannot cast any spell not recorded in
his spellbook, except for read magic, which all Dower Mages can prepare
from memory.

A Dower Mage begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard
spells plus three 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of
Intelligence bonus the Dower Mage has, the spellbook holds one
additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new Dower Mage
level, he gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that he can
cast (based on his new Dower Mage level) for his spellbook. At any
time, a Dower Mage can also add spells found in scrolls or other
spellbooks to his own.

Each time a Dower Mage casts a spell he must check to see if the spell
is successfully cast. Roll d20 + Int vs. DC5 + spell level. If the
check fails then the spell fizzles with no effect and you must make a
Fort save DC 15 + spell level or suffer 1 point of temporary Con damage
per level of the spell you were attempting to cast. Rolling a 1 always
requires a Fort save DC 10 + spell level or suffer 1 point of temporary
Con damage per level of the spell but if a roll of 1 would have
succeeded the check then the spell is still successfully cast.

More about : critique dower mage

Anonymous
May 3, 2005 6:02:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I should have said a few things also...

This is meant to be sort of a cross between Wizards and Sorcerers in
that you get the number of spells per day like a Sorc but the variety
of spells and spell progression of a Wizard.

Yes, I recognize that this is tough, but please respond if you think
the disadvantages I have given the class balance out the advantages or
not.

I know its pointless, but please, try to be civil. Excessively rude or
insulting responses won't help anything. If you have something politely
civil to say I'd love to hear it, even if its negative, as long as its
civil :-)
Anonymous
May 4, 2005 1:40:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

webhed wrote:
> I should have said a few things also...
>
> This is meant to be sort of a cross between Wizards and Sorcerers in
> that you get the number of spells per day like a Sorc but the variety
> of spells and spell progression of a Wizard.
>
> Yes, I recognize that this is tough, but please respond if you think
> the disadvantages I have given the class balance out the advantages
or
> not.
>
> I know its pointless, but please, try to be civil. Excessively rude
or
> insulting responses won't help anything. If you have something
politely
> civil to say I'd love to hear it, even if its negative, as long as
its
> civil :-)

Not even *remotely* balanced, but probably not for the reason you
think.

The main limiting factor to a high level wizard's power is not his
number of spell per day. It is the fact that even though he knows
hundred of spells, he will only have a dozen or two of them ready at
any one time. Otherwise, the wizard would totally dominate *any*
encounter, since he always has the perfect tool for any job. A well
prepaired high-level wizard will easily destroy any non-caster opponent
of equal CR, but the same wizard will be highly vulnerable if she is
caught by surprise. Hence the need for companions. Hence the balance.

In your new class, you combine the wizard's breadth of spells with the
ability to call upon any spell at will. Your 'Dower Mage' will dominate
any situation. This is simply broken, and no amount of 'flaws' will fix
it, especially since you could just have a friendly cleric heal you of
any Con damage.

I would consider your 'Dower Mage' balanced if and only if you remove
spontaneous casting. NO class should combine unlimited spell-learning
with case-by-case spell selection. I have no real problem with the
Dower Mage getting a sorcerer's spell-per-day table at a price -- a
wizard can get the same with a few pearls of power, anyways.
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Anonymous
May 4, 2005 2:33:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"webhed" <jreyst@gmail.com> wrote in news:1115153694.637713.115320
@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:

> Dower Mage

Shouldn't this be a Prestige Class for Sorcerors? Extra power with
extra cost.
Anonymous
May 4, 2005 4:16:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

In general I was trying to emulate a different *kind* of spellcaster,
one who more closely resembles my own image of what a wizard would be.
Instead of memorizing a list of specific spells each day I envision
them simply having a book of spells they cast from, as in, open book,
flip to page 11 "Remove Curse", recite incantations, and voila, curse
is removed. I got away from the concept simply because I got distracted
and started going in a different direction. Either way though, could
you ever see such a method being workable in a game? I had thought
something like it requiring a full round action to cast because he has
to flip through his book to find the right page, and not being able to
defend oneself while doing so, etc plus it would of course provoke
AoO's as usual, not to mention maybe adding on a fatigue system to
prohibit unlimited casting when not in combat situations.

Either way, my DM is going to allow me to use the Spell Point system
with the Constitution based recovery variant combined with the fatigue
variant from UA. Its basically what I was going for anyway.

Ideally though, I'd like to see someone come up with an arcane
spellcaster as described, casts spells from book, can cast any spell he
knows, as many times as he likes, does not memorize them, takes a long
time to cast because of flipping through book or holding it in one hand
while making gestures with the other, and some sort of fatigue element
for balance thrown in. I'm not trying to be broke here, just looking
for a different angle on the wizard is all :) 
Anonymous
May 4, 2005 5:03:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

It is certainly possible to do so. Presently there is a mechanism call
'reserve a blank slot', that is to say, you leave a slot blank when you
prepair spells. Then, when you wish to, you can spend 10 minutes to
prepair a spell into the blank slot whenever you want.

So, we have a known way of doing what you want, but it takes 10 minutes
per spell. Of course, this does not help you in combat.

Spontaneous casting should NOT coexist with hundreds of available
spells. It is A XOR B choice. Your DM could certainly allow it, but he
should be aware that within four or five levels, the non-caster
classes (and any other caster class, such as cleric, driud, wizard etc)
will become absolutely eclipsed by spontaneous-plus-no known-spell
limit casters.

I would not allow anything less than 10 minute per spell for such
absolute freedom in casting. 'Ritualistic' spellcasting is fine, but I
would make sure that the system does not add to the mage's 'combat'
powers. It might work very well for 'non-flashy' spellcasters, or for
the fairy-tale witch. But in combat-oriented D&D, such freedom for the
mage makes fighters, rogues etc. absolutely powerless.

The Spell Point system (and other systems that increase magic user
flexibility) generally result in magic-user dominance, which may or may
not be a bad thing, depend in the campaigne setting. Some DM believe
it is just natural that middle-high level maged dominate everything.
That is one way to play it. But that does not mean it is not unbalanced
for a standard D&D campaign.

In conclusion: No. I do not believe spontaneous casting and unlimited
spell knowledge should mix. Either or. Not both. For a the price of
feat, I can accept limited spontaneous casting (give up a slot to cast
another spell), but no mage should be able to choose from his *entire*
spellbook *every time he casts a spell*. There should be an opportunity
cost for him when he choses his spells -- when he learns it, or at the
start of each day.

Of course, your DM can always rule as he pleases. However, I have a
stinking hunch that the non-casters in your campaign world might
become rather unhappy once you hit middle-high levels...
Anonymous
May 4, 2005 6:29:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

WuYanei: What about if it were a Full Round Action, and
Invocation/Evocation were banned, or maybe you cast as X levels lower,
or something else along those lines? Maybe the save DC against spells
cast by this sort of caster are much easier... Or make it a Prestige
Class instead of a base class and only grant additional spell caster
levels at every OTHER level instead of every level... or something?


I think there has got to be a way to balance the advantages with some
sort of disadvantages.

Also, I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say "For the
price of a feat, I can accept limited spontaneous casting (give up a
slot to cast another spell)". What did you mean by that?

Finally, have you looked at the Spell Point system in the UA and do you
feel it provides Wizards too much power? Just curious what your
thoughts are on those rules.

Thanks :o )
Anonymous
May 4, 2005 6:30:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Kind of not, since the class depends on a spellbook. Its more like a
cross between Sorcerers and Wizards in that they depend on a spellbook
but can also cast spontaneously.
Anonymous
May 4, 2005 7:24:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I have never like the idea that mages forget their spells after they are
cast. My groupd played around with the mage class quite a bit (2E) and
came up with some workable wizard Kits. This looks like a good start with
some tweaking and playtestig you might have a pretty good character on
your hands.

webhed wrote:
> In general I was trying to emulate a different *kind* of spellcaster,
> one who more closely resembles my own image of what a wizard would be.
> Instead of memorizing a list of specific spells each day I envision
> them simply having a book of spells they cast from, as in, open book,
> flip to page 11 "Remove Curse", recite incantations, and voila, curse
> is removed. I got away from the concept simply because I got distracted
> and started going in a different direction. Either way though, could
> you ever see such a method being workable in a game? I had thought
> something like it requiring a full round action to cast because he has
> to flip through his book to find the right page, and not being able to
> defend oneself while doing so, etc plus it would of course provoke
> AoO's as usual, not to mention maybe adding on a fatigue system to
> prohibit unlimited casting when not in combat situations.
>
> Either way, my DM is going to allow me to use the Spell Point system
> with the Constitution based recovery variant combined with the fatigue
> variant from UA. Its basically what I was going for anyway.
>
> Ideally though, I'd like to see someone come up with an arcane
> spellcaster as described, casts spells from book, can cast any spell he
> knows, as many times as he likes, does not memorize them, takes a long
> time to cast because of flipping through book or holding it in one hand
> while making gestures with the other, and some sort of fatigue element
> for balance thrown in. I'm not trying to be broke here, just looking
> for a different angle on the wizard is all :) 
>
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 12:22:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

>WuYanei: What about if it were a Full Round Action, and
>Invocation/Evocation were banned, or maybe you cast as X levels lower,
>or something else along those lines? Maybe the save DC against spells
>cast by this sort of caster are much easier... Or make it a Prestige
>Class instead of a base class and only grant additional spell caster
>levels at every OTHER level instead of every level... or something?
>
>I think there has got to be a way to balance the advantages with some
>sort of disadvantages.
>
>Also, I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say
>
>>"For the price of a feat, I can accept limited spontaneous casting
>>(give up a slot to cast another spell)".
>
>What did you mean by that?

There is a feat that lets you convert other spells to a single spell
chosen by you, just like a cleric can spontaneously cast cure spells.

>Finally, have you looked at the Spell Point system in the UA and do
you
>feel it provides Wizards too much power? Just curious what your
>thoughts are on those rules.
>
>Thanks :o )

*Takes a deep breath, holds her breath until she starts turning blue,
then exhales loudly.*

Consider this spell:

Limited Wish
Universal
Level: Sor/Wiz 7
Components: V, S, XP
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: See text
Target, Effect, or Area: See text
Duration: See text
Saving Throw: None; see text
Spell Resistance: Yes

A limited wish lets you create nearly any type of effect. For
example, a limited wish can do any of the following things.

o Duplicate any sorcerer/wizard spell of 6th level or lower,
provided the spell is not of a school prohibited to you.

o Duplicate any other spell of 5th level or lower, provided
the spell is not of a school prohibited to you.

o Duplicate any sorcerer/wizard spell of 5th level or lower,
even if it's of a prohibited school.

o Duplicate any other spell of 4th level or lower, even if
it's of a prohibited school.

o ... and more, but that is not important for now.

A duplicated spell allows saving throws and spell resistance
as normal (but the save DC is for a 7th-level spell). When a
limited wish duplicates a spell that has an XP cost, you must
pay that cost or 300 XP, whichever is more. When a limited
wish spell duplicates a spell with a material component that
costs more than 1,000 gp, you must provide that component.

XP Cost: 300 XP or more (see above).

.... and THIS spell:

Wish
Universal
Level: Sor/Wiz 9
Components: V, XP
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: See text
Target, Effect, or Area: See text
Duration: See text
Saving Throw: See text
Spell Resistance: Yes
Wish is the mightiest spell a wizard or sorcerer can cast.
By simply speaking aloud, you can alter reality to better
suit you.

Even wish, however, has its limits.

A wish can produce any one of the following effects.

o Duplicate any wizard or sorcerer spell of 8th level or
lower, provided the spell is not of a school prohibited
to you.

o Duplicate any other spell of 6th level or lower, provided
the spell is not of a school prohibited to you.

o Duplicate any wizard or sorcerer spell of 7th level or
lower even if it's of a prohibited school.

o Duplicate any other spell of 5th level or lower even if
it's of a prohibited school.

o ... and more, but it is not important for now.

You may try to use a wish to produce greater effects than
these, but doing so is dangerous. (The wish may pervert your
intent into a literal but undesirable fulfillment or only a
partial fulfillment.)

Duplicated spells allow saves and spell resistance as normal
(but save DCs are for 9th-level spells).

Material Component: When a wish duplicates a spell with a
material component that costs more than 10,000 gp, you must
provide that component.

XP Cost: The minimum XP cost for casting wish is 5,000 XP.
When a wish duplicates a spell that has an XP cost, you must
pay 5,000 XP or that cost, whichever is more.


.... and THESE monstrosity-of-a-spells:

Yanei's Unbelievable Mnemonic Munchkinizer I ~ IX
Universal
Level: Sor/Wiz 1 ~ 9
Components: V
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: See text
Target, Effect, or Area: See text
Duration: See text
Saving Throw: See text
Spell Resistance: Yes

Yanei's Unbelievable Mnemonic Munchkinizer is a battle-
weary wizard or sorcerer's dream-come-true! Never, never
again shall you be forced to choose from all those tasty,
tasty spells. Never again shall a balor catch you without
'sonic blast' at hand, or a red dragon surprise you with
no 'freezing sphere' on line and ready to blast it into
sweet, sweet oblivion. Just learn/memorize Yanei's Unbe-
lievable Mnemonic Munchkinizer, and you shall BE the SUP-
REME sorcerer/wizard in the entire multiverse (until ever-
body *else* learns the trick, of course!) Act now! You
shall NOT regret it!

Yanei's Unbelievable Mnemonic Munchkinizer can duplicate
any spell of equal or lower level to itself. Duplicated
spells allow saves and spell resistance, as normal (but
save DCs are as for spells of the YUMM's spell level).


.... now, may I ask you, what would you, if you were a DM,
require for a spell like YUMM to be considered 'balanced'?
Because, you see, *spontaneous casting plus unlimited spell
learning is EXACTLY equal to a sorcerer/wizard who learns/
memorizes nothing but YUMM!* -- your class ability is
actually more powerful than /wish/, without an XP cost!

You cannot balance such a massive ability except by making
it so costly that it is basically never used, such as WotC
did with /wish/. In this cast, we need to make spellcasting
so costly and dangerous that these 'dower mages ' almost
never cast spells!

What types of cost would I consider balanced? Well, /wish/
itself provides a guide. For one thing, /wish/ can only
duplicate spells of lower level. Translated to a class
ability, this would mean that the class gains new spell
levels at least one spell-level (two levels) slower than
a wizard.

Secondly, /wish/ and /limited wish/ both have an XP compo-
nent to limit abuse. I *might* be satisfied if each time
the Dower Mage casts a spell, he must pay an extra XP cost.

How much XP? Well, considering that /wish/ costs 5000 XP,
the costs must be significant. Lets just say 10 XP times
the SpLv times the minimum caster level to cast the spell
(let be gracious, and use wizard spell level advancement):
1st SpLv - 10 XP; 2nd SpLv - 30 XP; 3rd SpLv - 150 XP;
4th SpLv - 320 XP; 5th SpLv - 450 XP; 6th SpLv - 660 XP;
7th SpLv - 910 XP; 8th SpLv - 1200 XP; 9th SpLv - 1530 XP;
Which is still far cheaper than a /wish/ spell. Probably
too cheap, at that. (My first instinct was SpLv x CL x
25 XP.)

Finally, I would demand extra casting time to compensate
for the extra time clerics and druids require. I would
probably require every spell to be a full-round action
at least. I might demand more.

I'd also probably impose a 1d6 subdual damage backlash
per spell level, just for the hell of it. I'd demand the
caster to make a concentration check for 15 + SpLv +1d6
per SpLv (equal to the subdual damage taken) each time
he casts a spell.

The end result is a fairytale (or LoTR) style witch/wizard
that 'can' cast a large number of spells, but almost never
does so unless in dire straits. Very cool in paper. Likely
a bit boring to play.

And no, I do not expect anyone would want to play such a
class, which is why I don't think a combination of spon-
taneous casting and unlimited learning to be playable.

YMMV. YDMiK (Your DM is King). Good luck, and have fun!
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 3:04:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"webhed" <jreyst@gmail.com> wrote in
news:1115242245.679162.242870@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com:

> Kind of not, since the class depends on a spellbook. Its more
> like a cross between Sorcerers and Wizards in that they depend
> on a spellbook but can also cast spontaneously.

Yes - this is a massively powerful ability. WuYanei has made the
key crticism.

If you want to keep the class, make it a Prestige Class for
Sorceror with a lot of prerequisites - knowledge of Read Magic,
Scribe Scroll, Diligent, ability to spontaneously cast 5th level
arcane spells at the very least. Plus the mage should have both
INT and CHA of 10+ Spell level. Further, the number of spells
should be highly restricted - 1 plus bonus spells.

Another way of doing it might be by reducing the class to Feats.
After all, it's the ability to spontaneously cast a greater
variety of spells that you want.

Feat: Memorised spellcasting. Prerequisite: Diligent, ability to
spontaneously cast arcane spells, Wizard level 1. You may memorise
spells from a spellbook as if you were a wizard. This takes up one
of your daily slots. You must have both an INT and CHA of 10 +
spell level to memorise and cast the spell. Spell level
adjustment: +3 (this feels low).

Feat: Improved Memorised Spellcasting. Prerequisite: MS. Benefit:
You can recall a spell in your spellbook. Spell level adjustment:
+4 (this also feels low).
Anonymous
May 5, 2005 7:43:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

webhed <jreyst@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Ideally though, I'd like to see someone come up with an arcane
> spellcaster as described, casts spells from book, can cast any spell
> he knows, as many times as he likes, does not memorize them, takes a
> long time to cast because of flipping through book or holding it in
> one hand while making gestures with the other, and some sort of
> fatigue element for balance thrown in. I'm not trying to be broke
> here, just looking for a different angle on the wizard is all :) 

That's more easily modeled by just not preparing all his spell slots,
and preparing and casting as needed. This takes a minimum of 15
minutes -- it's useless in combat, is very useful for out of combat (or
combat you can prepare for... "Okay, we'll be facing a thing that's
susceptible to fire damage? Lemme get /fireball/ ready")


Keith
--
Keith Davies "Trying to sway him from his current kook-
keith.davies@kjdavies.org rant with facts is like trying to create
keith.davies@gmail.com a vacuum in a room by pushing the air
http://www.kjdavies.org/ out with your hands." -- Matt Frisch
May 5, 2005 6:56:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

> Spontaneous casting should NOT coexist with hundreds of available
> spells. It is A XOR B choice. Your DM could certainly allow it, but he
> should be aware that within four or five levels, the non-caster
> classes (and any other caster class, such as cleric, driud, wizard etc)
> will become absolutely eclipsed by spontaneous-plus-no known-spell
> limit casters.

I have allowed wizard characters to spontaneously cast their spells for as
long as I have played this game and have no end of fighters / rogues /
barbarian / etc. characters lining up to play. Those that I have seen have
never gotten bored because the fellow next to him could pick between all the
spells recorded on the character sheet and his fighter (who could never cast
a spell in the first place) could not. All the classes have their roles and
they retain them despite a wizard who can spontaneously cast all his spells.
What such freedom does do IME is seriously slow down gameplay if you allow
the player to spend time on every round trying to decide which spell his
character is going to cast that round.
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 2:46:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Tristan wrote:
> I have allowed wizard characters to spontaneously cast their spells
> for as long as I have played this game and have no end of fighters /
> rogues / barbarian / etc. characters lining up to play.

I've seen this claim many times, and it's always a DM or a spellcaster
expert saying it. I've played in such games as a non-spellcaster, and
it's extremely irritating. I'll still play a fighter or rogue despite
such a rule, because that's what I prefer to play, but it doesn't make
the rule any less irritating.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 10:58:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Rock-Viper wrote:
> I have never like the idea that mages forget their spells after they
are
> cast. My groupd played around with the mage class quite a bit (2E)
and
> came up with some workable wizard Kits. This looks like a good start
with
> some tweaking and playtestig you might have a pretty good character
on
> your hands.

But we're talking about a 3E game and wizards don't forget their spells
after they cast them. I hate to say this, but RTFM.
May 6, 2005 2:03:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

> I've seen this claim many times, and it's always a DM or a spellcaster
> expert saying it. I've played in such games as a non-spellcaster, and
> it's extremely irritating. I'll still play a fighter or rogue despite
> such a rule, because that's what I prefer to play, but it doesn't make
> the rule any less irritating.

Dismiss it if you like. It doesn't change the fact that I have, as a DM,
never seen a problem with it nor heard a single complaint from *any* of my
players in over 15 years of gaming.

Assertations that it is overpowered are lacking in any concrete proof as
surely as ascertations that it is not is also lacking in concrete proof.

Toodles.
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 4:58:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

>Finally, have you looked at the Spell Point system in the UA and do
you
>feel it provides Wizards too much power? Just curious what your
>thoughts are on those rules.

I have finally found the time to page through my copy of UA.

.... first of all, notice that the Spell Point variant *does* limit the
castable spell lest each day. A wizard would have four spells 'ready'
per spell level, plus a number of spells equal to his bonus spells.
This is *drastically* different from 'choose any spell you know'. A
mid-level wizard might know several dozens of spells, some of which
might be very situation specific. If you are forced to choose a spell
list of four to five spell per level, you face a choice on whether to
include these situationally powerful, but rarely used spells. This
drastically limits the caster's flexibility, and so provides balance.

However, *on the very next page* in UA (P154), it is written: "The
spell point system dramatically expands the versatility of a
spellcaster... In general, spellcasters become more powerful -- though
they aren't capable of casting any spell they couldn't cast before,
they they are now capable of casting more high-level spell per day,
*and more of whichever spells they need.* " (Emphasis mine.)

The book then goes on to mention several possible ways to 'balance' the
additional power gained through Spell Point casting.

Therefore, I think we can agree that Spell Point system dramatically
increases the power of a spell-user.

Now, whether this power increase is *overpowering* or not is highly
campaign specific. However, my own experience is that a mid-high level
wizard is powerful enough that he does not need such a boost. With the
limit of choosing a spell list each day, it is not *yet* overpowering,
though I would not allow it in my games.

Of course, such a caster would only be balanced if *everybody else*
also used the Spell Point system. You also might have to give out extra
magic items to fighter-types in order to balance the power-level of
casters vs. non-casters. I still do not think a 'spontantous casting
plus no spells-known limit' caster class can be balanced into standard
(i.e. non-variant) D&D without basically making the class unplayable.
Hence my reply to the 'dower mage' class.
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 6:42:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Tristan wrote:
> "WuYanei" wrote in message
> >
>
> I have not seen this problem or a need to grant extra loot to
non-wizards.

It was just one possible solution.

Perhaps you are simply fortunate enough to have a fine group of
players, who don't try to abuse the freedom you grant them. I envy you
if that is the case, but certainly we can agree that such freedom is
highly *abusable*, can we not?

> As to proof, I don't think you can prove it either way. But just
saying a
> thing is so, doesn't make it so. Hence, if we are to have a
discussion
> about whether it is balanced or not, some type of evidence of
imbalance
> should be presented. Unless you go from the assumption that it
"isn't that
> way now, so to make it that way imbalances it." I don't buy that so
I
> posted.

Which is certainly within the spirit of the USENet! ^_^

I have no 'proof' to present you, except the statement that, IME, there
*are* such players that they will take advantage of abusable rules, and
that unlimited spell learning plus spontaneous casting *can* be
horribly abused.

For example, a wizard could simply learn metamagicked versions of
*every spell*, then basically use every metamagic ability in existance
without ever learning the feats. (Even if you argue that 'you cannot
develop the spell unless you know the feat', the player can simply say
that wizards write their spells down, and can share spells with each
other. It gets even worse if there are two or more casters in the
party.) Normally, such abuse is limited because a wizard must prepair
spells beforehand -- she is forced to choose between a higher level
spell or a metamagicked spell. That is to say, she will only prepair a
limited number of metamagicked spells at most. However, with
spontantous casting a wizard can choose whether to 'metamagic' in situ,
which is far, far more powerful.

Another way to abuse spontaneous casting is to develop individual
spells that grant a bonus to one single skill check or ability check,
such as +20 Move Silently, Diplomacy, Bluff or Open Locks. Sorcerers
normally never learn such spells, as their use is too limited. Wizards
might learn the spells, but would not prepair it unless they
anticipate its use. With unlimited spontaneous casting, you can
reliably get +20 or more to *every single skill check*. And this is
totally within the rules. Spells that are highly useful is specific
situations, such as Dimensional Anchor or Dismissal, also fall into
this catagory.

The various hindering spells (spells that take you out of battle unless
you save) are also highly abusable. A wizard generally has only four or
five spells per level. This means that he can prepair one buff, on
utility, one Will, one Reflex, and one Fort spell per level at most. If
he prepairs more than one spell of a catagory, he must give up on
others. This in turn means that if a Fighter saves against a wizard's
Dominate Person, it is unlikely that the wizard will have another
Dominate Person prepaired unless the wizard gives up on some other
ability (Ref, Fort, Buff or Utility). If the wizard does so, he runs
the risk of being unprepaired for a different type of challenge (for
example, Dominate Person is less useful against enemy spellcasters, who
have good Will saves.) With unlimited spontaneous casting OTOH, the
wizard can cast several (including higher-level spell slots!) Dominate
Persons in a row, until he finally succeeds. The same wizard could also
cast Feeblemind against enemy casters, Dismissal against a rampaging
Hezrou, Teleport, Telekinesis or Baleful Polymorph, as the situation
demands.

I do not know if you consider the above 'evidence of imbalance'. It
certainly would require some fancy footwork on the part of the DM to
prevent. Scrolls and other items do not compair, becuase unless the DM
is really lazy, you would not have more than five or six scrolls on
hand. Furthurmore, scrolls are self-limiting because they are
exaustable, and thus players are more relucent to use them. Pearls of
Power also do not compair, because the pearls only help you recall a
spell you have already prepaired.

In conclusion, if you have allowed unlimited spontaneous casting for 15
years and have no problem, I must say you are very fortunate to have
such good players. However, the examplesof abuse listed above should
provide 'evidence' that such a rule is imbalanced, unless the players
restrain themselves voluntionarly.
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 8:00:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

[When you quote people, please cite their names.]

Bradd wrote:
>> I've seen this claim many times, and it's always a DM or a spellcaster
>> expert saying it. I've played in such games as a non-spellcaster, and
>> it's extremely irritating. I'll still play a fighter or rogue despite
>> such a rule, because that's what I prefer to play, but it doesn't make
>> the rule any less irritating.

Tristan wrote:
> Dismiss it if you like. It doesn't change the fact that I have, as a
> DM, never seen a problem with it nor heard a single complaint from
> *any* of my players in over 15 years of gaming.

If you've been doing it for 15 years, I definitely call bullshit, unless
you never played AD&D past 5th level or so.

> Assertations that it is overpowered are lacking in any concrete proof
> as surely as ascertations that it is not is also lacking in concrete
> proof.
>
> Toodles.

With that kind of attitude, it's no wonder you didn't hear complaints:
They fell on deaf ears.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
May 6, 2005 8:00:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

> With that kind of attitude, it's no wonder you didn't hear complaints:
> They fell on deaf ears.

I see you still fail to provide any evidence whatsoever to support your
stance that it is overpowered.
May 6, 2005 8:47:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"WuYanei" wrote in message
>
> If you play a high-powered campaign world, it certainly would not
> matter as much. I do not know your campaign, but if I *had* to grant
> spontaneous casting to wizards-types, I would probably compensate by
> handing out more magical treasure to fighter types.

I have not seen this problem or a need to grant extra loot to non-wizards.

> However, just because you can make it work in *your* campaign does
> *not* mean that a class or ability is 'balanced'.

This is true. As I said, IME I have seen no problems at the gaming table
that arose from allowing wizards to spontaneously cast their spells beyond
the added time that each such person takes to actually take their turn and
declare their actions.

> And finally, Tristan, what would you consider 'evidence' or 'concrete
> proof' of imbalance? Personally, I would think that something as
> subjective as 'imbalance' in a D&D game would be neigh well
> unproveable.... but it would also be neigh well un-*disprovable* as
> well.

Which is similar to what I said in an earlier post.

>> Assertations that it is overpowered are lacking in any concrete proof as
>> surely as ascertations that it is not is also lacking in concrete proof.

As to proof, I don't think you can prove it either way. But just saying a
thing is so, doesn't make it so. Hence, if we are to have a discussion
about whether it is balanced or not, some type of evidence of imbalance
should be presented. Unless you go from the assumption that it "isn't that
way now, so to make it that way imbalances it." I don't buy that so I
posted.
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 11:11:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

[Please attribute your quotations to their authors.]

Bradd wrote:
>> With that kind of attitude, it's no wonder you didn't hear complaints:
>> They fell on deaf ears.

Tristan <miraumar@korinth.com> wrote:
> I see you still fail to provide any evidence whatsoever to support
> your stance that it is overpowered.

I didn't say that it was overpowered. I said that it was irritating,
which is subjective and therefore requires no additional evidence. I
would also say that it's unbalanced, because it makes spellcasters
useful in more situations and therefore increases their spotlight time
relative to the other characters.

You, on the other hand, have offered plenty of evidence to explain why
players don't complain to you about it. Unfortunately, it says more
about you than about the balance problems.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
May 6, 2005 11:11:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

> I would also say that it's unbalanced, because it makes spellcasters
> useful in more situations and therefore increases their spotlight time
> relative to the other characters.

Every character has their moment(s) to shine, regardless of whether a wizard
can cast spontaneously. Furthermore, 3x rules only make it easier for a
wizard to have the right spell at the right time regardless of his prepared
spells because it is extremely easy to create scrolls of spells that may
find use only in limited situations. This is especially true at lower
levels of play when scrolls are very cheap in both gold and XP. Creative
wizards will make use of feats such as Craft Wand to compound this, whipping
up some wands of spells they will cast all the time, freeing slots to be
used for other, limited use spells or those that they don't want to scribe.

None of this detracts from the other characters. The fighter-type remains
better at the role than a wizard, despite a (potentially) unlimited
repertoire of spells. The wizard will be dead in a heartbeat if he gets the
attention of the bad guys. The fighter can take a lickin' and keep on
tickin'.

Cleric-types have a variety of avenues open to them, not the least of which
is healing and wizards cannot impinge on that due to a total lack of healing
spells.

Rogues might grumble, but no more than they should. After all, who has the
better chance of opening a door with an Amazing lock? Level 3 rogue or
level 3 wizard (with knock on a scroll, memorized or spontaneously cast)?
Who will be more apt to go unnoticed between a rogue with 6 ranks in Hide or
an invisible wizard? Virtually everything a rogue can do, a wizard does
better excepting specific circumstances where magic is used to counter the
wizards fashion of doing things. That is not a problem related to
spontaneous casting though.

> You, on the other hand, have offered plenty of evidence to explain why
> players don't complain to you about it.

I will let those that play at my gaming table make that decision, your
opinion on this matter is uninformed and irrelevant.
Anonymous
May 6, 2005 11:11:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Tristan wrote:


> Rogues might grumble, but no more than they should. After all, who has the
> better chance of opening a door with an Amazing lock? Level 3 rogue or
> level 3 wizard (with knock on a scroll, memorized or spontaneously cast)?
> Who will be more apt to go unnoticed between a rogue with 6 ranks in Hide or
> an invisible wizard? Virtually everything a rogue can do, a wizard does
> better excepting specific circumstances where magic is used to counter the
> wizards fashion of doing things.

This is an argument that arises frequently, but I think that the
comparison between rogues and wizards is somewhat false for a group with
proper teamwork. The answer to who has the best chance of being
unnoticed is: a rogue made invisible by the team's wizard (or with a
scroll of invisibility and a good use magic item skill.)

In general, I think a better way to formulate class balance is not to
ask, who's better at a given task? But to ask, if you had a team with
a wizard and no rogues, would it be better for the team to add a second
wizard or to add a rogue? In what order would you add classes? (By
this measure, clerics still come out far ahead of everyone else IMO.
Whatever the party composition, another cleric is always welcome. A
team of only clerics would be perfectly viable, assuming they get along
and don't get caught up in theological disputes....)
Anonymous
May 7, 2005 12:32:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

[Is there some reason you refuse to attribute quotations to their
authors? Knock it off; it's rude.]

Bradd wrote:
>> I would also say that it's unbalanced, because it makes spellcasters
>> useful in more situations and therefore increases their spotlight time
>> relative to the other characters.

Tristan wrote:
> Every character has their moment(s) to shine, regardless of whether a
> wizard can cast spontaneously.

Every character has some moments. A spellcaster with unlimited
spontaneous casting gets almost moment. Can't you see the imbalance?

> Rogues might grumble, but no more than they should .... That is not a
> problem related to spontaneous casting though.

Did it not occur to you that spellcasters can step on the rogue's toes
much easier when they don't need to choose between preparing a combat
spell or an exploration spell?

>> You, on the other hand, have offered plenty of evidence to explain
>> why players don't complain to you about it.

> I will let those that play at my gaming table make that decision, your
> opinion on this matter is uninformed and irrelevant.

Riiight. Just go ahead and ignore any evidence that doesn't fit in with
your prejudices. It doesn't make you look stupid or anything.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
May 7, 2005 12:32:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Bradd W. Szonye" wrote in message
> [Is there some reason you refuse to attribute quotations to their
> authors? Knock it off; it's rude.]

You're hardly one to talk about being rude.

> Every character has some moments. A spellcaster with unlimited
> spontaneous casting gets almost moment. Can't you see the imbalance?

That statement is flat out wrong.

> Did it not occur to you that spellcasters can step on the rogue's toes
> much easier when they don't need to choose between preparing a combat
> spell or an exploration spell?

Most of their spells that mimic rogue abilities are very low-level spells.
They can prepare wands and/or scrolls with extreme ease. No reason to think
they won't, unless the player chooses to ignore those abilities of his
character.

Having said that, it is correct that in this instance, it is undoutedly
easier for a wizard to step on a rogue's toes. However, the rules already
make this ridiculously easy, it is not a spontaneious-cast problem, its a
larger problem (IMO).

> Riiight. Just go ahead and ignore any evidence that doesn't fit in with
> your prejudices. It doesn't make you look stupid or anything.

I failed to recognize that your insults had anything to do with evidence.
Anonymous
May 7, 2005 1:12:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>> [Is there some reason you refuse to attribute quotations to their
>> authors? Knock it off; it's rude.]

Tristan wrote:
> You're hardly one to talk about being rude.

Your entire argument so far boils down to "I haven't noticed anybody
complaining." How are we supposed to take you seriously when you don't
respect basic rules of communication?

>> Every character has some moments. A spellcaster with unlimited
>> spontaneous casting gets almost [every] moment. Can't you see the
>> imbalance?

> That statement is flat out wrong.

I've played with the rule in effect, and it was true in my experience.
Perhaps you have some other factor in your game that balances it out,
but on its own it's a situation prone to problems.

>> Did it not occur to you that spellcasters can step on the rogue's
>> toes much easier when they don't need to choose between preparing a
>> combat spell or an exploration spell?

> Most of their spells that mimic rogue abilities are very low-level
> spells. They can prepare wands and/or scrolls with extreme ease.

But it's not free. I've played that style of wizard before, and all
those scrolls and wands add up. You pay for the extra flexibility with
lost opportunities (i.e., less money to spend on stat boosters,
defensive items, etc.).

> No reason to think they won't, unless the player chooses to ignore
> those abilities of his character.

Or unless they want to spend their money on battle magic.

> Having said that, it is correct that in this instance, it is
> undoutedly easier for a wizard to step on a rogue's toes. However,
> the rules already make this ridiculously easy --

Untrue, unless you ignore cost as you did above.

Furthermore, you said that you haven't seen a problem in 15 years of
play. For 10 of those years, wizards didn't have easy access to scrolls
and wands; unlimited spontaneous casting /would/ be the cause in AD&D.

Did you ever hear AD&D thief players complain about it? If so, you've
just contradicted yourself. If not, then either you had very unusual
players, or you tuned out the complaints.

>> Riiight. Just go ahead and ignore any evidence that doesn't fit in
>> with your prejudices. It doesn't make you look stupid or anything.

> I failed to recognize that your insults had anything to do with evidence.

That's right, only listen to what you want to hear.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
May 7, 2005 1:23:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Tristan wrote:
> As to proof, I don't think you can prove it either way. But just
> saying a thing is so, doesn't make it so. Hence, if we are to have a
> discussion about whether it is balanced or not, some type of evidence
> of imbalance should be presented.

True. Since balance is subjective, player opinions are reasonable
evidence. I have seen many DMs and spellcasting experts claim that
unlimited spontaneous casting is balanced. I have seen warrior & rogue
fans complain that it's unbalanced. I've also seen it lead to games
where the only non-spellcasters are DM-run henchmen, except when new
players join and try out a non-spellcaster for a while until they
realize that it's just not viable to play one.

Do /you/ play warriors and rogues under those rules? If so, tell us how
you felt about it. If not, your "evidence" isn't worth much.
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
Anonymous
May 7, 2005 2:34:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Ok guys, thanks for all the comments. As I said, my DM is going to
allow the Spell Point system from UA combined with a few of the Spell
Point variants. So that question is resolved. No, its not exactly what
I was going for, but it'll do.

Anyway, I'm still looking for someone to come up with a write-up for a
base or prestige class for an arcane caster who casts spells
spontaneously from his book at the time of need, which takes longer
than normal time to cast.

I don't care if they don't get AS MANY spells as a straight Wizard, or
even if they can't cast AS OFTEN as a Sorcerer.

Can it be done?
Anonymous
May 7, 2005 5:11:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Well, in that case, something similar to the Warmage core class in
Complete Arcane might be what you are looking for. Note, however,
that the Warmage's spell list is extremely limited.... more limited, in
fact, than a normal sorcerer.

You might persuade your DM (he seems to me a easy-going sort,
from what you've told us), to allow you to tweak the spell list for a
different theme -- illusion, necromancy, conjuring, enchantment etc.
As long as the theme is both very strong and *very* narrow, I think
it would still be fine balance wise.

Alternately, just use an Int-based 'sorcerer', reduce the spells-per
day by two per spell level, and add two extra spells known per spell
level. Then simply make up the flavor text to justify everything else.
(For example: Call it a special wizard that uses a special ritual spell
book to cast spells. The spell book can only hold X spells per level
Each time the wizard wishes to cast a spell, he pages through
his special spell book -- call it an special arcane focus, analogous
to a cleric's divine focus -- draws out the 'spell matrix' of the spell
embedded in the book, then forces the raw magical energy stored
in his mind through this 'spell matrix' to create the effects of the
spell.
Game mechanically, this is the same as spontaneous casting, the
only difference lies in the flavor text.)

Basically, as long as you do not ask for an *unlimited* number of
different spells at your disposal, the balance can be worked out
without much trouble. It is the unlimited nature of a wizard's known
spells that breaks things, because you can then create highly
specialized spells for each and every situation. As long as you can
not do that, an extra spell-slot per level for a wizard (see specialist
wizard) or an extra spell known for a sorcerer (basically, a free
feat every two levels), can be easily adapted for (you will have
to pay for it, though).
Anonymous
May 9, 2005 11:50:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Tristan wrote:
> "WuYanei" wrote in message
> > Perhaps you are simply fortunate enough to have
> > a fine group of players, who don't try to abuse
> > the freedom you grant them. I envy you if that is
> > the case, but certainly we can agree that such
> > freedom is highly *abusable*, can we not?
>
> I am fortunate in my player base. I have 1 player (of 10)
> that is the kind of fellow that seeks to abuse the rules
> whenever he can. The others don't. That player doesn't
> play wizards though. He tends to play rogues although
> since the 3.5 Psionic Handbook came out he has not played
> any character other than a psion.
>
> <snip lots of good points>
>
> I will not refute any of those points you made. They all
> represent fashions that a spontaneous system could easily
> be abused. Perhaps I am just a lucky fellow (or maybe
> horribly unobservant) as I have never noticed my players
> taking advantage of the system.

Well then, I congratulate you on your good fortune and
register my envy. You lucky bast_rd, you. .^_^.

> One note... I do not think it is a bad thing that through
> spontaneous casting they can choose to use Fort spells
> against certain monsters and Will spells against others,
> etc.

On many D&D boards the issue of class smack-down comes up
once in a while, and the general agreement is that a well-
prepaired wizard would trump any other class, easily.

Allowing casters to match their spells against their op-
ponents' spontaneously is basically the same as 'always'
giving a wizard a full-day to prepair before any battle.
It might not be exactly *overwhelming*, but it would
certainly increase the wizard's combat power by at least
+2 or greater CR (ie. more than doubles their power).

It is not that a an intelligent caster would not try to
attack her opponent's weaknesses. It is that the opponent
should be allowed, with some planning, to lure or misguide
the caster into depleting her spells of a certain type.
With spontaneous casting, this will not happen until the
caster runs out of spells, which in turn will not (usually)
happen before the party runs out of hit points! (i.e.
before the party must rest.)

A skillful DM can adapt, so it might trouble you less, or
not at all. This is really up to you, so no real disagree-
ment here.

> > I do not know if you consider the above 'evidence of
> > imbalance'.
>
> IMO some of it is evidence of *potential* imbalance if
> the DM allowed it to get that way and some of it are
> features of a spontaneous system (specifically being
> able to pick the save type based on the critter your
> faced with).

Gaming styles vary greatly, so discussion of balance
on the Net will always be somewhat subjective. Since
I have found, to my dismay, that it is *far* more
difficult to take something (unbalancing) away from a
player than to prevent the inbalance from the outset,
I only allow potentially unbalancing abilities into
my games very relucently, if at all. I prefer to set
the rules clearly, then relax them gradually if they
are found to be too restrictive in play. This is
simply a difference in style, I suppose.

But I still would not allow spontaneous casting to
be combined with unlimited spell learning.

> There is no doubt that a spontaneous wizard is more
> resourceful than a non-spontaneous. And no doubt that
> the same wizard is more powerful. My observations
> have been that this change in power does not unbalance
> the game.

*nods* Then on the issue of power (and potential abuse),
we have agreement.

The latter part is probably more a function of playing
style than anything else. Especially on the highly
subjective issue of 'unbalance'.

There are many different playing styles, and none are
really *right* or *wrong*. If your players enjoy the
game your are DMing, all is well with the world. .^_^.
May 9, 2005 12:21:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Bradd W. Szonye"...

> Do /you/ play warriors and rogues under those rules? If so, tell us how
> you felt about it. If not, your "evidence" isn't worth much.

I play warriors almost 100% of the time when I am a player in a game. I
spend most of my time (about 70%) as the DM. All of the games in our group
run with the same house rules, so when I play a warrior it is with the
spontaneous-spellcasting rules for wizards. I have never thought that my
time was impinged upon by a spontaneous casting wizard.
May 9, 2005 12:30:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"WuYanei" wrote in message
> Perhaps you are simply fortunate enough to have a fine group of
> players, who don't try to abuse the freedom you grant them. I envy you
> if that is the case, but certainly we can agree that such freedom is
> highly *abusable*, can we not?

I am fortunate in my player base. I have 1 player (of 10) that is the kind
of fellow that seeks to abuse the rules whenever he can. The others don't.
That player doesn't play wizards though. He tends to play rogues although
since the 3.5 Psionic Handbook came out he has not played any character
other than a psion.

<snip lots of good points>

I will not refute any of those points you made. They all represent fashions
that a spontaneous system could easily be abused. Perhaps I am just a lucky
fellow (or maybe horribly unobservant) as I have never noticed my players
taking advantage of the system.

One note... I do not think it is a bad thing that through spontaneous
casting they can choose to use Fort spells against certain monsters and Will
spells against others, etc.

> I do not know if you consider the above 'evidence of imbalance'.

IMO some of it is evidence of *potential* imbalance if the DM allowed it to
get that way and some of it are features of a spontaneous system
(specifically being able to pick the save type based on the critter your
faced with).

There is no doubt that a spontaneous wizard is more resourceful than a
non-spontaneous. And no doubt that the same wizard is more powerful. My
observations have been that this change in power does not unbalance the
game.
May 9, 2005 12:36:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Bradd W. Szonye" ...
>> Most of their spells that mimic rogue abilities are very low-level
>> spells. They can prepare wands and/or scrolls with extreme ease.
>
> But it's not free. I've played that style of wizard before, and all
> those scrolls and wands add up.

I was not ignoring cost. In the specific example of a rogue, my point is
that many of the spells that mimic their abilities are very low level, and
therefore cheap to produce. Not free certainly, but cheap.

> Furthermore, you said that you haven't seen a problem in 15 years of
> play. For 10 of those years, wizards didn't have easy access to scrolls
> and wands; unlimited spontaneous casting /would/ be the cause in AD&D.
>
> Did you ever hear AD&D thief players complain about it? If so, you've
> just contradicted yourself. If not, then either you had very unusual
> players, or you tuned out the complaints.

No, my players did not complain during AD&D rules, they did not complain
during 3.0 rules and they are not presently complaining durnig 3.5 rules.
Despite your (apparant) belief, I do listen to the feedback of my players
and alter or eliminate house rules based on such feedback. In the area of
spontaneous casting, I have *never* heard any complaints from *any* of my
players.
Anonymous
May 9, 2005 8:53:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>> But it's not free. I've played that style of wizard before, and all
>> those scrolls and wands add up.

Tristan wrote:
> I was not ignoring cost. In the specific example of a rogue, my point
> is that many of the spells that mimic their abilities are very low
> level, and therefore cheap to produce. Not free certainly, but cheap.

The cost is high enough that a wizard can't casually emulate a rogue.
Also, the rogue can usually do the same thing cheaper or faster than a
magic item, and in the rare case that he can't, the rogue can use the
item himself via Use Magic Device. The potential for crowding a rogue's
niche is pretty low in by-the-book D&D3.

However, if you let wizards and sorcerers cast those spells freely, they
can match or exceed the rogue's flexibility, cost, and speed.

>> Furthermore, you said that you haven't seen a problem in 15 years of
>> play. For 10 of those years, wizards didn't have easy access to
>> scrolls and wands; unlimited spontaneous casting /would/ be the cause
>> in AD&D.
>>
>> Did you ever hear AD&D thief players complain about it? If so, you've
>> just contradicted yourself. If not, then either you had very unusual
>> players, or you tuned out the complaints.

> No, my players did not complain during AD&D rules, they did not
> complain during 3.0 rules and they are not presently complaining
> durnig 3.5 rules.

You're contradicting yourself. Either they did complain about the magic-
user vs thief problems in AD&D, or they remained silent despite real
balance problems in the game. If the latter is true, then they cannot be
trusted as evidence. If the former is true, then we cannot trust your
claim that nobody complained.

> Despite your (apparant) belief, I do listen to the feedback of my
> players and alter or eliminate house rules based on such feedback. In
> the area of spontaneous casting, I have *never* heard any complaints
> from *any* of my players.

Then how did you know about the magic-user vs rogue issue? Does it
impeach your players, or does it impeach you?
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
May 9, 2005 8:53:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Bradd W. Szonye"...
> You're contradicting yourself. Either they did complain about the magic-
> user vs thief problems in AD&D, or they remained silent despite real
> balance problems in the game.

No, I am not contradicting myself. I never maintained that players did not
complain about a wizards ability to emulate the rogue class. We have
crossed into a new line of conversation on that topic. The statement of
fact is that they have never complained about wizards being allowed to
spontaneously cast their spells.
Anonymous
May 9, 2005 8:54:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Tristan wrote:
> IMO some of it is evidence of *potential* imbalance if the DM allowed
> it to get that way --

A system that requires DM babysitting is not "balanced."
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
May 9, 2005 8:54:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Bradd W. Szonye"
> A system that requires DM babysitting is not "balanced."

Better not play D&D then.
Anonymous
May 9, 2005 11:27:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>> You're contradicting yourself. Either they did complain about the
>> magic-user vs thief problems in AD&D, or they remained silent despite
>> real balance problems in the game.

Tristan wrote:
> No, I am not contradicting myself. I never maintained that players
> did not complain about a wizards ability to emulate the rogue class.
> ... The statement of fact is that they have never complained about
> wizards being allowed to spontaneously cast their spells.

That's disingenuous, since the niche invasion is largely due to
spontaneous wizard spells!
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
May 9, 2005 11:27:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Bradd W. Szonye" ...
> That's disingenuous, since the niche invasion is largely due to
> spontaneous wizard spells!

Are you really this stupid or are you just pretending? You have accused me
of two things to which you are guilty. Being rude and ignoring any argument
beyond those that support my stance.

Hello pot, I am the kettle.
Anonymous
May 10, 2005 12:21:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Bradd W. Szonye wrote:
>> That's disingenuous, since the niche invasion is largely due to
>> spontaneous wizard spells!

Tristan wrote:
> Are you really this stupid or are you just pretending? You have accused me
> of two things to which you are guilty. Being rude and ignoring any argument
> beyond those that support my stance.
>
> Hello pot, I am the kettle.

WTF?
--
Bradd W. Szonye
http://www.szonye.com/bradd
!