Forums Archive RPGMP3 Chatter World’s Largest Dungeon Wizard progression (GM discussion/ variant rules)

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  • #552253
    bredbored
    • Posts : 21
    • Commoner

    I know the book suggests you dissuade your players from choosing to play Wizards. Naturally we ignored this. So now the wiz has gone up a level he wants his extra “automatic” spells, which I’ve denied him (where would they come from?)

    And now he has found a spell book, we’re appreciating the fact that the normal rules say he should sit and study a 1st level one for a solid 2 days before he has the chance to understand it, which is a bit… unlikely.

    So, I’m proposing an amended system where the Wizard sets aside a slot for the new spell between rest periods, does the normal Spellcraft checks before and after, and if he passes these can write the spell into his own book.

    Who else is handling spell acquisition differently?

    #563975
    SteveB
    • Posts : 136
    • Orc

    You could always rule that the ‘automatic’ spells for going up levels have to come from the captured spellbooks. Make the wizard do a spellcraft roll, but let it not take too long – a sudden inspiration, he’s been using and manipulating magic successfully for a while, and, with “an alteration here and an extra letter in there, you know I think this might work,…” – you could let him prepare the spell from the captured spellbook as if it were his own (so long as he has learnt it with his spellcraft roll, of course).

    Might take the edge off the cost too 8)

    What do you guys think?

    #563976
    bredbored
    • Posts : 21
    • Commoner

    Hi Steve

    Yes, I have included a proviso that, for two spells per level, our wizard can bypass the spellcraft checks altogether. He still has to use up a slot between rest periods “thinking” about it, though.

    I’m happy to stick with the repeated spellcraft check rolls to memorise a spell from a captured spellbook per the standard rules.

    Kingsley

    #563977
    Wellard
    • Posts : 194
    • Orc

    I would agree on the two “free” spells a level and allow them to come from any source the party aqquires

    On a side note I can’t believe that Hal allowed Balazzar to have the most broken spell still in the game by which I mean Evards Black Tentacles(not so bad for a wizard I suppose but a Sorcerer with it can totally unbalance a game as I have found to my cost)especially when the book specifically says you should not let players have it(along with Grease and Web)

    #563978
    Dragonkin
    • Posts : 485
    • Thri-kreen

    At least it wasn’t Evan’s Spiked Tentacles of Forced Intrusion… now that is an evil spell.

    ( http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/GiantIT … ript?SK=20 for those to whom the reference wasn’t obvious) =)

    #563979
    Quillion
    • Posts : 35
    • Flumph
    Quote:
    “(where would they come from?) “

    The same place the first wizard spell every came from, the brain of a wizard. I mean other than multiclassing, the character has studied wizardy at Hogwarts and all that. The idea that a wizard can only get spells from a spell book, yes it might be easier but it does not mean that on my own I cannot come to an understanding of how a spell I could not comprehend I now can comprehend and scribe it in my book, well to me that is just applied knowledge from experiance (gasp!)

    What would you do if he just took 8 hours out of the day (you don’t actually take the whole day) to do research lol?

    #563980
    Anonymous
    • Posts : 1113
    • Owlbear

    I make my wizard take an extra hour of rest each morning to do research. If he does it consistantly I let him have his two free spells per level. I also let him transcribe a one spell level every hour spent this way, so for example, three days after he found a third level spell from a scroll, he was able to cast it himself. It makes the class workable, without straining thier suspension of disbelief too much.

    #563981
    bredbored
    • Posts : 21
    • Commoner
    Quillion wrote:
    Quote:
    “(where would they come from?) “

    The same place the first wizard spell every came from, the brain of a wizard.

    Hmmm, that doesn’t wash with me. A Sorceror could argue this point, but not a wizard who’s spending most of each and every day in a cold, damp, hostile environment with all-but-no letup from being attacked.

    Quote:
    What would you do if he just took 8 hours out of the day?

    I’d play it out, but… He’s in the WLD. IMO, that just isn’t going to happen; where is he going to get time to do nothing but sit and read? What is he going to read and research with? To play it by the rules, either the party hole him up in a “safe” room with a magic reference library and he misses out on chunks of the adventure, or the whole party sits it out in that same room for days on end (food and light resources allowing). I don’t see much roleplaying there – what party of danger seeking adventurers is going to voluntarily sit around for two days doing nothing whilst their weedy bookworm tries to learn Magic Weapon?

    Again, a Sorceror has a case for self-teaching, but 3e Wizardry is all based on book learning and the study of other’s work, not just innate ability. Creating new spells is a major undertaking.

    Yes, a wizard has been trained. However, the (often rather clumsy) 3e attempts to balance classes make it clear that Wizards have to study and do research to learn new spells. This is the price they pay for being able to have virtually every spell at their disposal, whilst Sorcerors can only learn a few. I’m trying to find a middle ground where the party wizard doesn’t feel completely shafted by the system.

    #563982
    WerewolfPaladin
    • Posts : 418
    • Thri-kreen

    Our GM has thankfully managed to sidestep this issue as our party contains no wizards. However, I would think you need to make some allowances for the strange nature of the dungeon itself. Most of the time my group ignores the whole “you need time when you change levels” thing for all the classes, just to ease everything.

    #563983
    Quillion
    • Posts : 35
    • Flumph
    Quote:
    Hmmm, that doesn’t wash with me. A Sorceror could argue this point, but not a wizard who’s spending most of each and every day in a cold, damp, hostile environment with all-but-no letup from being attacked.

    I disagree completely, a wizard is casting spells because he understands what he is doing, he knows what a spell is and exactly how and why it works, he is a trained sage of the arcane arts, he has forgotten more about magic than the sorcerer will ever know. By game rules when he reaches a certain level of experiance one of the spells he studied at hogwarts suddenly just makes sense, in my game I also allow the wizard to get a new spell whenever he gains a permanent point of intelligence.

    The wizards penalty is in that he has to prepare his spells ahead of time. You are penalzing him further, by not allowing him to fill up his spellbook.

    #563984
    bredbored
    • Posts : 21
    • Commoner
    Quillion wrote:
    I disagree completely, a wizard is casting spells because he understands what he is doing, he knows what a spell is and exactly how and why it works, he is a trained sage of the arcane arts…

    True enough.

    Quillion wrote:
    …he has forgotten more about magic than the sorcerer will ever know.

    *shrugs* Probably true, but given how Sorcerors work I’m not sure how this is relevant to either class.

    Quillion wrote:
    By game rules when he reaches a certain level of experiance one of the spells he studied at hogwarts suddenly just makes sense,

    I accept a similar logic for gaining Feats. That is – at Fighter school, you’ll all have been shown the basics of Cleave or Expertise; it’s just a case of practising enough to use them properly (instead of Dodge or Mobility etc.). Gain an experience level and you’ve been practising that chosen feat enough to exploit its benefits at will.

    However, my interpretation of the PHB section on “Spells Gained at a New Level”;

    WotC PHB v3 pp155 wrote:
    Wizards perform a certain amount of spell research between adventures. Each time a wizard achieves a new level, she gains two spells of her choice to add to her spellbook. These spells represent the results of her research.

    Since the wizard in the dungeon has had no facility to do this research, I’m denying them this automated gain until they’ve found a source of new spells to learn from; at that point, two spells can be learnt without making the normal DC15+spell level Spellcraft check. I’m assuming there are good game-balance reasons why WotC made it relatively tricky for Wizards to gain new spells when the e.g. feats and combat bonuses for the more martial classes are essentially automatic.

    To me, all this doesn’t seem like practising a feat at all, unless your spellbook already has all the spells written out and you’re just concentrating on understanding how each one works.

    Quillion wrote:
    in my game I also allow the wizard to get a new spell whenever he gains a permanent point of intelligence.

    That’s an interesting variation, I’ve not considered that.

    Have you accepted the suggestion from the WLD designers to deny players e.g. Web, Grease, Summon Monster? I’m half-tempted to give them a wand of Web with perhaps two charges left in it so they *really* think before using it.

    Quillion wrote:
    The wizards penalty is in that he has to prepare his spells ahead of time.

    That is one of the downsides to the wizard class compared to sorcerors, yes. The often overwhelming power of even modest level spells is fairly balanced by the fact that your wizard may not actually have learnt the right one last night!

    Quillion wrote:
    You are penalzing him further, by not allowing him to fill up his spellbook.

    Per the opening post of the thread, I’m interpreting the strict rules in a rather lax manner to help the Wizard. I’m not sure that could be called penalising.

    I suggest we need to agree to disagree on the bulk of this since our viewpoints seem to be so far apart. So long as our groups are both enjoying their games, everyone’s happy!

    #563985
    Quillion
    • Posts : 35
    • Flumph
    Quote:
    “Have you accepted the suggestion from the WLD designers to deny players e.g. Web, Grease, Summon Monster? “

    No, the whole suggestion that you should ban a spell from the core rules is lazy, rather than tell designers, you have to think about web, grease, summon monster X when you designing, the choice was made to ban it rather than do the work of making the dungeon work with these spells included.

    It was lazy not too build the WLD to accommodate the core rules.

    You do not ban the use of abilities; you require their use. You design certain encounters so that certain encounters do not do well against a particular set of abilities, allowing that character to shine.

    Lazy adventure design: We don’t like X about the d20 system so lets ban it, it’s too tough to make it balanced or even function in the world’s largest dungeon.

    Industrious adventure design: We require encounters in the WLD that are easier or harder if you summon, have a druid, have a wizard, have teleport, have etherealness, have planeshift,

    Example: we do not like summoning because it allows players to have a trap dummy

    Solution 1: Ban summoning

    Solution 2: the trap triggers when the fourth person passes through the door.

    Solution 3: This trap takes control of any summoned creature in a 100’ radius and has them attack their master.

    “I’m half-tempted to give them a wand of Web with perhaps two charges left in it so they *really* think before using it.”

    One why would they know how many charges it would have, they might now it is low but not that it has two charges. Let them use it, but let a monster have one himself.

    RANT

    I really hate this web problem thing

    web has a save of reflex negates, (but then the spell description says entangle on a succeful save.), Then to deal with it you need a decent strength or dex/escape artists skill (but you can take a 20).

    but in the end a web is flamable a monster with a torch or 0th level fire spell will make this spell useless.

    Even then if you don’t like the spell then make a house ruling, if you make the reflex save your not affected period, no entangle no nothing.

    . “These masses must be anchored to two or more solid and diametrically opposed points or else the web collapses upon itself and disappears. “

    well I can think of 3 regions off the top of my head where this does not happen at all.

    “If you have at least 5 feet of web between you and an opponent, it provides cover. If you have at least 20 feet of web between you, it provides total cover.”

    so what is the big deal this works both ways, you can’t cast spells or use ranged weapons at the creature on the other side most of the time because you have total cover (not concelement) unless you cast fireball (which then there is no web)

    Do I like this spell? No. Do I ban it, No. most of the monsters in the dungeon are smarter than me anything I come up with to deal with web, I am sure then deal with it better.

    #563986
    Wellard
    • Posts : 194
    • Orc

    Ok let me give you the reason why Evards Black Tentacles has totally unbalanced my current campaign to the point where the PLAYERS(other than the sorcerer who uses it) want it banned.

    The base grapple is caster level +8,he’s a 10th level sorcerer so the base is 18. However he has throughout the campaign only cast it against foes he knows can’t break free from even a minimum grapple(his one attempt agaist a giant was an abject failure) and generally uses it in 10 ft corridors.

    So the encounters in dungeons go like this.Sorcerer gains initiative(he has a +7 on his rolls),casts EBT then party waits whilst tentacles kill opposition,rinse and repeat leading to boredom for rest of party.

    The campaign is currently in hiatus while I try to find a solution to the problem.I don’t want to ban the spell but am seriously thinking about cheating initiative so the opposition get a chance to do something before he does

    As for the Web rant remember that a web set on fire does 2d4 damage to those caught in it.

    #563987
    bredbored
    • Posts : 21
    • Commoner
    Wellard wrote:
    … then party waits whilst tentacles kill opposition,rinse and repeat leading to boredom for rest of party.

    Yup, I can see that’s pretty overwhelming.

    Wellard wrote:
    The campaign is currently in hiatus while I try to find a solution to the problem.I don’t want to ban the spell but am seriously thinking about cheating initiative so the opposition get a chance to do something before he does

    I don’t see a solution now the precedent has been set. Except… how about using the suggestion in the sourcebook, that summoned creatures can’t escape – introduce that at the next Region. Justification: The celestial magic is stronger now they’re further in and won’t let anything out. So the tentacles appear, kill the monsters, then stick around preventing the party from progressing/ collecting treasure etc. Should be good for a laugh! I might even argue in that situation that the party didn’t defeat the original foes (as the tentacles are an independent entity once summoned) so aren’t entitled to any XPs for the encounter…

    All the spells mentioned are hugely powerful in a traditional dungeon setting (narrow corridors and human-scale rooms). Where a dungeon is just a part of an overall campaign, thet’s not a particular problem. But I imagine AEG’s playtesters soon found that any arcane spellcaster with the likes of Web or EBT had such an overwhelming advantage that it was impossible to structure the encounters so a party with and without such a resource were equally challenged. I don’t personally see this as lazy, it’s an acceptance of fact. No scenario is going to be equally suitable for every combination of race and class. It’s certainly no more lazy than pointing out that a Druid isn’t going to be the most valuable team member in a rock-hewn cavern. If it were the World’s Largest Fire-Plane Adventure I wouldn’t be thinking that there aren’t enough baddies to suit the Sorceror with Fireball and Flaming Sphere as his prime offensive spells.

    There’s the guideline in the DMG on creation of new spells, along the lines of “a spell is too low a level if you can’t imagine a spellcaster choosing it above the others available to him”. If I was playing a Sorceror in the DMG I’m sure I’d have Web on my learn list as soon as I was able; I think it therefore fails this test in this specific setting.

    #563988
    Wellard
    • Posts : 194
    • Orc

    you know that hadn’t occured to me but then this party isn’t going to be going to the WLD anyway(they are in an alternative Kingdoms of Kalamar setting and I want to put the WLD in the Wilderlands of High Fantasy) but I will keep it in mind for the future 😈

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