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    Canonfire :: View topic - 4e Wizards Will Be, Different...
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    4e Wizards Will Be, Different...
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    Adept Greytalker

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    Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:15 pm  
    4e Wizards Will Be, Different...

    Welp,

    They finally dropped some info on what Wizards will be like in 4e... get ready for an expansion of Monte Cooke's Magister class from Arcana Evolved. The short of it, wizards use 4 different focuses in various combos to emphasis their magic. If they are without a focus they can still use magic, but a reduced ability.

    Here is the link and the text:
    http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20070917a&authentic=true

    For those unwilling to sign up at WotC, here is the article by Bruce Cordell:

    Quote:

    Magic saturates the world and all the extraordinary realms beyond the world. Magic is an intrinsic force present in literally all things. Magic transforms and alters the natural world, sometimes actively and suddenly, other times subtly and over long centuries.

    This arcane energy source is difficult to understand and even tougher to master. Those who do so through years of study, practice, and apprenticeship to accomplished masters are called wizards.

    Wizards wield arcane magic. Wizards recognize reality for what it is: a thin veneer of structure supported and energized by a force that is ultimately changeable, to those who know its secrets. Thus wizards research esoteric rituals that allow them to alter time and space, hurl balls of fire that incinerate massed foes, and wield spells like warriors brandish swords. They call upon arcane strikes, power words, and spells to unleash raging torrents of cold, fire, or lighting, confuse and enthrall the weak-minded, or even turn invisible or walk through walls.

    What sets wizards apart from others who attempt to wield arcane magic are wizardsí unique implements.

    Most people recognize the four classic tools associated with wizardcraft: The Orb, Staff, Tome, or Wand.

    Each implement focuses magic of a particular class slightly better than the wizard would be able to accomplish bare-handed. Thus wizards are rarely without wand and staff, orb and tome, or some other combination thereof.

    A wizardís orb grants better access to powers of terrain control and manipulation (such as clouds and walls), as well as retributive effects, detection and perception effects, and invisibility.

    The staff is best suited to powers that forcefully project powers from the wizard, such as lines of lightning and cones of fire; however, a staff also has resonances with effects related to flight and telekinesis (pushing, pulling, or sliding creatures or objects).

    A tome is tied to powers that reduce or neutralize an enemyís capability in combat in some fashion, whether by slowing the foe, dazing, or through some other fashion. Tomes are also often important for spells of teleportation, summoning, shapechanging, and a few physical enhancement effects.

    The wand is a perennial favorite, as it is an ideal conduit for powers that create effects well away from the wizardís physical position, effects which include explosions of fire, bursts of cold, and other long-range effects that can affect several enemies at once. In addition, personal protections and countermagic effects may lie in wands.

    Thus a wizard without an implement is like a slightly near-sighted man with glasses; the man can still see, but without his glasses, he canít read the road sign across the way. In like wise, while wizard powers are associated with a particular implement, a wizard need not possess or hold a given implement to use its associated power. For instance, a wizard can cast the wand spell cinder storm even if he doesnít own, has lost, or is not holding a magic wand. However, holding the associated implement grants a benefit to the wizardís attack that is just like the benefit the warrior gains when attacking an enemy with a magic sword.


    Needless to say this will have an impact on how Greyhawk deals with wizards... definitely thinking that if I ever run a 4e game, I am going to advance the time line and retcon some stuff...

    Bryan Blumklotz
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    Mon Sep 17, 2007 12:45 am  

    In terms of flavor, I don't have anything against this change. Arcanists are often portayed as channeling their powers through some sort of focus. Dragon once published a set of rules about how wizards could get more out of their staffs and use them as alternate familiars. (Issue #338 if you're interested)

    But what does this mean for specialising in schools of magic? And what do sorcerers get? In terms of rules, I file this under "Wait and see".
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    Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:08 am  

    I really wish WotC would stop jacking around and give us a little real information. But, since that's not likely to happen, here's my opinion:

    At first glance I suspect this might be a good design change. Wizards since 1e have suffered from a certain lack of playability due to the limitations on their powers. 3e/3.5e wizards are worse than 1e/2e wizards, IMO, and the fact that they've become the least popular class supports this assertion. A wizard who can still continue to function without having to run home after every battle to recharge his spells is a truly useful idea.

    HOWEVER - once again WotC is giving us a change that is (relatively) unnecessary and that is easily overcome by simply learning to use the class properly. Even a 3.5e wizard who makes proper use of scrolls/potions/wands can last the duration of an adventure without running home. This change, IMO, is coming in response to the new crop of players who don't have the imagination or the skill to use the rules that exist to their full potential, so WotC has "dumbed down" the game for them. Again.

    Don't get me wrong - as much as I love Vancian magic, I suspect this major design change is a good thing. I expect it to make wizards much more useful characters and much more on par with the other classes. It makes me a little sad for reasons of nostalgia, but I'll get over it.
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    Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:55 am  

    I like this change to the extent it is used for flavor and to boost a wizard's casting. I don't like it if it assumes a level of incompetence on the part of a wizard if they don't have their implements, which I think the quote suggests.

    GH wizards have never been tied to any implements. Maybe its a minor thing but I don't see retconing this, nor do I think its merits a change to the way wizards work in GH. I am really starting to feel some sympathy for FR folks who are going to see that setting redone to fit 4e. Me. I'm really getting into being in a grognard state of mind. Cool

    With only scant months to go until support for 3x D&D virtually vanishes, I have started to feel a certain freedom, even elation, that my 3x collection will be "completed" - nothing more to buy - I've got it all (or at least all that I want). Its kind of like standing back from a job well done and admiring the work that has been completed. It feels good.

    This is not to say I won't try 4e and maybe adopt it; it is IMO simply too early to pass final judgment on a game that hasn't even been published yet. However, my initial inclination is to stick with 3x and this feeling of "completeness" only reinforces my inclination.

    No more integrating anything new into my game beyond the scads of 3x material I have already. No more anticipating new releases and worrying about how they might, could or should impact my game (I'm looking at you PHII and DMG II etc.). No more money flowing out of my wallet on a regular basis.

    Time to work with all the 3x material I already have. Time to appreciate a "finalized" rules set in all its abundance. More money to spend on other things - maybe some Dwarven Forge stuff, which has been a bit pricey given my other 3x purchases.

    Yup. There is definitely something to savor in this moment. I find my thoughts run to this, maybe with it coming on autumn and all, more than angst/anticipation about 4e. 4e will arrive in due course. For the moment, I'm definitely savoring 3X.
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    Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:25 am  

    Huh, it sounds like an interesting concept that shouldn't hurt anything. The first thing that sprung into my head sadly was Harry Potter. Then the second Gandalf and Saruman duelling with staves. Otherwise it could bring spellbooks out of the backpack and into active use. Maybe not so bad?

    As for FR's changes I am watching with restrained glee. The rivalry is like Red Sox/ Yankees (take your pick) so I can't totally feel sympathy for their plight since even if we have gone through so much adversity ourselves.
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    Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:13 pm  

    GVDammerung wrote:
    GH wizards have never been tied to any implements.


    Well...they always have been tied to spellbooks, in a way. And you could consider scrolls and such a form of implement, I suppose. Other than that, I'm with ya.

    Frankly, unless there's a whoooooole lot about this that they're not telling us (and there probably is), I can't see why this relatively minor change requires revamping an entire campaign setting. It just doesn't make sense.
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    Mon Sep 17, 2007 8:49 pm  

    Welp all,

    Evidently they posted an early version of the wizards article... here is the part that changed today:

    Quote:
    What sets wizards apart from others who wield arcane magic are wizardsí unique implements. Most people recognize the three most common tools associated with wizardcraft: the orb, staff, and wand.

    Any wizard can use an implement to increase the effectiveness of his spells. Just as a warrior gains a benefit when attacking an enemy with a magic sword, so does a wizard benefit from using a magic orb, staff, or wand with his spellcasting. In addition, each implement focuses magic of a particular discipline or tradition more effectively than the wizard would be able to accomplish otherwise. As a result, wizards are rarely without at least one of these tools.

    The orb is favored by the Iron Sigil and Serpent Eye traditions. Serpent Eye cabalists use orbs to focus powers of enchantment, beguiling, and ensnaring. The mages of the Iron Sigil, on the other hand, employ orbs to guard themselves with potent defenses when invoking spells of thunder or force.

    The staff is best suited to the disciplines of the Hidden Flame and the Golden Wyvern. Servants of the Hidden Flame wield fierce powers of fire and radiance through their staves. Golden Wyvern initiates are battle-mages who use their staves to shape and sculpt the spells they cast.

    The wand is a perennial favorite for wizards who favor accurate, damaging attacks. Emerald Frost adepts use wands to help channel powers of cold and deadly acidic magic, while Stormwalker theurges channel spells of lightning and force through their wands.

    A wizard without an implement is like a slightly near-sighted man with glasses: The man can still see, but without his glasses, he canít read the road sign across the way. Likewise, while wizard traditions are associated with a particular implement, a wizard need not possess or hold a given implement to use a power belonging to that tradition. For instance, a wizard belonging to the Hidden Flame order can cast the fire spell cinder storm even if he doesnít own, has lost, or is not holding a magic staff. But if he does have a magic staff, it aids the accuracy of his attack, and his mastery of the Hidden Flame technique allows him to deal more damage with the spell.


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    Bryan Blumklotz
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    Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:53 am  

    Each item functions like a power focus. If you have your special focus, all of your powers are top notch; if not they are slightly weaker(but still usable).

    Every wizard character can be connected to at least one (and often more or multiples of the above items), even if such items are not "signature items", so I don't see why anyone would feel the need to retconn any NPCs or advance a timeline because of it.

    Spells are rumored to also change to be designated by how many times they can be used in a given period of time, rather than using level slots at all. It is very possible that spell power levels will drop a bit, but in return the casting of them will be very versatile, though sometimes restricted depending on just how powerful they are in game terms. I wonder if these focus items will affect the types of spells they are keyed to with regard to how many times a spell can be cast in a given period of time.
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    Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:54 am  

    Emerald Frost? Iron Sigil? Whu-?

    Is that flavor text, or are they replacing specialisation? Again, need more info before passing judgement, but I'll keep an eye on this.
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    Tue Sep 18, 2007 2:25 am  

    At a game session this weekend one of my players, who was running a specialist Diviner, exclaimed loudly "oh no! Now I don't have any cool stuff to do," as he cast his last memorised spell. After we had all stopped chuckling he added, "Just as well I took 2 levels of Monk before going off to wizard school. Have this you Grimlock scum," whereupon he set about said humanoids with his fists and the game rumbled on.

    As bubbagump said, the rules are already there to overcome any possibility of a character running out of opportunities to participate in the session. In our campaign, wizards and clerics are no more likely to need to "recharge" than any other class.

    WOTC is being disingenuous, at best, when it claims that its rule changes will in some way enable us to do things that we couldn't before. It's all there in 3x if you want it. As for the changes to wizards in 4e; the phrase "the emperor's new clothes" springs to mind.
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    Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:22 am  

    What he said^^^^.

    What's with the flavor text? Are they suggesting that wizards will have to belong to a particular organization or go to a specific school? How is all this going to affect the variety of spells available? Have I missed something?
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    Tue Sep 18, 2007 8:20 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    As for FR's changes I am watching with restrained glee. The rivalry is like Red Sox/ Yankees (take your pick) so I can't totally feel sympathy for their plight since even if we have gone through so much adversity ourselves.


    Heh. Heh. Heh. Wink Yeah. Laughing

    DavidBedlam wrote:
    Emerald Frost? Iron Sigil? Whu-?

    Is that flavor text, or are they replacing specialisation? Again, need more info before passing judgement, but I'll keep an eye on this.


    This is news to me too. If one must belong to one of these groups to cast whatever spell in an optimal fashion, these organizations must be world spanning. I don't like that. Such would seem to demand a huge retcon as well. Again, I'm not sorry GH is sitting 4e out to this point.
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    Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:23 am  

    I read the orinigal article and I thought, "What a great idea! Arrange the different aspects of magic around specific foci that wizards can physically hold." Now, transmuters and illusionists and necromancers each have something in their flavor to make them unique (even if they're not exactly transmuters, etc, anymore).

    Then I read the edited version and my mind changes almost completely. First of all, what's with the corny names? Wouldn't your character rather call himself an "abujurer" than a "mage of Iron Sigil"? Less specific is cooler unless you pick the name for yourself, and as Bubba said names like these makes me feel like you have to be in a certain guild (which would have to span multiple worlds if they're in the Player's Handbook).
    Secondly, while three isn't much less than four, three's not nearly enough to cover all the different aspects of magic and make each feel important.
    Lastly, a tome is a cool implement! Why cut it out?

    Here's hoping against hope that the first version is closer to the one that gets published.
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    Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:16 pm  

    Its interesting.. Nothing that they've said about the rules sounds too bad, though if Cebrion's rumor means we are supposed to keep track of timers on every spell that could be a nuisance.

    But almost all the flavor text seems to be gratuitious changes and pretty thin soup on the interesting/creative side...
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    Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:09 pm  

    Yes, I suspect this is one of the mechanical changes I might be in favor of. I reeeeally like Vancian magic, but I'm open to a more workable system if 1) it provides as much versatility as previous additions, 2) it allows you to customize your character as you could in earlier additions, and 3) it is mechanically sound.

    I hate to admit it, but they might be onto something here.

    If those squirrelly designations involve membership in an organization, though....ugh!
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    Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:59 pm  

    Some Wag at the Enworld Forums posted an amusing image of the all-in-one focus made by the Swiss for 4e Wizards...

    http://www.enworld.org/showpost.php?p=3781005&postcount=1

    Enjoy,

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    Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:40 am  

    Humorous picture. Smile I give Wizards 2 years before something like this appears on D&DI or in a 4E splat book.
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    Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:53 am  

    Saracenus:

    That's pretty funny, I like that. The 4 in one arcane focus for all wizards, don't leave home without it.

    I have been thinking about the alterations in the wizard class and although I have no particular insight to add in regards to game mechanics, I will say this...

    My fourteen year old daughter who is a huge Harry Potter fan says that it sounds just like they took it out of the JK Rowlings book series. What is interesting is that with the little information they gave us, she already says she doesn't like it. I wonder how others of the younger audience will feel.

    I like the idea of a focus and of the different ideas or changes forthcoming in the game in which we have been enlightend upon, it is the one I am less opposed to at this point. I did not like the names however (they were to specific for general D&D, at least in name).

    I am not really opposed to wizards belonging to a school of some kind as that is more popular in my campaign (such as the University of Magical Arts in Greyhawk City), than someone who serves as an apprentice for some lonely wizard in who knows where land.

    If they go with a school of some sorts, I hope it is left pretty open ended for us to create or better yet, a type of magic (one of several) taught at such a school and is easily incorporated into the current higher educations of the magical establishments within Greyhawk.

    My primary purpose of this post was not to tell you what I think about the changes but rather to offer a potential way of incorporating the changes in the wizard class within a typical Greyhawk camapign.

    Here's my thought:

    Page 167, Living Greyhawk Gazetteer, subject Boccob:

    "He (Boccob) sees that Oerth's magic is declining and will eventually fade away; he combats this effect and suspects that Tharizdun is responsible."

    Here is the perfect opportunity to make good on this statement. If Tharizdun (or someone else) is toying with magic (perhaps arcane, or both arcane and divine) and they are weakening, wizards and other spellcasters are going to suffer some losses. Boccob recognizes this and now offers a new way of channeling arcane magic.

    The statement above is fairly vague and one could say that this is the beginning of how Tharizdun (or whoever) is affecting magic. They begin with arcane magic and at this point in time it only affects how wizards receive spells or work their magic. If we get significant changes to other arcane spelluser classes, these could get worked into the mix as well.

    In the campaign before the DM introduces this new wizard class and way of handling magic, the current version of wizards begins to suffer losses to spells, has a increased chance of spell failure, or whatever way the DM wants to introduce the magic loss.

    When the DM is ready to introduce the new wizard class (whether it be a 3.5 character reformated for 4th edition or a new character all together), they are sent along a big quest originating from Boccob to introduce his way of combating Tharizdun's actions, thus throughout game play, the 4th edition wizard replaces those of the previous edition.

    Now this suggestion may not be for a lot of people but I thought I would offer it as a possibility. Clearly one would want to put a significant amount of detail into the storyline but the end result would be fulfilling the
    quote from the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer as well as slowly bringing about the change within the game rather than simply saying "ok, things have changed for 4th edition, here are the new rules".

    Generally speaking, this concept could be applied to many of the other changes 4th edition will provide. For those DM's who want to make those changes and not automatically just make them without questioning the how's and why's, heres the opportunity.

    When I started my campaign about 8 years ago with the tail end of 2nd edition, I wanted to begin things with a world shattering event which would take many actual years of play to complete, so I'm covered quite well on making drastic changes (should I choose to go that route) to my campaign.
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    Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:05 am  

    I think this is a perfect explanation for the use of such tools. The names are cheesy and not Greyhawk specific though - who wants to volunteer to give the United Artificers of Irongate the job of giving some of these focii some proper Greyhawk names and origins? Happy
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    Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:07 am  

    Well, at this point we are constantly being told that 4.0 is in a near constant state of flux, so anything can change betwen now and the release date.

    Plus, remember the whole Points of Light thing? Well, if the Iron Sigil and whatnot and world spanning organisations, wouldn't that clash with the whole purpose of the points of light doctrine? So I guess that something will be altered in the future.
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    Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:05 am  

    Hello All,

    I am not sure if school in this case means a physical location or a school of magical style/philosophy. One is harder to retcon in the other is more... portable.

    I will bet its a combo of both. Some places/organizations are "known" for their style/philosophy while others are only connected by that style/philosophy and are practiced by sole practitioners that take on apprentices, you know, to pay the bills Smile.

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    Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:46 am  

    I suspect the schools/traditions given are to serve as examples for more inventive DM's and standards for those not inclined to come up with their own traditions. It looks like just another approach to specialization to me although they seem to be trying to, like Mort said, Harrypotterize (TM) it. Marketing is the thing and the kids love The Potter.

    Like everything else in all the previous editions if I don't like it I'll fudge it or adjust it to my own gaming style.

    I just wish they'd give us some concrete details on how this is going to be different than Vancian magic. We talking spell points, mana, what?
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    Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:38 am  

    smillan_31 wrote:
    I just wish they'd give us some concrete details on how this is going to be different than Vancian magic. We talking spell points, mana, what?


    I don't have the quotes in front of me right now, though I can dig them up later, it seems that spells will fall into 3 catagories.

    # At will

    # Per encounter

    # Per day (like the Vancian method)

    It was stated that using up all of your per day Vancian slot spells would be about 20% of a wizards power.

    Like I said, though, I'll see if I can't find those quotes again. I belive they were on the EN world 4e page.
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    Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:15 am  

    Well, that's the first bit of useful information about 4e that I've read, Michael. Finally, some meat on the bones. A duster to the fluff.

    Initial reaction to that is; spells at will, no problem; once per day, no problem; per encounter? Sounds a completely unjustifiable attempt to keep players involved in a game session they should have no problem being continually involved in anyway. All you need is...Ta Dah! An interesting set of characters and some good players to run them.

    Perhaps Wotc can release a book on how to achieve that.

    156 Page hardcover, of course
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    Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:42 am  

    Ragr wrote:


    156 Page hardcover, of course


    $39.95

    Laughing

    I'll see if I can't find those quotes for you today.
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    Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:47 am  

    I'm hoping that 'per encounter' spells will remove the annoying need for bookeeping multiple long duration buff spells. If casting such spells is a swift action in combat but with a limitation to the number of spells you can have in place at any one time, the wizard can cast a few buff spells in each fight to help his/her team and still get some licks in as a standard action.
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    Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:31 am  

    You've got a point there. Keeping tabs on spell durations can be a pain but does it have to be spot on accurate? As a DM sometimes I lose track of the odd spell, but I always work on the principle of a round lost here a round gained there. It tends to even up over time and players seldom notice, or indeed care as long as the story flows. If a combat is at one of those hinge moments I can always announce a brief time out to check to see if anything has slipped under my radar; often the players are only too grateful for a minute or two to collect their tactical thoughts. If I don't want to stop the game, I just make it up. Is the spell still up and running? What will be more beneficial to game enjoyment?

    It'll be interesting to see exactly what is meant by "encounter" for duration purposes. How many times does a combat end only for reinforcements to arrive?

    I really think this particular rule change is more to keep ho-hum players interested rather than any real desire to improve the game experience. Something I suspect we'll see a lot of as Wotc reveals more.

    I'm trying desperately hard to keep an open mind here, but it's becoming more difficult with each Design & Development proclamation.
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    Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:39 pm  

    Welp,

    Here a bit more about 4e wizards... not much but a bit more...

    From Dave Noonan's Blog:
    http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=13826013&postcount=23

    Quote:
    Daily Work: A million things today, so the morning blog will be brief. Maybe I'll be more verbose later in the day. Maybe.

    Wizard: So...noticed the wizard preview, did ya? I'll make some comments based on message board traffic I've seen.

    Wizard is my favorite class (well, second-favorite if you let me count gish as a class), and I'll grab one for a playtest every chance I can get. We've been through a number of iterations on the (boy is this going to be fun to type) the implementation of implements (staff, wand, etc.).

    OK, I'm now prying the parentheses off of my keyboard.

    The pendulum has swung around a lot during design on the implement issue. And it's like a Foucault pendulum, because it's swinging between more than two points. I've played versions where your choice of implement--both as part of the character-building process and as part of the basic "what's in my hand" decision--mattered a lot. And we've also tried where only a very small subset of your magic power interacted with your implement choice.

    Right now the pendulum is resting somewhere in the middle. Or at least I hope it's resting. It wouldn't shock me if we gave it another push based on playtest feedback.

    It's difficult to talk about implements without handing over big chunks of the Player's Handbook, but I'll give it a shot. I think I can avoid the mechanics while talking about the at-the-table result.

    My 4e wizards are capable of the same breadth of tricks as their 3e ancestors...regardless of the choices I make about implements. But I do care about my implements. Smart choices there make me more effective and differentiate me from all those other--and assuredly lesser--wizards out there.

    It's easy to take this analogy too far, but it might be worthwhile to think of a wizard's implements as analogous to a 3e fighter's weapon choice--if you assume that the fighter hasn't deeply, deeply specialized in that weapon through feat choice. Mid-level Tordek prefers axes, sure, and he probably has an advantage with an axe that's substantial but not overwhelming. You put a polearm in his hands, though, and he functions just fine. And he's accessing the salient properties of the polearm--reach, for example.

    Another thing about implements and the "Iron Sigil"-style disciplines/traditions: They're extensible. I've read a lot of threads that essentially say, "Here's how I'm going to make it work in my campaign..." Yes! That's exactly what we had in mind. You can add your own implements and disciplines/traditions to the mix. Doing so takes some work, but it's not a massive undertaking.

    And it probably won't shock you to learn that we might crank out some new implements and disciplines/traditions ourselves at some point.

    OK, back to work. Must...type...faster.

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    Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:06 pm  

    I'm wondering if the frequency of use of some of the spells will be dependent upon the level of the wizard. By that I mean, will some spells become able to be used more frequencty by powerful wizrds.

    For example, a 1st level wizard might be able to use a magic missile 1/encounter, while a 20th level wizard will be able to use it 5 times per encounter.

    Also, it seems very possible that any spells that take up spell slots in the new system will be those spells that one would assume to be ritualistic spells, or spells that require long and complex casting procedures to accomplish. If this is the case, I very much like the idea of it.
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    Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:58 pm  

    I took the idea of "at will", "per encounter" and "per day" to mean something like this...

    At will: These would be spells like feather fall where their use is immediate and comes up less frequent. In the current system if you don't have a spell like this prepared your out of luck, by making it "at will" these rarely used, specialized spells become more beenficial and practical.

    Per Encounter: I took this to imply most of the typical combat spells both aggressive (such as fireball and magic missile) as well as defending spells (such as protection from evil, or shield). Spell you need for fighting.

    Per Day: In my opinion, are spells you probably would not cast more than once a day, such as Leomund's trap, or Leomund's secure shelter. mount, or mage armor.

    Now clearly in the current rules one can cast these spells several times a day if prepared that way. Since how frequently they can be cast is being changed I think they categorized spells based on what role they typically played in the game.

    The whole idea was to make spellcasters more useful so they don't run out of spells, just as the fighter doesn't run out of a sword in battle. I think it might be possible that we are going to see level related ideas applied differently to spells (especially those in combat). I did read that a fireball no longer does 1d6/level.

    It also made a reference to the fighter not losing his magical weapon, so neither should a wizard so to speak. I think that they may be applying a spell bonus such as +1 to +5 just like magic weapons receive. It seems to me that the spells are the wizards arsonal like the magic sword or bow is for the fighter and that they want to mirror these ideas. I don't know how they would apply a + bonus to spells or however. They did say the math was totally different which is why 3.5 won't translate well. I believe this differance is carrying into spells as well.
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    Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:28 am  

    Of course, this brings up the difficulty of what happens when a fighter does lose his weapons (via Sunder, Disarm, Shatter, etc.). Is an unarmed fighter useless, while his spell-slinging partner continues to kick tail? One wonders if the pendulum has swung the other way.
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    Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:59 am  

    With the emphasis they have been putting on fighters and their chosen weapon I'm sure the fighter would be greatly hampered without this one weapon. I get the impression they can use plenty of weapons but are really only good (or should I say really, really, really good) with the one. I different slant on specialization.

    I haven't seen any mention of material components so I'm thinking the item of focus replaces that all together. That I think is sad. Material components in my opinion were clumsy (if you kept track of them or even just the expensive ones) but at the same time it made D&D wizards seem a bit more real.

    Maybe they figure wizards without a focus are reduced enough that they don't need to deal with "disarming a wizard" or maybe if they have their focus and drop it it hampers them (possibly ruining the spell) and they must either pick it up or cast without it, or draw out a new item of focus, just as the fighter would draw a new weapon or decide to pick the one up off the ground.

    I can seem similiarities here.
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    Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:41 am  

    My first thought when focus items were mentioned was "that's the end of material components then".

    Material components do add a level of realism/flavour, especially if you make the characters perform the stated tasks sometimes mentioned in the spell description. Of course, the Eschew Materials feat is quite a popular one IMC.

    I'm split on this; I like material components but on the other hand I have often whinged about wanting a simpler game. Does anybody else out there rigidly enforce the use of components?
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    Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:47 am  

    I am a big proponent of spell compontents. They are always used in my second edition games, though not as much in my 3e games. I only require expensive components in 3e.
    This seems a natural progression from third edition, though, and doesn't bother me all that much. There weren't really all that many components in third edition anyway, and focus items are much less book-keeping, true. [/i]
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    Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:46 am  

    Ragr wrote:
    I'm split on this; I like material components but on the other hand I have often whinged about wanting a simpler game.


    I'm with you on this one. If material components weren't so hard to keep track of, I'd definitely use them. Since I've never been able to find a good way of doing so without bogging down the game, I don't currently use them.

    However: I do make extensive use of the rules for substituting expensive material components for the XP cost associated with some spells and with the production of magic items. I've heard lots of complaints about this practice, but it seems to be working very well for me.
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    Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:42 am  

    bubbagump wrote:
    Ragr wrote:
    I'm split on this; I like material components but on the other hand I have often whinged about wanting a simpler game.


    I'm with you on this one. If material components weren't so hard to keep track of, I'd definitely use them. Since I've never been able to find a good way of doing so without bogging down the game, I don't currently use them.


    Me three. I do not use material components except for major, ritualized castings. Combat casting is component free for the reasons bubba identifies - just can't keep track of them all.
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    Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:18 am  

    I think most DMs gloss over them. In my campaign I do pretty much the same as you guys do, try and keep track of the expensive ones. On my character sheet I highlight spells which need an expensive material component with different colored print and then include a footnote for what I need and how many I have. Not the best system, kinda a hit and miss. Generally, if I don't have it, were out of luck, the same applies to the wizard as well.

    Still looking for a better system.

    Perhaps we should have the locations in which we purchase components
    sell component packs and have them organized by spell levels. For example, we could add up the cost of 1st level spell components and buy the whole thing at once. After that, not worry about running out for the spells which require little things like spiderwebs, or fur, etc. and instead just keep track of the expensive ones like pearls, etc.

    Then when we get back to Greyhawk or wherever we buy another pack. Sure your going to purchase components you don't need but the little ones really don't add up in cost anyway.

    Just a thought.
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    Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:46 pm  

    Rich Baker responded to some questions about 4e Wizards on the WotC Boards here:
    http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php?p=13847710&postcount=503

    Here is the relevant text:

    Quote:
    1. The wizardly orders. They're not really specializations in the sense of 3rd Edition specialist wizards; choosing one doesn't make the spells belonging to another unavailable to you. Basically they're a mechanism by which we answer the question, "How did your wizard learn magic? Was he trained in a magical academy, tutored by a single mentor, etc., etc." So each order provides a subset a spells your character is *best* at, but doesn't replace the notion of spell school from previous editions.

    2. Wizard implements now provide your character with a reason to care about a signature weapon in much the same way that the fighter cares about a signature sword. We think it's a good thing. Many other implements have been suggested, including things such as mask, dagger, and (of course) tome.

    3. Every class gets cool "non-attack" power choices as well as attack power choices. Wizards will still be able to cast spells such as Disguise Self, Jump, or Levitate. It's true that we'd like to "narrow" wizards a bit, and save (for example) some illusion spells for an honest-to-gosh Illusionist class down the road, or necromancy spells for a Necromancer. But wizards will still "splash" at least a few of the iconic powers in these themes of magic. For example, wizards still have Invisibility available to them. But when the Illusionist class comes around, he'll have better Invisibility options.


    So, wizards will not have built in rules for specialization, they will publish new specialist wizards as they go along... hmmmm.

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    Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:56 am  

    With regard to spell components; many years ago when DMing a 2nd edition campaign one of my players, who was running a wizard, purchased something called Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue (I didn't buy it, please don't send a death squad after me) which contained a section on buying spell components. In fact, I think it included a detailed list of all components and their prices. "That's great" we both said, and agreed to use it.

    2 game sessions later or, rather, 2 shopping expeditions later we looked at each other across the screen and said;

    "Shall we not use these, then?"

    "Er...? Okay."

    As most of you have the same kind of reservations about them as me I think I'm going to drop them from my game. I'll keep the expensive ones, however, because I still like the concept in principle. Of course, this does mean all the players IMC with wizards are going to be forming a line to get rid of the Eschew Materials feat they all took.

    With regard to Rich Bakers' blog; I'm still seeing "marketing strategy" where there should be game designing.
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