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4e Wizards Will Be, Different...
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PaulN6
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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Ragr
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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Saracenus
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.

Mood: Six minutes to microwave this?? Who's got that kind of time?
Music: Ba Cissoko, Electric Griot Land

--Dave.


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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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EileenProphetofIstus
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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bubbagump
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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EileenProphetofIstus
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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Ragr
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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MichaelSandar
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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bubbagump
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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GVDammerung
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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EileenProphetofIstus
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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Saracenus
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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Ragr
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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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