One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
So I have been somewhat following a number of discussions going on over at WoTC's forums regarding D&DN.
One of the claims constantly bandied about is that "magic-users/wizards are overpowered". Obviously, if you believe this, then it serves as a foundation for all kinds of demands of D&DN.
Personally, I've never, not once felt, in nearly 35 years of gaming that they were OP (oh yes, I know my l337speak). Even when you have an 18th level MU and an 18th level Fighter Lord, I would say both have their strengths and weaknesses. Having access to Wish is a big deal, but a Lord can also have access to them in a different way!
Granted, I'm looking at this through a 1e/2e lens but even so, I am still trying to understand where this comes from. My personal theory is that it's from MMOs.
What about the rest of you? What are your thoughts? Is Mordenkainen just crazy powerful beyond what's good for the game and should we blame him for such claims? If I remember, Kas was no slouch, as Vecna found out.
As per 'our' discussion on another thread about this very topic, I find that it is really up to the DM to balance the powers of all characters (and creatures). Wizards are primarily constrained by spell components (and thus the MAIN reason why I highly suggest their use!), the need for rest and recuperation between casting spells, and, finally, their spellbooks and scrolls. Deprived of these things, even Mordenkainen or Rary will find themselves up poop creek without a paddle.
Now, barring these things, it is true that mages are, without question, exceedingly powerful characters at high lvls. The same can be said of clerics. Both types of spell-casters have access to truly devastating magicks and can likely kill you from afar with minimal risk to themselves.
But I have not really seen, in my campaigns, one class truly outshine another throughout a whole adventure. Sure, perhaps the mage or cleric gets his/her due and is the savior for a time, but without the assistance of those fighters, thieves, rangers, paladins, and bards, each of whom get their own moment to shine, they'd be screwed. A lot of it depends of the scene, the adventure plot, the obstacles to be overcome, the trials to be won.
In my mind, the best thing to do is give each character class a chance and a time to really perform and become the 'hero' and show what he or she is made of.
Balance. Follow the "Old Faith" philosophy with respect to your adventures and you will see that, under the right circumstances, each character class can become 'the most powerful' and even your mighty mage (or cleric) takes a back seat to that fighter or thief.
Well said Lanthorn, you and I are kindred (DM) spirits it would seem. The reason I brought this discussion here is that it's difficult to have any sort of fruitful conversation without it turning into a nitpicking semantics fest over there.
I absolutely agree that Mages and Clerics/Priests, at really high levels (15+) can be devastating with the powers they unleash. Even so, a Fighter (I use the Fighter a lot because they seem to be considered "boring, vanilla and horribly underpowered by comparison in WotC-land) of the same level would have to be a master tactician or at the very least, incredibly cunning. They would have a plan for fighting that target mage/cleric, not just "I'm going to rush at him screaming and yelling while swinging my weapon". Plus, as you mentioned, spell components!
Finally, and this is one of the big ones that I think people often forget, saving throws. The saving throw for a 15th level Fighter Lord under 2e for Spells is a measly 7.
I'm keenly interested in D&DN in my hopes that it will be a return to much of what made 1e/2e so great. Early on it seemed to be all going in the right direction, but now it seems they're bringing in all the things that made me go no further than 2E.
I'd love to hear what others think on this in terms of their campaigns.
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