Wizard Spells

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dustle
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Wizard Spells

Post by dustle »

I wasn't in on the beta-testing, but what is the reasoning behind Wizards having a list of "Known Spells" without regard to level (vs. the Cleric's "Spells Known by Level" or the early D&D systems where a Magic-User would gain a set number of spells of a given level)? Couldn't a player theoretically just advance his Wizard to level 5, learn one 3rd level spell, then level 7 and learn all of the 4th level spells, then level 9-10 and learn all of the fifth level spells without ever learning any spells beyond the four learned at level one in between? As a Judge, I have my players quest for spells or undergo trials to learn them--they never learn spells just by levelling up--so I'm not saying it's easy to learn a spell. But it just seems like with enough work and luck there's a potential issue of top-balancing the power structure of a Wizard's spellbook without a corrective like "more low-level spells available than high level."
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GnomeBoy
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Re: Wizard Spells

Post by GnomeBoy »

dustle wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:45 am Couldn't a player theoretically just advance his Wizard to level 5, learn one 3rd level spell...
This reads like the player is just deciding to make their Wizard 5th Level. That of course does not happen.

But it does mean I can't quite understand the question. There are a number of Known Spells, and also Maximum Spell Level. As the Wizard levels up, they have access to higher levels of spells, but that doesn't mean they automatically gain higher levels of spells.

Cleric spells have a set distribution, but Wizard spells do not. Two 3rd Level Wizards might differ in this way:

A) 6 1st level spells

B) 4 1st level spells, 2 2nd level spells

This differentiation can't happen with Clerics, but it can with Wizards.
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Raven_Crowking
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Re: Wizard Spells

Post by Raven_Crowking »

dustle wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:45 am I wasn't in on the beta-testing, but what is the reasoning behind Wizards having a list of "Known Spells" without regard to level (vs. the Cleric's "Spells Known by Level" or the early D&D systems where a Magic-User would gain a set number of spells of a given level)? Couldn't a player theoretically just advance his Wizard to level 5, learn one 3rd level spell, then level 7 and learn all of the 4th level spells, then level 9-10 and learn all of the fifth level spells without ever learning any spells beyond the four learned at level one in between? As a Judge, I have my players quest for spells or undergo trials to learn them--they never learn spells just by levelling up--so I'm not saying it's easy to learn a spell. But it just seems like with enough work and luck there's a potential issue of top-balancing the power structure of a Wizard's spellbook without a corrective like "more low-level spells available than high level."
Per the rules, yes, a wizard could do exactly this.

The corrective is trying to get to level 5 without any spells.

More importantly, in a game like DCC, work and luck are supposed to pay off.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.
dustle
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Re: Wizard Spells

Post by dustle »

dustle wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:45 am Couldn't a player theoretically just advance his Wizard to level 5, learn one 3rd level spell...
GnomeBoy wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 1:14 pmThis reads like the player is just deciding to make their Wizard 5th Level. That of course does not happen.
Right, sorry if I was unclear. Not what I meant. In my PbP game that I've been running for 18 months or so, the highest level character is level 4, so I know this is a largely theoretical question.
GnomeBoy wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 1:14 pmBut it does mean I can't quite understand the question. There are a number of Known Spells, and also Maximum Spell Level. As the Wizard levels up, they have access to higher levels of spells, but that doesn't mean they automatically gain higher levels of spells.

Cleric spells have a set distribution, but Wizard spells do not. Two 3rd Level Wizards might differ in this way:

A) 6 1st level spells

B) 4 1st level spells, 2 2nd level spells

This differentiation can't happen with Clerics, but it can with Wizards.
I get all of this, but in a purely theoretical/game-design sense I was wondering what the logic was for setting up this spell system for Wizards when older systems (and the Cleric spell mechanic in DCC) do it differently.
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Re: Wizard Spells

Post by dustle »

Raven_Crowking wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:02 pm
dustle wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:45 am I wasn't in on the beta-testing, but what is the reasoning behind Wizards having a list of "Known Spells" without regard to level (vs. the Cleric's "Spells Known by Level" or the early D&D systems where a Magic-User would gain a set number of spells of a given level)? Couldn't a player theoretically just advance his Wizard to level 5, learn one 3rd level spell, then level 7 and learn all of the 4th level spells, then level 9-10 and learn all of the fifth level spells without ever learning any spells beyond the four learned at level one in between? As a Judge, I have my players quest for spells or undergo trials to learn them--they never learn spells just by levelling up--so I'm not saying it's easy to learn a spell. But it just seems like with enough work and luck there's a potential issue of top-balancing the power structure of a Wizard's spellbook without a corrective like "more low-level spells available than high level."
Per the rules, yes, a wizard could do exactly this.

The corrective is trying to get to level 5 without any spells.

More importantly, in a game like DCC, work and luck are supposed to pay off.
This pretty much answers my question. In my campaign, though, I have a player with a fourth-level Wizard who has Magic Missile with a really good mercurial effect and Sleep and high physical stats for the occasional spellburn, so he's content with these first-level spells (which almost always succeed, given his CL) and is "banking" his spell slots for higher level spells without learning any level two spells, even when presented to him. I think it's an interesting feature of DCC, but I was just curious about the thought-process that went into it, as it's very different from what has come before (in my experience; I've never played much D&D past 2nd Edition, and I know DCC is built to some degree on 3.X, so there may be some precedent there that I don't know about).
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Re: Wizard Spells

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Raven_Crowking wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:02 pm ...in a game like DCC, work and luck are supposed to pay off.
There it is, in a nutshell.

It also draws a clear distinction between Clerics and Wizards:

• Clerics serve at the behest of their Gods.

• Wizards plot and scheme and vie for power for themselves.


If it seems like your Wizard is getting by too easily, maybe treat the party as if it were one level higher when designing/choosing adventures...?
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dustle
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Re: Wizard Spells

Post by dustle »

GnomeBoy wrote: Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:36 am
Raven_Crowking wrote: Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:02 pm ...in a game like DCC, work and luck are supposed to pay off.
There it is, in a nutshell.

It also draws a clear distinction between Clerics and Wizards:

• Clerics serve at the behest of their Gods.

• Wizards plot and scheme and vie for power for themselves.


If it seems like your Wizard is getting by too easily, maybe treat the party as if it were one level higher when designing/choosing adventures...?
:lol: To be fair to the player, his character is at 4 Stamina at this point and can't walk far without resting and has everyone else carrying his stuff... But magic-wise he does get stuff done, which is why the rest of the party puts up with him.
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