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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Default Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it too]

    If this already exists in some form then please share it with everyone and disregard my rambling.

    Various spellcasting systems have their pros and cons. Vancian casting is good at keeping wizard's power at a situational level and making sure it's greatest abilities come in metered doses, but it doesn't make logical sense for an Archmage to not know simple spells by heart after years of using them. Spontaneous casting adds flexibility, but often sacrifices diversity in order to maintain balance. Pure at-will casting greatly reduces the applicable power of abilities to stretch their usage indefinitely.

    We want to bound the upper echelons of spell power to a reasonable level, we want to maintain flexibility to make the gameplay run a bit more smoothly, we don't want our party wizard to turn into a commoner who watches our back as efficiently as a tree sloth when we're in a long day of fighting for our lives, and we want the whole thing to be reasonably believable.

    That's where gradient casting comes in. In gradient casting, spell levels move through those various casting systems as wizard levels are gained. New spells go through an experimental phase where the wizard has just learned their intricacies, and as the wizard practices them they become easier to cast, until they become instinctive. As a result, full spells (non-cantrips) pass through three stages over time, Experimental, Practiced, and Instinctive. The current two highest spell levels attained are always experimental. This means that the wizard must memorize his highest level spells in the limited slots available (as his memory can only ever deal with a certain amount of new information). The three spell levels below those represent spells the wizard is experienced in, but still practicing, and are cast spontaneously according to a daily allotment. Spells below that become instinctive and are cast at-will. What was a hard to memorize spell at level one becomes spontaneous after the wizard has moved on to level three spells, and has become instinctive when the wizard has moved on to level 6 spells. Cantrips are always at-will, as a wizard who has moved on to full spells will know those by heart.

    Each level could retain a disposable slot for recently memorized lower level spells (gained through scrolls or other spellbooks) that have yet to become instinct, so the expanded knowledge is still available, but does not come as naturally as that gained through class spell selection. Although you could stipulate that after you have known the spell for a reasonable amount of time, it could take it could take it's place with the core spells of that level.

    Problems with some spells being too powerful compared to spells of the same level when cast at-will can be solved by simply not including that spell as a possible selection in the first place. Casting a top level spell could also interfere with casting non-instinctive spells. For more restraint, have every casting of a top slot reduce the spontaneous ability of the mid level spells or restrict the wizard to casting at-will spells for d4 rounds to recuperate, as working with newly memorized material will be stressful and tiring. The little things like throwing flames around are an afterthought for a powerful mage, the medium things wear out eventually, and the big things tucker you out relatively quickly.
    Last edited by 7RED7; 2012-05-20 at 11:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    I like it. It's a really cool idea, nicely flavorful and doesn't seem too much more powerful than the current system.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    Aside from trying to make it seem more natural, I think it would make bookkeeping a little more streamlined as you can simply write all the spells in your spellbook at the appropriate levels, and just manage two levels of slots with an extra slot at each level for spells that are purchased/found later.

    The spellbook of a lower level wizard would look pretty familiar:
    [At-will cantrip list]
    [1st Aux. Slot] [[z/day] 1st level spontaneous list]
    [2nd Aux. Slot] [2nd level spell slots] [2nd level spell list]
    [3rd Aux. Slot] [3rd level spell slots] [3rd level spell list]

    The spellbook of a higher level wizard would look something like this:
    [At-will cantrip list]
    [1st Aux. Slot] [1st level at-will list]
    [2nd Aux. Slot] [2nd level at-will list]
    [3rd Aux. Slot] [3rd level at-will list]
    [4th Aux. Slot] [[x/day] 4th level spontaneous list]
    [5th Aux. Slot] [[y/day] 5th level spontaneous list]
    [6th Aux. Slot] [[z/day] 6th level spontaneous list]
    [7th Aux. Slot] [7th level spell slots] [7th level spell list]
    [8th Aux. Slot] [8th level spell slots] [8th level spell list]
    [------------] [------------------] [----------------]
    When this wizard gains access to 9th level spells the 4th level spells drop to at-will, and the 8th level spells drop to spontaneous.

    The actual number of spell slots and spontaneous castings per day would need to be play tested to find a good balance of course.

    I could see another variant to this where the at-will status of lower level spells could be replaced by the ability to cast a number of spells per round equal to your current highest spell level minus the level of spell cast (with a higher pool of spontaneous spellcasting for low level spells). In this way a higher level wizard could rapidly launch a storm of magic missiles, instead of a devastating single attack.
    Last edited by 7RED7; 2012-05-20 at 03:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    Sounds like the Tome of Magic shadowcaster. Only I think for that one the three tiers were supernatural, spell-like, spell.

    Some spells might have to be nixed- but with a reasonably flavourful, not overpowering list, spontaneous casting of mid-level powers shouldn't be overpowered
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2012-05-20 at 03:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    I think it could actually be used with the standard dnd wizard/sorcerer lists, but it would have to be audited to make sure there are no spells that would cause a problem when cast at-will. The only real concern is with obscure spells at level 4 or lower as those are the highest ones to reach at-will status. The rest will be pretty close to what a wizard or sorcerer would normally deal with.

    I haven't looked at the shadowcaster yet. I started building a homebrew a while back called a Shadow former that focused on shaping shadows for various tasks, but never got around to finishing it. Maybe they are similar.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    Any non-instantaneous (Creation) or (Summoning) spell should have a limit of 1 at a time, though otherwise at will. (Spontaneous summon monster, mount, minor creation, planar binding... otherwise become too much!)
    Last edited by Endarire; 2012-05-21 at 09:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I like it. It's a really cool idea, nicely flavorful and doesn't seem too much more powerful than the current system.
    Agreed.
    It looks good. However it would be interesting to see how it does effect the dynamics existing between primary spellcasters and other casters. Spellcasters already have a big advantage over other characters at higher levels, this might make it moreso.

    I might shamelessly steal this idea if you don't mind, for a high level game that I'm contemplating running in the near future.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    Intriguing, I think it addresses a lot of major issues in most magic systems. My only feeling about using the existing list is that this means I'd be casting cantrips and anything else I have instinctive all the time. Like ghost sounds, I would probably cast that all several times a day, if for nothing else to spook the party.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    Quote Originally Posted by Rorrik View Post
    Intriguing, I think it addresses a lot of major issues in most magic systems. My only feeling about using the existing list is that this means I'd be casting cantrips and anything else I have instinctive all the time. Like ghost sounds, I would probably cast that all several times a day, if for nothing else to spook the party.
    How is that a bad thing?

    I like this system; I could definitely see it making primary casters even less balanced compared to non-primary-casters, but I think where it would really shine is in a particularly caster-heavy setting or campaign. The utility and feel of this style could allow all-wizard parties to work much more smoothly.
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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    @Endarire. You make a good point. It wouldn't be too hard to stipulate that a wizard can only control one summon at a time unless a single spell involves multiple summons. Even if a wizard has high enough intelligence to multitask different things happening, it doesn't necessarily mean he has the time to do so. It would be a short and sweet way to keep the action economy consistent.

    @Grail. Some people will inevitably do pvp sometime or have players succumb to class envy, but the thing to remember is that most of the time you're on the same side. If the wizard can consistently buff the fighter through a long day of fighting through a besieged castle without having to worry about sacrificing every utility spell in the first battle, then the fighter is happy because he feels all boosted and powerful, and the wizard is happy because he can still cast the lower level "I have a spell for that because I'm a wizard" spells. What people forget is that the heroes are supposed to be working together, and that an advantage for one is an advantage for all. Besides, dnd isn't balanced. There are many classes built from the ground up to support min-maxing, and many classes that are geared towards roleplaying. The only real determining factor in the "balance" of the game is the difference in experience between players and a willingness to dig up obscure feats and class features. If someone wants to break dnd then they will do so, and if someone wants to bend dnd then they will do so. A good dm will either allow them their fun and make it work while preventing it from annoying anyone else too much, or will simply know better than to allow the character choice(s) in the first place. You just have to take your best shot at making things work and remember to have fun with it.

    The whole point of a board like this is to freely share ideas and spark each other's creativity, so if you steal it then I hope you enjoy it.
    If you find a sweet spot of class features in using it then by all means, share with everyone else.

    @Rorrik. That's the idea. I want to work with the idea that the easier the magic is to learn/remember/cast, the more freely you can just toss it around everywhere. Even if you had less max level slots, the game can still be fun giving you incentive to use your lower level abilities more often and in unique ways. I honestly feel that we don't really need multiple spellcasting classes that do the exact same thing with small arbitrary differences, and never really get any better at it. The sorcerer is just a wizard with a "but..." tacked on. You're taking the exact same spells and just saying you can cast these spells this way and you can cast these spells that way. Sure each one gets a couple more spell slots or casting's per day, but the wizard has never really learned the spells, and the sorcerer has never really mastered the spells. It makes absolutely no sense to have a wizard who can comprehend spells on the scale of Astral Projection, Shapechange, or Time Stop, but can't run around casting Ghost Sound, Grease, Erase, or Gust of Wind 40 times a day while hopping around and snickering to himself.

    @Dr. Bwaa. *taps side of nose*
    I don't think balance issues would be all that bad, as long as reasonable values are chosen for the high level slots, and the spontaneous castings per day. Remember, part of the goal is to make this more natural, so you aren't approaching the class as "these are my top spells that I must use to full effectiveness", you're in the process of learning these spells while relying on spells that you are more experienced in. There's a gap between "do I want to spend a high slot or a low slot on this monster?" where each function roughly the same (and it's only a matter of which slot gets spent where) and "do I want to trust my instincts to win this fight, or use it to get more experience in using this new spell?"

    If we're trying to build a version of the wizard who's functionality is more inline with natural learning then the following would be the practical effects.
    The high level spells should be comparable to, or possibly even a little bit more limited than a standard wizard (for "OMG teh new class is OP" safety factor). The mid level spells should have a more sorcerer like familiarity with possibly less casting per day than a sorcerer. The low level spells should be more along the lines of a warlock where you just own them.

    I look at this not just as a "what makes the most sense to roleplay a wizard", but also from the point of view of using controls concepts to enhance the desirable parts of the signal while reducing the undesired transients and overshoots so the output is a smooth and desirable curve (if that makes any sense). We can change certain aspects of the behavior in different ways instead of just saying this is the signal response using a purely vancian controller or a purely spontaneous controller.

    TLDR: Wall of text (apologies). The emphasis is on making lower level spells more of a go-to choice when casting. Totally could be balanced and more natural if used correctly. I need to stop letting engineering influence my RPG design choices.
    Last edited by 7RED7; 2012-05-22 at 05:28 PM.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    Quote Originally Posted by 7RED7 View Post
    @Rorrik. That's the idea. I want to work with the idea that the easier the magic is to learn/remember/cast, the more freely you can just toss it around everywhere. Even if you had less max level slots, the game can still be fun giving you incentive to use your lower level abilities more often and in unique ways. I honestly feel that we don't really need multiple spellcasting classes that do the exact same thing with small arbitrary differences, and never really get any better at it. The sorcerer is just a wizard with a "but..." tacked on. You're taking the exact same spells and just saying you can cast these spells this way and you can cast these spells that way. Sure each one gets a couple more spell slots or casting's per day, but the wizard has never really learned the spells, and the sorcerer has never really mastered the spells. It makes absolutely no sense to have a wizard who can comprehend spells on the scale of Astral Projection, Shapechange, or Time Stop, but can't run around casting Ghost Sound, Grease, Erase, or Gust of Wind 40 times a day while hopping around and snickering to himself.
    Yes, and I love the concept, I really do, it would make my one level dip in sorcerer from barabarian less of a roleplaying decision and more tactical, since the purpose of the dip was for a few of my favorite, diversionary cantrips.

    I do disagree about it not making sense that some can master hard things while others are instinctive, it's kind of like the brilliant doctorate math students I know who can't do arithmetic in their heads nearly as quickly as I can, but can derive great things I can't even comprehend.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    Quote Originally Posted by 7RED7 View Post
    @Grail. Some people will inevitably do pvp sometime or have players succumb to class envy, but the thing to remember is that most of the time you're on the same side. If the wizard can consistently buff the fighter through a long day of fighting through a besieged castle without having to worry about sacrificing every utility spell in the first battle, then the fighter is happy because he feels all boosted and powerful, and the wizard is happy because he can still cast the lower level "I have a spell for that because I'm a wizard" spells. What people forget is that the heroes are supposed to be working together, and that an advantage for one is an advantage for all. Besides, dnd isn't balanced. There are many classes built from the ground up to support min-maxing, and many classes that are geared towards roleplaying.
    Whilst I agree in principal with what you're saying, 30 odd years of RP'ing have proven this is not always the case. It is very easy, especially in a long-term campaign to get jaded if it seems that your character is just making up the numbers, and somebody else's character is able to do everything, (or at least do more, and affect the outcomes more). I have seen very experienced players get very despondent, and query their choice in character.

    "Why did I bother playing a rogue? I should have just been a wizard"

    Hell, in one of my campaigns I'm playing in at the moment, my Half-Orc Rogue/Fighter is making the player of the Human Paladin feel exactly this way. His AC is better than mine (by 2), but I hit for x4 his damage unless he is smiting, and even then, I usually do more damage.

    It can be easy when someone else seems constantly more effective to get depressed about your character choice, even when we all know that yeah, we're on the same team.

    But I will give it a shot, probably tweaked slightly to implement some other rules that I was contemplating adding myself. If I do run it (i'm running a low level game atm, I will definitely post up how it goes).

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    Sorry, I guess I didn't clarify my thoughts very well. What I mean is that things like sorcerer and wizard seem to me to be two different components of a more complete system. The way the wizard casts spells makes the most sense when it is applied to newly learned spells (or equations, analytical methods, etc.), but the sorcerer casting makes more sense for spells (knowledge) that has already been understood and put into practice, with at-will casting making the most sense for foundational principles. It doesn't make any more sense for a wizard to sit down and memorize magic missile every day than it does for a professor of mathematics to start the day off by memorizing basic algebraic factoring and solving methods. Now if the professor learns a very complicated method of solving algebraic equations that he never used in his studies, then he may need to memorize it(this is mirrored in the free memorization slot at every level).

    I didn't mean to say that some can master hard things while other people can be more instinctive. I'm trying to look at this from the perspective of one individual and how they learn and use information over a period of time. Using basic math as an example... Let's say we're talking about Algebra and everything supporting it, Calculus, and the study of Differential Equations (or whatever you study next, we use Diff Eq quite a bit so that's what I'm going with here). Everything builds on the foundations of something else, so for our goal of learning differential equations in this example, we need to know algebra and calculus to have the knowledge base to work with differential equations.
    So we start off studying algebra and we're kids who don't really know that much so it's somewhat difficult to learn (obviously with variation of the individual experience).

    We reach a point where we have at least a passable knowledge of algebra and this gives us the knowledge base to study calculus. Now when we're learning calculus we are applying a lot of knowledge from algebra (and trigonometry, sue me, but I'm sticking with the rule of three here). We are learning new information about the methods of calculus and putting it to use, but we are also heavily practicing our fundamentals of algebra at every step along the way. I would (keeping things simple for the sake of this example) describe this as being in a state of learning calculus and practicing algebra (while the most basic mathematical cantrips have already been instinctive for a time) as we have now fully stepped past the entirety of algebra we learned and are currently putting it into practice to learn something new.

    Once we reach a point where we have an at least passable knowledge of calculus we have the required knowledge base to study differential equations. Now when we're learning differential equations we are applying a lot of knowledge from calculus, as well as that from our foundations in algebra. We are learning new information about the methods of differential equations and putting it to use, but we are also heavily practicing our fundamentals of calculus at every step along the way, and utilizing a near instinctive use of algebra that can now run almost as a background process. I would describe this as being in a state of learning differential equations, practicing calculus (as we have stepped past the entirety of what we learned and are currently putting it into practice to learn something new), and instinctively using algebra.

    This natural learning process is what I envision a wizard being able to utilize.

    If you're looking at a specific individual who memorizes many complicated methods (as described by the doctorate math students you know), but rely on memorization for the current study rather than building a knowledge base (although I have to imagine they are still pretty darn good at that knowledge base given their position), then that would be indicative of the standard wizard. Whereas the focus on a more restricted field of study would produce more efficiency within that field, which would be indicative of the sorcerer or warlock methods.

    However, the successful math wizards are the ones who manage both. They have dedicated their studies to be instinctive in as much as possible, practiced in the rest, and constantly learning and memorizing new things (while obviously keeping a resource text handy) to broaden their research into wizardry of math as they gain experience.

    I'd like to model the wizard as using that entire learning process.

    In light of putting more detail into the concept, and thinking about the practicalities involved, I would think it feasible to include the ability to no longer require access to a spellbook for any spell that has been moved to at-will status.


    I always worry that making a long post in response to a post that has a disagreement comes across as argumentative or negative, but that is not my intention.

    edit:
    @Grail. Well, I would say that it is half caused by the natural imbalances of dnd (namely that the whole of character creation can be boiled down to imaginatively creating imbalances, after all what good is that new feat if it doesn't create or improve the potential difference between your combat ability and an enemy's), and half caused by (I really don't want to say bad DMing necassarily) a lack of creative DMing.

    Not only are the classes, specific builds and even characters of vastly differing optimizations, but the initial conditions of the players themselves vary widely. I've seen guys play mostly core rogues that could bring a single tear of joy to the eye of many veteran wizard players with their planning ahead for any situation, and always having the most unassuming item prepared for just the right time.

    If the sole motive behind every character is relative power in a vacuum of fighting seperate targets, then the only way to resolve that is to all play the most optimized combatant possible. Barring that, you simply have to do what you want to do (even if it's less effective), and embrace the fun (even if it's dwarf fortress levels of "fun") whether you succeed or fail.

    The build differences aren't something you're going to get around, but a creative DM will figure out what each player wants out of the game and make sure they get it. You don't even have to fudge die rolls, you just have to know your players and give them what they want. I can't assume much about your game, but I would probably give your orc an irresistible pile of xp, who actively antagonizes you, to blaze through while having some unarmed civilian call out to the paladin as she's being threatened by a couple of armed thugs (assuming he actually plays the whole honorable thing). If the paladin is still feeling left out, then he starts getting a reputation for always taking time to help the little guys and plot hook's your daddy. Or I would do something completely different depending on the situation and players. Players play the game, the DM plays the players.

    The rogue is definitely a goldmine of RP combat if the DM rules that you may try various things that don't necessarily have an associated feat/maneuver.
    If you're worried about being successful then don't try to be successful. Try to be awesome and do things others wouldn't consider. You might fail 9 times out of 10, but damn that 10 tastes good.

    Another thing people need to understand is how to play an optimized or overpowered character to the effectiveness of the rest of the party. I'll play the occasional commoner here and there, but my passion in character generation is coming up with the most outlandish or obscenely effective thing I can without having a massive amount of bookkeeping (I can honestly say it is as fun for me as playing the game is), and over time I learned how to play them down if they're too far above other party members in some aspect of the game. The goal is not just to have fun, but to make sure everyone is having fun, and that your fun is not causing someone else to not have fun. Once you realize this, you can perceive an entirely new game. This game is one where you take the overpowered demi-apocalypse you've made and find novel ways to use it's abilities in order to set your team mates up for success (who says you have to go wizard to play a 'God wizard'). This introduces a very interesting situation. Your optimized killerchargertripperstunnercoupdegraser9001 is now horribly unoptimized for this new task and you have to be creative to make it useful in this new goal.
    You can get as meta, meta meta, or meta^n as you like with this. Welcome to n-dimensional gaming.
    Last edited by 7RED7; 2012-05-22 at 10:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    I really like this idea, I think the thematic element and I like that a high level wizard will be able to use low level spells more easily. I think that in practice, the DM will have to keep an eye on things to make sure certain spells aren't abused, but DM's should be doing that anyway.

    How would you want to handle spell casters other than wizards? Sorcerers? Divine casters?

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    There's nothing incredibly wrong with the wizard or sorcerer. If you wanted to decide what details work for you and make a class out of it then you could probably play it perfectly fine alongside a wizard or sorcerer.

    My main thought here is getting rid of what I see as a largely unnecessary mechanical distinction between the two casting methods when a hybrid of them could play a bit more naturally, at least in the sense of the wizard. Not that I'm knocking the basic fluff of the wizard or sorcerer. I just think you could use gradient spellcasting as either a more realistic version of the wizard or a catchall arcane class in a streamlined ruleset where it would fulfill the role of both.

    You could probably apply the principles of gradient spellcasting to divine magic just as easily. My example of a hybrid between sorcerer and wizard casting +at-will would work just as fine with cleric (divine wizard) and favoured soul (divine sorcerer) with a little bit of work on what spells you have access to and when. It may not follow all the same logic as applied to the wizard's studies as divine spells are prayed for and granted or simply gifted, rather than learned from scratch. It could work though.
    Last edited by 7RED7; 2012-05-22 at 10:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    Your absolutely right about the wizard and sorcerer. Their fluff is beautiful, but it isn't reflected well in the mechanics of D&D. It seems like your system would make much more sense as a model to distinguish the two.

    A sorcerer could have a growth system with a wide base, meaning he has only one or two memorized spells in each of those levels, not very many at well spells, but a lot of instinctive spells in comparison to the wizard. He's not particularly good at learning new things and really complex stuff doesn't come easy, but the levels he's familiar with he can cast in spades.

    Meanwhile, the wizard has a narrower base, still enough that he can cast a large number of spells learned at a young age, but more toward the middle and top than the sorcerer, because his focus has been on learning more and greater spells rather than mastering those he already knows.

    Alternately, (and now it has occurred to me I like it much better) you could have them be the same class, but with the option upon taking levels of widening your base or pressing upward to varying degrees to express the focus of the character on mastery or discovery.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    I really really like where your head is at with the whole option thing. The basic gradient framework could support variant options to mimic other classes, or provide the basis for new ones. Although, I don't know if I'd change it much for the wizard because that's just what makes the most sense to me (more perspective is probably needed though). Maybe the sorcerer option could extend the at-will and spontaneous up a level at the cost of spell breadth (e.g. only having one level of memorized spells), or get more lower level spells and less higher level ones. Maybe another variant could actually sacrifice max levels for an increased rate of at-will spell gains. I'd like to hear more detail about your ideas for the widening/narrowing base concept and how that would work in practice.

    I'm getting tired and will have to sleep on it. The stroke treatment paper can proofread itself in the morning too. I feel bad that I've almost typed as much on here tonight as the contents of what I was supposed to be working on. Ahhh priorities.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    I love this system. I fully intend to work it into my Pathfinder campaign setting, with Sorcerers, Wizards, and Witches as seperate classes. I'll post my specific design ideas for my version later on once I come up with them.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    I really didn't think everyone would be that receptive to the idea. Maybe I should find out how the whole modules thing will work in 5e and have a writeup ready for it.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    It really is a novel approach to magic. I can't find a way to work the concept into the magic system I currently use with my group, one with a basis in components, where casters learn components for spell casting as they level and then combine them at will to make spells. The only thing I can think of that allows this discussion to apply is that depending on how you chose to spend your points on components you could make yourself a weaker caster with a really broad component set and several free components. I'll have to make an edit to the write-up to highlight this possibility.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    Balance? Pah. I care not for balance.

    I'm grabbing this for my wizard-only game, thankyouverymuch. If only for the reason that it simplifies real-life preparation time SO MUCH.
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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    @Rorrik. I like the sound of that. I would very much look forward to seeing it. It sounds similar to an idea a buddy of mine had. One of my players is considering taking a shot at DMing (which would be nice because it put the total of my players I've gotten into DMing up to about 50%), and he wants to run a game where everyone starts as the same class (custom farmer class with some minor rangerish, roguely, huntering abilities) and they get "fate cards" or whatever randomly at certain points to determine the powers and abilities that make up the bulk of their class. We still haven't worked out all the details yet.

    @Sampi. Enjoy! I would re-iterate that this is more of a conceptual system and doesn't have explicit values for class features such as #spells learned for free each level, #spontaneous castings per day for each spell level, #of memorized slots/day for each spell level, or any of the other specs that a class includes, so you'll either have to come up with some that work, or possibly make a hybrid of the wizard and sorcerer casting allowances for each level [e.g. this method would have a 14th level Wizard using gradient casting getting 2 7th level slots, and 3 6th level slots from the wizard list, and getting 6 5th, 4th, and 3rd level spontaneous castings per day]. It hasn't been tested yet, so I'm not sure if those values would be appropriate. An alternative for spontaneous spells per day of a given spell level might be something like 10-spell level [where a spell level 3 would have 7 uses, SL 4 would have 6 uses and SL5 would have 5 uses], or some constant X minus the spell level.
    If you find a sweet spot in values that work well on the table then please share with everyone. :)

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    I'll work out a system for my game, and then post it here once I've playtested.
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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    I agree with Sampi. I'm not sure how balanced this system is, but it is great for a spellcaster-only campaign, or for a new D20 game built with it in mind.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    @Tengu_temp. I've never run a spellcaster-only campaign. Why would it be automatically useful for that instance if the balance is unknown? Do spellcaster-only campaigns simply ignore/support differences in balance?

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    It's because while I'm not sure if this makes casters stronger or weaker in comparison to non-casters, their power level in comparison to other casters does not change.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    I'm thinking of keeping the Wizard progesstion as is for Pathfinder (literally), having the Witch use the same progression but different spell list, and having the Sorcerer only able to know spells up to level 6 and have only Instinctive and Practiced spells. Sorcerers still posses 7-9 level slots, but they have to use metamagic feats to use them. Sorcerers do not have more spells per day than a Wizard, but they do not have delayed increase of spell levels. That said, Sorcerers are damn good at metamagic. They get all metamagic feats free at first level, they never increase casting time when applying a metamagic feat or feats, and, at higher levels, metamagic feats become cheaper to apply.

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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    Quote Originally Posted by MacAilbert View Post
    I'm thinking of keeping the Wizard progesstion as is for Pathfinder (literally), having the Witch use the same progression but different spell list, and having the Sorcerer only able to know spells up to level 6 and have only Instinctive and Practiced spells. Sorcerers still posses 7-9 level slots, but they have to use metamagic feats to use them. Sorcerers do not have more spells per day than a Wizard, but they do not have delayed increase of spell levels. That said, Sorcerers are damn good at metamagic. They get all metamagic feats free at first level, they never increase casting time when applying a metamagic feat or feats, and, at higher levels, metamagic feats become cheaper to apply.
    Whoa. Useful sorcerers. Who would have thought that could happen.

    Seriously, though, I really like the idea of the metamagic-sorcerer, blasting away with quickened silent spells. Personallly, I would still give her more spells/day, if only because she still lacks in versatility.
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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    I love it! Already added this thread to favorites!

    It could be pretty unbalancing for wizard/clerics/druids, but for caster with limited spells known, this could be awesome.

    I really think Wiz/Sorc should be a single casting class ("the mage"). With the wizard's spell progression and spells per day (maybe +1/level per day)and the sorcerer's spells known (maybe with +1 or +2 spell known of each spell level).
    But I was never much sure about if they should be vancian or spontaneous, though. You just answered that question.

    Cleric/Favored Souls would also be unified ("the priest"?) and follow a similar progression, only with a different spell list and class features.

    Since they'd have limited spells known and less spells/day than sorcerers/favored souls, it would probably be more balanced even with at-will casting of lower level spells.

    That slot for memorized spells is a great idea. I'd like to keep it, although only 1 or maybe 2 of them for each spell level.

    Damn, now I have to write these ideas down.

    Also, I'm using your system for the BBEG caster in my campaign!

    Maybe in future homebrews too, if you do not mind, in which case, I'll make sure to credit you.
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    Default Re: Gradient Wizard Spellcasting [How to have your Vancian and spontaneously cast it

    Quote Originally Posted by Sampi View Post
    Whoa. Useful sorcerers. Who would have thought that could happen.

    Seriously, though, I really like the idea of the metamagic-sorcerer, blasting away with quickened silent spells. Personallly, I would still give her more spells/day, if only because she still lacks in versatility.
    I'm still tweaking it. I'm thinking of using the original Sorcerer spell progression, meaning their levels are delayed but they still have more spells per day. I'm not sure whether or not I want to make them eventually become cheaper to apply.

    I use a lot of supplements, so there are a ton of allowed metamagic feats in my game, so being able to use all metamagic feats is a good deal for a Sorcerer, since that gives them a gigantic amount of things they can do to modify a spell.

    I'm also thinking of making the Witch an alternate class of the Wizard. That won't change the class at all, it'll just explain why the Witch and Wizard cast in pretty much the same manner (in my campaign setting, Witches use books, not familiars).

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