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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    Hi guys,

    I was wondering if someone named the higher levels of spells? I would imagine that an academy of mages would have a name for each power level (instead of using numbers), but what I'm actually interested in now is the divine spell line.

    Any dictionary for levels of divine spells?

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    You could dig up a thesaurus if you really wanted to, but most players will just keep using the level terminology anyways so you might as well stick with that.

    Besides, the only place where zeroth level spells becomes awkward is 3.x, and that's due to trying to keep many AD&Disms while still creating a space for spells weaker than first level. A wizards guild in that sort of setting would probably just increment the level by one all along, so you go from 1-10 instead of 0-9. Everything else, cantrips either act fundamentally different or are just one specific first level spell, so in universe people would have reason to treat them as something different.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    I think the original Unearthed Arcana had something like that. Perhaps exactly like that. But I haven't seen that particular book in 20 years, so I might be misremembering.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    Besides, the only place where zeroth level spells becomes awkward is 3.x, and that's due to trying to keep many AD&Disms while still creating a space for spells weaker than first level. A wizards guild in that sort of setting would probably just increment the level by one all along, so you go from 1-10 instead of 0-9. Everything else, cantrips either act fundamentally different or are just one specific first level spell, so in universe people would have reason to treat them as something different.
    It depends on where you begin your index, if we assume that 'not a spell' is a zero on the list then having 3.X spells run from one to ten is completely reasonable. But if we assume that 'not a spell' isn't in our list of rankings at all then where we start our list of spell levels is arbiatary. With ten distinct spell levels 0-9 actually has a slight advantage over 1-10 in that it consists of ten unique symbols that don't include each other (plus having learnt multiple programming languages I like to start indexes at 0).

    But any ranking structure will be somewhat arbitary. We could rate the D&D 3.5 spells from J-rank (0th level) to A-rank (9th level), with Epic spells being A* rank. We could define 0 as 'not magic' and 1 as 'total magic', in which case the spells range from 0.1 to 1. We could name them after the most well known bodies in the solar system, with Mercuary, Venus, Terra, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto categories. Although that last one works less well when dealing with a power scale.

    We can also name the different spell levels after different magical creatures. 1st level is Pixie-class, while 9th level is God-class (this works better in a setting where 9th level spells are legendary).


    On a slightly different note, I like it when something given a different name is actually a somewhat different thing. Such as The Dark Eye having Cantrips (cheap and automatic minor effects), spells (relatively quick to cast but uncertain), and rituals (slow and uncertain but powerful). The way cantrips are handled in Pathfinder and 5e follows this, they are at-will (and likely minor) magical powers.
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    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kafana View Post
    Hi guys,

    I was wondering if someone named the higher levels of spells? I would imagine that an academy of mages would have a name for each power level (instead of using numbers), but what I'm actually interested in now is the divine spell line.

    Any dictionary for levels of divine spells?
    To my knowledge, no official terminology.
    In my settings, the ingame academic term is "circle", so "7th circle spells".
    However, there are some other terms used:
    + 1st and 2nd circle are called "simple spells".
    - 1st are called "common"
    - 2nd are called "uncommon"
    + 3rd to 5th circle are called "war spells", or "academic spells"
    => That does not mean that every soldier/scholar know them. That means that ONLY soldier/scholar know them (with exceptions, of course).
    - 3rd are called "standard war/academic spells", or simply "war spells".
    - 4th are called "advanced war/academic spells"
    - 5th are called "elite war/academic spells"
    + 6th to 9th circle are called "unique spells".
    - There is no particular denomination for each circle. Everybody use their circle number when it is relevant, or the spell name.
    Last edited by MoiMagnus; 2018-08-24 at 07:35 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    Having grown up with basic D&D I tend to think of spells as being in three or four groups (the spells once came in three books for progressive levels) usually with simple names like apprentice, journeyman, master. If you want nine categories for divine spells the 1st edition class titles could be a good starting point.

    1- Acolyte
    2- Adept
    3- Priest
    4- Curate
    5- Prefect
    6- Canon
    7- Lama
    8- Patriarch
    9- High Priest

    I've had positive experiences using these loosely without laying down their meaning formally, though I ommited a few expanding adept to 2-3 and patriarch/matriarch to 7+.

    On the subject of "should it be 1-10 not 0-9?" I feel that 0 level spells hold a special place. 1st level spells are a marker of competency that even the most brash apprentice would not attempt to strike out on his own without. It would also be less eligant for starting characters to have level 1 and level 2 spells. Another interesting aspect is that most hybrid classes and prestige classes with their own lists don't have level 0 spells. This suggests that learning them is very tedious and not essential to learning stronger magic, however it may be essential to preparing the mind and spirit with a foundation capable of building up to the highest levels of magical achievement.
    Last edited by Hand_of_Vecna; 2018-08-24 at 11:48 AM.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

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    Default Re: Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hand_of_Vecna View Post
    8- Patriarch
    Eberron has one NPC cleric able to cast this level of spell, and she's a little girl.

    I bet she gets pouty when people try to call her a Patriarch.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Eberron has one NPC cleric able to cast this level of spell, and she's a little girl.

    I bet she gets pouty when people try to call her a Patriarch.
    Did you stop reading at that exact line? I was copying from a text and in the next sentence I referred to my own personal use of "Patriarch/Matriarch". To be fair, calling a little girl Matriarch may feel a bit silly too even though the real world has comparable cases of children having titles expected of elders.

    Of course I was suggesting transfering the titles from player levels to spells, character level 10 is not nearly as special in most 3rd+ edition games as was in Basic D&D.
    Therefore it wouldn't necessarily be "You can cast level 8 spells, let's make you Patriarch" it's "Praise the light, this child works miracles not seen since the passing of the Matriarch."
    Last edited by Hand_of_Vecna; 2018-08-25 at 11:58 AM.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

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    Default Re: Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hand_of_Vecna View Post
    Did you stop reading at that exact line?
    Are you confused about the difference between your home game and the published setting that I'm using to say something funny?

    Are you taking an Eberron funny as if it were some kind of personal insult?

    Seriously, what's with the drama?

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    Without voice the line between pithy and snide can be very blurry.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Nifft's Avatar

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    Default Re: Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hand_of_Vecna View Post
    Without voice the line between pithy and snide can be very blurry.
    The line between an attack that merits going personal, as you did, and a comment which doesn't refer to you at all is ... well, it shouldn't be all that blurry.

    Nothing provoked your vitriol. If you delete it, I'll remove my reply... but honestly this unpleasantness is all on you.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    It depends on where you begin your index,...
    The index was begun in 1974, with original D&D. It had wizard spells level 1-6, and cleric spells level 1-5.

    Then, starting with Greyhawk in 1975, higher level spells were added, and they always continued the numbering system. Various spells moved around, but the base system was in place in 1974.

    A lower level below level 1 was added eleven years later, in Unearthed Arcana. That's why they are called 0th level.

    You have some good logical ideas about what other numbering systems could have been used if the entire modern system were invented from scratch today. But the actual decision is was based on the previously established system.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Troll in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    A lower level below level 1 was added eleven years later, in Unearthed Arcana. That's why they are called 0th.
    Not quite 11 years later (which would be 1985) - Imagine magazine carried Gary Gaygax's cantrips in late 1983 so they probably came out in Dragon shortly before that (still probably 1983).

    I don't think the 0th level divine spells existed before 3rd ed (or the name 'orison') but they might have snuck out during 2nd ed after I stopped collecting it.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Orisons/Cantrips for level 0, but what about level 1, 2, 3...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    The index was begun in 1974, with original D&D. It had wizard spells level 1-6, and cleric spells level 1-5.

    Then, starting with Greyhawk in 1975, higher level spells were added, and they always continued the numbering system. Various spells moved around, but the base system was in place in 1974.

    A lower level below level 1 was added eleven years later, in Unearthed Arcana. That's why they are called 0th level.

    You have some good logical ideas about what other numbering systems could have been used if the entire modern system were invented from scratch today. But the actual decision is was based on the previously established system.
    Oh, I understand all this, I was mainly pointing out the fact that 1-10 isn't less awkward than 0-9, and used that as a jumping off point to list other ways you can categorise magic (in my homebrew setting it's a four rank 'goblin/djinn/fey/god' structure, with no god-class spells actually existing, it's a theoretical tier). But the D&D system works as it does due to legacy issues, the fact that 0-9 happens to be a good way to do spell levels in a base 10 number system is a nice bonus.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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