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Thread: Vancian magic

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    A lot of these interpretations fail when it comes to wizard spells. Arcane magic has the property of not being divine magic and not being psionics. Therefore it cannot be powered by contracts with spirits because that wpuld be divine magic, and it also cannot be powered by some mystical pattern of thought and memory because then it would be psionics.
    Au contraire! Divine magic is granted, not contractual. (It's actually not even that neat and clean in D&D 3e or 5e; warlocks muddy the waters considerably.) But for my formulation, what separates divine magic from arcane is the way you tap into it. Divine magic comes from being a faithful part of the spiritual order that grants the power. You're in the god's hierarchy, and have authority he grants you, or you're part of the natural order of things in the same sense as the spirits that you work with. Your wisdom grants you the ability to encompass these ways of life and their fundamental connections to reality, and your faith that you are part of something greater gives you the conduit to the powers that you command.

    Arcane magic is, in contrast, mortal interaction with animistic forces, using contractual obligations as sure and potent as any scientifically-learned laws of nature. There may also be negotiation, but the crux of the negotiation to establish a new spell is finding the right beings to do the negotiations with, and formulating the contracts such that they create the permanent and fixed way of doing things. Wizards use Intelligence because they're all about the manipulation of the rules of magical law already established, and about forging contracts that are ironclad within the rules. Sorcerers use Charisma because they're all about enforcing the rule that their very presence and being entitles them to, and sometimes about convincing, coercing, or tricking the forces of nature into accepting their proposed contracts.

    Divine magic doesn't really work that way: it is the faith of the divine caster that enables their spiritual allies and even superiors to support them, and sometimes spells work differently for different casters because it's all about the connection with the structure of their religious sect.

    Psionics, I am not fully happy with my explanations for, because I don't want to have them touch the animistic nature of things at all, but I also am not thrilled with some uniquely potent inner power source that they have that magic casters do not. That said, it might be the right approach, considering that being a psionic manifester actually gives you a subtype, while learning magic doesn't make you "different" in as fundamental a way.

    Still, I'm toying with psionics being a tie to the Astral Plane (the plane of thought) and utilizing its connection to all planes in some fashion. This doesn't quite provide as neat an explanation as the animistic magic contracts thing does, to my mind. Whatever it is, it needs to allow for Int, Cha, and Wis-based manifestation to be explicable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    A lot of these interpretations fail when it comes to wizard spells. Arcane magic has the property of not being divine magic and not being psionics. Therefore it cannot be powered by contracts with spirits because that wpuld be divine magic, and it also cannot be powered by some mystical pattern of thought and memory because then it would be psionics.
    Nonsense. Not all spirits are divine. There's no issue with saying that arcane casters get their contracts from elementals, demons, devils etc. instead of gods.

    Also, there is and has always been significant overlap between types of magic. Especially if you use magic-psionic-transparency, they are fundamentally the same. Even if you don't, it still 100% clear that spells are based on mental effort and outright grant you psionic abilities from time to time. (Telekinesis, ESP, etc. are all spells in addition to psionic powers.)

    If you add classes such as Warlock, you don't just have overlap, you have redundancy. Warlock's invocations may be mechanically distinct but they're not conceptually distinct.

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    I dislike vancian magic for reasons of pure taste. but it was easy to imagine for a wizard that the spell preparation was like building a thing that would do one thing when activated. and then the thing was burnt out until built again.
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    I think it was the whole concept of "memorization" that got me, and then "forgetting" a spell as soon as it's cast. Most people who "memorize" something don't forget that fast. Except for me and calculus.

    "Preparation" made more sense; the power of the spell is used up when you cast, and it has to be re-prepared. That said, I do prefer the 5e model of casting.. greatly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    "Preparation" made more sense; the power of the spell is used up when you cast, and it has to be re-prepared. That said, I do prefer the 5e model of casting.. greatly.
    The reason I prefer 5e's casting model is for the same reason that a lot of people do: more versatility with your use of spell slots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paladinn View Post
    I think it was the whole concept of "memorization" that got me, and then "forgetting" a spell as soon as it's cast. Most people who "memorize" something don't forget that fast. Except for me and calculus.

    "Preparation" made more sense; the power of the spell is used up when you cast, and it has to be re-prepared
    I fully agree.

    And furthermore, as I said before, "memorization" implies that it's basically psionics, even though it's not supposed to be
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    I fully agree.

    And furthermore, as I said before, "memorization" implies that it's basically psionics, even though it's not supposed to be
    Not quite. Psionics aren't enacted by verbal, somatic, and material components. Memorization isn't part of psionics, either; psionics are...ill-defined, but typically involve willing things into being, not memorizing anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    It's not that it's not realistic, it;'s that it's not true to how magic is portrayed in fantasy and horror literature (excluding works by Jack Vance). Harry Potter didn't have to pre-prepare spells or have a set number of castings, and neither did Jon-Tom Merriweather, Gandalf, Sabrina the Teenaged Witch, or Chuckie Lee Ray.

    In the Evil Dead you don't even need a real caster. A recording or broadcast of the incantation will do.
    This complaint always irks me a little bit.

    Unless a person can provide examples of multiple separate fantasy or horror worlds where magic operates identically, all this complaint says is "Magic in this world doesn't operate the specific way I want it to so that I can be allowed to recreate exactly this story that I've already read."

    There is absolutely no inter-world universal context for magic in the various mythologies created by fantasy authors that would make this complaint legitimate in any way.

    Tolkein magic explicitly excludes the option for Sabrina Magic explicitly excludes the opportunity for Jim Butcher magic explicitly excludes the opportunity for LeGuin magic explicitly excludes the opportunity for Gemmell magic explicitly excludes the opportunity for Potter magic explicitly excludes... you get the idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrogInATopHat View Post
    Unless a person can provide examples of multiple separate fantasy or horror worlds where magic operates identically, all this complaint says is "Magic in this world doesn't operate the specific way I want it to so that I can be allowed to recreate exactly this story that I've already read."
    That's true, but there are degrees to it. Vancian magic works a very specific way and most magic in popular culture works quite differently. It's obviously a matter of opinion, but personally I feel like some like spell points or mana (or something like skill checks) comes a lot closer to simulating a lot of it than Vancian does. It's not perfect by a long shot, but it's better.
    Last edited by Batcathat; 2020-12-26 at 10:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    That's true, but there are degrees to it. Vancian magic works a very specific way and most magic in popular culture works quite differently. It's obviously a matter of opinion, but personally I feel like some like spell points or mana (or something like skill checks) comes a lot closer to simulating a lot of it than Vancian does. It's not perfect by a long shot, but it's better.
    Tbh, everything I've seen that makes any of them better at 'generic magic' either have balance or bookkeeping issues and still don't really fit the *actual* stories that people insist they want to tell.

    There is no such thing as a perfect system unless it's the exact system needed to tel the exact story one wants to tell, and when it comes to d&d, a lot of people seem to think that this is the casting method's fault, rather than a sign that they need to adjust their expectations or use a different system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    That's true, but there are degrees to it. Vancian magic works a very specific way and most magic in popular culture works quite differently. It's obviously a matter of opinion, but personally I feel like some like spell points or mana (or something like skill checks) comes a lot closer to simulating a lot of it than Vancian does. It's not perfect by a long shot, but it's better.
    While I am not qualified to talk about RL supernatural beliefs in the academic sense I am under impression that "mana" is only rarely encountered in the IRL beliefs about magic, more of them are based on skill and/or will, or in fact on the rituals (taking prolonged time, effort and sometimes rare material components). In fact I'd like to propose that "Vancian" in D&D is a gamification of ritualistic magic - you make the ritual to work magic and then it goes off when you say ""squiddleydoodlefluffer". Time delay is not entirely unprecedented, in fact, there are things like charms you give to an ill or wounded person, or hex-bearing items you bury near the entrance of your enemy's house. What is almost entirely unprecedented is conducting the ritual with nothing more than a book, and carrying it all in your head instead of in an item, but this while not reflecting IRL beliefs is a very decent attempt in having it handy for the game purposes while not entirely dispensing with ritualistic part.
    Last edited by Saint-Just; 2020-12-26 at 01:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    While I am not qualified to talk about RL supernatural beliefs in the academic sense I am under impression that "mana" is only rarely encountered in the IRL beliefs about magic, more of them are based on skill and/or will, or in fact on the rituals (taking prolonged time, effort and sometimes rare material components). In fact I'd like to propose that "Vancian" in D&D is a gamification of ritualistic magic - you make the ritual to work magic and then it goes of when you say ""squiddleydoodlefluffer". Time delay is not entirely unprecedented, in fact, there are things like charms you give to an ill or wounded person, or hex-bearing items you bury near the entrance of your enemy's house. What is almost entirely unprecedented is conducting the ritual with nothing more than a book, and carrying it all in your head instead of in an item, but this while not reflecting IRL beliefs is a very decent attempt in having it handy for the game purposes while not entirely dispensing with ritualistic part.
    Most D&D spells also require speaking a certain formula, doing the proper gestures and using certain items that often have a correlation to the spell being cast (the classic example is fireball requiring bat guano and sulfur).

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    One thing about "Vancian" magic is that it's not even consistent between editions, even if you disregard 4e entirely. Shifts in things like
    * Clerics having fewer spell levels than "magic users".
    * Lots of spells shifting categories, shifting levels, and/or being completely reworked (even in the 3e to 3.5e transition)
    * 5e's "Vancian" magic not preparing individual instances of spells at all, basically moving everyone to a 3e-style spontaneous casting
    * The strong blurring of the arcane-divine distinction (3e did it in lots of ways, and I'm betting there were classes/kits in 2e that could cast "opposing" spells). Heck, in 5e, the arcane/divine distinction basically comes down to a single sentence in a sidebar in the PHB. Spells are separated by class list, with lots of duplication.

    So any "global" explanation for vancian magic would have to account for all that crap and more. Edition-local explanations will fit better, but also completely fail for many cases that cross editions.
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    I've always thought of the morning preparation for Vancian spellcasting as being the wizard performing rituals. It would be a pain to spend five minutes in the middle of combat or whatever to cast their ritual, so they just try their best to predict what they'll need for the day, perform their rituals, and then leave them hanging in a semi-complete state until such a time during the day that they need them. A wizard's body can only handle so much magic passing through it without rest and recovery, which limits how many spells they can use per day, but there's really nothing stopping them from leaving some of their daily allotment open in case they need it for an unforeseen situation. In that case, readying that ritual takes significantly longer than how they normally cast spells, because they need to perform the whole ritual, right there and on the spot.
    Last edited by Alteiner; 2020-12-26 at 01:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    One thing about "Vancian" magic is that it's not even consistent between editions, even if you disregard 4e entirely. Shifts in things like
    * Clerics having fewer spell levels than "magic users".
    * Lots of spells shifting categories, shifting levels, and/or being completely reworked (even in the 3e to 3.5e transition)
    * 5e's "Vancian" magic not preparing individual instances of spells at all, basically moving everyone to a 3e-style spontaneous casting
    * The strong blurring of the arcane-divine distinction (3e did it in lots of ways, and I'm betting there were classes/kits in 2e that could cast "opposing" spells). Heck, in 5e, the arcane/divine distinction basically comes down to a single sentence in a sidebar in the PHB. Spells are separated by class list, with lots of duplication.

    So any "global" explanation for vancian magic would have to account for all that crap and more. Edition-local explanations will fit better, but also completely fail for many cases that cross editions.
    It's a change in magic, yes. It's not a change in "Vancianness" at all (except for the 5e bits). Number of slots does not affect how "vancian" it is, nor spells changing, or shifting between schools, nor having schools at all.

    Example: old-school TES (Morrowind and before) have skills-and-mana magic (spells cost mana and may be unsuccessful depending on your skill, situation etc.) Action-RPG TES (Oblivion and Skyrim) have mana magic (Yes you do have a trainable skill, but you know exact effects before you press the button, so second-to-second you need to only concern yourself with mana). Getting spells added, deleted, changed, number of schools changed between II and III, or IV and V, do not make it another system, like 3.5e Athas is not another system compared to FR or Eberron despite banning, nerfing or making harder to access number of spells (adding new spells is something that practically every setting does, banning is not).
    Last edited by Saint-Just; 2020-12-26 at 02:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrogInATopHat View Post
    This complaint always irks me a little bit.

    Unless a person can provide examples of multiple separate fantasy or horror worlds where magic operates identically, all this complaint says is "Magic in this world doesn't operate the specific way I want it to so that I can be allowed to recreate exactly this story that I've already read."

    There is absolutely no inter-world universal context for magic in the various mythologies created by fantasy authors that would make this complaint legitimate in any way.

    Tolkein magic explicitly excludes the option for Sabrina Magic explicitly excludes the opportunity for Jim Butcher magic explicitly excludes the opportunity for LeGuin magic explicitly excludes the opportunity for Gemmell magic explicitly excludes the opportunity for Potter magic explicitly excludes... you get the idea.
    You are almost right.

    A way to shortly say most of what you said is this: magic in fiction is arbitrary, it works the way the author says it does.

    But, there is, in fact, a cross-setting context for fiction: the psychology of real humans. There's a limited pool of fictional systems of magic that actually feel magical to the humans perusing the fiction.

    It is possible for a fictional system of magic to escape human psychology and thus feel non-magical. But in this regard, I think Vancian magic holds together pretty well. Vancian magic involves magic-users engaging in ritualized nonsense to trigger causally obscure black box effects. Individual spells in D&D are clearly rooted in real myths and superstitions. If anything, people complaining about lack of magic in Vancian spellcasting are more often being too rational about magic and want rational explanations for the ritualized nonsense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrogInATopHat View Post
    This complaint always irks me a little bit.

    Unless a person can provide examples of multiple separate fantasy or horror worlds where magic operates identically, all this complaint says is "Magic in this world doesn't operate the specific way I want it to so that I can be allowed to recreate exactly this story that I've already read."

    There is absolutely no inter-world universal context for magic in the various mythologies created by fantasy authors that would make this complaint legitimate in any way.

    Tolkein magic explicitly excludes the option for Sabrina Magic explicitly excludes the opportunity for Jim Butcher magic explicitly excludes the opportunity for LeGuin magic explicitly excludes the opportunity for Gemmell magic explicitly excludes the opportunity for Potter magic explicitly excludes... you get the idea.
    They have more in common with each other than they do with vancian magic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    They have more in common with each other than they do with vancian magic.
    But they don't really have any less in common with Vancian magic than they do with a mana pool concept EDIT: To choose one of the examples of other systems, but any other system is the same.

    Sabrina - say the cheesy rhyme, get the spell. No limit to casting unless 'the magic is trying to teach you a lesson'.
    Gemmell - mostly ritual casting
    Butcher 1: Dresden - (Human) magic is about the words, not the will of the caster. If you use latin for spells, you'd better never learn latin in case you set your face on fire by accident.
    Butcher 2: Codex Alera - Magic is asking pokemon to do things.
    Tolkien - Don't even get me started. We'd be here all day talking about Tolkien magic.
    Mistborn - magic is particular innate abilities that need a specific material catalyst which can be consumed by the process or else can have its own storage limitations

    The problem is that people are trying to fit magic for the purposes of narrative, where balance and bookkeeping are irrelevant, into a system (any of them really) where balance and bookkeeping are actual important concerns and complaining when the two don't line up.

    I like Vancian casting because it does the job it needs to. I similarly like the other methods that other systems use and have used. But I recognise that that their job isn't to allow me to smash square pegs into round holes.

    I mean, even the Dresden Files RPG itself wasn't able to accurately mirror the way magic works in its own fictionverse.
    Last edited by FrogInATopHat; 2020-12-27 at 01:34 AM.

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    I will cede that Mistborn is also unique
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    I think my primary issue with Vancian magic when it comes to emulating the magic of various pop culture is the idea that you can run out of a specific spell, something that's a major part of Vancian magic but almost unheard of anywhere else. Harry Dresden won't run out of fugeo, Harry Potter won't run out of Expelliarmus, etc. I can't think of a single magic user that's limited that way (aside from maybe whatshername in Runaways but she's not very Vancian either). That doesn't mean they don't exist, but they're certainly rare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    I think my primary issue with Vancian magic when it comes to emulating the magic of various pop culture is the idea that you can run out of a specific spell, something that's a major part of Vancian magic but almost unheard of anywhere else. Harry Dresden won't run out of fugeo, Harry Potter won't run out of Expelliarmus, etc. I can't think of a single magic user that's limited that way (aside from maybe whatshername in Runaways but she's not very Vancian either). That doesn't mean they don't exist, but they're certainly rare.
    I can think of a few stories that actually directly use Vancian Magic, many inspired by Dungeons & Dragons but a few which aren't.

    Notably you've got;
    • The Dying Earth, by Jack Vance - originator of the term Vancian
    • The Face in the Frost, by John Bellairs - also precedes D&D and is mentioned as an influence in Appendix N
    • The Chronicles of Amber, by Roger Zelazny - has Merlin, hero of the later novels, specifically prepare and 'hang' spells to be used later.
    • The Discworld novels, by Terry Pratchett - early novels featuring the wizards specify them as needing to memorise spells in advance
    • Young Wizards, by Diane Duane - its protagonists frequently prepare most of a spell in advance and complete it with the last word
    • The Thraxas books, by Martin Millar - the protagonist is a private investigator who has enough magical knowledge to prepare and cast a single spell each day
    • The Slayers light novels, by Hajime Kanzaka - although not specified in the anime adaptations, the literary version of Lina Inverse has to prepare her spells in advance
    • The White Witch, in the Legion of Super-Heroes - has to prepare her single-use spells in advance. Interestingly enough, the arc which properly introduced her and mentioned this limitation on her powers actually had the characters playing a game of Dungeons & Dragons on a holographic interface. They made the reference super-explicit.

    I could go on, but the fact of the matter is that Vancian magic is not that uncommon. Sometimes it's because the author was inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, but sometimes it's because the work in question would go on to more directly inspire Dungeons & Dragons, as in the case of Dying Earth, Face in the Frost, and Chronicles of Amber. Just because it's not in the books you've personally read doesn't mean it's not in any books.
    Last edited by Scots Dragon; 2020-12-27 at 09:07 AM.
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    Farmland isn't there to be adventured in, primarily, but one assumes it's still there and part of the landscape -- just because adventurers don't go there often doesn't mean it doesn't or shouldn't or needn't exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scots Dragon View Post
    I could go on, but the fact of the matter is that Vancian magic is not that uncommon. Sometimes it's because the author was inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, but sometimes it's because the work in question would go on to more directly inspire Dungeons & Dragons, as in the case of Dying Earth, Face in the Frost, and Chronicles of Amber. Just because it's not in the books you've personally read doesn't mean it's not in any books.
    Sure, I assumed there would be examples I wasn't aware of. I maintain that it's not very common and even less so in the more popular works that people are more likely to want to emulate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    Sure, I assumed there would be examples I wasn't aware of. I maintain that it's not very common and even less so in the more popular works that people are more likely to want to emulate.
    But Dungeons & Dragons isn't actually for emulating specific popular works of fantasy. It has its own lore and concepts that are baked into the rules from the ground up even outside of the systems for magic, and it has its own set of worlds and settings which reflect the assumptions of those rules.

    If you want to play a Harry Dresden shooting fuego all the time, there's actually literally a Dresden Files RPG.

    Basically 90% of the problems people have with Dungeons & Dragons are that they do not, in fact, actually want to be playing Dungeons & Dragons.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    A game setting does need to be designed to be fun and functional to game in.

    But there's more to good worldbuilding than piling the "parts to game in" on a big pile.

    Farmland isn't there to be adventured in, primarily, but one assumes it's still there and part of the landscape -- just because adventurers don't go there often doesn't mean it doesn't or shouldn't or needn't exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scots Dragon View Post
    But Dungeons & Dragons isn't actually for emulating specific popular works of fantasy. It has its own lore and concepts that are baked into the rules from the ground up even outside of the systems for magic, and it has its own set of worlds and settings which reflect the assumptions of those rules.

    If you want to play a Harry Dresden shooting fuego all the time, there's actually literally a Dresden Files RPG.

    Basically 90% of the problems people have with Dungeons & Dragons are that they do not, in fact, actually want to be playing Dungeons & Dragons.
    I mean. Yes, D&D is not a general fantasy RPG. D&D is very specific in a lot of ways and a nontrivial amount of its assumptions are hard to reflavor away while quite literally not existing in any fantasy works outside of a handful of (largely not great. Sorry, Vance, but your protagonists almost universally suck) ancient Sword and Sorcery stories and the variety of works that are directly aping/homaging/making fun of D&D in particular.

    The thing is that this is not how D&D is actually marketed and sold to people. People do come in thinking D&D is a general fantasy game, because that is what the copy on the back of the books tells them!

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    Except that it isn't. The back of the book talks about playing Dungeons & Dragons with its various iconic races, classes, adventures, and such. It doesn't say 'relive your favourite fantasy novels', it says 'go on epic adventures and fight monsters'.

    The actual text on the back of the 5e PHB:

    Arm Yourself for Adventure!

    The Player's Handbook is the essential reference for every DUNGEONS & DRAGONS roleplayer. It contains rules for character creation and advancement, backgrounds and skills, exploration and combat, equipment, spells, and much more.

    Use this book to create exciting characters from among the most iconic D&D races and classes.

    DUNGEONS & DRAGONS immerses you in a world of adventure. Explore ancient ruins and deadly dungeons. Battle monsters while searching for legendary treasures. Gain experience and power as you trek across uncharted lands with your companions.

    The world needs heroes. Will you answer the call?
    I swear, like 90% of peoples' problems with various editions of Dungeons & Dragons would be solved if they just realised that they would be better served by just playing different RPGs.
    Last edited by Scots Dragon; 2020-12-27 at 10:52 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    A game setting does need to be designed to be fun and functional to game in.

    But there's more to good worldbuilding than piling the "parts to game in" on a big pile.

    Farmland isn't there to be adventured in, primarily, but one assumes it's still there and part of the landscape -- just because adventurers don't go there often doesn't mean it doesn't or shouldn't or needn't exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scots Dragon View Post
    But Dungeons & Dragons isn't actually for emulating specific popular works of fantasy. It has its own lore and concepts that are baked into the rules from the ground up even outside of the systems for magic, and it has its own set of worlds and settings which reflect the assumptions of those rules.
    Phrased far more succinctly than I put it earlier. Absolutely agree.

    If you want to play a Harry Dresden shooting fuego all the time, there's actually literally a Dresden Files RPG.
    Which is still less than perfect at replicating the magic system in the novels it was specifically designed to emulate. It's almost like two very different media won't always align 100% due to different considerations.

    Basically 90% of the problems people have with Dungeons & Dragons are that they do not, in fact, actually want to be playing Dungeons & Dragons.
    Ah, market saturation! You tricky beast!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drascin View Post
    The thing is that this is not how D&D is actually marketed and sold to people.
    By who(m)? Not in any of the official material I've ever seen. And equally infrequent in any player/GM-based 'recruitment drives' I've encountered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scots Dragon View Post
    I swear, like 90% of peoples' problems with various editions of Dungeons & Dragons would be solved if they just realised that they would be better served by just playing different RPGs.
    The cost of playing another RPG is quite high. And I'm not talking about the monetary cost as it's not that high with all the cheap options available. It's more a cost in time to learn about other RPGs (find them, read the rules, and try them), plus a social cost of convincing other peoples to try another RPG, even assuming that you get a group of peoples with similar enough taste that you are all better served by the same RPG.

    Personally, I got the experience to create my own RPG that match my tastes before learning to navigate the sea of available RPGs and learning to determine which will serve me the better.

    In the end, a big part of the player base would have more fun with a system other than D&D. And it's a non-trivial question (for WotC) to choose whether D&D should adapt to them and become a more "default RPG" in its core rules (keeping its uniqueness in settings books), or if the D&D should focus on its initial niche and redirect unsatisfied players toward other RPGs.
    Last edited by MoiMagnus; 2020-12-27 at 11:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batcathat View Post
    I think my primary issue with Vancian magic when it comes to emulating the magic of various pop culture is the idea that you can run out of a specific spell, something that's a major part of Vancian magic but almost unheard of anywhere else. Harry Dresden won't run out of fugeo, Harry Potter won't run out of Expelliarmus, etc. I can't think of a single magic user that's limited that way (aside from maybe whatshername in Runaways but she's not very Vancian either).
    Yes! Exactly!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scots Dragon
    [*]The Discworld novels, by Terry Pratchett - early novels featuring the wizards specify them as needing to memorise spells in advance
    Tellingly though, the premise is more or less abandoned by book 3 (out of forty one)
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2020-12-27 at 12:22 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoiMagnus View Post
    In the end, a big part of the player base would have more fun with a system other than D&D. And it's a non-trivial question (for WotC) to choose whether D&D should adapt to them and become a more "default RPG" in its core rules (keeping its uniqueness in settings books), or if the D&D should focus on its initial niche and redirect unsatisfied players toward other RPGs.
    The fact of the matter is that changing D&D to suit those concepts turns it into something that is no longer Dungeons & Dragons, and in the process you alienate the long-running fans way more than you would have otherwise. And when those long-running fans are thus more likely to direct newcomers to stuff like Pathfinder than they are to direct them to actual Dungeons & Dragons, you have the huge schism which happened during fourth edition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    A game setting does need to be designed to be fun and functional to game in.

    But there's more to good worldbuilding than piling the "parts to game in" on a big pile.

    Farmland isn't there to be adventured in, primarily, but one assumes it's still there and part of the landscape -- just because adventurers don't go there often doesn't mean it doesn't or shouldn't or needn't exist.

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