C&C Spells

Open Discussion on all things C&C from new product to general questions to the rules, the laws, and the chaos.
Fizz
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Post by Fizz »

phadeout wrote:
The problem with the 1E or C&C way of doing Illusionists, is that they now have their "own" spells.

2E fixed that with Schools. I also liked Schools because it gave spell groups that could be manipulated through magic items and other effects

I'm in agreement here. While the 2nd Ed school system wasn't perfect, just having the spells organized in this fashion was valuable for many reasons.

What was really messed up were the Priest spheres. Druids don't have Reincarnate? What?

I've been torn as to handle specialist wizards myself. I don't want a separate class for each. Though separate classes does give the advantage of adding unique bonuses (ie, a necromancer who could control undead per a cleric).

The easiest way to go is akin to a fighter's specialization. A fighter might be specialized in, say, an axe, but that doesn't mean he can't use a dagger. Maybe a specialist wizard could be treated as one level higher for spell effects of that school, or something similar. He could still use any spell, but it's plenty of incentive for him to stay within his school.

-Fizz

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Post by adaen »

phadeout wrote:
The problem with the 1E or C&C way of doing Illusionists, is that they now have their "own" spells. They can't intermingle with normal wizards or even use the same spell books. I find that annoying. It would be 7x as worse, if you added in the other Specialists. They would each need their own spells lists and such.

I would rule that a Wizard or Specialist could use the spellbook/spell of another specialist with a success Siege Check.....perhaps versus an exponentially increasing target number as the power of the spell increased....

~AoB
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Post by phadeout »

Fizz wrote:
I've been torn as to handle specialist wizards myself. I don't want a separate class for each. Though separate classes does give the advantage of adding unique bonuses (ie, a necromancer who could control undead per a cleric).

-Fizz

Do you have any of the 2E options books? The one that gives more detail on Specialists I think already took care of your Necromancer concerns. (Options: Spells and Magic) I don't have the book in front of me, but I think Necromancers did gain a bonus to Undead "strength" when animating them, or maybe they gained a bonus to how many they could animate and control at one time (or maybe it was both, I'd have to look it up).

I'm not a huge fan of most the stuff from the options books, but there was some really good stuff with Specialists and some great alternative Spell Energy/Spell Source stuff that I think made Spells and Magic worth every penny. The rest of the books were rubish, but this book is Great! It even has a nice selection of extra spells that were great too. Even if you want to just mine it for C&C ideas, I'd recommend it and you can pick it up for next to nothing.
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Post by phadeout »

adaen wrote:
I would rule that a Wizard or Specialist could use the spellbook/spell of another specialist with a success Siege Check.....perhaps versus an exponentially increasing target number as the power of the spell increased....

~AoB

As long as the spell is normally on their own list.
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Post by adaen »

phadeout wrote:
As long as the spell is normally on their own list.

Depending on how flexible you'd want magic to be, I could see it either way. Obviously, if you allowed "off-list casting", the difficulty of the Siege check would be higher.

~AoB
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Post by phadeout »

adaen wrote:
Depending on how flexible you'd want magic to be, I could see it either way. Obviously, if you allowed "off-list casting", the difficulty of the Siege check would be higher.

~AoB

For off list casting, I'd prolly make it more like scroll use, and have a check made every time you attempt to cast a spell.
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Post by adaen »

Yeah, that sounds about right to me....
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Post by Moorcrys »

phadeout wrote:
]The problem with the 1E or C&C way of doing Illusionists, is that they now have their "own" spells. They can't intermingle with normal wizards or even use the same spell books. I find that annoying. It would be 7x as worse, if you added in the other Specialists. They would each need their own spells lists and such.

Interesting, 'cause that's exactly what I don't like about 2e 'specialists'. To my mind, a specialist is someone trained to do something that others can't do. A specialist wizard in 2e can't do anything that a generalist can't do. In fact, if you have an 'illusionist' speciaist, he can't cast an illusion spell that's mixed with a prohibited school. So, in fact, a specialist in 2nd edition is even more limited than a generalist, even in their supposed sphere of specialization. All they can do is cast one more spell per day and receive some other minor bonus to saving throws. Oh, and they have a better chance of memorizing a spell from their school, at the expense of all other schools. Flavorless in my opinion.

A specialist should have access to spells in their area of study that a generalist wizard shouldn't. They should be able to do things in their area of mastery that others who haven't delved into the depths of that specific arcana can't. Shouldn't they?
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Post by Treebore »

Moorcrys wrote:
Interesting, 'cause that's exactly what I don't like about 2e 'specialists'. To my mind, a specialist is someone trained to do something that others can't do. A specialist wizard in 2e can't do anything that a generalist can't do. In fact, if you have an 'illusionist' speciaist, he can't cast an illusion spell that's mixed with a prohibited school. So, in fact, a specialist in 2nd edition is even more limited than a generalist, even in their supposed sphere of specialization. All they can do is cast one more spell per day and receive some other minor bonus to saving throws. Oh, and they have a better chance of memorizing a spell from their school, at the expense of all other schools. Flavorless in my opinion.

A specialist should have access to spells in their area of study that a generalist wizard shouldn't. They should be able to do things in their area of mastery that others who haven't delved into the depths of that specific arcana can't. Shouldn't they?

I didn't go with "spells only the specialist can cast", because spells do not have inherent security codes to make it possible to limit them to only a "specialist". So a specialist's only real advantage were the extra spells per level and the save modifier.

So to me adding "powers" (feats) to make their castings of their "specialization" deadlier makes the most sense to me.

Here are some examples that come to my mind as I write this:

Evokers cast damage spells automatically "maximized". Longer ranges.

Conjurers summon more powerful creatures (extra HD, max HP's, all the above?), maybe even allow them to know how to "turn"? Or at least dispel other summoned creatures like a turn?

Illusionists. First solid rules for adjudicating Illusionists need to be created. The school of Illusion really has the potential of being the most powerful. The imagination is literally the limit with what Illusions can do. Even so powers that come to mind for them are: Increased durations without concentration, higher save TN's (no more than +2 here, Save TN's in C&C are tough as it is.), increased area of effects for Illusions. Can concentrate on multiple illusion spells at one time.

Necromancers, much like Conjurers, so higher HP undead, higher HD, some kind of turning ability.

Anyways, rather than limit spells, give the "specialized" powers.

Then what about the generalist? Thats the toughy. What would make the generalist a viable alternative?

My thoughts are to make him more awesome at simply casting spells. Allow them to do things like not need components, to not need to gesture, maybe not even speak, purely cast by will alone.

How does these lines of thought sound?
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Post by Moorcrys »

Treebore wrote:
I didn't go with "spells only the specialist can cast", because spells do not have inherent security codes to make it possible to limit them to only a "specialist". So a specialist's only real advantage were the extra spells per level and the save modifier.

So to me adding "powers" (feats) to make their castings of their "specialization" deadlier makes the most sense to me.

Here are some examples that come to my mind as I write this:

Evokers cast damage spells automatically "maximized". Longer ranges.

Conjurers summon more powerful creatures (extra HD, max HP's, all the above?), maybe even allow them to know how to "turn"? Or at least dispel other summoned creatures like a turn?

Illusionists. First solid rules for adjudicating Illusionists need to be created. The school of Illusion really has the potential of being the most powerful. The imagination is literally the limit with what Illusions can do. Even so powers that come to mind for them are: Increased durations without concentration, higher save TN's (no more than +2 here, Save TN's in C&C are tough as it is.), increased area of effects for Illusions. Can concentrate on multiple illusion spells at one time.

Necromancers, much like Conjurers, so higher HP undead, higher HD, some kind of turning ability.

Anyways, rather than limit spells, give the "specialized" powers.

Then what about the generalist? Thats the toughy. What would make the generalist a viable alternative?

My thoughts are to make him more awesome at simply casting spells. Allow them to do things like not need components, to not need to gesture, maybe not even speak, purely cast by will alone.

How does these lines of thought sound?

That all seems great to me. My pedantic moaning was about 2e in particular. Your tweaks add some uniqueness to specialists and make them experts in their particular field, which I guess was my main point regarding what I felt 2e didn't do. I would still probably add a couple spells per level that were 'specialist only' -- for instance any wizard might be able to learn invisibility, but it would take a true illusionist to cast an improved invisibility. Or I may make certain spells one level higher for non-specialists. If I went the one spell list for all wizard types route. However, if you're using the C&C spell list the fact that they didn't incorporate schools into the system means you're going to have to make lists for specialists anyway, or your players won't know what spells an abjurer would use vs. an evoker.

I know you use metamagic effects with the Siege engine mechanic... maybe generalists would have an easier time manipulating effects than specialists (except in their chosen field, of course) -- a bonus of some sort. Or you could give them a few 'sudden' effects over the course of their leveling a la 3rd edition, where they can enlarge, empower, widen, sculpt, etc. once per day immediately and with no chance of failure.
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Post by Julian Grimm »

I've finally decided on reworking the SRD lists and using the spells there. The only things I have dropped so far are alignment spells (since alignment is not used in my games) and I also have the cut spells and spell schools that didn't make C&C. However there is going to be some radical change in my C&C since I am eliminating the Illusionist and giving the bard his spells back to make a second arcane caster (Since there are two divine casters). As for specialists I am holding off on that but I may take another look at the specialist options in the 3e UA book.
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Post by phadeout »

Moorcrys wrote:
Interesting, 'cause that's exactly what I don't like about 2e 'specialists'. To my mind, a specialist is someone trained to do something that others can't do. A specialist wizard in 2e can't do anything that a generalist can't do. In fact, if you have an 'illusionist' speciaist, he can't cast an illusion spell that's mixed with a prohibited school. So, in fact, a specialist in 2nd edition is even more limited than a generalist, even in their supposed sphere of specialization. All they can do is cast one more spell per day and receive some other minor bonus to saving throws. Oh, and they have a better chance of memorizing a spell from their school, at the expense of all other schools. Flavorless in my opinion.

A specialist should have access to spells in their area of study that a generalist wizard shouldn't. They should be able to do things in their area of mastery that others who haven't delved into the depths of that specific arcana can't. Shouldn't they?

I have to agree. The are not perfect by far and only ever played an Illusionist just because Gnomes are limited that way...

What I did like, is the stuff that came after:

Wild Mage, Alchemist (sweet!), Artificier (Played one of these, I love Gnomes... finally something other than Illusionist!), Geometer...

These 4 Speciliasts were great. I didn't mind the Elementalists either... They made A LOT more sense when it came to "barred" schools, as it makes sense a Water mage can't cast Fire spells. And the Elementalists were specialized in a way that didn't make them loose out on major primary spells, just one Element that was usually Offensive/Defensive anyway.
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Post by Treebore »

phadeout wrote:
I have to agree. The are not perfect by far and only ever played an Illusionist just because Gnomes are limited that way...

What I did like, is the stuff that came after:

Wild Mage, Alchemist (sweet!), Artificier (Played one of these, I love Gnomes... finally something other than Illusionist!), Geometer...

These 4 Speciliasts were great. I didn't mind the Elementalists either... They made A LOT more sense when it came to "barred" schools, as it makes sense a Water mage can't cast Fire spells. And the Elementalists were specialized in a way that didn't make them loose out on major primary spells, just one Element that was usually Offensive/Defensive anyway.

I have to say I did like those PrC's. If I go further with this for my games I will probably refer to them for inspiration.
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Post by Moorcrys »

phadeout wrote:
What I did like, is the stuff that came after:

Wild Mage, Alchemist (sweet!), Artificier (Played one of these, I love Gnomes... finally something other than Illusionist!), Geometer...

These 4 Speciliasts were great. I didn't mind the Elementalists either... They made A LOT more sense when it came to "barred" schools, as it makes sense a Water mage can't cast Fire spells. And the Elementalists were specialized in a way that didn't make them loose out on major primary spells, just one Element that was usually Offensive/Defensive anyway.

Yeah, I remember really liking that spells and powers book -- specifically for all of those neat specialists they had in there. There was a lot of flavor in that book. I haven't looked at it in years though the spell compendiums that I still have contain those specialist class spell-lists and barred schools. That'd definitely be a great launching point for specialist wizards in C&C if you go that route.
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Post by RLW »

Omote wrote:
As serleran says, look for Casey Christopherson's Black Librem of Nartarus book due out sometime for the Hanuted Highlands setting... if that is indeed what the book is still called.
-O

If Mr. Christopherson does publish such a book, would you please prevail upon him to use "liber" rather than "librem?" I assume he means to use Latin, and to be frank there is no such word in Latin as librem. (Well, technically there is, but it is a verb that means "May I balance (it)." )

I apologize if I'm being pedantic, but it makes me cringe to see so much crappy Latin in RPGs. There are plenty of Latinists who would be happy to verify any word or phrase a game writer wanted to include for atmosphere.

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Post by serleran »

Actually, I believe it is Black Libram of Nartarus. Libram, of course, refers to "book or tabulates" (even if it is not, precisely, what it means.) There are several Latin phrases (and legal definitions) with it, such as: quae per aes et libram fiant ut obligentur, praeter quae mancipio dentur as stated by Mucius Scaevola pertaining to a Nexum (the transfer of a thing to a creditor as a security [as I understand it] -- like modern-day collateral, in a sense.)

Though, even in this, it is easy to see the "balance" nature of the (I presume - I am not an etymologist) root - Libra.

Black Liber of Nartarus doesn't sound right. ;)

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Post by RLW »

Yes, "libram" in that phrase isn't just related to Libra (the scales) -- it is libra, just in the accusative case! Per aes et libram describes a certain type of transaction. Literally it means "by means of copper and scales" and it just indicates that proper protocol was followed. Apologies if I'm restating what you already know.

Lewis & Short do not show "libra" ever to have meant a book of accounts in the classical era. You'll have to help me here -- did "libram" develop some sort of existence as a separate word meaning a registry or the like? It's impossible for a Latin nominative to end in -am, so it would have to have been some kind of borrowing into English. I have to admit I've never come upon this word before.

What about "incunabulum?" "The Incunabulum of Nartarus?" Has any RPG "tome" ever been published under the title "incunabulum?" The technical meaning is rather tame, but it sure sounds impressive!

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Post by serleran »

Well, I am not a word historian, nor do I presume to know everything, but I would wager that "libram" is a bastard child of a translation of something from Latin, perhaps in the Middle Ages when people assumed they used the language correctly, but did not, necessarily. It could have become Old French, New Latin (like that used by the Catholic Church, for example, which is more "true") or something else, and from there, brought into English. I would not dare give a precise date, as I really don't know, but this would seem (to me) to be the way it goes, based on only what little I do know.

However, thank you for the "aes." I had thought that was related to a French word (such as argent) which is "money." I should have backtracked more and gotten "copper" though I do find it interesting that a Japanese (it may no longer be in use - I do know it was once a term used for describing weapons: their compositions and color) word ("aen") would mean something very close in "zinc."

Oh well. One can ponder on ancient globalization and cannibalization for a lifetime - similarities do not a proof make. :)

Sorry, I'll shut up now.

Oh, and this link is interesting, if not wholly accurate.

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Post by RLW »

The link is interesting! Maybe the best definition of libram should be "a spellbook of Vancian magic." If libram has no existence outside of the FRPG community, it probably is of recent vintage; that gives me some consolation about never having seen it in classical and medieval Latin.

Yes, the same way Latin argentum, silver, came to mean money in French by metonymy, so also the Latin aes, besides meaning copper or bronze, could also mean money. From copper to silver... that's inflation for you.

Well, getting back to the primary topic, Treebore somewhere in one of his posts described his houseruled system of using CL's to enable spellcasters to modify their spell effects. It might not be the only way to enlarge upon the RAW magic system, but it's one that seems to merge naturally into the mechanics of the game. Examples of how to use the SIEGE engine in these sorts of ways could be extremely helpful to those of us who are new to C&C. In other words, before we 3.5 refugees go looking for ways to port what we know into C&C, it'd be helpful to have more examples of how to use this single versatile mechanic to accomplish a multitude of effects. Yet another reason to keep waiting anxiously for the CKG, perhaps?[/i]

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Post by Treebore »

RLW wrote:
The link is interesting! Maybe the best definition of libram should be "a spellbook of Vancian magic." If libram has no existence outside of the FRPG community, it probably is of recent vintage; that gives me some consolation about never having seen it in classical and medieval Latin.

Yes, the same way Latin argentum, silver, came to mean money in French by metonymy, so also the Latin aes, besides meaning copper or bronze, could also mean money. From copper to silver... that's inflation for you.

Well, getting back to the primary topic, Treebore somewhere in one of his posts described his houseruled system of using CL's to enable spellcasters to modify their spell effects. It might not be the only way to enlarge upon the RAW magic system, but it's one that seems to merge naturally into the mechanics of the game. Examples of how to use the SIEGE engine in these sorts of ways could be extremely helpful to those of us who are new to C&C. In other words, before we 3.5 refugees go looking for ways to port what we know into C&C, it'd be helpful to have more examples of how to use this single versatile mechanic to accomplish a multitude of effects. Yet another reason to keep waiting anxiously for the CKG, perhaps?[/i]

A good part of my house rules are about using feats as actions you can attempt via a SIEGE roll. Its very simple once you "get" it.
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