Schools of Magic

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Dragonhelm
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Schools of Magic

Post by Dragonhelm »

Does C&C not have schools of magic? I just noticed that I didn't see any.

If so, why is that?
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angelius
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Post by angelius »

It would be too close to D&D?

Up to the CK?

Too complicated?

Maybe its a combination of those three things.
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Post by Omote »

I blame it on the gnomes.

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Post by serleran »

Not entirely necessary is another, as there are no specialists by default, nor are there many (if any) effects that rely on knowing if a fireball is an evocation or if its a conjuration... simply knowing it is a spell, and it does fire damage is enough. Monsters that have abilities like "Immunity to Enchantment" say things like "Any spell, such as command, charms, and those that subjugate the mind have no effect..." which allows a greater variety of application, and it cuts down certain types of debates (remember the constant 2E "but hold person is an enchantment... my elf has 90% resistance to it!")

Of course, there are reasons to have the schools, too... so if you absolutely must have them, it wouldn't be hard to put them back in.

For me, I don't use the same ones that AD&D does.

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Post by Breakdaddy »

There is no reason why you can't add schools of magic to your C&C game, I don't see how it would add any real complexity to the game. I hadn't even noticed before now that it didn't have schools of magic, I haven't missed them.
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Post by angelius »

I'm with serl, its just not necessary.

I should say that when I said Complexity , i meant having to go through the whole darn spell list and making the schools yourself! bleh...too much work.
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Post by Scurvy_Platypus »

Well... a couple of minutes of searching did turn up the following...
http://www.textfiles.com/rpg/muspell.txt

2nd Edition spell list. So it wouldn't be _quite_ as difficult, assuming you've got a half-familiarity with 2nd Ed. Of course, it does draw from a variety of sources and expands the spell list compared to the base one from the PHB.

Spell schools really don't offer much (except complexity), unless you're planning on introducing some sort of Specialist benefits. The other reason, would be if you were going for a "thematic" approach to spells.

Themes being something like each school of magic was discovered/founded by a specific person. So for example, perhaps Melf was the original founder of the school of Conjuration, Nystul founded the school of Illusion, and Bigby was an Evoker.

Pick some person to be the founder, and then any other named spells within that school would be some sort of Grandmaster of the school of magic. The schools of magic were established long ago, and the schools jealously guard their secrets. Treat each school as a specific class, and if someone wants to know spells from another school, they might be able to quest and learn a specific spell, or they have to multiclass to get access to the spells in general.

One thing you'd really want to do to drive home the point though, is to rename the spells. As they stand, they're pretty generic. And that really applies to 90% of spell names, at least in my opinion. "Tenser's floating Disc" is cool. "Spider Climb" is boring. Renaming it to "Kurson's Hands of Adhesion" evokes a bit more of a sense of excitement when reading the spell. You could make "Unseen Servant" become "Melf's Unseen Servant". Depending on the names you choose for the spells, as well as whom is supposed to be the originator of the spell, you can help to give a different feel.

"Tasha's Uncontrollable Hideous Laughter"... I don't know about you, but just that one spell makes me think the creator was a bit on the unhinged side of things. Was she jilted? Did Leomund piss her off with one of his stupid traps? Did Drawmij scrawl dirty limmericks on her door with those Wizard Marks he was fond of?

I'm not saying _every_ spell should be renamed... but the more that are, the more it will help to reinforce the theming.

The other theme would be a bit more complicated one, but you'd use the schools to figure out "opposition" spells. A few spells do have a direct counter, but by and large casting one spell to counter another wasn't something really practical back then. Heck, it's not really practical now without some work on your part. You'd probably have to jettison the typical Vancian approach, and run with a spellpoint system. Otherwise it's just screwing the player/character over.

But if you want to have feuding schools of magic/wizard guilds, it's certainly a possibility. Anything from a Wizard Guild presiding over various schools (kinda like the whole Harry Potter "house" thing) to some sort of Forgotten Realms like setting, with various schools plotting to take over/destroy rival schools.

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Post by Geron Raveneye »

Well, I rememmber seeing the "Schools of Magic" first time in the 1E Dragonlance Adventures HC, where they were used to limit the spells the different moons granted the wizards. After that I saw them in the 1E MotP, where they were used to describe what effects which plane had on what kind of magic.

So I'd not really call them useless, but simply of a limited use. They were introduced as categories to ease adjudication of campaign effects. They told the DM which spells the caster in his group got, respectively which ones got modified by his group tramping the elemental planes. As such, I'd simply adopt the categories of the MotP.

As for "specialists", there's no reason why there can't be some specialists in the vein of the illusionist. Simply make sure you don't "take away" too much from the wizard when creating such a specialist. Also, there's no reason with such a new class to adhere to the "traditional" D&D schools of magic, even though they are pretty iconic in their effects. Look at the "Seven Great Schools of Glantri", for example.

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Post by angelius »

Don't get me wrong I'm not against schools of magic. And I'm pretty familiar with D&D way long as well as owning all the important books and half the white box. But you can do what you propose in-game without being forced to do so by the rules.

ie. If I want an evoker, I can simply just make sure I pick evocation spells.

As for naming the spells, we do that automatically in my campaigns anyways. Usually the players themselves will want to personalize their spells.

In fact under the quotes section of my page. One of the PCs, Ragnar comments about how wimpy some of the spell descriptions that another male magic user (Isidur) makes in game.
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Post by eibon »

This is how I work a school of magic in C&C: Having a slightly higher than normal level of magic, I give a spellcaster 2 extra spells and one class ability ala the old Bard Games Atlantean system as found in the Arcanum. As the wizard in my pbp here comes from a class that does not cast magic in Atlantis (alchemist), I still give him a choice of two extra spells and an ability of the Alchemist class in the game. As the character progresses, he will gain other class abilities that reflect the Alchemist vocation. While not everyone is going to have this book to use for ideas, and you might not want to grant extra spells, melding class abilities/spells from the desired school instead of a complete new class might work. If the player had chosen one of the other schools/classes of wizardry, he would have received two spells converted to C&C to add to his magic portfolio.
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Post by DangerDwarf »

One thing I'm toying with doing at the moment is adding Orders of magic to my C&C game along the lines of the magical orders in Talislanta.

This wont work like specialties in AD&D or D&D but be sort of a benefit and hindrance deal. If you are familiar with Talislanta 4th edition you better know what I'm talking about.

Most of the differences in orders will be "fluff", describing their approach to magic and such. On the mechanics side there will be some rules though.

Witchcraft for example will teach sympathetic magic where they can use fingernail clippings, blood, hair, etc to cast a spell on their target over a distance. On the down-side, the forces that a witch works with are fickle and a saving throw die roll that results in a 13 is always considered a succesful save and the caster suffers a minor backlash from the attempt.

Magic-users will be able to learn (through significant training and Rp) how to use multiple orders if they choose. Thus, lets say a primarily elemntal inspired caster finds a treatsie on witchcraft he might make use of the methods described for his curses or charms.

All in all I'm going for a wizard version of "fighting styles". The idea is currently in it's formative stage and I'm not sure if I'll be able to satisfactorily see it to completion with the amount of game balance I prefer. We'll see.

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Post by eibon »

While I do know how the new Atlantean magic system works, I think it is similar to the new Talislanta with a few differences. The system is a bit convoluted for the new Atlantean system as there are few spells yet and you have to make them, therefore porting in the old material, which is not far off from 1e, works for me.
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Post by DangerDwarf »

I don't plan on importing the Talislanta magic system to C&C, just use the idea of various orders to perhaps add a little flavor and variety to the existing magic system.

Let necromancers make human sacrifice for XP's.

Let Witches use Sympathetic Magic.

Let Fire Mages be immune to non-magical flames.

Etc.

Of course, each order will have disadvantages associated with it.

Pretty much like creating various fighting styles for fighter classes, give the wizards some magic styles.

Just like my fighing styles however, I don't give them to the characters everys "X" levels. They might pick one up when it makes sense to the overall story and they persue it.

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Post by naturaltwenty »

I'm using Paths of Power by Wolfgang Baur & Steve Kurtz - http://www.greghawk.net/downloads/paths_of_power.pdf. It's from a Dragon Magazine (216, April 1995 - and suprisingly not April Fool's related) and it's been well received. It has also lent itself to the background of the campaign world, Greghawk in my case (pun intentional).

Later,

Greg V.

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Post by babbage »

That's a very good PDF, naturaltwenty. I shall adopt some of that.

I had a problem in my campaign. It is based in Hrn, and Hrn has magic divided into convocations. They are Lyahvi (Air), Savorya (Mind), Jmorvi (Artifice), Odivshe (Water), Peleahn (Fire) and Fyvria (Earth). There is a neutral convocation as well, and the convocations are distributed in a wheel 'The Wheel of the Shek-Pvar'). The neutral convocation is the 'hub'. A wizard devoted to Peleahn would find it easy to learn/master Peleahn spells, average to learn/master his two secondary convocations, difficult to learn/master his tertiary and almost impossibly to learn/master his diametric convocation (in this example, Odivshe).

I always liked this arrangement but it gave me a problem. I would have to go through all the spells and arrange them into schools. Even if I did that, it wouldn't give players the ability to specialise (other than restricting themselves).

With the above system though, I can create paths for each of the convocations and also give bonuses/penalties depending on your specialization.

Nice. 8)
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Post by moriarty777 »

naturaltwenty wrote:
I'm using Paths of Power by Wolfgang Baur & Steve Kurtz - http://www.greghawk.net/downloads/paths_of_power.pdf. It's from a Dragon Magazine (216, April 1995 - and suprisingly not April Fool's related) and it's been well received. It has also lent itself to the background of the campaign world, Greghawk in my case (pun intentional).

Later,

Greg V.

Quite nice... and really cool! Unfortunately, it looks like it might be a bit of work to implement. I'll have to consider it further! Too many projects... too little time...

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Post by Rhuvein »

naturaltwenty wrote:
I'm using Paths of Power by Wolfgang Baur & Steve Kurtz - http://www.greghawk.net/downloads/paths_of_power.pdf. It's from a Dragon Magazine (216, April 1995 - and suprisingly not April Fool's related) and it's been well received. It has also lent itself to the background of the campaign world, Greghawk in my case (pun intentional).

Later,

Greg V.

Hey pretty cool. Wolfgang Baur wrote Frostburn, which I like somewhat. But at first glance this article does seem very interesting. I'll have to read through it and digest.

Thanks for posting.
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Post by naturaltwenty »

Note - I could not use it "out of the box". Since I just started my campaign and the first wizard player has not joined in yet (scheduling seems to be the hardest part of this campaign ) the exact spells in the paths have not been determined.

For example I'm only going to allow a specific set of paths to be available depending on where the character is from. Even though we are in close proximity of Greyhawk and the College of Magic all paths will not be available from there. New paths will be introduced via rumors, mentions in arcane scrolls, information battered (or bartered) from dragons and fell beasts and other methods.

The campaign is starting in The Kingdom of Furyondy, a standard medieval/pseudo-European, country. The Knights Road* will be available to starting Furyondian wizard characters due to the orders of knights that abound in Furyondy. Furyondian battle wizards are reknowned for their magic that enhances personal combat. As you can see in this small example I've created a background based on the specific path, a bit of local information/flavor and a reason why a visiting wizard may be in Furyondy, i.e. to enhance his personal combat abilities.

*Knight's Road: shield (1), invisible mail (3, CW), phantom steed (3), spirit armor* (3), stoneskin (4), wall of iron (4), dragon scales (6, CW)

Later,

Greg V.
moriarty777 wrote:
Quite nice... and really cool! Unfortunately, it looks like it might be a bit of work to implement. I'll have to consider it further! Too many projects... too little time...

Moriarty the Red

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Post by naturaltwenty »

I'll be posting my magic houserules (in the form of a chapter of Taern, A Land of Myth & Magic). I've got most of the Path Magic system, inspired by the Wolfgang Baur article, done. I'll be sending it out to people to try in their games and run it through some playtests but it's more flavor than mechanical so it should'nt be too bad.

Later,
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Post by moriarty777 »

naturaltwenty wrote:
I'll be posting my magic houserules (in the form of a chapter of Taern, A Land of Myth & Magic). I've got most of the Path Magic system, inspired by the Wolfgang Baur article, done. I'll be sending it out to people to try in their games and run it through some playtests but it's more flavor than mechanical so it should be too bad.

I'll be looking forward to checking that out!

Thanks,

Moriarty the Red
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Re: Schools of Magic

Post by gideon_thorne »

Dragonhelm wrote:
Does C&C not have schools of magic? I just noticed that I didn't see any.

If so, why is that?

Why? Because C&C was designed as a 'minimalistic' sort of game wherin people could add such things. Magical Schools and the like are a stylistic enhancement for a specific flavor and more or less were unneccessary, in a mass appeal sense, in C&C's design approach.
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