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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2008 :  10:47:05  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, Sean, I still don't know the size and cost of a traveling spellbook. Would you please enlighten me so that I may tell my players what the authoritative ruling is? To be totally precise, is a "traveling" spellbook proportionately smaller for a size "small" or "tiny" wizard than it is for a size "medium" wizard?






I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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seankreynolds
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
88 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2008 :  15:18:53  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
{But to follow Sean's line of thought, there is still a huge amount of money which must be paid to inscribe spells. The situation last Saturday arose when a priestess of Shar was "rescued" and made an Archivist instead. Then the player did the math and realized that his "prayerbook" would cost him a huge fortune to compile if he was able to enter all of his previously used clerical spells in it.}

Clerics don't have to record their spells in books. Written clerical prayers are just paper, not a spellbook or scrolls.

{Where's the fairness in that? Anyone who uses a spellbook has to plan on certain (very high) regular expenses.}

Anyone = wizard.

{That's why spellbooks are considered treasure.}

Sadly, that's why spellbooks are the Worst Class "Feature" Ever.

{No one thinks twice about Sir Prancealot shelling out a thousand gold pieces for a suit of non-magical heavy armor -- it's expected of him.}

Sure, and soon enough he'll be finding entire suits of magical armor from dead monsters for him to wear, for free, no rolls needed. Compare to the wizard, who if he finds someone else' spellbook has to pay 100gp per spell level to transcribe it into his own book. So much for it being "treasure," any more than finding a beat-up classic car is "treasure" (you have to sink money into it before you get any use out of it).

{Why should wizards expect a free ride (or at least a bargain cruise) when inscribing spells}

"Free" ride? You yourself have already admitted a full spellbook costs 100,000gp. That's hardly free.

{when the party's fighters are expected to buy increasingly expensive armor and weapons}

D&D generally isn't about buying new equipment, you find it, and I've already pointed out the unfairness in that for spellbooks.

{bards are expected to buy better and better instruments, and even rogues are expected to get better lockpicks after a few levels of using a bent hairpin?}

Bards and rogues have marginal cost increases. If one starts with non-masterwork items at level 1, the wealth per level table says they should easily be able to afford masterwork versions by level 3. There are no improved versions beyond masterwork that are required gear; a Brd20 or Rog20 are fully effective with their level 3 instrument and lockpicks. A wizard ... not so much.

{Yet a D&D sorcerer can be stone-cold illiterate and still cast spells of equal power with his wizardly friends, who must spend a fortune scribing their spells as they acquire them.}

Sorcerers can never learn more spells than what's listed in their table. Wizards can learn all the spells in the world, given time and money. But yes, sorcerers have a much easier time than wizards.

{ When a 100 page spellbook costs TEN THOUSAND GOLD PIECES to inscribe, I don't think I'm being unreasonable in expecting a wizard to spend as much money up front as a fighter would have to spend for a good suit of armor, a shield, and a collection of weapons.}

Except if you require a wizard to spend money like that, then the wizard has no money for a magical robe, boots, staff, wands, scrolls, or anything that actually contributes in combat. The wizard is naked except for a spellbook. Is that reasonable?

{And if they are stolen? Well, Pages from the Mages is almost a catalog of books stolen, restolen, restored, lost again, etc., and many's the fictional wizard, in Realms fiction or general fantasy fiction, who's cursed some lout of a guard or a careless servant for carrying off a suddenly needed spellbook.}

Except a wizard without a spellbook can't do ANYTHING, whereas a fighter without his armor is merely hindered.

D&D is not The Tempest. D&D is not Faustus. PC wizards don't ever throw away their books because without them they're just commoners with a lot of HD.

{Oh, Sean, I still don't know the size and cost of a traveling spellbook. Would you please enlighten me so that I may tell my players what the authoritative ruling is? To be totally precise, is a "traveling" spellbook proportionately smaller for a size "small" or "tiny" wizard than it is for a size "medium" wizard?}

The book a wizard starts with is essentially a travelling book. The keep-at-home book is an optional expense, with optional extra protection. And given the cost of making a copy of all of your spells, I doubt most wizards do it.
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tauster
Senior Scribe

Germany
399 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2008 :  15:56:00  Show Profile  Visit tauster's Homepage Send tauster a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by seankreynolds


[snip]
Sadly, that's why spellbooks are the Worst Class "Feature" Ever.

{No one thinks twice about Sir Prancealot shelling out a thousand gold pieces for a suit of non-magical heavy armor -- it's expected of him.}

Sure, and soon enough he'll be finding entire suits of magical armor from dead monsters for him to wear, for free, no rolls needed. Compare to the wizard, who if he finds someone else' spellbook has to pay 100gp per spell level to transcribe it into his own book. So much for it being "treasure," any more than finding a beat-up classic car is "treasure" (you have to sink money into it before you get any use out of it).



I always thought that wearing an armour "liberated" from a monster, lets say an orc, or even from another human is too much simplification. It might be OK with a chain mail, but leather and especially plate mail has to be customized to a new wearer.

I guess the reason for the simplification was playability, but it was sadly made at the cost of making it greatly easier for the fighter class compared to the wizard, whose "personalization" of foreign spellbooks (i.e. transcribing them into their own spellbook and thereby expending a lot of money) was (imo!) absolutely the right way. After all, looted "non-equipment" treasure like gems and coins etc. have to be spend on something.

quote:
[snip]
{when the party's fighters are expected to buy increasingly expensive armor and weapons}

D&D generally isn't about buying new equipment, you find it, and I've already pointed out the unfairness in that for spellbooks.



...see, that's what I see completely different: "Finding" all your equipment is neither fun, at least not as much fun as having to search for artists who custom-make something by roleplaying, nor is it in any way much realistic. Sure, you'll find stuff on your enemie's dead bodies that you can use, but to expect that the guys you fight provide you constantly with needed equipment, I don't know...

[rant]
I think that WotC made the assumption that the majority of it's customers want to focus on ROLLplaying instead of ROLEplaying. Thus the focus of 3e and 3.5 and probably 4e on feats, PrC and crunch. I don't say that roleplaying is any better than rollplaying (who am I to decide that?æ?), but given the way the creator of the Forgotten Realms had envisioned his world, in the FR the focus was clearly on ROLEplaying.
Had WotC given "us" (meaning the customers) products with more fluff and less crunch, they could have very effectively influenced their customer base and thus avoided the problems that have probably lead to the 4E FR (people in WotC's boards complaining about the Chosen, etc).
Give people more crunch and there will be eventuelly more people around who want more crunch. give them more fluff and the fluff-fans will grow in numbers, given time. It's that easy, really.
[end of rant]

quote:
[snip]
{bards are expected to buy better and better instruments, and even rogues are expected to get better lockpicks after a few levels of using a bent hairpin?}
[snip]


OK, then let's say they should be expected to buy better and better equipment, therebuy exploring the world outside the dungeon and interecting (in the sense of ROLEplaying) with the settng's NPCs. But seemingly thats not how WotC sees DND. The Realms worked differently, but see my rant above...

Btw: I don't mean these words as any kind of attack. I just want to make clear that I see DND different than you.

quote:

Bards and rogues have marginal cost increases. If one starts with non-masterwork items at level 1, the wealth per level table says they should easily be able to afford masterwork versions by level 3. There are no improved versions beyond masterwork that are required gear; a Brd20 or Rog20 are fully effective with their level 3 instrument and lockpicks. A wizard ... not so much.


See above: In my opinion, every class should encounter constantly higher costs for new equipment when they rise in level, not only wizards and warriors that buy their own armor or customize looted one. It "forces" the players to interact with their environment, thereby exploring the wider world outside the dungeon.


quote:

{ When a 100 page spellbook costs TEN THOUSAND GOLD PIECES to inscribe, I don't think I'm being unreasonable in expecting a wizard to spend as much money up front as a fighter would have to spend for a good suit of armor, a shield, and a collection of weapons.}

Except if you require a wizard to spend money like that, then the wizard has no money for a magical robe, boots, staff, wands, scrolls, or anything that actually contributes in combat. The wizard is naked except for a spellbook. Is that reasonable?


Imo, it IS reasonable for a mage to spent EXTRA money on his spellbook, because even as they might dish out roughly the same amount of damage, even at higher levels (which is open to debate but beside the point), a wizard is supposed to someone much more "special" than a fighter, even a powerful one. Magic is something wondrous and eldritch, while anybody can swing a sword. Thus, being a wizard should be not only rare but costly as well. And thats why a mage should spend more than a fighter, imho.


As said above: This is not meant as an attack. I just want to restate this, given the present tension between the views of many scribes here and of how WotC seems to view DND and it's future.

Edited by - tauster on 07 Feb 2008 16:01:02
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seankreynolds
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
88 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2008 :  17:18:56  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
{It might be OK with a chain mail, but leather and especially plate mail has to be customized to a new wearer. I guess the reason for the simplification was playability,}

Yes, because it was bad enough in 1e/2e that if you played a halfling fighter, odds are you'd NEVER get magical armor because you'd never fight Small opponents with magical armor. To limit Medium creatures the same way basically means a lot of book-keeping (found, 1 suit plate mail, worn by a broad-shouldered human with a large belly; 1 suit of banded mail, worn by a tall elf with unusually long arms; etc.).

{but it was sadly made at the cost of making it greatly easier for the fighter class compared to the wizard, whose "personalization" of foreign spellbooks (i.e. transcribing them into their own spellbook and thereby expending a lot of money) was (imo!) absolutely the right way.}}

"Absolutely the right way" is an opinion, not a fact.

{After all, looted "non-equipment" treasure like gems and coins etc. have to be spend on something.}

Yes ... consumable items like potions and scrolls, paying for spellcasting from NPCs, crafting magic items, food....

{...see, that's what I see completely different: "Finding" all your equipment is neither fun, at least not as much fun as having to search for artists who custom-make something by roleplaying, nor is it in any way much realistic. Sure, you'll find stuff on your enemie's dead bodies that you can use, but to expect that the guys you fight provide you constantly with needed equipment, I don't know...}

If you don't find that fun, I wonder why you've been playing this 30-year-old game. The core description of D&D is "kill monsters, take their stuff, get more powerful so you can repeat the cycle on even tougher monsters."

{I think that WotC made the assumption that the majority of it's customers want to focus on ROLLplaying instead of ROLEplaying. Thus the focus of 3e and 3.5 and probably 4e on feats, PrC and crunch.}

This is a completely ignorant assumption. 3e focuses on crunch because (1) you need a solid rules base to have a fair-to-all game experience, and (2) you can create solid rules for how to play a game but you can't create rules on how to roleplay. From its inception to the present day, a significant fraction of the D&D player base prefer the "kick down the door" style of play, where there is very little roleplaying or world environment and instead the focus is on the fun of killing monsters. Ignoring that chunk of the player base is foolish and suicidal.

Furthermore, wanting to "roleplay" rather than "rollplay" doesn't make you a superior gamer, as there is no "evolutionary path" from rollplaying to roleplaying. Thinking that there such an evolution is pure gamer snobbery.

And the idea that the 3e designers are more into rollplaying than roleplaying (and I hope you're not suggesting that) is ridiculous. One only has to look at Monte Cook's Ptolus, the largest most detailed RPG book ever written by a single author, and most of it is stuff that has nothing to do with rolling dice. And then there's Jonathan Tweet, who, if you didn't know, wrote Everway, a diceless RPG where the event outcomes are interpreted subjectively by the GM and PCs.

{OK, then let's say they should be expected to buy better and better equipment, therebuy exploring the world outside the dungeon and interecting (in the sense of ROLEplaying) with the settng's NPCs.}

How does a +5 instrument generate better roleplaying than a +2 instrument? Same question, but for a +10 instrument? How does a +2, +5, or +10 set of lockpicks give a rogue more roleplaying opportunities? Other than the wonderfully exciting "shopping quests" where you use precious game time trying to find the rare shopkeeper that can sell you these items....

{In my opinion, every class should encounter constantly higher costs for new equipment when they rise in level, not only wizards and warriors that buy their own armor or customize looted one.}

So you support the idea of more magic-shops in the game? Most people I know hate the idea.

{It "forces" the players to interact with their environment, thereby exploring the wider world outside the dungeon.}

And what if the DM wants a dungeon-oriented campaign? What if the PCs want a dungeon-oriented campaign? Why force them to do something they don't want to do? I play games to have fun, not to be forced to do stuff I'm not interested in (I call that "work," not "fun").

{I don't say that roleplaying is any better than rollplaying (who am I to decide that?æ?), but given the way the creator of the Forgotten Realms had envisioned his world, in the FR the focus was clearly on ROLEplaying.}

No, the focus was to create a world where Ed could tell fantasy stories. Its place as an RPG setting came later (Ed wrote the first Realms fiction in 1967, the first D&D product for FR was in 1985).

{Had WotC given "us" (meaning the customers) products with more fluff and less crunch, they could have very effectively influenced their customer base and thus avoided the problems that have probably lead to the 4E FR}

In 2e they gave you tons and tons of fluff and very little crunch. The end result was a world where new products sold perhaps 5,000 copies each and most of the buyers read the book and shelved it rather than playing it. The world as a roleplaying game was stagnating because reading lore is nice but it doesn't encourage you to play a game in the same way that looking at what you can do in the game does (its "it would be neat to play an X but I'd have to create rules for it" compared to "they gave me rules for X, I can play that tonight with no preparation").
Then came 3e FR and its focus on crunch that supports the fluff. The FRCS sold out and was reprinted. New FR 3e releases sell 10x what the 2e releases sold. Interest in the world was revitalized. So perhaps they were doing something right, even though it gave more focus on the crunch and the fluff?

{(people in WotC's boards complaining about the Chosen, etc).}

People on WotC's boards are always complaining about something. I stopped reading their boards while I was still working there because there was far too much crying compared to legit criticism.

{Give people more crunch and there will be eventuelly more people around who want more crunch.}

Yes, and those new people will buy books, which means more books will be made. Focus just on fluff and the people who want to PLAY the game won't have the materials to do so, and they will migrate to other worlds and other systems. And by "they will" I mean "they did."

{give them more fluff and the fluff-fans will grow in numbers, given time. It's that easy, really.}

History has proven this statement wrong. The FRCS sold 100,000 copies in its first year (or was it 200k?). Where were all these people when the 2e FR line was selling 5,000 copies at best?

{Imo, it IS reasonable for a mage to spent EXTRA money on his spellbook, because even as they might dish out roughly the same amount of damage, even at higher levels (which is open to debate but beside the point), a wizard is supposed to someone much more "special" than a fighter, even a powerful one.}

Where in the books does it say that a wizard is more "special" than a fighter?

{Magic is something wondrous and eldritch, while anybody can swing a sword.}

Where does it evaluate the relative "specialness" of a wizard, sorcerer, cleric, or druid, all of which are primarily casters and all are frequent users of magic? Why is the wizard most "special" and thus needs to pay more? Why don't clerics of Mystra have to pay more, they're closer to her in some ways than wizards are?

You are introducing new game rules to support your concept of the fluff. And doing so without considering the consequences of those rules.

{Thus, being a wizard should be not only rare but costly as well.}

1) The game makes no restrictions on the rarity of PCs of any particular class. If you have wizard PCs more rare in your campaign than non-wizard PCs, you're adding an artificial restriction. And how would you enforce that? "Sorry, Bob, I won't let you play a wizard because there's already a wizard in the group."

2) So should an all-wizard party (perhaps a group of apprentices out to avenge their slain master) get more treasure per encounter to make up for this extra cost? Or do they just have to "suck it up" and be undergeared compared to other groups because of the "specialness cost"? And do you reduce the difficulty of later encounters because the PCs are undergeared compared to a typical adventuring party? (They're undergeared because instead of buying potions, defensive items, etc., they have to invest in a magical paperweight that they keep at home and hope nobody steals.)

{And thats why a mage should spend more than a fighter, imho.}

Hooray, I get to pay more to play my character because I am paying for "specialness"!!!! WHEEEEEEE!!!!!!

Why deliberately make it more difficult for some classes when there is no clear benefit for doing so? Why, in a world where magic is so omnipresent that you have a country where EVERYONE can cast at least a cantrip, is magic so rare and expensive? Why punish the wizard class with a huge financial investment when they're already the weakest class in the game?
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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1792 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2008 :  18:56:48  Show Profile  Click to see Purple Dragon Knight's MSN Messenger address Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A few details that seem to elude you all when I read your discussions here:

1) Blessed Book: (DMG, Wondrous Item) This well-made tome is always of small size, typically no more than 12 inches tall, 8 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. All such books are durable, waterproof, bound with iron overlaid with silver, and locked.
A wizard can fill the 1,000 pages of a blessed book with spells without paying the 100 gp per page material cost. This book is never found as randomly generated treasure with spells already inscribed in it.
Moderate transmutation; CL 7th; Craft Wondrous Item, secret page; Price 12,500 gp;Weight 1 lb.
--> Regular spellbook of 1000 pages, full of spells, would be worth 100,000gp... get the Blessed Book and you just save yourself 87,500gp. All mages in my campaign have this. It's cheaper than a +3 sword.

2) In the Realms, a Kiira work the same as a Blessed book, and gives you bonuses to Knowledge checks as well...

3) If you find a spellbook in a hoard, it IS treasure: see the rules on completely mastering a found spellbook in Magic of Faerun; if you don't have that book, you can decipher each spell individually, as per DMG: "To decipher an arcane magical writing (such as a single spell in written form in another’s spellbook or on a scroll), a character must make a Spellcraft check (DC 20 + the spell’s level)." [...] "Once a spell from another spellcaster’s book is deciphered, the reader must make a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell’s level) to prepare the spell. If the check succeeds, the wizard can prepare the spell."

I don't know why you all think wizards have a hard time...
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seankreynolds
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
88 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2008 :  19:10:46  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Blessed Book: Yes, an item presented in 3e because despite the 3e PH changes to books and scribing, spellbooks were still too expensive.

Kiira: Same as Blessed Book.

Mastering a Found Spellbook: Yes, rules I introduced because I felt the cost of transcribing an entire spellbook was still too high. :p

And as for using spells from a non-mastered spellbook, you didn't include the FAIL results of the Spellcraft check: "If the check fails, she cannot try to prepare the spell from the same source again until the next day." So if you don't master a found book, you have to roll each day and take the risk that the spell you need won't go into your head that day. And if you want to prepare it more than once on a particular day, you have to make multiple rolls. Fun! Easy! Cheap!

Edited by - seankreynolds on 07 Feb 2008 19:11:52
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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1792 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2008 :  20:43:52  Show Profile  Click to see Purple Dragon Knight's MSN Messenger address Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by seankreynolds

Mastering a Found Spellbook: Yes, rules I introduced because I felt the cost of transcribing an entire spellbook was still too high. :p
Excellent rules, these are! :)

Did you write the whole section on alternate use of skills in Faerun? if so, well done! I love them!
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2008 :  23:38:45  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Purple Dragon Knight

quote:
Originally posted by seankreynolds

Mastering a Found Spellbook: Yes, rules I introduced because I felt the cost of transcribing an entire spellbook was still too high. :p
Excellent rules, these are! :)

Did you write the whole section on alternate use of skills in Faerun? if so, well done! I love them!



I echo PDK's words -- I think you did a *brilliant* job on 3E FR! (e.g. all the Prestige Classes and the "Spellbook Rules"). I truly love my FRCS and 'Magic of Faerūn'!

"What am I doing today? Ask me tomorrow - I can be sure of giving you the right answer then."
-- Askarran of Selgaunt, Master Sage, speaking to a curious merchant, Year of the Helm
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Faraer
Great Reader

3295 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2008 :  00:30:21  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Sean.
quote:
Originally posted by seankreynolds
Furthermore, wanting to "roleplay" rather than "rollplay" doesn't make you a superior gamer, as there is no "evolutionary path" from rollplaying to roleplaying. Thinking that there such an evolution is pure gamer snobbery.
I agree that the idea that you start off playing an 'easy' souped-up boardgame and then move on to 'advanced' roleplaying is nonsense -- roleplaying being something difficult is one of the dafter and more destructive gamer fantasies.
quote:
The world as a roleplaying game was stagnating because reading lore is nice but it doesn't encourage you to play a game in the same way that looking at what you can do in the game does (its "it would be neat to play an X but I'd have to create rules for it" compared to "they gave me rules for X, I can play that tonight with no preparation").
Of the things that exist in the Realms, and can be done in the game, a small minority require any kind of extensive new rules. Don't you think? 3E books are padded with more rules than even a rules-heavy campaign needs, such as the many gratuitous prestige classes that offer nothing that can't be done with multi-classing and feats.
quote:
So perhaps they were doing something right, even though it gave more focus on the crunch and the fluff?
Do you agree with your Bean-Counters now? Maybe Lords of Darkness sold less well than Magic of Faerūn because it had less rules content, but it'd take (at least) some of that secret Wizards market research to know that.

Edited by - Faraer on 08 Feb 2008 01:31:06
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seankreynolds
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
88 Posts

Posted - 12 Feb 2008 :  17:32:21  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
{Did you write the whole section on alternate use of skills in Faerun? if so, well done! I love them!}

Hmmm... maybe? I think I wrote some of that and Rich wrote other parts, can't remember exactly.

{Of the things that exist in the Realms, and can be done in the game, a small minority require any kind of extensive new rules. Don't you think? 3E books are padded with more rules than even a rules-heavy campaign needs, such as the many gratuitous prestige classes that offer nothing that can't be done with multi-classing and feats.}

I'm certain that is the case now. I don't think that was the case in the first two years after the FRCS, where we were coming up with 3e equivalents of 2e abilities and trying to nail down playable versions of magical effects that were never before defined in game terms. But once those were done, yeah, you're going to see a publisher try to find other rules content to make the books game-appealing, otherwise the "game" books are just books of lore. There's nothing wrong with books of lore, but they're not really GAME books any more.

{Do you agree with your Bean-Counters now? Maybe Lords of Darkness sold less well than Magic of Faerūn because it had less rules content, but it'd take (at least) some of that secret Wizards market research to know that.}

I think LOD sold less than MOF because LOD was primarily a DM-focused book whereas MOF was useful to DMs _and_ players. For the same reason, adventures sell less than sourcebooks because only the DM needs the adventure, whereas players can benefit from new material in a sourcebook (without "cheating" by knowing what monsters are in rooms X, Y, and Z).
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Penknight
Senior Scribe

USA
536 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2008 :  03:43:45  Show Profile Send Penknight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I hope that no one minds my asking this here...


Hello, Mr. Reynolds. I had a question about Anger of Angels and I was hoping you could help me out with it. I was looking over the Dominion Feats and I was surprised that there wasn't an Angel of Mercy feat listed. I was curious as to why, and if there was one, what would the Prerequisites and Benefits be, please? Thank you so much for your time, sir.

Telethian Phoenix
Pathfinder Reference Document
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seankreynolds
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
88 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2008 :  03:47:31  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Um, I'm a little busy this week finishing a book and packing, and busy next week driving from California to Washington for my new job at Paizo, but if you repost your questions on July 12th (I'm subscribed to this scroll, and hopefully I'll have internet at my new place by the 12th) I'll give it a shot. :)
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sfdragon
Master of Realmslore

1978 Posts

Posted - 01 Jul 2008 :  09:35:08  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
congrats on that job at Paizo, and do tell them that im buying the pathfinder book when it comes out

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


My FR fan fiction
Magister's GAmbit
http://steelfiredragon.deviantart.com/gallery/33539234
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Razz
Senior Scribe

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2008 :  17:47:44  Show Profile  Visit Razz's Homepage  Send Razz an AOL message Send Razz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wizards are the most powerful class in the game, and should be, and so the costs involved make perfect sense and perfect balance, in my opinion.

Besides, why must there always be a blur between a good story and a good game mechanic? I think the idea of wizards pouring time and money into their magic is both traditional fantasy lore and interesting. At the same time it's balancing. To change things around for the sake of a game mechanic starts to badly blur the lines between the game and the story and you end up metagaming the entire world, unfortunately.

I mean, this is a class that has access to do whatever he wants with just the right spell, as 2nd Edition proved and continues to in 3E. Go to a research lab, spend money, research the spell you want whether homebrew or official. Done. I am glad it costs tons of time and money for the Wizard to do what he has to compared to everyone else, otherwise

And you can't weaken the magic, like they did in 4e, or else magic loses both its flavor and power and turns off most people to even bother playing one. Why play the greatest archmage of all when you can only throw one fireball an encounter and can get easily slain by the 15th-level exploit attack of a warrior. Can't even teleport properly or fly, either. Eh?

I mean, after all, that's why 4e was made, where the lines don't even exist anymore. Sadly. (heck, the poor Wizard in 4e isn't even...that awesome anymore...it's like we went from the great Elminster and Gandalf to Harry Potter. Huh!?)
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2008 :  22:04:23  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I generally stay out of the classic "Should wizards be all-powerful?" debates, but I've seen it argued (IMO successfully) that it has not consistently been the case in myth or literature that characters without magical powers stand absolutely no chance against a powerful wizard.

By the same token, I don't recall ever reading a story about a low level wizard who spent most of his time shooting a crossbow because the few spells he had were used up.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)

Edited by - Rinonalyrna Fathomlin on 07 Jul 2008 00:52:43
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Penknight
Senior Scribe

USA
536 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2008 :  04:53:47  Show Profile Send Penknight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Penknight

I hope that no one minds my asking this here...


Hello, Mr. Reynolds. I had a question about Anger of Angels and I was hoping you could help me out with it. I was looking over the Dominion Feats and I was surprised that there wasn't an Angel of Mercy feat listed. I was curious as to why, and if there was one, what would the Prerequisites and Benefits be, please? Thank you so much for your time, sir.

Feel kind of odd quoting myself, but I'm reposting as was requested.

Telethian Phoenix
Pathfinder Reference Document
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Penknight
Senior Scribe

USA
536 Posts

Posted - 26 Jul 2008 :  02:43:36  Show Profile Send Penknight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by seankreynolds

Um, I'm a little busy this week finishing a book and packing, and busy next week driving from California to Washington for my new job at Paizo, but if you repost your questions on July 12th (I'm subscribed to this scroll, and hopefully I'll have internet at my new place by the 12th) I'll give it a shot. :)

Just hoping that your new job at Paizo is going well for you, sir.

Telethian Phoenix
Pathfinder Reference Document
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Skeptic
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1273 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2008 :  15:27:39  Show Profile Send Skeptic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

quote:
Originally posted by seankreynolds
Furthermore, wanting to "roleplay" rather than "rollplay" doesn't make you a superior gamer, as there is no "evolutionary path" from rollplaying to roleplaying. Thinking that there such an evolution is pure gamer snobbery.
I agree that the idea that you start off playing an 'easy' souped-up boardgame and then move on to 'advanced' roleplaying is nonsense -- roleplaying being something difficult is one of the dafter and more destructive gamer fantasies.


I have big problems with the "rollplaying" vs "roleplaying" thing.

If there is a "shared imagined space", you are playing a RPG, if not you are playing a board game.

Using a fortune (dice rolls) or karma (comparing numbers) resolution system outside of combat is NOT playing a board game.
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Skeptic
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1273 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2008 :  15:36:09  Show Profile Send Skeptic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by seankreynolds



{Of the things that exist in the Realms, and can be done in the game, a small minority require any kind of extensive new rules. Don't you think? 3E books are padded with more rules than even a rules-heavy campaign needs, such as the many gratuitous prestige classes that offer nothing that can't be done with multi-classing and feats.}

I'm certain that is the case now. I don't think that was the case in the first two years after the FRCS, where we were coming up with 3e equivalents of 2e abilities and trying to nail down playable versions of magical effects that were never before defined in game terms. But once those were done, yeah, you're going to see a publisher try to find other rules content to make the books game-appealing, otherwise the "game" books are just books of lore. There's nothing wrong with books of lore, but they're not really GAME books any more.



Adding "crunchy" settings elements can certainly be as much useful in actual play than adding "fluffy" lore.

The same reasoning about 4E monsters stats is good IMHO, don't write how goblins fight differently than humans in a short text, give us some mechanics that shows it in play.

However, as character creation in D&D has a lot to do with combat-optimization and less about character developement, it doesn't work so well.

Just in comparison, in some RPG, negative traits (which could be setting specific) cost as much to buy than positive traits because both give to the player a way to get the focus on his character during play.

Edited by - Skeptic on 01 Aug 2008 15:43:10
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seankreynolds
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
88 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2008 :  05:33:13  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
On the topic of the Angel of Mercy ... yeesh, thinking back 5 years now.

I either

(a) didn't think of it, which is unlikely as there are several named angels in the book listed as "of mercy" (lower case, indicating there isn't a feat for it), or
(b) decided that pacifist-type characters are wonky in a game where killing your enemies is the accepted standard.

If I were to make such a feat I'd start with something like the Angel of Friendship's skill bonuses. For its special ability, every time you deal an opponent enough damage to knock them unconscious or kill them, you may instead place a Lesser Geas upon them (save applies) that they will report to the nearest town for punishment or incarceration for their evil deeds and harm no other until that punishment is served.
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Wulgreth
Acolyte

Italy
9 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2008 :  11:31:53  Show Profile  Visit Wulgreth's Homepage  Send Wulgreth an ICQ Message Send Wulgreth a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am running the adventure "Pool of Radiance" but am not sure which year it is set. I started my campaign in Flamerule 1974, but in Ches that year Myth Drannor was already taken by the sun elves, hence I have to slip the date a bit back... but how much?
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Rinonalyrna Fathomlin
Great Reader

USA
7106 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2008 :  19:04:54  Show Profile  Visit Rinonalyrna Fathomlin's Homepage Send Rinonalyrna Fathomlin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wulgreth

I am running the adventure "Pool of Radiance" but am not sure which year it is set. I started my campaign in Flamerule 1974, but in Ches that year Myth Drannor was already taken by the sun elves, hence I have to slip the date a bit back... but how much?



You mean 1374? *chuckles*

You can always ignore events that don't work for your campaign, such as the retaking of Myth Drannor.

"Instead of asking why we sleep, it might make sense to ask why we wake. Perchance we live to dream. From that perspective, the sea of troubles we navigate in the workaday world might be the price we pay for admission to another night in the world of dreams."
--Richard Greene (letter to Time)

Edited by - Rinonalyrna Fathomlin on 14 Aug 2008 19:05:39
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2008 :  19:19:34  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Since that was released even before the FRCS, I'd place it in 1371/1372. Actually, looking at the date that WOTC has for the novel tie in to that adventure, they say it's 1369.

http://www.wizards.com/forgottenrealms/fr_timeline.asp#KnownChronological

quote:
Originally posted by Wulgreth

I am running the adventure "Pool of Radiance" but am not sure which year it is set. I started my campaign in Flamerule 1974, but in Ches that year Myth Drannor was already taken by the sun elves, hence I have to slip the date a bit back... but how much?


For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2008 :  02:32:07  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well met!~ I need some sagely advice. If someone has the ability -- through a spell or a magical device -- to detect auras (specifically alignment) can they see the aura of an individual who is the subject of an ordinary third-level invisibility? I.e., do they see an aura which has no visible reason for existence and from which they can infer the existence of someone or something able to cast the aura?




I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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seankreynolds
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
88 Posts

Posted - 27 Aug 2008 :  04:10:05  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, but it's basically taking them three rounds to discern this, as per the Detect Evil spell (presence/absence, number, and finally location ... the third round tells you what square).
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