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The Masked Mage
Great Reader

USA
2124 Posts

Posted - 10 Jun 2018 :  07:17:30  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

My favorite two mage characters... One was a wild mage who happily embraced the chaos of wild magic.

The other was a half-elf fighter-mage with the Aristocrat kit from an old issue of Dragon (obviously, this was in 2E). The half-elf's closest thing to a signature spell was his heavy use of cantrips. We were using a variant rule (also from Dragon) that made cantrips a proficiency, which I still think was the best way I've seen D&D handle cantrips, in all editions. Because of that rule, my character was able to toss off multiple cantrips a day, and he very much took advantage of that. It was mostly just a flavor thing, but he was still one of my favorite characters, due in no small part to that one detail.

He used his cantrips mostly for utility stuff: drying/fixing his clothes, starting a fire more easily, adding flavor to his food, etc.



I LOVED that cantrip variant. It made wizards in games more like wizards in stories, AND did not boost their power much. The article was called "The Little Wish" if memory serves.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32074 Posts

Posted - 10 Jun 2018 :  16:25:38  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Indeed, that was the article.

Cantrips in D&D have always bugged me, because the game application of them has never matched the way they're always described in fiction. That's why I continue to think that the proficiency idea in that article was the best way cantrips have ever been addressed in D&D.

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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

204 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2018 :  00:18:08  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I Have developed a Zero Level class of Magic user called the "Apprentice". Based on four levels of Cantrips mostly from Unearth Arcana.

These are four levels leading up to the 1st level. In Thay you would then specialise in one of the many schools for 5 more levels until you graduate and receive your Red Robes and first level as a Red Wizard Novice.

There is another option to specialise as a Cantripian. A Specialist in Cantrips. Cantripians are limited to the first four levels as an apprentice and then up to five more with more advanced versions of cantrips and simple 'limited' spell levels. Similar to the number of spells a Sorcerer has between levels 1 to 5. I will follow this up with more info if you are interested.


Thay Red
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1801 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2018 :  00:38:21  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thraskir Skimper

I Have developed a Zero Level class of Magic user called the "Apprentice". Based on four levels of Cantrips mostly from Unearth Arcana.
These are four levels leading up to the 1st level.

Was done in... Mystara, Greyhawk and College of Wizardry, IIRC. The problems are that:
1. To be used outside specific "everyone is an apprentice in magic school" campaign it should be applied to all classes, and
2. The only way for this to work without creating more mess is to have classes dismantled into component abilities, much like in Warhammer 40k RP.
Which could be done even in PO, of course, but it's larger than just one option for Magic user class(es).

quote:
There is another option to specialise as a Cantripian. A Specialist in Cantrips.

Okay, that's just silly.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32074 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2018 :  01:15:36  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The proficiency idea was the simplest and most elegant.

If I had to redo the cantrip idea, I think I'd use the 2E proficiency as a basis for how oft cantrips could be used, and otherwise tie them to the Spellcraft skill. You can cast a certain number of cantrips, but have to make a skill check, until you've got like 5 ranks or so in the skill -- and then you no longer need the skill check.

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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

204 Posts

Posted - 17 Jun 2018 :  03:21:38  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My Cantrip wielding Apprenti are all used in City adventures where the worst thing that happens is an Apprentice will get mugged or asked to spy on someone with out being seen and getting beaten up if spotted. Which of course serves them right for getting seen. Typically a student or pre student will guide a merchant for a fee through a city cast a coloured light spell above a merchant which wards off the thieves in a district. Assuming they don't screw it up. Or they will carry their broom around to various shops for cleaning services with a chance to cast cleaning spells to cut down on work and get paid enough money for attending classes. Keeps the Apprenti busy. Yes scrying is a great way to spy on people but 50 to 100 apprentice can often do it better.

Thay Red
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Cosmar
Acolyte

12 Posts

Posted - 22 Mar 2019 :  01:12:41  Show Profile Send Cosmar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I go between specializing in Abjuration or being a generalist.

I know Abjurers are far from optimized and a lot of people find Abjuration kind of boring, but for some reason I always think of them as the classical wizards even more than Conjurers or Necromancers. For some reason, in my head, literary mages like Gandalf and Ged would be Abjurers. In 3rd edition I'd typically go Master Specialist --> Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil.

Lately I've been super basic and been loving playing as Elven generalists (using the Elf Wizard racial substitution levels from Races of the Wild).

Right now my Sun Elf generalist, Kethamil Sylairaque, is Wizard5/ Harper Mage 4, with plans for going into Olin Gisir. He originally wanted to become a Spellguard of Silverymoon, but recent adventures have driven him to a more Divinatory path, and he really wants to find/protect/destroy ancient elven secrets.

He comes from a long line of talented mages who have at various times been involved in Big Things (the Crown Wars, Seven Citadels' War, establishment/fall of Myth Drannor, etc.) and basically wants to follow in their footsteps, intending to master all forms of magic, perhaps learn Elven High Magic someday and invent a bunch of his own spells.

At the moment, he's trying to thwart a demonfey plot to kidnap Sun Elves and use an evil artifact (some kind of brazier that utilizes demon hearts...) to forcibly turn them into Fey'ri. At the same time, they're trying to find a way into an Unseelie Fey demiplane called the Vale Beyond the Veil, in which the demonfey are trying to find something called the Rain of Embers (which might be a weapon dating to the Seven Citadels' War).

ALSO, his wizard and Spellguard of Silverymoon father (whom he later discovered was secretly a Harper) went missing on a mission and he's been trying to find him. Turns out daddy-o was researching ways to contact and/or travel to Myth Adofhaer, and Kethamil has discovered a spellbook relic of Labelas Enoreth that contains a ritual in which one can open a temporary portal between planes that are out of temporal sync (including both the Vale Beyond the Veil and Myth Adofhaer). His father completed the ritual and may have already gone to Myth Adofhaer...Kethamil has deciphered the ritual and is searching for the components to complete it himself, which include 10,000 gp in diamonds, focii from both planes, and a scale from the dragon god of time, Chronepsis.

But the fey'ri business with the turning elves into demons thing, and Rain of Embers, whatever that is, are kind of taking priority.
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