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Risven
Acolyte

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2021 :  17:43:01  Show Profile Send Risven a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've done free changes in spell effects for years as well, and I'm glad it's in Tasha's now too.

Right now, I'm using it as a clue in a mystery for the group I am DMing. The spell effects can be wildly different because of the small but specific ways in which the spell is cast (verbal emphasis, precise hand motions), and these can help identify where or from whom the caster learned the spell. So, wizards trained in Cormyr and wizards trained in Thay can be told apart by the manner in which they cast spells (to the trained eye).

The PCs in my game have been keeping track of which magic-users were trained where, and in some cases they have been able to connect casters - "those two probably learned in the same tradition, but the way they cast [that spell] is so similar, they may have apprenticed under the same wizard!"

The players have joked about constructing what they call their 'wizard-mobile,' which is like a genealogy chart but to track who learned magic from whom.

Also, they are a bit curious about the one spellcaster they have met whose spells have the absolute bare-minimum of special effects, but whose verbal and somatic components are wild. She's a half-elf from Sigil who learned magic from a thri-kreen - makes her casting seem out of place.

We haven't been using skill checks or anything to identify styles of spellcasting. We're playing 5E, and if we ended up shifting to skill checks, I'd probably have it be a combination of things. Arcana obviously, History and Religion too. Sleight of Hand opposed by Perception to hide obvious indicators versus spotting them, I guess. Nature or Survival to suss out druid or ranger connections, or to connect a material component with a specific casting tradition.
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Returnip
Learned Scribe

204 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2021 :  20:18:24  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Risven

I've done free changes in spell effects for years as well, and I'm glad it's in Tasha's now too.

Right now, I'm using it as a clue in a mystery for the group I am DMing. The spell effects can be wildly different because of the small but specific ways in which the spell is cast (verbal emphasis, precise hand motions), and these can help identify where or from whom the caster learned the spell. So, wizards trained in Cormyr and wizards trained in Thay can be told apart by the manner in which they cast spells (to the trained eye).

The PCs in my game have been keeping track of which magic-users were trained where, and in some cases they have been able to connect casters - "those two probably learned in the same tradition, but the way they cast [that spell] is so similar, they may have apprenticed under the same wizard!"

The players have joked about constructing what they call their 'wizard-mobile,' which is like a genealogy chart but to track who learned magic from whom.

Also, they are a bit curious about the one spellcaster they have met whose spells have the absolute bare-minimum of special effects, but whose verbal and somatic components are wild. She's a half-elf from Sigil who learned magic from a thri-kreen - makes her casting seem out of place.

We haven't been using skill checks or anything to identify styles of spellcasting. We're playing 5E, and if we ended up shifting to skill checks, I'd probably have it be a combination of things. Arcana obviously, History and Religion too. Sleight of Hand opposed by Perception to hide obvious indicators versus spotting them, I guess. Nature or Survival to suss out druid or ranger connections, or to connect a material component with a specific casting tradition.



So when you say you haven't used any skill checks to discern the origin of a style, does that mean you assume the player characters have extensive knowledge of how people cast spells in different parts of the world? Or do they quiz an NPC spellcaster the first time they meet them and learn where they are from, so as to be able to reference that style when seeing other spellcasters later on?

On the other hand you have different fingers.
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Risven
Acolyte

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2021 :  21:29:44  Show Profile Send Risven a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The wizard of the party has some assumed baseline knowledge, and since his backstory had him apprenticed under three different wizards, he knows some of the differences based on that. The rest is stuff they can gather information on - they can talk to the spellcaster, spy on them, ask their contacts, and so on. When they can't figure out where the spellcaster learned the craft, they might later find someone who casts similarly, and be able to get an idea that way.

Right now, they are on day three of a week-long mage-fair, so they have plenty of sources of information.
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Returnip
Learned Scribe

204 Posts

Posted - 04 Jan 2021 :  22:15:25  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Risven

The wizard of the party has some assumed baseline knowledge, and since his backstory had him apprenticed under three different wizards, he knows some of the differences based on that. The rest is stuff they can gather information on - they can talk to the spellcaster, spy on them, ask their contacts, and so on. When they can't figure out where the spellcaster learned the craft, they might later find someone who casts similarly, and be able to get an idea that way.

Right now, they are on day three of a week-long mage-fair, so they have plenty of sources of information.



Sounds very cool. Nice work.

On the other hand you have different fingers.
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