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BainIthron
Acolyte

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2006 :  02:11:06  Show Profile  Visit BainIthron's Homepage Send BainIthron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Righteous.

'lo Sean. I asked this question earlier to the people here, who have been really helpful, and it's a bit... nitpicky... and got some good suggestions, however, I ask simply because I want to include it, however accuracy is of utmost importance though, so I thought I'd toss this at you, since I figure it wouldn't hurt... (I hope... you don't have pet cerebri, do you? :P)

Linking from here...
http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=7977

Basicly concerning polearms, since those are mostly made of wood, not to mention arrows. What was the reason that the rules were worded that way? Was the rule on polearms made due to some RP inherent quality of said elemental-like metals where if there wasn't a certain ammount of it, it wouldn't have enough "charge" to give the extra damage... or was it for ease of writing the rules and at the same time saving on text space... or... was it some sort of odd balance issue?

Either way, in the current 3.5E ruleset, would you say in your opinion that weapons with "metalic" striking surfaces made can be made of said materials and gain said bonuses?

Feel free to lay down any additional rules if you wanted.

Also... if you can't answer some of them, or any of them, feel free to point me towards who to ask for each specific thing

And while I'm at it... as I said in the post I linked... I work with the volunteer content developing group Player's Resource Consortium ... is there any specific weapons/armors/items, spells, classes, prestige classes, feats, skills, or races you want to see in the computer game Neverwinter Nights 2 that the original game doesn't include? We're still converting over from NWN1, but we're going to be expanding into more content once we're done converting and fixing bugs. Not sure if you care, but I figure it doesn't hurt to ask .

Er... thanks for tolerating my question!

Stuffness.... >,>
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seankreynolds
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
91 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2006 :  03:24:27  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
{Basicly concerning polearms, since those are mostly made of wood, not to mention arrows. What was the reason that the rules were worded that way?}

I honestly can't tell you. There were three different authors working on that book (me, Angel, Duane) with two developers (Gwen, Andy), and I have a LOT of redundant documents in my MoF folder, each of which is slightly different and not all of them are attributed to a particular person or a certain stage in development. I do have docs that mention that limitation, but I also have earlier versions that don't mention it at all (but I don't know if I added that or the developers did). So I can't tell you WHY it's there.

It is my opinion looking at it now that if a dagger has enough metal to count for this item's property to work, a spear or battleaxe or polearm should as well, especially as the game doesn't have hard details on how much of a particular weapon is metal (compare the PH illos of dagger, pick, flail, etc.). The "extra cost for special materials" is a simplified abstraction, and lacking such an official "metal percentage" rule for the game we'll have to accept that abstraction so we can use special materials in the game.

{Either way, in the current 3.5E ruleset, would you say in your opinion that weapons with "metalic" striking surfaces made can be made of said materials and gain said bonuses?}

Yes -- you should be able to replace the "business end" of a weapon with the appropriate kind of special material to get the new effect.

{Also... if you can't answer some of them, or any of them, feel free to point me towards who to ask for each specific thing.}

Well if it's not in the FAQ, there is no official word on it. You could ask Duane and Angel (now pretty much out of the game industry), or Andy and Gwen (who are still at WotC but I suspect they're going to be fighting a fog of memory and no clear chain of documents.

{And while I'm at it... as I said in the post I linked... I work with the volunteer content developing group Player's Resource Consortium ... is there any specific weapons/armors/items, spells, classes, prestige classes, feats, skills, or races you want to see in the computer game Neverwinter Nights 2 that the original game doesn't include? We're still converting over from NWN1, but we're going to be expanding into more content once we're done converting and fixing bugs. Not sure if you care, but I figure it doesn't hurt to ask.}

I appreciate you asking, but as I use a Mac, not a PC, I can't play either game so what properties are in it don't really matter to me. :p
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BainIthron
Acolyte

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2006 :  05:03:51  Show Profile  Visit BainIthron's Homepage Send BainIthron a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks... that was like... fast... >,>

You rock :D I'll be linking this in my FAQ for if/when anyone tries to give flak of said usage, thanks!

Stuffness.... >,>
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seankreynolds
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
91 Posts

Posted - 15 Oct 2006 :  06:34:40  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
{Thanks... that was like... fast...}

I have this thread on email-notification of new replies, and happened to have a few minutes when the mail came in. :)
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Mace Hammerhand
Great Reader

Germany
2296 Posts

Posted - 22 Oct 2006 :  22:50:50  Show Profile  Visit Mace Hammerhand's Homepage Send Mace Hammerhand a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Sean, I'm not sure if you're the person to ask this, but here it goes:

I've been skimming through Dwarves Deep and tried to recall some of the info of olden campaign sets, and I never saw any reference of a big Dwarven secret that would allow them to "repopulate" abandoned areas: the Thunder Blessing.

In a time where there, according to the Thunder Blessing of recent lore, should have been enough Dwarven toddlers and teenagers running around in dwarf cities, which would have been at the time Elminster (Ed wrote Dwarves Deep after all) gathered his intel so to speak.

Was the Thunder Blessing added during production of the 3e FRCS or has there been another source I merely missed?

Thanks
Mace

Mace's not so gentle gamer's journal My rants were harmless compared to this, beware!
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seankreynolds
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
91 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2006 :  01:33:38  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It was something we added in the 3E FRCS concepting. We wanted to have a reason for more dwarves running around (no longer being a "dying race"), and wanted to have a reasonable excuse for dwarves practicing magic (which they can do in 3E). If I recall correctly, it's something we discussed (like most major plot points introduced in the FRCS) at the FR summit in Ontario with Ed before we started writing the FRCS.
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Chosen of Moradin
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1120 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2007 :  20:21:42  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Moradin's Homepage Send Chosen of Moradin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi, Sean!

One of the players of my brand new campaign in the Vilhon Reach want to play with an exalted druid of Nobanion/Lion of Talisid. We're working in the adaptation of Talisid as a servant of Nobanion, but my question is:

In Champions of Valor, the feat Initiate of Nobanion covers only clerics and paladins, but we think that it will be a good choice for the druid. How advice you give to handle this? Adjust the level requirement for a druid? And give some bonus in the wild class ability?

Thanks in advance.

Dwarf, DM, husband, and proud of this! :P

twitter: @yuripeixoto
Facebook: yuri.peixoto
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4679 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2007 :  21:05:01  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm, it looks like somebody or something took out Sean's website.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Chosen of Moradin
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1120 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2007 :  21:46:00  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Moradin's Homepage Send Chosen of Moradin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes, I see this, too.

Dwarf, DM, husband, and proud of this! :P

twitter: @yuripeixoto
Facebook: yuri.peixoto
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seankreynolds
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
91 Posts

Posted - 14 Aug 2007 :  23:46:55  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
With its current effects I'd certainly lower the level requirement to 3, as the wild empathy and summon nature's ally spell are redundant to your class abilities.

OR give the druid a +4 bonus to WE checks made to influence feline and part-feline creatures. And replace SNA with either cure moderate wounds (which the druid wouldn't otherwise get until spell level 3) or shield other.

As for my site, yeah, a hacker used an exploit on my out-of-date message board software (shame on me for not keeping up with the free upgrades) to plant a virus script in some of my HTML, so I took the site down while I restore it from backup.
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Chosen of Moradin
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1120 Posts

Posted - 15 Aug 2007 :  00:07:57  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Moradin's Homepage Send Chosen of Moradin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Sean.

I find that the second option is more in tune with the character.
Again, thanks for the help, and sorry for the news about your site.

It's good to know that you have a backup. this remember-me to make a backup of my campaign notes.

Dwarf, DM, husband, and proud of this! :P

twitter: @yuripeixoto
Facebook: yuri.peixoto
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Chosen of Moradin
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1120 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2007 :  12:50:02  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Moradin's Homepage Send Chosen of Moradin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi, Sean!

I have a little technical question:

Do you think that a Fighter / Divine Champion of Torm / Pious Templar could take the Initiate of Torm feat (Champions of Valor, p. 31)?
I mean, he is not a cleric or a paladin, but he is a good holy warrior or Torm, I could swear it!

Dwarf, DM, husband, and proud of this! :P

twitter: @yuripeixoto
Facebook: yuri.peixoto
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seankreynolds
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
91 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2007 :  17:26:53  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think that is perfectly reasonable. :)
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Chosen of Moradin
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1120 Posts

Posted - 24 Nov 2007 :  18:18:48  Show Profile  Visit Chosen of Moradin's Homepage Send Chosen of Moradin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, Sean!

This was my thinking, too.
As a Pious Templar and a Divine Champion, he already have access to the smite ability, so a new use of the ability is reasonable. And, as a Pious Templar, he have access to paladin spells - and can add the spells of the Initiate feat to the list. :)

Dwarf, DM, husband, and proud of this! :P

twitter: @yuripeixoto
Facebook: yuri.peixoto
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arry
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
317 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2007 :  11:12:57  Show Profile Send arry a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Sean!

I've just bought a copy of Magic of Faerun on eBay and I was wondering about the cover picture. Is the structure depicted an actual Faerunian(sp?) building? If so, could you please tell me what it is and where?

Thanks.

BTW I just checked out your website. Thanks for putting up all that cool stuff!

Edited by - arry on 08 Dec 2007 11:14:08
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seankreynolds
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
91 Posts

Posted - 08 Dec 2007 :  14:26:33  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I didn't do the art order for MoF (I think it was Rich, brand manager at the time) but I don't recall that it was supposed to be a specific canonical building.

Glad you like the stuff on my site. :)
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2008 :  06:51:13  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote


Well met!

Sean, I have created a scroll regarding "Cost and size of a blank spellbook in Faerun". A dispute arose in my group's last game session when I told a player to use the price of a blank book from Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog as the price of a blank spell book. He balked because the price was so high compared to the absurdly low price in the PHB, whereas I considered Ed's price altogether reasonable based upon my knowledge of the real Medieval book trade (influenced by the information on "Hermetic" books in The Wizard's Grimoire for Ars Magica, third edition, which goes into great detail on EXACTLY what's involved in creating a book which is intended for important writing).

Tonight someone pointed out that Magic of Faerun provides a lot of information on spellbooks, but I still regard the prices there as far too low, especially considering the prices in 1st and 2nd edition D&D and AD&D. May I ask you what criteria you used for the blank spellbook prices in Magic of Faerun, and, if the basis was someone else's editorial decision, whether you'd rather correct them upward in an erratum or in 4th edition?

Another topic was the size of a traveling spellbook. Given the descriptions in the old DMGs, I ruled that the "tome" size in the Aurora's Catalog was the standard size, and the "regular" 9 inch size was what is used for a "traveling" spellbook, and I defended the old DMGs's doubling of the price for a smaller book on the basis of my own knowledge of real world books. (Yeah, I've been to the Getty Villa and the Huntington Library, and handled 500 year old parchment, and seen legible books as small as postage stamps.) What do you consider the "proper" dimensions of a "traveling spellbook," and how would you alter its price vis-a-vis a standard blank "tome" for magic?

Our next game session is this Saturday, and something's gonna be broken, one way or the other, if I can't present an absolutely authoritative set of guidelines for blank spellbook prices, and you Sean seem to be the man who gets to lay down the law. Help, please!





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
91 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2008 :  16:56:30  Show Profile  Visit seankreynolds's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Making spellbooks cost an exorbitant amount unfairly impacts wizards. No other class in the game has to seek out/buy/find scrolls to learn more than the absolute minimum number of spells, and requiring them to dump large amounts of money into an item that doesn't give them any extra benefits really really hurts them. And even then they're left with a book which, if stolen, completely negates their ability to function in a party.

The PH spellbook prices are deliberately at the low price they are, it is not an accident. The MoF prices are extensions of the PH price.

D&D is not medieval Europe. FR is certainly not medieval Europe. And the people who have the greatest interest in making quality paper/parchment (wizards) are going to make sure that there are inexpensive quality paper/parchment sources. Medieval Europe didn't have superintelligent (15 is twice as smart as a typical human, 20 is Einstein level, and D&D wizards easily hit Int or higher) consumers looking to innovate and improve this crucial material.

If you don't use the PH stats for spellbooks, you're really screwing all wizards in your game.
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Purple Dragon Knight
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1796 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2008 :  18:19:24  Show Profile Send Purple Dragon Knight a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Jamallo, if I was your player I would have balked to. If you don't follow the rules they (i.e. the players) have, then make sure you do your homework and distribute your homerules to the player before the start of your campaign.

Pulling "DM surprises" is fine if it's a trap in a dungeon, but a "DM surprise" on the cost of PHB goods is a sure-fire way to piss off a player.
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2008 :  10:13:10  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the input.

I long ago made it clear that certain pries for military and "adventuring" gear were different between the PHB and Aurora's Catalog, and that as a general principle I would follow the prices given by Aurora. Sean's points, however are valid in a game which now pre-determines how rich a character should be based upon class level, and what possessions he or she should have. (The charts in D&D for Dummies are truly fascinating. I copied several so that my players and I could laugh over them.)

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. Where's the fairness in that? Anyone who uses a spellbook has to plan on certain (very high) regular expenses. That's why spellbooks are considered treasure. 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. Why should wizards expect a free ride (or at least a bargain cruise) when inscribing spells, when the party's fighters are expected to buy increasingly expensive armor and weapons, 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?

If the wizard is being gypped at all, it's in comparison to sorcerers, who cast the very same spells at no cost whatsoever, except for material components. Sorcerers are not automatically expected to buy new armor and weapons at each level, and they have ZERO expenses vis-a-vis recording their spells, because they don't need to write them down. At all. Ever. No giant squid ink or crushed emeralds to stain their fingers, and no roc or hippogrif feathers which need to be pared with solid gold penknives under Selune's full light in a month which has no "R" in it....

I remember reading a fascinating passage in a grimoire Chaosuim compiled for Nephilim. The speaker described with utter amazement the great magic which allowed a man sitting on a floor in one city to make strange marks on a piece of clay or papyrus, and then have some recipient miles away no exactly what the sender's words were. It was awesome, and the Nephilim timeline considers the introduction of that particular form of magic ("We call it maize. ... ah ... Writing") as the beginning of the first age of formal, ritualized magic. 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. 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. Indeed, even at Aurora's prices a blank book costs less that most masterwork weapons or armor. I say, "Let the wizard have to scrimp and save for those first spellbooks and he'll value them all his life, and guard them jealously." 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. It's a risk which comes with the territory, territory which is usually well behind those party members who are paying their dues in their very own life's blood. What is the end of The Tempest (or the movie Prsospero's Books, for that matter)? Prospero throws away his spellbooks. And how does Shakespeare's contemporary, the great Christoper Marlowe bring an end to the titular wizard of the Tragical History of Doctor Faustus? With the lines,

"My God, my God, look not so fierce on me!
Adders and serpents, let me breathe a while!
Ugly hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer!
I'll burn my books!--Ah, Mephistophilis!"



"I'll burn my books." That was where Faustus knew his personal power resided, as Prospero's did in his own books. Prospero gave up his books for the restoration of his estates and the sake of his daughter's happiness. Faustus wanted to trade his spellbooks for his own soul. The power is in the written word, and I think that DMs should do what they can to make certain that the players of wizards and archivists know where their own wealth and power lies -- in their spellbooks and prayerbooks.

If I recall correctly, one young princeling named Elminster Aumar left his own spellbook in a saddlebag, once upon a most inopportune time, and that same princeling waged a merciless war to the death against wizards able to cast spells without their books: the magelords.

In the beginning was the word, and I think it must have been pretty darned expensive, what with the phoenix-feather quill and the giant octopus sepia ink and all....


HOWEVER, since Sean wrote the book, he is the authority, and I have pledged to my players to attempt to defer to the authority of the authors and designers. I just hope that the ... next ... edition of D&D will reflect my concerns and plain old historical facts and raise the price of hand-scribed books in general. Of course, a hundred years hence printing may have made the parchment spellbook a moot point for any surviving or new-born wizards.

We shall see.... Well ... some of us will!





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.


Edited by - Jamallo Kreen on 07 Feb 2008 10:32:37
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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
91 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
91 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
1796 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2008 :  18:56:48  Show Profile 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
91 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
1796 Posts

Posted - 07 Feb 2008 :  20:43:52  Show Profile 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

3308 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
91 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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