View Full Version : Magicians - does anyone play them?

12-12-2001, 02:50 PM
With the 3E rules, does anyone play magicians in their campaigns? Any house rules?

12-13-2001, 12:15 AM
I have a player who runs a magician. He's a land holding noble in central Roesone who is an active agent/patron of the Ruornil temples.

The player isn't overly knowledgable about the Birthright game world, so there isn't really much difference (as far as he's concerned anyway) between the magician and the wizard.

I hd him use the rules from Doom's manual, and so far it has worked well I suppose. (The character was designed as a crusty, disinterested, frail old man, so it makes adventuring a bit difficult.)

12-13-2001, 12:59 AM
I use them as NPCs mostly since few (sane) players of mine would actually want to play a magician over a true wizard! I use one house rules though; *blooded* magicians(very rare I admit, blooded tend to go for true mages, but there are a few of them) get the ability to cast divination and illusion battle and realm magic spells as if they were true mages provided they learn the spell.

Lord Eldred
12-13-2001, 01:37 AM
Tell me why anyone would want to play a magician or a non-blooded character for that matter. My as well play in a regular D & D realm.

12-13-2001, 02:23 AM
The Magician is rather weak honestly, but it IS an interesting character concept... Basically a specialist in two schools; illusion and divination. Normally you can only be a specialist in one school(except one exception from the FR campaign; the bloody Red Wizards, but anyhow), and I think that makes magician interesting. Really, I have thought a few times to play a magician source regent. Why? I think it would prove an interesting alternative since the character would focus on realm magic like Scry(very useful spell btw, if used well) as well as illusory effects to defeat his opponents rather than the classic Mass Destruction, Summoning, Legions of the Dead and Warding spells.

You could be surprised how effective a magician would be if he had access to realm and battle magic, and actually worked to develop 2-3 spells of his own...

Lord Eldred
12-13-2001, 07:12 PM
However magicians are incapable of true magic and thus would not be able to tap into the powers of a source. You would have to ignore the rules to make a Magician Source Regent. That may make magicians way too powerful if they could tap into the powers of sources.

12-14-2001, 02:22 AM
Not everyone can be a regent Eldred. It was mostly likely an attempt by the designers to prevent every two-bit wanna be wizard from attacking and trying to seize power of sources. It would have been kind of annoying to allow every wizard in the realm use sources. The mage wars would have been devestating.

Since magic is so limited in my campaign the only real use for magicians in my world is street magic and parlor tricks. Mostly cantrip type stuff, with little chance of higher than lvl 2 spells.

12-15-2001, 03:23 AM
Remember I'm talking about BLOODED magicians, not people who can't learn true magic, but people who have actually chosen to put aside the standard way of studying magic to focus on the so-called 'lesser arcanas'. Their bloodlines however may allow them to achieve such level of mastery in them that they should be able to use battle spells and realm spells, but only from their two specialty schools. They would likely still be much weaker than any true mage; but... they might be able to surprise those who underestimate the powers of the 'lesser arcana'.

Lord Eldred
12-16-2001, 02:41 AM
Ok but why?

12-17-2001, 09:09 PM
Noone would play one I guess. However, the Magician is a very interesting class on its own, and as presented in Travis Doom manuals quite balanced.
I had a PC playing a Brecht Rogue/Magician (very interesting combination!) and we really enjoyed it.

Arch-Sorcerer Gargamel
12-18-2001, 12:40 AM
I've never been adverse to the existence of magicians, they actually would work very well as one of those commoner classes, such as the ones presented in the DMG. A playable one at that. They definately work better as NPCs to amaze and annoy.

Lord Eldred
12-28-2001, 03:19 AM
Yes Gargamel but would you play one as a PC in Birthright?

01-11-2002, 02:57 PM
I played a magician (2E AD &D) long ago. The DM made birthright a low magic campaign. The campaign was more typical D&D until we played King of the Giant Downs and the group's Paladin became ruler. My magician character was kind of a wily counselor advising the group's "leader" a paladin on magic and statecraft. In a wilderness setting any magic was a big deal. Also with the experience bonuses nonblooded charaters received, my character got to 8th level while the blooded characters were around 6th.

I think that the magican (and non-blooded characters) are worth playing, but it depends on the type of campaign.

Lord Eldred
01-14-2002, 02:59 AM
However, the suggestion was for a blooded magician and I am not sure why anyone would want one of these!

Lord Shaene
01-14-2002, 12:56 PM
How about just for the challenge of playing one, good roleplaying can make any type of character fun to play.

Lord Eldred
01-16-2002, 03:11 AM
Like you would know anything about that Lord Shaene :P

Arlen Blaede
02-09-2002, 03:16 PM
All I gotta say about this one is that "can you imagine what a highly skilled magician would be capable of in a diplomatic setting?" His abilities at scrying and illusory magic would grant amazing advantages if used properly.

As to whether or not I'd play a magician (blooded or not) in Birthright the answer is yes. As a matter of fact, if my present character decides to die on me a magician is what I was planning on bringing in.

Lord Eldred
02-10-2002, 06:53 PM
Well let us know how it goes and if it is any fun to play!

Green Knight
02-11-2002, 10:59 AM
I think that depends on the makeup of the magician class -there are currently a lot of different versions out there.

If your DM uses a magician class that is on par with the other PC classes, I'd say yes. For those who use the magican as another type of adept, I'd say no.

Lord Eldred
02-11-2002, 09:40 PM
Arlen makes the best argument however for the use of a blooded magician!

Green Knight
02-12-2002, 04:02 PM
Indeed he does. Magicians are very appealing to a lot of folks. Because of that, the DM ought to provide a magician class that is appealing to play.

2nd ed magician class was good. 3ed magician classes vary a lot.

Arius Vistoon
02-12-2002, 05:51 PM
Orginally posted by Green Knight
2nd ed magician class was good. 3ed magician classes vary a lot.

yes in 2nd ed ( player's option -> spell and magie + high level campaign )
mage is very , very good classe, fun and lot of originality

in 3 ed, i don't know but whithout rule under option, i think
it's lesser good !!! ( but, rule for creation magical item are that is missed in 2nd edition even if in book of artifact, creation is very cool

i'preferred mage in 2nd edition !!!! there's just no comparaison

02-12-2002, 09:54 PM
I think a blooded or regent Magician defeats the purpose of the class. I know lots of players who choose to play non-blooded characters for the role-playing opputunites it presents. The magician is agreat example of those opurtunities. The example of an advisor character is great one, or what about halfling magician with the shadow walker feat? What about a bitter dwarven magician despretly trying to master true magic? What if such a character was actually a spy for an enemy wizard, cowed into submission by the wizards power?


Okay I got to go talk to one of my players and find that old copy of Warlock Of Stonecrowns...

Lord Eldred
02-18-2002, 07:01 PM
Mithrandir, why does it defeat the purpose of the class?

02-19-2002, 01:04 AM
Because, the point of magicians is that they aren't blooded. It helps explain why magic is so rare in Cerilia. Besides, who would want to play one if it was just a wizard only weaker. The inability to use true magic is what makes the magician what he is, while I could see a possible exception made for a character who could provide a good reason why his character chose not to or was unable to use true magic, but only as an exception, and I probably would not let him use realm or battle magic without some extreme role-playing justification.

Green Knight
02-19-2002, 12:32 PM
The book of Magecraft mentions scions becoming magicians. Not because they lack the potential to become true wizards, but because they lack comittment - instead of spending their lives in the pursuit of magic, they just dabble.

Lord Eldred
02-19-2002, 07:58 PM
I think Green Knight just provided a good reason. Another would be a multiclass character taking it on as something to dabble in. Another would be that someone who specialized in the spells of the magicians could become a very powerful regent for reasons explained in earlier posts.

02-20-2002, 12:20 AM
But if such a character lacked the commitment to master true magic, would he have the commitment to master realm magic. I would argue that true magic must be mastered before realm magic. Somewhat like how one has to learn algebra before calculus, trying to learn things out of order would lead to a great deal of confusion. Remeber, Realm magic is hard to understand, otherwise everyone would use and so many domains wouldn't have blanks in the source coloumn on the holdings chart.

Green Knight
02-20-2002, 12:43 PM
Yes, a requisite for using realm magic should be the ability to use true magic. No realm spells for bards, magicians etc, even if they are blooded.

If a character only dabbles in magic he does not truly understand the nature of mebhaighl. To use realm magic you have to have that understanding.

02-22-2002, 04:07 AM
Orginally posted by Green Knight
Yes, a requisite for using realm magic should be the ability to use true magic. No realm spells for bards, magicians etc, even if they are blooded.

If a character only dabbles in magic he does not truly understand the nature of mebhaighl. To use realm magic you have to have that understanding.

Hear! Hear! Hail the wisdom of the Gren Knight!

Every Joe Shmoe that can wave his hands and chant SHOULD NOT be allowed to weild the powers of realm magic!!

02-22-2002, 04:24 PM
In response to Mithrander's post that blooded Magicians defeats the purpose of the class. I agree.
However, I believe that Rogr Aglondier the current Regent of Ilien was an unblooded apprentice of the former Regent when he was invested with the Aglondier blood line (I don't have the book with me so I appoligize if my memory is incorrect). So it appears to me that the designers have given us an excellent example of an instance where a Magician can become a blooded regent.
I would envision this regent takeing one of two paths: he could dual-class (2d edition) or multiclass (3d edition) as a True Mage or Sorcerer (least likely I think) or he could continue as a Blooded Magician capable of True Magic. I don't have the book of Magecraft but if I remember the Ilien sourcebook correctly Rogr is a 3d level Mage but it is not specified wether he is a True Wizard or a blooded Magician.

02-22-2002, 09:19 PM
I would argue that an apprentice doesn't need to be blooded because he is just learning. As long as he didn't gain his first class level before becoming blooded, I think he's still a wizard or sorcerer. Also, if you need true magic to learn realm magic, then you probably learn low magic as an apprentice true mage. This would mean that you could be an apprentice for a long time before needing to be blooded, as you were learning low magic first. This is a bit of stretch I know, but it does make some sense doesn't it?:)

Lord Eldred
02-22-2002, 10:19 PM
Ruins lists Rogr as a 3rd level wizard. I would have to agree with Mithrandir that Rogr was studying lower level magic and thus at the time it didn't matter that he wasn't blooded. Now that he is blooded he could study the higher arts of magic.

Green Knight
02-23-2002, 11:11 AM
I agree, but where did all his magician levels go? He should probably be something like a Magician 4-8/Wizard 3. Another option would be to allow him to "convert" from magician to wizard once he gained a bloodline. Can't say how that should work though.

Lord Eldred
02-24-2002, 05:24 PM
Who is to say that Rogr was not at 0 level when he became blooded, thus he would not have lost any magician levels when he converted to wizardry.

02-24-2002, 08:08 PM
Orginally posted by Lord Eldred
Who is to say that Rogr was not at 0 level when he became blooded, thus he would not have lost any magician levels when he converted to wizardry.

Out of curiosity how many spells does a level 0 magician cast???

Lord Eldred
02-25-2002, 02:24 AM
Mostly cantrips.

Green Knight
02-25-2002, 10:36 AM
Rogr is not a young man. Either he must have started his study of magic late in life or he is simply incompetent. Wizard 3??? Thats soooo lame :)

02-25-2002, 03:11 PM
When the matter of keeping magicians as a character class comes up I'd like to think I am as big as a supporter there is for keeping them. I think Mark Aurel (sp?) originally came up with the basic concept of the magician class that appears in Travis Doom's Rulebook. I fell in love with it the first time I saw it but it since has gone a few revisions. I think Doom's 3.8 Rulebook is still a little short of being right. Very close but not quite.

I decided to go back to playing a spell caster recently after a long line of playing the dumb fighter after DMing for way to long. I wanted to give the magician a go because I've never seen it done. I couldn't do it. Spell selection is still to poor.

I have a revised magician spell list. I went through every spell the magician could cast, and if any other class could cast that spell sooner I let the magician cast it sooner then a wizard. I also went through and made sure they could cast every divination and just about every (if not every) illusion spell there was. This I was happy with.

In the end I should have asked Travis if I could play my version but I never did. Incidently the character was going to be blooded. His attitude towards true magic would of been that it was misused and he didn't want to perpetuate that misuse.

Lord Eldred
02-26-2002, 12:03 AM
Spehar, I am a little confused on how you changed the rules of magicians. Did you consult the DM or are you the DM?

Green Knight, perhaps Rogr had to abandon all magician spells when he was say 10th level and converted to wizard and has only progressed to 3rd level at this point.

02-26-2002, 12:47 AM
I think that the terms "blooded" and "true magic" are game terms only, that pcs and npcs would never use. Just as the prince of avanil doesn't call himself a "regent" of his "domain". The difference between low and true magic isn't what you know, it's what you can do. An unblooded individual and a blooded individual could both begin the path to wizardly magic, but the unblooded indivdual just wouldn't be able to provide the "power" to use certain spells as quickly as the wizard would, and for some spells never could. I don't think the unblooded invidual would be able to tell the difference except that the other wizard came form the line of great heros, and had greater strength perhaps because of it. I know the "Atlas of Cerlia" argues differently, but in my Campaign no one knows much about the way bloodlines work, some people just have certain powers because of their great good or evil spirits. I think the Bloodline rules exist to emulate what is true in many ancient hero tales. Heros often have special powers or are more powerfull then the common man because of great heros in their bloodline. Also, the more good a person was, the more beautifull they became. The more evil, the more ugly, just like the abominations. I think then that if you asked a Cerilian why the Gorgon was so damn ugly, he'd tell you it was because he is terrible dark lord, and very evil. By the same token if asked why that seer isn't as powerfull as that wizard lord, he wouldn't say it was because he was "unblooded" and had to practice "low magic".
He would say it was because the wizard was simply more powerful and the magician wasn't. Because of this I don't think low magic is a concouis choice, but rather a question of ability. There can be no blooded magicians, because a blooded magician is a wizard. Therefore in the example of a magician who becomes blooded, I would argue he is now a wizard, provided he reciaved the proper training to use his new powers (which could provide interesting role playing oppurtunites). As to how many magician levels equals one wizard level, just figure it out on an incivual base so the caharcter is in line iwth the rest of the party. And as to how many ol' Rogr had when he changed, you wanna be the one to ask?;)

Lord Eldred
02-26-2002, 12:53 AM
Wow, very well put!

02-26-2002, 06:51 AM
I agree with you in some respects Mithrandir, but I disagree on one important note. I think a blooded person learning the arts of magic can make a conscious decision not to learn the art of true magic. Since just about anyone can be a magician, in order to wield true magic you must dig deep into yourself to tap your inner energies (bloodline or elven blood).

When I was creating the magician character I was not DMing. Altering the magician class was one of my many creations in the Birthright world.

Lord Eldred
02-27-2002, 01:00 AM
That seems logical that someone could choose not to do true magic but why would they?

On the otherhand people who all of sudden decide to multiclass when they are 25 and human, do they have enough time to get the concept of true magic?

02-27-2002, 02:34 AM
This is why I think that you don't have to study true magic, you just "get it". If it was a matter of understanding, why would bloodline matter? If can't understand something, that has to do with me, not with my ancestry. On the other hand, if it is a matter of personal power, then the blood of the gods is obviously an advantage.

02-27-2002, 10:34 AM
In your opinion, if you "get" true magic, couldn't you choose not to wield it?

There are still advantages to being a blooded magician. The influence you get from ruling a realm, the blood abilities, the station. Perhaps some evil necromancer tainted the land recently and the people are on a witch hunt for wizards. You could also bind yourself to a personal oath of not wielding some magics and staying away from others. You COULd rationalize it in a number of ways. I choose to go for the role playing aspects where some go for the immediate and obvious bang for your buck.

02-28-2002, 12:40 AM
I to prefer to role-play, and I think that you can't draw the line between one type of magic and another. An Arcane spell-user who is not a sorcerer just studies magic, and he understands some spells but not others. He doesn't ever see the difference between high and low magic. Because of this, he can't choose to practice one and not the other, because he doesn't see the line to stop at. Of course if for roleplaying reasons the player decides he would never learn a select list of spells, such as those dealing with Necromancy or summoning like the elves do, he can do that. He can even decide that he risks too much when he uses his magic openly, and can decide to use only "discreet spells" whenever possible, but I maintain that high and low magic are game terms, not words the characters would be famillar with.

02-28-2002, 06:03 AM
But the players would have some sort of game mechanic to work with would they not?And if a character wanted a magician game mechanic then wouldn't it be their job to RP that mechanic?

03-01-2002, 02:44 AM
Give me an example of how you could possibly Role-play someone chosing to not cross a line they can't see. How can a cerilian choose to use low magic instead of true magic when they can't tell the difference!

03-01-2002, 05:22 AM
If you do nothing but subvert yourself in divination and illusion you work towards that goal. If you stay completely away from certain magics like necromancy, evocation, and conjuration because you deplore the magic or find disinterest in it then you work towards that end. In reality, all a magician is a double specialist.

03-01-2002, 05:51 AM
Why would anyone just stick to Illusion and Divination if they didn't have to. Also, a magician is not just a double specialist, look at his spell list. You'll find that the magician is much weaker then the wizard, and for good reason. He represents how far the common man can get if he submersisses himself in magic lore. He is supposed to be the common seer on the street or old witch in the woods, as opposed to the earth-shattering power of wizard regents who tear down castles and summon undead legions.

03-01-2002, 06:12 AM
That's something to role play.

03-01-2002, 06:29 AM
As you say, if a player can come up with a reason for it, so be it, but I disagree with your definition of a magician as a double specialist.

03-01-2002, 07:04 AM
I chose some bad words and I didn't mean to define a magician as a double specialist. There are some similarities to it though.