View Poll Results: What guidelines should be used to develop the Magician's spell list?

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  • 2e style: Illusion and Divination schools only of level 3+

    6 25.00%
  • BRCS style: enhancement-type spells of other schools as well

    14 58.33%
  • Other (please specify in a post)

    4 16.67%
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Developing a Magician Spell List:

    What are the guidelines? In the BRCS, illusion and divination were dominant, of course, but enchantment and non-offensive transmutations were also fairly prominent. Do we want to keep this theme? Or do we want to get strict about no spells outside of the 2 main schools above level 2?

    This issue must be decided on before we can begin picking the PHB and/or BRCS spell lists apart, otherwise it will be an impossibly confused task.

    Osprey

  2. #2
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    I suggest that the magician's spell list looks like this:
    • Mostly Divination and Illusion spells, with a few unique magician spells (for example, imagine a spell called "Eleira's Illus-Transition" which is an Illusion (Phantasm) [Mind-Affecting] spell that works mostly like polymorph self, except that the whole effect is illusory).
    • Some Transmutation spells that allow for boosting one's capabilities but nothing to extraordinairy (no Statue, for example).
    • Evocation spells of only the lighter motives, like Gust of Wind. Shatter might be interesting as a part of the magician's spell list.
    • Necromantic effects are an issue, since 3e/3.5e does not go a lot towards allowing many necromanitc spells of a healing/helpful nature, unless they are also sinister. I have another few ideas concerning THAT part, though.
    • Quite a few Abjuration spells, mainly Banishment, Magic Circles, and things like that I suppose.
    • Conjuration is tricky.
    • Not that many Enchantments, at least not unique ones.
    • Magicians should also (in my opinion) have a small healing repertoire of spells, some of them possibly new (remember what I said about necromancy?).

  3. #3
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    Well, not to rehash an old argument, but there are quite a lot of spells

    that are classified as being in one school or another that really could be

    reclassified that would make sense for the magician`s spell list of

    illusions, divinations or "universal" spells. The 5th level wiz/sor spell

    Sending, for instance, seems like it would be a sensible spell for BR

    magicians to cast and it could just as easily be defined as a divination

    spell as an evocation. Daylight (3rd level arcane evocation) would be

    doable for magicians.



    In fact, here`s a list of spells that would normally be considered true

    magic in 3e (and some that were in 2e) that IMO would be good for BR

    magicians, their spell level and the 3e school classification:



    Sepia Snake Sigil (3rd, conjuration)

    Suggestion (3rd, enchantment)

    Daylight (3rd, evocation)

    Nondetection (3rd, abjuration)

    Secret Page (3rd, transmutation)

    Confusion (4th, enchantment)

    Rary`s Mnemonic Enhancer (4th, transmutation)

    Mordenkainen`s Private Sanctum (5th, abjuration)

    Sending (5th, evocation)

    Mordenkainen`s Lucubration (6th, abjuration)

    Suggestion, Mass (6th, enchantment)

    Mind Blank (8th, abjuration)

    Demand (8th, enchantment)



    Personally, I don`t think magicians should get access to the spells that

    outright charm or dominate other characters, that being the province of

    true magics and bards. A hint of that is OK (like suggestion) but full on

    charm should be a step beyond them.



    One should probably note that magicians should not be able to cast Shadow

    Evocation even though it would be available to them as an illusion spell

    because it basically allows them to cast spells (albeit less powerfully)

    that they would be totally barred from casting. There are a few spells

    that are classified as illusions or divinations that I don`t really buy for

    BR magicians (like Simulacrum) but c`est la vie.



    One might also dip into the spells that are normally considered clerical or

    druidic, and a few that are bardic. A magician might, for example, be able

    to cast the 2nd level divine spell Augury, and along with it the 4th level

    spell Divination. Other spells that are in 3e classified as divine that

    would probably be apt for magicians:



    Detect Poison (0th)

    Guidance (0th)

    Know Direction (0th)

    Detect Animals or Plants (1st)

    Detect Chaos/Law/Good/Evil (1st)

    Detect Snares/Pits (1st)

    Detect Undead (1st)

    Faerie Fire (1st)

    Enthrall (2nd)

    Find Traps (2nd)

    Status (2nd)

    Glibness (3rd, bard)

    Sculpt Sound (3rd, bard)

    Discern Lies (4th)

    Modify Memory (4th, bard)

    Zone of Silence (4th, bard)

    Find the Path (6th)

    Spellstaff (6th, druid)

    Stone Tell (6th, druid)

    Moment of Prescience (8th)



    A few of those might be debatable, but on the whole I think they`re

    sensible for magicians.



    Gary

  4. #4
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Gary, I like a lot of your suggestions, but I'm still debating whether magicians should have the bardic social-type spells. I would prefer that their main social spells remain divinatory, such as Detect Lies. While illusion and enchantment are arguably intertwined, I think Bards should remain the main magically-enhanced smooth talkers (with spells like suggestion and glibness and charm, that's exactly the type of role created).

  5. #5
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    I think some excellent suggestions have been made, already. Here is my idea.

    First and formost the guideline should be making magicians useful and fun to play. They will primarily be a support class denied the fire and brimstone of true magic.

    So I think that necromancy is right out the door, foul taste to the stuff. All other spells looked at one at a time, and no I am not going to do that in one post.

    I think the most important thing to remember is that magicians are not wizards sorceros bards clerics druids or any othe spell caster. They fill a uniqu niche of advisor and support. I think illusion and divination should be what they have most of, this is cannon. And they should probably get most illusion or divination spells a level or two earlier than wizards and sorcerors.

    Other spells should be chosen to fufill the roll of advisor. If a spell seems allowable, but doesn't seem quite right for a magician, raise it up a few levels. I already used the Tenser's floating disk example in another thread. It is a decent spell, not overly powerful, but most definetly evocation. So, let the magician get it as a level 2 or 3 spell instead of level 1.

    I will stop rambling now, and go dive into a cup of my morning coffee...
    Check Out Chronicles of the Neomyth for a unique RPG system authored by me.

  6. #6
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    I like both Geeman's and Raspk_FOG's suggestions.

    I always seem some of the magicians as the hedge wizard/witch in some of the smaller towns.

    I would like to see some of the traditional 'witch' spells in their list:

    Bestow Curse/Remove Curse
    Eyebite
    Ray of Fatigue

    These are mostly necromatic effects, but not of the undead-affecting type. Without access to flashy evocations or many summonings, these would be the main defenses of magician.

    Some healing spells would be needed, but nothing too powerful:

    Cure light and maybe moderate
    Lesser Restoration
    Remove Disease
    Remove Paralysis

    I think most people are concentrating on Court Mages or something similar. But with mages being uncommon most towns would have a hedge witch instead of a mage. Trying to capture what spells have that flavor. (Adept from the 3.5 SRD has a small list, but not exactly what I was looking for. The witch spell list in the 3.0 DMG was more where I got these ideas from.)

  7. #7
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 08:09 PM 7/12/2004 +0200, destowe wrote:



    >Without access to flashy evocations or many summonings, these would be the

    >main defenses of magician.Some healing spells would be needed, but nothing

    >too powerful:Cure light and maybe moderateLesser RestorationRemove

    >DiseaseRemove ParalysisI think most people are concentrating on Court

    >Mages or something similar.



    I`d stay away from healing/curing magics if at all possible. Aside from

    being redundant with the magics of divine spellcasters it isn`t IMO really

    a matter of what would be practical for them to have access to. That is,

    it would seem like heal spells would be a smart thing for them to have...

    but it`s simply outside the capacity of the class itself. Given the ease

    of multi-classing in 3e/3.5 if a BR magician wants to cure light wounds

    they should take a level as a priest of Ruornil (or whatever) so it`s

    really not that hard for a pragmatic magician to get access to healing

    magics if s/he really wants.



    >(Adept from the 3.5 SRD has a small list, but not exactly what I was

    >looking for. The witch spell list in the 3.0 DMG was more where I got

    >these ideas from.)



    Yeah, when it gets right down to it Magicians just have to have their own

    unique spell list.... "Cheating" the spell list using schools of magic

    just doesn`t really work game mechanically or thematically IMO.



    Gary

  8. #8
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    That does sound like a good idea Geeman.

    Remove the healing and they can multi-class for them. The choice of cleric would probably reflect better the type of spells they cast then.

    I would beware of the one that worships Eloele in the small town. Preferably find the one dedicated to Sera or Rournil instead.

  9. #9
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    Here`s what I`d propose for a BR magician`s spell list. In 3e some of

    these spells are classified in schools of magic other than illusion and

    divination. I`d suggest that they could for BR purposes be reclassified

    without hurting things.



    3rd: Blindness/Deafness, Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Daylight, Deeper

    Darkness, Displacement, Illusionary Script, Invisibility Sphere, Glibness,

    Major Image, Sculpt Sound, Sepia Snake Sigil, Suggestion, Tongues.



    4th: Arcane Eye, Confusion, Detect Scrying, Discern Lies, Hallucinatory

    Terrain, Illusionary Wall, Improved Invisibility, Locate Creature, Mnemonic

    Enhancer, Modify Memory, Phantasmal Killer, Rainbow Pattern, Scrying, Zone

    of Silence.



    5th: Contact Other Plane, Dream, False Vision, Feeblemind, Mirage Arcana,

    Nightmare, Persistent Image, Private Sanctum, Prying Eyes, Seeming,

    Sending, Telepathic Bond.



    6th: Analyze Dweomer, Find the Path, Legend Lore, Lucubration, Mass

    Suggestion, Mislead, Permanent Image, Programmed Image, Project Image,

    Spellstaff, Stone Tell, True Seeing, Veil.



    7th: Greater Scrying, Insanity, Mass Invisibility, Sequester, Vision.



    8th: Demand, Discern Location, Mind Blank, Moment of Prescience, Screen.



    9th: Foresight, Weird.



    I excluded some spells from that list that are typically illusions:



    Simulacrum is a 7th level illusion that isn`t really very illusionary if

    you think about it. There is, however, a rather short list of 7th level

    spells there, so one might want to put it back.



    I also excluded all the shadow related spells (shadow conjuration, shadow

    evocation, shadow walk, etc.) since many of them effectively allow the

    caster to use what is in BR true magic... and because I think several of

    them would work really well for a magician based prestige class (a sort of

    magician/shadow walker.)



    Re: Blindness/Deafness. It seems possible for magicians to use an

    illusionary version of this spell that would, effectively, put up an

    illusion before their eyes or blocking their ears to prevent them from

    using those senses. I did not, however, include Remove Blindness/Deafness

    because that spell can actually heal damaged organs, which I think should

    be beyond magicians. A version of that spell that was purely a counter to

    the Blindness/Deafness spell, however, should be included IMO.



    Gary

  10. #10
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    I've always thought Shadow Magic was a perfect weapon for the illusory specialist of Cerilia, the magician. If they get shadow versions of evocation, they are only as deadly if they are believed to be real. I think of shadow magic as a combination of conjuration and illusion in BR, as it draws on the Seeming to manifest in the physical world.

    For this reason I'd opt for allowing shadow magic, but perhaps at +1 spell level compared to wizards and sorcerers (who have an easier time with that school).

    I'm in favor of the suggestion to allow some support/defensive magics of above 3rd level. I think evocation should be a banned school in most cases (especially spells above 2nd level) as a most basic balancer for specialty with illusion and divination spells.

    I'd prefer if Magicians recieved Heal as a class skill, and a spell like Competence (+ caster level as bonus for one skill). They could be practically helpful, and use magic indirectly to improve their skills and insight into healing, a high-demand skill for support characters.

    Clerics then stand in greater contrast as a class, for they are the miracle workers and faith healers, those who are direct conduits of divine power.

    Magicians don't tend to stand in the spotlight so often. Instead they must be clever, creative, and competent to find a place of power, respect, or fame. Subtle magics should be their forte. I imagine Silent and Still Spells would be common amongst veteran magicians, especially court magicians.

    IMC I prefer the NPC Adept class for many village and rural wise women, witches, warlocks, etc. Theirs is a magic that is elemental, social, based on ritual, faith, and a strong intuition. The magician stands as a small step "above" the adept in terms of power and sophistication. Most magicians are well-recieved by wizards, but I could hardly imagine the same for adepts.

    It would be nice to see some decent specialty spells that are exclusive to the magician. I like it if the magican has a few tricks that true mages don't have the finesse or focus for.

    Osprey

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