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Re: Rank 4 spells for players

Tue 13 Sep 2022, 06:09

I am not sure it is desirable to get Rank 4 spells. I know it is inevitable, once your PC is able to cast Rank 3 spells, to start looking for the next progression. It is natural.

This tendency is why 1974 Basic D&D only had Level 3 as the max level. AD&D made it Level 20. D&D4e made it Level 30. There is always a wish to become greater, and eventually the game starts trying to model a different scale of power. E.g. It stops being a gritty game about raiders and becomes a superhero game. D&D has this problem.

So my concern is that if we start adding Rank 4 spells, it will inevitably lead to fighter PCs wanting Rank 4 in their Talents. Then after a few weeks it will be Rank 5. And then it is a slippery slope to the game becoming something different than what it set out to be.

So I'd suggest that having a cap on the power is a good thing. But maybe thats just me!
The Moldvay B/X D&D went up to 14th level when you bought both box sets (had Quest for the Unknown/Keep on the Borderlands and Isle of Dread), while the Frank Mentzer went up to 36 and Immortal with the BECMI line, and the B/E red and blue box sets.
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Re: Rank 4 spells for players

Tue 13 Sep 2022, 12:16

I would not allow a grade 4 spell as the game would become too "High fantasy" for my taste.
But rather: the concept itself raises a few questions to me:

Who would teach a level 4 spell? In my games no one would already teach a level 3 spell to avoid competitors, let alone a 4, and personal research would be a campaign itself.
But instead of level 4 spells: why not new schools? in my opinion it is the best way to do new things, a higher grade does the same things, only on a bigger scale
If there was a level 4 spell: I suppose a great power should already be aware of it and for some reason would keep it hidden, or have a monopoly on it
Finally: in case of a level 4 spell I would give an automatic mishap due to the difficulty of channeling that power, and as material components something like "gall eye" would be needed.
User avatar
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Re: Rank 4 spells for players

Tue 13 Sep 2022, 16:57

I have not designed Level 4 Spells and i don´t think i will.

But with my players, we researched spells for necromany, healing and shapechanging and recently, i developed homerules for it.
Here they are:

Researching New Spells:
You can expand your spell list and research new spells. Above all, this costs time, which you have to invest in studies and field research. You need 20 hours of research time for each rank you want your new one to have. You must then make a Knowledge check with the number of successes required equal to the rank of the spell. If you fail, you must research another 10 hours before you can reroll.
In addition, you have material expenses that you have to pay for. Researching a rank 1 spell costs 5 silver, a rank 2 spell costs 1 gold, and a rank 3 spell costs 2 gold.
Technically, you develop the spell together with your game master. Specify the name, rank, range, duration, ingredient, and description of the spell and effects along with it.
Mr Oldtimer
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Re: Rank 4 spells for players

Tue 13 Sep 2022, 20:49

I believe this topic was mentioned in this thread as well:
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Re: Rank 4 spells for players

Mon 19 Sep 2022, 00:42

Rank 4 spells as of now are impossible for PCs, and as some have pointed out there is a reasonable fear that they may put the setting into a high magic setting, (i don't think it would break the lore if handled correctly). The key is to not make these normal magic, but great sorcerous/druidic works. These are things that cant be cast normally, instead require certain upgrades to the stronghold, exotic ingredients and long casting times, horrible immoral actions, and the aid of artifacts to cast added with unforeseen consequences of the casting of magic to impact the world. In other words, the foundations of a good sword and sorcery story.
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Re: Rank 4 spells for players

Mon 19 Sep 2022, 22:31

A little necromancy I see.

If I will make Level 4 spells, I will name it Level X spells. A special grup of spells, every spell will be different. Maybe for one will be necessary to find specific artefact to cast it, other will be once in lifetime castable, or casting it will means instant death of caster. Ofc all will be super powerful but in same time will be super costly to cast.

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