HomeGates & GlamoursFixing D&D Spellcasters? I Just Don’t Get It

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Fixing D&D Spellcasters? I Just Don’t Get It — 7 Comments

  1. I think the "problem" here is one of style. What kind of game do you want to run? How do you want it to feel? If you want to do fantasy, but a little different than D&D standard, then some spells don't fit the tone.

  2. I don't have these problems, either. But I've heard the complaints before. I suspect they come from people who play (a) high GM-plot games, and/or (b) high detail combat-focused games. The idea is that the GM has made something for the players to deal with, and anything that bypasses it or makes it extremely easy is "wrong".

    I didn't comment on the objections to those spells, just the topic of the "15-minute workday". But it seems from reading objections to Charm, "mind-reading", detection, and Teleportation that some people interpret many spells of those types very generously. Or perhaps the spell descriptions really have changed drastically in recent editions. I've never had a character high enough to use Telepathy or Teleport (*maybe* ESP or Dimension Door, but I don't think I ever found or used either spell. and they never came up when I ran games.) I don't read Charm Person or the detection spells as broadly as some interpret them, nor do I use ESP as identical to Telepathy, but with the bonus of being able to mind-read hostile opponents. I've never seen "scry and fry" in actual use. I don't see how Clairvoyance or the crystal ball could be used for anything even approaching errorless teleport.

  3. @Talysman: For the record, many of the spells mentioned are far more powerful in 3.x than they were in TSR D&D. For some reason the 3.x designers removed many of the limits on magic-users and spells that were in the various TSR editions. Limitations that really did help to keep magic-users from automatically dominating the game. For example, Teleport in most TSR versions has a chance of being instantly fatal if you basically do not know the target area like the back of your hand. 3.x turned that into 1d10 points of damage.

  4. I've never had a cause to hate these spells in my game. I've tweaked a few spells to add flavor to my game, but I have never felt the need to "punish" the spells for being too good.

    While we are on the topic of flying, why do so many people have problems with winged PCs that actually fly? Dungeons pretty much stop any one from flying, so why fret over having a flying character?

  5. I once played an Aarakocra for a while in a AD&D 2e game. All flight did was remind everyone how very effective archery can be.

  6. @Talysman I think this is true. A lot of current-gen DMs, especially in 4E, construct elaborate scenarios and locations, lay it all out, then grimace if they hear the words fly or teleport. Anytime I see someone complain about that I chalk it up to bad or inexperienced DMing instead of a rules issue with the spells.

    @Gregroy Guldensupp flying is a fact of life outside of the dungeon; 80% of my campaigns are either in cities, open air, or areas where flight could provide an advantage. That said….a good DM is permissive, but remembers that he's got someone with flight in the group and take that in to account. Otherwise, what Capheind said: fly+archery = fantastic combo!

  7. @Talysman I think this is true. A lot of current-gen DMs, especially in 4E, construct elaborate scenarios and locations, lay it all out, then grimace if they hear the words fly or teleport. Anytime I see someone complain about that I chalk it up to bad or inexperienced DMing instead of a rules issue with the spells.

    @Gregroy Guldensupp flying is a fact of life outside of the dungeon; 80% of my campaigns are either in cities, open air, or areas where flight could provide an advantage. That said….a good DM is permissive, but remembers that he's got someone with flight in the group and take that in to account. Otherwise, what Capheind said: fly+archery = fantastic combo!