Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Specialist Wizards & Retro-Clones...

Good Morning, All:

I've always found it interesting to note that 2nd Edition D&D introduced the specialist wizard concept in order to complement the Illusionist, but the retro-clones have basically abandoned the concept and returned to only supporting the Illusionist as a sub-class of magic-user. I know that this is due, in part, to nostalgia. After all, if a class didn't exist in OD&D or 1st Edition AD&D, then there are many who feel that it does not have a place in a retro-clone. I also know that, given the fact that most gamers using retro-clone systems are reusing Old School modules and adventures without these classes, there's little drive to include them. However, it might be nice to offer some new magic-user sub-classes for the OSR based on the other specialists, simply to provide versatility and flavor for character concepts. In addition to the Illusionist, I think it would be cool to be able to play an Abjurer, a Conjurer, a Diviner, an Enchanter, an Invoker, a Necromancer or a Transmuter.

I imagine that the hardest part to this particular challenge would be to create or convert the spell lists. You don't want to offer too many spells, or the specialists become more versatile than the primary arcane spellcaster, the magic-user. It would probably be best, then, to use the number of magic-user spells or Illusionist spells as a target for developing the spell lists for the other specialists. Looking at the AEC for Labyrinth Lord, I would estimate that a designer should aim for 10-12 spells per level for levels 1-3, 8-10 spells per level for levels 4-6, and 4-6 7th-level spells. In addition, I'd suggest copying the spell slots and such from the Illusionist for use with the other specialist wizard classes. For that matter, the Illusionist also forms the basis for XP progression, saves, attack tables, hitpoints and so forth.

Since I have a lot on my plate at the moment, I won't be tackling this now. However, I thought it best to capture the thought while I had it, so as not to lose it for later. So, what do you think?

With Regards,

1 comment:

James said...

Hi Flynn.

To be honest, I think that the best approach is the 2e/3e approach where the specialist caster just selects two opposition schools. That way, their 'spell list' just becomes the standard list less their opposition schools.

To compensate, they get an extra spell per day of each spell level they can cast that must be taken from their school of speacilty.

I was thinking about how this might work with MyD20 Lite's spell points. Seems that the easiest way might just be to allow a single 'free casting' per day from each spell level that the mage can cast, rather than allowing additional spell points.