Project Arcana Weekly Dump: Chat Dump, Vol. 3 2


We’re taking a huge dump this week!

Matthew : Necro ended up pretty short. Can you give it a once over, please?
Shawn : Need better form names. Hmm… Not ‘better’, so much as the same language part. Anyway, we’ve got ‘Soul’, ‘Lifeforce’, and ‘Necromancy’. Necromancy is a given, so the other forms need to have ‘-mancy’ types of names. Soulmancy and Lifemancy are dumb as shit. But that’s kind of where I think we should head.
Matthew : https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:English_words_suffixed_with_-mancy
Shawn : How about ‘Helimancy’ for Life?
Matthew : helios being life?
Shawn : I was thinking ‘helix’, as in DNA.
Matthew : That seems good to me. Although we might as well call it “Healmancy”
Shawn : Eww…
Matthew : exactly. yeah, “heli” means sun. like the heliocentric model of the universe.
Shawn : Yeah, I got that. That didn’t occur to me. What is the root of necro? Is that Greek? What’s the compliment?
Matthew : late latin from greek. vita is one, but that’s more latin.
Shawn : We already called the School that. Vitamancy is just overloading it.
Matthew : yo concuro. Biomancy? Vivimancy?
Shawn : Like vivisection? I mean, it’s accurate.
Matthew : that’s what I was thinking. For the soul, there’s Spirimancy or Egomancy.
Shawn : vigramancy?
Matthew : That sounds like the magic of the dick.
Shawn : None of these are blowing up my skirts.
Matthew : I don’t think we have to do the mancy thing…
Shawn : Nope. Seamancy, like seance? Poop. That looks fucked up.
Matthew : Just “Necromancy, Vivacity, Spirituality ”
Shawn : Those look good enough for now.


Matthew : WTF with this shit. Look at this list of effects: Transmutation spells change the properties of a creature, object, or environment. They might turn an enemy into a harmless creature, bolster the strength of an ally, make an object move at the caster’s command, or enhance a creature’s innate healing ability to rapidly recover from injury.
Shawn : Umm… A lot of that reads like ‘Vitae’.
Matthew : yeah no shit. I think the first and second one are the ones staying in transmut. moving objects is evoc, healing ability is vitae.
Shawn : I’ve been mentioning that for a while. They mean ‘animating’ objects, not ‘moving’. Transmutation animates objects by altering their physical properties to make them flexible. So, your animated table now has legs that are flexible. And it can therefore walk and shit.
Matthew : Did we settle on “animate object” being transmute? the property being “animacy” I guess?
Shawn : It’s transmute because the physical properties of the object are being changed. But… After that, either it is being animated through magical force (i.e.: Evoc), which doesn’t make sense, or the properties of the material are continually changing to emulate the actions of muscles, etc. That does make sense, but it’s a fuck of an effect. What level is it?
Matthew : 5. pretty high.
Shawn : Yeah, okay. I can see it. 5 is up there.


Matthew : Fly? Glibness?
Shawn : I need descriptions.
Matthew : Fly gives a craeture a fly speed. Glibness gives you the ability to tell lies so good that even magic can’t tell you’re lying.
Shawn : WTF? OK, Glibness is an Enchantment effect (a charm) with an Abjuration effect (defeat magic) stacked.
Matthew : OK, our rule-o-thumb is to consider that enchant, then.
Shawn : Do they actually Fly?
Matthew : Yes, but it’s not described as using magical force, like a levitate spell. It actually imbues the creature with the gift of flight.
Shawn : So, like some Peter Pan shit?
Matthew : Yeah, basically
Shawn : Okay, so we’re negating gravity and giving the creature the ability to ‘push’. Pushing is Evoc. What about the gravity?
Matthew : No, that doesn’t seem in the spirit of the spell
Shawn : The spirit of the spell seems to be bullshit.
Matthew : But flying is a very generic concept
Shawn : So, what is flying? It’s displacing enough air to float. Or generating mechanical lift. I think vernacularly negating gravity also counts.
Matthew : which are effectively the same thing, in a passive v. active sort of way.
Shawn : How about being flung?
Matthew : like how Thor’s flying works?
Shawn : He’s actually pulled, but yeah.
Matthew : pulled by something flung I meant
Shawn : So, do we also want to talk about Feather Fall in this context?
Matthew : FF is, for intents and purposes, making you lighter. well, actually, what it specifically does is drastically lower your terminal velocity
Shawn : Yeah, it used to make you lighter. It doesn’t any more.
Matthew : There are acxtually a bunch of ways to do that. It could literally fractalize your skin and clothes to increase their drag.
Shawn : Wait… Hmm… I was thinking that the air could be transmuted into something denser to help you float , but that makes no goddamn sense. We need two things to achive flying: A way to negate gravity and a way to move. Trans could conceivably alter my molecules to make me less dense and able to float, but that doesn’t solve the movement piece.
Matthew : The latter can accomplish both
Shawn : True. So Flying is the application of force. That’s Evoc.


Matthew : Levitate just got more complicated. I think it may actually be affecting the gravity of the target.
Shawn : Where is levitate?
Matthew : One creature or object of your choice that you can see within range rises vertically, up to 20 feet, and remains suspended there for the Duration. The spell can levitate a target that weighs up to 500 pounds. An unwilling creature that succeeds on a Constitution saving throw is unaffected. The target can move only by pushing or pulling against a fixed object or surface within reach (such as a wall or a ceiling), which allows it to move as if it were climbing. You can change the target’s altitude by up to 20 feet in either direction on Your Turn. If you are the target, you can move up or down as part of your move. Otherwise, you can use your action to move the target, which must remain within the spell’s range. When the spell ends, the target floats gently to the ground if it is still aloft.
Matthew : I originally figured it was evoc owing to magical force. the part about pushing off of things makes it feel like an anti-gravity kind of thing
Shawn : The magical force is providing exactly the amount of force required to offset the weight of the creature or object. If you weight 200 pounds, it’s giving 200 pounds of push.
Matthew : ok
Shawn : So you can move yourself around within the area of effect. Like the swim bladder in a fish or ballast tanks in a sub. You’re achieving neutral boyancy.
Matthew : ok. maybe that’s what the fly spell does. grant you a balast tank and fart-propellence.
Shawn : That’s horrible. Especially considering the speeds.
Matthew : Maybe it just changes the shape of your anus into a more effective nozzle. like the one on the f-35.
Shawn : Stop talking.
Matthew : I see a photoshop coming!


Matthew : It’d be like if I magically gave you the ability to breathe fire. Sure, firebreathing may be evoc, but granting you that ability isn’t
Shawn : Oh, I see. Umm… Hmm… That’s another question. So, giving someone magic seems to me to be an Abjuration thing – the magic of magic, right? If we take that ‘granting’ as a base ability of all MUs, then they should only be able to grant abilities within their schools. Shit they know. So, I can grant you the ability to breath water if I know Transmut. I can grant you the ability to breath fire if I know Evoc. Yeah, I like that. ‘Granting’ becomes part of that underlying ‘connective’ magic. It’s actually implied in a lot of ways, like giving items spells. I’m granting an item the ability to use a spell I know. Anwyay, write that shit down.


Matthew : Enhance a creature’s innate healing ability is where we finally break down. We’ve already discussed why healing should belong in Necromancy, but, more importantly, why did they put it here? Okay, if we’re going to consider “healing rate” a property of a creature, then why not put every healing spell here? Regenerate is just a slow Cure Wounds. There is no mechanical difference between the two. Frankly, there’s probably a whole article’s worth of bitching I could do about healing in this system. So we’re saying that healing is a manifestation of positive energy in the school of Evocation, then why are the mass healing spells in Conjuration? If the mass healing spells in Conjuration, then why did Mass Healing Word end up in Evocation? Why is Regenerate here in Transmutation? What the hell is going on!?
Shawn : You should write that. It will bolster our argument for moving it all into Nec.
Matthew : ugh, maybe later as an op ed
Shawn : Oh, and the ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ planes? Complete nonsensical bullshit to which nobody pays attention.
Matthew : haha, yeah. Actually, I’m already forumlating that op ed, so it’s defintely happening. we should have an op-ed day of the week.
Shawn : You can run it on Monday. I’ll hold off on the chat dump. In fact, you’re talking about a different kind of dump, so you can use one of the dump truck pics.


Shawn : Yeah, the more I think about it, the more sense it makes to do a take down of healing in general, talk about the various schools it got jammed into and the ‘sources’ of the healing itself. It might be that putting it in Nec doesn’t fully cover all the existing aspects of healing in 5e, but it’s got to go somewhere.
Matthew : Well, I titled the piece “Opinion: 5e Healing Is Bullshit”.
Shawn : Concentrating healing in Nec is going to piss some people off. But arcane healing is kind of a new thing. Back in the day-day, if you wanted healing you drug along a cleric or a metric shitton of potions.
Matthew : there are still no arcane healers. oh wait, the Bard. the Bard gets cure wounds for some reason, though he’s theoretically “arcane”. but that’s the only example.
Shawn : Some reason = So the bard has at least one useful ability, because nobody is playing this dumb-ass class.
Matthew : wizards, sorcs, eldritch knights, arcane tricksters do not get any healing spells


Shawn : See… And now we’re going to fight again. In my mind, the primary difference between types of magic users is the source of their magic – and I think 5e kind of supports this with the ‘Weave’ concept. Clerics = a god, Sorcerors = wild magic, Wizards = study, Warlocks = patron, Bards = music. So, with PA’s rewrite of the schools, the a Sorceror and a Wizard who study the School of Enchantment could know the same set of spells.
Matthew : …that means nothing to me. Sorcs already use the wizard spell list, save a handful.
Shawn : I’m going to punch you in the face.
Matthew : you say things that may sound good in your head, but are fucking meaningless outside of it. It’s like your head is an elemental plane of FUCKING NONSENSE.
Shawn : Your inability to glean meaning from a perfectly reasonable sequence of words is ridiculous. It’s like your head is the elemental plane of I CAN’T HEAR YOU! YA! YA! YA!
Matthew : YOU’RE RIDICULOUS. WORTHY OF RIDICULE, THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE. And you’re a chocolate truck.


Shawn : Okay, so, let me type this slowly so you’ll understand. Joe is a Sorceror. Mike is a Wizard. Can both Joe and Mike study the School of Enchantment?
Matthew : Jokes on you, I read it slowly even if you type it fast No, wait… Well, yes, but not in any kind of meaningful game mechanics way.
Shawn : Why not?
Matthew : Sorcs don’t “study” like that, they get a set number of spells at each level that they just know. I think it’s 2 spells per level. And wizards can “study” whatevert the fuck they have access to, though the traditions for each school make it cheaper to do so.
Shawn : That being the case, PA’s goal of gathering the spells into meaningful schools is pointless. Unless you’re willing to break the pre-set spell lists for the classes of MU.
Matthew : It’s a handy tool in case GMs want to incorporate them in a meanignful way into their campaign. Like a college for each school.
Shawn : One of the ideas here is that a GM/PC could put their MU into a particular School in order to have access to all the spells of that school, and perhaps some of the spells nearby on the Wheel. But if the spells are predetermined based on MU class, that’s not going to happen.
Matthew : suggesting that a wizard necromancer can heal? insanity. that’s a HUGE change to the game. You’re not looking at it from a game balance perspective. If wizards can heal, why have clerics at all?
Shawn : Because clerics are better at it? Because wizards have to lug spell books? Because Sorcerors are unreliable with their wild magic?
Matthew : ok, sorcs don’t, and they have metamagic. They are not unreliable, becuase they don’t have to do wild magic.
Shawn : See, there you go again. I want to be a Necromantic Sorceror. Who dabbles in Enchantment on the side.
Matthew : Yeah, it would be like being Jesus. anyways, restricting MUs to the schools is a DM decision, not something we can make an integral part of this. however, at the end we should absolutely have a “what do I do with this?” which can explain ideas like this.


Shawn : Why do Sorcs have a subset of wizard spells? What’s the point?
Matthew : Because they’re wizards who only memorize a few spells well enough to cast them at any time without prep rather than studying the fundamentals to be able to prep any spell. Which is EXACTLY the same as the illusionist from ad&d.
Shawn : So why limit them to a subset? They’re already limited. That’s like saying that a plumber is a subset of a mechanic because a plumber only uses two types of wrenches. The entire point of a plumber is different.
Matthew : Yeah, and the sorc plays differently than the wizard. he’s more combat oriented. less utility, more firepower.
Shawn : Exactly. So why limit his spells? Limit his utilization and let nature take it’s course.
Matthew : I mean, whatever, but how is this different than the Illusionist?
Shawn : The Illusionist was there to to illusion shit. They did have spells that MUs didn’t.
Matthew : So, okay, the illusionist had maybe a half dozen spells the qizard couldn’t get, but otherwise they were identical. except the illusionist had fewer spells to choose from, a subset.
Shawn : Yes. So, in effect, the Illusionist was an MU who was limited to the ‘School of Illusion’.
Matthew : So, instead of those handful of unique spells, I propose a MU class that is limited to a subset of wizard spells, but he can manipulate them on the fly to make them do more damage, or hit two targets instead of one, or cast quicker
Shawn : Oh, plus he doesn’t have to study to learn it, he just pulls it out of his ass. Anyway, it’s fine. It was set up to make a balanced and playable class that didn’t require any skill or ability to build. I get it. However, PAs work is useless within the existing MU class structure.
Matthew : It’s just as “useless” in the old system, too. 1e wasn’t any less restrictive or arbitrary in its MUs.
Shawn : The fundamental difference I see between 1e and 5e MU subclasses is the ‘flavor’ of their magic. 5e subclasses differ in how they apply their magic, not in they type of magic they apply. And, since we’re here writing about flavors of magic, that’s a significant thing for me.
Matthew : I don’t understand why there’s a meaningful difference. Bear in mind that WotC wanted to drastically cut down the bloated spell lists.
Shawn : They did a shitty job of that.
Matthew : Perhaps


Shawn : So, yeah. Here’s the thing… I like the idea of subclasses based on the source of their magic and how they express it, and limitations therein. And I like the idea of MUs being committed to a School or College of magic. (A college being a combination of Schools, right?) But that doesn’t work well with the existing 5e subclasses. Which kind of means ignoring 5e’s MU classes and creating new ones for PA. But the PA sublasses would have to be compatible.
Matthew : A revamp of all the casting classes.
Shawn : Not a revamp. A set of complementary classes.
Matthew : Explain?
Shawn : Let’s say we detail rules for an MU class based strictly on a single School of magic. An ‘Enchanter’ or ‘Evoker’, etc. (This assumes that we can balance the Schools to be playable as single Schools.) So, I should be able to fold an ‘Enchanter’ into my existing campaign and play him alongside a Sorceror. Without breaking anything. I don’t want to replace the existing classes. They’re too static and well-tuned. I don’t think PA will really affect them at all. In fact, I don’t see how PA can make a useful or meaningf ul difference in the current MU classes. Placing someone in a school is going to be interesting. If the schools aren’t balanced, and I’m not sure they can be, then any advantages given to a savant to offset his limitation to a single school could be insanely powerful when applied to certain schools over others.
Matthew : Sure. You’d need to make sure that there was a sufficent advantage to the savant class to counterbalance the spell restriction. hmmm. That could be a badass class. If you archetype it correctly, you could do some nutsy stuff
Shawn : You can do nasty stuff with any of it, if you take the time to understand how magic works and what the rules say (and don’t say).
Matthew : actually, granting that caster a bump in spell slots would be fucking amazing in and of itself. right now, no caster has any more slots than any other caster. so the savant has 50% more spells per day, but at the cost of a narrower selection.
Shawn : That works with what I was thinking.
Matthew : so you do it like this: At level 1, the Savant has access to cantrips (he picks 4 or whatever) and level 1 abjuration magic (all MUs get this, it’s foundational). At level 2, he picks his school, and that gets him access to those spells, regardless of the source of the magic. IE, a Vitae savant can heal. so all savants gain abjuration, plus an additional school of their choice.
Shawn : And they’re limited to a single School?
Matthew : well, abjuration + a single school. that neatly covers the defensive magic.
Shawn : Or, do we make them true ‘Savants’ and limit them to a single Form? But then they’d get their spells essentially for free.
Matthew : hmmm, that would be too limiting, BUT, that can be where we mess with the archetypes. so archetypes can be things like “dabbler” where he gets a form in another school, or “focuser” where he gets crazy bonuses to just one form, or whatevs.
Shawn : Right.
Matthew : maybe some ability can allow the casting of multiple forms at the same time. Yeah, there’s some wiggle room here
Shawn : So, what about someone who gets a combination from the wheel? School A, Form 1 + School B, Form 2 + Sc hool C, Form 3?
Matthew : so instead of picking a school, the savant just picks 3 forms? My only concern there would be the min-maxing potential
Shawn : They would have to be ‘complementary’ forms, based on the wheel.
Matthew : ah, right. yeah, that’s an idea
Shawn : But that wouldn’t be a ‘savant’, it would be something else.
Matthew : a fucking “weaver”
Shawn : That’s a cool name.
Matthew : their spells get more powerfgul if they cast them in certain orders according to complimentaryness. “Hey man, I need healed!” “Can’t get to healing form for another three spells, but when I do, it’s gonna be awesome!”
Shawn : Yeah, I have to create a zombie and grow a dick on my forehead first, but I’ll get there.
Matthew : ooo, tier two forehead dick


Matthew : Can you once-over that transmut article? I need a better conclusion to add in, so I need to step away from it for a few
Shawn : I disagree with your analysis. This: “So, if strength is a “property” of a creature, then so is dexterity, constitution, and, more weirdly, wisdom and intelligence. Considering wisdom and intelligence to be “properties” of a creature is a pretty big stretch, but a big stretch is okay as long as we’re making at least some sense. In this case, it’s making sense from a game mechanics point of view, and that’s totally fine.” And this: “Well, imbuing intelligence is okay (see bolstering strength above), and changing plant parts to be able to walk is cool, too. ”
Matthew : Um, ok, this is what we talked about. a spell that adds +2 to strength is the same as a spell that adds +2 to int, mechanically
Shawn : You’re looking at it from too high a level. Otherwise a spell like ‘confusion’ could be used to make you weak or clumsy. Concentrate on they physical aspects of a creature or object.
Matthew : nope, you’re incorrect because Confusion doesn’t affect an INT score
Shawn : It affects the properties of Int.
Matthew : INT is how smart you can be, not what you know or what you do with that information. Your 6 abilities are physical properties of you, even if they’re “mental”.
Matthew : Thus, this spell, which is one spell: Enhance Ability You touch a creature and bestow upon it a magical enhancement. Choose one of the following effects – the target gains the effect until the spell ends. Bear’s Endurance: The target has advantage on Constitution Checks. It also gains 2d6 Temporary Hit Points, which are lost when the spell ends. Bull’s Strength: The target has advantage on Strength Checks, and his or her carrying capacity doubles. Cat’s Grace: The target has advantage on Dexterity Checks. It also doesn’t take damage from Falling 20 feet or less if it isn’t Incapacitated. Eagle’s Splendor: The target has advantage on Charisma Checks. Fox’s Cunning: The target has advantage on Intelligence Checks. Owl’s Wisdom: The target has advantage on Wisdom Checks. At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can target one additional creature for each slot level above 2nd.
Shawn : I can alter your muscles to make you stronger. What am I altering to raise your intelligence? What am I altering to GIVE you intelligence?
Matthew : more brain pathways. maybe wisdom makes your brain do more inter-nodal connections os that you link ideas together better. INT represents your ability to think. it doesn’t imbue you with knowledge.
Shawn : Really? So if I create brain pathways you automatically start thinking? Bullshit. Which is exactly what the Awaken spell does.
Matthew : the only knowledge it gains is language. and language is just a set of pathways, motherfucker. You’ve read Snow Crash.
Shawn : Read what the fuck you just wrote again. Language is one of the most complex things our brains do.
Matthew : PATHWAYS, MOTHER FUCKER. NEAL IS GOD!
Shawn : Neal is not writing for 5e.
Matthew : Seriosuly, though, we had this exact argument and decided that there was nowhere better to put that stuff. This is why I can’t talk to you about transmutation, you get so angry.
Shawn : Look, if I’m not agreeing with something we already worked out, it’s because you didn’t explain it right. Which is why you wanted me to look it over. The only way I can conceive of that working – and it is the longest stretch of all time – is to say that the spell changes some portion of the object into a structure capable of supporting a basic intelligence, and that *somehow* a spirit takes up residence. But then you’re getting into some crazy bullshit and crossing school lines.
Matthew : I mean, it doesn’t say the awakened plant has a soul.
Shawn : Then how does it understand language?
Matthew : Alexa understands language. that is literally the only explanation available
Shawn : It’s too stupid. I can’t believe we came up with that shit.
Matthew : I think we settled on “Fine, ‘sentience’ is a property. whatever”
Shawn : You must have held that vote while I was peeing or drunk. Fuck, I can not get my head around that.


Shawn : Moving on from Awaken. We’re positing that Transmut rearranges molecules or changes the properties of substances. So, create food and water is rearranged molecules, animate object is changing properties of substances, etc. And that’s why healing won’t work in Transmut? Because you can’t change rearrange the molecules of a wound? Keep in mind that I like having healing in Nec, I just want to be sure we’ve got our explanatory bases covered.
Matthew : Healing could work, theoretically, but Nec is a better fit.
Shawn : I agree, I’m just trying to reason through it. Man… Awaken is fucking everything up.
Matthew : There isn’t a good reasoning through it, per se. There are more than one way to handle healing, but the system doesn’t allow for that, so we’ve got to pick a schoo, we went with Nec.
Shawn : If I can alter a plant to create nerve pathways good enough for it to understand language and ahve a 3 intelligence, than I can create normal tissue where there was a wound.
Matthew : I agree. In fact, I think I specifically said that in the article.
Shawn : Yeah, you did. But even though it’s tidier to put all healing in Nec, is it intellectually honest? And why shouldn’t another school have a way to heal?
Matthew : mostly because it simply isn’t done that way, not for any particularly good reason.


Shawn : What did we decide to do with Time Stop?
Matthew : Decided that it was actually speeding yourself up so fast it just seemed like everyone else stopped. I forgot about that spell, I’ll write a paragraph about it.


Shawn : Is Regenerate the only healing spell in Transmut? I don’t see any others at a glance.
Matthew : Yes, regenerate is it.
Shawn : So, if it healed instantly, I would say put it in Transmut. But since it speeds up healing, it seems more like Nec.
Matthew : Yes, but only because that’s the arbitrary line we’ve drawn
Shawn : I mean, if I can speed up healing, I ought to be able to speed up any body process. How about making a baby in 3 months? Digest your dinner in 5 minutes. Grow your hair in a week.
Matthew : Bigby’s Antacid


Shawn : Anyway, yeah, I’m not sure what to do about Speak with Dead. It doesn’t make a goddamn lick of sense. It makes perfect sense as a Div spell.
Matthew : I think the theory is that you’re not calling the soul back, just reanimating the meat, which still has the memories
Shawn : The Diviner is speaking with the departed soul (or spirit). The spirit may not be particularly interested in speaking with the Diviner, hence the shitty answers the spell gives. That’s perfectly in keeping with Divination.
Matthew : Yeah, I like how the corpse can’t speculate about the future, but is free to make a harsh judgment about you
Shawn : So, you’re thinking that if you reanimate the meat, the physical structures of the brain allow you to speak with the corpse?
Matthew : That’s the best I can think of for that one. which would be Vitae,
Shawn : The same way the physical structures of the muscles allow you to animate it? I guess I can buy that, but that doesn’t require that ‘animating spirit’ bullshit.
Matthew : Yes, that line is needless and confusing


Shawn : I think we need to do pieces on what we like. Right now we just sound like petulant assholes.
Matthew : …so pieces about bourbon and scarlett johansen?
Shawn : For instance: I like the basic concept of the MU subclasses, even if I don’t care for the spell lists.
Matthew : Oh I see, sure. A sort of “What went right” piece.
Shawn : Pieces, hopefully.
Matthew : haha, you’re so optimistic.
Shawn : Well, I also like the slotting up mechanic.
Matthew : Oh yeah, that’s been fucking lovely
Shawn : Are you being sarcastic?
Matthew : no more 14 spells for curing wounds. and my level 1 damage spells are still relevant
Shawn : Yep. I can see a lot of opportunities to add spells, too. For instance, we’ve been talking about a Transmutative heal that would instantaneously transmute torn flesh into whole flesh. I mean, if I can turn you into a fucking frog, I ought to be able to fix a wound.
Matthew : That’s a lego-system kind of idea
Shawn : I’m all about Legos.
Matthew : Like maybe transmut can heal, but it’s harder, so the same effect is one spell slot higher
Shawn : Speak with Dead is another example. It seems like a perfectly acceptable Divination spell. The mechanic is different, but the effect is the same.


Shawn : So, here’s an idea… I keep thinking we should categorize the spells in multiple ways, in order to give GMs options. Like, if a GM wanted to do a MU school that was water based – maybe for a school of sea-going mages. So, we might characterize a spell as ‘water’ (or ‘electricity’ or ‘wool’ or ‘green’).
Matthew : I agree with the principle.
Shawn : I’m not sure how viable that is.
Matthew : By spell, then? Not like “all spells in this form are water”. It’s a fantabulous idea, but might be tough.
Shawn : That’s obviously an option as well. We would probably go to the Form level. I think just a couple of examples. For instance Earth = materials, Air = the mind, Fire = energy, Water = life. Or a color wheel: Red Orange Yellow Greeen Blue Indigo Violet White Black.


Shawn : Let’s do the Savant and the Sea Mage. That will show how to leverage the forms and an understanding of the mechanics into something new, but easy. We’ll need to do an analysis of the mechanics of the existing MU classes – effectiveness, strictures, spell lists, other abilities – in order to make sure the new classes are balanced.
Matthew : Yeah, and some playtest combats. To be honest, we could do well if we had a bunch of new classes to play with or a few classes wit a bunch of archetypes. Your “sea Mage” strikes me as an Elementalist class focused on water.
Shawn : I hadn’t given it much thought. I was picturing MUs that were from a Polynesian-type culture. They were isolated and closely aligned with the environment, so their magic took on aspects of the sea. Maybe they get their power from tattoos?
Matthew : oh I see. So you’re thinking a distinct class for each “element”?
Shawn : Not necessarily. In this case, more geography or environment. i.e.: Jungle, desert, mountains (like Tibet), etc.
Matthew : There’s certainly a good opportunity to explore some other cultures that are generally underrepresented in D&D.


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