Old ed spells not included?

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
Michael
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:33 am

Old ed spells not included?

Post by Michael » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:22 am

I was wondering if there's some reasoning behind why so many of the older spells were not included in the 4th ed?

Going to be added later in another book along with the 9+ circle spells?
Cost of LP to learn and no free ones learned when circling so don't think we need more?
Any discussions about converting the old ones to 4th?

thoughts?

Bonhumm
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Re: Old ed spells not included?

Post by Bonhumm » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:50 am

As for the 9+ Circle Spells, they are not included yet because they plan to do something about that in an upcoming 'Magic' book.
The fact that they were not included in the Companion created a lot of heated discussions here. From what I understand the devs plans to create some kind of a 'rituals(?)' system/mechanic for Warden+ magic.

On top of that, that 'magic' book is not even the next book planned for release; although I'M ECSTATIC at the incoming Iopos book, I still think that warden+ spells/'rituals' should take precedence.

Personally, I salute the addition of a new option/system for mages but.... I'm still of the opinion that this could have been added ON TOP of actual spells. Especially considering that they would mostly just have to 'adapt' the already well defined content of older editions. But that's just my opinion.

As for 'lower circle' spells 'missing'; I think many of them were removed due to too many 'yeah but what if...' questions related to them. There is also, possibly, the will to streamline the grimoires a bit since, with all the previous editions put together, it was starting to be a bit overwhelming.

To compensate, however, we have the brand new and fantastic Extra Successes and Extra Threads system to enhanced the spell and many, many spells had the number of (required) threads reduced which makes combat a lot more enjoyable for casters.

As for adapting 'older' spells into 4th edition: I'd say it would be relatively easy, for most of them, to just copy them verbatim. If the GM feels like going through the troubles he could easily add reasonable Extra Successes and Extra Threads effects and/or reduce the number of threads required.

Panda
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:30 am

Re: Old ed spells not included?

Post by Panda » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:11 am

Greetings,

There are numerous reasons why many spells weren't included, but two major reasons are space and time. Each spell included requires space, which means something else isn't being included to make room for them. The first things cut to make room would be the new spells and there was a specific demand for new content in the Player's Guide. When going through the list of spells from previous editions, it was cut down multiple times to create successively smaller lists, shooting for a target number of spells per Circle for each Discipline. If a spell didn't do something that seemed worth the limited space we had at the time, seemed redundant with other available spells, or wasn't coming together in the available time, it was cut. Simply, there's no scenario where there's more space for additional spells in the text.

Many of the cut spells will show up in the forthcoming book I'm working on, Magic: Deeper Secrets. While spellcasting characters will get the most out of it, there's material for every type of character within. As to why it isn't the next book, that's just not possible. Mystic Paths was just funded and this is my next major project after it, though hardly the only release to work on. Among other things, Iopos has an extensive Game Information chapter to continue writing.

Hopefully this offers some clarity.

Best regards,

Morgan

Sharkforce
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Re: Old ed spells not included?

Post by Sharkforce » Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:55 am

a while back, i noticed that 4th edition magicians get fewer spell matrices and was at first confused why. as part of my efforts to figure out why, i started comparing spells as well and i noticed something... there are a *lot* fewer spells i was excited to have prepared from the earlier edition i own (i think 3rd?) than i had thought there were. you could prepare more, but in general you were getting less.

with 4th edition charging you for learning spells and the limited number of spell matrices, i feel like it is more important than ever for spells to be a bit more impressive, and a lot of those spells i was looking at from the earlier edition that didn't make it simply weren't worth a spot in a matrix, and weren't worth the legend points to learn. so yeah, a fair number of spells didn't make it... and to be really worth making the cut, a lot of them probably needed some modifications.

what i really feel would've been nice were the essays from a member of each discipline where they attempt to define their discipline as they live it. but i assume that wasn't an option for space reasons either. ah well, can't have everything, and at least i have my old books =P

Michael
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:33 am

Re: Old ed spells not included?

Post by Michael » Sun Sep 08, 2019 3:41 am

thanks for the reply and I am looking forward to the magic book.

All I have to do now is win the powerball and then I can make those books come faster

Panda
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:30 am

Re: Old ed spells not included?

Post by Panda » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:09 am

Greetings,

The assessment on what it takes for a spell to "earn a spot" is spot on. If the spell isn't worth the Legend Point cost, then it's not worth the space something else could be using. This puts some neat, but not terribly useful effects in a weird place, but I am trying to redevelop as many of the old spells as possible to bring them inline with 4E expectations, in addition to writing new material. Spells just take more work to design compared to other abilities. When this is compared against the number of characters who have access to them, they consume a disproportionate amount of space and time. It's unfortunate, but maintaining consistency and quality is very important.

Some goods news is Mystic Paths introduces Improved Spell knacks, which provide more life to existing spells and further reduce the need for what amounts to a higher Circle version of an existing spell. While not free, their costs are less than a higher Circle spell and don't require additional spell matrices. Instead modifying the spell upon casting. Those presented in Mystic Paths are specifically associated with a Path, though most are available to Discipline members at perhaps a later point. This builds on the general concept of doing more with less and making spellcasting more flexible in application.

Discipline perspectives was something we talked about, but it ultimately wasn't feasible. Space was a major reason (that would cut even more spells), but what to include there also presented problems. Using the essays from The Adept's Way would be an easy answer, but those introduced concepts we definitely weren't ready to include yet (e.g., Heartblades). Cutting those out wasn't a good solution because we probably want to include them in the future. Also, we've been trying to avoid simply reprinting old material as much as possible. Writing new essays presented its own set of problems. Presenting in-character perspectives for each Discipline is important and not forgotten. Since they're already out there for the 15 Disciplines in the Player's Guide, they aren't the most important thing right now. Including those perspectives for the Disciplines and Paths presented in Mystic Paths was important because they can't be found anywhere else. At least, not in addressing them as presented in 4E.

Hopefully this provides some additional insight.

Best regards,

Morgan

Lursi
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Re: Old ed spells not included?

Post by Lursi » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:34 am

I do understand the reasoning.

Personally I miss the following spells in Elementarism:

Gills - enables underwater ventures and hence interesting plots
Earth Blend - and gone he is, ok maybe more for the illusionist...
Porter - useful for weak people
Lodestone’s Touch - Magnetism is so cute for an Elementarist!
Flameshaw - What an entry into a town in a burning Rickshaw!
Richochet Attack - Maybe overpowered, but very nice mechanic
Calm Water - worth your life in a storm...
Crushing Hand of Earth - signature killing move against a Villain!

Most of it is just semi usefuls but enables legendary shows.
Of all things I lost, sanity I held dearest.

Panda
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:30 am

Re: Old ed spells not included?

Post by Panda » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:09 am

Greetings,

Gills is in Mystic Paths as a Shaman spell and Crushing Hand of Earth is in the Player's Guide. Grasping Hand of Earth was cut because there's no "lockdown" type effects available at only one thread and there wasn't much point in have both spells; one is an just an improved version of the other.

Individually, Earth Blend didn't fit with the Elementalist themes being built and would just be a weaker version of effects available to Illusionist and Nethermancer. Which isn't worth the limited space. Porter falls under interesting, but ultimately an easy cut to make (like Pack Bags). The duration also means this is effectively a permanent effect, which isn't a spell committed to lightly. Lodestone's Touch was cut due to balancing and a desire to remove many such material specific effects. The spell is effective against most Namegivers, but useless against most creatures and Horrors. This lack of versatility means it's not a good pick when space is this limited. Flameshaw was cut due to the amount of effort invested in updating it. All summoning type spells were redesigned from the ground up to reflect the entirely different approach. There's also the duration issue. Ricochet Attack was another combat spell that was pretty powerful and very similar to Lightning Bolt. Figuring out how to make it distinctive and preserve the extra thread mechanic means it didn't make the cut. As written, it's not a good fit for Elementalist and makes more sense as a Wizard spell; there's nothing elemental about it, but manipulating energy. Calm Water had everything to do with any updates need to be tied to relevant mechanics, which means ships. Otherwise it would require printing an update to the spell to explain how it works in that situation.

Hopefully this sheds some light on decisions made very early in the design process.

Best regards,

Morgan

Slimcreeper
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Re: Old ed spells not included?

Post by Slimcreeper » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:30 pm

That is very good information. It is awesome how transparent you guys are.

Michael
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:33 am

Re: Old ed spells not included?

Post by Michael » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:18 pm

how about puddle deep and boil water? oh the combo, oh the combo . . . if only
Last edited by Michael on Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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