4th ed spells now take LP to learn?

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
Michael
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4th ed spells now take LP to learn?

Post by Michael » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:59 pm

That seems sort of harsh. Does anyone know when this has been changed? I just thinking through if I want to make changes to that.

thanks

Bonhumm
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Re: 4th ed spells now take LP to learn?

Post by Bonhumm » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:51 pm

Michael wrote:
Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:59 pm
That seems sort of harsh. Does anyone know when this has been changed? I just thinking through if I want to make changes to that.
This is new from 4th edition.

I'm guessing it was used to balances up the 'upgrades' that mages got compared to previous editions:
  • Two spell matrices that levels up for free.
  • Reductions on the number of required threads.
  • Increase in strength and versatility of spells due to the new extra-successes and extra-threads mechanics.
I would think they did a lot of tests to see if it balanced right before releasing that rule but as you said, still a bit harsh.

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Mataxes
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Re: 4th ed spells now take LP to learn?

Post by Mataxes » Thu Aug 08, 2019 11:55 pm

This was changed with the release of fourth edition.

It might seem harsh, but think of it this way: each spell provides a new tool or ability in the magician's arsenal, increasing their flexibility. Providing those tools for free -- when just about everything else costs Legend Points -- can be unbalancing.

It's made up for a little bit with the two free spell matrices that all magicians get at First Circle.

(Another way to look at it: Spells as a unique kind of knack.)
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Malinous
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Re: 4th ed spells now take LP to learn?

Post by Malinous » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:39 am

I think the offset from free matrices is under-sold.

Every free matrix talent is essentially a free spell of that talent rank, if I recall spell costs correctly? I.e., a spell costs the same as that rank of talent, so if you pay 600 LP for a 1st, 2nd and 3rd circle spell but get the R3 matrix for free you broke even. And you can only put one of those spells at a time in the matrix anyways.

So you're actually really getting 1 spell per level for the normal cost from previous editions.

And as Metaxes says, every spell is really almost as good as a talent. 1 spell per circle is definitely more character flexibility as a talent. Now spells become a *bit* more like option talents. Your choices helps define your character, rather than just define what the npcs you encountered knew.

It also can make life easier for new players -- I will say in D&D the need to learn the entire list of spells is a big deterrent for new players playing casters in D&D.

There are also fewer spells in 4th ed. That makes a difference.

harper
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Re: 4th ed spells now take LP to learn?

Post by harper » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:34 am

Thanks for the clarification!

Qwazi
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Re: 4th ed spells now take LP to learn?

Post by Qwazi » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:56 am

I thought it boring to gain a circle and perhaps not afford any spells, so what I did for my group was award a number of free spells depending on Perception.
Perception below 13: 1 Spell for free
Perception from 13 to 19: 2 spells for free
Perception from 19 ... : 3 spells for free

Sharkforce
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Re: 4th ed spells now take LP to learn?

Post by Sharkforce » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:16 am

hmmm... that rewards a hyper-focus on perception a bit too much for my tastes. if i was going to award anything, it would be a single spell of the new circle. with that said, increasing their circle isn't exactly without benefits anyways, and it isn't like anyone worries that a warrior might reach circle 4 and not have enough LP or silver to train a new talent or knack.

ManDrake
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Re: 4th ed spells now take LP to learn?

Post by ManDrake » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:22 am

I've never played 4th edition, but I've heard this complaint in the past in the 1st-3rd edition games. I generally agreed that it's sort of a problem, my solution to the problem was to give non-mages more talent knacks that they could develop and use. Talent knacks are relatively cheap to learn and can expand a players potential just about as much as a spell. Technically spells costing LP's to learn was introduced in 3rd Edition as an optional rule. I debated implementing it, but the general consensus was that spell casters were already seriously hamstrung by the fact that they can't weave threads and cast spells in the same round under most circumstances, which I believe has been changed in 4th Edition. So while in the circumstance where they have plenty of time to prepare they are able to deal out massive amounts of damage and abilities, the preparation time sort of offsets this advantage completely. The limited scope of the zero thread spells and later the single thread spells after the move to enhanced matrices, always naturally restricted things to keep them mostly balanced. And the number of available matrices also is a definite curb on power. I suspect that in games where this is a problem that the GameMaster isn't paying close enough attention to this balance and let's the spellcaster characters reach a level of semi-invulnerability. But spell matrices can be nuked from Astral Space with ease and casting raw magic is pretty much a death sentence. A spellcaster can be reduced to bloody heap fairly quickly with the smallest amount of planning and your average Horror.

As a general rule, I've found that it's more fun for players to raise everyone else up rather than Nerf the more successful player. It's a game about legendary heroes anyway.

utsukushi
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Re: 4th ed spells now take LP to learn?

Post by utsukushi » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:35 pm

I thought about not charging LP for spells just because that's what my players are used to, but as with so many bits in 4e, it actually ties to a lot of pieces. There are the free Matrices, and the Extra Thread rules. But also, Talents have been examined more carefully to be more useful, and more importantly, so have spells. There used to be a lot of spells that were kind of around for flavor, or for rare situations - things that were worth picking up when you had time, possibly even spending a little treasure on, but would never have been worth LPs. I don't really see that anymore. Along with being the first Edition that made an actual magician of a specific type materially better than one who just grabbed the Threadweaving with Versatility, it does make spells a better balanced resource that can be tracked along with all the rest.

I'd also note, I was in a game once that.. well, we went a long time without the chance to spend LPs, and then had a big chunk of down time, so everyone jumped from 2nd to 5th Circle. The GM ruled that there was no chance to study spells, though. My Elementalist really felt like a 2nd Circle character in a 5th Circle party, but in fairness, if he'd said there was an opportunity to study spells, it would have been hard to limit that from like, "all of them" - I could've burned all my Recovery Tests every day on Read Magic tests to learn more. With an LP cost, it's a lot easier and safer to leave that control in the player's hands, and really that benefits both the GM and the player.

It's one of the many changes in 4e that I kind of disliked until I started pulling at the strings, and ended up thinking is absolutely brilliant.

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Re: 4th ed spells now take LP to learn?

Post by Lursi » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:33 am

My players threw a number of die to determine which spell their teacher would teach them. Also the circle of the teacher determines a lot what they learn. (Also the cost is considerable... p. 251 players guide)

So in rare cases they received even spells higher than their current circle.

Question: when a hero has learned a spell of higher circle than his own, and copied it into his grimoir, does he still need to attune to his OWN grimoir for 10 minutes in order to cast it safely?
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