Dark(er) Dungeons - Alternative Magic User?

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rremedio
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Dark(er) Dungeons - Alternative Magic User?

Post by rremedio » Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:41 pm

Hi!

I'm close to start a PbP Darker Dungeons game based on the Thunder Rift setting. At the beginning I thought that the "swapped" Magic User and Elf classes of Darker Dungeons were not good ideas because of the Rift history phase of "Wand vs Sword". Now I'm not sure about that, as maybe an "Elf vs Sword" maybe could bring better story plots to the setting. But while thinking about using the Dark Dungeons versions of these classes, I also thought that maybe I should tweak the Magic User a bit to fit my tastes. This wasn't playtested yet, but I'd like to know what do people think about it.

The idea is to make Magic Users more magical at first level, but even weaker in combat.

Hp/Hit Dice, Skills, XP and Spells per day would be the same as the MU for Dark Dungeons or the Elf for Darker Dungeons
Saving Throws progression would be the same as the MU for both games (or the Elf, if you want to use this as an Elven class, but I'm thinking here about an human MU)
Basic Attack Bonus would start at +1 and get +1 ever four levels (5, 9, 13, etc...)
Weapon Feats would start at zero, getting one each four levels, starting at level 3 (0 0 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 etc...)

The MU may trade a maximum of one skill at first level to learn a Weapon Feat

At first level, the Magic User may trade skill points for learning extra spells and casting extra spells per day. The maximum of extra spells allowed is equal to the MU intelligence bonus. The first extra spell can be traded with one skill, the second with two skills, the third with three skills (so, a MU with intelligence 18 would be able to get 3 extra spells at a cost of 6 skills). Casting any of these extra spells would cost him 1hp. This damage is recovered after one night of sleep.

When learning a new spell the usual way because of levering up, the MU may put one of his extra spells in his "regular spell list" (if he's getting one 1st level spell at his new level) and put his new spell in the extra spell slot, if he wants to.

MUs can use any armor or weapon, but they still need one free hand to cast spells (as well as being able to speak) and they can't cast spells while wearing armor heavier than leather.

So what do you think? Is it interesting? Is it balanced? Should I give more skills to the MUs to balance the fact that if they wand more spells they will lose skills at first level?

Thanks in advance.

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Blacky the Blackball
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Re: Dark(er) Dungeons - Alternative Magic User?

Post by Blacky the Blackball » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:01 am

Personally, I'm not keen on the idea of swapping skills for weapon feats or extra spells. This is for two reasons:

1) One of the fundamentals of the skill system is that there's no overlap between skills, combat, and magic. This is a deliberate decision to avoid character optimisation choices. All characters get skill points to spend on skills. All characters get weapon feats to spend on weapons, and all characters get class features. Because there's no way to exchange any of these for the others, no-one is ever forced to choose between (for example) improving a skill that is basically just for roleplaying purposes or getting more effective in combat. The skill points are there regardless of your effectiveness in combat so there's no pressure to drop them in favour of combat optimisation.

2) Skills in Dark Dungeons aren't all that powerful. If you were given the choice between a skill point or an extra spell no-one would ever choose the skill point. Given that, you might as well simply give the character the fewer skills and more spells rather than putting such an artificial choice in front of them.

So basically, I think if you want to give magic users more spells (and maybe let the extra spells cost them hit points) then I'd just do it, but without messing about with the whole swapping for skills business. Just give them the extra spells and let them keep the skills. Because they're kept separate it's not going to break anything.
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rremedio
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Re: Dark(er) Dungeons - Alternative Magic User?

Post by rremedio » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:37 am

Yes, it makes total sense. The idea behind it was that character with high intelligence were able to learn more skills while becoming adventurers so maybe a MU would have spent more time of his life trying to learn a weapon feat and/or extra spell and would have had less time to learn skills. But you are right, this would end up with more powerful MUs without skills or much weaker MUs with skills. How they handle their skill choices shouldn't make the character much more powerful or weaker.

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