Author Topic: Meta-Magic  (Read 4659 times)

Yoder

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Meta-Magic
« on: July 10, 2012, 09:25:18 PM »
Meta-Magic
3.5's metamagic was fun! Broken at times, but still fun! So, why not bring more of it over to Legend? Given that Legend handles all ability types equally as much as possible, these are wouldn't be restricted to just spells unless otherwise specified. Here are my thoughts/ideas/suggestions given an initila quick analysis:

Silent
D&D3.5: slot +1; no verbal components
Legend: Because Legend abstracts spell requirements away, it is meaningless.

Still
D&D3.5: slot +1; no somatic components
Legend: Because Legend abstracts spell requirements away, it is meaningless.

Eschew Materials / Ignore Material Components / Free
D&D3.5: slot +1; no material components
Legend: Because Legend abstracts spell requirements away, it is meaningless. I know it's an epic feat, but it fits w/ the theme.

Widen
D&D3.5: slot +3; x2 area of effect of burst, emanation, line, or spread only
Legend: Already implemented as the Collateral Damage, Bigger, No! Bigger!, and Maniacal Laughter [Legendary] abilities

Empower
D&D3.5: slot +2; x1.5 number of dice rolled
Legend: This is probably just too complicated to really work (people always seem to miss that Maximize doesn't affect the extra 50%), not to mention that it slows down combat more.

Enlarge
D&D3.5: slot +1; x2 range
Legend: Now this is an interesting one. I understand that Widen was changed to a series of doubles instead of just ranking-up your range, because a lot of effects don't match up with the core 6 ranges (sameSquare+adjacent, melee, close, medium, long, and extreme). While it would be easy to go w/ the doubling like Widen did, if I'm not mistaken all spell ranges fall in one of the 6 core ranges. However, 4 applications of range incrementing would wreak serious havok (not that 4 applications of Widen don't). But, in 3.5 this has a significantly reduces slot cost compared to Widen. Ultimately, I can't decide, so I'll give both options:
> Series of 4 Legendary abilities, each doubles the range of all spells/effects
Or
> Series of 4 Legendary abilities, each increases the range increment of all spells/effects (potentially not increasing the range for melee and adjacent ranges abilities to avoid abuse)
Or
> Alternatively, don't support a full series of 4, having only 1 or 2 at specific legendary tiers.
Then again, projecting any spell to extreme range is easy w/ just a Major Magical ranged weapon ([Distant 3], Spellstoring)...

Extend
D&D3.5: slot +1; x2 duration to all but instanetaneous, conentration, or permanent durations
Legend: Here's a another interesting case. It is similar in many ways, so I won't go through everything I did w/ Enlarge. Straight doubling could be troublesome, and going up a duration increment is abolsutely balance-breaking. So, here's the compromsie I came up with:
> Series of 4 Legendary abilities, each doubles the duration of all spells/effects or stops it at the next range increment, whichever comes first. This way, you can make an Encounter-length ability last up to 16 encounters or until the end of the Scene, whichever comes first. Note that the range increment itself never increases; it's always capped off by the next one.
Or
> Alternatively, don't support a full series of 4, having only 1 or 2 at specific legendary tiers.

Heighten
D&D3.5: slot +X; slot elevation
Legend: There are some abilities that could benefit from this, but a lot of Legend's abilities scale w/ Circle already.

Maximize
D&D3.5: slot +3, max-out all rolls
Legend: This was always a favorite in my group since it made combat flow so much faster due to the drastically reduced rolling (40 dice was a pain, but disintegrate was such a fun spell). This one's pretty easy:
> Legend-tier Legendary ability, that's it. It should probably be limit which ability types can benefit from it to avoid abuse.

Quicken
D&D3.5: slot +4; swift action casting time only once/round that does not provoke
Legend: This one proves odd. Spell casting time in Legend isn't as across-the-board as it is in 3.5. Not provoking when casting, by itself, seems suited for an iconic feat. Decreasing casting time 1 or 2 increments can do more harm than good given your character's track selections. Is there maybe a way to make it a free action but still provide some way to balance it? Making it a Legendary-tier Legendary ability doesn't seem like enough to counteract it...

~

Please share your insights, as I'd love to get more of these converted into Legend like Widen has been.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 09:29:34 PM by Yoder »
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Tenno Seremel

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 09:52:45 PM »
Quote
no […] components
Do we even have them?

EDIT: ah… I've missed that note that it is meaningless.
EDIT2: not provoking is artifact level (The Mercury Reaches). Although it works for everything it does not really matter much if you are, primary, a spellcaster – you'll be casting spells, you don't want them provoke and that's about it. Doubles initiative too, though.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 09:57:56 PM by Tenno Seremel »

Mura

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 10:15:51 PM »
Battle Mage [Iconic]
Necessity has taught you how to ply the mystic arts while keeping your defenses up.
Prerequisites: 6th Level
Effect: You no longer provoke attacks of opportunity while casting spells.

Yoder

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 10:24:32 PM »
Yeah, something like that! :)
"Trifles go to make perfection, and perfection is no trifle."
~ Michelangelo

My Homebrew

My friend just shared this: "Remember that time Gandalf convinced the whole party to flee so that he could take out the Balrog and not have to share any of the XP? Shows up the next session with fancy new robes and everything. What a jerk."

ShneekeyTheLost

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 03:29:33 PM »
To be honest, I'm more than a bit leery about involving Metamagic into Legend, since it pretty much exploded all over 3.5 and is a definite contributor to the OPness of magic there. Also, as you pointed out, about half of them are simply not relevant.

I don't really get making them Legendary abilities rather than Feats. Considering feat choices, I don't think it would be unfair to make them feats. Unlike in 3.5, casters have other equally valid options for their feat slots to compete with. For example, would you want something like Maximize Spell, or would you rather have something along the lines of, say, Arcantric Accuracy so you can hit with your spell in the first place?

My knee-jerk reaction is 'Are you CRAZY?', but upon further reflection, I think it might, possibly, work... but it'll need a LOT of re-writing.

Mura

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 03:43:33 PM »
Yeah. The general concept- a way for spellcasters to invest resources into making their spells more effective- is something that Legend needs, I think. Consider this: a barbarian who wants to make his attacks hit harder can take an Oxidized Slab or somesuch as a melee weapon. Casters don't have many options for improving their spells via magical items. A barbarian who wants to hammer foes consistently might take Epic Flail; by comparison, Shamans are left out in the cold.

Look at PvP: you don't see many spellcasters, and when you do see spellcasters, they rarely win. It isn't because spellcasting is rubbish in one-on-one- it's because there aren't enough ways to invest in it.

Zejety

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 03:58:05 PM »
I like the magic system of the German RPG The Dark Eye.
It offers an option called "spontanous modifications" which allows most spell casters to change various aspects of their spells (roughly the same stuff as meta magic).
The name already explains that that choice is made spontanously when the wizard starts casting the spell. Associated costs are longer casting times and higher DCs on the casting check.

Since Legend does not use casting checks the last cost is not an option but I can imagine movement and swift actions used to augment standard action spells, kind of like the combat use of Intimidate already does.

ShneekeyTheLost

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 05:07:47 PM »
Yeah. The general concept- a way for spellcasters to invest resources into making their spells more effective- is something that Legend needs, I think. Consider this: a barbarian who wants to make his attacks hit harder can take an Oxidized Slab or somesuch as a melee weapon. Casters don't have many options for improving their spells via magical items. A barbarian who wants to hammer foes consistently might take Epic Flail; by comparison, Shamans are left out in the cold.

Look at PvP: you don't see many spellcasters, and when you do see spellcasters, they rarely win. It isn't because spellcasting is rubbish in one-on-one- it's because there aren't enough ways to invest in it.
Yea, I agree with the basic concept, but it's going to have to look very differently than the 3.5 metamagic feats.

I mean, that does exist in a limited fashion already. Elemental Specialization feat, for example, increases the damage their blastomancy does. 

What they need is either a) a way to introduce secondary effects to some of the more static 'this works or it doesn't, depending on your saving throw', or b) increase DC's to the point where someone might have trouble making a saving throw. That was already being looked at by the developers, so hopefully there will be a solution to that, but it almost scares me.

Part of my problem with magic is the 'Save or Lose'. In other words... either it really works and you win, or it really doesn't work and you lose. Basically... rocket tag. I don't really like that. I'd like to see some system of having a system of graduated conditional effects, depending on the success of the save vs the DC of the ability.

For example, if something delivers a fear effect, the strength of the fear effect is dependent on the rolls. If the Will save is failed, then the target is Frightened. If he just barely makes the roll, then he is shaken, but it takes making the roll by a significant amounted to truly be unaffected (barring immunity).

I think that, rather than simply modifying spell numbers, that it should be a dynamic change to the spell. Adding a rider effect, for example, or altering the flavor of damage, or allowing it to partially bypass a resistance or immunity.

For example:

Penetrating Magic
Prerequsite: Spellcasting track or possessing Spell-like Abilities, Character Level 6th.

Once per [Encounter], the user may somewhat mitigate the effects of a resistance or immunity all targets of the spell or SLA has, reducing it by one step. For example, if an opponent had Greater Resistance to the effect, then it would only considered to be Resistance to the effect. It has no additional effect on an opponent who is not resistant or immune to the effect. An Immunity is considered to be Greater Resistance.

So, if you cast a Fireball on three opponents, one of which was immune to fire, one of which had Resistance, and one of which had no resistance to fire... the first would be considered to have Greater Resistance, and the other two would not be considered to be resistant to fire for the purposes of that one spell or SLA.

This ability only functions on abilities which apply damage, it does not remove or mitigate immunities to conditions.

Echoing Spell
Prerequsite: Spellcasting track, Character Level 6th

Once per [Encounter], if an opponent successfully makes a saving throw to prevent the infliction of a Condition, that opponent must make an identical save on the caster's next turn or have the spell will be considered to have been successfully cast after all.

For example, a Tactician wants to slow down an Ogre barreling down on the party, and casts Hold Monster. The Ogre manages to roll particularly well and make the saving throw, and acts normally on his turn. On the Tactician's following round, the Ogre then has to make another Will save, which it fails horridly, and is affected by Hold Person. On it's round, it may make another Will save , as per the normal effect of Hold Person.

Tenno Seremel

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 05:12:56 PM »
Burning fire elementals again? Please no… Also, current Elemental Specialization is already mostly better than "Penetrating Magic" as it is not limited to 1/Encounter and adds 1/level damage which in effect equal to downgrade from Grater to normal resistance or surpasses other resistance downgrades. Although it does only work for elemental damage.

Yoder

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 06:32:00 PM »
@Shneekey: Most of the reason I suggested legendary abilities is because Widen was been converted into them.
At the very least, the other doubling meta-magics could be implemented similarly.

@Mura: Yeah, that's why I suggested it be brought over. Even when the devs balance the spells for 1.0, unless they provide a meta-magic system, there still won't be a way to improve your abilities. Spells are a peculiar type of ability in that they have unusual restrictions when compared with the limitations of the other ability types. A character who takes Tactician casting and Shaman casting should be able to do something more with their flexibility.

Quote
I like the magic system of the German RPG The Dark Eye.
It offers an option called "spontanous modifications" which allows most spell casters to change various aspects of their spells (roughly the same stuff as meta magic).
The name already explains that that choice is made spontanously when the wizard starts casting the spell. Associated costs are longer casting times and higher DCs on the casting check.

Since Legend does not use casting checks the last cost is not an option but I can imagine movement and swift actions used to augment standard action spells, kind of like the combat use of Intimidate already does.

Now that's an interesting idea! Given that some spells are quicker to cast than others, it would encourage you to buff the spells that take a standard action over those that take a swift.

Quote
What they need is either a) a way to introduce secondary effects to some of the more static 'this works or it doesn't, depending on your saving throw', or b) increase DC's to the point where someone might have trouble making a saving throw. That was already being looked at by the developers, so hopefully there will be a solution to that, but it almost scares me.

Part of my problem with magic is the 'Save or Lose'. In other words... either it really works and you win, or it really doesn't work and you lose. Basically... rocket tag. I don't really like that. I'd like to see some system of having a system of graduated conditional effects, depending on the success of the save vs the DC of the ability.

For example, if something delivers a fear effect, the strength of the fear effect is dependent on the rolls. If the Will save is failed, then the target is Frightened. If he just barely makes the roll, then he is shaken, but it takes making the roll by a significant amounted to truly be unaffected (barring immunity).

Secondary effects are interesting, but that would require a lot of work to come up with and balance as even applying a single secondary effect to all spells with a given descriptor is not appropriate given the nature of some spells (offensive, defensive, auxiliary).

As for increasing the DC, that's essentially what Heighten did.

Going beyond Win/Lose w/ spells (well, technically beyond Save for Half) introduces a huge level of complexity. Nearly every spell would need to have its own little chart. While such things are not inherently bad (and quite appropriate for players who love tabletoppers filled with table lookups and video games that can do all that behind the scenes), it seems to be way to complicated for Legend. On the other hand, spells are pretty special among abilities, so we'll just have to see what the 1.0 spell update brings.
"Trifles go to make perfection, and perfection is no trifle."
~ Michelangelo

My Homebrew

My friend just shared this: "Remember that time Gandalf convinced the whole party to flee so that he could take out the Balrog and not have to share any of the XP? Shows up the next session with fancy new robes and everything. What a jerk."

ShneekeyTheLost

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 06:44:12 PM »
Burning fire elementals again? Please no… Also, current Elemental Specialization is already mostly better than "Penetrating Magic" as it is not limited to 1/Encounter and adds 1/level damage which in effect equal to downgrade from Grater to normal resistance or surpasses other resistance downgrades. Although it does only work for elemental damage.

They would stack with each other for additional benefits.

And the best way to stop a fire is to start a counter-fire. It's a commonly used fire-fighting tactic used. I don't understand your argument about burning fire elementals. After all, Fire Elementals have factions and fight amongst themselves, yes? So how would they be able to do so if they couldn't affect one another?

Tenno Seremel

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 07:24:53 PM »
Fire Elementals have factions and fight amongst themselves, yes?
Actually, no. Unless DM said they do. I'm not sure how you can start a "counter-fire" of, say, forest fire. You might burn some place so previous fire stops since it cannot advance but I hardly can call that beating fire with fire. Not in this sense.

Prime32

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 07:34:58 PM »
Even the description of the Elemental Plane of Fire mentions that there are places where the flames are so intense they can burn fire elementals, so it was always intentional.
I don't see what's wrong with being so good with fire magic that you can set fire on fire. It's badass.

I'd prefer to see Penetrating Magic as a feat with the effect "choose one element; your spells of that element deal +1 damage per character level and <do stuff which makes them better>", and make it mutually exclusive with Elemental Specialisation.


Effects like Silent and Still still have a potential use in Legend - the ability to cast a spell so that it doesn't originate from you and it doesn't look like you did anything.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 07:37:45 PM by Prime32 »

ShneekeyTheLost

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 08:50:13 PM »
Fire Elementals have factions and fight amongst themselves, yes?
Actually, no. Unless DM said they do. I'm not sure how you can start a "counter-fire" of, say, forest fire. You might burn some place so previous fire stops since it cannot advance but I hardly can call that beating fire with fire. Not in this sense.
Fire requires two things: Fuel and Oxygen. Lighting another fire steals the available oxygen from the larger fire, thus reducing its ability to burn. A fireball is also seen as very explosive, perhaps the fire elemental can be exinguished by the explosive force inherent in the fireball spell... not necessarily burning a fire elemental, but subsuming it with a better fire for a short period of time, weakening it.

Tenno Seremel

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Re: Meta-Magic
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 08:53:02 PM »
Even the description of the Elemental Plane of Fire
ahem … does not exist :P It does not really make much sense to me either way. However it can be done as an untyped bonus damage instead. Just need to think why and/or how that happens.

EDIT:
Quote
Lighting another fire steals the available oxygen from the larger fire, thus reducing its ability to burn.
How long before you need to roll vs suffocation after each casting down this road? :}
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 08:54:36 PM by Tenno Seremel »