Author Topic: Magician spell learning  (Read 256 times)

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Offline Dirich

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Magician spell learning
« on: May 29, 2022, 05:39:27 AM »
College of Magic is missing the Magician Versatility professional trait when describing the Magician, but it does say that the Magician is basically the Mage from the Core book, so I imagine that's an editorial error.

In the Core book the Magician Versatility description says a Magician/Mage is capable of learning up to 40 spells and that "in addition to 33 spells listed in this book, magicians add Magestaff (from College of Magics) and 6 additional spells designated as Mage spells from other sourcebooks".

Since college of Magics kinds of redefine Magician as Mage, and Mage as the category of the "mage professions" (5 in College of Magics), I expect I should interpret the previous quote as "you can pick 6 spells from the spheres of Elementalist, Vivimancer, Thaumaturge and Necromancer" and consider them as Magician Spehere spells.

This means a Magician (using Core + College of Magics) can learn: all universal spells + all magic sphere spells (33 from Core) + Magestaff (CoM) + 6 spells chosen from the spheres of the "other Mage professions".

Am I correct in my understanding?


Offline Zhaleskra

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Re: Magician spell learning
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2022, 07:37:29 AM »
A long time ago, I made a topic, "How is Magician's Versatility an Ability?" I have to say that to a point, I'm still confused. Many of the spells of the other circles are already Mage Sphere/Great Circle of the Magician spells. Honestly, I still don't know how enforcement of "only 40 spells" would happen in gameplay, especially with multiclassing. I don't think the Arcane Circle talent gets you out of this limitation.

Different players have different approaches to learning spells. Some want to know a whole bunch of spells, others would rather know a few spells they can cast well.
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Offline craig

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Re: Magician spell learning
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2022, 08:17:41 AM »
This means a Magician (using Core + College of Magics) can learn: all universal spells + all magic sphere spells (33 from Core) + Magestaff (CoM) + 6 spells chosen from the spheres of the "other Mage professions".

Am I correct in my understanding?

I think the intention is that more Mage (Magician Circle) spells will appear in other books, like the perpetually forthcoming Something Wicked (if that's still in progress, AFAICT it hasn't even been mentioned in the Director's Briefings since Nov 2020).

IMO, it's not a big deal and, like all rules, can be house-ruled any way you like.  If a generalist Mage wants to pick some (or all) of their 6 additional spells from Elementalist, Vivamancer,  Necromancer, or Thaumaturge, it's not going to break the game.   And Major Healing may prevent a TPK if the party doesn't have a Cleric or Vivamancer.  It's not like there's (currently) any other source for Magician spells apart from DIY with the rules in CoM.

Or, if this seems too easy to you, require players to research the extra spells they want from other Circles using the spell research rules in CoM.  and/or require them to find an appropriate specialist mage to teach them.

Some of the old no-longer-available Harper's Bazaar issues had extra Mage spells (and only the HB Annual from 2005 was ever in print.  It contains HB issues #1 to #6.  You can sometimes find it second-hand.  The rest, #7 to IIRC #15, were never in print so aren't available even on the second-hand market).   In HB Annual, Acid Touch, Banish Elemental, Control Elemental, Mystic Ball/Blade/Bolt/Bow, Shockwave, Speak with Elemental, and Summon Elemental were all Mage spells.

The Codex and HARPers Grimoire also had extra Mage spells.  Unfortunately, both of these are also no longer available. if you're really lucky, you might find The Codex second-hand on ebay or somewhere (but it won't be cheap). Grimoire was PDF only.  Most of the spells in Codex and Grimoire needed a lot of work, anyway (especially Grimoire).  Even more unfortunately, it has been roughly 14 years since the deletion of HB, Codex, and Grimoire, and nothing has been published since to replace them.

Personally, I'd prefer to have a small 10-15 page magazine-style supplement every few months than wait 14+ years for a couple of complete books with hundreds of pages....getting rid of Harper's Bazaar and not replacing it with a similar magazine was, IMO, one of the worst business decisions any incarnation of ICE has ever made (almost as bad as trying to get into the collectable cards market).  If nothing else, HB provided momentum and gave proof of life. And they were only a couple of bucks per issue.

A long time ago, I made a topic, "How is Magician's Versatility an Ability?"

Got a link for that?

Honestly, I still don't know how enforcement of "only 40 spells" would happen in gameplay, especially with multiclassing.

That's easy.  Make them have a different spell sheet for each Sphere/Circle they have access to.  You can even pre-print different sheets for different spheres and circles, with only the correct spells on them.

There's no need for any "enforcement" with multi-classing.  If a character pays for the Additional Profession talent and chooses another Sphere or Circle of spells as the professional ability, then that's what they get.   They have 40 spells as a Mage/Magician, and whatever spells are in the sphere(s)/circle(s) belongs to their new profession(s).  Of course, with Rules-As-Written (RAW), they can only develop spells in a Sphere or Circle when they are levelling the profession associated with it.

Personally, I think that's a silly restriction (and, worse, adds tedious book-keeping) - once you know something, you don't magically "un-know" it just because you're focusing on a different profession for a while, but if you're currently levelling a class that doesn't have Mystical Arts as Favoured, then you pay 4 DP per rank, same as you would for any other unfavoured skill (increasing Mage or some other class without Combat as favoured doesn't prevent you from learning Combat skills, it just doubles the DP cost. I don't see any reason why that should be different for spells).   Which makes Rogue even more appealing as a second profession for any spell-casting class (in fact, a Rogue can make a great caster if they're willing to spend the DP on Arcane Power/Arcane Circle and maybe a few other talents like Sense Magic).

In other words, I treat taking a sphere or circle as the professional ability from Additional Profession as if it worked the same as the Arcane Power or Arcane Circle talent.

I don't think the Arcane Circle talent gets you out of this limitation.

Of course it does - that's what it's for.  The character is spending 25 DP to buy another Circle of spells (or another Sphere with Arcane Power for 30 DP).  They get access to all spells in that Circle in addition to any other spells they have from other profession(s).  Even RAW, they can develop those spells no matter what profession they're levelling.

From CoM, page 45: "Arcane Circle: The character may now learn spells from a single Great Circle that does not belong to his profession in addition to any spheres he has access to from his chosen professions. This talent may only be taken by someone who has at least one level in a specialist Mage profession (e.g., Magician, Elementalist, etc.) This talent may be taken multiple times. The high cost of this talent reflects the time and effort it takes for the character to learn a new Mage specialty."

(that gendered "he" and "his" still bugs me - there's been a perfectly good gender neutral pronoun, "they", in continuous use in English for well over 400 years. It's not hard to write inclusively).

Different players have different approaches to learning spells. Some want to know a whole bunch of spells, others would rather know a few spells they can cast well.

Yep. Or a mix.  I don't think I've ever made even a high-level NPC mage with more than about 15 or 20 spells, and Magestaff is one of the few spells (possibly the only one) where it's really worthwhile having more than ~20 ranks.

40 or 30 or even 20 spells is plenty.  IMO the reason to buy another sphere or circle or even profession is NOT for the quantity of spells, it's for access to specific spells that you can't get any other way.

Offline craig

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Re: Magician spell learning
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2022, 08:27:05 AM »
FYI, see https://ironcrown.co.uk/ICEforums/index.php?topic=14138.msg180427#msg180427

The Magician is meant to be identical to the Mage - Magician's Versatility was accidentally omitted from the text in CoM when the book was enhanced. The intention is that future products will include additional spells marked for use by the Magician/Mage and that there will be more than enough of these to more than fill the missing Magician sphere slots. If you cannot wait, you can allow Magician PCs to take spells from Elementalist, Necromancer, Thaumaturge or Vivamancer Great Circles at GM discretion.