Page 1651 - Dungeons & Ponies, Part 26

12th Feb 2022, 6:00 AM in Intermission 15
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Dungeons & Ponies, Part 26
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 12th Feb 2022, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Author: GreatDinn

Guest Author's Note: "I think this is a problem a lot more DMs would have if they were friends with a local reality warping deity of chaos. As it stands, we just have to contend with the rote fears of judgment, comparison, and opening up to others about a thing we really love with the possibility of rejection.

Also, I used to be really frustrated by the SRD version of Wizard, what with the minimized spell list and limited capabilities. Then I DM'd a series of first time players in a row, and I realized 'Oh hey, maybe my level of experience is making me misjudge how complex this looks from the outside.'"
(Pop-out)

16 Comments:

ANW 12th Feb 2022, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
It can be complicated for those new to the scene.
Not as much as grappling if the star wars version of this comic was being true.

Mage is not a good tutorial class.
A fighter that has a mage like item, like a amulet that can cast 1 or 2 spells like a mage might work better as an intro to the spell system.

This is coming from someone who has wanting to play, but don't really have time to do so.
Fan of Most Everything 12th Feb 2022, 6:24 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, spellcasters are not exactly beginner friendly. Though now I'm more concerned over Cloudsdale figuring out how to make that storm of magic missiles Ponyville ordered.
BuffaloBrony 12th Feb 2022, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
Two weeks later:

"I don't know what went wrong..."
King Marth 12th Feb 2022, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
Anything below your complexity floor looks equally boring and easy. That doesn't change the intrinsic complexity. Also, the D&D spells system is a terrible piece of game design ("what if the vast majority of stuff you can do doesn't fit on your character sheet? Oh, don't worry, it's just the least intuitive parts"). It gets by because that's how we've always done it.

I like the mantra that the amount of space set aside for rules in a game's books is a rough mapping to how much of your time in play uses those rules. For D&D, around half your time is spent looking up spells, another ~40% is building your characters and looking up those class-specific abilities, leaving an even split between puzzling over equipment, making skill rolls, and all the boring available-to-everyone combat options. Plus those couple of pages at the beginning whenever you try to explain to someone new what an RPG is and what the "did you win" joke means.
Borg 12th Feb 2022, 9:25 AM edit delete reply
For my first spellcaster, I invented a personal shorthand to summarize each spell's effect in the margins of my spell list sheet. And said character was a 3.5 druid, so I also ended up making myself notecards for everything I could get with Summon Nature's Ally (which I probably also used as a reference for Wild Shape choices). I was fine with the complexity, but there's only so much I can memorize.
Winged Cat 12th Feb 2022, 11:23 AM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
I heard of one campaign which was entirely set within one day, no long rests available. The spellcasters were forced to rely mostly on cantrips, as well as magic items that only spellcasters could use.
rmsgrey 14th Feb 2022, 6:49 PM edit delete reply
I haven't checked out 5th edition, but in earlier editions (except 4th, where every class was made as "interesting" as wizards), wizards were limited to spells in their spellbook, with the spell lists in the rulebooks only needing to be checked when you have the opportunity to learn new spells - just like the fighter has to look up the stats for their new weapons and armour whenever they get the chance to buy things.

If you can't jot down key stats and a brief description for each of a limited number of spells you have access to as a mage, you need a better character sheet.
Kittoradra 15th Feb 2022, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
That part is still the same in 5th edition. What isn't the same is that cantrips and orisins (the level 0 spells) no longer use up spell slots. You actually do get them an infinite number of times per day (assuming you have them prepared). In 3.5, and I can only assume earlier... even your weakest spells that were almost jokes at level 3 were limited on a per-day count. So spellcasters had a very hard limit on "how long they're useful" between long rests. That has gotten easier in 5th, with cantrips always being an option and even scaling up over levels to a degree
SilvercatMoonpaw 12th Feb 2022, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
"It turns out I'm actually doing this for myself" describes my entire, very short GMing career. I like telling stories *with* people; GMing requires too much telling stories *at* people.
Roguim 12th Feb 2022, 11:59 AM edit delete reply
Indeed mage could be a complicate class, and some DM, specially the old ones ( U count myself on it as I begin in the old 1st edition and went to AD&D) sometimes forget this. But nothing that some time and good explanation and house rules can't solve.
tipulsar85 12th Feb 2022, 3:46 PM edit delete reply
Complicated from the outside. yeah that explains me trying to get people to try out Cyberpunk 2020. It has the problem of being realistic in terms of how much of a damage sponge real people and armor aren't. Then add to that multiple factors and it soon becomes even more amazing that 2077 even exists in a simplified form of interlock. Thankfully it isn't the "How many pounds of dice should I roll now?" that Shadowrun has, but the fudgible components from the GM are a bit more varried, especially if they bring out the Dragoons and "light" mechs from the splatbooks.
Jennifer 12th Feb 2022, 11:12 PM edit delete reply
There's a reason I prefer simple games with five-seconds-to-learn rules.
DigitOwl 13th Feb 2022, 4:37 AM edit delete reply
I'm having trouble parsing that last sentence "Lifting that probably is doing could put Celestia out of work".

Good comic tho, relatable. Magic in D&D/Pathfinder is not the most user friendly thing (and this is coming from someone who does enjoy playing spellcasters).
GD 14th Feb 2022, 12:04 AM edit delete reply
The sentence is saying that Rainbow Dash almost definitely did send them in, and that 'probably' is doing a lot of metaphorical heavy lifting to avoid saying it outright. So heavy is this metaphorical lifting, it could move the sun, thus putting Celestia out of work.
Demon Nachos 14th Feb 2022, 1:18 PM edit delete reply
Spellcasters are not good starter classes, yet a lot of newbies are stuck being the team Cleric because people seem to have a stigma against being the Healer. Thanks to the power of computers I use links to the wikis in my character sheet so I can just straight to the spell page without having to dig around, also do that for race, class, etc so I don't have to nose about trying to find things.
Digo 16th Feb 2022, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
I feel that one about getting pushed into the healer role, but I've grown to really like the role because now the party has to be nice to me if they want their hit points back. :P