Wednesday, May 9, 2018

A Quick Thought on Magic-Users

A la "vintage" D&D. A thought I've had over time, and I've seen expressed my many others, is that magic-users should dominate world affairs at higher levels. I find it to be a valid point. Many rules and house rules have sought to mitigate this. Some are mechanical, the so-called nerfing of the class. Some are setting-based, with magical colleges dedicated to keeping rogue wizards in check.

I submit to you that a possible answer to this conundrum lies at the point of character creation: the HP roll. We've all played in vintage games where characters start 1st level with maximum hit points. Sometimes there's even a "kicker" of 10 to 25 points. Survivability at low level, we say.

Now, bear with me down a brief tangent. Stat requirements for classes were implemented by Mr Gygax as a way to simulate the relative rarity of certain classes. If only 1 person in 1000 was a paladin, that needed to be reflected in the rules somehow. Lest every Tom-Dick-and-Harry would play one.  Stat requirements keep the occurrence of certain classes within norms.

Now, back to the magic-user. With a d4 hit die, and likely no CON bonus (3d6 and all), it would be a rare magic-user that makes it to 2nd level, let alone to empire-controlling majesty. So, I propose that the "control" on runaway magic-users is baked right into the class at inception.

That brings me to a larger thought about tinkering and house rules, but that will be another time.

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