Spells & Studies?

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Spells & Studies?

Postby sparc_spread » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:37 am

OK, sort of a newbie question but here goes. This is both a question and a request for advice on how to play first to second level spellcasters. I will focus on the Magic-User for the sake of example.

It is not stated outright, but I guess implied, that a Magic-User needs a full day to study for spells. Is this correct? If so, then imagine a first-level Magic-User with just one spell, going on an adventure. Does this mean that basically, the Magic-User can cast that one spell in the course of the adventure, and then basically hides for the rest of it (since they can't really fight)?

That doesn't sound TOO bad if you are playing in a long-term campaign. Hopefully, the Magic-User will become more powerful through experience, eclipsing even the Fighters, and all that hiding will have been an investment. But what if you are playing a one-off event (let's say at a con) with a first-level Magic-User? Do you basically cast one spell in the course of the game and then kind of hang out?

Again sorry for this basic question, just looking for clarification and advice. Thanks!
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Re: Spells & Studies?

Postby merias » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:43 pm

sparc_spread wrote:It is not stated outright, but I guess implied, that a Magic-User needs a full day to study for spells. Is this correct? If so, then imagine a first-level Magic-User with just one spell, going on an adventure. Does this mean that basically, the Magic-User can cast that one spell in the course of the adventure, and then basically hides for the rest of it (since they can't really fight)?


Yes, true. There are no specific rules for study, per-se (as opposed to AD&D, for example), just a full night's rest. I take that to mean at least 6 hours of uninterrupted rest.

That doesn't sound TOO bad if you are playing in a long-term campaign. Hopefully, the Magic-User will become more powerful through experience, eclipsing even the Fighters, and all that hiding will have been an investment. But what if you are playing a one-off event (let's say at a con) with a first-level Magic-User? Do you basically cast one spell in the course of the game and then kind of hang out?


For a con game I'd probably use a pregen with a scroll or two. Speaking of scrolls, I really like the Holmes Basic D&D rule that spellcasters of any level can create scrolls with one week's labor and 100gp per level. So a sleep scroll is 100gp and one week, web 200gp and two weeks, etc. The catch is it has to be a spell that the caster has in a spellbook, and has to be a level that they can cast. Still, even a new magic-user can usually afford a scroll after they buy their dagger and rations. And after that first adventure, they should be able to manage another scroll. I use that rule in all my S&W games.

So what to do after the memorized spells/scrolls are gone? I usually buy a few flasks of oil and some torches when I run M-Us, that gives them a missile option (apart from a dagger, but why throw your only weapon?).
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Re: Spells & Studies?

Postby sparc_spread » Mon Apr 24, 2017 3:45 am

Thanks for your advice! I recently rediscovered the Holmes scroll rules myself (last looked at them more than 35 years ago :-) ) and I agree with you, they make good sense.

I also found this on the RPG Stack Exchange site. It's a nice house rule for studying while in the dungeon:

https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions ... s-wizardry

In my own campaign that I am organizing, I'm going to use both the Holmes rules and this one. I will also follow your advice for playing at an upcoming con. Thanks again.
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