Bleak house came with a forced perspective map; I don't know about you, but I hate those things. I had originally redrafted it to graph paper, but the players wanted a map too, so I made this and thought, why not share?
This new mechanic put a wrench in lots of games, add the bloated list of spells which 2e offers and it doesn’t make sense, unless you ponder the school system. Under 1e rules all wizards were pretty much the same. You play one, you’ve played them all. What the school system sought was unique mages, or a system that made world building easier. Instead of inventing your own magic system, you might simply pick a few schools, put them at odds with one another, and make general wizards a crime punishable by death and you are good to go!
This chapter works over-time and is very helpful to those people who are crazy enough to want to world build. Not only do you have suggestions and minimum requirements for creating new schools of magic, but you also get a great collection of material which allows you to create your own spells that can be easily excepted into the existing magic system. This is the formula which TSR used, and instead of keeping it a secret, they shared it with the users, which is awesome!
Just like the other books in the Complete Series, this offers options and ideas for stepping outside of the box and tailoring specific kinds of wizards for your campaign. Many of these kits are for low technology, savage societies, or examples of altering the class without actually altering the schools of magic, which is helpful in world-building.
As I’ve said before, role-playing is a strange concept to new players, and through role-playing we can take common classes and make them into unique characters, and since everybody already has established ideas about what a wizard is prior to play, this chapter helps us shatter that mold, and role-playing while playing the wizard class is something that you are going to do a lot of! Especially since the only interaction you have during combat is knowing when and when not to use your small list of spells that you have allotted to you.
This is what helped make the class playable for many first timers. It gives you advice on how to choose your spells wisely. According to the core rules, spells are selected prior to play, and while that sounds limiting, it does give the person who is playing it more time to game, because he is spending less time looking over his spell lists. Combat is the most dangerous time to be a wizard, and people who try to play the class like they are fighters are going to be rolling up a new character before combat is finished.
I want to say that much of this chapter is in the DMG, but this book puts it into the player’s hands, and it is more expanded and better explained then the basic rules kept secret in the DMG. All sorts of fun ideas are in here; of course tips on world-building, but also pointing out what can happen if a mage's senses are impaired. Many DM’s have a hard time calling a game for Wizards unless they’ve played one. Subtle changes to the environment can alter how a spell functions, and by looking at what happens to spells when they are cast underwater, or by realizing that a wizard who is silenced can still cast some spells, it allows the DM to have a better chance of making a call correctly regardless of the exact circumstances that can come up during play.
|by: Clyde Caldwell|
For those of you who felt that the list of spells in the PHB wasn’t bloated enough, here are even more of them! Not surprisingly, this still didn’t convince people that enough is enough. Why offer methods of creating your own spells if you are going to exhaust them all? People went crazy for this kind of stuff though, and they still do.
This may sound archaic, but back when we were first playing the game, there was no such thing as the World Wide Web. There were no blogs, or anything! We got ideas from actually talking to each other, and if an idea was really good, and really fun, then it might make it into Dungeon or Dragon Magazine! This chapter has been replaced by all of the silly ideas that we bloggers have come up with over the years, but guess what . . . these lists are still fun!
Finally you get two items that you can photocopy and use to design your own schools of magic, as well as you own kits. It would had been nice to have a character sheet and spell sheets back here as well, but that is what makes me such a crummy capitalist.
|By Lerry Elmore|
Flipping through this book, much like The Complete Priest’sHandbook, it would appear that there is nothing in it but fluff, however once you begin reading this thing, it becomes obvious just what $15 could bring to the table. It encouraged DMs to write for the players, and teaches the joy of background events! I, however, don’t feel that it is as complete as it should have been. It addressed many things, but it also left a lot to be desired, for instance a list of spells which are expensive to cast, spells that are actually quest spells but they had been snuck in there anyway, and better definitions for spell books and common components found in a spell casters bag all would had been helpful, but with a class as customizable as this one is, the more rules that we apply to it, the less functional it becomes when world-building.
My birthday was a few weeks ago, and I got to expand my 2e library some! The wife picked me up some really nice books from the Oriental Adventures line, I had always been a fan of the original hard cover 1e book, which we had always used in our 2e games. I had known that these books were out there, but never actually saw them.
Kara Tur brought the world of Oriental Adventures into the Forgotten Realms setting, and the Horde, which is a really cool book series. She got me the classic DM's Guide to Immortals for the D&D line, and a book that I always thought that I had, but I guess that I didn't . . . Monster Mythology.
I had previously hated the book, you'd be reading something and all of a sudden they refer you to this strange book, which irritated me because I felt pressured to go buy it. It was one of the sales tactics of TSR that I despised. Why not just print the information, and be done with it? If I want more, I'll go get the book. Well, I had never bought the book because I never found a used copy. I thought that I did, but what I was using was the Humanoids Handbook, they had brief descriptions of monster beliefs, and that was good enough for me. Now that I do got it, and I was able to flip through it, there is some really awesome stuff in there! It actually would had come in handy during my orc campaign, as it expanded the standard spell casting levels found in the MM and Humanoids Handbook. I ended up doing this myself, and it took a lot of time that I would had rather spent doing other tasks. I would like to start that campaign over, but for now that is not in the cards.
My mother had also given me some cash and I wanted to spend some of it on gaming materials, I had gone to Dragon's Lair and they had nothing, so it was back to internet shopping!
I ordered the "Creative Campaigning" book, but it hasn't come in yet. That is another title that I thought that I had, but I didn't. I probably weighed it in my hand many times, but always chose to get the other title. I've never had much money to spend on gaming, so I had to choose things as wisely as a could, and yes I do regret putting a few things down and grabbing something stupid instead, just because it said RAVENLOFT on the cover.
I completed my DM's REF series by finally getting the "Arms & Equipment Guide" which I have always considered a luxury item. It is tremendous to own! But completely unnecessary, yet people still love it. I had ran into situations where I really wished that I had it on hand. Some of my players are totally new at this, and I've been asked really good questions, like What the difference between a long sword and a bastard sword? What do they look like? I've got pictures of that kind of stuff, but nothing available fast, now I can show them the picture in the book! There are also items which I had no idea what they were, but we used them anyway. It has always been one of my favorite books that I've never owned.
But, Ripper, you say, why don't you just google it? I don't allow computers at the table unless absolutely necessary. I find them to be a distraction and we all prefer to play old-school, no technology aids. It also sucks when players google the area that you are gaming in, and end up finding spoilers for what you are doing.
I also completed my Player's Option collection and got Spells & Magic. In the past I had hated this series as well, but today I find that my attitudes towards it has flipped. We don't use the entire thing! We don't use them to roll up characters, for example, but there is a lot of great material in them that you can easily pull out and add it to your 2e classic games.
I only wanted to spend $50, and I am happy with what I got. I was hoping to pick up some classic modules, but the prices for them have risen, even really bad modules like "Web of Illusion" which is terrible, was high. I was also dealing with my terrible memory. There is a third party adventure supplement that added dangerous plants to your monster collection, but I can't remember the title, I know it's an old book, but after spending several hours looking for it I just couldn't find the thing. Somebody had recommended it to me, but I can't remember who it was.
Oh well, that is that for this week. Sorry it isn't all that interesting, but I've got a lot of prep to do yet for the next game, and a whole lot of reading to do! It's been a while since I got to read some new 2e content! I'm kind of excited :)
This book was an incredible tool while playing Greyhawk. Personally, when playing a setting, I just want to use the original boxset material, everything else I create myself. I never owned anything beyond the original Greyhawk box, so all of the gods and goddesses were up to me to flesh out, and it was this chapter that made it possible to do so with consistency. That is the beauty of a generic product!
- campaign ideas
- Ripper's Gaming Sessions
- money and equipment
- pc classes
- Sunday Supplemental
- Time and Movement
- campaign add-ins
- Ability Scores
- Mechanic Series
- vision and light
- wizard spells
- priest spells
Contact me at Ripx187@gmail.com
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