Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More on the Vancian Spell System

In coming up with a rationale for the Vancian system and why it's so prevalent in the D&D worlds.

In the context of Mystara and the Thyatian / Karameikos lands, there's one possibility I've thought of that doesn't preclude the existence of other magical systems: reliability.

Thyatia is characterized as a conquering empire, one that looks at the utility of all things -- including magic. It's arguable therefore that the Vancian magic system, with:
  • verbal, somatic, and material components;
  • spell books;
  • memory space requirements;
  • etc.
are actually the most reliable spell system in the world. It's a magic system that -- assuming that the target doesn't make any potential saving throws -- will work reliably.

You'll know if you've successfully memorized something or not. You'll always cast it successfully (assuming all components are doable) if uninterrupted in combat. You'll always know how many spells you've got with you and how many more you can cast that day!

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