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Are there any "wizard" superheroes with well-defined

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Are there any "wizard" superheroes with well-defined powersets?

A lot of spellcasting heroes like Doctor Strange and Nico Minoru don't have their abilities clearly defined beyond "magic"; there may be limits on how or when they can cast spells (e.g. Zatanna uses magic by speaking words backwards), or on what they ~can't~ do with magic, but there's no clear guideline on what spells they ~can~ cast.

Are there any mage-type supers who avoid this? That is, they have well-defined abilities that they use for most of their adventures, like most supers, so instead of just "he has the power to use magic" you can say "he knows spells that can control plants and project his thoughts into the minds of others" or something similarly specific.

Pic semi-related.
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your pic makes it look like Gwen is using a spell to make her breasts grow. She's looking right at them too.
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>>77697372
Hey Gwen, Grandpa's got dinner on the table so get in here and eat befoOOHH MY GOD!
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The answer is maybe. Those gals from W.I.T.C.H. were pretty varied.
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>>77697015
How is Gwen's magic well defined?

Never watched the shows
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>>77697015
They really fucked up with LOL ALIEN thing.
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>>77700317
We don't talk about that.
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The OG Captain Marvel to an extent. While he possesses and occasionally demonstrates the usual enormous variety of applications of magic, most of the time it's just him using divinely granted powers to wield the usual Superman-set of powers plus zap motherfuckers with magic lightning in lieu of heat vision.
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I personally dislike magic in fiction. I think it's stupid.
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>>77700177
Yeah, W.I.T.C.H. is a good example. They've all got their own elemental magic, and they use other spells for plot reasons but you don't get the impression that they could just make up a spell to solve a problem. There was that one arc where they all started getting new weird powers, but even then they were all distinct additions to their normal powers, more of a "1+2+3" deal than an "undefined and arbitrarily high number" deal.

>>77700216
Well, it's more a matter of portrayal than description. The original Ben 10 never stated any clear limits to Gwen's spellcasting beyond "she's inexperienced and learning", and she was always using new incantations for her spells, but in practice she used it a lot like Green Lantern uses his ring (except less fancy): shooting magical beams, creating force fields, moving objects by surrounding them in a magical aura, and the occasional gust of wind. There were a few weird outliers, but they were mostly used as one-off jokes.

Ben 10 Alien Force changed it. Gwen stopped using magic words at all, and instead was just creating energy fields of different shapes, so even more like a Green Lantern than before. But she also got other new abilities, like being able to track people with objects they left behind, and teleportation (but that took a lot of energy).

Alien Force also decided that magic didn't actually exist, and that all "magicians" in the world (along with all other humans with superpowers) were actually descendants of human/alien hybrids, and that Gwen's grandmother was actually an alien energy being made of pure mana who took human form, which is why she can make purple force fields. Which created a whole mess of other issues, so they quietly backpedaled on it in later seasons, with Gwen starting to use incantations again (only sometimes, though) and other human spellcasters re-emerging.

>>77700317
Yeah, the Anodite thing was pretty stupid, but I think they did a good job of cleaning up the mess.
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>>77700317
>They really fucked up with LOL ALIEN thing.
>>77700704
>Yeah, the Anodite thing was pretty stupid, but I think they did a good job of cleaning up the mess.
There wouldn't be any problem if they hadn't claimed that magic wasn't real (serriously, Hex and Charmcaster, the fabric of reality is called "mana"...), and they didn't limit her powers to low-tier Star Sapphire constructs.

There was no point to this at all.
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>>77701076
Don't forget about holloween town ALIENS.

I get the intent, but I feel like it was a miss.
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>>77697015
Soo I've only ever seen porn of it and was mildly intrigued.
How good is the show on the whole? (I see you guys pointed out a bad egg season, how long was that period?) How prominent is the girl in the actual screentime?
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>>77697015
A magic powerset is 99% of the time just an excuse to give them really vague general abilities and anytime the plot calls for something special they can do it because magic. Even psionic powersets tend to be better defined than magic ones.
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>>77702799
It's pretty fun. Mostly episodic monster of the week stuff with occasional building to an overarching plot. If you like that kind of structure then there's no reason not to try it.
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Is this a /tg/ thread?

>>77702874
They really ought to do it D&D style. Memorise a couple of spell from the spell book but don't treat the book as some sort of deus ex machina throughout the series. Heck, I would kill for a proper D&D animated series, preferably Spelljamer.
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>>77702984
>If you like that kind of structure then there's no reason not to try it.
Not particularly, no.
Honestly mostly interested in it for Gwen; Ben himself doesn't strike me interested.
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>>77703348
It isn't a series featuring massively complex characterization, particularly of Gwen. I probably wouldn't bother if that's why you're interested.
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>>77703136
>They really ought to do it D&D style. Memorise a couple of spell from the spell book but don't treat the book as some sort of deus ex machina throughout the series.
Bronze Age White Witch worked that way. It's one of the reasons Mysa is a top tier LoSH girl.
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Isn't Magiranger exactly what OP is saying?
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>>77703348
>>77703667
It's a show designed to sell toys to small children, conceptually it's pretty good though.
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It's because most universes don't have FoAM.

"Fundamentals of Arcane Manipulation (colloquially known as FoAM) is a textbook outlining the basic rules of mana and its use in sorcery. While this book is a must read (and it is customary to gift it to a young spellcaster on their 10th birthday or the advent of their magical abilities, whichever comes first) it can be a complicated read. It's essentially like giving your non-magical child a college physics textbook. The books author, a warlock by the name of Edward Figglesworth, made a small fortune upon initial release of the tome, only for sales to die out quickly upon the first readers coming across his chapter on duplication."
-Anon, Headmaster of the /co/ School of Magic
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>>77706652
>"FoAM"
So...basically a Hitch hikers guide to the galaxy but with magic?
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>>77706836
No.
A rule book.
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>>77697015
That would require a well defined magic system, which would only be present in something focused on the fantasy genre. Cape fiction is all over the place and can't really be arsed to explain half of it.
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>>77703136
Spelljammer a shit, fell's five or bust.

John Rogers wants to spend his time writing for tv instead of finishing this, so make him write for something that makes everybody happy
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magic has never been done right and only serves to create ridiculous deus ex machinas that save the MC

prove me wrong

pro tip: you can't
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>>77703136
But the spellbook is the deus ex machina of D&D. Wizards are crippled without it and with it they can truvialize all but the most complex problemds, and even some of those too, x times per day
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>>77703136
>They really ought to do it D&D style.
No one should ever do magic D&D style
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>>77706836
See.
>>77706846
Much in the way that a physics book simply teaches the rules of physical interactions, FoAM teaches the rules of magical interactions.
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>>77706968
christ
the absolute worst thing to happen to fantasy was d&d nerds
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>>77697015
Yeah, really hate that. When running Mutants and Masterminds, I make wizard types select a moderately broad school or tradition of magic in which they work, rather than having an AE array of everything under the sky.

>>77703136
>Is this a /tg/ thread?
'sup
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>>77706909
To be fair I think that Once Upon a Time has done it fairly well. Magic has been treated a but like a muscle, you can't go from lightweight to master in a day.
unless you'rethe dark one I guess
And it takes their energy, a a and the magic has been pretty consistent.
except for the heart splitting and sharing a heart bullshit.
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>>77706968
>>77706991

How does Dungeons and Dragons magic work and why is it bad?
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>>77697015
In good ol' /tg/ style, it's magic, I ain't gotta explain shit.
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>>77707067
>prepare spell in advanced
>situation happens
>activate spell and use it up
It's also known as Vancian magic, after writer Jack Vance. You make the spell, then once you use it it's gone, and you have to make a new one. I suppose a grenade or clip of ammo would be a decent analogy.

>why is it bad
It's not, you're on 4chan where almost everyone feels obligated to hate everything.
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>>77707068
I like to think magic bridges gaps between physical realities and abstract concepts like Eternity.
Magic is an eternal force, but our current understanding of the universe makes all of existence (possibly) finite.

Magic remains a constant through the ebb and flow of entire realities.
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>>77707067
The basic of working is:
Spells are divided into circles according to their power, from 0-circle cantrips to 9-circle overwhelming power.
Depending on his level, a wizard has a number of "slots" of each circle.
In the morning, he prepares spells from his book, filling each slot with a spell. Then during the day he casts them, unleashing the stored power.

Each slot is basically a chamber in a gun, loaded with one bullet.
He needs a full night of sleep and rest in order to be able to fill the slot again.

For example, classic big exploding Fireball is 3rd circle, your wizard may pack five of them on a given day, or maybe 1 fireball, 1 lightning bolt, 1 magic flying horse, 1 hypnosis and 1 demon boar summon.
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>>77707101
>You make the spell, then once you use it it's gone, and you have to make a new one

That's adds a bit more depth to a typical spellcaster character, but it doesn't solve the problem of them not having well-defined abilities.

There's no difference between:
>Oh no, the villain is escaping in his rocket ship! I'll use my magic to turn it into a pile of potatoes to stop him!
and
>Oh no, the villain is escaping in his rocket ship! I'll use this cooking spell I prepared earlier to turn it into potatoes to stop him!
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>>77707325
Chekhov's Gun. It's not a problem if you establish the spells beforehand. Have a scene like in every Bond movie where Q shows James his new toys.

Hell, you can even use the spell creation as visual filler for otherwise dull exposition breaks.
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>>77707325
>I'll use this cooking spell I prepared earlier to turn it into potatoes to stop him!
Well they're generally more limited than that.

And yea, Chekhov is on it. Although I somewhat dislike the "here are all the things that at some point in the book/movie/episode will be the solution to something and are there for explicit purpose of solving that things; no device will be left unused" approach too.
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>>77707416
Are they? A wizard could have polymorphed prepared, and he could conceivably use it to turn a man into a potato
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>>77697015

Magic isn't really understandable, it is an extension of will. When a superhero wizard casts a spell there intention is willed out and results in a cause and effect thing. Like a shield or turning a boy into a frog or pulling out a bunny from a top hat and not using a hollow end in the hat. The words, symbols and gestures might help, but it's the intention and will power that makes it happen whatever it is.
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>>77707655
>Magic isn't really understandable, it is an extension of will. When a superhero wizard casts a spell there intention is willed out and results in a cause and effect thing.
That's entirely an issue of setting. In some magic is a gift with limitations, in others it's manipulation/beseechment of a third party that is actually doing the magic, or sometimes its just cheat codes for reality.
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>>77707655
You know there are stories with magic as words of power, and shit happens when you speak them regardless of intention/will. Hell, Captain Marvel worked that way
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>>77707652
Polymorph, yes, sure, if he has polymorph.

But the quote had "cooking spell", and went onto usual bullshit "lel do anything".
But that's not how it works, cooking spell cooks things. It doesn't magically turn random things into cooked things.

Of course, pouring boiling water and grease into machinery IS a legit application which would be useful in the situation, as well as creative.
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>>77707792
What if it was a cooking spell that turns inorganic matter into potatoes?
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>>77707792
There's no cooking spell cause there's create food spells that just pop it out of thin air. No need to cook when you're a wizard
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>>77707156
>He needs a full night of sleep and rest in order to be able to fill the slot again.
This isn't true. By the rules, it's just a certain period of low activity. Sleep isn't actually needed. Though you'll want to sleep for other obvious reasons.
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>>77703136
>don't treat the book as some sort of deus ex machina throughout the series
You could show that by having the wizard looks to his book to find a solution to whatever problem, don't find one that fit quite right and have to cobble together something with spells that aren't the precise solution.
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>>77697015
This is basically my biggest beef with magic in most fiction. It's easy to imagine the limitations of a person's physical abilities because we see them everyday, but trying to impose consistent rules and limitations on magic is far more difficult. You would have to constantly fight the urge to use a new spell to solve an otherwise impossible problem, as well as the urge to use it as a reason/excuse for something happening, previously-defined limitations be damned.
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>>77707955
>trying to impose consistent rules and limitations on magic is far more difficult
No it isn't. Just establish that new save the day spell beforehand and absolutely nobody will mind. If they do, that's their problem, you followed widely accepted storytelling conventions.
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>>77707955
I like to think magic is a pure neutral influence linked to one's spiritual health.

Powerful magic-users would have good physical/mental health as well, but one's spiritual health is the leading factor in their magical capabilities.

A body must be strong to handle the channeling of mana, and a mind mustn't be cluttered to prevent any sort of mental resistance to arcane forces.

But the soul is the transmitter for mana; it reaches out to whatever source from which it draws strength.

You could have a chaotic evil character the channels from the void or a religious zealot that draws mana from the sun.
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>>77697015
>>77707955
I hate to bring up manga on a comics board, but Fairy Tail handles this really well.

All characters have magic, but rather than distinct spells magic is broken in to KINDS of magic. What a specific kind of magic can do is narrow (fire, summoning, ice shaping, beast transformation, and more), but within that space your work is only limited by personal skill and creativity. For instance the ice mages are, more or less, green lanterns with ICE instead. They don't just throw ice or freeze people. The very high end of each school obviously has some more esoteric connections to what the capability is, but it makes for good moments.

Granted, the writer has to be creative with it. The way magic works in western comics is often a crutch for "I couldn't think of how this character will do thing so I'll just make a new spell". Fixing problems with a more limited kit for each character is difficult.
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>>77707416
Chekov's gun only has one good shot. Using it repeatedly drastically reduces it's acceptability. People will start calling bullshit when eveey conflict is solved the same way
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>>77708100
This.

It only works in DND because the player genuinely has no idea what the next day holds other than extrapolation on what they are planning.

It's really shit from a traditional storytelling perspective while working great from a RPG perspective.
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>>77708046
I think the main problem with this sort of thing is that it invites a bunch of speculation and criticism of why the character didn't just prepare x spell or whatever. Sure, a well written book can have a character that has the power to do anything, as long as it keeps you engaged and doesn't have glaring plotholes in regards to powers that break your suspension of disbelief, but if you're writing say, a flying brick character, you don't have to worry about falling into these traps at all.

Imagine Superman is chasing the bad guy who is flying at 2x the speed of light (lol comic science). Superman hasn't been shown to be able to fly that fast, but we know he can fly pretty fucking fast. Say it's the climax of the book, and we see Superman struggle with trying to get up to speed, and we're rooting for him, so in the big climactic moment where he does reach that speed and beats the bad guy, we cheer because it's a nice payoff.

Now imagine if the bad guy instead teleported to the cheese dimension located in a different plane of reality. Even if it is the big climactic scene of the book, if Superman grit his teeth and flexed really hard and then poofed to the cheese dimension himself, we'd call bullshit, because that's not an extension of his powers at all.

A magic character feels like you can't write scenes like the first scenario, because nothing is an extension of his powers, he just has all the powers. It's also really easy to fall into the trap of writing scenes you'd call bullshit on like in the second example.
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>>77708078
D&D has several schools of magic that operate the same way. Evokers can wield the elements, enchanters control people's minds, etc. Spells would logically be wizards applying knowledge of these things to perform tasks, then writing it down for the convience of others. But D&D also wanted to be vancian, and so it ended up with "wizards learn broad categories of magic and theorize on how ro apply it BUT ALSO spells are semi-sentient and very specific things that follow rules independent of the caster's expertise or even any other consistent logic"
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>>77708202
>I think the main problem with this sort of thing is that it invites a bunch of speculation and criticism of why the character didn't just prepare x spell or whatever.
I'll stop you right there. The reason is because the character didn't think of it. One can only prepare for what they know is coming. A mage has a standard loadout with some specialty spells for whatever mission they're on. If some shit comes up they didn't see coming, they have to improvise. It's that simple.
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>>77708243
"Evocation" and "Enchanting" and other schools are much broader and open to the same kind of abuse the OP is talking about in terms of storytelling. DND also doesn't limit you to literally one school. Fairy Tail mages, at least the ones that aren't old as shit grizzled badasses, have one school they know well.

That said, I've heard of games that limit spellcasters to one school of magic only, and I hear they go.. interestingly. So something as broad as DnD schools might work as long as it isn't just a specialization thing. The mage can only use that school.
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>tfw no Kaladin Stormblessed comic or cartoon
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>>77708202
That would depend on what the limits of his power were defined as. The thing with magic characters in cape stuff is that they never have defined magic. It just does almost anything with no real reason how or why. In a fantasy book you'd get far more specifics on how magic works, the procedure, the requirements, etc, and often you get characters better at some magic than others. One mage might be very good at light manipulation, giving him anywhere between illusions, heat rays or invisiblity/darkness. Another might be really good at mind control, giving himself direct control over other people, memory/sensory manipulation, or even give himself/someone else pain resistance. In this way some could have overlapping abilities, but acheive them though entirely different means. The light mage may become invisible by bending light around himself, while the mind mage may become invisible by simply blocking out awareness of himself from onlookers.

Really the peoblem is cape comic writing just kinda sucks. Even when it doesn't, the fantastical nature of the characters already grants them what would be magic in any other story, so actual, magic specific characters have no niche. Everyone can do the impossible so what makes magic so special?
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>>77708346
Well, that's cause wizards are stupid OP. There are classes that are actually limited to specific schools, but they tend to suck because dnd is a terribly designed game. My point was that the concept is there though.
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I feel magic is bad in superhero comics because its never well defined. Because of the large universe they never make it so magic follows a singular rule set. take the Anime Hunter X Hunter for example. The magic system is well developed and thoroughly explored to the point where its understandable. In comics this is never done because it varies from book to book. If DC or Marvel said "fuck it, magic is X" people might get upset, but it would be great to define it. You could have different types, like DnD's Arcane and Divine. But that will never happen because its easier to leave things vague, after all its better when you have men fall in vats of chemicals and get powers. Saves time.
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I think you all are missing the point of magic.
Gandalf and Saruman was uberpowerful wizards that didn't have a clearly defined magical skillset. Neither did the one ring or magic in the earlier GRRM novels the only thing magic need is for the author to know it's limitations. Other wise magic isn't magic it's just technology
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>>77708514
If we're talking 3.5 DnD, as is usually the case, Wizards aren't actually the offenders you want. That is a shitty meme spread by people who know spellcasters are a lot better than poorly planned martial characters, but in strict terms wizards are more or less balanced IF you follow the rule set. Their weaknesses, drawback, and setup time balance out their strengths.

Often what happens is the better spells have the DM ignore the rules behind casting it that balances the spell.

If you want the REAL offenders for OP full spellcasting, you want Clerics and Druids. Druids are even further beyond Clerics in this regard due to very easily constructed shapeshifting shenanigans, but Clerics also are too well rounded to the point they don't need other classes at all.
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>>77708588
>Often what happens is the better spells have the DM ignore the rules behind casting it that balances the spell.

I might as well elaborate on this. What makes Wizards OP to the point most players miss the elephants in the room(druid and cleric) is DMs not enforcing spell casting components.

The most common practice is simply ignoring the low cost components because of book keeping. A spell component pouch (which covers all things under a value of one gold, I believe) is cheap as shit so ignoring it isn't much a difference.

Except, this thought pattern then extends upwards to other spells. The more blatantly encounter breaking spells often have costs higher than the feat or pouch cover by the rules. This is done, once again, for reasons involving book keeping. No one wants to track the exact number of precious gems or other rare materials a wizard has on him, but doing this means the powerful spells become unbalanced.

Good spells are supposed to be balanced by a factor of money and opportunity to buy said material. You won't find a shop full of precious gems or genie farts in a mudhole of a village being harassed by goblins, for instance, and abusing costly spells means the group will quickly become broke.
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>>77708588
Summoning spells that render fighters obsolete make wizards OP. Magic is OP in general, because it gives ridiculous utility and allows casters to solve conflicts other classes are meant to (and often better than those classes), so the game consequentially becomes molded around them while everyone else scrapes by in the dirt.

But let's not digress this into a full on /tg/ thread
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>>77708849
Read >>77708803

Ivory tower game design is still an issue even when the rules are followed, but Wizards aren't really so overwhelmingly better when spell components are obeyed. Clerics and Druids are the real monsters in the base class list.

Granted, the issue with components is bad enough that any group that is NOT willing to track them should outright ban the use of wizards.
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>>77708849
yeah. summoning spells. knock. see invis.

The real issue then is "being creative" with spells. Less of an issue with CRPG, etc. but pnp, spellcasters can use spells creatively.
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Well Zatanna's powers are fairly well-defined because they're just "she can do whatever the fuck she wants"
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>>77708803
>DMs not enforcing spell casting components.
This will always be a weak argument. There's a damn item that just spits out components for them. The problem is that the caster can do all these things to begin with. Their role is to be everyone else's role and much more, but x times a day for y cost. Maybe if martials had comparable utility, but they simply don't. Magic is designed to be the versatile yet highly effective option, while martials are made to do one thing repeatedly.

Honestly if a wizard has six spells that could end a fight or erase a challenge with little effort, why wouldn't a party just route all resources to make sure that wizard can cast those spells as freely as possible. Everyone else is just back up for when the wizard is too tired/short on supplies to be the star of the show. Even in some of the FR novels it turns into this wierd caster show where the wizard and cleric are the prime conflict resolvers and the party is literally halting progress cause the caster needs to sleep or restock. It felt like everyone else was there just to be meat sponges while the caster does whatever needs doing.
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>>77709109
Except when she can't
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>>77709109
You know I have no idea what Zatanna's abilities actually are, only how she casts.
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>>77697015
I was born in 1995, did anyone else have a...thing for this character in our childhoods?
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>>77709421
>Gwen being someone's first crush
>Can't call '95 babbys underage anymore
God I'm getting too old for this shit
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>>77709297
>Honestly if a wizard has six spells that could end a fight or erase a challenge with little effort, why wouldn't a party just route all resources to make sure that wizard can cast those spells as freely as possible.

You have a point. This is also the cause of the "one encounter adventuring day" commonly seen in groups with full casters.
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If they could pull anything from D&D/RPGs in general then I would just want a set spell list for the wizard character.

Instead of saying they are magic and have them twirl fingers or say nonsense and absolutely anything can happen. Have the writers make up 10 or so spells that the character knows and they have to think of ways for those spells to be useful for each situation.

Or keep the separate schools of magic and have each character only good at one of them. Instead of the usual elemental breakdown, have someone specialize at conjuring, someone with shooting things, someone with enchanting things etc.
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>>77697015
>dat belly
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>>77709769
So, Charmed mush have been a good show then, at least at the start, because each sister could only cast one spell (they grew in tricks over time).

Main problem was that those spells included Time Stop, which is arguably the wombo-combo for extra cheese.
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>>77709489
Next year the average High-school freshman will have been born post-9/11
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>>77709421

I know what you're trying to do with this post.
>>
>>77709489
time for you to move on to big boy media like books
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>>77697015
Magiranger's Magic comes from courage.
Kamen Rider Wizard uses magic Rings, four different elements and several different spell rings.
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>>77700640
I agree. It's why the fantasy genre is extremely hard to get into.

>"Ingenuity and hard work? Who needs that when we have destiny and magic?"
>>
>>77697015
What's the point of having magic rules be well-defined? Then it's not magical anymore, it's just mundane.
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>>77711835
>Implying I can't enjoy books, comics and movies
Better here than /lit/
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>>77712041
The fantasy genre is full of those things though. Conan was not made a king by destiny.
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>>77712141
>What's the point of having magic rules be well-defined?
So your story isn't a poorly written mess of convenience and deus ex machina.

>Then it's not magical anymore, it's just mundane.
In-universe, someone studyed magic until they figured out how to reliably harness it. It's already mundane. And just because you know how something works doesn't stop it from being neat.

Hey, plants feed themselves using a process called photosynthesis to convert sunlight into sugars. There, I just ruined pretty flowers for you. Dumbass.
Thread posts: 90
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