Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Phew! Can we rest now?

"With that the last kobold falls and you have gained access to the mysterious Temple of Ickiness."

"Huzzah! Good battle boys."

"Especially for our first fight ever. This new party has good balance."

"Okay. Let's go back to town and rest."

Are there really players that do this? And DMs that let them get away with it?

I get that impression from the discussion on allowing groups to have more encounters between rests and keeping spell casters useful. It's the latter part regarding spell casters that has my dander up.

Personally, I love playing the sorcerer class. I like to pick a few money spells and cast them repetively as I need to. Minimal book keeping, tons of fun, and a challenge in picking that perfect combo of spells. Joy!

Another part of that challenge is resisting the urge to blast away with everything my character has in the first encounter. Pick the right spot and that Phantasmal Killer I've been saving can save the entire party. Knowing where a Magic Missile will do the trick instead of casting the more aggressive Scorching Ray. And when my character does run out of spells there is the added tension of finding a way to safety. That's where the joy of playing a spell caster comes in.

Even if I thought for a moment that our DM (that insidious malicious fiend) would let us get away with running back to town after every encounter, I still wouldn't do it. I'd feel like I was robbing myself of something that makes this game great. The risk. The danger. The feeling of pushing the envelope and walking that fine line between saving the day and total party wipe.

So I don't like the idea of "making casters useful throughout" because that sounds to me like one thing. Spell points.

I hate spell points. I hate the concept. I hate it on ethics, on moral high ground, and on grounds of laziness. I don't want to waste time keeping track of spell points. Most of all, I think they diminish diversity.

With spell points all casting classes are the same. Some might get more spell points than others, and some get to pray or prepare different spells every day, but strip that away and it's pure cookie cutter. That's fine in a video game or MMO but not around the table.

Bah! Now I need to go rest.

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