Tuesday, July 7, 2015

On The New Way To Learn Spells by James "Tao" Murphy

At Feast of Eagles Rook I did not have my two-point armor (it had to get fixed). I dug out my old (made in the 80’s old) armor that is only one point and thought I would hang back and do the archery thing.  I also had my car that day, in which my 6’6” "questy axe" does not fit very well. When I got on site a friend questioned what was up with the armor.

He asked, “Why don’t you go one-path for the day?”
I replied, “And go around with one spell?”
“No, use the new system and lean as many as you can."

I had grandfathered at Highbridge and unlearned my spells the next day at Northern Spring Tournaments. I decided to try it. Since we were short of blacksmiths, and I had a spell mastery path of Blacksmith, I chose that path.

My plan: Blacksmith, 1 path, free armor, Light weapon restriction
Pool: Repair Armor
2: Repair Item
3: Heal Limb (without it, what good are you?)
4: Enchant Armor
5: Mystic Forge
6: Combat Raise Dead

I was able to get my daughter to teach me Repair Armor, I know her spell list (sorcerer) and knew that would be the only spell she could teach me. Step one done.

I should note at this point that I was using a sharpie and an omnibus that I had with me. I made a legal spellbook by putting the necessary info on the front cover and noted the page numbers for the spell. I wrote out my verbals on the page listed.  Not sure how I feel about doing this for a permanent spell book, but for this experiment it worked. Now I will have to combine three spellbooks into one, the next time I get the chance.

With the pool spell out of the way, it was time to find two people who knew Repair Item. This took a while. It is not as common a spell as I thought it would be. Eventually I found one player, and I paid a mercenary (who later turned out to be brigand) to teach me the spell.

Heal Limb was the easiest spell to get the three people to sign off on. I just asked people who were obvious spell casters if they had blacksmith spells; if they said no, I asked them to teach me Heal Limb.

I then spent the next three hours getting the last spell I was able to learn that day, “Enchant Armor." I needed four people who had not taught me anything else that event. I knew that Mystic Forge was going to be difficult with the player mix we had so my original plan was to save my self-taught slot for that spell.

I was surprised to find out how many one-paths with the free armor do not have Enchant Armor. I eventually found two players (one working in the kitchen in garb), one NPC (who can bargain quite well) and myself to sign off on the spell. I should note that the NPC who taught me Repair Item, and the NPC who taught me Enchant Armor were not the same NPC, and were not played by the same person.

So by the time I stopped, I had learned four spells, had ten teachers, and had confused a lot of people. If I had tried for the Mystic Forge I would have needed five new teachers.

It was an interesting experiment.  It was a semi-capped feast event so we only had about forty-five or so players (and more staff, I think about sixty people on site). I feel I could have learned the entire path at a tournament event where we would have more blacksmiths. If I was going for Healer I definitely think I could have filled all six spell circles.

I like the new learning system. I know a lot of the Realms population. I could go up to anyone there, ask for help, and if they could help they did. I was also very happy when experienced players challenged me on my knowledge of the spell they were teaching. They did not just sign off, but asked me questions making sure I knew what I was doing. I think that a newer player without the experience of having seen a spell cast on them multiple times would probably not be able to learn a full path of spells because they would not know who to ask, or have the connections to get the right teachers.

I can see the value in being more useful than five Armor Repairs at my first event as a spell caster. I like the idea that to learn spells you have to go up to a variety of people and interact with them. I do feel that we should put a six-spell cap per event on it. This does put a higher penalty on breaking your restriction vs unlearning spells.

And as a final thought, no, it’s not going to stick. The knee still works. I will be a fighter for as long as I can be.


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  2. Sounds interesting. Were you able to get anygood rp out of it?