[HR] Differentiating Mages

“Maybe I should leave well enough alone? After all, there’s really nothing wrong with the ACKS mage.”


Just something I’m experimenting with. My preferred setting is classic D&D or “dungeon fantasy” with a dash of pulp/horror/sci-fi. My experiment may not be for everyone, but comments are welcome. Thanks!

You said in the blog post “the archivist mage is the closest to the mage in the core rulebook”, and it seems to me that that’s true because the archivist is by far the weakest.

The archivist’s bonus can be achieved by any mage with gold and time, but there is no way in the stock rules to increase repertoire or slots aside from boosting one’s intelligence.

The archivist’s key ability is the ability to refresh his repertoire, “needing only 1 day of game time and 500gp for each spell level to replace a spell in the repertoire with another,” as opposed to the normal 1 week and 1000gp, respectively. Flexibility, as in always having the right spell, can be very beneficial. As a frequent player of magic-user/wizard/mage type classes, I would probably choose this option the most often. Ideally, each choice provides a unique strength.

Honestly, I think I’d let the archivist freely swap from his book (creating a new ‘mechanic space’). Otherwise, their extra spells learned and all that is kind of wasted (a normal mage can pick up some other mage’s spell book and have a ton of extra spells…yes it costs more time and money, but if the choice is between extra flexibility and extra oomph at the table…especially oomph that doesn’t cost any gold or time…I’d have to go with that).

Interesting idea! I didn’t want to go too far right away, but determining the “right” cost for the archivist is key. Zero cost seems to always create issues though. I don’t think I would go below a cost of 1 hour and 0 gold pieces. But, over time, I’ll see which options people choose and adjust as needed.

Well how about making the cost there, but basically negligible? So, say, one night (when you recover spells anyway) and 50gp or 100gp x level of spells worth of herbs and such? You wouldn’t want to flip and flop like a true vancian, but you would be nearly as flexible.