Spellcaster Balance?

  • 3 Replies
Spellcaster Balance?
« on: August 02, 2011, 03:06:19 PM »
So, there's a fiddly little issue where spellcasters get better each level in more ways than non-casters. Specifically, everyone gets HP, maybe a stat bonus, and an advancement move.

They *also* improve by getting more and better spells, and this is an automatic improvement that's above and beyond what everyone else gets.

I'm curious, do people see a problem with this?

- AD



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Re: Spellcaster Balance?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2011, 03:26:24 PM »
First off: balance isn't really a thing in Dungeon World. At least not on the fiddly level.

That said, yeah, we're totally aware that spellcasters get automatic advancement that others don't. They're designed with that in mind. Compare, say, the Cleric's advanced moves with the Fighter's. The Fighter can use spirits bound to her weapon to get supernatural information, picks up moves from another class, and gets some real strong bonuses to core moves. The Cleric mostly gets things that modify how they cast or what they cast.

As the Cleric and Wizard advance they make more use of their spellcasting. As the other classes advance they pick up dramatically different abilities.

There's also this spectrum of fictional coolness and mechanical ability. The Cleric has the coolness of a direct line to their god and healing spells, but when the orcs are bearing down on you the Fighter gets stuff done. This is intentional. We don't want our classes compared on one axis, because then they all have to match up (be balanced).

Re: Spellcaster Balance?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2011, 03:30:39 PM »
Alright, that lines up more or less with what I was thinking.
I was designing a psuedo-spellcasting class and when I realized it was getting, essentially, two new moves every level, I got kind of worried - until I realized that (in a way) the same can be said of wizards/clerics.

And I guess "balance" wasn't the ideal word, because I totally hear you on what you're saying.


Re: Spellcaster Balance?
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2011, 12:31:32 PM »
This perceived increase is also offset the "standard" way, which is by reduced damage output and hitpoints gained.

Cleric: Damage d6, base HP 6
Wizard: Damage d4, base HP 4
Fighter: Damage d10, base HP 7
Thief: Damage d8, base HP 5

It all seems to work nicely with the "old school" feel of Wizards, and to some degree Clerics, being relatively weaker at level 1, but a level 10 Wizard or Cleric is very powerful by comparison to non-casting classes. Contrast with DnD 4E where the power progression between casting and fighting classes is more stable.

However, I really like the notion Sage presents where non-casting classes gain access to more special options, while casters basically gain more options with regards to their casting. Really, what it's about is not becoming more powerful as you level up, but gaining more options - this makes you more adaptable, and leads to continuously fresh gameplay.