Illusionists have their own "magic system" separate from that of magic-users, and as a result they have their own spell lists and do not need to use read magic to read and learn illusionist spells. In UA, EGG changed this and added the spell read illusionist magic. Which system do you guys use? Also, do you do the same for other specialists developed for your campaign (per DMG p. 41), such as necromancers, pyrologists, and so on?
Something I've toyed with is to not have illusionists or other specialists have their own "magic system" in order to make the general pool of spells found more usable to the adventuring party. So, a scroll found with phantasmal force on it would be usable by either a magic-user or an illusionist, but if using the scroll to learn the spell would be a 3rd level spell for the magic-user and 1st level for the illusionist. Also, spells unique to the illusionist list would not be learnable by magic-users, and vice versa. So, a magic-user would still not be able to ever learn or cast phantasmal killer. This would mean all magic-users and specialists would use the same read magic spell but wouldn't be able to cast and learn spells not on their spell lists (with the exception being the 7th level illusionist spell: first level magic-user spells). Functionally, this makes it easier for magic-users and specialists to use spell scrolls found.
Last Edit: Oct 27, 2020 10:37:33 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
I've always, in theory, done it btb, but have not had enough experience with illusionists to have an informed opinion. Specialists not having a separate school of magic is basically what 2E (and every edition beyond) did, and I am not a fan. But I think that may be more execution that concept.
I do like the way Mythus handles 'schools of magic'. Each school is handled as a separate skill, and you can specialize or neglect schools based on your skill point allocation, which is how a lot of video games do it now.
I liked the idea of class specialization in 2e, in theory. But in practice, the illusionist, druid and ranger got screwed over. It felt like severe limitations in service to a simplistic model, rather than adding more fun and options to the game. I played a 2e enchanter which maybe wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't have DM (Eric) who nerfed spell-casters universally and hated "mind control" spells specifically... With that DM, straightforward damage spells such as with an evoker would have been the way to go. We had a 2e priest who couldn't cast cure spells because it was not one of his spheres, and that just sucked -- it totally breaks one of the useful archetypes. The thief being able allocate points to skills was a positive, but that was for a class that never worked well anyway. We played 2e throughout the 1990's, but by the end of that decade I'd had enough and after taking a look at 3e I returned to 1e and never looked back.
Yeah the running was fine as long as one, as DM, pretended. From around 88 to 90 it still seemed okay but as it continued something was off. The greed of players became desperate instead of a pull it was a suction. It was like it became unmanageable for sit-ins and because I had gamed Gygax AD&D so much in the 80s I literally became a "prostitute DM" looking for a game harder than ever in the 90's. That's why I eventually crashed the spell system to try to fix it crudely to match games like DIABLO (1997) with built-on spell learning.
The 'you can cast this, so you can't cast that' approach was so random and lazy. The cleric alterations listed in the Greyhawk box were, IMO, the best presented customized clerics, and the way to go if you have the time.