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The Jopp

According to RAW you are allowed to be THE greatest spellslinger on earth and begin the game with 14 spells.

But you are not allowed to be mid level spellslinger who has gained a HUGE spell library?


Game balance?

I find it a bit sad that I cannot begin the game with 18-25 spells and a spellcasting ability of 3-4.

My knowledge about spells would be vast but my actual skills in casting those spells would be a different matter. If one should go by RAW the skill of Arcana should rather be a limiting factor on spells and not the actual spellcasting which is the actual channelling of mana, not the way the character USE the mana.

Do you enforce this limit strongly in your games?
I find the limit on known spells quite good (and the number very appropriate). The limit forces you to choose between your 'favorite spells', and specialize in a certain style.

That being said, I wouldn't mind people having more spells, as long as their character still had a personality. This might even encourage people to get 'less useful' spells instead of (or in addition to) those 'must haves' that seem to find their way to every character sheet.

...though 25 spells might be overdoing it a bit. I don't know. Run with it. And if you have fun, stick with it.
The Jopp
That was one of my peeves. There are a certain amount of spells that are “staple? spells and then you have a plethora of “fun? spells that seldom get some use.

What you get from this is flexibility instead of raw power which I find more fun.
I'm fairly certain it's a game balance thing. The amount of spells allowed by 5-6-7 skill level is plenty to get the job done and have a range of spells for a nice variety of situations. This reflects a long time of study and dedication. It's not like you wake up one day with the ability to chuck Force 12 lightning bolts with impunity. Those things take time.

A spell casting of 3-4 might mean you're new to slingin' the mojo around or haven't had the time to dedicate to increasing your power and knowledge. Your character sheet probably reflects this too with a variety of non-magic related skills or an abundance of cash/gear. You may want to run the numbers. Personally if I make a magician I make a magician, no point not having a 5-6-7 skill rating if that's going to be my specialty. If I go mystic adept, it makes even more sense to not have an arsenal of spells and really high spell casting because you also devoted time to developing your adept abilities too.

RAW works a-ok for me.
Now you won't actually be able to cast them, but in Chargen you can buy as many spell formulae as you want. That's a good library in my opinion. Think of it like your character getting a digital book of shadows and only having the time to learn a few, but he's been reading up on them.
One of the biggest problems I had was actually finding enough spells to use.

I have a troll from the Czech Republic who's a heavy metal fan and his spell-slinging style is "If it aint on fire when I get there then Im gonna set it on fire" and for the life of me I couldnt really scrape up enough useful spells.

Thankfully they included a "create a spell" process in Street Magic.
A spell casting of 3-4 means you're "professional" or "veteran". I don't see why you shouldn't be able to have more than eight spells at that skill level. With a skill of 6, you're "elite". You're considered to be one of the best in the world at what you do. Anyone who follows the field closely knows your name. I don't see any reason why you should be limited to 12 spells in your grimoire. Even someone with only a skill of 2 should be able to learn more than four spells. So you're not very good at them. So what? Maybe you're hoping to find one that you can cast well, so you keep learning more?

Skills aren't limited in number, at chargen. You can buy as much cash as you want. I don't know why spells should be limited.

On the other hand, I don't believe I've ever wanted more spells than I could learn.
Cash is limited to 50BPs.

That aside, I don't think limiting spells at character creation is much of a problem. People usually have few enough BPs to afford all that many spells. I can appreciate that limiting the number of spells tends to encourage people to optimise their spell lists, but that kind of player is not going to be influenced by increasing the number of spells available, since they'll be optimising their lists anyway to get the best spread of BPs.

If you consider that spellslinging should be fairly rare, and most Awakened only know a couple of spells, your uber mage with a spellcasting of 5 being able to cast 10 spells is pretty impressive. I don't think there's anything wrong with linking known spells to spellcasting skill, since that seems the logical limiting factor. However, your GM may be receptive to a well developed background as a magical scholar, and thus allow you to exceed the RAW limits.
Random Post # 1
QUOTE (Neraph @ Dec 29 2008, 12:31 PM) *
Now you won't actually be able to cast them, but in Chargen you can buy as many spell formulae as you want. That's a good library in my opinion. Think of it like your character getting a digital book of shadows and only having the time to learn a few, but he's been reading up on them.

QFT, this is what I was going to say as well.
By default, the character creation system is supposed to create runners who are quite talented, but still new to running, so while they might have a good magic score and spellcasting skill (a magician with magic 5 and spellcasting 4 is exceptional by sixth world standards), they haven't had time to learn spells for every situation. The BP system also strongly discourages you from starting out with bound spirits, it's much more efficient to use your BP to buy binding materials and bind them during play. If you GM wants you to play more experienced characters, it is better to do this by giving the characters karma and nuyen to use after BP then by increasing BP, so players can do things like learn extra spells.

Try these on for size if you want

Expanded Spell Knowledge
Cost: 5 BP
You have spent a great deal of your time studying the art of sorcery. You know one additional spell of your choice, this does not count against the normal number of spells you can know at character creation. Only characters with the magician or mystic adept qualities may take Expanded Spell Knowledge quality.

Sorcery Prodigy
Cost: 20 BP
You have always had a natural knack for learning spells and can learn spells which greater ease then your peers. You may learn a number of additional spells at character creation equal to the lower of your spellcasting or ritual spellcasting skill rating at a cost of 2BP(4 Karma in the karma gen system) each. These spells are in addition to the normal spells you may learn at character creation(which are still learned at normal cost). In addition, you only have to spend 4 karma to learn a spell during play. Only characters with the magician or mystic adept qualities may take the Sorcery Prodigy quality.

Spellcasting prodigy sounds powerful, and it is, but the max free BP you'll get from it is 6, so you'll need to learn 14 spells during play(56 karma!) for it to pay for itself, assuming 2 karma = 1 BP.
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