PDA

View Full Version : Sorcerers and material components [PEACH]



Lord Iames Osari
2006-07-10, 12:46 PM
Edit - Revised version here (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=homebrew;action=display;num=11559294 30;start=15#19).

It has been pointed out to me by my players that sorcerers, since they get their magic from their heritage, their "blood", should not have to use material components in their spells. This makes sense to me, so I ruled that all sorcerers got the Eschew Materials feat for free @ 1st level.

However, lately I've been thinking that since sorcerer's blood (kinda) counts as a material component,their ought to be a way to sacrifice your own blood instead of using expensive material components (except those which are required for the effect of the spell). Thus, I present this feat:

Mystic Bloodline [General]
* By drawing on the magical power in your blood, you can ignore most material components.
* Prerequisite: Eschew Materials, Cha 13+.
* Benefit: You can take Constitution burn to ignore material components of up to the given gp limit for 1 minute:
* 0 Con = 250 gp
* 1 Con = 500 gp
* 2 Con = 750 gp
* 3 Con = 1000 gp
* 4 Con = 1250 gp
* etc. = etc.
* However, if a material component is indispensable (i.e., the gem for trap the soul), you must include it in your spell no matter how expensive it is or how much Con burn you take.

PMDM
2006-07-10, 12:48 PM
Pretty steep price, considering that some spells have material components of 1000gp or more.

Lord Iames Osari
2006-07-10, 12:50 PM
The proportion of Con damage to gp value is one of the things that has been giving me trouble.

I see 3 options:
1) Increase the gp limit for 0 Con damage, and from that point keep the +1 Con = +100 gp;
2) Change how much gp you get per point of Con damage; or
3) A combination of the two.

Zeful
2006-07-10, 01:35 PM
Have it scale similarly to the experiance requiered for next level. That way you get greater returns and don't commit suicide from sicularium

MrNexx
2006-07-10, 01:55 PM
The proportion of Con damage to gp value is one of the things that has been giving me trouble.

I see 3 options:
1) Increase the gp limit for 0 Con damage, and from that point keep the +1 Con = +100 gp;
2) Change how much gp you get per point of Con damage; or
3) A combination of the two.


I wouldn't have it increase linearly, but rather exponentially, since this is the sort of damage that can kill you (reducing HP and opening you up for Con-damage death).

So 0 Con is anything under 100gp (I'd make a HP cost, there, personally; that's a LOT of spells for very little cost), 1 Con is 200, 3 con is 300, 4 con is 500, 5 con 800, 6 con is 1300.

I'd also make this damage somewhat resistant to Lesser Restoration, or items based on it. The ability to shrug off Con damage from this feat would break it.

AmberVael
2006-07-10, 02:04 PM
However, lately I've been thinking that since sorcerer's blood counts as a material component,their ought to be a way to sacrifice your own blood instead of using expensive material components (except those which are required for the effect of the spell). Thus, I present this feat.

It is not the fact that their blood is a material component, its the fact that their magic is inherent, not outwardly manipulated. It is not technically in their blood, it is instead "in their blood," blood being heritage rather than literal. Sorcerers should not have to use components because they are not using the same system as wizards. Wizards use magic with symbollic items and manipulations of nature. Sorcerers are connected to magic, and can use it like we would a limb.

Shhalahr Windrider
2006-07-10, 02:20 PM
I'd also make this damage somewhat resistant to Lesser Restoration, or items based on it. *The ability to shrug off Con damage from this feat would break it.
Expanded Psionics Handbook introduced the idea of Ability Burn. Ability Burn is just like Ability Damage, except that it can only be healed naturally—not with magic or psionics. Change the feat to doing Con Burn, and I think it will work okay.

The_Shaman
2006-07-10, 08:36 PM
In my first PnP game I was "tricked" into playing sorcerer. It felt a little underpowered, especially not knowing how effective most spells really are, so I pushed for one or two perks. Free eschew materials, for example ;)

We (the DM and I) were discussing converting costlier material components into XP loss, but eventually decided against it. Still the ratio discussed was between 1/10 and 1/25, pushing towards the latter.

Behold_the_Void
2006-07-11, 02:53 AM
The Tainted Sorcerer from Unearthed Arcana does have an ability to substitute hit point damage for expensive material components. It caps out at 23 damage for a 751 gp or higher component. You might look into that, although it does require at least 5 hit points sacrificed for any normal component, and sorcerers should not have to take 5 damage whenever they cast a spell. It'd knock a first level sorcerer out in short order, to say the least.

Dhavaer
2006-07-11, 02:57 AM
Hmm... how about squaring the amount taken?
0 con = 100gp
1 con = 200gp
2 con = 500gp
3 con = 1000gp
4 con = 1700gp

And I agree with the sugestion of making it con burn, rather than damage or drain.

gleep
2006-07-11, 02:06 PM
Usually the higher the GP amount, and the more useful the spell, the higher the level of the spell. So I suggest making it more dependent on the spell level. And just to make players cringe, I suggest a fortitude save.

Save DC = 10 + Spell Level
Failing the save results in spell level d6 in temporary Con damage. Success results in half damage.

Not too much difficulty on using the feat with low level spells, but it gets nasty with more powerful magics. Failing the save on a 5th level spell could easily mean instant death. Heck, rolling high on the dice could mean a dead sorcerer even with a successful save. :D

--gleep

Gralamin
2006-07-11, 02:47 PM
I think a recursive definitation would be the best way.

CONdamage(x) = CONdamage(x-2)*2

now all you need is the given value of 1 con damage. Lets say 50 is 0 (as eschew matierals) so lets make 1 75.

CONdamage(1) = 75

Now using this definitation you can find out the next step by slightly changing it. You get Values such as

CONdamage(2) = 100
CONdamage(3) = 150
CONdamage(4) = 200
CONdamage(5) = 300
CONdamage(6) = 400
CONdamage(7) = 600
CONdamage(8) = 800
CONdamage(9) = 1200
CONdamage(10) = 1600
CONdamage(11) = 2400
etc.
This I think is an actually balanced curve.

Here is a link to how a graph of this curve would look like:
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d176/Salir/Graphs/ConDamage.png

AmberVael
2006-07-11, 04:22 PM
Perhaps no one understood the point of my first statement...
SORCERERS SHOULD NOT BE DRAINING HEALTH/CONSTITUTION TO SUBSTITUTE MATERIAL COMPONENTS.
My first statement was explaining that taking damage (to HP or Con) was not relying on a sorcerer's 'dragon blood' because blood was not meant to be a literal term. It meant 'heritage' not 'blood.' However, I understand the need for balancing out the benefit of the feat, but the reasoning behind it is faulty. Also, I would never sacrifice constitution (Yes, I know you can restore your con score later) in exchange for ignoring material components. I find it a terrible trade off.
This feat needs rethinking, both to make it logical and a feat that someone would take.
Sorry I came off so harsh, but I think you guys really need to look all this over again and see if it really makes sense and is balanced.

DomarSaul
2006-07-11, 04:54 PM
Yeah, man, they know that "dragon blood" means dragon ancestry, and their blood is no more draconic than their skin or their spleen. *However, blood is powerfully symbolic and generally cool thematically. *Besides, Con damage could represent a strain on the very fibre of the character's being - all of which is imbued with a draconic heritage.

And hey, if you would never trade Con burn/Con damage to avoid using expensive material components, and think it's a weak trade-off, that just means the feat could be underpowered. This isn't a bad thing - when you throw in a new ability, better to err on the side of underpowered than overpowered. I can see it being really useful if your character hasn't got access to the material components, which could certainly be the case if you're out adventuring and need to use a spell you didn't forsee.

Collin152
2006-07-11, 04:56 PM
Perhaps no one understood the point of my first statement...
SORCERERS SHOULD NOT BE DRAINING HEALTH/CONSTITUTION TO SUBSTITUTE MATERIAL COMPONENTS.
My first statement was explaining that taking damage (to HP or Con) was not relying on a sorcerer's 'dragon blood' because blood was not meant to be a literal term. It meant 'heritage' not 'blood.' However, I understand the need for balancing out the benefit of the feat, but the reasoning behind it is faulty. Also, I would never sacrifice constitution (Yes, I know you can restore your con score later) in exchange for ignoring material components. I find it a terrible trade off.
This feat needs rethinking, both to make it logical and a feat that someone would take.
Sorry I came off so harsh, but I think you guys really need to look all this over again and see if it really makes sense and is balanced.
No offense, but no one is here to hear that that the idea is terrible because the OP took a statement too literally. He has an idea and wants it ballanced. He isn't forcing you to use it, and if its balanced it won't hurt anybody, so, by all means, stare at the wall whilst I cast Calm Emotions, or else I'ma pull out a big old deafness on myself.

Edit: Simu-Ninja! Alright!

Fax Celestis
2006-07-11, 05:09 PM
...you could change it so that instead of just burning CON, you could burn other stats too, perhaps at different exchange rates. After all, Sorcerors don't often use their Strength.

But it could look something like this:

2 Str = 2 Dex = 1 Con = 2 Int = 2 Wis = 1 Cha = 1 reduction

And a graduated scale of reduction:
{table]
150 g
2100 g
3200 g
4300 g
5600 g
6900 g
71500 g
82400 g
93900 g
105300 g
[/table]
(off the top of my head, so this could use adjusting)

That is, each reduction adds together the previous two. At 6 reductions, for instance, you get the effects of 4 and 5 reductions, for a total of 900 g knocked off the price. In theory, one could get more than ten reductions, but at that point, you're taking a metric ton of ability damage...and is it really worth it?

And instead of eschewing the materials entirely, you're simply reducing the cost. The difference here is that you can still reduce the cost without actually eliminating it.

ShneekeyTheLost
2006-07-11, 05:33 PM
I think a recursive definitation would be the best way.

CONdamage(x) = CONdamage(x-2)*2

now all you need is the given value of 1 con damage. Lets say 50 is 0 (as eschew matierals) so lets make 1 75.

CONdamage(1) = 75

Now using this definitation you can find out the next step by slightly changing it. You get Values such as

CONdamage(2) = 100
CONdamage(3) = 150
CONdamage(4) = 200
CONdamage(5) = 300
CONdamage(6) = 400
CONdamage(7) = 600
CONdamage(8) = 800
CONdamage(9) = 1200
CONdamage(10) = 1600
CONdamage(11) = 2400
etc.
This I think is an actually balanced curve.

Here is a link to how a graph of this curve would look like:
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d176/Salir/Graphs/ConDamage.png

I like this. It seems balanced, and can be used to replace GP at the price of greatly harming the sorcerer, possibly permanently.

Make it Ability Burn rather than Con Damage, and I'd use this in my games.

AmberVael
2006-07-11, 07:29 PM
and if its balanced it won't hurt anybody...
Thats the problem. It isn't balanced, but what really gets on my nerves is that it doesn't make sense. I would suggest the following changes:
Change the name to Blood Magic. Since the dragon blood thing doesn't really make sense, and there are no class prerequisites, it will solve many things if you simply say that it is calling on your vitality to cast magic. I know that almost exactly what was said, but this way it only has to do with blood, without the vague dragon reference. Also, up the compensation from the curve to a simple flat 250 rate. Spend a Con, gain 250gp towards your material cost. The exponential thing makes sense for magic items, but flat rates work better for situations such as this.
Once again, sorry for my harshness before. I just can't stand explanations don't make much sense. Its better just not to have an explanation, for a senseless one (not that yours was senseless, it was just faulty) defeats the point.

Lord Iames Osari
2006-07-12, 09:28 AM
I agree with faceninja's idea for a flat rate of 250gp per point of Con burn. In fact, I liked it so much I edited it into the original post.

I did keep the base of 0 Con burn for 250 gp, though, because I see blood as being a very potent component, so much so that the little blood required to get to 250 gp does not cause damage.

Lord Iames Osari
2006-08-18, 03:21 PM
Final version.

Blood Magic [General]
* By drawing on the magical power in your blood, you can ignore most material components.
* Prerequisite: Eschew Materials, Cha 13+.
* Benefit: You can take Constitution burn to ignore material components of up to the given gp limit for 1 minute:
* 0 Con = 250 gp
* 1 Con = 500 gp
* 2 Con = 750 gp
* 3 Con = 1000 gp
* 4 Con = 1250 gp
* etc. = etc.
* However, if a material component is indispensable (i.e., the gem for trap the soul), you must include it in your spell no matter how expensive it is or how much Con burn you take.

Fizban
2006-08-19, 05:05 AM
Final version or no, why don't we continue with other ideas, since we've already got a thread for it?
In such a case, I throw my vote in for xp costs.
Calculated at the same rate you would be charged for spellcasting, but in reverse, costs would be:
1/5 the gp cost of a material component in xp (following the 5gp per xp expended cost)
and 1/50th the gp cost of a focus, min 0 (following the 1/10 of focus cost)
Though, I remember reading elsewher a varient that used 1/25 the gp cost in xp, and required focuses as normal.

Nocte
2006-11-24, 05:55 PM
This is the table of the Tainted Sorcerer (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/campaigns/taint.htm#taintedSorcerer)

Component Cost Damage Dealt
50 gp or less 5
51 gp-300 gp 11
301 gp-750 gp 17
751 gp or more 23

maybe yours could be

* 1 Con = 50
* 2 Con = 51-300
* 4 Con = 301-750
* 8 Con = 751-???

You have to consider that every point of constitution lost, is -1/2 to hit points per level, and -1/2 to fortitude saves and skills like concentration.