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pwykersotz
2011-08-22, 11:43 AM
Greetings, Homebrewers in the Playground.

As I'm sure many of you are aware, progression into epic play starts to break the system of D&D. Even pouring everything you have into an Epic spell to boost it's DC, it becomes less and less likely that the other person won't save. Touch spells are viable, but it also becomes more likely that the opponent will have spell resistance, immunity, or something else to counter it.

Thus, I am trying to design a simple system for magic that would be available at level 50. No, my players are not there, not even close. But I want to hammer out details ahead of time so that I can adequately describe any lingering effects the characters see.

My base idea is to model this after the magic of Mage the Ascension. Force the party to go on a quest to gain a new in-class skill that will let them control the power of their choice, then utilize the skill check to determine the power of the effect.

Does anyone have any different ideas, or even think I'm being silly and that the current system works?

eftexar
2011-08-22, 01:32 PM
I don't know anything about Mage the Ascension, but I can address a few problems with spellcasting and how I would fix it:

Method 1
DCs
The saves for spells are 10 + spell level + modifier. This does not scale well and all normal casting becomes obsolete around level 30. Try changing it to 10 + 1/2 level + modifier. And, if you want higher level spells to still be more powerful you could instead use this: 7 + 1/2 level + modifier + level of the spell (not sure about the balance of this one). Or if you want higher levels to be weaker (it adds more strategy) you could use: 15 + 1/2 level + modifier - level of the spell.

Different Scaling
BAB and Saves drop in their progress. If the new DC system is to work you need to resume normal scaling. Although this would also probably require you to grant an AC progression to all classes (which is probably needed anyways).

Epic Spellcasting
It sucks. Don't use the system presented. Either make spells that they have to earn or don't include it at all. Instead allow spells to continue in strength beyond their caps, but at half the normal rate.

Spell Resistance
If spell resistance never exceeds 12 + level it won't be a problem. And in the case of foes fighting your PCs, I would limit it to 14 + the level of the PCs. It makes it still overcomable, but still able to counter effects that pierce it.

Spell Immunity
Why not convert spell immunities to function in a different manner? While I have no personal problem with this aspect, one way to 'fix' this would be to limit immunity to only spells with spell resistance. Still I have yet to fathom why almost all constructs have spell immunity.
Other Methods
->You could use a homebrew class or system in place of normal spellcasting
->You could create a system from scratch or, like you suggested, base it off of another system already created

Glimbur
2011-08-22, 06:44 PM
Spell Immunity
Why not convert spell immunities to function in a different manner? While I have no personal problem with this aspect, one way to 'fix' this would be to limit immunity to only spells with spell resistance. Still I have yet to fathom why almost all constructs have spell immunity. [/SPOILER]

This is actually RAW. It's possible that constructs have magic immunity as a legacy item originally from the myth of the Golem.

The thing about Mage style magic is that it requires more on-the-fly rulings. What level of spell is it to turn someone's bones to boiling lead? What about burning down a 100 acre wood? Transporting a village to the Ethereal plane? In Mage, each sphere has descriptors for what each dot in it allows, but D&D is much less consistent: making (certain) spells permanent is the same level of spell as making a hand that gives you cover against one person for 1 round/level: 5th level spell for wizards.

The real money in high-op spellcasting is not direct damage or save-or-dies or even battlefield control. You make an unstoppable juggernaut by layering buffs. At epic levels it becomes a contest of who can find an opening in the other person's protections first... or a contest of who can land a Disjunction and follow up with murder first.

I can't argue that the current system works at level 50, but why do you want to play at level 50?

137ben
2011-08-22, 07:43 PM
Epic Spellcasting
It sucks. Don't use the system presented. Either make spells that they have to earn or don't include it at all. Instead allow spells to continue in strength beyond their caps, but at half the normal rate.

Not necessarily. If your only source of increasing your spellcraft modifier is to put more skill points into it, then yes, epic spellcasting is horrible. However, if you combine this with magic items that increase skill ranks, it can actually become effective (since gold increases exponentially, while the cost of a skill-boosting magic item only increases quadratically). By the ultra-high levels, your skill ranks in spellcraft are insignificant compared to a spellcraft boosting magic item.
HOWEVER, you are still limited in the process of epic spell development by the xp cost. The simplest solution is to just remove the xp cost of development.


I can't argue that the current system works at level 50, but why do you want to play at level 50?
'cause it's fun?

Glimbur
2011-08-22, 10:34 PM
Not necessarily. If your only source of increasing your spellcraft modifier is to put more skill points into it, then yes, epic spellcasting is horrible. However, if you combine this with magic items that increase skill ranks, it can actually become effective (since gold increases exponentially, while the cost of a skill-boosting magic item only increases quadratically). By the ultra-high levels, your skill ranks in spellcraft are insignificant compared to a spellcraft boosting magic item.
HOWEVER, you are still limited in the process of epic spell development by the xp cost. The simplest solution is to just remove the xp cost of development.

Why would you make a spell which has a nonzero spellcraft DC? Mitigation factors exist, and possibly the easiest one to exploit is to have other spellcasters donate a spell slot to your spell. This is intended to let the Cleric and Wizard help each other out, but it can also mean the Wizard and his 10,000 permanently bound outsiders with cleric casting can cast Arbitrary Buff Spell Omega.

Without allowing mitigation epic spells take time, money, and XP. Were they not specifically allowed to overcome certain immunities and caps and such, they would be quite worthless. Without mitigation they are situational.

137ben
2011-08-23, 12:39 PM
Without allowing mitigation epic spells take time, money, and XP. Were they not specifically allowed to overcome certain immunities and caps and such, they would be quite worthless. Without mitigation they are situational.

If you remove the xp cost of development, then they can become useful. You just need items that increase your spellcraft, then your checks can increase very rapidly. As a result, epic spell power can increase much faster than nonepic spell power (save DCs of nonepic spells increase linearly, with Heighten Spell. Epic spell save DCs, when boosted, can increase much, much faster, along with any other aspect of the spell which you want to increase). If you are assuming that the only source of spellcraft is skill points, then they are worthless, but for epic levels, that is an absurd assumption.