View Full Version : Mechanics for Spell Mimicry?

2011-12-18, 12:20 PM
Hello all. I'm writing up a homebrew class for my players to use (well, more like revising one that I never finished), and it revolves around physical control of magic as opposed to memorization or natural talent (the character has somehow become a fracture in the continuum of magic, and is cursed to endure the ripples of magical glitches as they emanate out of disruptions in the continuum while acting as a lightning rod between magic and reality, or as a surge protector for stray spikes of magic). He performs feats of endurance to survive this, but with effort can actually shape the magic to his own ends.

The mechanics for his spellcasting that I'm considering are as such...
The Arcane Conduit, may attempt to cast any existing arcane spell up to and including his Caster Level by passing a concentration check to allow him to cast a spell in the round, a spellcraft check to determine the maximum level of the spell (as long as his caster level allows it), and then may choose the spell to cast.

Caster Level equal to Hit Die

Concentration Check with DC equal to spell level + distraction modifier + X(placeholder-variable)

Spellcraft Check with DC equal to metamagic modifier + Y(placeholder-variable)

Metamagic (assuming the player has relevant MM feats) is implemented by an additional DC penalty to the spellcraft check.

I'm trying to figure out how to determine good values for X and Y, as I'm sadly lacking in knowledge of statistics. I'm thinking the concentration should be passed around 3/4 of the time unless there are mitigating circumstances. The Spellcraft check should provide around a 50% probability of being able to cast the highest level spell that the player's caster level allows, but the probability of being able to cast a certain spell should be increased to around 90-100% for the lowest level spells. Being in a position to take-20 on the check should allow the maximum level level to be cast. Does anyone know how I can set up those variables to achieve something close to those design goals?

Would it be too much to allow feats to be taken that could allow the spells to be cast at +1 caster level (with regard to effects, not level of spell available) with each taking of the feat, at the expense of taking 1 of your own hit die in damage for each +1 as you try and channel more energy than what your body would normally be able to conduct?

2011-12-18, 01:23 PM
The fluff is a really cool idea, but... well...

The mechanic will be cumbersome, since each spell will probably require at least three rolls (concentration, spellcraft, and an attack roll/save).

Unfettered access to the wizard list will be overpowered, period. The wizard is probably the most powerful class in the game because he can potentially know any spell on the list. And if I'm reading this right, your guy can cast any spell he wants, on the spot, without preparation. Skill checks can be optimized pretty easily.

2011-12-18, 02:44 PM
Thanks for pointing that out, it makes sense.

I still want to play with the idea that the Conduit doesn't know every spell, but is actively crafting applicable magic from the available energies and structure of miscast spells and magical disturbances being siphoned through him on a daily basis.

I'll have to go back to the drawing board and put more thought into it.

I would argue in it's favor though that while a wizard has to prepare his spells, he can also cast them reliably. As such, when a Magic Missile is all that stands between the wizard and death then any wizard who has the sense to not wear full plate is most likely going to get the spell off. Whereas the Conduit has to roll just to be able to have the opportunity to cast the spell. A large part of the nature of the Conduit is that he is subject to the chaos of magic and may or may not be able to control it. The reliability of that being determined by the mechanics in question. I'd say that a reasonable possibility of not being able to cast a spell, in a situation where others would, is enough of a liability to offset that.

2011-12-18, 06:16 PM
I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for, but it sounds like character would better be fit to be able to craft her own spells on the fly, able to shape the magic however they want, but not completely reliably. If that is the case, I would suggest looking into True Sorcery. It's a different style of spellcasting, but I think it might fit your needs (assuming I've interpreted them correctly).

2011-12-19, 11:50 AM
Thanks for the advice, but after I posted this thread I was browsing around and noticed your big homebrew thread and noticed that little bit about True Sorcery. So I've already been looking into it since then, but thanks for taking the time to share. :)