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Phosphate
2012-03-11, 02:33 AM
So I thought about it, and wouldn't it be kinda cool if everyone could use magic, no exception? And also if those that are completely mundane get some nifty defense against magic. Here's what I have:

1. UMD no longer exists as a skill.
2. Add Arcane Affinity to all classes as a class skill.

Arcane Affinity (Cha)

You may control the arcane energies surrounding you in order to cast spells. All arcane casters, aside from all normal conditions they must meet to cast spells, must also have an Arcane Affinity rank equal to double the spell level. Furthermore, classes which normally cannot cast spells or cast divine spells are now allowed to cast spells of any level as long as they have an Arcane Affinity rank equal to 4 times the spell level (you still need at least 1 rank for cantrips).

The number of spells per day given is equal to 1+how many ranks the requirement for a level is surpassed, capped at 4. (So, for instance, at 8 ranks you have 1 level 2 spell, at 11 ranks you have 4 level 2 spells, at 20 ranks you still have only 4 level 2 spells) (check table).

For the purpose of spells known but not spell progression, treat yourself as a sorcerer of a level equal to half skill ranks + cha modifier (check table). You may only know spells from the sor/wiz list for the purpose of this skill. Your relevant casting stat for learning spells and spell DC is chosen when you take your first rank in this skill, and cannot be changed afterwards. You CANNOT gain extra spells from having a high casting stat. Also, at all times, treat your Caster level as equal to half your ranks in Arcane Affinity + your cha modifier.

Resting to regain spells from Arcane Affinity works as such: you must sleep for 8 hours. That is all, no further preparation needed.

If a character has 1 or more levels in a full progression arcane class (that gives level 9 spells) or is a Bard, he does not receive spells from this skill. The other functions of this skill are still available to them.



Spell slots (use this directly).
{table=head]Rank|0|1|2|3|4|5|6
0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
1|1|-|-|-|-|-|-
2|2|-|-|-|-|-|-
3|3|-|-|-|-|-|-
4|4|1|-|-|-|-|-
5|4|2|-|-|-|-|-
6|4|3|-|-|-|-|-
7|4|4|-|-|-|-|-
8|4|4|1|-|-|-|-
9|4|4|2|-|-|-|-
10|4|4|3|-|-|-|-
11|4|4|4|-|-|-|-
12|4|4|4|1|-|-|-
13|4|4|4|2|-|-|-
14|4|4|4|3|-|-|-
15|4|4|4|4|-|-|-
16|4|4|4|4|1|-|-
17|4|4|4|4|2|-|-
18|4|4|4|4|3|-|-
19|4|4|4|4|4|-|-
20|4|4|4|4|4|1|-
21|4|4|4|4|4|2|-
22|4|4|4|4|4|3|-
23|4|4|4|4|4|4|-
24|4|4|4|4|4|4|1
[/table]

Spells known (add your cha mod to rank to find out which row you use. use the table directly only if you have a charisma score of 10 or 11)

{table=head]Rank+mod|0|1|2|3|4|5|6
0|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
1|-|-|-|-|-|-|-
2|4|-|-|-|-|-|-
3|4|-|-|-|-|-|-
4|5|2|-|-|-|-|-
5|5|2|-|-|-|-|-
6|5|3|-|-|-|-|-
7|5|3|-|-|-|-|-
8|6|3|1|-|-|-|-
9|6|3|1|-|-|-|-
10|6|4|2|-|-|-|-
11|6|4|2|-|-|-|-
12|7|4|2|1|-|-|-
13|7|4|2|1|-|-|-
14|7|5|3|2|-|-|-
15|7|5|3|2|-|-|-
16|8|5|3|2|1|-|-
17|8|5|3|2|1|-|-
18|8|5|4|3|2|-|-
19|8|5|4|3|2|-|-
20|9|5|4|3|2|1|-
21|9|5|4|3|2|1|-
22|9|5|5|4|3|2|-
23|9|5|5|4|3|2|-
24|9|5|5|4|3|2|1
[/table]

Check

There are multiple checks involving Arcane Affinity.

1. Arcane Affinity does everything UMD did. Sorry, too long for me to write it all, but the main point is that it stays the same.
2. You can make an Arcane Affinity check to cast within an AMF. The DC is 15+the caster level of the caster that created the field. You must beat the DC every single time you cast to overcome the AMF.

Action

None. Arcane Affinity checks are either made as part of another action or not at all.

Try Again

Using magical devices: Yes, but if you ever roll a natural 1 while attempting to activate an item and you fail, then you canít try to activate that item again for 24 hours.
Casting in an AMF: Yes, but if you fail the check while casting the spell, you still lose a spell slot.

Special

You cannot take 10 on this skill, unless you have 12 ranks in it.
You cannot take 20 on this skill, ever.
You cannot aid another on this skill.

Synergy

If you have 5 or more ranks in Arcane Affinity, you get a +2 bonus on Spellcraft checks.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Decipher Script, you get a +2 bonus on Arcane Affinity checks related to scrolls.
If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (Arcana), you get a +2 bonus on Arcane Affinity Checks.

Untrained

A character with 0 ranks in Arcane Affinity cannot use any feature of the skill, but gains SR equal to 12 + character level, against arcane spells only.

Kane0
2012-03-11, 04:16 AM
Thats pretty good, it offers a set AC against arcane unless you yourself use arcane magic, though you could get the spell resistance and the benefit of spell use if you are a divine caster, which may complicate things.

Anyway, i've never been a fan of synergy, but since this is 3.5 thats ok.
Also the benefit of granting use magic device to anyone is a good move to shift the balance between martial/magic, or at least disrupt the status quo a little.
What classes/ kind of classes will this be a class skill for?

Wavelab
2012-03-11, 06:00 AM
Just one problem I see with this.

A warblade who could if played competently hold his own against a wizard of equal level.

A warblade with arcane affinity could completely assimilate a wizard of equal level.

You could turn basically any class into a wizard/sorcerer with extra hit points, AC, saves, BAB, etc.

I can personally see no point in actually playing a magic class if this skill exists.

Kane0
2012-03-11, 06:11 AM
Im guessing in cases such as ToB classes this skill wouldnt be accessible tothem, same as divine casters?

Maybe you should cap the highest spell level you can know/cast as well, probably something low like 3rd or 4th. Just be careful not to put paladin or ranger spellcasting out of comission altogether.

Phosphate
2012-03-11, 06:52 AM
Anyway, i've never been a fan of synergy, but since this is 3.5 thats ok.

UMD has synergy, so this must have as well.


What classes/ kind of classes will this be a class skill for?

All of them. I said that.


A warblade who could if played competently hold his own against a wizard of equal level.

Not exactly, no.


A warblade with arcane affinity could completely assimilate a wizard of equal level.

How exactly?


I can personally see no point in actually playing a magic class if this skill exists.

You would play a magic class because...then you will get higher level spells? A wizard gets level 9 spells at level 16. A warblade with full ranks in Arcane Affinity gets level 9 spells at level 39.


Im guessing in cases such as ToB classes this skill wouldnt be accessible tothem, same as divine casters?

I don't find that terribly necessary.


Maybe you should cap the highest spell level you can know/cast as well, probably something low like 3rd or 4th.

A cap seems pointless to me. At level 17, even if you have maxed ranks in Arcane Affinity, you can still only cast exactly one level 5 spell. Even at level 20, when you become epic, you still have 0 level 6 spells.

Wavelab
2012-03-11, 07:22 AM
It seems that I missed the 4 x ranks = maximum spell level part. I was just assuming that it follows the sorcerer progression.

That does balance it significantly, but begs the question, why wouldn't anyone take this skill?

Phosphate
2012-03-11, 07:47 AM
That does balance it significantly, but begs the question, why wouldn't anyone take this skill?

Spell Resistance.

Also, flavor. You may say it's just not your character's style to have this skill (this is also the only reason to not have Diplomacy btw).

TuggyNE
2012-03-11, 03:11 PM
For the purpose of spells known, treat yourself as a sorcerer of the same level.

I'd recommend breaking this out into a separate table to avoid confusion; when I first read this I assumed it had the same progression as a sorcerer, including maximum spell level known, and I wasn't the only one. (While the actual restriction is listed earlier, it can still be missed by a careless reading.)


2. You can make an Arcane Affinity check to cast within an AMF. The DC is 15+the caster level of the caster that created the field. You must beat the DC every single time you cast to overcome the AMF.

This has the perhaps-unintended side effect of making sorcerers (and other Cha-based casters) the gold standard for AMF-casting, which seems a little odd.


Untrained

A character with 0 ranks in Arcane Affinity cannot use any feature of the skill, but gains SR equal to 12 + character level, against arcane spells only.

You may want to insert an "instead" in there: "but instead gains SR" -- again, it's not immediately obvious that there's an important distinction between these two mutually exclusive cases:

0 ranks: SR 12+level
1+ ranks: Ability to cast spells, use magic devices, and so forth


Sometime you might also want to consider magic-psionics transparency implications, too.

Phosphate
2012-03-12, 12:24 PM
I'd recommend breaking this out into a separate table to avoid confusion; when I first read this I assumed it had the same progression as a sorcerer, including maximum spell level known, and I wasn't the only one. (While the actual restriction is listed earlier, it can still be missed by a careless reading.)

I fail to see how someone could implement grappling in their games if they read carelessly, but meh. Guess I can add a table for the heck of it.


This has the perhaps-unintended side effect of making sorcerers (and other Cha-based casters) the gold standard for AMF-casting, which seems a little odd.

I personally think that sorcerers SHOULD be better at AMF casting than say wizards and druids. So that's intentional.


You may want to insert an "instead" in there: "but instead gains SR" -- again, it's not immediately obvious that there's an important distinction between these two mutually exclusive cases:

It means literally the exact same thing either way.


Sometime you might also want to consider magic-psionics transparency implications, too.

Sure, easy peasy.

Awakening (Cha): Can manifest powers of ranks/4 level or lower, gain pp as a psion with a class level equal to half your ranks in this + Cha. If you have 0 ranks, gain PR equal to 12+character level.


RULE: At character creation, choose Arcane Affinity or Awakening. It will be a class skill for all your classes, and the other will be a cross-class skill for all your classes. If you have 0 ranks in one of them as a cross-class skill, you only gain 9+character level SR/PR.

You may refuse both as class skills. If you do so, BOTH your SR and PR will be 12+character level.

Reluctance
2012-03-12, 05:56 PM
The psi version runs into the augmentation problem. Lack of higher level powers means less when the system is designed around your low-level powers being upgradeable. Of course, both versions have the problem that they base caster level off of half ranks. If this is meant as a balancing mechanism, it's strange; you give full DC and even earlier access to spell levels than normal, but you halve the durations and damage dice? If it's not meant as a balancing mechanism, I'm not seeing why.

The fact that divine casters still operate as normal means that the underlying problem with casters hasn't been changed. It sounds like you want nonmagical types to have more cool signature tricks. The best answer to this is to dig out ToB which gives melee types their own bag of tricks. Not handing out Rope Trick and Fly to everybody else. If you just want to give an otherwise melee type a minor magical knack, there are plenty of feats that give you cantrips as SLAs. Hidden Talent works even better at this for psi.

The other huge question is just what qualifies a character as an "arcane caster"? Does it mean having one level in an arcane casting class? If so, what incentive do I have to take wizard levels past 1? Or will I have to focus on class levels as well as skill ranks while advancing my character? What happens if I want multiple arcane casting classes? If I can access the entire warmage list spontaneously for one level, that becomes a very attractive dip.

TuggyNE
2012-03-13, 12:47 AM
I fail to see how someone could implement grappling in their games if they read carelessly, but meh. Guess I can add a table for the heck of it.

Excellent.


I personally think that sorcerers SHOULD be better at AMF casting than say wizards and druids. So that's intentional.

OK, but some fluff text to justify and explain this up-front would not go amiss.


It means literally the exact same thing either way.

Yes, it has only one correct interpretation, but again a careless reading could have unfortunate results. Clarity is always desirable.


Sure, easy peasy.

Awakening (Cha): Can manifest powers of ranks/4 level or lower, gain pp as a psion with a class level equal to half your ranks in this + Cha. If you have 0 ranks, gain PR equal to 12+character level.


RULE: At character creation, choose Arcane Affinity or Awakening. It will be a class skill for all your classes, and the other will be a cross-class skill for all your classes. If you have 0 ranks in one of them as a cross-class skill, you only gain 9+character level SR/PR.

You may refuse both as class skills. If you do so, BOTH your SR and PR will be 12+character level.

Hmm, that seems reasonable enough.



SIDETRACK: It occurs to me that the basic idea (progress skill-based casting at half the usual rate) might be better served by making arcane casting (and divine??) inherently skill-based; most classes would then have to invest cross-class ranks in it to match the half-progression, but it would not be off-limits to them. A good subject for another thread, I suppose.

Phosphate
2012-03-13, 11:33 AM
The psi version runs into the augmentation problem. Lack of higher level powers means less when the system is designed around your low-level powers being upgradeable. Of course, both versions have the problem that they base caster level off of half ranks. If this is meant as a balancing mechanism, it's strange; you give full DC and even earlier access to spell levels than normal, but you halve the durations and damage dice? If it's not meant as a balancing mechanism, I'm not seeing why.

1. Earlier access?! They need to be level 1 to cast level 1, level 5 to cast level 2, level 9 to cast level 3, level 13 to cast level 4 and level 17 to cast level 5. And only if they have maxed ranks. Which classes do you personally know who gain spells later than this?! Non-divine ones, please.
2. Make up your mind. Is Awakening weak or too good? You said both.


The fact that divine casters still operate as normal means that the underlying problem with casters hasn't been changed. It sounds like you want nonmagical types to have more cool signature tricks. The best answer to this is to dig out ToB which gives melee types their own bag of tricks. Not handing out Rope Trick and Fly to everybody else. If you just want to give an otherwise melee type a minor magical knack, there are plenty of feats that give you cantrips as SLAs. Hidden Talent works even better at this for psi.

I'm not weakening casters (though they must waste skill points on this skill in order to cast) I'm strengthening everybody else up. And it's not that minor as you're making it out to be. This gives either spellcasting similar to an adept, which IS a solid and above decent Tier 4, or SR similar to that of a Drow, which on itself amounts to half of their LA.


The other huge question is just what qualifies a character as an "arcane caster"? Does it mean having one level in an arcane casting class? If so, what incentive do I have to take wizard levels past 1? Or will I have to focus on class levels as well as skill ranks while advancing my character? What happens if I want multiple arcane casting classes? If I can access the entire warmage list spontaneously for one level, that becomes a very attractive dip.

I don't understand the relevance of this question. All this skill says is that:
"if you have any number of levels either in a class that gives level 9 arcane spells or bard, you do NOT gain spells from this skill".

Why would you want to dip?

Reluctance
2012-03-13, 04:02 PM
1. Earlier access?! They need to be level 1 to cast level 1, level 5 to cast level 2, level 9 to cast level 3, level 13 to cast level 4 and level 17 to cast level 5. And only if they have maxed ranks. Which classes do you personally know who gain spells later than this?! Non-divine ones, please.
2. Make up your mind. Is Awakening weak or too good? You said both.

First, I'm talking about a character with an inherently nonpsionic class vs. one with. The fighter with maxed Awakening can throw out powers as augmented as the psion can. Since low-level augmented powers are meant to be competitive with high-level ones and the psion is meant to keep using their low-level, bread and butter powers, capping their max spell level doesn't mean as much as it does with arcanes/divines.

Second, I was thinking about primary casters when I noticed the faster gain of spells. The sorcerer may not have any second level spells known, but at 4 ranks in AA has a second level slot already. The wizard has a second level slot, and can make use of second level spells as soon as they buy any or gain them from leveling. (And can start throwing around third level spells at level three.) The beguiler, who comes already knowing every spell on his list, simply gains access to a new level of spells three levels before he normally would. That makes me immediately sit up and take notice.


I'm not weakening casters (though they must waste skill points on this skill in order to cast) I'm strengthening everybody else up. And it's not that minor as you're making it out to be. This gives either spellcasting similar to an adept, which IS a solid and above decent Tier 4, or SR similar to that of a Drow, which on itself amounts to half of their LA.

VoP characters get pretty hefty bonuses too. Try this rule out at your own table. See which way everybody ends up deciding.


I don't understand the relevance of this question. All this skill says is that:
"if you have any number of levels either in a class that gives level 9 arcane spells or bard, you do NOT gain spells from this skill".

Why would you want to dip?

Is my Wizard1/Monk19 an arcane caster or not? My spell slots all come from AA, so do I get them at the caster rate of half ranks, or the noncaster rate of a quarter ranks? Sure, I don't get any more spells from the Spellbook class feature. I can still buy them for relatively cheap.

My Wizard 1/Monk18 decides to pick up a level of Warmage. Since warmages inherently know all spells on their list, how many spells known did I just get?

Hell, Sorcerer19/Wizard1. My spell slots all come from AA. Do I have to divvy up which are spontaneous and which are prepared? Can I decide on the fly? How do the two classes interact with each other?

lesser_minion
2012-03-13, 04:12 PM
I think you've effectively made a mandatory skill -- not only was use magic device already quite probably the best skill in the game (especially if you have access to rings of spell storing), but you've now added regular spellcasting to it.

I know you tried to fix that by offering spell resistance to anyone who doesn't go for the casting, but I don't think that really works, because spellcasting is helpful in a far wider range of situations than spell resistance.

I have nothing against the basic idea of giving magic to everyone, but I'm not convinced that this is the right way to go about it.

Lord Vampyre
2012-03-13, 04:53 PM
First, I want to say that this is a very interesting concept.

However, there are a number of notable issues:

1. Reluctance is correct when he mentions the problem with multiclassing. This skill either penalizes characters that dip wizard or gives them a serious advantage.

2. Arcane casters now have a skill tax that they need to spend some of their points on. My suggestion would be to simply modify the skill Knowledge(Arcana), rather than create a brand new skill. You could then do the same thing with the Knowledge (Divine) and Knowledge (Nature) skills for the Cleric and Druid spells. However, this would force you to clarify that those skills have separate power sources.

3. This one ties somewhat into the issue you have with multiclassing. The problem is that you are using separate systems for casters and non-casters. Instead of 4xspell level, simply keep the skill as cross-class for the classes that you don't want to utilizes this ability. Also, I would make the maximum number spells be 6. Combined this would give you 1-1st level spell at first level for non-casters, and 3-1st level and 1-2nd level spells for casters. Just do away with the spell progressions of the wizard and other casters all together, relying solely on the skill. This would require you to do a little more work, as you need to make it impossible for noncasters to get this skill as a class skill. The end result if you do it properly would give a wizard with max skill ranks of 23 at 20th level and a noncaster with max skill ranks of 11.5 at 20th level. Now, to prevent level dipping to get full caster status you give noncasters with levels in a full casting class max ranks of 3+caster level plus half of their noncaster levels.

4. Are there any skill synergies that effect this? What does a high attibute do for the skill? What does the feat Skill Focus and Practiced Spellcaster do for the skill? These are but a few of the questions that players are going to have if they take the skill. It's a good idea to give them something for it, even if it is only a small benefit.

Once again this is a great start that needs some good old TLC. Remember there is always a player that will look to exploit any loop hole.

legomaster00156
2012-03-13, 05:08 PM
If I read this correctly, I can dip 1 level into any spellcasting class, and thus secure the benefit of having spells with a level equal to (rank*2). I then put every one of my other levels into a tougher class, but still have the benefit above.

Edit: Ah, and this is already being discussed. Okie dokie lokie.

Phosphate
2012-04-12, 07:06 AM
Ok, so I will say this one more time and hope it is understood.

Spellcasters DON'T gain access to spell levels by having ranks in Affinity. The ranks are NECESSARY, but not SUFFICIENT. You still use the spellcaster's class table. Here, let me show you:

A Wizard 1/Fighter 5 with an Affinity rank of 0 has no spells.
A Wizard 1/Fighter 5 with an Affinity rank of 9 has 3 level 0 and 1 level 1 spell.
A wizard 1/Fighter 19 with an Affinity rank of 9 has 3 level 0 and 1 level 1 spell.
A wizard 1/Fighter 7000 with an Affinity rank of 7004 has 3 level 0 and 1 level 1 spell.


I still don't understand why you would think spellcasters can benefit from this skill. All arcane casters, aside from all normal conditions they must meet to cast spells, must also have an Arcane Affinity rank equal to double the spell level. (...)


Instead of 4xspell level, simply keep the skill as cross-class for the classes that you don't want to utilizes this ability.

I'm not making the requirement as 4xspell level to discourage them from taking the skill, but because I consider it to be balanced that way.

As for your question about modifier, I already said that cha mod is added to rank for determining spells known and to UMD uses.

As for synergies, I already listed all of them.