View Full Version : Elemental Magic (Variant Spell System) Brainstorm thread

2006-11-16, 08:11 PM
After much searching and thought I've decided to develop my own elemental class. I am basing some of the lore of it on the television show Avatar: The Last Airbender (which in my opinion is one of the best kids programs out there). As of now there is no name for the class, but I do have some ideas.

I've decided I want it to be a Wisdom based PrC with a flexible magic system that allows on the spot spell choices. So this thread is my first attempt to brainstorm through the spell system itself. Any input would be valued, thanks in advance.

Magic: Members of this Prestige Class use magic in different ways than the wider magical community.

The (unnamed) casts magic from a pool of energy that is determined as follows:

Wisdom Bonus x Prestige Class Level = Pool

Example: Aang has a Wisdom of 18, granting him a bonus of +4. Aang is a level 4 Air-bender (this will not be the class title, just an example). Aang's Energy Pool is a total of 12.
4 x 3 = 12

Currently I'm thinking of having the cost of a spell be equal to its casting level. So a level one spell would take one energy. A level 9 spell would take 9 energy. Now this might seem overpowered, but I don't think it really is. This class is gonna focus on a single element, which would allow even the best of the class to be vulnerable or inneffective in some situations. Example an "firebender" would be next to useless in battle with creature of fire resistance. Also even the best of the class, lets say a level 10 with a Wis bonus of +6 would only have a pool of 60. In the grand scheme of things its not that far off from its counterparts in other casting classes.

Also the caster would gain access to each spell level equal to his class level. So a level 5 could cast spells up to level 5. I also want to have this be a learned art. Some spells may become immiedetly availible upon reaching a certain level, and other may be learned through training or research.

Some of the spells would be the same as current official spells, like fireball or cone of cold etc, and some would be altered versions or my own creation. And it also won't be strictly offensive.

I'd be interested to hear what you all think. I'm gonna work on some feats and class requirements as well, those to come sometime soon.

2006-11-17, 10:27 AM
Ok, with some thoughts I've come up with a few more ways to balance this system.

There will be a limit to how many of each level spell you can cast per day/period without rest.

It will be equal to your PrC level.

So a level 5 can cast up to 5 spells of each level up through five as long as he has the pool for it.

This is to prevent large scale abuses of powerful low level spells. Example: Fireball - with the current system it would cost 3 energy to cast and say a lvl 10 with a +5 wis modifier would have a pool of 50. that would aloows as much as 16 fireballs. Thats just a little excessive. It may not seem to be much of a limitation at higher levels, but I want this class to have the look and feel of a powerful elemental master, without losing its apeal.

2006-11-17, 10:53 AM
Energy Pool recovery:

The (unnamed) must meditate, uninterupted to recover spent energy pool points. The (unnamed0 recovers energy at a rate of 1 point per hour of meditation. The exception to this rule is that (unnamed) may have a restful day in a safe location, such as a city or home to fully recover his pool. This requires a 8 hour meditation period, and the rest of the day/night can be spent doing non-combat events and tasks.

2006-11-17, 12:55 PM
Slave to the (Fire, Air, Water, Earth) [Elemental]
A Disciple makes great sacrifices for his relationship with his element.

Prerequisites: Con 14, Disciple PrC
Benefit: The Disciple may temporarily take a Constitution penalty to gain additonal energy to his energy pool.
Normal: Disciple may take a -2 CON Penalty (equivalent to one bonus point) and apply it to his WIS bonus for determining his energy pool total. This effect last up to 24 hours or until the Disciple has rested. This effect may not be applied if it causes the Disciple to go into negative CON bonus. This affect is only used to determine a temporary bonus to the Disciple's energy pool, it has no other effect to his WIS bonus.

2006-11-19, 01:06 PM
No one has any input at all?

2006-11-21, 02:13 AM
I signed up, just to post to this...guess I'm graduating from being a lurker....

Any who, what you're looking for might already exist. Check Out the Shugenja from Complete Divine (Or Oriental Adventures if you're using 3.0) and the Spell Points system from Unearthed Arcana (You can also find it here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/spellPoints.htm).

If you want to make this a prestige Class as opposed to a base Class, the Elemental Savant from Complete Arcane may be up your alley.

I like the idea, and I've used it before (with the aforementioned material), but most of my players abored the idea. Hope you fare better.

One last note: The less work you have to do, the better off you are as a DM, man. Trust me.

2006-11-21, 07:48 AM
I agree with Cirnech. Also, if you want more flexibility in your spellcasting, might I suggest Spell Point-system from Unearthed Arcana?

2006-11-21, 05:43 PM
This is intended as a PrC

I don't have Unearthed Arcana, perhaps I'll find room to pick it up.

I have OA 3.0 and as much as I like shugenja its not what I'm looking for.

This PrC is meant to be a complete devotion to a single element and would gain some additional abilities related to them. This post only scratched the surface of the total class feature I was looking for. Thanks for the advice, I'll be checking those out.

2006-11-22, 04:57 AM
You could make spell point costs exponential if you're worried about people throwing around high powered spells all the time. 1 is still 1, but then it just goes up 4, 9, 16, and so forth. You would have to change the way the class gains energy pool if they wanted to cast any spells over 6th level though. The way it would be as is, you'd get a character able to cast ONE 6th level spell with a Wis of 18 and 10 PrC levels. 'Course he could cast burning hands until the cows come home, and have enough left to make charbroiled steaks out of them. Personally I don't see the problem with a fire master chucking fireballs all day long, since they'd be pretty much shot for anything else.

I know things like aeromancer, geomancer, etc seem kind of boring, and I really like the "Slave to (X)" anyway. But instead of just fire, air, water, earth, how about something like "flame, wind, wave, stone"? Maybe it's just me, but I think "I am Aridan, Slave of the Flame" sounds a little cooler than "I am Aridan, Slave to the Fire". (But just a little.)