View Full Version : Mana,a rule variant.

2006-11-25, 11:41 PM
Using the cool down magic variant of the Unearthed Arcana,mages became a bit of a powerhouse at higher levels,hurling every spell in the book they can,while waiting for cooldowns.

Thus,my little group and I came up with a little balancing tool we call mana flow.Based on the RPG games,where mages needed mana as much as HP,we formulated this concept.

All wizards,socerers and ilk needed mana to hurl spell after spell.We adjudicated that the MP[Mana point] for the characther would be based on the characthers Spellcasting Class level instead of characther level.


Melvin plays a level 2 Fighter multiclassed with a level 1 Wizard.He gets 1 point of mana for having a level of Wizard.

[A Fighter 2/Wizard 1 will NOT have 3 points of mana,seeing that being a Fighter does not improve your ability to draw mana in any way.]

If Melvin leveled up later and took another class in Wizard,making him a Fighter 2/Wizard 2,he would get a maximum of 2 points of Mana for his spells.

Spellcasting levels stack for determining the ammount of mana a characther has.


Bridget decided to play a Sorcerer 3/Wizard 2.She has a maximum of 5 points of mana.


There is no way to pass the maximum limit of mana a spellcaster can draw,unless the spellcaster chooses to draw extra mana for that turn.

Spellcasters may choose to draw additional mana during their turn.They may tap the energies of the land for an additional 1 point per 4 spellcasting class level.They may choose to draw any ammount as long as it does not breach the 4 level:1 point rule.Seeing as to how drawing mana hurriedly is a strenious and dangerous task,the spellcaster who does so take 1 point of damage,or take 2 points of non-lethal damage.Mana points gained this way is temporary,and lasts for only that turn.

This was added as a way to prevent players from abusing the ability to draw mana quickly.Added after third round of testing.


Every spell costs the same ammount of mana as its spell level.


Magic Missile is a 1st level spell,thus it takes up a point of mana for its casting.

Whether or not the spell succeeds,the point of mana is consumed.


There is NO way to store Mana into a potion.Not yet anyway.It'd be quite suicidal,pouring the energy down your throat.

However,at the beginning of the spellcasters round,he/she may choose to regain a certain ammount of mana depending on his/her spellcaster class levels.

The ammount my little group is using is:

1/2 point of mana per turn from lvl 1->5
1 point of mana per turn from lvl 6->10
2 points of mana per turn from level 11->15
3 points of mana per turn from level 16->20.

You cannot choose to regain any number of mana other than that which is already determined and set for your level.If you would replenish more mana than your maximum allotment,you may choose to either take the additional point/s[which will result in mana burn],or neglect it.Points gained resulting in mana burn this way do not count against the maximum ammount of points you may gain as described in the Mana Burn section.

Drawing additional mana will cause mana burn as descirbed earlier.


The spell will cost one-and-one-half,1 1/2,of the original cost of the spell.

For example,a Maximized Fireball[level 3],will cost 3+1/2,making ir 4 1/2 mana.

If you don't like fractions,you can always round it up.


As usual,spellcasters may prepare counterspells,but this time,with a twist.To counter a spell,you need to have a counterspell prepared,and 1+the spell level of the spell you are about to counter worth of MP.You need not prepare the ammount of MP before hand.You must,however,prepare at least 1 MP point.


Bridget casts a Gate spell[level 9] to bring forth a demon.Melvin,on the opposing team does'nt want that to happen,and he's got a counterspell prepared.To counter the Gate,he has to expend 9 additional points of mana,along with the 1 points of mana for the counterspelling,for a total of 10 MP.

When counterspelling,the casters determine the success of the spell by rolling a d20 and adding their effective spellcasting levels.

In desperation to counter an opposing spell,spellcasters may choose to draw additional mana even though it is not their turn[They still suffer the effects of mana burn].They may also choose to do mana surges[see below].Mana surges must be declared before the check.


A mana surge happens when a spellcaster chooses to spend additional mana on completing/countering the spell.They may spend any ammount of mana as they wish,up to a maximum of their effective spellcasting levels.

In return,they gain a +1 competence bonus to determine the success of the spell/counter for every two points of mana spent in a mana surge.[1 MP gives the caster a 1/2 competence bonus to the check.]

Mana surge is a strenious activity,and spellcasters who do so must accept either 1 point of damage,or 2 points of non-lethal damage,for every point of mana spent this way.

We have only tried this rule variant in 2 game sessions,but its worked out quite fine.

If anyone has anything to add to it,please feel free to do so.Posting it here will be nice.

2006-11-26, 01:53 AM
I like the basic idea of this, and it's slightly familiar to Spell Points in a way (bar the regeneration part), but one thing you should really do, is go into more detail and create a difference per class. The sorcerer loses big-time in this deal, losing the edge of being able to cast more than the average wizard. What you could do is something like:

Bard, Paladin, Ranger, warlock - 1 MP per class level.
Cleric, Druid, Wizard - 2 MP per level.
Sorcerer - 4 MP per level. (he already is behind a wizard in what level spells he can have, so he does need an edge).

Also an idea may be to reward casters with high casting ability scores, by maybe giving them a MP bonus? Or even combining class level and casting ability score to determine the amount of mana they have?

For the rest the system seems nice, so kudo's on that. :smallsmile:

2006-11-26, 03:15 AM

Bard, Paladin, Ranger, warlock - 1 MP per class level.
Cleric, Druid, Wizard - 2 MP per level.
Sorcerer - 4 MP per level. (he already is behind a wizard in what level spells he can have, so he does need an edge).

That would effective mean that Bards,Paladins,Rager,and Warlock,upon attaining level 20[on the assumption that they play *pure* versions of the classes0,have 20 mana,Wizards,Clerics and Druids,upon attaining level 20 have 40 mana,while Sorcerers 80.That would give the Sorcerer an advantage,seeing as he can cast double the number of spells as a Wizard effectively,wouldnt it?Will beta the mana ammounts,thanks for that suggestion.

Also an idea may be to reward casters with high casting ability scores, by maybe giving them a MP bonus? Or even combining class level and casting ability score to determine the amount of mana they have?Well,determining a mana would still depend on the levels you have in a particular spellcasting class.A Sorcerer 1/Paladin 4 will get a total of 8 MP,and other combinations the proper ammount.MP bonuses will be given,as soon as we see how effective the class skills we added for the class is tested.

An example:

Blood of the Magus-Born,a special class ability of which sorcerers have[a level 15 skill],adds his/her total MP point total to one-and-one-half of his true total,rounded up.This means that a Sorcerer 15/Bard 5[Total MP:65]would have a total MP of 97-1/2,rounding it up means that he/she would have 98 mana.I hope thats what you mean,because thats what I think you do.If its not,please show me an example[I'm a rogue player.I suck at Magics.:smallbiggrin:]

For the rest the system seems nice, so kudo's on that.

Thanks.I'll pass the message on to my group that someone likes the idea.Looking forward to making the games more fun and real for others.[Cant quote smiley in same sentence.appears as an additional quote.Grrrr.....]

2006-11-26, 07:07 AM
Well, Sorcerers do cast almost double the spells Wizards cast per day.

How does having a high primary casting ability alter mana?

2006-11-26, 08:33 AM
Well, Sorcerers do cast almost double the spells Wizards cast per day.

How does having a high primary casting ability alter mana?

No,it does'nt.

Sorcerers[4 MP growth rate] have more mana than Wizards[2 MP growth rate],but as Wizards can gain a wider repertoire of spells,the class feature Blood of the Magus-Born[see previous post] balances it,allowing Sorcerers to retain their high primary casting abilities.

[Level 20 Wizard->40 MP,Level 20 Sorcerer 120 MP.]

Wizards of course,through their long studies,may gain the ability and knowledge on how to draw mana quicker,but that is up to the DM to decide.If the DM does indeed feel that Sorcerers throwing out spells 3 times more than Wizards is a hazardous thing to their campaigns,feel free to use the following Wizard class ability:

AEther Link[Level 10]

Through long studies of the Art,Wizards are adept at drawing mana quicker than other spellcasters.Wizards now gain an additional point of mana each turn,if they choose to replenish their mana.

2006-11-26, 07:08 PM
Added:Counterspelling and mana and mana surge to first post.

2006-11-26, 08:31 PM
Okay, I'm thinking this could use some cleaning up. Aside from the weird font, I can barely tell what's going on.

So, this mana variant would be applied to the recharge magic (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/rechargeMagic.htm) variant.

Essentially, to cast a spell the caster must spend mana equal to the spells level. Wizard's have 2 mana per caster level, sorcerer's have 4 per level, and other classes have different amounts based on how much casting they do.

A caster regains 1/2 a mana point per round at 1st level.
1 per round at 6th
2 per round at 11th
and 3 per round at 16th

If a caster doesn't have enough mana to cast the spell, he/she can take 1hp lethal or 2hp non-lethal damage per point needed.

Instead of preparing a metamagiced spell beforehand, a caster pays 1/2 the level increase in extra mana to cast the spell (this is waaaaay to strong, it's like free metamagic).

Your assumptions about counterspelling seem to be wrong. Unless you're assuming counterspelling requires a dispell magic spell, or use a homebrewed method, this doesnt work.

The SRD:

To use a counterspell, you must select an opponent as the target of the counterspell. You do this by choosing the ready (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/specialInitiativeActions.htm#ready) action. In doing so, you elect to wait to complete your action until your opponent tries to cast a spell. (You may still move your speed, since ready is a standard action (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsInCombat.htm#standardActions).)
If the target of your counterspell tries to cast a spell, make a Spellcraft (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/spellcraft.htm) check (DC 15 + the spell’s level). This check is a free action (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsInCombat.htm#freeActions). If the check succeeds, you correctly identify the opponent’s spell and can attempt to counter it. If the check fails, you can’t do either of these things.
To complete the action, you must then cast the correct spell. As a general rule, a spell can only counter itself. If you are able to cast the same spell and you have it prepared (if you prepare spells), you cast it, altering it slightly to create a counterspell effect. If the target is within range, both spells automatically negate each other with no other results.

2006-11-26, 09:15 PM
The fonts Century Gothic.Just wanted to try it out :smallbiggrin:

Yeah,you cleaned up pretty much everything and saved me a few hours of editing[Thanks Fizban].How is the metamagic feat application too strong?

On the counterspelling,I was assuming that mana unraveled mana,and so you can counter a spell at any moment,from any target,as long as you could pay up the mana costs.Any modifications able to be applied on it?

PS:I really hope you all can help out and make it better.Thanks before hand.

2006-11-26, 11:56 PM
You're welcome ;)

Your counterspelling variant basically works out to giving everyone improved counterspell, without the school requirement. With recharge magic it presents an interesting dilemma: save your spells and stop his, but possibly not have enough mana to cast your own? Seems fine, playtesting will of course be required.

Looking back over recharge magic, the metamaigic isn't so bad except: You're giving wizard's spontaneous metamagic instead of requiring them to prepare metamagic spells in their normal spots. Sorcerer's just get it half off.

I'd say leave metamagic as normal with recharge, paying the full mana cost for a spell of the increased level.

2006-11-27, 01:49 AM
It was the dillemma that drove me to think up of the counterspell system[Counter now,or cast spell later?Or should I take a burn...]

Will try out your suggetions,thanks.

2006-11-27, 04:32 AM
The thing with Metamagic is that everything in this system costs the same. A Maximized Fireball costs the same amount of mana as a Silent Fireball.

What seems like a way to change it, is just have it cast like a spell of ?? levels higher (whatever the metamagic feat gives) and have it cost the MP for that level. So a Maximized Fireball is cast as if it was a 7th level spell (or 6th? Don't have books near me...) meaning it costs you 7 MP to cast the spell...

And what does happen to Spell preparation in this system?

2006-11-27, 05:02 AM
how exactly would the mana system work for prepared spellcasters? the idea of prepared is that you have X # of ySpell prepared...

maybe this type of system could be used if you changed it so everyone was a spontaneous caster
but, my personal fix would be
combine the sorcerer/wizard
and have all of the prepared casters choose
a certain number of spells that they can spontaneously cast from, ie:
lvl 5 cleric can cast 3rd lvl spells
she decides to have these spells ready
1-curelightwounds,inflictlightwounds,bless,randomlvl 1spell
2-curemoderatewounds,inflightmoderatewounds,lvl2spel l,
and the caster can select any of those spells to cast from.

does that make any sense to anyone but me?

2006-11-27, 06:47 AM
If what you mean is that the characthers prepare spells that they could cast for the day,and then use MP to cast them,then yeah,it makes sense to me.

If that makes you or your DM happy,or makes more sense to you,why not? :smallconfused:

On metamagicking,you can replace "spell slot level" with "additional mana points".Makes your life a lot more easier.

So,a Maximized Fireball,casted as a 7th level spell,takes up 3+4[Maximized] MP.[PS:I have no idea how spell level a Maximized Fireball would be casted as.Books with the other players.]

This rule variant is applied to the [B]recharge magic rule variant from Unearthed Arcana as a supplicant and balancing tool,removing the Spell Points variant.