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View Full Version : D&D 3.5 Quick Hacks (MP, Casting for Everyone)



Ziegander
2014-01-19, 06:25 AM
Spell slots per day no longer exist. They are replaced by Mana, or MP.
Each class (including monster classes) has a Mana Die, like Hit Dice. Creatures gain MP each level equal to their MD roll + Cha modifier.
There are no longer spell lists. Any class can learn any spell at any time.
Spell levels 1 thru 9 are available at the normal levels for members of any class (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th ... 15th, 17th, etc).
Default spellcasting is similar to Sorcerer, spontaneous, Cha determines save DCs, but Int is required for learning and casting. By default, creatures are also limited to "memorizing" a list of spells known as Sorcerer.
In addition to their higher MD, classes like Cleric and Wizard have class features that make them better casters than other classes.
Obviously classes and feats would be rewritten.


Thoughts? Does this barebones skeleton sound like it would be a fun game?

D-naras
2014-01-19, 07:35 AM
I am all for it. I love splashing magic on any character in D&D. You can also employ mana in item use. Of the top of my head, a +1 flaming longsword can be powered up by expending mana to function as a +3 flaming burst longsword for a few turns. Give martial classes more ways to power up their items, like Gloves of Dexterity +2 can be supercharged to give +4 or +6.

I think this has massive potential to shake up the game in a good way.

AuraTwilight
2014-01-19, 03:33 PM
I like Magic Die as a way of gaining MP. It reminds me of the similar mechanic from Mario d20.

thedarkstone
2014-01-19, 04:01 PM
I disagree with the generalizing of all spells. Some spells simply require divine energy or arcane energy for proper function. Likewise, generalizing the ability scores required negates the meaning of the classes. Clerics are supposed to be wise, wizards intelligent, and sorcerers have that force of personality that others simply lack. Some generalizing, I can see. Maybe inflict/cure spells being able to be cast by Wiz/Sorc, sure.

What about the spell Faith Healing? It heavily requires you to both have a deity and be channeling divine magic. And spells like Miracle (if you're running a fix, of course), which require divine intercession?

Secondly, making everyone spontaneous is not a good move, in my opinion. Wizards should be able to prepare from a wider variety ( but have less flexibility once prepared), and sorcerers should be able to cast more (in my opinion), but make up for that with less flexibility on spells known.

MP and Mana Die sound like a good idea, for the most part, but it depends on implementation. Mana Die could end up creating a huge power rift and ruining the ability to function for some casters. What if you roll 1s frequently? You'll never cast high level spells, because you won't have the mana.

I agree with having two ability scores involved with casting. That weakens spellcasters slightly, making them choose between the two or try to strike a balance. At the minimum, it puts them on par with other classes, most of whom require two or more ability scores to function.

Ziegander
2014-01-19, 04:20 PM
So, for example, let's say this is the equivalent to the Wizard class:

Alignment: Any
Hit Die: 1d6
Magic Die: 1d12

Class Skills: The wizardís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) ◊ 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier

{table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |
Spellbook

1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Dark Knowledge (Tactics), Lore, Scribe Scroll, Spellbook|
2

2nd|+1|+0|+0|+3|Knowledge Focus|
4

3rd|+1|+1|+1|+3|Metamagic +1|
6

4th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Archivist|
8

5th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Dark Knowledge (Puissance)|
10

6th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Knowledge Focus|
12

7th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Metamagic +2|
14

8th|+4|+2|+2|+6|Bookcast (Full Round)|
16

9th|+4|+3|+3|+6|Dark Knowledge (Foe)|
18

10th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Knowledge Focus|
20

11th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Metamagic +3|
22

12th|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8|Quick Archivist|
24

13th|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8|Dark Knowledge (Foreknowledge)|
26

14th|+7/+2|+4|+4|+9|Knowledge Focus|
28

15th|+7/+2|+5|+5|+9|Metamagic +4|
30

16th|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10|Bookcast (Standard)|
32

17th|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10|Dark Knowledge (Dread Secret)|
34

18th|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Knowledge Focus|
36

19th|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Metamagic +5|
38

20th|+10/+5|+6|+6|+12|Master Archivist|
40
[/table]

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
Wizards are proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield.

Dark Knowledge (Ex): Whenever a Wizard successfully identifies a creature's weaknesses and traits with a Knowledge skill check she may grant allies within 30ft (including herself) one of the boons listed below:


At 1st level she may grant a +1 bonus to attack rolls against the identified creatures. This bonus increases by +1 for every 10 points she beats the Knowledge check DC.
At 5th level she may grant a +1 bonus to AC against the identified creatures' attacks. This bonus increases by +1 for every 10 points she beats the Knowledge check DC.
At 9th level she may grant 1d6 additional damage on all damage rolls against the identified creatures. This bonus increases by 1d6 for every 10 points she beats the Knowledge check DC.
At 13th level she may grant a +1 bonus to saving throws against the identified creatures' abilities. This bonus increases by +1 for every 10 points she beats the Knowledge check DC.
At 17th level she may, instead of granting a boon to her allies, stun and frighten enemies she has identified with a successful Knowledge skill check. Identified creatures must succeed on a Will save DC 10 + Ĺ her class level + her Int modifier or become Stunned for 1 round as well as Confused and Frightened for 5 rounds. On a successful save, the enemies are still Confused for 1 round. The save DC against this effect increases by 1 for every 10 points she beats the Knowledge check DC.

Lore (Ex): As Bardic Knowledge.

Scribe Scroll: A Wizard gains the Scribe Scroll feat as a bonus feat at 1st level.

Spellbook (Ex): A Wizard begins play with a Spellbook that contains 4 + Int modifier 0-level arcane spells as well as 2 1st level arcane spells. At every level beyond the first she adds two new arcane spells to her spellbook of any level she is capable of casting (To cast a spell that has been added to a Spellbook, the character must first prepare it ahead of time. This process requires 5 minutes of preparation per spell level, per spell he or she wishes to prepare. A character may not prepare spells from his or her spellbook if that character is Fatigued or Exhausted).

Knowledge Focus (Ex): At 2nd level a Wizard gains a +2 bonus to all Decipher Script and Lore checks and also to the Knowledge skill of her choice. The bonus to Decipher Script and Lore checks increases by +2 at every fourth level after second, and at the same time, the Wizard may choose a new Knowledge skill to gain a +2 bonus. Each time she does, the bonus to all other Knowledge skills she has chosen in this way increases by +2.

Metamagic (Ex): (With this class feature, suppose that Metamagic feats do not exist and that only Wizards may apply Metamagic to their spells) Starting at 3rd level, a Wizard may apply the benefit of one of the following to spells she cast, increasing the MP cost by one spell level: Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Silent Spell, or Still Spell.

At 7th level, she may apply the benefit of one of the following to spells she casts, increasing the MP cost by two spell levels: Earthbound Spell, Empower Spell, Split Spell.

At 11th level, she may apply the benefit of one of the following to spells she casts, increasing the MP cost by three spell levels: Maximize Spell, Repeat Spell, Widen Spell.

At 15th level, she may apply the benefit of one of the following spells she casts, increasing the MP cost by four spell levels: Irresistible Spell, Quicken Spell, Twin Spell.

At 19th level, she may apply the benefit of Persistent Spell to spells she casts, increasing the MP cost by five spell levels.

Archivist (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a Wizard may retrieve scrolls or books from her person without provoking attacks of opportunity.

Bookcast (Ex): Starting at 8th level, a Wizard may spontaneously cast a spell from her spellbook that she has not prepared as a full-round action by spending the appropriate amount of MP.

At 16th level she may do so as a standard action.

Quick Archivist (Ex): Starting at 12th level, a Wizard may retrieve scrolls or books from her person as a free action and may activate such items without provoking attacks of opportunity.

Master Archivist (Ex): Starting at 20th level, a Wizard may prepare (and Bookcast) spells from other persons' spellbooks.

Ziegander
2014-01-19, 04:30 PM
I disagree with the generalizing of all spells. Some spells simply require divine energy or arcane energy for proper function. Likewise, generalizing the ability scores required negates the meaning of the classes. Clerics are supposed to be wise, wizards intelligent, and sorcerers have that force of personality that others simply lack. Some generalizing, I can see. Maybe inflict/cure spells being able to be cast by Wiz/Sorc, sure.

What about the spell Faith Healing? It heavily requires you to both have a deity and be channeling divine magic. And spells like Miracle (if you're running a fix, of course), which require divine intercession?

Well, divine magic would follow slightly different rules for acquiring than arcane magic, but still, anyone could learn such spells. The most obvious route is that to learn a divine spell you must worship a deity, and to cast a divine spell it must not have an alignment descriptor that interferes with your deity's alignment.


Secondly, making everyone spontaneous is not a good move, in my opinion. Wizards should be able to prepare from a wider variety ( but have less flexibility once prepared), and sorcerers should be able to cast more (in my opinion), but make up for that with less flexibility on spells known.

As for Wizard, see above. As for Sorcerer, they just would no longer exist. Fighters and Rogues would be Sorcerers with fewer spells per day.

thedarkstone
2014-01-19, 04:40 PM
Well, divine magic would follow slightly different rules for acquiring than arcane magic, but still, anyone could learn such spells. The most obvious route is that to learn a divine spell you must worship a deity, and to cast a divine spell it must not have an alignment descriptor that interferes with your deity's alignment.
Well, if that's your intent, sure? I just don't think it fits D&D, nor a good roleplaying game. Opening up all of the options for everyone sounds good, in theory, but it just makes some people frustrated because the cool uniqueness is gone from their classes.


As for Wizard, see above. As for Sorcerer, they just would no longer exist. Fighters and Rogues would be Sorcerers with fewer spells per day.
And you've lost me. When everyone's a caster, everyone is. Everyone can cast grease, save-or-dies, save-or-sucks, and I can't agree with a system where everyone's a caster to some extent. Not only does it get rid of uniqueness, but it also destroys the idea of magic. Magic is supposed to be difficult to learn, take years to master, much like learning skill with weapons.

Long story short, this is Raistlin's worst nightmare confirmed.

TheFamilarRaven
2014-01-19, 05:15 PM
What's the cost for casting a spell of a level? I.e, how much MP would a 9th level spell cost? 9? since meta magic is a wizard only ability, can other classes still use meta-magic rods?

Consider allowing wisdom in place of intelligence for the amount of spells learned for certain classes, I.e divine casters, which I'll refer to as the "learning stat"

Consider giving a bonus to MP like constitution gives bonuses to HD, which relies on either charisma or the learning stat.

Edit: Consider greatly increasing the levels that magic can be learned by other classes. I.e, a fighter can't learn magic until level X, nor does he gain MP until said level.

D-naras
2014-01-20, 05:11 AM
Don't remove the Sorcerer, just turn him to the magic Wilder or magical Barbarian. Even now, the Sorcerer can fill the niche of a character infused in raw magic while the Wizard fills his own niche of knowledge guy.

As for mundane classes with access to magic, don't forget that this makes everyone MAD as hell. Con for HP, Cha for MP, Int for spells known and spell DCs, Str or Dex for combat purposes. So either account for that in your class design, or figure out a different way to generate ability scores.

Sgt. Cookie
2014-01-20, 06:41 AM
I'm with Darkstone on this one. I like the idea of MP, but giving everyone casting I'm not so keen on.

Let's take the Fighter, for instance. Giving him spells kinda destroys the idea of a guy who hits things with swords, because the choice between Melee and Ranged, especially if the Ranged attack is stronger, is a no brainier.

Personally, I'd have the Fighter have an ability that allows him to spend MP to give his weapons and armour enhanced abilities.

For example, instead of allowing the Fighter to cast Fireball, he instead temporarily enchants his sword to deal Fire damage.

Ziegander
2014-01-20, 08:35 AM
Sorry, I keep doing a poor job communicating this: "non-magic" classes wouldn't automatically get the Sorcerer's spells known, they just have the capacity to learn and "memorize" that many spells of each level, if they choose to. They would be given other options to spend their MP on things exactly like what you just mentioned, flaming swords, special attacks, and the like.

What I really want to do is design a world in which magic is inherent to the world and easy enough for "non-spellcasting" classes to pick up and use just like they would pick up a new piece of equipment, but one where the "spellcasting classes" are still better with magic than they are. I would like to incorporate multiple forms of magic in the world, such as arcane and divine, soul binding, and truenaming, but for right now let's stick with what we have and see where it goes.

D-naras
2014-01-20, 09:28 AM
How will classes learn magic? The wizard has his spellbook as a class feature that gives him free spells. Will other classes gain access to magic using feats?

Ziegander
2014-01-20, 09:36 AM
How will classes learn magic? The wizard has his spellbook as a class feature that gives him free spells. Will other classes gain access to magic using feats?

No, they just go, "hey, that fireball was neat, how can I learn that?" and then they research, study, practice and spend some money and now they learn it. Time and cost to learn would increase by spell level.

TuggyNE
2014-01-20, 05:51 PM
This is a good idea, but it's not going to be a quick hack, since you need to rewrite several classes, probably rewrite a number of spells, modify all the other classes, tweak various bits around the system, and write up a bunch of new uses for MP in weapons, armor, and possibly more class features.

Ziegander
2014-01-20, 06:22 PM
This is a good idea, but it's not going to be a quick hack, since you need to rewrite several classes, probably rewrite a number of spells, modify all the other classes, tweak various bits around the system, and write up a bunch of new uses for MP in weapons, armor, and possibly more class features.

Well, yeah, I guess you're right. I guess this was more of an interest check to see if the changes were something people would be able to get into.

TuggyNE
2014-01-20, 07:21 PM
Well, yeah, I guess you're right. I guess this was more of an interest check to see if the changes were something people would be able to get into.

It's one of the main ideas I had for my own new semi-generic system (still ridiculously WIP, and has been for a coupla years now), so I should certainly hope so. :smallwink: