View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Magic for everyone! Almost...

2014-06-21, 07:04 PM
Hello Playground!

I am trying to put together a homebrew world where magic is more easily accessible - and also more volatile -than normal.
The point of this thread is to create a way for mundane 3.5 classes to access spells - mostly for out of combat utility. In order to keep casters from becoming redundant, I'd like these spells to come with a very real risk of failure if done incorrectly, possibly with very painful consequences.

My idea:

Ritual Magic

Casting duration: Any spell cast in this way has its casting duration increased by 10, to a minimum of one minute.
Casting must be continuous, an act of concentration (Standard action each round) for the duration of the spell's casting. Example: A wife praying for a blessing for her husband at the temple may move between the different alcoves to pray to different saints if she wishes, but her prayer must occupy her full attention.

Cost: Each spell cast in this way must include the sacrifice of materials equal to 10 times the material cost of the original spell, to a minimum of 1gp.

Location: The spell must be cast within or at an area dedicated to that purpose, such as a bonfire, altar within a temple, ritual circle, whathaveyou. This area must take at least a minute to prepare - as a show of dedication, or to draw arcane symbols and light candles etc. Casters may not leave the dedicated area for the duration of the casting.

Skill check: Still working on this... Needed: A system for including multiple participants... my thinking is a +2 stackable bonus per extra participant to a caster level check equal to DC 15 + Level of the spell being cast. This system would assume a caster may take 10 on this check, but not 20.

Chance of failure: There is a 10% chance of failure per spell level. Level 1 spells have a 10% failure rate, level 9 spells have a 90% failure rate. Whether the spell simply fails, or has a negative effect on subject of the spell remains to be seen.

Due to the volatility of magic, casters of any kind incur a greater risk of failing when attempting to cast a spell in this manner. This is represented by an increased failure chance of 10% per level of the highest level spell they are able to cast. A level 1 cleric incurs a 20% chance of failing to cast a level 1 spell in this way. A level 20 wizard is not even able to conjure a simple cantrip without negative consequences, whereas a paladin of level 20, who can cast 5th level spells, is able to cast spells up to level 4 with a slim chance of success.

For example: A family of commoners may now travel to the local temple to entreat their deity to save their sick son. They sacrifice a lamb from their flock and pray for a day and night over the body of their son.
Essentially, they sacrificed 8gp (price of a mule in the PHB) for a Cure Light Wounds spell and enacted the ritual by ceaselessly praying for a duration. They do not know any better, but they paid more than required and spent more time on the ritual than required, but they know that sometimes their god will shift his gaze from his favoured sons and daughters for a moment and hear their plea.

Any ideas, suggestions and/or additions?
Thanks everyone!

2014-06-21, 07:59 PM
I've done something quite similar in the broad ideas, though I never thought of dedicated locations. See here: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=12769204&postcount=5

Posts 5 and 6. Feel free to steal any of those ideas.

2014-06-22, 02:42 AM
If you implement this, the ability to (mostly) reliably cast an enormous number of low-spells for an investment of 1gp and a minute of your time would logically wreak enormous consequences on your game world, both in terms of improvements to production, communication, travel, and medical care, and in terms of the potential fallout from catastrophic failure when foolish folk gamble with powerful spells and are unlucky. I'd suggest you think in detail through the impact this will have on your setting, especially if this kind of magic has been available for hundreds or even thousands of years.

2014-06-22, 09:01 AM
Though you could also make the "opening" of magic a relatively recent development, in-setting.