View Full Version : Gimping the spell casting mechanic

2007-03-05, 06:50 PM
How fair would it be, in the over all spectrum of things to introduce these exiting new elements into the dnd game system?

A. make it so that you cannot take a 5 foot step and then cast a spell without provoking an AoO my current DM does this to make casters more vulnerable.

B. Make the concentration DC be 15+1.5Xspell level instead of the way it's written now. (this is somthing i do in my DMing for the same reasons)

C. Make a Spell craft check to cast a spell DC 10 +spell level and a half. Failure would mean that the spell didn't work, but you don't lose the spell (this wouldn't apply to palidin and ranger spells, nor would it apply to out of combat situations.) This is based on the rationale that a none caster class needs to make a roll to do there job, but not a spell caster.

2007-03-05, 07:09 PM
I think it would punish the casters at low levels and not at high levels, which is more or less the exact opposite of what is needed. Skill Checks any skill checks are either always pass or dont bother at high levels unless your running a **** and giggles build.

A. Their's already kind of this out their , pursue a feat from ECS i believe that requires action points but could be made into a different mechanic easily enough. One Feat vs every caster being gimped all the time= nice

B+C as above. If you want to control the power level of spells casters control their access to spells, not their casts. Ie Sorcerer vs Wizard.


2007-03-05, 09:17 PM
Yeah i ve come to the conclusion that the DC is way to high for the spell craft, so I'll put it to a 10 plus twice the spell level. But making that mechanic (the one from ECS) just a regular ability that every one had, that might work a bit better, and isn't nearly as confusing. Thanks man, I'll check it, but still people post! I want to see if I can make this thing work! What is ECS? I thought it was complete scoundrel, but could't find it.

2007-03-06, 03:18 AM
Personally, I don't think this is a sound idea.

A: I wouldn't recommend this unless you also tweak the five foot step rules for other actions that provoke attacks of oppertunity. I know the goal here is to nerf spell casting, but this idea smacks of obnoxious special casing and dosn't fit logically into the framework of the existing combat rules.

B: While I'm not sure of the exact gameplay results of this mechanic change, I don't think it would really change things much. Most of the heavy damage dealing arcane spells are at range anyway. The divine inflict spells are touch, but I think a well built cleric will have the AC and Con score to handle it anyway. Besides which, clerics, especially at high levels (when spellcasters outclass melee types), have a wide variety of ranged spells or can just tank instead.

C: This idea is just silly. While the idea of a Spellcraft roll does have some merit, it becomes mostly irrelevant once you reach the levels where spellcasting (supposedly) becomes problematic. Furthermore, most spells allow a save or require an attack roll of some sort, therefore, adding a second level of dice rolling seems unfair to me. The part that makes it silly is that the minor spellcasters, who barely know how to use magic, can cast their spells consistantly, but the full casters, who spent their entire lives in the study of magic, will have to roll and may not end up doing anything.

In the end, I think the constant complaining that spellcasters are overpowered misses a key point. They're only dominating a high levels, at low levels, the martial classes far surpass them. As levels rise the balance begins to shift. I think this is an acceptable trade off.

If you don't agree, then I think you should try to "fix" things from the other end. I.E. you should attempt to make the martial characters keep up rather than attempting to pull the spellcasters down. BESM d20 does this. In it's conversion of the DnD classes, it gives extra character points to the martial classes at higher levels to keep them in line with the spellcasters. Unfortunatly, you can't apply this solution directly to standard DnD because it dosn't have character points. But it is an idea you could draw some inspiration from.

2007-03-06, 11:59 AM
A. Yeah, I should tweak it for everyones sake, so bows and other ranged weoponry would also be like the spell casting

B. It means that a spell caster really needs to have concentration ramped up, and even then they are screwed without people to back them up, wall, if you will.

C. This idea I just thought up, I like it for 2 reasons, 1 it balances over all with the fact that, Spell casters, in general, don't have to deal with recieving AoOs, as they can simply as you put it sit at range. It also makes a spell caster think twice, about charging into battle, without buffing before hand, AE if theres a chance that his Divine might just might not work, then he was being foolish. Finally at lower levels the DC is a boop, but later on a practised wizard only has troubles with a few of his spells, the 9th level ones, and thats just assuming he is

2007-03-07, 05:57 AM
Well, I still think it's silly that full casters have to roll while half casters don't.

Emperor Tippy
2007-03-07, 09:24 AM
The 5 foot step rule makes no sense (not that ruels have to) and it goes against all D&D precedent (you can 5 foot step while takeign a full round action).

The Concentration check will still be passed by any full caster worth the name. Skill checks are worthless at high levels becuse they will always be made or wont even be attempted. 10+ twice the spell level gives you a DC 28 check. Any caster worth his name will make that all the time.

The spellcraft idea is even wosre for numerous reasons.

If you want to weaken the caster there are numerosu ways to do it but this isn't one.

2007-03-07, 03:40 PM
Well, apparently another failed attempt, though I do like both A and B

2007-03-08, 05:40 PM
I like C, but that's probably because I use a similar thing.

Okay, so the average Spell Caster is expected to have Spell Craft 4 with at least a +2 Attribute Bonus. Add to that a Skill Focus or somesuch thing and you have a base bonus of around Spell Craft +9. You could make the Spell Craft Check DC 10 + (Spell Level x2). Add on Circumstance Modifiers and adjust Spells by actual power you are pretty much good to go.

Seriously, though, it is a systemic change to introduce this sort of thing, rather than a quick fix.

2007-03-09, 01:37 AM
Hmm...I'm trying to think of a good way of setting DCs for spellcasting that will continue to be a challenge, but not impossible, at higher levels. 10 + (spell level ^ 2) is too tough--DC 91 for a 9th level spell, but how about the following?

{table=head]Spell Level | Spellcraft/Knowledge (Religion) DC
1st | 11
2nd | 13
3rd | 16
4th | 20
5th | 25
6th | 31
7th | 38
8th | 46
9th | 55

Challenging but doable at all levels, right? I mean, if you pump Spellcraft (or Knowledge:Religion) and have a good Int/wis.

2007-03-09, 06:13 AM
The problem with the Spellcraft rule, any Spellcraft rule like this, is that every caster HAS to take spellcraft, even the Ranger and Paladin class will need it(and for them it's cross-class). This makes spellcraft as a skill much more valuable than any other skill, since spellcraft can be used for much more than just casting spells.

Also, the spellcaster problem is not the way they cast spells, it's the spells themselves. So, if one wants to weaken them consistently without destroying the game mechanics, every spell will have to be reviewed and changed(spell level, area of effect, duration, range...). If the Fireball spell as it is would be a spell level 5 or 6 spell and the development would then go on as usual, it could work out.

Personally, I blame the spell slot system. Since spell slots are very rare, especially higher level slots, the spells have to be powerfull to make up with that fact. So one thing one could do is change the number of spell slots available to casters such that low-level slots are more numerous and high-level ones are less available.

If You really want to introduce a check for casting spells, remove the spell slots and introduce a caster skill, call it Spellcasting or whatever. Instead of spell slots grant them one additional skill point per level which has to be spent on the Spellcasting skill. Problem: The Skill Focus feat should not be applicable to the Spellcasting skill.
Make Spellcasting checks each time a caster wants to cast a spell. The difficulty class should be set in a way that a caster with the minimum required ability to cast a spell of that spell level can succeed with 40% probability:

Spell level Spellcasting DC

0 17
1 18
2 20
3 22
4 25
5 27
6 30
7 32
8 35
9 37

If a caster doesn't make the spellcraft check, he gets damage equal to the spells level, minimum 0 for cantrips. If a caster rolls a natural 1 on a Spellcasting check, he fumbles: the spell fails and he takes double the usual damage(This one is optional).

This way, high level casters will always succeed on low-level spells but still need considerable afford(and suffer considerable risk) at high levels. Also, spellcasters with high constitution bonus are more likely to survive long periods of casting, as are clerics and druids who can heal themselves.