View Full Version : Low magic campaign variant rules [PEACH]

2007-03-16, 11:56 AM
Continuing from one of my older threads discussing magical strength, magical frequency, and rules adjusting to it, I've decided to put down some variant rules for low magic campaigns. Feel free to add your own ideas if you have any.

Rule 1: With Great Power, comes a terrible price... *wiggle fingers*

Every spell you cast costs you XP. The cost is spell level x caster level of spell. Any XP cost that is already included in the spell are still included.

this also means that now all spells you hire an NPC spell caster to cast will have the "5 GP to 1 XP" component in there somewhere.

Rule 2: Now if I want to do that again, I'll have to go lie down for a while.

Spells preparation takes significantly longer to prepare. When preparing spells, it no longer takes one single hour of study/prayer/meditation/what have you. Every spell being prepared will have to be prepared seperately at 10 minutes per spell level. Thus, to prepare 6 level 1 spells would take a full hour, while preparing for one level 9 will take a full hour and a half. This means that parties will have to either take longer resting times or the wizard will have to learn to be choosier with their spell usage.

2007-03-16, 03:32 PM
These rules just nerf casters way too much to work with anyone in your party being a caster class.

2007-03-16, 04:33 PM
Rule 2: Now if I want to do that again, I'll have to go lie down for a while.
That was 2e preparation. I remember playing Pools of Darkness, the ultimate of the "Gold Box" TSR computer games, and having to take 2-3 days of rest after big fights for my wizards to reprepare all their magic. Funny.

This one really would discourage spell casters, making them useful without being overpowering. Just make sure they don't lose spells already prepared because they sleep.

2007-03-16, 04:40 PM
While low magic can be good in occasion, with these rules being a magicuser becomes a pain.So why would anyone triffle with it?

I think you should add some improvements to magical effects,so it would be reasonable for spellcasters to still exits.
My humble thoughts,though...

2007-03-16, 05:00 PM
I guess these rules are mostly for games that don't have magic-users as PC's. I wouldn't use D&D as a system in that case, myself.

2007-03-16, 08:26 PM
These changes sound okay. I would suggest reducing available Spell Slots as well as a slower rate of Spell Slot recovery.

2007-03-16, 08:41 PM
I'm running a low-magic campaign right now, and I have a couple of ideas for nerfing spellcasters.

First things first, go through and find all the spells that you don't want your casters to have, and take them off of their spell lists. You are god, you decide the perameters of magic here.

An alternative or addition to that, is, instead of taking away spell slots, just make certain spells take off a greater number of spell slots, similar to the "Great power at a great cost" deal. For example, any spell that can instantly kill or do very high damage is worth 2, maybe 3 spell slots of that level, make them really think about using the strong stuff.

Use concentration checks for sustained magical effects that could be resisted. An example I gave earlier today was the forcecage, where when someone inside resists physically, you make the caster make a concentration check with a DC of D20 + STR of target + 1/2 Target level, applying your own caster level to the roll. This works with other things like Bigbys Hand or even transmutations. Things like alter self can be nulled by requiring a concentration check each round to see whether you can maintain the desired form. A good rule of thumb is Concentration to beat a DC of 10 + number of creatures HD +1/round of maintained transmutation, you can roll the concentration once at the beginning of the spell and that is the number of rounds you're allowed to maintain the polymorph. This reflect not only that it is harder to transmute something that is tougher, but also that as time grows on the effect of the spell begins to weaken.

One thing I always, ALWAYS do, is have the druid roll concentration + druid level before he takes a wild shape, the result being the number of rounds he is allowed to stay in that shape.