View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Free bonus feat for a "Not-Hogwarts" magical college

2017-09-07, 11:14 AM
I'm going to be running a Pathfinder campaign in which the players are students at a magical college which bears some resemblance to Hogwarts.
As part of the effort to add that kind of flavor to the game, I am planning on giving a free bonus feat centered around using wands for their spellwork.
The jury is still out on using terrible Latin as well.
What kind of bonus should it be? It needs to be something that is worthwhile enough to encourage everyone to use a wand, but not overpowering.
Having a wand count as a spell component pouch and either give +1 to hit or +1 to DCs was my first idea.

What are your thoughts?

2017-09-07, 11:23 AM
Well, I love scalable... in this case I would assume with CL...here is a very rough idea. These would stack/overlap w/previous benefits/
1st: +1 DC
5th: +1 CL
10th: +1 DC
and so on
Or let them have a special wand that counts as an arcane foucs for spells equal to 1.2 their level... interesting idea

2017-09-07, 01:17 PM
To go full Harry Potter, you could change all spells into ray spells, like the beholder's eye beams. Of course, that would be a downgrade for any spell that wasn't already a ranged touch attack, by adding a second potential point of failure, so you'd need a considerable bonus in return.

I'm guessing all the players are full casters in this game?

2017-09-07, 01:36 PM
I wasn't planning on altering spells other than adding the Unforgivables (and having them give Taint).
As you said, it just gives more points of failure, which aren't needed.
Yes, the game will be a gestalt with the requirement that the character be able to cast ninth level spells, powers, or the like by 20th level.

2017-09-07, 02:45 PM
A different take on going all-out Potterverse: Change all spells to require a focus in place of any material component. In Potterverse, wandless casting is very rare if it is possible at all (for humans) and you never see them using material components except in potion brewing. This also has the advantage of being dead simple. And if you don't want the wand to be an absolute requirement, make "Wandless Spell" a new metamagic feat. (There ought to be a material/focus analog to Silent Spell and Still Spell in SRD, but I don't see one.) Potterverse wizards and witches often use Silent Spell, and sometimes make their wand motions small and subtle like a half measure of Still Spell, so metamagic of the alter-how-you-cast-it type is obviously a thing.

2017-09-07, 02:58 PM
There was an epic feat I remember reading somewhere, where instead of expending charges from a wand or staff to use a spell from it, you instead expend a spell slot. This turned wands and staves into effective extra spells known, encouraging stockpiling of wands, which is not what you want. But what about reversing it?

Choose a school of magic.
Whenever you cast a spell of that school, you may also expend a charge from a wand you possess matching that school. If the caster level of the wand exceeds your own, you gain a +1 bonus to the caster level of the spell. If the spell contained in the wand is of higher level the one you cast, you gain a +1 bonus to the attack roll and save DC of the spell (if any).

You could twiddle the way it responds to the wand's features, too, but be wary of encouraging people to stockpile wands with different features.

The Vagabond
2017-09-07, 06:34 PM
Psst. Spheres of Power (http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/) is a very good for Potterverse ma-
Anyway, I'd go with granting either a scaling bonus to CL, the ability to replace any material component with a magical focus, or, perhaps, a minorly scaling reduction in metamagic cost, in exchange for turning any given spell into a Ray spell.

Perhaps a variant of Item Familiar, with the familiar being the wand, and it's intelligence being removed in exchange for some aformentioned benefit.

2017-09-08, 03:17 PM
Personally, as a bonus 1st level feat, I would go with something like this.

Wand Mage
Effect: You can cast any spell with a material component costing 1 gp or less using any wand or rod as a arcane focus. The casting of the spell still provokes attacks of opportunity as normal. If the spell requires a material component that costs more than 1 gp, you must have the material component on hand to cast the spell, as normal.
Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against spells that deal damage of the energy type of the spell that is stored in the wand used as a focus.
Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against spells that have the same school of the spell that is stored in the wand used as a focus.

You could then build a few more feats to improve on this, and maybe even use some of the wands from 4e as ideas for special wands.

2017-09-09, 11:17 AM
Regarding the "substitute a focus for all material components" idea that I posted earlier, it has the major drawback that it is not an extra feat at first level, i.e. it is not what you asked for. Fot that, my apologies. But it does, IMHO do the best job of making 3.P like Potterverse casting. So a good question is: just how much like Potterverse caasting do you want? Are you looking for wands optional and beneficial, or are you looking for wands mandatory in fact or for all practical purposes?

2017-09-12, 10:13 AM
I was looking to make wands nearly mandatory, requiring a feat to go back to using material components.
After more thought, I like the tradeoff of the wand being a universal focus but the spells become rays.
It'll probably be where they get to pick a signature spell or school of magic that the wand is better at channeling and give a bonus when using those spells.

Thank you for chewing on this and providing input!

2017-09-15, 12:53 PM
You can always give them a bonus feat like Two Wand Technique once they have gained a level. You don't have to give it out right away. This feat is from Advanced Feats: Visions of the Oracle. Author: Sigfried Trent Copyright 2011, Open Design LLC, www.koboldquarterly.com.

You can find it here as it is open content.

Two Wand Technique
You dual-wield wands and can use them both with one action.
Prerequisites: Dex 15, Spellcraft 5 ranks
Benefit: You may activate up to two wands with a single standard action provided you hold each in a different hand.
Special: If one of the wands casts a spell with a casting time longer than 1 action, you activate both wands in the time needed for the longest casting time of the two wands.


2017-09-15, 01:34 PM
Since we're talking about a Potteresque wand as a focus where the user is still the one casting the spell, how would this work? Allowing two spells cast per round seems game breaking to me.