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    Default [3.5] Psionic Mechanics, Arcane Flavor (Updated 30/04/14)

    I am one of those who thinks the psionic subsystem is one of the most elegantly designed things in D&D 3.5. In many ways, I think it's how spellcasting should have been done in 3.5. And I'd like to use it for more things.

    But when I try to replace the core vancian casting with psionics, I run into a couple of problems.

    • Options are missing. There are things the core classes can do that simply can't be faithfully replicated with psionics. The psionic system is powerful enough, no doubt about that. It can pretty much always get the job done. But if I wanted to, say, play a necromancer, I'd probably have to reflavor Astral Constructs as my zombies and some Stygian powers as my negative energy effects. Which works, but wasn't really what I was looking for in the first place. Which brings me to the second problem:
    • The flavor doesn't always fit. Now, I think it's cool - if viewed on its own terms. The crystals and tattoo theme the books have going on is a perfectly good way to look at magic, but in my experience, it doesn't always live up to people's ideas about what D&D magic "should" look like. DMs still ban psionics for "flavor reasons", or because it doesn't "fit their setting". Which, I must say, I understand perfectly.


    So what can I do? Well, I devised a twofold solution to the twofold problem.
    • I translated the core spells and classes over to psionic mechanics.
    • As for the system itself (as well as some doodads like the basic magic items), I changed every reference to "power", "manifester", "crystals" and "psionic", and so on to... well, their arcane counterparts. In other words, when people say "just reflavor psionics to fit your setting/concept" - I'd like to think I did precisely that.


    And here is the result. (.pdf, 1.8 MB) I suggest linking to this thread rather than hotlinking, I expect this thread to be rather more permanent.
    It includes a complete conversion of the psionic base system, feats and fundamental items over to magical terminology, as well as, more importantly, translated classes to utilize the mechanics, and a relatively thorough conversion of the Sorcerer/Wizard, Cleric, Bard, Paladin, Assassin and Blackguard lists over to what 3.5 fans know as psionic mechanics. For the classes presented so far, it should be playable from 1-20.

    Now, like all homebrewers, I hope that this is actually useful, and that I can get some feedback. But I don't expect anyone to just accept that the stuff I churned out is awesome enough to read the over 300 pages of it. Instead, I suggest that the potentially interested do the following:
    1. Download the document (see link above).
    2. If you know how psionics in 3.5 work, proceed to step 3. All you will find in the first few chapters is that this is a reprinting of the psionic mechanics, that the Wizard works just like the Psion, and so on. If you don't, well, please read the Wizard class, and tell me whether it makes any sense to you!
    3. Navigate to the "Spells" section (the pdf is thoroughly bookmarked). Find your favourite spell or two.
    4. Tell me what you think! You don't need to be a grandmaster of homebrewing to tell if I royally screwed something up, so please tell me if you find something odd, no matter how trivial or "just your opinion" you think it is.


    For those that are still reading, I have a FAQ for you:
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    • There's a spell point variant in Unearthed Arcana/the SRD, as well as about 500 homebrew versions. Why, oh why, Ernir, are you trying to invent the wheel?
      The primary difference between this project and every other spell point variant I have seen is simple - I rewrote the spells so that they take the system into account. No other spell point system I have seen has done this.
      In addition, this isn't really a new spell point system. This is the well known and researched psionic system, which we all know works. I just added a paint job and a new bell or two.
    • Did you fix magic forever?
      No, I didn't. My primary goal was to give the vancian flavor a better system, balancing it was not my primary concern. The Wizard class resulting from this is still exorbitantly more powerful than any "mundane" class in WotC D&D, if you ask me. That being said, I did rewrite all the spells, and of course I couldn't resist ironing out some of the kinks I know of. When it came to this, I concentrated my efforts on getting rid of the spells that have truly unbounded/uncontrollable consequences. Wizards can probably still solo most level appropriate encounters, but I hope they'll now run into trouble solo-ing some campaign settings.
    • Did you leave some spells out?
      Lots of spells weren't precisely reproduced. Most of those, however, I just merged with others. The augment system provided by psionics makes it particularly easy to merge spell chains (that is, spells that are just greater/lesser versions of other spells). In addition, I merged some spells that I knew would just never be taken as a spell known otherwise.
    • Did you add a lot of your own content?
      Mixing the core spells up with my own eccentricities was not my original intent. Nevertheless, I did eventually decide to make up quite a few spells of my own (and steal a few psionic powers), usually to fill in nearly-empty spell levels. These are marked as such in the spell listing with an asterisk.
    • Did you change the psionic base system at all?
      A few changes were necessary, for example, changing the discipline/subdiscipline arrangement to fit the school/subschool structure of traditional casting.
      But I did make some less trivial changes.
      • Most significantly, save DCs are now calculated using the number of spell points (power points) spent on the spell, rather than the level of the spell (power). Also, you can now spend more points on a spell than given in its spell points (power points) line, usually to increase the save DC (in other words, all spells now have a "null augment"). This is mostly because adding "Augment: For every 2 additional spell points you spend, this spell's save DC increases by 1." to every single thing was starting to look really ugly.
      • I added a "Polymorph" subschool to the transmutation school to contain the mechanics of my new Polymorph-ish spells.
      • I added a "minion" type of spells to put a cap on the number of will-less minions you can have. This is a recent addition, I have yet to do much with it.
    • Are you done working on this?
      Hell no. Next up is to update more magic items, and hack on some epic support. Maybe make some base classes of my own! I'll be here for a while.
    • What are you working on right now?
      New base classes, and trying to find the courage needed to tackle Epic.
    • Can I contribute?
      Yes, you can! Feedback in this thread is always appreciated, much of it has already made its way into the document one way or another. If you are daring (and have the tiniest bit of LaTeX know-how), you can head over to Github and have a peek at the source, too.


    Thanks for reading this far, please tell me what you think!
    Last edited by Ernir; 2014-05-14 at 05:23 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Yes. Just yes. This looks well thought out, sensible, balanced, and interesting. And it uses my Principle of Equivalence!

    Edit: Only thing I see thusfar that I dislike is the Sorcerer. Surely you could come up with something for them? Sort of like the Wilder, perhaps (but with more cast-y, less 3/4 BAB)?
    Last edited by Welknair; 2011-04-05 at 11:10 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Welknair View Post
    Yes. Just yes. This looks well thought out, sensible, balanced, and interesting.
    Well, that's high praise. Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Welknair View Post
    And it uses my Principle of Equivalence!
    *Does a search for "Principle of Equivalence"*

    Yeah, point-based systems kind of work like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Welknair View Post
    Edit: Only thing I see thusfar that I dislike is the Sorcerer. Surely you could come up with something for them? Sort of like the Wilder, perhaps (but with more cast-y, less 3/4 BAB)?
    No worries, the Sorcerer is next up.

    Not that it'll be anything really drastic (it will share the casting mechanic with the Wizard, of course), but I'm going to try to find enough stuff to make it worthy of its own chassis.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    Not that it'll be anything really drastic (it will share the casting mechanic with the Wizard, of course), but I'm going to try to find enough stuff to make it worthy of its own chassis.
    That's all I'm asking.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    I haven't read it all but since this is based on sorc/wiz spells I don't think I have to. The psionics mechanics are certainly very elegant but what has stopped me heretofore is that I don't know the powers and class mechanics well enough. I'd certainly consider using this to replace Vancian casting, if only because of the acconting, especially for classes that know the entire spell list.

    Translating every spell has also (I hope) given you oppurtunity to fix the broken spells even if you haven't achived "balance".

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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Found a typo, Heroism spell is on the spell list as a lvl 3 spell, and it costs 5sp to cast, but on its description it says Wizard 2 on level.

    Great work, kip it up!

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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Beta 1.01 is up! Now including the Sorcerer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ormur View Post
    Translating every spell has also (I hope) given you oppurtunity to fix the broken spells even if you haven't achived "balance".
    I did use the opportunity to change the big offenders like Polymorph (now split into about a dozen spells), Planar Binding, Gate, and Shapechange.

    Some spells I simply haven't tackled at all yet, these include Shrink Item, Polymorph Any Object, and Rope Trick.
    Quote Originally Posted by chando View Post
    Found a typo, Heroism spell is on the spell list as a lvl 3 spell, and it costs 5sp to cast, but on its description it says Wizard 2 on level.

    Great work, kip it up!
    Thanks. I've fixed it. Should be a level 3 spell.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    At first glance, this looks incredible, but I'm curious, did you transcribe every spell, or just Core? I'm guessing just Core.

    Just glanced at the Sorcerer and Wizard, and they seem much more balanced now, both are limited, and both get new spell levels at the same level. I know some people might be disappointed at the Wizard's loss of ability to learn any spell, so you might consider doing something similar to the Erudite for him. Perhaps, in exchange for not specializing, he gets the Erudites kind of feature. Fluff it as he doesn't have the same mastery as other wizards because he has such a large repertoire.

    The mechanics aren't perfect though, so perhaps instead, he has to pick his spells for the day at random, basically, those are the ones he can remember. In this way, he can do anything , but he doesn't always know what he can do. Perhaps allow him to add or subtract up to half his Int modifier (if positive) rounded down to the random roll to influence his spells a little. That's getting into slightly dangerous territory though, so I'm not entirely sure about that one.
    Last edited by Jallorn; 2011-04-13 at 12:10 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    I've seen a couple of these translations before, but none of them really ring true for me, and here why.

    Source: One of the reasons Magic uses a very different structure from Psionics (or Incarnum or Ninjas with ki or...) Is because the power has a different source. Psionics use an internalized power source, aka their own mental ability, to achieve their powers. Magic is traditionally an external source, be it divine (granted by a god) or arcane (channeled from the universe). Translating the magic system to psionics places that "magic point reserve" on the table, and suddenly the power is internalized, otherwize why is there that numeric limit on how much I can draw? It can be rationalized, but it just doesn't feel right to me.

    Spontaneous Casters: Certainly the break in the above argument are spontaneous casters, but ven spontaneous casters still get this energy from around them, rather than necesarily all from within. They have a talent for acessing that pool of magical energy, rather than having leanred to do it through careful study or having earned it through rigourous prayer. While they do adopt easier they start to feel less like their prepratory brethren, and while they are meant to have a different feel, its not supposed to be that different.

    Spell Levels Vs. Augmentation: This is the classic difference between Magic and Psionics, and I like it. It creates a vast gulf between the two systems, a stylistic chasm. It lets a Psion, a Wizard, A wilder, and A sorcerer glare at eachother and know that each one has a very different power from the others, and that they weild it in very a different way.



    Other than my personal beefs though, looking through the document I didn't really see anything all that origional. The Wizard looked like a Psion with a different name, and the sorcerer looked identical, minus specialization and a higher power point limit. Assigning a power point cost to spells (1+2 per spell level over 1) isn't very hard, so If you want to translate your Psion as a necromancer you could just give him the appropriate powers(spells with the cost equation plugged in), dress him like a sorcerer and call it a day, rather than claim to make a whole new system.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Jallorn View Post
    At first glance, this looks incredible, but I'm curious, did you transcribe every spell, or just Core? I'm guessing just Core.
    Thanks!

    These are only core spells (and a few of my own). The rest isn't OGL, so I can't wholesale reproduce them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jallorn View Post
    Just glanced at the Sorcerer and Wizard, and they seem much more balanced now, both are limited, and both get new spell levels at the same level. I know some people might be disappointed at the Wizard's loss of ability to learn any spell, so you might consider doing something similar to the Erudite for him. Perhaps, in exchange for not specializing, he gets the Erudites kind of feature. Fluff it as he doesn't have the same mastery as other wizards because he has such a large repertoire.

    The mechanics aren't perfect though, so perhaps instead, he has to pick his spells for the day at random, basically, those are the ones he can remember. In this way, he can do anything , but he doesn't always know what he can do. Perhaps allow him to add or subtract up to half his Int modifier (if positive) rounded down to the random roll to influence his spells a little. That's getting into slightly dangerous territory though, so I'm not entirely sure about that one.
    Not a bad idea.

    There being no "generalist" type of Wizard nags me a bit at the moment. And the Erudite way of doing things is pretty cool.
    Problem is that Erudites are also pretty much loose cannons in the system...
    Quote Originally Posted by RunicLGB View Post
    I've seen a couple of these translations before, but none of them really ring true for me, and here why.

    Source: One of the reasons Magic uses a very different structure from Psionics (or Incarnum or Ninjas with ki or...) Is because the power has a different source. Psionics use an internalized power source, aka their own mental ability, to achieve their powers. Magic is traditionally an external source, be it divine (granted by a god) or arcane (channeled from the universe). Translating the magic system to psionics places that "magic point reserve" on the table, and suddenly the power is internalized, otherwize why is there that numeric limit on how much I can draw? It can be rationalized, but it just doesn't feel right to me.

    Spontaneous Casters: Certainly the break in the above argument are spontaneous casters, but ven spontaneous casters still get this energy from around them, rather than necesarily all from within. They have a talent for acessing that pool of magical energy, rather than having leanred to do it through careful study or having earned it through rigourous prayer. While they do adopt easier they start to feel less like their prepratory brethren, and while they are meant to have a different feel, its not supposed to be that different.

    Spell Levels Vs. Augmentation: This is the classic difference between Magic and Psionics, and I like it. It creates a vast gulf between the two systems, a stylistic chasm. It lets a Psion, a Wizard, A wilder, and A sorcerer glare at eachother and know that each one has a very different power from the others, and that they weild it in very a different way.
    Valid points.

    If you like vancian casting the way it is, and think it should retain the things that sets it apart from the other magic system, you aren't likely to find anything of great interest here.

    It may help to understand my position to know that I think of what I did here as a gamist (as in GNS theory) tool, which leaves the interpretation of what it means within the game world up to each individual GM/player.
    Quote Originally Posted by RunicLGB View Post
    Other than my personal beefs though, looking through the document I didn't really see anything all that origional. The Wizard looked like a Psion with a different name, and the sorcerer looked identical, minus specialization and a higher power point limit.
    If it doesn't look original - I'm glad to hear it, actually. I was trying to add as little as I could of my own ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by RunicLGB View Post
    Assigning a power point cost to spells (1+2 per spell level over 1) isn't very hard, so If you want to translate your Psion as a necromancer you could just give him the appropriate powers(spells with the cost equation plugged in), dress him like a sorcerer and call it a day, rather than claim to make a whole new system.
    Here I disagree.
    Hacking a power/spell point cost equation on to the Wizard spell list doesn't quite do the trick. Aside from the differences inherent in the systems (material components and whatnot), you run into issues of scaling and redundancy, and a bunch of tiny little other oddities. These are issues that can be resolved, of course, but most of them are not trivial.
    Resolving these issues for you/your DM is... pretty much what this project is about.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    This is a lot of stuff to read, so I'm going to ask directly:

    For my campaign, I have removed all spellcasters and replaced them with refluffed psions. But that makes a lot of effects that exist only as spells unavailable. Can I just use your spells with a standard psion, or are there any additional things I have to consider?
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    How on earth is a point-based system versus slot-based system different in terms of internal vs. external? Traditionally slot-based has been external and point-based has been internal, but there's absolutely nothing inherent (that I can see, anyway!) about them that makes these things true.

    Anyway, Ernir, this is awesome, but you know that. Very nice work all around.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    This is a lot of stuff to read, so I'm going to ask directly:

    For my campaign, I have removed all spellcasters and replaced them with refluffed psions. But that makes a lot of effects that exist only as spells unavailable. Can I just use your spells with a standard psion, or are there any additional things I have to consider?
    In short: Yes. These spells are divvied into nine levels with point costs the same as powers of equal level. They even have Augments!


    Taking a look at the Sorcerer... I was hoping for a bit more differentiation between the Sorcerer and the Wizard. Currently the Sorcerer is different only by greater raw power, less versatility, and limited access to specialized spells. I was thinking something along the lines of the Demented One's Spell Flux would be in order. Besides that, looking good.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    This is a lot of stuff to read, so I'm going to ask directly:

    For my campaign, I have removed all spellcasters and replaced them with refluffed psions. But that makes a lot of effects that exist only as spells unavailable. Can I just use your spells with a standard psion, or are there any additional things I have to consider?
    On the technical end, you'd have to
    • Remove the V/S components, and pick a psionic display instead.
    • Possibly add an augment like "For every 2 additional power points you spend, the save DC of this power increases by 1" to a lot of spells. This was one thing I really did change in the psionic system.


    Apart from that it should more or less work.

    Be wary of things that increase manifester level, though.
    The way I did it, augments tend to duplicate the effects of higher level spells, so you may end up with players getting access to level-inappropriate abilities if they get their hands on powerful manifester level boosters.


    (Of course, if you're going to use reflavored Psions, I'd recommend you just use the reflavored Psion Wizard class I made, but I may be biased. )

    Quote Originally Posted by Welknair View Post
    Taking a look at the Sorcerer... I was hoping for a bit more differentiation between the Sorcerer and the Wizard. Currently the Sorcerer is different only by greater raw power, less versatility, and limited access to specialized spells. I was thinking something along the lines of the Demented One's Spell Flux would be in order. Besides that, looking good.
    Yes, it isn't as different from the Wizard as I'd like. =/

    Spell Flux, you say? Interesting. I'll look into it when I get back to my own 'puter!
    Thanks.

    I'd definitely need to change how it increases your caster level, though. But adapting it would be a given anyway.
    Last edited by Ernir; 2011-04-13 at 08:56 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Yeah, I think both the Wizard and the Sorcerer could use some actual class features. Nothing big, just something utilitarian. Preferably something usable even when out of spell points.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by RunicLGB View Post
    (snip) Magic is traditionally an external source, be it divine (granted by a god) or arcane (channeled from the universe). Translating the magic system to psionics places that "magic point reserve" on the table, and suddenly the power is internalized, otherwize why is there that numeric limit on how much I can draw? It can be rationalized, but it just doesn't feel right to me. (snip)
    As someone else has stated, they had a limit before -- the number of spell slots of each level. That was even more of a limit, if you ask me -- they had all this power, but could only do so many of each level? Why couldn't they save up those lower level slots to power a higher level spell? Limited, indeed.

    Also, you can look at it from the perspective that there is no limit on that external power, merely a limit on how much they can handle channeling in a day.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    I like what you've done so far. The changes to the actual spells seem well thought, from what I've seen so far. I especially like the clarifications in Anti-Magic Field. It's always fun to see healing back in Necromancy. Building Permanency into the spells is smart.

    Overall, I have to say that this is great. I look forward to seeing what you do with the divine casters.

    Specific comments:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Skills

    Concentration: The subheading should be "Gain Magical Focus," not "Gain Psionic Focus." Similarly, under "Check," there are several references to manifesting powers where it should be changed to casting spells.


    Feats

    Spellstaff Containment: Refers to "the crystal" being within 5 feet of you instead of the staff.


    Spells

    Aligned Protection: The first augment only accounts for the Protection from/Magic Circle against Evil version, preventing nongood creatures from entering, rather than those with an opposed alignment.

    Animal's Movement: The example speed increases for Cheetah's Legs are true for a "multiplication" factor of 6, not 5.

    Aura of Fire: Needs the "Spell Resistance: See text" line.

    Chain Lightning: The cold option for this spell refers to the save DC to reduce the damage of a missile, rather than an arc.

    Cone of Cold: The sonic option for this spell indicates that it deals 1 damage per die, rather than -1 damage per die (i.e.: 1 damage less than normal, as opposed to minimum damage).

    Contingency: Not vital, but it would be nice to see this rewritten a little bit to clarify how it is augmented. Also note that both Psionic Contingency and the original Contingency have maximum spell/power levels equal to one third your CL/ML, not maximum SP/PP spent. I'm not sure if this is a mistranslation or part of your tweaks. There's also something slicker about using an immediate action to trigger it rather than a predetermined condition. That might also account for the nerf in the effectiveness of the companion spell.

    Darkness: The augmentation options should be cleaned up. The fact that you can only augment it in one way (not both) should be made more explicit. Additionally, the indication of how you can spend a number of spell points to counter/dispel Light spells indicates that you can spend as little as 1 SP, despite the spell's cost being 3. Suggested fix:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Augment: You can augment the spell in one (but not both) of the following ways:
    1. ...
    2. ...
    In addition, you may spend any number of additional spell points when casting this spell (subject to your normal limits). While they do not directly provide any additional benefits, they still contribute to determining what Light spells can be countered or dispelled.


    Daze: I know that the psionic version has the exact same augment, but that wording always irks me. I think it should be "For every additional spell point you spend, the maximum hit dice of creatures this spell can affect increases by 1." Feel free to ignore me if you prefer.

    Deadly Fight: Should probably have the Death descriptor.

    Deadly Fog: Should say "You choose between acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage" instead of "...electricity, re damage." The acid option for this spell indicates that it deals 1 damage per die, rather than -1 damage per die (i.e.: 1 damage less than normal, as opposed to minimum damage).

    Dispel Magic, Dispelling Touch: You may wish to change the augment to increasing the maximum bonus to your dispel check from your caster level, rather than granting a direct bonus to it. Otherwise, it grants rather ridiculous bonuses to your check (+20 on the check at level 10 vs. an expected DC of 21, or +16 vs. DC 17 @8th for Dispelling Touch), which then drops off as the spell suddenly stops scaling.

    Ethereal Jaunt: Without augmentation, can this affect creatures other than yourself? The range says yes, but the text says no. Also note that the original Etherealness (Ethereal Jaunt's multi-target brother) only affects willing creatures, not just any one touched.

    Eyebite: The augmentation example is wrong. According to the table, spending 1 additional power point means that creatures with 5 HD or less are comatose, not 4 HD.

    Forced Visions: I don't suppose this has any relation to my Weaponized Divination spells, by any chance? Just wishful thinking on my part.

    Form of the CREATURE: The ranges and spell listings of these spells indicate that they can be used on other subjects, but the spell descriptions specify you only.

    Freedom of Movement: Along with several other spells, this spell's description switches between "you" and "the subject" somewhat disconcertingly.

    Freezing Sphere: There is an erroneous comma in the augment. It should read "In addition, for every 2 additional spell points you spend," instead of "...spell points, you spend."

    Gaseous Form: Can the augmented wind speed affect subjects other than yourself?

    Globe of Invulnerability: There's a mismatch between the number of spell points blocked (5) and the indicated value of spell points that ignore the globe (listed as 6 immediately afterwards, but 7 later on).

    Halt Undead: Undead are immune to mind-affecting effects. This should not have the mind-affecting descriptor.

    Heroism: Note that Greater Heroism also grants temporary hit points equal to the caster level (maximum 20).

    Identify: Note that Analyze Dweomer allows you to identify one thing per round as a free action after it has been cast, can detect and identify the auras present on creatures, and perfectly identifies cursed items (Identify only has a 1% chance/level of identifying the curse).

    Light: See the note in Darkness about making it clear that you can only select one augment.

    Meteor: At first, I thought this was just another Evocation blast spell. Then I saw the range and area. Definitely more of a plot spell than a tactical one, due to the variable radius. A rather literal campaign smasher, although by the level it comes up, it's probably more of a plot point than a campaign smasher. I still prefer the Locate City Bomb for style points, though.

    Reality Veil: Refers to itself as Microcosm in the single target section.

    Sleep: See the note on Daze about the wording of the augment.

    Slow: The augment is somewhat redundant, since the spell affects one creature/cl by default.

    Spell Turning: Is there any reason that the limited number of spell levels turned was removed? I'm not complaining, not until I've re-evaluated the spell as it is and decided if it's better with the changes.


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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Jallorn View Post
    Yeah, I think both the Wizard and the Sorcerer could use some actual class features. Nothing big, just something utilitarian. Preferably something usable even when out of spell points.
    At least in the Wizard's case, I'm thinking about implementing class features in the form of specialist ACFs.

    I have a bit of a beef with random "one size fits all" features. =/
    (Favored Soul energy resistances, I'm looking at you!)
    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    Interesting, yes.

    I'm not quite sure I get it, though. Do they use the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list? Shall we make all applicable assumptions about the terminology? How do you handle scaling and augments other than the DC augment?
    Quote Originally Posted by Garryl View Post
    I like what you've done so far. The changes to the actual spells seem well thought, from what I've seen so far. I especially like the clarifications in Anti-Magic Field. It's always fun to see healing back in Necromancy. Building Permanency into the spells is smart.

    Overall, I have to say that this is great. I look forward to seeing what you do with the divine casters.
    Thanks. Especially great since I know you really went through this. =D
    Quote Originally Posted by Garryl View Post
    Specific comments:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Skills

    Concentration: The subheading should be "Gain Magical Focus," not "Gain Psionic Focus." Similarly, under "Check," there are several references to manifesting powers where it should be changed to casting spells.


    Feats

    Spellstaff Containment: Refers to "the crystal" being within 5 feet of you instead of the staff.


    Spells

    Aligned Protection: The first augment only accounts for the Protection from/Magic Circle against Evil version, preventing nongood creatures from entering, rather than those with an opposed alignment.

    Animal's Movement: The example speed increases for Cheetah's Legs are true for a "multiplication" factor of 6, not 5.

    Aura of Fire: Needs the "Spell Resistance: See text" line.

    Chain Lightning: The cold option for this spell refers to the save DC to reduce the damage of a missile, rather than an arc.

    Cone of Cold: The sonic option for this spell indicates that it deals 1 damage per die, rather than -1 damage per die (i.e.: 1 damage less than normal, as opposed to minimum damage).

    Contingency: Not vital, but it would be nice to see this rewritten a little bit to clarify how it is augmented. Also note that both Psionic Contingency and the original Contingency have maximum spell/power levels equal to one third your CL/ML, not maximum SP/PP spent. I'm not sure if this is a mistranslation or part of your tweaks. There's also something slicker about using an immediate action to trigger it rather than a predetermined condition. That might also account for the nerf in the effectiveness of the companion spell.

    Darkness: The augmentation options should be cleaned up. The fact that you can only augment it in one way (not both) should be made more explicit. Additionally, the indication of how you can spend a number of spell points to counter/dispel Light spells indicates that you can spend as little as 1 SP, despite the spell's cost being 3. Suggested fix:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Augment: You can augment the spell in one (but not both) of the following ways:
    1. ...
    2. ...
    In addition, you may spend any number of additional spell points when casting this spell (subject to your normal limits). While they do not directly provide any additional benefits, they still contribute to determining what Light spells can be countered or dispelled.


    Daze: I know that the psionic version has the exact same augment, but that wording always irks me. I think it should be "For every additional spell point you spend, the maximum hit dice of creatures this spell can affect increases by 1." Feel free to ignore me if you prefer.

    Deadly Fight: Should probably have the Death descriptor.

    Deadly Fog: Should say "You choose between acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage" instead of "...electricity, re damage." The acid option for this spell indicates that it deals 1 damage per die, rather than -1 damage per die (i.e.: 1 damage less than normal, as opposed to minimum damage).

    Dispel Magic, Dispelling Touch: You may wish to change the augment to increasing the maximum bonus to your dispel check from your caster level, rather than granting a direct bonus to it. Otherwise, it grants rather ridiculous bonuses to your check (+20 on the check at level 10 vs. an expected DC of 21, or +16 vs. DC 17 @8th for Dispelling Touch), which then drops off as the spell suddenly stops scaling.

    Ethereal Jaunt: Without augmentation, can this affect creatures other than yourself? The range says yes, but the text says no. Also note that the original Etherealness (Ethereal Jaunt's multi-target brother) only affects willing creatures, not just any one touched.

    Eyebite: The augmentation example is wrong. According to the table, spending 1 additional power point means that creatures with 5 HD or less are comatose, not 4 HD.

    Forced Visions: I don't suppose this has any relation to my Weaponized Divination spells, by any chance? Just wishful thinking on my part.

    Form of the CREATURE: The ranges and spell listings of these spells indicate that they can be used on other subjects, but the spell descriptions specify you only.

    Freedom of Movement: Along with several other spells, this spell's description switches between "you" and "the subject" somewhat disconcertingly.

    Freezing Sphere: There is an erroneous comma in the augment. It should read "In addition, for every 2 additional spell points you spend," instead of "...spell points, you spend."

    Gaseous Form: Can the augmented wind speed affect subjects other than yourself?

    Globe of Invulnerability: There's a mismatch between the number of spell points blocked (5) and the indicated value of spell points that ignore the globe (listed as 6 immediately afterwards, but 7 later on).

    Halt Undead: Undead are immune to mind-affecting effects. This should not have the mind-affecting descriptor.

    Heroism: Note that Greater Heroism also grants temporary hit points equal to the caster level (maximum 20).

    Identify: Note that Analyze Dweomer allows you to identify one thing per round as a free action after it has been cast, can detect and identify the auras present on creatures, and perfectly identifies cursed items (Identify only has a 1% chance/level of identifying the curse).

    Light: See the note in Darkness about making it clear that you can only select one augment.

    Meteor: At first, I thought this was just another Evocation blast spell. Then I saw the range and area. Definitely more of a plot spell than a tactical one, due to the variable radius. A rather literal campaign smasher, although by the level it comes up, it's probably more of a plot point than a campaign smasher. I still prefer the Locate City Bomb for style points, though.

    Reality Veil: Refers to itself as Microcosm in the single target section.

    Sleep: See the note on Daze about the wording of the augment.

    Slow: The augment is somewhat redundant, since the spell affects one creature/cl by default.

    Spell Turning: Is there any reason that the limited number of spell levels turned was removed? I'm not complaining, not until I've re-evaluated the spell as it is and decided if it's better with the changes.
    Woha! Thanks a million for the feedback. Exactly the kind of thing I was hoping for.
    I'm not done dissecting it, here's what I have so far:

    Spoiler
    Show
    I fixed the skill and feat description.
    The concentration description is especially embarrassing... looks like it was simply missing most of its update. :S

    Spells:
    • Aligned Protection: Fixed.
    • Animal's Movement: Oops, right you are. Fixed.
    • Aura of Fire: Fixed.
    • Chain Lightning: Fixed.
    • Cone of Cold: Ligature error! (I used the "–" symbol in the input rather than the "-" symbol.) Fixed.
    • Contingency: Ah. Part tweak, part error. I did mean to have the limit on the companion spell be a function of its spell point cost (since that is a much more accurate representation of its power than it its level is), but I failed to update the formula. I have changed it (using a normal augmentation scheme) so that spells are available to be contingency'ed at the same levels they used to be.
    • Darkness: I intended to have both augmentation options accessible simultaneously, actually. But your change regarding the augment to overcome Light spells is much better. Changed to your wording.
    • Daze: Hmm, your wording is better. Changed.
    • Deadly Fright: I wanted it to be more like the Phantasmal Killer or the Rebuke line of spells from the SpC than a "real" Death effect. What it should be is a Compulsion. That should give it enough descriptors to be easy to defend against...

    Will do D-S when I get back to my own 'puter.

    Note I haven't updated the linked PDF yet.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Happy to help.

    I didn't check, but how closely did you copy the text from psionics about spending PP on a power? If I recall correctly, there's no limitation (other than you ML) for spending PP on a power, even if there aren't any augments to apply the excess towards. Is that also the case with your version? It's particularly relevant since spell DCs scale directly with the SP spent, although the Light/Darkness thing interacts with that aspect as well. If so, it might be worth mentioning explicitly, just to be clear.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Beta 1.02 is up!
    Quote Originally Posted by Garryl
    Spoiler
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    Deadly Fog: Should say "You choose between acid, cold, electricity, or fire damage" instead of "...electricity, re damage." The acid option for this spell indicates that it deals 1 damage per die, rather than -1 damage per die (i.e.: 1 damage less than normal, as opposed to minimum damage).

    Dispel Magic, Dispelling Touch: You may wish to change the augment to increasing the maximum bonus to your dispel check from your caster level, rather than granting a direct bonus to it. Otherwise, it grants rather ridiculous bonuses to your check (+20 on the check at level 10 vs. an expected DC of 21, or +16 vs. DC 17 @8th for Dispelling Touch), which then drops off as the spell suddenly stops scaling.

    Ethereal Jaunt: Without augmentation, can this affect creatures other than yourself? The range says yes, but the text says no. Also note that the original Etherealness (Ethereal Jaunt's multi-target brother) only affects willing creatures, not just any one touched.

    Eyebite: The augmentation example is wrong. According to the table, spending 1 additional power point means that creatures with 5 HD or less are comatose, not 4 HD.

    Forced Visions: I don't suppose this has any relation to my Weaponized Divination spells, by any chance? Just wishful thinking on my part.

    Form of the CREATURE: The ranges and spell listings of these spells indicate that they can be used on other subjects, but the spell descriptions specify you only.

    Freedom of Movement: Along with several other spells, this spell's description switches between "you" and "the subject" somewhat disconcertingly.

    Freezing Sphere: There is an erroneous comma in the augment. It should read "In addition, for every 2 additional spell points you spend," instead of "...spell points, you spend."

    Gaseous Form: Can the augmented wind speed affect subjects other than yourself?

    Globe of Invulnerability: There's a mismatch between the number of spell points blocked (5) and the indicated value of spell points that ignore the globe (listed as 6 immediately afterwards, but 7 later on).

    Halt Undead: Undead are immune to mind-affecting effects. This should not have the mind-affecting descriptor.

    Heroism: Note that Greater Heroism also grants temporary hit points equal to the caster level (maximum 20).

    Identify: Note that Analyze Dweomer allows you to identify one thing per round as a free action after it has been cast, can detect and identify the auras present on creatures, and perfectly identifies cursed items (Identify only has a 1% chance/level of identifying the curse).

    Light: See the note in Darkness about making it clear that you can only select one augment.

    Meteor: At first, I thought this was just another Evocation blast spell. Then I saw the range and area. Definitely more of a plot spell than a tactical one, due to the variable radius. A rather literal campaign smasher, although by the level it comes up, it's probably more of a plot point than a campaign smasher. I still prefer the Locate City Bomb for style points, though.

    Reality Veil: Refers to itself as Microcosm in the single target section.

    Sleep: See the note on Daze about the wording of the augment.

    Slow: The augment is somewhat redundant, since the spell affects one creature/cl by default.

    Spell Turning: Is there any reason that the limited number of spell levels turned was removed? I'm not complaining, not until I've re-evaluated the spell as it is and decided if it's better with the changes.
    And continuing!
    Spoiler
    Show
    • Deadly Fog: Fixed.
    • Dispel Magic, Dispelling Touch: Ah. This is the way it is just because that's how Dispel Psionics works. Any changes from that power were unintentional.
      My original version actually made it a bit more like Dispel Magic, but the only feedback I got on that was that Dispel Psionics is just fine as it is. :S
    • Ethereal Jaunt: Oops. Sloppy combining of the two spells on my part. Text changed to uniformly refer to a subject.
      Also, I added a "will negates" line. Makes it a bit more like Plane Shift, which I happen to think is hilarious.
    • Eyebite: Fixed.
    • Forced Visions: Heh. No connection, I'm afraid, I don't frequent the BG forums.
    • Form of the X: Oh, damn. This didn't even occur to me. Went through the spells, changed all the many, many references to "you". In other words, fixed.
    • Freedom of Movement: English pronouns will be the death of me. Fixed.
    • Freezing Sphere: Fixed.
    • Gaseous Form: Yes it can. Fixed.
    • Globe of Invulnerability: Fixed.
    • Halt Undead: Changed it.
    • Heroism: Good point. Added the temporary hit points back to the augment.
    • Identify: Hmm, yes, there needs to be a curse detection clause on the spell, since the old entry on cursed items can't reference Analyze Dweomer any more. Added it to the 10SP augment for now, although I probably should split it up...
      As for the other functions of Analyze Dweomer, I think this augment and the new Detect Magic should more or less cover it.
    • Light: Added a similar clause.
    • Meteor: I've been getting this so often that I think I'll have to budge. As much as I like the idea of a 1d6-mile radius burst Weapon of Doom, I guess playability has to take precedence here. Nerfed down to a 1-mile radius burst.
    • Reality Veil: Guess I'm busted.
      Fixed.
    • Sleep: Changed.
    • Slow: Ah, oops. This wasn't supposed to auto-scale with respect to number of creatures. Fixed.
    • Spell Turning: The level limit is gone because I was trying to make it more like Reddopsi.
      The only thing I really don't want to lose is the resonating field. I think it's hilarious. xD

    Again, thanks a bunch for the feedback, it really helped.
    Quote Originally Posted by Garryl View Post
    Happy to help.

    I didn't check, but how closely did you copy the text from psionics about spending PP on a power? If I recall correctly, there's no limitation (other than you ML) for spending PP on a power, even if there aren't any augments to apply the excess towards. Is that also the case with your version? It's particularly relevant since spell DCs scale directly with the SP spent, although the Light/Darkness thing interacts with that aspect as well. If so, it might be worth mentioning explicitly, just to be clear.
    Interestingly enough, I didn't copy that very closely. Psionics don't allow you to spend more PP on a power than the base cost, unless an augment is present, as far as I can tell.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    All powers have a Power Points line, indicating the power’s cost.

    The psionic character class tables show how many power points a character has access to each day, depending on level.

    A power’s cost is determined by its level, as shown below. Every power’s cost is noted in its description for ease of reference.

    Power Point Limit
    Some powers allow you to spend more than their base cost to achieve an improved effect, or augment the power. The maximum number of points you can spend on a power (for any reason) is equal to your manifester level.
    I explicitly allowed it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    All spells have a Spell Points line, indicating the spell's cost. This is the minimum number of spell points that must be paid in order to cast the spell.

    The spellcasting character class tables show how many spell points a character has access to each day, depending on level.

    A spell's cost is determined by its level, as shown on table 1. Every spell's cost is noted in its description for ease of reference.

    Spell Point Limit
    The spell point cost mentioned in each spell's description is the minimum number of spell points needed to cast the spell. You can, if you wish, spend more than this minimum number on a spell, usually to increase the spell's saving throw DC, or to use an augment the spell may have. The maximum number of points you can spend on a spell (for any reason) is equal to your caster level (the fundamental rule of magic).
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    The Paladin class is up! I was a bit more liberal when it came to creating brand new spells for the Paladin list than for the Sorcerer/Wizard list. That's simply because the Paladin list required a lot more help.
    For the many out there that I know won't ever download the document - the skinny of it is that the Paladin is structured the way the Psychic Warrior is.

    The Cleric is still on its way. That one is going to be, well, not quite as difficult as doing the Wizard in the first place, but it's still a bit huge. The Paladin was a stepping stone.
    I am doing that one Ardent-style. A Cleric's spell list is going to be defined by the domains he has access to.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    I must admit, this was a project I'd been planning on doing for quite some time. I'm rather glad to have found someone else had already done the legwork. This reworking will be hitting my campaign as soon as my caster players have had time to digest it.
    I think I've had enough for a while.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Solaris View Post
    I must admit, this was a project I'd been planning on doing for quite some time. I'm rather glad to have found someone else had already done the legwork.
    Heh. Yeah, the "replace wizards with psions" thought isn't exactly mine alone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Solaris View Post
    This reworking will be hitting my campaign as soon as my caster players have had time to digest it.
    Awesome to hear! Please let me know how it goes.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    The Cleric is still on its way. ...
    I am doing that one Ardent-style. A Cleric's spell list is going to be defined by the domains he has access to.
    Hmmmm. I'm undecided about which I like better: Ardent-style or Spontaneous Variant Cleric style. The latter makes the Cleric more able to fill the generic healbot role, if a party needs it; while still tying it strongly to its domains for flavor.

    Ardent-style is good too, though.

    That reminds me of one comment I have been sitting on about the Wizard, though: I don't like the way each specialist-only list has exactly one spell at each level. It makes me feel like you're picking specialist-only spells in order to match that standard, rather than picking them for flavor or balance reasons. And it's an arbitrary standard -- the Psion Discipline lists prove that there's nothing wrong with sometimes having more or fewer than one option at each level. And I think Psion Discipline Lists are, generally, better-designed than Cleric Domain lists because of this flexibility.
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    There have been two things about the spell descriptions I have been wondering about changing for some time. I'd appreciate any feedback.

    One is removing the "Spell Points" line from the spell descriptions. Technically it is a complete waste of space, as the relationship between a spell's base SP cost has a 1-1 relationship with the spell's level. In other words, the information there is redundant with table 1: Spell Points by Spell Level.
    And I have Spell Point lines like "Spell Points: Chaos 13, Evil 13, Good 13, Law 13, Paladin 11". This is ugly.

    The second (completely unrelated, and bothers me less) is adding a line about how obvious the effects of a spell are as they relate to noticing its effects. It's pretty obvious when someone is under the effects of an Alter Size spell, but what about Moment of Prescience? I think this may be important enough to warrant mechanical definition.
    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Hmmmm. I'm undecided about which I like better: Ardent-style or Spontaneous Variant Cleric style. The latter makes the Cleric more able to fill the generic healbot role, if a party needs it; while still tying it strongly to its domains for flavor.

    Ardent-style is good too, though.
    The spontaneous Cleric/Druid way isn't bad. I hadn't thought of it myself. Interesting.

    In any case, I want to drastically increase the impact domain selection has on the Cleric. Clerics of the god of healing and love sharing 90% of its spell list with a Cleric of the god of skewering infants has always bugged me.
    And I definitely want it to be possible to build a Cleric that can't properly cure people.

    Perhaps, in the end, the decision might just depend on how well it goes to divide the Cleric spell list down on to the domains...
    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    That reminds me of one comment I have been sitting on about the Wizard, though: I don't like the way each specialist-only list has exactly one spell at each level. It makes me feel like you're picking specialist-only spells in order to match that standard, rather than picking them for flavor or balance reasons. And it's an arbitrary standard -- the Psion Discipline lists prove that there's nothing wrong with sometimes having more or fewer than one option at each level. And I think Psion Discipline Lists are, generally, better-designed than Cleric Domain lists because of this flexibility.
    You'll notice that this trend drops off as I reached the higher levels of spells. But only slightly.

    I wasn't really trying to make one specialist only spell of every level, even if it did end up more or less like that. My thought process was more like this:

    • Specialist only spells should be fairly iconic for the archetype.
    • Most levels of spells should have a specialist only spell for that level.
    • Specialist only spells should be good spells.
    • Spells that are good, but constitute a "basic need" for the game are not specialist only spells. (Hence, Dispel Magic is not an Abjurer-only spell, even if it is probably the best 3rd level abjuration spell, and fairly iconic for the school. Flight is a notable exception, but that is rather easily available through items.)


    This ended up being more or less 1 specialist only spell per school per spell level. But I wasn't consciously steering towards it, at least.


    But, now, are there any particular spells you think should/shouldn't be specialist only spells?
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Btw, I also mourn the loss of cantrips in general.

    Also, the spell lists should definitely have the little [A] symbol to indicate whether spells are augmentable. Unless all spells are augmentable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    In any case, I want to drastically increase the impact domain selection has on the Cleric. Clerics of the god of healing and love sharing 90% of its spell list with a Cleric of the god of skewering infants has always bugged me.
    And I definitely want it to be possible to build a Cleric that can't properly cure people.
    100% agreed on both points.

    But, now, are there any particular spells you think should/shouldn't be specialist only spells?
    Sigh. Congratulations, you've convinced me to procrastinate working on my homework even longer.

    Commentary on spell lists, both in terms of specialist-only spells and otherwise:

    Level 1
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    I don't really like the game design principles behind Aligned Protection ... but I suppose it's kind of sacred cow territory, since you're not trying to fix everything about D&D ...

    Open/Close always seemed like a really weak ability to me, even as a cantrip. Perhaps it should be absorbed into Mage Hand (which should still exist)? Either way, I struggle to understand why it would really be in Abjuration. I also wouldn't mind seeing both spells absorbed into Unseen Servant.

    Shield struggles to see any use even when it's not specialist-only. Perhaps it should be a general spell, while Mage Armor (with its superior duration) should be Abjurer-only?

    Summon Monster ... If you've beefed up summons to actually be combat-worthy, a la Astral Construct, then I agree with this power being specialist-only. However, I do think there should be a way for more normal wizards to summon battle-unworthy critters for various utilitarian tasks. Also, I might consider bumping the base version of this spell up to Level 2. It's just not something I picture brand-new casters being able to do. Besides, it's kind of weak at very low levels anyway due to duration.

    Mount: does the speed boost augment overlap with the other augments, or do you have to spend separate SP on it?

    Fog: could potentially be specialist-only.

    Comprehend Languages: doesn't strike me as something that should be specialist-only. Honestly, for a specialist-only Level 1 Divination, I might just copy the mechanics of Precognition wholesale. Which might obviate the need for True Strike to exist, even? Eh, maybe not.

    Or you could move Mental Link to Divination, and make it specialist-only. Like Mindlink, which is one of the psionic powers I actually consider picking up using Hidden Talent.

    Light: is this worthy of existing when it's not a cantrip? Especially since your rewrite of Prestidigitation can create light?

    Ray of Enfeeblement: potentially worthy of specialist-only. It honestly doesn't bother me if low-level non-Necromancer wizards have very few necromantic options.


    Level 2
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    Resistance: I find it odd for this to be Level 2. Also, the precedent from (splatbook) 3e seems to indicate that this should scale to an additional +1 bonus for every 2 SP of augmentation.

    Matter Creation: Having this not be Level 1 makes me sad.

    Fireball: I see this is supposed to follow the pre-CPsi mechanics of Energy Missile, essentially? (Except it does do friendly fire.) Interesting -- that definitely makes it iconic and worthy of specialist-only. However, it makes me sad if non-specialists have no reasonable options for throwing around fire and lightning at a distance greater than touch. (Or am I missing one?) I can see why you made Scorching Ray specialist-only, but maybe it shouldn't be ...

    Mirror Image is a staple of powergaming Batman wizards. I wouldn't mind it being specialist-only.

    Invisibility ... very iconic. I'm torn on this one's specialist-status.

    Phantom Trap: does anyone use this? Ever?


    OK, that's all the level-by-level commentary I have patience for at the moment.

    I will note, though, that at higher levels, I feel like a lot of the specialist-only spells aren't really all that iconic. Like, they're specialized enough that I don't see why anyone else would ever mind not having them on their list. Like Gentle Repose, or Nondetection. (Caveat: maybe you've made Nondetection much more powerful. Haven't read everything yet.)

    Also: Enervation not specialist-only?
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    So I finally got my way through this.

    I love you for this and you deserve five of something that people really want that shows high status to others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajadea View Post
    Your $0.02 is a very large $0.02, Cardea.

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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Btw, I also mourn the loss of cantrips in general.
    Psionics doesn't have them, or really any framework to support them. Partial spell points? 1st level spells are just the bottom, as-is. =/

    The new Prestidigitation swallowed a few of them, though, and I gave that one for free to all Wizards.
    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Also, the spell lists should definitely have the little [A] symbol to indicate whether spells are augmentable. Unless all spells are augmentable.
    There is at least always the "null augment", meaning that it's always possible to spend more points on a spell in order to increase its save DC. Whether a spell also has a "new use" kind of augment isn't something I consider relevant enough to have in the spell listing, especially since you would usually have to read the full spell description anyway in order to know what the original use is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Sigh. Congratulations, you've convinced me to procrastinate working on my homework even longer.
    I live to please!

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Commentary on spell lists, both in terms of specialist-only spells and otherwise:

    Level 1
    Spoiler
    Show
    I don't really like the game design principles behind Aligned Protection ... but I suppose it's kind of sacred cow territory, since you're not trying to fix everything about D&D ...

    Open/Close always seemed like a really weak ability to me, even as a cantrip. Perhaps it should be absorbed into Mage Hand (which should still exist)? Either way, I struggle to understand why it would really be in Abjuration. I also wouldn't mind seeing both spells absorbed into Unseen Servant.

    Shield struggles to see any use even when it's not specialist-only. Perhaps it should be a general spell, while Mage Armor (with its superior duration) should be Abjurer-only?

    Summon Monster ... If you've beefed up summons to actually be combat-worthy, a la Astral Construct, then I agree with this power being specialist-only. However, I do think there should be a way for more normal wizards to summon battle-unworthy critters for various utilitarian tasks. Also, I might consider bumping the base version of this spell up to Level 2. It's just not something I picture brand-new casters being able to do. Besides, it's kind of weak at very low levels anyway due to duration.

    Mount: does the speed boost augment overlap with the other augments, or do you have to spend separate SP on it?

    Fog: could potentially be specialist-only.

    Comprehend Languages: doesn't strike me as something that should be specialist-only. Honestly, for a specialist-only Level 1 Divination, I might just copy the mechanics of Precognition wholesale. Which might obviate the need for True Strike to exist, even? Eh, maybe not.

    Or you could move Mental Link to Divination, and make it specialist-only. Like Mindlink, which is one of the psionic powers I actually consider picking up using Hidden Talent.

    Light: is this worthy of existing when it's not a cantrip? Especially since your rewrite of Prestidigitation can create light?

    Ray of Enfeeblement: potentially worthy of specialist-only. It honestly doesn't bother me if low-level non-Necromancer wizards have very few necromantic options.
    Spoiler
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    • Aligned Protection:Can't say the alignment system is my favourite part of 3.5 either. But it's there, and extracting it from the game is indeed beyond the scope of the project.
    • Open/Close: Open/Close had Arcane Lock and Knock merged into it in the form of augments, which makes it a lot more worthy of a Spell Known, I think. Mage Hand was fully merged into Prestidigitation.
      Putting the effect into Unseen Servant could have been a way to do it, but that's not what I did, and I'm not convinced enough it's better for me to make the changes at this point.
      As for it being an abjuration... err... looks like I had it inherit from Arcane Lock, there. Do you think it should be a Transmutation or something?
    • Shield/Mage Armor: Good point, there. Switching the specialist-only status of those two around.
    • Summon Monster: Summon Monster works like Astral Construct. Summoned Monsters are a bit weaker defensively and a bit stronger offensively, but I'd definitely put these on equal footing.
      I could push it into being a higher level spell, but that would mean re-doing the scaling on it, and I'm not sure there's an actual benefit to it.
    • Mount: Augments are always paid for separately. If there are secondary benefits to augmenting, they are explained after the actual augmentation list. See Fear for an example.
    • Fog: I've been thinking the same thing ever since I wrote it. This being the first thought on the issue I've had from someone other than me, consider it changed.
    • Comprehend Languages/Precognition/True Strike/Mindlink/Mental Link: Lots'o thoughts here. I'll give it another look. Mental Link was floating between Divination and Enchantment for a while in the first alpha, and I was thinking about including Precognition. What made the decision is that Divination 1 was already a fat level, but Enchantment wasn't very big at all. And I was having a hard time justifying "stealing" a psionic power to pad a level that had lots of spells in it already.
      Light: It's not a very powerful spell, maybe. I just added (a possibly improved) Flare to it, it has Daylight and Eternal Flame in it... well, it's utility I think needs to exist.
    • Ray of Enfeeblement: I'm not sure, I've never thought it quite lived up to the "one of the best 1st level spells!" status some people want to give it. And using a RoEnfeeblement isn't a huge necromantic statement in my eyes anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Level 2
    Spoiler
    Show
    Resistance: I find it odd for this to be Level 2. Also, the precedent from (splatbook) 3e seems to indicate that this should scale to an additional +1 bonus for every 2 SP of augmentation.

    Matter Creation: Having this not be Level 1 makes me sad.

    Fireball: I see this is supposed to follow the pre-CPsi mechanics of Energy Missile, essentially? (Except it does do friendly fire.) Interesting -- that definitely makes it iconic and worthy of specialist-only. However, it makes me sad if non-specialists have no reasonable options for throwing around fire and lightning at a distance greater than touch. (Or am I missing one?) I can see why you made Scorching Ray specialist-only, but maybe it shouldn't be ...

    Mirror Image is a staple of powergaming Batman wizards. I wouldn't mind it being specialist-only.

    Invisibility ... very iconic. I'm torn on this one's specialist-status.

    Phantom Trap: does anyone use this? Ever?


    OK, that's all the level-by-level commentary I have patience for at the moment.
    Spoiler
    Show
    • Resistance: Frankly, I think the Superior Resistance spell in the SpC is too good. As is, the scaling on the spell is set to fully duplicate Superior Resistance (+6 resistance on saving throws, 24 hour duration) at level 20. I think this is more in line with the Cloak of Resistance. Should it be doing better?
    • Matter Creation: The point was more to make the Shapers feel less robbed.
    • Fireball: This one went through several revisions before it came to the point where it is now (originally, it simply WAS CPsi Energy Missile). I decided that "hard to dodge" should be something that stands out about it, so that's the way it scales now. Another idea I toyed with was making it knock people prone on a failed save, but I thought that was changing it too much.
      I thought about making some *blamf*-type spell for the general list. Thing is that those spells are just really the only thing the Evoker has uniquely going for him at this point, and I kind of feel for him. =/
      At this point, I think it's OK that a Wizard who wants to blow stuff up properly either spends a feat on Expanded Knowledge or specializes in Evocation.
    • Mirror Image: Good point, especially with the Augment. Changed.
    • Invisibility: That one's specialist only purely for reasons of it being so damned useful.
    • Phantom Trap: I don't think so. It's crap. And I have no idea what to do with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    I will note, though, that at higher levels, I feel like a lot of the specialist-only spells aren't really all that iconic. Like, they're specialized enough that I don't see why anyone else would ever mind not having them on their list. Like Gentle Repose, or Nondetection. (Caveat: maybe you've made Nondetection much more powerful. Haven't read everything yet.)

    Also: Enervation not specialist-only?
    Gentle Repose had Clone merged into it, which makes it quite a lot bigger.
    Nondetection is now a bit more reliable with the Augment, but otherwise no, not significantly more powerful. Dispel Magic may be the more known Abjuration of the level, but it's such a basic need that I couldn't justify it. =/

    Problem with things being iconic is that not everyone has the same idea. The specialist only spells might just be my favourite spells.
    Nothing sticks out to me as particularly horrible right now without having a particular name to look for. But no wonder, it's text I wrote myself, so of course I won't ever see the errors until they are pointed out.

    Hmm, you're probably right, Enervation could do with being specialist only. Changed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cardea View Post
    So I finally got my way through this.

    I love you for this and you deserve five of something that people really want that shows high status to others.
    Great to hear it!
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: [3.5] A Translation of Vancian Spellcasting to Psionic Mechanics

    Cantrips could be cast for the low(?) cost of expending Focus. Maybe you can metamagic them with the same expenditure, so they're not suddenly harder than everything else to metamagic.

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