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    Default Homebrew variant to Belial's epic metamagic rules (3.5, PEACH)

    A few years back, Belial the Leveler posted a fix to replace the horribly broken Epic Spellcasting with Epic Metamagic. This seems to me to clearly be the right approach, but for my own uses (adjusted for my tendency to use fewer books and some stylistic issues), I've decided to create a homebrew variant of it. Comments are welcome.

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    General rules:

    Spells above 9th level should resist antimagic/dead magic just like Epic Spells as described in the SRD. Disjunction and similar auto-dispel effects should only work automatically on spells of 9th level and lower. Versus 10th level and higher spells, they should make an uncapped dispel check instead. These two rules are to prevent a 6th level and a 9th level spell respectively from automatically defeating epic magic. This applies even to spells boosted via epic metamagic from the SRD.


    Amplify Spell [Epic Metamagic]
    You increase the power of lower level spells.

    Prerequisites:Empower Spell, Heighten Spell, one 10th level spell slot.

    Benefits: You may use higher level spell slots to cast a low-level spell and increase its power in one of the following ways:

    • If the spell affects or replicates other spells depending on spell level, you increase the maximum spell level by 1 for every level of spell slot increase. A universal-school spell replicating a spell from a prohibited school instead increases the maximum spell level by 1 for every 2 levels of spell slot increase.
    • If the spell gives an armor, shield or natural armor bonus to armor class or resistance bonus to saving throws, you increase that bonus by 1 for every spell slot increase.
    • If the spell gives an enhancement bonus to an ability score, increase the bonus for that ability score by 2 for every 3 spell levels. The total increase cannot exceed 2 for every 3 spell levels above 1st, including spell level increases from other metamagic effects.
    • If the spell affects creatures by HD or hit points, increase the maximum HD for a single creature by 2 or the maximum hit points by 10% or the HD total of all creatures by 50% or the HP total by 50% for every spell level increase.
    • If the spell has another effect not including statistic bonuses, HD, HP or SR that scales with caster level and is capped, you can raise the cap by 2 caster levels for every single spell slot increase.

    Balancing: This is for aiding in epic buffs, power word spells, polymorph spells and spells like Miracle, Wish and Shades.

    Changelog:
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    A few changes here. I made a few of the effects (affecting/replicating spells and enhancement bonuses) more effective. I also lifted level caps; I don't intend to allow any way to get spell slots substantially in excess of half character level anyway.

    I also removed the options to help beat SR or dispelling; such effects are simply too unbalancing.

    Finally, I removed the mention of CR, as no spell that I know of, or would want to allow, is based on CR.


    Epic Minion [Epic Metamagic]
    You can use more powerful spell slots to get more powerful minions.

    Prerequisites: 24 ranks Spellcraft.

    Benefits: You can develop, at no monetary cost, spells that continue the progression of summoning and animation spells to epic levels. In order to research a given spell, you must know the most powerful existing spell of that type. The exact creatures available are determined by the DM, and will always be substantially weaker than the caster.

    Normal: You can only research spells with a base spell level of 9 or less, and research has a substantial monetary cost.

    Balancing: Minions will always be substantially weaker than their master.

    Changelog:
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    This essentially combines the functionality of Epic Summoning and Epic Animation. (Calling spells don't need the boost, as Gate scales with caster level.)


    Spellstorm [Epic Metamagic]
    You may use a higher level slot to cast a barrage of low-level spells over a wide area.

    Prerequisites:at least one 10th level spell slot, 30 ranks in spellcraft.

    Benefits: You may use a 10th level or higher spell slot to cast any number of lower level area, aimed or targeted spells whose total of spell levels squared are equal or less than the square of the spell slot's level. If two spells are aimed or targeted at the same targets or affect the same areas, only the first one applies (where the order is chosen by the caster when the Spellstorm is cast).

    Casting a Spellstorm is a full-round action and all the spells take effect simultaneously. E.g. an epic spellcaster could use a 10th level slot to cast 11 fireballs or 4 cloudkill spells or two cloudkills and two Phantasmal Killers or 100 magic missiles (each aimed at a different creature). You must know the spells to be added in a spellstorm.

    Normal: You can use a higher level slot to cast a sngle lower level spell.

    Special: You may not modify the entire spellstorm with metamagic feats but metamagicked spells can be included within a spellstorm.

    Balancing: A spellstorm is practically useless against standard encounters because the effects of the spells are spread too thin. It is useful in wars where a legendary wizard can kill entire armies of very low level opponents.

    Changelog:
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    Just a minor change: You can overlap spells, just only one applies. Useful when you want to blanket the whole area with fireballs and don't care about a bit of wasted area.


    Combined Spell [Epic Metamagic]
    You may use a higher level slot to cast a combination of lower-level effects.

    Prerequisites: at least one 10th level spell slot, 24 ranks in spellcraft.

    Benefits: You may use a 10th level or higher spell slot to cast a combination of lower-level spells whose spell level total adds up to the level of the slot. The combination works as if the spells have been separately cast at the same round in the order you choose but counts as a single standard action. Make any choices for the spells (targets/area, effects) at the time of the casting.

    Special: No single spell can be used more than once in a combined spell. You may not modify a combined spell with metamagic feats nor can metamagicked spells be contained within.

    Normal: You can use a higher level slot to cast a single lower level spell.
    Balancing: Combined spell exchanges firepower for multiple effects. Separate spells, even when all aimed at the same target, are not as powerful as a single metamagicked spell of that level-but they are more versatile.

    Changelog: Lasting spell has been removed. I don't really like the concept, and while the slot expenditure is the same, the need to be present every 24 hours is not.
    Universal Energy Substitution has been removed. I am not a fan of energy substitution in general.

    Overchannel [Epic Metamagic]
    You may use lower-level slots to cast higher level spells at the expense of your life-force.

    Prerequisites: At least one 10th level arcane spell slot

    Benefits: You may use slots to cast higher level arcane spells than normal for that slot. Spellcasters that prepare their spells can apply metamagic feats without increasing the spell's level on a prepared spell at the time of the casting. Spontaneous casters can both apply metamagic feats and cast a spell of a higher level. In either case, the caster level increases by twice the increase in spell level.

    For every spell level above normal, you burn 300 experience points per character level (possibly causing you to lose a level; you may not burn more experience than you have) or take a permanent penalty of one hit point per hit die (to a maximum of all your hit points; this is not damage and so cannot cause death through massive damage) or permanently lose one point of constitution (up to your total constitution). You may pay with multiple types of payment, increasing caster level and spell level seperately for each one.

    An experience cost cannot be regained by any means, except gaining experience normally. If the cost is paid in lost constitution, the lost constitution cannot be regained (including by effects that increase constitution up to a capped amount; the lost constitution counts toward the cap) except by paying for the lost constitution with one of the other payment methods (experience, based on your current level, or a hit point penalty). A hit point penalty can be removed via using a Wish or Miracle spell to pay with one of the other payment types instead.

    Special: A caster can only overchanner willingly and knowingly-he cannot be tricked or compelled, magically or not, into doing so. If you die due to overchanneling then you can't be brought back to life in any way. Overchannel also cannot be used to improve a spell via Amplify Spell or Quicken Spell to a spell level higher than you could normally cast (although it can be used to improve a spell via Quicken or Amplify to a level you could normally cast, and then increase it beyond that in other manners).

    A character who qualifies for this feat may spend 1000 XP as a free action to gain it for one day per character level.

    A divine caster who has a 10th level divine spell slot may Overchannel even without this feat. Only the Miracle spell may be overchanneled this way, and the caster must pay the maximum form of each type of payment (killing him twice over). If he does so, he gains a plethora of benefits: He may use the extra levels to apply any metamagic effects (even ones he does not know, and even Quicken and Amplify up to a level he could not normally cast), the 5000 XP cost for powerful Miracle effects is included in the payment, he may change any energy type in the spell to Divine, and each extra spell level also gives +5 on checks to overcome spell resistance.

    With either arcane or divine casters, if the spell is self-targeted and of noninstantaneous duration no more than 1 day/level, the payment is not paid until the spell ends. Otherwise, it is paid immediately after the spell is cast.
    Balancing: This is far far more expensive to use than even Belial's version. You're basically sacrificing 4 encounters' worth of XP (or a semipermanent penalty to hit points which has to be paid for with that XP eventually anyway if you don't want it to be truly permanent) for each level boost. The divine version is self-sacrifice, pure and simple.

    Changelog:
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    Big changes here. Overchannel is no longer cheap enough to use on any sort of regular basis, but makes for a great "final strike" attack when the situation demands it (there's even a method to use it without spending a feat.) The effect is even more pronounced for divine casters.


    Changelog: Spell Sculptor is removed. I intend anyway to add a different metametamagic feat (repeat metamagic, below) that will subsume its functionality.

    Spellforge [Epic Metamagic]
    You create a new effect from lower level spells.

    Prerequisites: at least one 10th level slot, Combined Spell.

    Benefits: You combine any number of lower level spells that you know, whose spell level total is equal to the spell slot level you are using into a single, larger effect. The new effect's range is the longest range of the original spells. Its area of effect or number of targets is the average of those of the original spells. Its duration is the shortest of the original spell durations or parts of the spell can have their own durations (caster's choice). In the spell effect you create, you may combine the original effects in any order you want and even place triggerring sequences or have the next effect in the sequence be based on the previous effect. Any spellforge requires DM approval.

    Examples: In a dominate+planar binding+bull's strength forging, you could call a creature, dominate it then enhance it with bull's strength. In a Gate+Meteor Swarm combination you could open a portal and send the four meteors in a nearby continent.

    Special: Unlike Combine Spell, Spellforge counts as a single spell of a level equal to the slot level used. It has a single saving throw and spell resistance check for all the effects in it that require one. Metamagic feats can't be used on a Spellforge as a whole though parts of the spell may be metamagicked spells.

    Balancing: Spellforge essentially allows the making of unique combination effects. The effects of the final spell already exist but it allows some combinations that simply casting the spells in a sequence could not bring about. DMs may need to disallow some combinations that are unreasonable but if the final effect is based on balanced core spells, it should be balanced as well.

    Changelog:
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    This is simply too dangerous to allow without explicit DM approval for each case, so I added the approval requirement. I also removed an example that assumed the ability to force willingness conditions (which is absurd.)


    Raise Ward [Epic Metamagic]
    You create an area spell effect that applies lower-level spell effects in an area:

    Prerequisites: at least one 10th level slot.

    Benefits: Choose an area abjuration spell that you know such as repulsion, hallow or forbiddance. You may add the effect of area or targeted spells with a duration of 1 round/level or more to the base effect. These effects are continously active within the ward. You may add the effect of instantaneous spells to the effect of the ward. These effects are applied to creatures every time they enter the ward. No spells with costly components can be added in this way.

    You may add spells available as spell-like abilities to creatures within. Such spells are available once per day. For 3 times per day increase the added spell's base level by 3. For 5 times per day increase the added spell's base level by 6 instead. The creature that uses this spell-like ability must provide any costly components at the time of the casting.

    You may key each component at specific triggers such as creature type, alignment, race or specific events. This increases the added spell's level by 1.
    The square of the spell slot level used for the Ward must equal the total of the squares of all added effects, including the base effect, with a minimum of a 10th level slot used for any ward.

    The final spell uses the area of effect of the original spell but it is immobile even if the original spell moved with the caster. Its duration is never more than the duration of the original spell (if the original spell is noninstantaneous). The duration of a ward is also limited depending on the casting time: A short-duration ward lasts up to 10 minutes per caster level and takes 1 minute per spell level to cast, a medium-duration ward lasts up to 1 day per caster level and takes 1 hour per spell level to cast, and a long-duration ward lasts as long as the original spell and takes 1 day per spell level to cast.

    A ward can always be dispelled, even if the original spell cannot be, and is treated as a nonepic spell for purposes of being dispelled.

    Special: Each spell can only be applied once. Dischargable spells that are continuously active recharge 24 hours after they have been discharged. No two wards can be raised in the same place. If the areas of two or more wards overlap, only the higher-level ward functions. If the wards are the same level, make a caster level check once per round to see which ward applies that round. Wards can only be modified by metamagic effects that affect duration or area of effect.

    Balancing: Another combination effect, Raise Ward's balance is based on the fact that they can't be affected by metamagic that could increase their numeric effects and the fact that a Ward is a static spell with a very long casting time. In any case, DMs should be careful of non-core spells used in combinations.

    Changelog:
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    Relatively minor changes here. It can now be made to have a longer duration, but on the flip side is relatively easy to dispel.


    Epic Circle Magic [Epic Metamagic]
    You can combine powers with other spellcasters to cast a much more powerful spell than anyone could on his own.

    Prerequisites: NOT AVAILABLE. There may be legends of powerful magics capable of this, but nothing available to the PCs.

    Benefits: You can use a lower level slot to cast a high-level spell by drawing upon the power offered by other casters. Each additional caster offers a spell slot. Add up 1/2 the squares of all spell slot levels offered to the square of your spell slot level. This total must equal or surpass the square of the slot level of the spell to be cast.

    Secondary casters must participate of their own free will.

    Balancing: Anything capable of this should be treated as being of Tier Plot.

    Changelog:
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    Even with Belial's safeguards, it seems too abusable. So instead I removed the safeguards and moved it to Tier Plot, where something like this probably belongs anyway.



    I also have two new epic magical feats; neither is quite metamagic, but both will be useful for high-level casters:

    Repeat Metamagic:
    You can apply a single metamagic effect more than once.

    Prerequisites: Ability to cast 10th level spells, two of the following feats: Empower Spell, Enlarge Spell, Extend Spell, Widen Spell, Enhance Spell, Intensify Spell

    Benefit: You may apply any of the above feats (and their epic equivalents) multiple times to a single spell (so long as you can cast spells of a high enough level.) As usual, two doublings is a tripling and so on.

    Normal: Most metamagic feats can only be applied once to a given spell.

    Epic Spell Research:
    You can research spells of epic power.

    Prerequisites: Ability to cast 10th level spells, Spellcraft 24 ranks

    Benefit: You may research spells of 10th level or higher just as you would research lower-level spells.

    Normal: Only spells of 9th level or lower can be researched.

    The Origin of Species epic spell, from this is available through Epic Spell Research (as a 10th level spell).
    Last edited by Yitzi; 2012-02-09 at 09:23 PM.
    My general 3.5 balance fix.
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    My common-sense houserules.
    More minor homebrew (weapons, races).

    Complete system remake (under construction, barely started)

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  2. Top - End - #2
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    Mulletmanalive's Avatar

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    Default Re: Homebrew variant to Belial's epic metamagic rules (3.5, PEACH)

    I've been trying to slowly pour through this as its written but for the love of presentation, make them into lists!

    the code is, just incase you didn't know already:
    [list][*]list item[*]list item[/list]
    [list=1][*]list item[*]list item[/list]
    Edit: I'm also unclear on your agenda here: the original version was meant to replace epic spellcasting as written, whereas this makes reference to spells above 10th level, which doesn't seem to match up.

    The fact that you've prevented them from being used prior to level 30 also goes a long way to leave me wondering what's actually going on. I'm not clear how this is a homebrew variant when it seems to be disregarding the purpose of the original[?]
    Last edited by Mulletmanalive; 2012-01-27 at 11:48 AM.
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  3. Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Homebrew variant to Belial's epic metamagic rules (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    I've been trying to slowly pour through this as its written but for the love of presentation, make them into lists!
    I was simply copying Belial's format, but I plan to add the formatting.

    EDIT: Formatting added. For Amplify, it's a list, for others I just seperated paragraphs.

    Edit: I'm also unclear on your agenda here: the original version was meant to replace epic spellcasting as written, whereas this makes reference to spells above 10th level, which doesn't seem to match up.
    The original replaces epic spellcasting with spells above 10th level. This keeps that.

    The fact that you've prevented them from being used prior to level 30 also goes a long way to leave me wondering what's actually going on. I'm not clear how this is a homebrew variant when it seems to be disregarding the purpose of the original[?]
    I'm not sure what restricting it to level 30 has to do with anything. The idea here is that I'm trying to have epic features come in slowly rather than all at once at level 21, and level 30 is where this sort of epic magic comes in. The purpose of the original is simply to replace epic spellcasting, and that is the purpose here as well.

    EDIT: Now that I think of it, making it available before level 30 probably does make sense. Changed.
    Last edited by Yitzi; 2012-02-09 at 09:23 PM.
    My general 3.5 balance fix.
    My psionics remix.
    My common-sense houserules.
    More minor homebrew (weapons, races).

    Complete system remake (under construction, barely started)

    Ever want to try your hand at optimizing, but dislike heavy emphasis on splatbooks and/or the rocket tag phenomenon?
    Come visit the Core Coliseum today, for a totally different style of optimization.

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