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    Jeff the Green's Avatar

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    Default [3.5 Skill] Unprotected Casting (PEACH)

    In the setting I'm working on, magical energies are ubiquitous and easy to call on, but also chaotic and dangerous. To represent this, I've brewed up a new skill that lets characters cast magic by risking their health. I'd like to know what people think: is it something you'd consider spending skill points on? Is the cost too high or too low? What about the backlash?

    Unprotected Casting
    You have learned to cast a spell or two, but risk destruction by the forces of the elemental wild.

    Unprotected Casting is a class-skill for Artificer, Bard, Duskblade, Hexblade, Monk, Rogue, Spellthief, Swordsage, and Warlock.

    Action
    Varies.

    Try Again
    Not applicable. There are no Unprotected Casting checks to fail.

    The Unprotected Casting skill doesn’t work like other skills. It works as follows.

    You can purchase Unprotected just like any other skill, but instead of buying a rank in it, you choose a spell you can use as a spell-like ability. Since you are not buying ranks, the number of skill points you can spend in this skill is not limited by your level.

    You can learn a spell from the Bard, Cleric, Druid, or Sorcerer/Wizard spell lists by spending 2 + 1/2 spell level (rounded up) skill points . You can learn a spell from the Paladin or Ranger spell lists by spending 1 + spell level skill points. If the spell is on multiple lists, use whichever would require the greater amount of skill points. You cannot learn any spell with a costly material component or an XP cost. You must have at least (2*spell level - 1) HD to learn a spell. If the spell is on multiple lists, use whichever is a higher level. You do not count as knowing this spell or being able to cast it for purposes of qualifying for feats, prestige classes, etc. You do not add this spell to your spell list or list of spells known for any spellcasting class you might have.

    You can use any spell you know through this skill as a spell-like ability once per day. Unlike most spell-like abilities, it has verbal or somatic components the same as the spell. Arcane spell failure does not apply.

    When you use a spell you know through this skill, you take 3d4 non-lethal and 2d4 lethal damage per spell level. (A successful DC 10 + spell level Will save halves this damage). This damage cannot be reduced or avoided in any way. In addition, you must succeed on a DC 15 + spell level Fortitude save or be dazed for one round. If you are reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by this backlash, you must succeed on a second DC 10 Fortitude save or be instantly destroyed in a flash of energy as if by a disintegrate spell. The spell takes effect regardless of the backlash damage taken.
    Last edited by Jeff the Green; 2012-03-10 at 06:28 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Skill] Unprotected Casting (PEACH)

    Ouch. For the first few levels, you'd have characters disintegrating all over the place. Then you hit level 9 and you have a commoner pulling off "Delay Death" "Wish" "Heal." On that vein, I'd suggest making spell levels advance at a normal (wizard) rate rather than at a per hitdie, if only to avoid letting the level 7 gnoll fighter chain gate solars 1/day.
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    Jeff the Green's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5 Skill] Unprotected Casting (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Othesemo View Post
    Ouch. For the first few levels, you'd have characters disintegrating all over the place. Then you hit level 9 and you have a commoner pulling off "Delay Death" "Wish" "Heal." On that vein, I'd suggest making spell levels advance at a normal (wizard) rate rather than at a per hitdie, if only to avoid letting the level 7 gnoll fighter chain gate solars 1/day.
    That... was a typo. It was always supposed to be 2x spell level.(Which, incidentally, should help reduce disintegrations, as will dropping the damage die to d4s.)
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    Default Re: [3.5 Skill] Unprotected Casting (PEACH)

    Now the issue is that, despite being able to put points into at 1st level, you can't benefit from it, as you need 2 HD to pick up 1st levels, though I suppose you could invest in cantrips and orisons...
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    Default Re: [3.5 Skill] Unprotected Casting (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Now the issue is that, despite being able to put points into at 1st level, you can't benefit from it, as you need 2 HD to pick up 1st levels, though I suppose you could invest in cantrips and orisons...
    That's intentional. It's not supposed to be terribly powerful, just flavor and a hail-Mary backup for characters with the skill points to spend.

    Edit: Unless you think it's too weak this way and changing it to twice spell level minus one would improve it.
    Last edited by Jeff the Green; 2012-03-09 at 09:24 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Skill] Unprotected Casting (PEACH)

    Hm... Does this still have the same max ranks as normal? Just to confirm, since weird skills are, occasionally, weird.


    Anyway, looks good.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Skill] Unprotected Casting (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by The-Mage-King View Post
    Hm... Does this still have the same max ranks as normal? Just to confirm, since weird skills are, occasionally, weird.


    Anyway, looks good.
    No, it works like Speak Language and skill tricks (without the special 1 per 2 levels rule for skill tricks).

    Edit: Edited the original post to clarify that.
    Last edited by Jeff the Green; 2012-03-09 at 09:34 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Skill] Unprotected Casting (PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff the Green View Post
    That's intentional. It's not supposed to be terribly powerful, just flavor and a hail-Mary backup for characters with the skill points to spend.

    Edit: Unless you think it's too weak this way and changing it to twice spell level minus one would improve it.
    I'd favor 2L-1, yeah. This isn't going to knock spellcasters out of their element, since it's once per day and you get smacked in the face with damage and self-disintegration.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Skill] Unprotected Casting (PEACH)

    Alright, changed to 2*spell level - 1 HD.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Skill] Unprotected Casting (PEACH)

    This looks lethal, I wouldn't use it, except for a healing spell that helps me more than it hurts me.

    But then again, some people will try anything for magic.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Skill] Unprotected Casting (PEACH)

    i woudln't use this much.
    taking that mcuh damage in combat is a very bad thing;
    out of combat it'd depend no what your regeneration options are like.
    If I have regular casters in the party, there's very little value to these; if there aren't, then it'd be worth picking up a few of the most useful spells; focusing no noncombat utility spells e.g. teleport.
    For the most part i'd just rather rely on magic items to get done what need be done.

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