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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Thought about spellcasters (mostly mage)

    Hey wondered what effect this would have on the spellcasters (druid, mage, cleric etc).

    Trying to balance out the tiers. Was thinking of doing this.

    >5th level spell cap (6th-9th level spells simply don't exist)
    >A wizard/cleric or druid can only use one school initially. At 5th level they get to choose a second school but casting from this school has a penalty of +2 casting level (Simular to metamagic for example). These spells cannot be cast if the total casting level would be above 5th level either. (For example if you weren't a necromancer you wouldn't be able to cast animate dead as its total spell level would be 6.)
    >Wizard familiar and druid companion removed.
    >No spells learned at level up they instead have to learn by scrolls.
    >Bard onto Wizard/sorcerer spell list and learn by scrolls.
    >Sorcerers actually reduced to the wizard spells per day. However they are not limited by school and therefore can pick any spells. They can use the spell slots for level 6-9 to learn 1st-5th level spells.Still have to learn by scrolls as any other caster but the maximum spell slots still applies. Still a spontaneous caster.
    >scribe scroll feat removed.
    >Can not store spells in items such as a magical staff.
    >Maybe no bonus spells from high stats (Might make the casters underpowered though)
    >double the requirement for being able to cast a spell? (12 int for burning hands, 16 int for fireball etc)


    What this is intended to do is effectively remove the Wizard can do everything and push them into archetypes. For example the D&D wizard isn't say Merlin or Gandalf or the black mage from final fantasy. He is ALL of them at the same time. With removal of 6th and higher level spells they are no longer able to create their own dimensions. And high level mages will be back in their archetype of advisers to kings.

    As for Clerics and druids. You can still CODZILLA but if you do that your cleric is effectivly locked into the battle cleric and wont be able to do much more than be a fighter.

    Thoughts are appreciated. The aim of this is to reduce Mages, clerics and druids down to tier 4 with the ability to do one thing well but have to sacrifice everything else to do it.

    Is having 2 schools (One major and one minor as well as universal) to many should they only have access to a single school?

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

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    Default Re: Thought about spellcasters (mostly mage)

    Well. Um. Capping at 5th level spells will probably drop you straight to tier 3, no questions asked. Maybe even tier 4- look at the adept, which knows all the spells on its quite nice list. The rest of the draconian restrictions-- very limited spell selection, reduced spells/day, cutting out class features, removing entire magic item categories (incidentally, if you take out the scribe scroll feat, how do wizards get scrolls to learn from)?-- just come across as poison icing on the murder cake.

    Seriously, though. If you stick to spontaneous casters and the good T3/T4 classes, and your players don't set out to break things, you'll probably be just fine.

    If you insist, I'd cap at 6th level instead of 5th. Boost spells/day to compensate (you lose something like 12-18 spells/day by dropping the top 3 levels of casting). Restrict all characters to spontaneous casting. That should take out an awful lot of your problems. Banning or nerfing the really bad spells (polymorph line, celerity line, etc) will help too.

    For clerics, don't allow nightsticks. For druids, force them to use the shapechange variant from the Player's Handbook 2, or else take out natural spell and change animal companion progression to be based on a familiar's.

    But I repeat my earlier injunction: as bad as balance is in theory, I've never had a really serious balance problem in a game I played in. 80-90% of all "problems" in D&D-- and most systems, really-- can be solved in three steps.
    • Make sure all players optimize to the same degree.
    • Resolve out-of-game issues (builds, inter-player friction, etc) out of game.
    • Don't be tools.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Thought about spellcasters (mostly mage)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Well. Um. Capping at 5th level spells will probably drop you straight to tier 3, no questions asked. Maybe even tier 4- look at the adept, which knows all the spells on its quite nice list. The rest of the draconian restrictions-- very limited spell selection, reduced spells/day, cutting out class features, removing entire magic item categories (incidentally, if you take out the scribe scroll feat, how do wizards get scrolls to learn from)?-- just come across as poison icing on the murder cake.

    Seriously, though. If you stick to spontaneous casters and the good T3/T4 classes, and your players don't set out to break things, you'll probably be just fine.

    If you insist, I'd cap at 6th level instead of 5th. Boost spells/day to compensate (you lose something like 12-18 spells/day by dropping the top 3 levels of casting). Restrict all characters to spontaneous casting. That should take out an awful lot of your problems. Banning or nerfing the really bad spells (polymorph line, celerity line, etc) will help too.

    For clerics, don't allow nightsticks. For druids, force them to use the shapechange variant from the Player's Handbook 2, or else take out natural spell and change animal companion progression to be based on a familiar's.

    But I repeat my earlier injunction: as bad as balance is in theory, I've never had a really serious balance problem in a game I played in. 80-90% of all "problems" in D&D-- and most systems, really-- can be solved in three steps.
    • Make sure all players optimize to the same degree.
    • Resolve out-of-game issues (builds, inter-player friction, etc) out of game.
    • Don't be tools.

    Thanks man was thinking of going onto a SP system which would naturally give them more spells after 5th level spells cap out. (Wasn't sure about the spell number but I think ill try 6th level spells cap.)

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    Quellian-dyrae's Avatar

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    Default Re: Thought about spellcasters (mostly mage)

    I agree that using all of the above would be too much. It makes casters harder and more inconvenient to play in many cases. An important thing to remember, in addition to Grod's excellent point that most players won't exploit the biggest problems with casters, is that casters can be very hard to build and use effectively in an actual game, and an attentive DM and mature players will generally curb the worst abuses. Primary arcanists in particular suffer from horrible base statistics, a dearth of class features aside from their spells, and more than their share of trap options. They also become virtually worthless if they run out of spells. To some extent, they need to keep sufficient spell power to make up for that, or get buffs to their weaker areas to shore up the lack of spells they were dependent on.

    If you're aiming for Tier 4, then, I'd say your first two options are best, with some modifications. The scrolls-only spell learning is just inconvenient, and places too much responsibility for the character on the DM's plate. Most of the rest don't seem particularly necessary.

    The 5th level limit is fine, but I'd establish that the spells themselves either don't exist or maybe require ritual casting methods (more plot-dependent), rather than the actual progression changing. Let casters still get normal spell levels, spells known, and spells per day (or spell points, if you go with that; I'm a fan of spell point systems, myself, since they allow flexibility and reduce bookkeeping). However, spell levels higher than 5th can only be used to cast lower-level or metamagic-enhanced spells. This allows casters to continually grow in power, but not gain access to as many game-changing effects.

    In fact, doing it this way, I'd probably limit it to 4th level spells. Reason being, 5th level spells have a number of game changers that really allow casters to create long-term effects. Teleport, Raise Dead, Fabricate, Contact Other Plane, Commune, and Permanency spring to mind, and I'm sure there are others. Making spells like this unavailable, or perhaps, only available through ritual casting (since they can be really handy to have sometimes - Teleport, Raise Dead, and the divinations can all be great tools for the DM to take advantage of in high-level stories) is probably going to be a big part of the difference between Tier 3 and Tier 4.

    Prepared casters must choose three schools of magic that they can cast from. Universal spells are included for free, and Conjuration and Transmutation count as two schools each. Bonus spells granted from domains and class features (such as a cleric's spontaneous cure spells) don't count against this limit. Spontaneous casters may draw their spells from any school. This helps handle the versatility end of things, while still giving enough variety to have some options. Prepared casters can do just about anything in their fields, given time to prepare, while spontaneous casters can do things in a variety of fields, but each distinct effect costs a valuable spell known.

    Final adjustment I'd add, is that Polymorph-type spells are replaced by the Pathfinder versions. If capped at 4th or 5th level spells, polymorphing is probably the single most likely spell to remain a serious game breaker without a fairly heavy amount of high-optimization work.
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