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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Spellcaster fix, a la breath weapons.

    Here's a potential houserule to break the power of spellcasters; I'm considering drafting a 3rd (!) revised wizard class and incorporating this rule.

    Spell Strain (Ex)
    Whenever a spellcaster casts a spell (other than a quickened spell), he or she must wait 1d4 rounds before casting another spell.

    And a feat to overcome this (based off of Recover Breath):

    RECOVER SPELLS [METAMAGIC]
    You wait less time before being able to cast spells again.

    Prerequisites
    Wis 17, ability to cast spells.

    Benefit
    You reduce the interval between casting spells. You wait 1 round less than usual before casting spells again; if this would reduce your wait to 0 or fewer rounds you may cast another spell on your next turn.

    Other potential houserules:
    -metamagic feats increase the wait time rather than spell level (like metabreath feats).
    -quickened spells may be cast as IMMEDIATE actions, not swift actions.
    -quickened spells may be cast as MOVE actions (and have a metamagic adjustment of only +3).
    -the delay between casting doesn't apply to spells that a character casts on herself, or that are harmless (e.g. cure spells).
    Last edited by rferries; 2017-09-07 at 03:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Spellcaster fix, a la breath weapons.

    .
    I think that cooldown time for spells will raise a lot of antagonism.
    Your proposal will have a ripple effect on spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities and a lot more. It will completely change how the different rules/classes interact with one another.
    Dealing with identified issues and loopholes (e.g. what I aimed for in "The Minimalistic 3.5 fix") gives you better control than reinventing fundamental game mechanics.

    If you wanna consider cooldown time, I'd start with focusing on metamagic feats first - either individual usage or usage of metamagic feats in general. You'll have a better understanding of what is to be affected by such change.



    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    -quickened spells may be cast as IMMEDIATE actions, not swift actions.
    Seems to me like this will have the opposite effect than what you're aiming for.
    Actions that can be take as immediate actions and are not limited to reactions, may also be taken as swift actions. (immediate > swift in terms of quickness)


    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    -the delay between casting doesn't apply to spells that a character casts on herself, or that are harmless (e.g. cure spells).
    This further strengthen my concern regarding the ripple effect. You know whare you start but you have no idea where you'll be compells to go befo

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcaster fix, a la breath weapons.

    This sounds a lot like Recharge Magic from Unearthed Arcana.

    What sets it apart from that? Even if you had that in mind, consider where you would want to differentiate yourself, since it's already a fairly involved system.

    (Personally, I would strip all the non-'general' recharge spells off into a separate ritual system of some sort, but that's my 4e preference showing..)
    Last edited by RedWarlock; 2017-09-07 at 04:33 AM.

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    Default Re: Spellcaster fix, a la breath weapons.

    I have a feeling this might actuall make a lot of problems worse:

    Out of combat, it doesn't change much. Waiting half a minute won't do anything. Most of the worst spells are mainly used out of combat or just before combat.

    Also, it would mean the caster could cast one, maybe two spells per battle. What, exactly, is a wizard doing the rest of the time? Hide? GIven that in 3.5, rounds can take ages, this will lead to quite a few bored players.
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    Default Re: Spellcaster fix, a la breath weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Spell Strain (Ex)
    Whenever a spellcaster casts a spell (other than a quickened spell), he or she must wait 1d4 rounds before casting another spell.
    This is not great. The problem with casters isn't quantitative as much as it is qualitative. Glitterdust or Polymorph will still completely change a battle regardless of how many other spells get cast; Teleport can still derail a campaign no matter what the recharge time is. It's also, as so many of these fixes are, un-fun (because who wants to waste turns plinking with a crossbow?) and hurts the weakest strategies (blasting) more than the strongest (summoning/BFC/persistomancy)

    RECOVER SPELLS [METAMAGIC]
    You wait less time before being able to cast spells again.
    This is just an obligatory "suck less" feat tax. Which, I suppose, isn't the end of the world, because martial characters have a crapton of those, but it's bad design both ways.

    Prerequisites
    Wis 17, ability to cast spells.
    Divine casters don't care, Arcane casters become painfully MAD.

    Other potential houserules:
    -metamagic feats increase the wait time rather than spell level (like metabreath feats).
    Nooooooo no no no no no, do not. Every spell I cast will now be Persisted. Every spell.

    -quickened spells may be cast as IMMEDIATE actions, not swift actions.
    Huge power bump for the feat. Do not.

    -quickened spells may be cast as MOVE actions (and have a metamagic adjustment of only +3).
    Meh. Quicken isn't the most dangerous, but this isn't the harshest, so whatever.

    -the delay between casting doesn't apply to spells that a character casts on herself, or that are harmless (e.g. cure spells).
    This says that gishing it up is the best strategy for casters now. So they'll be directly competing with martials for that role.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcaster fix, a la breath weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    .
    I think that cooldown time for spells will raise a lot of antagonism.
    Your proposal will have a ripple effect on spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities and a lot more. It will completely change how the different rules/classes interact with one another.
    Dealing with identified issues and loopholes (e.g. what I aimed for in "The Minimalistic 3.5 fix") gives you better control than reinventing fundamental game mechanics.

    If you wanna consider cooldown time, I'd start with focusing on metamagic feats first - either individual usage or usage of metamagic feats in general. You'll have a better understanding of what is to be affected by such change.





    Seems to me like this will have the opposite effect than what you're aiming for.
    Actions that can be take as immediate actions and are not limited to reactions, may also be taken as swift actions. (immediate > swift in terms of quickness)




    This further strengthen my concern regarding the ripple effect. You know whare you start but you have no idea where you'll be compells to go befo
    Quote Originally Posted by RedWarlock View Post
    This sounds a lot like Recharge Magic from Unearthed Arcana.

    What sets it apart from that? Even if you had that in mind, consider where you would want to differentiate yourself, since it's already a fairly involved system.

    (Personally, I would strip all the non-'general' recharge spells off into a separate ritual system of some sort, but that's my 4e preference showing..)
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I have a feeling this might actuall make a lot of problems worse:

    Out of combat, it doesn't change much. Waiting half a minute won't do anything. Most of the worst spells are mainly used out of combat or just before combat.

    Also, it would mean the caster could cast one, maybe two spells per battle. What, exactly, is a wizard doing the rest of the time? Hide? GIven that in 3.5, rounds can take ages, this will lead to quite a few bored players.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    This is not great. The problem with casters isn't quantitative as much as it is qualitative. Glitterdust or Polymorph will still completely change a battle regardless of how many other spells get cast; Teleport can still derail a campaign no matter what the recharge time is. It's also, as so many of these fixes are, un-fun (because who wants to waste turns plinking with a crossbow?) and hurts the weakest strategies (blasting) more than the strongest (summoning/BFC/persistomancy)


    This is just an obligatory "suck less" feat tax. Which, I suppose, isn't the end of the world, because martial characters have a crapton of those, but it's bad design both ways.


    Divine casters don't care, Arcane casters become painfully MAD.


    Nooooooo no no no no no, do not. Every spell I cast will now be Persisted. Every spell.


    Huge power bump for the feat. Do not.


    Meh. Quicken isn't the most dangerous, but this isn't the harshest, so whatever.


    This says that gishing it up is the best strategy for casters now. So they'll be directly competing with martials for that role.
    Thanks for the comments, everyone. Looks like it's not a popular idea, to say the least, so I'll scrap it. For posterity's sake my rationale was that the wizards wouldn't totally overshadow the other classes in combat and would use the rest of their rounds using magic items or casting spells on allies (which would ignore the cooldown as per the other houserule).

    The Wis 17 prerequisite was keeping my revised wizard in mind (which is MAD and uses Wisdom), however I obviously should have made that explicit.

    The immediate action quicken was more for flavour reasons; I'm not sure why it would be so much better than the current swift actions? As it is you can ready actions anyways for almost the same effect?

    The "no cooldown for harmless spells" was meant to encourage PCs to avoid dominating the battlefield, instead enhancing their own party.

    Nevertheless there's a uniform consensus that this isn't a great idea, so I'll discard it.

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    Default Re: Spellcaster fix, a la breath weapons.

    Immediate actions are superior to swift because they can be taken at any time, not just during your turn-- and they don't require you to spend your standard action betting that some condition will occur, as readied actions do.

    Casters in 3.5 are strong for two reasons: some spells have level-inappropriate benefits (ie, Alter Self), and their access to a wide range of spells means that whatever the situation, they probably have a spell that will contribute extremely effectively. (And also mundane skills and combat styles are weak, but I consider that largely a separate issue).

    The best way to address those issues, in my opinion, is thematic lists. Turn all spellcasters into Beguiler-style mage who cast spontaneously off a limited list... which you carefully picked to avoid some broken spells and re-level others.

    Another decent option is to slow their progression... while keeping spells/day high. That limits the damage that underleveled spells like Alter Self and Glitterdust can do (because you get them at a more appropriate ecl), while doing less damage to blasting and buffing spells (which tend to key more of CL). Keeping SLOTS high means that you can still feel like a caster, even if your magic is objectively less powerful now-- a point which I find much more important than "balanced."
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2017-09-08 at 06:38 AM.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcaster fix, a la breath weapons.

    Before I do another wizard revision, would the cooldown houserule be acceptable if I gave the revised wizard an eldritch blast-like ability to use when waiting for the cooldown to expire?

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    Default Re: Spellcaster fix, a la breath weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Before I do another wizard revision, would the cooldown houserule be acceptable if I gave the revised wizard an eldritch blast-like ability to use when waiting for the cooldown to expire?
    Ehhh... it still kinda feels like it's attacking the wrong part of the problem. If some spells are too strong, cut them out of the list. If the growth of power is too fast, slow it down. If the ratio of power:versatility is off, alter that.

    If you go down that route, I'd probably base things off Reserve Feats instead of Eldritch Blast, though. More varied and more Wizard-y.

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    Default Re: Spellcaster fix, a la breath weapons.

    My favourite fix has always been twofold: dividing spells into combat spells and noncombat spells.

    Combat spells need to be cast quickly and relatively easily, or they make no sense, at least not in PC hands. Noncombat spells can be turned into rituals, or similar, they can take a lot of time, they can have cooldown, all no problems.

    Then, however, you also just need, always need, to fix the worst handful of spells. You never get anywhere in balancing without taking a chainsaw to the spell list.


    If you want to make actual spells limited, I'd recommend looking at Reserve Feats and give them something similar. Smaller effects that can be used liberally while the wizard is waiting for their main spells to recharge. Anything like a small blast of fire or a minor illusion will not break anything, but give the wizard something to do.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcaster fix, a la breath weapons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    My favourite fix has always been twofold: dividing spells into combat spells and noncombat spells.

    Combat spells need to be cast quickly and relatively easily, or they make no sense, at least not in PC hands. Noncombat spells can be turned into rituals, or similar, they can take a lot of time, they can have cooldown, all no problems.

    Then, however, you also just need, always need, to fix the worst handful of spells. You never get anywhere in balancing without taking a chainsaw to the spell list.


    If you want to make actual spells limited, I'd recommend looking at Reserve Feats and give them something similar. Smaller effects that can be used liberally while the wizard is waiting for their main spells to recharge. Anything like a small blast of fire or a minor illusion will not break anything, but give the wizard something to do.
    I'll sort of address the combat vs noncombat spell issue when I post the class (will have both "memorised" (i.e. spontaneous) and "ritual" spellcasting.

    I really don't want to do spell-by-spell fixes haha, there are loads of great fixes out there already (e.g. knock gives a bonus on Open Lock checks, Pathfinder polymorph spells have strict limits, etc.)

    Reserve Feats are a cool backup or replacement for the Eldritch Blast, thanks!

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