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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Spellcaster Variant

    I have come up with a house rule for spellcasting in DnD and was wondering how balanced it seems:

    • Get rid of the whole vancian system mess.
    • All casters may have a number of prepared spell-levels worth of spells equal to 2 * Primary Casting Stat Modifier + level. This would be all they could have prepared at any given moment.
    • It requires one move-action per spell-level to prepare a spell, provided you are not already at your cap for prepared spells. This preparation may be performed at any time.
    • Every time a spell is cast, the caster must pass a Will Save (DC = 10 + Spell Level * 1.5). The first failure results in the caster becoming fatigued (-2 penalty on strength and dexterity). The second failure results in the caster becoming exhausted (-6 penalty on strength and dexterity). Once the caster becomes exhausted he is unable to cast spells. The cure for both of these effects is the same as normal.
    • All arcane casters use Intelligence as their primary casting stat. This represents their mental capacity to hold magical energy.
    • All divine casters use Wisdom as their primary casting stat. This represents inspiration from their gods for the magic they use.
    • All spellcasters use Charisma to determine the spell-save DCs of their spells. This represents their force of personality having an effect on other people.
    • A spellcaster must have a primary stat equal to 10 + spell level to cast a spell of that level.
    • Spellcasters may know spells as a sorceror may normally cast in a day.


    This is my attempt to get away from the vancian casting system without resorting to spell points. What do you think?
    Last edited by Thinker; 2007-09-21 at 02:11 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GimliFett's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spellcaster Variant

    That will save will make low-level casters suck more than they already do, and be considerably easy to succeed for higher-level casters.

    Also, I'm confused on Spells Known and Spells/Day. How is this handled?
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Spellcaster Variant

    Quote Originally Posted by GimliFett View Post
    That will save will make low-level casters suck more than they already do, and be considerably easy to succeed for higher-level casters.

    Also, I'm confused on Spells Known and Spells/Day. How is this handled?
    Low-level casters don't suck. They're guaranteed a minimum of 2 spells before they are exhausted. At high levels they will be able to cast more spells, but since 1's are autofails will not be able to continue indefinitely. The number of spells known for each class is the same as a sorcerer can normally cast in a day:
    Spoiler
    Show

    Spells Known
    {table=head]level|0th|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th
    1st|5|3
    2nd|6|4
    3rd|6|5
    4th|6|6|3
    5th|6|6|4
    6th|6|6|5|3
    7th|6|6|6|4
    8th|6|6|6|5|3
    9th|6|6|6|6|4
    10th|6|6|6|6|5|3
    11th|6|6|6|6|6|4
    12th|6|6|6|6|6|5|3
    13th|6|6|6|6|6|6|4
    14th|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3
    15th|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4
    16th|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3
    17th|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4
    18th|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|5|3
    19th|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|4
    20th|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6|6
    [/table]
    Last edited by Thinker; 2007-09-21 at 01:43 PM. Reason: put table in spoiler.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GimliFett's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spellcaster Variant

    Thanks for the clarification on the latter. Makes good sense now. Will there be ways to increase or alter the spells known?

    As for the former comment on low-level casters and suckage, , I might not have been clear. A first level wizard will maybe have a +4 bonus to their Will saves, meaning they'd have to roll a 12+ in order to avoid fatigue. Even a 0th would require 11+.

    On further thought, maybe not such a bad thing, considering how easy it is to recover from exhaustion (1 hour rest). However, from exhaustion to fatigue requires 8 hours of rest, or a spell to remove the status. Now, a wizard blows his load in the first battle and the group's even more restricted in activities (have to wait 1 hour before he can maybe cast again, pray he doesn't fail the next will save).
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Spellcaster Variant

    I originally thought about 10 + spell level, but that seemed too easy. I was thinking feats like Extra Spell could increase spells known, but by having hard limits it makes spellcasters as a whole less versatile. This is in exchange for potentially limitless casting, so I feel it is justified. What would you recommend for a spell DC to resist the fatigue/exhaustion? That is one mechanic I do not want to get rid of for this variant.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: Spellcaster Variant

    How's 10 + 1.5*spell level? A little easier at lower levels and ends up at mid to high levels as fairly close, but usually 1 point lower, than the 15+SL.

    As far as spells known, I would suggest still allowing swaps at certain levels, and I don't think allowing the Extra Spell feat would break anything. If a player wants to spend a feat to learn another spell, that's a feat he didn't use on something else.

    EDIT: Oh, and I do like the fatigue/exhaustion mechanic. I miss it from the old 2e Player Options: Spells and Powers book for channelling (which I've been working on as a base class or prestige class since 3e and into 3.5.
    Last edited by GimliFett; 2007-09-21 at 01:53 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Spellcaster Variant

    I never played any edition of DnD, but 3rd/3.5. If it allows spells known to be swapped for more powerful spells, the number of spells known must be dramatically reduced. I like 1.5 * Spell Level though.

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    Default Re: Spellcaster Variant

    Not more powerful, equivalent level but different spell, a la the Sorcere's ability to swap spells known at certain levels.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Spellcaster Variant

    Quote Originally Posted by GimliFett View Post
    Not more powerful, equivalent level but different spell, a la the Sorcere's ability to swap spells known at certain levels.
    That is a good idea, but may still require a reduction of spells known.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Spellcaster Variant

    Fair 'nuff. I'd not suggest more than 1 per spell level, though. I know I'd feel like I didn't have enough choices, and scrolls and wands would become very precious, indeed.
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