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    Default Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Friends and countrymen, lend me your geeky reasoning.

    I am running a low magic Faerun game, long story, involves the killing of most of the gods. While my players can play casters, they pay a price for it. The advantage is that nothing else in the world is magic, there are no very high level magical monsters, and no magic armor to protect people. The disadvantage being that since there is no weave anymore the spell energy draws directly off of their soul. Thus for every level a spell it, they roll a d6, total the dice, and take that out of their con score, to be naturally healed later, if they survive.

    My question:
    Regarding that system, how do I make psionics work, should they do the same thing, or could you claim that they are burning thier brain and loose intellegence (when they drop to zero they become catatonic). Any ideas regarding this would be appreciated.

    This is NOT a discussion on the system, but how I would work the psionics along the same like.
    Last edited by Yodaman23; 2007-10-10 at 06:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yodaman23 View Post
    Friends and countrymen, lend me your geeky reasoning.

    I am running a low magic Faerun game, long story, involves the killing of most of the gods. While my players can play casters, they pay a price for it. The advantage is that nothing else in the world is magic, there are no very high level magical monsters, and no magic armor to protect people. The disadvantage being that since there is no weave anymore the spell energy draws directly off of their soul. Thus for every level a spell it, they roll a d6, total the dice, and take that out of their con score, to be naturally healed later, if they survive.

    My question:
    Regarding that system, how do I make psionics work, should they do the same thing, or could you claim that they are burning thier brain and loose intellegence (when they drop to zero they become catatonic). Any ideas regarding this would be appreciated.
    Err, but to cast a 9th level spell wouldn't they be losing 27 con on average?

    I realize you want to limit things, but I don't think that pretty much instant death for casting one spell is what you had in mind...

    Edit: As for the psionics thing, though, I don't think making them burn their primary casting ability (assuming psion) is a great idea either.
    Last edited by Grimfist; 2007-10-10 at 05:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Ok, can you clarifiy that? You make it sound like for every spell they cast, they roll a d6 and burn that much off their con. Now, if that's right, you are a madman. That's like 3 spells, if you're lucky.

    If that's not it, then ignore that.

    With psionics, burning your int might be a bigger problem, because psions use that as their casting stat. The other classes won't be effected as much, because they use wis and cha. burning int for a wilder might be easier on them because it effects.... skills. And skill points. What you should do is maybe make them use their casting stat instead, and play it off as if it's coming from their personality/ego(cha) or their soul or inner calm(wis).

    Edit: Arg, ninja'd.
    Last edited by DownwardSpiral; 2007-10-10 at 05:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    You guys have it right, and I'm aware its harsh, but like I said, there is no weave and you burn off of your soul. This mechanic has been tried and tested and proven to be effective and fun. Makes casters greatly powerful and possibly sacrificial for the group.

    I was iffy on burning int because as you said it is the manifesting stat, but I'm not sure what else to burn. Maybe Wis or Cha?

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yodaman23 View Post
    You guys have it right, and I'm aware its harsh, but like I said, there is no weave and you burn off of your soul. This mechanic has been tried and tested and proven to be effective and fun. Makes casters greatly powerful and possibly sacrificial for the group.
    I fail to see how casting a 3rd level spell and dying makes casters powerful. A Second level spell even has a decent chance of causing death.
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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Well, in a world where there is no magic armor, or way to really avoid the pure destructive magic. Where you won't be going up against any of the big magical meanies, it works very well. I have played it before, it works, trust me. Dealing with how you like the system is not the topic of the thread though.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    I'd make it that they take subdual damage, instead. Still a chance of them passing out, which is dangerous, but I don't know anyone who'd want to take 3d6 con to cast a fireball.
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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Do players voice any interest in playing casters in your campaigns? Ever?

    The only way to heal ability damage (beyond taking the caster-narcolepsy intrinsic to the 3.5 system to an extreme) is using more spells... which would cause more ability damage.

    This is too much of a nerf for casters to remain PC classes. As such, you probably don't need any set rules at all: just let NPCs cast spells a bit more conservatively than normal and be done with it.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    I know of a 3.0 spell casting class the chaos mage, that takes damage from spells but not as bad as what you have
    Last edited by de-trick; 2007-10-10 at 06:14 PM.
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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    You can heal ability damage through rest 1 point per 8 hours of sleep. But once again, not my question.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    You are mad. Why would anyone, even someone who believes that magic is too strong, ever EVER want to play a caster under your system, even if, as you say, all magical defenses have disapeared? Its ludicris!

    If you want to play low magic, just ban the caster classes. If you want to be a jerk, just arbitrarily kill their charcters. Don't disguise it as some sort of plot device.

    I wash my hands of you. I could answer your actual question, but then I would be party to a rediculous nerf, which I won't burden my conscience with.

    Your probably also one of those people who think playing a commoner with a 4 con is fun and that playing anything that's actualy good at your class's job is anathema to roleplaying.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yodaman23 View Post

    I was iffy on burning int because as you said it is the manifesting stat, but I'm not sure what else to burn. Maybe Wis or Cha?
    Wilders need cha. Phycic warriors need wis. It won't help. The only way it would work is if there's only or two guys, and you did it that stat that they don't need. Then it's....ok. I guess. The system is flawed to begin with.

    From the way that you describe it, it's 1d6 per spell level. 3d6 for a fireball. 1 ability recovered per night. that's like 1 fireball every 8-9 days on average. Also, con effects hitpoints. Even though they're dropped to one con, that -4 mod will drop in the hitpoints category considerably, especially since they're....casters.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    I would have to suggest just using intelligence since they won't live long anyway given your system. Man I thought my DM dealing us con drain (only undone by wish or miracle, we're level 6-8) for dying was bad (in addition to the normal penalties)

    Edit: I agree with Kyeudo. You should just ban casters and psionics in such a system.
    Last edited by Zanatos777; 2007-10-10 at 06:40 PM.
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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyeudo View Post
    You are mad. Why would anyone, even someone who believes that magic is too strong, ever EVER want to play a caster under your system, even if, as you say, all magical defenses have disapeared? Its ludicris!

    If you want to play low magic, just ban the caster classes. If you want to be a jerk, just arbitrarily kill their charcters. Don't disguise it as some sort of plot device.

    I wash my hands of you. I could answer your actual question, but then I would be party to a rediculous nerf, which I won't burden my conscience with.

    Your probably also one of those people who think playing a commoner with a 4 con is fun and that playing anything that's actualy good at your class's job is anathema to roleplaying.
    You have some serious anger problems man, my friends enjoy, I don't have to please you. I am asking a question, which I would like opinions on. I suggest that you calm down and stop looking at this thread if it bothers you so much. To all of you saner fourmers, any help with my actual question?

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Perhaps apply the damage to the manifesting stat (whichever it is) to keep balance between the classes.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    ^Agreed, or for casters, the spellcasting stat.

    Honestly, I'm going to have to agree with the other people here basically...no caster of any sort is going to have any real utility or usage if they can cast a single Magic Missile (or Grease, or Color Spray) then be in danger of killing themselves with another one. CON damage for spells just means that no one will play casters (well, not twice at least) in that game.

    If you're dead set on the stat drain for "soulburn" (which is a neat concept, I once tried to make a magic system based on a similar idea that used naturally healing nonlethal damage instead), make it deal damage to their primary casting stat (INT for Wizards or Psions, WIS for Clerics or Psywarriors, INT for Psions, CHA for Wilders or Sorcerers). That way, they can get pretty stupid/useless for casting really fast, but they're not likely to actively kill themselves with one or two bad rolls (or just make it so a single Kobold with Sling can potentially oneshot them...A 3rd level wizard with starting 10 CON who nails himself for 6 CON damage now has 3 HP - very dangerous.)
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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yodaman23 View Post
    You have some serious anger problems man, my friends enjoy, I don't have to please you. I am asking a question, which I would like opinions on. I suggest that you calm down and stop looking at this thread if it bothers you so much. To all of you saner fourmers, any help with my actual question?
    No, I have a serious problem when people take a hammer to what game balance currently exists in D&D, when its so fragile already. What grade are your friends in? Kindergarten? Pre-School? They must not know any better, I guess.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyeudo View Post
    No, I have a serious problem when people take a hammer to what game balance currently exists in D&D, when its so fragile already. What grade are your friends in? Kindergarten? Pre-School? They must not know any better, I guess.
    It would be healthier just to ignore you if you are going to step to insults against people you don't know.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    You say your friends enjoy this. Do they actually play casters themselves?

    If so, do you involve combat or other situations requiring spell expenditure?

    I wouldn't think anyone would enjoy using only their weakest class abilities and only using those about twice per week.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    I think you should lose your casting stat instead of Con, as Con is just kinda rediculous. Also, it should regenerate every 3 rounds, and spell levels 1-3 drain 1d6, 4-6 drain 1d10, and 7-9 drain 2d6 to make it less, well, lethal.
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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Weasel View Post
    You say your friends enjoy this. Do they actually play casters themselves?

    If so, do you involve combat or other situations requiring spell expenditure?

    I wouldn't think anyone would enjoy using only their weakest class abilities and only using those about twice per week.
    Few choose it but some of my friends have. My campains are normally not just hack and dungeon crawlers. They often have time to regain stats. I am liking the idea about subdual though. My friends actually like the challenge of it, it balences the incredible power of magic with the low power of melee. Not nessecerily a balence that has to be made, but thats just us.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yodaman23 View Post
    Few choose it but some of my friends have. My campains are normally not just hack and dungeon crawlers. They often have time to regain stats. I am liking the idea about subdual though. My friends actually like the challenge of it, it balences the incredible power of magic with the low power of melee. Not nessecerily a balence that has to be made, but thats just us.
    You do realize that if Con reaches zero, the character dies, right? That means that with the average con score for a Caster(14), 1 third level spell and a first level one could kill him? Or that the lower score means that they'll die in one hit?
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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Yeah, it isn't that bad an idea to give a bit of a penalty for casting, but tone it way back.

    Even just 1 Con damage per spell level is far too much in normal settings.

    It sounds you've drastically nerfed your entire campaign world, but still your changes seem to be beyond mere overkill.
    Last edited by Dr. Weasel; 2007-10-10 at 07:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    I am thinking about it, and it seems that this will work much less well for psionics than for magic. Psionics has much more MAD to begin with - a wizard can (and should anyway) have a high CON in case they are struck. The psychic probably has multiple necessary stats. Also a lot of psionics is buff-self, which will be less useful when you must debuff yourself to use it.
    Besides, it thematically works less well for psionics to exist. Magic is manipulation of an external power, which you must supply yourself since said power is in short supply. Psionics is internal to begin with.

    To all you naysayers, I think you are overlooking how much of an advantage it is to have magic when nobody else does. Imagine sending your fighter into a ranged combat with "Protection from Arrows". Everyone thinks they are unlucky when the arrows bounce off his platemail, so they continue shooting as he picks them off one by one. Or if they realize it's a spell, they think he's magically immune to attacks, they would sure as hell not go to close range with him - they break and run.

    Illusions in a world where nobody knows that illusions can exist?

    Invisibility, Silence, Open Locks... no security systems are designed to deal with such measures...

    It's a tough line to draw between "magic is too powerful" and "magic is too costly" if the characters are the only ones capable of magic. If this author says he is pulling it off, don't be mean.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeklorIlavator View Post
    You do realize that if Con reaches zero, the character dies, right? That means that with the average con score for a Caster(14), 1 third level spell and a first level one could kill him? Or that the lower score means that they'll die in one hit?
    Of course I realize that. Any caster in my campain tries to put a high score in that slot. Casters are normally in the background anyway, and the group is good about protecting the casters.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    I don't want to insult you, but I have to agree with everyone else here. Considerable Con damage for every spell is just ... too much, in my opinion.

    To answer your question, if you have to burn ability scores for psionics, I would sugest burning the ability score the psion's speciality is tied to. (ie. Dex for psychoportation, cha for telepathy, int for metacreativity, etc...)
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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Riffington View Post
    I am thinking about it, and it seems that this will work much less well for psionics than for magic. Psionics has much more MAD to begin with - a wizard can (and should anyway) have a high CON in case they are struck. The psychic probably has multiple necessary stats. Also a lot of psionics is buff-self, which will be less useful when you must debuff yourself to use it.
    Besides, it thematically works less well for psionics to exist. Magic is manipulation of an external power, which you must supply yourself since said power is in short supply. Psionics is internal to begin with.

    To all you naysayers, I think you are overlooking how much of an advantage it is to have magic when nobody else does. Imagine sending your fighter into a ranged combat with "Protection from Arrows". Everyone thinks they are unlucky when the arrows bounce off his platemail, so they continue shooting as he picks them off one by one. Or if they realize it's a spell, they think he's magically immune to attacks, they would sure as hell not go to close range with him - they break and run.

    Illusions in a world where nobody knows that illusions can exist?

    Invisibility, Silence, Open Locks... no security systems are designed to deal with such measures...

    It's a tough line to draw between "magic is too powerful" and "magic is too costly" if the characters are the only ones capable of magic. If this author says he is pulling it off, don't be mean.

    You have it to a T my friend. Very well said, I do play NPCs acting appropriatly towards magic in the campain so it is very demorilizing to them.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Since d6 con pe rlevel is quite lethal, perhaps 1hp/spell level instead? Undead, who cannot take con damage, have just jumped in power quite a bit.

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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krrth
    Since d6 con pe rlevel is quite lethal, perhaps 1hp/spell level instead? Undead, who cannot take con damage, have just jumped in power quite a bit.
    That's a good point. Liches just became the most powerful enemies in the game. Every PC in your campaign should undergo the rite of crucimigration! (turns them undead at the cost of a level)
    Last edited by Rigel Cyrosea; 2007-10-10 at 07:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Soul burn and Brain burn: Hurt in a low magic campain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rigel Cyrosea View Post
    That's a good point. Liches just became the most powerful enemies in the game. Every PC in your campaign should undergo the rite of crucimigration! (turns them undead at the cost of a level)
    Heh. A good reason for taking level adjustments for casters.

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