View Full Version : [3.5] Spell point variant

2009-06-17, 05:18 PM
I don't really like Vancian spellcasting, and I found the spell point variant in the srd: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/magic/spellPoints.htm

For those of you who have tried it, I have a couple questions:

Is it much worse than common spellcasting regarding balance?

Would requiring extra spell points to increase the actual caster level for everything (not just damage, but also duration and range) be a sensible house rule? (Reason behind this: Well, I can spend 10 points to casta 10d6 fireball, or just 3 to glitterdust them, and blind them for 10 rounds anyway... I am aware that glitterdust is a better choice than fireball 99% of the time, but making it cheaper to cast...)

I guess tracking spell points shouldn't be much harder than tracking prepared spells, right?

Thanks in advance

2009-06-17, 05:26 PM
It unbalanced casters more as it's written. Wizards become even more powerful than sorcerers because sorcerers don't get enough extra spell points, and wizards don't have to prepare how they're going to spend all the points but just what spells they want available. In addition, because of the rules on how damage spells must use more points to do full damage, casters have an even bigger incentive to ignore them all together and just still with save-or-x's.

I haven't tinkered with it myself, but making wizards prepare every point - rather than a list of spells - combined with giving sorcerers more and/or wizards less available points at higher levels should help a bit. As for needing higher points to cast anything at higher caster level, I'm unsure... it seems to me like it would need to be worked on a bit more than that in order to keep some spells from being completely worthless beyond the first few levels (granted, things like Grease and Glitterdust do maintain usefulness beyond what they should as-is, but I think a flat change might be too much).

2009-06-17, 06:18 PM
All of the below is opinion gained from using the system.

I found this system much more useful than the traditional casting system. This may be because I started in video games like Final Fantasy, but I enjoy being able to cast what spells I have in any combination I want, while retaining full versatility of the Wizard.

I know that this brings Sorcerers and Wizards closer, but Sorcerers will always have more points.

The example given about the Fireball vs the Cone of Cold sums up why they make you increase the points cost for the number of damage dice (but it seems to be no other spells that are effected). I like the way that this is done and gives casters more choice over how many points they spend. Also: 5 points for a Wizard to do a 5d6 Fireball while a Sorcerer spends 5 points for a 6d6 Fireball? Yup, you only need to increase above base caster level (although this means you still need to spend 7 points to deal 7d6 regardless of class, but that's the way I think it works... Seems right...).

Using this sytem also helps you make a custom system for recharging Wands and other magic items that have charges (I pretty much do {point cost x 2} to restore one charge and you must have that spell on your class list).

Looking back, that post seems all jumbled in the order.