View Full Version : Magic as a Skill

2009-07-07, 11:36 AM
In a world where magic is commonplace, shouldn't everyone want to make use of it? Wizards are powerful specialists, but you don't have to be a doctor to apply a band-aid. A Magic skill would be a way of letting everyone use a small amount of magic.

Magic would be kind of like Knowledge or Profession in that it is actually several different skills, broken up into schools like Magic (Abjuration) and Magic (Divination). When you first put ranks into a Magic skill you can decide whether it is a wisdom based divine skill, or an intelligence based arcane skill.

The difference between a magician and a person who trained at the skill is competence. Anyone can use a sword, only a trained person can use it well. Anyone who knows a type of magic can try to create any spell in that school, but the DC quickly ramps up so that only low levels spells would be possible:

Magic Skill
{table=head]DC|Spell Level

Spells cast with the Magic Skill have the minimum caster level necessary to cast the spell, and require an additional minute of casting time. Spells cast this way do not require materials or their usual focuses, and always have verbal and somatic components even if the spell normally doesn't.

The Magic Skill can't be used with metamagic feats, nor can it be used to counterspell. It cannot cast any spell with a permanent duration or one with an xp cost.

The saving throw DC for spells is reduced by 4.

There is no limit to how many spells a person can attempt to cast with the skill daily. However failing a spell causes the subject to become fatigued. Failing a spell by more than 5 causes 1d6 non-lethal damage and emits a loud bang as the spell explodes in the caster's face.

Spellcasters with the Magic Skill
Spellcasters can use the Magic Skill in addition to their own class spells. However a spellcaster with a restricted school cannot use the Magic Skill to reproduce spells of that school.

Character Examples
A thief who creates magical lights to aid in burglary.

An explorer who uses feather fall to reach the bottom of a mine shaft.

A princess who summons a magical horse to travel.

A mischievous child that has mastered Prestidigitation for pranks.

A wise old scholar that can read magic.

2009-07-07, 12:47 PM
Starting with DCs of 10 means that everyone and their old mother can cast level 0 spells as they want. Only when starting with at least 25, you actually need to be both smart and trained to cast a spell.

Also, if you want to keep true caster classes, you'd have to consider about other classes who have spellcraft as a class skill. At the very least, I would also include feats, that give you access to a new spell level. The spellcasting classes could get these feats as bonus spells at every 2 levels. A commoner or expert could learn to cast level 0 spells, but would have to spend one feat and probably some points on spellcraft.

But then, they could also take a level in wizard to do exactly that.

2009-07-07, 04:20 PM
I like the idea, though I'd bump the DCs up by 5 or 10.
I think it would be good to let characters cast spells with this skill without taking an entire minute, but it should definitely be limited - say, once per day per point of INT or WIS bonus.