View Full Version : 3.5 Spellcasting/Psionics Variant

Corporate M
2010-03-22, 07:10 PM
I like the powerpoint/spellpoint system. But for those looking for something different, I propose the sanity system.

The sanity system works a little differently then it would normally like in a horror oriented game. "Sanity Points" are as arbitary as healthpoints. And can represent exhausted resources, mind numbing cosmic madness, whatever!

This was intended for psionics, but can be applied to casters. Don't count the power point cost, but rather, how many "degrees" are in the power. The first is the "original". (Like a mind thrust d10 damage or burning hands d4) then you "augment" it and increase the possibility of san loss.

Augment one stage: 1d4 (A spell or power will always cost this...)
Augment two stages: 1d4+1
Augment three stages: 1d6
Augment four stages: 1d6+1
Augment five stages: 1d8
Augment six stages: 2d4
Augment seven stages: 1d8+1
Augment eight stages: 1d10
Augment nine stages: 2d4+1
Augment ten stages: 1d10+1
Augment eleven stages: 1d12
Augment twelve stages: 2d6
Augment thirteen stages: 1d12+1
Augment fourteen stages: 2d6+1
Augment fifteen stages: 2d8
Augment sixteen stages: 2d8+1
Augment seventeen stages: 2d10
Augment eighteen stages: 2d10+1
Augment ninteen stages: 2d12
Augment twenty stages: 2d12+1

It sounds like as you level, higher spells powers>lower ones automaticaly. Well, not nesscaraly... Inorder to determine the saving throw or "san check" to see if you lose sanity points. The DC is equal to the spell or power's level+10. You have to make this check twice.

If you fail both, you take the san damage as noted above.
If you fail once, you take san damage equal to spell/power level.

Count them individually. Don't act like the office space guy. "Two chicks/checks at the same time!" No, first you make one san check, (Apply 1 or 20 auto win/flunk) then make another!

The reason it's called "san check" and not "X saving throw"... is you don't know which saving throw it will be! Everytime you use a power or spell, a d3 either by you or the DM is rolled to determine which saving throw you make inplace of your san check!

Don't think you could use some ability to replace skillchecks like concentration with the saving throw. It's still considered a "san check" and as such... the 1=lose 20=win still applies. And obviously if you're relying on that you're more worried about the 1 then the hopes of a 20.

You have a number of sanity points equal to your key casting stat+level in that class. What effects they suffer out of sanity loss is determined by a secondary stat. Some classes have an obvious secondary stat. Clerics/Favored Soul/Healers have charisma, warmage has intelligence. If others have no obvious secondary stat, a DM is free to roll a d6 to determine the secondary stat. These effects last untill you heal some sanity.

When you have more san damage then your secondary stat's modifier, you become shaken. (The penalty to saving throws does not count against san checks)

When you have more san damage then your secondary stat total, you become sickened. (The penalty to saving throws DOES apply against san checks... the sickened state replaces shaken)

0 Sanity:
When you have more sanity point damage then you have actual sanity score. You die, go to hell, go insane, whatever. Game over.

Ways To Heal Sanity:
There are many ways to heal sanity but they're are fairly minimal.

Some spells such as calm emotions or remove curse could be used to heal sanity. They heal an amount equal to the spell's level. A caster cannot cast this on himself. (I remember when there was infinite force check loops in Star Wars Revised Edition)

The healing skill can be used, but again... you cannot use it on yourself. You make a heal check vs the amount of san damage they have currently. The remainder is how much you heal.

Eight hours of rest can heal you of all your san damage.

So sanity damage isn't so much a permanent problem as it is a heat of the moment kind of problem throughout the day.

2010-03-22, 07:15 PM
The way I see it, spellcasters are supposed to feel entitled to their power, not feel like they are gradually going insane.

Corporate M
2010-03-22, 07:26 PM
The way I see it, spellcasters are supposed to feel entitled to their power, not feel like they are gradually going insane.
Well, its less about impending doom and more like "be careful" and "don't abuse your power". Be it arcane study, tapping into your subconscience/training, or turning to your deity. It screams "magic is not a toy".

There's a reason king's train guards and not warmages... lol! I believe it'll only bring down the casters by 1 or 2 tier levels. Not sure if it would hurt semi-casters more or not. They're already pretty weak. (Like the paladin/bard) And in some ways, it doesn't cause they get just as much sanity as say, a wizard. And don't need to rely on spells quite as much as a wizard... Paladins especially would notice the buff as their divine grace increases saves across the board, insuring their san checks are a little less dangerous.