View Full Version : Spellcasting System

2010-05-20, 10:21 PM
Here is a way to make spellcaster more "different". Its just a general idea.
The casters will have a list of spells. The caster will need to actions to cast a spell.
a) Prepare/Ready/Draw
b) Cast

The spells will be on cards (or just their names). Alternatively there will be a list and he will roll a suited dice to select a spell.
With the first action the caster draws a card. With the second he uses it.

The idea is to be able to combined spells or built-up a big spell. So the caster will have the opportunity to cast multiple spells at once.

The random factor will make the caster more unpredictable, as casters usually are. Also provide a risk factor. Draw a spell to get what you want or cast a spell you already have? Outside of combat he will be able to most likely use whatever he wants, except if you put a maximum number of prepared/ready spells.

I like the idea because it makes casters act differently and make them more unpredictable. They will be able to have powerful spells, but not be lucky to use them all the time. The same with powerful combos.


2010-05-21, 08:53 AM
This is kind of Magic: The Gathering, isn't it?

It could work as a spell casting system, and it's probably be pretty cool - certainly a great flavour for a Wild West setting, or a Yu-Gi-O RPG - but you'd have to put plenty of work into it, and it'd need to be the only system available (or you'd need to be really careful about balancing it with other casters).

2010-05-21, 11:18 AM
It could be done with D&D 3.X as well. The casters will have their prepared spells, but they will right their names on cards (or alternatively roll the appropriate dice).

Of course more rules will be needed. For example, you could go with:
1) Swift/move or standard action to draw/ready a spell. So more than once per round. Action provokes AoO.
2) Maximum of 5 ready/drawn spells
2) Standard action to cast a spell
3) The caster will prepare a sets of spells. Each set will have 10 cards. At the beginning of the encounter the caster can choose a set he wants. In a few words, in the beginning of the encounter the caste will have 10 spells available to him only. He can choose a different set when he uses all of that set, or as a swift action, but he loses all drawn/ready spells.
4) The caster will have access through feats or character abilities to combine certain spells. For example using Fireball+Magic Missiles to create Fire Missiles. So he can use a swift+move action to draw two spells. If he is lucky, use the standard action to cast Fire Missiles
5) Some powerful spells will be available by parts, depending on the caster level. So for example, a 9th level spell can have its lesser version, a 1st, 4th and 7th level spell for example. The caster will need both of them to cast the spell. Thus gaining the ability to cast it earlier, but having 3 spells that are no good by their own. At the appropriate level he would be able to use the 9th level spell as whole (or not if you decide to balance casters).
6) Some new spells could be added that would apply a genera effect on spells. Like change their damage type, Empower them etc etc. Again from feats and abilities.
7) Outside of a battle the caster can use whatever spell he wants, provided he has time. Otherwise, he could use his "travel" set or such.

The caster should become more powerful when he has time to ready/draw spells. As he already is because of buffs. But less powerful when he is cornered, since he would provoke AoO for drawing spells. Thus, forcing casters to stay out of the front line. Battle casters could have special abilities that enable them to avoid AoO when readying/drawing spells, or this ignore this rule if casters aren't consider powerful in the first place.
If the caster can stay stationary, he will draw two spells per round. Thus, his power should be the same more or less as he normally is (provided he has the chance for combos). If he doesn't stay stationary, he will probably draw one spell and cast it, making him less powerful and depending on chance to draw his good spells when he needs them.
Overall though, he will still cast the same spells per day.

This is just an example of course on how the main idea can be used.