View Full Version : PEACH - Spellcasting for a Low Magic Setting

Revan Ordo
2010-08-13, 07:53 AM
The setting is a low magic one. The max spell level in this setting is 5th and many spells especially the flashier ones have been removed (i.e. No Dimension Doors, Greater Invisibility, Teleports, Wall of Force, or Summons, etc.)

There will only be one generic spellcasting class that is kind of a catch-all for healers, loremasters, and wizards. The spellcaster casts spells spontaneously and has a set amount of spells known that can be increased through study (very restricted, takes a long time to learn a new spell through study).

How spellcasting works (This is similar to how spellcasting works in LOTR Rpg but converted to d20):

There are no spells slots. You gain access to certain levels of spells as per the wizard's spellcasting progression. Casting spells causes weariness. In order to cast a spell, the caster must make a Concentration (3.5)/Spellcraft (Pathfinder) check versus the DC for that level. If they succeed the spell is cast as normal. If they fail, the caster cannot complete the spell and takes a certain amount of subdual damage as per the table below. Casters may not 'take 10' or 'take 20' on this check.

Also for each spell cast within 1 minute of casting any other spell, you suffer a -1 penalty to your Concentration/Spellcraft check for casting spells. For example, if a character casts one spell per round for three rounds (a total of 18 seconds), the first check suffers no penalty, the second suffers a -1 penalty, the third suffers a -2 penalty. If he casts another spell 5 rounds later, he suffers a -3 penalty.

Spellcasters also find it harder to make the Concentration/Spellcraft check when they have multiple spells active at once. For every spell a character has active, he suffers a -1 penalty to the check for other spells cast during that period. This penalty is cumulative with the penalty for multiple castings within a minute.

{table]Spell Level|Concentration/Spellcraft DC|Subdual Damage

I've modified the DCs a bit, since it is now skill based instead of save based. I think it should still be reasonable.

2010-08-13, 08:35 AM
I like it. Though, maybe if they fail their Will Save, they take damage and are still able to cast the spell?

Also, maybe it should be a Concentration check?

2010-08-13, 08:52 AM
I think the save DCs are reasonable, but really, it depends on how much you want to limit spell casting. As your system stands, I'm pretty sure that a high level caster could cast 0 and 1-level spells with impunity, but that might not be a bad thing. I think how harsh the penalties are should correspond to how much you want to limit magic, and also, how much the caster can do without spells.

I also think that making a concentration check instead of a will save is a good idea, at least from a realistic standpoint.

2010-08-13, 08:59 AM
Whats to stop you from taking 20 or taking 10 on these? In battle it's impractical, but if the spell's effects are long lasting...

Revan Ordo
2010-08-13, 09:33 AM
Okay, I made some changes. It now works off of Concentration check (if playing in 3.5) or Spellcraft checks (if playing in Pathfinder). I've also upped the DCs since it is now skill based. Also I've added in that the caster cannot 'take 10' or 'take 20' for this check. Although, maybe I'll allow a feat/magic item that enables a caster to 'take 10' on the check x times per day or something like that.

Also casters are still somewhat capable without spells. The class isn't finished yet, but here is a sneak preview of a few of the things it gets. This isn't a wizard, but it is shorter than spellcaster.

HD: d6
BAB: As a rogue
Skills: Appraise (Int), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Persuade (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Survival (Wis)
Skill Points: 4 + Int modifier

Choice of a Familiar or an Imbued Staff (modified)

Couple of Bonus Feats

A few non-casting magical abilities

Wizardís Fist (Su): At 1st level, the wizard gains this offensive ability. With a violent gesture of your fist/staff, you can strike a foe telekinetically. As a standard action, you make a ranged touch attack roll against any foe within 30 feet, the target takes damage as if struck by your unarmed strike/staff. This attack is treated as a ranged touch attack. It deals the normal damage for your unarmed strike/staff + your Charisma modifier instead of your Strength modifier. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + 1 / 2 your wizard level + your Charisma modifier.

Sense Power (Su): at 3rd level, the wizard gains the ability to sense evil/magical auras. This works similar to the Paladin's Detect Evil ability, but it also detects magical auras as per the Detect Magic cantrip. *Note - In this campaign players are heroic characters and are limited to good to neutral alignments. Characters that become evil go off into NPC land.