View Full Version : Uncontrollable Magic (D&D 3.5e magic variation)

2011-02-08, 04:56 AM
A way to incorporate unpredictability into casters.

(near) Obligatory Backstory:

I finally tore myself away from making my own RPG system to homebrew :smallsmile:. This is an attempt to create a set of special rules for a world where magic itself is barely contained, harnessed only a slight amount by magic users who have to devote all their willpower to simply ensuring the magic works as they try to make it. If they cannot, the magic can wreak havock upon both friend and foe.

Using Uncontrollable Magic means it's best to multiclass into magical classes, rather than single-classing. You can, if you want to, single class a magic user, but invest in Will saving throws and Concentration. Heavily. One side-effect is that it reduces the effectiveness of high-tier magical classes.


Casting spells doesn't use components. Where a spell would require components costing more than 1 gp, subtract the amount from the caster's XP instead.


When a character who can cast spells does, after the spell is cast (regardless of whether it was cast successfully or not), must immediately make a Concentration check (DC= spell level x 3) or another spell is chosen at random from the caster's remaining prepared spells that take one round or less to cast or from the spells still available to them and cast. The spell is cast in a randomly generated direction on the first thing in range, however, the caster may make another Concentration check (DC= 15 + spell level) to redirect the spell to the next closest object. Touch spells are cast upon the caster. Illusion spells simply add to the light show, and have no further effect. Area spells are centred on the caster.

When the second spell is cast, the caster must make another Concentration check (DC= spell just cast level x 3) or cast another randomly generated spell from the list of available spells.

Magic Supernova

If the Concentration check is failed four times in one round, then something very bad happens (yes, worse than just outlined). As they lose all controll of their spells, the caster casts all of their spells a once at random targets, generated as outlined above. Afterwards, all creatures within 25 feet or who can trace line of sight to the caster must succeed on a Will save (DC= 10 + number of spells cast) or become panicked for d10 rounds. Afterwards, the caster has a 75% chance to be vaporised, killed instantly with no mark that they existed except the remaining destruction.

After all spells are cast, the caster takes 2d6 + spell level of damage (successful Will save reduces this to half damage).

While this is stated to be a set of rules for a world which has different magical rules, this can also apply to certain areas which affect spells differently.

One final word: Woe betide the adventuring party when the Focused Specialist Evoker starts a Magic Supernova.