View Full Version : Magic/mundane balance tweak [3.5, PF]

2012-02-20, 03:17 PM
I've been considering what minimum rule changes would be necessary to increase the balance between mundane and caster classes, purely within a combat situation (it will always be hard to balance "tear a hole in reality" with "swing a greatsword" out of combat).

I expect i'm not the first one to have this idea, so if you've seen it (or similar) in play, i'm interested in your experiences. If not, i'm interested in general feedback.

Rule change: casting time

Casting time for all spells increases by one step (progression: swift -> move -> standard -> full-round -> 1 round -> x rounds, where x is one more than the number of rounds given in the original spell description).

Spells that take an immediate action to cast continue to do so. Spells that take a free action to cast instead take an immediate action to cast.

Rule change: casting limit

You may cast only a single spell per round (including spells cast not on your turn).

Rule two: metamagic feats

The Quicken Spell metamagic feat (and similar feats and powers) is unavailable. Instead, there are the following feats:

Speed Spell

Benefit: A Sped spell has a casting time one step faster than normal (progression: 1 round -> full-round -> standard -> move -> swift; if the casting time is longer than 1 round, it becomes 1 fewer rounds). This effect cannot be used to circumvent the limit of one spell cast per round.

Level Adjustment: +2

Special: You can apply this metamagic multiple times to the same spell. The effects (and level adjustment) stack. Spontaneous casters may apply this feat to spells without increasing their casting time.

The end result is that casters get hit in the action economy, unless they're willing to take a feat and cast everything at a higher level. Longer casting times mean additional cross-round casting times, which mean greater opportunity for mundanes to react and disrupt.

Thoughts? This isn't a comprehensive balance patch: meleers still have a hard time piercing invisibility, or dealing with ethereal foes, and whatnot. It's just a start.