View Full Version : A quick semi-fix for prepared casters: Magical discipline [3.5]

2012-03-07, 11:48 AM
As we all know, prepared casters are way too powerful due to the Batman phenomenon. Wizards can know pretty much an unlimited number of spells for 162.5 gold/level counting a Blessed Book (a bit less for level 0 and 1, which can be learned from scrolls cheaper than from rented books), and can prepare the best spells for what they're expecting to face that day. Clerics and druids don't even need to spend gold for the ability to use every spell in the game.

This is a simple fix to mitigate this. I call it a semi-fix because it might not do the job fully for an optimized caster, and doesn't help at all with the casters' other problems, but at least it means that a prepared caster's power doesn't grow absurdly with splatbook inclusion the way it does now.

The basic idea is that there exist multiple magical traditions, and each one has different spells available without independent research (i.e. from gaining a level or from buying items/renting spellbooks to copy from). When taking a level in a prepared casting class, the character must choose a magical tradition. The number of spells available to a magical tradition is determined by class:

Wizards get 1 cantrip per school, plus 12 additional cantrips of any school (including universal) that they wish. For each spell level from 1 to 6, they get 5 per school, plus 7 additional ones from any school they wish. For levels 7 and 8, they get 4 per school and 5 extra, and for level 9 they get 3 per level and 4 extra. They also get 48 bonus spell levels to be spent on any spells of any levels, but no more than 16 spell levels on a given level (they can get 2 cantrips for a single spell level).

Clerics get 12 orisons, 24 spells of each level from 1-6, 15 spells of each level from 7-8, 10 9th level spells, and 70 bonus spell levels (but no more than 24 on a given level).
In addition, a clerical magical tradition that includes a spell with an opposite-alignment counterpart (e.g. Protection from Chaos to Protection from Law, or Desecrate to Consecrate) gets both for the price of 1. (Of course, most clerics will be unable to use both.)

Druids get 10 orisons, 20 spells of each level from 1-6, 12 spells of each level from 7-8, 8 level 9 spells, and 45 bonus spell levels (but no more than 18 on a given level)

Rangers and paladins each get 9 spells of each level from 1-3 and 7 level 4 spells; rangers get 28 bonus spell levels (to a maximum of 12 per level), and paladins get 20 bonus spell levels (to a maximum of 8 per level).

If a character encounters a spell from another tradition, he treats it as being not on his class list: He cannot cast from scrolls of another tradition, he cannot use wands or staffs of another tradition, he cannot even copy spells into his spellbook from a spellbook belonging to a caster of another tradition; things are just too different. The only advantage gained is that if he chooses to independently research a spell and has that spell from another tradition available (i.e. from a spellbook or scroll) over the whole process, he may make a spellcraft check (DC=15+spell level); if successful, he halves the time taken for research (and hence the cost).


2012-03-09, 05:35 AM
Umm, maybe im not reading this right, but this sounds similar to choosing schools as a wizard, thus limiting their spell list. I feel like im missing a piece here.

Can you offer an example for clarity?

2012-03-09, 08:14 AM
Umm, maybe im not reading this right, but this sounds similar to choosing schools as a wizard, thus limiting their spell list.

Vaguely similar, but the resulting list is far larger (unless dumpster diving for splatbooks) and more varied than you get from a single school, and does allow you to learn new spells the hard way (via research). The limitation ends up being more similar to "PHB spells only" than "only one school" (although of course your discipline can come from multiple books.)

Can you offer an example for clarity?

Ok, Bob the Cleric chooses the "standard" discipline, which consists of all spells in the PHB. (This is actually a bit under the maximum, but pretty close; I intentionally chose the numbers so you can get the whole PHB within limitations, but not much more on top of it.) So he can cast any PHB spell just as a normal cleric can. (This, by the way, is why it's only a semi-fix, as some of those spells are overpowered.) But if he comes across a spell from Complete Divine, he can't use it. If he really likes it, though (say it's a 4th level spell), he can research it at half price (2k gold, 2 weeks) rather than full price.

The result is that Bob still has plenty of variety, but not the same "can do anything" that a normal cleric gets once you add in splatbooks.