View Full Version : Skill based magic power?

2012-03-13, 01:47 PM
(as anyone who knows my older posts knows) I have been working on new ways to build spell-caster type characters using generic classes.
So far, I thought it would be impossible to do this short of either giving each class access to some kind of magic point system.
That is when I realized that one thing that almost all types of spell casters have access to one thing: knowledge.
Wizards and sorcerers understand the complex laws of the arcane, clerics consult and study the ancient scriptures of their faith, Druids know about every herb and tree in the forest, and warlocks posess knowledge of fell powers.
As such, what if The only way to learn spells was to have ranks in a specific knowledge skill?

Let's say there are the following fields of knowledge:
-The planes

By having ranks in a given skill, a character would be able to understand the workings of the given form of magic.
Now, it is not as simple as "I have x ranks, I get y am out of arcane spells and z amount of divine spells", as that would be WAY too powerful in a generic game.

Instead, there would be feats for each line of magic. Additionally, despite classes having the ability to choose skills, knowledge skills pertaining to magic would always be cross-class unless the character has a magic feat (in other words, the feat gives access to magic and the relevant knowledge skill).
The five basic paths of magic are the following:

(knowledge (alchemy))Alchemy focuses on the use of substances to achieve a desired effect. This path specializes in the use of potions and oils to heal, boost, and harm. Practicers of this path of magic are referred to as alchemists.

(knowledge (divine)) Faith magic channels the powers of gods. This path uses chants, prayer, and sacred rituals to achieve results. Followers of this path are called priests.

(knowledge (nature)) Spirit magic uses the power of nature spirits. Similar to faith magic, spirit magic uses totems and fetishes to create various effects. Practicers of this magic are called shamans.

(knowledge (the planes)) Pact magic is the practice of entering a contract with an extra-planar entity to gain benefits. The powers of this path vary greatly, as it tends to be subject to the exact context of the pact and the entity with whom the pact was made. Those who follow this path are called contractors.

(knowledge (arcana)) Rune magic uses the power inherent in arcane formulae. Using the placement of special runes, arrangement of diagrams, and incorporation of special substances, like rare inks and crystals, followers of this path are able to create a variety of effects. Practicers of this path are called Magi.

These paths are just the basic groups of magic, each just the basic form. These branch out into several subgroups, each requiring a subsequent feat in order to access. Similarly, some areas overlap, creating "meta groups" that require more than one path of magic in order to access (I will add those when I have a better idea of how everything is set up).

I will add spells and abilities from these schools as I go along. No, they will most likely NOT use spell slots.

I will add classes as I go along.

I will add details about how each form of magic works later

New feats:
You have studied the effects and theory of magic, although you cannot cast use spells yourself. You have also studied other forms of knowledge.
Requirement: Int 13+
Benefit: all knowledge skills are in-class skills for you.

I will add more feats later, when I have more of the system figured out.

I would appreciate suggestions and feedback to help me develop and improve what I have, thank you.