View Full Version : Thought about spellcasters (mostly mage)

2012-10-26, 03:04 PM
Hey wondered what effect this would have on the spellcasters (druid, mage, cleric etc).

Trying to balance out the tiers. Was thinking of doing this.

>5th level spell cap (6th-9th level spells simply don't exist)
>A wizard/cleric or druid can only use one school initially. At 5th level they get to choose a second school but casting from this school has a penalty of +2 casting level (Simular to metamagic for example). These spells cannot be cast if the total casting level would be above 5th level either. (For example if you weren't a necromancer you wouldn't be able to cast animate dead as its total spell level would be 6.)
>Wizard familiar and druid companion removed.
>No spells learned at level up they instead have to learn by scrolls.
>Bard onto Wizard/sorcerer spell list and learn by scrolls.
>Sorcerers actually reduced to the wizard spells per day. However they are not limited by school and therefore can pick any spells. They can use the spell slots for level 6-9 to learn 1st-5th level spells.Still have to learn by scrolls as any other caster but the maximum spell slots still applies. Still a spontaneous caster.
>scribe scroll feat removed.
>Can not store spells in items such as a magical staff.
>Maybe no bonus spells from high stats (Might make the casters underpowered though)
>double the requirement for being able to cast a spell? (12 int for burning hands, 16 int for fireball etc)

What this is intended to do is effectively remove the Wizard can do everything and push them into archetypes. For example the D&D wizard isn't say Merlin or Gandalf or the black mage from final fantasy. He is ALL of them at the same time. With removal of 6th and higher level spells they are no longer able to create their own dimensions. And high level mages will be back in their archetype of advisers to kings.

As for Clerics and druids. You can still CODZILLA but if you do that your cleric is effectivly locked into the battle cleric and wont be able to do much more than be a fighter.

Thoughts are appreciated. The aim of this is to reduce Mages, clerics and druids down to tier 4 with the ability to do one thing well but have to sacrifice everything else to do it.

Is having 2 schools (One major and one minor as well as universal) to many should they only have access to a single school?

***Edit: UGH Scummy doublepost duo to lag :( ****

2012-10-26, 03:18 PM
you do this, and people just won't play casters (at least not those casters). for a better example of how to balance casters, look at beguiler and dread necromancer (and to a lesser extent, healer and warmage).

2012-10-26, 03:39 PM
you do this, and people just won't play casters (at least not those casters). for a better example of how to balance casters, look at beguiler and dread necromancer (and to a lesser extent, healer and warmage).

Eh, people who knew the system very well would still play casters, but you'd see a lot more multiclass caster/X type builds. Instead of aiming for 9th level spells, people would just aim to be able to use certain specific very potent low level spells. Or they'd do a build that gets Anyspell/Lesser Anyspell/etc and end-run around most of the limits of this system, so you'd want to prevent that to make this have any real teeth. Sorceror/Wizard to get a few choice spells from other and then Ultimate Magus could also somewhat negate what is being attempted here, as well as all the other various multi-caster PrCs. Losing caster level to other things is no longer such a huge sin, since you're capped at 5th level spells anyhow, so some other build options open up there too. LA might even be worth considering.

Divine Insight alone is worth investing three levels in a casting class to get. The various Swift X spells are quite nice for a mixed class build.

Factotums would be more popular.

2012-10-29, 01:23 AM
Yeah, this is basically enough to make sure no one will play full casters at low or mid op, and not many at nil or high op either.

The sorcerer's fluff no longer makes much sense; rather than someone with a highly magical lineage, or some sort of native spellcasting ability, they're someone who had to learn other people's ways of casting to get anything. The only difference between a sorcerer and a wizard now is the sorcerer has a hard cap on spells known, is still half a spell level behind, but ... gets to spontaneously cast, woot? (OK, they also don't get school limitations, which might make up for their spells known deficiency.)

Clerics are even weirder, and look like archivists without prayerbooks suddenly.

I have to wonder where scrolls are coming from without Scribe Scroll existing. All magic is ancient lore, and every time you learn a spell, you permanently destroy that record of near-forgotten knowledge? Basically means that e.g. a wizard that cares about knowledge for RP reasons would probably self-nerf into Commoner status. (And, of course, casters will eventually destroy all memory of magic entirely just by daring to learn spells.)

Depending on whether creatures keep their 6th- to 9th-based SLAs or not, you might end up with high-op casters pulling crazy stunts to bind an Efreeti/Noble Djinni to get a single wish to acquire more scrolls, or other wacky hijinks.

2012-10-29, 05:47 AM
I can agree with the above posts that I would just not play a mage with what your considering to do to them - I force myself to play mages by skipping the more broken spells like color spray, sleep, instant kills, etc and either going pure buffs, damage, etc. I usually even avoid spells that negate other classes, like knock, and avoid things like divine metamagic. This playstyle is already considered extremely underpowered by most people, so why would I want to play an even more nerfed mage with my own personal limitations?

Limiting mages this much does NOT remove the issues with stuff like sleep/color spray/polymorph/etc. At most this gets rid of miracle/wish shenanigans, which is not much of an issue when by 17+ when almost any monster worth there salt has more spell like abilities then some deities and access to the same shenanigans, you know?

To fix casters is very simple. Don't touch the class itself, don't touch the spells per day (if anything they need more), you should aim for the actual PROBLEM SPELLS - the real reason casters are so broken is stuff like touch of death, wall of iron, genesis, color spray, shapechange/polymorph, and that is just the spells that come to mind, you get into the supplements you will cry yourself to sleep at night as a dm. Simply limit what specific spells are allowed or not allowed on a case by case basis, and have your caster players run by what spells they wish to learn automatically from leveling up, and at the end of the day, YOUR in charge of what scrolls or spell books they can find from loot or at markets, don't forget that. You can even deny some spells from clerics/druids/etc by just saying there god does not offer that spell to there followers freely - maybe they have to perform some grand mission to use miracle? Who knows.

Also - somewhat off topic, but not by much - id suggest you allow your players to make there own spells using existing ones as a guideline, having a hands on approach with your player can give you insight to there playstyle, theme, mindset/etc, AND let you watch for potential broken bs and put a stop to it before it becomes a problem. For example, as I said I like to play damage/buff mages, one of my dm's allowed me to amplify several of my spells damage dice to 1d6+1 per dice instead of 1d6 for stuff like fireball, etc because mages are typically bad at the dps role, and he made them with me as we discussed possible issues/etc. Plus, you can make it a bonding experience with that player if you handle it right, especially if its in real life over some pizza and a mountain dew, and make some new and imaginative spells you can post up on here for some laughs.

So overall - the idea you propose would not balance the tiers. It would only serve to punish people who don't abuse spellcasting.