View Full Version : An epic spellcasting fix idea [3.5, WIP, suggestions desired]

2013-05-28, 08:55 PM
So, most of us know how stupidly broken 3.5's epic spellcasting is; it ties everything to one or two skill checks and a bunch of wildly freeform adjustments and mitigations, set up in such a way as to encourage certain rather abusive spell sorts and discourage some of the most spectacular spells it should be highlighting. One of the key problems with it is the skill checks involved, which tie complexity, power, drawbacks, and flexibility all together into a single DC. This idea changes that.

Epic Spell Terms
Epic Spell: Spells that are different from common spells. Epic spells are usually custom-made. Epic spells do not take up spell slots in the usual way, but may consume them as part of casting.

Effective Spell Levels: A character must use effective spell levels (ESLs) to power and cast epic spells. There are three main sources for these: the character's own common spell slots, virtual ESLs granted by ranks he or she has in the relevant Knowledge skill, and common spell slots donated by other casters in the process of casting. Common spell slots give one ESL per level of the spell they can contain, so a 9th-level slot gives 9 ESLs. An epic spellcaster gains one virtual ESL, usable only for casting epic spells, per day per rank of Knowledge: Arcana, Knowledge: Psionics, Knowledge: Religion, or Knowledge: Nature they possess (as appropriate to their spellcasting class or classes); only skills with 24 or more ranks count toward this. Virtual ESLs are regained when the character regains spell slots, usually after 8 hours of rest and one hour of study for a prepared arcane caster, at a given time of day for a divine caster, after 8 hours of rest and 15 minutes of meditation for a spontaneous arcane caster, or after 8 hours of rest and 1 round of focus for a manifester.

Factor: When creating an epic spell, a character can modify the basic use of a seed. Each modification is called a factor, and most factors increase the difficulty of casting the spell, as well as the power needed.

Mitigating Factor: The opposite of a normal factor, a mitigating factor modifies the spell but makes it less complex or demanding to cast.

Seed: Every custom epic spell created by spellcasters begins with a base effect called a seed. Seeds are the fundamental building blocks of epic spells.

Spellcraft DC: For epic spells, the Spellcraft DC is a measure of how difficult the spell is for a spellcaster to cast properly.

Epic Spell Formulas And Calculations
The following formulas are important to epic spellcasters.

Virtual ESLs Per Day: Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), or Knowledge (nature) ranks.

To Cast an Epic Spell: Spellcraft check (DC = epic spellís Spellcraft DC).

Level of an Epic Spell: Epic spells are considered 10th level for the purpose of Concentration checks, spell resistance, and other determinations.

Saving Throw for an Epic Spell: DC = 20 + key ability modifier.

Next step is to detail the various factors, but the most important change is that additional spell slots from other casters are frequently necessary, but increase complexity; in fact, they increase complexity more than your own spell slots do, and each participant adds complexity just for being there. Backlash, on the other hand, reduces complexity, and nothing else.

Obviously, research time is based on complexity, not power.

After I sort through that, the seeds will get posted, and perhaps some conversions of the sample epic spells.

2013-05-28, 08:56 PM
Reserved #1.

2013-05-28, 08:57 PM
Reserved #2

And I optimistically assume that's all I'll need, so post away!