View Full Version : Saturated Magic (help with idea)

2007-06-07, 03:51 PM
Hi there, folks. I'm converting my group from 2nd edition to 3rd, along with the campaign they're already in. And I want some advice on incoperating a few levels of spells into all character classes. Currently, I only have dependable access to CORE books. ( I have a bunch more on my desktop, but it doesn't transfer easily to the tabletop).

In short, the campaign is a City adventure, but I have plans for the entire continent. The City itself houses a Magic University, an Sanitarium, a non-divine church (It's a communty without a god lending them powers), and is chalk full of arcane secrets and underdrifts. The big evil thing at the end of the campaign will involve a cult (currently looking more toward a "Zeus Lycaeus" type of werewolf cult)

Magic is prevalent. A teams of diviners runs one city, but the commom man knows a -few- basic techniques as well. Magic's energy has saturated the continent, -almost- like a pollutant. Large rifts of discarded magical energy have mixed with the winds, making them unbearably hot and scorching. The streets glow at night with magical energy. Even common animals have been infused with this 'dirty' leftover magic.

--So to help simulate this flavor in the campaign, I'd like a few ideas. Spefically, giving all classes access to some degree of magic (weather it's divine or arcane). I've had a few ideas suggested to me; (The PCs will be level 4, and students at the University.)

1) Rearrange the 0th level spells (casters only choose a certain number, instead of starting with all), and give every character a certain number of points to buy spells, which the cast as a natural spell-like ability. As they gain levels, they gain more points to buy extra 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th level spells. Base this progresstion off of Intelligence and Class.

2) Have every player advance in Wizard, sorcerer, bard, cleric or druid at some staggered level behind their main class. This will not be natural spell like ability. Players then gain the ability to spend "slots" of magic to assist them in their life. (I.E; A city guard may invoke magic to make his sword more potent for one attack, spending a 1st level spell slot to add +1 to his attack or damage roll)

3) This would likely be the hardest for my players and I, but the integration of pisonics, and allowing all characters to advance through that at a level behind their origional classes.

Any ideas, feedback, suggestions, and the like would be awesome :)

Fax Celestis
2007-06-07, 04:08 PM
Something I've tried is using an alteration of the Gestalt (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/gestaltCharacters.htm) character variant, except only granting spellcasting and at a rate of 1:2 or 1:3.

Alternatively, you could make spell lists for the various noncasting classes and just give them the paladin's spell progression.

2007-06-07, 04:22 PM
Whatever is implemented, I'd have non-casters use Constitution for their casting stat, indicating that their power comes from extensive physical immersion in a magical environment rather than any kind of ephemeral property.

2007-06-11, 02:54 AM
Well, I've narrowed my sights, and now need that last little help in deciding. System + questions follow, and I could really use any advice. The aim is to keep it simple, and keep it fun. The aim again, is to start PC's at level 4, and a 26 point buy stats.

When magic is cast, a certain portion is lost to the surrounding environment. This leftover magic then acts as a pollutant, trying to work it's way back into the natural systems. Animals, humans, plants and vermin can accumulate this energy in their bodies, eventually reshaping it into useable magic.

For everly level/hit die a creature has, it gains X spell points with which to 'purchase' magic spells.

The CON modifier alters the save DC of spells. Caster level is 1/2 ECL or equal to a corresponding Full caster class.

Any purchased magic can be cast, once per day, as a natural spell like Ability.

You may choose one class of spells for free at 1st level. These are Druidic spells, Divine spells, or Arcane spells. (druid, cleric, Wizard)

If a creature wants to ultilize more than one type of spell list, it must spend 3 to gain the second or third classification of spells.

A creature cannot learn greater than 4th level spells as a natural spell.

A creature may choose not to spend points to gain new spells at a new level. These points persist until spent.

Method One
Players gain 2 spell points per level
1 point spent = 3 0th level spells.
2 points spent = 1 1st level spell.
3 points spent = 1 2nd level spell.
4 points spent = 1 3rd level spell.
5 points spent = 1 4th level spell.

The above is based off [spell level + 1]

Concern: bang for buck. Higher level spells, usually meaning more effective, are cheaper in comparison. Non-spell casters gain a little edge, but full casters still have their edge at knowing more and better spells, as well as being versitile.

Method 2

Players gain3 spell points per level, plus CON modifier, max of 5 spell points /level
1 point spent = 3 0th level spells.
1 points spent = 1 1st level spell.
3 points spent = 1 2nd level spell.
5 points spent = 1 3rd level spell.
7 points spent = 1 4th level spell.

The above is based off [caster level required to cast spells.]
Concerns: lower level wizards lose out alot. Everyone can basically do their job until they gain access to 5th level spells. Making NPCs becomes more time consuming, as many more spells are picked. Amount of spells cast slows down the game.

Other concerns: time verse adding full flavor to the campaign. The players I have aren't terribly concerned with optimization, we're all here to have fun. In this setting I've run a long session without anyone rolling any dice; Intrigue and RP ruled that night. Will giving the rogue dependable access to Greater invisibility alter his thinking; will he choose to fight more since he can take down 'foes' quickly?

I tried setting up math for 'average spells non casters know vs average spells casters know', but decided, since all spells are not equal and rarely does a full caster burn all their spells, that it wasn't worth my time.

So, yeah. That's it. Please give it a look, point out things I may have over looked, and drop some ideas/suggestions. Thanks :)

2007-06-11, 03:27 AM
The magic granted by these circumstances sounds more like spell-like abilities then spells. You could do something simple like allow someone to earn a new spell-like ability every level, up to a max spell level of character level/ 4 or 5 (round up or down to taste). You could base the DC off of whatever attribute you like.

Spells require training and elaborate rituals. Spell-like abilities are just pulling the strings of magic to make an effect.

2007-06-11, 03:58 AM
My two cents would be 1. Allow/create spelltouched feats, which allow the character some spell-like abilities. Examples include Conductive, which allows you, whenever you take electricity damage, to zap someone inside 15' for half the damage you took.
2. Take the second option with no con modifier. Why should the barbarian get more spell points than the rogue? Casting off Con is ok, but points off it is a bit strong.

2007-06-15, 06:04 PM
I would make it 1 Magic Point per Level and the cost equal to Spell Level (so 0 Level Spells are cast for free). Then limit which Spells are available and how many per level. it shouldn't effect Casters, since they would also have this ability. That way, 0 Level Spells act as Spell Like Abilities, whilst higher level Spells have an associated cost.

That's my two Copper Coins...