View Full Version : Spell Points: Good/Bad?

2007-08-02, 01:59 AM
I started using the Spell Points variant rules a few weeks ago, and I was wondering how others feel about this variant. At first I thought it would be a bit powerfull, but then I noticed that most people on this forum seem to say that more low-lvl spells per day isn't that important than ability to cast high-lvl spells.

So, are there any of you who use the Spell Points system and how do you feel about it?

2007-08-02, 02:02 AM
I'm looking forward to using the Vitalised variant myself. I suspect there are a few spells that might be overpowered with this variant, though (touch of fatigue and co.).

2007-08-02, 02:02 AM
I don't use Spell points per say, but I use Psionics. Power Points/Spell Points is a better system in my opinion.

2007-08-02, 02:09 AM
The problum with spell points is that spells weren't designed for spell points. Spells where balanced (sort of) under the assumtion that you could onlt have x spells of a given level at y level. Spell points ruins this assumtion allowing you to trade high level spells for low and vice versa.

Miles Invictus
2007-08-02, 02:47 AM
Never used it, but a quick reading indicates that blaster casters get screwed even more. Before, a high-level caster could expend a 3rd-level slot and get a 10d6 fireball. To get the same damage now, that caster has to expend the equivalent of a 5th-level slot.

Spontaneous casters also get the shaft:

In effect, casters who prepare spells are setting their list of “spells known” for the day. They need not prepare multiple copies of the same spell, since they can cast any combination of their prepared spells each day (up to the limit of their spell points).

Sorcerers cannot change their spell-known list. In exchange, they have enough extra spell points to cast one extra spell of their highest level per day.

If I used this, I think I'd treat all spellcasting classes like the Sorcerer -- no swapping out spells known, a handful more spell points. And remove the extra cost for damage spells.

2007-08-02, 03:24 AM
If I used this, I think I'd treat all spellcasting classes like the Sorcerer -- no swapping out spells known, a handful more spell points. And remove the extra cost for damage spells.

I just removed all the prepared casters. Or more accurately, I removed the Wizard and Wu Jen, and used the spontaneous divine variant.

2007-08-02, 04:16 AM
This variant empowers wizards even more while simutaneously giving sorcerers the shaft again.

Seriously.. they end up with hardly any more spell points/day than wizards at higher levels, while having far fewer spells (and wizards are free to memorise an even more varied selection than before) so it just doesnt even out.

I get the feeling that the guy who made them in wotc really really prefered wizards to sorcerers, or otherwise disliked sorcerers.

2007-08-02, 09:56 AM

It's great for generalist wizards.

But why would you play a sorcerer instead of a mage using this variant? It really Nerfs the sorcerer who retains their limited known spells on top of mechanically further limiting spellcasting power since they should have +150% of the base spellcasting of a standard mage. A sorcerer should play an Arcane Sword Sage if wizards are using this system to maintain balance.

Same thing for a specialist mage who should have a base +125% of a standard mage.

2007-08-02, 10:08 AM
Yeah it does screw the balance between casters, but the flavor is delicious. If I were to use it I'd probably just jury-rig a hybrid caster class with the players providing input.

2007-08-02, 02:12 PM
It would be great for Mages of the Arcane order. rather than saving up a 3rd level slot, and wasting it on a 1st-level spell, they could simply save up 3 spell points, and use them as they see fit.

2007-08-02, 03:24 PM
I've used them since late second ed as both a player and a dm. The results have always been good. I have had no problems with play balance and I would say the game is improved.

A link to the rules that I think you are mentioning. I recommend adding the fatigue element in as well.

2007-08-02, 06:59 PM
Our current group is using them and everyone loves them.

Initially we were only using the basic spell point system. Everyone had to convert to it. This was mostly because the GM didn't want to try to keep tabs on multiple systems. Since then we've made a change.

All the spell point and other systems are in play because as it turns out each has pro's and cons. Even the slot system.

In our game you can use Spell slots, spell points/basic, or that endurance version of spell points, basedon your preference or class. If oyu have a class that uses a different spell progression system than the Cleric.Sorc/Wiz/Bard/Rang/Palladin (Duskblade for example) then you can't use spell points. If you're playing a Psionic character you can't choose to use slots.

As it turned out the spell point systems advantage is being able to cast more lower level stuff than spell slots. They give up auto scaling though, and on a spell for spell basis, if you start casting from the high spells down then the spell point variant can't cast as many spells as the spell slots.

The endurance version can cast all day as long as they don't cast too much at one time. They get sevearly crippled if they dip below half thier spell points.

Having the different casters mixed has suprisingly cause no problems. In fact it's just added another level of depth to the differences between characters. We've had a lot of fun with that. The first impression before we started play was that it would lead to more book keeping. as it turns out it became easier for them to cast using spell points. As all they had to do was subtract points, instead of keeping track of how many times they cast x spell or y spell.

Zeta Kai
2007-08-02, 07:01 PM
I liked the idea of spell points so much, I made it a central feature for the Bio-Mage (see signature).

2007-08-02, 08:40 PM
I use psions to emulate sorcerers in my campaign setting. I simply Grok the versatility of spellpoints better as compared to spell slots when dealing with inborn powers.

I still keep slots for Wizards though. I am wondering if I couldn't modify Clerics to be closer to Binders or to be more domain centric but that may take some work.

I also am thinking of doing something with Bards but I am not sure what to do besides remove the spells and expand the power of their inspired performances (it doesn't have to be music to have the effect.)

2007-08-02, 11:02 PM
I definitely prefer Spell Points to Slots. You just have to be a bit careful with how they interact with Vancian Spell Casters.