View Full Version : Tome of Battle based Spellcaster homebrew

2007-08-17, 01:54 AM
I have heard a great deal of fuss about how spell casting is overpowered in DnD, and despite my love of wizards, I can't argue the point. It has been a sore spot with me for some time that attempts to “fix” casting invariably do not capture the “feel” of a fantasy wizard. I love the true namer (big fan of Earth Sea) but I feel that the effects do not scale adequately in the end game (and the balance of the target DC is just awful). Binder is great, and fills a good role in my game (I tie them to the Cthulu like far outsider “things that should not be” intelligences). Psionics is a better system in some ways, but involves too much book keeping for many players. There are others, but those seem to be the classes most commonly discussed when the topic comes up. Not one has a real “fantasy wizard” feel to it either. What I propose is to adapt the alternate ability system outlined in Tome of Battle: the Book of Nine Swords to the purpose of spell casting I admit that I have only played two TOB characters, neither one fully representative of the system (one was a rogue that dabbled in sword sage, and the other was a JPM gish) but from what i have seen it MUST be better than Vancian style casting.

So here are my basic thoughts:
Simple Spells: these would be equivalent to maneuvers. Multiple “copies” of a simple spell can be retained if desired. All simple spells would be recovered by meditating for a round (use concentration possibly?)
Complex Spells: these would be the stronger effects that one might not want to see repeatedly. Only one “copy” of a complex spell can be retained. ONE complex spell could be recovered by meditating for a minute. (I am uncertain if I should place a second progression for complex spells or just require that they be retained in place of two or more simple spells – possibly as determined in the description)
Personal Auras: the equivalent to stances, only one could be active for every 3-4 levels. Most 1 hr per level type buffs would fall into this category, notably mage armor.
Target Auras: Area effects like solid fog or many illusions. These would likely feed off the same “pool” as personal auras, but would require concentration, and would only remain until it was broken. Debuff effects like enervation might follow this rule (think Conan sorcerers). I have considered making target auras just complex spells which also use up one “aura” for the duration.
De fences: These are the equivalent of counters. They would generally last one round, and would take only a swift action to use. I am thinking of things like a last minute shield (ac bonus or dr), counter spells, etc.
Rituals: No real analogue in TOB, but they would be quite similar to hedge magic as presented in unearthed arcana (and in some ways also similar to epic casting). Rituals would entail such things as summoning long term allies/wish granting entities (though some basic short term summons might be target aura type effects), raising the dead, scrying, etc.
Meta magic: this will obviously have to be altered quite a lot to function, but I see meta magic as functioning quite like a TOB boost.

Obviously the classes will need a few more skill points than traditional casters since many variable effects will be skill based rather than level based. So far I intend the following: Magus (low hp, ½ bab, good progression); Wytch (low HP, ½ bab, slower progression but good skills); Caller (possibly a prc focused on summons, would regain summons as simple spells?); Spell Knight (mid-high hp, ¾ bab, few or no complex spells, no rituals, no meta magic); and Savant (a possible prc focusing on simple spells)

So that is what I have thus far. Do you think that this is worth additional effort? Any thoughts are more than welcome.