View Full Version : primary spellcaster change

2007-10-30, 10:42 PM
I am designing a homebrew world in which I want magic to be lower level, less common, and less world changing (for the most part. clearly for certain monsters, magic will still be there in all it's glory)

As I want to enforce this amongst player characters I have been trying to determine how to reduce the amount of magic without just banning certain classes.

I toyed with the idea of forcing multiclassing upon spellcasters, but that seems contrary to the idea of players getting to choose their own. Also, one of my players wanted to be a bard, and upon reflection this doesn't seem to be really bad, as bards are not godly masters of magic. They are very magic reliant, but it is not a world changing magic, and usually only has subtle effects, so I didn't want to force a reduction of the bard class.

What I have been thinking about instead is reducing all the primary spellcasters to a level of spellcasting around that of a bard. So a primary spellcaster would start out only with access to 0th level, gain 1st level spells at 2nd level, and gain another level spells every 3 levels until at 17th they gain 6th spells which will be the cap.

To balance this I want to give all primary spellcasters more physical oriented abilities. I am thinking along the lines of increased hit dice, and increased attack bonus, and possibly increased saves for the arcane casters to bring them in line with a bard.

What I'm asking these forums is what do you think of this idea overall, and does anyone have any particular suggestions as to benefits to give the primary spellcasting classes?

Current ideas: Sorcerer: For unrelated reasons I may just not allow sorcerers, so at the moment I haven't thought about them. (So look at wizard for now)
Wizard: One of two choices: roguish wizard (d6 hp, rogue BAB, good ref saves) or tough wizard (d8 hp, good fort saves, light armour proficiency and maybe ignore arcane failure on light armour)
Cleric: d10 hp, and free benefit as per the war domain (war domain clerics would get weapon specialization as well)
Druid: possibly no bonus, as I think the special abilities of the druid will be almost as effective. on the other hand this clearly indicates I think druids are blatantly overpowered, which I don't, so I would definitely like ideas.

2007-10-31, 10:08 AM
Why not just reduce it to one spell of each level per day?

The most common route to limit casters seems to be 'you don't go as high for magic' but there are other ways to limit them... You can also pull out certain spells if you think them too unbalancing on their own.

To keep it from seeming like you're limiting their character choices, you could also just make ability-boosting 'templates' that mage-types apply to themselves. Example: an 'agile' template, like what you did for the Wizard, a 'tough' template, a 'skilled' template, etc., and let the casters pick from those as they will at first level. No multiclassing to get multiple templates, though.

'Agile'--HD size -> d6 if lower. If higher / equal, ignore.
Reflex saves go to Good progression.
BAB progression sets to match Rogue progression (if lower).
+1 natural armor from being agile.
Gain Light Armor Proficiency, ignore arcane failure on Light Armor.

'Tough'--HD size -> d8 if lower. If higher / equal, ignore.
Fortitude saves go to Good progression.
BAB progression set to match Rogue progression (if lower).
+2 natural armor from being tough.
Gain Light Armor Proficiency and Shield Proficiency, ignore arcane failure on Light Armor and Shields.

'Skilled'--HD size -> d6 if lower. If higher / equal, ignore.
Will saves go to Good progression.
Gain an extra feat at first level and another one every four levels (1, 5, 9, 13, 17).
Gain 4 extra skill points at first level, 1 for each after.
Pick two skills that are not class skills. They become class skills.

'Focused'--HD size -> d4 if lower. If higher / equal, ignore.
Will saves, Fortitude saves go to Good progression.
At 1st level, gain an extra 0th level spell. Every 4 levels after that, gain a second spell in each level higher (1, 4 with second level spells, 9 with third level spells, 13 with fourth level spells, 17 with fifth level spells).
Add one to Spell Save DCs.

2007-10-31, 10:59 AM
Take the Factotum (from Dungeonscape) Arcane Dilettante ability, let them use the same spell twice/day, make it so casting spells of a given level/day = level since they gained it +1 with a minimum of 2, drop the level before getting each increase of it by 1 (so they gain access to level 0 spells at level 1, can prep 2 per day, and cast either 1 twice, or each one once) Spell level tops out at level 7 when they hit 19 and have to be prepped when waking up, they can only use any given spell twice/day and they can't cast spells with XP components. Bam, wizard spells.

Clerics, do something similar for their spells.

2007-11-01, 12:19 AM
ok so some people seem to like similar ideas to mine, or to simply reduce the number of spells per day.

my issue with reducing the number of spells per day is that time stop is extreme magic regardless of how often it gets cast. in fact, any level 9, most level 8, many level 7 spells all have very major effects, that many people notice. thus why i wasn't planning on going the route of simply limiting how many spells per day you can cast. (level 6 spells also can have major effects, as can a few level 5; but being able to do a few of these effects as a 17th+ level caster seems reasonable, even in a low magic campaign)

my next question is:
20th level 'tough' wizard; 20d8 hp (instead of 20d4), access of up to 6th level spells (instead of 9th), +12 fort instead of +6, and armour proficiences

is this enough? would anyone play this class, given that there are no stronger spell casting classes available, or would everyone play a fighter type class instead?

Lord Zentei
2007-11-03, 07:32 AM
The idea seems quite reasonable.

I don't think you need to worry about that you are limiting the options, if for example the Rogue Wizard gets Rogue HD, BAB and reflex saves, essentially only replacing the Rogue abilities and armour/weapon proficiencies with spellcasting, since the latter are a hell of a lot more powerful. In fact, it seems rather too generous, if anything. :smallwink:

Another possibility might be to limit the high level spells to Ritual Magic, i.e. you need a lot of mumbo-jumbo magical circles scribed on the floor, with insence and candles strewn about, verbose incantations, low-level acolytes going "om om om om" and so on.