1. ## Spell Energy Cost

This is supposed to be a way of making spellcasting characters A.) more balenced and B.) more in tune with what much fantasy literature suggests (all readers of Eragon know at least one example of this).

When casting a spell, the spellcaster takes drain. The drain takes the form of nonlethal damage, as shown on the table.

Drain
0|1
1|1d2
2|1d4
3|1d8
4|1d12
5|3d8
6|4d8
7|4d12
8|5d12
9|6d12
Per +1|+1d12
Epic|4d6/10 points of DC (round up)[/table]

Drain can only increase nonlethal damage to being equal to the target's current hit points. However, if this occurs, the target takes extra damage equal to the difference between the rolled damage and the target's current hit points. Also, see the table below.

1-5|None
6-10|Stunned for 1 round
11-15|Stunned for 1 round, 1 Con damage
16-20|Stunned for 1 round, 2 Con damage
21-25|Stunned for 1 round, 3 Con damage, 1 Con drain
26-30|Stunned for 1 round, 4 Con damage, 1 Con drain
31-35|Stunned for 1 round, 5 Con damage, 2 Con drain, 1 Str damage
36-40|Stunned for 1 round, 6 Con damage, 2 Con drain, 1 Str damage
41-45|Stunned for 1 round, 7 Con damage, 3 Con drain, 1 Str damage
46-50|Stunned for 1 round, 8 Con damage, 3 Con drain, 2 Str damage
51-55|Stunned for 1 round, 9 Con damage, 4 Con drain, 2 Str damage[/table]
...and so on.

What do you think? Will it balence spellcasters?

2. ## Re: Spell Energy Cost

No. Honestly - all these drains and skill check things people make trying to 'reign in' spellcasters? You forget something. Most of the 'broken' spells only require you to use 1-3 spells, not a bunch. And a small amount of drain from that is like slapping them on the wrist.

Put all the 'drawbacks' you want on it - it will still be overpowered until someone gets off their butt and redoes the SPELLS THEMSELVES. Until then, don't try to mask it with small, temporary fixes! That is just insulting to spellcasters.

3. ## Re: Spell Energy Cost

And seriously, if you want people to not play spellcasters, say you don't allow them in your game, don't let people play them and then punish them for it.

4. ## Re: Spell Energy Cost

Okay. Ix-nay on the alence-bay ix-fay. (If this is Pig Latin, what does "nix" mean?)
But, no one disagrees that it's more in line with, say, Eragon?

5. ## Re: Spell Energy Cost

Ooh...looking back over this, I see just how delibating this is at high levels.
Should I change that?

6. ## Re: Spell Energy Cost

I don't think that it will work for spellcasters in general, but it might be a good way of starting a new base class. A spell caster that has high HD, can cast a great many spells per day, but cannot cast extremely high level spells. The last part is to avoid 8th and 9th level spells that can break the game with a single cast, making the damage limited.

I'm not very familiar with Eragon, so I couldn't compare that and your system. However I have seen examples of literature in which characters with psychic powers suffered similar effects.

7. ## Re: Spell Energy Cost

I don't think that trying to give spellcasters the flavor of a very mediocre series of books is a good way to nerf them, especially considering that drain is pretty much negligable and most spell combinations still work despite it.

8. ## Re: Spell Energy Cost

Trying to make magic sync up with its portrayals in books and manga is something of a fixation for designers and it's been going on since the first RPG was created.

Gary Gygax himself designed D&D magic around the principals that drive magic in Jack Vance's Dying Earth book series [which i really like and Wizards somewhat missed the point of when they replaced the recharge times with an hour of preparation but I digress].

My own skill and feat magic system is based around the magic portrayed in Buffy prior to Willow and the Uber-Mages thing [the books show this off better apparently] and a series of comic books i used to read as a child.

The Dragonlance setting has a system of magic similar to what you're going for here, and thanks to a misreading of the Dragonlance 3.5 campaign setting on my part, we created a spellcasting system based on the books, which i shall now share. Note this is based mostly on the character's behaviour where magic is concerned, not what they say [the setting 'officially' uses a Vancian system]:

Note: I'd put this in a spoiler pulldown but i'm a newb and have no idea how...

Stressful Casting/Channelling:
Spellcasting in the setting is difficult and harsh on the body. Note that this is derived from a situation with no 'natural' casters so there is no fix for Sorcerers.
1: Spellcasters do not have a progression of spells per day. Instead they have their normal progression of spells known [2 per level plus those learned from others for Wizards] and may memorise a number of spells equal to their Casting Attribute modifier plus their level by spending an hour with their spellbook in the morning.
2: A character may not prepare spells with a spell level greater than half their class level [rounded up]. Characters are considered to have all of the Cantrips or Orisons they know memorised in addition to their conventional spells.
3: Spells that are memorised for the day can be cast at will but a Fortitude save with a DC of 10 + Double the spell level must be made when each spell is cast.
3b:If the save is failed, the spell still functions but the caster is Fatigued. If the caster is already Fatigued, he becomes Exhausted. If he continues to cast while Exhausted and fails another save, he falls Unconscious for 1d4 hours and must make a DC 15 save or die [Natural '1's are not a failure on this save].
3c: If a save is failed by 5 or more, the Caster is stunned for 1 round. Should it be failed by 10 or more, they are stunned for 2 rounds. This manifests differently in each person but usually consists of violent headaches or nosebleeds.

In play, we've not had issues with it. The Rastalin equivilent mage is something of a stock character, along with the high Con fatty mage. As an aside, this makes multiclass mages longer lived casters than pure casters but nowhere near as powerful. If you want to a slightly more anime style casting power, simply tie the caster level of effects to the character level rather than that of the casting class.

9. ## Re: Spell Energy Cost

Originally Posted by Milskidasith
I don't think that trying to give spellcasters the flavor of a very mediocre series of books is a good way to nerf them, especially considering that drain is pretty much negligable and most spell combinations still work despite it.
Mediocre?
Plus, there's probably some books or seiries thereof I've missed.
And, risking Con damage/drain while casting a high-level spell striketh me not as "neligable."

Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive
Trying to make magic sync up with its portrayals in books and manga is something of a fixation for designers and it's been going on since the first RPG was created.

Gary Gygax himself designed D&D magic around the principals that drive magic in Jack Vance's Dying Earth book series [which i really like and Wizards somewhat missed the point of when they replaced the recharge times with an hour of preparation but I digress].

My own skill and feat magic system is based around the magic portrayed in Buffy prior to Willow and the Uber-Mages thing [the books show this off better apparently] and a series of comic books i used to read as a child.

The Dragonlance setting has a system of magic similar to what you're going for here, and thanks to a misreading of the Dragonlance 3.5 campaign setting on my part, we created a spellcasting system based on the books, which i shall now share. Note this is based mostly on the character's behaviour where magic is concerned, not what they say [the setting 'officially' uses a Vancian system]:

Note: I'd put this in a spoiler pulldown but i'm a newb and have no idea how...

Stressful Casting/Channelling:
Spellcasting in the setting is difficult and harsh on the body. Note that this is derived from a situation with no 'natural' casters so there is no fix for Sorcerers.
1: Spellcasters do not have a progression of spells per day. Instead they have their normal progression of spells known [2 per level plus those learned from others for Wizards] and may memorise a number of spells equal to their Casting Attribute modifier plus their level by spending an hour with their spellbook in the morning.
2: A character may not prepare spells with a spell level greater than half their class level [rounded up]. Characters are considered to have all of the Cantrips or Orisons they know memorised in addition to their conventional spells.
3: Spells that are memorised for the day can be cast at will but a Fortitude save with a DC of 10 + Double the spell level must be made when each spell is cast.
3b:If the save is failed, the spell still functions but the caster is Fatigued. If the caster is already Fatigued, he becomes Exhausted. If he continues to cast while Exhausted and fails another save, he falls Unconscious for 1d4 hours and must make a DC 15 save or die [Natural '1's are not a failure on this save].
3c: If a save is failed by 5 or more, the Caster is stunned for 1 round. Should it be failed by 10 or more, they are stunned for 2 rounds. This manifests differently in each person but usually consists of violent headaches or nosebleeds.

In play, we've not had issues with it. The Rastalin equivilent mage is something of a stock character, along with the high Con fatty mage. As an aside, this makes multiclass mages longer lived casters than pure casters but nowhere near as powerful. If you want to a slightly more anime style casting power, simply tie the caster level of effects to the character level rather than that of the casting class.
Cool. I got the "More spellcasters have been killed by the writings of Jack Vance than by any single villain" thing, you didn't have to explain it to me. Thanks, anyway.

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