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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Witches and Warlocks, Hogwarts students of all ages! Magical beasts and Eldritch Abominations too!!

    Since there seems to be an influx of "magic fixes" running around, I decided to jump the bandwagon! Well, sorta...I had these a few months ago, but it was this recent summer, where the conditions were right (people interested in homebrewing solutions, one small group I used to playtest the new material including the Retools), when I decided to adventure forth into releasing part of the material.

    As you know, the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rules rarely favor martial combat (despite being the core of the system itself: combat). Classes such as clerics, druids or wizards end up several degrees of power beyond the martial-inclined classes. While it may be understandable (within fantasy, magic usually becomes a tool of great power), given their “humble” beginnings, fighters and other martial characters end up severely underhanded in comparison.

    By first level, it is reasonable that fighters are stronger than wizards, or even rogues. Within a frame of six levels (the usual “pre-heroic” level range), the fighter, the rogue, the cleric, the wizard and similar classes end up growing at relatively similar rates. The fighter has few magical weapons, several methods of attack and few restrictions to combat; wizards and clerics have spells of reasonable power but several limitations, and rogues have a reasonable challenge within skills, not to mention a reasonable fighting ability right between the lack of fighting ability of the wizards (but strangely enough, not of the clerics or druids) and the larger fighting ability of the fighters.

    After seventh level, things begin to change. Most wizards, specifically those that choose the right spells, end up already bypassing the fighter in combat capability, and most importantly in utility. While fighters gain another attack on a full attack (an iterative attack) and access to stronger feats, wizards (and to an extent, sorcerers) gain a series of spells with which they can provide benefit to allies, cripple or kill enemies, and generally serve of greater utility upon the party than the fighters. Clerics, with spells such as divine power, end up practically replacing the fighter in their own turf, and druids end up both replacing the fighter with their animal companion and being of greater utility to the party. As the levels go, the benefits of fighters become severely crippled by such restrictions as size, flight capability, reach, and other similar traits. By 15th level (pre-epic, where the characters are meant to regularly travel to other planes and face creatures of incredible might), the fighter becomes relegated to fewer and fewer duties, the effect minimized by such things as magic items and reasonable feat and prestige class choices that cause the fighter to become a “one-trick pony”.

    Fixing these design irregularities is a massive, or so to say mammoth task. For all means, it would imply recreating the game.

    For most of us (forgive me if I use the Royal "We" in here), which admire this set of rules and have played with them for several years (or else GitP wouldn't be one of the few places that harbors so many 3.5 players), it may be easier to reach a compromise. These sets of alternate rules may or may not allow for some equality between the classes, but are an attempt to reduce the immense power of spellcasters while providing greater benefits for martial characters. The rules, of course, are not enough: changes to the classes and to the feats are to be done, not to mention to magic items. Some are meant to be creative, some have been suggested for so long and done in other attempts to alter the rules of the game that it would be unreasonable to ignore them, and some may seem unbalanced at first, but reasonable on the long run. Consider this a disclaimer on the experiment in here overall; this isn't meant to be the end-all-be-all of fixes, but if it starts a movement, well...

    So, without further ado...let's explain what in heathenly tarnation I'm speaking about regarding the "new rules for full spellcasters". Note: this doesn't just affect full spellcasters, but all spellcasters; it's just that the pun only works on those who cast 9th level spells.

    --

    The ability to use magic is usually the province of spellcasters; that by itself is reasonable. However, the ability to cast spells by itself is extremely powerful, and such effects only magnify because of the ability to stack as many metamagic feats as possible unto one single spell. Thus, the humble enervation spell turns into the aberrated twinned empowered maximized split-ray enervation spell. The developers, seeing as how this could turn abusive really fast, tried to fix this by applying restrictions such as spell levels, and in the case of spontaneous spellcasters a time restriction. But, then came such things as the Arcane Thesis feat, metamagic rods and such and things effectively screeched into a halt. All of a sudden, a wizard could cast two spells of the same kind while perfectly still and muted, without any kind of trouble.

    Undoubtedly, the biggest problem of the spellcasters is the spells themselves. However, that cannot be blamed; a responsible DM may ban some problematic spells, but things are eventually going to spiral out of control very, very soon. Thus, a reasonable method of removing some power from the spellcasters is to limit their access to metamagic. Because, of course, metamagic implies necessarily an enhancement to magic; however, instead of a practice in which a character applies a magical technique to enhance a spell, it acts like a template in which you try to stack as many benefits to a spell before firing it off. If that is reduced, spellcasters will be a bit weaker but they can still fall on their already universe-shattering spellcasting.

    First, the bad news. Remember that virtually all spells had a standard action casting time? Well, scrub that “standard action” casting time with a really, really strong erasing agent and replace with “full-round” action. Why a full-round action, forcing the spellcaster to remain still? Because one of the big problems of a spellcaster is that it, of course, won’t remain still. Besides, it already has lesser celerity to gain a move action (albeit it will be dazed instead), so it’s not like they will lose anything… So, to politely tell the laws of physics to sit around on a corner and cry, the spellcaster requires six seconds (this is the laws of magic giving the proverbial finger to the spellcaster). Is this a punishment? No, not really; rather, it is an adjustment so that spellcasters think twice before casting a spell. But still; magic IS powerful. More powerful than you may think.

    So…returning to metamagic. A spellcaster already knows how to “cast defensively”; that is, it makes a Concentration check (a very easy check, to boot) and never needs to fail spellcasting (or even get attacks of opportunity from casting the spell!). And spellcasters now require a full-round action for virtually all spells (except those nifty spells with swift or move action casting times, which remain as-is since they are meant to be cast faster…), so…what can be done? There is a feat called Rapid Spell that usually works to aid with other metamagic feats for those suffering spontaneous spellcasters. And, checking on other videogames, there is a nifty idea of casting spells quickly or casting spells on the defensive. So…what does this imply?

    Let’s call “casting spells quickly” Rapid Spell, and let’s call “casting spells on the defensive” Defensive Spell. Now, let’s say these are metamagic techniques, that all spellcasters learn from extensive training just by entering into the class.

    Rapid Spell: this is one of the metamagic techniques all spellcasters learn from their 1st level in a spellcasting class. When using Rapid Spell, the spell’s casting time is reduced by one step. Thus, full-round action spells are reduced to standard action spells, 1-round action spells are reduced to full-round action spells, and spells with more than one round casting time (such as lesser restoration) are reduced by one round. A spell cannot be reduced to less than a standard action, and spells with casting times of one minute or more cannot be reduced by this feat. Unlike other metamagic techniques, a spellcaster may apply Rapid Spell at every round.
    Defensive Spell: this is one of the metamagic techniques all spellcasters learn from their 1st level in a spellcasting class. When using Defensive Spell, the spellcaster never risks an attack of opportunity from casting a spell within the threat range of a creature. Furthermore, the spellcaster makes a Concentration check; if the spellcaster is then attacked or disrupted, the spellcaster may roll again and use the best of the two results to prevent disruption. Unlike other metamagic techniques, a spellcaster may apply Defensive Spell at every round.

    What does this mean? Well, spellcasters can use one of these techniques to enhance their spellcasting without trouble; either they cast their spell faster but with greater risk, or they cast their spell at the same speed but with lesser risk.

    Note the premise, “spellcasters can use one of these techniques…” This is crucial, since it deals with how metamagic will work. A spellcaster can only include ONE metamagic technique (either Rapid Spell, Defensive Spell or a metamagic feat) on a spell. One. This is to prevent abuses such as from combining Empower Spell, Twin Spell, Maximize Spell, Quicken Spell, and Split Ray into a single spell.

    The second deal is with how metamagic is applied. Normally, a spellcaster either prepares a metamagic version of the spell (if it’s a prepared spellcaster) or uses the metamagic technique on a spell on the fly (if it’s a spontaneous spellcaster). Psionics has a reasonable tactic for this: since the character, the psychic, needs to expend its psionic focus to use the metapsionic feat, it can use only one metapsionic feat. Psionics has only one unified theory, so there is no need to “prepare” a power with the metapsionic feat already expended. This is what makes the psionics system less broken than the spellcasting system of Dungeons & Dragons (only less; real optimizers know how to make psionics a nightmare). Thus, metamagic techniques adopt the style of metapsionics: only one of them can be applied, but it can be applied on the fly (the only difference is that you don't need to spend any "focus"). For the wizard, the cleric and the druid, this is a small loss; for the sorcerer and the bard and the favored soul (and other spontaneous spellcasters), it is nothing. Oh, that goes without saying that adding a metamagic feat does not alter the casting time of the spell; all full spellcasters are already forced to delay their spellcasting, so delaying their use with metamagic is a kick on the nads. But, that was what happened with spontaneous spellcasters anyways. Time to give the spontaneous spellcasters a bit of love.

    Finally, there is the concept of dealing with spell slots. Spell slots, for spellcasters, are precious. While making metamagic feats expend spell slots of higher level seems balanced at first, the magic items and the feats and the prestige classes (Incantatrix, I am looking at you…) turn into a minor annoyance at best. Thus, let’s remove that restriction at all, shall we? The new method of “balancing” the use of metamagic is replacing the term “a spell enhanced by this metamagic feat takes up a spell slot X levels higher” with “after using this feat, a spellcaster must wait X turns before reusing”.

    Other Metamagic Feats: A spellcaster may use any metamagic technique it has learned by means of a feat. The spellcaster may use only one metamagic technique per spell cast, and it may not use the metamagic feat for a number of rounds indicated on the feat (if not available; the number of turns before the metamagic feat is recharged is equal to the increase in the spell slot’s level).
    Heighten Spell: when using Heighten Spell, the spellcaster may determine the desired spell level, and the amount of turns required to recharge is equal to the increase in the spell’s level.
    Persistent Spell: unlike other metamagic feats, Persistent Spell has a much larger recharge time. A Persistent Spell takes six hours to recharge, instead of six rounds as it would normally be. Thus, in any one day, a spellcaster may persist four spells at intervals of six hours. Persistent Spell cannot be reduced by any means, making it an exclusive metamagic feat.
    Metamagic Feats with no level adjustment: any metamagic feat that provides no spell slot level adjustment may be used at any single round.

    Thus, the effect would be as follows: let’s say Willie the Wizard (lame name, but puns are worth it; else, call it Thaddeus or Werdna ^_~) is about to cast fireball. He may decide to cast the spell normally, cast the spell swifter via Rapid Spell (reducing fireball to a standard action), cast the spell defensively, or cast a maximized version of fireball. Time being of the essence, Willie (or Thaddeus, or Werdna) goes for maximized fireball, since that way he’ll finish the battle earlier. As a full-round action, he casts maximized fireball and ends the battle in one swift stroke (let’s just assume there was no resistance to fire, that there was no one around, and that by all means the unspecified amount of opponents was weakened enough already to be finished with one fireball) Now, if for some reason he needed to cast a maximized version of a spell, he would have to wait three turns (starting with the turn after he cast the spell) before he can regain the ability to use Maximize Spell.

    Arcane Thesis and similar metamagic reduction feats, class abilities or items: when using metamagic reductions, the amount of time that a spellcaster needs to recharge the metamagic feat is reduced.

    Metamagic Rods: a metamagic rod works exactly as if the character had the feat (including using only one rod, not three or four or five as you’re focusing the spell on the rod, mind you…), but it can only be used once per encounter. If the character does have the metamagic feat, it may use the rod immediately after using the feat and use the same metamagic on a consecutive round without disrupting the recharge time of the metamagic feat. Holding and using the metamagic rod does not grant knowledge of the feat for purposes of item creation.

    Spell Casting Time and non-full spellcasters: for half spellcasters (such as paladins, rangers and similar classes) and 2/3 spellcasters (specifically bards, but also any class that follows the spellcasting progression of a bard and does not allow to reach 9th level spells), the spell’s casting times are standard actions, as usual. Since part-time spellcasters starve for actions, their limited spellcasting is comprised of simpler spell gestures and less complex wording (even if, for all means, it is the same spell as that cast by a full spellcaster) and thus they may move and cast a spell as they desire.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Alright, the Cliffs Notes of all that:
    First, that means you cast spells such as Fireball, Cure Light Wounds and Haste as full-round spells. Feather Fall, being an immediate action, is still cast as an immediate action. Since most of the spells have a standard action casting time, that means most will be cast as full-round actions. Of course, a Bard can cast Cure Light Wounds or Sound Burst or Haste as standard actions, because they aren't full spellcasters. Paladins can cast Cure Light Wounds as a standard action (and if using Battle Blessing, as a swift action!). Rangers can cast Cure Light Wounds as a standard action, and Swift Haste as a swift action.

    The example is pretty nice, but to make it simpler: you can use only one metamagic, and the ability to cast defensively or cast as a standard action (the latter for full spellcasters) counts as metamagic. Once you use it, the metamagic feat recharges. Believe it or not, this makes metamagic easier to use, despite the slight amount of extra book-keeping. Of course, Heighten Spell and Persistent Spell work on different grounds anyways. By the way, since Rapid Spell is meant to provide full spellcasters with a chance to cast as a standard action (and other spells at a reduced action, much like the original metamagic feat), it is mostly redundant to classes that CAN cast as standard actions, such as Bards, Paladins, Rangers and whatnot.

    Also, in case you're confused:
    Full Spellcaster is the one that can cast up to 9th level spells. This includes Cleric, Druid, Favored Soul, Archivist, Healer, Sorcerer, Wizard, Beguiler, Warmage, Dread Necromancer, Wu Jen, Shugenja, and so on.
    Partial Spellcaster or "non-Full Spellcaster" is the one that casts spells, but doesn't reach 9th level spells. This includes Bards, Paladins, Rangers, Duskblades, Hexblades, as well as prestige classes that grant partial spellcasting such as Assassins, Blackguards and whatnot.
    The Exceptions to the Rule are as follows: the Warlock is an invocation user, as well as the Dragonfire Adept; these aren't considered Full Spellcasters. Ur-Priests are considered Full Spellcasters; Sublime Chords aren't considered full spellcasters because they require a non-full spellcaster chassis to enter. Classes such as Nar Demonbinder, which require you to already cast spells of a specific level in order to enter and merely increase your spellcasting chances, aren't considered full spellcasters. Shadowcasters are treated as Full Spellcasters on the mysteries cast as arcane spells; once you can cast them as spell-like abilities, they are used as standard actions.
    And of course, this applies only to Spellcasters. Manifesters are treated differently; if such a rule were to apply, that'd apply only to Psions, Wilders and Ardents.

    What does this mean with spell-like abilities, then? Of course, those are cast as standard actions unless the casting time is longer (or shorter) OR there's an exception to the rule that mentions they can be cast faster or slower. That's why Warlocks and Dragonfire Adepts don't count as Full Spellcasters under this revision; they cast spell-like abilities, not spells. In the case of Manifesters using this alternate rule, the same applies to psi-like abilities.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Spells as Incantations
    Even with the above described changes to spellcasters, some spells are just far too problematic. No matter how many restrictions are added to spellcasters, the fact that they can still prepare and cast a Gate spell 2-4 times per day to do exactly as intended. What's worse is that they can cast a Wish or a Miracle on the same amount of time, allowing them to get whichever effect they want, only balanced because they are using their highest level spell slots. Not to punish creativity, but a 9th level spell is MEANT to be powerful...just not an easy button.

    I dunno about you, but when I envision Gate, I envision a cabal of mages, all on a circle, using their combined strength to enable a long ritual to create a portal to a specified world, from which they'll summon a monstrosity into the world. Even if it's not merely a cabal of mages and only a single, yet powerful, spellcaster, the magic isn't as easy to do. Risks are involved, and the heroes have but a slim chance to stop the mad spellcaster before his plan comes to fruition. Heck, why not replace this with the power-mad emperor whom, seeing his empire crumbling by the hands of the heroes, makes a last-ditch effort to summon the specific being that will slay them and eventually turn the world into the plaything of its master? Or the torn priest whom, disenchanted by its god and shunned of its power, plots its revenge by using what little he retains into one last shot, summoning a heretical entity that the heroes must vanquish?

    Of course, what I'm telling you is basically the stuff of stories, and most importantly, the events that finish a campaign.

    The sad reality? The wizard that is desperately relying on such power can do the Gate spell as a standard action. Forget about hour-long rituals that can be interrupted; it only takes less than six seconds to do exactly as intended. Thing is, that doesn't matter because your own party Wizard does exactly the same, at the same moment, summoning an entity of equal or greater power. What's the fun and epicness in that?

    Thus, why, instead of leaving that extremely powerful spell in the hands of certain people, it becomes what it should; the thing of legends. The campaign-ending event. The MacGuffin.

    Then, it hit me. Incantations!

    First appearing in Unearthed Arcana, incantations are a way for the common, yet skilled, individual to harness incredible powers, but at a price. Now, not only the mage could use magic; the fighter could, with some dedication, use a spell (erm, incantation) of its own! Heck, if you have the book, look who's using the spell! And for those who don't, it's Ember. AKA, the Monk.

    So, why not use those rules and instead of banning the spells, make them a much rarer part of the story? Well, let's go for the restrictions:

    • First, the incantation is meant to be lengthy and fraught with peril, unlike the spell which is done almost immediately and with little risk. Sure, why not? Exactly what we're looking for; spells of world-shattering power shouldn't be easy.
    • Second, incantations are a thousand times rarer than spells. Finding one is left, as usual, to the DM. Sure, why not do that; more power to the DM to prevent its campaign from being broken! After all, lower level spells still break the game sometimes, so...
    • Incantations are meant to have backlashes. Not just "take 1d10 points of damage" or "lose the spell slot". The examples involve death, a one-way ticket to a specific plane, or something...just as bad. Well, is that really a problem? You NEED to do this spell, so take the backlash!
    • The spell may have some exotic requirements, such as expending life force, using more than one person for the incantation, and so on. Well, they are MEANT to be rare, and if it's a party effort, the better.
    • The incantations are meant to be utterly specific. No "lemme summon a Solar from Heaven", it should be "lemme summon Xachariel, Fourth Blade of the Fifth Layer of Celestia, so that he may protect this area for 7 hours, 7 minutes, and 7 seconds from goblins AND SPECIFICALLY GOBLINS, NOT HOBGOBLINS OR BUGBEARS OR OTHER MEMBERS OF GOBLINKIND!!"






    What?

    Yes, this is the problem with incantations. The developers were so scared that players would exploit incantations, that they decided to make it so restrictive, the party would prefer their spellcasters keep the easy buttons instead of allowing them a bit more participation.

    So, if we're gonna make spells as incantations, we have to remove that. It'll be a pretty literal translation, except that we'll add the backlashes, the skill checks, the casting time, the expensive components...and the ability that Bob the Builder can use them, not merely Willie the Wizard. But of course, there's the big chance that Willie the Wizard actually knows how to do the incantation better than Bob the Builder; still, if Bob the Builder proposes it, he can do it. Yes, he can. Just like in the animated series; if he wants to summon an archon so that it can finish the job and make it faster, he will, but that'll cost him. Maybe...I dunno, the cancellation of his show or that the entity will want a share of his company or something.

    So, having dealt with that, which spells should enter the lane of incantations? Well, let's consider which are the most necessary to do so and why:
    Problem Spells: Gate. Wish. Miracle. Planar Binding. Planar Ally. These spells are the problem-solvers of spellcasters, and it's quite evident we want them...out of the greedy spellcaster's way, of course. A Wish shouldn't be something a spellcaster can pull off that easily: it should be something that can be far more devastating than the norm. A Miracle is quite literally the intervention of the user's deity acting on its behalf; why can't a Miracle happen to, say, the poor old man whose devotion to Pelor or Ehlonna is such that he's willing to give his own life in order to save that of his wife, but it can happen to the 20th level cleric who might want to cast Haste just to prove the Wizard he can? That's not a Miracle, that's abusing of the god's granted powers and the clerical privileges!

    Now, you may have noticed that there are a few spells I haven't spoken about. Namely: Time Stop, Implosion, Shapechange. These spells ARE problem spells, but they have a slight trouble; they don't work as rituals. Why Gate works as a ritual? Because of its complexity; you can do only two things with that portal, and that is summon a specific entity with which you need to negotiate (and you lose 1000 xp while doing so), or create a permanent portal to a specific area, but you need to concentrate on where and keep that concentration while at it. Plane Shift is exactly the same; you join hands, and then you travel to a different plane; perfect and ripe for an incantation. Ethereal Jaunt? Not so much. You see, Ethereal Jaunt is pretty powerful, but pretty specific as well; making it restrictive to pull off, and then having that benefit beaten by the fact that you need to do the same to return and thus you're alone against the ethereal creatures, or that the only thing a fighter needs is a way to hit ethereal creatures and see invisibility to still get you, plus that you can't cast spells into the Material Plane unless you get a feat...the cons far outweigh the pros, and the effect lasts only for 1 round per level (so that's...what, a minute and 30 seconds worth that? 2 minutes?). Ethereal Jaunt can be quite the powerful spell, but the limitations inherent in the spell make requiring a standard (or in our case, a full-round interruptible action) just as good a limiter.

    As you can see, not all problem spells are meant to be incantations. However, the worst offenders can; others need to be dealt differently (damn you, Shapechange!!)

    Other spells that may be changed into incantations are:
    Spells that are essentially rituals: Let's face it; you'd rather have True Seeing, Righteous Might and Break Enchantment rather than Atonement or Hallow. Hallow, for example, takes a whopping 24 hours to cast, and the effect is permanent. That's basically a ritual right in there; the thing YOU want is to have someone important pull it off, but you can have the local priest attempt it if necessary, not merely the wandering cleric who can best the Rogue at finding traps and the Fighter at combat.

    Spells that require too expensive components: There are spells with pretty expensive material components, or too expensive foci. Scrying, for example, requires a specially crafted mirror (or font of holy water, or natural font of water) to do the job, and what it exactly does is let you see someone else. Generally, when you see casters scrying on others (generally the BBEG scrying the heroes), the caster takes quite some time, and generally does it at its sanctum. Another such spell would be the Raise Dead line; while there are a few spells that allow temporary or split-second resuscitation (Last Breath, Revenance), Raise Dead goes anywhere from causing a minor inconvenience to the party to a quest JUST to find the 5,000 gp flawless diamonds. Raise Dead generally cheapens sacrifices, makes death only temporary for those with money, and when it DOES become a quest, by the time you get the diamond you probably get the Cleric (unless it's the Cleric that died) enough levels to cast it for itself (unless they took far too much, in which case it's either Resurrection or True Resurrection). Also, old school Raise Dead had the chance of turning the corpse into ashes, thus further ruining the character's chance to revive.

    However, there ARE a few spells with expensive material components that aren't really meant for rituals. For example: Stoneskin is a very useful spell because it provides a sizeable, rare form of damage reduction; yet, it costs a whopping 250 gp worth of diamond dust. Restoration (both the normal, its lesser, and its greater ilk) have their costs: Lesser Restoration has none, Restoration requires 100 gp worth of diamond dust, and Greater Restoration requires a whopping 500 XP to work it out. Greater Restoration has a lengthy casting time, but the effect is not something you'd hate to have after all, so you may consider keeping it as a spell (even if it takes 10 minutes to work out).

    Spells with extensive casting times: The ur-example of this is Hallow. Hallow takes an entire day to cast, and the effect is basically permanently blessing a place to be dedicated to the deity which the caster worships. This fits perfectly with a ritual rather than a spell that requires a spell slot, and frees the caster from keeping a spell slot expended for its use. Control Weather and Astral Projection are also spells with lengthy casting times, creating a massive area-wide effect and an effect that lasts for as long as you want and effectively grants you immunity to everything except finding your actual body, respectively. The casting time alone should warn you that they're best kept as rituals. Astral Projection is also a ritual offender; why a Monk, master of the use of ki and full of the wisdom of the cosmos, can't project astrally on its own, while the Wizard is capable of doing so? Truly baffling; unless it's turned into an invocation, in which the Monk's Wisdom and skills may grant it the ability to easily work such a trick (and adds to the power of the class, if it somehow gets the ability to deal damage while on the Astral Plane).

    Thus, with those parameters, let's focus on how to work incantations.

    Alterations to the rules of Incantations
    1. Incantations are lengthy rituals to generate extremely powerful effects, but require great sacrifices as a method of payment. Thus, they can be as extense in breadth as you want to. Plane Shift, the ability to travel to ANY plane of existence, shouldn't be limited in scope, but should be hard to do.
    2. Incantations may (or rather, have to) be used as part of the requirements for magical items. This is because some spells are required to create some magical items. Some items may not exist because of this, and some should be the realm of artifacts (Luck Blade and Ring of Wishes, I'm looking at you...)
    3. Other than that, incantations work as shown here.


    Wait, that easy? Well, considering it was a method to deal with the problem spells and the rituals, these exceptions had to be mentioned. Otherwise, it's a rather simple and flavorful method.

    Thus, an example of a spell turned invocation would be like this:
    Plane Shift
    Conjuration (Teleportation)
    Effective Level: 7th
    Skill Check: Knowledge (arcana) DC 26 2 successes, Knowledge (the planes) DC 26 4 successes
    Failure: Falsehood
    Casting Time: 6 hours
    Range: Touch
    Target: Up to eight willing creatures touching hands
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Will negates (DC 16 + caster's Cha modifier)
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    This incantation moves the user (or users) to another plane of existence or alternate dimension. If several willing persons link hands in a circle, as many as eight can be affected by the plane shift at the same time, but all must contribute to the skill checks. At least one character must have a general idea on where to land, which serves as the main caster; the general accuracy of the destination depends on the familiarity of the main caster.

    {TABLE=head]Familiarity|Location
    Very familiar|Exact
    Studied carefully|0.1 to 1 mile (roll d%)
    Seen casually|1 to 100 miles (roll d%)
    Viewed once|5 to 500 miles (roll 5d%)[/TABLE]

    Plane shift transports creatures instantaneously and then ends. The creatures need to find other means if they are to travel back (such as using the incantation again).

    Failure
    Failing two consecutive skill checks risks the chance of emerging on a false destination. This destination may be a similar area in an entirely different plane (or demiplane), ending astray on the Astral Plane, or similar circumstance.

    Focus
    A small, forked metal rod. The size and metal type dictates to which plane of existence or alternate dimension the spell sends the affected creatures.

    Extra casters (Optional)
    Any creature wishing to travel with the main caster is considered a secondary caster. If there is only one caster, add +2 to the skill checks to succeed on the incantation.

    --

    The Plane Shift incantation works almost exactly as the Plane Shift spell, with wizards and clerics having the easiest way to pull it off, but bards and factotum may also pull it off. An expert that somehow gets one of the few copies of the incantation may serve as a "courier" between planes, making a job out of it, and probably requiring the payment of bodyguards while at it.

    Important points about incantations:
    The idea behind turning problem spells into incantations is to keep them in the game, but making them harder to pull off. Certainly, someone who has a +25 on both Knowledge (arcana) and Knowledge (the planes) will pretty much auto-succeed on Plane Shift, but since it requires a skill check and not a standard action spell, and because it takes about 6 hours to complete (four to analyze the plane to visit and how to land, and two to complete the conduit), it won't be as troubling.

    Of course, this serves a dual purpose: it removes Plane Shift from the game, in case the DM wishes to ban it. If the group needs or wants Plane Shift, they could find one of the few scrolls available to cast it, learn the incantation, and then attempt to use it...potentially falling into a worse plane of existence on their first try and then getting lost royally. Later on, when things are safer, they'll be capable of doing so, but they can't count on traveling amongst the planes in order to be safe. What's worse, the 6 hour requirement makes attempting to take advantage of certain planar traits a bit of an impossibility.

    It is important for a DM to consider that this returns a bit of control to them, rather than having the rules favor the player. As a DM, by choosing to turn certain spells into incantations, you are removing them from the game and specifically from the spellbooks of wizards (and from the access of deities, so they can't deliver them to their clerics), so returning the spell becomes your decision. It is easy to restrict the access to Plane Shift ("no, you can learn spells automatically as a Wizard, but that spell is so rare that you need to see a scroll or the spellbook of a very powerful archmage to learn"), but with this method you're essentially removing the ruling that may bypass it ("erm, the rules state that I automatically learn two spells each level, and that it represents all the time spent studying the spell; hence, I found rare writings that allow me to write Plane Shift into my spellbook, so there!"), hence recovering control over your story. Likewise, it is important for a player to consider that this removal of accessibility works at their favor, since the chance of finding the rare incantation of Plane Shift, for example, invariably leads to a quest (and thus, to XP and loot, which improves you and your partners furthermore). And, once you get it, the entire group benefits (that way, you can have someone like the Warlock or the Bard or the Factotum or even an expert hireling/cohort use the incantation for you and your party).

    How would incantations be gained, then?
    The easiest way would be to get a scroll to teach you. A book detailing the nature of the incantation is also viable. The idea is that it shouldn't be part of a random treasure, but something earned. You can, through Scribe Scroll, write up an incantation and sell it (for the same price you'd sell the original scroll); do consider that selling what's essentially a copy of a very rare ability may cause imbalances that may kick the player's rears eventually (such as having death squads pursue them through time, for example, if they choose to sell the secrets behind Plane Shift and Scrying). Very rarely, someone who knows the incantation may tutor the party into learning it, or one devout party member gains it from divine inspiration (such as having Fhlarlanghn or the Traveler teach the Monk how to do Plane Shift, or the master of an ancient hidden monastery teaches the secret for Astral Projection). Whatever the source, it isn't easy to get it; thus, a scroll with such a spell should be re-rolled unless the DM intends to give them the scroll as random loot.

    The next post should detail which spells are turned into incantations, and the revised descriptions for those on the SRD. Other spells may be altered with time. The last post should indicate how to deal with problem spells that don't make the cut for incantations, so that they don't cause their usual problem.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2011-08-13 at 12:07 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    ANALYZE DWEOMER
    Divination
    Effective Level: 6th
    Skill Check: Knowledge (arcana) DC 26, 1 success; Knowledge (religion) DC 26, 1 success; Spellcraft DC 26, 4 successes
    Failure: Falsehood
    Components: V, S, F
    Casting Time: 1 hour
    Range: Close (55 ft.)
    Target: Up to 12 objects or creatures
    Duration: 12 rounds
    Saving Throw: None or Will negates; see text
    Spell Resistance: No

    This incantation discerns all spells and magical properties present in a single creature or object. Each round, the caster may examine a single creature or object that it can see by making an Appraise check against DC 26. In the case of a magic item, the caster learns its functions, how to activate them (if appropriate), and how many charges are left (if it uses charges). In the case of an object or creature with active spells (or incantations) cast upon it, the caster learns each spell, its effect, and its caster level.

    An attended object may attempt a Will save to resist this effect if its holder so desires. If the save succeeds, you learn nothing about the object except what you can discern by looking at it. An object that makes its save cannot be affected by any other analyze dweomer incantations for 24 hours.

    Analyze dweomer does not function when used on an artifact.

    Failure
    A failed Appraise check reveals false information(or none) about the object or creature. A failure by less than 5 reveals no information, whereas a failure by 5 or more reveals one bit of false information, plus one for every 2 points the Appraise check failed. Usually, the most common bit of false information is the activation command, followed by its properties; in the case of creatures, the information reveals a similar or weaker spell (for example, a character with the effect of a bestow curse spell cast upon it may read as having the slow spell or a similar spell)

    Focus
    A tiny lens of ruby or sapphire set in a small golden loop. The gemstone must be worth at least 1,500 gp.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Odd to see Analyze Dweomer, but since it's basically a much more potent version of Identify, it should have its changes. Nonetheless, having 1 spell slot devoted to identify all items better seems like a ritual, so here it is. However, why Analyze Dweomer (and Legend Lore, as well) but no Identify? Since Identify is pretty low-power anyways, extremely useful, and a basis to many magic items, it's best to make a compromise with it. However, the souped-up versions of Identify? Incantations they are!


    ASTRAL PROJECTION
    Necromancy
    Effective Level: 9th
    Skill Check: Knowledge (arcana) DC 32, 1 success; Knowledge (the planes) DC 32, 4 successes; Spellcraft DC 32, 4 successes
    Failure: Attack
    Components: V, S, M, Sc
    Casting Time: 1 hour
    Range: Touch
    Target: You and up to 9 other willing creatures
    Duration: See text
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    By freeing your spirit from your physical body, this incantation allows you to project an astral body onto another plane altogether.

    The caster can bring the astral forms of other willing creatures with it, provided that these subjects are linked in a circle with it at the time of the casting. These fellow travelers are dependent upon the caster and must accompany it at all times. If something happens to it during the journey, the caster’s companions are stranded wherever it left them.

    The caster projects its astral self onto the Astral Plane, leaving its physical body behind on the Material Plane in a state of suspended animation. The spell projects an astral copy of the caster and all it wears or carries onto the Astral Plane. Since the Astral Plane touches upon other planes, the caster can travel astrally to any of these other planes as it wills. To enter one, the caster leaves the Astral Plane, forming a new physical body (and equipment) on the plane of existence it has chosen to enter.

    While on the Astral Plane, the caster’s astral body is connected at all times to its physical body by a silvery cord. If the cord is broken, the caster is killed, astrally and physically. Luckily, very few things can destroy a silver cord. When a second body is formed on a different plane, the incorporeal silvery cord remains invisibly attached to the new body. If the second body or the astral form is slain, the cord simply returns to your body where it rests on the Material Plane, thereby reviving it from its state of suspended animation. Although astral projections are able to function on the Astral Plane, their actions affect only creatures existing on the Astral Plane; a physical body must be materialized on other planes.

    The caster and its companions may travel through the Astral Plane indefinitely. Their bodies simply wait behind in a state of suspended animation until they choose to return their spirits to them. The spell lasts until the caster desires to end it, or until it is terminated by some outside means, such as dispel magic cast upon either the physical body or the astral form, the breaking of the silver cord, or the destruction of the caster’s body back on the Material Plane (which kills it).

    Failure
    Failing two consecutive Knowledge (the planes) checks negates the effect of the incantation, and a group of creatures from the Astral Plane immediately materializes. Use the Astral Plane Encounters table in the Dungeon Master’s Guide for examples of potential foes. On a 10% chance, a group of 5 githyanki knights and 1 red dragon (with an EL equivalent to the party’s average CR +2) appears instead. Defeating these creatures yields no treasure.

    Material Component
    A jacinth worth at least 1,000 gp, plus a silver bar worth 5 gp for each person to be affected.

    Extra Casters
    Any of the other participants of the spell, which must be arranged in a circle.

    ATONEMENT
    Abjuration
    Effective Level: 5th
    Skill Check: Knowledge (religion) DC 39, 5 successes
    Failure: Delusion
    Components: V, S, M, F, DF, XP
    Casting Time: 1 hour
    Range: Touch
    Target: Living creature touched
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    This incantation removes the burden of evil acts or misdeeds from the subject. The creature seeking atonement must be truly repentant and desirous of setting right its misdeeds. If the atoning creature committed the evil act unwittingly or under some form of compulsion, atonement operates normally at no cost to you. However, in the case of a creature atoning for deliberate misdeeds and acts of a knowing and willful nature, the caster must intercede with the target’s deity (requiring it to expend 500 XP) in order to expunge the subject’s burden. Many casters first assign a subject of this sort a quest or similar penance to determine whether the creature is truly contrite before casting the atonement incantation on its behalf.

    Atonement may only be cast at a particular time of day, often the one which the deity considers the most holy (usually at dawn for good deities, at dusk for evil deities, and at twilight for neutral deities). Using atonement at any other hour automatically fails, but it may incur a 50% chance of addressing the wrong deity if cast at the opposite hour (dusk for good deities, dawn for evil deities).

    Atonement may be cast for one of several purposes, depending on the version selected.

    Reverse Magical Alignment Change
    If a creature has had its alignment magically changed, atonement returns its alignment to its original status at no cost in experience points.

    Restore Class
    A paladin who has lost her class features due to committing an evil act may have her paladinhood restored to her by this spell.

    Restore Cleric or Druid Spell Powers
    A cleric or druid who has lost the ability to cast spells by incurring the anger of his or her deity may regain that ability by seeking atonement from another cleric of the same deity or another druid.

    Redemption or Temptation
    The caster may use this incantation upon a creature of an opposing alignment in order to offer it a chance to change its alignment to match that of it. The prospective subject must be present for the entire casting process. Upon completion of the incantation, the subject freely chooses whether it retains its original alignment or acquiesces to the caster’s offer and changes to your alignment. No duress, compulsion, or magical influence can force the subject to take advantage of the opportunity offered if it is unwilling to abandon its old alignment. This use of the incantation does not work on outsiders or any creature incapable of changing its alignment naturally.

    Though the incantation description refers to evil acts, atonement can also be used on any creature that has performed acts against its alignment, whether those acts are evil, good, chaotic, or lawful.

    Note: Normally, changing alignment is up to the player. This use of atonement simply offers a believable way for a character to change his or her alignment drastically, suddenly, and definitively.

    Failure
    The caster believes that the incantation has taken effect, but the effect may be different. Failing two consecutive Knowledge (religion) checks addresses the wrong deity (often one opposed to the caster’s alignment, and a 50% that the caster is a trickster deity) which may alter the spell. For example, a lawful good cleric attempting to cast atonement to restore another cleric’s powers may instead invoke a chaotic evil deity, which may subtly tempt the target or the caster (or both) to become clerics of their own.

    Material Component
    Burning incense.

    Focus
    In addition to the caster’s holy symbol or normal divine focus, the caster needs a set of prayer beads (or other prayer device, such as a prayer wheel or prayer book) worth at least 500 gp.

    XP Cost
    A character with at least 10 levels in cleric or druid spends no XP if the spell is used on behalf of someone who transgressed against its will (for example, the ability to restore alignment by means of magical change, or losing paladin, cleric or druid powers by means of involuntary alignment change); if the transgression was willingly done by the target, the caster loses 500 xp. A character with less than 10 levels in cleric or druid but more than one (or a paladin, or similar divine character) loses an extra 250 xp when using this spell, while a character with no levels in a divine class loses an extra 500 xp.

    AWAKEN
    Transmutation
    Effective Level: 6th
    Skill Check: Handle Animal DC 38, 3 successes; Knowledge (nature) DC 38, 3 successes (animal) or Knowledge (nature) DC 38, 6 successes (plant)
    Failure: Attack, damage
    Components: V, S, DF, XP, B
    Casting Time: 24 hours
    Range: Touch
    Target: Animal or tree touched
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Will negates
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    You awaken a tree or animal to humanlike sentience.

    The awakened animal or tree is friendly toward you. The caster has no special empathy or connection with a creature it awaken, although the awakened creature may serve the caster in specific tasks or endeavors if the latter communicates its desires to the former.

    An awakened tree has characteristics as if it were an animated object, except that it gains the plant type and its Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores are each 3d6. An awakened plant gains the ability to move its limbs, roots, vines, creepers, and so forth, and it has senses similar to a human’s.

    An awakened animal gets 3d6 Intelligence, +1d3 Charisma, and +2 HD. Its type becomes magical beast (augmented animal). An awakened animal can’t serve as an animal companion, familiar, or special mount.

    An awakened tree or animal can speak one language that you know, plus one additional language that you know per point of Intelligence bonus (if any).

    Option
    A druid, ranger, or any class with the wild empathy class feature may attempt to use it instead of its Handle Animal ranks when attempting to awaken an animal, against the same DC.

    Failure
    Failing to make two consecutive Knowledge (nature) checks causes 3d6 points of Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma drain (Will save for half); if the caster’s Intelligence is reduced to 1 or 2, it permanently has its intelligence reduced to that of an animal, whereas reducing Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma to 0 puts the individual into permanent coma until a restoration spell or better is cast on its behalf. Failing to make two consecutive Handle Animal (or wild empathy) checks cause the creature to immediately become hostile towards its creator.

    XP Cost
    250 XP

    Backlash
    Caster takes 1 point of Intelligence and Charisma damage. If incantation fails, failure damage supersedes backlash.

    BINDING
    Enchantment (compulsion) [Mind-affecting]
    Effective Level: 8th
    Skill Check: See text
    Failure: Mirrorcast
    Components: V, S, M, XP (see text), Sc, B
    Casting Time: 1 minute
    Range: Close
    Target: One living creature
    Duration: See text
    Saving Throw: Will negates; see text
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    A binding incantation creates a magical restraint to hold a creature. Binding is comprised of six different incantations that are related by their methodology; thus, all of the following incantations are considered part of the same binding incantation, but have very different effects. The target gets an initial saving throw only if its Hit Dice equal at least one-half the primary caster’s caster level. The primary caster’s caster level (considered to have an effective caster level of 16) determines whether the target gets an initial Will saving throw and how long the binding lasts. Unless otherwise noted, all binding incantations have a save DC of 16 plus the caster’s Charisma modifier. All binding incantations are dismissible. A scroll may contain only one of the binding incantations; some extremely ancient texts may contain more than one, or even all six binding incantations. In the case a book contains both the chaining and slumber incantations, there's a 50% chance it also contains the bound slumber incantation.

    Regardless of the binding incantation cast, the caster can specify triggering conditions that end the spell and release the creature whenever they occur. These triggers can be as simple or elaborate as the caster desires, but the condition must be reasonable and have a likelihood of coming to pass. The conditions can be based on a creature’s name, identity, or alignment but otherwise must be based on observable actions or qualities. Intangibles such as level, class, Hit Dice, or hit points don’t qualify. Once the spell is cast, its triggering conditions cannot be changed. Setting a release condition increases the save DC (assuming a saving throw is allowed) by 2.

    If the caster uses any of the binding incantations with limited durations, it may cast additional binding incantations to prolong the effect, since the durations overlap. If done so, the target gets a saving throw at the end of the first spell’s duration, even if its caster level was high enough to disallow an initial saving throw. If the creature succeeds on this save, all binding incantations it has received are broken.

    Chaining
    The subject is confined by restraints that generate an antipathy spell affecting all creatures who approach the subject, except the caster. The duration is anywhere between one year to an amount of years equal to 16 plus 1 per caster level. The subject of this form of binding is confined to the spot it occupied when it received the spell.
    Skill Checks: Craft (blacksmithing) or Use Rope DC 35, 2 successes; Knowledge (architecture and engineering) DC 35, 2 successes; Spellcraft DC 35, 4 successes

    Slumber
    This version causes the subject to become comatose for as long as one year to an amount of years equal to 16 plus 1 per effective caster level. The subject does not need to eat or drink while slumbering, nor does it age. This binding incantation is more difficult to cast than the chaining incantation, making it slightly easier to resist. Reduce the save DC by 1.
    Skill Checks: Spellcraft DC 36, 8 successes

    Bound Slumber
    This combination of the chaining and slumber incantations lasts for as long as one month to 16 (plus 1 per effective caster level) months. Reduce the save DC by 2.
    Skill Checks: Craft (blacksmithing) or Use Rope DC 38, 2 successes; Spellcraft DC 38, 6 successes.

    Hedged Prison
    The subject is transported to or otherwise brought within a confined area from which it cannot wander by any means. The effect is permanent. Reduce the save DC by 3.
    Skill Checks: Knowledge (dungeoneering) DC 40, 2 successes; Knowledge (the planes) DC 40, 2 successes; Spellcraft DC 40, 4 successes

    Metamorphosis
    The subject assumes gaseous form, except for its head or face. It is held harmless in a jar or other container, which may be transparent if you so choose. The creature remains aware of its surroundings and can speak, but it cannot leave the container, attack, or use any of its powers or abilities. The binding is permanent. The subject does not need to breathe, eat, or drink while metamorphosed, nor does it age. Reduce the save DC by 4.
    Skill Checks: Spellcraft DC 45, 8 successes

    Minimus Containment
    The subject is shrunk to a height of 1 inch or even less and held within some gem, jar, or similar object. The binding is permanent. The subject does not need to breathe, eat, or drink while contained, nor does it age. Reduce the save DC by 4.
    Skill Checks: Craft (gemcutting or pottery) DC 45, 2 successes; Spellcraft DC 45, 6 successes

    You can’t dispel a binding incantation with dispel magic or a similar effect; antimagic field or a dead magic zone cannot affect the binding incantations, but a sufficiently powerful incantation such as freedom or a powerful spell such as mage’s disjunction can remove the effect. A bound extraplanar creature cannot be sent back to its home plane due to dismissal, banishment, or a similar effect.

    Failure
    If the primary caster fails two consecutive Spellcraft checks, the target may attempt to wrench control over the incantation, returning the spell towards the caster. The target must succeed on an opposed Charisma check against the primary caster; for every HD or character level worth of difference between the target and the primary caster, the target gains a bonus or a penalty to the check (for example, a 12 HD creature attempting to grasp control over the incantation from a 15th level character takes a -3 penalty to its check, but a 21 HD creature against the same 15th level character gains a +6 bonus.

    Components
    The components for a binding incantation vary, but they always include a continuous chanting utterance read from the scroll containing the incantation, somatic gestures, and materials appropriate to the form of binding used.
    Chaining: masterwork chains or manacles, plus a lump of alum soaked in vinegar.
    Slumber: soporific herbs or narcotics worth 500 gp.
    Bound Slumber: masterwork chains or manacles, plus soporific herbs or narcotics costing 500 gp.
    Hedged Prison: map of area where creature is to be imprisoned, carefully detailed with the limits of the imprisonment, done with rare inks and parchment costing 500 gp.
    Metamorphosis: a specifically made container worth over 500 gp, plus a bit of gauze and a candle (for the wisp of smoke)
    Minimus Containment: a specifically cut gem or specifically crafted container worth over 500 gp, plus a pinch of powdered iron.

    In addition to the specially made props suited to the specific type of binding, the spell requires opals worth at least 500 gp for each HD of the target and a vellum depiction or carved statuette of the subject to be captured.

    XP Cost
    250 xp for the slumber and bound slumber incantations, 1000 xp for the hedged prison incantation, and 500 xp for the metamorphosis and minimus containment incantations.

    Backlash
    The caster and all assistants are exhausted.

    Extra Casters
    The caster may have as many as six assistants helping it with the incantation. For every assistant, the skill check DC decreases by 1.

    If the assistants know spells, they may use them to increase the effective caster level of the incantations. For each assistant who casts suggestion, the effective caster level for this casting of binding increases by 1. For each assistant who casts dominate animal, dominate person, or dominate monster, the effective caster level for this casting of binding increases by a number equal to one-third of that assistant’s level, provided that the spell’s target is appropriate for a binding spell. Since the assistants’ spells are cast simply to improve the caster’s effective caster level for the purpose of the binding incantation, saving throws and spell resistance against the assistants’ spells are irrelevant.

    Spoiler
    Show
    So, you may ask: why the Binding incantation is comprised of six separate incantations, whereas the Atonement incantation is only comprised of one? Well, to be precise, Binding has six different uses, whereas Atonement has four, but all so closely related that you could effectively keep them separate. The redemption or temptation aspect of the Atonement incantation can definitely be separated, but the others are merely restoring one thing to its normal state, so there's no extremely differing aspects to at least three of them.

    Binding uses a few tweaks from the UA incantation rules, if only because of how weird it is. In theory, the binding incantations should go somewhere in order: Chaining < Slumber < Bound Slumber < Hedge Prison < Metamorphosis = Minimus Containment. However, if going through the skill check DC rules, it would instead be Slumber <= Bound Slumber < Chaining < Metamorphosis = Minimus Containment < Hedge Prison, which is weird. Thus, chaining has a -5 to its skill check DC, whereas Hedge Prison becomes the strongest.

    As well, the added assistants option and how it reduces skill check DCs is because, regardless of how many assistants you get, you only have a reduction of 1 to the skill check DC (well, actually 2 because all assistants take the backlash effect). That's...kinda unfair. Thus, the effect is more streamlined, considering that they can add spells to make the incantation more powerful.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2012-04-16 at 02:05 AM. Reason: Finally adding some of the incantations

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Male

    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    But, how will you deal with [Problem Spell] that has [problem that can't be solved via incantation]?

    Well, not all the spells can be dealt via incantations. There are some that fit best the idea of a ritual, but there are others that won't make the cut. These are, for example:

    Most spells with instantaneous effects: Certainly, there are spells that deliver an instantaneous (or permanent) effect that could work as rituals. However, making a ritual for Cure Light Wounds would be silly at best, insipid at worst.

    Spells with very short durations: Haste is the main example of this; making a very complex ritual for a buff that lasts, as much, for 2 minutes, won't really cut it.

    ..and there are other examples.

    However, there are a few things we can deal with that imply altering the spell but not to an extent of making it an incantation. Extending the casting time of a spell is one, but while broad, not really a trait for some of the real problem spells. Two very specific examples come to mind:

    Spells that essentially replace a skill or a characteristic of a build: If you've ever seen Knock or Discern Lies, you know the deal; these spells make Open Lock and Sense Motive (to detect a lie) pointless. Mostly, because they ALWAYS make the cut. It's no "there's a high possibility", but rather, they ALWAYS make it (well, with its few exceptions, such as Glibness for Discern Lies, but that's basically a spell countering another spell).

    However, there's one small example that serves as a foundation to a resolution of many of these spells: Find Traps. At its best, it grants trapfinding, making that Rogue trait slightly pointless. However, instead of instantly detecting those traps (unlike Detect Snares and Pits which always finds natural hazards), it only grants a bonus to the caster's Search check. Being a Cleric spell, that means they won't have much Int or the right amount of Search bonuses to really make a difference, unless they spend a lot of time doing the Search, in which the spell has a chance to expire.

    The reason why that works is mostly because it doesn't entirely replace the Rogue's skill at finding traps. While the Cleric (or the user of the spell) is limited to half it's caster level, the Rogue is limited only by the ranks in Search. At first it may seem like the Cleric has a slight advantage (trapfinding plus a +1 insight bonus on Search checks against the Rogue's 6 ranks in Search plus his Int modifier), but later on the Rogue can auto-Search with a 1 while the Cleric can't really take 10 on it. And even then, the Cleric can't really disable the traps, so it never beats the Rogue on that one (however, it can serve as one in a pinch).

    Spells that grant immunities: These are spells such as Freedom of Movement, Mind Blank and Death Ward. Once cast, the character simply has no more worries regarding anything that blocks its movement, affects its mind, or threatens his life. Period. When a spell such as Protection from Evil effectively nulls an entire school of magic because of a blanket protection, you know there's a trouble.

    Which, in part, is why blanket revisions tend to solve only a bit. You need to, in order to make it simple, apply the benefit to many other spells that wouldn't otherwise have that problem. Sometimes, you need to be a bit specific, and that works great with spells; being a game of numbers, having a reasonable bonus so as to essentially grant immunity to the effect but still having a chance that some lucky shot bypasses your defense makes the spell still a great choice, but doesn't flat out nulls the character's chance to be affected. In fact, the idea is that, while a spell from a lower level character might not be successful, using a 1st level spell to block the enchantment spell of a master enchanter really doesn't seem fair.

    Dealing with this may work in one of two ways; either granting a bonus to something that already allows bypassing the effect that would be otherwise negated, or imposing a form of "spell resistance" on an effect that could be bypassed easily by a higher level character.

    These following spells are some usually problematic spells that could use some of these solutions. They are placed in alphabetic order as best as possible, and come mostly from the SRD; suggestions as to other spells that may receive this particular treatment are welcome.

    DISCERN LIES
    Divination
    Level: Clr 4, Pal 3
    Components: V, S, DF
    Casting Time: 1 standard action (Pal), 1 full-round action (Clr)
    Range: Touch
    Target: Creature touched
    Duration: 1 minute/level
    Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: No

    You bestow a touched creature with the ability to discern even the most elaborate lies by enlightening the creature to changes in body language and tone. The creature touched gains an insight bonus on all Sense Motive checks equal to 1 for every two caster levels (up to a maximum of +10)

    Discern lies dispels glibness.

    FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
    Abjuration
    Level: Brd 4, Clr 4, Drd 4, Luck 4, Rgr 4
    Components: V, S, M, DF
    Casting Time: 1 standard action (Brd, Rgr) or 1 full-round action (Clr, Drd)
    Range: Personal or touch
    Target: You or creature touched
    Duration: 10 min./level
    Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    This spell enables you or a creature you touch to ease the penalties on movement granted by mundane challenges, or to resist the effects of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web.

    The spell grants a competence bonus on Balance checks and Escape Artist checks equal to 1 for every two caster levels (maximum of +10). Escape Artist checks may be done as move actions unless the action itself takes less time. You cannot use the Balance bonus to walk on surfaces that would be near impossible to cross (such as walking through liquids or clouds; generally any Balance check with a DC of 50 or higher), but you may use tje bonus to resist being tripped (see Complete Adventurer for more details on this use of the Balance skill). A creature grappled does not gain any bonus on its opposed grapple check, but it does gain the bonus on the Escape Artist check to escape from a grapple.

    The spell also allows the subject to move and attack normally while underwater, even with slashing weapons such as axes and swords or with bludgeoning weapons such as flails, hammers, and maces, provided that the weapon is wielded in the hand rather than hurled. The freedom of movement spell does not, however, allow water breathing.

    If you or a creature affected by this spell crosses an area that limits movement (such as difficult terrain, or the area of a solid fog, entangle or web), the penalty to movement is lessened by 5 ft. for every five caster levels (up to a maximum of 20 ft. at 20th level).

    If a spell or effect causes you to be dazed, stunned or held, you may stave off this effect partially or fully based on how it was acquired. If the spell or effect has a saving throw and lasts for more than 1 round, you (or the creature touched) may make a second saving throw in subsequent rounds, with a successful saving throw allowing you to negate the effect. If the spell or effect does not have a saving throw, you (or the creature touched) may make a move or standard action by making a successful Will saving throw (against a DC 20; a DC 30 check allows the creature to make a full-round action instead) for that round. This spell cannot allow a creature to move if petrified or unconscious (the creature must be conscious to benefit from this effect).

    Material Component: A leather thong, bound around the arm or a similar appendage.

    GLIBNESS
    Transmutation
    Level: Brd 3
    Components: S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: Creature touched
    Duration: 10 min./level (D)

    The speech of the creature touched becomes fluent and more believable. You gain an insight bonus on Bluff checks made to convince another of the truth of your words equal to 1 for every 2 caster levels (up to a maximum of +10). This effect also applies to delivering secret messages, but not if you use Bluff to feint.

    MIND BLANK
    Abjuration
    Level: Protection 8, Sor/Wiz 8
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 full-round action
    Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
    Target: One creature
    Duration: 10 min./level
    Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    The subject is protected from all devices and spells that detect, influence, or read emotions or thoughts. The subject gains an insight bonus on all saving throws made against charms, compulsions, fear and mind-affecting effects equal to 1 for every two caster levels (maximum +10). Spells trying to affect the warded subject must succeed on a caster level check equal to 15 plus the caster level of the creature that used the spell (this ward works even if the spell does not normally offer spell resistance, but is bypassed if the opposing caster has Spell Penetration or a benefit to caster level checks to bypass spell resistance). Finally, the warded subject gains the slippery mind feature, except the subject may make another saving throw after a minute if it fails the first two.

    Arcane Material Component: Tin or lead foil, which is shaped in the form of a hat as the spell is cast.

    Spoiler
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    Note: this also applies to the Personal Mind Blank and Psionic Mind Blank powers, as well as any effect based on Mind Blank.

    Also, herp derp c wut I did thar. (Mild joke; tell me it doesn't make sense at all).


    PROTECTION FROM EVIL
    Abjuration [Good]
    Level: Clr 1, Good 1, Pal 1, Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V, S, M/DF
    Casting Time: 1 standard action (Pal) or 1 full-round action (Clr, Sor, Wiz)
    Range: Touch
    Target: Creature touched
    Duration: 1 min./level (D)
    Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: No; see text

    This spell wards a creature from attacks by evil creatures, from mental control, and from summoned creatures. It creates a magical barrier around the subject at a distance of 1 foot. The barrier moves with the subject and has three major effects.

    First, the subject gains a +2 deflection bonus to AC and a +2 resistance bonus on saves. Both these bonuses apply against attacks made or effects created by evil creatures.

    Second, the barrier blocks or suppresses any attempt to possess the warded creature (by a magic jar attack, for example) or to exercise mental control over the creature (including enchantment (charm) effects and enchantment (compulsion) effects that grant the caster ongoing control over the subject, such as dominate person). A creature trying to use any of these effects must succeed on a caster level check (if a spell) against a DC equal to 10 + the caster level of the creature that used the spell, or a level check against the same DC (if the effect is supernatural in origin). Fear effects are not blocked by this ability, nor other mind-affecting spells or effects that aren't charms or compulsions (such as mind-affecting illusions).

    Third, the spell prevents bodily contact by summoned creatures. This causes the natural weapon attacks of such creatures to fail and the creatures to recoil if such attacks require touching the warded creature. Good summoned creatures are immune to this effect. The protection against contact by summoned creatures ends if the warded creature makes an attack against or tries to force the barrier against the blocked creature. Spell resistance can allow a creature to overcome this protection and touch the warded creature.

    Arcane Material Component: A little powdered silver with which you trace a 3-foot -diameter circle on the floor (or ground) around the creature to be warded.

    Spoiler
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    Note: this also applies to Protection from Chaos, Protection from Good and Protection from Law, the psionic power versions of these spells, and any effect based on this spell, including Magic Circle against Evil and similar effects.

    Mostly, what changed is that the "mental block" effect is basically a spell resistance now (of sorts) which only affects creatures of the opposed alignment. So no blanket warding. It's still left ambiguous enough, but ideally it should work against charms, compulsions, and possession effects; that still means the creature might be affected by illusions. A base of 10 makes it reasonable enough to pass, and with stuff like Assay Spell Resistance an enchanter can bypass the protection of this spell. That, or Spell Penetration. Your choice.


    SEE INVISIBILITY
    Divination
    Level: Brd 3, Sor/Wiz 2
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action (Brd) or 1 full-round action (Sor/Wiz)
    Range: Touch
    Target: Creature touched
    Duration: 10 min./level (D)

    The subject gains the ability to perceive invisible creatures with ease. The creature senses the presence of any invisible creature within 30 ft. (as if it had succeed on a Spot check), and may make a Spot check to discern its location without the penalty provided by the effect. If the subject succeeds on the Spot check, the invisible creature does not benefit from total concealment. From then onward, the creature is visible to the affected subject unless the creature makes a Hide check (but gains no special ability to make a Hide check); upon doing so, the creature once again gains the benefits from invisibility but may still be perceived by the subject.

    The spell does not reveal the method used to obtain invisibility. It does not reveal illusions or enable you to see through opaque objects. It does not reveal creatures who are simply hiding, concealed, or otherwise hard to see.

    See invisibility can be made permanent with a permanency spell.

    Material Component: A pinch of talc and a small sprinkling of powdered silver.

    TIME STOP
    Transmutation
    Level: Sor/Wiz 9, Trickery 9
    Components: V
    Casting Time: 1 swift action
    Range: Personal or Close (25 ft. plus 5 ft/2 caster levels)
    Target: You or one creature/4 caster levels, no two which may be more than
    Duration: 1 round/2 caster levels (apparent time); see text

    This spell seems to make time cease to flow for everyone but you (and your allies, should you choose). In fact, you speed up so greatly that all other creatures seem frozen, though they are actually still moving at their normal speeds.

    If you choose to affect only yourself, you are free to act for 1 round of apparent time (essentially, the action you were to undertake). You act before any readied action, but at the end of the round you still take the effects of the readied action if they would still affect you. You may choose to act for more than 1 round, up to 1 round per 2 caster levels, but for every turn of apparent action you wish to use, you are dazed for 1 round (thus, if you wish to act for 3 rounds, you are dazed for the next 2 rounds). This form of daze may not be prevented by any means, even if you are immune to daze.

    If you choose to affect yourself and allies, each creature gains one round of apparent time. You may not extend the rounds of apparent time for more than 1 round, but you are not dazed afterwards.

    Normal and magical fire, cold, gas, and the like can still harm you (and allies benefitting from the effect). While the time stop is in effect, other creatures are invulnerable to your attacks and spells; you (nor your allies) cannot target such creatures with any attack or spell. A spell that affects an area and has a duration longer than the remaining duration of the time stop have their normal effects on other creatures once the time stop ends.

    You (or affected allies) cannot move or harm items held, carried, or worn by a creature stuck in normal time, but you can affect any item that is not in another creature’s possession.

    You (and allies affected) are undetectable while time stop lasts. You cannot enter an area protected by an antimagic field while under the effect of time stop.

    If a spellcaster is preparing a counterspell, he may choose to instead use the spell at the same moment the other caster uses time stop. If so, the spellcaster (and any allies he chooses to bring along) are sped in the same time frame as that of the other caster, and may interact with each other as if both were on normal time. Two time stop spells interacting within each other (instead of being counterspelled) last for 1d4+1 rounds, and both spellcasters are dazed for an amount of rounds equal to the d4 result.

    XP Cost: 200 xp per round of apparent time.

    Spoiler
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    This is a rare one; Time Stop got both a boost and a nerf. You still have your base effect (time stops), but only for 1 round; however, you can decide to bring your allies so that it becomes a party buff instead of a single buff. However, trying to go a bit too far nets you a loss of XP AND turns, and those can't be replaced. The spell can no longer be Maximized or Empowered, though it CAN be widened, oddly enough. Yet, instead of being a full-round action, it's a swift action. This is intentional; the first round of apparent action is the one you sacrificed by casting the spell; you don't get two actions in a row, but you're free to act without having readied actions firing off (until the end of the action, that is). The daze effect is similar to that of Celerity, except on a grander scale.

    So yeah, you can create Delayed Blast Fireball traps, but they won't work as intended, and there's a slight chance they may be used against you. You're forewarned.

    Still, this change may be a bit controversial since it also provides a strong buff to an otherwise broken spell, by making it a swift action, potentially expanding the number of rounds AND making it a party buff. Was it going TOO far, or the counterbalances are decent enough? I'd expect a strong debate on that, and one with good points on each side to make the spell a bit more fair in that regard, even making the spell a full-round action if necessary or imposing a stronger penalty.


    ZONE OF TRUTH
    Divination
    Level: Clr 2, Pal 2
    Components: V, S, DF
    Casting Time: 1 standard action (Pal) or 1 full-round action (Clr)
    Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
    Area: 20-ft.-radius emanation
    Duration: 1 min./level
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: Np

    Creatures within the emanation area (or those who enter it) find it difficult to speak any deliberate and intentional lies. Each affected creature within the area takes a penalty on Bluff checks equal to 1 for every 2 caster levels if attempting to hide the truth within the area. Affected creatures are aware of this effect. This affects secret messages sent through innuendo, but not feints.

    Creatures within the area of this spell affected by a spell that grants a Bluff check (such as glibness) have this benefit suppressed when entering the area. The affected creatures are also aware of this benefit.

    Spoiler
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    This is a spell that, by all means, COULD be an incantation. Basically, you form an area where lies are easily revealed, hence a "zone" of truth. So, why does it remain a spell?

    For starters, it's an emanation, not a fixed area. This would imply having the area of effect altered. Second, the benefit is lessened quite a bit; you aren't compelled to speak the truth anymore, but you ARE still forced to speak the truth because of the effect. Glibness can't help you, and Discern Lies gets magnified (because you impose a penalty on other's Bluff checks while enhancing your own Sense Motive checks).

    Still, why not an incantation? Maybe it's because this is a spell that could work equally well as a spell as an incantation. Sort of like the "creature trap" effect of the Magic Circle against Evil spell. This is the spell version of the effect, while the incantation version would work as the original (a compulsion within the area to speak no lies); the incantation version would be a bit more difficult to pull off but far more powerful, while the spell version is less powerful but easier to use.


    --

    By the way, you're welcome to debate on the first point as refine the arguments for spells as Incantations. You may also give ideas on which spells can be used as Incantations, or remind me of the threads that have already done so and that may be incomplete. Just consider that it won't be the same incantation system as with the UA incantations, but rather similar to the rituals from 4th Edition.
    Last edited by T.G. Oskar; 2011-09-22 at 04:07 AM. Reason: Adding alterations to existing spells that aren't suitable for incantations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    You can use 2 metapsionic feats if you throw more feats at it. Psicrystal Affinity + Psicrystal Containment or Psionic Body + Subconscious Containment from Untapped Potential (but not both), you'll want Psionic Meditation too…
    Last edited by Tenno Seremel; 2011-07-29 at 08:55 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Subscribing, simultaneously eagerly awaiting your house rules.

    Also, like the concept. =3 It will, however, make such amusing things as the Locate City Bomb unworkable.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Very interested. I'll be following this closely.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Well, although I do enjoy your fixes, this one really hurts some classes, like the Warmage and Dread Necromancer, making it so they might now be in Tier 4, which would make me sad.

    Other than that, this is GLORIOUS!!!
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenno Seremel View Post
    You can use 2 metapsionic feats if you throw more feats at it. Psicrystal Affinity + Psicrystal Containment or Psionic Body + Subconscious Containment from Untapped Potential (but not both), you'll want Psionic Meditation too…
    That IS the idea. You see, to use more than one metapsionic feat, you need to invest quite a bit. Psicrystal Containment (and by deference, Subconscious Containment) allow at most one more metapsionic feat, but require expenditure of feats to bypass that restriction. The idea is to do the same with metamagic feats, allowing a chance to bypass that restriction but requiring feats to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lord View Post
    Well, although I do enjoy your fixes, this one really hurts some classes, like the Warmage and Dread Necromancer, making it so they might now be in Tier 4, which would make me sad.

    Other than that, this is GLORIOUS!!!
    I think you've seen the disclaimer, of course. Some changes will have to be made; the Retooled Warmage is built working with that idea, and the ability of the original to wear armor and shields makes it so that it really doesn't suffer too much from the change (and then again, isn't Warmage a Tier 4?). Dread Necromancer will have only its spellcasting toned down, but do consider that through its minions it has some action economy so it can decide to move and attack, cast a spell to buff his minions, cast a spell to debuff his minions... Do consider that there's Rapid Spell in case they NEED to move and attack, and that all full spellcasters are still capable of making 5-foot steps. The Beguiler is probably the one that gets hurt the most because of how Cloaked Casting works, but the class has several other options to still fulfill Tier 3 (UMD, skill list, decent BAB, spells are better outside of battle in any case).
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Wow. Just wow. This doesn't fix all the problems yet, but it's not complete; and from what I see so far, this is already my favorite fix. Although, I confess, it's mainly because it still allows for your spectacular spellcasting class fixes.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    This is certainly an interesting approach to the issue. I find the focusing on metamagic a bit dubious, as traditionally the over meta-magicked approach is used by optimized blasters, which usually aren't the focus of these debates. Sure, these affect the batman pattern wizards just as surely (who doesn't love Quicken?) but they really hammer on the direct damage types. It takes the edge off of most casters, but I think batman types might still find their powers far beyond the ken of their fellows.

    I do like the change, though, for a few reasons. Typically, metamagic at large isn't that useful or great; often the effect you got wasn't worth the higher spell level it cost you. With metamagics only cost being the opportunity cost of only getting to use one per spell, and with metamagics on a cooldown meaning you can't spam the best metamagics over and over again, it might be the case that previously underused metamagics might find some value. Of course, it also means that if you have any metamagic available, you might end up using it just because; you don't always need to move, and you're not always within someone's reach. Most spell's nature as ranged effects allows them to sidestep the whole AoO/movement issue more readily than a full attacking fighter, even if they can do it less readily under this variant.

    I think the need to apply the full caster/partial caster/exception label to each class in order to apply this change might become a little unwieldy though, although you seem to have some solid guidelines/reasonings for each category in place.

    How do these changes interact with the Wu Jen's Spell Secret ability? This ability, as a reminder, permanently upgrades one spell in the Wu Jen's library with one metamagic, causing it to be cast with that metamagic in effect at all times for free.
    Last edited by Neon Knight; 2011-08-01 at 08:39 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Quote Originally Posted by Neon Knight View Post
    This is certainly an interesting approach to the issue. I find the focusing on metamagic a bit dubious, as traditionally the over meta-magicked approach is used by optimized blasters, which usually aren't the focus of these debates. Sure, these affect the batman pattern wizards just as surely (who doesn't love Quicken?) but they really hammer on the direct damage types. It takes the edge off of most casters, but I think batman types might still find their powers far beyond the ken of their fellows.
    Ideally, that's not the only change. The way to tackle the problem exists at three points:
    1. The first point is, of course, revising the spell list. Some spells have unusually long casting times, and offer superior effects. For example: Planar Binding (alongside Planar Ally and the Lesser/Greater varieties) behave best as a ritual rather than a spell that can be cast as a standard action. Thus, I'd use the UA rules regarding incantations, but ignoring some of the restrictions (such as the need to be far too specific); the idea would be that anyone with the knowledge would be capable of using the incantation, but those would be extremely rare and most likely campaign enders. This won't deal with some of the problems (Polymorph would still exist, and Shapechange as well), but it deals with a great bit of the problem spells (Planar Binding, Gate, Wish, Wall of Iron, etc.)
    2. The second point is to define the different methods of spellcasting and apply some rulings based on each. The Full/Partial Spellcaster and the exceptions are not the only divisions between spellcasting; Prepared/Spontaneous Spellcaster also makes for other changes, and the difference between the Spontaneous Spellcaster and the Spontaneous Specialist (Warmage, Beguiler, Dread Necro) also matters. Stuff such as slightly increasing casting times, switching the progression between the prepared and the spontaneous, and so on.
    3. The third point would be how to deal with metamagic. The approach is that stacking metamagic should be part of an effort, but also rather simple to deal with. Metamagic techniques that can be applied at any time but require time to recharge, but are limited only to one (or two) per spell reduces the overall power of some spells that are super-powered because of it (this will hurt, as you mention, direct damage spells but also reduce the power of Enervation and the "anti-dragon ray")


    Even then, dealing with a radical change to spellcasting requires more than just simple fixes, and resembles pretty closely creating a new system pretty much from scratch (except you're really cannibalizing the Core classes and Core system and modifying it). Classes need to receive some sort of upgrade (or downgrade) and some spells have to be directly modified (most likely the Polymorph line, Time Stop and other such potent spells).

    Ideally, this should be how it works:
    • Full Spellcaster: This is divided into two:
    • Prepared Spellcasters (Archivists, Clerics, Druids, Wizards and Wu Jen) would gain new spells at even levels (except probably Wu Jen because their spell list is limited) instead of odd. Their delay at getting new spells is replaced by their ability to eventually cast and customize their spell list day by day.
  13. Spontaneous Spellcasters (Favored Souls, Sorcerers and Spirit Shamans) gain new spells at odd levels instead of even. Thus, they gain their spells faster and gain eventually more spell slots, but they memorize a more limited amount. They'd also gain the ability to replace one spell per week, to further difference them from...
  • Spontaneous Specialists (Beguiler, Dread Necro, Warmage) which gain the same traits as the above except they can't replace their spell list; instead, they gain all spells of their list and have Advanced Learning to cover for the rest.
  • Partial Spellcasters (Bards, Duskblades, Hexblades, Paladins, Rangers) would get the ability to cast spells as a standard action innately, but they'd get partial access to spells and spell levels.
  • Finally, the Exceptions exist to cover just about everything else.


  • Speaking of which...

    I find the need to apply the full caster/partial caster/exception label to each class in order to apply this change might become a little unwieldy though, although you seem to have some solid guidelines/reasonings for each category in place.
    I'd say it's a necessary evil. The game thrives with indexing, such as the school categorization and how the classes naturally gravitate toward certain categories. The categories are, at the most part, intuitive and shouldn't be hard to deviate from; the exceptions are the category that might cause a bit more headaches than usual because they don't fully exist within the Full or Partial camp, and need their own way to deal with things. The solid reasoning exists to show how the alterations make sense; if they didn't, then it would be pointless to continue.

    How do these changes interact with the Wu Jen's Spell Secret ability? This ability, as a reminder, permanently upgrades one spell in the Wu Jen's library with one metamagic, causing it to be cast with that metamagic in effect at all times for free.
    There would be three ways to handle them, two of them being more radical than the other:
    • The first, of course, is to keep the ability as-is. The spell is permanently modified with the metamagic technique, which allows the caster to apply a second metamagic technique to the spell (the first one doesn't really count for purposes of restrictions). The problem, of course, is that the feature is extremely limited.
    • The second would be to choose a specific spell and allow the Wu Jen to apply two metamagic feats instead of one. This makes the choice a bit more ample, but still focuses on the specific spell.
    • The third, and the wildest of them all, is to make it a limited source per day, in which you may choose one metamagic feat and apply it to any spell without the need for recharge time and without the "slot" limitation. Thus, you could apply as many metamagic feats as you'd like on a single spell, or spread them equally between different spells. This would make the Wu Jen a metamagic specialist, which can be quite dangerous if not dealt with carefully.


    Of course, the Wu Jen does need to be retouched. The Wu Jen by now exists as a weaker wizard with oriental flavor which can choose a few spells that are more powerful than the norm. The lack of a wider spell list kills it, and thus it never reaches the potential of the Wizard no matter how hard it tries, even if it has Spell Secret and spells like Giant Size and Trascend Mortality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    this will hurt, as you mention, direct damage spells but also reduce the power of Enervation and the "anti-dragon ray")
    Personally, I'd remove all spells that cause negative levels altogether…
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    For the other things that you're going to fix, I suggest lengthening the casting time for the teleport spells to at least a full minute. If the caster wants to escape, Dimension Door is range enough.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Hrm, interesting indeed. I suppose you'll have the mimicing feat to the metapsionic solution come up soon? Barring a Wujen Retool, I think having the option should be in there.

    Also, I think the system may not be fully compatible with Quicken, given the original Rapid Spell's Special section.

    Quote Originally Posted by Complete Divine, Rapid Spell
    Special: A spell can be made rapid and quickened only if its original casting time was 1 full round.
    Since all spells are full rounds unless otherwise noted, how does Quicken fall into this, since you can't seem to Quicken normal spells unless they were already standards (partial spellcaster/some exception territory) or already swift/immediate, which is useless to Quicken, anyways. Was it your intention to have Quicken not be available to the full casters without the Metapsionic mimic mini-chain? Maybe I'm missing something...
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Hrm, interesting indeed. I suppose you'll have the mimicing feat to the metapsionic solution come up soon? Barring a Wujen Retool, I think having the option should be in there.
    Well, of course there is. It DOES require a certain level and two metamagic feats, but it's not as mind-boggling as Psicrystal Containment where you need a psicrystal for the effect to work. In fact, I might consider making a version of said feat for metapsionics that stacks with Psicrystal Containment but provide only partial benefit.

    Also, I think the system may not be fully compatible with Quicken, given the original Rapid Spell's Special section.

    Since all spells are full rounds unless otherwise noted, how does Quicken fall into this, since you can't seem to Quicken normal spells unless they were already standards (partial spellcaster/some exception territory) or already swift/immediate, which is useless to Quicken, anyways. Was it your intention to have Quicken not be available to the full casters without the Metapsionic mimic mini-chain? Maybe I'm missing something...
    Yes, you're missing something. If all spells are meant to be cast as full-round actions unless they're already slower or faster than the norm (a standard action), it is reasonable to think that there should be an alteration for Quicken Spell to work. The language has to change, but Quicken Spell and Rapid Spell can't be used on the same round (thus, you can either cast one spell as a standard action, or two spells as a full-round action by using your swift action as well). Otherwise, it should work on all spells cast as full-round actions; the ones altered to work as full-round actions, as well as those who already ARE full-round actions. Those with 1-round casting times or more are out, so that means you can't Quicken a Summon Monster I-IX spell (though I *might* consider just doing so for the heck of it). But, the idea is that Quicken Spell could be used with the spells as usual, replacing the limitations on full-round spells.

    In fact, the way Quicken is written oddly enough would have allowed Sorcerers to cast spells, but that was scrapped out because of the special limitation. Notice how the spell is written:

    Quote Originally Posted by Quicken Spell description, SRD
    A spell whose casting time is more than 1 full round action cannot be quickened.
    "More than 1 full round action" can imply one of two things: either it includes full round spells (and thus, the ruling is exclusive; move-action spells, standard action spells and full-round action spells can be Quickened but not 1-round spells and further), or it excludes full round spells (thus the ruling is inclusive, as in "more than 1 full round action, including full round action spells"). The original ruling makes that restriction inclusive; the way I intend to handle it makes the restriction exclusive (as in, you can cast spells with full-round action casting times as swift actions, but nothing beyond). It all depends on how you see it, and as I see it, the only reason it doesn't work with full-round actions is because there's a specific restriction for Sorcerers that was applied as a general rule.
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    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    A spell whose casting time is more than 1 full round action cannot be quickened.
    Since 1 full round is no more than 1 full round you can, in fact, quicken 1 full round action spell by RAW.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Have you considered an additional division? For instance:
    • Full-Caster: Spell-List Limit: 0-9, Full-Round-action, or 1-2 rounds;
    • Half-Full: Spell-List Limit: 0-6, a standard or Full Action
    • Half or Half-Empty: Spell-List Limit: 0-5 or 1-5, Swift or Standard Action.

    Edit#1: Out of curiosity, does this variant have any effect for martial adepts, otherwise known as tome of battle classes?
    I'm also anxious to see the latest version of the incantations you plan for this variant in the indeterminable future.
    Last edited by ocel; 2011-08-06 at 05:20 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenno Seremel View Post
    Since 1 full round is no more than 1 full round you can, in fact, quicken 1 full round action spell by RAW.
    I think what was meant in RAW before the Sage clarified and screwed over spontaneous casters, at least in terms of Quickening without shenanigans, was Standard or Full Rounds could be Quickened, 1 rounds (Enlarge Person, Sleep, Summon X, etc.) could not without being Rapid first.

    Anyways, Oskar, I just thought I'd point it out so you can clarify as another special case so as to deal with confusion that rather surrounds Quicken at times.

    Also, I don't agree on not treating Sublime Chords as full casters when Ur Priests are, as they throw around scary amounts of spells without necessarily having to go Bard. Same could be said for Divine Crusader as well, though that's more heavily restricted without other prestige class assistance.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Quote Originally Posted by ocel View Post
    Have you considered an additional division? For instance:
    • Full-Caster: Spell-List Limit: 0-9, Full-Round-action, or 1-2 rounds;
    • Half-Full: Spell-List Limit: 0-6, a standard or Full Action
    • Half or Half-Empty: Spell-List Limit: 0-5 or 1-5, Swift or Standard Action.
    The reason I haven't considered it is because I believe the distinction between a full spellcaster and a partial spellcaster is distinction enough. Partial spellcasters have the ability to use Quicken Spell in a way they can cast two spells at the same round, or use a spell and make a full-round attack action, or cast a spell, move and attack, although they don't get the defensive trait. That would be the rough equivalent of extending the Battle Blessing feat into all partial spellcasters, although not all will be willing to get Quicken Spell for that. Further distinguishing the Bard (and to an extent the Psychic Warrior) from the Half casters (Paladin, Ranger, etc.) and the Full spellcasters (Cleric, Wizard, etc.) might lower a bit more the potential of the Bard. The distinction is also pretty specific (the Bard is the only base class that has this trait, unless you consider PF classes), so making a completely different ruling for a specific class when I could simply fold them into one of the most numerous distinctions would be easier.

    Edit#1: Out of curiosity, does this variant have any effect for martial adepts, otherwise known as tome of battle classes?
    I'm also anxious to see the latest version of the incantations you plan for this variant in the indeterminable future.
    None whatsoever. Martial Adepts are one of the ways martial characters get a much needed boost, so nerf them by forcing their maneuvers to be treated as full-round actions really won't help martial characters.

    As for the incantations, I'll see if I can write about them ASAP. They'll be strikingly different from the UA incantations, because these are meant to be a bit more general (and with potentially worse backlashes).

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Also, I don't agree on not treating Sublime Chords as full casters when Ur Priests are, as they throw around scary amounts of spells without necessarily having to go Bard. Same could be said for Divine Crusader as well, though that's more heavily restricted without other prestige class assistance.
    While I could make it pretty easy, just as the Bard is the point of contention between the Full casters and the Partial casters (since the Bard is right in-between them), the Sublime Chord works the same. Ur-Priests are full spellcasters (much like Apostles of Peace are), but Sublime Chords basically transform the partial spellcasting ability of the character into full spellcasting ability. It's the only class that does IIRC, unless Beholder Mage proves me wrong. Thus, it is a really hard case to adjudicate, because it uses the partial spellcasting ability of the Bard (or the arcane class) and merely serves as an extension. I could work a very specific exception to the rule, in which spells gained through Sublime Chord have to be cast as full-round actions but those acquired from the other class don't, with a caveat based on the accessibility to spell levels (thus, a Bard that somehow can cast 4th level spells may cast 4th level Sublime Chord spells as standard actions, but not 5th level spells; if the Bard then somehow gets the ability to cast its own 5th level spells, then the change happens). Mechanically it should be easy, but it's extremely hard to pull off regarding fluff.

    In the case of Divine Crusader they still get standard action spells because they cast an extremely limited amount of spells (one per spell level, several times). Because it's quite rare to improve that spell list (I dunno how it's ruled on the ICC, but as far as I know you can't apply tricks such as Sand Shaper into the Divine Crusader, because of the text. Even then, the spell list is rather limited and fixed; the most dangerous trick they can really pull off is getting Epic Spellcasting with only 10 levels of casting, and Epic Spellcasting really needs a revision. I won't deny that some domains are causes of concern (a Divine Crusader with the Time domain is frightening because it gains the ability to cast Time Stop, Freedom of Movement and Haste like nobody's business), but the variation between the domains is such that it may not merit providing them the full spellcasting progression; do consider that they also get half CL, something that punishes them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Well I disagree with your assessment on Tome of Battle disciplines, but I respect your opinion regardless of my personal bias towards it... Actually this gives me an idea, is it possible to develop a system similar to exalted charms/martial arts with disciplines, for example create combos, more prequisites & other elements to create a variant sort of like yours only with-meta-magic for maneuvers. Perhaps something with combos?

    Back to the topic of this thread: Your version of incantations seems reasonable. Will we see the spell list expand from the srd, or more specific guidelines for determining spells-worthy of incantations? For instance, books from the spell compendium, or other supplements.
    Last edited by ocel; 2011-08-13 at 09:46 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Quote Originally Posted by ocel View Post
    Well I disagree with your assessment on Tome of Battle disciplines, but I respect your opinion regardless of my personal bias towards it... Actually this gives me an idea, is it possible to develop a system similar to exalted charms/martial arts with disciplines, for example create combos, more prequisites & other elements to create a variant sort of like yours only with-meta-magic for maneuvers. Perhaps something with combos?
    Let's expand a bit.

    Warblade, arguably one of the better classes and the one ToB class that's almost purely mundane, has Diamond Mind, Iron Heart (its one exclusive discipline), Stone Dragon, Tiger Claw and White Raven. The Warblade is the only class that can take by class progression alone the only two problem maneuvers out there (Iron Heart Surge and White Raven Tactics), but those are mostly wide rulings on what the skills SHOULD do. Placing a limit on which skills can Iron Heart Surge remove, and specify that you can't get another action with White Raven Tactics (only give it to an ally). Aside from that, the Warblade is pretty solid, not overwhelming.

    Swordsage, the class with the worst/best recovery mechanic (the given one is made of suck, but they have all the excuses for Adaptive Style which is the best), has Desert Wind (exclusive, plus one of the two "supernatural" disciplines), Diamond Mind, Setting Sun (exclusive, yet mundane), Shadow Hand (the last exclusive, and the second "supernatural"), Stone Dragon and Tiger Claw. As you can see, they can't get the two problem maneuvers (Iron Heart Surge and White Raven Tactics), but they get the stuff that normally martial characters would dream of (miss chances, invisibility, teleportation, flight, etc.) The ways they get them are pretty limited (Holocaust Cloak is more like Levitate rather than Fly, invisibility maneuver lasts for 1 turn, teleportation maneuver starts as standard action and then it's meant to improve and also has a 50 ft. limit), so limiting them furthermore seems like insulting to the one class that can keep up with casters up to an extent (and remember, all moves are 1/encounter until they recharge it, and they require a whopping full-round action to recover any maneuver, whether their own recovery maneuver or Adaptive Style).

    Crusader, the one with the wonkiest (and arguably the best) recovery mechanic, has only THREE disciplines; Devoted Spirit (their exclusive discipline), Stone Dragon and White Raven. By progression they have access only to ONE of the problem maneuvers (White Raven Tactics), and probably ONE problem stance (Immortal Fortitude, but that's more mundane than magical; by the way, a caster can do this at 9th level with Delay Death + Beastland Ferocity). Devoted Spirit is a discipline that borders on supernatural (because of the healing), but most of the tactics are limited to alignment, so having such a move like Strike of Righteous Vitality done as a full-round action limits their usefulness. Aside from that, they're pretty alright; I mean, their maneuvers are randomized every turn, so they probably won't have access to their maneuver at the moment they want to.

    Against a caster of the same level, the martial adepts are decent but not overwhelming. A Swordsage may pull off some impressive moves, but the caster has access to stuff like True Seeing, Blindsight (for Clerics and Druids), Arcane Sight (perfect for when the creature has magic items, which by 4th-5th level will be 100% of the times), Trace Teleport and Teleport Trap, amongst other spells. The caster can prepare a general, or specific, method to deal with any martial adept; what the martial adept can do is find a way to remain competitive despite the...oh, wait, unless they get to fly, the caster wins. Because no maneuver is ranged aside from Lightning Throw (yay for Warblades!) or a Desert Wind maneuver (yay for Sword...wait, fire resistance. Did I mention all full casters get Resist Energy at 3rd level, and that such a benefit improves with level?). Casters get to Fly at 5th level.

    So, making all standard action maneuvers full-round actions for the martial adept classes really hinders their utility, as they'll be forced to find ways to move as a swift action or else suffer. Because all maneuvers except a few are melee, they NEED to move in order to engage their enemy; what they get is a moderate boost to their damage. Some 1st level powers are really good (Sapphire Nightmare Blade, Clinging Shadow Strike, Shadow Blade Technique) and some stances are pretty nice (Punishing Stance, Blood in the Water), but others are only decent. Burning Blade, mind you, is a boost, not a strike, so making it a move or standard action is preposterous.

    As for "metaboosts"...well, the very concept of a boost is to improve not just your melee attacks but your maneuvers. Time Stands Still (a 9th level maneuver that ALREADY is a full-round action) plus Girallon Windmill Flesh Rip seems intimidating, but it's nothing at 17th level, and it consumes two maneuvers. That is a very simple combo, much like Pouncing Charge + Raging Mongoose, or TSS + Blood in the Water stance + high crit weapons (the damage begins to increase bit by bit), or any charge technique + Leading the Charge, or Flanking Maneuver + Tactics of the Wolf, or Clinging Shadow Strike/Obscuring Shadow Veil/Ghost Blade + Assassin's Stance... The current system already provides for such combos, but are limited in execution with one strike/one boost or counter. Martial Arts Combos as per Exalted are overwhelming, but exist on a different plane from maneuvers; since you need to expend Motes (and sometimes Willpower) to activate all charms at once, plus add all your boosts at once (such as the Perfections, which are essentially vanilla boosts) which costs more Motes, you can end up with abilities you can only use once per day (or worse, depending on your Mote regeneration). This can't be done with abilities that recharge by encounter, only with abilities usable per day and...well, that's exactly what led to 4e. Exalted isn't really the best way to handle D&D; sure, some epics are to be there, but in Exalted, you're already better than a 20th level D&D character by virtue of being a demigod throwing the laws of physics out (or rather, ignoring the base ones and working with the higher-end of the same laws). A 1st level D&D character, not even a magician, can compare with what an Exalted character can do right after character creation; a 20th level D&D character reaches only a bit of what an Exalted character can face at character creation, and then you add stuff like Abyssals or Infernals or Fair Folk...that's not really funny. An epic wizard may have a chance to beat a Neverborn or Yozi...if they don't start first. And quite probably, Time Stop is worth nothing to a single charm that might cost only 1-3 motes.

    Back to the topic of this thread: Your version of incantations seems reasonable. Will we see the spell list expand from the srd, or more specific guidelines for determining spells-worthy of incantations? For instance, books from the spell compendium, or other supplements.
    Maaaybe. SRD is mostly the easiest thing to fix, and where the most broken spells are (Gate, Wish, Miracle, Shapechange, etc.) Some spells are based on core spells, so they get indirectly fixed (for example, if I were to work on Tenser's Transformation, that would indirectly affect Nightstalker's Transformation and Mental Pinnacle as well). The guidelines are pretty extensive, so there's little need to expand them; exceptions, of course, are to be noted. The goal thus far is to deal with the problem SRD spells, rather than go any further; then, I can deal with problem spells of other places (Celerity, Consumptive Field, the Delay Death + Beastland Ferocity combo) bit by bit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    This doesn't fix the problem. Black Tentacles, Solid Fog, Web, Glitterdust, even Grease make no sense as incantations but are still battle-changers. Haste, Prayer, Righteous Wrath of the Faithful, and other multi-target short duration buffs also don't generally make sense as invocations due to their short duration and they also have a large effect on battles. Damage spells are more attractive since metamagic is cheaper and easier, but without fixing the spell lists you can't fix the caster v noncaster disparity. This does make it harder to make a wizard with his own army via Planar Binding who is resistant/immune to many things/everything due to layers of buffs, but it doesn't address the root problem: spellcasters have more options than non-spellcasters.

    I do like your metamagic change, though it does make spellcasters more powerful.

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    Hmm, I'll find time to read this whole thing (that's a lot text).

    I have started thinking about a magic fix that would involve treating all spells as "objects." Some of them might count as weapons wielded by the caster, others might count as creatures themselves. They'd all have hit points, etc, etc. Then with feats/class abilities open them up to grapples, disarms, sunder, etc, etc.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Quote Originally Posted by Glimbur View Post
    This doesn't fix the problem. Black Tentacles, Solid Fog, Web, Glitterdust, even Grease make no sense as incantations but are still battle-changers. Haste, Prayer, Righteous Wrath of the Faithful, and other multi-target short duration buffs also don't generally make sense as invocations due to their short duration and they also have a large effect on battles. Damage spells are more attractive since metamagic is cheaper and easier, but without fixing the spell lists you can't fix the caster v noncaster disparity. This does make it harder to make a wizard with his own army via Planar Binding who is resistant/immune to many things/everything due to layers of buffs, but it doesn't address the root problem: spellcasters have more options than non-spellcasters.

    I do like your metamagic change, though it does make spellcasters more powerful.
    Sure, but it does address part of the problem. It's impossible (or rather, improbable) to make an easy fix working only with part of the system. As mentioned, spells with short durations or spells that are battle-changers can't make sense as incantations, but they may be dealt with in another way. By all means this isn't the only part of the ruling; it is but a part of the whole. A gestalt solution, if you may.

    However, to an extent, it does solve a few things. One of the big problems with the spellcaster is that if it can't do it on its own, it can summon a creature to do so. In this case, it's a bit more cost-effective to have a henchman than to summon the creature, or have an ally that can deal with some of the situations on its own. It can't solve everything because of how the spell system is written; in another attempt to fix, I mentioned that tackling the magic system in order to deal with spellcasters would require creating a new system from scratch, and this is a first step to that. The solution has to be integrated; the challenge is to make it modular (that it can exist on its own and solve something while keeping another which you consider fine and well.

    At its extent, spells as incantations deal with a minor, but considerable, deal of problem spells. Increasing the casting time of full spellcasters' spells deals a huge hit to action economy. Both are quite encompassing, but they aren't solutions on their own; however, because some people are used to dealing with things a different way, they may enjoy one part of the fix (as you mention with the metamagic alterations) but not the other (spells as incantations, which you dislike on terms of "not being enough" and "unable to deal with the other problem spells" and "not offering mundanes enough things"). I can't solve giving mundanes enough things by means of reducing magic to near-nothingness; I can make what mundanes DO have a bit more useful than the magic equivalent; to give mundanes more things to play with, it requires revamping the skills and feats to allow them to do so, and that, once again, equals making a new system.

    So yes, I understand it can't fix everything. But, being aware I share that point, does it do something reasonable in terms of reducing the power of spellcasters? I can't ask you if it's enough (certainly to you it isn't) but if it's reasonable enough. It allows those spells to remain in game, but it allows the DM greater control over them; a DM could simply make a banlist, but some spells may be necessary for other classes to keep up OR to solve certain situations. That, alongside how spellcasting is intertwined with the entire system, requires creative solutions rather than serious removals. Taking Tier 1 classes out of the game does quite a lot, but Tier 2 classes still remain; taking that still keeps Tier 3 classes, but some options are left out from the wealth of things that the game offers because those options are left out.

    As a final point: that doesn't mean other spells won't be dealt with. They just won't be dealt as incantations. BUT, and this is a big word on purpose, they can be treated differently. Haste is a formidable buff, but if you consider its effect, it works better on the meatier classes than on them (the bonus to speed is great, but if they can't move then it's pointless to have such a great boost to speed; furthermore, the +1 bonus to AC is kinda meh, while martial characters get an extra attack which they may exploit differently, such as allowing an extra grapple or trip with one of your iteratives and then the subsequent attack.

    As for metamagic: do consider that they're limited to a single metamagic. As per the current rules, you can't Maximize AND Empower AND cast the spell as a standard action; it requires you to choose between one of the three, and with some heavy feat expenditure between two of the three (the only way would be with Metamagic Rods, and that WILL eat your WBL and make you dependent on magic items as much, if not more, than the mundanes). It makes metamagic a bit more attractive, but less powerful on average; two spells as a full-round action at 1st level may be a cause of concern, but you're screwed if the opponents have reach because not even a 5-foot step will save you from the attacks of opportunity; remember that casting on the defensive freely no longer exists. It does require a more tactical application of said abilities, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drachasor View Post
    I have started thinking about a magic fix that would involve treating all spells as "objects." Some of them might count as weapons wielded by the caster, others might count as creatures themselves. They'd all have hit points, etc, etc. Then with feats/class abilities open them up to grapples, disarms, sunder, etc, etc.
    Hmm...sorta like Incarnum? Wait...Sense Motive: [roll]1d20+2[/roll] I have no clue why my sarcasm detector is beeping like if it was very happy or something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebrandtoluc View Post
    My friend is currently playing a paladin. It's way outside his normal zone. I told him to try to channel Santa Claus, Mr. Rogers, and Kermit the Frog. Until someone refuses to try to get off the naughty list. Then become Optimus Prime.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Quote Originally Posted by T.G. Oskar View Post
    Hmm...sorta like Incarnum? Wait...Sense Motive: [roll]1d20+2[/roll] I have no clue why my sarcasm detector is beeping like if it was very happy or something.
    I am I guess sort a kinda (I've never actually read much of the Incarnum book).

    I meant more like:
    DM: The Enemy Wizard casts fireball on you
    Fighter: I attack it as a reaction using my Everything Dies ability <rolls> 23!
    DM: That hits
    Fighter: 25 damage
    DM: Ok, that kills it, so it does no damage. [Though perhaps it would just weaken it or whatever).

    Though perhaps Finger of Death would be better spell example.

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    Granted, although your explanation only entices me to tinker with Tome of Battle's mechanics in the indeterminable future, perhaps, we could work together on such a project? Although perhaps it is for the best we don't lest we unmake what all, alright most, have worked for each homebrew...balance. Edit: ok that is not the only thing but it is still one of the aspirations for homebrew.

    Anyway, I wouldn't mind testing the mechanics of your spell-casting variant on a side campaign when most of the incantations are inscribed. I'm willing to play conceptual tennis with you on the campaign's premise if you wish.
    Edit: Ah I almost forgot: Will we see Incantations for other forms of casting, including but not limited to psionics & invocations?
    Last edited by ocel; 2011-08-15 at 11:38 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Quote Originally Posted by ocel View Post
    Granted, although your explanation only entices me to tinker with Tome of Battle's mechanics in the indeterminable future, perhaps, we could work together on such a project? Although perhaps it is for the best we don't lest we unmake what all, alright most, have worked for each homebrew...balance. Edit: ok that is not the only thing but it is still one of the aspirations for homebrew.

    Anyway, I wouldn't mind testing the mechanics of your spell-casting variant on a side campaign when most of the incantations are inscribed. I'm willing to play conceptual tennis with you on the campaign's premise if you wish.
    Edit: Ah I almost forgot: Will we see Incantations for other forms of casting, including but not limited to psionics & invocations?
    Thus far, since Incantations would basically cover all spells and most psionic powers are basically duped spells, there would be little need for purely psionic incantations. There may be one or two powers, though, that may need a sweeping.

    As for invocations, those will remain untouched, as they are very few. They're best deal with a revision to the class itself, rather than a wider sweep, since most of the invocations are pretty lacking (I have issues with those that last 24 hours, since you'll get a huge boon but only use them once or twice per day, which kinda beats the "at-will" point.)

    Maneuver-wise, if you wish to deal with "metaboosts" or a similar trait, that I best leave to you. I find maneuvers to be pretty decent as they introduce to martial characters what they lack the most (variety), but that doesn't mean you'll necessarily agree. I'd rather deal with expanding those options, probably by creating splinter schools based off the base nine schools (much like how a school of combat can have several minor schools that teach the same principles but add a few unique moves).
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Finally got around to reading the Incantation post (When you update reserved posts, it's helpful to post that you did, as update emails only tell you about new posts, not changed ones...) and I can't wait to see what you do with the new incantation revisions and problem spells. I see the Teleport line making the list (though I wonder how that'll affect Wayfarer Guides...), as well as Legend Lore, Commune and the other major divinations.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Alternate Rules: (NE)w (R)ules for (F)ull spellcasters!

    Fair enough, I shall play-test your incantations when you've finished writing them all; & send a report & transcript of the sessions proceedings, along with other alerts.
    Last edited by ocel; 2011-08-23 at 06:57 PM.

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