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    Default Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    Well, it would seem that everyone and their grandmother has created a spellcasting nerf so I figured that I might as well get a piece of the action. Though this uses mechanics that may be like other fixes, I think that Iíve given it a pretty unique twist. Though there are a few details that Iíll cover in this post, the core of this fix rests in three very simple steps:

    Step 1: Spellcasting is Difficult: This variant generally does away with the notion that spellcasting is as simple as a snap of your fingers and a magic word. Instead, arcane casting is a delicate and exacting process while divine casting may involve lengthy prayers, vows, and/or supplications. With this variant, every spell and spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 minute/spell level (unless its normal casting time is longer). This length can be increased through the use of metamagic feats. The casting time of orisons and cantrips are unchanged unless their spell levels are increased.

    Step 2: Spell Points: But RoC, you may be screaming as you grab for pitchforks, this variant makes spellcasters utterly worthless on a battlefield. That, I would answer while cowering beneath my table, is what spell points are for. For every level that you have in a class that grants spellcasting or spell-like abilities (whether or not you have access to such abilities yet), you gain two spell points. For each level you possess in other classes, you gain a single spell point.

    When you start casting a spell or spell-like ability, you may spend a number of spell points equal to the spellís level (this amount may be increased by metamagic feats). If you do, the casting time is reduced to the spellís normal casting time or 1 round/spell level, whichever is higher. For each additional spell point you spend as you start casting the spell or spell-like ability, you may reduce the casting time by an additional round to a minimum of 1 round or the spellís normal casting time, whichever is higher.

    All spent spell points are regained after receiving 8 hours of rest or sleep, though this can only be done once per 24-hour period.

    Step 3: Spell Cancellation: As a free action, a spellcaster in the midst of casting a spell may cancel the casting. The spell (or spell slot) is not expended and you regain any spell points spent as you began casting that sepll.

    Additional Rules and Notes:
    Although the basics of the system are written above, DnD is a vast game and so a certain amount of additional rules are necessary to make this variant truly compatible with the rest of DnD.

    Spell Points and High Ability Scores: If a character has a mental ability score above 11, they gain bonus spell points equal to their highest mental ability score modifier. These points are spent lasts, meaning that you lose points if your ability scores should be damaged. If your highest mental ability modifier is increased, you do not gain additional spell points until you next regain your spell points.

    Spell Points and Casting Defensively: Though it may seem a bit odd, the rules for defensive spellcasting arenít being changed (thatís a job for another fix). The simple fact that enemies have longer to hit you and disrupt your spells in most conditions (see below) is a move in the right direction.

    Spell Points and Metamagic Feats: As mentioned above, applying metamagic feats can increase the casting time of a spell and the number of spell points that must be spent to reduce its duration. In addition, you must spend a single spell point every time you apply a metamagic feat to a spell in order to do so, whether the metamagic is applied while preparing the spell or while casting it.

    Spell Points and Magic Items: When using spell-completion and spell-trigger items such as wands, staves, and scrolls, the amount of time needed to activate the item increases as though casting the spell, though the user can spend their spell points to reduce this duration as always.

    Items that require actions to activate in other ways (such as potions and items that require command words, mental commands, and/or physical manipulation to activate) can be activated in the normal amount of time. To activate such an item, however, you must spend a number of spell points equal to half of its caster level (rounded up) when doing so.

    Items that provide constant benefits (such as bags of holding, bracers of resistance, or rings of evasion) arenít affected by this system. Items that are triggered into activation without spending any additional action (such as contingent spells and effects that trigger automatically with a successful attack or critical hit), however, do not exist and canít be crafted when using this system.

    Spell Points and RHD/LA: You gain spell points equal to the sum of your RHD and the LA of your race (or twice that if you possess racial spells or spell-like abilities). For each template you possess, you gain spell points equal to its LA (or twice that if it grants spells or spell-like abilities).

    Spell Points and ďfastĒ spells: Spells with a casting time of 1 swift action or 1 immediate action can be used with this variant, as can the quicken spell feat. To use such spells, however, you must spend enough spell points to reduce its casting time to 1 round.

    Spell Points and level-less effects: If a spell or spell-like ability has no spell level (such as the ability of fiends to summons others of their kind), treat the spell level of the ability as equal to half of its caster level (rounded up, maximum 9th).

    Contingent Spell Effects: Spells that have contingent effects at a later time such as Contingency, Death Pact, and Fortunate Fate function normally in this variant. The initial casting of such spells, naturally has its casting time increased as normal for this variant.

    Miscellaneous Notes:
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    What This Fix Doesnít Do:
    • This fix doesnít fix what spellcasters can do in their downtime (whether they choose to ruin economies with walls of iron or break WBL with crafting).
    • This fix doesnít stop spellcasters from going off of the rails (they can still contact other planes to ruin your mysteries, planeshift when they get bored of your plot, and so forth).
    • This fix doesnít stop the 15-minute work-day (rope trick works just as well as it always has) if the sheer ridiculousness of a 15-minute workday doesnít stop such a situation from emerging.
    • This fix doesnít stop broken spells in any direct way (polymorph any object, shapechange, wish loops, and so forth are still OP).


    What this fix DOES do (at least in theory): This fix is intended to do one thing and I personally think that it does so relatively well. Namely, it is aimed at making sure that an average spellcaster doesnít end up doing everyoneís job in a normal day of adventuring. By making spell points a valuable resource, the idea is that it will often make more sense for team mates to handle more jobs rather than having the spellcaster waste spell points.

    For example, consider the common spell knock. In most cases, the knock spell has been known to make the open lock skill entirely obsolete. Now that knock has a casting time of 20 minutes, however, it makes a lot more sense to let the Rogue at least take a try at that lock (or even take 20) before you waste a bunch of time on it. Even if you spend 3 spell points on it to lower its duration to 1 round (thatís half the spell points that a level 3 wizard would have, for reference), the full-round action of an open lock check is still faster and far less wasteful. Only if you spend 11 spell points for a quickened knock spell (over 1/4th of what a level 20 spellcaster can do) would you have any chance of being faster than that rogue. The knock spell still has a place, of course (if a rogue is unavailable/unconscious/dead, the lock is too complex for the rogue, or you really need to make sure that you get through on your first try), but the open lock skill is suddenly a very good alternative.

    As a second example, letís consider the DMM cleric who loads herself up with persisted buffs to out-fight the party fighter. First, the metamagic rules of this variant means that you are still charged a spell point for every persisted spell you cast, no matter what. Next, this DMM cleric is forced to choose between keeping herself and her entire party still for hours while she buffs herself each day or blowing a lot more spell points in order to let the party proceed (limiting the clericís ability to respond to danger later on in the day and, among many things, actually heal people who desperately need it).

    While spellcasters with this variant are still the only people who can utterly break reality and they are technically capable of doing anything, they are often better served by letting teammates fill in whenever they can so the spellcaster can save resources for combat and other close calls.

    FAQ 1: Why do you grant spell points to non-spellcasters?
    1. It makes multiclassing and gish builds in general a bit more attractive.
    2. It allows non-spellcasters to utilize magic items in a way that seems pretty fair.

    FAQ 2: On that note, why do you need to spend spell points to activate certain items?
    Well, when I started writing up how magic items would work, it was obvious to me that staves/wands/scrolls would work as though you were casting the spell, which was easy enough. I quickly realized, however, that accounting for other effects like command words and potions would require another tact. It wouldnít make much sense to make a potion of cure light wounds or dust of invisibility take a while to kick in but giving such effects no cost whatsoever would inspire everyone to custom craft command word items for everything. Putting in a spell point cost seemed like a decent compromise.

    FAQ 3: As spellcasters have more spell points, doesnít this mean that they can use the most items?
    I think that I can see where you are going with this question and I donít think you have cause for concern. While its true that spellcasters have more spell points to activate magic items with (which kind of makes sense), these are the very same spell points that they need to reserve for their normal spells. If anything, the non-spellcasters who donít have any other use for their spell points gain the most use out of these items.

    FAQ 4: How does this work with other magic systems?
    Well, if you are using essentia, binding, or truenaming (Pelor help you), your mechanics are entirely unchanged by this system.

    Artificers gain spell points at the same rate as spellcasters and invocation-users fall into this fix pretty nicely as they utilize spell-like abilities.

    If using shadow magic, your gain spell points at the same rate as a spellcaster and your spells/spell-like abilities function normally for this variant. Your supernatural abilities, however, regain their original casting time of 1 standard action (giving the class a bit more bite).

    As far as psionics... proceed at your own risk. This system theoretically could be adapted to psionics with minimal alteration (perhaps granting mind points). If you do so, however, you'll end up with two separate pools of points (power points and mind points) and that might be a headache waiting to happen.

    FAQ 5: What precisely do you mean by ďItems that are triggered into activation without spending any additional actionĒ?
    Oh god, I saw this one coming. Unfortunately, I donít have a precise definition to what this is (and would appreciate better wording) but I can probably give a bit more illumination.

    Giving a bonus to damage with a successful hit isnít counted as being triggered even though it only comes up when you hit a foe. Similarly, increasing a critical multiplier or threat range doesnít count even though it only rarely comes up. Most other effects that you could add to a weapon on a successful hit (knocking them back, causing fear, fatiguing them, giving them disease), however, probably do count.

    This line of text was intended to prevent players from trying to load up on contingent spells or from making custom items that release buffs/debuffs either on a time release or whenever some trivial condition is met.

    If anyone can help me get this text to actually do what I want it to do, I would be very much obliged.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2011-08-18 at 09:20 PM.
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    Now RoC, you are a wonderful homebrewer, but does this fix not make it so that Spellcasters are utterly worthless on the battlefield? I mean, those spell points help, but you're limited to doing 2 spells at level one. You have made the 15-minute work day become the 1 minute work day. Perhaps have spell points regenerate ala Tome of Battle?
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    This system still makes them nearly worthless. Casting a 9th level spell requires you spend 18 spell points to make it 1 round casting time. A 20th level Wizard in this system will only have 40 spell points. BOOM! Half your "fast casting" ability in a single spell. I know casters are broken but gimping them to 2 or 3 spells per day (effectivly) is overkill.
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lord View Post
    Now RoC, you are a wonderful homebrewer, but does this fix not make it so that Spellcasters are utterly worthless on the battlefield? I mean, those spell points help, but you're limited to doing 2 spells at level one. You have made the 15-minute work day become the 1 minute work day. Perhaps have spell points regenerate ala Tome of Battle?
    As this fix was made to limit what spellcasters do both inside and outside of battle, it seems that a regeneration method would be kind of be self-defeating.

    The variant puts most casters at about the level of a shadowcaster as far as level 1 spell access and as (a) the shadowcaster is still a high tier 3/low tier 2 class and (b) other spellcasters technically have more spell access (albeit spells reserved for slow utility), I'm not too worried about spellcasting at large becoming worthless.

    Mesidoomstalker: Who is forcing those wizards to use their most powerful spells? Who is forcing them to get them out in a single round when 2 or 3 or even 4 rounds may be possible within the course of a battle? If you play this variant with a traditional spellcaster mindset (use the biggest toys to win everything this moment), yeah, you'll run out of spell points in a snap. The point of this variant is to discourage such a mindset. With this variant, you are not and can not play Merlin Gandalf, King of the Tippyverse.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2011-08-17 at 09:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    I think it works well, but only if players can get it into their heads that fast casting is an emergency measure. I think it might be better to do a different scale of casting time. For example, an amount of minutes equal to ((spell level^2)/2) minutes (cantrips being half the duration of 1st level) would result in the following:
    0th: 3 rounds
    1st: 5 rounds
    2nd: 2 minutes
    3rd: 5 minutes
    etc... (I need to log off now, so this may or may not be completed. Math isn't too hard.)

    This would result in low-level spells being easier, and high-level being very complicated rituals.
    Last edited by Qwertystop; 2011-08-17 at 12:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    Ok, so, what this does is make spellcasters out-of-combat characters with only a handful of viable combat rounds per day. This would be akin to saying that all sneak attacks take 6 rounds of study to pull off, but you can use a sneak point (of which you get 1/die of sneak attack you have/day) to sneak attack normally for a round, which is just silly sounding.

    I like the idea, actually, but the 10 min/spell level default time is harsh. If it scaled up as you leveled, I would be much more supportive. I propose the following scale for default casting times:

    0th-1st: As normal.
    2nd-4th: As normal, or 1 round/level, whichever is higher.
    5th-7th: As normal, or 1 minute/level, whichever is higher.
    8th-9th: As normal, or 10 minutes/level, whichever is higher.

    (It could also go 0-1 are normal, 2-5 1 min/lvl, 6-9 10 min/lvl, but I like the above gradation better)

    All other changes are as above. This lets blasters still matter, makes combat less of a "well I hate my life now thanks" chore, and still keeps the feel of all the powerful stuff being high casting times. Thoughts?

    All that I say applies only to myself. You author your own actions and choices. I cannot and will not be responsible for you, nor are you for me, regardless of situation or circumstance.

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    For the Spell Points, you could establish a "Spell Point Reserve" equal to 1/level for casters or 1/2levels for non-casters. Have them transfer points from the Spell Point Reserve at a rate of 1/minute, and you still have a nice restriction (essentially, they aren't penalized as much over the course of the day, but ARE in actual combat.)
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    I think this fix actually makes the Shadowcaster look impressive. I think the Shadowcaster is ~tier 5.

    And yes, this fix does limit the spellcaster to only 2-3 spells each day. Not everyone plays at 20th level, and mid-level casters are stuck between choosing two useful spells or five weak first level spells as their only options.

    There isn't much point to saying "spending spell points equal to the spell level reduces it to one round or the spells casting time, whichever is higher" and then turning around and saying "spells with a casting time of less than one round take only their regular casting time if reduced to one round". Just say that spending spell points equal to the spell level reduces the spell to the standard casting time. I can't see a situation where it happens otherwise.

    You talk of preparing spells; are there still spell slots in this variant?
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    I think this fix actually makes the Shadowcaster look impressive. I think the Shadowcaster is ~tier 5.
    It's a full caster and it has the potential for theurgic casting with double 9s. Shadowcasters aren't a tier 5 class even if they act that way at times.

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    And yes, this fix does limit the spellcaster to only 2-3 spells each day. Not everyone plays at 20th level, and mid-level casters are stuck between choosing two useful spells or five weak first level spells as their only options.
    Oh really? At 10th level, you possess 20 spell points and have access to 5th level spells. Even if you insist on casting only 5th level spells, you can easily get 4 such castings if you allow each casting to last 5 rounds. If you use a combination of spells from different spell levels, you can easily get 8 or 9 spells out before you run out of gas.

    Also, your dichotomy falls flat as it assumes that a caster wants to get a spell effect out there every single round. In this variant, casting a spell in 1 round is the exception rather than the rule. Furthermore, it has been shown time and time again that a very good number of low-level spells retain usefulness even into higher levels (wings of cover, shiverring touch, invisibility, silence, web, baleful transposition, fly, haste, grease, true casting, etc.).



    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    There isn't much point to saying "spending spell points equal to the spell level reduces it to one round or the spells casting time, whichever is higher" and then turning around and saying "spells with a casting time of less than one round take only their regular casting time if reduced to one round". Just say that spending spell points equal to the spell level reduces the spell to the standard casting time. I can't see a situation where it happens otherwise.
    ...I'm not sure that I see what you're saying.

    For most spells, you can reduce the casting time down to 1 round. If you pay a spell point to cast magic missile, it takes an entire round to cast (like a summon monster spell) and getting hit can disrupt it.

    For spells like swift invisibility, feather fall, or celerity, however, reducing the duration to 1 round instead allows you to use its normal casting time (thus allowing you to use the spell as intended) and is in fact mandatory. This is an exception to the above rule.

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    You talk of preparing spells; are there still spell slots in this variant?
    Yes there are still spell slots in this variant. Have I said anything to raise doubt about that?

    New Idea: As spellcasters are being hosed (more than) a bit by this variant (at least) at low levels, I was thinking of giving them bonus points equal to their highest mental ability score. Might this idea help?
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2011-08-17 at 03:44 PM.
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    ...I'm not sure that I see what you're saying.

    For most spells, you can reduce the casting time down to 1 round. If you pay a spell point to cast magic missile, it takes an entire round to cast (like a summon monster spell) and getting hit can disrupt it.

    For spells like swift invisibility, feather fall, or celerity, however, reducing the duration to 1 round instead allows you to use its normal casting time (thus allowing you to use the spell as intended) and is in fact mandatory. This is an exception to the above rule.
    What is the difference between reducing casting time to 1 round - except when it is shorter, in which case it is the shorter duration, and except when it is longer, in which case it is the longer duration - and just reducing casting time to the normal listed duration?

    Both give us the same results, where the casting time becomes what is typically listed instead of 10 min/spell level.
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    What is the difference between reducing casting time to 1 round - except when it is shorter, in which case it is the shorter duration, and except when it is longer, in which case it is the longer duration - and just reducing casting time to the normal listed duration?

    Both give us the same results, where the casting time becomes what is typically listed instead of 10 min/spell level.
    The difference is between your suggested alteration and what I wrote are spells with a casting time of exactly "1 standard action" (AKA 90+% of all spells made), which are purposefully altered by this variant into taking a full round to cast. The difference may be minute but it means giving enemies a full round to disrupt 90+% of spells and so it ends up as a pretty big deal over all, even though your wording would take up less space.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2011-08-17 at 04:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    Hrm.. RoC. I like most of your stuff. But this idea is... not fully considered.

    I mean, really, without spending spell points, my 10th-level caster must spend 50 minutes casting summon monster V to get a monster that hangs around for 1 minute. This is such a terrible deal as to be insulting -- what is a medium elemental or a celestial sea cat going to do in one minute's time that could possibly be worth the trouble I just went through? It's obvious that I'd only ever cast my summon monster V if I was spending spell points for a rapid cast. Likewise, I'm not going to settle for the "basic" casting time of 5 rounds when I spend 5 spell points -- 5 rounds of combat could easily be over an hour of game time, and it's just not fun to spend an hour watching the other guys have fun while I say "I keep casting summon monster". Likewise, standing still and casting for 5 rounds in combat creates the overwhelming likelihood that either a) I will be dead, because the enemy walked up to me and beat on me for 5 rounds while I was standing there casting, or b) the combat will be over or nearly over before I finish my spell, making my spell either of minimal benefit or entirely useless, or c) both A and B. No, the only circumstance under which it's reasonable to cast summon monster V is if I spend 8 or 9 spell points to reduce the spell's casting time to 1 or 2 rounds.

    Punitive spellcasting times constitute a stealth-ban. Stealth-bans are bad. What you're really aiming to do here is drastically reduce the number of spells that a caster uses per day, and ban spell completion and spell trigger items as a means of inflating that count. Cut out the spellpoint middleman and make it so. It seems you could make your variant simpler by distilling it down to this:

    "Casting a spell or spell-like ability and using spell completion or spell trigger items requires a number of spell points equal to (spell level * 2 - 1). Classes that grant spellcasting advancement, dragons, outsiders and fey gain 2 spell points per hit die, while other classes and monster types gain 1 spell point per hit die. A character who is unable to pay the spell point cost is unable to produce the effect."

    You could also probably get a similar effect with even less bookkeeping by cutting all spellcasting classes down to a maximum of 2 spells per day of each spell level they can cast, with no opportunity to earn bonus spells. It would be simpler.

    I'm not saying any other these options would be workable, unfortunately. Just simpler.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-08-17 at 05:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    Meh... I'll gladly admit that I didn't quite think this one through. Like most of my best and worst ideas, this was the result of a 10-minute brainstorm. I'll defend my ideas to a certain extent but when you blow me out of the water so clearly and precisely, yeah, it was probably a nutty idea.

    One thing that I remember hearing every once in a while is that in an older version of D&D (I don't know if it was 1st or 2nd edition), casting even common-place spells could take many rounds to do and that this was one of the many reasons why wizards were somewhat more balanced back then.

    I started playing in 3e, though, so I don't know many of the details (I'd be glad if someone could inform me) but I wondered why no fixes I've seen ever revisited this potential method of balancing spells. Spellpoints were introduced to give spellcasters a similar role to blasters in shadowrun (an emergency kill-switch, as it were) rather than making them the kings-of-all-trades that D&D wizards are expected to be.

    From a gamist perspective, however, I guess I can see how the role of kill-switch (waiting until the last minute to do anything) could be considered even worse than a heal-bot (which is certainly saying something, if not screaming it).

    Most of my stuff is decently-well considered but I throw stuff like this out here once in a while and sometimes it seems to work (some people seem to like my wound multiplier) while sometimes it doesn't (such as a tier 1 base class without spellcasting). Don't hesitate to rip me a new one if you see an idea that just doesn't work as it frees me up to start on something new.

    Some of us brewers take a lot of pride in their balanced, quality homebrew. I take pride in trying new things, whether they end up working or not (though I'll be counting on you guys for support in telling me which is which).
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2011-08-17 at 06:30 PM.
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    One thing that I remember hearing every once in a while is that in an older version of D&D (I don't know if it was 1st or 2nd edition), casting even common-place spells could take many rounds to do and that this was one of the many reasons why wizards were somewhat more balanced back then.
    Its been a few years, but I'll try to recall what I can...someone with a fresher memory may chime in at any time.

    Initiative and actions in 2nd Edition (I believe it started in 2nd) was determined by your die roll, your Dex modifier, and your Weapon Speed/Casting Time. I believe (again, its been years) that you also rolled a new Initiative after your actions were resolved. As such, you may take two (or more in rarer cases) turns between your opponent's actions.

    If I had my old books out of storage, I'd try and get clearer details on the matter. But the only old stuff I keep handy is OD&D stuff (my personal favorite, even if no one plays it anymore), and a few select Players Option books (2nd edition optional materials with some neat ideas).

    [edit]

    Here's a simple procedure for determining events in AD&D (and by simple, I mean 20 pages). I think that PDF is a great example of why my favorite era is OD&D...
    Last edited by Adamantrue; 2011-08-17 at 07:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    ...The difference may be minute ...
    AAKK! Brainlock! Please don't use "minute" [myNOOT] during a discussion of rounds and "minutes" [minnets].

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    I see that this idea is to just make casters don't go nova every single encounter, but still make them useful the rest of the day. I really like it.

    Need an utility spell. just give me some minutes and I'll have it done.
    Woops, enemy approaching, gotta burn some spell points to quicken it.
    Engaging enemies, casting is harder, gotta burn some more points.

    Suggestions:
    1. Instead of 10 minutes, make 1 minute (10 rounds) for each level (5 minutes for level 0) or the spell's casting time, whichever is longer.
    2. Give more starting spell points. "quickening" only 2 of your strongest spells may be troublesome.
    3. Make "quick casting" out of combat cost only one point per level. It's not as stressing and distracting as in-combat, but the characters may be in a hurry, like when they need to rush some place and the wizard needs to cast Fly in the group.

    If some of these were already addressed, sorry, I need to re-read the whole thing later.

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    Errr... reading back over what I wrote, I really did blow you out of the water there. Sorry. I need to work on my etiquette. And by "work on", I mean completely overhaul and upgrade.

    In 1e and 2e, spells had casting speeds measured in segments. Weapons had weapon speeds, which were basically the same thing. Typically, a spell's casting speed was equal to its level, while weapon speeds varied by the size and deftness of the weapon. Essentially, the spell casting time or weapon speed was a penalty to your initiative check -- you started your action at your initiative count, but finished it it at (count - speed). Casting a slow spell was disadvantageous because a) the bad guys might complete their turns and do bad guy stuff before you could finish, and b) if you got hit while working on your spell, you lost the spell. There was no Concentration check. Since most weapons were faster than most spells, a spellcaster who got mobbed by several melee opponents was basically screwed.
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    I just added three pretty big things to this fix, that should function the way it works:
    1. normal casting time has been reduced to 1 minute/spell level. In this way, casting utility spells outside of combat still takes a while but the extra time shouldn't be too inhibitive.
    2. Everyone gains bonus spell points equal to their highest mental ability score modifier (meaning that low-level casters can actually use their toys).
    3. It is now possible to cancel spellcasting midway through (saving both your spell slot and spell points) if combat ends before you get out a spell.


    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Errr... reading back over what I wrote, I really did blow you out of the water there. Sorry. I need to work on my etiquette. And by "work on", I mean completely overhaul and upgrade.
    But... I was... thanking you.

    I appreciated you being as earnest as you were. Now that I have looked things over again and have altered a few things, however, there is a single point that I'd like to make in rebuttal. Namely, this homebrew has a very unusual balancing point.

    Most attempts at spellcasting nerfs are aimed to help form a middle-ground of sorts between these casters and well-played tier 3 classes/optimized tier 4 classes. The many empowered classes that those like you and T.G. Oskar also seem to work towards this idealized middleground. Taking a look at this fix, however, things work a bit differently.

    If you use this variant and spellcasters optimize, the game breaks as normal as most tippy-verse tactics work as they always would.

    If we use this variant and martial characters optimize, however, the game still breaks. Uberchargers, Tripper Locks, TWF rogues, and well-played ToB will often mean that battles end extremely fast and this forces spellcasters to go nova or else do absolutely nothing in battle.

    If nobody optimizes, however, I oddly think that this thing would work. If your other teammates are a heal-bot cleric, a normal monk or rogue, and a sword-and-board fighter, it becomes suddenly plausible that a battle could last over 5 rounds and that your spells could really come into play.

    That said, I can really understand why low-op games are commonly maligned and why tier 3 in particular has been chosen as the "sweet spot". In low-op games, players end up with fewer options, meaningless combats can take far longer than they need to, and trying to hold yourself down to low-op when you know how awesome you could be with slight tweaks is kind of -inspiring. I think that I can safely count relying on low-op to work as a flaw (or even a fatal flaw) with this variant.

    Even so, some people seem interested in this variant and so I'll do my best to polish this for those who might want it.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2011-08-18 at 09:17 PM.
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    Default Re: Spellcasting Fix: Spell Points with a Twist

    Like trains passing in the night we are, missing each other's meanings.


    You make a good point. IRL, I often get invited to join pick-up games when a group needs an extra player. Gamers in these groups are usually people who are just starting D&D or are playing for old-times sakes after a break of many years. Often even the DM barely grasps the basics of how the game works, and even though I restrict myself to Tier 4 and Tier 5 classes, my character is usually the strongest in the party. We don't often see 'brew here that intentionally self-nerfs a high-tier class for use in casual play, so I think your idea is definitely contributing something valuable.

    Perhaps, though, the casting from round-to-round could be a standard action (like concentrating on a spell) rather than a full-round action. This still gives the spellcaster a decision to make each round (will I move? where will I go?), and creates the opportunity to beat a retreat if threatened by monsters WITHOUT abandoning the spell.
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