A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Default The Wizard and his Familar (3.5/3.PF)

    This is part of my ongoing project to rework the 11 core classes so that they are a little more balanced in terms of both power and versatility. In addition to changing each character class, I've also reworked the functionality of magic and am currently in the process of redoing individual spells. I'm addressing most of the big "nukes" from the magic lists as I come to them, on a one-by-one basis. I have included a brief summary of the changes to magic in the spoilered text here. The full version can be found in my extended sig.
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    Magic in 3.5 was too easy to use, in the sense that there was little if any chance for a spell to fail in the way that an attack or skill check might. Added to this was the fact that many full spellcasting classes could rely largely on a single attribute. To fix these, I made Spellcraft a non-skill stat, like Base Attack Bonus. Your BSB is the inverse of your BAB (i.e., poor BAB characters like wizards and sorceres get the best BSB, equal to their level).
    Each and every time you want to cast a spell you need to make a Spellcraft check. Spells have a chance to fail or "crit", and the chance varies by what kind of magic the caster is using. Wisdom adds to a players Spellcraft bonus, similar to Strength and BAB.
    Intellect determines bonus spells for all casters, and it is easier to get bonus spells at low levels.
    The range for spells has been reduced.
    Every player and monster will have a basic level or Spell Resistance, like they have a basic level of AC. Your various save bonuses add to your SR against spells from certain schools. The DC to cast a spell increases with a spells level (stronger spells are tougher to cast), but targeted and non-targetting spells scale slightly differently so spells that check against SR stay relatively similar in functionality.

    My overall goal is to aim for about tier 3, while also not losing the the flavor and fun and individuality of the seperate classes. Some well-played characters might still feel like low tier 2, and a other poorly built classes might drop to tier 4, but hopefully the difference will be less. I've tried to preserve as much of the wizard as possible, because I know so many people adore the class, and it has huge iconic significance. I've also tried to beef up the familiar class feature a bit, to make it more interesting to use.



    Wizard
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    Like all casters, the wizard relies on Intellect and Wisdom. Due to his low HP, a decent constitution score is also valuable in case the wizard is caught in melee range.

    Alignment
    Any, though most are non-chaotic

    Hit Points at each level
    2+1d2

    Class Skills
    The wizard’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
    Spoiler
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    I've also scripted a skill-fix that makes cross-class skills less painful to take, so the wizard will have somewhere to put his skill points now that Spellcraft is off the table.

    Skill Points at first level
    (2 + Int modifier) Χ4

    Skill Points at Each Additional Level
    2 + Int modifier

    Table: The Wizard and Spells Per Day
    {table=head]Level|BAB|BSB|Fort|Ref|Will |Special|0th|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|+0|+1|+0|+0|+2|Magic Specialization, Familiar|2|1|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—

    2nd|+1|+2|+0|+0|+3|First Additional School|3|2|—|—|—|—|—|—|—|—

    3rd|+1|+3|+1|+1|+3|Spell Mastery|3|2|1|—|—|—|—|—|—|—

    4th|+2|+4|+1|+1|+4|Bonus Metamagic Feat|3|3|2|—|—|—|—|—|—|—

    5th|+2|+5|+1|+1|+4|Second Additional School|4|3|2|1|—|—|—|—|—|—

    6th|+3|+6|+2|+2|+5||4|3|3|2|—|—|—|—|—|—

    7th|+3|+7|+2|+2|+5|Spell Mastery|4|4|3|2|1|—|—|—|—|—

    8th|+4|+8|+2|+2|+6||4|4|3|3|2|—|—|—|—|—

    9th|+4|+9|+3|+3|+6|Bonus Metamagic Feat|5|4|4|3|2|1|—|—|—|—

    10th|+5|+10|+3|+3|+7|Third Additional School|5|4|4|3|3|2|—|—|—|—

    11th|+5|+11|+3|+3|+7|Spell Mastery|5|5|4|4|3|2|1|—|—|—

    12th|+6/+1|+12|+4|+4|+8||5|5|4|4|3|3|2|—|—|—

    13th|+6/+1|+13|+4|+4|+8||5|5|5|4|4|3|2|1|—|—

    14th|+7/+2|+14|+4|+4|+9|Bonus Metamagic Feat|6|5|5|4|4|3|3|2|—|—

    15th|+7/+2|+15|+5|+5|+9|Spell Mastery|6|5|5|5|4|4|3|2|1|—

    16th|+8/+3|+16|+5|+5|+10||6|6|5|5|4|4|3|3|2|—

    17th|+8/+3|+17|+5|+5|+10|Fourth Additional School|6|6|5|5|5|4|4|3|2|1

    18th|+9/+4|+18|+6|+6|+11||6|6|6|5|5|4|4|3|3|2

    19th|+9/+4|+19|+6|+6|+11|Bonus Metamagic Feat, Spell Mastery|6|6|6|5|5|4|4|4|3|2

    20th|+10/+5|+20|+6|+6|+12|Metamagic Mastery|7|6|6|6|5|5|4|4|3|3[/table]

    Class Features

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency
    A wizard is not proficient with any weapons or armor.

    Spells
    A wizard casts arcane spells which are drawn from the sorcerer/wizard spell list. A wizard must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time (see below).

    Like other spellcasters, a wizard can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day, given on the above Table. In addition, he receives bonus spells per day if he has a high Intelligence score.

    Unlike a sorcerer, a wizard may know any number of spells. He must choose and prepare his spells ahead of time by getting a good night’s sleep and spending 1 hour studying his spellbook. While studying, the wizard decides which spells to prepare.

    Magic Specialization
    At first level, a wizard begins his arcane studies by choosing one school of magic to focus on. A wizard may only prepare spells for their daily spell slots from this school, or spells with the Universal designation.

    When casting spells from this school, the wizard gains a +2 bonus to their Spellcraft roll. The bonus increases to +3 at wizard level 8th and +4 at wizard level 15th.

    Spellbooks
    A wizard must study his spellbook each day to prepare his spells. He cannot prepare any spell not recorded in his spellbook.

    A wizard begins play with a spellbook containing up to 30 0-level spells of the wizards choice, up to five 1st-level spells. At each new wizard level, he gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new wizard level) for his spellbook. At any time, a wizard can also add spells found in other wizards’ spellbooks to his own, or research additional new spells.
    Spoiler
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    Researching spells usually takes so much time and energy it precludes adventuring or other tasks. Feel free to make up your own specific rules.

    In my magic fix, the standard spellbook has more pages and spells take up less space, and have some extra fluff explaing why Power Word: Stun requires multiple pages.

    Familiar
    All wizards have a familiar, which is a composed of etheric energy given physical form and endowed with a sliver of it's creator's soul. A familiar is not a servant or companion, it is literally part of the wizard and an extension of the wizard's will.

    The wizard chooses the form his familiar takes at the time it is created (or recreated, if it was destroyed). As the wizard advances in level, his familiar also increases in power.

    If a familiar's physical form is destroyed, the shock deals the wizard 1d4 points per wizard level of untyped, unavoidable but otherwise non-lethal damage. The familiar will reform it's physical body over the next 48 hours, during which the wizard cannot prepare any spells of the highest level to which he has access.
    See next post for more details on a familiar's exact stats.

    Additional Schools of Magic
    At second level, the wizard expands his arcane studies to include more diverse forms of magic. The wizard selects another school for which he may prepare spells for his daily spell slots. Any spells prepared from this school occupy a spell slot one level higher than otherwise indicated. This is not a metamagic effect.
    (for example, if at second level the wizard chooses the school of Conjuration, he must use 1st-level spell slots to prepare any 0-level Conjuration spells)

    At 5th, 10th, and 17th level, a wizard selects one additional school of magic to study; any spells prepared from this school occupy a spell slot one level higher than normal.
    Spoiler
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    So basically, rather than having access to 6, 7, or 8 schools of spells, a high level wizard only gets 5, which admittedly makes them still pretty versatile. A more important difference, I think, is that they will only have access to 9th level spells from one school.

    Spell Mastery
    At 3rd level, a wizard gains Spell Mastery as a bonus feat. The wizard gains an additional Spell Mastery bonus feat every 4 levels after that (7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th).

    Bonus Metamagic Feat
    At 4th level, and every 5 levels thereafter, the wizard gains a bonus metamagic feat. The wizard must still meet all the prerequisites for any feats gained in this manner.

    Metamagic Mastery
    By the time he reaches 20th level, a wizard is an expert at empowering spells and manipulating metamagic effects. When using metamagic to modify any spells for which he has taken the Spell Mastery feat, he may reduce the spell slot adjustment for that spell by one. This effect can only be applied to one metamagic feat per spell prepared.

    In addition, if the wizard has prepared a spell with a metamagic effect, when casting the spell he may, as a free action, switch that metamagic effect with any other metamagic he had learned, provided that the new metamagic effect has an equal or lesser spell slot adjustment. The spell still uses up it's original spell slot.


    Variant Wizards
    Archivist: An Archivist is a wizard who spends his time in both academic study and spiritual comtemplation to unravel the myseries of the divine. This variant is like a normal wizard in all respects, except that he draws his spells from the Cleric Spell list instead of the Sor/Wiz list.

    Wu-Jen: The Wu-Jen are wizards who have a special connection to the natural world and the ebb and flow of the elements. This variant is like a normal wizard in all respects, except that he draws his spells from the Druid Spell list instead of the Sor/Wiz list.

    Hedge-Mage: These self-taught wizards are sometimes looked down upon by their more academic or studious colleagues, though they are plenty capable of holding their own in a contest of magic. Hedge-mages trade more versatile casting for a slower spell progression of fewer spells per day.
    They use the spell-progression chart listed here for half-casters. All of features of the wizard, including spells known, remain the same, with one exception.
    At first level, a hedge-mage may learn and prepare spells from two different schools instead of just one. They gain access to new schools at levels 2, 4, 7, 11, 15, and finally 19, which allows a high-level hedge mage to prepare and cast spells from any school.


    Summary
    The wizard doesn't have as many changes as some of my other fixes, because it's not as disfunctional as some of the melee classes. It usually tends to be unbalanced in the other direction, and a large portion of that is being addressed in my magic fix.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2013-07-22 at 08:59 AM. Reason: typos
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
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    Default Re: The Wizard for a 3.5/3.PF Balance Fix

    The Wizard's Familiar

    A wizard's familiar is formed from magical energy, and endowed with a fragment of the wizard's soul. It usually adopts the shape of a small, nonthreatening creature, which the wizard chooses either at 1st level, or when the familiar reforms after having it's physical form destroyed.
    A familiar is not entirely a seperate being, instead acting as an extension of the wizard's will. A familiar can operate autonomously, but it's goals and desires will always mimic those of the wizard.
    If destroyed, the familiar will reform on it's own, although this drains magical energy from the wizard for a time.
    If the wizard is killed while the familiar is alive, the familiar will not immediately disappear, instead fading away after 1d8-per-level days. The familiar is still bound to their wizard's corpse with a range equal to what they would have had if the wizard was alive. If the wizard's body is destroyed, they are instead bound to the location where he died.

    A familiar is typed as a Native Outsider (meaning it eats, breathes, and sleeps) with the following characteristics:
    • 1/2 as many HP as the Wizard
    • Base attack bonus equal to Ύ the wizards ECL (as cleric).
    • Good Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saves.
    • Skill points equal to (6 + Int modifier, minimum 1) per Hit Die, with quadruple skill points for the first Hit Die
    • Proficient with it's natural weapons and able to use it's Dex modifier in place of Str for attack rolls
    • Tiny size
    • Land based familiars (rat, weasel, cat) have a movement speed of 30 ft. Amphibious familiars (toad, lizard, snake) have a land speed of 20 ft. and a swim speed of 20 ft. Flying familiars (hawk, raven, owl) have a fly speed of 40 ft. with poor manuverability.


    At first level, a familiar must remain within 5 ft. of it's wizard. For each level of wizard you gain, this distance doubles. At 11th level, it becomes equal to 1 mile, and continues to double each level after that (up to a maximum of 500 miles at level 20).

    All familiars start at 1 HD with the following stats: Str 2, Dex 10, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 2.
    The familiar's ability scores each increase by 1 when the wizard reaches levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20.

    The Familiar
    Level Armor Melee Special
    1-2 +1 1d4 Empathic Link
    3-4 +2 1d4 Share Spells
    5-6 +3 1d6 Voice, Deliver Touch Spells
    7-8 +4 1d6 See Through Eyes
    9-10 +5 1d6 Fast Movement (10 ft.)
    11-12 +6 1d8 Channel Spells
    13-14 +7 1d8 Size Change (+1), Second Language
    15-16 +8 1d8 Wizard Spells (0th, 1st, 2nd)
    17-18 +9 1d10 Fast Movement (20 ft.), Size change (-1, +2)
    19-20 +10 1d10 Wizard spells (3rd, 4th)

    Natural Armor
    The familiar gains a natural armor bonus to it's AC as noted here.

    Melee Attacks
    Familiars use their Dex modifier for attack rolls, and deal damage equal to the value given here. Penalties from a low strength score still apply, but any succesful attack deals at least 1 damage.

    Empathic Link
    The wizard has an empathic link with his familiar, which means they feel the same emotions and have a general idea about the status of each other. The simplest way of thinking about this is that the wizard's desire is always what his familiar also desires. For example, if a wizard wants to know more about an area, the familiar can scout it out for him at. If a wizard is fleeing from a monster or enemy, he desires to escape, and so the familiar will also flee.

    Share Spells
    Starting at 3rd level, any spell cast on the wizard can also affect the familiar, provided the familiar is within 5 ft. of the wizard. The familiar must still be a viable target for the spell (for example, Enlarge Person would not work on the familiar because it is typed as an Outsider)

    Voice
    Starting at 5th level, the familiar can speak with 1 language known to the wizard. Once chosen, this cannot be changed. If a wizard "argues" with his familiar, it is the equivalent of any other character muttering to themselves.
    A familiar learns a second language at level 14; the same rules apply.

    Deliver Touch Spells
    If the wizard is 6th level or higher, a familiar can deliver touch spells for him. The familiar must be within 30 ft. of the wizard in order to use this ability.

    See Through Eyes
    Starting at 7th level, a wizard can see through the eyes of his familiar by using a Full Round Action and succeeding on a Concentration check, based on how far away the familiar is. A wizard must succeed at a new Concentration check every minute to maintain this effect. You cannot use this ability while casting other spells or while in battle, and while maintaining the view you cannot move faster than walking speed, which increases the DC by 5. While using this ability, the wizard is effectively blind to his own surroundings.
    Distance
    DC
    <100 ft. 10
    100 ft.-1000 ft. 15
    1000 ft.- 2 mi. 20
    2 mi. - 20 mi. 25
    20 mi. - 200 mi. 30
    200 mi.+ 35

    Fast movement
    At level 9, the familiar gains a bonus to it's movement speed of 10 ft. per round. This bonus increases to 20 ft. at level 17.

    Channel Spells
    Starting at level 11, a wizard can channel spells through their familiar. The familiar must be within the spell's original range when the spell is cast, and the maximum range of the spell from the familiar's location is limited by the spell's overall range type (short- 20 ft., medium- 30 ft., long- 40 ft.).
    For all intensive purposes, the spell acts as if it was cast by the wizard, just with a different point of origin.

    Size Change
    Starting at level 13, a familiar may use a Full Round Action to increase it's size to small. It may maintain this effect for up to 1 hour per day, divided any way it chooses into minimum increments of one minute.
    At level 18, the familiar may use a full round action to increase it's size to small or medium, or decrease it's size to diminuitive. It may maintain this effect for up to 3 hours per day.

    Wizard Spells
    Starting at 15th level, a familiar gains it's own spell slots, and can cast two 0th, 1st, and 2nd level spells twice per day (6 spells total). A familiar may only cast spells the wizard has learned, and does not get bonus spells from a high Intelligence score. The wizard chooses which spells his familiar prepares at the same time he prepares his own spells each day.
    At level 20, a familiar gains an additional 0th, 1st, and 2nd level spell slot, as well as two 3rd and 4th level spell slots (13 spells total).

    Other effects
    In addition, a familiar can confer certain bonuses on the wizard when it is close at hand (within reach).
    At first level, the familiar grants it's wizard a +2 competency bonus to one skill check. This bonus increases to +3 at level 6, +4 at level 11, and +5 at level 16.

    At 6th level, a familiar grants the wizard the effects of a bonus feat. This counts as having the feat for purposes of meeting prerequisites, but if the familiar leaves the wizard's side or is destroyed, the wizard also loses access to all the other feats that require this prerequisite.

    At 11th level, the familiar provides a +2 competency bonus to one of the wizard's saves, or to their spellcraft check. This bonus increases to +3 at level 16.

    At level 16, the familiar provides a special form of protection to the wizard; this protection increases in effect at level 20.

    Familiars
    Rat: Skill- Craft, Feat- Diehard, Save- Fortitude
    Protection- A rat familiar grants a +10 bonus to the wizard to resist the effects of any non-magical poison or disease. At level 20, the wizard becomes immune to non-magical poisons and diseases.

    Toad: Skill- Concentration, Feat- Arcane Toughness (PHBII), Save- Fortitude
    Protection- A toad familiar grants 10 points of Acid Resistance to the wizard. At level 20 the wizard is immune to acid.

    Hawk: Skill- Spot, Feat- Mobile Spellcasting (CAd), Save- Reflex
    Protection- A hawk familiar grants 10 points of Cold Resistance to the wizard. At level 20 the wizard is immune to Cold.

    Weasel: Skill- Use Magic Device, Feat- Combat Casting, Save- Will
    Protection- A weasel familiar grants the wizard a 50% chance to avoid critical hits from melee attacks. At level 20 the wizard is immune to crits from melee attacks.

    Lizard: Skill- Escape Artist, Feat- Battle Caster (CArc), Save- Fortitude
    Protection- A lizard familiar grants 10 points of Fire Resistance to the wizard. At level 20 the wizard is immune to fire.
    Spoiler
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    The Battle Caster feat as written in Complete Arcane specifies the ability to cast in armor as a prerequisite. If you do not meet that prerequisite, assume it grants you the ability to cast in light armor without a spell failure chance.

    Raven: Skill- Diplomacy, Feat- Imp. Initiative, Bonus- Spellcraft
    Protection- A raven familiar grants 10 points of Electric Resistance to the wizard. At level 20 the wizard is immune to electricity.

    Cat: Skill- Appraise, Feat- Blind Fight, Save- Reflex
    Protection- If a wizard dies while his familiar is alive and if he is raised before his familiar fades away he does not suffer level loss. At 20th level, a wizard who dies while his cat familiar is alive does not suffer level loss when raised, no matter how long it takes. Unlike other protections, there is no maximum range on this effect.

    Snake: Skill- Bluff, Feat- Augmented Summoning, Save- Will
    Protection- A snake familiar grants 10 points of Sonic Resistance to the wizard. At level 20 the wizard is immune to sonic damage and does not take penalties to spellcasting when silenced.

    Owl: Skill- Knowledge (only 1 at a time, chosen when the familiar is formed), Feat- Eschew Materials, Bonus- Spellcraft
    Protection- An owl familiar grants the wizard Darkvision out to 30 ft, but the wizard also gains light blindness. You must activate or deactivate this benefit as a swift action. At level 20 the range increases to 100 ft., and you can activate it as a free action; the light blindness is reduced to light-sensitivity.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2016-05-02 at 11:37 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
    Homebrew Extended Signature!

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    Default Re: The Wizard and his Familar (3.5/3.PF)

    One problem that immediately comes to mind is that not all spell schools are of equal power.

    Also, what about universal spells ?

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    Default Re: The Wizard and his Familar (3.5/3.PF)

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Also, what about universal spells ?
    I'll address the easier question here first; I just forgot about them. I'll add in a clarification, as well as a caveat for 0th-level spells, which I had not intended to restrict.

    One problem that immediately comes to mind is that not all spell schools are of equal power.
    No, they aren't. And because of the level of complexity involved, it would take some one far more skillful than I to guarantee they where perfectly equal, if it is at all possible. But some one who picks Abjuration at 1st level should be better at abjuration spells than any other wizard is at them. I'm thinking about adding in another class feature somewhere before 20th level to help with this, probably relating to metamagic, again.

    With regards to overall balance: if your goal is to simply build the most powerful character you can, I'm certain that there will still be tricks you can use to min-max him a step above everyone else. My objective is just to reduce the disparity significantly.
    My criteria are (in approximate order of importance)
    -Eliminate Tier 1
    -Eliminate most, if not all, of Tier 2
    -Bring Tiers 4, 5, and 6 up to at least the tier 3-4 border
    Spoiler
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    Obviously, the classes closest to tier 3 to start with tend to be easier to modify to fit these parameters. Since a wizard is 98% about the magic, then a lot of it's changes come from altering magic, and that was so extensive most of the notes went in another post.

    A fighter should ALWAYS be good in a fight, even if he is still not an expert at much else. Since combat is a big part of most D&D he'll see a fair amount of action, but any wizard with access to more than one school could probably still outrank him in the versatility test.
    Spoiler
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    hint: if you know you are going to be playing in a campaign that is 90% politics in the court of the gnomish king, don't play a fighter, no matter how much you like them

    further hint: if your DM refuses to give you any tips about what kind of game he is going to be running, consider finding a new DM.


    To conclude: Anyone who wants to play a wizard still has access to just about everything the old wizard did, and maybe even a little more. But any particular wizard at a given moment might have to struggle to find the right spell. I don't want to stop players from feeling powerful or more importantly, have fun, but it should take a little more effort for the wizard to become god-emperor of the universe before lunch time.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-06-21 at 05:34 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
    Homebrew Extended Signature!

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    Default Re: The Wizard and his Familar (3.5/3.PF)

    Why does it get harder to see through your familiars eyes the higher level you are? thats the opposite of how things usually work!

    lizards currently grant the batter caster feat, which is only useful in a set of minor demi-planes located near the semi-elemental plane of ranch dressing.

    Note: can Raven Familiars still talk? Because that was the coolest thing ever if you knew how to use it.
    Last edited by madock345; 2012-06-21 at 07:20 PM.
    I can be friendly whenever I wish, Alas for you, wishing to be intelligent does not make it so.

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    Default Re: The Wizard and his Familar (3.5/3.PF)

    Quote Originally Posted by madock345 View Post
    Why does it get harder to see through your familiars eyes the higher level you are? thats the opposite of how things usually work!
    There's no limit on the distance at which you can use your ability, and the range a wizard's familiar can travel increases exponentially as the wizard grows stronger. I didn't want a situation where the wizard could roll a 1 and pass a check that let him see places hundreds of miles distant for as long as he wanted.
    My original version was just the quick and dirty way to deal with that; I will change it to be based on distance instead. I may keep some aspect of the scaling version, since the most obvious use of this ability for PC's will probably be scouting in dungeons, at distances less than a few hundred feet.

    lizards currently grant the batter caster feat, which is only useful in a set of minor demi-planes located near the semi-elemental plane of ranch dressing.
    It seemed to be surprisingly difficult to find decent feats for casters that aren't metamagic and are functional at a variety of levels, with most types of magic. That's why I added a caveat for this version so that you didn't need the normal prerequisites. Since that feat isn't the only thing your familiar grants you, weigh your options and pick what you feel is best.
    It should be noted, I rewrote the various kinds of armor so that they aren't quite so 'bleh'; the link should be in my extended sig.

    That being said, if you have any suggestions for other feats to use, or requests for other types of familiars, let me know and I'll be happy to see what I can work out. I may take a stab at rewriting the Improved Familiar feat, too.

    Edit: I just noticed that I had misspelled "battle" and that was probably what you where referring to. I will correct this, and I offer my apologies.

    can Raven Familiars still talk? Because that was the coolest thing ever if you knew how to use it.
    All familiars can talk, starting at level 5. The raven gets no special preference.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-09-14 at 12:54 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
    Homebrew Extended Signature!

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    Default Re: The Wizard and his Familar (3.5/3.PF)

    A possible solution is to fold Evocation and Abjuration into one school, and Illusion and Enchantment into a school. Add in abillities to get around immunities, and season to taste.
    LGBTA+itP

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    Default Re: The Wizard and his Familar (3.5/3.PF)

    Instead of saying cantrips don't have a school, why not say all cantrips are universal.

    I think the spellbook thing needs a hard limit to how many extra spells can be written. Why not limit the spell book to so many spell levels worth of spells, then saying they can be 'over-written'?

    And finally, a familiar that is useful and actually has a drawback to death that is reasonable. Although I do remember Nonsi's being somewhat useful as well.

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    Default Re: The Wizard and his Familar (3.5/3.PF)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    A possible solution is to fold Evocation and Abjuration into one school, and Illusion and Enchantment into a school.
    I was, for a while, considering doing something like this, but in the end I prefered sticking to my current model. I like the idea that not every wizard can do everything all the time; it's what helps keep them on par with some one like a fighter or ranger. A wizard has access to 4 different schools by the time he reaches level 10, so even a new player who isn't min-maxing should have a significantly varied toolbox to choose from.

    Remember, I'm aiming for tier 3 with most of these; the wizard still has most of his potential to be just about anything you want him to be. The difference is that it's harder for him to be something completely different every single day of the week.

    Also, as I mentioned before, in my magic fix I'm addressing as many of the spell-school issues as I can on a case-by-case basis. The schools that contain game-ending tricks (like Polymorph Into Absolutely Any Creature, Ever or Create Demiplane of Infinite Wealth) are likely to see them nerfed at every level, not just 9th; weak spots in other areas are being shored up as best I can.
    Magic in D&D is exceedingly complex and interconnected, and most of the simple fixes just don't have the detail to patch every hole without creating new ones. I'm doing what I can with the individual class fixes, which I want to still be playable with minor tweaks for any game; the rest comes from the more involved changes to the system itself.


    Quote Originally Posted by Eldest View Post
    Add in abillities to get around immunities, and season to taste.
    I'm one of the people who favors reducing immunities across the board, or at least replace them with just resistances. I recognize that it's not any more fun for a wizard if his spells don't work than it is for the fighter or monk if he can't attack or damage the armor-plated flying zombie dragon. That being said, part of playing a wizard well requires putting at least a small amount of thought into what spells you are preparing; if your group is investigating a golem factory, don't load up on enchantments. If you don't want to bother figuring out a different spell list each day, just play a sorcerer.

    I think that Enchantment would be a fairly powerful school, if not for the immunities. If some spell or school is too strong, making it just not work against many enemies isn't balance; it's just more bad design, IMO.
    With the changes in my magic fix to the way spell resistance and casting work, I think it will be possible to generate enemies that are a challenge for the group without making them immune to everything except direct damage.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-06-22 at 11:01 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
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    Default Re: The Wizard and his Familar (3.5/3.PF)

    Quote Originally Posted by eftexar View Post
    Instead of saying cantrips don't have a school, why not say all cantrips are universal.
    Ok, that would work too, I guess. My intent was only that 0-level spells didn't need to be limited when preparing daily spell slots; any school-based benefits should still apply.

    I think the spellbook thing needs a hard limit to how many extra spells can be written. Why not limit the spell book to so many spell levels worth of spells, then saying they can be 'over-written'?
    I don't mind wizards having access to a large, if finite selection of spells. What I think would be appropriate is banning some of the tricks like spellbooks with unlimited pages and magic marts that let you pick up any spell in existence, but I would rather leave those to individual DMs.

    And finally, a familiar that is useful and actually has a drawback to death that is reasonable.
    I take it that means you approve then? I was trying to make it into something that seemed like an actual important class feature akin to Rage or Favored Enemy.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-06-24 at 05:43 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
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    Default Re: The Wizard and his Familar (3.5/3.PF)

    Are you still working on this? I saw it in your signature in the latest (#898) comic, but I see that there haven't been any posts in a long time.

    I really like your goal, to flatten the 'tier' system and try to eliminate the vast differences between the classes which open up after about 5th level or so.

    I did have a couple questions. I may be misunderstanding your new system, but on BSB and casting a spell:
    A player’s Spellcraft bonus is equal to their Base Spellcraft Bonus (BSB), plus their wisdom modifier, plus any bonuses from class features, items, or feats.
    First, just on the language used. If Spellcraft is no longer a skill, then there is no "Spellcraft bonus." Again, I may be misunderstanding, but as I read it a 1st level Mage has a BSB of 1, which isn't really a 'bonus' of any kind, it's just their BSB. A Fighter's BAB is a bonus to their attack roll, and a Mage's BSB is a bonus to their spell casting roll, right?

    On to some possibly unintended consequences.
    Every time a caster wants to use a spell, they need to make a Spellcraft check to see if they successfully cast it. The DC for casting is equal to 10 + twice the spell’s level + conditional modifiers (if any). If the spell has a target with Spell Resistance (whether it be a person, monster, item, etc) the Spellcraft DC is instead equal to the spell’s level + the target’s SR + conditional modifiers.
    Nearly every person and creature has some innate level of Spell Resistance (SR) that helps them avoid and shrug off the effect of spells. The SR of a creature or person is equal to their base SR, plus their save bonus depending on which school the spell is from, plus any bonuses from class features, items, or other spells.

    Base SR starts at 5, and increase by 1 for every 2 HD the creature posseses. (same as base AC in my sytem)
    If I'm reading this correctly, it's actually harder for a L1 Mage to cast Grease on the ground (The DC for casting is equal to 10 + twice the spell’s level + conditional modifiers (if any) = 10 + 2 + CM = 12) than it is to cast Magic Missile on a foe (the Spellcraft DC is instead equal to the spell’s level + the target’s SR + conditional modifiers = 1 + 5 (assuming a L1 foe) + CM = 6).

    Was this intended? It seems odd that greasing the floor would have a 60% failure rate while missiling up the foe would have only a 30% failure rate.
    Non-magical objects generally have no Spell Resistance.
    This again makes it harder for a L1 Mage to effect a non-magical object lying on the ground than to effect a L1 foe. Was this intended? Even using Prestidigitation to clean your clothes (assuming they are lying folded on your bed and not being worn) would fail more often than any L1 offensive spell which targeted a L1 foe. That seems odd to me.


    And does SR replace all saving throws? I don't see any mention of saving throws other than "If you are unconscious or otherwise totally incapacitated, do not add your saves to your base SR." I read this to mean that the bonus to SR for level or Hit Dice is not added, but again I may be mistaken. Using the term 'saves' is probably not a good idea for a passive ability that is resolved within the casters attack roll. A 'save' in D&D has always been a means to avoid or mitigate an effect, rolled by the person effected, so that term should be shelved if the mechanic has been shelved. If I'm understanding your system correctly.

    I'm also curious as to why you changed Spellcraft (BSB) to be a Wisdom based skill instead of an Intelligence based skill. It should probably be Int based for Arcane casters and Wis based for Divine casters, as those classes typically have their best stat in either Int or Wis, respectively. Unless you intended that Mages and Sorcerers have a lower chance to cast their spells than their Divine casting counterparts.
    Last edited by Stella; 2013-07-10 at 11:08 PM.

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    Default Re: The Wizard and his Familar (3.5/3.PF)

    I love that you are taking an interest in this, but please be careful; I don't want you to get in trouble for thread-necromancy. If you have any questions, you can always PM them to me, and if needed I can reply in-thread, which I think is allowed since I'm the original author (and if it isn't I'm sure the mods will let me know about it, but then it'll be on my head and not yours).

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    Are you still working on this? I saw it in your signature in the latest (#898) comic, but I see that there haven't been any posts in a long time.
    The short answer is: "Yes"

    I've just been busy, and I've kind of stalled on what exactly to do with that last couple of classes. For example, I've rewritten the Barbarian 3 times, then scrapped the ideas without ever actually posting any of them.

    I'll try to use your comments as motivation to get another class written up.

    First, just on the language used. If Spellcraft is no longer a skill, then there is no "Spellcraft bonus." Again, I may be misunderstanding, but as I read it a 1st level Mage has a BSB of 1, which isn't really a 'bonus' of any kind, it's just their BSB. A Fighter's BAB is a bonus to their attack roll, and a Mage's BSB is a bonus to their spell casting roll, right?
    Good point. Part of the reason for my over-explicit explanation was that the system was different from what a lot of people are used to, and I was trying to avoid WotC's RAW/RAI confusion.

    I kind of go back and forth on referring to it as a "check" (aka like the DC for skills) or a "roll". I want to do a repost of the basic magic system anyhow, so I'll keep this in mind for the future.

    If I'm reading this correctly, it's actually harder for a L1 Mage to cast Grease on the ground (The DC for casting is equal to 10 + twice the spell’s level + conditional modifiers (if any) = 10 + 2 + CM = 12) than it is to cast Magic Missile on a foe (the Spellcraft DC is instead equal to the spell’s level + the target’s SR + conditional modifiers = 1 + 5 (assuming a L1 foe) + CM = 6).
    That is sort of correct, except you are missing one factor.
    The target would also add their save bonus for Reflex to their SR (since MM is an evocation spell), meaning it could vary between an even lower number (if they have bad Dex) or a higher one depending on race, class, or stats.

    Was this intended? It seems odd that greasing the floor would have a 60% failure rate while missiling up the foe would have only a 30% failure rate.
    This again makes it harder for a L1 Mage to effect a non-magical object lying on the ground than to effect a L1 foe. Was this intended? Even using Prestidigitation to clean your clothes (assuming they are lying folded on your bed and not being worn) would fail more often than any L1 offensive spell which targeted a L1 foe. That seems odd to me.
    It was intended that the roll against SR would vary with the situation, which means it is inevitable that it might have a less or greater chance of failure than a non-SR roll for a spell of the same level.

    I wanted there to be a single roll for casting. By RAW, casting didn't require ANY rolls, except if you targeted some one with SR. The problem is that the direct-targeting spells are usually not the most gamebreaking ones (not even the SoD's), so by forcing a second roll it really only makes the SR-allowing spells worse. (a chance to fail twice is always worse than a chance to fail once)
    And I wanted the numbers to progress along a reasonable curve. As it stands, mid level casters can auto-cast low level spells except for the Critical Failure chance. Some one min-maxing could auto-cast 9th level spells without to much difficulty unless you use a whole bunch of other houserules to prevent stat-stacking.

    Ideally, the numbers you need to hit to cast the spells would be similar for a given situation, but there are several conflicting constraints, and these formulas are the best I managed to come up with.

    And does SR replace all saving throws? I don't see any mention of saving throws other than "If you are unconscious or otherwise totally incapacitated, do not add your saves to your base SR." I read this to mean that the bonus to SR for level or Hit Dice is not added, but again I may be mistaken.
    For the most part, yes, though saves still exist in the game for non-spell functions, too.

    Let me try an explain it better. All creatures have a base SR which scales with HD. To this, you add your total save bonus; which save you add depends on which school of magic the spell is from. If you are unconscious, you cannot avoid or resist a spell, so the SR is only calculated from your base (HD), or other passive effects (magic items, feats, etc).

    Yes it's a little complicated, and its honestly the only part of my magic system that I am not satisfied with, mostly because it basically gives you 3 seperate SR's to keep track of an apply appropriately.

    But I wanted some way to keep the existing save-bonuses relevant, while at the same time having the defenses be passive, like AC. I could have designed the system to require constant opposing rolls, but D&D had not previously done combat like that. I think the idea that defensive things are usually passive, as it helps keep gameflow from grinding to a halt.

    Using the term 'saves' is probably not a good idea for a passive ability that is resolved within the casters attack roll. A 'save' in D&D has always been a means to avoid or mitigate an effect, rolled by the person effected, so that term should be shelved if the mechanic has been shelved. If I'm understanding your system correctly.
    SR is not a Save; it just gets the same bonus as a Save-roll.
    In other words, you roll to make a save, but SR is just something that you have. The overlap is that they share a bonus.

    I didn't want to remove saves from the game, because they are still useful for other non-magical effects. Also, it would be possible to design a spell so that it still required a save; something like a SoD (which I normally hate) could be balanced around the fact that it allows extra defenses.

    I'm also curious as to why you changed Spellcraft (BSB) to be a Wisdom based skill instead of an Intelligence based skill. It should probably be Int based for Arcane casters and Wis based for Divine casters, as those classes typically have their best stat in either Int or Wis, respectively. Unless you intended that Mages and Sorcerers have a lower chance to cast their spells than their Divine casting counterparts.
    Basically, I didn't like that fact that casters where all based on different stats, yet in terms of casting and flavor seemed to have too much in common. I asked myself what the difference was in basing casting on Int (wizard) or Charisma (sorcerer) and came up blank, except that the Wizard is more SAD because skill points are based of Intellect.
    It was much the same for Divine casters, except that they can wear armor.

    Also, I hated the "you must be this tall to ride smart to use spells" style of requiring a certain ability score to cast. It was one of the few limitations on magic, and it was badly done (IMO). Some one once commented that my fix made all the casters feel the same, which I found odd since I thought that was the exact opposite of what I was going for. With the RAW, all wizards where Einstein and all Sorcerers looked like Bradd Pitt. (I'm exagerating a little, just roll with it).
    I wanted to break the spellcasting-classes' stranglehold on SAD on a very fundamental level, while at the same time allowing players more freedom to make any caster the way they wanted.

    From my magic fix, all casters gain a modifer to Spellcraft rolls from Wisdom because I thought that the flavor of perception and awareness fit in better flavorwise. All casters also gain bonus spells from Intellect, because that seems more like pure memory or raw processing power (I tend to take the magic-is-science sort of approach).
    So basically, Int and Wis form the backbone of any caster's build, similar to how Con and Str are important to melee classes. The exact balance is flexible though- it should all come down to what the player wants.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2013-07-18 at 08:39 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
    It's not called common because the sense is common, it's called common because it's about common things.
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