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    Default Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    So, Spellcasting, it bothers me. Its fun and the effects are cool, but I feel like its too...without risk. In AD&D a lot of spells had downsides, or long casting times, or were just damn easy to interrupt. 3.5 doesn't seem to have that same kind of design logic.

    So here is my proposal:

    Spellcasting is completely unchanged in functionality. You cast all the same spells, you generate the same effects, have the same access to spells/spells per day...

    BUT

    ...every time you cast a spell you make a caster level check. If you fail the check, you still cast the spell, but you apply the result of your check to a spellcasting mishap table.

    Any thoughts?

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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    This speaks of MADNESS...
    And I love it.

    Problem: The check DC.
    If you base it off of the spell level (10 + spell level) then a 1st level wizard would have a heck of a time pulling off Magic missile, thereby reducing his effective power to less than half.
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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    In theory, there's nothing wrong with having risks attached to spellcasting.

    As a rule, however, D&D magic shouldn't have a high "Cthulhu Eats your Face off" index. Since D&D can easily end up in a place where there's no choice but to cast spells, threatening casters with punishment every single time they do so is not a good idea.

    Your best option is probably to have the DC start out at something trivial and increase with each spell cast, resetting at the end of the encounter.

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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    Quote Originally Posted by lesser_minion View Post
    In theory, there's nothing wrong with having risks attached to spellcasting.

    As a rule, however, D&D magic shouldn't have a high "Cthulhu Eats your Face off" index. Since D&D can easily end up in a place where there's no choice but to cast spells, threatening casters with punishment every single time they do so is not a good idea.

    Your best option is probably to have the DC start out at something trivial and increase with each spell cast, resetting at the end of the encounter.
    There's a kind of weird dichotomy on how spellcasters are perceived though. Half of the time, people say 'spellcasters are all god, they're on a totally different level than non-spellcasters, and because of that no mundanes need apply'. But on the other hand, there's a perception that something that applies a penalty or risk or even just a failure chance to magic use would drive people away from spellcasters entirely, because 'you only get so many spells per day, and the chance of wasting one is awful'.

    In principle there should be some happy medium between these two cases. Is the problem the strong binary nature? I.e. either you totally overcome any situation in one action, or you've basically done nothing (or worse than nothing).

    Maybe the answer is to have both the spell go off correctly AND Cthulhu eats your face. So you've still won the encounter, but you paid for it. For instance, lets say that each time you cast a spell you have to make a check such that you have a 50% chance of failure for spells of the highest level you can cast, decreasing by 10% for each level below that (so this is roughly equivalent to a caster level check DC 9+2*SL. If you fail this check, the spell still goes off but your casting stat is decreased by 2 until the next time you naturally regain spells (its not damage or drain, since that'd just be healed near-trivially at high levels). So you never waste your action, but you could lose access to your higher level spells if you aren't careful.

    Generally speaking, at low levels the gap between a caster's casting stat and what they need to cast is bigger than at high levels, so despite the failure chances being higher for low level characters in practice it'd be hard for a caster to drain themselves down to the point where they lose their 1st level spells (they'd need to flub four spells if they had a 17 in their primary casting stat, which is most if not all of their available spell slots anyhow).

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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    The problem is that spell-casting is an essential feature of the wizard class. If he is not casting spells, he is either doing nothing or doing something the class isn't optimised for. And just as critical fumbles dramatically shorten the life expectancy of fighters, any kind of spell backfire rule would do that for wizards.

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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    I'm working on a Homebrew at the moment that sums this up, but takes it one step further. It's called occupational hazard. Basically, all classes cause wear and tear on a player's body. If it's a fighter, it might be things like carple tunnel or arthritis, spell casters - madness, so on. The way I was thinking of accomplishing this is teirs. You do a save once per encounter. If you fail the save, you incur one point toward disabilities. Higher level/effort/amount of tasks cause greater risk, and could incur more points if failed in a save. So the first tier takes a long time to fill, the second tier less so, and so on. Once you reach a tier, you incur a penalty that will last. The higher the tier the harder the saves. It's still very much in the works, but i'm feeling there will be ways to diminish the points too, but it will be an actual task to do, not a passive thing.

    It was going to be for the MUHA competition, but I don't have the time to complete it before it's up as it's my birthday this week (tomorrow).
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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    The problem is that spell-casting is an essential feature of the wizard class. If he is not casting spells, he is either doing nothing or doing something the class isn't optimised for. And just as critical fumbles dramatically shorten the life expectancy of fighters, any kind of spell backfire rule would do that for wizards.
    @NichG: Thats exactly what I'm going for, save that its not mandatory for Cthulhu to eat your face off. If you succeed at the check, nothing bad happens. If you fail the spell will still go off most of the time (a few boxes on the mishap table will interefere with magic, but most will be status effects or damage or odd events)

    @Ashtagon: True, but AD&D wizards and clerics had risk attached to their spells and were still playable. Haste ate a year of your life every time you cast it. Transformation spells could kill you or make you stuck in the form.

    @Wombat: Happy birthweek!

    As a balancing factor, lower level spells should be almost without risk at mid levels and riskless at high levels.

    I think this DC Progression will work

    0: DC 13
    1st: DC 15 (+5 int + 1 level = +6)
    2nd: DC 17 (+5 int + 3 level = +8)
    3rd: DC 19 (+5 int + 5 level = +10)
    4th: DC 21 (+6 int + 7 level = +13)
    5th: DC 24 (+7 int + 9 level = +16)
    6th: DC 27 (+7 int + 11 level = +18)
    7th: DC 30 (+8 int + 13 level = +21)
    8th: DC 33 (+9 int +15 level = +24)
    9th: DC 36 (+10 int + 17 level = 27)

    Ok, so typically, with this progression (which assumes int pumping at every opportunity, +attribute equipment, and single class focus) ypou have a 55%-60% chance to cast a spell w/o consequence at that spell level. You become completely immune to consequence once you are 6-8 or more levels above the given spell level. So, a 7th level character can cast level 0 magic w/o consequence. A level 13th level character can cast 4th level spells without consequence and a 20th level character can cast yp to 7th level spells w/o consequence.

    But what if you always want a bit of consequence? Well, get rid of the caster level check and replace it with an unmodified d20 roll. In this variant, spells themselves have a mishap chance within these guidelines

    0: None
    1st: 1-3
    2nd: 1-3
    3rd: 1-5
    4th: 1-5
    5th: 1-7
    6th: 1-7
    7th: 1-9
    8th: 1-9
    9th: 1-11

    Wild magic zones increase the chance of mishap by up to +5, depending on the strength of the zone.

    Certain spells may be more difficult to cast, and so have mishap chances +1 or +2 higher than the standard by level chance.

    A feat can give you +2 on casting rolls.

    If you roll a mishap, the result of your roll is compared to a mishap table. Higher results produce greater mishaps. So the lower level spells tend to produce less spectacular/damaging results.

    Any thoughts on either of these options?

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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    I think you're on a good path with that. So you're int modifiers you are getting are from pumping your ability? Hmmmm. Well, what about ability decay as some of the mishap effects? So its a give and take with this. They could be temporary decay for a time and then with higher levels could be more potent, or loss of a spell for the day or a backfire of a spell. Other mishaps could be you also take damage or effect of the spell in a diminished sense (treat damage like evasion?) or spell failure. Spell failure! Check out that table for this - it may help...not sure if it will but worth a looksie. I often forget about the darned thing.

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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    I used a version of the "roll every time you cast" in my own magic fix, because I like the similiarity it draws between spellcasting and attack rolls or skillchecks. I was doing something more comprehensive and therefor more complicated than I think you want here, but I went with a compromise: you don't automatically get the worst effect if you fail the spellcraft roll; the baseline penalty for failure is that your spell fails to cast, but you don't lose anything besides the time you spent, much like a melee character who fails to beat his target's AC on an attack roll. You only suffer the critical failure type of effect on a natural roll of 1.

    I know that some people don't like the idea of critical failures at all, so you can include a caveat, if you like, that the automatic-failure doesn't apply on any spell more than a certainl level below the caster's maximum ability.


    Edit: If you don't want to go read the whole thing, here's a brief summary of what I did; you can use any ideas you like.
    Spellcraft is a stat, like BAB; a character's BSB (base spellcraft bonus) progression is the inverse of their BAB. Wisdom adds to a character's BSB like Strength does for attack rolls.

    There where several other changes that are probably more involved than you would like- All spellcasters get bonus spells from Intellect, making Int/Wis the casting stat combo, like Str/Con/Dex is for melee classes.
    All players and creatures get a basic level of spell resistance based on CR/ECL, just like they get a base AC.
    Spells that target a creature directly (and are therefor subject to Spell Resistance) scale based on a different formula, to keep SR and non-SR spells relatively equal in use and power, and so that you only need to roll once for all spells.
    In addition, your bonus to saves adds to your Spell Resistance depending on the spells-school.


    Overall it makes casting a little more complicated, but not, I think, much more complicated than melee is.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-07-24 at 10:58 AM.
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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    There's a kind of weird dichotomy on how spellcasters are perceived though. Half of the time, people say 'spellcasters are all god, they're on a totally different level than non-spellcasters, and because of that no mundanes need apply'. But on the other hand, there's a perception that something that applies a penalty or risk or even just a failure chance to magic use would drive people away from spellcasters entirely, because 'you only get so many spells per day, and the chance of wasting one is awful'.
    Well, the problem here is that there is not a homogeneous collection of wizard players. Different people play wizards, from beginners to high OP-fu practicioners. A homebrew rule that causes wizards to explode half the time might be (statistically) managable to someone with the appropriate optimization level, but that doesn't mean it is the least bit fair to someone who likes casting Burning Hands at first level.

    Second, as others have pointed out, spellcasting is all wizards do. It's like having a fighter that spontaneously dies (or damages themselves) whenever they miss an attack roll. Sure, with the proper optimization, you could produce a fighter that hardly ever misses... but that isn't going to be fun for anyone else who wants to play a fighter without such optimization.

    And finally, you might be overstating how powerful the wizard is, especially at low levels. Yes, Sleep is devistating but you'll rarely catch everyone in a large enough group all at once. Area-effect spells rarely net every opponent due to saves. And while dropping Black Tentacles could easily tie up half the opponents (making the wizard the MVP of the fight) that certainly isn't an effect I'd bet immediately killing my character over.
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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    I think its generally accepted though that casters are more powerful than non-casters, and this disparity grows with level. The trick is to create a penalty that makes someone who was going to play a wizard for power stop and think 'hm, maybe a fighter would be better?' at least for a moment. Something that makes everyone jump ship on wizards is no good. Something that just looks like its trying to bring wizards back in line but really doesn't is no good. So at the end of the day, it has to both be an effective limit and be psychologically acceptable to players.

    Ideally it also scales appropriately for optimization levels and overall character level, which is a much more complex issue.

    As far as 'spellcasting is all Wizards do' thats all well and good, but they basically have abilities that are more versatile and potent than other classes, so there has to be some drawback. This might be that sometimes when you do it you get bitten, or sometimes when you do it it has a price, or it takes longer, but there probably should be something there to avoid a 'strictly better' situation. This is even leaving aside fighting spellcasters like Clerics and Druids who don't necessarily need their spells in combat to be effective in a fight.

    I think this is the problem with spell failure, for example. While a 5% spell failure chance on everything you do isn't really mechanically going to make a wizard and a fighter be playing the same game, there are a lot of people who wouldn't like the uncertainty it introduces and so would jump ship purely for that.

    Whatever sorts of risks are placed into the system, I think they have to take that into account. The dangerous spells of 2ed were all sorts of optional things: you could use Haste, but you would (no random chance, it just happens) lose some of your life. Its not randomly punitive, its just a cost that you have to either accept or not.

    The reason I suggested the Int damage thing was, it never prevents you from getting your action, it doesn't ever kill you (at worst it means you have to stop for the day, and mostly it just means your DCs are lower), and its has a good 'burnout' or 'I overextended' feel without being lethal (you'll never kill yourself from the backlash, since once you go below 10 Int you can't cast anything anyhow). I think it also somewhat satisfies the scaling with level feature, in that the backlash is more likely to be important to a 17th level character casting 30 spells a day than to a 1st level character casting 3 spells a day. The math might need adjustment of course. It absolutely doesn't work with the optimization gradient, so that's a significant flaw. I'm not sure how to address that flaw though.

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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    Ok, this is the mishap table for the “magic is always risky” variant listed above:

    The Simple Table

    1: Radiant Aura: You are outlined in a multi-hued aura of light for 1 round. Opponents gain +2 to attacks rolls made against you and Stealth is impossible.

    2: Draining Spell: You cast the spell, but are briefly winded by your efforts. You are staggered for 1 round.

    3: Piercing the Veil: In the moment of casting, you briefly catch a glimpse of the hidden planar cacophony that hides behind every moment. You suffer a -2 penalty to saves and are flat-footed for 1 round.

    4: Wrenching Spell: You are tangled in the weaves of magic and must force the spell into being. The effort leaves you winded: You are sickened for 1 round.

    5: Temporal Dissociation: Your mind is briefly shunted outside of time for a moment, rendering you Dazed for 1 round.

    6: Incomplete Weave: The spell began to collapse in the casting, forcing you to tie off your weaves and produce an abbreviated version of the spell. As a result, your caster level is reduced by 2 when determining any variables for the spell.

    7: Manaburn: A ripple in the local mystic currents spilled over into your casting. Though you succeeded in casting your spell, you suffer 2 points of Ability Damage to your primary casting statistic.

    8: Flawed Weave: Your weave contains a serious fault. Your spell fails and is considered cast.

    9: Spellshadow: In addition to the normal effect of your spell, you produce a Summon Monster spell of equivalent level to the cast spell. The DM determined monster is hostile to you, but not your allies.

    10: Mystic Magnet: The bits of arcane energy left over from your casting cling to you, rendering you vulnerable to various forms of attack. You suffer a -4 penalty to all saves and -10 to any spell resistance you possess for 1 round

    11: Essence Drain: The powerful spell you cast tore away some of your personal energy, weakening you. You take 4 points of Ability damage to your Primary casting statistic, or 2 points of ability damage to all your attributes.

    12+ You have to take backlash at very least reducing the mishap chance to 11.

    As a mediation mechanic, whenever you produce an effect on the mishap table, you can take Backlash damage to reduce the effect of the mishap. Every Backlash die you take (1d6 damage that cannot be reduced or misdirected) allows you to reduce roll result by 1. For example, if you rolled 7 (And must take ability damage…ouch!), you can choose to take 2d6 damage to instead become Dazed for 1 round (7-2 = 5, or “Temporal Dissociation).

    In Wild magic Areas on with specific spells that are more hazardous to cast, you can potentially roll above an 11 on the mishap table. In this case, you have to take enough Backlash to drop to at least a result of 11. You can take more backlash if you wish, but it is not required.

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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    Hmm, maybe 'Magic is dangerous when used too often' instead of 'Magic is always dangerous'?

    So instead of a caster level check for every spell you need to start making caster level checks if you cast spells in consecutive rounds, and the DC rises dramatically if you cast multiple spells in one round.

    That way wizards are still relatively safe casting your magic missile but if they keep spamming spells it gets harder and harder, and you better be prepared to roll well if you want to lay down a time stop or play with quickened spells. You can still wield the awesome might of high level spells with impunity but the more often you play with the action economy the more hazardous spellcasting becomes.
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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    @Kane0

    If you fleshed that idea out a little more maybe you could make it work, but the problem I see with something like that is: what could a full caster, such as a wizard of sorcerer, do instead of casting? Either the penalty or check is low, and they just ignore it, or it's high, and they are basically reduced to passing on every other turn.

    What might work is if you put the full system in place for combat-casting, since combat is SUPPOSED to be dangerous, and give some alternate method for casting out of combat that takes longer, but is safer because the wizard can devote his full attention to the spell.
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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    @Deepbluediver

    OK then, hmm.
    To simulate the AD&D feel of 'magic is time consuming and needs your full attention', wizards can opt to cast a spell that is normally a standard action as a full round action to ensure it is safe, avoiding any CL check but also not resetting any counter set by casting at the normal times. Casting out of combat is a similar scenario where you can take your time, like taking 10 on a skill check.

    Maybe give wizards the ability to recover and reset the checks as a full round action too, giving them something to do other than cast. Also things like moving and using magic items don't count, only casting.

    That sound more developed? I'll keep working on it at later on, but i like the ideas floating round here
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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    Another way to limit spellcasting (w/o too much revision to the system) is to do a fatigue based system. Casting a spell gives you a number of fatigue points equal to the spell level cast. You can have a maximum ammount of fatigue equal to your Constitution score (temporary modifiers dont increase this).

    Once you hit maximum fatigue, casting spells inflicts damage based on the spell level.

    Resting for five minutes eliminates all fatigue.

    (Probably want to name it something else, like Essence Drain or Empyrial Verging)

    In any event, this system allows you to access your most power spells, but still exacts a heavy price with continued use.

    Edit: Actually, even better

    Excess fatigue gives you spell failure chance. Each point of fatigue in excess of your maxiumum gives you a 5% spell failure chance.
    Last edited by wayfare; 2012-07-24 at 09:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    Something to keep in mind: if it is possible to negate whatever the cost/risk is, then it isn't really a cost or a risk. I.e. if you say 'you only suffer this when casting two spells in a row' you shouldn't assume that the wizard will avoid casting the spell the second round. You should assume that the wizard will swallow the risk because he's a wizard, its what he does, and taking that risk is part of the class. The same way that being in melee range of enemies is part of the risk of playing a melee character.

    So in that sense, I don't think 'every other round' or other modifiers are really helpful, since they just confuse the issue. If your goal is to make magic costly, then I don't think you should be afraid of making it actually be costly. Using too light a touch is going to add complexity that doesn't in practice change how the game is played.

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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    The easiest way to do it, I guess, would be to have a handy caster mishap table and roll a large die (say, a d100) when you cast a spell, independent of any other rolls you make.

    Mishaps should be of increasing severity up to 100 killing the caster on the spot with no save (destroying if undead, destroying along with phylacteries if lich or demilich), 99 killing with the caster's best save permitted against dc (30+char's caster levels), and 98 and below can't be 1 hit kill effects.
    Rolling 1 through 10 should never be a mishap.

    To make things easy on low-level mages, lower level spells should only trigger smaller mishaps: if the roll is higher than 10*(1+spell level), the caster suffers no mishap (so the 100 will only kill you on a ninth level spell).

    However this could make things a little (or a lot) tedious.

    Some caster bonus feats could alleviate it:

    Mage's/Psion's Destiny: Requires 16 ranks of spellcrafting. When rolling for mishaps you may optionally reduce or increase the result of the roll by 2 (never below 1 or above 100).

    Archmage's/Archpsion's Destiny: Epic feat. Requires Mage's/Psion's Destiny and 30 ranks of spellcrafting. When rolling for mishaps you may optionally reroll the result once. On both rolls you may optionally reduce or increase the result by 2 (never below 1 or above 100).

    Note: For the two feats above, use the psion name if your primary casting class is psionic. You can only have one instance of each feat.

    Arcane defense (school): Requires Spell Focus (same school). For spells of that school, the character takes no mishaps if the roll is higher than 10*spell level (rather than spell level +1).

    Divine protection (domain): Choose one of the domains the character has selected. For spells of that domain the character takes no mishaps if the roll is higher than 10*spell level (rather than spell level +1).

    Mental defense (specialist's primary psionic discipline): A psionic class specialized in a certain psionic discipline may take this feat to protect themselves mentally from the worst effects of using their powers. For powers restricted to that discipline the character takes no mishaps if the roll is higher than 10*spell level (rather than spell level +1).

    This feat may be taken once for each selected domain. If a domain with this feat attached is lost, the feat is also lost; if the feat slot is not, a new feat can be learned in its place.


    Final notes: As you can see, under this system it's hard to suffer mishaps for low level spells, and those mishaps tend to be minor. For high level spells it's much easier, and the mishaps are nastier, but you can't kill yourself/get eaten by Chtulhu along with 1d6 investigators unless you're casting a level 9 spell or power and you don't have the appropriate defensive feat.
    Last edited by rottenvenetic; 2012-07-25 at 12:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    Of course, we could do away with clumsy checks, and try something like this.
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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    It's now been 20+ years since I played AD&D, but I remember spellcasting being balanced not because spellcasting itself was dangerous but because it was dangerous to cast spells. Using magic was hazardous not because Cthulhu might come and suck off your face, but because you can't adequately dodge swords while casting.

    It was TOUGH to get off that Big Magic Spell in the middle of a battle. Everybody rolled a d10 for initiative every round, lower initiative is better. All those fighters subtracted their DEX bonus and their magic weapon modifier from their initiative roll, and all those spellcasters added the casting time of their spell to their initiative. And if your initiative was more than 10, your action happened next turn.

    And, higher level spells generally had high casting times, the usual being the spell's level being its casting time (i.e. most 3rd level spells were +3 intitiative, most 7th level spells were +7, etc.). There were some exceptions (Power Word Kill, Holy Word, Time Stop, etc.) but they were both unusual and awesome for that very reason.

    Delayed Blast Fireball threw around spectacular damage, but at initiative +7 it was VERY dicey to try it. You'd better have a good DEX and a decent roll, or that spell is going off next round. Magic Missile and its +1-initiative casting time was the Old Reliable unless you were sure you were well protected.

    In short, spellcasting took a long time compared to swinging a sword. And when even a single point of damage ruins a spell (no Concentration checks back then, just "your spell is gone, sorry!"), having that sword swing faster than your spell was a serious and credible threat.

    You could restore that AD&D idea with a rather simple fix: every spell that lists its casting time as a standard action now has a 1-round casting time. Every spell that has a swift action casting time now has a standard-action casting time. Any damage taken while casting a spell ruins the spell.

    Having a 1-round cast time means the knuckle-dragging sword-swingers get a turn of their own between when a spell starts and when it goes off. And that's how it should be.
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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    @peterpaulrubens: While I'm fine with increasing the casting times to make it risky, I don't think a that any damage immediately makes the spell fail. Maybe increase the DC for Concentration checks to 20 + Damage Dealt rather than the standard 10 + Damage Dealt.
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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    Well see, that's what happens when I never play ad&d, I don't know about the caster penalties there...

    Anyway, I find the 1 point damage ruins the spell a bit too much (of an annoyance if nothing else).
    Where's the fun in taking an 18 con dwarf wizard into battle if he gets no Concentration check when it's most needed?

    But that initiative bit sounds great.

    And to make it even simpler, for each round of combat, after the last action of last round is resolved (after initiative is rolled for the first round), all casters declare their spells for the round, in reverse order of their initiative roll (so better rolls get to counterspell or counter-spell if they want to). Before anyone else starts acting.

    From a RP standpoint, it makes sense that the mages start incanting, waving their hands and drawing material components some time before their spells take hold. And so the rogue knows who to shank and the barbarian, who to tackle.

    Reduce their initiative by either the highest level spell cast, or by the cumulative level of all spells cast. If it drops below 0 the spell's effects are delayed 1 round.

    Under this rule, mages would almost always act last each round, giving opponents ample opportunities to shut them down during each round.

    As an additional rule, if needed, characters may not use move actions and cast spells or psionic powers in the same round.
    Last edited by rottenvenetic; 2012-07-26 at 02:49 PM.
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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    Quote Originally Posted by rottenvenetic View Post

    And to make it even simpler, for each round of combat, after the last action of last round is resolved (after initiative is rolled for the first round), all casters declare their spells for the round, in reverse order of their initiative roll (so better rolls get to counterspell or counter-spell if they want to). Before anyone else starts acting.
    The way it worked in AD&D was that you declared "Spell X starts" prior to the rounds initiative roll. So you couldn't wait for an awesome roll to cast a big spell, you had to take the risk before you knew your relative standing in the initiative order. No other actions required a declaration at the beginning of the round.

    But, that system had no notion of counter spells, so your method is probably better.
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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    One thought I had about magic is that it should be straining for someone to use all of their magic. That's like a barbarian swinging until they have nothing left.

    So I thought of this; have it directly affect their stamina. When they cast a spell, there is a chance of their con taking temporary damage, by a percent dependent on the level of the spell compared to their own level. This chance would get higher as they 'ran out of juice' to power their spells.

    On top of this I would add exhaustion effects against them as time rolled on, because using to many spells too soon can be VERY tiring to a mage of any sort.

    Though I think I might add to their spell lists or spells per day to off set this depending.

    Any thoughts on how to make this a little more CONCRETE? My thoughts are still forming about it.

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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    Quote Originally Posted by AeonsShadow View Post
    One thought I had about magic is that it should be straining for someone to use all of their magic. That's like a barbarian swinging until they have nothing left.

    So I thought of this; have it directly affect their stamina. When they cast a spell, there is a chance of their con taking temporary damage, by a percent dependent on the level of the spell compared to their own level. This chance would get higher as they 'ran out of juice' to power their spells.

    On top of this I would add exhaustion effects against them as time rolled on, because using to many spells too soon can be VERY tiring to a mage of any sort.

    Though I think I might add to their spell lists or spells per day to off set this depending.

    Any thoughts on how to make this a little more CONCRETE? My thoughts are still forming about it.
    hp damage equal to spell levels cast. Or hp burn if you want to make it so you can't just cure light wounds that loss.

    and/or...

    Each time you cast a spell, DC (10 + spell level + number of spells already cast that day) Will save. Failure means 1 point of Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma burn (depending on your primary casting ability). And note that reduced ability scores will affect your spell-casting ability.

    Edit: The above numbers may need adjusting for balance, but the base concept should work.
    Last edited by Ashtagon; 2012-07-27 at 12:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Crippling Spellcasting...Thematically (Brainstorming)

    I like it. I was thinking about directly affecting thier con, but this works too.
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