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    Default Standardizing Spells per Day

    If you want more of an intro/explanation, read the spoiler'ed part. Otherwise skip straight to the rules.

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    I've been thinking a lot about simplicity in game design lately. Normally I'm the kind of person who would rather see something done right than done quick (my Monk fix runs about 15 pages), but I can appreciate the value in not needing to print a cheat-charts on poster board or stop to reference a binder full of notes every 30 seconds during gameplay.

    This was mostly brought on by reading Grod_the_Giant's thread about simple tweaks for a whole pile of base classes, and how he converted several of the full casters from prepared to spontaneous for (I assume) the sake of reducing bookkeeping and increasing ease of use.

    On a whim, I took a look at the Sorcerer's spells-known table, and found it to be completely lacking in any rhyme or reason.
    I'm one of those weird people who likes to play around with charts, so here is a visual depiction of how many new spells a sorcerer gets at each level:
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    You gain new spells the fastest between levels 7 and 11, for no aparent reason, tapering off significantly as you go up in level.

    Many of the spells/day charts or progression of spells know for other casting classes seem similarly arbitrary.

    I started to wonder if there wasn't some way we could make the spells known and spells/day for all casters more regulated, so that you could learn one basic set of rules and not need to consult seperate tables for every other class. Of course, for the sake of flavor or mechancis we can have small exceptions, but they should be things that can be explained in a sentence or two. At it's core, we should have one, unified, easily indentifiable mechanic.

    Also, on a tangential topic, I've never disliked the vanacian casting system. It seems a little illogical, yes, but I filed that sort of thing under "It's just how the game works; deal with it". And I'm not in fan of converting all magic into a psionic-power points system; I think the two different styles make a nice contrast. But I wouldn't mind tweaking it to alter some of the more...counter-intuitive aspects.


    Primary Casters- Prepared Casting
    All prepared primary casters (classes that get access to 9th level spells) use the following spells/day chart to determine how many spells they can cast each day.

    Learning new spells- Casters of this type begin play knowing three 1st level spells, and five 0th level spells. They learn 2 new spells at every level, of any level they can cast. [if the class keeps track of spells in a spellbook like a Wizard, they can learn more spells using whatever mechanic your DM approves]

    Preparing & Casting- Casters of this type spend 1 hour each day (in study, prayer, meditation...whatever) to prepare which spells they plan to cast that day. For the highest level of spells they can cast they can prepare 1 spell, plus 1 additional spell for every +4 bonus from their primary casting stat. For every other spell level, they can prepare 2 spells, plus 1 additional spell for every +3 bonus from their primary casting stat.
    They can then cast any spell they have prepared that day, so long as they have not used up their available spell-slots of that level. They cannot prepare a spell at any level other than it's own, unless you are applying metamagic, in which case it counts as a different spell at a different level.

    For example: rather than a Wizard preparing 3 copies of Burning Hands, and 1 copy each of Magic Missle and Feather Fall, he just prepares those three spells and casts whichever he wants, as needed.

    Edit: Since first posting, it has been pointed out to me that Spirit Shamans already use a system nearly identical to this one. I have never played a Spirit Shaman before, but I'm glad that this sort of thing has precedent in-game. It should make it easier to gain acceptance for anyone who wants to present this system as an option to their group.


    Primary Casters- Spontaneous Casting
    All spontaneous primary casters use the following spells/day chart to determine how many spells they can cast each day.

    Learning new spells- Casters of this type begin play knowing two 1st level spells, and four 0th level spells. They learn 2 new spells at every level after first. 1 spell must be of the highest level spell they can cast, and the second must be of any other level.

    Casting- Caster of this type can cast any spells they know at any time, provided they have not used up all their daily spell slots of that level. They can apply metamagic to a spell at any time, making it act as a spell of it's modified level.


    Summary
    So basically, prepared casting gets bit more like spontaneous, to help reduce the accounting necessary to use it, and in exchange spontaneous casting isn't penalized for metamagic and is no longer 1 level behind.

    The tables follow (IMO) a fairly basic pattern, so it can be expanded into epic play or even just to give casters 10th level spell slots (if you want) without needing a whole 'nother chart.
    Alternatively, if you think casters now have too many spells, feel free to reshuffle things downward or reapply a cap.


    Individual Class Rules
    • Wizard-Prepared Caster: Wizard can cast any spell from their spellbook at any time that does not consume a spell slot, except that it takes 10 minutes per spell level (5 minutes for a level 0 spell), or the spell's normal casting time, whichever is greater. [This was Grod's idea, and at first I was a bit wary, but eventually I warmed up to it. It changes the fluff to be that limit isn't on how much magic a wizard can use each day, but on how much he can keep "locked and loaded" at any one time]
    • Sorcerer-Spontaneous Caster: no special rules at this time
    • Cleric-Prepared Caster: Unlike other prepared casters, Clerics begin play knowing all spells of their deities' domains. They learn 1 spell from the clerics spell list at evey level (including first). [Again, this was Grod's idea, and this one I liked from the start because it makes the selection of diety much more meaningful]
    • Druid-Spontaneous Caster: no special rules at this time
    • Wu Jen-Prepared Caster: WIP
    • Shugenja-Spontaneous Caster: Learns only one spell from his spell list at every level instead of two. The Shugenja learns an order spell at every odd level and at every even level he learns a spell of his favored element.
    • Favored Soul-Spontaneous Caster: WIP
    • Spirit Shaman-Prepared Caster: no special rules at this time
    • +anything else I haven't had the chance to look into closely yet



    Partial and half casters are in the next post. Feel free to offer whatever criticisms you wish, or ask for further explanation if it is still confusing. If any of it is confusing, let me know.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2013-07-18 at 09:14 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: Standardizing Spells per Day

    Half-Casters and Partial Casters

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    A half-caster is basically a single class gish, and atm I can think of only two: the Bard and the Duskblade. Once WotC moved beyond core, they started experimenting with different versions of magic besides spells per day (like Invocations), and we didn't see to many of these. If you can think of any more that fall in this category, let me know.

    A partial caster is a heavy-melee oriented class which has a limited spell progression: Ranger, Paladin, & Hexblade. Casting for these classes is mostly supposed to be a supplement to their melee skills, not a primary feature. Again, I can't think of to many outside of core, but please point me in the right direction if I've forgotten any.

    Half-Casters

    Learning new spells- Caster of this type begin play knowing two 1st level spells and three 0th level spells. At each level they learn one new spell of any level they can cast.

    Casting- Half-casters may cast either spontaneously, or may have to prepare spells using the same rules given above. See individual classes for details.


    Partial Casters

    Learning new spells- Caster of this type learn three 1st level spells at 3rd level. At each level after that they learn one new spell of any level they can cast.

    Casting- All partial casters cast spontaneously, using the same rules outlined above.
    [This is because there aren't that many of them, and most are heavily martially oriented. It's a lot harder, fluffwise, to justify them sitting around in academic study or spiritual contemplation.]


    Summary
    So basically, partial and half-casters are pretty similar, just with slightly different progressions. I don't think that bumping up the spells they can cast will unbalance things much, since most of these classes are weaker then full casters already, and have much more limited spell lists.

    Keeping with the pattern I laid out, both types of casters get higher level spell slots than they have currently spells on their lists for. Feel free to either expand the list, or simply leave those slots open for easier use of metamagic.

    Also, assuming you like these proposed changes to the casting system, it should be easy enough to port it into any other 'brew as needed. For example, I've seen Samurai fixes that give it spells, under the explanation of "ancestor magic", or something like that.


    Individual Class Rules
    • Bard-Prepared Caster
    • Duskblade-Spontaneous Caster



    [space]
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2013-07-22 at 08:43 AM. Reason: revisions
    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: Standardizing Spells per Day

    This looks nice, although I disagree that there's no pattern to spell known already

    {table=head]
    Levels available
    |
    Sor per day
    |
    Sor known
    |
    Wiz per day

    1 | 3 | 1 | 1

    2 | 4 | 2 | 2

    3 | 5 | 2 | 2

    4 | 6 | 3 | 3

    5 | 6 | 3 | 3

    6 | 6 | 4 | 3

    7 | 6 | 4 | 4

    8 | 6 | 5 | 4

    9 | 6 | 5 | 4

    10 | 6 | 6 | 4

    11 | 6 | 6 | 4

    12 | 6 | 7 | 4

    13 | 6 | 7 | 4

    14 | 6 | 8 | 4

    15 | 6 | 8 | 4

    16 | 6 | 9 | 4

    17 | 6 | 9 | 4

    18 | 6 | 9 | 4

    19 | 6 | 9 | 4

    20 | 6 | 9 | 4
    [/table]

    Wizard spells per day– Start counting from (2 * spell level - 1), or -4 for cantrips
    Sorcerer spells known– Start counting from (2 * spell level), 0 for level 1, or -4 for cantrips. Cap at 5 for levels 1 and 2, 4 for 3-5, and 3 for 6-9
    Sorcerer spells per day– Start counting from (2 * spell level), 1 for level 1, or -1 for cantrips

    Similar rules can be found for other classes. So even if it's inconsistent in relation to character level, there's still a pattern when you look at how many levels the spell level has been available.

    All that being said, this is again a very nice homebrew whether it's initial claim is true or not. I'd probably adopt your houserule about prepared spells anyway. (The bit about having only certain spells available, but castable in whatever permutation)
    Last edited by Razanir; 2013-05-01 at 01:20 PM.
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    Default Re: Standardizing Spells per Day

    Pure gold, 'm saving this thread to front of the line.
    I really need charts like this for an upcoming project as I need relative charts of the different casters in order to break it down casting competence into a modular pointbuy system.

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    Default Re: Standardizing Spells per Day

    Glad you liked my stuff so much

    First, let's see if I have this straight...
    • Everyone learns 2 spells/level, for an average of 4 spells known per spell level.
    • Wizards can add spells to their spellbooks as normal (and have my ritual casting option)
    • Clerics only learn 1 spell/level, but automatically know all their domain spells
    • Prepared casters (pretty much only wizards, clerics, and wu jen, who I refuse to acknowledge as anything more than a wizard ACF) now cast like the Spirit Shaman did, picking their spells known off a larger list each round.


    If I've got that right... spontaneous casters get hurt a lot. While they have an edge in spells per day, they really wind up hurting for spells known. Especially in comparison to the prepared casters, who will quickly wind up with almost as many spells "known" at a time (A +8 modifier can be achieved by level 10-- 18 +2 racial + 2 level-up boosts + 4 item), but can change them out every round.

    I like what you've done for prepared casting, but I think spirit shaman-style casting and ritual casting are too much. You've already boosted the wizard's power by giving him more spells/day and a more flexible casting mechanic.
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    Default Re: Standardizing Spells per Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Razanir View Post
    This looks nice, although I disagree that there's no pattern to spell known already

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    {table=head]
    Levels available
    |
    Sor per day
    |
    Sor known
    |
    Wiz per day

    1 | 3 | 1 | 1

    2 | 4 | 2 | 2

    3 | 5 | 2 | 2

    4 | 6 | 3 | 3

    5 | 6 | 3 | 3

    6 | 6 | 4 | 3

    7 | 6 | 4 | 4

    8 | 6 | 5 | 4

    9 | 6 | 5 | 4

    10 | 6 | 6 | 4

    11 | 6 | 6 | 4

    12 | 6 | 7 | 4

    13 | 6 | 7 | 4

    14 | 6 | 8 | 4

    15 | 6 | 8 | 4

    16 | 6 | 9 | 4

    17 | 6 | 9 | 4

    18 | 6 | 9 | 4

    19 | 6 | 9 | 4

    20 | 6 | 9 | 4
    [/table]

    Wizard spells per day– Start counting from (2 * spell level - 1), or -4 for cantrips
    Sorcerer spells known– Start counting from (2 * spell level), 0 for level 1, or -4 for cantrips. Cap at 5 for levels 1 and 2, 4 for 3-5, and 3 for 6-9
    Sorcerer spells per day– Start counting from (2 * spell level), 1 for level 1, or -1 for cantrips

    Similar rules can be found for other classes. So even if it's inconsistent in relation to character level, there's still a pattern when you look at how many levels the spell level has been available.
    Ok, there is SOME pattern, but it's not quite as clear-cut as you make it seem. There is a pattern at the start for Wiz/Sor spells per day, but it has arbitrary cut-off points at 4 or 9 and 6, respectively. Theres no real reason for picking those numbers (that I have heard) beyond "eh, whatever/good enough". So I guess that's sort of a pattern, but its a pretty complicated one, hence the need to display it on a chart.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    First, let's see if I have this straight...
    • Everyone learns 2 spells/level, for an average of 4 spells known per spell level.
    • Wizards can add spells to their spellbooks as normal (and have my ritual casting option)
    • Clerics only learn 1 spell/level, but automatically know all their domain spells
    • Prepared casters (pretty much only wizards, clerics, and wu jen, who I refuse to acknowledge as anything more than a wizard ACF) now cast like the Spirit Shaman did, picking their spells known off a larger list each round.
    For primary casters (still working the write up for the rest), yes, yes, yes, and no. Edit: Maybe? Edit2: Yes

    Sorry, I wasn't clear about that; I'll explain further. I intended that the prepared casters still need to spend an hour each morning picking what spells they are preparing for the entire day. But once that's done, they don't need to keep track of which spells they've cast, just how many they've used of each spell level (pretty much exactly like spontaneous casters do already).

    I realize that single-stat casters can pump their important ability quite high, which is why I said 1/2 bonus. In an ideal world, casters would be at least 2-stat MAD, and I'd probably make it something like prepared spells equal to your 1/2 your Intellect bonus for the max level you can cast, and just plain equal to it for every other level.
    That sort of thing is beyond the scope of this 'brew though, I think. You could, I guess, say that prepared casters are limited to 1/4 Bonus for max level spells (minimum 1), but that might be too limiting for people who AREN'T cheesing it up.

    If you have any other ideas for limiting the preparation, I'm all ears.


    With regards to the Wu Jen, I was simply listing it as one of the Base casting-Classes. I was trying to not make any other comment on it's worth or power, or prevent you from homebrewing further.
    For example, I don't think that the druid really feels like a "divine" caster in the same vein as the cleric, but further changes deserve their own thread.


    Edit: gotta take a look at exactly what a Spirit Shaman does.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2013-06-12 at 02:16 PM.
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    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: Standardizing Spells per Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    Sorry, I wasn't clear about that I; I'll alter the write-up. I intended that the prepared casters still need to spend an hour each morning picking what spells they are preparing for the entire day. But once that's done, they don't need to keep track of which spells they've cast, just how many they've used of each spell level (pretty much exactly like spontaneous casters do already).
    Isn't that exactly how spirit shamans cast, though, just with "prepare" crossed and and "retrieve" written in with crayon?

    On the prepared-verses-spontaneous thing, I'd give spontaneous casters 3 spells known/level (one of the highest level, one of a lower level, and one of any level?). That's enough that they can manage to take a few more situational and utility spells.
    Last edited by Grod_The_Giant; 2013-05-01 at 02:42 PM.
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    Grod's Grimoire of the Grotesque: An even bigger book of variant and expanded rules for 5e.
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
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    Default Re: Standardizing Spells per Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Isn't that exactly how spirit shamans cast, though, just with "prepare" crossed and and "retrieve" written in with crayon?
    Maybe? I've never actually played a Spirit Shaman; I was just listing the classes I saw in the index of Complete Arcane/Divine.

    If its not an original idea I'll add a note at the beggining of my post admitting as much, but I still think the system is a good one. Sorry if I misunderstood your original point.

    On the prepared-verses-spontaneous thing, I'd give spontaneous casters 3 spells known/level (one of the highest level, one of a lower level, and one of any level?). That's enough that they can manage to take a few more situational and utility spells.

    Currently a Sorcerer learns 42 spells (assuming my math is right) by 20th level. Now he'll learn 43 45. And any class still retains whatever replacement-learning mechanic it already had.
    Is that not enough? I'm honestly asking.

    Personally, I don't want any class to be able to do everything all the time. The changes to prepared casters where mostly because, objectively, tracking everything was a pain. In terms of power I don't think they really get MORE unbalanced, compared to what they can already do if you go whole hog on the min-maxing.
    I'd welcome any other change that limited their versatility (for example, in my wizard fix you start out with only 1 school and max out at 4) but again, that's not really the point of the thread.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2013-06-12 at 02:09 PM.
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    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: Standardizing Spells per Day

    Ok, the second post is up, with charts for everything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    If I've got that right... spontaneous casters get hurt a lot. While they have an edge in spells per day, they really wind up hurting for spells known. Especially in comparison to the prepared casters, who will quickly wind up with almost as many spells "known" at a time (A +8 modifier can be achieved by level 10-- 18 +2 racial + 2 level-up boosts + 4 item), but can change them out every round.

    I like what you've done for prepared casting, but I think spirit shaman-style casting and ritual casting are too much. You've already boosted the wizard's power by giving him more spells/day and a more flexible casting mechanic.
    I was brainstorming all afternoon to come up some solution that had a decent cap on the high end of optimization, didn't penalize low optimization too much, and incorporated Ability Stats in some way. It's a tricky combination. Still not sure if I've got it right, but I think I'm headed in the right direction.

    I've changed the rules for preparing spells to read as follows:
    You may prepare 1 spell of the highest level you can cast, and 2 spells of every other level. You can prepare one additional highest level spell for every +4 of your primary casting stat, and one additional spell at every other level for every +3.

    So a first level Wizard with 18 Intellect would be able to prepare two different 1st level spells and three 0th level spells. Your hypothetical tenth level Wizard would be able to prepare three different 5th level spells and five different spells of every other level.

    Further modification will be done as needed, maybe via feats. For example, we could tweak the Spell Mastery feat to have spells memorized in such a manner not count towards your daily limit.

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    Other possibilities I considered and discarded, if you are interested:

    You can prepare a number of spells at each level equal to your Spellcasting stat modifier minus that spell level (1 minimum). (for example, if your bonus was +5, you could prepare one 4th level spell, two 3rd level spells, three 2nd level spells, etc.)

    You can prepare a total number of different spells across all levels equal to your Casting-stat score (for example, if your casting stat is 18, you could prepare 18 different spells, total.

    You can prepare a number of spells of each level you can cast equal to your casting-stat bonus (minimum 1), except for the max level you can cast, which you can prepare 1/2 that number for (minimum 1).



    Edit: I've also figured out why I never read all the way through the description for the Spirit Shaman before. That picture is just terrible.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2013-05-14 at 01:52 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: Standardizing Spells per Day

    First draft spellpoint system for a stupidly massive baseclass project I'm working on:

    Spell Points AKA Spell Slots/Known Spells
    • You may gain spellpoints up to a maximum of 6 per level costing 1 FP each, each spellpoint may contribute to your prepared spells either in known spells or spell slots.
    • Each spellslot (spell per day) costs 1 spellpoint, each known spell costs 2 spellpoints. You can never spend more than half your spellpoints in spell slots.
    • To buy a spell slot of 1st or higher you must have double that many spells per day unlocked in the next lower tier (for instance 6 0th level, 3 1st level 1 2nd level would cost 10 SP, requiring a pool of 20SP to buy.
    • Every 6 points you have invested in spellpoints you gain 1.0 Caster Levels, choose if you want these to be divine or arcane, you may not have more than 1.0CasterLevels per ClassLevel, and you must choose what casting stat you want the caster levels to be (Int Wis or Cha).


    --For balance reference FP are assigned every 2 levels and buy all the class' stats to a rate of 1FP= +0.42BAB / +1HP / +2Skillpoints, ect.
    Last edited by Hanuman; 2013-05-04 at 01:10 PM.

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