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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Whitersnake's Avatar

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    Jun 2013

    Default [3.5] Wizard Replacement (PEACH) -- Frigates and Flintlocks

    Those of you following the Frigates and Flintlocks campaign setting may be wondering where I disappeared to. The truth is, the more I worked on my campaign setting, the less I liked the base classes. I realized that while 3.5's classes are great when it comes to the generic fantasy setting, a lot of what I wanted for the colonial setting involved slightly different classes. So I'm putting the setting on hold while I'm working on that aspect. When I publish the campaign setting (as a free PDF of course), I will include these classes as an optional siderule. But until then, I could certainly use some advice!

    Wizard
    The mysterious archmage researching spells in his musty tower; the dark cultist whose vile rituals promise death and destruction to all of her opponents;the valiant battlemage whose earth-shattering spells promise to end battles if only she can be protected until her casting is finished. All these are wizards, explorers of the deepest arcane secrets and manipulators of the laws of nature.

    Abilities
    A wizard's spellcasting depends on intelligence. A strong wisdom boosts a wizard's already phenomenal will saves even further while a high constitution aids the fragile wizard in survival. A good dexterity score allows a wizard to aim her ray spells better and gives a boost to her armor class.

    Hit Die
    d4.

    Class Skills
    The wizardís 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 Spellcraft (Int).

    Skill Points at 1st Level
    (2 + Int modifier) ◊4.

    Skill Points at Each Additional Level
    2 + Int modifier.

    Table: The Wizard
    {table=head]Level|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|0lvl|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

    1st|
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    | Lingering Magic; Metamagic Feat |3|1

    2nd|
    +1
    |
    +0
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    | Imbue Staff |4|2|-

    3rd|
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    | Metamagic Feat |4|2|1|-

    4th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    | |4|3|2|-|-

    5th|
    +2
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Reserve Feat|4|3|2|1|-|-

    6th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Metamagic Feat|4|3|3|2|-|-|-

    7th|
    +3
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |4|4|3|2|1|-|-|-|-

    8th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Imbue Staff 2|4|4|3|3|2|-|-|-|-|-

    9th|
    +4
    |
    +2
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Metamagic Feat|4|4|4|3|2|1|-|-|-|-

    10th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Reserve Feat|4|4|4|3|3|2|-|-|-|-

    11th|
    +5
    |
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    ||4|4|4|4|3|2|1|-|-|-

    12th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Metamagic Feat|4|4|4|4|3|3|2|-|-|-

    13th|
    +6/+1
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    ||4|4|4|4|4|3|2|1|-|-

    14th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Imbue Staff 3|4|4|4|4|4|3|3|2|-|-

    15th|
    +7/+2
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Metamagic Feat, Reserve Feat|4|4|4|4|4|4|3|2|1|-

    16th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    | |4|4|4|4|4|4|3|3|2|-

    17th|
    +8/+3
    |
    +5
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    | |4|4|4|4|4|4|4|3|2|1

    18th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Metamagic Feat|4|4|4|4|4|4|4|3|3|2

    19th|
    +9/+4
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    | |4|4|4|4|4|4|4|4|3|3

    20th|
    +10/+5
    |
    +6
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Imbue Staff 4|4|4|4|4|4|4|4|4|4|4[/table]


    Class Features
    All of the following are class features of the wizard.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency
    Wizards are proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield. Armor of any type interferes with a wizardís movements, which can cause her spells with somatic components to fail.

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

    To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the wizard must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a wizardís spell is 10 + the spell level + the wizardís Intelligence modifier. To prepare and cast a spell modified by metamagic, a wizard must have an Intelligence score equal to at least 10 + the spellís modified level.

    Like other spellcasters, a wizard can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on Table: The Wizard. Unlike other spellcasters, a wizard does not receive bonus spells for a high Intelligence score.

    Unlike a bard or sorcerer, a wizard may know any number of spells. She must choose and prepare her spells ahead of time by getting a good nightís sleep and spending 1 hour studying her spellbook. While studying, the wizard decides which spells to prepare.

    Casting Spells and Applying Metamagic
    Unlike other spellcasters, wizards do not simply channel arcane power into their spells. Instead, a wizard must complete a complex and complicated ritual in order to cast even the simplest of spells. All wizard spells have verbal, somatic, and material components even if the base spell does not.

    Additionally, all spells take at least 1 round per spell level to cast; if they originally took longer, then they are unmodified.

    Wizards are the only class that may apply metamagic to spells. When applying metamagic effects, a wizard does not increase the spellís level. Instead, she adds rounds to the time it takes to cast the spell. The amount of rounds added varies based on the type of metamagic being used. For example, a wizard who wishes to cast an Extended Blur uses her 2nd level spell slot but takes three rounds to cast the spell instead of two.

    Quicken Spell has a different effect: A wizard may cast a Quickened spell as a single full-round action, but it takes up a spell slot 4 levels higher.
    Casting a spell requires deep focus, but a wizard with enough will power can multitask while continuing her ritual. So long as she stays within the same square that she started casting in, a wizard may take one standard or move action per turn. These actions are distracting, however; to continue her spell, a wizard must succeed on a concentration check, DC 11 + Spell Level + Round of Casting. Failing this check breaks her concentration and wastes the spell.

    Lingering Magic
    A wizardís magic may take longer to work, but it also lasts longer. Any spells considered (harmless) lasting 1 minute per level instead lasts 10 minutes per level at no additional cost unless the target chooses to attempt a saving throw, in which case the spell lasts only 1 minute per level (assuming the saving throw is failed).

    Bonus Languages
    A wizard may substitute Draconic for one of the bonus languages available to the character because of her race.

    Bonus Feats
    At 1st, 3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level, a wizard gains a bonus metamagic feat. At each such opportunity, she can choose a metamagic feat. The wizard must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including caster
    level minimums.

    At 5th, 10th, and 15th level, a wizard gains a bonus reserve feat. At each such opportunity, she can choose a reserve feat. The wizard must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat.

    These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. The wizard is not limited to the categories of reserve feats or metamagic feats when choosing these feats.

    Imbue Staff
    At 2nd level, a wizard crafts a personalized staff. By casting a spell she has prepared, she may imbue the staff with magical energy. She can then activate the staff in order to cast this spell as a standard action, although she may not do this while casting a ritual spell. At 8th level, she may charge her staff with up to two spells at a time and can activate either as a standard action. At 14th and 20th level, the number of spells the staff can contain increases to 3 and 4. Imbued spells may not be modified with metamagic.

    A wizard's staff can hold a maximum number of spell levels equal to half her character level. For example, a 14th level wizard's staff may hold two third level spells and a first level spell, or a fourth level spell and a third level spell.

    Only the wizardís own staff may be imbued with magic, and only she may use the spells her staff contains. The spells always dissipate when the wizard prepares new spells. If the staff is sundered or otherwise destroyed, it releases the magic it contains in a devastating explosion, dealing 1d6 points of force damage per caster level of the spells contained within. For example, an 8th level wizard whose staff contains Fireball and Burning Hands is sundered. It explodes, dealing 3d6 damage for the 2nd level Fireball and 1d6 for the 1st level Burning Hands for a total of 4d6 damage. A successful reflex save halves this damage; DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 wizardís level.

    A wizard who loses her staff must make a new one, a process taking 1 week and costing 100 XP per wizard level.

    A wizard's staff has an additional point of hardness per 5 levels of wizard. It has one bonus hit point per level of wizard. Starting at 5th level, its inherent magical properties grant it spell resistance equal to 12 + wizard level.

    Spellbooks
    A wizard must study her spellbook each day to prepare her spells. She cannot prepare any spell not recorded in her spellbook, except for read magic, which all wizards can prepare from memory.
    A wizard begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells (except those from her prohibited school or schools, if any; see School Specialization, below) plus three 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the wizard has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new wizard level, she gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that she can cast (based on her new wizard level) for her spellbook. At any time, a wizard can also add spells found in other wizardsí spellbooks to her own.

    Arcane Spells And Armor
    Wizards and sorcerers do not know how to wear armor effectively.
    If desired, they can wear armor anyway (though theyíll be clumsy in it), or they can gain training in the proper use of armor (with the various Armor Proficiency featsólight, medium, and heavyóand the Shield Proficiency feat), or they can multiclass to add a class that grants them armor proficiency. Even if a wizard or sorcerer is wearing armor with which he or she is proficient, however, it might still interfere with spellcasting.
    Armor restricts the complicated gestures that a wizards or sorcerer must make while casting any spell that has a somatic component (most do). The armor and shield descriptions list the arcane spell failure chance for different armors and shields.

    By contrast, bards not only know how to wear light armor effectively, but they can also ignore the arcane spell failure chance for such armor. A bard wearing armor heavier than light or using any type of shield incurs the normal arcane spell failure chance, even if he becomes proficient with that armor.
    If a spell doesnít have a somatic component, an arcane spellcaster can cast it with no problem while wearing armor. Such spells can also be cast even if the casterís hands are bound or if he or she is grappling(although Concentration checks still apply normally). Also, the metamagic feat Still Spell allows a spellcaster to prepare or cast a spell at one spell level higher than normal without the somatic component. This also provides a way to cast a spell while wearing armor without risking arcane spell failure.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Yakk's Avatar

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    Nov 2006

    Default Re: [3.5] Wizard Replacement (PEACH) -- Frigates and Flintlocks

    Some tweaks I'd suggestion:

    First, split the magic rules changes out from the class.

    "Casting a spell requires 1 round of preparation per level of the spell, prior to the casting time. Preparing to cast a spell provokes opportunity attacks, and if you are damaged your spell can be disrupted (insert usual system here). If you cease preparing a spell for any reason, you can lose the spell (insert some DC system here)."

    This is slightly worse than the rules you present. 1st level spells now take 2 rounds to cast.

    You could hand out a reserve feat, instead of a metamagic feat, at first level in order to make this more interesting: the wizard can channel magic to deal damage at level 1, or spend 2 rounds and burn their first level spell for a more flashy result.

    This also makes burning actions for 0 level spells far more tempting, as they are the only non-quickened spells you can cast in 1 round.

    ...

    I'd limit the level of spells imbued in the staff somehow. As it is written, there are few reasons not to put your highest level spells in your staff. Maybe that is intended.

    I'd also be tempted to make the wizard's staff even more interesting. One idea I have played around with is that wizard's can defend themselves but only by sacrificing offence: the wizard staff could be the mechanic by which this happens. Dunno.

    ...

    I sort of like how metamagic doesn't require higher level spell slots, but it does mean you can layer 5 different metamagics on some high level spell and seriously break reality.

    ...

    Quicken you might want to "1 level higher slot, 1 less round of prep". This makes it more continuous than "4 levels in exchange for it being 1 round".

    ...

    One worry I'd have is that wizards can still do "turns of prep, for rounds of combat". One could limit how many spell levels a spell caster can "keep active" at the same time.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Jun 2013

    Default Re: [3.5] Wizard Replacement (PEACH) -- Frigates and Flintlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    Some tweaks I'd suggestion:
    Feedback is always appreciated!
    First, split the magic rules changes out from the class.
    At the moment I haven't decided how to handle the other classes. I know that I want the default casters available in this setting to include Wizards, Sorcerers, Artificers, Warlocks, Clerics, Favored Souls, and Druids; but I'm not sure if the changes I made to wizards will apply to all of them. Sorcerers, for example, will certainly be changed, but I want them to channel spells in combat rather than prepare rituals. When I publish the setting as a PDF I'll move the magic rules to where they fit best.
    "Casting a spell requires 1 round of preparation per level of the spell, prior to the casting time. Preparing to cast a spell provokes opportunity attacks, and if you are damaged your spell can be disrupted (insert usual system here). If you cease preparing a spell for any reason, you can lose the spell (insert some DC system here)."

    This is slightly worse than the rules you present. 1st level spells now take 2 rounds to cast.
    That's the idea. Wizards gain a lot, being able to lay on the MM; on the other hand, they suffer in combat. It enforces the idea of wizards being prepared casters, and differentiates them from what Sorcerers will end up as.
    You could hand out a reserve feat, instead of a metamagic feat, at first level in order to make this more interesting: the wizard can channel magic to deal damage at level 1, or spend 2 rounds and burn their first level spell for a more flashy result.

    This also makes burning actions for 0 level spells far more tempting, as they are the only non-quickened spells you can cast in 1 round.
    That's certainly a good idea, but I'm not sure if I want wizards casting spells in-combat that early. In a way, having wizards be forced to rely on 0th level spells until they get their first reserve feat at level 5 seems appropriate. Besides, some of the best 1st level spells still work quite well: Sleep, for example, is still very useful. If you're fighting a dozen goblins, your allies need to defend you while you prepare to end the encounter. Thoughts?

    I'd limit the level of spells imbued in the staff somehow. As it is written, there are few reasons not to put your highest level spells in your staff. Maybe that is intended.
    I have been thinking of limiting the level somehow, but haven't been sure if it's necessary. Let's take a 20th level wizard as an example: She can stick 4 9th level spells in her staff (none of which can receive metamagic), which is her entire stock of 9th level spells (since wizards can no longer get bonus spells from a high int). This gives her a powerful offensive boost, but no more powerful than what a wizard currently has. On the other hand, it limits her; no more Extended 9th level Buffs, no more Maximized Empowered Meteor Swarms as part of an ambush, no more Quickened 5th level spells. Thoughts?
    I'd also be tempted to make the wizard's staff even more interesting. One idea I have played around with is that wizard's can defend themselves but only by sacrificing offence: the wizard staff could be the mechanic by which this happens. Dunno.
    That's also a very interesting idea. Maybe limit reserve spells so that a wizard can only use them based on spells in her staff? So if a reserve spell calls for a spell with the fire descriptor, she needs that spell actually in her staff rather than simply prepared? She can use the spells in her staff in an emergency, but that means that she can no longer use one of her reserve spells.

    I sort of like how metamagic doesn't require higher level spell slots, but it does mean you can layer 5 different metamagics on some high level spell and seriously break reality.
    That's the idea, in a way. The wizard can lay on the buffage at the start of the day with Extended spells (probably going to ban Persist in this setting, but still). But I can't think of any specific ways to break the game that don't involve something like "cast an 8th level Empowered Maximized Twinned Chained spell in-combat" which would take so many rounds that a player deserves to have an I Win button if he can last that long... Can you think of any game-breaking combos?

    Quicken you might want to "1 level higher slot, 1 less round of prep". This makes it more continuous than "4 levels in exchange for it being 1 round".
    Not sure about this one. For levels 1 through 4, it makes Quicken cheaper to use; it ensures that 5th level spells will never be usable as a standard action; anything higher than that couldn't be used with Quicken until Epic levels anyway, so I'm not sure how it helps.

    One worry I'd have is that wizards can still do "turns of prep, for rounds of combat". One could limit how many spell levels a spell caster can "keep active" at the same time.
    Do you mean that a wizard would precast 8 rounds of a 9th level spells, then finish it in the first round of combat? The idea is that a wizard needs to stay in one square while casting, so that wouldn't actually work. Once the ritual is started, it needs to be finished or it will just fizzle away.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Wizard Replacement (PEACH) -- Frigates and Flintlocks

    I don't mind making 1st through 5th level wizards stronger: there is room for that.

    Making 18th level wizards stronger is seriously pointless.

    ...

    Do you mean that a wizard would precast 8 rounds of a 9th level spells, then finish it in the first round of combat? The idea is that a wizard needs to stay in one square while casting, so that wouldn't actually work. Once the ritual is started, it needs to be finished or it will just fizzle away.
    No, I mean, you pre-buff and pre-summon and do a bunch of "pre-casting" and end up with a horde of power. You then walk into the room, and blow everything up.

    Sort of CoDzilla like: buff yourself to ridiculous levels.

    Free metamatic means every out of combat effect is going to have its duration extremely extended.

    If there was some limit to how many spells (or levels of spells, maybe including metamagic) a wizard could have "currently active", this pre-buff issue might be reduced.

    Note that your restrictions on casting mostly fade away by 9th level. You can have 4 spells ready to go, and as many buffs up as you feel like.

    Meanwhile, at lower levels, you are significantly worse off: when you can only have 1 spell prepped, and almost all of your other spells take many rounds, and your spell durations aren't long enough that pre-buffing is cheap.

    In short, the restrictions you have make lower level wizards "more worse" than they impact higher level wizards, which seems counter productive given the default 3e wizard power curve.

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5] Wizard Replacement (PEACH) -- Frigates and Flintlocks

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post

    No, I mean, you pre-buff and pre-summon and do a bunch of "pre-casting" and end up with a horde of power. You then walk into the room, and blow everything up.
    I'm not sure I see how.
    Sort of CoDzilla like: buff yourself to ridiculous levels.
    CoDzilla relies on the magical buffs enhancing his pre-existing combat prowess. A wizard who buffs himself up will still have 1/2 BaB and combat stats that leave a lot to be desired, compared to buffing up the fighter. And if the wizard buffs up the fighter, I just don't see the problem, especially considering that the enemies will have their own fighters buffed up by their own wizards too.
    Free metamatic means every out of combat effect is going to have its duration extremely extended.
    The only duration-extending spell I can think of is Extend. I'm not going to include Persistent Spell in my setting, which means that most buffs are going to be lasting 20 minutes per level thanks to Lingering Magic. Spells that last hours per level already last entire adventuring days, and spells with a duration of rounds/level still last rounds/level. I'm just not sure which all-day spells a wizard is going to be spamming; summoning spells last rounds/level, and calling spells already last for days. On the other hand, once in combat, a wizard won't be able to use anywhere near as many "I win" buttons as he could before.

    If there was some limit to how many spells (or levels of spells, maybe including metamagic) a wizard could have "currently active", this pre-buff issue might be reduced.
    While I don't agree that this is as big of a problem as you seem to think it is, I could certainly go for a restriction such as, "A wizard's arcane spells sustains itself for quite a long time, but often requires some support from the life force of the creature it targets. A character may have no more than one spell level per character level of spells laid upon it. So a 5th level wizard can be buffed with Extended Blur and Extended Mage Armor, but additional buffs will fail". Clean up the wording a bit and I think I've got a workable rule there.
    Note that your restrictions on casting mostly fade away by 9th level. You can have 4 spells ready to go, and as many buffs up as you feel like.
    At 9th level, you can prepare one quickened 1st level spell in your 5th level spell slot and two 4th level spells in your staff, leaving you with 3 3rd level spells and 4 1st and 2nd level spells for buffs to split among the party.

    Buffing the wizard's buffing ability was intended; nerfing his encounter-ending ability was also a goal, and one I think I achieved. Without metamagic his staff's spells are nerfed; the fact that wizards can no longer specialize also helps. Limiting the buff to buffing might be called for, but I don't see how you can claim that this change strengthens a wizard's game-breaking power.

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