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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    So, I'm new here on these forums (at least, this is my first time signing in and posting) and I was wondering if anyone would like to comment and help on a new way of spellcasting and some feats for it. Here are the changes;
    Spellcasting:
    Spoiler: Open
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    Everytime a player casts a spell, he or she must make a special will save(here after called casting check), verses a dc equal to (spell level + number of spells already cast since last 8 hour rest + other modifiers).
    If the player passes, they cast the spell normally. If he or she fails to beat the check, not only does the spell not go off, then they must now roll a fort save (Same dc as above) or have their casting dc increase like they had cast it. When a player reaches the point where they need to roll a natural 10 on their highest level of spells, not including effects that reduce the dc, they become fatigued (can be reduced by magic or rest, but bypasses immunities) . Once the player can no longer hit the casting dc for even their lowest level spells (not cantrips), not including effects that reduce the dc, even on a natural twenty, they lose access to spell casting until they rest for a minimum of 8 hours. The player is also exhausted (can be reduced with magic and rest, but bypasses immunities). Bonuses to saves from sources besides progression, feats, ability score, and only certain class abilities don't count (it will say in the class abilities description) . Using these changes will replace the spells per day system, but the level at which a character gains a level of spell will remain the same. Additionally, if you have multiple classes that give you spells, both classes run off of the same casting check (meaning casting spells from one class increases the casting check of both).

    Critical Success and Failure:
    Spoiler: Open
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    Failure
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    When casting a spell, a character has a chance to truly fail. On a natural one, if the character fails the roll by 5 or more, it is considered a critical failure. Roll a 1d6 and look at the chart below to determine how the character failed. On a crit failure, the fort save is negated and the character automatically increases there casting check as if they had successfully cast the spell.
    1: The caster lost control of the energies present in casting. They and all creature within a (5 x their caster level) radius takes (1d10 x the level of spell being cast) in damage. This damage is purely magical in nature and bypasses all resistances.
    2: The caster failed to concentrate on the spells target and fired the spell off at random. The spell hits a random target within the area of the spell.
    3: The caster accidentally cast the wrong spell. Pick a spell at random that the character is able to cast. This spell is used in place of the cast spell.
    4: The caster lost control of the energies present in casting, but managed to suppress the effects slightly. The caster takes (1d10 x the level of spell being cast) in damage. This damage is purely magical in nature and bypasses all resistances.
    5: The caster lost control of the energies present in casting, burning out their magic for a while in the process. Roll 1d4 + the level of spell being cast. This is how many turns the caster losses access to their spell casting.
    6: The caster lost the energies in the spell from a split second of losing focus and found more drained out of them than they bargained for. Roll 1d4. Increase the casting check by this amount, in addition to the casters increase from failing the spell.

    Success
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    Just as a character can suddenly lose focus or control, they can sometimes find that same control or focus heightened. On a natural 20, if the caster beats their casting check by 5 or more, then it is considered a crit success. The caster can choose an effect from the following list (or roll 1d4 if they want).
    1: The caster suddenly feels their spell hitting a new level of power. If the spell deals damage, it increases it's damage by 50%. If the spell doesn't damage, but has an area of effect, the area is doubled. If it has neither damage nor area of effect, it's DC gets +2 and the spell ignores spell resistance.
    2: The caster has a sudden inspiration on how to manipulate a spell a certain way. Choose two more target for the spell within range. The spell effects that character the same way, even if the spell normally can only target a certain number of creatures.
    3: The caster draws more energy into their spell than normal. They gain +5 to the caster level of the spell and if the spell has a caster level cap, this cap is increased by 5 as well.
    4: The caster manages to waste no effort on his or her part of casting the spell. The doesn't increase the characters casting check and the spell functions even in areas without magic (including anti-magic areas and spells that produce similar effects).


    Feats:
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    Spoiler: Misc
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    Mental Shift: Use your spell casting modifier for casting checks instead of regular will ability score modifier
    Pre-Reqs: Caster Level 1 *note: characters with classes that gain up to ninth level spells should gain this feat for free

    Magic Training: You increase your will save for casting checks by 3. This feat can be taken more than once, up to three times, but each time the caster level requirement is increased by 5.
    Pre-Reqs: Caster Level 5

    Spoiler: Blood Magic
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    Blood Magic: Can use your, a helpless creatures, or a willing participants hp to lessen the casting check (Every 10 hp given up decreases the check by 1). Cannot heal the damage taken this way through magic, only rest. This only applies to one spell per use of the feat. Blood Magic does not work on creatures or characters without blood or a soul.
    Pre-Reqs: Caster level 1, Int, Cha, or Wis 16, Con 14, Non-Good alignment

    Improved Blood Letting: Increases the conversion rate of hp to 5 for 1 for the Blood Magic Feat.
    Pre-Reqs: Blood Magic, Caster Level 5

    Greater Blood Letting: The decrease in caster checks applies to a second spell, though you must cast this spell within 2 rounds of the first one.
    Pre-Reqs: Improved Blood Letting, Caster Level 10

    Masterful Blood Letting: The decrease to casting checks applies to a third spell, though you must cast it within 2 rounds of the second spell. In addition, once per week, you can get a conversion rate of hp to 2 for 1. This only applies to the first spell, others get the normal rate.
    Pre-Reqs: Greater Blood Letting, Caster Level 20

    Spoiler: Empowering Casting
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    Empowering Casting: Can increase the casting check to increase caster level of spell being cast. Increasing a spell this way also increases the caps a spell has, if any, on caster level by an amount equal to the caster level increase. 5 to the dc increases the caster level by one. The caster increase only applies to the one spell, but the casting check increase applies to all checks afterwards.
    Pre-Reqs: Caster Level 1

    Improved Empowering: The bonus to caster level and cap applies on the next spell you cast as well.
    Pre-Reqs: Empowering Casting

    Effortless Empowering: The conversion of casting check to caster level increases to 5 to 2.
    Pre-Reqs: Improved Empowering, Caster Level 8

    Grand Empowering:The conversion of casting check to caster level becomes 2 to 1. In addition, the increase to caster level and cap applies to the next spell you cast (stacks with improved empowering, meaning the second spell you cast after the first one gets the bonus as well)
    Pre-Reqs: Effortless Empowring, Caster Level 15

    Spoiler: Elemental Focus
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    Elemental Focus: When a character first gains this feat, they must choose one element (fire, cold, acid, electricity, sonic, or force). When casting spells with a descriptor matching the element chosen or a spell that deals matching damage, they gain +2 to their casting check. With all other elements, they take a -2 to casting check.
    Pre-Reqs: Caster Level 1, at least 1 spell with the chosen elements descriptor

    Elementalist: When casting a spell that benefits from elemental focus, the character also gets +1 to their caster level and +1 to any caster level caps that spell has.
    Pre-Reqs: Elemental Focus, Caster Level 3, at least 3 spells with the chosen elements descriptor

    Improved Elemental Focus: The bonuses from elemental focus increase by 2 (for a total of +4), but the penalties from also increase by 2(total of -4). In addition, creatures with resistance to the element chosen from elemental focus have their resistance cut in half from the spellcaster's spells.
    Pre-Reqs: Elemental Focus, Caster Level 5, at least 5 spells with the chosen elements descriptor

    Adept Elementalist: The bonus to caster level and caster level caps on spells that gain the benefits of elemental focus increase by 1 more (for a total bonus of +2).
    Pre-Reqs: Elementalist, Caster Level 8, at least 8 spells with the chosen elements descriptor

    Grand Elemental Focus: The bonuses from elemental focus increase by one (for a total of +5). In addition, creatures with resistance to the chosen element are treated as if they didn't have resistance to it from the spellcaster's spells and creatures with immunity still take half damage.
    Pre-Reqs: Improved Elemental Focus, Caster Level 10, at least 10 spells with the chosen descriptor

    Master Elementalist: The bonus to spells which gain the bonus from elemental focus increases by 1(for a total of +3). In addition, spells you cast that gain this bonus are treated as half a spell (meaning that it takes two casts to increase their casting check). However, all other spells are treated as 2 spells (meaning every spell cast that doesn't gain elemental focus increases the casting check by 2).
    Pre-Reqs: Grand Elemental Focus, Adept Elementalist, Caster Level 15, at least 15 spells with the chosen descriptor

    Dual Elements: The bonus from elemental focus applies to a second element, but elements that don't gain elemental focus have double the penalties from elemental focus and feats or abilities that modify it. In addition, if the character has any other feats with the prerequisite of elemental focus and a certain amount of spells, they must also have the same number of spells for the newly chosen element before taking this feat and to take any of those feats after.
    Pre-Reqs: Elemental Focus, *special (read the description)


    Future Changes and Lore
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    Spoiler: Future Changes
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    - changing the abilities of some of the weaker or too powerful spells or altogether scrapping the current spell system and making it more free form and interesting.
    - changing some of the casting classes to better fit my system
    - tweak the system bit by bit to balance it and make it more fun
    - other various odds and ends
    Spoiler: Lore
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    So, this section is more dedicated to the reasons behind these changes, my personal feelings on the current system of magic, and in what kind of settings I think would fit best for this system. To start off with, I've always loved the idea of magic. The mystery, the power, the experiments and tests, all the little bits that make magic.... well, magic. That's why I personally hate the magic in pathfinder (or any system with similar casting). It takes the mystery, the experimentation out and replaces it with cold, hard facts. x does y to z. I feel that magic should feel rewarding and challenging, not like you're following a recipe out of a book, but more like you are writing said cookbook with your own ideas and touches. Maybe some of you will understand where I am coming from. Maybe you wont. How I'm going to do this major change? I honestly have no idea yet. Which is why I'm posting this on here, to try to get help and see if anyone has any ideas of their own. I just know that I want every single magic user to feel TRULY different from one another, not just small variations on the same old idea. Take this for example: John the cryomancer is a sorcerer who is totally in love with using his biggest, most powerful ice based spells and is always spending all his energy improving his capacity to throw out the largest amount of ice possible. His friend Steve is a utility mage, a wizard who spends his time learning new, unique spells that have nothing to do with combat at all. While John uses huge, devastating spells to effect and has trained to cast those spells all day, he isn't really that great at any other type of magic and the effort needed for those other types of magic are easily 2-3 times more draining for him. Steve on the other hand, while he doesn't have as much raw magic power, is able to utilize spells of many different types and is more then capable in his own rights. Both are viable styles, one more suited to certain tasks than others sure, but both having there own strengths and weaknesses. And I know pathfinder has some of that, but it doesn't differ as much as it should, in my opinion. There are way to many Mary Sue and Gary Stu magic users who are the be all end all. Too many magic users feel too similar, especially where spell slots are concerned. Is it fair that a magic user who mostly uses weaker, less costly spells on a regular bases with an emphasis on utility should have the same amount of magic available as a character who prioritizes casting lots and lots of blasty type spells, just because they have the same level and stats? In my opinion, no.
    Now, as for what kind of settings I think this system would be good? Any where there is no truly formal way to learn spell casting would be a good one. It would help to explain why so many people cast there spells in different ways, if they where all taught spellcasting from completely different sources. Or a setting where magic is common as dirt, where magical advancements are made daily by people and different ways of casting had been uncovered. Really, it could fit just about any setting you could think of. All it would need is a little tweak here or there and bam!, new spellcasting. Feel free to leave in the comments what setting you would use a system like I am trying to make. I would appreciate the different view points.

    Special thanks go to:
    Spoiler: Thanks
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    To VoxRationis, for his suggestion on fatigue, and on blood magic
    To Nonsi, for his suggestion to switch the casting check to will and failure check to fort, his questions about blood magic, and for his suggestions of other variant systems

    Please, feel free to comment and tell me what you think and if you have any suggestions. This will not be all the feats or casting changes, more will be coming.
    Last edited by Raenel; 2015-07-07 at 11:34 PM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Just in case
    Last edited by Raenel; 2015-07-07 at 01:03 AM.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    And one more
    Last edited by Raenel; 2015-07-07 at 01:04 AM.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    So am I understanding this correctly? The mage goes straight from no penalties (outside of increased spellcasting DCs) to exhausted? Perhaps they should become fatigued at some point in between those points.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    I was thinking so too. Maybe when they need a natural 10 to pass on the highest level spell they have available?
    PS: I really like your low-magic wizard. It fits a class concept I had for an up-coming game I'll be running soon, so I'm going to show my players and see if any of them want to play.
    Last edited by Raenel; 2015-07-07 at 01:04 AM.

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    nonsi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Before diving into details and calculations, I'd change Fort to will (with the primary spellcasting ability stat serving as the saving throws modifier), because it doesn't make much sense that all PC casters are in effect practiced marathon runners.

    Make sure to run the numbers, because you probably wouldn't want to make spellcasting too available (be certain that players will find ways to increase chanses for success), because spellcasters already dominate the game at mid/high levels.



    Blood Magic: What's the save DC?

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    I can see what you mean about the fort. I wanted to give the feeling that spellcasting was tied to the physical as much as the mental. Maybe I'll try switching the fort and will saves around. Have it show that while your mind might command mystical energies, your body might not be able to handle it. I'll also probably be adding in a crit failure system. Make it so it can be just as deadly for allies and yourself as it is for your enemies.
    As for the second thing, that's why it limits the bonuses to natural ones from class progression, feats, ability score, and only certain class abilities.
    And as for blood magic? I wasn't thinking about it when I wrote it. Maybe a save of (10 + 1/2 casters level + Spell casting modifier) on the helpless creature or characters part? And it doesn't work on anything that has no soul or blood (wasn't sure how obvious that would be to some players till now)
    Last edited by Raenel; 2015-07-07 at 01:04 AM.

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    nonsi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raenel View Post
    Maybe I'll try switching the fort and will saves around. Have it show that while your mind might command mystical energies, your body might not be able to handle it.
    Very nice. Makes a lot of sense and puts Con back in the right place of secondary attribute.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raenel View Post
    I'll also probably be adding in a crit failure system. Make it so it can be just as deadly for allies and yourself as it is for your enemies.
    I wouldn't do that. Combat is already on the border of being too slow as it is.
    Furthermore, having your own powers backfiring on a regular basis is really not fun. The players should have control over how much they want to risk things in case of dire straights, but in regular gameflow, they shouldn't have to worry about shooting themselves in the leg all the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Raenel View Post
    As for the second thing, that's why it limits the bonuses to natural ones from class progression, feats, ability score, and only certain class abilities.
    And as for blood magic? I wasn't thinking about it when I wrote it. Maybe a save of (10 + 1/2 casters level + Spell casting modifier) on the helpless creature or characters part? And it doesn't work on anything that has no soul or blood (wasn't sure how obvious that would be to some players till now)
    I believe that just like me, the motivation for these proposed house rules stems from your not being satisfied with the mechanics of spells per day, spell memorization and the fire&forget approach to spells.
    Unfortunately, I think you're at risk of finding yourself tangled in the web of your own rules.
    I suggest considering using Surgo's Mana-Based Spellcasting. I heavily based my alternative to Vancian spellcasting on it, which I modified and enriched with the good help of other giantitp homebrewers, because I found it incomplete.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    I want there to be a crit system, because I believe that a magic character should have just as much chance of screwing and hitting a friend as a melee guy has. But worse, because they control something much more powerful than any weapon.
    It won't be anything too complicated (though I may add in rules for those who want it a little more complicated, as a side note). And there will be a crit success as well. Besides, really anything besides "I hit him." and "I hit him again." is usually gonna slow down combat. A magic using character should already know his or her mid way point and max for casting spells, so I don't really feel that a player will find it too troublesome to use this system, as long as they pay attention. And don't mind number crunching. And while the base rules I want to be somewhat simple, I want the feats to really change things up. I think that magic should be a little hard and complicated, especially if you want to change the rules for yourself. But at the same time, you won't need feats to be effective. I want the magic feats to be fun little changes and variations that help make and describe a character and their usage and abilities at magic.
    PS: And you where right about me not being satisfied with the spellcasting in regular pathfinder (or dnd for that matter). I want a system that rewards a character for playing around with it. More so than just finding ways to cheat the system like using a 1st level spell to destroy countries and killing the tarasque at like level 5.
    Last edited by Raenel; 2015-07-07 at 01:04 AM.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post

    Unfortunately, I think you're at risk of finding yourself tangled in the web of your own rules.
    I suggest considering using Surgo's Mana-Based Spellcasting. I heavily based my alternative to Vancian spellcasting on it, which I modified and enriched with the good help of other giantitp homebrewers, because I found it incomplete.
    I think you're being a little hard on the guy. The rules aren't that long or complicated.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    I think you're being a little hard on the guy. The rules aren't that long or complicated.
    It's fine, I can understand where he is coming from. The rules may very well become too complicated, but if that happens I'll just have to take the time to fix that. Plus, I appreciate any and all comments, so he could have been ten times harsher and I still really wouldn't have minded at all. Oh, and thanks for the suggestion on fatigued first, it really helped. Any suggestions on feats or other changes?
    Last edited by Raenel; 2015-07-07 at 01:04 AM.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    I myself would remove the save for Blood Magic for helpless victims. That's why they're helpless. It'd be kind of silly for the screaming sacrifice to end the villain's plan with a lucky roll, wouldn't it?

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    I thought about it, but I'm still not sure. I mean, yes, it makes sense that a helpless character is, in fact, helpless. But I was thinking that because you're trying to pretty much trying to rip the energy from the person through his or her blood, perhaps they should have a save to try and resist. Does it make sense or should I just scrap it and leave it saveless?
    Last edited by Raenel; 2015-07-07 at 01:05 AM.

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    nonsi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raenel View Post
    I thought about it, but I'm still not sure. I mean, yes, it makes sense that a helpless character is, in fact, helpless. But I was thinking that because you're trying to pretty much trying to rip the energy from the person through his or her blood, perhaps they should have a save to try and resist. Does it make sense or should I just scrap it and leave it saveless?
    I second the notion of removing the save for Blood Magic for helpless victims.
    Helpless victims can have their blood taken without them having anything to say on the matter (either with a knife or directed spell energies).
    Furthermore, less rules and less rolls mean a faster game.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Okay, the changes on blood magic have been made. What about the other feats so far? Too much or little? I want to make the system more about role play and less about what's strongest or weakest, while still keeping any variant casting styles viable. Should I add in more limits to blood magic, to make it more focused like elemental magic or leave as is?
    Last edited by Raenel; 2015-07-07 at 01:05 AM.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    I wouldn't limit its scope, myself. There are a broad variety of spells I could see being appropriate for blood magic. If you were dead-set on it, conjuration and necromancy spells seem the best for it.

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    Deepbluediver's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Applying dice-rolls to spellcasting is something I consider crucial to bringing the magic system in line (in terms of balance) and I've experimented with it before, including critical success/failure mechanics.

    I preferred separating it out and making Spellcraft it's own roll entirely so I had full control over it, but your idea of using saves is certainly an interesting one, and has the benefit of fitting into the existing system. I haven't read all the details yet (it's late, sorry) but the thing that pops out at me is that it requires an additional amount of accounting to keep track of how many spells you've used and what your current modifiers are. There are players for whom that's not problem, and others for which its going to be a major turnoff.

    Another thing to consider is that once a spell is cast, all spells are treated the same. Casting 10 first level spells increases the save for the next spell by just as much as casting 10 ninth level spells does. It feels like it encourages casters to go nova even more than they already do.


    Edit: Do you think you could reformat the feats to spread them out a bit more? They're kind of hard to read.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2015-07-07 at 10:37 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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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Well, I believe that blood magic should either be for characters who either don't care about the lives of others (or maybe themselves) or characters who think that the ends justify the means. Personally, I've always thought the alignment system was kind of stupid (at least for player characters), so I'm probably going to drop the alignment pre-req. I'm not going to put any limits on spells, at least for the moment. I'll wait until I'm play testing it and leave it to GMs to limit it if they want to. I'm also going to be making feat lines for sympathy magic (think similar to voodoo, but works on more than living things), as well as a feat lines for summon based magic, animal based magic, nature based magic, and school focused magic. Any other feat line ideas?

    Edit: And is it easier to read now Deepbluediver? And in the base system, it always kind of bothered me how you had spell slot levels. Why could a caster only cast a certain amount of spells at ninth level, but still have enough energy to cast 30 something lower level spells? Energy is energy. It's just something that bothered me, so I wanted to leave it open to cast as many high level spells as one had the energy to do so. I might change the system a little to make it so a caster will have a harder time dropping 9th level spell after 9th level spell, but I'm not sure yet.
    Last edited by Raenel; 2015-07-07 at 10:51 PM.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    How hard a nerf do you want to put on spellcasters? Because one could lock entire spell lists behind feat chains (i.e., the Necromancer feat allows you to learn and cast necromancy spells of levels 1-2, Improved Necromancy unlocks levels 3-4, etc.) and do away entirely with spellcasting classes, since we aren't working on spells per day but rather a mechanic which is available to all classes. That would help keep casters focused on specific thematic elements. Of course, one could come up with lists that don't operate entirely by school, but by other thematic divisions (curses and witchcraft, fey magics, etc.), and tie those into the setting you intend on using this for.

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raenel View Post
    Is it easier to read now Deepbluediver?
    Much, thank you.

    And in the base system, it always kind of bothered me how you had spell slot levels. Why could a caster only cast a certain amount of spells at ninth level, but still have enough energy to cast 30 something lower level spells? Energy is energy. It's just something that bothered me, so I wanted to leave it open to cast as many high level spells as one had the energy to do so. I might change the system a little to make it so a caster will have a harder time dropping 9th level spell after 9th level spell, but I'm not sure yet.
    Fair enough- you wouldn't be the first person who thinks it feels odd. If that's the kind of thing you're interested in there is at least one Spell-to-powerpoints (like what's used for psionics) conversion on the forum. Maybe look it up and see if that takes your fancy.
    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: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    .
    An idea just popped to mind...



    What if:
    1. You use the psionics approach, but the "energy" payment (let's call it "mana") is 1 for 0-level spells and all the way to 19 mana points for 9th level spells.
    2. Your gain 5 mana per level at levels 1-4. This /level value increases by +1 with each 4 levels, for a total of [(5+6+7+8+9) * 4 = 35 * 4 = 140] at level 20. Secondary casters (e.g. Bard) could start with 3/level and increase once per 5 levels or something (for a total of [(3+4+5+6) * 5 = 18 * 5 = 90]), and 1/2 casters (e.g. Ranger) with 1/level.
    3. Spellcasters, aside from nightly rest, also recover 1 mana per 10-min when they don't exert themselves.

    This has several advantages:
    1. It's simpler than Surgo's approach of tolerance & strain, where you need strain toll tables. This means that one's mana is just another number (just like HP) and the costs are fixed. Piece of cake.
    2. It keeps low level spells viable at all times, and without them ever becoming free of charge.
    3. It gives players control to make the trade-off between NOVA and lasting power, without granting too much access to high power effects.
    4. It gives spellcasters more daily functionality at lower levels and less spamming power at higher levels (you get a bit more access to the highest, but less on the total).
    5. It will kill the need to spend personal time & energy to find ways of accumulating disposable magical items (scrolls/potions etc) for avoiding "shooting blanks" after a 15-min workday (due to their daily quota of a given SL being used up).
    6. Because mana recovery relatively slows down with level progression, it will be a very useful tool at lower levels (when casters are low on resources), but will force players to adapt later on and manage their resources better.


    And, if you find the numbers to give too much, you can reduce the /level increase to +1 per 5 levels for fullcasters (for a total of [(5+6+7+8) * 5 = 26 * 5 = 104]), with 1 mana recovery per 30-min (maybe improving it to 1/20-min at 8th and 1/10-min at 15th), and adjust accordingly.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Jan 2014

    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Have you ever looked at spheres of power? I'll give a brief run down.

    Spoiler: Brief Overview of Sphers of Power
    Show
    Magic is divided into 20 spheres for different types of magic. (This isn't a cap; more spheres will probably be added in later splatbooks.)

    You get magical talents, which are kinda like feats. You use these talents to unlock more spheres or to gain more abilities in a current sphere. (Which are also called... talents.) They can be retrained. There are also more spheres&talents then any character could take.

    Sphere power are at will abilities but you can use spellpoints to augment them. (Certain abilities are powerful enough that they require a spellpoint.) With only a few exceptions, there aren't level limits on talents; how powerful they are depends on your caster level, which is basically a BAB bonus for casting.
    There are high casters (they have 20 caster levels at level 20) mid casters (15 caster levels at level 20) and low casters (10 caster levels at level 20.) There are certain classes with class features that synergize or otherwise make one specific sphere more powerful which feel like a different caster. (A few of them are worse then the generic caster class, but most are pretty good.)

    There are no critical hits or failures either. Spheres of Power isn't exactly what you're looking for, but it's certainly closer and would be less effort to house-rule into what you want.

    EDIT: Well at least in my opinion.
    Last edited by squab; 2015-07-09 at 03:36 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    Much, thank you.


    Fair enough- you wouldn't be the first person who thinks it feels odd. If that's the kind of thing you're interested in there is at least one Spell-to-powerpoints (like what's used for psionics) conversion on the forum. Maybe look it up and see if that takes your fancy.
    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    .
    An idea just popped to mind...



    What if:
    1. You use the psionics approach, but the "energy" payment (let's call it "mana") is 1 for 0-level spells and all the way to 19 mana points for 9th level spells.
    2. Your gain 5 mana per level at levels 1-4. This /level value increases by +1 with each 4 levels, for a total of [(5+6+7+8+9) * 4 = 35 * 4 = 140] at level 20. Secondary casters (e.g. Bard) could start with 3/level and increase once per 5 levels or something (for a total of [(3+4+5+6) * 5 = 18 * 5 = 90]), and 1/2 casters (e.g. Ranger) with 1/level.
    3. Spellcasters, aside from nightly rest, also recover 1 mana per 10-min when they don't exert themselves.

    This has several advantages:
    1. It's simpler than Surgo's approach of tolerance & strain, where you need strain toll tables. This means that one's mana is just another number (just like HP) and the costs are fixed. Piece of cake.
    2. It keeps low level spells viable at all times, and without them ever becoming free of charge.
    3. It gives players control to make the trade-off between NOVA and lasting power, without granting too much access to high power effects.
    4. It gives spellcasters more daily functionality at lower levels and less spamming power at higher levels (you get a bit more access to the highest, but less on the total).
    5. It will kill the need to spend personal time & energy to find ways of accumulating disposable magical items (scrolls/potions etc) for avoiding "shooting blanks" after a 15-min workday (due to their daily quota of a given SL being used up).
    6. Because mana recovery relatively slows down with level progression, it will be a very useful tool at lower levels (when casters are low on resources), but will force players to adapt later on and manage their resources better.


    And, if you find the numbers to give too much, you can reduce the /level increase to +1 per 5 levels for fullcasters (for a total of [(5+6+7+8) * 5 = 26 * 5 = 104]), with 1 mana recovery per 30-min (maybe improving it to 1/20-min at 8th and 1/10-min at 15th), and adjust accordingly.

    The problem I find with most mana and spellpoint variants is that either they are too powerful or not enough. Plus, they still take away that 'magic is mysterious and unique' type of feel, at least to me. I actually kind of like basing my system off of will saves and rolls, because that means that even strong magic users can mess up and weak ones can excel sometimes. Imagine, you only have one spell left in you and you are facing the most powerful enemy your team has ever faced. You need that natural twenty roll to cast your final spell and your entire team is hinging the success of the day on your ability to pull it off. You roll your d20, praying to whatever god or gods you believe in, to get it. And when you do? Try to imagine how happy you would be. In the base system and many systems that don't require rolls, you would never be able to get that feeling as a spell caster. You would just say "I cast magic missile. I cast it again. The big bad is dead." I want the limits of spell casting to fall in line with other characters. If a fighter rolled a d20 and got a one, he would be screwed. So why can't the wizard mess up his or her casting with a natural one? And why can't they excel just as much when rolling a natural twenty? It's like the writers gave up on spellcasting a long time ago and just said "Okay, spellcasters are OP, time to work on the weak classes." I don't know about you, but every book, comic, manga, and movie I've ever seen had magic users who may have been powerful, but still had the same limits as other people. They weren't magic spewing machines who never failed. I appreciate all of the suggestions and comments on other systems, because they are helping me improve on the current one, so thank both of you for the added suggestions. I'll see what I can find in the systems you suggested and see if anything will fit

    Quote Originally Posted by squab View Post
    Have you ever looked at spheres of power? I'll give a brief run down.


    Spoiler: Brief Overview of Sphers of Power
    Show
    Magic is divided into 20 spheres for different types of magic. (This isn't a cap; more spheres will probably be added in later splatbooks.)

    You get magical talents, which are kinda like feats. You use these talents to unlock more spheres or to gain more abilities in a current sphere. (Which are also called... talents.) They can be retrained. There are also more spheres&talents then any character could take.

    Sphere power are at will abilities but you can use spellpoints to augment them. (Certain abilities are powerful enough that they require a spellpoint.) With only a few exceptions, there aren't level limits on talents; how powerful they are depends on your caster level, which is basically a BAB bonus for casting.
    There are high casters (they have 20 caster levels at level 20) mid casters (15 caster levels at level 20) and low casters (10 caster levels at level 20.) There are certain classes with class features that synergize or otherwise make one specific sphere more powerful which feel like a different caster. (A few of them are worse then the generic caster class, but most are pretty good.)

    There are no critical hits or failures either. Spheres of Power isn't exactly what you're looking for, but it's certainly closer and would be less effort to house-rule into what you want.

    EDIT: Well at least in my opinion.
    It's interesting, but I don't think it fits in line with what I want. Still, every suggestion helps refine my system, so thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    How hard a nerf do you want to put on spellcasters? Because one could lock entire spell lists behind feat chains (i.e., the Necromancer feat allows you to learn and cast necromancy spells of levels 1-2, Improved Necromancy unlocks levels 3-4, etc.) and do away entirely with spellcasting classes, since we aren't working on spells per day but rather a mechanic which is available to all classes. That would help keep casters focused on specific thematic elements. Of course, one could come up with lists that don't operate entirely by school, but by other thematic divisions (curses and witchcraft, fey magics, etc.), and tie those into the setting you intend on using this for.
    I actually really like this. I might take Deepbluedivers idea on BSB (Base Spellcraft Bonus) and change it a bit, then combine it with a feat line idea. I would keep spellcasters, but give them universal abilities and bonuses on casting, to make the actual spellcasters better at spellcasting then say, a fighter with a mild interest in spellcasting.
    Last edited by Raenel; 2015-07-09 at 05:26 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Mar 2014

    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Of course, a feat that unlocks one or more spell levels is much more powerful than most feats, though. I'm not quite sure how to balance that.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deepbluediver's Avatar

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    Default Re: Spellcasting Changes (Help and Comments)

    Quote Originally Posted by Raenel View Post
    I actually really like this. I might take Deepbluedivers idea on BSB (Base Spellcraft Bonus) and change it a bit, then combine it with a feat line idea. I would keep spellcasters, but give them universal abilities and bonuses on casting, to make the actual spellcasters better at spellcasting then say, a fighter with a mild interest in spellcasting.
    While I'm happy to see my homebrew used in any capacity, I feel the need to say that after having the time to playtest my original magic changes I no longer support that kind of system. It works, but it's (IMO) somewhat clunky and I want something simpler.
    If you can make it work for you, then great! But I'm less supportive of that sort of system now.


    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by VoxRationis View Post
    Of course, a feat that unlocks one or more spell levels is much more powerful than most feats, though. I'm not quite sure how to balance that.
    When I work on fixing classes I gave most of the melee classes more feats that made them good at using weapons (TWF, Ranged, etc). You could do something similar with casting-classes by designing a set of feats that lets you choose between more schools, higher spell levels, or metamagic. Something like that would probably work.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2015-07-09 at 09:57 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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