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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
    Lawst's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Las Vegas

    Default Alternative Metamagic Application

    In our experience, most Metamagic feats appear to be an ineffective choice for most spellcasters as a spell of the equivalent level to the spell being modified often a much better option. With that thought in mind, we have taken and played with a modification to the application of metamagic, and would like the community's input on this version.

    The Changes:

    First, We removed the increased the Spell Slot side of the Metamagic. Instead, we have imposed a Maximum Spell Level equal to your maximum spell level cast - the old spell slot increase.

    Second, metamagic is now applied spontaneously for all spellcasters, both prepared and spontaneous, with the added casting times that spontaneous casters originally dealt with alone.

    Third, as a mitigating factor, we have tied Metamagic into Spellcraft, creating a Spellcraft DC needed to pass when using a spell with a Metamagic feat. If the Skill check is failed, then the spell fails as though you failed a concentration check. The Spellcraft DC is equal to DC 20 + Double Spell Level + Metamagic Modifier. The base-line Metamagic Modifier is currently equal to double the old spell slot increase value. This develops an inherent risk of losing the spell involved when causing them to do things they were not designed to do, with the intent to balance against the fact that spells are no longer modified to much higher and rarer spell slots.

    The spoilers below contain the Feats and Rules as I have presented them to my players to start with. Our game is a heavily modified version of the D20 system, based originally on Pathfinder, but we believe that this system can be applied on any 3.x system.

    Again, your input would be greatly appreciated.

    Spoiler: Metamagic Feats Rules

    As spellcaster increase their magical abilities, they can learn to cast spells in ways slightly different from the norm. However, doing so does make the spell additionally more difficult. Spells modified by metamagic require an additional Spellcraft check, or they may fail. The Spellcraft skill check DC for an afftected spell is equal to 20 + double the spell level + the metamagic modifier. In addition, many of the metamagic spells have a maximum spell level that they can affect. Metamagic feats do not affect spell-like abilities.
    When a spellcaster casts their spells, they may choose whether to apply their metamagic feats to improve them. As a result, such a character must also take more time to cast a metamagic spell (one enhanced by a metamagic feat) than they do to cast a regular spell. If the spell's normal casting time is a standard action, casting a metamagic version is a full-round action. (This isn't the same as a 1-round casting time.) The only exception is for spells modified by the Quicken Spell metamagic feat, which can be cast as normal using the feat. For a spell with a longer casting time, it takes an extra full-round action to cast the spell.
    The modifications made by these feats only apply to spells cast directly by the feat user. A spellcaster can't use a metamagic feat to alter a spell being cast from an enchanced item.
    Metamagic feats cannot be used with all spells. See the specific feat descriptions for the spells that a particular feat can't modify.
    Multiple Metamagic Feats on a Spell: A spellcaster can apply multiple metamagic feats to a single spell. The Spellcraft DC additions for each additional metamagic feat is cumulative. You can't apply the same metamagic feat more than once to a single spell.

    Spoiler: Example Metamagic Feats
    Extend Spell (Metamagic)
    You can make your spells last twice as long.
    Benefit: An extended spell lasts twice as long as normal. A spell with a duration of concentration, instantaneous, or permanent is not affected by this feat. The maximum spell level is equal to your maximum spell level you can cast – 1, and the metamagic modifier to the Spellcraft check equals +2.

    Maximize Spell (Metamagic)
    Your spells have the maximum possible effect.
    Benefit: All variable, numeric effects of a spell modified by this feat are maximized. Saving throws and opposed rolls are not affected, nor are spells without random variables.
    The maximum spell level is equal to your maximum spell level you can cast – 3, and the metamagic modifier to the Spellcraft check equals +6. An empowered, maximized spell gains the separate benefits of each feat: the maximum result plus half the normally rolled result.

    Quicken Spell (Metamagic)
    You can cast spells in a fraction of the normal time.
    Benefit: Casting a quickened spell is a swift action. You can perform another action, even casting another spell, in the same round as you cast a quickened spell. A spell whose casting time is more than 1 round or 1 fullround action cannot be quickened.
    The maximum spell level is equal to your maximum spell level you can cast – 4, and the metamagic modifier to the Spellcraft check equals +8. Casting a quickened spell doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity.
    Special: You can apply the effects of this feat to a spell cast spontaneously, so long as it has a casting time that is not more than 1 full-round action, without increasing the spell’s casting time.

    Spoiler: Added Optional Sorcerer Ability
    With these changes, we did also grant the following ability to sorcerers.

    Intuitive Metamagic Sorcerers intuitively understand how a spell works, as well as how metamagic may affect them. As a result, sorcerers may add their Charisma modifier to an Spellcraft skill check they make for casting a spell with a metamagic feat.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
    nonsi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: Alternative Metamagic Application


    Regarding "You can't apply the same metamagic feat more than once to a single spell" . . .
    On one hand, you wouldn't want to allow Empower Spell or Energy Admixture twice over, but your rules don't say that Empower Spell and Energy Admixture can't be used simultaneously - which might be a bit over the top.

    Another issue I see with your solution is that any caster that's gonna use metamagic (an overwhelming majority) will also maximize Spellcraft and take Skill Focus: Spellcraft.
    The reason that this is an issue is because build-choices are just that - different strategies to choose from. The moment that they become mandatory for decent functionality they're no longer choices.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground

    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: Alternative Metamagic Application

    Also, the addition of a skill check can bog down game play.

    One of the alternatives i've considered (though i haven't really tested it) is to remove the higher spell slot requirement, and replace it with having to burn a second spell slot equal to or higher than the adjustment value of the metamagic. (Heighten us removed as metamagic and simply rolled in to the way spellcasting generally works.) Spontaneous casters do it on the fly, but prepared casters have to link a specific metamagic slot to the prepared spell they wish to modify. Multiple metamagic affecting a spell have to be rolled into the same spell slot.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Colossus in the Playground
    JNAProductions's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Avatar By Linklele!

    Default Re: Alternative Metamagic Application


    I have Extend Spell, Still Spell, and Silent Spell.

    I am 3rd level (Human, to get the three feats) and want to cast Summon Monster I.

    Can I apply all three metamagics to it?

    Question II:

    Heighten Spell, how does it work?
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

    Spoiler: Former Avatars
    Spoiler: Avatar (Not In Use) By Professor Gnoll!

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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Vancouver <-> Dublin

    Default Re: Alternative Metamagic Application

    I quite like your first 2 changes, and will echo the others in saying the third change isn't as good. Any skill-based casting system (either for metamagic as you suggest here, or in other systems) simply means a lot of unnecessary die-rolling as everyone will be maxing the relevant skill.

    As I understand it this system is quite a buff (an 11th-level caster can cast maximised fireballs while retaining their 6th-level spell slots), but it does feel much more elegant.
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-11-19 at 06:21 PM.

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