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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    MrNexx's Avatar

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    Default How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    A few different questions here.

    1) What system would you use to introduce an element of risk into standard D&D spellcasting? Spellcraft checks? Level Checks? Lore: Religion for divine casters?

    2) What alternate, casting-check-based systems would you think about for D&D? I had one that I worked on years ago, but wondered what else you've got.
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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    I've got a homebrew system utilizing Spellcraft checks to cast spells, followed by Concentration checks to resist subdual damage sustained from casting the spells. Similar to truenaming. Metamagic feats increased the DC's for the spellcraft check and the concentration check, as well as the potential subdual damage sustained after casting a spell.

    If the potential damage from casting a spell exceeded your caster level, it was real damage instead.
    Last edited by Crow; 2007-12-20 at 09:33 PM.
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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    There's PDF wandering around here somewhere with a fully developed system... here you go: A D20 Skill Based Magic System
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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    I can't imagine concentration checks would really make a player pause before deciding to cast a spell until the higher levels when spells become more powerful (and hopefully) more complicated to cast. Maybe a Concentration check would be introduced at 5th level spells?

    I do like the idea of using Spellcraft checks for casting spells, but I can't see this influencing Divine Spellcasters. Arcane Spellcasters specifically need material components to cast spells. I think a Spellcraft check would be necessary to acquire those components. If an Arcane caster took Eschew Materials as a Feat, then I would definitely make the PC use Concentration checks to demonstrate the extra focus needed to cast a spell without the necessary component.

    I think that if spellcasting were to be tied to any checks at all, they would have to be attached to Knowledge Checks. A Cleric would need a Knowledge (Religion ) check, a Druid would need Knowledge (Nature), A Wizard would need Knowledge (Arcana).

    Perhaps as an additional requirement some spells might make use of other knowledge checks. Teleport spells might force a caster to take ranks in Knowledge (The Planes). Spells that disable traps or identify poisons might need a Knowledge (Dungeoneering). Spells that influence the environment might take Knowledge (Geography) to succeed.

    I like this idea. I'm going to work more with the Knowledge Check spellcasting thing and see if I can't homebrew a system.

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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alyosha View Post
    I can't imagine concentration checks would really make a player pause before deciding to cast a spell until the higher levels when spells become more powerful (and hopefully) more complicated to cast. Maybe a Concentration check would be introduced at 5th level spells?

    I do like the idea of using Spellcraft checks for casting spells, but I can't see this influencing Divine Spellcasters. Arcane Spellcasters specifically need material components to cast spells. I think a Spellcraft check would be necessary to acquire those components. If an Arcane caster took Eschew Materials as a Feat, then I would definitely make the PC use Concentration checks to demonstrate the extra focus needed to cast a spell without the necessary component.

    I think that if spellcasting were to be tied to any checks at all, they would have to be attached to Knowledge Checks. A Cleric would need a Knowledge (Religion ) check, a Druid would need Knowledge (Nature), A Wizard would need Knowledge (Arcana).

    Perhaps as an additional requirement some spells might make use of other knowledge checks. Teleport spells might force a caster to take ranks in Knowledge (The Planes). Spells that disable traps or identify poisons might need a Knowledge (Dungeoneering). Spells that influence the environment might take Knowledge (Geography) to succeed.

    I like this idea. I'm going to work more with the Knowledge Check spellcasting thing and see if I can't homebrew a system.
    Don't make it too complicated. It needs to be fairly simple as well.
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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    There's a fairly effective system Xbending system, here, but it might not be what you're looking for. It's a lot of fun to play, though. I've tried it. It's not so spell-based, however.

    I like the sound of Crow's system. Under this kind of system, the spells/day limits would be changing? More spells? Less? Personally, some kind of cumulative penalty to checks after you've cast a certain number of spells would fit well. A tired mind, so to speak. I'f you've cast too many spells, your brain hurts. Like doing math.
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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyMolo View Post
    There's a fairly effective system Xbending system, here, but it might not be what you're looking for. It's a lot of fun to play, though. I've tried it. It's not so spell-based, however.

    I like the sound of Crow's system. Under this kind of system, the spells/day limits would be changing? More spells? Less? Personally, some kind of cumulative penalty to checks after you've cast a certain number of spells would fit well. A tired mind, so to speak. I'f you've cast too many spells, your brain hurts. Like doing math.
    There was a 2nd edition supplement called "Shaman" that had a check-based system. You could cast as many spells per day as you liked, but each one required a Wisdom check to do.
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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    Me, I think there should be more-developed fatigue rules. Casting spells should make you one step more tired (fortitude save to avoid, DC increases sharply by spell level). My ideal system would be allowing unlimited spells per day until exhausted by fatigue, but for each spell you need to make a Spellcraft (saying the words right) check, plus a Spellcraft (gestures) check, plus various other factors, plus a concentration check. Silent spells would be if you can make the DC without the first Spellcraft check, Still spells if you can make the DC without the second Spellcraft check. But that would be damn complicated, so Vancian casting + fatigue system would probably be best.
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    I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.

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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyMolo View Post
    There's a fairly effective system Xbending system, here, but it might not be what you're looking for. It's a lot of fun to play, though. I've tried it. It's not so spell-based, however.

    I like the sound of Crow's system. Under this kind of system, the spells/day limits would be changing? More spells? Less? Personally, some kind of cumulative penalty to checks after you've cast a certain number of spells would fit well. A tired mind, so to speak. I'f you've cast too many spells, your brain hurts. Like doing math.

    The spells per day was however many times you were willing to risk the damage. Every time you cast a spell of a certain level, the DC's for subsequent spells of the same level increased. The system was incomplete and imperfect, but was pretty much as follows:

    Spellcraft/Concentration DC = spell level x 3 + 2 per subsequent casting (by level)

    You could reliably cast a few spells per level, but it got more difficult as you continued.

    Potential Subdual Damage = spell level x 2 (if total is above caster level, damage is real)

    Under a wizard's spell progression, as you first start to learn a level of spells, you tempt fate everytime you cast (risking real damage). This makes low levels, especially first, difficult. Never really resolved this issue.

    Metamagic Increases = +2 DC per "slot increase", +2 Damage per "slot increase", Also; Increases the DC for subsequent spells of that level by 2 per "slot increase".

    You could do metamagic on the fly, but you took a risk doing it (more chance of failure on the DC's, and more potential damage). Also, the expenditure of effort made casting subsequent spells of that level more difficult.

    As you grew in levels, your mastery of lower level spells became more complete. You could cast low-level spells for extended periods, and afford to utilize metamagic more often. this cut down on narcoleptic wizards. Higher level spells were always dangerous, and couldn't be done all day.

    Specialist wizards reduced the DC's for their chosen school by 2.
    Last edited by Crow; 2007-12-20 at 10:04 PM.
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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    Last edited by Fax Celestis; 2007-12-20 at 10:56 PM.

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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax_Celestis View Post
    Your links are broken.
    Of course, by the time I finish this post, it will already be obsolete. C'est la vie.

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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Simth View Post
    Your links are broken.
    Gah! Fixed now.

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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax_Celestis View Post
    Doesn't seem to have much in the way of drawbacks. Unless I missed something. Did I? Have you thought of a mechanic breakdown that could be applied to all the casters?
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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    I'm making a skill based magic system that's got magic split up into a set of ten feats and five skills. In order to cast a spell you need to feat for the 'form' of the spell (these are things like fire, air and plants) and then the skill to define the 'function' of the spell (these are things like creation, control or destruction). once you've got those you apply modifiers to a base DC (5 for my system). The modifiers add things like range, damage and other effects to a base spell template that I made that doesn't actually do anything. Spells cost an amount of mana determined by the final DC of the spell and as you go down in mana you become more tired. I should be posting the beginnings of it sometime in the next week or so (I just started typing it up and when that's done formatting it for the board is going to take me awhile since I don't know the code that well). So that's how I'd make D&D magic skill based...
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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    You can try using a modified version of Shadowrun's casting system?

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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    Doesn't seem to have much in the way of drawbacks. Unless I missed something. Did I? Have you thought of a mechanic breakdown that could be applied to all the casters?
    You did. If you fail the check, you take damage equal to the amount you failed the check by. Also, cartomantic cardspells are also weaker, albeit augmentable, than the spells presented in the PHB. Lastly, since the skill itself doesn't allow a majority of common bonuses to be applied to it, it's very difficult to actually get your check to the ZOMGWUT levels.

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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    D20 Modern: Urban Arcana has a ritual system, which is EXACTLY the method used in Epic handbook. Modified for the limitations of that campaign.

    Unlike epic, no XP or money costs for researching spells AT ALL, just make Research check.

    The hard part is the casting, Knowledge Arcane lore checks DC 30+. Minimum of 6, one every 10 min, BAD THINGS happen when 2 checks in a row failed. Spells like Polymorph and Teleport require such rituals, and sometimes multiple casters, or different skills (main caster does not need to make some of the checks, can have brighter friend do it.

    Now I rather liked this system, where Epic type, or level 6+ type, spells did not cost XP and gold to find, but cost a lot of time, needed much power, and did bad things to people who messed up big.

    Worth remembering?

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    Default Re: How would you make D&D Magic Skill-based?

    I am used to sticking close to core. It was a real stretch just to get D20 modern, but I had pleasant thoughts about importing a few interesting things from one to the other, either direction, through big magic accidents.

    My conclusion: it did fix some of more irritating D&D things, the most abusive spells, by punting them to Incantations, which are royally difficult to cast.

    D20 Call of Cthulu has its own system, where spells work much like corrupt ones from Vile Darkness, again no specific level limit to casters. Lots of ability damage or drain to casters. on the plus side, there is a time gate spell. Guns vs Dinosaurs! no easy way back though.

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