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So, what do you think? Good? Bad? Ugly?
These are really great rules. I think I'll start using them RIGHT NOW. 50%  50%  [ 1 ]
I like what you're getting at, but I think it could use some work. 50%  50%  [ 1 ]
D20's magic system works just fine as is. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Blasphemer! Why would you try to make life -harder- on spellcasters?! 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 2
Author Message
 Post subject: Expanded Magic Rules
PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2004 3:11 am 
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 1:13 am
Posts: 29
((two things, before you get started...first, i'm sorry the tables are so shoddy. it looks much, much better in Word, and i'll send you a copy if you PM me and ask real nice. second, i introduced these rules to my group about a year ago and we've never looked back. it takes a few games to really get a good feel for them, but all my magic using players have loved these both for the feel and the flexibility that it gives them. it's nice to have concrete rules for leylines and places of power too.))

Every GM has seen the all-too common ailment of a bored magic user being thrust to the rear whenever combat erupts. Since combat sequences can consume a fairly lengthy portion of gaming time this often leaves the party’s spellcasters doing little besides reading and rereading spell descriptions or leafing aimlessly through various manuals waiting to take their turn. This wouldn’t be so bad, really, if it weren’t for what their turns consist of. Unlike a character involved in making skill checks or attack rolls, there really is no random element in most of the activities a spellcaster engages in. A spellcaster chooses the spell they wish to cast and then casts it. That’s it. The only dice rolling that really comes into play to actually cast the spell in most situations are caused by counterspelling and by the occasional concentration roll due to damage. Even when such a roll is required, the worst thing that can happen is that the spell fails to go off. There is no physical or mental toll taken, no price to pay (other than a now-vacant spell slot) for failure. All in all, most magic users (especially in a low-magic setting) have a very boring time of it.
It was with this deficiency in mind that a comprehensive set of rules was devised. The idea behind the vicious magic system is to involve a PC more deeply in the actual act of casting the spell. It ties the mage’s skills and ingenuity into actual, tangible results and breathes life into the otherwise bland proceedings. These rules apply a penalty to severe spell failure and take into account such things as concentration, mental and physical fatigue, and ambient magic levels surrounding the spellcaster. While they may seem complex at first, they allow for a much wider range of playing styles for GMs and spellcasters alike. These expanded magic rules allow a GM to apply concrete rules and effects to many situations found in popular fantasy literature.

Expanded Magic: Vicious Magic
Vicious magic is the term used to describe spellcasting that inflicts a physical toll upon the spellcaster. With the vicious magic system, spells that are improperly cast can hurt or even kill the offending spellcaster in addition to the possibility of failing to function as they are intended to.

When casting a spell, spellcasters must make a Spellcraft roll with a DC commensurate to the level of the spell. (see table 1-1) Success indicates that the spellcaster should roll on table 1-2. Failure by 5 points or less directs them to table 1-3. These two tables determine the cost of casting the spell (if any) in temporary Constitution points. The Constitution damage inflicted in this way is representative of the physical toll that channeling mystical or divine energy can have upon a spellcaster. Failure by 6 points or more on the initial Spellcraft roll means that the spell was not successfully cast.

Table 1-1: Spellcraft DC by Spell Level
Spell Level / Spellcraft DC*^
0 / 10
1 / 12
2 / 14
3 / 16
4 / 18
5 / 20
6 / 22
7 / 24
8 / 26
9 / 28

Table 1-2: Channeling Constitution Damage from Successful Spellcasting
Spell Level / Fortitude DC / Con Dmg+
0 / -- / -
1 / 10 / 1
2 / 11 / 1
3 / 12 / 2
4 / 13 / 2
5 / 14 / 3
6 / 15 / 3
7 / 16 / 4
8 / 17 / 4
9 / 18 / 5

Table 1-3: Channeling Constitution Damage from Unsucessful Spellcasting
Spell Level / Fortitude DC / Con Dmg+
0 / 10 / 1
1 / 12 / 2
2 / 13 / 2
3 / 14 / 3
4 / 15 / 3
5 / 16 / 4
6 / 17 / 4
7 / 18 / 5
8 / 19 / 5
9 / 20 / 6

*It is recommended that for the purposes of this check the Spellcraft skill be considered a Charisma-based skill for Sorcerers and Bards and that the Knowledge: Religion skill be substituted for Spellcraft in the case of divine spellcasters (including Druids).

^The DCs for this check were chosen to try to maintain a similar difficulty level for new spells as the caster gains in level. This means that a 1st level mage should have about the same chance of casting a 1st level spell as a 20th level mage would have casting a 9th level spell.

+This temporary Constitution damage is only suffered if the corresponding Fortitude save is failed. Constitution lost to spellcasting returns at a rate of 1 point per hour of rest.

Critical successes and failures during spellcasting
If a natural 20 is rolled on table 1-1 the spellcaster is considered to have completed the spell in question with an uncommon degree of success and a number of effects come into play. First, apply a +2 bonus to any rolls made to beat spell resistance with this casting of this spell. This +2 bonus applies for the duration of the spell. Second, treat the spell as if it were either Empowered, Enlarged, Extended, or Heightened depending on the effect that the spellcaster was trying to achieve. As a general rule, damaging spells should be Empowered, defensive spells Extended, etc. Never apply more than one of these effects as a result of a natural 20. If the spell in question was already cast with one of these metamagic feats applied, choose another from the list above.
If a natural 1 is rolled on table 1-1 the spellcaster is considered to have completely botched the spell in question, which can lead to potentially disastrous results. The GM should be creative (but not necessarily malicious) when applying this result. As a general rule, the spell in question should have an effect almost completely reversed from its intended use. Note that this rule says that the effect should be the opposite of the intended result of the spell and not the opposite of the spell itself. This means that a mage casting a Grease spell on a Cliffside to hinder pursuers climbing towards him would facilitate their climb instead. (Common sense should be applied in these cases, however, as a failed Fireball or similar effect will not heal its intended targets.) Another thing GMs should keep in mind when applying this result is that a divine spellcaster on especially good terms with his or her deity may be given a certain amount of leniency the first few times this result comes up as the cleric’s patron is unlikely to facilitate the death (or worse) of a trusted worshipper because of a single misremembered prayer…a series of them, however, could prove even more disastrous for a divine spellcaster than an arcane one. (Deities are far more likely to feel slighted or abused than the fabric of magic itself will…)

Critical successes and failures during channeling
If a natural 20 is rolled on table 1-2 or 1-3, the spellcaster is considered to have done an exceptional job of channeling the energies required by the spell. This allows the spellcaster to recover more quickly from Constitution damage suffered by previous spellcasting. The spellcaster is able to recover up to 1d2-1 points of Constitution per level of the spell that was cast. (This means that 0 level spells lack the energy required to rebuild a spellcaster’s reserves of energy.) Any Constitution points gained through this effect apply ONLY to Constitution damage due to spellcasting. This effect will not heal Constitution damage caused by spells, poisons, or any other effect other than spellcasting.
If a natural 1 is rolled on table 1-2 or 1-3 the spellcaster has completely lost control of the energies coursing through his body. The spell is cast as normal (as long as the roll on Table 1-1 succeeded), but the Constitution damage listed for the spell is doubled for this casting. This means that a wizard who rolls a natural 1 on table 1-2 while casting a 9th level spell will suffer 10 points of temporary Constitution damage.

Constitution loss due to spellcasting
Constitution lost to spellcasting is treated differently than ordinary Constitution damage. Constitution damage from spellcasting never results in hit point loss. A spellcaster reduced to 0 Constitution from spellcasting may fall unconscious, but will not be killed until his Constitution score falls to –5 from spellcasting. A spellcaster may attempt to remain conscious even after reaching 0 or fewer Constitution points by making a Will save with a DC equal to 20 plus one for each previous save. (The first round is a DC 20 save, the second is a DC 21, etc.) Failing any one of these checks results in immediate unconsciousness. Note that this rule ONLY applies to Constitution damage from spellcasting. If Constitution damage dealt by a poison drops the spellcaster below 0 it kills him just like it would any other character.

Constitution points lost to spellcasting recover at a rate of 1 point per hour of light activity (walking, riding a horse at a gentle pace, doing research, etc.) and at a rate of 2 points per hour of sleep.

Modifiers to Spellcraft DCs
DMs are encouraged to be creative (and fair) when applying modifiers to a Spellcraft or Knowledge: Religion check. This can be a great way to get a player more involved in the actual effects he is trying to create with his character. If a player is trying to launch a Fireball between two of his companions into a group of enemies it’s perfectly reasonable to raise the DC of the Spellcraft check by 2 or 3 points. Similarly, if a spellcaster spends the round before casting the spell making a Concentration check specifically to prepare for the spell, feel free to apply a bonus to his or her roll based upon the success of the Concentration check. (Some suggested modifiers to the Spellcraft roll have been listed below.)

-Concentrate check made during previous round: +1 per 5 points on the check

-Casting a spell past a companion in close quarters: -3 per obstructing character

-Casting defensively: -4

-Excluding a target from an area effect spell (Entangle, Evard’s Black Tentacles, etc.): -3 per person or object excluded

Expanded Magic: Above and Beyond
Oftentimes a spellcaster is capable of wielding enormous mystical strength during times of stress that he or she would otherwise not be able to control. By exercising their willpower these extraordinary magic users are able to push themselves beyond their normal physical limitations and access powers currently beyond their reach.

Enhancing spells
Spellcasters may attempt to apply any metamagic feat (even ones they have not learned to apply via the normal means) to a spell while they are casting it without raising the spell’s effective level. This powerful ability takes a heavy physical toll upon the spellcaster attempting to utilize it. First, for every metamagic feat applied to a spell using this ability the magic user automatically suffers 1 point of temporary Constitution damage which cannot be saved against. Second, each metamagic feat applied to the spell increases the Spellcraft DC of the spell by 5. Finally, if the level of the spell after the metamagic feats are applied to it is a higher level than one that the spellcaster could normally cast the spellcaster suffers 2 additional points of Constitution damage per level of difference between the spell’s modified level and the highest level of spell that he can cast. Any damage dealt through the use of this ability represents uncontrolled energy coursing through the spellcaster that he or she would normally not be able to wield and cannot be saved against. Also, this damage is in addition to any damage the spellcaster may suffer for failing the appropriate Fortitude save for this spell.

For example, if a 5th level Wizard applied the Heighten metamagic feat to a 3rd level spell (raising the spell’s effective level to 4th) he would automatically suffer 1 point of Constitution damage (for applying 1 feat to the spell) plus 2 additional points (the difference between the spell’s effective level of 4th and a 5th level Wizard’s highest spell level of 3rd is 1, which is 2 points) and would increase the Spellcraft DC of the spell by 5 points (for applying 1 feat to the spell.)

Note that the use of this ability should in no way affect the normal use of metamagic feats. A spellcaster may still apply metamagic feats in the normal manner and suffer no ill effects other than raising the effective level of the spell for purposes of determining which spell slot is used up during the casting.

Expanded Magic: Leylines and Places of Magic*
Leylines are like rivers of mystical energy flowing across the surface of the planet and throughout portions of its interior. Places where leylines cross are called nodes or nexi or any number of other things by spellcasters the world over and are, at the risk of stretching the metaphor, lakes of mystical energy. (For simplicity, this section will refer to all such places as leylines since the same rules apply in each case.) The energies present at leylines can be called upon by even an unskilled spellcaster to produce mighty effects normally beyond their abilities.

Leylines and power ratings
Leylines have a power rating of anywhere from 0 (a normal, nonmagical place) to +5 (a truly legendary site). Similarly, there are places that are inherently un-magical that are rated anywhere from 0 to –5 (a place where reality is extremely difficult to manipulate). This power rating can be applied in several ways to enhance (or detract from) the spellcasting abilities of anyone within the area of effect of such a place. When two or more leylines intersect the node that is formed has a power rating equal to the sum of the leylines at the intersection. Thus, if two +3 leylines cross the node at their intersection has a rating of +6, two –3 leylines would result in a –6, and a +3 crossing a –3 would produce a node with a rating of 0.

Universal rules for leylines
Any area with a power rating other than 0 applies its rating to any Spellcraft or Knowledge: Religion roll as a bonus or penalty (depending on the rating) made within its area of effect. This is a constant effect that cannot be suppressed or circumvented in any way.
Fortitude saves made within an area with a power rating other than 0 receive no bonus or penalty; however, positive magic areas are capable of absorbing an amount of Constitution damage equal to their rating when a Fortitude save is failed. Conversely, negative magic areas inflict an additional amount of Constitution damage equal to their power rating when a Fortitude save is failed. This is also a constant effect that cannot be suppressed or circumvented in any way.
When used in conjunction with the “Above and Beyond” rules presented earlier in this section these rules allow spellcasters to attempt feats normally far beyond their grasp.

Preparation-based arcane spellcasters and leylines
Wizards and other “learned magic” arcane spellcasters generally draw upon the environment more heavily than spontaneous casters do. These types of spellcasters treat all positive magic areas as being 1 point higher than its actual rating because they are more attuned to the ebb and flow of external magical energies than their counterparts. (ex: Treat a +3 as a +4) The downside to this is that they find it harder than others to draw upon mystical energy in negative magic areas. This means they treat negative magic areas as having a rating 1 point lower than it actually does. (ex: Treat a –3 as a –4) Areas with a 0 rating are still treated as being a 0.

Spontaneous arcane spellcasters and leylines
Sorcerers and other spontaneous spellcasters draw upon a well of inner strength to accomplish their mystical feats rather than draining their surroundings of power. These spellcasters treat negative magic areas as having a rating 1 point higher than their listed rating. (ex: treat a –3 as a –2) The downside of this is that they are slightly less capable than other spellcasters at taking advantage of ambient magical energy. All positive magic areas are treated as being 1 point lower than its listed rating for these spellcasters. (treat a +3 as a +2) Areas with a 0 rating are still treated as being a 0.

Divine spellcasters and leylines
Such places affect divine spellcasters slightly differently than arcane spellcasters. Rather than the ambient magical energies being what influence the spellcaster, it is their affect upon the environment that grants the divine spellcaster bonuses or penalties. In positive magic areas the rules that govern the world are slightly more flexible, allowing divine spellcasters much freer access to their patron. Negative magic areas have exactly the opposite effect, reinforcing the rigidity of reality and making contact much harder to achieve and maintain. Divine spellcasters treat all areas as being their listed power rating.

*These leyline rules also work exceptionally well to describe the effects of such mystical events as planetary conjunctions, eclipses, and the like.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 8:15 am 
Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 11:02 am
Posts: 150
Location: Surrounded by corn
I really like the idea behind these rules. Giving spellcasters more options is a good thing, and since I prefer to run low-magic settings, I dig the notion of magic having a cost. But this is a pretty high cost. I might use rules like these for a short-term game; I don't think most players I know would agree to keep these for an open-ended campaign. Have you considered putting a couple more benefits in the system, or does your group prefer it this way? Or am I misunderstanding it?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 4:00 pm 
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 1:13 am
Posts: 29
mmm...well, what do you mean exactly? here's my breakdown of the pros and cons of using the system:

1. utilization of metamagic feats without knowledge of the feats themselves, also, (and this is admittedly more useful to preparation based casters) the ability to apply metamagic feats to an already memorized spell.

2. the ability to cast spells that would normally surpass the highest level of spell a character could normally cost. (this includes being able to apply metamagic feats to a 9th level spell...something that can't be done in the current system)

3. spellcasting players are drawn into the combat in the same way that the other players are, and an element of chance (both for the better and the worse) is added, creating an element of suspense and a sense of involvement in what's actually going on. i've found that this usually makes spellcasters consider more uses and more clever uses for their spells rather than just deciding where to center the blast radius. (and wait until the first time your wizard rolls a crit 20 on a lightning bolt and eradicates a whole herd of enemy soldiers or whatever. spellcasters get -screwed- out of the critical hits the other players get to enjoy.)

4. spells can now be cast to exclude certain targets from their area of effect, essentially allowing a limited amount of custom shaping to spells. (the best examples of this that i've seen have come into play with spells like Evard's Black Tentacles and Entangle, preventing either from hampering the party; i'd be leery of letting them shape 'blast' style spells too much turning a Fireball into a shaped charge, if you know what i mean, though with appropriate modifiers that could be really cool.)

5. spellcasting becomes more "realistic," in that its in-game effects more closely match the descriptions given to the draining effects of magic in popular literature. it's a lot more dramatic to have your mage blast off a maximized fireball and then collapse backwards from the energy backlash, coughing blood and needing a hand for a little while until he gets his legs back under him than having him go "well, that's my last X level spell..."

6. having an actual mechanic for leylines, nodes, and places or events of mystical significance has had a huge impact on my games. instead of just saying "As the last of the planets comes into alignment you can literally feel the magic crackling in the air..." and then not giving any bonuses or penalties (which doesn't make a lot of sense), you can tell your players that they're now functioning in a +5 magic environment...a tangible benefit, and a way to let them know -why- whatever ritual has to be done at this specific time and place.

7. the random element added into the spellcasting gives D&D magic a little of its mystical feel back. no longer can you just rely on your spellcaster to blow the hell out of whatever's caught you off can be pretty sure that he can handle it, but he might just look at you and say "Hey, Ragnar? Yeah. I can't really feel the threads around here. I think we're gonna die." this is also a negative.

whoops. more in a minute.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2004 10:36 pm 
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 1:13 am
Posts: 29
right. sorry. i was at work, and some work actually came along needing to be done.


Pros (cont.)

8. the vicious magic system requires mages to have a high spellcraft and concentration score, and requires divine casters to actually study the religion they claim to be a part of. now, i generally require these things anyways...but i've seen a lot, i'd even dare to say most games, some of my own included, that use Spellcraft for nothing but counterspelling or maybe deciphering a spell scroll, and those uses are exceptionally rare. maybe some of you have had different experiences, but i hardly ever see it get used properly, and the Concentration skill is the same way. who uses that? how often do you really require Concentration rolls for your players, and (for you players out there) how often does your spellcasting character have to roll Concentration? this fixes that.

9. it's a separate issue, really, but...these rules also address the fact that it doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense for clerics or druids or other divine spellcasters (who, presumably, are in fact praying for specific miracles rather than crafting spells from divine energy) to use the Spellcraft skill.

10. though most spells will be cast without a hitch and with little or no Constitution damage, repeated failure can leave a spellcaster hurting relatively quickly. this is a good thing because it means that even a 20th level wizard isn't going to be tossing off incredibly powerful effects like Meteor Swarm or Teleportation Circle like it was nothing. use of this system leads to spellcasters monitoring their own activities a lot closer and using a little more thought when casting spells in different situations.

that said, let's move on to...


1. the ability to use metamagic feats that the character has not learned how to do properly/officially. this arguably gives spellcasters access to free feats, something no other classes really get to do.

Balance: i really feel like the prohibitively high cost of utilizing this ability acts as a balancing factor. if a wizard is willing to pay the Constitution damage incurred from channeling uncontrolled magic through his system to get a more powerful effect, i think that's just peachy.

2. casting spells beyond your level potentially opens up a Pandora's Box which players will try to use to justify their 3rd level wizard cast 6th and 7th (or higher) level spells. spells of that level or raised to that level this early in a game could be game breaking.

Balance: first, lots of literature includes wizards attempting to cast things beyond their ability to control with varying degrees of success. usually, these men pay a high cost for doing so. i feel like this is reflected really well in this system in that the cost for exceeding your normal maximum spell level is -extremely- high and potentially deadly. it becomes a lot less game breaking if it's only used in life and death situations.

3. adding a die roll to determine the success or failure of a spell can make spellcasters less reliable. since they're very often a critical component of a party, anything that reduces their effectiveness can be a blow to the entire group.

Balance: true, but there's an even greater chance that the spells will succeed, especially as the spellcaster increases his or her level and arcane/religious knowledge. additionally, there's just as much chance of a critical success as there is for a critical failure. it's not game breaking for melee combat, so why should it be for spellcasting?

4. the ability to alter the shape and meaning of spells is a powerful one and could potentially give a spellcaster a more potent tool than the spell was originally intended to be.

Balance: true, but that tool is only as useful as the character trying to use it. if the player doesn't request that their spell be altered at the time of casting, don't suggest it. unless the player can specifically describe in what way he or she wants to alter the spell, don't allow them to do so. if you don't see how a spell could be changed to exclude certain targets (say, setting off a Fireball in a 10'x10' room and trying not to hurt the PCs), don't allow it. beyond that, this portion of the rules could be left out entirely without really changing up the rest of the spellcasting mechanics.

5. spellcasters are punished in many other ways already...adding a chance to knock themselves out by casting a bunch of high-level spells seems to be going a little overboard.

Balance: to me, this one is a matter of personal taste. i think that their low hit points and inferior combat abilities aren't really a very fair offset. i understand and agree with them, but i don't really think they reflect the physical toll taken on the spellcasters by all that energy they're channeling.

6. i can't find a negative aspect of giving leylines and the like an actual mechanical effect.

7. i addressed the randomness issue a few lines up.

8. maybe your group does use Spellcraft and Concentration a lot more than mine does, and if that's the case then #8 above really doesn't apply to you. further, these rules tend to force spellcasters to allocate their slim skill points away from things that could be extremely useful like Spot, Listen, or Gather Information.

Balance: true...but -shouldn't- a powerful spellcaster have a pretty solid grasp of how their magic works? Spellcraft, Knowledge: Religion, and Concentration are made much more use of with these rules, making them less "flavor skills" and more -useful- skills.

9. can't see a down side to this either. i was really disappointed that 3.5 didn't address this issue. i mean, why should a cleric have -any idea- how a wizard crafts a spell? why should druids need to study the art of weaving magic? don't divine casters draw upon their deity to perform miracles? what does a divine spellcaster's knowledge of the fabric of magic have to do with what miracles their deity will or won't perform for them? (actually, i could argue either way for druids...but for simplicity's sake, i'm leaning towards Knowledge: Religion)

10. in a high magic game, this can be a real downer. how much fun is it to be a godlike wizard if you can't go around doing godlike deeds all the time?

Balance: again, i refer you back to the popular perception of wizards...even the most powerful of them get tired eventually, and high-level spellcasters stand a pretty good chance to never take much Constitution damage at all.

11. this could really slow down the healing process if all this magic use keeps kicking the healers in their unmentionables.

Balance: true...but you can always rule that the rules don't apply or don't really affect anything for downtime casting, and again, in a lot of popular literature healers often become more physically drained the more magical healing they perform. this mechanic also explains why clerics from the major good religions don't go around busting out Create Food and Water all the time or walking through the slums every day casting Cure Light Wounds...and why so many of them charge a hefty fee for magical healing.

12. taking #11 a step further, this could also impact long-term magical projects like the creation of a golem or magic item.

Balance: yes, it can.

13. keeping track of Constitution damage lost due to spellcasting can be a hassle. the fact that it regenerates at a different rate than regular Constitution damage is confusing and can lead to a lot of bookkeeping errors both for and against the PCs.

Balance: no argument there. i freely admit that Constitution damage might not be the absolute best way of showing the effects of casting, but i'm at a loss to find anything better. i'm open to suggestions, but bear in mind the criteria i used to select Con damage:

-- in fiction, spellcasters grow tired after casting spells. Constitution damage affects their ability to run, swim, hold their breath, perform forced marches, stay awake for long periods of time, and everything else that is based on their Fortitude saving throws. --

well...i guess that's it. does that cover what you were wondering about, or did i miss it completely?

any other comments or questions? (i'll try to be a little more brief in answering them next time. promise.)


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:24 am 
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:31 am
Posts: 290
interesting system, though i can't say if i'd use it or not...
(not that it's my choice, since i don't normally DM :lol: )

i do have a suggestion, though...

instead of taking constitution damage, i would say give a player a life-force pool equal to twice his con score
(same rules for death as with HP: negatives = unconcious, -10 = death, but with the ability to stay concious with a DC 20+x willpower save, of course)

otherwise players will keep confusing the spell induced damage with regular Con damage

every four points of lifeforce below max would impose a -1 penalty to all con based checks, too, so it would essentially function the same as the current system except without as much potential to confuse the players

i took the liberty of revising your tables for how it would look if my idea were used...

                        spellcraft check
                        success          failure
level   Spellcraft DC   DC      damage   DC    damage
0       10              --      -        10    2
1       12              10      1        12    3
2       14              11      2        13    4
3       16              12      3        14    5
4       18              13      4        15    6
5       20              14      5        16    7
6       22              15      6        17    8
7       24              16      7        18    9
8       26              17      8        19    10
9       28              18      9        20    11

Namfoodle "Sparklediver" Raulnor
{Wounds -12; HP = 11/23}

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:48 pm 
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 1:13 am
Posts: 29
that's not a bad idea, really. i'd considered something along those lines, but hadn't put much thought into it. that could work. i'll have to playtest it when i get my next campaign started.

how'd you make the table?


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 3:25 pm 
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:31 am
Posts: 290
heh, the easy way; you had damage increment by 1 every two spell levels, so i doubled the damage, but removed one point from the first of two identical entries


1 -> 1
1 -> 2
2 -> 3
2 -> 4
3 -> 5

and so on

it means slighly less damage on half the spells (by half a point of con, in your system) but gives a smooth damage table for the pool i suggested, since it increments every level instead of every other level


if you meant "how'd i make it format nice"

i imported your tables to notepad, saved them, and used a function of excel to import them using spaces for deliniations (after removing the '/' from them) then merged the tables into one table, converted it back to a text file, and edited the text file in notepad to get the spacing correct

then i posted it inside of 'code' tags, because that the code tag uses a fixed width font, which preserves the spacing that i set up

if you're making a table from scratch, you can just build it properly formatted in notepad and use code tags, but i wanted to be lazy and copy your tables with copy/paste

Namfoodle "Sparklediver" Raulnor
{Wounds -12; HP = 11/23}

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 5:56 pm 
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 1:13 am
Posts: 29

yeah, i was referring more to the format rather than the information.

it's not a bad looking idea though, and you're right in thinking that the biggest problem in play has been trying to keep real Con damage separate from spellcasting Con damage...and it created some headaches regarding the combination of the two.

any other suggestions?


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2004 11:41 pm 
Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:31 am
Posts: 290
no suggestions, per se... looks pretty solid to me as it stands

the system as it stands makes it so powerful spellcasters are limeted and weak spellcasters are not limited by much, and penalizes spontanious casters more than memorizing casters (though only becasue they have more spell slots per level)

if you want to make the power available based more on experience and ability, you might consider making magic a pool that's based on class level

after all, a 20th level wizard will have over 40 spell slots (plus bonus spells from intelegence and magic items and such)

and a 20th level sorceror should have around 60 spell slots(again, plus bonus)...

(not sure about other casters, though)

eh, but if you make the pool more like HP, gained at every level, then it starts looking more and more like psionics does...

suggestions, no, variants, plenty :P

Namfoodle "Sparklediver" Raulnor
{Wounds -12; HP = 11/23}

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 12:38 am 
Far-Sighted Wanderer

Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 1:13 am
Posts: 29
i've been thinking about it a lot, and, while i haven't had an opportunity to test it yet, i really, really like your adaptation away from Con damage. i was leery of creating a new stat for magic users, but, in retrospect, i'm not sure why. after all, i was already changing the whole way they do business...might as well equip them properly for it too.


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