Author Topic: A New Idea For Spellcasting  (Read 1841 times)

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bkdubs123

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A New Idea For Spellcasting
« on: October 17, 2011, 11:11:23 AM »
Note: This is not to be considered a fix for the existing spells or the classes that cast spells.

The idea is that all spells are at-will, but are divided into three types: Daily, Encounter, and Instantaneous.

Daily spells are spells that a mage generally finds a use for every day or most days. These spells are the easiest to maintain and can last several hours.

Encounter spells are more potent spells that a mage generally finds a use for every so often when a difficult task arises. These spells are more difficult to maintain and can last several rounds.

Instantaneous spells are the most powerful spells, used only sparingly by mages because they can be exhausting. These spells cannot be maintained and instead have lasting one-shot effects.

So, mechanically, let's say a mage has a number of caster levels at any given time equal to his class level. When he casts a Daily spell it can last up to 1 hour per class level, when he casts an Encounter spell it can last up to 1 round per class level. Casting a spell requires the investiture or expenditure of caster levels. Daily and Encounter spells only require the investiture of caster levels, a number of levels equal to the spell level. Casting an Instantaneous spell requires the mage to expend caster levels equal to the spell level. Invested or expended caster levels can't be used to cast further spells. Invested caster levels are recovered when the mage's spell ends, while expended caster levels are recovered only after 8 hours of rest. Spell durations would be simplified to only fall in the range of 1 hour/level, 1 round/level, or instantaneous, and all non-instantaneous spells would be dismissable.

Of course, this system shouldn't be used with existing D&D 3.5 spells or spellcasters, but I could imagine something like this working for the development of a new spellcasting system. Thoughts?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 11:15:47 AM by bkdubs123 »

RobbyPants

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Re: A New Idea For Spellcasting
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2011, 02:10:46 PM »
So, to make sure I'm understanding it:

You have a 10th level wizard (CL 8) with the following spells:
  • Mage Armor (D - 1)
  • Fly (D - 3)
  • Web (E - 2)
  • Solid Fog (E - 4)
  • Finger of Death (I - 6)

So, he can cast any of the first four spells so long as he has the appropriate number of CLs, but it costs none. So, at the beginning of the day, he casts Mage Armor and Fly for free because he has 8 CLs (more than 1 and 3 respectively). In the fight, he can drop Web and Solid Fog for free so long as he has 2 or 4 CLs respectively. Once he casts Finger of Death, he loses 6 CLs, dropping down to 2. So now, he can only cast Web in a fight, and he can only recast Mage Armor later and not Fly.

I'm I understanding that right?

The idea could work, but you're right that you'd have to rewrite all the spells and assign levels from the ground up. You'd need a lot of low level Instantaneous spells for this to work, also.
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bkdubs123

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Re: A New Idea For Spellcasting
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2011, 09:15:30 PM »
So, to make sure I'm understanding it:

You have a 10th level wizard (CL 8) with the following spells:
  • Mage Armor (D - 1)
  • Fly (D - 3)
  • Web (E - 2)
  • Solid Fog (E - 4)
  • Finger of Death (I - 6)

So, he can cast any of the first four spells so long as he has the appropriate number of CLs, but it costs none. So, at the beginning of the day, he casts Mage Armor and Fly for free because he has 8 CLs (more than 1 and 3 respectively). In the fight, he can drop Web and Solid Fog for free so long as he has 2 or 4 CLs respectively. Once he casts Finger of Death, he loses 6 CLs, dropping down to 2. So now, he can only cast Web in a fight, and he can only recast Mage Armor later and not Fly.

I'm I understanding that right?

No, that's not at all how it works. I hope I can explain this better...

Using your example, at the beginning of the day if he casts Mage Armor and Fly he invests 1 CL for Mage Armor and 3 CLs for Fly. As long as he maintains both of them his CLs are reduced from 10 to 6. In a fight if he casts both Web and Solid Fog he invests 2 CLs and 4 CLs respectively, going to 0 CLs. So as long as he's running Mage Armor, Fly, Web, and Solid Fog he can't cast any more spells. He could dismiss any of those spells at any time to get the invested CLs back. If he ever casts Finger of Death (not sure how he has a 6th level spell, but no matter) he expends 6 CLs for the day reducing his total from 10 to 4.

EDIT: But still, this system shouldn't be used for existing spells or spellcasters.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 09:25:39 PM by bkdubs123 »

RobbyPants

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Re: A New Idea For Spellcasting
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2011, 09:39:19 PM »
Okay. So your dailies and encounters tie you up so long as you run them, and the immediates burn through as soon as they're cast, right? So it's really just a variation on a SP system, except that your buffs and other duration spells free up points when they're not running, right?

EDIT: But still, this system shouldn't be used for existing spells or spellcasters.
Yeah, I just used existing spell names and numbers for speed and familiarity.
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Totally true.  Historians believe that most past civilizations would have endured for centuries longer if they had successfully determined Batman's alignment.
Quote from: Grand Theft Otto
Why are so many posts on the board the equivalent of " Dear Dr. Crotch, I keep punching myself in the crotch, and my groin hurts... what should I do? How can I make my groin stop hurting?"
Quote from: CryoSilver
I suggest carving "Don't be a dick" into him with a knife.  A dull, rusty knife.  A dull, rusty, bent, flaming knife.
Quote from: Seerow
Fluffy: It's over Steve! I've got the high ground!
Steve: You underestimate my power!
Fluffy: Don't try it, Steve!
Steve: *charges*
Fluffy: *three critical strikes*
Steve: ****
Quote from: claypigeons
I don't even stat out commoners. Commoner = corpse that just isn't a zombie. Yet.
Quote from: CryoSilver
When I think "Old Testament Boots of Peace" I think of a paladin curb-stomping an orc and screaming "Your death brings peace to this land!"
Quote from: Orville_Oaksong
Buy a small country. Or Pelor. Both are good investments.
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bkdubs123

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Re: A New Idea For Spellcasting
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2011, 09:57:00 PM »
Okay. So your dailies and encounters tie you up so long as you run them, and the immediates burn through as soon as they're cast, right? So it's really just a variation on a SP system, except that your buffs and other duration spells free up points when they're not running, right?

Right, that's it. Having expended CLs only recover after 8 hours of rest might be a bit extreme, it probably wouldn't be completely out of the question to have them recover a bit faster than that throughout the day, but at least for an initial design I don't see anything wrong with requiring an 8 hour rest.

Quote from: RobbyPants
EDIT: But still, this system shouldn't be used for existing spells or spellcasters.
Yeah, I just used existing spell names and numbers for speed and familiarity.

Indeed.

As far as durations go, it might also not be a bad idea to set durations to 24 hours for "Dailies" and 1 minute for "Encounters." Since spells can be dismissed at any time and tie up caster levels while they are maintained anyway, this just allows 1st level casters more usability with their daily and encounter spells.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 10:20:13 PM by bkdubs123 »

veekie

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Re: A New Idea For Spellcasting
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2011, 05:59:26 AM »
Might make magical combat a lot more dynamic to be sure. If I'm getting this right, you'd be best served with the bulk of your CLs invested into buffs, then you'd drop certain buffs to cast your attack spells(which are presumably Encounter), saving the Instants for when you can't beat the encounter otherwise?

Questions:
Can you then count a blast spell as a daily? Say a(made up) Izzangar's Pyromantic Bloom, with a duration of 24 hours, and allowing you to fire off CL 5ft cube fireballs as a standard action every round. As a side benefit you're orbited by fireballs which is pretty bright and acts as a lightbulb.

Are you going to base the spell power off how much CL you have tied up in it? It seems that this system would be a natural for psionic style augments, to make CL allocations more complete.
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bkdubs123

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Re: A New Idea For Spellcasting
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2011, 07:10:25 AM »
Can you then count a blast spell as a daily? Say a(made up) Izzangar's Pyromantic Bloom, with a duration of 24 hours, and allowing you to fire off CL 5ft cube fireballs as a standard action every round. As a side benefit you're orbited by fireballs which is pretty bright and acts as a lightbulb.

There would certainly be a place for Daily blast spells, so long as equal level Instantaneous blasting spells were orders of magnitude more powerful in the one turn that you use them.

Quote
Are you going to base the spell power off how much CL you have tied up in it? It seems that this system would be a natural for psionic style augments, to make CL allocations more complete.

I actually hadn't considered that at all, but it is another good idea.