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Spellcasting for Non-Spellcasters

   
It sort of sounds like you want to have multi-classing features without multi-classing drawbacks, but I could be wrong.

I think the closest to what you are looking for are the Unearthed Arcana feats suggested by Valeiru. You can always grant the feats as "free" feats with the fluff being a god or deity granted it as a boon, or through exceptional study and luck (heck, they ARE the PC heroes) they unlocked some hidden power inherent within all inhabitants of the material plane. Perhaps create a new feat that they can take or that you can give them for "free" that allows them to replicate the effects of the Unearthed Arcana Spell Touched feats without actually taking the feat, requiring them to study for 1+ hours each morning instead. This would allow the same character to use multiple spell effects, but only one/type of effect each day.

Use GURPS instead. It's mana-based, and anyone who takes the proper skill can use magic.

So far, you've indicated you don't want it to be any of the following:
x/day
xp/use
class feature
gestalt
feat-based
skill check
magic item
multi-classing

Which means you need alternative options, of which I have two to offer:
1. Make it happen every time they roll some particular number on a d20 for one or more particular roll types (to hit, one or more skills, Fort saves, etc.).

2. Use a different medium for sacrifice/day than xp. I suggest a fluff sacrifice, such as taking an entire round to do it, spending x time in meditation/prayer/whatever to have access once during the subsequent 24 hours, or something along those lines. The list of how to create magic items with drawbacks can be helpful here.

You could try using the incantations rules from Unearthed Arcana, which uses mostly knowledge skills to perform rituals that are similar to spells...

Alternatively, you could try granting spell slots (or temporary spell slots, such as those granted by the imbue with spell ability spell) as treasure, or even as part of the normal level progression, just like every character gains feats, but not as many as the fighter...

Feat wouldn't be an insensible way to do it, the same way you can get manoeuvres through Martial Study or something.

Instead, you could just link it to Spellcraft and maybe other skills. Perhaps anyone who can decipher a scroll can attempt to learn/cast from it, to a certain limit? Something along those lines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SethoMarkus View Post
I think the closest to what you are looking for are the Unearthed Arcana feats suggested by Valeiru. You can always grant the feats as "free" feats with the fluff being a god or deity granted it as a boon, or through exceptional study and luck (heck, they ARE the PC heroes) they unlocked some hidden power inherent within all inhabitants of the material plane. Perhaps create a new feat that they can take or that you can give them for "free" that allows them to replicate the effects of the Unearthed Arcana Spell Touched feats without actually taking the feat, requiring them to study for 1+ hours each morning instead. This would allow the same character to use multiple spell effects, but only one/type of effect each day.
Well the thing about the spell-touched feats that I mostly have a problem with is that they simply don't let characters cast spells, heck they don't even replicate spell effects (except for like two of them). Most of them are passive buffs or effects that trigger under specific conditions.

I want the players to actually cast actual spells that they could cast if they were say, a cleric or a wizard, and I want to have a system that lets them do it if they put in the time and effort to get them. Wizards and Clerics can prepare spells and have a set arrangement of how much spells per day they can cast and of each level. Sorcerers and the like can cast any spell they have learned spontaneously and also have a set amount of each level of spell they can cast per day. I want something like that I can use, though if an alternative that replicates that then I'd be happy with that instead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dauphinous View Post
Use GURPS instead. It's mana-based, and anyone who takes the proper skill can use magic.

Which means you need alternative options, of which I have two to offer:
1. Make it happen every time they roll some particular number on a d20 for one or more particular roll types (to hit, one or more skills, Fort saves, etc.).

2. Use a different medium for sacrifice/day than xp. I suggest a fluff sacrifice, such as taking an entire round to do it, spending x time in meditation/prayer/whatever to have access once during the subsequent 24 hours, or something along those lines. The list of how to create magic items with drawbacks can be helpful here.
I can't use a system I don't know or have the books for. But could you expand on that? DnD has a spell point system which could be used instead.

1) I'm not sure how that lets them actually cast spells when it is just a random effect rather than an activated one.
2) This seems like a good idea to do something like make it less convenient for them to cast spells. I think I can do something with this suggestion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Silverbane View Post
You could try using the incantations rules from Unearthed Arcana, which uses mostly knowledge skills to perform rituals that are similar to spells...

Alternatively, you could try granting spell slots (or temporary spell slots, such as those granted by the imbue with spell ability spell) as treasure, or even as part of the normal level progression, just like every character gains feats, but not as many as the fighter...
0.0 *Looks through UA*

Wow, I didn't even know they had stuff like this. This is actually very interesting and useful and I definitely can use it. Though I do really want to make spells accessible to anyone that puts the effort into it.

I already know I can just grant spell slots. That's easy as hell. The problem is I need a system I can refer to. For example, if I just looked a character sheet I would be able to determine that a character would be able to cast x amount of y and z spells. Otherwise I'd just be spending time figuring out how much to let each person use whatever spell and it would simply be unfair if everyone from a stupid barbarian to a cunning rogue or an extremely intelligent fighter to be forced to cast the same amount of spells as each other. Not to mention what about NPCs? Chances are maybe one or two players may try putting in effort to getting this stuff, but I need something to use for my NPCs too. I'd be spending days just deciding stuff like "this guy can do this this much times, and that guy can do that this much times."

That's why I need a system to determine this stuff. It saves time. It might take a while to develop it sure, but it'll save me time later on when making new characters within the game.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
Instead, you could just link it to Spellcraft and maybe other skills. Perhaps anyone who can decipher a scroll can attempt to learn/cast from it, to a certain limit? Something along those lines.
I've thought about that. Handling it like epic spells. Though I still haven't thought of a way to make it systematic. For example. Even if a character spent a ton of skill points into the right stuff, maybe even spent feats to raise their skill checks, how would I differentiate 1st and 2nd level spells? What is the limit and how do I link it to that stuff?

It's similar to the spell point system, but the default setting is lower magic than D&D. The primary point is that you wouldn't have to come up with any system yourself, because GURPS is point-based overall, instead of level-based like D&D. Whatever the player wants to do, there's a point cost for that, and they just pay it.

While I can appreciate that books cost money, I suggest you check out GURPS Lite, the short version of the system, which is free. You'll never know if you'll like a new system enough to want the books (and you really only need one book to use the system, not 3 like D&D) until you give it a chance. You can also sometimes find the 3rd edition book cheap and use the conversion guide for 3e to 4e, which is also free and about as painful as the 3.0 to 3.5 conversion.

Yeah, the GURPS lite book is generally enough to get you covered in a standard game. It's non-specific, and has plenty to offer.


I'm not really a big fan of it, though. Takes forever to build a character. Flipping through pages to find what this means or what that does. Trying out various weaknesses and limitations on for size. This vs that vs the other thing. Granted, it's far better for a unique concept than a template system like D&D. Which *is* a template system. Every level being a new package of features and abilities which unlocks even more packages.

So, while D&D is easier for "straight up I wanna play the damn game"... GURPS is far superior in the "this is a totally cool but weird idea" department.


That and the roll mechanics on the game... not such a big fan... too much of the formula is in the dice. A lucky roll would allow a toddler to win an arm wrestling match with an adult.

Use the psionics rules. As an added twist, instead of (or in addition to) having the spells cost power points, you can have them pay the cost from their HP.

cast at the price of health.
Seince its a low magic world perhapes come up with a reason why there is no magic istead of just saying there is no magic just say that the use of magic draws dagerously on their life force.

EDIT: mental fortitute may lessen the parasitic effect

EDIT: I didn't even see this guy above me lol. anyway I would use this with the makshift spellbook

Okay from listening to suggestions and some thinking of my own, how does this sound as a good way to handle it?
- Spells are cast using Spell Points and all spell casting classes use the spell point system.

- All characters have a static amount of spell points equal to x+y/2. Where 'x' is the character's Intelligence modifier (based on the mental capacity of the character) and 'y' is the character's ranks in Spellcraft.

- The caster level of spells cast by characters with no spell casting classes is either the minimum level needed to cast it by the spell casting class the spell belongs to or at a level determined when the spell is first learned. It can later be upgraded to a higher caster level through independent study or other circumstances.

- Characters who attempt to cast a spell without any spell caster levels must spend a full round action to cast any spell that requires a standard action or else become fatigued (or exhausted if already fatigued). Similarly, when a character runs out of spell points, they become fatigued (or exhausted if already fatigued). Otherwise, it is the same as the normal rules for Spell Points.

- Characters with no spell casting class levels can cast three 0 level spells a day without spending a spell point. Trying to cast any more consumes a spell point and allows for three more 0 level spells to be cast by that character. This applies to any spell casting class that can cast 0 level spells.

How does this seem?




 

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