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Spellcasting for Non-Spellcasters

   
Spellcasting for Non-Spellcasters

So yeah, it's pretty much what the title implies. For a dnd 3.5 game I'm working up on, I wanted to implement a system that would allow any class to cast spells. Not one that means any class would be as great as a wizard or a cleric at casting spells, but one that would allow any character to learn certain spells and use them a limited amount of times per day, either from studying a certain spell enough to let the character use it or as a blessing or boon from some entity that lets the person cast certain spells.

The problem is that I have no honest idea of how to make this work in this system. I don't want to just give them spell-like abilities because then it feels less like a certain power or knowledge that they hold and more like some item that they can't lose.

Any ideas on how I could work it in? I really do want to give my players the chance to start learning magic and such without forcing them to multi-class, however at the same time, I want to make sure their ability to cast spells can't match a dedicated spell caster or even a psuedo spellcaster.

unearthed Arcana has this sort of thing in the spell touched feats.

They are feats that give certain spell-like abilities or special options when dealing with spells that require you to have been affected by a certain spell or spell type.

Well I really do want to avoid using feats. I want the players to actively learn how to cast stuff or to have this stuff granted to them by entities they may do services for and such. Not to mention those spell touched feats wouldn't work well in the setting.

Well it is just an idea that you could use to work with.

Basically what I see you wanting is to gestalt a non spellcasting class with a spellcasting class, which totally takes away from the purpose of playing a non spellcasting class.

But since there is the note up there of you not wanting them to feel like they can't lose it there is one thing i can think of.

Create a magic item, a pseudo spell-book. It behaves in a way that treats the player reading it as a Wizard of (insert level here) so when being read/studied from it imparts 1 daily use of the spell/spells inside. Give it 10-15 pages and make it small like a journal. Make the INT requirement to cast the spells inside the book 3 higher than normal so 14 for first level spells, 15 for 2nd and so on.

this way they can either do the research and use a spellcraft check to write new spells in it themselves or have a wizard do it for them.

This is the best idea that I can come up with at the moment.

Oh heavens no, I want anything but a gestalt. The setting of the game I'm making is generally low in magic, with arcanists being exceptionally rare and hated/shunned by the general public and the gods so distant from the world that only a few can truthfully claim to wield the magic they hold. However the more the players move around, the more they run into magic so I wanted to make it possible for players to be able to start picking up tricks here and there from all the exposure if they so choose. Nothing that makes them blatantly a spell caster in the general sense, but someone who has a the capability to learn or be given a spell or two under the right conditions.

As for the pseudo-spellbook, I can see that working as an item in its own right (in fact I really like the idea of it and might just use it) but yeah as you expected, I don't want to make it a basis for the whole system. It is something to think about though. Thanks.

High DC skill checks would replicate spells, for example;
Sleight of Hand, some gunpowder and a match would replicate a fireball.

Knowledge (Nature), Knowledge (Geography) on a cloudy day and a metal rod would predict and redirect where the next lightning strike will be.

Search and Knowledge (The Planes) to look for planar microportals and use Sleight of Hand to do specific hand gestures that would nudge the microportals to puke something from their planes, for example replicating Create water by opening a tap from the Elemental Plane of Water.

DC1000 combined Search and Knowledge (The Planes), Knowledge (Architecture and Engineering), Knowledge (Nature), Profession (Theoretical Physicist), Use Magic Device and Decipher Script using a wondrous item with a craft DC of 200 called the Large Hadron Collider to look for the Higgs Boson.

Do you have any idea of how exceedingly complicated that would be? I'd practically would have to rewrite how players can use every single skill and then search through every spell in existence just to figure out what can be used with what skill and how, and then I have to determine a DC for each and everyone of them. And even then there is no way to regulate how often players can do that.

That's not helping at all.

You could say that perhaps they have an x/day usage of certain spells, scaling with level. true strike for fighters, invisibility for rogues.

Say that using their skill they draw in magical power, and form it into a spell using their instincts.

Or is that basic idea not a good one?

Yeah but, I want to make the factotum more secretly OP.

How about each casting burns out XP like crafting a scroll would? It would create a sense of scarcity on a low-magic campaign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerim View Post
You could say that perhaps they have an x/day usage of certain spells, scaling with level. true strike for fighters, invisibility for rogues.

Say that using their skill they draw in magical power, and form it into a spell using their instincts.

Or is that basic idea not a good one?
That idea is good. Really good. For another game I mean, but still good. I don't want spell casting to be a main feature of anything but the dedicated (or half-dedicated) spell casting classes, nor do I want to make it a feature that just comes with every class.

What I want is to make it so that if a player wanted to learn how to cast a spell, he could study it like a wizard except without the spell casting capabilities of a real spell casting class, or if he were to be granted a sort of boon from a god or something that let them cast a spell or two, they'd be able to do it. But I need a system to keep it consistent in how often they can cast stuff and how it would be handled for them simply learning or just simply casting the spell in the first place since they shouldn't be able to do it as easily as a normal spell caster.

Also I don't want to just say, "You can cast this spell X times a day," since I want a system that can help dictate stuff like that. Plus if someone could cast a spell several spells (maybe he spent a lot of time studying but he's intent on staying as a fighter), then saying you can cast whatever spell X times a day would mean that person just has to learn more spells the same way they got 'em and then BAM! a way to cast a whole bunch of spells limited not by any factors but by the quantity of how often they can cast whichever spell among each of their spells.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secutor View Post
Yeah but, I want to make the factotum more secretly OP.

How about each casting burns out XP like crafting a scroll would? It would create a sense of scarcity on a low-magic campaign.
*facepalm*

Well I'm glad your priorities are in order. You're a big help.

As for the XP cost thing, I really don't want to force people to do something like that. The game I'm making is already a bit stacked against the players, I don't want to make it so that just using the things that give them an edge also makes them weaker.

Plus I only said low-magic in that it isn't very wide-spread. Plus if I were to throw exp costs onto stuff, I'd at least want to make it strong enough to justify it.




 

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