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: Spellcasting Time in regards to balance?

   
Spellcasting Time in regards to balance?

So I've been playing D&D and many other tabletop RPG's for a good portion of my life, and I've often seen and heard many arguments and debates and discussions about the core "five" and the balance of power between fighters and spellcasting classes. This isn't really want I wanted to bring up, however, it is related. I've scoured the forum looking for a topic like this one, but haven't found it yet, so if I missed it, I apologize. I do want to know how most of you feel about this though, so here goes nothing...

What is curious is that I've noticed that a lot of people tend to ignore a major aspect about most if not all spell casting classes, is the required time it takes to cast what spell they are indeed casting. It's typically the stronger the spell, the longer it takes for the spell to be cast in the first place and what I mean by ignore, is that most spells are cast instantaneously regardless of the required time needed. (not to mention the required spell components, but I feel that's only minor in compared to the time issue)

How this ties into the first remark about the balance issues and the main five, is my curiosity why this particular rule seems to be ignored when it would potentially solve most of the problems. Sure, A fighter may not gain so much exponential power on the same scale as a wizard, but if he was going toe to toe with one, wouldn't all he really need to do is cover the ground and attack the spell caster, thus potentially (very high chance) causing the spell to fizzle or even worse, back fire on the spell caster?

I will admit,I might be missing something over all, but In all my years, I've simply wondered why the casting time was ignored or left out, (Would would make certain meta-magic feats, useless, IMHO). Can someone show me the light or explain why I've seen his often?

I suppose I'm talking about 2nd edition through 3.5, including pathfinder. I Don't know anything about 4th edition other than most abilities are completely different.

In 3.5, most spells have a casting time of one stand action, and a fighter who damages a wizard in the process of spellcasting merely forces him to make a Concentration check to retain the spell, instead of causing it to fizzle automatically. There is no chance of a spell backfiring if the Concentration check fails.

I don't know about 2e, but, for the most part in 3.5, the only distinction increased casting time creates is in the determination of whether the spell is viable for use in the midst of combat. Outside of combat, most casting times are just a matter of bookkeeping.

I don't think I've ever seen, for instance, someone actually try to cast a spell with a casting time measured in minutes, let alone more, in the midst of combat except when that was an explicit plot point driving the combat. And even then, it makes for rather dull gameplay for the caster in question, as the rest of the PCs take care of the imminent threat and they sit there each round saying 'I continue to cast the spell'.

Solo - Hmmm, I don't think I've ever actually noticed that fact, looking it up now reveals that to me. Hmmm, I guess I have been missing something in regards to that. Though in a standard action concerning spells, isn't the spell suppose to occur at the next available round and not on the same round?

Tedronai - Since It's just been pointed out to me that most spells are a standard action, I suppose it makes sense that spells used outside of combat or right before would be given a glossing over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serge Wolf View Post
Solo - Hmmm, I don't think I've ever actually noticed that fact, looking it up now reveals that to me. Hmmm, I guess I have been missing something in regards to that. Though in a standard action concerning spells, isn't the spell suppose to occur at the next available round and not on the same round?
No.

Spells with a '1 round' casting time take effect on the round following the one in which their casting is begun.
Note that the same is not true for casting times of a 'full-round action', which take effect at the end of the turn in which their casting is begun.

An example is Sleep - one of the most powerful first-level spells, but it takes a round, which makes it a lot harder to get it off (certainly at that level).

Standard Action spells can still be interrupted, but then someone needs to ready an action to attack you during the casting. This can actually be quite devastating, if you can hit. An interesting note is that you can ready a spell to interrupt another spell, somehow casting it faster than the other person so as to hit them with yours whilst they're still casting theirs. Magic Missile is great for this (since it - Shield aside - always hits, and thus always triggers a Concentration check).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
Standard Action spells can still be interrupted, but then someone needs to ready an action to attack you during the casting. This can actually be quite devastating, if you can hit. An interesting note is that you can ready a spell to interrupt another spell, somehow casting it faster than the other person so as to hit them with yours whilst they're still casting theirs. Magic Missile is great for this (since it - Shield aside - always hits, and thus always triggers a Concentration check).
I've always referred to this as "Evoker's Counterspelling", though it works better with spells that can actually pile on the damage.

Edit: Don't forget that Nighsthield also completely blocks magic missiles, as does a brooch of shielding.




 

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