serleran wrote:It works better when you have to, or can, spend points to modify the spell variables. Want to increase base damage from d6 to d8, add 35 mana. Or whatever. This allows a much wider "free casting" net.
Of course, I really hate having to track time so I would ignore the refresh rate. Instead, I would use something different... not sure what at the moment,
It occurs to me that spells that improve at higher levels will need to be cast at higher levels, otherwise the point values will be completely unbalanced.
A simple example is the Magic Missile that gains an additional missile every two levels. When I play with the standard RAW, a Magic Missile always takes up a Level 1 Spell Slot, no matter how high the caster level or how many bolts the spell casts. This is, to my mind, simply a benefit of becoming more proficient with the spell. At 9th level the Magic Missile casts 5 missiles, but it doesn't take up a Level 9 spell slot... it still takes only the Level 1 Spell slot.
If we use this system, though, yeah, I already see that I'll want to charge 2 points per missile (starting at level 1) to a maximum of 10 points for 5 missiles at levels 9+. Allowing the Wizard to cast 5 missiles for 2 points sounds groovy, but it will clearly through PC balance out the window.
I agree with you on tracking time. I've always had to do it, because pretty much every game I've ever played has this same mechanic in place, but I don't like it. Like I said, I pretty much let my players do it for me.... they're always quick to note when an hour has passed, especially right before a combat begins!
Fizz wrote: KeyIXTheHermit wrote:
Aergraith wrote:You are making Jack Vance spin in his grave.
It's okay... he can only do it 3x a day. After that he forgets how.
Fizz wrote:I have tried the CKG's version. While i am a fan of the principle, i am not of the numbers used. I find the number-keeping a bit too clunky.
A related version that i like is the one used in the Midnight campaign setting. There, an arcance caster had an amount of energy equal to their level plus modifier. A spell cost an amount of energy equal to its level- nice and simple. And you can get more by draining Constitution (if i recall).
Now, this does change the relative power levels- as magic in Midnight is more rare and special. And it also tends to change the relative strength of spells that a caster makes. But i am ok with this. Personally, i like magic being rare and special, and high level magic should be hard. But if that's too extreme for, you can tweak the numbers (say, energy equal to twice their level).
Yeah, the numbers really seem waaaaaaaaay too extreme, especially at the upper end of things (110 points at level 15! The piddly +1 to +3 Int Bonus no longer has any meaning!). However, having never played it, I am willing to accept that it might seem more balanced in play than it appears on paper.
I really like your Midnight version, though. Like you, I prefer magic be minimal and mysterious, so small numbers like that sound far better to my ear. A 10th level caster can cast 10 1st level spells, or 5 second level spells, or 3 third level spells, etc, or any combination as long as it's not more than 10 (assuming no Int bonus). That *definitely* sounds better to my ears. I also toyed around with Int Bonus times Level, meaning you'd have to have at least an Int of 13 to have magic, and a Wizard with an Int of 13 at 10th level would have 10 Mana Points, while a Wizard with an Int of 18 at 10th level would have 30 Mana points.
That idea makes it important to have a high Int for Wizards, and you'll want that 18 Int whenever you can get it. Spells would cost equal to their Level number in this system.
The Everquest pen and paper rpg has a mana system, too. I should revisit it, as it might work in this game. It seemed a little overly complex, IIRC.
As for me, the Midnight version sounds fine! I fear, however, that my players would string me up. They most certainly wouldn't play Wizards, being somewhat munchkiny... and I want them to, or else I'm doomed to play the same campaign (Warrior and Rogue) for the rest of my life.