mercoledì 13 aprile 2016

Continually spell slot recharging and sorcery for all


Spell-casters recharge spell slot as follows:
1) must be awake
2) must not be tired
3) 1 level of spell slot each 2 turns (20 minutes)
4) must be recovered first lower level spell slots then higher level ones 
5) while recovering spell slots spellcasters are more easily surprised (-2 on surprise rolls)
6) if a spell is cast spell recovery is interrupted
7) no more than 30 spell slot level day

Note: in effect all spell caster function as D&D 3.x sorcerer with the added benefit of recharging continually (but this is an hindrance at higher levels), and the possibility to change ready spell (but this take longer than before).
The number and levels of spell in a caster Spell Progression no more represent the spell a caster can cast in a single day but the maximum number of charged spell slot that the spell caster can have at any given moment. 

The number of ready spell is equal to the number of spells in the Spell Progression +2 for each level (a 1st level magic user in AD&D 1st edition can have 3 1st level spell ready, and 1 spell charge, at 3rd level it will have ready 4 1st and 3 2nd level spell and it will have 2 1st and 1 2nd level charge).

To change ready spell the spell caster need 1h*spell level with his book or in sacred place (if of divine nature) plus 10gp*spell level in ingredients, without his book it must engage in spell research or study under a mentor (that can also be a monster or extraplanar creature) in this case the time grows steeply:

  • book/sacred place: 1h*level + 10gp*level of spell to ready
  • mentor: 1day*level+100gp*level of spell to ready + service to be contracted with the mentor
  • research/meditation: 1week*level+1000gp*level of spell to ready


1) Toran a 5th level Spellsword can charge up to 
2 slot of 1st level, 2 of 2nd and 1 of 3rd.

In a tough encounter with a band of ogres Toran cast a Lightning Bolt and a Magic Missile discharging a 3rd level slot and a 1st level one. After 20' the 1st level slot will be fully recharged, after another 60' also the the 3rd level slot will be recharged. But while recharging Toran will be -2 on surprise rolls, and if after the first 40' (he recharged fully the 1st level slot, but the 3rd level one is still recharging) he need to cast Invisibility he will need to start recharging from 0 and after 40' will recharge the 2nd level slot and will need other 60' to recharge the 3rd level slot

2) Eward a 14th level Archmage can charge up to 
4 slot of  1st, 4 of 2nd, 4 of 3rd, 4 of 4th, 3 of 5th and 3 of 6th.

His tower sieged by powerful forces Eward must use all his magical power during the 1st wave of attacks, now he will slowly but continually recharge his spell slot but first he will recharge his lower level slots. After 2h he will have recharged 4 1st level slot and 1 2nd level slot. To fully recharge all his spell slot (since slot will recharge only while the mage is awake and not tired) he will need 146 turns or 24 hours and 20 minutes about 3 days without casting any spell (and he cannot recharge more than 30 level each day, so since the total of spell slot is 73 levels he needs more than 2 days to fully recharge).

Designer's Notes

This simple rule changes a fundamental assumption in the ACKS magical system (but also of the D&D 5th edition system and of the sorcerer spell system of D&D 3.x and Pathfinder) that spell-caster recover all their spell slot in the morning after one night of rest (and about one hour of meditation).

This assumption is derivative from 3rd edition D&D, in fact in 2nd edition spell caster needed to impress spell in their memory taking 10' for each spell level (and in 1st edition the time was 15' for each spell level as it is also in OSRIC and Adventures Dark and Deep). The strange thing is that this assumption makes things harder for lower level spell-caster and give way too much power to high level spell caster.

In ACKS a 1st level arcane spell-caster has 1 level of spell/day and at the 14th level arcane spell-caster 73 level of spell/day (divine spell caster are not so far off and the numbers are not so different also in D&D 5th edition or for sorcerers in D&D/d20 system like 3.x sorcerer or Pathfinder sorcerer) this means that we have a gigantic difference in raw power from 1st to 14th level, no other classes see such a difference in raw power.

Introducing this rule we have that magical capacity of recovery is constant during the day and independent from caster level with, at least, the following beneficial effects:
  1. spell caster will never be short of low level spells (a problem that in later edition of the game was resolved giving at will powers to caster and in previous edition with cantrips); 
  2. high level spell caster to get fully recharged need more than one day w/out spell casting (as in older edition) as you can see in our 2nd example where the Archmage Eward ned almost 3 day to get fully recharged;

I decided for 20' (or 2 turns) because in ACKS you roll for wandering monsters each 2 turns.

Trance/Meditation (ACKS)
To modify the Trance/Meditation Proficiency is a necessary rule change with the rule presented: While in a meditation spell caster recharge 1 level of spell slot each turn. The mage can use meditation up to a number of hours equal to the maximum level of spell he can use.

Wizard Spell Recovery (D&D 5th)
Wizard can keep this edge since it can be used a limited number of times each day.

NOTE: for the italian version of this one go here: Ricarica Magica Continua

4 commenti:

  1. Nice idea but it collides with the reliable damaging cantrips introduced in D&D next, maybe will be a good addition for D&D 6.

    1. thanks, actually it should work even in the presence of cantrips, since it give more power to lower level caster and less power to high level one. In 5th edition to normal spell power caster have at will (damaging and useful) cantrips. So with this rule they would keep at will cantrips and get more use from lower level spells... I have to add a rule on the spell recovery rule of wizards

  2. I like this idea very much.
    I suggest that you do not include #5. I think it is unnecessary, and could be forgotten sometimes, only to confuse combat if remembered later.

    1. Thanks! Actually you can ignore point 5, I just liked the idea of the spell caster lost in the magical energy flux and unaware of what's going on around him.