( ⇪ Magic )
Table of Contents
- Spell Slots to Spell Points
- Casting Spells
- Metamagic And Spell Points
- Multiclass Spellcasters
- Miscellaneous Issues
- Item Creation
In a nutshell: Videogame-like MP
|Table: Core Class Spell Points Per Day|
|Level||Bard||Cleric, Druid, Wizard||Paladin, Ranger||Sorcerer|
The Spell Point (SP) system presented here allows casters to more freely pick and choose which spells they cast each day. While normally Hyperion characters (those that take the hyperion template) do not have access to spells in the traditional manner, non-Hyperion characters could have access.
Every spellcaster has a reserve of SP based on class and level. They may also have a reserve of 0-level Points (ZP), which are each only a tiny fraction of the power of an SP. Characters also gain bonus SP and ZP from a high ability score (just as a normal spellcaster would gain bonus spells from a high ability score). These SP and ZP provide the magical power behind the caster’s spells: He spends a number of SP or ZP appropriate to the spell’s level to cast the spell (see “Casting Spells” below). Once spent, SP and ZP are expended until either the caster has sufficient time to rest and prepare new spells (see “Preparing Spells” below) or his SP or ZP are recovered by another means.
A number of non-core classes use the SP progressions of core classes:
- Bard column: Jester, Nightstalker, and Trickster Spellthief
- Cleric column: Death Master, Shaman (oriental), Urban Druid, and Wu Jen.
- Paladin column: Hexblade, Sohei, and Spellthief.
- Sorcerer column: Beguiler, Dread Necromancer, Favored Soul, Shugenja, Warmage, and Mystic.
|Table: Non-Core Class Spell Points Per Day (Part 1)|
|Level||Archivist||Artificer ( Infusion Points)||Duskblade||Healer||Mystic Ranger||Savant (arcane pool)|
|Table: Non-Core Class Spell Points Per Day (Part 2)|
|Level||Savant (divine pool)||Sha’ir||Spellcaster (either)||Spirit Shaman||Spontaneous Cleric, Spontaneous Druid||Adept, Magewright|
|Table: Bonus Spell Points|
The column headers are by maximum spell level available, so only your highest relevant spell level available counts when determining bonus SP.
Spell Slots to Spell Points
Most of the trappings of “Vancian casting” have been converted to a points system.
Bonus Spell Points and Bonus Spells
Any spellcaster who would normally receive bonus spells for a high ability score receives bonus Spell Points (SP) instead. In effect, the character can simply cast more of his spells each day. To determine the number of bonus SP gained from a high ability score, first find the row for the character’s ability score on Table: Bonus Spell Points . Use whichever ability score would normally award bonus spells for the character’s class (Wisdom for clerics and druids, Intelligence for wizards, and so forth).
Next, find the column for the highest level of spell the character is capable of casting based on his class level (even if he doesn’t have a high enough ability score to cast spells of that level). At the point where the row and column intersect, you find the bonus SP the character gains. This value can change each time his ability score undergoes a permanent change (such from an ability score increase due to character level or one from a wish spell) and each time his level changes.
A character who would normally receive bonus spells from a class feature (such as from wizard specialization or access to a domain) can instead prepare extra spells of the appropriate levels, domains, and/or schools. The character doesn’t get any extra SP (and thus can’t cast any more spells than normal), but the added flexibility of being able to use the bonus spell more than once per day makes up for that.
For instance, a specialist wizard can prepare one extra spell from the chosen school of each spell level that he can cast. A cleric can prepare one domain spell (chosen from among his domain spells available) of each spell level that he can cast.
For class features that grant bonus spells of a nonfixed spell level (such as the dragon disciple’s bonus spells), the character instead gains a number of bonus SP equal to twice the highest spell level he can cast, minus 1 (minimum 1 point) each time he gains a bonus spell. This is a fixed value — it doesn’t increase later as the character gains levels — though later rewards may be larger as appropriate to the character’s spellcasting ability.
With this variant, spellcasters that normally prepare spells still prepare spells as normal. In effect, casters who prepare spells are essentially setting their list of “spells known” for a time, with some caveats. They can cast a given prepared spell any number of times per day from that slot, but each spell has a cooldown time before the spell for that slot can be cast again. As such, it might be useful to prepare multiple copies of a spell, but it’s often not necessary. Unlike the SRD version of Spell Points, prepared-type casters must assign metamagic versions of spells to separate spell slots as normal.
|Table: Prepared Spell Lock|
|Spell Level||Lock Duration|
|0th~3rd||1 daily rest1|
|4th~6th||3 daily rests|
|7th~8th||5 daily rests|
|9th||7 daily rests|
1 Same as in typical D&D 3.5
To counteract the “versatility = power” problem where casters outshine the entire party at once, we must rethink the meaning of “prepared” casting. Now preparing a spell “locks” the slot for a number of daily rests dependent on the spell’s level. Until the lock expires, a daily rest does not clear the slot and you cannot change the contents of the slot. You must still prepare spells for the day, the lock just always prepares that slot with that spell if-possible. If it’s not possible to prepare that spell in that slot that day, the locked slot has no spell but is not empty. If you use metamagic or prepare a lower-level spell in a higher-level slot, use the spell’s final slot level for determining the lock. You can, of course, choose to leave a spell slot open, but to use the slot you must prepare a spell in that slot as normal (which takes at least 15 minutes in the same conditions as normal for preparing spells).
Characters who cast all their spells spontaneously — such as bards and sorcerers — don’t have to prepare spells. They can cast any spell they know by spending the requisite number of Spell Points (SP). Additionally, certain spontaneous spellcasting classes (like the bard and sorcerer) have had small improvements made to their class features. Spontaneous spellcasters don’t have “cooldowns” or “spell locks” like prepared-type spellcasters.
Characters with the ability to cast a limited number of spells spontaneously (such as druids, who can spontaneously cast a summon nature’s ally spell in place of another spell of the same level or higher) are always treated as having those spells prepared, without spending any of their allowed spell slots to do so. Thus, they can cast such spells any time they have sufficient SP. However, casting such a spell starts a cooldown in an appropriate chosen slot for a duration befitting the spontaneous spell’s level.
Under this system, the Healing domain becomes a relatively poor choice for good-aligned clerics, since they gain less of a benefit for that domain. See the Spontaneous Divine Casters variant for ways to solve that dilemma.
Additionally, the Spirit Shaman class becomes much more powerful because it “retrieves” spells but otherwise acts like a spontaneous-type spellcaster. The fact that a Spirit Shaman has relatively few spell retrieval slots minimizes this issue.
Regaining Spell Points With a Daily Rest
Spellcasters regain lost Spell Points (SP) whenever they could normally regain spells. Doing this requires the same amount of rest and preparation or concentration time as normal for the class. Without this period of rest and mental preparation, the caster’s mind isn’t ready to regain its power. SP are not divorced from the body; they are part of it. Using SP is mentally and physically tiring, and without the requisite period of rest, they do not fully regenerate. Any SP spent within the duration of a normal daily rest (usually 8 hours) count against a character’s daily limit and aren’t regained.
It’s also possible to regain spell points without a daily rest.
Each spell costs a certain number of Spell Points (SP) to cast. The higher the level of the spell, the more points it costs. Table: Spell Point Costs describes each spell’s cost. Every time you cast a spell, you must first succeed on a Concentration check described below. Failure means the spell fails, you lose the SP, and a cooldown starts (see below) as if you had cast the spell to no effect. This check happens before all other Concentration checks involved in casting a spell.
DC 5 + spell level
+ your current amount of Spell Point Burn for that class
Spellcasting is linked to your vitality; see “Vitalizing” below for more information. Spellcasters use their full normal caster level for determining the effects of their spells in this system, with one significant exception:
Spells that deal/heal a number of dice of damage/healing of any sort based on caster level (such as magic missile, searing light, lightning bolt, healing touch, or slashing darkness) deal/heal damage as if cast by a character of the minimum level of the class capable of casting the spell. Spells whose damage/healing is partially based on caster level, but that don’t deal/heal a number of dice of damage or healing of any sort based on caster level (such as produce flame, an inflict spell, heal, or a cure spell) use the spellcaster’s normal caster level to determine damage/healing. Use the character’s normal caster level for all other effects, including range and duration.
A character can pay additional SP to increase the number of dice dealt of damage or dice dealt of healing by such a spell. Every 1 extra SP spent at the time of casting increases the spell’s effective caster level by 1 for purposes of dealing dice of damage or healing. A character can’t increase this dice-dealing caster level above his own caster level, above the normal maximum the caster set for the spell, or above the inherent maximum of the spell.
|Table: Prepared Spell Cooldown|
|Spell Level||Cooldown Delay|
To counteract the “nova” problem where casters expend massive amounts of SP all at once, we must rethink the meaning of “prepared” casting. Now, casting a prepared spell makes that slot (and thus that spell) unavailable for a “cooldown” time that lasts for at least an hour dependent on spell level. The cooldown expires the indicated amount of time later regardless of rest. If you use metamagic or prepare a lower-level spell in a higher-level slot, use the spell’s final slot level for determining the cooldown. A daily rest (that could end a spell lock) also ends all cooldowns currently in-effect.
|Table: Spell Point Costs|
|Spell Level||Spell Point Cost|
0-level spells each cost one 0-level Point (ZP) to cast unless…
- metamagic raises the final slot level (which changes the base cost to some number of SP),
- you cast it in a higher-level slot (which changes the base cost to 1 SP), and/or
- you increase the number of damage dice (which adds an additional cost of SP).
You have a number of ZP equal to three + the number of SP gained by that class at the earliest level at which it gains 1st-level spells. Your ZP thus can increase with the relevant ability score.
Spell Point Burn
Spell Point Burn (SP Burn) is an inherent part of casting spells and also a new spell component for a few specific spells.
Recall how hit points and nonlethal damage interact. Lethal damage causes your number of hit points to go down, and nonlethal damage counts up. SP and SP Burn interact in a similar way. Casting spells causes your number of SP to go down, and SP Burn counts up. The more SP Burn you have, the harder it is to cast spells from that class. Additionally, as you gain SP Burn you also take Ability Burn.
Keep track of SP Burn for each spellcasting class you have, as well as the relevant ability score which determines the Save DC against spells of that class. Once you accumulate new SP Burn in a spellcasting class such that your total SP Burn of that class reaches a higher multiple of 4, you also take 1 Ability Burn for the ability score for which the Save DC is determined for that class (ex. for Wizards it’s Intelligence and for Clerics it’s Wisdom). Keep track of which spellcasting class caused each point of Ability Burn (Ex. “W1, C1, W1”).
If the amount of SP Burn you possess in a particular spellcasting class is not a multiple of 4, SP Burn is eliminated for that class at a rate of 1 per hour of rest until the amount of SP Burn for that spellcasting class is equal to a multiple of 4. From then on, when a point of Ability Burn that was caused by SP Burn for that spellcasting class is recovered, that spellcasting class eliminates 4 SP Burn.
Rest that would recover Ability Damage recovers Ability Damage first, then Ability Burn from sources other than SP Burn (such as the Body Fuel feat), and finally Ability Burn caused by SP Burn. Remember that Ability Damage/Burn recovers one point per day on each ability score. Multiple points of Ability Burn from SP Burn for the same ability score is recovered in chronological order, even between multiple spellcasting classes. Each time you take a point of Ability Burn from accumulating SP Burn you should be keeping track of which spellcasting class is associated that point of Ability Burn. Resting that recovers from SP Burn is included as part of a daily rest.
Certain feats (such as Hibernate) and effects (such as a Heward’s Fortifying Bedroll) can help increase the rate at which you naturally heal ability damage and thus ability burn.
For example, if a “Favored Soul / Cleric” gains 5 “Favored Soul” SP Burn, then gains 6 “Cleric” SP Burn, and then gains 4 more “Favored Soul” SP Burn, he ultimately has 3 Wisdom Ability Burn caused in chronological order by his Favored Soul class, then his Cleric class, and then by his Favored Soul class again. After 1 hour of rest, his 9 “Favored Soul” SP Burn drops to 8 and his 6 “Cleric” SP Burn drops to 5. After another hour of rest, his 8 “Favored Soul” SP Burn doesn’t decrease at all (since it’s currently a multiple of 4) and his 5 “Cleric” SP Burn drops to 4. Then, after one daily rest, he heals 1 Wisdom Ability Burn from natural healing. Since that first point of Wisdom Ability Burn was caused by his “Favored Soul” SP Burn, healing that point of Wisdom Ability Burn also heals 4 points of SP Burn for his Favored Soul class.
For spells with a burn component, the burn cost is how much SP Burn you accumulate when you finish casting the spell. Burn costs on those spells usually equal the number of SP spent when casting the spell. You cannot exceed your maximum SP in order to cast a spell with a burn cost (This is the only circumstance in which SP Burn inherently forbids casting a spell).
- Spell Point (SP) loss causes fatigue or exhaustion,
- Being fatigued or exhausted usually causes SP loss, and
- SP recovery removes fatigue and/or exhaustion, but
- Removal of fatigue or exhaustion does NOT on its own inherently recover SP.
Spellcasters can potentially cast a great number of spells in a day, but every spell cast is a potential burden on the caster’s vitality. Reaching for and directing magical energy is a dangerous and taxing exercise, at least as difficult as heavy labor or prolonged exertion. In return, resting revitalizes the character more than a non-spellcaster.
Being a spellcaster changes your physiology. By becoming a spellcaster, your spells become linked to your vitality. Thus, you are always vulnerable to fatigue, exhaustion, and ability burn in all ways, and no character option, creature type or subtype, race, spell, power, item, or other effect can mitigate this. Effects that stop such an effect from reaching you (such as spell resistance, AC, or a desert outfit) can prevent it, but if you have an immunity or an effect that reduces the effects of fatigue, exhaustion, or ability burn specifically, it does not function against fatigue, exhaustion, or ability burn.
Fatigue and Exhaustion
|GM’s Note: A fatigued character can neither run nor charge and takes a -2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity. While fatigued, doing something that fatigues you worsens it to exhaustion. Exhaustion is just like fatigue, except that the penalty to Strength and Dexterity becomes -6. After 1 hour of complete rest, exhaustion lessens to fatigue. After 8 hours of complete rest, fatigued characters are no longer fatigued.|
When the number of Spell Points (SP) in a spellcasting class falls to 1/2 of its normal maximum (round down) or less, the character becomes fatigued. When the number of SP in a spellcasting class falls to 1/6 of its normal maximum (round down) or less, the character becomes exhausted. For a multiclass spellcaster, if any spellcasting class’s SP drops to 1/2 (rounded down), all of them do (that one that dropped caused fatigue at 1/2 or exhaustion at 1/6). If you remove fatigue or exhaustion through magical means, determine fatigue or exhaustion once the character casts their next spell.
If a spellcaster is subjected to an effect that would make him fatigued or exhausted for a standard duration (the duration of the fatigued or exhausted condition) or conditional duration (such as dehydration, frostbite, poison, or disease), his SP in each spellcasting class drops to its 1/2 or 1/6 value as described earlier. If a spellcaster is subjected to an effect that would cause fatigue or exhaustion for a specific stated duration (such as with touch of fatigue, which has a duration in rounds, or ray of exhaustion, which has a duration in minutes), he does not lose SP, but is treated otherwise as being fatigued or exhausted as normal for that duration. Regardless of whether the fatigue or exhaustion has a standard duration or not, you’re vulnerable to it as described above.
“Negligible Spellcaster” Fatigue Exceptions
If a spellcaster has a SP pool with a normal maximum of 1 or less (after applying bonus SP), he has a nearly negligible connection to magic for that class, so special exceptions apply as follows for that spellcasting class:
- The calculated values for “1/6”, “1/3”, “1/2”, and “2/3” of the normal SP maximum for that class all become equal to the normal SP maximum.
- He does not become fatigued or exhausted from his SP in that class dropping to less than their maximum.
- Whenever that spellcaster becomes fatigued or exhausted in a way that would cause SP loss, he does not lose any SP from that class.
Exceeding Your Maximum
A spellcaster can exceed his normal pool of Spell Points (SP) or 0-level Points (ZP) in order to cast a spell, but at great personal risk. To exceed your maximum on a 0-level spell, you must be ready to cast it from a higher-level slot (changing its cost to use SP). For any spell, exceeding your maximum successfully requires a Concentration check as described below. This replaces the normal Concentration check required to cast a spell described above . Regardless of success or failure on the Concentration check, the attempt expends any remaining SP he has in that class and also causes him to take Spell Point Burn (SP Burn) for that class equal to the number of excess SP needed to cast the spell.
The Concentration check to cast a spell that also exceeds your maximum is instead…
DC 20 + spell level
+ your current amount of SP Burn for that class
- your remaining SP in that class
+ the number of excess SP needed from that class
Regaining Spell Points Without a Daily Rest
In addition to spontaneous-type casters getting a form of Auto-Regen, spellcasters in-general can rest in the middle of the day to recover all of their ZP and a fraction of their Spell Points (SP). However, to recover all of their SP, they require a daily rest as normal. In-general, any opportunity that would allow a spellcaster to recover some number of SP also recovers all of that class’s ZP, even if that SP value is already maxed-out for that opportunity.
If a spellcaster rests for 1 hour, his SP pools rise to 1/3 of their normal maximums (round this fraction up), all ZP for each of his spellcasting classes are recovered, and exhaustion (if he’s exhausted) is improved to fatigue (just like a non-spellcaster). A second consecutive hour of rest increases the spellcaster’s SP pools to 2/3 of their normal maximums (round this fraction up) and removes fatigue (if he’s fatigued; this recovery ability is unique to spellcasters). Remember that each hour of rest also recovers Spell Point Burn as described above. It takes a daily rest to replenish the highest 1/3 of his SP. As a general rule, no effect other than a daily rest can cause a SP pool to regain SP in excess of 2/3 of that SP pool’s normal maximum. For example, the caster can take any number of 1-hour or 2-hour rests, but he won’t recover the highest 1/3 of his SP until he has a daily rest as normal. Hours of rest that recover a fraction of your SP can be included as part of a daily rest.
If a spellcaster has more than one SP pool (i.e. from multiclassing), all aspects of SP and ZP recovery from rest affect all of those SP and ZP pools at once (although they may have different SP maximums and thus different fractions).
There are also two new spells (mana restoration and lesser mana restoration) which recover SP and ZP (usually encountered in the form of potions) regardless of rest. Additionally, pure-spontaneous spellcasting classes recover all ZP and some SP regardless of rest every 15 minutes at the same rate as a psionic character of a manifester level equal to that caster’s Caster Level (CL) on top of all other means of regaining SP available to prepared casters. However, the number of SP recovered for these or similar methods has “special restrictions” detailed in the exceptions below.
While a Memento Magicka (or similar effect) for spontaneous-type casters only recovers all ZP and some number of SP, a Pearl of Power (or similar effect) does that for prepared-type casters and ends the cooldown on the chosen spell and all of their 0-level spells. Effects that clear a spell slot (as if it was never prepared) likewise remove a lock on that spell slot.
Single-Classed Spellcaster Recovery Limits
If a spellcaster has only one spellcasting class and an item, spell, or effect would cause them to recover a specific number of spell slots or SP (as opposed to a fraction) without rest, there are limits to how much SP they actually recover (they also recover all ZP in that class even if that SP value is already maxed-out):
- If the affected spellcaster is exhausted in a way that causes SP loss when the effect occurs, then the effect can’t cause that SP pool to exceed 1/3 its normal maximum (round this fraction up). If the effect would cause that SP pool to exceed 1/6 its normal maximum, their exhaustion is improved to fatigue when the effect resolves.
- If the affected spellcaster is not exhausted in a way that causes SP loss when the effect occurs (being fatigued counts as “not exhausted”), then the effect instead can’t cause that SP pool to exceed 2/3 of its normal maximum (round this fraction up).
- If the affected spellcaster is fatigued in a way that causes SP loss when the effect occurs and the effect would cause that SP pool to exceed 1/2 of its normal maximum, then their fatigue (if any) is eliminated when the effect resolves.
Multiclassed Spellcaster Recovery Limits
If a spellcaster has more than one spellcasting class and an item, spell, or effect would cause them to recover a specific number of spell slots or SP (as opposed to a fraction) without rest, there are limits to how many they actually recover (they also recover all ZP in any class that would recover SP even if that SP value is already maxed-out):
- If the affected spellcaster is exhausted in a way that causes SP loss when the effect occurs, then the effect can’t cause any of his SP pools to exceed 1/6 their normal maximums unless the effect would cause all of his SP pools to do so. If the effect would cause all of his SP pools to do so, then the effect instead can’t cause any of his SP pools to exceed 1/3 their normal maximums (round this fraction up) and his exhaustion is improved to fatigue when the effect resolves.
- If the affected spellcaster is fatigued in a way that causes SP loss when the effect occurs, then the effect cannot cause any of his SP pools to exceed 1/2 their normal maximums unless the effect would cause all of his SP pools to do so. If the effect would cause all of his SP pools to do so, the effect instead can’t cause any of his SP pools to exceed 2/3 their normal maximums (round this fraction up) and his fatigue is eliminated when the effect resolves.
- If the affected spellcaster is neither fatigued in a way that causes SP loss nor exhausted in a way that causes SP loss when the effect occurs, then the effect can’t cause any of his SP pools to exceed 2/3 their normal maximums (round this fraction up).
“Negligible Spellcaster” Recovery Limit Exceptions
If a spellcaster has a SP pool with a normal maximum of 1 or less (after applying bonus SP), he has a nearly negligible connection to magic for that class, so special exceptions apply as follows for that spellcasting class:
- If all of his spellcasting classes are “negligible”, he does not eliminate fatigue after a second consecutive hour of rest.
- If he has multiple spellcasting classes, regarding the effects of recovering a specific number of spell slots or SP (as described above for multiclassed spellcasters), his negligible spellcasting classes are always treated as if they would exceed 1/6 of their normal maximums in the first case or 1/2 of their normal maximums in the second case.
Metamagic And Spell Points
Apply an additional Spell Point (SP) cost to any spell cast with a metamagic feat. This option allows a character maximum flexibility in his choice of spellcasting. Effectively, the character must pay for the spell (including cooldown and lock) as if it were a higher-level spell, based on the adjustment from the metamagic feat. If the metamagic effect(s) would increase the spell’s final slot level above what he is capable of casting, he can’t cast the spell in that way.
Metamagic doesn’t change the spell’s caster level for dice-damage-dealing effects. For instance, a quickened fireball still deals damage as if cast by a 5th-level caster unless the caster chooses to pay additional SP to increase the caster level.
A character with spellcasting ability from multiple classes (such as a cleric/wizard or bard/sorcerer) has a separate pool of Spell Points (SP) for each spellcasting class. Such characters may only spend SP on spells granted by that class. Bonus SP from a high ability score apply to each pool separately, even if the same ability score is tied to more than one spellcasting class. In the rare situations when a character has prepared or knows the same spell in two different slots (such as a druid/ranger preparing delay poison as both a 2nd-level druid spell and a 1st-level ranger spell), the character can cast the spell using either pool of SP, but the spell is treated as being cast by a caster of the level of the class from which the SP are drawn.
When a character would lose a spell slot as part of another effect (such as from gaining a negative level), he instead loses the number of Spell Points (SP) required to cast a spell of that slot’s level. These SP cannot be recovered except by effects that remove the effect that caused the original loss of the spell slot.
Spells and effects that allow a character to recall or re-cast a spell don’t function the same way in this system. Items that recover spell energy (such as a pearl of power or memento magicka) restore a number of SP required to cast a spell of that level, remove the cooldown on the chosen spell slot (if relevant), recover all ZP for that class, and remove all cooldowns on that class’s 0-level spell slots (if relevant). A 3rd-level pearl of power, for instance, when activated would restore 5 SP to a chosen prepared-type SP pool, remove any cooldown delay currently on the chosen spell slot, etc. However, the amount of SP recovered by those kinds of effects has restrictions.
Because when casting a spell that has a higher dice-based-effect you have to expend more Spell Points, crafting a spell effect magic item with a higher dice-based-effect than the minimum requires a higher CL. This can only be done at specific caster levels depending on the level of the spell as noted on the table below.
|Table: Item Creation for Spells with Dice-Based Effects|
|Spell Level||Minimum Casting CL||If you want this CL for the Dice-Based-Effects…||…you must use this CL when crafting the item.|
|0 or 1||1||2,3,4,etc.||3,5,7,etc.|
Caster levels are chosen at item creation. Notate the CL used for the spell effect item as an expression of “dice-effects vs non-dice-effects”. For example:
- “CL 5” for a lowest-level wand of fireball
- “CL 5/6” for a lowest-damage wand of fireball that uses CL 6 for non-dice-effects
- “CL 6/7” for a wand of fireball with CL 6 for dice-effects and CL 7 otherwise.