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Our Rules For Spell Casting

A Mage from WoW

Get out your calculators

Rule changes: Magic

"They (wizards) also use Table 21 to determine the levels and numbers of spells they can cast at each experience level." (Player's handbook page 30)

"They (priests) also all use Table 24 to determine how many spells they receive at each level of experience." (Player's handbook page 33)

Also note Tables, 17, 18, and 32. (Player's handbook pages 28 and 42)

To allow wizards and priests to be more flexible in their spell choice in a given situation, a Spell Point (SP) system has been adopted. The SP system allows casters to have a more flexible choice in spells at the cost of the number of spells that they could cast.

There are three primary types or sources for magical powers/spells. Wizardly (Mages, Specialists, Bards, etc) powers are derived from the ability and knowledge to control the natural magical force of the world (phlogiston). Clerical (Clerics, Priests, Paladins, and some Druids) Powers are a direct measure of how much power and trust the deity grants his follower. Finally Natural Powers (Rangers, and some Druids) represents powers and knowledge that have been acquired through a close connection to and an intimate knowledge of nature. Some sages claim this is a form a magic as wizards know it, some claim it is granted by the gods of nature, and still others claim it is separate and on its own. For game purposes Natural Powers are a subset of Clerical Powers as they follow the same rules with one or two noted exceptions.

How many SP:

The base SP for Rangers, Paladins, Wizards, Priests, and Bards are given in Table 21 along with the Permanent Maximum Spell Level (MS) they can cast and in the case of Rangers and Paladins the Effective Casting Level (CL). Spell Points for each different class must be kept separate (except for Wizards and Bards). For Clerical SP (Rangers, Paladins, Druids, Priest, etc) a high wisdom adds a certain number of SP depending on the level of the caster. The character adds 2 SP/casting level up to the maximum SP set out in Table 676. For Wizard SP (Wizards, Specialists, Bards, etc), the wizard adds 1 SP/casting level up to the number of languages he/she gains due to intelligence see Table 4 in PHB. These values (high wisdom or intelligence bonus and base SP by class) added up give the SP for a class. Like Hit Points, Spell Points will have a normal maximum value and a running total; this running total is called the Free Pool.

Modified Table 21 & Table 676:

PC Level      Mage       Priest Bard Ranger Paladin
1 1 2 1 1                
2   4   2 1 3            
3 2 7 2 4   5            
4   11   7 2 8            
5 3 16 3 12   10            
6   20   15   13            
7 4 27 4 19 3 17            
8   35   26   20 1 1 1      
9 5 41 5 34   24 2   2 1 1 1
10   53   43 4 29 3 2 4 2   2
11   62 6 53   33 4   6 3 2 4
12 6 78   65   36 5 3 9 4   6
13   91   74 5 44 6   10 5 3 9
14 7 99 7 90   49 7   13 6   10
15   109   99   55 8   15 7 4 14
16 8 131   111 6 63 9   18 8   19
17   147   127   71     18 9   22
18 9 157   148   81     ~     22
19   166   151   86           26
20   182   165   98           30
21   198   180   98           30
22   214   182   ~           ~
23   230   198                
24   240   204                
25   250   211                
26   261   217                
27   280   224                
28   298   231                
29   309   238                
30   328   245                
Priest Spell points Table 676
Wis +SP
13 1
14 2
15 4
16 6
17 9
18 12
19 16
20 20
21 26
22 32
23 40
24 50
25 64

Using SP:

Wizardly SP will be used in one of two ways:

1. The caster may "memorize" the spell at the cost of one SP/level of the spell from his/her Free Pool. This is a spell in the normal D&D senses, and can be cast at any time without further SP loss. It takes 15 minutes of study/SP to memorize the spell.
2. The caster may alternately at a moment's notice cast any spell within his/her known set of spells. This is at the cost of 2 SP/level of the spell from the caster's Free Pool. A specialist may at a moments notice cast any spell within his/her known set of spells, however this will only cost 1 SP/level of the spell from the caster's Free Pool if any only if the spell is from the specialists specialty school, otherwise it costs the normal 2 SP/level.

Effectively this means a wizard uses 1 SP/level for every memorized spell and 2 SP/level for every un-memorized spell, except for specialists who don't need to memorize any spell in their specialty school to get the memorized cost for spells. Memorizing a spell in ones specialty school has no effect (at least at this time). Note: Any character with Spellcraft non-weapon proficiency can identify what spell a character is memorizing simply by observing the character memorize the spell and making a proficiency check at a +2. A character can not however do this, and memorize spells of there own at the same time.

Clerical SP (and Natural SP) are used by casting spells just like Wizards or using powers. However there is a bit more variety in the ways SP might be used... depending on your God.

1. Clerical Powers (Priests and Paladins) cost 1 SP/level for a spell within his/her major spheres.
2. Clerical Powers (Priests and Paladins) cost 1.5 SP/level for a spell within his/her minor sphere.
3. Natural Powers (Rangers and some Druids) cost 1 SP/level for any spell from major or minor sphere.
4. Some powers or spells of the priest may cost more SP, and some spells may cost less SP than normal (such as the Clerics of the God of Healing may pay only 1/2 SP for healing spells, or a God of light may charge 1/2 SP to use a light spell power once/day.), depending on the God and the DM.

Wizards and Priests will be able to use SP to affect normal spells and increase the power or control magic in some unforeseen ways, but these rules have not yet been written.

Regaining SP:

Wizardly SP are regained only through sleep or "un-memorization" of a spell. The mage may sleep/rest to regain SP, SP return at a rate of 1 SP/15 minutes of sleep had. So 2 and 1/2 hours of sleep would regain 10 SP, 6 hours 24 SP, 6 hours and 15 minutes 25 SP, and so on. The second method for regaining SP, is a mage may un-memorize a spell, by spending 5 minutes/SP to unlock the magic without losing the SP, the mage then may return this SP to the Free Pool. A wizard's Free Pool can only be restored to the maximum SP level minus any SP used/tied up in memorized spells.

Priests, Paladins, and Rangers SP are regained at a constant rate. Take the Priest's SP and divide by 12 hours. This is the hourly rate at which SP returns for a Priest, so it is actually possible for Priests to cast spells at a constant rate and never stop casting, well except their current maximum casting level would drop due to lack of sleep and as they get more and more tired the more random spell effects they could have.

NEW! Negative SP:

It is possible for a Mage (not Priest) to muster the last of his remaining strength to cast one last spell at 1 or 0 SP. This last spell will drain the mage of almost all his strength, and is a very dangerous maneuver that is rarely done except as a last resort. At this point the mage's SP total will go below zero. This last spell is very draining and is known to age, knock unconscious, or even kill the mage casting the spell. It is well known that is pretty harmless as long as the mage keeps to less powerful magic, there has never been a reported case of a last Cantrip harming a mage. However, all mages are told as young apprentices about the Mage who used a Teleport as his last spell to escape certain death, only to arrive at his home dead anyway. Other mages have been known to Teleport successfully, but be forewarned using your last remaining strength to cast a spell is a dangerous venture that is sure to leave you unable to cast for an unusually long time.

Regaining Casting Ability:

A caster has a permanent highest spell level that he can cast and a current highest spell level. The permanent highest spell level is strictly a function of class level (see Table 676, ie a 5th or 6th level mage or a 9th level bard has a permanent highest spell level of 3) The current highest spell level is simply the highest level of spells that he/she will be able to cast from an un-memorized state or be able to memorize. So though the current highest spell level does not affect the ability to cast spells already memorized previously, it does effect the level of the spell which the caster will be able to memorize that day. Your new current highest spell level for a day is:

Equal to your day before highest spell casting level plus (+) the hours of sleep you got minus (-) 3 minus (-) the highest level spell you could have cast the day before.

Now for the simple method, simply get the number of hours of sleep needed in Table 777 and you will always be able to cast your highest level spells. A mage who castes nothing for a day, will still need at least 3 hours of sleep to maintain there highest spell casting level.

Table 777: 1st: 4 hours, 2nd: 5 hours, 3rd: 6 hours, 4th: 7 hours, 5th: 8 hours, 6th: 9 hours, 7th: 10 hours, 8th: 11 hours, 9th: 12 hours. In other words: 3 + spell level in hours.

The wizard must do his general studies of 10 minuets/spell level he/she wishes to cast for the day, but only for un-memorized spells. Not studying will limit a mage to only casting spells he/she has memorized. The priest must pray as specified by his God, however many gods require that a priest pray for 10 minutes/spell level he/she wishes to cast, though some require much more and some require much less.

The Jon Ruling - You will need calculator:

A Wizard may attempt to cast a spell of a level one level higher than his/her current maximum spell level, with a reduced chance of success. The wizard must of course also learn the spell, again with a reduced chance of success. In order to cast the spell, the spell must be memorized, and this cost as much as casting it on the fly (i.e. 2 SP/spell level). The mage doesn't truly know the spell until he reaches the next level and so it must be carefully studied and memorized in order to cast. The chance of success is the (look up the spell level on Table 978) -30% + Intelligence Score. If the roll is 30% higher than the chance of success bad things happen.

Table 978:
1 (ex-O)/O
2 (ex -0) /5000
3 (ex -5000) /15000
4 (ex -20000) / 40000
5 (ex -60000) /75000
6 (ex-135000)/615000
7 (ex-750000)/750000
8 (ex-1500000)/750000
9 (ex-2250000)/750000

Learning a spell of one spell level higher than the wizard can currently cast has a reduced chance of success. And that chance of success is the modifier from Table 978 times the wizard's chance to learn spell.


"A specialist gains one additional spell per spell level provided the additional spell is taken in the specialist's school." (Player's handbook page 32).

A specialist will not gain any SP, for this extra spell/spell level. Instead a specialist need never memorize a spell in his/her school. A specialist can cast a spell on the spot and if it is in his/her school, the specialist will only lose one SP/level of the spell.

Learning Spells:

There are 3 typical ways, and a handful of obscure ways that wizards can learn spells:

1. The first and longest method is to research the spell from scratch. Researching the spell is both costly and time consuming. It takes 2-weeks/spelllevel to research a spell, and success is not even guaranteed. If the spell desired is not available in some written form this is the only plausible option.
2. If the spell is available in some sort of written form (called the original document) and the caster has the ability to read the spell then it will take 5-days/spelllevel to learn the spell. (Note: It will usually take an additional day or two to transcribe a spell to your own book)
3. The third method is to be taught the spell by someone who has the spell. It is assumed they also have the spell written down and available for study by the caster. This is the most efficient manner to learn a new spell but it ties up two mages for the duration of the study time. This method takes only 2-days/spelllevel. (Note: again with transcribing costs.)

The handful of obscure ways are only rumors, everything from having a Dragon teach you a spell to magical gems that when touched automatically give the caster the knowledge of the spell.

In every case the spell must be transcribed onto some other written material in the "casters own words". The caster can not study from original documents (i.e. documents not written by the caster) under normal circumstances, unless an exceptionally long time is taken to study the spell. This quadruples the study time, as the spell is not written in the most efficient and clear manner possible for that caster.

Costs of Magic:

The cost of learning a new spell varies greatly with the method chosen to gain the new spell. Research is extremely costly; this special cost is outlined in the Wizard's Handbook with the modifications listed in the Research section.

Learning from an original document and transcribing the spell costs 25 GP/spell level + 2 GP/page for ink. Being taught and transcribing a spell costs 10 GP/spell level + 2 GP/page for ink + whatever the teacher chooses to charge which is likely to be a lot.

Simply re-scribing an already known spell that has been previously transcribed by the mage costs 2 GP/page for ink, and takes 1 hour/page.

Transcribing the spell will cost the mage 2GP/page for ink, and takes 1-3 hours/page.

Learning, teaching, and scribing must be the only activity a wizard is doing at the time (i.e. no traveling). A mage may choose to not transcribe the spell to her spell book, but then must double all study times. The copy spell does not transcribe a spell; it merely re-scribes the spell perfectly as the original. Transcribing is the process of putting the original document in your own words with your own side notes and appropriate highlighting, etc. Re-scribing is simply making a perfect replica. Transcribing is necessary for efficient studying to take place.

Spell Books cost 50 GP/page for a library quality book, and 100 GP/page for a traveling spell book. Traveling spell books are more suited for adventuring and treated for moths, book worms, and to resist water, fire, and such environments adventurer's are known for getting into. Library books are generally treated much nicer, however even these books are of superior quality to an average book, as it is important as the book ages that the very detailed scripts and diagrams within are never altered. A spell book can cost less, but it will probably not be as durable.

There are of course other methods, such as learning them from kind dragons, gaining them instantly from magical gems, and so forth. These methods will have varying costs and time requirements, determined by the GM on a case by case basis.

Spells that you can cast:

The working set of spells is those spells that the wizard can cast on any given day using SP from his Free Pool- These spells can only be selected from the spells the wizard knows. A working set of spells for a given spell level can not exceed the Intelligence's Max # of Spell Level as set forth in Table 4 of the PHB (Intelligence). The Wizard may know more spells than this, but they are not available for casting until he/she changes their working set of spells. To change a working set of spells, one must study (or "relearn") the new spell for 1/4 the time it would take to learn the spell fresh. This study time can not be done while traveling.

Other Miscellaneous:

Table 1 01: School of Universal Magic:
Read Magic (1st)
Detect Magic (1st)
Dispel Magic (3rd)
Extension I, II, III, IV, V, etc. (4th -9th)
Enchant an Item (6th)
Limited Wish (7th)
Permanency (8th)
Wish (9th)

Table 999: Special Spell Costs:

Cantrip (1st level Wizard) Costs 1/2 SP to memorize and 1 SP to cast on the fly.
Quest Spells (Priest: Tome of Magic) cost 10 SP.
Wish (9th level Wizard) costs 10 SP to memorize and 20 SP to cast on the fly.

There are a couple new Priest spells from the Azuth and Mystran priesthoods:

Arcane to Holy
Level: 1
Sphere: All - Mystran or Azuthian only
Components: V, S, M (Holy symbol)
Duration: Instantaneous
Casting Time: 2 rounds
Area of Effect: caster
Saving Throw: None
This priest spell allows the caster to sacrafice some of his magical powers (ie Wizardly SP) to her god for increased favor (ie Priestly SP) with her god. Spell points convert at half. Burning 4 arcane SP for 2 priest SP.

Holy to Arcane
Level: 1
Sphere: All - Mystran or Azuthian only
Components: V, S, M (Holy symbol)
Duration: Instantaneous
Casting Time: 2 rounds
Area of Effect: caster
Saving Throw: None
This priest spell allows the caster to increase her magical powers (ie Wizardly SP) by using some of her favor (ie Priestly SP) with her god. Spell points convert at half. Burning 4 priest SP for 2 arcane SP.

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