Musings on Magic

One of the most odd parts of D&D is the Vancian magic system. You have to memorize spells, then, once you use the spell, it is erased from your memory. Why? When you tell a story it isn’t wiped from your memory! So I propose a change to the SimpleDnD Magic system.

Magic Points – Mana

Each day a magic user character has a magic threshold. We’ll call these mana. Spellcasters gain mana by adding their level plus their ability modifier, Intelligence for Wizards or Wisdom for Clerics.

Spells are already grouped by level, so instead we’ll use the level as the mana cost. So to cast a 2nd level spell would require deducting 2 mana from a character’s mana pool. The spell is NEVER removed from the spell casters memory, and the same spell could be used over and over as long as their is mana in the character’s mana pool.

To recover mana a character must rest. Assuming that a full 10 hours of rest can recover 100% of a character’s mana, then for each hour of rest a character would recover 10% of their total mana.

Limitations

No spell caster could cast a spell for a cost higher than their level.

The spell caster cannot take any other action in a round when casting a spell.

A spell caster who cannot speak or is bound can not cast a spell.

If the spell caster takes damage before their turn in combat, the spell is interrupted and lost.

The spell caster must be able to see the target the spell is to be cast on.

Spells are just like using a skill. The spell caster must roll d20 plus their modifier (WIS/INT + Level) vs a DC 10 + spell cost/level. If they do not meet or exceed the required number the mana is used, and the spell fails.

Wizards cannot cast spell in which they do not have the formula. This means that they must have the spell, on a scroll or have the spell book and in hand, at the time of casting. If they lost the scroll or the spell book, they lose the intricate knowledge and cannot use the spells any more.

Clerics on the other hand have a limited number of spells provided by their gods. Unlike a spell book, their magic is divine and cannot destroyed, but it can be taken from the character if the character does something against their god’s (DM) wishes. In addition, the cleric must have their holy symbol in one hand to cast their spells.

OPTIONAL: It is recommended that the DM limit the spell choices clerics can choose from. The DM has the final say in spell picking for a cleric, and is the limit of choosing a god driven character.

Potion of Mana

Like a potion of healing, the potion of mana can restore 1d8 mana to a spell caster. Mana can never exceed the maximum value available. These potions are expensive, rare and coveted by magic users. Typical costs are 800gp and up.

Sacrifice Self

A spell caster can choose to use their hit points in the event that they run out of mana. Only after a caster’s mana pool has reached zero may they use their health. 1 hit point = 1 mana. Damage taken to a character this way heals like normal.

What are you thoughts on spell casting systems? Is there a system you love and you think would be better? Post a comment below!

Limited Cleric Spells

In an effort to differentiate the classes and to add new ones, the magic user classes will have limit spells vs the whole spell list. Here is the spell list for the cleric class.

Zero Level

Bleed
Create Water
Cure Minor Wounds (reversible)
Detect Magic
Guidance
Purify Food and Drink

1st Level

Bless
Create Water (Reversible)
Cure Light Wounds (Reversible)
Detect Evil (Reversible)
Light
Mending
Protection from Evil (Reversible)
Purify Food and Drink (Reversible)
Remove Fear (Reversible)
Resist Cold
Sanctuary

2nd Level

Augury
Chant
Find Traps
Hold Person
Know Alignment (Reversible)
Resist Fire
Silence (15 ft radius)
Slow Poison
Snake Charm
Speak with Animals
Spiritual Weapon
Stinking Cloud

3rd Level

Animate Dead
Continual Light (Reversible)
Create Food and Water
Cure Blindness (Reversible)
Cure Disease (Reversible)
Dispel Magic
Gust of Wind
Prayer
Protection from Evil (10 ft radius) (Reversible)
Remove Curse (Reversible)
Speak with Dead
Tongues (Reversible)
Water Breathing (Reversible)

4th Level

Cure Serious Wounds (Reversible)
Detect Lie (Reversible)
Divination
Exorcise
Lower Water (Reversible)
Neutralize Poison (Reversible)
Plant Growth
Protection from Evil (10 ft radius) (Reversible)
Speak with Plants
Sticks to Snakes (Reversible)

5th Level

Commune
Dispel Evil
Feeblemind
Insect Plague
Quest*
Raise Dead*
True Seeing

End of Year 2014 Updates

The following items have been updated:

New Monster: Dire Wolf

New Magic Weapons: Axe of Hurling, Dancing Sword, Flame Tongue, Hammer of the Dwarves, Javelin of the Raptor and Vorpal Long Sword

New Magic Items: Belt of Dwarfkind, Deck of Many Things, Figurines of Wonderous Power, Wings of Flying and many more.

Spell List

5th Level Spells

Quick Reference for Races and Classes  for quick, offline, player creation.

Sample languages list

Rules for poison added

Smaller half sheet character sheet.