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Old Screeds

Towards a universal system for all spell-casting in Labyrinths and Liontaurs.

It's been over a year since I posted about Labyrinths and Liontaurs, a fork of Pathfinder 1E and Dungeons & Dragons 3.5E that I am developing. But I continue to think about it, a lot.

And I have most recently been grappling with magic systems. My basic thesis is that, just like saves and BAB stack when you multiclass, so too should caster level. Moreover, caster level, not class level, should be what determines spells per day. It would be as if a wizard 5 / druid 5 had the spells per day of a 10th level caster. Then you could multiclass freely, and it would be easy to stack spell casting regardless of your classes chosen.

But it is easy to stack BAB and saves, because those things work the same no matter what class you have. Not so, spellcasting. How do you stack spells per day for a ranger/druid? What spell list do you use when your bard/cleric gets a new caster level? Thre's only one possible answer: all casters (and in L&L, that means all characters) cast spells in the same way, with the same spells per day based on caster level.

This is sort of the route that 5E multiclassers use. When a PC in 5E takes a second caster class, they stop using their class rules for spells per day and instead go to a common multiclassed caster table for spell progression. And it works because 5E awards fractional caster levels that can stack. A ranger gains a caster level equivalent every other level. Some rogues and fighters with magical bents gain a caster level every three levels, sort of. I'm taking this one step further, by using the same spells per day for all classes, for all PCs.

And my "Spells Gained Per Day Table" is really easy. Here it is, with caster level down the Y axis, and spells per level gained on the X axis:

 1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th10th 11th12th13th14th15th16th17th18th19th20th
1st1--------- ----------
2nd11-------- ----------
3rd111------- ----------
4th1111------ ----------
5th11111----- ----------
6th111111---- ----------
7th1111111--- ----------
8th11111111-- ----------
9th111111111- ----------
10th1111111111 ----------
11th1111111111 1---------
12th1111111111 11--------
13th1111111111 111-------
14th1111111111 1111------
15th1111111111 11111-----
16th1111111111 111111----
17th1111111111 1111111---
18th1111111111 11111111--
19th1111111111 111111111-
20th1111111111 1111111111

Yes, that's right. I'm violating antique norms by pushing spells from the old-school max of 9th level spells to a new max of 20th. That way, a fifth level wizard can cast fifth level spells, as it should have been from the start. I just took every spell in the rules, plus a few more, and spread them out among 20 levels.

In addition, you get bonus spells per day based on your casting ablility score, all of which add to your highest level slot. At caster level 1, you gain 1 first level spell slot. At caster level 2, you can gain 1 first level spell slot and 1 second level spell slot; at caster level 3, 1 first, 1 second, and 1 third; and so on. In addition, you gain a number of bonus spell slots equal in number to your casting ability score modifier. Add these bonus slots to the highest level spell slot you can cast. A fourth level wizard with a 16 intelligence gains 1 first level slot, 1 second level slot, 1 third level slot, and 4 fourth level slots (1 +3 bonus); when she gains another level, she'll have 1 fourth level slot and 4 fifth level slots.

I struggled too for a while trying to reconcile different variations on how magic works. Prepared casters vs spontaneous casters. The cleric's vs wizard's spell preparation; sorcerer's lack of spell prep. So I decided that the easiest thing to do is to simply do away with prepared spells and make everybody a spontaneous caster, with a known spells list. Every time you gain a caster level, you learn two new spells chosen from the type and level you can cast (which is set by your class). Every new caster level, you can also swap out an old spell for a new one of the same type and level. Different classes will have different ways to make spells available for addition to a known spells list, but the actual lists all function the same way.

As I continue to refine my magic rules, I am editing the Core Pathfinder Magic Rules System Reference Doc. Here is my new and refined L&L Rules for Magic (still a work in progress as of late 2021).

On an unrelated fun note, I found a very nice word cloud generator, and I ran my L&L Manifesto through it. With a little tweaking, I like how it came out.

Home | This screed was started on 4 Oct 2021 and finished 5 Oct 2021