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Houserule Handbooks: Spell Points (PFRPG) PDF

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Welcome to Houserule Handbooks: Spell Points, the first in a series of products presenting some of the houserules used at Super Genius Games. Each of these products is designed to introduce a carefully balanced, developed, and playtested version of a popular houserule for campaigns using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. Houserule Handbooks aren't for everyone, and should always be considered "alternate" rules, only for use if a GM and players all want to add something different to a campaign. In the case of Spell Points, the alternate rule is a system to allow all spellcasters to fuel their spells with a pool of spell points, not requiring any spell preparation, and allowing a spellcaster additional flexibility by using a lot of spell points to fuel a few high-level spells, or gain extended staying power by restricting casting to a larger number of lower-level spells. Further, the system is designed only for actual spellcasters, ignoring the spell-like abilities of monks and the infusions of alchemists as dissimilar enough to not need the same kind of spell point houserules. These considerations drive all the design decisions that follow, so if the system as described doesn't sound like your cup of tea, this product likely isn't for you.

Spell Points
Spell points are a resource used to cast spells, as opposed to using the normal rules of spell slots and spell preparation. Rules are given for spell points in general, and then specific rules for each spellcasting class. Every spellcasting class can use spell points. A campaign may only use spell-point characters (at the GM's discretion), or both spell-point and normal versions of classes may exist (in which case the decision to be a spell-point spellcaster must be selected when the first level in a spellcasting class is taken). A character cannot take levels in both a spellpoint and non-spell-point version of the same class (treat using spell points as a kind of archetype for spellcasting classes).

The Author
Owen K.C. Stephens is an experienced and well-known game designer, with credits dating back to the late 1990s for games that focus on fire-breathing lizards and laser swords. He has worked with numerous role-playing game companies, has more than 250 RPG credits, and is currently the Lead Developer of Super Genius Games.

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Product Discussion (88)
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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
xorial wrote:
Sooooooo, maybe a future Bulletpoins: Feats for Spell Points?
That's certainly a possibilities. The tricky part is that all my BPs are designed to be useable in a typical campaign. Even though that work with SGG classes (or for that that matter another company's 3pp class, like the machinesmith) have the notes on how to use them with a core-Paizo-only game.

I wouldn't think you need to much of that for this. It is more of an overlay that already works with the core classes. Closer to the alternate casting mechanic of Word Casting than something like your Time Thief. This is more of a "take it, or leave it" option.


Out of curiosity, were you also inspired by some of the design work that you did involving weaves for the Wheel Of Time RPG?

Someone already addressed the nova threshhold option to risk self-harm and death, so that's covered.

What about cooperative spellcasting to ramp up a spell's strength? Would you have a certain fraction of spell points' expenditure from the assisting spell-caster and determine whether the assisting caster have that particular spell within their spell-list to aid?

Also, what if the caster decides that a certain spell level's strength is unnecessary and wishes to dial it down to a lower spell level to conserve their spell point pool? The situation tends to occur where you may have been using the 1st level spell equivalent and you're only left with the 3rd level version, but don't see it necessary to expend it; you decide to dial it back two levels to conserve accordingly. (If someone had asked this earlier in the thread and I missed it, I apologize).

I like the potential plug-and-play of this option with minimal conversion work for existing (and presumably future spell-casting classes via Paizo and 3PPs).

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

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Urizen wrote:
Out of curiosity, were you also inspired by some of the design work that you did involving weaves for the Wheel Of Time RPG?

You know, I didn't think about the WoT weave system at all while writing this, but now that you ask I DO see some similarities. I suspect this is a case of a designer keeping a little of every project with him when he undertakes something. I wasn't doing it consciously, but yeah I'd say I was inspired by some of the WoT system.

Urizen wrote:
What about cooperative spellcasting to ramp up a spell's strength? Would you have a certain fraction of spell points' expenditure from the assisting spell-caster and determine whether the assisting caster have that particular spell within their spell-list to aid?

That is a neat idea, and something I've been thinking I might cover in a short expansion pdf. Something like Bullet Points, but for my Houserules line.

Urizen wrote:
Also, what if the caster decides that a certain spell level's strength is unnecessary and wishes to dial it down to a lower spell level to conserve their spell point pool? The situation tends to occur where you may have been using the 1st level spell equivalent and you're only left with the 3rd level version, but don't see it necessary to expend it; you decide to dial it back two levels to conserve accordingly. (If someone had asked this earlier in the thread and I missed it, I apologize).

Since you get to "scale up" spells to your full caster level with no additional spell point cost (unlike psionics), there's no good way to let you "undercast" a spell as a lower level of effect to conserve spell points. (Although systems designed to do things like that might well be added into any expansion I did.)

Urizen wrote:
I like the potential plug-and-play of this option with minimal conversion work for existing (and presumably future spell-casting classes via Paizo and 3PPs).

Yeah, the system is designed to blend seamlessly in with existing and any new material. Since most 3pp classes use a spells per day chart that matches at least one of the classes I did a write up for in this book, determining how many spell points a new spellcasing option gets should be easy. Similarly, nearly everything is defined as arcane or divine, preparation or spontaneous, so the rules already cover all of those options.


If you do come up with a way for cooperative spell-casting and a way to conserve spell points by means of other than scale-down in the classical sense as an expansion to this, then sign me up for the bundle when you do. :)

Tangentially, would love to see where you have a compendium of lines, such as the Houserule Handbook (provided there will be a series under that banner), compiled into print or some type of POD equivalent.

But you're geniuses; I'm sure you're thinking of plans to exploit that!

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

Urizen wrote:
But you're geniuses; I'm sure you're thinking of plans to exploit that!

Yeah, but one of our "genius" secrets is to listen to our patrons and see if we can give them what they want. :D

I'm now playtesting some spell point expansion rules, and I've been working on a way to do POD that I'm satisfied with for months.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

And reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine and submitted to NERD TREK. Awesome work! Cheers!

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As always, many thanks for the review, and the kind words!

I *should* have the follow-up book (covering overcasting, prestige classes, calculating spell points for 3pp classes, circle-casting, blight magic, and some other neat stuff) ready soon. Hopefully before the end of the month, and possibly much sooner.


Awesome! Glad to see you were inspired to follow-up with an expansion so soon as the sophomore companion to the debut. =)


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:


I *should* have the follow-up book (covering overcasting, prestige classes, calculating spell points for 3pp classes, circle-casting, blight magic, and some other neat stuff) ready soon. Hopefully before the end of the month, and possibly much sooner.

You can consider one sold right now. Really nice work. A spell point system that doesn't involve reworking everything with the bells and whistles you put in... and now covering so much more. Great stuff. If you keep expanding on this a print version combining it all would be really nice :)

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

Urizen wrote:
Awesome! Glad to see you were inspired to follow-up with an expansion so soon as the sophomore companion to the debut. =)

Yeah, I'll be honest and say the response to this book has "exceeded expectations." I worked hard on it and thought it would be well-received, but I did not expect to have other 3pp begin to ask about using it for their campaign settings, playtest groups ask if they could use it in all future playtests of SGG material, personal friends start to build new campaigns based on it...

So I hadn't wanted to ask people to buy too big a book that had "Houserules" emblazoned on the cover. It looks like I underestimated the interest level, so I hope to fix that soonly. :D

R_Chance wrote:
You can consider one sold right now. Really nice work. A spell point system that doesn't involve reworking everything with the bells and whistles you put in... and now covering so much more. Great stuff. If you keep expanding on this a print version combining it all would be really nice :)

I'm really glad you like the design approach, and that the system works for you! I truly hope a print version is in the offing once I have the companion book out, but the most economic way of doing that would be POD, and I'm not entirely happy with any of my POD options just yet. (Though I continue to work on finding a way to get POD results I'll be satisfied with).


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:


I'm really glad you like the design approach, and that the system works for you! I truly hope a print version is in the offing once I have the companion book out, but the most economic way of doing that would be POD, and I'm not entirely happy with any of my POD options just yet. (Though I continue to work on finding a way to get POD results I'll be satisfied with).

Good luck with it. POD has improved in the last few years so hopefully it will work out. I'll be interested in it with whatever format you end up.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I tried to post a review but failed. Then I read Owen's later posts, which gave me hope for the follow up. He's already promised to address both of the shortcomings I saw.

The review would have said I like the system, several potential problems were foreseen and prepared for. The versatility and flavor were impressive. All in all, a great improvement on the old Vancian system.


When you do a follow up, will you give every Super Genius class that casts spells it's own write-up, like all the Paizo classes got? Any hope for write-ups for popular spellcasting classes from other publishers?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I noticed an apparent anomaly in the spell point charts for all 9-level casters. The points for level 16 go up by only 5 from level 15, which is about 10 (for prepared) or 20 (for spontaneous) points lower than the increases to 15th and 17th level. This doesn't seem to match up with a similar lack of increase in spell slots at level 16 for these classes, so I was wondering if there was a reason for this. Thanks.


ssims2 wrote:


I noticed an apparent anomaly in the spell point charts for all 9-level casters. The points for level 16 go up by only 5 from level 15, which is about 10 (for prepared) or 20 (for spontaneous) points lower than the increases to 15th and 17th level. This doesn't seem to match up with a similar lack of increase in spell slots at level 16 for these classes, so I was wondering if there was a reason for this. Thanks.

Based on the other point rises I'd say it should have been 15 points. I'm interested as well, so we'll see...


Hey there. I just bought the book and I have to say I am loving it, though it has not seen much actual play at my table quite yet. Though most of my players seem to like it. Though we all noticed something that we kind of disliked. A character only gains bonus spell points equal to his Ability Modifier in their casting stat, but only up to their maximum spell level they can cast. At first I didn't think too much of it, but I had a player roll up a 1st level sorcerer for a new campaign. Then I realized that it really hampers casters at low levels.
For example, my player's sorcerer has a 20 charisma (rolled an 18, lucky dog). This under the normal rules would give him 3 first level spells per day, plus two from his high ability score, for a total of 5 first level spells. In addition to his cantrips. In the spell point system however. A 1st level sorcerer recieves 6 spell points, and would only have 1 additional point as long as he had a 12 Cha, regardless if it is higher or not. Since first level spells cost two points, and he only knows two first level spells at this level, as well as accounting for Eldritch Dissonance. He can only cast three spells per day(one casting of each spell for 2 points, and a third casting of either for 3 points), and then he would also lose the ability to cast his cantrips. Overall, my group kind of dislikes the math at the lower levels.
So I bring this up because the suggestion we tossed around at the table was to ignore the rule that states bonus spell points are limited by highest level of spell the character can cast. This would award more points at level 1 and as the character gains magical ability score enhancements, but it would remove the progression the score grants linearly as new levels of spells are gained. I was wondering on your opinion on this change.
Otherwise, excellent book and it is becoming standard at my table starting next week.


I reviewed it here on the message boards as well as at Big Game Productions. That one is a bit longer and more in depth than the one here. While you're there, if you're a board games fan, you'll find some reviews of some new games for the whole family.

Big Game Productions Reviews.

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

Ragnero wrote:
Though we all noticed something that we kind of disliked. A character only gains bonus spell points equal to his Ability Modifier in their casting stat, but only up to their maximum spell level they can cast. At first I didn't think too much of it, but I had a player roll up a 1st level sorcerer for a new campaign. Then I realized that it really hampers casters at low levels.

That rule came about as a direct result of playtest feedback. The fact is that at lower levels a preparation spellcaster is normally much less likely to have exactly the right spell that at higher elvels, since he can;t prepare as many total spells. By 5th, even, a wizard is mroe likely to have *something* prepared, but with spell points he may draw from a much braoder list already. That means that the ability to cast more spells has more impact with spell points at lower levels than it does later.

For spontaneous casters the effect is not as pronounced, but since they already get all their cantrips (without spending spell points to ready them, unlike preparation casters), and pay a lower cost for spamming the same spell over and over, we still found that they did quite well. And while at 1st and 2nd level it doesn't make a difference, by 3rd, the sorcerer's ability to cast more 2nd level spells (by ignoring 1st level spells and focusing spell points on more powerful options) can be unbalancing.

So yes, a spontaneous caster who hasn't gotten to 2nd level spells yet doesn't benefit quote as much from a high ability score as the same caster under the normal rules. But all preparation casters, and spontaneous casters who have 2nd level spells, proved to be overpowered if they got all their bonus ability scores. So this is the rule I crafted, and it doesn't seem to seriously hamper spontaneous casters even at lower levels. They still get higher save DCs and all their non-spell powers (which are often based on ability score).

In the experience of my playtests if you remove the rule, around 3rd level your spellcasters will pull ahead of other characters in a noticeable way, and stay ahead until about 7th level.

However that's a "general rule," and what works for your group is something you are more likely to be able to determine (since you know them and their play style) than I am. :D

For example, my player's sorcerer has a 20 charisma (rolled an 18, lucky dog). This under the normal rules would give him 3 first level spells per day, plus two from his high ability score, for a total of 5 first level spells. In addition to his cantrips. In the spell point system however. A 1st level sorcerer recieves 6 spell points, and would only have 1 additional point as long as he had a 12 Cha, regardless if it is higher or not. Since first level spells cost two points, and he only knows two first level spells at this level, as well as accounting for Eldritch Dissonance. He can only cast three spells per day(one casting of each spell for 2 points, and a third casting of either for 3 points), and then he would also lose the ability to cast his cantrips. Overall, my group kind of dislikes the math at the lower levels.
So I bring this up because the suggestion we tossed around at the table was to ignore the rule that states bonus spell points are limited by highest level of spell the character can cast. This would award more points at level 1 and as the character gains magical ability score enhancements, but it would remove the progression the score grants linearly as new levels of spells are gained. I was wondering on your opinion on this change.
Otherwise, excellent book and it is becoming standard at my table starting next week.

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I reviewed it here on the message boards as well as at Big Game Productions.

Thanks for the review!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Question. DungeonmasterCal mentions errata for the Magus. Where is this errata?

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

xorial wrote:
Question. DungeonmasterCal mentions errata for the Magus. Where is this errata?

It was earlier in this thread.

Owen wrote:
I *should* have provided a magus arcana that changed that. Errata: Magi can spend a magus arcana to have metamagic spells not increase their casting time when used in conjunction with spellcombat.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
xorial wrote:
Question. DungeonmasterCal mentions errata for the Magus. Where is this errata?

It was earlier in this thread.

Owen wrote:
I *should* have provided a magus arcana that changed that. Errata: Magi can spend a magus arcana to have metamagic spells not increase their casting time when used in conjunction with spellcombat.

Thank you for that. I still didn't see it & thought you might mean the diminished casting clarification.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

xorial wrote:
Sooooooo, maybe a future Bulletpoins: Feats for Spell Points?

I wanted to let you know your suggestion (and the fact people were vocal in their support of it) lead directly to this;

Welcome to Houserule Footnotes: Spell Point Feats, the first in a planned series of short, concise products designed to support material presented in the Houserule Handbooks line of products. This product adds a series of feats for use with Houserule Handbooks: Spell Points, and requires that product to be useful.

The 10 feats included here are designed to both give spell-point spellcasters access to the same kind of mechanical, numeric bonuses characters that use other limited-resource powers enjoy, and to showcase how the flexibility of the spell point system can be used to add interesting options to a campaign and its traditions of magic.

The feats are:
Cooperative Casting: You can help other spellcasters fuel their spells.
Eldritch Aspect: You can channel spell energy directly into your aura to take on the aspect of a magical totem.
Eldritch Blending: You have learned to call on multiple sources of magic to cast spells.
Eldritch Focus: Your deep understanding of one spell makes it easier to cast.
Eldritch Strike (Combat): You can use spell points to increase the magical boost you give your weapons.
Extra Spell Points: You have an unusually large reserve of mystic energy.
Magic of the Wild: You can draw power directly from the forces of nature.
Mystic Resilience: You are less likely to tire when you draw upon your reserves of mystic energy.
Spell Eater: You can absorb eldritch energy used against you.
Tantric Magic: You can turn the energy of physical intimacy into mystic energy able to fuel your spells.


I just noticed this product and I've become very interested in trying it out at some point. I've been wanting to use spell points in Pathfinder for a while, but haven't done so because of the issues with the differences between memorized and spontaneous casters. This book seems to do a very good job of balancing the two ways of casting while also preserving most of their flavor.

I do have one concern about the rules so far though. It seems that having a high ability score has an almost negligible effect on the number of spells you can cast every day at higher levels. The maximum number of bonus spell points you can get is 9 once you get 9th level spells, which isn't even enough to cast a single extra level 9 spell. Even if there wasn't the 'max spell level' cap on bonus spell points, you're still getting relatively little from your ability score.

Was this intentional? I would have thought something more in line with the basic pathfinder rules would have been something like: Gain a number of bonus spell points equal to the total spell levels worth of bonus spells you would have gained at your level from having a high ability score. Yea, it is a lot more math, but I think it forms a pretty nice progression from low to high levels.

Also, just curious, do you have any thoughts on how the spell point system should interact with the mythic rules? It seems that mythic characters will have various ways of using a mythic power point to cast spells without using 'slots'.

Anyway, thanks for these house rules! I'm going to show them to my players and see what they think about using them in our next campaign.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Matrix Dragon wrote:
I just noticed this product and I've become very interested in trying it out at some point. I've been wanting to use spell points in Pathfinder for a while, but haven't done so because of the issues with the differences between memorized and spontaneous casters. This book seems to do a very good job of balancing the two ways of casting while also preserving most of their flavor.

I'm glad you like them!

Matrix Dragon wrote:
I do have one concern about the rules so far though. It seems that having a high ability score has an almost negligible effect on the number of spells you can cast every day at higher levels.

In playtesting, allowing more bonus spell points from ability score than we did turned out to be unbalancing. While it is true you end up unable to cast a bonus 9th level spell, you can still cast multiple 9th level spells per day (at the cost of casting fewer low-level spells, which honestly aren't as effective in most cases at 17th level). And at lower levels, even a very few extra spells points boosts flexibility quite a lot.

Matrix Dragon wrote:
Also, just curious, do you have any thoughts on how the spell point system should interact with the mythic rules? It seems that mythic characters will have various ways of using a mythic power point to cast spells without using 'slots'.

My current plan is to wait for a final version of the Mythic rules before I start making design statements about how SGG material ties into it.

Matrix Dragon wrote:
Anyway, thanks for these house rules! I'm going to show them to my players and see what they think about using them in our next campaign.

I hope you enjoy them!


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Matrix Dragon wrote:
I just noticed this product and I've become very interested in trying it out at some point. I've been wanting to use spell points in Pathfinder for a while, but haven't done so because of the issues with the differences between memorized and spontaneous casters. This book seems to do a very good job of balancing the two ways of casting while also preserving most of their flavor.

I'm glad you like them!

Matrix Dragon wrote:
I do have one concern about the rules so far though. It seems that having a high ability score has an almost negligible effect on the number of spells you can cast every day at higher levels.

In playtesting, allowing more bonus spell points from ability score than we did turned out to be unbalancing. While it is true you end up unable to cast a bonus 9th level spell, you can still cast multiple 9th level spells per day (at the cost of casting fewer low-level spells, which honestly aren't as effective in most cases at 17th level). And at lower levels, even a very few extra spells points boosts flexibility quite a lot.

Matrix Dragon wrote:
Also, just curious, do you have any thoughts on how the spell point system should interact with the mythic rules? It seems that mythic characters will have various ways of using a mythic power point to cast spells without using 'slots'.

My current plan is to wait for a final version of the Mythic rules before I start making design statements about how SGG material ties into it.

Matrix Dragon wrote:
Anyway, thanks for these house rules! I'm going to show them to my players and see what they think about using them in our next campaign.
I hope you enjoy them!

<teasing>Seems to me you have already made a statement about mythic rules with the Mythic Menagerie </teasing>

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

While we had a magus class before there was a Paizo magus, and had character archetypes before Paizo introduced them in the APG, I'm hoping people will understand that the 3-year-old Mythic Menagerie line of monster books isn't tied to the Mythic rules.


I really like the ideas put forth in this document. I've always wanted a simple spell point system that could easily be inserted into my games, and this one seems to do the trick. I love the balancing factors of Eldritch Dissonance, and overall I can see that a lot of thought was put into the system.

However, I did notice something that seemed a bit off. I was measuring the number of spells characters could cast with the standard system and this system. To keep it simple, I used the iconic characters from the NPC codex as a base-line.

I started with Seoni, the iconic sorcerer.

At 12th level, the iconic sorcerer would have 111 spell points (unless I'm misreading the system, 105 base points + 6 bonus points). However, according to her stat block, in order to cast all of her spells, she would need 189 spell points at minimum (utilizing as little eldritch dissonance as possible).

Also according to the rules, Ezren, the iconic wizard, at the same level, would have 78 spell points (72 base points + 6 bonus points), no specialist points (as he is a universalist) and 7 bonded item points. In order to cast his spells, as prepared in his stat block, he would require 134 spell points, discarding the bonus spell from his bonded item.

The other iconic characters' possessed/needed spell point ratio (all at level 12) is as follows:

Harsk (Ranger, 14 Wis): 14/19
Seelah (Paladin, 18 Cha): 15/23
Lini (Druid, 22 Wis): 78/120
Kyra (Cleric, 18 Wis): 76 + 12 domain/101 + 27 domain
Lem (Bard, 24 Cha): 54/84

That seems like quite the discrepancy to me.

I understand that this might be my misreading of the rules. Are characters intended to gain a number of bonus spell points for each level they possess? In that case, Seoni would gain 72 bonus spell points, giving her a total of 177, much closer to what would be required in order to cast at a rate comparable to what she could do with spell slots. Similarly, Ezren would have 144, Lem 98, and Kyra 120 + 12 domain. All very close to their needed amount.

On the other hand, it would give Harsk 36 points (or 30 if you don't count the first 3 levels), Seelah 48 points (or 39 minus 3 levels), and Lini 144. They would all get far more than needed (though, with Lini, that's likely due to the lack of repeating spells).

If anyone could clear this up for me, I would be very grateful. Again, I love almost everything within this system, and would be quite happy to use it.

...Catch Phrase,
-Chris

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

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Christopher Delvo wrote:
I really like the ideas put forth in this document. I've always wanted a simple spell point system that could easily be inserted into my games, and this one seems to do the trick. I love the balancing factors of Eldritch Dissonance, and overall I can see that a lot of thought was put into the system.

Thanks!

Christopher Delvo wrote:

However, I did notice something that seemed a bit off. I was measuring the number of spells characters could cast with the standard system and this system. To keep it simple, I used the iconic characters from the NPC codex as a base-line.

I started with Seoni, the iconic sorcerer.

At 12th level, the iconic sorcerer would have 111 spell points (unless I'm misreading the system, 105 base points + 6 bonus points). However, according to her stat block, in order to cast all of her spells, she would need 189 spell points at minimum (utilizing as little eldritch dissonance as possible).

No you're not missing anything. Spell point spellcasters cannot cast as many total spell levels of spells as their standard rules counterparts. this is because they CAN focus all their spell power into higher-level spells (and, in the case of preparation spellcasters, because they no longer have to prepare in advance -- which is why eldritch dissonance is so much worse for them).This flexibility comes at a price.

So while 12th level spell-points Seoni can't cast as many total spells-levels-per-day as 12th level standard Seoni, she CAN cast more 6th level spells. While the standard Seoni is likely to have 3 6tyh level slots at best, the Spell Points Seoni can cast her known 6th level spell 9 times, even accounting for Eldritch Dissonance.

For a wizard the benefit is greater -- he doesn't have to select spells to prepare in advance!

Benefits like that, even with factors like fatigue and eldritch dissonance, require a ramping down in total spell-levels-castable to remain balanced. Hence the numbers given for spell points per level specifically not being enough to cast all the spells of the standard counterpart.

And to clarify, you get your bonus spell points from a high ability score only once, as with your first calculation.

Thanks for the comments!


Just out of curiosity how would you handle a failed save when an undead caster taps into his reserve spell point pool? Would it still become fatigued regardless of its undead immunities? Or would it incur some other penalty?

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Hmmm. Not relevant to PCs, but I should have addressed it.

The easy answer is to say yes, they suffer fatigue/exhaustion/unconsciousness anyway, since it's not a failing of the body or health, but an over-expenditure of internal magic power.

As an alternative, I could see deciding undead are immune to the fatigue effects, but only get 75% of a living creature's spell point pool. That lets them do more without risk of fatigue, but not do as much in total. That kinda feels right for undead, but I haven't playtested it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber
Christopher Delvo wrote:

I really like the ideas put forth in this document. I've always wanted a simple spell point system that could easily be inserted into my games, and this one seems to do the trick. I love the balancing factors of Eldritch Dissonance, and overall I can see that a lot of thought was put into the system.

However, I did notice something that seemed a bit off. I was measuring the number of spells characters could cast with the standard system and this system. To keep it simple, I used the iconic characters from the NPC codex as a base-line.

I started with Seoni, the iconic sorcerer.

At 12th level, the iconic sorcerer would have 111 spell points (unless I'm misreading the system, 105 base points + 6 bonus points). However, according to her stat block, in order to cast all of her spells, she would need 189 spell points at minimum (utilizing as little eldritch dissonance as possible).

Also according to the rules, Ezren, the iconic wizard, at the same level, would have 78 spell points (72 base points + 6 bonus points), no specialist points (as he is a universalist) and 7 bonded item points. In order to cast his spells, as prepared in his stat block, he would require 134 spell points, discarding the bonus spell from his bonded item.

The other iconic characters' possessed/needed spell point ratio (all at level 12) is as follows:

Harsk (Ranger, 14 Wis): 14/19
Seelah (Paladin, 18 Cha): 15/23
Lini (Druid, 22 Wis): 78/120
Kyra (Cleric, 18 Wis): 76 + 12 domain/101 + 27 domain
Lem (Bard, 24 Cha): 54/84

That seems like quite the discrepancy to me.

I understand that this might be my misreading of the rules. Are characters intended to gain a number of bonus spell points for each level they possess? In that case, Seoni would gain 72 bonus spell points, giving her a total of 177, much closer to what would be required in order to cast at a rate comparable to what she could do with spell slots. Similarly, Ezren would have 144, Lem 98, and Kyra 120 + 12 domain. All very close to their needed amount.

On...

Chris, we have recently played using these rules but have left out both the Fatigue and Eldritch Dissonance rules and we didn't find them to be overpowering. With that said it was all or no spell casters using these rules so balance would be kept and with the ability to Counterspell strengthened by using the point system we haven't had any real issues to date. That's not to say that there will not be issues in the future and if anyone play's this system the same as we do and have had problems please let us know.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber

Owen, I know this is not where this question should be asked, even though it is a House Rule our group is talking about implenting but here it goes.
In the arena of Counterspelling have you ever thought about two spells that react with each other (as counterspelling) but with different energy discriptor's being able to counter each other (like in X-men between Iceman & Pyro) with the 2 (or more) involved having a roll off and the one with the highest roll getting threw but only involving the overall difference in damage.

thanks, Guy

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Guy Ladouceur wrote:
Owen, I know this is not where this question should be asked, even though it is a House Rule our group is talking about implenting but here it goes.

Fair enough!

Guy Ladouceur wrote:
In the arena of Counterspelling have you ever thought about two spells that react with each other (as counterspelling) but with different energy discriptor's being able to counter each other (like in X-men between Iceman & Pyro) with the 2 (or more) involved having a roll off and the one with the highest roll getting threw but only involving the overall difference in damage.

It's a neat idea, and the descriptors make the concept doable but it would take some work to balance it. For example it's easy to see that fire and ice spells oppose each other, and maybe healing opposes both disease and poison, but what opposes lightning or acid spells?

Additionally reduced effects can be tricky. Some spells have a flat damage output, and those that don't may be made "nearly" useless -- a fireball dropped from 10d6 to 2d6 may still have some effect, but even thought the fireball caster "won," the effect has been reduced so much it'll have little effect on a CR 10 encounter.

I'd *love* to see a big chart that had potential interactions between different spells descriptors with outcomes for overlap and "partial counterspells," so it says a fire spell that partially overlaps a cold spell produces steam, or a light spell that partially counterspells a disease spell covers everyone in algae.

That would, of course, be a lot of work.


Adding this to the list of things to set aside a few bucks for.

Paizo Employee Contributor; Developer, Super Genius Games

Talonhawke wrote:
Adding this to the list of things to set aside a few bucks for.

I hope you enjoy! And note that for a few buck more, you can pick up all the expanded rules in the Spellpoints Compendium!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Talonhawke wrote:
Adding this to the list of things to set aside a few bucks for.

Even though I use a different SP system, Owen has a winner here!


Bwang wrote:
Talonhawke wrote:
Adding this to the list of things to set aside a few bucks for.
Even though I use a different SP system, Owen has a winner here!

Thanks!

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