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Racial HD and Caster level. Should they stack?


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


Not sure if this goes in advice or homebrew, but here goes.

Right now I'm playing in a Serpent's Skull campaign, and we're over halfway done with Racing to Ruin. At the moment I need to make a new character, and I've managed to weasel my GM into letting me play a traitor Serpentfolk (follower of Abraxus maybe?). Now I definitely want to play a caster, which brings me to the crux of my problem: Serpentfolk make horrible casters. It's not their ability scores (which are fantastic), and the problem isn't even unique to them. Basically they're handicapped by their high racial HD. It just irks me immensely that a race whose mastery of magic surpassed even the Azlanti, is in most ways inferior to an orc of the same level.

So here is my solution. What if racial HD and levels in a spellcasting class stacked to determine spells per day, caster level, and spell level, much like how certain prestige classes stack for caster level. Would that be overpowered?

Any advice is welcome.


It makes sense- dependent on the creature. You're logic goes well with Serpent folk, but what about a player wanting to be a troll?


It would be purely on a case-by-case basis.


Kazarath wrote:
It would be purely on a case-by-case basis.

Of course.


Did this before, back in 3.5- wanted to play an Imp sorcerer, DM allowed. Was VERY fun >:3

Two things to remember is that we're talking CASTER LEVEL, not spells per day- otherwise it's getting broken. I know most people here can figure that out themselves, but lack of clarification tends to lead to... incidents. :P

The other thing is that after 'buyoff' for 'level adjustment*' or whatever your group uses (if any such) it can really make other casters feel a little weak- sure, you're a spell level or two behind, but you've got these better stats/racial hit dice for HP/abilities and that fireball/dispel magic/tentacles/etc is just as effective as theirs.

I'd honestly advise clearing it by any other spellcasters in your group if you do use a buyoff or the like, not just the GM... but that's up to you and the GM, really.

*Replace with whatever you want to call the paizo version, hee.


Raiderrpg wrote:


Did this before, back in 3.5- wanted to play an Imp sorcerer, DM allowed. Was VERY fun >:3

Two things to remember is that we're talking CASTER LEVEL, not spells per day- otherwise it's getting broken. I know most people here can figure that out themselves, but lack of clarification tends to lead to... incidents. :P

The other thing is that after 'buyoff' for 'level adjustment*' or whatever your group uses (if any such) it can really make other casters feel a little weak- sure, you're a spell level or two behind, but you've got these better stats/racial hit dice for HP/abilities and that fireball/dispel magic/tentacles/etc is just as effective as theirs.

I'd honestly advise clearing it by any other spellcasters in your group if you do use a buyoff or the like, not just the GM... but that's up to you and the GM, really.

*Replace with whatever you want to call the paizo version, hee.

Hhhhmmm....food for thought. That is probably the route I'll take.

Anyone else have an opinion?


Honestly multi-class casters are so weak anyway that you might as well use a fix for all of them, rather than only the monster/caster characters.

I have a rule that every second level that wouldn't normally advance your spells gives you a bonus level of spellcasting.
You can't benefit from bonus levels of spellcasting in excess of your real class level, so it can never do more than double your effective level.
If you multiclass between two different spellcasting classes, they feed off each other, so a wizard 10/cleric 10 casts the same as a mystic theurge.
Naturally, mystic theurges, eldritch knights and their ilk are verboten.

I dunno whether you ought to use a serpentfolk's effective level or its HD to determine how many extra levels of casting it merits, but if you only take wizard levels it works out the same.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Depends on the creature, IMHO. For example, some creatures (e.g. nymph, lamia matriarch) have a special ability of "casts spells as a nth-level spellcaster class". For those, taking additional levels of that class stacks. This is true for such NPCs in Paizo APs (e.g. Xanesha in "Rise of the Runelords" had two sorcerer levels, giving her the spellcasting ability of an 8th-level sorcerer).

There's the 3.5 feat "Practiced Spellcaster" that I've included in my PFRPG campaign. It gives you a +4 to your caster level in one spellcasting class, to a maximum caster level of your Character Level. It's designed to make multiclassed casters not suck, but could certainly be applied to monsters with racial hit dice.


What book is that practiced spellcaster feat in by chance?

EDIT: Never mind, found it. Thanks Haladir.

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