Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

Doing Away with Class Spell Lists and Arcane Spell Failure


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


This is a house rule that I would like to try out in my next game session. Eliminating the division of Arcane and Divine Magic and creating a single spell list from which all spellcasters can draw from. In addition, armor would no longer have a chance to hinder spellcasting. I realize this sounds insane and it can lead to all kinds of broken builds, but what the hey!

Paladins and Rangers would have access to any spell up to forth level, including Wizard spells.

Magi and Bards would have access to any spell up to 6th level, including oracle/cleric spells.

And witches, wizards, and sorcerers would have access to ANY spell.

Just an idea for something fun and over the top.


Are you going to suggest to anyone considering a fighter, monk, barbarian, or rogue that they shouldn't bother? I can't foresee any reason that caster classes wouldn't unquestionably own that game.


Why even bother playing a nonspell casting class than


Arcanemuses wrote:

Paladins and Rangers would have access to any spell up to forth level, including Wizard spells.

Magi and Bards would have access to any spell up to 6th level, including oracle/cleric spells.

And witches, wizards, and sorcerers would have access to ANY spell.

How will it affect clerics, druids and oracles? Or will they be out of game, replaced by wizards, witches and sorcerers?


also how will you deal with a spell that is different levels depending on class?

Grand Lodge

+5 Toaster wrote:
also how will you deal with a spell that is different levels depending on class?

Yeah that is what popped in my head first when I read the houserule...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As a far out idea it's pretty far out. But interestimg nonetheless. And I have some empathy with ideas like this.

*Personally the spontaneous/prepared division drives me crazy. I'm all for a campaign world that does away with all prepared casting progression and gives the spontaneous casters the same progression as their prepared cousins. Hate me. ;)
Prepared spell casting drives me nuts, but the limitation of spells/day and spells/known of the spontaniacs drives me nuttier. Ok for "balance" but so unstory-friendly. So BECMI...

*Armored casting: I was amazed that 4e had no armored spell failure - if you wanted an armored caster you had to spend feats like mad. Talus, my scale-mailed tiefling Warlock did so. And was fun - but that may have more to do with the Guild Wars/MMORPG-ishness of 4e - where everyone seemed to have the same power level whether martial or caster or sneaker. Makes sense balance-wise in PF though.

*I do wonder what Magi and Bards having healing spells would do to the utility of clerics, but in the end, if it works for your game then it's all to the good. For small casts of PCs, uber-spell lists can be a godsend - pun intended. A lack of division can be a beautiful thematic concept.

Are there challenges with this approach? Definitely. But not insurmountable. Nice one Arcanemuses.


Clerics and Oracles would be nightmares on legs.

Access to all spells? 3/4 BAB? Easy access to heavy armour since they already have Medium? And then pile on there class abilities on top...

Makes the Wizard in the same situation cry and back away in terror.

I know they weren't mentioned but you will have to serious re-power them to make the wizards equal.

And heavily re-balance everything else to make them equal to the 'Arcane' casters.

It'll be a lot of work.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The spell list thing I'm not that worried about, the spell failure I am. Divine casters can wear heavier armor but they don't have as many offensive spells and have to rely on melee for the most part, which is wear the armor comes in. Oracles amd Sorcerers will likely dominate the scene.

That being said, I do think playing a bard that since in the middle of tje battlefield strumming a lyre in full plate armor is worth a broken rule.

Shadow Lodge

Hey, if you're DMing you can do whatever you want. But I don't think it'll be long before you realize that every encounter with a monster or that all the minions in this game just get wiped out. Before long, you'll cry "SR For Everybody!!!" just to even things out. And then, what's the point in what you've done in the first place.

May I suggest something for your consideration (and this was brought up by a developer, so it's not my idea). Never make something (a rule, item or spell) that renders another class useless.


If you want to play with spell lists you may want to look into Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed.

He split spells unto common/uncommon/rare all classes in his books share the same "spell list"

I used it for my home games for some time.. worked out VERY well.


Big Lemon wrote:

The spell list thing I'm not that worried about, the spell failure I am. Divine casters can wear heavier armor but they don't have as many offensive spells and have to rely on melee for the most part, which is wear the armor comes in. Oracles amd Sorcerers will likely dominate the scene.

That being said, I do think playing a bard that since in the middle of tje battlefield strumming a lyre in full plate armor is worth a broken rule.

I have seen this in play many times... heck right now you can have someone get around spell failure with the right equipment and a feat.

Elven Chain & the feat that lets you reduce spell failure by 10% + 1 level of many other classes...

also lets be honest at 12th level.. when the caster is dropping Mage armor for 12 hr at a time and has a good dex.. does it even matter any more?

hell at 6th level with a lesser rod of extend + 1 pear of power

Mage Armor is better then most armors..it's a force effect and has no cap on dex.

as long as their is a feat tax to use such armors.. I think it will work out..

Andoran

Nunspa wrote:

If you want to play with spell lists you may want to look into Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed.

He split spells unto common/uncommon/rare all classes in his books share the same "spell list"

I used it for my home games for some time.. worked out VERY well.

I played Arcana Unearthed, and I was pretty fond of the division of spells. All caster have access to some, specialized casters get access to more, greater access can be bought with feats. However, the casting classes were different, so that system is not an automatic port. A PF update for Arcana Unearthed would be interesting. I mixed the classes together in 3.5 and refered to the UA classes as Eldritch casters, essentially muddying the water further. I like the idea of a unified spell list, but I think the current classes would be greatly changes by this.


Jerald Schrimsher wrote:


I played Arcana Unearthed, and I was pretty fond of the division of spells. All caster have access to some, specialized casters get access to more, greater access can be bought with feats. However, the casting classes were different, so that system is not an automatic port. A PF update for Arcana Unearthed would be interesting. I mixed the classes together in 3.5 and refered to the UA classes as Eldritch casters, essentially muddying the water further. I like the idea of a unified spell list, but I think the current classes would be greatly changes by this.

well it would take some work.. some classes would gain bonus rare spell feats and so on.

It can be done, heck it would take an afternoon worth of work at most.


Nunspa wrote:

If you want to play with spell lists you may want to look into Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed.

He split spells unto common/uncommon/rare all classes in his books share the same "spell list"

I used it for my home games for some time.. worked out VERY well.

I own the book and something like that is what I have in mind :). Yes, it will take work laying down new rules to make up for the ousted ones. But I feel it may be a fun experiment.

In my group, almost everyone always plays a combat type ans spellcasters are a rarity. I'd like to change that by expanding spellcasting options.

As for the none-spellcasting classes. To balance them out I would give them free proficiency with all weapons, including martial and exotic.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Arcanemuses wrote:


In my group, almost everyone always plays a combat type ans spellcasters are a rarity. I'd like to change that by expanding spellcasting options.

Before you go to all that work, you should prehaps talk to your players. You may find out that it comes down to the basic fact that they'd rather hit things than cast spells.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
8 Red Wizards wrote:
Why even bother playing a nonspell casting class than

Or...you know, bother having classes at all. Sounds like walls-down mix and match to me, for which there would be little point to classes.

And THAT makes me think of...not breaking down the arcane/diving wall per se, but learning things specifically by school or domain. Imagine an Elder Scrolls-esque system where a caster has access to say, the arcane schools of evocation and transmutation, and simultaneously the divine domains of fire and destruction, or some such. Perhaps the caster has primary and secondary focuses that combine these arcane and divine schools, so he progresses fastest in some, secondarily in others, and has few to no spells from non-focus schools/domains. You could have a freeform combination Battle-mage/warpriest a la Dungeon Siege done more fluidly than the current rules allow, at least that's the way that I envision it.

But that's at least a little bit off-topic. In context as it is, it makes little sense to me to just throw the gates open and let everyone take everything. Eliminates all sorts of flavor, and as a player/GM, I'm more interested in role-playing than in combat/spellcasting optimization and experimentation. So, you know, grain of salt and all that.


Arcanemuses wrote:
Nunspa wrote:

If you want to play with spell lists you may want to look into Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed.

He split spells unto common/uncommon/rare all classes in his books share the same "spell list"

I used it for my home games for some time.. worked out VERY well.

I own the book and something like that is what I have in mind :). Yes, it will take work laying down new rules to make up for the ousted ones. But I feel it may be a fun experiment.

In my group, almost everyone always plays a combat type ans spellcasters are a rarity. I'd like to change that by expanding spellcasting options.

As for the none-spellcasting classes. To balance them out I would give them free proficiency with all weapons, including martial and exotic.

DOT, DOT, DOT!!!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think it would make sense if prepared arcane casters like Wizards and Witches were limited to their spell lists for spells chosen on level up, but could copy any sort of spell into their spell list fro ma scroll, so you could have a wizard with CLW.

How would you deal with classes that have access to their entire spell list, like Clerics and Druids? Would they just choose from every spell in existence each morning? That doesn't sound like it would work.


Well, clerics have ascended to godhood, but to be fair, fighters can now use bastard swords without spending a feat. Seems like a balanced deal.

So what is your long-term plan to keep making casties more and more powerful until someone caves and plays one even though they don't really want to and then they dominate the universe and the other martial players all need to become casties to keep up with them and then everyone is playing stupid broken characters they didn't want to play in the first place and what was the point of all this again?


A LOT of Great points have been made. Thank you all for your feedback. I suppose I should only allow classes that have Spells Known Charts.

I will admit that it is a wild idea and it will take some balancing. The whole point of it more magical versatility. If anyone thinks its a bad idea, then stick with what you are comfortable with. If anyone feels inspired to try something like this, then I wish them luck and happy gaming.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew / Doing Away with Class Spell Lists and Arcane Spell Failure All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.