Magic... with consequences?


Homebrew and House Rules

151 to 200 of 206 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

anthony Valente wrote:
Dance of Ruin wrote:


My 2 cents:

- 'Magic with consequences' doesn't really work in any of the default D20/3.5E fantasy settings. It can be approximated through rules such as exhaustion etc., but they just discourage people from playing casters.

It works if it is injected sensibly. It already exists in more capacity that has been said here. Four instances off the top of my head: arcane SF w/ armor, casting higher level spells from scrolls than you can cast, Use Magic Device, and teleport consequences. If the OP introduced more consequences, as long as they weren't too punitive and didn't apply to every spell in the game, it can be pulled off.

I agree. It works if it is injected sensibly.

I think the big disagreement in this thread over whether adding it is a good idea or not is over the false perception that adding it would mean that spell casters would get weaker as result.

There is absolutely -no- reason this must be true.

I really don't care to repeat myself once more, but it has been pointed out that making spells have consequences could be counter balanced by allowable spell casters to cast as often as they wish throughout the day (though certain spells, such as certain buffs, may need to be removed from the spell list).


Caineach wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Mirror, Mirror wrote:


And have never explained. Or given details for. Why do sorcerers NOT having a failure chance make the proposal unbalanced? Wizards gain the ability to cast their prepared spells at will, but may suffer a failure chance. Sorcerers are unchanged.
Because of the "NOT FAILING AT ALL" thing. Oh, and the simple "failure" results in ABILITY DAMAGE. Why play a Wizard when you can play a Sorcerer?
Because a Wizard can get more spells per day from a larger list.

Most sorcerers can get by with what they have. The wizard's spells are just extra, and not worth taking ability damage over.


LilithsThrall wrote:
Mirror, Mirror wrote:
allowing them to channel a certain number of spells effortlessly while leaving all others outside their grasp (Spells Known chart).

A couple of points

1.) There's no basis in RAW for saying Sorcerers cast their spells effortlessly. If you are adding this bit of color, I don't agree with it, but I do agree with your right (via rule 0) to add it.

2.) I certainly don't believe Sorcerers are mechanically weaker than Wizards. I think they are often misplayed (trying to play them as Wizards), so people end up playing them weaker. But, I think somebody who knows how to use the class will be able to have a very powerful character - easily as powerful as a Wizard (and, maybe, even more powerful).

In actual game play the difference is not big, but a lot of the wiz vs sorc threads have theoretical builds of what could happen if a player really wanted to powergame a wizard. Potential is the real measure of power in these cases.

Another point is that in actual games many players will hold their characters back so they don't overshadow the group consciously or unconsciously.


wraithstrike wrote:
Caineach wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
Mirror, Mirror wrote:


And have never explained. Or given details for. Why do sorcerers NOT having a failure chance make the proposal unbalanced? Wizards gain the ability to cast their prepared spells at will, but may suffer a failure chance. Sorcerers are unchanged.
Because of the "NOT FAILING AT ALL" thing. Oh, and the simple "failure" results in ABILITY DAMAGE. Why play a Wizard when you can play a Sorcerer?
Because a Wizard can get more spells per day from a larger list.
Most sorcerers can get by with what they have. The wizard's spells are just extra, and not worth taking ability damage over.

If that were true, why does the Wiz rank as tier 1 and Sor as tier 2? Certainly there IS a perception that unlimited acess to spell is quite valuable, valuable enough to significantly change the character power level.

If you do not like/do not agree with the tier theory, just ignore.


Mirror, Mirror wrote:


If that were true, why does the Wiz rank as tier 1 and Sor as tier 2?

As I mentioned earlier, this is because a lot of players have absolutely -no- clue how to build an effective Sorcerer.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
LilithsThrall wrote:
Mirror, Mirror wrote:


If that were true, why does the Wiz rank as tier 1 and Sor as tier 2?

As I mentioned earlier, this is because a lot of players have absolutely -no- clue how to build an effective Sorcerer.

And while I actually DO agree, it is a valid point that having access to more spells, and the ability to change your spell layout, is a substantial advantage the Wiz has over the Sor. For instance:

Situation changes unexpectedly! Sor finds himself without many effective spells. Wiz also finds themselves with fewer effective spells. The difference is the Sor has been choosing the spell list over their entire career, and only getting to change out one spell every 4 levels. The Wiz has more spells to choose from (assuming spellbook # spells > Known spells by level chart), and got to re-select his entire spell list that morning.

Can the Wiz be more screwed than the Sor? Yes, certainly. Is it also possible that the Wiz could be relatively unaffected, since they chose spells that synergized with more static elements (like PC abilities or terrain) rather than generally useful or specifically powerful spells? Again, yes.

To put it into another analysis, the Sor, done right, can be just as powerful as the Wiz. The Wiz, almost anytime, can be just as good as the Sor. The set of Sor's that are just as good a Wiz is smaller than the set of Wiz's that are just as good a Sor. Therefore, Wiz must have an inherrent advantage (unlimited spell access > spont casting).

The DEGREE of difference does not have to be large at all for this to still be true. In fact, it needs only to EXIST.


Mirror, Mirror wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
Mirror, Mirror wrote:


If that were true, why does the Wiz rank as tier 1 and Sor as tier 2?

As I mentioned earlier, this is because a lot of players have absolutely -no- clue how to build an effective Sorcerer.

And while I actually DO agree, it is a valid point that having access to more spells, and the ability to change your spell layout, is a substantial advantage the Wiz has over the Sor. For instance:

Situation changes unexpectedly! Sor finds himself without many effective spells. Wiz also finds themselves with fewer effective spells. The difference is the Sor has been choosing the spell list over their entire career, and only getting to change out one spell every 4 levels. The Wiz has more spells to choose from (assuming spellbook # spells > Known spells by level chart), and got to re-select his entire spell list that morning.

Can the Wiz be more screwed than the Sor? Yes, certainly. Is it also possible that the Wiz could be relatively unaffected, since they chose spells that synergized with more static elements (like PC abilities or terrain) rather than generally useful or specifically powerful spells? Again, yes.

To put it into another analysis, the Sor, done right, can be just as powerful as the Wiz. The Wiz, almost anytime, can be just as good as the Sor. The set of Sor's that are just as good a Wiz is smaller than the set of Wiz's that are just as good a Sor. Therefore, Wiz must have an inherrent advantage (unlimited spell access > spont casting).

The DEGREE of difference does not have to be large at all for this to still be true. In fact, it needs only to EXIST.

Give me an example of situations changing unexpectedly and, thus, rendering the Sorcerer ineffective. I think this case has more to do with the Sorcerer -character- being poorly built in the first place rather than Sorcerer class being poorly designed.

On the other hand, a Wizard can easily find him/herself having used all the relevant spells for the day and having nothing left memorized except spells which aren't relevant.
And, again, Wizards do -not- have unlimited spell access. They have access only to the spells which are in their spell book. Sorcerers can cast a large number of spells which the Wizard just does NOT have access to (via UMD with scrolls/wands/etc.). Both classes also have access to the spells summoned beings and charmed beings can give them, but Sorcerers have a much better time summoning and charming.

If there's one thing I really want to emphasize in this post
Wizards do NOT have unlimited spell access. Sorcerers can cast many spells Wizards simply don't have access to.


LilithsThrall wrote:

If there's one thing I really want to emphasize in this post

Wizards do NOT have unlimited spell access. Sorcerers can cast many spells Wizards simply don't have access to.

How so, again? Wizards can take ranks in UMD. Wizards can create scrolls. Wizards may not be as GOOD at it as Sorcerers are, but they CAN still do it.

What a Sorcerer CANNOT do is change his spells known from day to day. If the adventure calls for an underwater session, the Wiz can change out his spells for those best suited to underwater. A Sor cannot. If the adventure calls for fight Erynies, the Wiz can take a balance of non-illusion and devil-fighting spells. The Sor cannot.

These are not campaign-long events. They are 1-shots. A Wiz can customize their spells for a single occasion. A Sor cannot.

And so, because Wiz's can take UMD just like Sor's can, and they can have any wiz/Sor spell in their spellbook, Wiz actually DO have unlimited spell access. And theirs are cheaper than the Sor's (who can, but only by buying all the scrolls/wands/staves).

LilithsThrall wrote:
On the other hand, a Wizard can easily find him/herself having used all the relevant spells for the day and having nothing left memorized except spells which aren't relevant.

BTW, this situation is just as indicitave of a Wiz -character- poorly choosing spells as my example was of a "Sorcerer -character- being poorly built". I can name any number of examples where things change and result in the combat being different than what was expected. Even without playing the "albino Red Dragon" card.


Mirror, Mirror wrote:


How so, again? Wizards can take ranks in UMD. Wizards can create scrolls. Wizards may not be as GOOD at it as Sorcerers are, but they CAN still do it.

A Wizard must make a DC of 20 + caster level to read off of a scroll -and- UMD is a cross-class skill. Since Wizards have few other reasons to have a high CHA, Wizards not only "may not be as GOOD as it as Sorcerers", Wizards have a snowball's chance in hell of using UMD.

Mirror, Mirror wrote:
What a Sorcerer CANNOT do is change his spells known from day to day. If the adventure calls for an underwater session, the Wiz can change out his spells for those best suited to underwater. A Sor cannot. If the adventure calls for fight Erynies, the Wiz can take a balance of non-illusion and devil-fighting spells. The Sor cannot.

There are very few spells which are specifically better under water. If you exclude blasting (which Sorcerers should have few if any of), there are -very- few spells which the Sorcerer might take which would be subpar under water - in fact, I can count them on one hand.

As for fighting Erynies or any other similar monster, in most cases, the Wizard -won't- know that they are fighting Erynies until the encounter starts.

Mirror, Mirror wrote:


theirs are cheaper than the Sor's (who can, but only by buying all the scrolls/wands/staves).

Er..no. Sorcerers can take leadership and can easily have a Wizard cohort two levels lower than themselves. This Wizard and the Sorcerer can work together to make the magic items and, consequently, the Sorcerer can make the magic items at the reduced cost. If a Wizard tries this trick, they will end up with a cohort many levels lower than them.

Mirror, Mirror wrote:
BTW, this situation is just as indicitave of a Wiz -character- poorly choosing spells as my example was of a "Sorcerer -character- being poorly built".

Yep, but it wasn't written to argue that Sorcerers are better.

Mirror, Mirror wrote:


I can name any number of examples where things change and result in the combat being different than what was expected. Even without playing the "albino Red Dragon" card.

What does "albino Red Dragon" have to do with Sorcerers? I assume you mean fire resistance, but a Sorcerer should be barely affected by this as they should take few, if any, blasting spells (since blasting spells are so single purpose).


if you've ever played Dark Heresy (the warhammer 40K RPG) the "magic" or psychic powers in that universe are handled in a fashion such as this.
they start off rolling a d10 to cast their reasonably powerful powers anytime per day and get more d10's with experience if ever they roll a 9 on any of those d10 they roll on a percentile chart i believe if it is below 75 it is something harmless but interesting like some of the rod of wonder effects
if they roll above 75 they roll another percentile on a chart called "the perils of the warp" where they could do anything from antigravity to summoning a demon to making someone look like a demon

however i have played on this system and every time somebody used a psyker they ended up screwing over the party in some way, defeating the encounter but creating a whole new situation to deal with...but Dark Heresy has a fate point system that lets you stay alive even if you would die sometimes

And you are supposed to feel unimportant and expendable

i don't think a system like that is good in the long run but it can be interesting in the short term...if you must, use it as an adventure where someone messes with the natural order of things and makes arcane magic very dangerous, that way you can be done with it once you get tired of it

Dark Archive

Kyranor wrote:
however i have played on this system and every time somebody used a psyker they ended up screwing over the party in some way, defeating the encounter but creating a whole new situation to deal with...

One of my pet peeves with some of the old Wand of Wonder or 'Wild Surge' results is that they were less punitive to the PC who caused them than to their fellow party memebers.

I'd definitely prefer any 'dangerous magic' to backlash primarily on the caster (through nonlethal damage, stunnage, etc.) than through stuff like 'your fireball detonates on you!' or 'you summon a demon!'


Set wrote:
Kyranor wrote:
however i have played on this system and every time somebody used a psyker they ended up screwing over the party in some way, defeating the encounter but creating a whole new situation to deal with...

One of my pet peeves with some of the old Wand of Wonder or 'Wild Surge' results is that they were less punitive to the PC who caused them than to their fellow party memebers.

I'd definitely prefer any 'dangerous magic' to backlash primarily on the caster (through nonlethal damage, stunnage, etc.) than through stuff like 'your fireball detonates on you!' or 'you summon a demon!'

and you would be right in wanting that...our group will play

Dark Heresy every once in a while for the cool flavor but as a long term game it doesn't really work especially if you are used to a fantasy RPG about heroes, because Dark Heresy is a game in which you are supposed to die horribly in many ways...only fun until the blood stops squirting 30 feet high

and by rights i think a similar system for magic in Pathfinder would be not fun


Some years ago, I had some thoughts about this very idea, but never went as far as designing a complete system around it. Mainly because restricting the existing spellcasting classes would be quite harsh for them. I think we could create alternate versions of all spellcasting classes, adding some abilities (fighting and survivability) in exchange of facing consequences when casting spells (using their own HP to fuel spells, facing harsh laws against magic-users, etc).


Mirror, Mirror wrote:


What a Sorcerer CANNOT do is change his spells known from day to day. If the adventure calls for an underwater session, the Wiz can change out his spells for those best suited to underwater. A Sor cannot. If the adventure calls for fight Erynies, the Wiz can take a balance of non-illusion and devil-fighting spells. The Sor cannot.

We are making SEVERAL assumptions and one improper assertion here.

Assumptions:
1) Wizard has learned the beneficial spell.
2) Sorcerer has not learned the beneficial spell.
3) The major adventure hook is known ahead of time

Improper assertion:
The Sorcerer can't change his spells from day to day - but he can cast any spell he knows as long as he has spell slots of that level remaining. A Wizard can only cast spells that he has prepared ahead of time. Sure, he can save some slots. But those can't be prepared on "the fly" too effectively.

Quote:
They are 1-shots. A Wiz can customize their spells for a single occasion. A Sor cannot.

Indeed he can. Given either a town with infinite resources and a good spellcraft check or a week's time.

And are we still on the patently absurd suggestion of "Sorcerers are unchanged; Wizards may take ABILITY DAMAGE from failing to cast a spell."


Cartigan wrote:

are we still on the patently absurd suggestion of "Sorcerers are unchanged; Wizards may take ABILITY DAMAGE from failing to cast a spell."

I think we shot that suggestion back to the pit where it belonged.

On the other hand, people should feel free to post ideas (good or bad) just to stimulate discussion and, perhaps, there might be some good in a suggestion which, at first, seems bad.

Sovereign Court

LilithsThrall wrote:
Cartigan wrote:

are we still on the patently absurd suggestion of "Sorcerers are unchanged; Wizards may take ABILITY DAMAGE from failing to cast a spell."

I think we shot that suggestion back to the pit where it belonged.

On the other hand, people should feel free to post ideas (good or bad) just to stimulate discussion and, perhaps, there might be some good in a suggestion which, at first, seems bad.

Like mine lol :P


LilithsThrall wrote:
Cartigan wrote:

are we still on the patently absurd suggestion of "Sorcerers are unchanged; Wizards may take ABILITY DAMAGE from failing to cast a spell."

I think we shot that suggestion back to the pit where it belonged.

On the other hand, people should feel free to post ideas (good or bad) just to stimulate discussion and, perhaps, there might be some good in a suggestion which, at first, seems bad.

Ok, I'll give it a shot:

Maybe intorduce a rule where a caster must make a concentration check if he moves too much during his round (say more than 5 feet or more than half speed)? Maybe he doesn't lose the spell, but it simply doesn't go off? Apply it to other concentration checks as well… a failed concentration check does not cause you to lose the spell; it simply doesn't go off that round, and you retain the spell.

To contrast, I've liked the idea of melee touch attack spells not provoking AoOs and may be cast while threatened without hindrance.


Moreso however, I like consequences akin to what some individual spells have, like a [i]teleport[/] that goes bad.


Guys, I said I thought we put the idea that "Sorcerers are unchanged; Wizards may take ABILITY DAMAGE from failing to cast a spell." into the pit.

I said -nothing- about the much broader idea of casting with consequences.

I like casting with consequences. Further, we all have our own ideas as to how it will work. If we're going to make any headway on it, we need to see if there is some way we can start pulling our ideas together rather than just have a bunch of individuals tossing isolated mechanics out into the thread.


LilithsThrall wrote:

Guys, I said I thought we put the idea that "Sorcerers are unchanged; Wizards may take ABILITY DAMAGE from failing to cast a spell." into the pit.

I said -nothing- about the much broader idea of casting with consequences.

I like casting with consequences. Further, we all have our own ideas as to how it will work. If we're going to make any headway on it, we need to see if there is some way we can start pulling our ideas together rather than just have a bunch of individuals tossing isolated mechanics out into the thread.

I guess I'm not following what you mean then.


anthony Valente wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:

Guys, I said I thought we put the idea that "Sorcerers are unchanged; Wizards may take ABILITY DAMAGE from failing to cast a spell." into the pit.

I said -nothing- about the much broader idea of casting with consequences.

I like casting with consequences. Further, we all have our own ideas as to how it will work. If we're going to make any headway on it, we need to see if there is some way we can start pulling our ideas together rather than just have a bunch of individuals tossing isolated mechanics out into the thread.

I guess I'm not following what you mean then.

Assume you had ten different sets of rule changes you could choose from. They were all different. What qualities in the rules would you use to filter the ones you'd like from those you wouldn't like?

For example, I'd like to see Sorcerers and Wizards be different only in that one is CHA based and the other is INT based. I'd like to see spells with consequences, but I want this loss to be balanced by some gain.


LilithsThrall wrote:
anthony Valente wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:

Guys, I said I thought we put the idea that "Sorcerers are unchanged; Wizards may take ABILITY DAMAGE from failing to cast a spell." into the pit.

I said -nothing- about the much broader idea of casting with consequences.

I like casting with consequences. Further, we all have our own ideas as to how it will work. If we're going to make any headway on it, we need to see if there is some way we can start pulling our ideas together rather than just have a bunch of individuals tossing isolated mechanics out into the thread.

I guess I'm not following what you mean then.

Assume you had ten different sets of rule changes you could choose from. They were all different. What qualities in the rules would you use to filter the ones you'd like from those you wouldn't like?

For example, I'd like to see Sorcerers and Wizards be different only in that one is CHA based and the other is INT based. I'd like to see spells with consequences, but I want this loss to be balanced by some gain.

Hey, I'm not saying it's a good idea, but you did invite everyone to post ideas (good or bad) :)

I'm not seeing where a concentration check discriminates between spellcaster classes (if that's what you're implying. I'm not sure). But anyway…

Really, I'd like to come up with ideas like casting a really good spell with the possibility of consequence if something goes wrong (again, like teleport, but I'm drawing blanks at the moment. To me at least, that's what casting with consequences really refers to. So I guess, ultimately, the "qualities in the rules I would use to filter the ones I liked" would be ones like these or ones like casting spells from scrolls of a higher spell level than you can cast. You can get something really good off, but there's a chance it might fail and even backfire.


anthony Valente wrote:


Really, I'd like to come up with ideas like casting a really good spell with the possibility of consequence if something goes wrong (again, like teleport, but I'm drawing blanks at the moment. To me at least, that's what casting with consequences really refers to. So I guess, ultimately, the "qualities in the rules I would use to filter the ones I liked" would be ones like these or ones like casting spells from scrolls of a higher spell level than you can cast. You can get something really good off, but there's a chance it might fail and even backfire.

So, you're okay with any rule change as long as it involves casting with consequences? There have been many alternatives posted in this thread including yours and you like them all equally well?


LilithsThrall wrote:
So, you're okay with any rule change as long as it involves casting with consequences? There have been many alternatives posted in this thread including yours and you like them all equally well?

No.

I'm interested in spells having cool or powerful effects, balanced by the fact that if you try to cast them, something may go wrong.

Teleport is a good example. So is wish. I feel that some spells in the book are a little too good; rather than nerf them they could have consequences added to them to balance them. I also feel that certain spells aren't powerful enough, and would be more interesting if they were made more powerful but balanced by a consequence: by choosing to cast them, it may backfire on you. I don't want all spells to be this way. I see no point in applying this to every spell or even the majority of spells because then, playing a spell caster would indeed not be fun in all likelyhood. On the flip-side, I personally think it would be entertaining, as well as provide an additional tactical or suspenseful element if more spells did have consequences. I can also see certain spells being easy to master for any spellcaster. I can also see certain spells being risky to cast by even the most accomplished spellcaster.

For instance, IME, I get tired of seeing haste get cast in nearly every battle. I know people will disagree, but I'd entertain the idea of putting a consequence on that particular spell. Maybe targets are fatigued afterward? Or the caster is slowed for a period of time. The trick is to make the consequence not so punitive as to make the spell undesireable to take in the first place.


anthony Valente wrote:
LilithsThrall wrote:
So, you're okay with any rule change as long as it involves casting with consequences? There have been many alternatives posted in this thread including yours and you like them all equally well?

No.

I'm interested in spells having cool or powerful effects, balanced by the fact that if you try to cast them, something may go wrong.

Teleport is a good example. So is wish. I feel that some spells in the book are a little too good; rather than nerf them they could have consequences added to them to balance them. I also feel that certain spells aren't powerful enough, and would be more interesting if they were made more powerful but balanced by a consequence: by choosing to cast them, it may backfire on you. I don't want all spells to be this way. I see no point in applying this to every spell or even the majority of spells because then, playing a spell caster would indeed not be fun in all likelyhood. On the flip-side, I personally think it would be entertaining, as well as provide an additional tactical or suspenseful element if more spells did have consequences. I can also see certain spells being easy to master for any spellcaster. I can also see certain spells being risky to cast by even the most accomplished spellcaster.

For instance, IME, I get tired of seeing haste get cast in nearly every battle. I know people will disagree, but I'd entertain the idea of putting a consequence on that particular spell. Maybe targets are fatigued afterward? Or the caster is slowed for a period of time. The trick is to make the consequence not so punitive as to make the spell undesireable to take in the first place.

This is interesting. What you seem to be suggesting isn't a chance for failure, but rather that spells will always have the consequences. I hadn't considered this approach. I like it.


LilithsThrall wrote:
This is interesting. What you seem to be suggesting isn't a chance for failure, but rather that spells will always have the consequences. I hadn't considered this approach. I like it.

Well, not every spell. I can't personally envision a consequence to casting magic missile for instance. And I don't think the spell should always automatically incur the consequence either. I guess I prefer the CHANCE of a consequence occurring. It makes magic a little more unpredictable and exciting.

Taking the haste example, maybe it has the consequence of fatiguing all recipients of the spell when it ends, if they fail a Fort save. The result might be that it may not have any real affect if they use it in a battle with the BBEG, because what happens afterward usually doesn't matter. But if MIGHT if they decide to use it one or more of the several combats leading up to it. Also, if they think the fight with the BBEG might go longer than the duration (rare possibility I know), then maybe they might decide not to spam it immediately, which usually happens.

EDIT:
To add maybe it only requires the save you're hasted for a number of rounds that exceeds your Con modifier. Then it doesn't clash too much with an item like boots of speed. The problem is now it's starting to get complicated.


caith wrote:
Moving forward, how could this be handled from a rules perspective? I'm interested in providing a consequence to spellcasting, partially for balance purposes, but mainly to create a world in which magic is valuable and rare.

D&D Magic has no consequence because often that is a negative in playing that class. The arcane classes are generally fragile enough that additional danger just from doing their job can be seen as 'not fun' to many players.

That said, it is a simple thing to put personal investment into magic to reflect that 'magic is dangerous'.

Everytime the caster casts a spell they take non lethal damage equal to the spells level. In addition they should make a spellcraft roll based on spell level and local conditions and distractions to not 'lose control' of the spells energies and 'level the college'.

If they fail the roll, then have a negative consquence happen based on how high their target number was and how much they missed it by, as a measure of overall danger in the spells casting an how badly they blew it, respectively.


I like adding consequences to certain spells better. Then you're giving the player a choice of whether or not to have consequences and how much. This wouldn't make a spellcasting class overall less fun to play, as a lot of the control is still in the player's hands.

I could see them equating in regard to how several feats are. Several feats have "consequences," in that if you use the feat, it comes with some sort of disadvantage. For instance, Power Attack allows you to do more damage with an attack. The consequence is that you are less likely to hit. Cleave allows you to strike more than one opponent on a standard action. The consequence is you are easier to hit. At the same time, there are several feats that do not have consequences. For instance, Dodge gives you a +1 dodge bonus to your AC. There is no consequence for using this feat. Toughness gives you extra HP at no expense. I'd just like to see this philosophy carry over to spells a little more.


Gilfalas wrote:


Everytime the caster casts a spell they take non lethal damage equal to the spells level.

That just seems mean.


For a while I was being pretty mean to casters and requiring people to roll a concentration check as if defensively casting even if casting outside of combat. People still played casters anyways. I will admit, that check was rather painful for casters to always have to make though, and I did eventually decide to make it easier.

I ran a Masque of the Red Death game (using PF rules, though there is an actual 3.5 version), where not only do casters have to make a check to cast, but if they fail it badly enough then the spell has negative consequences. Oh, and even if they succeed, they have to make a powers check, and failing that... makes things interesting. I actually tried to get people not to play casters in that game (it's more akin to CoC, where magic is this exceedingly rare and dangerous thing that you should stay well away from dabbling in), and they still wanted to. They had fun even with the consequences (I'd say in the case of power checks part of the fun was with suffering the consequences).

For my game, where I want magic to be a rarer thing that people tend to distrust, having magic be slightly harder to cast, and sometimes having interesting (not always bad, but certainly potentially bad) consequences helps give the setting the feel I want. However, while having magic act a bit differently for the setting I'm running is a must, it wouldn't really work well for Golarion or several other settings that come to mind.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:
Kyranor wrote:
however i have played on this system and every time somebody used a psyker they ended up screwing over the party in some way, defeating the encounter but creating a whole new situation to deal with...

One of my pet peeves with some of the old Wand of Wonder or 'Wild Surge' results is that they were less punitive to the PC who caused them than to their fellow party memebers.

I'd definitely prefer any 'dangerous magic' to backlash primarily on the caster (through nonlethal damage, stunnage, etc.) than through stuff like 'your fireball detonates on you!' or 'you summon a demon!'

Hehe you never played in my campaigns, one wizard triggered a spell failure from what I recall the results were . . .

Dwarven Fighter: Turned into living purple metal (essentailly gained construct template to his delight)

Something Something: Got his own theme music that played a musical acompnient e.g. loud stiring music when he was doing something heroic, da nuh dah nuh dandandan (jaws music) when he was in danger and various sneaky music when he was trying to sneak. He had mixed feelings on it.

Human Mage: Killed, turned into a log and when split open by the party spilled out gold.

I can't remember specifically what happened to the fourth party member but it was bad, I think they instant aged to 81 but I can't say for sure that may have been soemthing else it was quite awhile back.

Magic could be very dangerous in that game but it was also using true sorcery (mostly) so the mage could cast a lot more spells per day as long as they didn't tire themselves out (one of the houseruled changes was the drain from spell casting could only be cured by normal rest not magical healing to avoid the refilling caster trick) and a bit more dangerous to opponents. Admitedly that wasn't something most people would like to play in often but they were willing to give it a try and see how it went. In the end it got abandoned because the calculations on the spells took up too much time.

Shame really I rather like true sorcery as a system. Although admitedly there were some changes I made to it. Especially since with the increasing spellcraft skills the DC's for failure on lower level spells eventually dissapeared although the drain (non-lethal hp damage) could never drop below 1.

Another house rule I've used a few times that may offer possibilities in the wizard/sorcery discussion (possibilites only this wasn't that well received even in a game without sorcerers so probably not workable without changes) is the wizards fire and forget spell casting system comes from the strain of maintaining a nearly complete spell in their head.

The spells per day therefore is in reality the spells they can cast off the top of their head per day. On the other hand they can cast an unlimited number of spells from their spellbook. The catch here is that since they are casting from the spell book a new fresh spell the casting time is the casting time + the memorizing time (using the old 15 minutes per spell level as the memorizing time). For example a 1 round 1st level spell takes 15 minutes and 1 round to cast from the spellbook, a 7th level 10 minute casting time spell takes nearly 2 hours to cast.

This means a wizard can do a lot more outside combat but wont affect and take away from encounters too much. You want wards cast at the end of the day? The wizard spends a bit over 15 minutes casting it out of their spellbook. You want a moat for your new castle? The wizard casts move earth from their spellbook taking an hour and a half to cast it then another 4 hours and 10 minutes moving the maximum amount. You want a fireball cast on the invading armour? They spend 1 round triggering the memorized spell.

I created this because it allowed a wizard to memorize spells that met a specific set of circumstances but still cast other spells they knew without rememorzing. It was for D20 Modern (no sorcerers) and technology took over a lot of the functions that were previously magic only but like I said it wasn't that well recieved.

The Exchange

Thread necromancy!!

I my game world you last two posters would be burned at the stake for such evil as necromancy. Shame on you both. Double shame in fact for now you've caused me to be complicit in the necromantic act.

Arrrrrrrghhh, the horror!!

Scarab Sages

Wrath wrote:

Thread necromancy!!

I my game world you last two posters would be burned at the stake for such evil as necromancy. Shame on you both. Double shame in fact for now you've caused me to be complicit in the necromantic act.

Arrrrrrrghhh, the horror!!

I just reply to threads on the first page if they catch my interest I don't check dates.


Try Warhammer if you want random magic to screw up entire campaigns! Rolled badly on your attempt to set fire to a goblin? A chaos demon tears its way out of your skull and destroys everything in a hundred metres in the blink of an eye.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

If you're going to make magic a sub-optimal solution, it helps if the spellcasters have something useful they can do BESIDES spellcasting. (Unlike a D&D wizard who without spells is a glorified Commoner.)


Arbane the Terrible wrote:
If you're going to make magic a sub-optimal solution, it helps if the spellcasters have something useful they can do BESIDES spellcasting. (Unlike a D&D wizard who without spells is a glorified Commoner.)

Forgive me if I don't see the issue with Nerfing casters. If anything, its an easier way to balance the system than making every non-caster step up a notch.

And magic did use to have consequences. Certain spells did cost you XP and/or levels. Material Components use to matter.

I really am of the camp that if you want the Wizard to cast Wish for you, THEN YOU NEED TO GIVE HIM A DAMN GOOD REASON TO DO SO. Because it should cost him XP/Levels. It should be at GREAT RISK to him. When you start to manipulate the universe with spells near potent to that of a god then there should be a significant risk vs. reward.

Casters have gotten off easy in the 3.X series. They need to be taken down a notch. And I see nothing wrong with making them pay for the power they want to wield in game.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

As has been said though that price was balanced against spells that were more powerful e.g. Haste aged you but gave more bonuses per casting than it does today. If your going to reintroduce the cost you need to also restore the reward.


I may have to check out Warhammer, sounds like their magic system could be interesting.

My favorite form of magic with consequences so far though is Ravenloft's powers checks. In most of Ravenloft only certain spells required checks, in Masque of the Red Death all magic was tainted so powers checks were always required when casting. Oh, failing a powers checks gives players bonuses, which may even be enticing to some, but, they are bonuses with a downside, and especially after that first enticing gift, it just gets worse and worse. The character basically loses their humanity, picking up downsides along with the mechanical benefits of becoming monstrously warped by magic. Not appropriate for Golarion, but could be for other settings.

Balance wise, yeah, casters are more powerful, especially certain ones, than other classes, and I get that perhaps, they should be to some extent. So just flat out nerfing them all the time probably isn't the best solution IMO (though I do think the argument Anthony Kane presents is not a bad one), but, power with consequences can be an interesting one.

Yeah, I don't look at thread dates either.


Magic has consequences. It already has the same consequence as swinging a sword. Furthermore it cost the caster either slots or power points to use strong magic.

The more powerful spells require vast amounts of material wealth to perform.

The idea of adding more consequences could be interesting, but let us not pretend that magic does not already come with heavy cost.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Frostflame wrote:
Weiss and Hickman had an interesting take on magic in the Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends. Every time a wizard casted a spell he would get weaker and eventually become exhausted until he slept and studied his spellbook again.

If you're talking about Raistlin, that was uniquely his problem, because of the bargain he had made with Fistandantilus during his Test.


Farastu wrote:
I may have to check out Warhammer, sounds like their magic system could be interesting.

If I remember, to cast a spell you roll a number of d10s equal to your casting rank vs the target number of the spell. If you succeed, you cast the spell.

However, if you get any 9s in the above roll, you roll a percentile die on the 'perils of the warp' table. It ranges from things as mundane as your hair changing colour... to the aforementioned uncontrolled demon-summoning.

Yes, this means that the better you are at magic, the more likely something terrible is going to happen.


I prefer "soft" consequences, like defiling magic in Dark Sun or resurrection in Death Gate. Things work as written, but that doesn't mean there aren't other, often unforeseen, consequences. Toss around enough wishes and you might put a few cracks in causality. Keep bringing someone back to life dozens of times and an inevitable might come to collect.

Mechanical differences are fun, too, but only if the group is on board.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
The idea of adding more consequences could be interesting, but let us not pretend that magic does not already come with heavy cost.

It doesn't, really. "Heavy cost" is things like your soul, your sanity, or your firstborn child. Spending a round and some powered ruby on a spell isn't heavy by any stretch of the imagination.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Arbane the Terrible wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
The idea of adding more consequences could be interesting, but let us not pretend that magic does not already come with heavy cost.
It doesn't, really. "Heavy cost" is things like your soul, your sanity, or your firstborn child. Spending a round and some powered ruby on a spell isn't heavy by any stretch of the imagination.

Most Fantasy settings don't carry much a price on using Magic, other then the difficulty of learning it. Oh sure there's a few, but they are a vast minority. And that's because very few costs are actually interesting from a storyline standpoint. And there's even fewer costs that make for fun gameplay.


Anzyr wrote:
Arbane the Terrible wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
The idea of adding more consequences could be interesting, but let us not pretend that magic does not already come with heavy cost.
It doesn't, really. "Heavy cost" is things like your soul, your sanity, or your firstborn child. Spending a round and some powered ruby on a spell isn't heavy by any stretch of the imagination.
Most Fantasy settings don't carry much a price on using Magic, other then the difficulty of learning it. Oh sure there's a few, but they are a vast minority. And that's because very few costs are actually interesting from a storyline standpoint. And there's even fewer costs that make for fun gameplay.

You must not read the same books that I do. As for fun, well, that's subjective. Make sure the entire group is ready and willing to play the same game and you're good to go. If the party wizard prefers playing a "magick ALL the things!"-type, best to stick with the core rules.


I'm talking about fantasy settings as a whole. When's the last time Aang traded his unborn child's life to bend? Where is there any indication of the sanity damage that Merlin took?


The concept of magic having a price or risk is so ubiquitous that it has subtropes of its own. Rather than list a bunch of examples, I'll just point here and ask that you skim past the irrelevant stuff and look for the links relating to magic. A few that are especially popular in fantasy are Cast From Hit Points, Cast From Lifespan, Equivalent Exchange (a personal favorite), Soul Powered Engine, and Powered By A Forsaken Child.

Some of these . . . won't work well in some forms of tabletop gaming. Some of them definitely can, depending on the system and on the group.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4

Been lurking in this thread for a while and only just now thought to offer up something to those interested in the concept of magic with consequences.

I did a blog post earlier this year regarding the concept of "magic corruption" in Pathfinder, you can find it here.

Hope this is something that's helpful to people looking to add some consequences to spellcasting! :)


And even those subtropes are a minority of all fantasy settings. (And equivalent exchange is actually pretty cost free in the manga since the power comes from geothermal energy).


Anzyr wrote:
And even those subtropes are a minority of all fantasy settings. (And equivalent exchange is actually pretty cost free in the manga since the power comes from geothermal energy).

Without performing statistical analysis. I won't challenge this statement directly, but I've seen it pretty frequently in the works I've read.

151 to 200 of 206 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Homebrew and House Rules / Magic... with consequences? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.