Leaving Prepared Slots Open - Should It Return?

Rules Discussion

Just something I've been musing about. In 1e Clerics, Wizards, and other prepared casters could leave spell slots open during their daily preparations and fill those spell slots later in the day, assuming they had the time.

I know this isn't the case in P2e (unless I'm missing something), and that seemed like an interesting choice to me when I first read about its absence. Now having played a bit, it doesn't seem like getting rid of that was necessary from a balance perspective. In fact, I feel like this might be a great thing for prepared casters: it greatly increases the value of niche utility spells, it lets prepared casters leverage their superior lists (given they have a moment to ponder), and it helps soften the blow of strictly limited overall spell slots.

Perhaps focus spells were meant--either implicitly or explicitly--to address some of this, or perhaps the designers just didn't like the idea of preparing spells later in the day, or perhaps it was just an oversight!

I plan to reintroduce it in my home games, not because I think casters are underpowered, but because I think it's a rule that makes those niche spells a lot more interesting and dynamic. But I'm interested in what others think about this!

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There are feats for swapping out prepared spells in some classes (such as wizard). That would be a smoother way to accomplish the goal of leaving prepared spells blank, provided that the limits on spell swapping aren't too onerous.

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I would be fine with it provided spontaneous casters regained the ability to use higher level spell slots on lower level spells without the benefit of heightening.

Ravingdork wrote:
I would be fine with it provided spontaneous casters regained the ability to use higher level spell slots on lower level spells without the benefit of heightening.

That would certainly be a step in the right direction. Making all their spells signature spells would be a step further in the same vein. Or perhaps, for greater symetry, letting them change their signature spells as a 10 minute activity. That way a Divine Sorcerer could have similar condition removal powers as a cleric without compromising their proactive casting too much.

I think that both Dork's suggestion and the OP were removed from the game less for balance reasons than complexity, TBH. But being able to leave spell slots open IS potent. If you want to fiugre out how potent, consider that this is essentially a watered down version of the Spell Subsitution Thesis. The famiar and metamagic thesis both basically give you two class feats and some other stuff, so this would probaly be worth at least one class feat.

You can also compare it to what the Arcane Thesis is worth in relation to other classes. The wizard gets basically this and an extra spell slot per level compared to the other prepared casters, as opposed to more HP, armor and weapon proficiency, shield block, and what have you.

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