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Magic System [Nexus] - Comments please

Started by Aussigamer, September 03, 2006, 09:25:36 PM

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Arcane spells are abilities beyond the scope of most ordinary individuals.

A spell is a one-time magical effect. Magic is used by individuals with magical power, which include spell casters and creatures with spells and spell-like abilities. Spells involve direct manipulation of mystic energies. These manipulations require long study, and tend to produce dramatic results.
Most spells require the caster to speak some utterance, make complex gestures, or sometimes expend an object or a small quantity of some substance. The spellcaster's activity is visible to others, and the effects often are too, but the magic itself is not.
Each spell casting advanced class learns and casts spells differently.  See the class description for more details.

By selecting the Magical Heritage feat the creature becomes a spell caster. It must select one of the below schools to have as its 1st school. After that selecting Magical Spell Level Improvement feat allows it to either continue to increase that schools available spells or open up another schools spells. Each level allows it to choose spells it knows to study and then be able to be cast later on.
Abjuration: Spells of this school are protective spells. They create physical or magical barriers or negate magical or physical abilities.
(Creation): This type of spell manipulates matter to create an object or creature in a place the spell caster designates. If the spell has a duration other than instantaneous, magic holds the creation together, and when the spell ends or is dispelled, the conjured creature or object vanishes without a trace. If the spell has an instantaneous duration, the created object or creature is merely assembled through magic. It lasts indefinitely and does not depend on magic for its existence.
(Summoning): A summoning spell instantly brings a creature or an object to a place the caster designates. When the spell ends or is dispelled, the summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or dropped to 0 hit points.
(Teleporting): A spell of this type transports one or more creatures or objects a great distance.
Healing: Certain divine conjuration spells can heal creatures or even bring them back to life.
Divination: These spells enable you to learn information, to find hidden things (true seeing), or to foil deceptive spells.
Enchantment: An enchantment spell affects the minds of others, influencing or controlling their behaviour. All enchantment spells have the mind-affecting descriptor (see below for more on spell descriptors).
Evocation: These spells manipulate energy or tap an unseen source of power to produce a desired end. In effect, they create something out of nothing. Many of these spells produce spectacular effects, and evocation spells can deal large amounts of damage.
Illusion: Illusion spells deceive the senses or minds of others.
Necromancy: Necromancy spells manipulate the power of death, un-life, and the life force. Spells involving undead creatures belong to this school, as do spells that utilize negative energy to deal damage.
Transmutation: Transmutation spells change the properties of some creature, thing, or condition.

The Universal School are available to all spell casters and its maximum level of casting is the highest level the creature has in any other school.
Universal: A small number of spells belong to no school and are designated as universal. The type of magic they involve does not fall into one of the above categories.

The creature requires the knowledge and the force of will for the spell to come into existence. Thus the base modifier for the use of spells is:
(Wis mod + Int mod)/2 (rounded down)

To cast a spell, the character must be able to speak (if the spell has a verbal component), gesture (if it has a somatic component), and manipulate some material (if it has a material component) or focus (if any). Additionally, the character may have to concentrate to cast a spell. (See the Concentration skill)
All spell casting damages the creature casting it, unless they have been able to enter a trance state obtained via mediation. As such, any spell cast, without being in a meditative state, results in a damage check after the spell is cast.
A spell's power set the final DC that the creature must overcome to successfully cast the spell.
DC= 10 + (Power level cast at) + (Spell's level doubled).
Thus a 9th level spell cast at 20th level power has a DC of 10 + (9x2) + 20. DC: 48.
Where as a 1st level spell cast at 1st level power has a DC of 10 + 1 + 1 or DC: 12.
Every spell cast, even if actively mediating, does some wear on the caster, thus reducing their mediation score by 1 temporarily. Resting for 8 hours recovers all the points lost this way.
(This damage only acts as a modifier to any mediation check, not as a reduction to the mediation ranks.)
Spell Book: The spell caster casts directly from their spell book, though by using Spell Mastery Feat they don't require the book for a small amount of spells.

It takes a full minute to enter the proper state of mind to allow the spell to flow freely through the caster without damaging them.
Entering the trance is a hard thing to do, and as such is a DC 15 Mediation check. And requires a new check to change states of DC 10.

If some outside distraction affects the caster, even whilst in the meditative state, they have to make a Concentration check, as per the Concentration skill.

Type of Mediation
When in a stressful encounter the state can only be held for as many rounds as the creature has ranks in mediation.
During this state, the caster can move normally, talk normally, even fight normally; it just requires them to make a concentration check. Though they cannot cast in a melee battle without allowing the opponent a chance to attack them, (Cast Defensively AoO check), as that requires too much concentration, unless they make a successful concentration check.
To maintain the active trance each round requires a check of DC 15. This is a FA.

When resting, the state can last for as many hours as the creature has ranks. During this state they can only talk, eat, sleep or walk. But cannot fully interact with the outside world to use other skills, except awareness. To maintain the deep trance requires a check each hour is required of DC 5. This is a FA.

Spell Wear recovery
Every hour the creature mediates for, they removes a negative modifier equal 1 + 1/5 ranks of mediation skill they have.

By the use of study and meditation a creature can reduce the impact or even nullify its damage potential.
Caster Ability (CA): Spell Craft (school type) ranks + Feats + bonuses + Creatures Base Ability + d20 is used as the check against the spell's power.

The damage done depends on the level of the failure and the strength of the caster's mind.
The Mental Threshold (MT) is the same as the Creatures Base Ability modifier, described later.
Failure Type Result
1 to MT: Minor Dazed for 1 round.
MT +1 to MT x2: Serious Stunned for 1-6 + (result number) rounds.
(FORT save: 10 + damage reduces the rounds by half)
MT x2+: Traumatic Brain damage: Loss of 1 intelligence point. Shock: unconscious for 1-10 rounds.
(FORT save: 10 + failure score or drop to –1 hp immediately)
25 below MT: Deadly Massive Brain Haemorrhage.
(FORT save DC: 10 + failure score or die)

Each stage is added to the next, thus the caster can be stunned, staggered, and drop to –1 hp with the same result.
The Deadly result is only applied if the result is also 25 below the Mental Threshold of the creature.
Sometimes magic users belief in some divine power enables them to channel that power to receive spells and cast them even though they do not have that spell in their spell book.

They must select magical heritage like normal magic users but they also require the True Believers Feat. They main skill required for the use of divine spells is Knowledge (Theology and Philosophy).

To Cast The Divine Spell
The divine caster must ask for the divine spell to be granted to them. This ability to be granted the spell is set on their belief.
Restrictions: The divine casters casting level ability in that spell area, thus if the divine caster is only able to cast 3rd spells in the necromantic school then they can only attain 3rd level or lower spells. A divine spell is one listed as having DF listed in the spell components.

Attaining The Spell And Casting
It is a FRA minimum to attain the divine spell and then to cast it. If the divine caster fails to attain the spell then it counts only as a MEA. If the spell has a long casting time than a standard action then the divine casting time is +1 full round.

Attaining The Spell
Attainment = 10 + Spell level doubled.

The divine casters attaining ability is: Knowledge (Theology and Philosophy) total + d20 (no take 10 or 20 allowed) + Creatures Ability + Feats

If they are able to successfully attain the spell, then using the divine focus they cast the spell normally as a SA or what ever the casting time might be. This effectively means the spell casting is a FRA or greater.

Knowledge is Power
Knowledge helps the magic users to understand the power they are dealing with.
Every 5 ranks that the character has in Knowledge (Arcane Lore) the magic user is granted a +1 towards their caster ability.

Divine casters can either gain a +1 bonus towards their caster ability when casting divine only spells with every 5 ranks that the character has in Knowledge (Theology and Philosophy), this stacks with any bonus they have from Knowledge (Arcane Lore). Or gain a +1 to the d20 roll for any Turning Undead check.

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Spells have a number of defining characteristics that distinguish each spell from the others. Each spell description includes most or all of the following pieces of information.

The first line beneath the spell's name provides the school (and perhaps also a sub-school) that the spell belongs to. Schools provide a way of grouping together spells that have certain characteristics in common.
Conjuration (Creation/ Summoning/ Teleporting)
Illusion: Saving Throws and Illusions (Disbelief): Creatures encountering an illusion effect usually do not receive saving throws to recognize it as illusory until they study it carefully or interact with it in some fashion. This allows them to disbelieve the illusion. If any viewer successfully disbelieves an illusion and communicates this fact to other viewers, each such viewer gains a saving throw with a +4 bonus.

Descriptors are a way of classifying spells (often from different schools) that have some common characteristic.
A spell's descriptors (if any) appear in brackets on the line identifying the school. Descriptors used for spells include cold, electricity, fear, fire, force, language-dependent, light, mind affecting and sonic.

The spells level indicates the relative power of a spell. A spell's level also indicates whether a particular spellcaster is capable of preparing and casting the spell.

Every spell has at least one type of component that the spellcaster must provide at the time of casting.
Verbal (V): To cast a spell with a verbal component, a character must be able to speak in a firm voice. If the character cannot speak, he or she can't cast such a spell. A spellcaster who has been deafened has a 20% chance to spoil any spell he or she tries to cast if that spell has a verbal component.
Somatic (S): To cast a spell with a somatic component, a character must be able to gesture freely with at least one hand. A character can't cast a spell that has a somatic component while bound, grappled, or with both hands full or occupied. If an arcane spellcaster casts a spell with a somatic component while wearing armour, the armour may bring with it an arcane spell failure chance.
Material (M): A material component is an object or a small amount of some substance that the caster must have on hand. It is expended and disappears when the spell is cast. Preparing these materials is a free action. The purchase DCs for expensive material components are included in the spell descriptions; if no value is given, assume a purchase cost of 5.
Focus (F): A focus is similar to a material component, except that it is not expended when the spell is cast.
Divine Focus (DF): Some divine spells require the caster to provide a divine focus. Unless some other focus is specified in the spell description this is a holy symbol of the characters.
Sometimes the Components entry of a spell description contains the entry "M/DF". This indicates a spell that can be cast as either an arcane spell or a divine spell—an arcane caster casting it needs the specified material component, while a divine caster needs to provide a divine focus.

This entry tells how much time is needed to complete the casting of a spell once it is begun.
Casting a spell with a casting time of 1 action is an attack action. The spell takes effect immediately.
Casting a spell with a casting time of 1 full round is a full-round action. A character can take a 2m step before, during, or after casting, but you cannot otherwise move. The spell takes effect at the beginning of that character's turn in the round after he or she began to cast it. The character then acts normally after the casting is completed.
A spell that takes 1 minute to cast comes into effect just before the character's turn 1 minute later (the character spends each of those 10 rounds casting as a full-round action).
When a character begins a spell that takes 1 full round or longer to cast, he or she must continue the invocations, gestures, and/or concentration from one round to just before his or her turn in the next round (at least). If the character loses concentration after starting the casting and before it is complete, the spell is lost (see the Concentration skill).
A character retains his or her Dexterity bonus to Defence while casting a spell.

Attacks of Opportunity: Generally, if a character attempts to cast a spell, he or she provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening enemies. Table: Spell Actions in Combat specifies whether a certain activity provokes attacks of opportunity (AoO). If a character takes damage from an attack of opportunity, he or she must make a Concentration check or lose the spell he or she was trying to cast.

Casting on the Defensive: A character may attempt to cast a spell while on the defensive. This option means casting the spell while paying attention to threats and avoiding blows. In this case, the character are no more vulnerable to attack than he or she would be if the character was just standing there, so casting while on the defensive does not provoke an attack of opportunity. It does, however, require a Concentration check (DC 15 + spell level) to pull off. Failure means the spell is lost..

Table: Spell Actions in Combat
Standard Actions   AoO?
Activate a ring, rod, staff, wand, or wondrous item   No
Cast a spell (standard action casting time)   Yes
Concentrate to maintain an active spell or power   No
Dismiss a spell or power   No
Drink a potion   Yes
Manifest a power (standard action manifestation time)   Yes
Read a scroll   Yes
Turn or rebuke creature   No
Use spell-like ability   Yes
Use supernatural ability   No
Use extraordinary ability   No
Use touch spell on self   No
Move Actions   AoO?
Direct or redirect an active spell or power   No
Full-Round Actions   AoO?
Cast a spell (full-round action casting time)   Yes
Manifest a power    
 (full-round action  manifestation time)   Yes
Use touch spell on up to six friends   Yes
Free Actions   AoO?
Cease concentration on a spell or power   No
Prepare spell components to cast a spell   No
Make Spellcraft check on counter spell attempt   No

A spell's range indicates how far from the caster it can reach—the maximum distance from the caster that the spell's effect can occur, as well as the maximum distance at which the caster can designate the spell's point of origin. If any portion of the spell's area would extend beyond the range, that area is wasted.
A spell's range usually falls into one of the following categories.
Personal: The spell affects only the caster.
Touch: The caster must touch a creature or object to affect it. To use a touch spell, the caster casts the spell and then touches the subject, either in the same round or any time later. In the same round that the character casts the spell, he or she may also touch (or attempt to touch) the target. The caster may take his or her move before casting the spell, after touching the target, or between casting the spell and touching the target. A character can automatically touch one friend or use the spell on his or herself, but to touch an opponent, the character must succeed on an attack.
Touch Attacks: Since the character only needs to touch the enemy, he or she makes a touch attack instead of a regular attack. Touching an opponent with a touch spell is considered to be an armed attack and therefore does not provoke attacks of opportunity when it is discharged on an armed opponent. However, the act of casting a spell does provoke attacks of opportunity.
Touch attacks come in two types: melee touch attacks (for touches made with the character's hand) and ranged touch attacks (for touches made with projectile and ray effects). The caster can score critical hits with either type of attack. The opponent's Defence against a touch attack does not include any equipment bonus or natural armour bonus. The opponent's size modifier and Dexterity modifier both apply normally.
Holding the Charge: The caster does not have to touch the target immediately after casting a touch spell. Instead, he or she can "hold the charge," waiting to discharge the spell at a later time. If the character touches anything with his or her hand while holding a charge, the spell discharges. Otherwise, the character can make touch attacks round after round, until he or she succeeds (and thus discharge the spell). A character can touch one friend (or his or herself) as an attack action or up to six friends as a full-round action. If the character casts another spell, the touch spell dissipates.

Close: The spell reaches up to 6m away from the caster. The maximum range increases by 2m for every two full spell casting class levels.
Medium: The spell reaches up to 100m + 4m per class level.
Long: The spell reaches up to 150m + 15m per class level.
Range Expressed in meters: Some spells have no standard range category, just a range expressed in a unit of measurement (usually meters).

Some spells have a specific target or targets. A caster uses these spells directly on creatures or objects, as defined by the spell itself. The caster must be able to see or touch the target, and must specifically choose that target.  The caster does not have to select his or her target until he or she finishes casting the spell.
If the character casts a targeted spell on the wrong sort of target the spell has no effect.
If the target of a spell is the caster ("Target: You"), the caster does not receive a saving throw, and spell resistance does not apply.
Subject: The descriptive text of spells makes a distinction between "target" and "subject." The target of a spell is the creature(s) or object(s) it is directed against. A target becomes a subject if it fails a saving throw against the spell and is thus affected by the magic.

Some spells create or summon things rather than affecting things that are already present. The caster must designate the location where these things are to appear, either by seeing it or defining it. Range determines how far away an effect can appear, but if the effect is mobile it can move regardless of the spell's range.
Ray: Some effects are rays. The caster aims a ray as if using a ranged weapon, though typically the character makes a ranged touch attack rather than a normal ranged attack. As with a ranged weapon, the character can fire into the dark or at an invisible creature and hope to hit something. A character doesn't have to see the creature he or she is trying to hit, as with a targeted spell. Intervening creatures and obstacles, however, can block the caster's line of sight or provide cover for the creature being aimed at.
If a ray has duration, it's the duration of the effect that the ray causes, not the length of time the ray itself persists.
Spread: Some effects, notably clouds and fogs, spread out from a point of origin to a distance given in the spell description. The effect can extend around corners and into areas the caster can't see. Figure distance by actual distance travelled, taking into account turns the spell effect takes. The caster must designate the point of origin, but need not have line of effect (see below) to all portions of the effect.

Some spells affect an area. The caster selects where the spell starts, but otherwise doesn't control which creatures or objects the spell affects. Sometimes a spell describes a specially defined area, but usually an area falls into one of the following categories.
Burst: As with an effect, the caster selects the spell or power's point of origin. The spell or power bursts out from this point, affecting whatever it catches in its area.
A burst spell has a radius that indicates how far from the point of origin the spell's effect extends.
Cone: A cone shoots away from the caster in the direction he or she designates. A cone starts in a square adjacent to the caster and widens out as it goes. A cone's width at a given distance from you equals that distance. Its far end is as wide as the effect is long.
Creatures: Some spells affect creatures directly (as a spell with a target does), but they affect creatures in an area of some kind rather than individual creatures the caster selects. The area might be a burst, a cone, or some other shape.
Many spells affect "living creatures," which means all creatures other than constructs and undead.
Cylinder: As with a burst, the caster selects the spell's point of origin. This point is the centre of a horizontal circle, and the spell shoots down from the circle, filling a cylinder.
Emanation: Some spells have an area like a burst except that the effect continues to radiate from the point of origin for the duration of the spell.
Quarter-Circle: Some spells have a quarter-circle-shaped area. Like a cone, the effect starts in a square adjacent to the caster and widens out as it goes.
Spread: Some spells spread out like a burst but can turn corners. The caster selects the point of origin, and the spell spreads out a given distance in all directions. Figure distance by actual distance travelled, taking into account turns the spell effect takes.
Other: A spell or power can have a unique area, as defined in its description.
(S): If an Area or Effect entry ends with "(S)" (standing for "shapeable"), the caster can shape the spell. A shaped effect or area can have no dimension smaller than 4m.

Line of Effect: A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A solid barrier cancels a line of effect. It's like line of sight for ranged weapons, except it's not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.
A caster must have a clear line of effect to any target that he or she uses a spell on, or to any space in which he or she wishes to create an effect. The caster must have a clear line of effect to the point of origin of any spell he or she casts or power he or she manifests. For bursts, cones, cylinders, and emanation spells, the spell only affects areas, creatures, or objects to which it has line of effect from its origin (a burst's point, a cone's starting point, a cylinder's circle, or an emanation spell's point of origin).
A hole of at least 1 square foot is sufficient to allow a line of effect through an otherwise solid barrier. If any given 2m length of barrier contains such an opening, that 2m length is not considered a barrier for purposes of a spell's line of effect (though the rest of the barrier still counts as normal).
Directing or Redirecting Effects: Some spells allow the caster to redirect the effect to new targets or areas after casting the spell. Redirecting a spell requires a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. It also doesn't require concentration.

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The Duration entry of a spell description tells how long the effect of the spell lasts.
Timed Durations: Some durations are measured in rounds, minutes, hours, or some other increment. When the time is up, the magical energy goes away and the spell ends. If a spell's duration is variable, the GM rolls it secretly.
Instantaneous: The spell energy comes and goes the instant the spell is cast, though the consequences of the spell might be long-lasting.
Permanent: The effect remains indefinitely, but is sustained by lingering magical energy. If the energy goes away, so does the effect.
Concentration: The spell or power lasts as long as the caster concentrates on it, possibly up to a specified maximum amount of time. Concentrating to maintain a spell is an attack action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Anything that could break the character's concentration when casting a spell can also break his or her concentration while maintaining one, causing the spell to be ruined (see Concentration, below). A character can't cast a spell while concentrating on another one.
Sometimes a spell lasts for a short time after the character ceases concentrating. In these cases, the spell keeps going for the stated length of time after the character stops concentrating.
Subjects, Effects, and Areas: If a spell affects creatures directly, the result travels with the subjects for the spell's duration. If the spell creates an effect, the effect lasts for the duration. The effect might move or remain still. Such an effect can be destroyed prior to the end of its duration. If the spell affects an area, the spell stays with that area for the spell's duration. Creatures become subject to the spell when they enter the area and are no longer subject to it when they leave.
Discharge: A few spells last for a set duration or until triggered or discharged. The spell remains in place until the triggering condition is met (at which point it takes effect) or the maximum duration is reached (at which point it dissipates, with no effect).
(D): If the Duration entry ends with "(D)" (standing for "dismissible"), the caster can dismiss the spell at will. The caster must be within range of the effect of the spell to dismiss it. Dismissing a spell is an attack action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. A spell that depends on concentration is dismissible by its very nature, and dismissing it does not require an action (since all the caster has to do to end the spell is to stop concentrating).

Most harmful spells allow an affected creature to make a saving throw to avoid some or all of the effect. The Saving Throw entry in a spell description defines which type of saving throw the spell allows and describes how saving throws against the spell work.
Negates: This term means the spell has no effect on a creature that makes a successful saving throw.
Partial: The spell causes an effect on its subject. A successful saving throw means that some lesser effect occurs.
Half: The spell deals damage, and a successful saving throw halves the damage taken (round down).
None: No saving throw is allowed.
Disbelief: A saving throw is not allowed purely on the basis of encountering the spell. Rather, the creature gets a saving throw only after interacting with or carefully studying the spell. A successful save lets the subject ignore the effect.
(Object): The spell can be cast on objects, which receive saving throws only if they are magical in nature, or if they are attended (held, worn, or grasped) by a creature resisting the spell, in which case the object gets the creature's saving throw bonus unless its own bonus is greater. (This notation does not mean that a spell can only be cast on objects. Some spells of this sort can be cast on creatures or objects.)
(Harmless): The spell is usually beneficial, not harmful, but a targeted creature can attempt a saving throw if it wishes.
Saving Throw Difficulty Class: A saving throw against a spell has a DC of 10 + the level of the spell + the spellcaster's bonus for the relevant ability (see spell casting advanced class for details).
Succeeding at a Saving Throw: A creature that successfully saves against a spell without obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature's saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell the caster senses that the spell has failed. The caster does not sense when creatures succeed at saving throws against effect and area spells.
Voluntarily Giving up a Saving Throw: A creature can voluntarily forego a saving throw and willingly accept a spell's result. Even a character with a special resistance to magic can suppress this resistance if he or she wants to.
Items Surviving after a Saving Throw: Unless the descriptive text for the spell specifies otherwise, all items carried and worn are assumed to survive a magical attack.
If an item is not carried or worn and is not magical, it does not get a saving throw. It is simply dealt the appropriate damage.

Spell resistance is a special defensive ability that protects against spells.
Each spell description includes an entry that indicates whether spell resistance applies to the spell (if so, Yes; if not, No). In general, whether spell resistance applies depends on what the spell does:
Targeted Spell: If the spell is targeted at a creature, spell resistance applies. If the spell targets multiple specific creatures, spell resistance applies to those individuals that have it.
Area Spell: If the target is within the area of a spell, its spell resistance applies. The spell resistance protects the resistant creature without affecting the spell itself.
Effect Spell: Most effect spells summon or create something and are not subject to spell resistance. Effect spells that affect a creature more or less directly are sometimes subject to spell resistance.
Level Check: If a spell is being resisted by a creature with spell resistance, the caster must make a level check (1d20 + caster level) and get a result at least equal to the creature's spell resistance for the spell to affect that creature. If the caster fails the check, the spell doesn't affect the defender. The defender's spell resistance is like a Defence score against magical attacks.
(Harmless) and (Object): These terms mean the same thing in a spell resistance entry as they do for saving throws. A creature with spell resistance must voluntarily drop the resistance in order to receive the effects of a spell noted as harmless without the level check described above. Doing so is an attack action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Once a creature lowers its resistance, it remains down until the creature's next turn, at the beginning of which it automatically returns. A creature's spell resistance never interferes with its own spells, powers, items, or abilities.
Only spells and spell-like abilities are subject to spell resistance. Extraordinary and supernatural abilities (including enhancement bonuses on magic weapons) are not. A creature can have some abilities that are subject to spell resistance and others that are not.
Spell resistance does not stack with power resistance, and vice versa.

A spell's descriptive text explains how the spell works or what it does and includes necessary information such as the spell's material component.

It is up to the magic user what casting level they cast any spell at. The only exception to this is spells that have no real caster level requirements, like duration or range or damage per level. These spells have a minimum caster level equal to:
0 level: 1
1st level: 2
2nd level: 3
Each spell level there after is equal to spell level plus ½ the spell level (rounded down). Thus a 3rd level spell has a minimum caster level equal to 3 + 1.5(1 rounded down) or 4.

Spells and Critical Hits: A spell that requires an attack roll can score a critical hit/ miss. A spell attack that requires no attack roll cannot score a critical hit/ miss.

Distracting Spell casters and Psionic Characters: A character can ready an attack against a character or creature with the trigger "if he or she starts casting a spell or manifesting a power." If the attack succeeds in damaging the character or otherwise distracting him or her, he or she may lose the Spell ability he or she was trying to use (as determined by his or her Concentration check result).
Readying a Counter spell: A character may ready a counter spell against a spellcaster (often with the trigger "if he or she starts casting a spell"). In this case, when the spellcaster starts a spell, the character gets a chance to identify it with a Spellcraft check (DC 15 + spell level). If the character does, and if he or she can cast that same spell (are able to cast it and have it prepared), the character can cast the spell as a counter spell and automatically ruin the other spellcaster's spell.
If a caster ever tries to cast a spell in conditions where the characteristics of the spell (range, area, and so forth) cannot be made to conform, the effort fails and the spell is wasted.
Spells also fail if the caster's concentration is broken. All spells might fail if the character is wearing armour while casting a spell that has a somatic component.

Spells involve the direct manipulation of mystic energies. These manipulations require natural talent and long study.

Magical Writings
To decipher a magical writing, a character must make a successful Spell Craft check (DC 20 + the spell's level). If the check fails, the character cannot attempt to read that particular spell until the next day. A read magic spell automatically deciphers a magical writing without a skill check. If the person who created the magical writing is on hand to help the reader, success is also automatic.
Once a character deciphers a particular magical writing, he or she does not need to decipher it again. Deciphering a magical writing allows the reader to identify the spell and gives some idea of its effects (as explained in the spell description). If the magical writing was a scroll and the reader can cast spells from that school, he or she can attempt to use the scroll.

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Qi Chin

After skimming through it, it looks pretty much like standard D20 spellcasting with a few house rules to change it slightly. The terms and classifications are all from D&D.
So I don't quite get what you are trying to accomplish with this, except to modify the casting system to include more checks and to increase the overall difficulty of spellcasting (if I got that right).

There once was a man in Schenectady
Who went to get a vasectomy.
He mistook on a stroll
The part for the whole,
And committed the crime of synecdoche.


Thank you for your input Qi,

And yes you are right, it is based on the standard D&D spell system. Thus the spells are right out of the SRD and the meanings etc are the same. I like that spell system and thus it is used by me for my system.

Though I think that
1. removing the class access to spells, using feats to access the spells only
2. unlimited spell casting, based on a failure table that can cause death
3. removal of caster level dependant on class level, as the character selects the caster level no matter their level
4. seperation of schools into seperate areas, thus you need to access them using feats
5. assign a damage threashold to a character to off set a failure
6. using a combined WIS & INT as the base, as this stops max/ mins better. As a creatures mind is the base.

means that it is not just some house rule variation. It has become a seperate system.

The spell is cast and the power of that spell is assessed as a DC, like any other skill, and then the character chacks against that spell. So yes one extra roll is required for that check.

If you fail then you look at the failure table for the difference between your roll and the DC, and damage is assigned.

Not that much more difficult really, but yes it is not a "the spell works everytime!" system like D&D where no check is required.
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  This is a pretty neat concept. I wonder if Will or Fort Saves are not more appropriate for the casting rolls though?
  Also, you might want to ease up on the damage potential of casting a spell. I am not a d20 expert, or even very knowledgeable, so I'll ask this question not knowing what the answer is (especially in your system): How does a 18th level fighter with approptiate weapons for his level compare in the amount of damage he can dish out under optimal (not necesarily optimized, but a good build) conditions to the meteor swarm spell?
  Its a total guess, but I bet they are pretty similar. But in the old school rules a level 18 caster could only do it once, but the fighter can do it every turn. Of course your system already fixes that to some degree, but depending on how much damage is done to the caster, it may not be much better, or it might even be, potentially worse...
  Just my thoughts. I know it is hard to balance casters, But in LoL I pretty much removed all limits on spell casting with no ill effects in actual play. There have been situations where casters totally saved the day and there have been times where casters were more trouble then they were worth. Good luck on your system, sounds like you know what you want and are headed towards it full sream ahead.
Dave M
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I am trying to have it as a skills based system, thus the thats the base not a save. The saves then leads to the class based system again as some classes will have better saves. Where as skills and feats means everyone has equal access on the whole.

The system is for all genres, thus in the end there is no cash limit per level like D&D. It is impossible to have it that way as a player could never have a APeS (mech) or space craft let alone a car. So the D&D level by level comparison does not work, also the magic caster could be a 18th fighter type. Its feat driven to gain access to the levels of the spells not class based.

Thanks for the input with your thoughts
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