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View Full Version : Feat: Spell Expertise



DrAwkward
04-12-2008, 02:17 PM
I've long thought that a burning hands from an 18th level caster should be better somehow that one from a 5th level caster. They both dish out 5d4, and the only noticable difference (besides bypassing SR) is that the 18th level caster probably has a higher casting stat and thus a higher DC. Thus, I've come up with...


Feat: Spell Expertise (Metamagic)
Pre: Caster Level 5, any other metamagic feat.
Benefit:
You may reduce your caster level by 4 to increase the save DC by 1.
You may not apply Spell Expertise if it would reduce your caster level to less than the minimum level required to cast the spell.

Spell Expertise adds no spell levels. You may apply this metamagic feat to a single spell up to five times (-20 caster levels, +5 DC).

I can't really tell if it's overpowered or not. What do y'all think?

Digital Arcanist
04-12-2008, 09:48 PM
Mechanically, it seems like a nice feat for really high casters to take but it makes no sense in a game world. The other feats allow you to pump up a spell or alter the way you cast it which can be explained away as learning a new way to cast a spell. Do you understand what I'm saying?:wacko:

tesral
04-12-2008, 10:28 PM
I have to agree with DA, it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Why lower the caster level? Why is that necessary to get the DC +1. You are already expending a feat. Something Magicians get far too few of. One feat gives you a +4 to intuitive for example. I considfer that a greater advantage than a mere +1 DC.

Simplify. The feat gives you a +1 to all your spell DCs.

Frankly the feat system benefits fighters and really no one else.

DrAwkward
04-13-2008, 11:08 AM
+1 to spells DCs is a "big deal" as game mechanics go, and it should have a cost or limitation associated with it.

"+1 to all DCs" is more powerful than Spell Focus, thus is innapropriate.

Don't think of it as "reducing the caster level" -- think of it as "applying your caster levels to get a different benefit". You normally use your caster levels to increase the numerical effects (usually up to a cap) and now you have the option to instead use your caster levels to increase the DC.

Unless you are dealing with SR, reducing the caster level isn't all that much of a cost anyway.

Digital Arcanist
04-13-2008, 12:21 PM
I would instead make use of the Craft skill and have mages take Craft: Spell and make them craft new spells that do the same thing as your feat but require hard-to-find or expensive materials. This way a mage doesn't have to waste a a rarely gained feat slot as Tesral pointed out. By adjusting the DC for the craft check you can manage the amount of time a player will spend trying to craft a spell and perhaps couple this skill with the Profession skill. Maybe something like Profession: Arcane Teacher and the Craft: Spells skills can amalgamate into the impetus to role-play.

tesral
04-13-2008, 09:52 PM
+1 to spells DCs is a "big deal" as game mechanics go, and it should have a cost or limitation associated with it.

"+1 to all DCs" is more powerful than Spell Focus, thus is innapropriate.

Don't think of it as "reducing the caster level" -- think of it as "applying your caster levels to get a different benefit". You normally use your caster levels to increase the numerical effects (usually up to a cap) and now you have the option to instead use your caster levels to increase the DC.

Unless you are dealing with SR, reducing the caster level isn't all that much of a cost anyway.

However when casters get one feat every 3 levels, and the sword slingers are getting one every time they fart, I don't consider it too much to give. A feat means much more to a caster than to a warrior.

DrAwkward
04-14-2008, 09:40 AM
However when casters get one feat every 3 levels, and the sword slingers are getting one every time they fart, I don't consider it too much to give. A feat means much more to a caster than to a warrior.

Fighters get bonus feats, but that is *all* they get, as far as special abilities. It would be wrong to overpower caster feats compared to fighter feats just because they get more.

The feat I had in mind was intended to snap into place as one of the wizard bonus feats, and my intent is to balance the feat on par with the rest of the feats on that list.

DrAwkward
04-14-2008, 09:49 AM
I would instead make use of the Craft skill and have mages take Craft: Spell and make them craft new spells that do the same thing as your feat but require hard-to-find or expensive materials. This way a mage doesn't have to waste a a rarely gained feat slot as Tesral pointed out. By adjusting the DC for the craft check you can manage the amount of time a player will spend trying to craft a spell and perhaps couple this skill with the Profession skill. Maybe something like Profession: Arcane Teacher and the Craft: Spells skills can amalgamate into the impetus to role-play.

Odd that you would suggest a new skill. Skill points are rarer than feats for most casters.

While spellcraft might be appropriate for what you are suggesting, I really don't feel like burdening the DM with all that extra work.

ignimbrite
04-16-2008, 12:01 PM
how about thinking about the proposed feat like this: you concentrate on making the spell difficult to avoid but at the expense of bypassing SR and dealing more damage. consider concetrating on a spell like a commodity, if you spend time crafting the spell to be harder to dodge then you are taking away from its ability to do damage because you didn't concentrate on that portion of the spell ...

sound ok?