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Draining magic...

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Something I have been working on for awhile is modifying some mechanics in regards to magic - be it arcane, divine, or (for those of you that lump it all in one) psionics.

The Inspiration: Something that has always resonated with me in regards to magic, is that it is taxing in some fashion; that the human or demi-human body isn't truly capable of constantly handling the energies being channeled through or manipulated by the individual. Shadowrun had a nice drain mechanic to simulate that sort of effect. And I always thought that it would be nice to see in a more traditional fantasy setting. I didn't really put anymore thought into it, until about a year ago, when my buddy started dropping Jim Butcher's Dresden Files novels in my lap. Ever since I read how physically draining magic is in the Dresdenverse, I've been working on a way to introduce something like it to fantasy.

I know many may boo and hiss this idea, and I respect that. However, I've always taken issue with the capabilities of the magic-using classes, but not so much as to create 'balance' as seen in 4E DnD.

Well, after a lot of work, I've finally hit on something for 3E/3.5E/Pathfinder that does exactly what I want, by porting in something from Star Wars Saga.

More in the my next blog...

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  1. bloodtide's Avatar
    Draining magic is always a fun idea. The trick is to not nerf mages too much. For example, leave common magic alone. A mage should be able to shoot three fireballs and not worry they will get into trouble.

    Magic drain works great for powerful and/or exotic spells. But to have a mage take like -3 Con every time they cast Magic Missie is a bit too much. And even cululative is too much, you don't want to say a mage can only cast two spells an hour, or risk a bad effect.
  2. Dytrrnikl's Avatar
    Bloodtide, I agree with you. I do not want to nerf mages or any other magic-using class to the point that no one wishes to play them, particularly since the power of higher levels is the reward for being so studious, introspective, or devout, compared to the other more physically oreinted classes. However, there does come a point at higher levels, where the physical classes just can't seem to measure up to magic-using classes.

    Here is a teaser for what I've come up with, hopefully it's an original approach, but I did away with the so many spells of each level per day format in favor of a so many spells per encounter format (I'm don't play 4E, but it did have some ideas that I thought were a novel approach).