For a while, I've been toying around with what I'd do to get rid of the Vancian system. I tried UA's spell point system out two years ago. I liked it, but it has some issues. I tried making my own spell point system, but it turned out needlessly compelx. I'm running a wizard in a game with recharge magic right now. It's fun, but I don't think it's the route I want to go with my future games. Then I had an idea to try to get the "best of both worlds" (hopefully
This system will use the framework of the Unearthed Arcana's Spell Points system
, with the following changes:Two totals
This is the biggest change. First, calculate your total SP for each class, including bonus spell points from a high ability score. Divide this number by two. Half, round up goes into one total, and the other half (round down) goes into the second total. I'm not sure what I want to call these two pools yet, but I'm thinking something along the lines of Spell Points (SP) for the first pool and Concentration Points (CP) for the second half.
The idea is that your SP represent your immediate casting power, similar to SP in the old system. CP represent more of your inner strength; something you tap into when you really need it.
In game terms, when you cast a spell, you first deduct from your SP total. If you run out of SP, you can continue casting, deducting from your CP total. Note that it is possible to split a cost between both totals (ex: If you cast a 5th level spell for 9 SP, but you only have 3 SP remaining, you would spend 3 SP, and the remaining 6 comes from your CP total).
This difference matters for how you regain your SP and CP. SP come back naturally after one hour. You can speed this up by meditating/praying/studying for ten uninterrupted minutes. Your CP, however, will only come back after eight hours of uninterrupted rest.Free augmentation
Direct damage spells scale with level for free. You do not have to pay extra spell points to increase the damage.Free zero level spells
Zero level spells are always free, rather than a set amount being free for a day.Vitalizing variant
Similar to the UA version, this variant introduces fatigue from casting too much. Spending SP works as normal, without taxing the caster too much. Spending CP is much more strenuous. Anytime a caster draws from his CP, he becomes fatigued, although doing so a second time will not automatically increase the fatigue to exhaustion. Anytime a caster casts a spell that reduces his CP below half it's total, he becomes exhausted. These statuses can be lessened or removed by normal means (such as Lesser Restoration), but they will return again if the caster casts another spell that draws from his CP.
The fatigue and exhuastion take effect immediately after the spell is cast. So, for example, if a cleric who is already fatigued casts Lesser Restoration on himself while drawing from his CP, the spell will remove his fatigue, and then he will become fatigued again
I haven't had a chance to play-test this yet. It's just an idea I've had bouncing around for about a week that I wanted to commit to writing.
I'm hoping the two totals will be a good balance of blending a per-encounter system with a per-day system. I wanted to keep some level of resource management there, but I also like the idea of the caster getting some of their juice back after some time.
I was torn how to handle the auto-augmenting of direct damage spells. I see why it was included in the first place (Why cast a 9d6 Cone of Cold for 9 SP when you can cast a 9d6 Fireball for 5?), but this penalized an already weak form of magic. Suddenly, you're spending double the SP of a given spell, when you could cast a better
spell for half the cost to more effect! So, I'm hoping I've picked the lesser of two evils.