?

Log in

No account? Create an account
D&D 3E
Quick question 
1st-Apr-2006 04:51 pm
hiding
I'm sure this has been asked a million times before, but I'm lost. The PH says arcane spell failure exists because armor hampers the character's ability to use somatic (gesture) components. If a character casts a spell using the Still Spell feat or the Illumian Naenaesh runic ability, does the chance of failure still apply?

I think it doesn't, but a friend of mine cites that crystal armor from the Arms and Equipment Guide which lowers spell failure but is bulky, hindering, and weighs twice as much as normal armor, but "conducts magical energy more easily than metal". This would suggest that it's something about metal reflecting/absorbing magical energy.
Comments 
1st-Apr-2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
Spells with no somatic comnponents (either naturally or with Still Spell) are not affected by A.S.F chance.

Arcane Spells And Armor: PHB page 56
2nd-Apr-2006 07:22 am (UTC)
3e or 3.5? I'm just asking for clarification.
2nd-Apr-2006 07:24 am (UTC)
3.5. I'd overlooked the paragraph explicitly talking about Still Spell, and the crystal armor confused me.
2nd-Apr-2006 07:30 am (UTC)
Crystal Armor is from the Arms and Equipment Manual, which is 3e. The balancing and logic problems with 3e books are innumerable.
2nd-Apr-2006 07:32 am (UTC)
Heh, super. You know, I was all about sticking with 3e way back when, and I've been proven wrong over and over. I recently bought our group a whole set of the 3.5 Core Rulebooks just so we could stop having dumb arguments.
2nd-Apr-2006 07:34 am (UTC)
A good call on your part, I feel.

I've banned all 3e books (with the exception of the Miniatures Handbook because WotC keeps sanctioning it at official conventions) and Forgotten Realms books from my games already.
2nd-Apr-2006 08:17 am (UTC)
3.5 (I only have the leatherbound edition).
2nd-Apr-2006 08:17 am (UTC)
There's a leatherbound edition?
2nd-Apr-2006 08:30 am (UTC)
Anonymous
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0786934328/sr=1-21/qid=1143966404/ref=sr_1_21/103-6073581-6975042?%5Fencoding=UTF8&s=books

That link offers that and the leather DMG for $94.50.

I mailed Wizards about if there's a Monster Manual planned but they won't say until if/when its announced on the web site.
1st-Apr-2006 10:58 pm (UTC)
I always felt that the arcane spell failure was a horibly contrived method of keeping spell casters in cloth.

I agree that they shouldn't be all up in full armor, but I don't think the rationalle they give is sufficient justification for the game mechanic.

Sort of like "chaining" a spell caster to thier spell book so as to keep them studious. It is just so artificial.
2nd-Apr-2006 12:28 am (UTC)
I have always favored a Roll-to-Cast system. I never understood why you have to roll a D20 to do EVERY OTHER GODDAMNED THING IN THE SYSTEM except spells.

As such, I use a roll-to cast system, and apply armor check penalties to somatic spells. Works like a charm.
2nd-Apr-2006 12:34 am (UTC)
How do you set difficulties though?

And do you use spellcraft skill checks?
2nd-Apr-2006 12:38 am (UTC)
Spellcraft skill (finally! it does something worthwhile!), DC is the same as the saving throw. That was the old system, worked quite well.

Now we use a variant of the system in Thieves World.
2nd-Apr-2006 12:40 am (UTC)
Can you elaborate on that?
2nd-Apr-2006 12:50 am (UTC)
I just explained it a bit below. It's actually not the Spellcraft skill, sorry.

Over time we changed the system to suit the powerlevel of the campaign, but here's the root of it:

(copied from below):

"CAST and SAVE (Core D20):
1. Magician Casts Spell.
2. Target saves
ROLL: D20 + Save Bonuses
DC: 10 + Spell Level + Caster's Modifier

ROLL to CAST:
1. Magician casts
ROLL: D20 + Spell Level + Caster Modifier
DC: 10 + Creature's Saving Throw
2. There is no step 2

There is only one change, an it is nothing but a simple reversal of Base 10 and Random D20. Additionally, according to the mechanik, it flows better with the rest of the system. Saving throws are the only time a defender ever rolls a D20 - otherwise, you roll to attack, roll to initiatie a skill, and so on. The aggressor always rolls, except in saving throws. Using this system, the only time You'll ever need to roll a D20 now is when you initiate something."


I should add that, of course armor check penalties apply to somatic caster rolls, and are doubled if the caster is not proficient with the armor
2nd-Apr-2006 12:36 am (UTC)
Do you remove saves and the possibility of spell resistance? If not, you're unfairly penalizing spellcasters in your game. They're already balanced by the inclusion of the save and SR mechanics - adding another is like making a Fighter roll a miss chance % on every hit.
2nd-Apr-2006 12:39 am (UTC)
Remove the saves, but add the enemy's saving throw bonus to the DC. Works fine. I suggest trying it sometime, as it's one less die roll (saves_ that you have to make.
2nd-Apr-2006 12:50 am (UTC)
That still nerfs spells like Scorching Ray.
2nd-Apr-2006 12:51 am (UTC)
No, because Scorching Ray does not get a save, therefore no nerfing.
2nd-Apr-2006 12:54 am (UTC)
Yes, it does. Under the default rules, he only has to make a ranged touch attack for the spell to work (plus SR check, if applicable). Under your rules, he also has to make the casting roll before he can make the RTA.

Nerf!
2nd-Apr-2006 12:56 am (UTC)
I see your point. You are right, the spell is nerfed. Suck it up, I always thought Ray spells were too cheesy anyway.
2nd-Apr-2006 02:06 am (UTC)
That's a pathetic response. "Suck it up"? WTF? That's just stupid!

Your houserule destroys an entire class of spells for casters. Ray spells are not "cheesy", they're balanced by the attack roll - which is easy against some opponents, nearly impossible against others.

It's a horrible house-rule and no one should have to suffer through it. I'm very glad I don't play in your game.
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Apr-2006 02:10 am (UTC)
I have a fine sense of humor, thank you. The prospect of ruining a game I enjoy is not something that tickles my sense of humor - that's not my flaw, it's yours.

And using the old "panties in a wad" slam is quite telling on the limits of your intelligence and creativity. Just like your feeble attempt at casting systems...
2nd-Apr-2006 02:11 am (UTC)
What is it with gamers and flame wars on message boards? Grow up and stop insulting needlessly. I'm done with you.
2nd-Apr-2006 02:08 am (UTC)
"It's a horrible house-rule and no one should have to suffer through it. I'm very glad I don't play in your game."


Hahahah. I can see your beet-red face right now. "GOD DAMN YOU!!!! Making me roll ONE MORE DIE!!! YOU ARE THE WORST GM EVARARA&Q^#*&^#$1111!2213!!"
2nd-Apr-2006 02:11 am (UTC)
Beet-red? Sure. Whatever helps you sleep at night, kid.

Your system is idiotic, and I feel sorry for the players who actually let you get away with it.
2nd-Apr-2006 02:15 am (UTC)
Dude, seriously chill out. I don't understand what your problem is. I merely suggested to someone who wasn't you an alternate system of spellcasting that doesn't apply to you that merely changes a few numbers around, remoes one die roll here, and replaces it with another die roll there - and you're attacking me? You have some serious misplaced anger that you need to deal with, and a great need for a new hobby.
2nd-Apr-2006 02:45 am (UTC)
Phas - interesting idea, but it really seems like a bit much work compared to the current state of things. I wouldn't wanna gimp Ray spells, I already did that using the "Class Defense bonus" rules from UA.

Elephant - Dude, you seriously overreact to things.
2nd-Apr-2006 02:50 am (UTC)
We've been using it for a while now, and a single die roll replacement has done wonders for the tension in the game. The players have one more die to roll, well I have a whole lot less (no saving throws for enemies!!! yay!!!) to worry about. Having to roll just one more die isn't that big of a deal.

None of my players actually use ray spells, because none of them think the cheesiness of the rays really fits their character concepts. So, without ray spells, there have been no complaints.

It is the same amount of work if you were to use the defense system. Most of my players came from Rifts and the Palladium Fantasy RPG, so they're used to rolling for offense and defense, unlike you wussy one-roll DnDers over here =)

It's not for everyone - hell, that can be said of just about any house rule andn/or feature of the D20 system, or any system that matter. But it's something to consider, and amazingly simple to implement.
2nd-Apr-2006 07:02 am (UTC)
Just a few of questions about that system:
1) Is the spell used up if not successfully cast?
2) How about spells that don't involves saves such as cures cast on allies?
3) As it's now similar to an attack role are there "critical" type bonuses for good rolls; if so how's the (crit) range for each spell figured out?


You've said rays are cheesy, fair enough, but why? More so than other touch attacks or ranged touch attacks?
2nd-Apr-2006 08:01 am (UTC)
Hmmm, good questions.

1. Depends on the situation. If the spell was resisted (saving throw bonus to DC), then yes. If not, the spell is spent only if you fail the check DC by 10 or more.
2. We played with several options, and ended up with the Relenting rule. If you relent to a spell, you apply the inverse of your save bonus (if positive) to the DC, lowering it. By relenting to the energies, you make them flow with more ease.
3. Oh yeah! We use criticals with spells the same way as with combat attacks. Standard threat range is 20, or 19-20 with Specialist School and priestly domain spells. We even have feats for improving the critical and such, and a metamagic "Keen Spell" feat too. Lots of fun =)


I'm not too fond of ranged touch attacks, but a lot of that has to do with certain issues I have with semantics within the system. I think everything would suit me better if someone took the core rulebooks, deleted all the writing, rewrote it all using the same rules, and gave all the terms more fitting names and descriptions. But that is a long discussion for another topic some day =)

Additionally, I'm an "anti-build" kind of roleplayer - meaning, players who focus more on their character's "build" than actual in-game personality development and progression bother the crap out of me. When a player enters a game I'm in with a character he's already planned out from levels 1 through 30, I always end up having a progressively declining amount of fun. I have yet to meet a "Ray Mage" that was not played as a build. YMMV, of course, heheh.
2nd-Apr-2006 08:45 am (UTC)
Thanks for that clarification.
I've only seen limited use of rays, mostly by the pseudodragon cleric I used to have in aweird game I was running-she was trying to compensate for a real dragon's breath weapon:>
2nd-Apr-2006 01:53 pm (UTC)
Question - do you tell the PCs their enemies save so they can add it to the check? Or do you figure out the DC secretly and then just tell the PC if they get the spell off or not (like I think most people do with AC)?
2nd-Apr-2006 12:37 am (UTC)
I have always favored a Roll-to-Cast system. I never understood why you have to roll a D20 to do EVERY OTHER GODDAMNED THING IN THE SYSTEM except spells.

This is because spells are a limited-use commodity in D&D and already balanced by at least one die roll whenever an opposing character is targeted.

Take a look at Rays -- they require attack rolls, but never a saving throw (when designed properly.) Imagine how the game would run if it wasn't so. Imagine the headache when your new player finds out how useful his disentigrate spell is, and casts it against the Dragon the party's fighting at night, on a rocky sea.. Let's see...

1: PC Rolls d20+Con to manage to cast the spell...
2: PC Rolls d20+cast to cast the spell.
3: PC Rolls d20+atk to hit dragon with ray
4: DM Rolls % Miss Chance
5: PC Rolls d20+cast to overcome Spell Resistance
6: DM Roll d20 + Fort for Saving Throw.
7: PC Rolls 1d6 for residual damage.

The game just doesn't play well when a single action can potentially cause six die rolls, only to have no effect.

Now, a nice Roll-to-Cast system that rolls up Rays and Concentration into the roll, and folds Spell Resistance into the saving throw, could be downright cool...
2nd-Apr-2006 12:46 am (UTC)
I dunno. There is very little systemic variation at all with a roll-to-cast system as opposed to the normal cast-and-save sytem.

CAST and SAVE:
1. Magician Casts Spell.
2. Target saves
ROLL: D20 + Save Bonuses
DC: 10 + Spell Level + Caster's Modifier

ROLL to CAST:
1. Magician casts
ROLL: D20 + Spell Level + Caster Modifier
DC: 10 + Creature's Saving Throw
2. There is no step 2

There is only one change, an it is nothing but a simple reversal of Base 10 and Random D20. Additionally, according to the mechanik, it flows better with the rest of the system. Saving throws are the only time a defender ever rolls a D20 - otherwise, you roll to attack, roll to initiatie a skill, and so on. The aggressor always rolls, except in saving throws. Using this system, the only time You'll ever need to roll a D20 now is when you initiate something.
2nd-Apr-2006 12:55 am (UTC)
I was just looking at the Truename stuff out of the new Tome of Magic, which uses a roll-to-cast system in place of the limited-use aspect (which I think I like, as it does save you the headache of having to remember how many spells you've cast today, or within the past 8-hours when you're attacked at night). It at least moves the concentration stuff into the roll.

You could say that Spell Resistance doesn't need to be folded into the roll, because it isn't always (or even that commonly depending on your game) a factor. Like is it that bad if once a session the player has to roll an extra check to overcome spell resistance, just like if once a session the player has to roll to avoid a miss chance?

Of course, that doesn't answer the question of rays... of course depending on your system, spells could require that extra roll because they're that much more powerful (like the fighter rolls once to do 1d6 dmg, the wizard rolls twice to do 2d6 or 3d6 damage).

Do you have any suggestions for roll-to-cast systems? I kind of like the idea, if only because it makes magic seem more difficult and significant when you use it.
2nd-Apr-2006 12:58 am (UTC)
If you can get your hands on it, check out the D20 Thieves World Player's Handbook.

In it, you have to make casting checks, sometimes several over a series of rounds, to gather enough mana to fuel the spell. Additionally, you can take nonlethal damage. It's pretty detailed, actually, and not for the feint of heart =)
2nd-Apr-2006 01:42 am (UTC)
Do you have any suggestions for roll-to-cast systems?

Of COURSE I do. :) In no particular order:

Mindcraft (shameless shilling) requires a skill roll for virtually every power used.

Green Ronin has a distinct system in their Psychic's Handbook, although as I understand it Green Ronin and the various other "Psionic" skill and feat systems are akin to Star Wars, having each power be a seperate skill.

The 3rd edition Psionics Handbook from Wizards of the Coast (both versions) requires a roll to cast, but the roll isn't the limiting factor, but instead "power Points." (Both GR's book and my own impose fatigue as a means of balance.)

The Soverign Stone magic system, as I understand it, is entrely roll-balanced, with many spells requiring several rounds of rolls to work.

I haven't studied it thoroughly, but we should probably include the "magic" system (under a more generic "Abilities" chapter) from BESM d20. Aside from my own, btw, this one gets my "Please look" call -- Guardians of Order are OpenDie friendly, and opened virtually all of their rules in a Free-as-in-Beer SRD.

Soverign Stone is probably the most compatible "magic" system of the above, but unfortunately it's not really compatible with stock D&D, as the spells don't match up.


Were I to write a roll-to-cast system, I'd probably make the single check a DC of 10 + the spell's level * 3, and remove the Concentration Skill entirely for a simple "Spellcasting Bonus." Anything that would require a Concentration Roll would apply a 1-to-1 penalty to a Casting check, -10 if it's a DC (i.e., Casting Defensively is -5).

Any spell could be cast over multiple actions with a -5 penalty for holding the casting. Spells that already have a casting time of more than one action would have their DCs increased by 5 per standard action that needs to be dedicated to the spell. (i.e., a one-minute casting time would have its DC increased by +50).

2nd-Apr-2006 02:18 am (UTC)
Doesn't True20 also use a roll-to-cast mechanic?

The Soverign Stone syste, is pretty good, agreed, and damn simple once you get the hang of it.
2nd-Apr-2006 06:13 pm (UTC)
I have no idea. I haven't looked terribly close at it.
2nd-Apr-2006 07:26 am (UTC)
Ugh. Completely off-topic, how did BESM end up in d20 instead of GURPS format?
2nd-Apr-2006 06:12 pm (UTC)
Ugh. Completely off-topic, how did BESM end up in d20 instead of GURPS format?

GURPS is a closed-copyright, incompatible, not amazingly-well-known game.

BESM is still avaliable in its own non-d20 version, and if Steve Jackson were to step up to the plate and issue a GURPS analog to the SRD (either under the OGL or under their own custom license), then we'd have a fair analog.

This page was loaded Aug 22nd 2017, 8:34 pm GMT.