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D&D 3E
Overall magical dilema 
31st-Oct-2007 12:26 am
So in my low magic game world, I'm going to create a situation where the way magic is cast is changed. The problem is I have a Divine caster, a sorceror, and a wizard in the party.

Here is what I want to happen:

Divine casters have 2 groups
group 1 - priests of the animal pantheon I have set up but no one understands yet
group 2 - Druids and spirit shamans, who share a similar mindset and casting methods
This will achieve my ends and works fine.

Arcane is more difficult. I have no bards, and I have rangers and paladins using non-magic varietns, so that's no problem...

What I want is to have all arcane casters make a pact with an elemental spirit (read: elemental) which will bind itself to the caster, allowing the caster to cast spells while enhancing it's ends through those spells (for a water elemental, a caster who creates water is doing a good thing.

Now this will make sorcerer's as such pretty much obsolete.. if you are born with it, you don't have to make the pact. I have created a workaround in that by slowly turning that character into a Tiefling (long story). A Tiefling, being an entity charged by the infernal powers, could have inborn magic without a problem and he will be largely unnaffected.

For other arcane casters this creates a small problem. If they are infused with an elemental spirit, do they still need a spellbook? If they don't need a spellbook, why would you choose a wizard instead of a sorcerer, or more to the point how would that balance with the rules? And I still want to have banned spells for each element, but not all spells are divided up by element.... So what am I to do?

1. Divide all spells up into the four elements. Since this other character is the "last sorcerer", it won't matter if it's out of balance. Wizards cast spells one level higher in their favored element, even level to adjacent elements, and are banned from casting the opposing element. They learn spells at the same rate a Wizard writes them in their spellbook. This gives more variety, but preserves the balance of casting/day.
2. How do I divide up the schools? Has anyone already done this and can send it to me/post a link?
31st-Oct-2007 04:58 am (UTC)
Is this a change for a currently running game (ie, you already have a Divine caster, a Sorc, and a Wizard, but their magic is about to be screwed up), or are you designing a new campaign?

How okay are your players with having things really change up on them (just so we know)?

And what kind of Divine caster is it? ;p
31st-Oct-2007 01:25 pm (UTC)
It is a spirit shaman currently. They have access to the Druid spell list.
31st-Oct-2007 08:06 am (UTC)
The Wu Jen is already an arcane caster with elementally divided spells and a spellbook, you could simply swap the wizard for wu jen. And they're loaded with a boatload of flavor.
31st-Oct-2007 01:25 pm (UTC)
Brilliant! I didn't even consider that!

Then If I want to take current spells, I can just choose elements and pepper them in! Thank you!
31st-Oct-2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
The Wu Jen list is pretty broad and they get a number of spells unique to their class. Even more in Complete Mage.
31st-Oct-2007 10:40 am (UTC)
Your arcane caster sounds a lot like the Sha'ir, originally from Al-Kadim, but updated to 3e in the Dragon Compendium.

Basically, casters ask their bonded elemental to go off to the elemental planes and bring them back a spell. This makes casting slower, but it also increases their flexibility.

Might be worth looking at.
31st-Oct-2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
I remember those guys!!! I always really liked the concept, but the gameplay reality led to a lot of waiting around (in my head). Neat rules however!
31st-Oct-2007 01:09 pm (UTC)
I may have missed something in your description, but I don't see anything in it that requires a change from the RAW. Divine casters get their spells from some mystical source, and some spells aren't available to them. Arcane (wizard) spellcasters have access to magic (using all the regular rules) because they have bound themselves to an elemental. It wasn't clear whether this meant there'd be an elemental following the wizard around handing him his spells, which can cause problems, but if it's mostly a roleplaying flavor kind of thing, that doesn't require a change in the mechanics. And sorcerors work the same way as always, except instead of getting their magic due to an infusion of draconic ancestry, it's elemental.
31st-Oct-2007 01:27 pm (UTC)
You are right, that for the most part it is not a mechanics thing.... but I don't want my spanking new storm caster surprising me with a dig spell or fists of stone or something. I may be able to adapt wu-jen for my purposes, but you are right, most of it was flavor (half of it my thinking out loud lol).
31st-Oct-2007 11:50 pm (UTC)
Have you thought of saying "The only arcane casters in this world are wu jen" ? (from the Complete Arcane--basically, wizards with an elemental theme from the "oriental adventures" flavor of D&D.)
1st-Nov-2007 12:02 am (UTC)
Good for next time, but for now I have to adapt... I think I can force the wizard into wu-jen without any problems.. and the sorceror is the only sorceror ever to come into the world, and will be the last... Kinda poetic.
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