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D&D 3E
multiple spell progression 
14th-Mar-2006 08:41 am
The Problem: So I designed this alchemist class to be a new class in my game. Great. The only thing you need to know is that they use arcane spells just like wizards, and they follow the bard spell progression since they have other abilities. So my Alchemist wants to branch out into wizardry. How do I work his spell progression

The Reasoning: In this campaign wizard magic and alchemist magic is exactly the same, just different amounts. So why should an alchemist who wants to expand their wizard training have to start again at level 1? However, you don't want to make them TOO powerful or what's the point in being a wizard

My solution: Examine the spell chart for the level the alchemist is, and take the greatest spell level, say 3. Take and look on the wizard chart and find the first time a wizard gets a corresponding level of that type, or "5" in the example above. "Set" the alchemist at that level. DO NOT retroactively give the alchem/wiz any spells. When the alchem wizard gains a level, add the spells they would get as if they had rose to the next level of wizard, in the above example 1 2nd 1 3rd (I believe)

Is this balanced? Please take a look at the charts and let me know.

edit: The alchemist uses spells chosen from the sorc/wiz list, but uses the bard spell progression to balance out their other abilities.
14th-Mar-2006 04:15 pm (UTC)
I *really* hate the bard spell progression. I've yet to see a mid-level or high-level bard that is on par, powerwise, with other builds. Spells are too weak, bardic music doesn't make up for it, etc.

I'd rather see the bard have a full Sorceror progression, and be limited in other ways -- all spells have verbal components. Somatic components require an instrument (wind instruments would count for both verbal and somatic). And have a varied spell list.

Ignoring that, your PC is much better off taking a PrC, than taking wizard levels. Take alook at some of the Bard classes in Complete Arcane. There is one that gives the character 9th level spells (Sublime Chord, I think, but it could be Seeker of the Song).
Making a Alchemist prestige class, based on one of these classes would be better, than having him split off to Wizard.

(Mid career changes is one of those things that d20 does very poorly. it sucks, but that's the system)
14th-Mar-2006 04:23 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, I wasn't very clear

My alchemist used the bard as a BASE for the class, however everything else about an alchemist was modified.

The alchemist's spell progression follows a bard's chart, but they use the sorc/wiz spell list, and must still memorize spells, which they cast like a wizard. (they get less spells because they have other abilities to make up for it)
14th-Mar-2006 05:15 pm (UTC)
I realized that.

My suggestion was to make another class, a Prestige class, based on the Sublime Chord's spell progression (which is only for 4th through 9th level spells), and add it. Call it Superlative Alchemist (as Master Alchemist is taken =).

Or just add replace the bard spell progression for levels 11-20 with the Sublime Chords.
14th-Mar-2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
What am I missing here that would make letting them progress according to a wizard with the same knowledge of spells who just concentrates on furthering their magical studies at the cost of their alchemical studies imbalance?

He was starting off with, I think, 7 levels of alchemist which according to the bard spell chart would give him 3 0-level, 3 1st level, 3 second level and 1 3rd level spells. If he progressed to level 8 as an alchemist, he would gain additional abilities and an additional 3rd level spell. If he took up wizard according to my thought process, he would gain scribe scroll (which I think he already took independantly), access to a familiar, and 1 2nd level and 1 3rd level spell. He would gain no new level of spells without more study, just more of the same magic he was already up to the appropriate level he has already begun.

I'm just trying to see what the fault is in my system.
14th-Mar-2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
You're making the Wizard into a PrC on the fly. Which is fine.

The issue is what happens if he bounces back and forth between the classes. How are you going to handle spells and spell casting?

The increased spellcasting ability in exchange for class abilities is probably a fair trade. I would be more concerned with the long-term implications.

You may want to look at the Magic Rating concept from UA (It is OGL, and on d20srd.org). it deals with a similar issue, but might be useful.
14th-Mar-2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
It's decent, but it doesn't tell you anything about spells per day, which is the issue here.
14th-Mar-2006 05:14 pm (UTC)
The alchemist is a good idea, but I'm thinking that mixing the two would remove the point of picking between alchemist and wizard. Perhaps the differences are enough to justify treating the spell progressions separately.

In which case, this would be not unlike a sorcerer or bard picking up a single level of wizard just so they can learn more 1st-level spells than they already do, along with the Scribe Scrolls feat and (in the bard's case) the familiar.

14th-Mar-2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
Create a prestige class that will expand their spellcasting potential.

Bard:Sublime Chord::Alchemist:?
14th-Mar-2006 05:31 pm (UTC)
heh, probably the best solution, just trying to find a quick solution.

15th-Mar-2006 02:03 am (UTC)
If one was a wizard, and one took levels in sorcerer, would the spellcasting abilities stack? No.

Short, brief answer, but that's my opinion. ;-) The way I understood it was the Alchemist was a separate class from a Wizard, as opposed to being akin to a Specialist Wizard (necromancer, etc).
15th-Mar-2006 03:19 am (UTC)
Totally off-topic, but I've totally never agreed with the "trained innate abilities" thing such as is evidenced in Sorcerers or Psions. I understand it just fine, but I still think it's complete bunk. :P
15th-Mar-2006 03:21 am (UTC)
Heh heh heh.

So what's your opinion on warmages?
15th-Mar-2006 06:04 pm (UTC)
I like the concept of 'em, probably because I was so enamored with Magic: the Gathering all those years back. xD
15th-Mar-2006 03:46 am (UTC)
Seperate class yes, but the magic is the same. There is no core rules example to bring to point

For example, sorcerors, wizards and bards cast their spells and different ways. Alchemists and wizards both keep a spellbook and research their spells into it. Both memorize spells at the beginning of each day. One could pick up the spellbook of another and have a chance to learn those spells.
15th-Mar-2006 02:53 pm (UTC)
But other spell-book using classes (such as I think the archivist(?) from Heroes of Horror) don't stack their spellcasting abilities. I think the only advantage you should gain is maybe being able to use the same spellbook--your "spells known" list would transfer, if you wanted the class to work that way. However, the number of spells per day you could cast as each class wouldn't stack.

I would probably want to rule that even the spellbook shouldn't stack, though the character could make checks to copy the spells from one book to the other.
15th-Mar-2006 10:55 pm (UTC)
Check out the Wu Jen, from the Complete Arcane. They have spellbooks too, but don't stack with wizards, even though they cast arcane (as opposed to divine) spells. In my ever-so-humble opinion, your logic is just a little bit off.

Oh! Also, both druids and clerics pray for spells (I do believe), but THEIR spellcasting classes do not stack.

Precedent says: No.
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