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D&D 3E
Quick question 
1st-Apr-2006 04:51 pm
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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 08:17 am (UTC)
3.5 (I only have the leatherbound edition).
2nd-Apr-2006 08:17 am (UTC)
There's a leatherbound edition?
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
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 12:36 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.
(Deleted comment)
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.
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