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Strain system of Casting
We will not being using the spells per day as listed in the PHB. We will be using the following system based on Strain. This will give the casters much more flexibility during game play, and the ability to use very useful, but situational spells. Spells need not be memorized each day, if you have the spell in your spell book, you may cast it (provided you are of level to cast it, of course!)
For primary casters (WIZ, CLE, DRU, ILL), your strain tolerance is equal to your primary casting stat (INT for Mages, WIS for Clerics, etc.) You also gain addition Strain Tolerance equal to 1/2 your level in spellcasting classes rounded up and 1 point of Strain Tolerance per ability score rank above 12 (+1 at 13, +2 at 14, etc.)
For example, a 1st level wizard with 18 INT would start the game with 24 Strain Tolerance. ( 18 from INT, 5 bonus points, and 1 from caster level)
For secondary casters (RNG, PAL), your strain tolerance is equal to your primary casting stat (INT for Mages, WIS for Clerics, etc.) You also gain addition Strain Tolerance equal to 1/2 your level in spellcasting classes rounded up.
Multiclass/Dual Class Casters
If you have more than one area of casting expertise, you gain Strain as a primary caster in both classes, calculated off the casting Stat for the class.
Casting a Spell
When a spellcaster casts a spell, she has to channel a portion of the mana she is using through her own body. This is taxing both physically and mentally, and is the basic limiting factor that determines how many spells a mage can cast without resting. Every spell has a Strain Cost, which depends on the level of the spell and the level of the spellcaster, as shown on the tables below. At high class levels, some spells have no Strain Cost, and this is fine – a powerful spellcaster can cast basic spells all day long.
Whenever a spellcaster casts a spell, she suffers Strain equal to the spell’s Strain Cost. As she casts more spells, the Strain accumulates. As long as the total Strain a spellcaster has accumulated is lower than her Strain Tolerance, a spellcaster suffers no ill effect. Continuing to cast spells once her Strain is over her Tolerance, however, is extremely taxing on a spellcaster’s body and mind.
Fatigue Based Casting
As soon as a spellcaster’s total Strain exceeds her Tolerance, she becomes fatigued (even if she is normally immune to this condition; this is fatigue of the mind, not the body). If a fatigued spellcaster wishes to cast another spell, she must first make an unmodified Saving Throw vs Petrification. If the save is successful, the spellcaster casts the spell as normal. If the save is failed, the spell fizzles with no effect and the spellcaster becomes exhausted (even if she is normally immune to this condition). An exhausted spellcaster may not cast any more spells. A spellcaster ceases to be exhausted after an hour of complete rest for every spell cast in this manner.
In any event, the caster may only cast while fatigued up too there Strain tolerance level, abiet in Negative numbers. That is a caster with a Strain Tolerance of 25 may attempt cast 25 “points” worth of spells while fatigued. in addition, once the negative strain points exceed the casters constitution score, should they become exhausted, they must aslo roll a Saving Throw vs. Breath Weapons to stave of temporary insanity.
While Casting in this manner, the caster Accrues negative Strain Tolerance. While they will still recover strain at a normal rate (unless they become exhausted) they will remain in a state a Fatigued casting until they are able to rest.
A spellcaster loses Strain equal to her character level plus the ability bonus, per hour if she does not cast spells, fight, run, or otherwise exert herself. A spellcaster who is fatigued due to excess Strain ceases to be fatigued as soon as her total Strain is no longer over her Tolerance. However, a spellcaster does not recover Strain while exhausted.
A spellcaster recovers from Strain much faster when she rests. A full 8 hours of rest completely removes all Strain.
For Example: A wizard, named Lillian, has hit her normal limit of casting (she is at her Strain Tolerance of 25). However, the party is amushed by a group of orcs becasue the Paladin can’t manage to walk without making a racket. The orc leader is boasting about how he will rend your flesh and eat your hearts…. and Lillian decides to shut him up with a volley of magic missles. She steels herself (and rolls a saving throw vs. Petrification, in this example she must roll above a 13 on a d20). She finds the inner resolve (she rolled a 15!) and blasts the leader with magic, killing him istantly. During the next round of combat she decides to cast again, this time a shield spell on herself, as the orcs are closing in. She digs deep and begins to cast only to find that a wave of exhaustion hits her like a ton of bricks (She rolled a 2 vs. Petrification). She may not continue to cast spells during this combat and in fact can no longer take any actions for the remainder of combat. She must rest for a full hour before she begins to recover strain (she cast one spell before being over come with exhaustion)
Using Strain to Overcome Spell Interruption
If a Caster is in danger of having thier spell interrupted due to incoming damage (see Combat for details), they may use additional Strain at a 1:1 ratio to modify the saving throw, unless they are casting while fatigued.
Strain cost table, by caster level:
|Mage Spells||Cleric Spells||Illusionist Spells||Druid Spells||Ranger Spells||Paladin Spells|