Author Topic: Bonus spell feats  (Read 677 times)

Offline RobbyPants

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Bonus spell feats
« on: January 11, 2019, 08:26:06 PM »
What are everyone's thoughts on the following two feats:


Minor Magic [General]
Benefit: You may cast Detect Magic at will as a spell-like ability. In addition, pick a 0-level spell from the Cleric, Druid, or Sorcerer/Wizard spell list. You may use it as a spell-like ability. If it is a damage-dealing spell*, you may cast it at will, otherwise you may use it three times per day.
   If the spell you picked was off the Cleric or Druid list, any saving throw DCs are Wisdom-based. Otherwise, choose if you want to use Intelligence or Charisma for the saving throw DCs. Once made, you cannot change this.

Magical Study [General]
Prerequisite:
Minor Magic.
Benefit: Pick one spell from the Cleric, Druid, or Sorcerer/Wizard spell list. The spell level cannot be higher than one half your level round up. You may use this spell as a spell-like ability once per day. The spell you choose must come from the same spell list as the spell you chose for Minor Magic. Use the same ability score for DCs as the one you selected for Minor Magic.
   You must provide any expensive material components and pay any XP costs of spells, as though you cast them.
Special: You may take this feat more than once. Each time you do, you either gain a new spell from the same spell list or you gain another daily use of a spell you already selected.


(* I had elsewhere defined this as Acid Splash, Disrupt Undead, Electric Jolt, Launch Bolt, Ray of Frost, and Sonic Snap. I also have them dealing increased damage.)


Anyway, I took the inspiration from Martial Study. I don't have the hard limit of taking this just three times. It seems it could be a nice way to give non-casters something to play with. Obviously, it doesn't fix any issues with any broken spells. I'd considered putting in some restriction to limit how much full-casters can take this, but I haven't yet.

Do you think this would be a net improvement to the game? Do you see any abuses or issues? The only thing that jumps out at me as it's currently written is full casters could start cherry picking off of other lists.
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Offline Samwise

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 01:47:39 AM »
Using Martial Study as a baseline, at will is too much, even for a 0-level spell, and particular in comparison to other feats that grant similar abilities, for the Minor Magic feat.
Once per combat doesn't seem "right" either for something so weak, but that is possibly more uses than some other spells allow.

For Magical Study, Martial Study requires meeting pre-reqs, which means knowing other maneuvers for the higher level ones. You would need to add something similar to keep this in line, otherwise everyone should just take Wish at 18th level and call it a day. Perhaps limiting the first instance to spells of level 1-3, the second to levels 1-6, and only the third allowing access to 1-9.

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 10:24:20 AM »
Using Martial Study as a baseline, at will is too much, even for a 0-level spell, and particular in comparison to other feats that grant similar abilities, for the Minor Magic feat.
Once per combat doesn't seem "right" either for something so weak, but that is possibly more uses than some other spells allow.

It's only three times per day, unless it's something like Ray of Frost. Even with the modest damage boost I gave them, they deal less damage than a crossbow at 1st level.


For Magical Study, Martial Study requires meeting pre-reqs, which means knowing other maneuvers for the higher level ones. You would need to add something similar to keep this in line, otherwise everyone should just take Wish at 18th level and call it a day. Perhaps limiting the first instance to spells of level 1-3, the second to levels 1-6, and only the third allowing access to 1-9.

I forgot all about the prereqs. I've houseruled them away a long time ago, and forgot about how they interact with the feat. My goal wasn't to clone Martial Study exactly; it was more that this type of feat already exists, so I was kicking around the idea of one for SLAs.
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Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2019, 01:21:03 PM »
Using Martial Study as a baseline, at will is too much, even for a 0-level spell,
Not really.

In the hands of a non-Adept Martial Study can be worth a 6d6 cone of Fire usable multiple times per day using the lowest ranked Discipline. It's not about spending 3k to help meet requirements, it's about what the Feat can do. Like in the hands of an Adept, Martial Study gives you saveless-Stunning up to every round or spamming Save-or-Dies every other Round. 0th level Spells are next to worthless. Like Ray of Frost's 1d3 is a wasted action at level 1 and all the stealing potential you can try to claim Mage's Hand might have it's a 900gp item for At-Will access out of the DMG.

Now the higher level Slots, yeah that's where things can get interesting. Like Draconic Polymorph lets you access any 20HD form with a +8 Str & +2 Con bonus and all the fun stuff Lesser Planar Binding can offer. Which is why I split my version into four Feats and limited you to a 3rd level Destructive Evocation, a 2nd level Extended Illusion, a 1st level Echoing Enchantment ChaMod/day, any two Sorcerer 0ths 3/day, and Read Magic 3/day. They get some utility, and a decent blasting choice, but nothing that can screw up a game.

Offline Skyrock

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2019, 01:22:34 PM »
Magical Study would be easier to balance if it would automatically scale with increasing character level (rather than to stay the same as at the time of the purchase), but at a slower rate. Lvl/3 would bring it roughly on par with Factotum or non-optimized Bard casting, which might be too good for a mere 2 feats. Lvl/4 would bring it roughly on par with Adept, which might be about right.

Offline TC X0 Lt 0X

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2019, 02:23:56 PM »
Both look fine to me. I prefer the PF way of dealing with Cantrips particularly, so at-will damage cantrips don't mean much. Hell I would bump any cantrip too at-will, but since this is meant for 3.5 it should probably remain at 3/day.

The Magical Study scaling to match spell levels on par with Sorcerer might be too much, but I am not 100 on that, given it is only 1/day and is costing 2 feats. If casters are running around unrestricted I would say it is fine, nothing wrong with the mundanes being able to keep up with their shinanigans 1/day. Maybe require minimum Ability Score to use a spell of a certain level like standard classes. There should probably be some way to retrain the spell every level though, and if spell level should be lowered, Level / 3 would probably be the most needed.
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Offline RobbyPants

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2019, 04:59:46 PM »
The Magical Study scaling to match spell levels on par with Sorcerer might be too much, but I am not 100 on that, given it is only 1/day and is costing 2 feats. If casters are running around unrestricted I would say it is fine, nothing wrong with the mundanes being able to keep up with their shinanigans 1/day.
I'm not sure what you mean by being on par with sorcerers? You mean gaining new spell levels at even levels, are you talking about spell slots per day, or what?

Also, it can be more than 1/day, but you have to keep spending feat slots to either gain new SLAs or to add additional daily uses.


Maybe require minimum Ability Score to use a spell of a certain level like standard classes.
I'm not really a fan of telling the non-casters they have to have certain mental ability scores to have this be playable. They already tend to be MAD as-is. Besides, the DCs are based off a mental stat, so depending on the spell selected, they'll want to pay attention to it, anyway.


There should probably be some way to retrain the spell every level though, and if spell level should be lowered, Level / 3 would probably be the most needed.
Feat retraining rules in themselves could do the trick.
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Offline Nanshork

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2019, 08:53:48 PM »
Worst case scenario the CoDzilla gets some Wizard (or vice-versa) game-breaking spell(s).

The CoDzilla/Wizard already has their own game-breaking spells.

And they're spending at least two feats to get said game-breaking spell(s), and can't use the feats for early access shenanigans.

A martial could get some nice personal only spell, but there are official ways for personal only spells to be cast on other people so that's nothing drastic.

I see nothing game-breaking here.  It could case some interesting consequences with meeting PrC pre-reqs, especially with dual-caster progression PrCs but not in an early entry way so that doesn't raise any red flags for me.

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2019, 10:07:08 PM »
I see nothing game-breaking here.  It could case some interesting consequences with meeting PrC pre-reqs, especially with dual-caster progression PrCs but not in an early entry way so that doesn't raise any red flags for me.
That, and an Armored Casting feat I wrote up were two things I hoped would make low-level gishes more fun/doable.
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Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2019, 11:08:33 PM »
That, and an Armored Casting feat I wrote up were two things I hoped would make low-level gishes more fun/doable.
To add onto Nan's statements, actually there isn't a lot of PrCs it qualifies for. It's an SLA, not a Spell, so it's limited to the sort of PrCs a Warlock can try to enter.

Also you need to set a CL :p

Offline Nanshork

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2019, 12:46:30 AM »
That, and an Armored Casting feat I wrote up were two things I hoped would make low-level gishes more fun/doable.
To add onto Nan's statements, actually there isn't a lot of PrCs it qualifies for. It's an SLA, not a Spell, so it's limited to the sort of PrCs a Warlock can try to enter.

Also you need to set a CL :p

Which include requirements to cast a specific spell or have a specific caster level which is at least a quarter of them (if that).   :p

The feats can't qualify for "Cast spells of x level" which is most of them.

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2019, 09:26:52 AM »
Also you need to set a CL :p
Good catch. I thought I had. I always want to put "character level" on that, but for the off chance this gets used on a monster, things get weird. Hit Dice can get nuts on some monsters. I might set it at "Character level or challenge rating, whichever is higher".
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Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2019, 01:04:46 PM »
Fyi unless you set the CL in stone (eg "fixed" value), or scale by Class Level (inappropriate for a feat), or add specific text to override, the CL with the Feat's SLA can't be used to enter PrCs either. Like it could never enter Mindbender even if it picks up Charm Person.
Quote from: CAr72
In the context of a feat or a prestige class requirement, a caster level prerequisite (such as “caster level 5th”) measures the character’s ability to channel a minimum amount of magical power. For feats or prestige classes requiring a minimum caster level, creatures that use spell-like abilities or invocations instead of spells use either their fixed caster level or their class level to determine qualification.

Offline Kethrian

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2019, 04:20:09 PM »
I've played a few campaigns now with unlimited castings of all 0-level spells.  It actually hasn't broken anything, so I would say you could allow Minor Magic to just cast its cantrip at will.  At worst, you may not like potentially infinite out-of-combat healing with Cure Minor Wounds, but it doesn't seem to be a problem in my campaigns.  I'd also say you should add that it uses your highest caster level, or gives you a caster level equal to half your character level if you don't have one, or if this would be higher.

I'd also suggest Magical Study have more uses than once per day, and set it to half your caster level for spell level, whether you use a class's caster level or the one you gain from Minor Magic.
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Offline RobbyPants

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2019, 04:44:04 PM »
I've played a few campaigns now with unlimited castings of all 0-level spells.  It actually hasn't broken anything, so I would say you could allow Minor Magic to just cast its cantrip at will.  At worst, you may not like potentially infinite out-of-combat healing with Cure Minor Wounds, but it doesn't seem to be a problem in my campaigns.  I'd also say you should add that it uses your highest caster level, or gives you a caster level equal to half your character level if you don't have one, or if this would be higher.

It probably wouldn't wreck much. Unlimited Create Water might create some odd story issues, but I suppose it creates some good ones, too.

I wouldn't set CL to 1/2 level; it'd be too low to be useful. I want the abilities to come on line at a level-appropriate time, or they might as well not exist.


I'd also suggest Magical Study have more uses than once per day, and set it to half your caster level for spell level, whether you use a class's caster level or the one you gain from Minor Magic.

I did the 1/day thing for simplicity, and it set it roughly equal to a spell slot. I suppose I could do something like increase the daily usage as your character level gets higher relative to the spell's level.
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Offline Kethrian

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2019, 05:47:45 PM »
That could work.  Maybe 1/day, plus 1 for every 6 levels beyond 1st (7/13/19 - often levels that get little love)?
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Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2019, 10:04:23 PM »
It probably wouldn't wreck much. Unlimited Create Water might create some odd story issues, but I suppose it creates some good ones, too.
You can counter story issues with story issues.

In D&D the Prime Martial is made out of the four elements, you can just claim Create Water obeys Mordenkainen's fourth law of planar induction. Basically the four elements want to form a stasis and normalize. As you create more water, air/earth/fire elemental concentration in the Prime Material gradient attempt to increase while the created water attempts to bleed off into it's natural plane causing an exponential increase in evaporation rates. This law also explains why every dungeon ever also doesn't flood out even through it's below ground, cold, and doesn't have a drain or sewer system.

Offline TC X0 Lt 0X

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2019, 01:46:43 AM »
The Magical Study scaling to match spell levels on par with Sorcerer might be too much, but I am not 100 on that, given it is only 1/day and is costing 2 feats. If casters are running around unrestricted I would say it is fine, nothing wrong with the mundanes being able to keep up with their shinanigans 1/day.
I'm not sure what you mean by being on par with sorcerers? You mean gaining new spell levels at even levels, are you talking about spell slots per day, or what?

Also, it can be more than 1/day, but you have to keep spending feat slots to either gain new SLAs or to add additional daily uses.

I meant they will have an equal spell level to Sorcerers of equal level.
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Offline RobbyPants

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Re: Bonus spell feats
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2019, 09:34:20 AM »
I meant they will have an equal spell level to Sorcerers of equal level.
So you mean to gain access to spell levels at an even level, except for 1st level. I'd considered that, too. It basically gets rid of the "round up" clause in the feat, but I have to add in a bit about 1st level still being available at 1st level.

I don't think there's any reason to force them to wait. I've also house-ruled a new progression for sorcerers to get them their spells known at odd levels and to give them an extra spell known each time they access a new level.
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