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Power Point Magic
Variant rules for spellcasting.

Copyright D. Andrew Ferguson ©2001

Edited by Jamie "Trotsky" Revell for The Guild Companion

Why a power point based magic system?
Unlike many RPGs the OGL 3.x rules has a rigid magic system which sometimes causes a spell casting PC to become upset because their character knows the perfect spell for a situation, but unfortunately they don't have it memorized right now. This kind of gaming can stifle the players as they continually think up ways of getting themselves out of trouble. Also, certain characters will come to rely heavily on a small set of spells that they know. As an optional rule, here is a way of calculating power points that would allow the spell casting classes a little more variation on which spells they cast but without increasing the actual power of a spell caster at a certain level.

Calculating Power Points:
Power Points are gained as a total of the spells per day (including any for high attributes) times the level of the spell, treating 0 level spells as level 0.5. For example a level three Sorcerer would have 8 power points, because they have six 0 level spells and 5 first level spells. 6 (x0.5) + 5(x1) equals 8 power points.

Casting: Casting a spell cost a number of power points equal to the level of the spell, with 0 level spells costing 0.5 points. Therefore casting a third level spell would cost 3 power points.

Class Abilities:
Some classes have special class abilities that increase their spell casting ability, in a power point based magic system it is important to be able to maintain these special abilities.

Sorcerer: Under the d20 System rules sorcerers do not need to memorize spells, but can cast any of the spells that they know. This advantage is lost in a power point system however the sorcerer will have many more power points available than a wizard of the same level will.

Cleric: Do not include the clerics domain spells when calculating power points, but allow the clerics to cast domain spells as usual. This will maintain both the domain abilities and the cleric's spontaneous casting ability.

Spell components: Despite the conversion to a power point system a spell caster would still require any material components that are necessary to cast spells.

Meta Magic Feats:
This system will allow for metamagic feasts to be used with higher level spells than the regular d20 System. For example a 9th level spell could be empowered, costing a total of 11 power points, normally the empower spell feat could only be used with up to a 7th level spell.

Metamagic Feats Additional Cost
Empower Spell +2 Power Point.
Enlarge Spell +1 Power Point.
Extend Spell +1 Power Point.
Heighten Spell Cost is the spell level after increase (maximum of level 9).
Maximize Spell +3 Power Point.
Quicken Spell +4 Power Point.
Silent Spell +1 Power Point.
Still Spell +1 Power Point.

Power Points per Level by Class:
Here are the pre-calculated values of Power Points by spell casting class per level.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Bard 1 1.5 2.5 3.5 6.5 8.5 8.5 13.5 16.5 16.5 23.5 27.5 27.5 37 43 43 59 69 80 86
Cleric 2.5 4 6 9.5 12.5 17.5 23 30 37 46 56 67 80 93 109 124 153 160 181 198
Druid 2.5 4 6 9.5 12.5 17.5 23 30 37 46 56 67 80 93 109 124 153 160 181 198
Paladin 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 3 3 6 6 7 11 13 16 17 26 30
Ranger 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 3 3 6 6 7 11 13 16 17 26 30
Sorcerer 5.5 7 8 15 17 28 33 48 55 74 83 106 117 144 164 195 203 238 255 273
Wizard 2.5 4 6 7 10 15 22 29 36 45 54 65 76 89 102 117 132 165 165 182

 

Power Points From High Attributes:
Characters with high attributes gain additional Power Points. Cross reference the spell casting attribute with the highest level of spell that a character can cast, then add the number of power points shown to the characters level-based power points. Remember that some classes have no spells per day at certain levels and that this new table could indicate the ability to cast spells of the appropriate level if their spell casting attribute is high enough.

Highest Level of Spell Character can Cast
Attribute 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
12-13 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
14-15 1 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
16-17 1 3 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
18-19 1 3 6 10 10 10 10 10 10
20-21 2 4 7 11 16 16 16 16 16
22-23 2 6 9 13 18 24 24 24 24
24-25 2 6 12 16 21 27 34 34 34
26-27 2 6 12 20 25 31 38 46 46
28-29 3 7 13 21 31 37 44 52 61
30-31 3 9 14 22 32 44 51 59 68
32-33 3 9 18 26 36 48 62 70 79
34-35 3 9 18 30 40 52 66 84 93
36-37 4 10 19 31 46 58 72 88 106
38-39 4 12 21 33 48 66 80 96 114
40-41 4 12 24 36 51 69 90 106 124
42-43 4 12 24 40 55 73 94 118 136
44-45 5 13 25 40 60 78 99 123 150

Multi class characters:
For multi class characters calculate power points as usual, unless the character has two or more spell casting classes. In this case the character can receive attribute-based power points for each class, whether or not the classes use the same attribute. For Example a Ranger/Druid would receive bonus spells for both classes based on a high wisdom so the multi class characters gain power points for high attributes for each spell casting class.

Appendix A

This article: "Power Point Magic", Copyright © 2001 by D. Andrew Ferguson, is an OGL 3.x article.

This article is covered by the Open Gaming License. The title "Power Point Magic" is Product Identity, all other material in this article is Open Gaming Content. Portions of this work are derived from the System Reference Document, Copyright © 1999, 2000 by Wizards of the Coast, and are used with permission.

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