Spell Overcasting in HARP

Copyright Heath Garman © 2006

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"Warning: When attempting to overcast, fumble ranges are doubled"

Description: Overcasting allows a spellcaster to use spells that he does not have sufficient skill levels in to cast normally.

Warning: When attempting to overcast, fumble ranges are doubled (i.e. instead of 1-5, the fumble range becomes 1-10).

Basic Overcasting

Description: Basic Overcasting is used to cast the base form of a spell. It cannot be used to cast scaling options for a spell.

Requirements: The spellcaster must have at least 1 skill rank in the spell in order to attempt to cast the spell with overcasting.

Steps: Roll and add skill bonuses as normal for spell casting. For each skill rank under the base spell PP cost, add a -10 to the roll. Consult tables as normal with the resulting total.

Example 1: Dinala the Cleric is trying to detect the presence of magic using Detect Magic. She only has 2 skill ranks out of the 4 required for the spell. Her skill total for Detect Magic is +24 (+10 for skill, +14 for stats). Dinala rolls a 54. Her total roll is now 58 (54 + 24 - 20). Referencing the Utility Spell listing of the Maneuver Table tells us that Dinala's attempt to cast the spell has failed. If Dinala had rolled at least a 67 the spell would have gone off normally.

Example 2: Sever the Necromancer is helping his comrades during a battle with a lesser troll. He wants to cast Weaken Strength on the troll to reduce the damage it can cause. Sever has 2 skill ranks in Weaken Strength, but has not taken the last skill rank to allow him to cast the spell normally. He tries overcasting. He rolls an 80 and adds his spell casting bonus of 29 (+10 for skill, +19 for stats), and subtracts 10 for the overcast penalty for a total of 99. Comparing this to the Maneuver Table, gives a RR target of 110. The troll rolls a total of 35 for a total Stamina RR of 105, so the spell affects the troll reducing its strength bonus by 5.

Advanced Overcasting

Description: Once the spell caster has attained the number of skill ranks for the base form of a spell, he may wish to scale the spell. Advanced Overcasting is used for spell casting of known spells where the caster has insufficient skill ranks to scale the spells properly

Requirements: The spellcaster must have the number of skill ranks required to cast the base form of the spell normally, plus one extra skill rank.

Steps: Roll and add skill bonuses as normal for spell casting. For each skill point under the scaling option total, add a -10 to the roll, plus the standard scaling modifier (i.e. add a -5 for each power point above the base cost of the spell to the roll). Consult tables as normal with the resulting total.

Example 1: Dinala the cleric now has 5 skill levels in Detect Magic. She would like to see if there is a dormant magical trap on a chest she has found. Normally this scaling option would require that Dinala have 7 skill ranks, however she is going to try advanced overcastting. Dinala's skill modifier for Detect Magic is now 49 (25 for her skill level + 24 for stats). Dinala's spell casting modifiers are now -20 for advanced overcasting plus -15 for the 3 power points she is adding to the base level of the spell, for a total negative modifier of -35. Dinala rolls to see if she can detect magic and gets an 80 for a total of 94 (80 + 49 -- 35). Dinala has cast the spell successfully and is able to see that yes there is a dormant magical trap set on the chest.

Example 2: Returning from the troll adventure, Sever gains a level and decides to increase his level in Weaken Strength to 4, one above the minimum to cast the spell. Sever and his comrades head out and encounter an ogre. Sever decides to try the same trick on the ogre, since it worked so well on the troll, but this time he wants to really weaken the ogre. Using advanced overcasting, Sever, attempts to weaken the strength of the ogre by 10 with a scaling option. He rolls a 15, which after adding in all modifiers (+20 skill, +19 stats, -40 overcast, -25 scaling) gives him a total of -11. The spell fails miserably, and Sever and his companions have a much tougher fight than they expected.