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 Post subject: [D&D3.5] Easier Managment of Metamagic
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:47 am 
Noise Maker
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No-one ever seems to use Metamagic - mainly cause you can't predict what you'll need when you're preparing your spells, so why waste a feat on it?

So - here's a house rule I propose to get people to actually use the Metamagic feats in my games.

Spoiler! :
Metamagic effects may be applied as a swift action (a free action that you may only take on your turn) to spells you cast by making a Spellcraft check (DC = 15 + (increased spell level x 3)).

Failing the check means that the spell either goes off without modification, but uses up the higher spell slot. If you fail a Concentration check while casting a Metamagic spell, you lose the higher spell slot.
Metamagic spells takes no longer to cast, and metamagic effects may be applied spontaneously.
You must have the required feat to apply a Metamagic effect.
If you prepare spells, you chose which higher level spell to sacrifice to power the metamagic spell, and the metamagicked spell is cast in its place. The normal level version of the metamagicked spell is retained, and may be cast later.

Example: Altair the Wizard can cast 8th level spells. He has the feat Maximise Spell, and wishes to cast Fireball (a 3rd level spell) as a Maximised spell. He elects to sacrifice the 6th level spell, Legend Lore to power the metamagic. He makes a Spellcraft check, DC 33 (Maximise Spell uses a slot 3 levels higher, so 15 + (3 x 6) =33). If Altair succeeds, his Fireball deal maximum damage. If he fails the check, the Fireball damage is rolled normally, but he still must discard the 6th level spell to power the metamagic. In either case, he still has Fireball memorised to cast later.


Can you see any ways that this house rule being abused?

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Last edited by Altair-the-Vexed on Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: [D&D3.5] Easier Managment of Metamagic
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:14 pm 
Well, the check is sufficiently high that without going into the munchkin realm of skill-boosting items it's never a foregone conclusion that you'll make it (with the exception of low-level spells at high levels, which aren't too earth-shattering), and the freed-up feat slots are never a bad thing (though you may want to take a look at the wizard's bonus feat allowance if you use these rules, because with no metamagic feats all that's available for the bonus feats is item creation).

How do you reconcile the spontaneous use of a higher-level slot with casters that prepare spells? This only really works for sorcerors, bards and casters that use your Sunday rules.


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 Post subject: Re: [D&D3.5] Easier Managment of Metamagic
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:45 pm 
Daremonai wrote:
... and the freed-up feat slots are never a bad thing (though you may want to take a look at the wizard's bonus feat allowance if you use these rules, because with no metamagic feats all that's available for the bonus feats is item creation).


I could be wrong, but I understood Alastair's rule to mean that metamagic feats still exist and have to be taken as normal in order to be able to use the swift-action-meta-magic thing?


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 Post subject: Re: [D&D3.5] Easier Managment of Metamagic
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:59 pm 
Noise Maker
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Helen is right, I had no intention of discarding metamagic feats.

Since posting this, I got into a discussion with the people over on Giant in the Playground, and decided that the DC should be 15 + adjusted spell level x 3. This means that for the highest metamagic you can cast, you always have a slightly less than 50% chance of success, and lower level spells are relatively routine.

Here's the maths:
Spoiler! :
At 1st level, if you max out Spellcraft, and have a bonus of (say) +2 from INT, you have +6 to your Spellcraft checks. You can cast 1st level spells, so you can only metamagic up to 1st level. The DC is 15 + (3 x 1) = 18, which you need a 12 to meet.
Each spell level raises the DC by 3, and you gain access to a new spell level generally when your level = (spell level x2) -1.
So for a DC increase of 3, you get 2 more skill points - and every fourth level you get an ability score point to spend.
The DC for a 9th level spell is 42, and the bonus a 17th level caster gets is +26... unless they've taken Skill Focus (Spellcraft) feat to get +29, and the Magic Aptitude feat to get +31, and have at least +5 in Knowledge (Arcana) to get +33.


I've edited the OP to include a worked example (and my change to the DC).

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