Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Make Wizards Great Again....Again

              I was discussing online wizards again with people and the discussion of optional spellcasting rules came up, specifically spell points. I thought I might give a spell point system a crack for B/X or OSE. It has been a little bit of time since I published an OSE article, I have been massively busy in life and especially at work. 
               Spell points are designed to make wizards a tad more flexible, and in that flexibility comes a bit more power. The flexibility should come at a cost though, and hopefully balance out with the rest of the game well. This is a continuation of my original Make Wizards Great Again article.

Friendly Neighborhood Necromancer 

Wizards gain a number of spell points per level that allows them to cast spells. A wizard with a high INT will get bonus spell points based on the chart below. As the wizard increases in power they will gain access to higher level spells, more spells they can memorize, and more spell points. A wizard still follows the standard array for spell level access, just because a wizard has enough spell points to cast a spell, does not mean they have access to that level. Wizards still maintain a spellbook, and the resources inside still dictate what spells they have access to as a caster.
Wizards also still memorize the same number of spells per day. These spells are the ones in the forefront of their mind, and easily accessible. A wizard can cast a spell that was not memorized for the day, but at a great cost to their power for that day, and the wizard will pay the Non-Memorized spell cost. Each time the wizard casts a Non-Memorized spell in a day, it cause serious fatigue. Each casting of a Non-Memorized spell, after the first, will cause a wizard to lose access to their highest level of spells for that day. If they continue, they will lose access to an additional level, and so on.

Wizards also have the ability to reduce the cost of a spells through various means. Ways in which a wizard can reduce spell point cost are:

1)      Up to half of the spell’s cost (round up) can be reduce by spending extra time preforming a ritual of the spell. Each full turn spent in ritual can reduce the cost by one, up to the limit.
2)      If a spell has any level variables, like Fireball, the wizard can cast it as a lower level wizard. Each level it is lowered reduces the cost by one, up to half of the spell’s cost (round up).
3)      The DM may create special components that aid in a particular spell. Having a clipping of hair from the target you intend to charm could reduce the amount of points needed to cast the spell. The point reduction is left to the DM's discretion.
4)      Wizards can make deals with creatures from beyond the veil of mortal life to fuel their spells and rituals. This can pay the entire cost of a spell, but nothing in the universe is free. The DM is strongly recommended to make these entities have an appropriate (if not extravagant) price for the action.
5)      A Wizard can “Pay the Blood Price” and sacrifice HP for spell points at a 1 to 1 ratio. This may be used to pay the entire cost of a spell, but it cannot reduce a wizard below 1 HP.

               If you are looking for some good B/X cantrip rules, please check out B/X Blackrazor’s article Magical Skills (Cantrips). It handles cantrips in a fun and useful way. Blackrazor has an idea, that I support, that cantrips should be useful, but not offensive or defensive. I was going to write my own cantrip rules, but why write something that was already done well?
              What do you think? Will these work? I am looking for any constructive feedback, from people that read the entire article. Thank you for reading and look for another post soon.

I went ahead and created a Facebook group for the blog, if you are interested the link is here.


  1. I love the Cantrip article on B/X Blackrazor's site. But I've always wondered why Magic Users cannot simply use leather armor and a sword? I think AD&D rules said the armor interferes with spell casting but I never figured out why no sword. If a MU could wield a sword, one could include some interesting "non-violent" cantrips such as "stumble" or something like that to help them stay alive in a combat situation. Just thinking out loud.

  2. Gandalf used a sword, no armor though cause he was a marine!

  3. Right!

    I have thought of one thing that might be added to B/X Blackrazor's Cantrips. For the "Ignite" Cantrip, casting it should be limited to what the MU can touch. This will avoid the PC who says something like, "I cast Ignite on my opponent's face!". (Fine. Just roll a to-hit for touching their face first...). Anyway, a great article on something I too had thought about but never did anything with.

  4. Blackrazor's material is the best, I am going to order the companion that I have had in PDF for awhile in physical form soon.

  5. Yep, I have both in PDF but I'd like to get them in physical form as well.

  6. It gives me all sorts of ideas, which I love.

  7. Yes, I've been thinking of adapting some of the classes to Gavin's Old School Essentials set. The Scout fascinates me; I think it's a difficult character to have a reason to play. Makes perfect sense as an NPC though.

  8. There is a lot of new stuff in the Advance Genre Rules!

  9. Yes, I've looked through the PDF! Really fun stuff; can't wait for the actual books (I'm not a fan of reading much on the computer). But his Ranger makes the Scout class even more beside-the-point IMHO (not at all a bad thing, either). It's still fun to toy with it all.

  10. This have the problem of too much 1st level spell.

    I have come up with another solution spell point just to recharge used spells

  11. At first level they have 1 spell, or 4 cantrips?

  12. @Ryan since he use the linked rule for cantrips wizard know all cantrips (similar to skills) and normal spells

  13. I'm ok with wizards knowing all the cantrips, they are extremely niche.

  14. My houserule for OSE B/X Wizard:
    • Before casting a spell, the magic user can choose to cast a non memorized spell while erasing from his memory a same level spell. Doing that, he gains 1 point of Arcanic Fever.
    • After having cast this spell, if the number of Arcanic Fever points is equal or more than his level, he must save vs spells or stay dazed for 1D6 days.
    • you can heal 1 Arcanic Fever point by 24 hours of rest.

  15. That is a fun rule, and goes to the idea that magic "drains" wizards to cast it.