Author Topic: Spellbooks as you've never seen them before  (Read 1538 times)

Offline Prime32

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Spellbooks as you've never seen them before
« Topic Start: December 01, 2011, 03:23:31 PM »
Before the current age, a race of godlike beings inhabited the land. The only artefacts known to have survived are the tools they used to manipulate reality, the spellcrystals. While never intended for use by others, occasionally, for reasons none have been able to determine, one will respond to a member of the lesser races, giving them an opportunity to claim some of their power for their own. Such people are known as wizards.

A spellcrystal is, at its heart, an information engine, constantly recording details of its surroundings even without input. Ways to impose the user's will upon the world and random trivia both swirl within its depths. Even after it has opened to him, a spellcrystal user requires both intelligence and willpower to recognise the desired knowledge amid the flow and pull it out. A sufficiently skilled user can even cause it to bud lesser spellcrystals, simplified items encoded with a fraction of its power which others can use. If a wizard is lucky enough to encounter another spellcrystal then he may attempt to use its different powers or absorb it into his own, resulting in a crystal with the knowledge of both.

The process of preparing a spell bonds the crystal to the wizard's body as a suit of armor containing the required magical "circuitry", covering more of their body the more powerful the spell. The armor produced by each wizard/crystal bond is unique in appearance, and may shift over time as more spells are added to the crystal. This armor cannot be removed except by releasing the energy used in preparation, usually by casting the spell. Cantrips are an exception to this, being simple enough that the armor is not required to cast them; a wizard learns cantrips as a sorcerer and may cast them at will even if the crystal is not in his possession.

While preparing a 1st level spell results in only a minor jewel or trinket, the armor piece created by a spell of 2nd level is large enough to take up a body slot as a magic item (the exact slot is chosen at lv1 and cannot be changed). Each level of spells has a corresponding body slot - as long as the wizard has at least one spell of that level prepared, his armor takes up that slot and the slots of all lower levels. If a spell is prepared in a higher-level slot than required, it still counts as its original level for determining the extent of the wizard's armor (thus a wizard can hide his power by preparing only weak spells).
For each body slot taken up by the armor, the wizard gains a +1 armor bonus to AC, -1hp per highest-level spell prepared and a -1 penalty on Disguise checks; when the armor is removed the hp reduction converts to regular damage, which can be healed as normal. For example, consider the following armor:
Quote
Lv2: arms
Lv3: torso
Lv4: feet
A wizard with at least one 4th-level spell prepared would have armor covering his arms, torso and feet, granting +3 AC, -12hp (-4 x3) and a -3 penalty on Disguise checks.

The armor's lv2 slot item can be enchanted as a magic item, with the normal +50% cost for adding another effect to an existing item; the other slots cannot be enchanted.

Spellcrystal Weapon [Wizard]
Prerequisites: Ability to cast 2nd-level spells as a wizard.
Benefit: Select one body slot. While your spellcrystal armor covers that body slot you gain one natural weapon - damage dice given below are for Medium creatures. This natural weapon must be appropriate to the slot chosen.
  • Bite (1d6): Head/Neck
  • Claws (2x 1d4)/Talons (1d6): Feet/Hands/Ring
  • Gore (1d6): Eyes/Head
  • Slam (1d6): Arms/Feet/Hands
  • Sting (1d6): Arms/Belt/Torso
  • Tentacle (1d4): Any
  • Wing Slap (2x 1d4): Armor/Cloak/Shoulders/Torso
Special: You may select this feat multiple times, choosing a different body slot and natural weapon each time. A wizard may select this feat as a bonus feat.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 03:28:06 PM by Prime32 »

Offline Prime32

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Re: Spellbooks as you've never seen them before
« Reply #1: December 01, 2011, 03:23:40 PM »
(Forgot to repost this thread earlier)
Quote from: Prime32
Quote from: oslecamo
This looks quite interesting, but how exactly do you get the crystal? Is it an item? Feat? ACF?
Quote
Spellbooks Spellcrystals

A wizard must study her spellbook spellcrystal each day to prepare her spells. She cannot prepare any spell not recorded in her spellbook spellcrystal, except for read magic, which all wizards can prepare from memory.

A wizard begins play with a spellbook spellcrystal containing all 0-level wizard spells (except those from her prohibited school or schools, if any; see School Specialization, below) plus three 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the wizard has, the spellbook spellcrystal holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new wizard level, she gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that she can cast (based on her new wizard level) for her spellbook spellcrystal. At any time, a wizard can also add spells found in other wizards’ spellbooks spellcrystals to her own.
:p Everything except the armor+cantrips (which is mostly a nerf) is refluffing.

The original users were all hathrans who enchanted their crystals as acorns of far travel, btw. :smirk
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 03:25:36 PM by Prime32 »

Offline radmelon

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Re: Spellbooks as you've never seen them before
« Reply #2: December 01, 2011, 05:27:22 PM »
This is one of the most original ideas I have ever read. I will watch this.

Offline sirpercival

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Re: Spellbooks as you've never seen them before
« Reply #3: December 12, 2011, 07:38:37 PM »
Do you mind if I adapt this idea into a base class for my Magipunk setting?
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Offline sirpercival

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Re: Spellbooks as you've never seen them before
« Reply #4: December 15, 2011, 06:33:23 PM »
There's some stuff in the writeup here that may just be fluff, but I think it could be cool if it has real mechanics.

A spellcrystal is, at its heart, an information engine, constantly recording details of its surroundings even without input. Ways to impose the user's will upon the world and random trivia both swirl within its depths. Even after it has opened to him, a spellcrystal user requires both intelligence and willpower to recognise the desired knowledge amid the flow and pull it out. A sufficiently skilled user can even cause it to bud lesser spellcrystals, simplified items encoded with a fraction of its power which others can use. If a wizard is lucky enough to encounter another spellcrystal then he may attempt to use its different powers or absorb it into his own, resulting in a crystal with the knowledge of both.

So... is the spellcrystal like a non-mobile psicrystal?  Does it have awareness? It could be kind of like a familiar version of a shifter druid's beast spirit... 

Do you have to attune to a spellcrystal?  How long does it take to do so?  What's the "budding", essentially crystal scrolls?

Quote
The process of preparing a spell bonds the crystal to the wizard's body as a suit of armor containing the required magical "circuitry", covering more of their body the more powerful the spell. The armor produced by each wizard/crystal bond is unique in appearance, and may shift over time as more spells are added to the crystal. This armor cannot be removed except by releasing the energy used in preparation, usually by casting the spell. Cantrips are an exception to this, being simple enough that the armor is not required to cast them; a wizard learns cantrips as a sorcerer and may cast them at will even if the crystal is not in his possession.

While preparing a 1st level spell results in only a minor jewel or trinket, the armor piece created by a spell of 2nd level is large enough to take up a body slot as a magic item (the exact slot is chosen at lv1 and cannot be changed). Each level of spells has a corresponding body slot - as long as the wizard has at least one spell of that level prepared, his armor takes up that slot and the slots of all lower levels. If a spell is prepared in a higher-level slot than required, it still counts as its original level for determining the extent of the wizard's armor (thus a wizard can hide his power by preparing only weak spells).
For each body slot taken up by the armor, the wizard gains a +1 armor bonus to AC, -1hp per highest-level spell prepared and a -1 penalty on Disguise checks; when the armor is removed the hp reduction converts to regular damage, which can be healed as normal. For example, consider the following armor:
Quote
Lv2: arms
Lv3: torso
Lv4: feet
A wizard with at least one 4th-level spell prepared would have armor covering his arms, torso and feet, granting +3 AC, -12hp (-4 x3) and a -3 penalty on Disguise checks.

So do you choose all body slots at level 1?  Even when you can't cast spells of a high enough level to warrant a body slot? 

Also, check my math here: if you have one 7th-level spell prepared, it costs 6hp, and if you have four it costs 24hp?  Because that's what your description seems to imply.  I think you mean that it essentially costs Nx(N-1) hp, where N is the highest spell level you've prepared (that would be 4x3 = 12 for 4th-level spells, or 7x6 = 42hp for 7th-level spells).  N-1 can be described as the number of body slots if you like.  (tl;dr: switch "highest-level spells" to "highest spell level".)
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Offline Prime32

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Re: Spellbooks as you've never seen them before
« Reply #5: December 15, 2011, 07:06:30 PM »
So... is the spellcrystal like a non-mobile psicrystal?  Does it have awareness? It could be kind of like a familiar version of a shifter druid's beast spirit...
They don't seem to be sentient...
Quote
Do you have to attune to a spellcrystal?  How long does it take to do so?
As long as it takes to take a level in wizard.
Quote
What's the "budding", essentially crystal scrolls?
Item creation in general.

Quote
So do you choose all body slots at level 1?  Even when you can't cast spells of a high enough level to warrant a body slot?

Also, check my math here: if you have one 7th-level spell prepared, it costs 6hp, and if you have four it costs 24hp?  Because that's what your description seems to imply.  I think you mean that it essentially costs Nx(N-1) hp, where N is the highest spell level you've prepared (that would be 4x3 = 12 for 4th-level spells, or 7x6 = 42hp for 7th-level spells).  N-1 can be described as the number of body slots if you like.  (tl;dr: switch "highest-level spells" to "highest spell level".)
Will get back to these later.

Offline sirpercival

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Re: Spellbooks as you've never seen them before
« Reply #6: December 15, 2011, 07:25:43 PM »
Another question!  Does the armor bonus go down as you cast your prepared spells?  Basically, if you're 9th level and have up to 5th-level spells prepared, you have an AC bonus of +4.  If you cast all your prepared 5th-level spells, does it drop to +3?
I am the assassin of productivity

(member in good standing of the troll-feeders guild)

It's begun — my things have overgrown the previous sig.