Spell Points

A New Arcane Magic System for the d20 System

by Scott Carter

The pack of winter wolves closed in on the three surviving adventurers, ragged and desperate after their fight through the ice caves.

"Quick, Serena!" yelled Keshra as she readied her flaming Kamas. "We need a fireball! Now!"

"I can't." Serena whimpered. "I forgot how."

How often in The Lord of the Rings do we see Gandalf sitting quietly going over his spell book? Or being unable to cast a spell at need if he had already used it that day? Or any wizard or spellcaster in any fantasy novel?

The answer is of course: never, or at least hardly ever. The peculiar habit of base d20 System wizards to be unable to cast a spell spontaneously they once knew has always bothered many people. So to has the limitation of the seemingly less-adaptable Sorcerer class. Then there is the problem of calculating spells known and spells per day when considering Ability bonuses. Once metamagic feats get involved the average spellcaster spends a great deal of time just figuring out what he can and cannot do, and with the Wizard that problem changes every "day."

To address some of these problems this article proposes the Spell Point System, a more straightforward method of choosing and casting spells in the d20 System, while simultaneously being more suited to personalization and variety.

Spell Points

Spell points are a way of measuring how "in tune" a caster is with magic. Depending on your campaign world this might reflect their inherent . . .

This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.

Article publication date: August 22, 2003

Copyright © 2003 by Steve Jackson Games. All rights reserved. Pyramid subscribers are permitted to read this article online, or download it and print out a single hardcopy for personal use. Copying this text to any other online system or BBS, or making more than one hardcopy, is strictly prohibited. So please don't. And if you encounter copies of this article elsewhere on the web, please report it to webmaster@sjgames.com.