D&D 5E Shadowdark casting in standard 5E

Test it with magic items.
The SD system can replace charge per day mechanic.

Then some class feature can be switched. Arcane recovery can be used with a check, then again in another rest until a failed check.
 

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Quickleaf

Legend
I’ve been thinking along these lines.

I want to give magic users a thematic way to regain those spells via a costly or tiring or damaging or dangerous ritual. Vs just sleeping.

That way they could try to get them back during the adventure.
Probably more tracking than players want to do, but I love the idea of spells changing over time. So you start with a fireball or whatever and as you play it becomes twisted, warped, weirder so that your particular fireball only barely resembles the original spell.

Mechanically: Regain the spell at the cost of forever after that spell gaining a [tag] or hazardous modification (e.g. backdraft, loud sound, untying all knots within 20 feet, leaving a ghostly afterimage of you for 24 hrs).
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I ran a Shadowdark game a few months ago that was just two wizards, and it was really instructive.

One player, an old school guy, but fairly reckless, cast constantly. And he kept failing his rolls and soon was completely out of spells.

The other player, also an old school guy, but cautious in general, sat on his spells and only used them when required, rather than the way a 5E caster might toss them around more freely.

Naturally, the second player's wizard was the one who got out alive.

In our discussion afterward, everyone liked the roll-to-cast system just fine, it just requires a bit of mental gear shifting. But it also enables fun stuff like wizards potentially learning spells more powerful than they can reliably cast, which opens up all sorts of interesting possibilities in play.

I think a fleshed-out system to work with 5E would be quite successful, with the right player mindset. It'd certainly be a good way to differentiate wizards from sorcerers, who are currently way too similar, IMO.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
You could do something like:

0) Spells targeting AC now target a save, generally a physical one.

1) Roll a Arcane, Religion, Performance or Nature check vs a DC of 10+Spell level+ Save bonus. Spells that allows a save after each round use the 4e ''save ends'', meaning you roll a flat d20 and need a 10+ to saves.

On a success, you cast the spell and it takes effect, no need to do a second round of saves or spell attack roll.

2) On a failed, the spell fails or does its miss effect, if any. You then lose it 'til your recover (long rest for most classes)

3) On a roll of 1, roll the Scroll Mishap table from the DMG.
Creative use of the Scroll Mishap table!

So, one thing I've noticed in playtesting Roll-to-Cast is that you can potentially have 3 rolls for one spell: Roll-to-Cast... Save... Mishap (consult table).

That's more handling time at the table, compounded by each magic-user dropping saying around 3-5 spells per session (that's a "thumb in the wind" guesstimate purely based on anecdotal feel). This is the sort of solution I started with - it looked great, until we started stress-testing and then it started to be "this is taking longer than we'd like."

For example, my move was two-fold:
(a) Don't require Roll-to-Cast on cantrips.
(b) Fold the Roll-to-Cast INTO the Mishap table, so the value of the roll could be cross-referenced with numbers on the table (it no longer becomes a d12, 1-12 table, so it looks funky but functions faster)
 

Quickleaf

Legend
I ran a Shadowdark game a few months ago that was just two wizards, and it was really instructive.

One player, an old school guy, but fairly reckless, cast constantly. And he kept failing his rolls and soon was completely out of spells.

The other player, also an old school guy, but cautious in general, sat on his spells and only used them when required, rather than the way a 5E caster might toss them around more freely.

Naturally, the second player's wizard was the one who got out alive.

In our discussion afterward, everyone liked the roll-to-cast system just fine, it just requires a bit of mental gear shifting. But it also enables fun stuff like wizards potentially learning spells more powerful than they can reliably cast, which opens up all sorts of interesting possibilities in play.

I think a fleshed-out system to work with 5E would be quite successful, with the right player mindset. It'd certainly be a good way to differentiate wizards from sorcerers, who are currently way too similar, IMO.
Oh! Question: Narratively, if one class was to have the roll-to-cast system, would you give it to Wizards or Sorcerers?

In my homebrew, I chose Sorcerers, but curious about your thinking.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I thinknit could be done, but carefully, as it would probavly require reworking a lot of material. Currently, in 5E, the Spell Slot is a unit of reaource that powers a lot of the mathematical predictability of the game. If Casters can suddenly get way more Spells out successfully, or way fewer, thst will have impacts on play. Especially caster/martial balance.

For DCC, the possibility of a Mage killing themselves with a bad roll is a big balancing factor for Martials and Casters. For 5E, it is resource attrition. Take away the attrition, things will get wicky-wacky.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Creative use of the Scroll Mishap table!

So, one thing I've noticed in playtesting Roll-to-Cast is that you can potentially have 3 rolls for one spell: Roll-to-Cast... Save... Mishap (consult table).

That's more handling time at the table, compounded by each magic-user dropping saying around 3-5 spells per session (that's a "thumb in the wind" guesstimate purely based on anecdotal feel). This is the sort of solution I started with - it looked great, until we started stress-testing and then it started to be "this is taking longer than we'd like."

For example, my move was two-fold:
(a) Don't require Roll-to-Cast on cantrips.
(b) Fold the Roll-to-Cast INTO the Mishap table, so the value of the roll could be cross-referenced with numbers on the table (it no longer becomes a d12, 1-12 table, so it looks funky but functions faster)

That's why I compouded the ''cast roll'' + ''the save'' into the same roll.

And you only roll on the mishap table on a nat 1 on your casting roll.

So ideally its no longer than a martial's attack rolls.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
That's why I compouded the ''cast roll'' + ''the save'' into the same roll.

And you only roll on the mishap table on a nat 1 on your casting roll.

So ideally its no longer than a martial's attack rolls.
Ah I missed that - so in your approach, the spellcaster rolls the saving throw "for" the target vis a vis their Arcana/Nature/Religion check? Like the 4e spell attack vs. static defense?
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Ah I missed that - so in your approach, the spellcaster rolls the saving throw "for" the target vis a vis their Arcana/Nature/Religion check? Like the 4e spell attack vs. static defense?
Kinda:

The Wizard cast Ray of Enfeeblement on a Revenant (+7 on CON saves). The DC for the Intelligence( Arcana) check is 8 + 2 (spell level) + 7 (Target's CON save) for a total of 17.

On a success, the spell is cast and affect the Revenant. At the end of its turn, the Revenant rolls a d20 and needs a 10+ to shrug off the effect of the spell.
 

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