D&D 5E Spellcasting Using the Recharge Mechanic

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
The possibility to roll a 1 and block casting until a rest is too punishing.
Probably without some option to reverse it, such as gaining a level of exhaustion or expending a HD. But it is just an option to consider--not set in stone by any margin currently. :)

For a 5th level caster, recharge on 5-6, can make you cast one spell a fight including cantrip, very often. Considering fight lasting 3-4 rounds, really easy to roll under 5 few times in a row and be block for the rest of the fight.
Hmm... not really.

Round 1: cast spell with recharge on 5-6
Round 2: roll 1-4 = 67%
Round 3: roll 1-4 again = 67% * 67% == 45% (less than half, so you are more likely to have magic in the 2nd or 3rd round than not to).
Round 4: roll 1-4 again == 45% * 67% == 30% (less than 1/3 now...)

Also, consider a 5th-level caster has 9 spell slots available. With 7 encounters (avg) in your "typical adventuring day", that allows you only one spell for 5 encounters and two spells for 2 encounters. But you only have two 3rd-level slots. With this, since you have magic at the beginning of most (if not all, depending on a prior roll of 1 and no rest opportunity), you could effectively have seven 3rd-level spells during the day.

In others words, this encourages you to use magic when you must, and make the most of it. Doing so when unneeded or risking lower-powered spells is discouraged.

The fun for a caster is to cast spell, not roll high on recharge dice!
The fun for a caster is to cast an effective spell effectively, not just sling magic around willy-nilly. ;)

If you want to just toss magic around every round, no this is not for you. :)
 

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Voranzovin

Explorer
My biggest question is how it would function out of combat. As written, it can't take more then six rounds to get a spell back, right? So in combat a spellcaster's abilities would be significantly curtailed, but out of combat they can spam their most powerful spells every 36 seconds (with an occasional break from rolling a 1).

Edit: never mind, I misunderstood how this works. You're still using spell slots so this criticism isn't relevant.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
My biggest question is how it would function out of combat. As written, it can't take more then six rounds to get a spell back, right? So in combat a spellcaster's abilities would be significantly curtailed, but out of combat they can spam their most powerful spells every 36 seconds (with an occasional break from rolling a 1).

Edit: never mind, I misunderstood how this works. You're still using spell slots so this criticism isn't relevant.
No, you have it correct. There are no spell slots, but the concept of Mystic Arcanum for 6th+ level spells is still an option in which recharge would only affect cantrips to 5th level spells (unless a 1 is rolled, in which case even Mystic Arcanum would not be viable until a rest).

Out of combat it would function as you are thinking, but you couldn't just spam spells out of combat because the 1 in 6 recharge rule ending magic until a rest would hinder that significantly IMO. How it actually would play out might be very different however. Unless we actually try it someday, we can't be certain either way.
 

The fun for a caster is to cast an effective spell effectively, not just sling magic around willy-nilly. ;)
The system produce an asymmetric result for classes.
Ranger, paladin, EK wont notice the difference,
Druid moon, Hexblade and Cleric build for melee will manage it too,
But sadly Wizard and sorcerer will see their gameplay completely changed.

At the end spells rating will be readjust. Spell allowing to use your action to do something like the infamous Witch bolt will become more useful, and players will tend to acquire spell like that and items. After some years it will produce the same magic spamming.
 
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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
The system produce an asymmetric result for classes.
Ranger, paladin, EK wont notice the difference,
Druid moon, Hexblade and Cleric build for melee will manage it too,
But sadly Wizard and sorcerer will see their gameplay completely changed.
FWIW, the above table is for full-casters only. Half-casters and third-casters have different progressions, so will be affected as well--they will definitely notice the difference.

After some years it will produce the same magic spamming.
If true, then it will solve one problem for at least some years. ;)
 

Shiroiken

Legend
I think the idea of a recharge mechanic for the spellcasting ability would be a good way to use casters in a minimal magic setting, but I'd still keep spell slots. That would keep casters from slinging magic around during combat, while still having a baseline of spells per day.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I think the idea of a recharge mechanic for the spellcasting ability would be a good way to use casters in a minimal magic setting, but I'd still keep spell slots. That would keep casters from slinging magic around during combat, while still having a baseline of spells per day.
Yes, it is for a low-magic setting. But how would I keep spell slots without it being redundant?
 

Shiroiken

Legend
Yes, it is for a low-magic setting. But how would I keep spell slots without it being redundant?
The recharge is what limits their ability to cast during any given turn, but spell slots limit their total spells per day. You can't keep casting your highest level spell slot if you get lucky, nor can you cast a dozen 1st level spells when you're at higher level.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
First, I love the concept of the recharge mechanic, so for several months now my Saturday group has been using the Recharge mechanic for cantrips. In other words, if you cast a cantrip, to cast a cantrip on your next turn you have to roll a successful recharge (a 5 or 6 on the d6). It has been working very well and we've enjoyed using it because it avoids the pew pew aspect of cantrips in 5E (something we don't care for--if you like it, this isn't for you!)

Since then, I've been thinking about trying out a similar system for 1st and higher level spells as a way of replacing spell slots. The table below is just a first draft of the recharge number needed after casting a spell in order to use magic on your next turn.

For example, suppose your PC is a 7th level caster and you cast invisibility, a 2nd-level spell. Your recharge number is a 5. On your next (and subsequent) turn, you begin by rolling a d6. If you roll a 5 or 6, you can use magic on the turn. If you roll 4 or lower, you cannot; but you can try again on the following turn, and so forth, until you succeed.

View attachment 269875

Some current options:
  1. If you cast a spell of your tradition school, domain spells, etc. you make your recharge roll with advantage.
  2. You can reduce the recharge number by 1 on subsequent attempts if you want to recover your magic sooner.
  3. Casting spells of 6th level or higher are limited to once per long rest (akin to Mystic Arcanum).
  4. If you roll a 1 on the recharge, you cannot cast any spells until you finish a short or long rest.

There are many pros and cons to such system, depending on what you want in your game. I am meeting tomorrow to discuss it with my group and get their thoughts, but I figured I would throw it out on the forum to get other thoughts.

I'm not tied to this idea yet in any real way, but think it (or a variant) might work. Feel free to leave any comments, concerns, or questions. :)
I love this idea! Cantrips as they exist in 5e are a real problem for certain styles of play.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
So instead of having per day slots, you have a recharge time of possibly multiple rounds in a fight to the entire fight where they can't cast any magic?

What do your wizard/sorcerer/warlock PCs generally do on the rounds when they can't do even minor magic?
What did they do back in the day? Use a crossbow, or a staff, or a dagger. To demand magical pew-pew ad infinitum is really starting to feel like entitlement from my perspective.

That being said, I'm supporting a possible optional rule here, not demanding anyone's game use it.
 

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