A Gathering Darkness
Clerics, Druids, and Wizards
This mechanic entails a new way of handling the major spell-casting classes in the game: clerics, druids, and wizards. Hit Dice, saving throws, base attack bonuses, etc. do not change. What does change is listed below:
- Clerics, druids, and wizards can cast spells of level 1 to 20. The spell levels correspond exactly to their caster level. Spell lists and descriptions appear on the Spells page.
- These classes also gain special magical abilities called disciplines. Disciplines – abilities spellcasters can use whenever they wish – replace all level-based abilities the described for these classes in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. Thus, clerics do not gain the Turn or Rebuke Undead ability, although they can choose the Turn Undead discipline instead. Druids gain disciplines instead of the class abilities Animal Companion, Nature Sense, Wild Empathy, Woodland Stride, Trackless Step, Resist Nature’s Lure, Wild Shape, Venom Immunity, A Thousand Faces, and Timeless Body. Wizards gain disciplines instead of Summon Familiar or bonus feats, including Scribe Scroll. Disciplines are described in individual sections on these classes and are linked below.
- There are no 0-level spells.
- There are no specialist wizards (though, stand by for future house-rulings).
- Clerics still get domain spells and abilities as described in the core rules. They receive domain spells at odd-numbered levels; for instance, at 1st level, a cleric gains a domain spell that appears in the core rules at first level, as normal. Then, he gains the core rules 2nd-level domain spell at 3rd level, the core rules 3rd level domain spell at 5th level, and so on through 17th level.
- To learn, prepare, or cast a spell, the caster must have a key ability score (Wisdom for clerics and druids, Intelligence for wizards) of 10 + half spell level, rounded up.
- The saving throw DCs to resist spells are 10 + half spell level (rounded up) + key ability modifier (Wisdom for clerics and druids, Intelligence for wizards).
Spells per Level
Clerics, druids, and wizards have a new spell level progression, based on the assumption that they can cast spells of level 1 to 20.
Bonus spells from high ability scores remain unchanged. That means a wizards with Intelligence 17 gains bonus spells of levels 1, 2, and 3, even though those levels represent very different spells in this alternate system. (This change decreases the emphasis on high ability scores.)
- After achieving a 25th caster level in any class, characters can choose to pursue Epic Level Magic, per the Epic Level Handbook, from Wizards of the Coast.
The system designed here is an adaptation of the one laid out in Monte Cook’s Collected Book of Experimental Might.