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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Feat-Based Spellcasting

by Tim Wallace

One aspect of of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and 3.5 that I don't think has ever been done correctly is giving players access to spellcasting through feats. At least not in a way that is balanced and still fun. This is my attempt my attempt to remedy it.

Spell Dabbler
Your innate magical ability is starting to show itself.
Prerequisites: Cha 10, Knowledge (arcana) 1 rank.
Benefit: Choose three cantrips, knacks, or orisons from any one spell list. You may cast these spells an unlimited number of times per day. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.
Special: If you later select the Hedge Caster of the 1st Echelon feat, it and its antecedent feats must use the same spell list you choose for this feat. If you select this feat after selecting Hedge Caster of the 1st Echelon, you must select 0-level spells from the same spell list you chose for that feat, unless that spell list does not have 0-level spells. You may not choose a spell list for which you already have access to spells from by having levels in a spellcasting class.

Illustration by Yuikami and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-
Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. (original image)
Familiar
A magical pet has made its way to you. You can sense its loyalty and you feel a strong bond to it.
Prerequisites: Cha 11, Knowledge (arcana) 1 rank, Spell Dabbler or Hedge Caster of the 1st Echelon.
Benefit: You gain the service of a mystical advisor, a familiar to both serve you and reveal to you secrets unknown to most mortals. This uses the same rules as the wizard's arcane bond class feature (link). Use your character level as your effective wizard level when determining the abilities of your familiar. You can choose any of the familiars available to a wizard.
If a familiar is lost or dies, it can be replaced 1 day later through a special ritual that costs 500 gp per character level. The ritual takes 8 hours to complete.

Hedge Caster of the 1st Echelon
Your magical abilities are strong enough to be considered among the ranks of spell casters.
Prerequisites: Cha 11, Knowledge (arcana) 1 rank.
Benefit: Chose a spell list (bard, cleric/oracle, druid, inquisitor, magus, mesmerist, occultist, psychic, shaman, sorcerer/wizard, spiritualist, summoner, or witch). You know and can cast 1st-level spells from that spell list (as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells Known and Spells per Day). Any antecedent Hedge Caster feats you take must use this same spell list. You may gain bonus spells per day for having a high Charisma score (see Chart: Hedge Caster Bonus Spells per Day). Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.
You need not prepare your spells in advance. You can cast any spell you know at any time, assuming you have not yet used up your allotment of spells per day for the spell's level.
Some spells can be undercast. This means that you can cast the spell at the level that you know, or as any lower-level version of that spell, using the appropriate spell slot. When you a spell, it is treated exactly like the lower-level version, including when determining its effect, saving throw, and other variables. For example, a spellcaster who adds beast shape III to his list of spells known can cast it as beast shape I, II, or III. If he casts it as beast shape I, it is treated in all ways as that spell; it uses the text and the saving throw DC for that spell, and requires him to expend a 3rd-level spell slot.
Whenever you add a spell to your list of spells known that can be undercast, you can immediately learn a spell in place of each lower-level version of that spell you know. In essence, you lose each earlier version and can replace it with another spell of the same level that is on your spell list.
Special: If you later select the Spell Dabbler feat, it must use the same spell list as you chose for this feat, unless the spell list you chose for this feat does not have 0-level spells. If you select this feat after selecting Spell Dabbler, you must select the same spell list you chose for that feat. You may not choose a spell list for which you already have access to spells from by having levels in a spellcasting class.

Chart: Hedge Caster Spells Known and Spells per Day
Hedge Caster
————Spells per Day————
————Spells Known————
Feat
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
1st Echelon
2
1
2nd Echelon
3
2
1
1
3rd Echelon
3
2
2
1
4th Echelon
3
3
2
2
1
1
5th Echelon
3
3
2
2
2
1
6th Echelon
3
3
3
2
2
2
1
1
7th Echelon
3
3
3
2
3
2
2
1
8th Echelon
3
3
3
3
2
3
2
2
1
1
9th Echelon
3
3
3
3
2
3
3
2
2
1
10th Echelon
3
3
3
3
3
2
3
3
2
2
1
1

Chart: Hedge Caster Bonus Spells per Day
Charisma
——Bonus Spells per Day——
Score
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
12–13
1
14–15
1
1
16–17
1
1
1
18–19
1
1
1
1
20–21
2
1
1
1
1
22–23
2
2
1
1
1
1
24–25
2
2
2
1
1
1
26–27
2
2
2
2
1
1
28–29
3
2
2
2
2
1
30–31
3
3
2
2
2
2
32–33
3
3
3
2
2
2
34–35
3
3
3
3
2
2
36–37
4
3
3
3
3
2
38–39
4
4
3
3
3
3
40–41
4
4
4
3
3
3
42–43
4
4
4
4
3
3
44–45
5
4
4
4
4
3

Hedge Caster of the 2nd Echelon
As you continue to experiment your natural ability has grown to accommodate your power.
Prerequisites: Cha 12, Hedge Caster of the 1st Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 3 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 3rd Echelon
As your power grows you gain further magical talents.
Prerequisites: Cha 12, Hedge Caster of the 2nd Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 4 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 4th Echelon
None doubt your natural talent for magic.
Prerequisites: Cha 13, Hedge Caster of the 3rd Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 6 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 5th Echelon
Your power grows, your magics are evident even to the layman.
Prerequisites: Cha 13, Hedge Caster of the 4th Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 7 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 6th Echelon
Despite your lack of formal training or practice you can hold your own among other casters.
Prerequisites: Cha 14, Hedge Caster of the 5th Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 9 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 7th Echelon
Magical power hold little mystery for you. Despite the lack of direct study the arcane or divine arts have truly revealed themselves to you.
Prerequisites: Cha 14, Hedge Caster of the 6th Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 10 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 8th Echelon
You are among the elite! Without training or the magical talent of a sorcerer you can stand on your own as a spellcaster.
Prerequisites: Cha 15, Hedge Caster of the 7th Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 12 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 9th Echelon
Through dedication, blessing, or luck, you have become one of the few most powerful spell casters.
Prerequisites: Cha 15, Hedge Caster of the 8th Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 13 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.

Hedge Caster of the 10th Echelon
You have reached the echelon of your magical prowess. You have gained more power than most dream of!
Prerequisites: Cha 16, Hedge Caster of the 9th Echelon, Knowledge (arcana) 15 ranks.
Benefit: Your spells per day and spells known increase as per Chart: Hedge Caster Spells per Day and Spells Known. Your caster level for the purpose of casting these spells is equal to your character level.