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26 December 2011
Sometimes, in order to represent the presence of cleric or magic user type individuals within nonhuman society, a player may want to add some spellcasting ability to his character. This is done fairly easily, but requires a little sacrifice from the character.
- The armor restriction for the magic user class, meaning no armor is allowed, now applies to any character who adds magic user spellcasting to their abilities. While armor may be worn, dependent on the character's primary class, doing so forfeits all spellcasting for that day.
- The weapon restrictions for the magic user class or cleric class now apply to any character who adds the applicable spellcasting ability to their class. That means that a character who chooses to add cleric spells to his repertoire can only use blunt weapons, and one who adds magic user spells is bound by the list of allowed weapons for a magic user. Like with armor, the character may ignore this, according to what's allowed for his primary class, but doing so forfeits all spellcasting for that day.
- The rigorous time spent in prayer, meditation, study and other such pursuits takes a toll on a character's fitness. Characters adding cleric spells to their abilities suffer a penalty of -1 HP per hit die, subtracted from the roll for new hit points at each level. Those who add magic user spells increase this penalty to -2 per level.
- Characters who choose to add cleric spells to their abilities do not gain the ability to turn undead. This act requires absolute faith and devotion to the cleric's ideals, and the time needed to pursue the abilities and training not related to cleric duties prevent mastering those traits.
The option to add cleric or magic user spells must be taken at first level. In character, this is justified by considering the extended time and training needed to master these arts. Out of character, in terms of game mechanics, this prevents a character from waiting until a higher level where the XP costs are no longer as weighty in an attempt to cheat the system and gain a bunch of new abilities all at once that the regular magic users and clerics had to work long and hard for.
If the player and DM agree, the following added XP costs are applied to the character's class XP table, resulting in the ability to cast spells as a magic user or cleric of the stated level:
|“Real” XP Level||Added XP cost||Effective Caster Level|
|Each additional level||200000||+1 caster level|
Level limits, and any rules for exceeding them, are still in effect, resulting in the fact that only the rarest non-humans will ever be able to caster spells of 4th or 5th level or higher.
Although this option can only be chosen at character creation, it can be abandoned at any time, removing the XP adjustments and ceasing any acquisition of new spellcasting ability, though the abilities already learned are retained.
I also realize that this option can be taken by fighters and thieves who wish to augment their class abilities with a little spellcasting, this is fine if the DM approves it and all the restrictions listed above are taken into consideration. I would strongly suggest that clerics and magic users not be able to gain the ability to cast spells of the other class, this would create a pretty powerful character with strong offensive, defensive and healing spells that could unbalance things.
At first glance it seems unfair that no spellcasting is available until 2nd level. The reasoning is simple, the character hasn't paid for it yet. Dont forget, also, that 1st level clerics in the game have no spells either. The use of spells at first level is something that should be left as the exclusive ability of magic users (and elves).