Recharge Sphere Magic (Beta)

Important Wiki Note: These are not official rules. Drop Dead Studios (Spheres of Power's creator) did not write these and does not endorse them. They probably don't even know these exist, so please do not ask them for clarification if you have questions. Use your own best judgment instead. These rules are being unofficially tested as an adaption of the Recharge Magic rules found in Unearthed Arcana, and using them could have highly unpredictable effects on Spheres' otherwise excellent game balance. In addition, the rules here may change at any time as they are tested further. Please do not use these rules in your game unless you fully understand the potential consequences of doing so. Notably, the Recharge Sphere Magic rules somewhat favor generalists, and may impose added difficulty on those who specialize in one or two spheres.

That said, we welcome comments, suggestion, and criticism on these rules, and you may send them to this wiki's admin.

Recharge Sphere Magic Rules (Beta)

Recharge Sphere Magic is a variant rule system for Spheres of Power, modifying the character's pool of Spell Points. Any action that would normally require the use of a spell point instead triggers a Cooldown for that Sphere. During a Cooldown, only the powers from that Sphere that don't require spending a spell point can be used - any powers that require spending one or more spell points are unavailable.

Using a Sphere's base power never incurs (or is restricted by) a cooldown unless you'd normally have to spend a spell point (like the Create power of the Creation sphere). Any restrictions a Sphere already has, such as not being able to use a power on a target more than once a day, remain in force.

Many Sphere powers provide new versions of a base ability. When these cost a spell point, they trigger a Cooldown even if the basic ability does not. Similarly, many Sphere abilities can be maintained without triggering a Cooldown by concentrating, but would trigger a Cooldown if the caster wanted to spend a spell point to maintain them without concentrating.

If the use of a spell would normally cost more than one spell point (such as from using metamagic), the recharge time is multiplied by the number of spell points that would have been spent. For example, if a Destructive Blast costing two spell points was cast at the highest caster level, it would incur a cooldown of 2d4+2 rounds on the Destruction Sphere.

Some abilities are very powerful, especially if they can be repeatedly used in quick succession. These abilities have specific recharge times. When used, these abilities trigger a cooldown for themselves, but not for the rest of their Sphere. For example, the Creation sphere's Forge ability has a specific recharge of 6 hours, and other Creation abilities could be used while that power is recharging.

As in the base system, it is possible to "undercast" a spell by not using it at the maximum level. Under the Recharge Sphere Magic rules, doing this will reduce the cooldown time once certain milestones are reached. This is meant to encourage characters to avoid casting at their maximum caster level all the time - or if they do, to force them to do different things and so avoid "spamming" any ability that's particularly effective. A spell cannot be undercast below Caster Level 1, nor below the minimum caster level needed to learn the talent. If there is a caster level requirement on a normally passive benefit (such as multiple selections of the Destruction sphere's Greater Blast talent), a spell that's been undercast cannot obtain any benefits beyond what the adjusted Caster Level would allow. For example, at Caster Level 4, a character could only benefit from Greater Blast once even if they've selected it two or more times. The same rule applies to feats and anything else that requires a minimum caster level in order to function - if it's undercast below their requirements, additional effects will not apply for that casting.

If Advanced talents are permitted, their use adds an additional multiplier to the cooldown (this is in addition to any spell points normally required).

Caster Level General Recharge Time (Per Spell Point Spent)
Highest Possible 1d4+1 rounds
Highest minus 2 1d4+1 rounds
Highest minus 4 1d4 rounds
Highest minus 6 1d4 rounds
Highest minus 8 1d3 rounds
Highest minus 10 1d3 rounds
Highest minus 12 1 round
Highest minus 14 1 round
Highest minus 16 0 rounds (No Cooldown)

Suggestion: If a character specializes in a small number of Spheres (typically three or less, subject to GM discretion based on the specifics of the character), consider counting all general recharge times starting at CL -4 (i.e. 1d4 rounds). This helps to make up for their lack of variety by allowing them to use their focus spheres more frequently. They'll probably use Drawbacks to reduce this to 1d3 rounds - this is intentional. They probably shouldn't be allowed to reduce down to 1 round through anything other than undercasting, though.

Suggested Recharge Times

Wiki Note: Talents not listed here are assumed to either not apply (such as permanent passive abilities) or be straightforward (usually either not triggering a cooldown because a spell point isn't spent, or having an obvious cost/cooldown under these rules and not needing any specific cooldown).

Additional Rules

  • Some Sphere powers are not meaningfully affected by Caster Level. For this system, such powers are always assumed to be cast at the highest Caster Level.
  • When casting spells with Metamagic, each level increase counts as one spell point for determining the recharge time. (For spells with a specific recharge time, that recharge is doubled for each metamagic used.) In addition, each metamagic (except Quicken Spell) applied still incurs a one-step increase in casting time, per normal Metamagic rules for Spheres of Power.
  • Many spherecasters take advantage of the Drawback system. This normally allows them to acquire extra spell points, but in the Recharge Magic system, characters cannot raise their number of spell points. Instead, for each drawback a character takes (or any time a character would normally gain bonus spell points, such as through the Extra Spell Points feat, but not from leveling or raising their casting ability modifier), they may select two different Spheres and treat their Caster Level as two lower for determining the length of the recharge. This can reduce the recharge time for that Sphere. As in the base system, characters may select Boons in place of the benefit they would normally receive for taking Drawbacks.
    • Sphere-specific Drawbacks, which grant extra talents, are unaffected.
  • It is impractical to try and predict every combination of abilities, especially because options like Dual Feats and Spellcrafting allow for almost limitless combinations. In general, however, you should keep the following in mind:
    • Combat spells (such as the Destruction sphere, or parts of the Protection sphere) and short-duration powers (those that can last 1 round per-level by spending a spell point) typically follow the general recharge time table.
    • Non-Combat spells with longer durations tend to have specific recharge times, rather than following the table. The longer it normally lasts, the longer the specific recharge should be. A specific recharge does not affect the Sphere as a whole, but does restrict repeated castings of that particular power. Compare to the list of spells at and see what cooldown best matches the Sphere in question. Players are encouraged to do this themselves and explain their reasoning to the GM, who can either accept those submissions or decide on a different cooldown. As always, the GM's decision on this is final.
    • Divination powers that can gather information (such as the Divine Information spell from the Divination school) should have a specific recharge time of around 6 hours. This helps to prevent their abuse by curious characters.
    • Powerful illusions and any "trap" type spells tend to have specific recharge times of 12 hours to 1 day. The same applies for any major creations.
  • Finally, characters in this system retain a pool of energy equal to one-quarter the number of spell points they would normally have (rounded down, with a minimum of 2). These points can be spent any time a spell point cost would normally trigger a cooldown, removing the cooldown that would normally have been incurred. For example, if a spell would normally cost two spell points and trigger the cooldown twice, a character could pay two points from their pool to totally remove the cooldown, or pay one point to halve the cooldown. The cooldown triggered by using an Advanced Talent is not based on spell point costs and cannot be avoided by spending a point from the pool.
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