Spells in combat or close...

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Captain_K
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Spells in combat or close...

Post by Captain_K »

Looking for some input on:
1) Characters casting spells in direct hand to hand (weapon to weapon) combat. Allowed? Chance to do it as the spell caster or simply an automatic chance to hit the casting character as if they are fleeing combat (meaning even if the other guy just swung, they get a free swing at anyone in direct combat trying to cast).
2) If hit while casting the spell, automatic spell failure or save vs INT or WIS with a - equal to the damage done?
3) How about casting a spell from say 10' away from combatants.... if some of those combatants are smart and awaiting actions by their comrades and guarding their backs can they see the spell staring and flick a readied dagger at the spell caster in their "saved phase/turn"?

Just trying to get a flavor for spell casting in, near or around combat..

I've got a few spell caster / fighter types and they are constantly going to be in or near combat trying to cast spells... I know how I used to run this, but I'd rather be closer to the CnC norms than my old mix of house and DnD rules.

Also if this is all explained some place point me to the books/pages please.

Thanks, Capt K
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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by Arduin »

It's up the CK. The rules say that the CK might allow a Con check to not lose a spell if hit in the casting round. Myself? No. You get hit you lose the spell. Like 1st Ed. No dex bous to AC while casting, etc.
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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by Omote »

1) Concentration check
2) Concentration check
3) Concentration check, perhaps ruling that a failed check enabled the enemy to throw a dagger at the caster. Though, I would just let the combat play out as normal. This would be a good use of "holding and action" perhaps?

See page 73, PHB6.

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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by Captain_K »

So what do you consider a concentration check? Level count for spell caster? What negatives?
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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by Rigon »

I just had this come up in play the other session. I allowed the caster a Con check with level/HD to be able to get the spell off. It didn't work out for me, but that benefited the PCs.

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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by Omote »

Captain_K wrote:So what do you consider a concentration check? Level count for spell caster? What negatives?
The concentration check is dependent upon the situation (as dictated by the PHB). For example, if casting a spell on a rocking ship caught in turbulent waters, the check would be a DEX check with a CL = to the harshness of the sea, or just a simple DEX check (and a CL0). If the caster is casting a spell in the middle of combat, I would make the concentration check be a CON check with a CL = to the HD of the enemy threatening him. If there are multiple enemies, make the CL = the highest HD of the opponent.

If this concentration check fails, you could allow the enemy to make an attack against the caster. This should take the place of their normal attack. If they have already used their attack, the wizard simply fails at casting the spell.

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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by Lurker »

Rigon wrote:I just had this come up in play the other session. I allowed the caster a Con check with level/HD to be able to get the spell off. It didn't work out for me, but that benefited the PCs.

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I tend to agree with the post thus far, there should be a concentration check. As for what the check should be against ...I'll leave that up to more experienced CK to discus
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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by Captain_K »

Why I didn't immediately read page 73 of the PH... I'll blame on laziness (The Father of Invention), that 15 foot walk from table to den....

Here is what I've got as a summary:
1) Most spells are Casting Time (CT) = 1 which is 1 round, 10 sec, and basically the same "speed" as any combat attack (Segments and speed factors are gone - praise the Gods aka Trolls).
2) Per PH Concentration is either an INT or DEX check and is needed whenever being "buffed about" to keep casting the spell OR keep concentration on a spell needing concentration.
3) You can even cast some spells while grappling or being pinned (seems like spell casting in combat is a strong possibility).

Here is what I'd like to add/modify/detail, please comment:
4) Arcane spell casters use INT and get level bonus to their concentration check, but divine casters use WIS (I cannot see why DEX is in there if you're not dodging and this balances for all spell casters).
5) All "attacks", be they spells or physical, induce a penalty to the caster's concentration check equal to the attacker's level and -1/point of damage (To counter the use of a prime and level bonus on the + side).
6) Things that disrupt but are not level based (riding a galloping horse) get a general difficulty modifier from the CK like any siege check.
7) Casting a spell does steal your DEX bonus (and Monk bonus); makes you "easier to hit".
8) Casting a spell is as obvious as swinging a sword.
9) Extra or free attacks against spell casters casting are not gained.
10) The concentration roll is require for each ROUND of spell casting. In other words, any spell with a CT greater than 1 requires a check each round of casting (CT = 4 takes four successful checks if banged about each round of those four rounds).

Thus, I'm strongly leaning toward more casting in combat, no base "you can't cast in combat". Basically spell casting is a weapon and can be used. I want more spell casters anyway and this way they can use their spells without always hiding,,,, yes they run the risk of being hit and breaking their spell in that combat round, but OH well.
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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by Captain_K »

11) Since a combat round of 10 sec is not really in order.. if the fighter swings and hits the mage with the higher initiative then the mage cast his spell... he's still hit in the round he cast, thus must still make a CON roll. Conversely, if the mage wins the initiative he "gets the spell off" only if the fighter misses on his turn OR the mage makes a successful concentration roll. Basically, if you're in combat or being buffed about, you must make a concentration check no matter what the order of initiative is...
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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by Arduin »

Captain_K wrote:11) Since a combat round of 10 sec is not really in order.. if the fighter swings and hits the mage with the higher initiative then the mage cast his spell... he's still hit in the round he cast, thus must still make a CON roll. Conversely, if the mage wins the initiative he "gets the spell off" only if the fighter misses on his turn OR the mage makes a successful concentration roll. Basically, if you're in combat or being buffed about, you must make a concentration check no matter what the order of initiative is...

Yep. A spell that has a casting time of 1 takes an ENTIRE 10 second round to cast. ALL PC & "monster" actions occur in that same 10 second time from. In parallel not series. That's why in my game, a caster, while casting, can do NOTHING else. No defense, no movement, et al.
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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by alcyone »

Captain_K wrote:11) Since a combat round of 10 sec is not really in order.. if the fighter swings and hits the mage with the higher initiative then the mage cast his spell... he's still hit in the round he cast, thus must still make a CON roll. Conversely, if the mage wins the initiative he "gets the spell off" only if the fighter misses on his turn OR the mage makes a successful concentration roll. Basically, if you're in combat or being buffed about, you must make a concentration check no matter what the order of initiative is...
That's fine. The PHB asserts that "most CKs" require a declaration of intent before initiative, and also says a spell with CT 1 comes into effect on the caster's initiative turn for the round. So how I run it is any attack that lands between the declaration and the casting is potentially disruptive to the caster.

If you are the type that collects actions and then plays them out all at once at the end of the round, your suggested way works out, because you aren't in the position of having to rescind damage. Otherwise, I think between declaration and the spell going off is easier.
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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by ChaosImp »

In our game we have spell casters make either a intelligence check ( mage , Illusionist ) or Wisdom check ( cleric druid ) when they get hit, the CL is based on how much damage they took that round. I can't see the logic of it being based on the level of the person that hit them as a 1st level fighter and a 10th level fighter can both do 10hp of damage, therefor if a mage took 10 damage he would have to make a CL 10 intelligence check to cast the spell. Most of the time though we don't allow spells being cast in combat as when someone is beating down on you with a mace you can't have someone stand still wiggling their hands going yada yada and still be able to concentrate. Unfortunately most players imagine a video game like scenario where both opponents attack then wait for the other to act, those of you that have witnessed a bar brawl or a street fight know that that's not the case. I myself could not read a poem and at the same time someone hot me over the head with a 10lb mace.

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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by Arduin »

ChaosImp wrote:In our game we have spell casters make either a intelligence check ( mage , Illusionist ) or Wisdom check ( cleric druid ) when they get hit, the CL is based on how much damage they took that round. I can't see the logic of it being based on the level of the person that hit them as a 1st level fighter and a 10th level fighter can both do 10hp of damage,

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Since Int or Wis have nothing to do being able to control your body reactions when being painfully run through (just is not logical) it is better to use Con for the check and make the difficulty based on HP of damage taken. :o
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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by ChaosImp »

True but its the mind that needs to focus, constitution is the health and stamina of the person, when you feel pain it will be the mind that needs to concentrate not the body.

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Re: Spells in combat or close...

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I would have used CON for all concentration checks, but since the mage is INT based (and the PH suggests INT and DEX) and he's "in the sphere" to cast, seems like using that is as good as any.. for the Cleric types it only seemed balanced to go with the same logic but switch to WIS.. it is "just a roll". If I let the mage or cleric add their level to their roll (especially a prime roll) then I'd like to balance that with the skill of the attacker trying to stop their spell. This is the classic balance act to avoid a higher level mage always making the check unless massive damage is done. Not after so much realism, but balance in the dice. If a low level Caster casts a spell against a higher level fighter or thief then he may find his concentration breaks from a thrown dagger or a copper piece in the eye!

Aside: Can a PC make a half move and cast a spell with CT = 1? Or the other way around cast then half move?
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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by Arduin »

Captain_K wrote: 3) You can even cast some spells while grappling or being pinned (seems like spell casting in combat is a strong possibility).
Certainly. Those spells without a somatic component like Feather fall. Verbal component only spells are very possible.
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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by alcyone »

Captain_K wrote: Aside: Can a PC make a half move and cast a spell with CT = 1? Or the other way around cast then half move?
6th printing PHB, p. 172: "A character may not move any distance and cast a spell in the same round unless the spell description states otherwise."
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Re: Spells in combat or close...

Post by Captain_K »

Excellent input all, thanks, You reading this InFerno?
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