Confusion about Spellcraft skill in WoWrpg (standard rules)

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Confusion about Spellcraft skill in WoWrpg (standard rules)

Postby Mcgeneral » Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:51 pm

Hi All,

First of all, sorry that I have been absent the last few months. RL issues with hospital and work etc, you know how it goes. How much easier it was when we were still in college......

Anyhows, trying to get my own WoWrpg session back on the rails as well. Got a party of mainly warriors and rogues and a healer. Now one of the warriors wants to reroll arcanist. Great, more diversity! But, also a set of rules I haven't used in years. I am assisting him with setting up his Arcanist, and I am encountering something confusing in the Player Handbook. It is regarding the skill spellcraft (this also came up in the mana system discussion). This guy is a high elf, with int 19 and starts as a lvl 8 arcanist/mage. So, he receives spellslots from the following area's:
- 4 Extra lvl 0 spells for being a High elf
- Basic spellslots for a lvl 8 arcanist/mage
- Bonus spellslots for having 19 int.

In this campaign we still use the 'old' spell system (I changed to the mana system in another campaign). So, now he gets:
- (4+4=8) lvl 0 spells
- (4+1=5) lvl 1 spells
- (3+1=4) lvl 2 spells
- (3+1=4) lvl 3 spells
- (2+1=4) lvl 4 spells

Now the confusing part. The skill spellcraft (remember that skills are mainly there to improve certain abilities by giving plusses on success dice) says the following:
"Special: Spellcasters can prepare 1 additional spell per spell level for every 4 ranks in Spellcraft." (Source: PHB page 132).

So the guy comes up to me and says... According to the PHB, I can get the above spell slots plus 1 for each 4 ranks in spellcraft. So the skill spellcraft actually increases my available amount of prepared spells.

The character is level 8, meaning he can put a max of 8+3=11 ranks into a specific skill. If I take this statement literally than this means that this mage gets a total of 10 extra spellslots (2lvl0, 2lvl1, 2lvl2, 2lvl3, 2lvl4) just for putting in skillpoints. This is rather silly as an int-based char gets loads of skillpoints to begin with. So off course, every mage/arcanist will max out spellcraft. Looking at the spells the character could cast pre-spellcraft, that means he essentially increases most of his spellslots by 50%. This is absurd in my eyes. Skills should not have this big of an impact on the playstyle.

When reading further, I stumbled on table 15-1 on page 253. In here, it says a character has a maximum amount of prepared spells based on their intellect. It then specifically mentions that this maximum is increased when a character puts ranks in spellcraft. This page also shows an example for the character Finster. It shows that the spellcraft skill increases the maximum prep spells, not the actual spellslots.

So, my conclusion is that the idea of spellcraft is the following:
By investing skillpoints in the skill 'spellcraft' the character extends the amount of maximum prepared spells per level. This means that the character in my campain with int 19 can take maximum 11+2=13 spells per spell level. This skill does nothing for the actual amount of available spellslots.

My question to you:
Is my conclusion correct? I think the wording of the skill spellcraft is rather poor which can lead to confusement. Especially when English is not your native language.

What do you guys think?

Thanks in advance!
Mcgeneral
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Re: Confusion about Spellcraft skill in WoWrpg (standard rul

Postby Mcgeneral » Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:20 pm

Ok, the more I think of it, the more it confirms my doubt.

Say that the arcanist/mage becomes lvl 9. Then he gets access to level 5 spells. He can cast 1 based on his level. He gets no bonus spellslots for int 19. So the total max remains 1.
If the spellcraft rule would give bonus spellslots, the would get 12/4=3 bonus spell slots. So his 1 lvl 5 spellslot becomes 4. Thats just completely insane.

I would still like to hear you guys' input.

Thanks again!
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Re: Confusion about Spellcraft skill in WoWrpg (standard rul

Postby Arrius Nideal » Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:24 am

Welcome back, Mcgeneral.

I agree: more ranks in Spellcraft increase the number of spells prepared--but not the spell slots present. The World of Warcraft RPG runs on a similar framework to 5e D&D. On page 253, it even says:

While a spellcasting hero can only cast a certain number of spells between periods of rest, the ability to have a few needed spells prepared combined with the ability to keep them always at the ready allows him to be as versatile as he needs to be. This method has risen out of the need for Warcraft spellcasters to be ready for change at any moment’s notice and keep casting as long as conflict lasts.


A spellcaster can know any number of spells, but there is a limit to how many spells of each level he can have ready to cast at any given time. These are referred to as prepared, or prepped, spells. The character also has a number of spell slots for each level, each day. Casting a prepared spell uses up one of these slots, but the spell is not lost from the caster’s memory. Instead, the character can cast each prepared spell any number of times as long as the total number of spells he casts does not exceed his daily allotment.


So the system works exactly as 5e does: You know a truckload of spells, but you have a limited amount of spell slots to spend them on.
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Re: Confusion about Spellcraft skill in WoWrpg (standard rul

Postby Mcgeneral » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:13 pm

So if I understand correctly it works as follows:
The level 8 Highelf mage with int 19 has a spellbook with 20 level 0 spells, 25 level 1 spells, 15 level 2 spells etc.
From his spellbook he can prepare 11+2=13 spells per spell level. So 13 lvl 0 spells, 13 level 1 spells, 13 level 2 spells etc.
The mage has 8 lvl 0 spellslots, 5 lvl 1 spells, 4 lvl 2 spells etc. So from his 13 prepared lvl0 spells he can use 8. From his 13 prepared lvl 1 spells, he can use 5. And from his 13 prepared lvl 2 spells, he can use 4.

The higher level op prepared spells gives the player choice. But he is still limited to his actual number of spellslots.



Do you agree?
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Re: Confusion about Spellcraft skill in WoWrpg (standard rul

Postby Arrius Nideal » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:02 pm

After some crunching, here is my ruling:

Spells in Spellbook start out with all 0-level, and 3 + Int number of 1st level spells. As far as I know, you do not gain free spells from leveling up such as in PF. The mage therefore has to pay to gain more spells into his spellbook.
Total prepped spells are 15 for each spell level. 13 base, (see table 5-1: Prepared Spells on Page 253); + 2 from 8 spellcraft ranks.
Total spell slots are 5 0 level; 7 1st level; 6 2nd level; 5 3rd level; and 4 4th level spell slots.

[Intelligence gives 0 0th; 2 1st; 2 2nd; 1 3rd; 1 4th
Class base gives 4 0th; 4 1st; 3 2nd; 3 3rd; 2 4th
Arcanist gives +1, +1, +1, +1, +1 spell slots]
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Re: Confusion about Spellcraft skill in WoWrpg (standard rul

Postby Big Mac » Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:26 pm

Sorry I missed your topic earlier. (You are not the only one with RL things taking away your gaming time.)

Mcgeneral wrote:So the guy comes up to me and says... According to the PHB, I can get the above spell slots plus 1 for each 4 ranks in spellcraft. So the skill spellcraft actually increases my available amount of prepared spells.


Are you sure that is meant to be prepared spells and not known spells? :?
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Re: Confusion about Spellcraft skill in WoWrpg (standard rul

Postby The Dark » Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:41 am

Mcgeneral wrote:So if I understand correctly it works as follows:
The level 8 Highelf mage with int 19 has a spellbook with 20 level 0 spells, 25 level 1 spells, 15 level 2 spells etc.
From his spellbook he can prepare 11+2=13 spells per spell level. So 13 lvl 0 spells, 13 level 1 spells, 13 level 2 spells etc.
The mage has 8 lvl 0 spellslots, 5 lvl 1 spells, 4 lvl 2 spells etc. So from his 13 prepared lvl0 spells he can use 8. From his 13 prepared lvl 1 spells, he can use 5. And from his 13 prepared lvl 2 spells, he can use 4.

The higher level op prepared spells gives the player choice. But he is still limited to his actual number of spellslots.



Do you agree?
Mostly.
From Table 15-1 (page 253), the character can prepare 11 spells per spell level. With 11 ranks of spellcraft, it increases to 13, as you say.
At level 8, the character has 4/4/3/3/2 spell slots for class, and 0/1/1/1/1 for Int 19, for a total of 4/5/4/4/3 spell slots to use for the (up to) 13 prepared spells of each level. Note that actually preparing that many spells might not make sense, since it takes 1 minute per spell level to prepare each spell. Preparing all 65 spells would take (13+13+26+39+52+65) 208 minutes, or a bit less than 3.5 hours.

The only area where I'm not matching up is the 0-level spell slots; the character needs to take a level in High Elf to gain the 4 extra slots (and note that those 4 slots must be allocated each day to 4 specific spells, which are cast at his High Elf level, not his total caster level - they're spell-like abilities, and Increased Caster Level explicitly does not include spell-like abilities). Basically, the character will have four specific 0-level spells cast at High Elf level and four 0-level spells picked from the 13 prepared spells cast at Caster Level.
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