Recharging Magic (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Author: Ghostwheel (talk)
Date Created: June 4, 2012
Status: Complete
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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Recharging Magic[edit]

While some people like Vancian magic (as most of the spellcasters use), others prefer to have casters on more-or-less the same schedule as other, more "normal" classes; this a variant for those.

How it Works[edit]

Rather than expending a spell and being unable to cast that spell, with this variant casters who cast a spell of a certain level are unable to cast a spell of the same level until that spell level recharges. A character can attempt to recharge the level of a spell by taking a swift action, though one cannot have cast that spell level during the same round in which they attempt to recharge it, and cannot cast that level of spells on the same round on which they regained it. Spell levels have a chance to be regained based on the highest-level spell they can cast, rolling 3d6 and consulting the table below for prepared casters:

Spell Recharging Reference Table
Spell Level DC to refresh
Highest level 13
Second highest 12
Third highest 11
Fourth highest 10
Fifth highest 9
Sixth highest 8
Seventh highest 7
Eigth highest 6
Ninth highest 5

Spontaneous casters instead roll a 3d6+1. You can only recharge spells from a single class in any given round.

Arcane spell failure in this variant, rather than giving a miss chance, instead reduces the chance to regain a spell level by -1 for every 5% ACF that the armor would have normally incurred. Thus, a chain shirt (normally 20% ASF) instead reduces the roll on the 3d6 roll by 4.

Casters who have access to 3rd level or higher spells may instead attempt to regain a lower level spell at the same time as a higher-level one, though the lower-level spell must be at least 3 levels below the level of the higher-level spell. They declare which two spell levels they want to regain (the lower one at least 4 levels below the higher one), and make a single roll using it against both chances.

Thus, a character attempting to regain a 7th level spell (the highest they can cast) and a 3rd level spell at the same time would roll a 3d6; if they rolled a 13 or higher, they would regain both with the same action, if they rolled less than 13 but above 9 they would regain their 3rd level spell, and 9 or below they would regain neither.

Changes to Classes[edit]

Since prepared casters are improved far more when using this variant than spontaneous casters, a few rules are in place to set them back and stop them from being able to have virtually any spell every single day.


A Cleric chooses two domains at level one that are thematic to his deity or ideal (as normal), and gains access to another domain at levels 5, 10, 15, and 20. The maximum level of spell that the Cleric can prepare that is not one of their Domain spells is equal to the highest-level spell an Adept who had the same number of levels as the cleric's class level could cast.

Good and evil clerics can spontaneously convert their spells as normal, allowing them to cast Cure or Inflict spells at their highest spell levels rather than the highest level of an Adept could cast.


Any character who takes a level of Wizard must choose two schools of magic that he wishes to be well-versed in. A specialist Wizard only get one, their specialty school. The maximum level of spell that the Wizard can prepare from a school that is not a chosen school is equal to the highest-level spell an Adept who had the same number of levels as the wizard's class level could cast.

Thus, and 8th level Wizard who specialized in Enchantment could cast level 4 Enchantment spells, but only level 3 spells from any other school.


Some spells are problematic if cast often; to mitigate this, those spells have a longer recharge time, depending on the specific spell. When cast, the spell level is unavailable and can be regained normally, but that spell cannot be regained until a certain amount of time has gone by. Use the table here for specific recharge times, but since magic is a constantly changing thing, evolving and adapting to the magic-users in the world, the DM should change the recharge times of specific spells as they need to.

Another exception is when a spell is cast in order to counter or dispel the same spell specifically. In this case, if the spell has a specific recharge time, the specific recharge time does not apply. Instead, treat the spell as a general recharge spell of that level.

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Ghostwheel's Homebrew (310 Articles)
AuthorGhostwheel +
Identifier3.5e Variant Rule +
Rated ByLeziad +, Foxwarrior +, DanielDraco +, Fluffykittens + and Aarnott +
RatingRated 1.2 / 4 +
TitleRecharging Magic +