Xadian Magic (3.5e Variant Rule)
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- 1 Xadian Magic
- 1.1 The Sources
- 1.2 Xadian Casting
- 1.3 New Character Options
- 1.4 Disclaimer
In this variant rule I will explore a system of magic based on that found in Netflix original series, The Dragon Prince. I own none of the rights to that show; I'm merely adopting the idea to the D&D 3.5e system.
With this variant rule, magical power originates from one of seven sources. The first six are Primal, the seventh was invented. To cast a spell, you have to have some of the appropriate Source to draw from, and the strength of Source you need varies with the strength of the magic you're producing. If a spell fits into multiple categories, determine the needed Source using Descriptor first, Subschool second and School last.
The sun is bright and hot, and reveals all in its burning light. Sun spells are [Light], [Fire], and Transmutation effects.
Minor Sources: Torch; Campfire.
Greater Sources: Wildfire; Lava.
Supreme Sources: The sun itself.
The sun guards over the night, watching the secrets unfold in the shadows. Moon spells are Illusion, Conjuration and [Darkness] effects.
Minor Sources: New moon or less than half illuminated; 15ft cubic area of dim light.
Greater Sources: Half or greater illuminated moon; 50ft cubic area of no light.
Supreme Sources: The full moon.
The entrancing Stars watch from above, and any wishes are cast upon them in hopes of little miracles. Star spells are Divination and [Time] effects, as well as Wish, Miracle, and related spells.
Minor Sources: The stars during the daytime.
Greater Sources: The stars during a cloudy night.
Supreme Sources: The stars during a clear night.
The strong Earth below our feet supports us, gives us life, grows food for us, and her metal protects us. Earth spells are Abjuration, (Healing), [Earth], [Animal] and [Plant] spells.
Minor Sources: Barren earth; Glass; A common plant or animal.
Greater Sources: Lush earth; An item of precious metal worth 10kGP or more; A rare, exotic, or especially magical plant or animal.
Supreme Sources: A gemstone worth 50kGP or more; A unique plant or animal such as the World Tree.
The deep sea holds its mysteries, eroding the earth to find little treasures, changing barren earth to lush green. Sea spells are Enchantment, [Water] and [Cold] spells.
Minor Sources: Pond; Creek; Dew (Or <6 Inches of snow or ice) in a 50sqft area.
Greater Sources: River; Standing water, snow or ice at least a foot deep in a 50ft area.
Supreme Sources: The ocean; A glacier.
The Sky is the messenger, carrying storms, voices and other energies to where they need to go. Sky spells are Evocation, [Air], [Electricity], [Sonic] and [Language-Dependent] spells.
Minor Sources: A gentle rain; The cloudy open sky when winds are persistently above 5mph.
Greater Sources: A thunderstorm; The cloudy open sky when winds are persistently above 30mph.
Supreme Sources: A hurricane or tornado; The cloudy open sky when winds are persistently above 50mph.
Dark magic was invented as a way to get around traditional Sources, stripping the magic from magical creatures, often in a manner that causes them death. Dark magic spells are Necromancy spells, and Dark magic can be used to cast spells belonging to any other Source, provided the magical creature whose essence is used in the Dark magic was attuned to the Source (A Dryad for Earth, a Red Dragon for Sun, a Displacer Beast for Moon, and so forth).
With Xadian magic, your magic relies on the strength of the Source you're using. Sure, you can cast weak Sea spells from a vial of water, but it's going to deplete much faster than the power of a river would, much less the seas itself. Rather than having daily spell slots, you have to keep bouncing from Source to Source to fuel your magic.
Each Primal Source in Xadian Magic has a Strength, which both determines the most powerful spell that can be cast from it, and how frequently you can cast from it. Each Source Strength rating goes from 1 to 10. A strength of 1 will allow you to cast a 0th-level spell, a Strength of 2 will allow you to cast a level 1 spell, and so forth.
When you cast a spell from a Primal Source, that reduces its Strength rating by an amount equal to the spell level, down to a minimum of 0. If casting a spell from any Source, Primal or otherwise, would reduce it below 0, the spell simply fails and all remaining Strength is drained from the Source in the process.
Sources come in three categories - Minor, Greater, and Supreme.
Minor Sources are those with a Strength of 1 to 3, such as a torch, a boulder, a pond, or a gentle breeze. They regain one point of Strength per day.
Greater Sources are those with a Strength between 4 and 8, such as a river, wildfire, vein of precious metals, or thunderstorm. They regain one point of Strength per hour.
Supreme Sources are those with a Strength of 9 or 10, such as a unique and precious gem, the deep ocean, a hurricane, or the sun itself. They regain one point of Strength per minute.
Dark magic comes from a source unlike the six Primal sources - Rather than an aspect of nature, Dark magic is stolen from living beings. Usually, the death of a magical creature (Fey, Magical Beast, Dragon, Outsider, Elemental, Undead, Constructs, anything specifically related to magic, such as having magical abilities by means of their race, not by means of class levels) is required to release its magic.
When a magical creature is slain, it releases energy with a Strength rating equal to half its CR (Min 1), including counting as being of the appropriate Source Grade (See above). This energy fades over time if not used, losing 1 point of Strength per round unless trapped (See Storing Magic below).
The Self Source
Magical creatures, such as elves of the right type, fey, elementals, and the like, can use themselves as a Source for spells that make sense for them (A Fire Genasi could use themselves as a Source for Sun magic, but not for Sea magic, and etc). However, this is dangerous.
When using yourself as a Source, you count as a Source of a Strength equal to 1/2 your CR, usually meaning equal to 1/2 your Effective Character Level. However, as your Source Strength lowers from casting, you grow more and more tired.
As a Minor Source, you are Fatigued when your Source Strength is depleted. As a Greater Source, you are Fatigued when your Source Strength is below half, and Exhausted when it is depleted. As a Supreme Source, you are Fatigued when your Source Strength is below half, Exhausted when it's below 1/4, and Staggered when it is depleted.
You can use yourself as a source of Dark magic without killing yourself, but each point of Source Strength you use deals 1d4 Vile damage to you per point of Source Strength consumed. Unlike normal Vile damage, this damage cannot be healed even within a Hallowed or Consecrated area - It can only be healed once the Source Strength you expended regenerates on its own.
Using a Creature as a Source without Dark magic
If a magical creature is willing or helpless, you can use it strength to cast spells (Using the rules under Self Source, above). This includes dealing Vile damage to the Source target if you're using if for Dark magic. If you have a Familiar of the right type, it can even be used as a Source (As a magical creature of 1/2 your character level in CR, min 1), a good reason for having one around and protecting it.
Additionally, some creatures are so powerful or steeped in magic that they generate it faster, flooding an area with power - This is called an Amplification Field. These creatures generate power within an aura out to 5ft per 3 HD; This aura has a Strength rating equal to 1/4 what the creature's Strength would be (Rounded down, min 1), and regenerates 1 point of Source Strength per minute.
Additionally, other Sources within the Field have their recovery speed increased as if they were a 1 grade higher - Thus a Minor source would recover 1 point per hour, Greater would get 1 point per minute, and Supreme would recover 1 point of Strength per round. Multiple creatures with similar Amp Field auras can amplify each other's Fields in this manner, but the amplification only affects the regen rate of the Fields themselves, not of any other Sources within the fields - A Source that isn't an Amp Field can't benefit from the amplification of more than one Amp Field. Amp Fields cannot amplify themselves.
Creatures with Amplification Field auras are usually Greater or Supreme Sources themselves, such as Greater and Elder Elementals, Mature Adult or older Dragons, and other similar things, like Fey and Outsiders of CR 10 or higher.
You can attempt to store magic for later use, in an object. Doing so requires a 10-minute ritual, and a masterwork or enchanted object - The vessel for holding the magic - Worth at least 5,000gp per point of Source Strength you're trying to store. Once stored, it remains stored indefinitely until the magic is used, or the item is broken. However, if the ritual is not completed once begun, or is interrupted for even a single round (Treat as concentrating on a spell, spell level equal to the amount of Source Strength you're storing, minus 1), the energy is lost and dissipates. Magic stored in an item retains its Source type unless otherwise noted.
Wands, staves, scrolls, and other magical items that have spells in them, are actually just magic stored in this way, with the appropriate glyphs and incantations included in or on the item to create the appropriate spell effect, but this require the appropriate feats and spells to create as normal.
You can also use this process to transfer energy from one Source to another, or from a Stored magic item to a Source; But when doing so, you cannot store any more Source Strength in the Source than its normal maximum. This does, however, let you change the Source type if you're intelligent about it.
Generating Magic By Using Magic
In theory, it would be logical that one could use a single Sun spell to set fire to a forest, wait for the fire to grow, and use that same fire to cast a larger Sun spell - Or summon a creature and kill it for infinite magic.
But in practice, you can't create any more energy than was already there. When the fire burns the wood, it's just changing the local Earth energies into Sun energies, and the summoned creature isn't really there in most cases, so it doesn't generate very much power of its own.
So, to put it simply, you can use magic to create or amplify a Source for more magic...In a way. However, you can't create any more power than was already there - Meaning you make no gains. You can only use magic to change an existing Source from one type or another, such as with the burning forest above, or dispel a spell in order to get back the magic used to create it - Thus giving you no more energy than if you hadn't cast that first spell at all.
This is the same with "turning it off and back on again", such as igniting and extinguishing a torch over and over again for infinite minor Sun power, or sucking all the magic out of an area of snow, then walking forward 5ft to count it as a "new" area of snow. Once you drain the magic from a Source, no matter how large or small, it has to regenerate over time, or by putting magic back into it from another source (Using the same mechanic as Storing Magic, above, except that you can't store any more magic in a Source than its normal maximum), which which case you, again, make no gains beyond perhaps changing the Source type.
New Character Options
- Xadian Magician (Wizard)
- Xadian Sourceblood (Sorcerer/Favored Soul)
- Xadian Crusader (Cleric/Paladin)
- Xadian Wildling (Ranger/Druid)
Source Focus [General]
Benefit: Choose one Source of magic (Sun, Moon, Star, Earth, Sky, Sea, or Dark). Spells belonging to this Source (Except when using Dark magic to cast spells from other Sources) gain +1 caster level and +1 DC when cast by you.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times; This does not stack and must apply to a different Source each time.