Enhanced Existence Magic Overhaul (5e Variant Rule)
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Enhanced Existence Magic Overhaul
This magic overhaul ruleset is dedicated to completely empowering magic. Given the fact that magic is already powerful, it might break the late game quite a bit if you as a DM aren't ready to accommodate the changes. Consider how enemies of the party might use these rules to become more dangerous as well. Other rulesets of my Enhanced Existence project yet to be made will also have some effort to offset the changes, such as complex fighting styles, skill-based combat for rouges and the like, and outright tougher conditions for the environment.
This first addition, however, is all about making magic truly capable of anything in the right circumstances. The core of this ruleset is that it adds 10th level magic to the game, but DOESN'T allow players to gain 10th level spellslots easily (Only deities or those with a certain Boon can outright cast 10th level magic). This normally unobtainable power level therefore is what caused the rest of the ruleset to need to exist.
10th Level Magic
10th level magic uses a 10th level spellslot. However, those with the Boon of High magic (Or any effect that gives them more than one 9th level spellslots, as you just need two) can spend both 9th level spellslots to cast a 10th level spell. Instead, under this ruleset, players with spellslots can gift 1 using their action to a creature holding their action to cast a spell. The spellslot given must be the same level (Or higher) as the original spell, and raises the held spell's level by one. Multiple casters can do this before the spell launches, and because the caster always knows what level the spell is, they can hold their action to loose the sell after it reaches a specific level. To hold a spell this way, the caster must hold their concentration on it, and if the spell's level is raised this way, they must make a concentration check with a DC equal to 10 + the spell's level, losing (Or releasing the spell to a random target or direction of the DM's choice) the spell on a fail.
You may notice that there's no restrictions on the level of the spell the caster is trying for. A caster that wants a 1st-level spell to work at 2nd level can do this. However, to counter the possibility of abusing this to get spell levels casters don't have yet, a spell raised this way above the level that a caster can cast on their own causes disadvantage on the concentration check to keep it together. For this purpose, a caster that can cast 9th level spells doesn't have disadvantage on the concentration check to make a spell 10th level.
For 10th level spells, each has their own Hold Value. A spell's Hold Value is the lowest level spellslot the original caster can use to hold the spell, but if it doesn't reach the minimum level the spell can be cast at before the start of their next turn (Or they try to cast it at a lower level than possible) then the spell fizzles out, wasting all the spellslots used and given in the process. You can make Hold Values for any lesser spell as well if you wish, but 1st level spells are immune to this because of being the lowest level spells with spellslots required, meaning you can't allow casters to try this with cantrips because they have no mechanical limit in-game.
The Hold Value is also the lowest level spellslot a caster can contribute if it has one. Casters can contribute spellslots under the spell's default level to raise it, but only if someone else gives an equal spellslot. Doing so creates a separate spellslot that's one level higher than the ones used (two 8th-level spellslots would make a single 9th-level one for example) to contribute. If the resulting spellslot is still lower, another caster can contribute their own to raise it again, until it's a level equal to the level of the spell, which raises the spell's level as if someone contributed a spellslot that high. Spells that don't have a Hold Value can have any level spellslot attempt to contribute.
Sorcerers can instead contribute Sorcery Points, at a rate identical to their tradeoff for spellslots in their Flexible Casting feature, including its 5th level limit. Sorcerers also have advantage on the concentration check made to maintain the spell they hold when it is made stronger by external spellslots. This advantage is beyond the normal disadvantage given to them, so instead of a straight concentration check, it's made with advantage. This only applies if the spell isn't more than 2 levels higher than the caster is normally capable of.
Finally, any class of caster can contribute spellslots to a spell to raise its level, not just those that can cast the actual spell. A spell that only Bards can do can still be enhanced by a Druid, and so on.
- Wiki Note
For the purposes of this wiki, all 10th level spells are listed as 9th level spells. Make no mistake, they are designed to be 10th level, and are typically too powerful to reasonably use as 9th level magic.
- Spells Affected
The following are all 10th level spells that use this ruleset.
Enhanced Permanency (Hold Value 5)
Perfect Wish (Hold Value 9)
Purge Evil or Good (Hold Value 7)
Resurrection From Beyond (Hold Value 5)
Tame (Hold Value 7)
Violet Inferno (Hold Value 5)
Ancient Magic was going to be its own ruleset, but as I workshopped it I ended up thinking it'd be better as part of this one. If you disagree, you don't have to use Ancient Magic for your game, simply using the first School with any given spell instead of all of the ones listed.
That'll make sense after I tell you that Ancient magic is magic that had long sense been lost only to be dug up in more recent times. The original versions of the spells are always lost, but spells that are close to what they once were, or new spells entirely, can be made from those ancient findings. Because of this, the resulting spells, be they inspired by such findings or ripped straight from them, is that the spells can appear to be mixed into more than one school of magic at once. Spells that define what school of magic a spell or effect has doesn't detect a specific school unless the caster is aware ancient magic exists. No caster at the start of any campaign (Unless you explicitly allow otherwise), understands what Ancient Magic is or that it exists in the first place, making the outcome of not sensing any specific school of magic fairly common. For clarity, this is with spells like Detect magic and Identify, but otherwise doesn't affect them. Ancient magic can be confusing to detect as well, since some normal magic effects still have no defined school of magic, and behave as such.
Most Ancient Magic always has 2 schools. While spells discovered in an ancient ruin or from finding something really old to study can have 1 school of magic and still be ancient magic, the ruleset only applies to those that have more than one school of magic. Most 10th level spells also follow Ancient Magic principles, but if you don't want to use this, simply use the first listed school instead.
Most importantly, Ancient Magic cannot be learned normally through levelling. These spells can only be learned by those that are taught by someone who knows them, or uncovered by studying the notes of a creature that knew the spell (DC for an Arcana check to understand the spell would be 10 + spell's level, but at disadvantage if the creature doesn't know spellcasting or doesn't know about ancient magic.). A caster that learns an ancient magic spell this way can add it to the spells they can learn to use, meaning if they prepare spells, they can prepare the spell they learn. Wizards still have to put the spell in their spellbook to prepare them, and those that don't prepare spells still have to choose them when levelling up. As a variant, you can have spells learned this way not count against the amount of spells the caster can learn or memorize, allowing them to always keep a spell they learn this way without losing anything else. However, a caster can learn of a spell this way, but can only use it if it's on their spell list. A Rogue still can't learn a Sorcerer spell this way.
- Spells Affected
The following are all spells that use Ancient Magic.