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D20 Humility

Occasionally, outspoken gits like myself have to eat a bit of humble pie when they realize they've stepped over the line in their assumptions. Okay, fine, Wizards of the Coast knew what they were doing with spell resistance in the D20 system, after all.

I thought that the only modifier to a spell resistance overcoming roll was feats such as Greater Spell Penetration. Actually, you add your caster class level to the roll, which is a massive difference: +20 by level 20.

Those commonly available 12 spell resistance Sashes of Shimmering become completely ineffective against a level 12 caster. 31 spell resistance on a lvl 20 Dark Elf isn't such a bad thing: Without any Spell Penetration feat, you've a 50% chance of overcoming it at level 20. Casting Assay Resistance overcomes it entirely. Spell Resistance is really more of a level restriction mechanic than anything else.

On top of that, making saving throws versus spells isn't that easy to do. The base DC is 10 + spell level + attribute modifier + additional modifiers (e.g. Spell Focus or Spellcasting Prodigy). Without modifiers, casting against the strongest saving throw of a foe gives about a 50% chance of them making a saving throw. Many spells do not offer a saving throw, while others are still quite effective against foes that have made theirs.

The D20 system is pretty well balanced in that all classes at any level face about a 50% chance to hit, affect others with spells, or make skill throws before special modifiers such as attribute bonuses or enchantments come into play. It's a pretty brilliant system, really. Although critical hits on power attacks are still pretty damn overpowered, the humble caster isn't as gimped as I was thinking.

Faith in D20 magic renewed, next I'm thinking I'll roll up a 1 Rogue, even Sorceror/Arcane Scholar Of Candlekeep with Able Learning to keep that trap disarming skill up. Yes, I'm still trying to get rid of Neeshka's spot in the party, and the nice thing about a Sorceror is I don't need to juggle tedious spellbook maintenance.

The thing that really impresses me about this combination is the instant use of metamagic feats. This means I can technically cast Magic Missile (into the darkness) 24 times: 6 times normally as a level 1 spell, 6 times empowered as a level 2 spell, 6 times maximized as a level 3 spell, and 6 times quickened as a level 4 spell. That's awesome enough that I want to try it.


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