The Anarchy of King Stephen
All spellcasters in the Kingdom of Wessex campaign setting function as a “hybrid” of preparatory and spontaneous casters. Casters have a certain number of spells they prepare each day; however, by using Overcasting (see below), they may cast any spell that they have learned directly from their spellbook.
In order to prepare his spells, the spellcaster must be well-rested. Interruptions during the night (such as an ambush or other strenuous activity) do not necessarily preclude a good night’s rest; DM’s discretion is called for here, but at the very least a caster ought to be allowed a Composure save to see if a given interruption caused him to lose his night’s rest.
Note: casters must have a good night’s rest even if they do not need sleep.
A caster has a certain number of spells he may prepare per day. A caster may prepare any spell he knows of a given spell level, but may prepare each spell only once. Preparing spells requires an hour no matter how many spells are being prepared. A character may prepare spells multiple times per day if he does not fill all his slots during the first session, but each attempt after the first requires a Concentration check to enter the necessary mental state. This check has a DC of 20, +5 for each subsequent check. Failure indicates that the character is unable to prepare spells again until he has rested.
Once a character has prepared his spells, he does not need to prepare them again until he wishes to change his spell selection. A spell that has been expended (see below) isn’t lost, and the character may cast it again the following day.
A character may cast any spell he has prepared once per day, after which that spell is considered “expended.” If the character wishes to cast a spell he does not have prepared, or re-cast a spell he has already cast, he must make an Overcasting check.
Attempting to Overcast a spell that the character does not have prepared requires the character to have access to his spellbook, and takes two rounds (i.e. the character must spend two rounds doing nothing but “casting,” and the spell goes off at the beginning of the third round). Any interruption of this process results in the spell failing. Overcasting a spell the character has prepared but expended does not take any additional time.
If a character wishes to Overcast a spell, he has two options: if he is attempting to Overcast a spell he has prepared, he may expend a point of Willpower, in which case he is able to cast the spell as normal. If the character is unable to or does not wish to expend Willpower, or does not have the spell prepared, he must make an Overcasting check.
A character may attempt to Overcast any spell that he has in his spellbook, even if he could not actually prepare the spell (such as because the spell is too high level). To do this, the character rolls 2d6, and consults the Overcasting table:
|Spell Level||Spellcraft 1 – 3||4 – 5||6 – 7||8 – 9||10+|
|1||2-5 Fail||2-4 Fail||2-3 Fail||2 Fail||2 Fail|
|6-7 Delay||5-6 Delay||4 Delay||3-4 Delay||3 Delay|
|8+ Cast||7+ Cast||5+ Cast||5+ Cast||4+ Cast|
|2||2-6 Fail||2-5 Fail||2-4 Fail||2-3 Fail||2 Fail|
|7-8 Delay||6-7 Delay||5-6 Delay||4 Delay||3-4 Delay|
|9+ Cast||8+ Cast||7+ Cast||5+ Cast||5+ Cast|
|3||2-7 Fail||2-6 Fail||2-5 Fail||2-4 Fail||2-3 Fail|
|8-9 Delay||7-8 Delay||6-7 Delay||5-6 Delay||4 Delay|
|10+ Cast||9+ Cast||8+ Cast||7+ Cast||5+ Cast|
|4||2-8 Fail||2-7 Fail||2-6 Fail||2-5 Fail||2-4 Fail|
|9-10 Delay||8-9 Delay||7-8 Delay||6-7 Delay||5-6 Delay|
|11+ Cast||10+ Cast||9+ Cast||8+ Cast||7+ Cast|
|5||2-9 Fail||2-8 Fail||2-7 Fail||2-6 Fail||2-5 Fail|
|10-11 Delay||9-10 Delay||8-9 Delay||7-8 Delay||6-7 Delay|
|12 Cast||11+ Cast||10+ Cast||9+ Cast||8+ Cast|
|6||2-10 Fail||2-9 Fail||2-8 Fail||2-7 Fail||2-6 Fail|
|11-12 Delay||10-11 Delay||9-10 Delay||8-9 Delay||7-8 Delay|
|12 Cast||11+ Cast||10+ Cast||9+ Cast|
Fail: The spell fails to cast. The character takes xd4 backlash damage, where x is equal to the spell’s level, and the character is unable to Overcast spells of that level or higher until he has rested.
Delay: The character must spend an additional full round casting, at which time he makes another Overcast check. Losing the spell during this additional time results in the spell failing, as above.
Cast: The spell is cast as normal.
Note: the only way casting level 6 spells is possible is through Overcasting. No class is able to prepare level 6 spells; they represent power too great for mere mortals to reliably harness.
Cantrips are not expended the way normal spells are — a character may cast any cantrip he has prepared an unlimited number of times per day. Characters may also cast cantrips out of their spellbooks, but doing so takes two full rounds as described above (but does not require an Overcasting roll).
Casters gain a number of bonus prepared spells equal to their INT. The first bonus spell gained is level 1, the second level 2, etc., continuing like this until the sixth bonus spell, which is again level 1.