House Rule: Wizard Fatigue

So reading through my fantasy books I noticed something odd about magic users that differed from the traditional tabletop wizards and mages.
Mages get tired as they cast their spells. In D&D a wizard can waste all their spells and then just sit pretty until time comes when they rest.
I know the spells/day is supposed to be a “This is what your body can handle” but I just feel like a new mechanic should be introduced.
That is why I’ve come up with the Mana bar. (I play pathfinder so what I’m about to say should be compatible with it and 3.5)
Now the way it works is you have a number of points based off of your constitution score. (E.g. 10 con, 10 points)
Casting your top three highest levels of spells drain your mana by different amounts.
Highest- 4 mana
2nd- 2 mana
3rd-1 mana
Any spell lower than three spell levels lower than your highest does not cost you mana.
Therefore at level 5 0-level spells cost no mana, and at level 17 6th-level spells will not cost you mana.
Now lets say you are a 5th level wizard with 10 con. You are being attacked and spend two of your 3rd level spells! You spent 8 mana. Therefore leaving you with two mana remaining. You are now weary.
When you expend more than half your mana bar you become weary making you take a -2 to str and dex for a time of 30 – 5 x (Con Mod). (max +5).
Now how do I not go over if casting spells depletes it?
Simple, catch your breath.
Lets say you instead just cast one 3rd level spell, and therefore just spent 4 mana leaving you with 6/10.
When your next turn comes up you have 3 options:
Do nothing strenous– I.e. no standard or move. This regenerates your mana at 4+Con mod.
Move or take Standard- This will regenerate it at a 2+con mod rate.
Cast low level spells- Any spell under 3 lower than your highest will not cost you mana and allow you to regenerate at 1+con mod.
There you catch your breath and can cast again.
But hey! What if you reach 0 mana?!
Well you become drained. This makes you past weary and overides the weary symptoms.
Drained causes you to take a -6 to str and dex until you rest/sleep for at least 1 hour.
Now does having 0 mana mean no spells? Nope!
Just means that if cast another mana draining spell you go unconscious for a number of hours equal to how many points you go under 0.
This unconscious rids you of drained and weary, and when you wake up you are at full mana. You may not regain spell uses from this rest. You also are unable to wake up by any non-magical efforts.
Well, thats what I’ve written so far.
Questions, comments, and concerns are welcome.
-Yorick Sofer

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4 thoughts on “House Rule: Wizard Fatigue

  1. While the system is well thought out I have to say there’s no need to punish spellcasters like this. It’s bad enough they only get so many spells per day. Hell in second edition (which I still play from time to time) a level one wizard gets one spell. That’s it. The way it sits now is already balanced. That’s just my opinion. If you added something positive along with it the system might make more sense. Bonus spell damage, bonus initiative, higher DC if you have positive mana, etc.

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    1. Yes, I remember the days of 2nd. My first character in 2nd was a wizard. Hmm… kind of weird to think about a positive effect that doesn’t do anything to over the top. If anything I’ll find a use for this with sorcerer’s and there “no need to memorize spells cause I’m natural.” I felt it just would add a little flare for wizards and make them not waste all of their spells the situation could have been handled.

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      1. That’s the thing. If you waste all of your spells on stupidity you learn very quickly that you’ll be arse out later. My players have learned over time to balance pew pew with more utility and defensive spells though what I call the “OW OW OW that hurt” factor.

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      2. When the idea popped up it was to keep my idiot low level wizards from just popping cantrip attacks constantly.
        Wasn’t a winning tactic, due to they always died. Past that it was just to make characters feel more like people. Instead of just a cannon to help allies.

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