(Below originated from this reddit thread.)
When reading the “Black Magic Wizards” (p83) and “Magic User” (p98) NPCs of TBH2E, I noticed they have usage dice for spells.
This got me wondering: Why wasn’t that design applied to PC Wizards or Clerics?
Spell casting Usage Die
No memorization, you can cast any spell you have learnt.
Spell casters get a single spell usage die by level, which they roll after casting any spell:
L1 = Ud4, L2-L4 = Ud6, L5-L7 = Ud8, L8-L9 = Ud10, L10+ = Ud12
This is refreshed after a full Day of rest.
Learn new spells by spending some time/coins to study a scroll/book/teacher, and passing an INT check (TODO Make up some table). If you have a teacher, you can roll with advantage.
Only Wizards can attempt the below – Clerics do not (TODO until I write a Divine Misfortune table).
When you risk a spell catastrophe, make an INT save. Failure means the spell failed AND you roll on the spell catastrophe table (See D100 MAGIC SIDE-EFFECTS, p43. Or write/steal another).
You can attempt casting after your usage die has been exhausted, at risk of Spell Catastrophe.
You can attempt to learn a spell higher than your level, at the risk of Spell Catastrophe. You make this check after you pass a preceding check to learn the new spell.
You can attempt to cast a spell higher than your level, at the risk of Spell Catastrophe. If your spell usage die is exhausted, that’s two rolls if you attempt to cast a spell higher then your level.
I feel this is far less plain than the default, and spell catastrophes encourage a “push your luck” approach to magic.