Variant: Spellcasting Checks

Many people have, at some point in their D&D career, had a conversation about spellcasting checks. Often, it involves a vindictive DM who, irritated with the ease by which a spellcaster foils his poorly designed encounter with a single spell, wants to implement a discriminatory ‘make or suck’ check that puts the success of the spell up to chance with a roll of the dice.

Obviously, that’s a ludicrous mechanic to implement. After all, a fighter is not asked to roll a d20 to determine if they are even permitted an attack roll! But that’s not to say that a spellcasting check mechanic can’t be interesting if done correctly. That is to say, in a way which emphasizes the quirks of magic without making magic suck.

We at Dungeon Master’s Workshop have toyed with this concept for a while and would like to present our take on the spellcasting check. Note that this variant is designed to be used with the spell point variant found in chapter 9, “Dungeon Master’s Workshop”, in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

Click the image below to see the full PDF.

Image credit: Cancel by Scott Chou © Wizards of the Coast LLC

Do you have an experience with spellcasting checks? Let us know in the comments below!


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