D&D 3.5: Adding a feat for casters to act like D&D Next does with (some) spells...

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Quick background:  

My group and I have been playing D&D 4.0 for a while, but I and another veteran player have been complaining there's not enough roleplay going on within the group (the rest of the players are all new and have never played a pen and pencil game until now...).  Since combat can take so damn long in 4.0 (can't wait for "D&D Next"), I'm going to fall back to D&D 3.5 - but with a mix of 4.0 (ie. using minatures, etc, etc...) and create a story driven campaign.  That way, combat isn't the central focus (like it feels like in 4.0 - don't know about you guys, but we've had battles last 2+ hours with all the "hmmmm, I do this ... no wait, I do that...  oh wait, I can't do that, so I'll do this instead..." - not to mention the general goofing off.)


One of my biggest complaints with D&D 3.5 was, as a caster (specially at lower levels), you've cast your few spells and you turn into a melee character - or you rest 8 hours and rememorize spells...  At higher levels, that's not a big deal, but I want the action to move along and keep the story going.

So, that's where I took inspiration from "D&D Next":  I want to create a feat that will allow a given caster to have 'at will' spells.  For example, at first level, the wizard has magic missile and the cleric has cure light wounds - and both can keep casting them over and over till they're blue in the face.  That'll keep things moving....

Of course the problem with that is, wizard #1 gets the bright idea of taking that feat every time he gets a new feat, and suddenly he's casting fireball over and over.  So I need to restrict it somehow...

My thought was to do something like calling the feat "instant recall" - and you can cast any 1 single target spell - of a level equal to half your current level (rounded up).  That should allow casters to do what I'm wanting to do....

Can anyone offer any advice or comments on this?  Maybe see any loopholes in my train of thought?  TIA!

They already exist, under a fashion.  Complete Arcane has 'reserve feats' that give you a spell-like ability you can use so long as you have a certain type of spell prepared.

BTW, him casting Fireball over and over isn't a problem.  Fireball is garbage.  There's a LOT of worse spells he could be spamming.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Don't give a bonus feat. Just allow certain spells of your choosing to be able to be casted at-will. Change their description so that they scale according to level (if you want).
Wizard's first rule: People are stupid.

BTW, him casting Fireball over and over isn't a problem.  Fireball is garbage.  There's a LOT of worse spells he could be spamming.

Most definitely!  That was just a quick example  ;)

Thanks, I'll go see if I can find a copy of Complete Arcane!

as loathe as I am to recomend it pathfinder gives at will level 0 spells. That should be enough to get your PCs through the low levels. I'd just slap this house rule onto core 3.5 if this is your concern. I genuinley don't think this would help high level casters, but would buff low level ones. And yeah any caster buff is generally a bad idea, but I think this is so minor it wouldn't be terrible.

IIRC reserve feats require you to be level 3-5ish before you can take them due to the prereqs so they might not be super helpful.  

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We did a thing where you get 1 cantrip at will  and you get another cantrip and at will spell 2 levels lower then your highest spell level so once you get 3rd level spells you get 2 cantrips and one 1st level once you hit 4th level spells you got 3 cantrips one 1st and 2nd level and so on and so on. Course our group plays moderate power and DM agrees which spell he allows to be at will, so its not like spammed ray of your stats suck no save! or the like.
Well, you can reinvent the wheel....

Or you can just go look up & copy/paste the system Pathfinder uses for 0lv spells.
It's exactly what you want (though the offense cantrips & healing are intentionally puny) 
An arcane caster has x # of "cantrips" he can memorize per day.  Once prepped he can cast them without limit.
Same for divine types.  
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