In this variant, spellcasters don't have a hard limit on spells per day. Instead, it takes time to gather the magical energies required to cast a spell of a particular level, so characters must wait a number of rounds, minutes, or hours before casting such a spell again. Spells with an instantaneous duration or a duration measured in rounds can be cast dozens of times per day. Longer-duration spells cast outside of combat have recharge times measured in minutes or hours.
At its heart, the recharge magic variant is simple: A wellrested spellcaster can cast any spell he knows or has prepared, but then either rolls a die to find out how many rounds must pass before spells of that level become available again (if it's a general recharge spell) or loses access to that spell for a specified time (if it's a specific recharge spell). Spell slots are never expended; they just become temporarily unavailable.
Recharging doesn't require any actions and doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. As long as a spellcaster is alive, he naturally recharges his energy.
With this variant, all spellcasters effectively become spontaneous casters like sorcerers, choosing a spell each round from a list. For sorcerers and bards, the list is fixed (just as it is for sorcerers and bards who aren't using the variant), but other spellcasters set their available menu of spells when they prepare spells for the day. With the recharge variant, there's no reason to prepare the same spell in more than one slot. Because sorcerers and bards don't have the flexibility of choosing a new menu of spells each day, their general recharge times are shorter.
Some classes, such as the cleric and the druid, have limited spontaneous spellcasting ability. Such a character can convert cine any spell on his daily list into the appropriate spell (such as either tc cure wounds or in/lid wounds for a cleric, or summon nature's ally for a druid), but doing so replaces the converted spell on the cleric's VJ L daily list with the spell cast in its place. This happens only once per spell level, because after that point the relevant cure or inflict spell appears on the spell list as if it had been prepared.
This variant distinguishes two kinds of spells: spells with general recharge time (usually no more than a few rounds) and le spells with specific recharge times (which range from minutes to hours).
Table 5-7: Spell Recharge Times includes all spells described in the Player's Handbook. Each one is indicated as having either a general recharge time, a specific recharge time measured in minutes or hours, or a notation that the spell is prohibited to casters when this variant is used. For spells from other sources that are not mentioned here, use those on the table as a guide, keeping the following in mind.
Combat-oriented and short-duration spells (those lasting up to 1 round per level) typically have a general recharge time. Conversely, spells with longer durations have specific recharge times (the longer the duration, the longer the recharge time).
Any spell with an expensive material component or an XP component has a general recharge time.
Enchantments usually have a specific recharge time ranging from 30 minutes to 12 hours. This limitation prevents characters from simply charming everyone in the tavern in the space of a few minutes.
Spells that build things have a specific recharge time measured in hours.
Divinations typically have a specific recharge time, often in the neighborhood of 6 hours, to prevent their abuse in the hands of curious characters.
Powerful illusions and permanent "trap"-type spells have specific recharge times of 12 hours to 1 day, unless they're expensive to cast.
Spells that have general recharge times are those cast in combat, those with longer casting times, and those with an experience point or expensive material component. Once a character has cast a general recharge spell, he can't cast another spell of that level until a number of rounds have passed.
Table 5-6: General Recharge Times tells how many rounds must pass after the casting of a general recharge spell before another spell of that level becomes available.
|Spell Level||Bard, Sorcerer||Cleric, Druid, Paladin, Ranger, Wizard|
|Highest possible||1d4+1 rounds||1d6+1 rounds|
|Second highest possible||1d4+1 rounds||1d6+1 rounds|
|Third highest possible||1d4 rounds||1d4+1 rounds|
|Fourth highest possible||1d4 rounds||1d4+1 rounds|
|Fifth highest possible||1d3 rounds||1d4 rounds|
|Sixth highest possible||1d3 rounds||1d4 rounds|
|Seventh highest possible||1 round||1d3 rounds|
|Eigth highest possible||1 round||1d3 rounds|
|Ninth highest possible||0 rounds||1 round|
|Tenth highest possible||0 rounds||1 round|
|Eleventh highest possible or lower||0 rounds||0 rounds|
Spellcasters who prepare spells simply put the metamagic versions of the spells they want in the appropriate spell slots, and they're cast at their effective level. For example, casting a quickened magic missile forces a spellcaster to recharge her 5th-level spells, not her 1st-level spells. Sorcerers and bards take a full-round action to add metamagic to any spell they know, and casting that spell forces a recharge of the effective level of the metamagic spell. For example, an extended haste spell cast by a sorcerer would require a recharge roll for a 4th-level spell.
Most long-duration utility spells have specific recharge times so spellcasters can't just cast them on everyone they meet. These might range from a mere 5 minutes (for bull's strength) to 4 hours (for teleport) to a full day, or 24 hours (for wind walk). A specific recharge time is the time that must elapse before a character can cast that particular spell again; he can cast another spell of the same level in the following round if he likes.
Not only do specific recharge spells use higher slots if metamagic feats have been applied to them, but each +1 to the effective level of the spell doubles the recharge time. For example, a silent charm person spell takes up a 2nd-level spell slot and has a specific recharge time of 2 hours.