Mana Pool and Regeneration

First, let me say Hi! I've been all over d20 for years but never registered or posted before.
I'm reworking a magic system for my Pathfinder campaign and I could use some help/advice/opinions.
Instead of using spell slots I'm going to be giving magic users a mana pool based on their casting stat and their level. I'm still working on details but it will probably be something along the lines of (Stat x 1/2 level, minimum equal to stat) or... whatever.

Anyway, my big thing is that I want to also give casters the ability to regain mana during combat because nothing is worse than running through your spell slots and being useless until the next long rest.
So, I'm thinking about implementing a mana regeneration where they could regain X mana points by meditating or focusing.
This gives them the ability to remain useful during combat by sacrificing a full-round action, and I think it adds to the need for strategy and communication during combat as well (everyone needs to protect the mage, or healer, while they focus or whatever).

So, for example, let's say Brad the Bard has a Charisma-based mana pool. His charisma is 4 so at first level he'd have a mana pool of 4.
I'm not sure which trait would be for mana regeneration, but let's say Con, or Wisdom. So, Brad's regen stat is half this trait, let's say 2, and he can regain 2 points a turn.
Brad runs out of mana during combat, he sacrifices a full-round action to recover 2 points, giving him enough mana to cast 1 or 2 first-level spells (i'm not sure about the cost of spells yet, I'll work that out soon).

So... any thoughts on this? I want to give my magic-users more to work with and not be one-hit wonders in combat.


  • Well... There are a number of Feats and classes that allow you to do something similar... Though the easiest one that I can think of to modify for your purposes would be:

    Magic Miser [Kingdoms of Kalamar]
    Your character draws upon the minimum amount of arcane energy needed to cast a spell.

    Prerequisite: Caster level 7th
    Benefit: You can make a Spellcraft roll to retain the use of a spell after you cast it. The spellcraft DC is 10 +twice the spell's level. If you succeed, you managed to conserve enough magical energy, from this and other spells you have cast, that the spell (or spell slots for sorcerors) is not considered spent and may be used again. You may only use this ability on a number of spell levels equal to the ability score modifier appropriate to the type of spells you cast (charisma for sorceror or bard spells for example)

    Special: If you fail the roll by 5 or more, you spent insufficient energy to cast the spell at all. You lose the spell or the spell slot, and the spell has no effect.

    While this does not actually allow you to regenerate mana, it could easily be used to at least potentially drastically reduce the cost of casting spells...

    I could potentially see using the Concentration skill (yes, going back and actually using Concentration as a _skill_) and make a Feat called "Arcane Meditation" or some such, and each round you meditate, you make a Concentration check DC 10 + number of rounds already spent meditating + 'distraction events' like combat, or taking damage, etc + Misc... You could easily earn back a couple of mana every round depending on how high you boost your Concentration, and it'd still potentially be difficult to use in combat making it not too OP..

    I use a Mana system in my games as well, but my games are drastically different in that all Arcane, Divine and Psionics are now considered the same. They draw their power from the same Mana pool. Also, I should note that all the Schools and Disciplines are now under "Spellcraft (School) as skills, and you must have a number of ranks divided in half to cast a spell of that level / number... This also means 1st level characters are 'stuck' with cantrips, but in my opinion that's a good thing as they're drastically underappreciated, since it _is_ starter magic... But I give my players _all_ the 0-level spells of a school/discipline when it's learned, but only for 0-level, all other levels must be bought, searched for or researched themselves... And you get 1 mana / rank in Spellcraft + bonus for having a high mental stat... 

    I should further note that my system is very much a 'classless' 'point buy' system where level is determined by the highest of a number of factors, such as Skill Rank, Base HP / 12, etc...

    If I remember right, there's an 'infinite power point loop' somewhere on the boards, maybe Giants in the 
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