Campaign of the Month: June 2012
In order to cast spells, each spell caster whether cleric, priest, paladin, holy warrior, inquisitor, wizard, sorcerer or bard, needs to prepare or meditate to replenish their spells. Clerics, inquisitors, priests, paladins and holy warriors prepare by praying to their god for their spells. Wizards study their books or runes, etc. to prepare their spells. Sorcerers and bards must concentrate during their daily readying of spells. This process is commonly known as Recharge.
Even when not directly within a node, most casters may recharge their spells freely, given the rest and/or study requirements. Divine casters must still uphold the tenets of their religion, and prepare their spells by performing the recharging rituals at the time of day their deity requires. Druids and rangers, because their power emanates from Material energy, need be in a natural setting when they replenish their spells, for the corruption within inhabited places interferes with the Material energy.
The time it takes to recharge spells, after sufficient rest (usually 8 hours), is 15 minutes per spell level, inclusive. A fifth level caster, replenishing up to 3rd level spells, would require 45 minutes of study/prayer/contemplation etc., to recharge all their spells (15 mins X 3 [3rd level] = 45 minutes).
Recharging within a node
Magical Nodes reflect the nature of the ley lines attached to them. Spiritual energy ley line nodes, for instance, may only draw power from the outer planes. The node strengthens the ley line, which makes that node particularly suited for divine spellcasters, particularly those whose domains coincide with the subtype energy at the node. The same holds true for Material nodes and Essential nodes. Any spellcaster attuned to (or drawing from) the particular energy of the node, will benefit by recharging their spells within the confines of the node. Unlike the actual ley lines, which only carry the specific type and subtype (or multiples thereof) energies, nodes anchor the lines, and therefore benefit the caster by giving access to all subtypes within the energy type (Spiritual gives access to all domains, Essential energy grants access to all schools – only for the purposes of recharging spells).
To that end, any spellcaster who recharges their spells in the appropriate node (Essential for arcane casters, Spiritual for divine casters, and Material for druids and rangers), gain a particular benefit, depending on the individual node. The typical benefit is a temporary increase in caster level. This increase affects all aspects of the spell prepared, such as spell resistance, duration, damage, etc. It does not allow the caster to act as if they were of higher level, but only affects the spells they prepared while in the node. The increase in caster level depends on the grade value of the particular node. Typically, a faint grade node would give the caster a +1 caster level to their spells. A moderate grade node would provide a benefit of +2, and a major grade node grants the casters spells a +3 caster level bonus.
This bonus stays with the character (specifically regarding the spells recharged in the node), even if they leave the node, but the magic eventually fades. The enhanced effect lasts one day per caster level. Thus a 5th level cleric would lose the benefit of their enhanced caster level on the morning of the 6th day after they recharged at the specific temple. Spells recharged on subsequent days, if not recharged within the node, are treated as normal, while uncast spells recharged in a node retain their enhancement until the energies fade.
Certain nodes are affected by the magic passing through them, and may also enhance the spells prepared while in the node. For instance, an Essential node with a subtype of charm might add a charming effect to the spells prepared within. This enhancement may manifest if various ways. Perhaps each spell cast, no matter the subtype (school of magic or domain), might contain a portion of charm energy. This may result, for instance, by, as the caster casts an enlarge person spell on his ally, that the ally would become slightly fascinated or enamored of the caster. A Will saving throw would be appropriate in this instance. The type of charm spell associated with the side effect should never be higher than one level below the the originally cast spell. The influence of the nodal energy would generally expire with the spell it was attached to. In any case, even an instant spell would have the side effects wear off within one day per caster level, minus the number of days since the spell was recharged within the node. This enhancement usually only effects the flavor of the spell, and gives no real harm or benefit. The DM has complete jurisdiction over such side effects, if any should manifest.