Pathfinder 2e Spellcasting House Rule Question

So I am making some house rules for a PF2e setting (It is a post apocalypse like setting) and I want some advice. Basically in this setting spellcasters aren’t trusted 100% outside of some factions as well as the setting being lower magic then base PF2e. Now the solution I came up with is that all spells that are level 6 and higher are automatically treated are rare so you need a very good reason to have access to that spell and spells that are level 4 or 5 are automatically treated as uncommon unless they are rare.

If this was 5e I could just make all the full casters half casters but there isn’t anything like that is PF2e so I cooked up this instead and just want some feedback

This really depends on what your pcs are and how you are treating rarities. Are you creating your own encounters? I’d check book one of outlaws of Alkenstar for a good way to make a low magic setting. This however is unnecessarily punitive to anyone that’s a caster unless you improve their melee capabilities

It is probably best to just limit the player options to martial characters with the option to choose spellcasting archetypes.

Limiting spell slots in that way would be egregious for PF2e or DnD 5e. You are already nerfing them into the ground at later levels so you might as well remove them from the situation.

Or just cap the adventure to level 11 and finish there.

Good idea to Look at outlaws of Alkenstar

Also yeah rn the big plan might be either to limit campaigns in that world to no bigger then level 11
thou limiting spellcasting to archetypes might be an interesting idea

It would also make sense to look at other systems other than Pathfinder or DnD. I am not a good source, but I know there are lots of potential systems to look into. May take some digging but you may find something that really jives with what you are trying to do. I would even argue that you will most likely find something that really fits.

Remember, you are inherently changing player power by such limitations. What does this do?

  1. It makes the spell caster dramatically weaker to other classes, which can feel simply not fun.
  2. It unbalances encounters when/if the antagonists do not share similar limitations.
  3. It can lead to a lack of encounter depth; your ability to challenge parties (especially fighers) bereft of higher level magic can turn into simply, “oh look another giant hit point sponge” or a bunch of little ones.
  4. Use the “laws of your game universe” to enforce society’s fears of high magic. Let the players advance… but make it’s use have repercussions by those enforcing the laws.
    a. What are the means high magic is detected other than the populace reporting.
    b. Does an inquisitorial body hunt down sightings of powerful casters (think lensing them from Riddick or perhaps the Wyld Hunt from Exalted). What abilities do they have to counter magic or do they leash it like the Seanchan from Jordan’s Wheel of Time?
    c. Players should be still able to acquire higher level spells through their own insight/study as they level (the 2 spells per level rule) but finding text/tomes will remain difficult (remember you are doing the equivalent of taking a fighter’s ability to use a higher level magic sword away from him)
    d. What are the “laws” if it’s post-apocalyptic if there is no organized society… who cares. Who’s there to enforce them… and people tend not to be homogeneous make sure the reaction varies by region.

Magic not trusted doesn’t mean you have to take power away; it simply means your players must use the magic judiciously or face repercussions… Simple cantrips can be made to be as terrifying to a peasant as a fireball depending on application; so simply saying nothing over level X seems arbitrary. So make sure your world has outlined the philosophical “why.”

Not all schools of magic at high level can or probably lead to the “apocalypse” remember when you ban that level 6 Skinstitch transmutation you are stopping a wizard from hideous turning someone into a construct covered in the flesh of sentient humanoids, but likewise, you are stopping Field of Life which cures all within it’s field.

How does a peasant or non magic user tell the difference between schools of magic or divine casting? A paladin of a lawful good god smites a corrupt thief in the middle of the street… its… still … magic…

So good luck; have fun; but be careful!

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