I was just reading an old thread on DF and found the most interesting idea. Allowing Clerics to "freecast" instead of having to memorize their spells.
Essentially, the cleric still has only x number of spells per level as usual, but instead of choosing and memorizing them in the morning, they can cast any spell they have knowledge of on the spot.
To me, this does help alleviate Clerics being used as walking band-aids because they are not so pressured to spend all of their memorized spells on nothing but healing spells. Also, it can allow greater choice and usage of other not-as-commonly used spells to be used as needed.
Once their number of spell slots is used up, they're back to relying on staves, wands, scrolls, etc.. if they have them.
I like this idea a lot.
It also came up questioning whether a similar change could be made to Mages without breaking them in the Btb system.
Perhaps one thing that could be done with Mages is to allow them to cast any spell in their spellbook on the spot BUT...
Using the % to know spell as per their INT score, memorized spells would have a higher percentage of success, say 85%. All other spells cast spontaneously would cost the Mage an extra round to concentrate or look it up and they must roll their chance to know % in order for it to be successful.
This would encourage Mages to still focus on memorizing spells yet provide them an opportunity to cast spontaneously for something that was needed on the spot. All in all though, they are still limited by casting only as many spells as they are allotted per level.
Like the above Clerics, they would rely on staves, wands, scrolls and potions once the number of spell slots had run out.
Something else about Clerics while I'm here. I have always taken the image of the cleric as something of a fighting priest. I have a Knight Templar type in mind here. These aren't just churchy scholars we're talking about here. These guys go out and kick butt in the name of their deity.
These are the guys the little churchy fellas call in when things need to be handled more aggressively than just praying over the issue holding each others hands. (because of this, I have never gotten the multi-class fighter/cleric. To me, that is what the Cleric is all about.
I don't just see these guys as walking band aids to begin with. If a Knight Templar could have magic powers to use given to him by his deity, he would be wanting the spells that let him call down the fire from the sky and drive the enemy down before him.
Once the battle was over, he might want to have some healing spells to help his comrades for fighting so bravely at his side and to aid innocent bystanders caught up in the cross-fire, so to speak.
If some of the enemy got away or there was someone who sent the ones he just whooped up on, some spells that would allow him to track down those next on the list would be of value as well.
I think I am going to try my spell use changes in a few games here to see how they work out.