Since I "finished" that last project with the swells (said with quotes because I do have a few small comments to make about waves and wave related things whenever I decide to try to organize it all), I've spent some time fiddling with a couple of ideas for Patrons from Dungeon Crawl Classics, and being sick, and having some real life happening.
DCC Patrons are pretty complicated bits of background material, generally involving the creation of four new spells in addition to any back story attached to the Patron, and since spells in DCC have eight levels of success, ranging from barely worthwhile up to much-more-impressive-than-RPGS-usually-allow, they're pretty fiddly. I've often had qualms about making new spells in D&D because of the concept of spell levels. Is this spell really as powerful as a third level spell should be? Is it too powerful for second level? Stuff like that. Now throw in these eight degrees of success, and someone like me ends up a quivering mess. And being sick and having real life happening too, I had no chance.
TLDR: I haven't finished any Patrons.
I've seen over on Google+ that someone put together a sort of cheat sheet for DCC spells, listing in general terms the type of outcomes spells should have, based on the examples in the rulebook. The version I saw only had the first three or four degrees of success listed out, though, and may have only included first level spells; higher level spells should have more impressive successes across the board, at least in my opinion.
And while I pondered (weak and weary) over how to solve this dilemma, inspiration struck. The Hero System! Hero has long been called a gamer's toolkit, allowing a GM to build whatever type of world he wished to game in, and players to build whatever type of character they wanted to game in it. No classes, no set magic system, no set technologies, no limits. Fifth Edition in particular was advertised as a toolkit for gaming in the sense that it could be applied to other games, not just Champions or Fantasy Hero, but as a way to help standardize new powers in other games too. Build all the spells in D&D under the Hero System, and any new spells you come up with should go with the existing spells of similar point values. Or so the idea goes...I'm pretty sure that a lot of D&D spells are of the right level if you analyze them this closely. But the idea is still pretty sound.
And so, I will look at each degree of success of DCC spells in Hero terms, and hopefully an obvious pattern will emerge. Then, all these Invoke Patron and other Patron spells will more or less fall into place for me. And hopefully I won't be off line for a month or more in the process.