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Thread: Spell advice

  1. #1
    Senior Member Beruin's Avatar
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    Hello everybody. This is my first post for quite sometime and it`s not very closely related to birthright. Nevertheless, I hope I can get some useful advice from the combined wisdom of the list`s contributors.



    In the group I DM, my girlfriend plays an elven wizardess, currently 6th lvl. She has chosen a few spells from Sword& Sorcery`s relics and rituals books. The following has caused quite a few discussions:



    Shocking Missile

    (transmutation, electicity)

    Lvl: Brd 2, Rgr 2, Sor/Wiz2

    Components: V,S,M

    CT: 1 action

    Range:Touch

    Target: 1 arrow or bolt

    Duration: permanent until discharged

    Saving Throw: None

    Spell Resistance: No



    the caster touches a single arrow, which can then be shot at a foe with no risk to the archer. On a succesful hit, the arrow deals 1d8+1 points of electrical damage per caster level (max. 10d8+10) in addition to the normal damage. If the arrow misses, the spell is wasted.

    Material Component: the arrow or bolt



    I was very reluctant to allow this spell, as I consider it quite overpowered for a 2nd lvl spell. After all, what`s to stop a wizard of stocking up on arrows before an adventure and supplying shocking arrows to all of the party. Naturally, my girlfriend had a different opinon and after toning down the duration to 1day per two caster lvl or until discharged, I allowed the spell for the sake of experiment, with the warning that I would reconsider if I thought that the spell would disrupt game balance. Besides I believe a spell like this is quite fitting for a Sidhelien wizard (though not necessarily this powerful). So far, the spell has worked out okay. It`s use has influenced a few battles, one or two even decisively (with a current total of 7d8+6 damage, no wonder), but the spell was used seldom enough that I`m content with it. Nevertheless, I would appreciate opions regarding the power level of the spell.



    Now however, the situation has become more complicated. The group is considering taking on a lesser dragon (A young adult black one - and yes, I do know that these don`t exist on Cerilia, but my current campaign is a kind of birthright/dragon lance crossover) and my girlfriend asked whether she could combine the spell with the following one:



    Liliandel`s Flurry

    (Conjuration)

    Lvl: Brd 2, Rgr 2, Sor/Wiz2

    Components: V,S,M

    CT: 1 action

    Range: close (25ft +5ft/lvl)

    Duration: 1 hour/lvl or until discharged

    Saving Throw: None

    Spell Resistance: No



    This spell enchants a single arrow. When the enchanted arow is fired, two other arrows appear alongside it in midflight.The attacker makes three separate attack rolls on the target of the original arrow. After hitting (or not hitting) their target all three arrow disappear, consumed by the spell. the additional arrows count as magical for overcoming damge reduction, but confer no bonus to attack or damage rolls.





    Well, Im a little flustered with regard to combining these spells and I found no rule dealing with stacking magical effects on objects. With regard to balance, the archer still has to make three separate attack rolls, but if he hits the damage could be devastating (assuming long bow arrows a total of 9d8+6, or 46 points on average with no save allowed would be dealt). I guess, I`m within my rights that the effects do not stack when cast on an ordinary arrow, but anyway opinions would be welcome.

    BTW, my girlfriend argues that this constitutes an extraordinary situation and her wizard would not regularily combine these spells against other, more ordinary opponents.
    "The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been."
    - The Three Kingdoms, attributed to Luo Guanzhong, c.1330-c.1400

  2. #2
    heh, well lets see... are you using 3.5, or 3.0? It looks like you are using 3.0 really as the first spell is much more powerful than any 2nd level spell. Especially with having no saving throw to get 1/2 damage. It should really be at least level 3 spell at least and have a max damage of 10d6+10. Though, I'm tempted to say level 4.

    Or you can just remove the normal damage from the arrow and change it into a type of Javalin of Lightning with a reflex save for half damge and a DC = 13 + the caster's modifiers. The benefit would be that archers can fire as many per round as they could with normal arrows. So an archer with 3 attacks a round could fire 3 of these.

    Another simple solution would be to make both spells follow the rules for magic item creation. With both of these spells stacked upon the arrow it would soon add up in gp and exp costs. And the exp cost is the best way to make sure that people dont start making millions of these things. BTW, the Liliandel`s Flurry spell is like the Epic weapon ability Triple-Throw (which adds +6 bonus), so it really ought to be a higher than level 2 spell.

    heheh, looks like you may end up on the couch though if you dont giver he what she wants... so you can just disregard this as we know whats really important
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  3. #3
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    Err... I am sorry for being too bland, but they are fools to publish SUCH spells!

    adb + n per (x) caster level(s) means: roll [a] b-sided dice and add [n] per [x] caster level(s). For example, cure serious wounds cures 3d8 + 1 per caster level points of normal damage, to a maximum of +15, and an equal amount of non-lethal (/subdual) damage, meaning it heals 3d8 points of normal damage, plus 1 point of normal damage per caster level up to 15, and also curea an equal amount of nonlethal (/subdual) damage. The description of this spell is totally broken!

    I suggest you woll it back a few paces: make it 1d8 + 1 per caster level as I mention above, and it should be fine. This way it is balanced, and appropriate as a 2nd level spell, though I still disagree with the Brd 2, Rgr 2 notes... Eerk! Also, thus interpreted really makes that duration of "permanent until discharged" appropriate. Otherwise, you could actually go as Tcharazazel says.

  4. #4
    Looking over the level 2 spell list for 3.5, Scorching Ray does 4d6 damge with a touch attack and you can have a max of 3 rays at once. It has no saving throw however it is affected by spell resistance. Really this spell is the one that you should usefor the base of the first spell, Shocking Missile.

    So rewriting the spell:

    Shocking Missile
    (transmutation, electicity)
    Lvl: Rgr 2, Sor/Wiz 2
    Components: V,S,M
    CT: 1 action
    Range:Touch
    Target: 1 arrow or bolt per 4 levels (max 3)
    Duration: 1 hour/lvl or until discharged
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    The caster transmutes a single arrow or bolt per 4 caster levels above 3rd for a max of 3 arrows or bolts at 11th level, which can then be shot at a foe with no risk to the archer. On a succesful hit, the arrow deals 4d6 points of electrical damage in addition to the normal damage. If the arrow misses, the spell is wasted.
    Material Component: the arrow or bolt

    You could also have the spell replace the normal damage of the weapon, and really it may make more sense/ However, as its generally easier to hit with a touch attack (for Scorching Ray) than a ranged attack, then its a trade off.


    Regarding the 2nd spell, Liliandel`s Flurry, I forgot to mention that the Epic Weapon Abillity of Triple-Throw only applies to thrown weapons, and that it requires the 9th level spell shades to make. However, having a spell that practically mimics its effect at such a low level is absurd and definately should be higher level. Especially, if it is allowable to add multiple effects like the 1st spell to the arrow at the same time...

    If you allow them both to stack on the arrow then:

    This would give a potential damage, if all 3 arrows hit, of 3d8+4d6 so an average = 24 + any weapon ect bonuses to the primary arrow fired. This is not as unreasonable for a combination of 2nd level spell and missile attack.

    However, if you consider that Scorching Ray can fire 3 rays so 12d6 damage to a single taget this average damage = 36. however this is also an 11th Caster, so not as good a comparison, as a 6th level caster would only be able to fire 1 ray at 4d6 damage and do an average = 12 damage. Although at 7th level she would have an average damage = 24.
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  5. #5
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    I've found "absurd" is an excellent definition for a large number of spells from the various magic supplements...

    Personally, I tell my players core books and BRCS are the only things relatively safe to assume are available, and ANYTHING else (feats, prestige classes, spells, magic items, etc.) must be put before the DM for approval. You'd be amazed how being absolute in that cuts out about 99% of the BS players would otherwise try to get away with.

    As I see it, the core rules have enough problems with balance, but the supplements can throw it all right out of whack. So far for 3.5, the Complete Warrior is the only book I've seen that does a better job of keeping within reasonable bounds...

    Osprey

  6. #6
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    The two spells don't stack, IMO.

    See the description under Liliandel`s Flurry, it says that they are magical but don't confer any bonuses. Spells don't make copies of magic items, hence spells. So this spell should not make a single +1 arrow 3 +1 arrows.

    This is essentially allowing a wizard to gain a manyshot feat without using the prerequisites.
    Duane Eggert

  7. #7
    Senior Member Beruin's Avatar
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    First off, thanks for all the useful advice. A few comments and I would like to pester you once again.



    I would agree with irdeggman with regard to the interpretation of Lilandel`s Flurry. With 2d8 (or 2d6) additional damage to the arrow, but also two additional attack rolls, I do not think that the spell is overpowered for a 2nd lvl spell.



    With regard to stacking the spells I ruled that this is possible in theory but would require a specially prepared arrow (i.e. a hefty gold piece and maybe xp cost). Otherwise, the second spell cast would just override the first one, but there would also be the possibility of a magical backlash... .



    Well, Shocking missile is obviously broken, even absurdly so. In its original version with a duration of permanent (though one-shot) I now believe it should probably be a 7th or even 8th lvl spell. Seems I was bit thick for allowing it in the first place. Heck, I spent the whole evening discussing the spell with my girlfriend, time I had planned to use for preparing for tommorrow night`s session.



    I kind of like tcharazazel`s version but I would like to increase the duration of the spell while sacrificing other aspects, thus enabling a wizard to prepare a few arrows a day or two beforehand.



    As a solution to my spell problem and as a means of developing the spell more thoroughly I came up with the idea of scaling the spell for different spell levels. To allow spell resistance to work is probably the first step for restoring balance to the spell and then I developed two benchmark spells to assign a low and high level of power. The first spell, (lvl 1) was designed in comparison to magic missile and burning hands. I believe it`s generally okay, but the duration might be a bit long. The second spell (lvl 6) is more or less guesswork and probably more unbalanced. Comments to both would be welcome and here they are:





    Lesser Shocking Missile



    (transmutation, electicity)



    Lvl: Sor/Wiz 1, Rngr1



    Components: V, S, M



    Range: Touch



    Target: 1 arrow or bolt



    Duration: 1 day per two caster lvls (max. 5 days at 9th lvl) or until discharged



    Saving throw: No



    Spell Resistance: Yes







    The caster enchants a single arrow or bolt, which can then be shot at a foe with no risk to the archer. On a successful hit, the arrow deals 1d4 points of electrical damage per two caster lvls (max. 5d4 at 9th lvl) in addition to the normal damage. If the arrow misses, the spell is wasted. The Arrow counts as a magic weapon for calculating damage reduction, but confers no other bonus to attack or damage. If a creature with spell resistance successfully resists the spell, it negates the additional electrical damage, but still takes the normal damage from the arrow.

    Material Component: the arrow or bolt







    Lightening Missile



    (transmutation, electicity)



    Lvl: Sor/Wiz 6



    Components: V, S, M



    Range: Touch



    Target: 1 arrow or bolt



    Duration: 1 day per caster lvl (max. 20 days) or until discharged



    Saving throw: No (see text)



    Spell Resistance: Yes







    The caster enchants a single arrow or bolt, which can then be shot at a foe with no risk to the archer. When fired, the arrow transforms into a sparkling bolt of lightning that explodes with a stunning display of thunder and lightning on a successful hit, dealing 1d8 +1 damage to a maximum of 20d8+ 20 (at 20th lvl) the victim. All creatures within 20 feet of and including the victim must succeed at will saves (normal DC calculation) or be stunned for 1d4 rounds. If the arrow misses, the spell is wasted. The Arrow counts as a magic weapon for calculating damage reduction, but confers no other bonus to attack or damage.

    Material Component: the arrow or bolt
    "The empire, long divided, must unite; long united, must divide. Thus it has ever been."
    - The Three Kingdoms, attributed to Luo Guanzhong, c.1330-c.1400

  8. #8
    The Level 1 spell:

    I think it looks good. In theory the 9th wizard could make at least 4 arrows for 4 days so have a min total of 16 arrows and if the wizzie had an intel of 18 then just a max of 20 arrows. Which isnt very many. So im cool with a max of 5 days. if they want permanent they would have to spend teh gp and exp to make them magic items. heh

    The Level 6 Spell: 4 things

    1) Id change it to 1d6 from 1d8 so its similar to the spells of that level, like chain lightning, though really it seems like a delayed blast fireball.

    2) Take off the +1 dmg per level as no level 6 or 7 spell with that 20d6 damage cap has that.

    3) Most stunning effects that offer saves use Fort saves not will saves.

    4) if the spell misses it can still potentially stun opponents, if they are around where the arrow lands.
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  9. #9
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    Sorry for being the geek here but both of you, T'Char Azazael, Beruin, seem to have forgotten that rangers and paladins get their spells at a VERY slow pace, since they count only half their class level as their caster level, and thus spell effects that work based on level are bad far them; it is bad enough that a ranger should be able to effectively ellectrically charge an arrow or quarrel, making such a spell a BAD choice on top of that really ruins it. I suggest you either rewrite the spell (different levels per class, for example?), or do rangers around the world some justice and do not allow them to cast it at all!

    In any case, my suggestions in regard to the following spells:
    • The proper wording for Lesser Shocking Missile would be "1d4 points of electricity damage, plus an additional 1d4 points of electricity damage per 2 caster levels above 1st (5d4 at 9th level)". That is, if you do not change the wording, as I mentioned above, so that it fits, minimalistic spell-casters.
    • OK, in regard to duration: as if 1 hour/level spells weren't good enough, why really make such a spell last 1 day/level? Are they going to make that long, or are you just looking for trouble? Furthermore, this practically wastes the meaning of crafting magic arrows: why do that, if a single spell can enchant a lot for too long?
    • Yes, spell effects as mentioned above should never stack. And no, this is not like taking the Manyshot feat, since additional dice of damage are dealt only once; what this ACTUALLY replicates is the Greater Manyshot feat, in which you roll extra dice of damage... (It does not allow you to make attacks on other creatures as well, but what the heck&#33

  10. #10
    I didnt forget, I just thought that as rangers can specialize as archers it makes sense that they would get this kind of spell. Though as their caster level is 1/2 their ranger level... they would need to be level 18 to get the max effect for the spell, heheh. Doesnt mean they can't get the spell, though they prob should get a spell better suited for them, which would be cool, because currently they dont get any from the core rules. If Arcane archer was a more open class, and not restirced to elf types, then I would say just leave the spell out really.


    Yeah Rasp is right with regard to duration, it really should be 1 hour/level makes it easier to keep track of and if they want to have it last for longer just have em follow the magic item creation rules.


    What Greater Manyshot feat? If you mean the Epic feat Improved Manyshot its a bit different, as the only limit to the number of arrows you can fire at once is you BAB.

    The spell, Liliandel`s Flurry, says you need to make attack rolls for each arrow so 3 attack rolls, unlike Manyshot where you only make 1...
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

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