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Do you allow different edition of D&D spells?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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Looks like magic missile was capped in 3rd editions only.


thought so too, thanks :) .


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Damage caps were introduced in AD&D 2nd edition.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Yep, caps were introduced in 2nd edition. They should have been lifted in 3rd when monsters started getting Con bonuses to their hit points and PCs/NPCs started getting up to 20 hit dice.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Hm. Looks like the site I linked had the wrong version for 2E.

Here's another report:

Quote:

Here's how the Magic Missile spell plays out through the iterations of D&D...

Original D&D (Gygax & Arneson) 1974
Not present.

OD&D + Greyhawk (Gygax) 1975
Roll to hit*, 2-7 dam, no save, 150ft. Add 2 missiles/5 levels.

-- Basic (Holmes) 1977
-- Roll to hit*, 2-7 dam, no save, 150ft. Higher level casters throw more missiles.

-- Basic/Expert (Moldvay) 1981
-- Auto hit, 2-7 dam, no save, 150ft. Add 2 missiles/5 levels.

-- Basic/Expert/Companion/Master/Immortal (Mentzer) 1983
-- Auto hit, 2-7 dam, no save, 150ft. Add 2 missiles/5 levels.

-- D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Allston & Schend) 1991
-- Auto hit, 2-7 dam, no save, 150ft. Add 2 missiles/5 levels.

Advanced D&D (Gygax) 1978
Auto hit, 2-5 dam, no save, 60ft +10ft/level. Add 1 missile/2 levels.

AD&D 2nd Edition (Cook) 1989
Auto hit, 2-5 dam, no save, 60ft +10ft/level. Add 1 missile/2 levels (max 5).

D&D 3rd Edition (Cook, Tweet & Williams) 2000
Auto hit, 2-5 dam, no save, 100ft +10ft/level. Add 1 missile/2 levels (max 5).

In 4E it's an At Will power.

In 5E you get three missile unless you use a higher level slot - eg you could fire eleven missiles by using a 9th level spell slot.


OP older edition spells are excelent plot material, like "Nether Scrolls". If treated carefully, they can become a new source of fun.


Yeah, some of the older "pre 3.x" spells were pretty fun stuff.


William Werminster wrote:

OP older edition spells are excelent plot material, like "Nether Scrolls". If treated carefully, they can become a new source of fun.

I like this idea. Older editions could have some really crazy spells or more powerful versions of ones still present in Pathfinder, so having special scrolls, potions, low-charge wands, or maybe even staves with them could be interesting as long as you're really cautious with what you use and how you make them accessible. Just don't let the Wizard, Witch, Arcanist, Magus, etc. copy them!


Bill Dunn wrote:
Yep, caps were introduced in 2nd edition. They should have been lifted in 3rd when monsters started getting Con bonuses to their hit points and PCs/NPCs started getting up to 20 hit dice.

I think part of the point of that was weakening casters, but not letting their low level spells scale up along with the hp.

That casters became buffing/SoD gods was kind of a side effect.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
Yep, caps were introduced in 2nd edition. They should have been lifted in 3rd when monsters started getting Con bonuses to their hit points and PCs/NPCs started getting up to 20 hit dice.

I think part of the point of that was weakening casters, but not letting their low level spells scale up along with the hp.

That may have been a valid rationale with 2e back when monsters didn't get Con bonuses and classes capped off at 9-11 hit dice. My guess is they never really revisited it in light of the increase in hit points.


Isn't magic overpowered enough already?


no it's not, it was fine for AD&D, and they've been nerfing it ever since, and I don't like it.


And here goes this tired argument again.....


ooops, did I err?


Bill Dunn wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
Yep, caps were introduced in 2nd edition. They should have been lifted in 3rd when monsters started getting Con bonuses to their hit points and PCs/NPCs started getting up to 20 hit dice.

I think part of the point of that was weakening casters, but not letting their low level spells scale up along with the hp.

That may have been a valid rationale with 2e back when monsters didn't get Con bonuses and classes capped off at 9-11 hit dice. My guess is they never really revisited it in light of the increase in hit points.

No, I think the increase in hp was deliberate attempt to weaken casters in the switch to 3.0.

IMO, a good design decision, handicapped by the other changes that wound up boosting them more.


Klorox wrote:
ooops, did I err?

Not really, I'm just in a bad place today and all my oracular powers could reveal was another caster nerf vs buff argument starting again. My apologies.


Klorox wrote:
ooops, did I err?

Yeah, Caster-Martial Disparity arguments are kind of a thread-derailer.


Klorox wrote:
Eviljames wrote:
PAthfinder didn't cap the d6's on those spells or Magic missile. Those were capped in D&D as well. There was I hight level version of Magic missle that allowed more missles and delayed blast fire ball had a higher cap that fireball. but they all had caps. it just didn't matter as much because everything had fewer hit points until 3rd ed.
Uh, I distinctly remember that in AD&D 1st ed spells like Magic Missile and Fireball were definitely uncapped... do you remember if it started with 2nd ed or with 3.0?

I never played 1st much so if they weren't capped there they were definitely capped in 2nd. Part of the reason for delayed blast fireball was the improved damage, and I was just looking at the higher level Magic missile that would be pointless if the Magic Missile didn't cap. These were 2nd ed spells.


MM, FB and DBFB were in AD&D1 and neither was capped, DBFB had improved damage though, in addition to the delay


Klorox wrote:
MM, FB and DBFB were in AD&D1 and neither was capped, DBFB had improved damage though, in addition to the delay

I know they were in 1st ed. as well. What I meant was that the versions I was looking at were 2nd ed. (sorry I kept having to fix spelling errors and forgot to make sure my wording was clear.


Some spells from 3.X I'll allow because I used them in 3.X and didn't find them to be OP. I particularly like the Planar Spells, Light of Lunia, Mercuria, Venya, that worked nicely against undead and evil outsiders were great for Wizards. I'm allowing the Mighty Wallop spell from 3.X Draconomicon for Wizards/Sorcerer, Magus, Witch, Summoner. It increases the damage dice by one size step for Bludgeoning weapons, can only apply once, and lasts for 1min/level. Nice for Magi and Witches that mix it up in combat, and not game breaking. I may allow the Greater version, have to test it out first.


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If it had an updated form in Pf, like Haste, then I do not. Otherwise, I'm usually fine with it although I may change the level based on effect.

Basically the ones that were revised in Pf I generally assume were revised to better fit the structure of Pf. Other spells are worth considering after examination.


Spacelard wrote:

As a player and GM one of the stand out differences between PF and 1st ED was how player friendly things had become. The lack of 'real' SoD, poison which would rarely kill, no 'energy drain', no 'age a year when you're Hasted' etc.

Then I realised Gygax hated PCs. Everything was about the GM trying to suck fun out of the game while trying to make sure everyone had fun. Want to Identify something? Sure, that's a 100gp pearl gone and you get one ability. Want to bring someone back from the dead? Sure scratch off 2 points of CON and 10Kgp.

Nah, leave these things in the past where they belong.

EDIT: That said, when that Ancient Red Dragon had 88hps things were a little easier!

Many of the details that you cite are a bit off, but never mind that. I disagree with your premise. Adversity is not a sign that the game designer of the DM hates the players, because overcoming adversity is kind of the point of the game. Magic which has consequences and is somewhat unpredictable is in line with myths and tales and gives a flavor which is lacking in later editions, IMO.


One of my players has a 5th Edition Monk that we're converting to Pathfinder RPG so that he can join the PF/3X group. That particular brand of the Monk class has access to a few spells that are cast with Ki points. I'm allowing him to use basically the 5th Edition version of the spells, with very minor modifications.

Will probably do the same should any of the other players wish to convert a 5E class to Pathfinder.


I will sometimes use them as a treat in games, or where the flavor works.

Individual, uncopyable, scrolls of Celerity can be a ton of fun.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Our group has a library of 'Legacy' spells from other editions, other games, prior campaigns, etc., plus a laddering of spells for Wizards. You must learn Athlete's foot 1, 2 & 3 before you can learn 4. New spells are always being found that we just do not know, several from Pathfinder booklets. Research yields a weak version of the target spell, usually a level or two higher than wanted, but use and field testing brings it to its proper place (the GM sees that it won't break the game). You even get your name on it!

My sole contribution is Fire Flies, a minor conjuring that creates 'magic missiles' that do fire damage rather than Force, incidentally starting fires and such. They are defined as extremely small elementals and have short range/lifespans. They also serve as momentary light and I'd like them to blind for a second or so. Currently a L3 spell with promise. I need to learn the 'roman candle' spell in order to improve it.


Bwang wrote:
Our group has a library of 'Legacy' spells from other editions, other games, prior campaigns, etc., plus a laddering of spells for Wizards. You must learn Athlete's foot 1, 2 & 3 before you can learn 4.

Yep, gonna do this in my upcoming campaign after we finish the current one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't allow a previous version of the same spell, but I do allow 3.5 sources, the Spell Compendium in particular, to be used as 'spell research' and I would generally approve any of them as long at it wasn't related to one of the areas where the mechanics have changed between the two systems (like combat maneuvers).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
ChaosTicket wrote:
Would you allow players to use older and less limited spells? Would you allow NPCs to use them as well?

Nope.

Shadow Lodge

Personally, I wouldn't, but I am now interested in the idea of someone finding ancient scrolls with older edition spells on them, as some sort of "horribly unsafe remnants of a bygone age" or something.

As a player of NetHack, I have an appreciation for Lightning Bolts that could ricochet - aim it at a wall on an angle, and bank-shot targets who aren't in single file; hit a flat surface straight-on, and it could go right back and through you! Or the Fireball wasn't just a 20-foot radius, but an actual volume - throw one down a tight, long passageway, and watch the flame rush back and toast you and your friends.

But yeah, Pathfinder is much more about the GM & players working together, while letting everyone do varying kinds of awesome stuff. If I did use earlier editions' spells, it'd probably be for a one-off throwback homage. Maybe the PCs could find those scrolls in an underground maze nobody built to kill a bunch of monsters that look like innocuous objects.


Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I allow the vigor spells that's about it.


As far as spells specifically, I allow players to introduce spells either from the 3.5 Spell Compendium or the 3.5 Player's Handbook.
Most spells in the Player's Handbook have a PF version, so not too much comes from there.
The Spell Compendium did a good job of balancing & streamlining the vast amount of 3.5 spells, so that's a main source.

Spells from those sources are not freely available though. Typically, a player will use one of them as a template for researching a new spell. We'll run it through the conversion process and check it against PF rules for creating new spells, to scale it properly.
As GM, I'll also occasionally bring in a (PF converted) 3.5 spell as 'lost lore' or maybe a custom spell in a spell-book or scroll recovered from a foe.

In either case, it's important to make them comparable with PF benchmarks, so you don't over/under power something being added.
So, some of those "more powerful" older versions of spells can be used, but they will likely be higher level (with an edited name), and/or have some other aspect that keeps balance.

It's certainly worthwhile to have the option. There are a lot of 3.5 spells, that fit a niche not currently filled by PF spells.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

When PF was recently started, (aka Core book, APG, etc) i'd allow a firly free access to both PF and 3.5 spell content, as well as class, feats, PrC etc. As PF grew in release size, i reached a point where i felt that the system had enough on it's own that i didn't need to have earlier edition things. Nowadays i allow Core Book lines (Hardbacks) for everyman spell access, and companion/chronicle books as spell research options or 'special' loot finds.

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