[Design Focus] Spells


Combat & Magic

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Sovereign Court

WalkerInShadows wrote:
Quote:

Globe of Invulnerability:

Clean this up. In previous editions, it was pretty straightforward. In 3.x's legalese, it's a nightmare.
Nah... you want to know what's a nightmare? Antimagic field. I've got some proposed changes for that one...

Anti-Magic Shell works just fine. NOTHING magic works inside, not magic items, not spells, not spell casters. It's the same level as Globe of Invulnerability because it's centered on the caster and it completely blocks the caster from casting spells.

At least they cleared it up in 3.x ed so that the Lich can't cast AMS and be invulnerable (need magic weapons to hit a lich, but magic weapons don't work in an AMS, but the lich's paralyzing touch did...)

Dark Archive

I would to see some spells becoming *rituals*like they are in 4E -- for example, Miracle, Permanency, Raise Dead and Resurrection or Teleport and Scrying and most mid-to-high level Divinations. Maybe you should need costly components and explicit ritual "instructions" (scrolls or books?) to cast them?

As for individual spells, I think Limited Wish, Permanency and Wish come to mind as spells that need to be "tweaked" -- all the wizards eventually (ab)use them in my group. And Shadow Walk/Teleport (combined with Scrying/Divination and Teleport spells) often ruin adventures.


Quote:
Anti-Magic Shell works just fine. NOTHING magic works inside, not magic items, not spells, not spell casters. It's the same level as Globe of Invulnerability because it's centered on the caster and it completely blocks the caster from casting spells.

Sure, but if you rule that globe of invulnerability DOES work like AMF (which I think it should), suddenly AMF becomes the no-brainer choice for L6 spells over globe. It should be bumped up in level anyway - no other spell provides blanket immunity to every spell of every level above it, and it's completely immune to everything short of a disjunction (and even then it's only a 1%/caster level chance).

And, of course, there's the problem I mentioned before of permanent magic items suddenly losing their bonuses - suddenly everyone has to recalculate their attack/AC bonuses and whatnot. And, of course, it leads to questions like "Can I stand at the edge of an AMF and swing my weapon outside it and still get the bonus?" (Honest, I've actually seen someone ask that.) Or, "Do magical ranged weapons regain their bonus if I throw them out of an AMF?"

The Exchange

Silence, already referenced, but with hopefully an additional perspective:

A Glamer spell can be used to conceal the physical properties of an object (like Invisibility preventing the visual observance of an object, can be it can still be heard, smelled, or even sensed through blindsense/blindsight).

As Silence is also a glamer spell, it is theoretically concealing the sounds made in an area, which has resulted in its use in preventing spell casting. My issue, is that silence is not rendering the words unspoken, just as invisibility does not remove the object's physical presence, but simply makes the affected unable to hear them. How is it that the very words of a spell are being choked out when, in reality, they are simply being unheard?

As invisibility effectively renders an opponent "blind" to the affected object/creature, I believe silence should render them "deafened" (as per the status effect). Thus, the affected individual would suffer the initiative penalty and would have a 20% chance to miscast a spell, rather than the "auto-counterspell" as written.

In jest: If a spell's verbal components are uttered, and no one is able to hear them, is the spell still cast?


Shrink Item:

Potential abuse factor - I heard this from a former player. Wizard shrinks a ballista bolt into the size of a crossbow bolt, fires it, and then dismisses the effect, effectively hurling a ballista bolt at a creature. Some wording that would help prevent such abuse would be good.

Spells that affect opponents:

As mentioned in another post, spells that affect opponents should have SR. Spells like Glitterdust shouldn't be immune to SR.

Rogues and spells:

Having the unlimited cantrips and being a level of rogue is too abusive. Potential for players to take rogue at 1st level (for sneak attack) and then go wizard/sorcerer for unlimited orisons so he can use them as sneak attack weapons (acid orb/ray of frost). Seems rather silly.

Summoning spells:

I have had problems as a DM and as a player with folks who litter the battleground with lots and lots of summoned creaturs. Druids especially abuse this and as a fighter, I don't like sitting around while the druid's 12 creatures do all the work. Perhaps limiting the number of summoning spells that a character can do to 1 would be nice. Maybe bump the level of the creature up in return so there are less summoned creatures out at once but the one that is out is more powerful.


(Edited)
Here are some thoughts. Some of them are based off concerns which I thought were interesting which had been raised in the High Level Economics thread:
Fabricate:
Please clarify; does this spell allow PCs to spend a couple of weeks on a magical mass-production line, churning out goods (potentially worth a high mark-up in price over the 'raw' materials)? Suggestions in the DMG over how to deal with this use of the spell, as opposed to notes in the actual spell itself, may be useful if this does remain a valid use of the spell.

Teleport/Teleport without Error:
Would it be possible to adjust these to require either the use of a temporary/permanent 'receiving circle' or a means of directly observing the target destination? Many DMs have encountered (ab)uses of teleport in games- especially when combined with PC races which have natural teleport abilities. Why don't wizards set up as merchants, using bags of holding to ship goods from city to city? (Or maybe they do, on Golarion!)

Wall of Iron:
If cutting this up into chunks and selling it off to be made into items (which then function perfectly normally) is a valid use for this spell, does anyone need to mine iron any more?

Wall of Stone:
Please clarify what type of stone is produced? Can casters adjust the type of stone produced, by maybe changing the volume produced by the spell (and presumably requiring a different arcane material component)?

Blood Money:
Does this spell from Rise of the Runelords #5 still function as originally written, given that some of the XP costs for spells have been removed? Since the purpose of the spell seems to me to be to provide you with a means to create wealth, in an emergency, an alternate, 'money based' component to cast it in place of XP seems to run against the nature of the spell.

General request for clarification:
Please clarify the mechanics for interaction between sneak attacks (etc) and spells which require 'attack rolls'. There are some players out there who try to argue for sneak damage in addition to the stated strength penalty on a Ray of Enfeeblement, since 'the spell involves an attack roll', even though Ray of Enfeeblement deals no hp damage.

Spell Names:
(This may be one for the Golarion hardcover, rather than the Pathfinder RPG book, given that the Pathfinder RPG is supposed to be 'setting neutral'.)
Would it be possible to see 'Golarion' names on some of the SRD spells which had names attached that are trademarks/IP of Hasbro? The 'hand' set of spells help by being linked by name, as well as theme of operation. My favoured choice for the hand spells might be tying them to Gorum (a deity of strength) or, given that Thassilon fell more than 10,000 years ago, maybe one of the Runelords since the spell would have had time to spread across the world since then. (EG Gorum's Crushing Hand or Alaznist's Clenched Fist.)
It occurs to me that opening this topic up to debate (or poll) with the general community might produce interesting results.

Anyway, I'll try to keep my posts to just this one on this thread.


What about upgrading the acid splash cantrip for sorcerers and wizards? Since they will be at will, it would give them a decent basic ranged attack, which would mean something for the first few levels ( they would be able to continue fighting) but wouldn't really unbalance the game. Make it Evocation add SR, add fire, cold and lightning versions, and upgrade the damage just a bit. 1d4/1d6 perhaps. What do ppl think?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I just watched an ogre barbarian 7 (CR 10) get utterly annihilated by a 1st level spell: hideous laughter, cast by a 1st level bard. (Admittedly, he was also a 6th level sorcerer, but he cast it as a 1st level bard.)

It only lasted a round, but being unable to take actions and suddenly prone? A round was literally all the party needed. (160 damage in that one round - yikes!) I might suggest that the dropping prone part is not necessary... or at least maybe it should have some sort of HD cap, not unlike sleep...


Command got nerfed pretty hard in 3.5; I'd like to see two of my favorite AD&D-through-3e commands added the standard menu of choices:

Answer
The subject blurts out an answer to the last question it was asked. The subject may attempt to lie, but suffers a -4 circumstance bonus to its Bluff check.

Charge
On its turn, the subject takes the charge action against you, or against someone directly between you and the target.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Hey there all,

I was going through the massive spell chapter over the weekend for the Beta and it occured to me that I have never asked you, the playtesters, about spells. So, here I am. What spells do you think need some work?

Perhaps some of the Cleric spells could have the bonus types that they grant changed? For example, changing the moral bonus granted by Bless to a sacred/profane bonus?

Something along these lines could make the spells a little more useful without altering them overmuch.


Explosive Runes

Replace the "close enough to read them" with a specific area. Or "anyone in a square adjacent to the exploding runes"

Change the duration to something other then PERMANENT! I would suggest hours per level (D). It could alternately require an expensive material component - perhaps 100gp worth of ground jokey smurf dust. Although this makes it even more like Sepia Snake Sigil, a real "winner" of a spell.

If you read the title of this post, that's 6d6 force damage for you!
(No, you don't get a saving throw.)

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