Old spells done via words


Round 2: Words of Power Discussion


I was wondering if anyone has looked at 'redoing' the staple spells that were aped for the word effects anywhere?

If not, perhaps one consolidated thread would be helpful for this, as it would also serve to introduce people to how words of power works with things that they are familiar with.

To whit if a spell comes up as too expensive or cheaper than it need be then a listing of what might be done to either pare it down to fit or what could be added could come AFTER the write up of the spell itself in word form.

-James

Shadow Lodge

james maissen wrote:

I was wondering if anyone has looked at 'redoing' the staple spells that were aped for the word effects anywhere?

If not, perhaps one consolidated thread would be helpful for this, as it would also serve to introduce people to how words of power works with things that they are familiar with.

To whit if a spell comes up as too expensive or cheaper than it need be then a listing of what might be done to either pare it down to fit or what could be added could come AFTER the write up of the spell itself in word form.

-James

From what I've seen browsing the other threads, you can't reproduce at the same level:

Detect Magic
Mage Armor
Magic Missile
Fireball

These are baseline spells for most wizards, and this strikes me as concerning.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It might be worthwhile to get as close as possible. It could give us a point of campirson of how powerful certain aspects of the words of power are.

For instance, with a spell like acid arrow, you can choose the single target word and the corrosive bolt effect word.

This ends up in a close range range touch attack that does 1d4/level acid damage for 2 rounds.

Acid Arrow itself is long range and does 2d4 acid damage over 1+1/3 levels rounds

So more damage untill 5th level, but shorter range.


Yeah seems to be quite a bit weaker. I'm going to put this the test this weekend with my level 5 Wizard Cohort if the DM approves. Basically I just swap out the spells book for words of power for that game.


Varthanna wrote:
james maissen wrote:

I was wondering if anyone has looked at 'redoing' the staple spells that were aped for the word effects anywhere?

If not, perhaps one consolidated thread would be helpful for this, as it would also serve to introduce people to how words of power works with things that they are familiar with.

To whit if a spell comes up as too expensive or cheaper than it need be then a listing of what might be done to either pare it down to fit or what could be added could come AFTER the write up of the spell itself in word form.

-James

From what I've seen browsing the other threads, you can't reproduce at the same level:

Detect Magic
Mage Armor
Magic Missile
Fireball

These are baseline spells for most wizards, and this strikes me as concerning.

I know one of my players who is switching over will be disappointed that his level 3 fireball will not do as much damage. He is a level 9 wizard.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
voska66 wrote:
Yeah seems to be quite a bit weaker. I'm going to put this the test this weekend with my level 5 Wizard Cohort if the DM approves. Basically I just swap out the spells book for words of power for that game.

Out of curiosity, why do you find that significantly weaker? Is range important enough in your games that increased damage doesn't make up for it? If you're speaking generally and not about the acid spell, ignore me.

Also, I believe the spell described (Single Corrosive Bolt) does more damage than acid arrow until 12th level. Am I doing the math wrong?


Here's a few I did for another thread.

Mage Armor

Spoiler:

1st level spell: 5 total points allowed.

Personal: 0/0
Single 0/0
Force Shield (armor) 5 points allowed: cost 4.

Looks good except- 1 minute a level instead of 1 hour a level. Basically means no sane wizard or sorc is taking this power word- I agree with you on that.

at 5th level it goes to 10 minutes a level, a +5 bonus (since you are 5th level minimum to cast it) and has 10 points to spend- only 7 of which are on the spell. that gives you 3 points to spend on some other effect.
it Has to be personal and single (both of which are free).. Except that combining effect words limits you to the worse duration and there are no other useful 10 minute/level durations.

Basically- you are spending a 3rd level spell slot for less than a 3rd level spell. (and still not getting a full day out of it like you do with mage armor- even though this does have a better bonus and it increases with level).
So: 3rd level "power word spell" for +5 armor bonus that lasts 50 minutes, compared to the "normal" +4 for *five hours*.

It really only seems worth it for clerics since it not only lets them add it to existing armor (+2) but also makes their normal armor into a force effect. Thats not a bad deal for the duration.. but for wizards? Ouch. A definite candidate for "Versatile Wordcaster" feat (as per page 3 of the PDF).

Burning Hands

Spoiler:

Lets go for another iconic spell:
Burning hands. level 1.
1d4/level of fire damage in a 15 foot cone.

Burning Word (gotta have some name for it, eh?)
Level 1, points to spend: 5
Burning Flash (Fire)
1d4/level (max 5d4) for 3 points.
Small Cone (10 feet) for 2 points

Almost identical to the original ( just 5 feet fewer on the cone).

Sounds sorta bad- except that as you continue to level up you can "level up" the area of effect as well. This one has no target restriction so for the exact same cost you can make it a 20 foot line or make it "mass burning flash" to effect 1 target/level of caster within 30 feet. Not a bad deal.

it seems that the ones with fixed "targets" get the worst bang for the buck because you are basically stuck doing whatever it says. Taking a power word effect that has no such restriction is really giving you 12 spells for the price of one. (11, not counting personal.. unless you really want to set yourself on fire, or whatever).

Lightning Bolt

Spoiler:

Lightning Bolt:
3rd level, 1d6/level (max 10d6)
120foot line,

Word of Lightning:
3rd level, 10 points to spend.
Lightning Blast, 7 points, 1d6 max 10.
range: Medium Line (60 feet). cost 3.
Left over: 1.
(note: large line of 120ft costs 5 more points. Can't afford it yet).

Looks like the same "thing" as with burning hands. you have a lesser range in exchange for basically being able to turn that "blast" into any area you want. Those same 3 points spent net you a 60 foot line, a small (10 foot) cone, or a 10 foot burst- or the ability to use it as "mass" which basically just lets you single out targets 1/level within 30 feet. Not bad.

Overall- Mage Armor gets hosed. The damage spells get a nerf but a decent trade off- one word nets you 11-12 spells. You can take two elemental words to cover your bases and basically have 22-4 spells at your disposal. need that lightning into a cone? no problem. How about selecting 5 guys surrounding you without hitting your allies? Also no problem. How about a line to catch those 3 orcs down the hall? Also no problem.
Great for spont. casters. For wizards I would probably almost always choose the "mass" simply because it lets you AOE without hitting allies. Ever.

How does fireball do less damage?
Fire blast -> target small burst or (my fave) Mass, nets 1d6 fire damage per caster level. to either a 10 foot burst or 5 targets within 30 feet of you and each other.
As with all the evocations- the range seems to be less but the actual damage seem to be the same.. And unless you routinely catch tons of baddies in that old 20ft radius it seems a wash.

( i still love mass)

-S


Looks like this system will need some major revisions or no one will use it.

Grand Lodge

Well considering that shield can now be cast on other players and as a 3rd level spell you can do 5d6(cold)+stagger on failed save+5d4(electric) and for one level more make that into a mass one target per CL, it's not bad. Or as a 6th level spell, you can do 10d6(cold) + entangle 1d4 rounds+10d6(electric). Course I'm not sure why mass is cheaper then a small burst when it covers a larger area (15 ft radius vs the 10 for a small burst) AND you can selectively target....

Kinda makes DD somewhat more relivant and cold has some status effects which is nice. The power of the system comes from using more then two words...but honestly, this is gonna slow down game oh so much unless the players cost out all the combinations of words beforehand...that's gets to be no small thing at higher levels. I'm not a fan of this system because honestly speaking, at most tables, this will slow down games to a crawl.


I agree to some extent, Cold Napalm. I think the biggest "learning curve" (and thus, the greatest time problem) will be those campaigns that start later or those replacement characters who go from spell-less to spell-capable. (dead warrior rerolls cleric, for example).

For the others I think doing the system from level 1 up will cure most of that, along with a DM who enforces the idea of "better be ready when it is your turn" rules.

That being said- making a short list of spells that you usually cast shouldn't be too big of a hassle. If you know you have lightning burst then you can make a quick list of what probable combinations you'd have for any given level, or some such.
More work than before- yes- but not impossible.

Its no more time consuming though than the player who casts summon monster IV without having done the math for the creature already to have them up and running rather than having to cross reference rules and books and stat blocks. Preparation is the key to speed.

I just wish they had some ways to alter duration or to "fix" some spells so they fill all their points. (-> armor spells, lookin at you guys)

-S


Kolokotroni wrote:

It might be worthwhile to get as close as possible. It could give us a point of campirson of how powerful certain aspects of the words of power are.

For instance, with a spell like acid arrow, you can choose the single target word and the corrosive bolt effect word.

This ends up in a close range range touch attack that does 1d4/level acid damage for 2 rounds.

Acid Arrow itself is long range and does 2d4 acid damage over 1+1/3 levels rounds

So more damage untill 5th level, but shorter range.

Yes, and you can do a mass corrosive bolt as a 2nd level spell, 5 for corrosive bold and 2 for mass, giving you not only more potential damage at early levels but making it affect 1 enemy/lvl.


Cold Napalm wrote:

Well considering that shield can now be cast on other players and as a 3rd level spell you can do 5d6(cold)+stagger on failed save+5d4(electric) and for one level more make that into a mass one target per CL, it's not bad. Or as a 6th level spell, you can do 10d6(cold) + entangle 1d4 rounds+10d6(electric). Course I'm not sure why mass is cheaper then a small burst when it covers a larger area (15 ft radius vs the 10 for a small burst) AND you can selectively target....

You are suggestin that the system is better for damage + condition spells, and you can create a lot of them?


Given that evocation is, rightly or wrongly, seen as the bastard stepchild of the magic schools.. being able to tack on some other effects to them is a pretty nice effect. You trade some of the range you had before for being able to vary the range and tack on some extra effects. Effects that you choose.

Very nice, imo.

-S

Grand Lodge

Kaiyanwang wrote:
Cold Napalm wrote:

Well considering that shield can now be cast on other players and as a 3rd level spell you can do 5d6(cold)+stagger on failed save+5d4(electric) and for one level more make that into a mass one target per CL, it's not bad. Or as a 6th level spell, you can do 10d6(cold) + entangle 1d4 rounds+10d6(electric). Course I'm not sure why mass is cheaper then a small burst when it covers a larger area (15 ft radius vs the 10 for a small burst) AND you can selectively target....

You are suggestin that the system is better for damage + condition spells, and you can create a lot of them?

Yep...but it does take some amount of system mastery to not make some pretty nerfed spells (because you can).

Grand Lodge

Selgard wrote:

That being said- making a short list of spells that you usually cast shouldn't be too big of a hassle. If you know you have lightning burst then you can make a quick list of what probable combinations you'd have for any given level, or some such.

More work than before- yes- but not impossible.
-S

Of course the issue is that even spell casting is too much prep time in most groups. People just reference the spell most of the time...with spell words, now not only do you have to make the spell, but you then have to look up what EACH word does or have it all written down PER spell you made up. That's a LOT of work. Yeah with the small sample we have, not a big deal...but there is suppose to be more...and probably MUCH more if the system is gonna compete with normal magic. That's a whole lotta slowdown I see.


Cold Napalm wrote:
Of course the issue is that even spell casting is too much prep time in most groups. People just reference the spell most of the time...with spell words, now not only do you have to make the spell, but you then have to look up what EACH word does or have it all written down PER spell you made up. That's a LOT of work. Yeah with the small sample we have, not a big deal...but there is suppose to be more...and probably MUCH more if the system is gonna compete with normal magic. That's a whole lotta slowdown I see.

I can see situations similar to playing old WoD Mage:the ascenscion

You will develop a bag of commonly used 'tricks' that you know the mechanics for and then when you hit a wall you can surmount with those start experimenting the first few games may go a bit slower until the learning curve is on the high side. I also can see GM's requiring a quick ref sheet for your most commonly used sayings


The spont. spellcasters are the worst at this because they actually will be able to- and in fact have to- form their spells on the fly.

Wizards will be largely the same as they are now. When you memorize your word set for the day, then it is set. You are casting what you already setup so it shouldn't slow combat down anymore than wizards already do.

Sorcs, Bards, etc. will have a larger burden. Even still though all they have to do is have all the "target" effects printed on one page with another page or two devoted to what limited effects they have learned. The combinations are great, true, but most of the "difficult" stuff is easy to track especially if the PC's are prepared.

having a "lightnign bolt" prepared for example, or some form of "evard's tentacles". I can see a slow down for an unusual situation but given how relatively few effects they will know- they should have a grasp on them.

I am not saying there may not be some slow time- just that it can be compensated for with preparation on part of the player.

-S

Grand Lodge

Selgard wrote:

I am not saying there may not be some slow time- just that it can be compensated for with preparation on part of the player.

-S

SOME players maybe...but a good majority of the players I play with, no, this will cause a pretty large slowdown. Even for prep casters, now you have to look up 3 effects instead of 1 spell. For spont casters...oh dear god.


Shadar Aman wrote:
voska66 wrote:
Yeah seems to be quite a bit weaker. I'm going to put this the test this weekend with my level 5 Wizard Cohort if the DM approves. Basically I just swap out the spells book for words of power for that game.

Out of curiosity, why do you find that significantly weaker? Is range important enough in your games that increased damage doesn't make up for it? If you're speaking generally and not about the acid spell, ignore me.

Also, I believe the spell described (Single Corrosive Bolt) does more damage than acid arrow until 12th level. Am I doing the math wrong?

Yes in general. Like the mage armor equivalent only lasting 1 min per level instead 1 hour per level.


There are at least some effects that are cheaper under the words system:

Charm Monster:
Target: Single (0 pts)
Effect: Complex Order (level 3, 7 pts)
TOTAL: 7 Pts lvl 3 (used to be 4th for sor/wiz)

and you have 3 pts left over to play with.

However, this is also the recipe to duplicate Charm Person, making it a 3ed level spell

You can get Mass Charm Monster at 6th Level (use to 8th for sor/wiz)

Mass Charm Monster
Targets: Mass (2 pts)
Effect: Complex Order (boosted, level 6, 15 pts)
Total: 17 Pts lvl 6

you have the same 3 pts left over.

However, these effects are not as long lasting as typical charm or suggestion spells...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
voska66 wrote:
Shadar Aman wrote:
voska66 wrote:
Yeah seems to be quite a bit weaker. I'm going to put this the test this weekend with my level 5 Wizard Cohort if the DM approves. Basically I just swap out the spells book for words of power for that game.

Out of curiosity, why do you find that significantly weaker? Is range important enough in your games that increased damage doesn't make up for it? If you're speaking generally and not about the acid spell, ignore me.

Also, I believe the spell described (Single Corrosive Bolt) does more damage than acid arrow until 12th level. Am I doing the math wrong?

Yes in general. Like the mage armor equivalent only lasting 1 min per level instead 1 hour per level.

Yeah, it does seem to get the short end of the stick when it comes to spell duration.


A spreadsheet or application that allowed a user to plug in all known words and their level and receive all the possible combination of spells, would be lovely. Smart people, begin!


pad300 wrote:

There are at least some effects that are cheaper under the words system:

Charm Monster:
Target: Single (0 pts)
Effect: Complex Order (level 3, 7 pts)
TOTAL: 7 Pts lvl 3 (used to be 4th for sor/wiz)

and you have 3 pts left over to play with.

Complex Order is much more similar to Suggestion than Charm Monster.


Something that got an extremely nice boost is the Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Bear's Endurance line. Now it's Enhance Form, which while now being round per level instead of minute, can be cast from close range instead of touch, can affect any physical ability score on the fly instead of having to choose one, and can give a whopping +8 bonus for a round of combat at the cost of ending the spell. Talk about versatility. Plus you can add the Echo Illusion effect to it to make it so that your allies start shouting profanities every time you use the spell :P


Cold Napalm wrote:
Selgard wrote:

I am not saying there may not be some slow time- just that it can be compensated for with preparation on part of the player.

-S

SOME players maybe...but a good majority of the players I play with, no, this will cause a pretty large slowdown. Even for prep casters, now you have to look up 3 effects instead of 1 spell. For spont casters...oh dear god.

Players such as myself, who adored the flexibility of Ars Magica, Mage:The Ascension, etc., we WILL spend all the extra time developing a dozen readily available rotes from our existing words. Plus, a hundred new rotes/spells/word combinations will be posted on these forums within days of this going live for all(published). No effort needed - copy + paste!

And players for whom that's a lot of work, well, it's not like Wizard and Sorcerer get deleted... this is just an option for people that want it, and not a mandate. One can avoid the headaches by not trying the system if you don't think it's a good fit for your style, or banning it as a GM if you know that it's beyond your group.

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