Why no orb spells in UM?


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Scarab Sages

I don't care, at all. But it sprung up on the UM product discussion and I'd rather it have it's own thread if people care to move.

Go to town.

-Drillboss


Because designers are sane.

Grand Lodge

Aren't all the entries in the Spell Compendium, from the orb spells to Gr Mage Armor, Chain Missile, Devil Blight and Light of Venya all IP of WotC?

Best Paizo could do is design new spells that mimic those, right?

Sovereign Court

I'm kind of curious too, I miss the old Chaos Orb spell from first and second edition!

It might be a bit too powerful for a first level spell but that doesn't mean we couldn't have come up with something to make it work. It did have that gem stone material requirement after all.


W E Ray wrote:


Best Paizo could do is design new spells that mimic those, right?

BAD idea.

Orb spells were a mess. they were conjuration school, but conjured a somewhat nonmagical fire/acid whatever dealing a big amount of d6 of damage, with no explaination needed.

They were, as said conjuration, and great blast, better than most evocation ones. So evocation, the blasting school, was outclassed IN BLASTING by conjuration school. Great idea.

Finally, they were able to blast golem or through an antimagic field, because were "instantaneous conjurations".

Orb spells were incredibly dumb for a number of reason, and the better if they are left in the dust.


Kaiyanwang wrote:
W E Ray wrote:


Best Paizo could do is design new spells that mimic those, right?

BAD idea.

Orb spells were a mess. they were conjuration school, but conjured a somewhat nonmagical fire/acid whatever dealing a big amount of d6 of damage, with no explaination needed.

They were, as said conjuration, and great blast, better than most evocation ones. So evocation, the blasting school, was outclassed IN BLASTING by conjuration school. Great idea.

Finally, they were able to blast golem or through an antimagic field, because were "instantaneous conjurations".

Orb spells were incredibly dumb for a number of reason, and the better if they are left in the dust.

Don't you just love blanket generalizations?

They dealt a "large" amount of d6s to ONE target IF you managed to hit it (which for a wizard is never a certainty). They were designed in order for wizards to be able to deal damage to classes with evasion, or creatures with absurdly high SR (hello mind flayers).

They also had no radius. If for your "blasting" means single target, we have very different definitions.

Scorching ray does the same thing (except the SR bit). Why no screaming about it? Because it allows SR? Because it's an evocation spell?

Besides, the /pit/ series is actually, in many aspects, worse. Dump someone in a hungry pit, seal with a wall of ice, one dead critter, pronto...


Kaiyanwang wrote:
W E Ray wrote:


Best Paizo could do is design new spells that mimic those, right?

BAD idea.

Orb spells were a mess. they were conjuration school, but conjured a somewhat nonmagical fire/acid whatever dealing a big amount of d6 of damage, with no explaination needed.

They were, as said conjuration, and great blast, better than most evocation ones. So evocation, the blasting school, was outclassed IN BLASTING by conjuration school. Great idea.

Finally, they were able to blast golem or through an antimagic field, because were "instantaneous conjurations".

Orb spells were incredibly dumb for a number of reason, and the better if they are left in the dust.

+1,

They also wrecked havoc on the amount of damage you could do to a single target.

Fireball: Make SR (Challenging on high CR monsters), Monster/Player makes save. Takes half (or none with a player who has evasion).

Simplified Monster Calculation: 50% chance to make SR * 50% damage from save made = 1/4th - Resistances average damage.
Rogue/Evasion Player: 25% chance to blow a save: 25% average damage.
Regular Player: 40% chance to make save: ~80% average damage

Orbs:
Touch attack probability: 75% to hit on a bad day.
75% damage to everyone! 95% average damage to dragons (dragons are pretty much auto-hits)! Yaaay!

Now, I think the Orbs MAY have been necessary in 3.5, BECAUSE the monster manual had SERIOUSLY messed up SRs, such that at higher levels, no wizard could make them. In Pathfinder, this has been addressed. Adding orbs is a bad idea. It's a flat power-boost to Wizards and Sorcerers. Rogues are bad as it is... don't make Evasion less good...

Edit: Also if the concern is some sort of weighting in the 1v1 power-balance scale, don't Wizards/Sorcerers just sort of cast hold person and win? Phantasmal Killer? Fly?

Grand Lodge

I have to admit the orb spells were a lot of fun but from a gameplay perspective they were a little crazy, as stated before. I don't have UM yet but did greater mirror image make it?

I just loved the ability to cast mirror image as an immediate action. Chessey, yes, but fun.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Either way it's irrelevant since they are Wizard's IP and Paizo can't touch them.


Orbs made it so everyone just specialized in Conjuration and banned evocation.

Yes, "everyone" is a broad generalization. But I was on the old 3.5 boards. I remember. You were pretty much laughed off the boards if you suggested specializing in Evocation (or even NOT banning it). There were other reasons aside from just the orb spells, but they were a big part of it as well...especially orbs of damage types that nothing (or almost nothing) resisted, such as sonic and force. Worse, even, some of the main elemental types also had debuffs attached to them as well as no save no SR decent damage.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Madclaw wrote:

I have to admit the orb spells were a lot of fun but from a gameplay perspective they were a little crazy, as stated before. I don't have UM yet but did greater mirror image make it?

I just loved the ability to cast mirror image as an immediate action. Chessey, yes, but fun.

I don't see it.

However, a cool spell from Prince of Wolves did make it in, and in a related vein I discovered a nasty little 5th-level gem called icy prison:

Ultimate Magic wrote:
You trap the target in solid ice 1 inch thick per caster level. If the creature fails its save, it is helpless, but can still breathe (the ice blocks line of effect to the target). If the target makes its save, it gains the entangled condition but can otherwise act normally. Whether or not the target saves, it takes 1 point of cold damage per caster level each round it is helpless or entangled in the ice. The ice has hardness 0 and 3 hit points per inch of thickness; if broken, the creature is freed. A creature can break the ice with a successful Strength check (DC 15 + your caster level).

The 9th-level version hits 1 target/level.

It's particularly interesting because there's no cap on the damage. So, say, a 20th-level wizard will encase someone in 20 inches of ice with 60 hp, doing 20hp/round cold damage and with break DC 35. Better make that Reflex save! :)

And if the wizard's higher than 20th level ...


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Beckman wrote:


Now, I think the Orbs MAY have been necessary in 3.5, BECAUSE the monster manual had SERIOUSLY messed up SRs, such that at higher levels, no wizard could make them. In Pathfinder, this has been addressed. Adding orbs is a bad idea. It's a flat power-boost to Wizards and Sorcerers. Rogues are bad as it is... don't make Evasion less good...

I don't think they were at all necessary in 3.5 because of SR issues. The redeeming feature I saw to them was being part of the warmage's spell list. That was a character built around blasting and a bit of battlefield control. They needed damaging spells a bit more precise than fireball and lightning bolt as well as a way to affect high SR creatures.

Had the orb spells been limited to that, I think they would have been OK. But for some reason (and Paizo isn't immune to this), most spells added to the system ended up on the wizard/sorcerer list whether the wizard/sorcerer needed it to fill a legitimate gap or not. They don't need the power boost and, in this case, shouldn't have received it. Being forced to affect golems more indirectly is a good thing for these casters.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber
Estrosiath wrote:
Kaiyanwang wrote:
W E Ray wrote:


Best Paizo could do is design new spells that mimic those, right?

BAD idea.

Orb spells were a mess. they were conjuration school, but conjured a somewhat nonmagical fire/acid whatever dealing a big amount of d6 of damage, with no explaination needed.

They were, as said conjuration, and great blast, better than most evocation ones. So evocation, the blasting school, was outclassed IN BLASTING by conjuration school. Great idea.

Finally, they were able to blast golem or through an antimagic field, because were "instantaneous conjurations".

Orb spells were incredibly dumb for a number of reason, and the better if they are left in the dust.

Don't you just love blanket generalizations?

They dealt a "large" amount of d6s to ONE target IF you managed to hit it (which for a wizard is never a certainty). They were designed in order for wizards to be able to deal damage to classes with evasion, or creatures with absurdly high SR (hello mind flayers).

They also had no radius. If for your "blasting" means single target, we have very different definitions.

Scorching ray does the same thing (except the SR bit). Why no screaming about it? Because it allows SR? Because it's an evocation spell?

Besides, the /pit/ series is actually, in many aspects, worse. Dump someone in a hungry pit, seal with a wall of ice, one dead critter, pronto...

the pits have some big limitations, 1) doesn't work on huge (or larger) creatures. 2) doesn't work on flying creatures. 3) area around the pit is treacherous this is just as bad for the monsters as it is for the PC's (just ask my horse.)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

I gotta disagree with all the folks who want spells that ignore SR, there are 2 feats, 1 race, and a new meta magic feat all designed to boost your ability to overcome SR. You could also count various magic items that boost caster level as well.

If you were being absurd you could probably have level+12 to overcome SR, with most SR being 11+CL you pretty much auto make except on really over CR monsters, where you only make it most of the time.


Estrosiath wrote:


Don't you just love blanket generalizations?

It seems to me I argumented my statements.

Quote:


They dealt a "large" amount of d6s to ONE target IF you managed to hit it (which for a wizard is never a certainty). They were designed in order for wizards to be able to deal damage to classes with evasion, or creatures with absurdly high SR (hello mind flayers).

It's a good thing there is not a spell for every purpose. makes classes more balanced and gameplay more interesting forcing to think outside the box.

Quote:


They also had no radius. If for your "blasting" means single target, we have very different definitions.

for some encounter radius mattrers, but in a lot of encounter a sure snipe is better than not focusing AOE damage.

Quote:


Scorching ray does the same thing (except the SR bit). Why no screaming about it? Because it allows SR? Because it's an evocation spell?

The SR, the evocation spell thing and the 3 hit rolls are good arguments, yeah.

Quote:


Besides, the /pit/ series is actually, in many aspects, worse. Dump someone in a hungry pit, seal with a wall of ice, one dead critter, pronto...

People already answered. moreover, if spell A is bad, "but.. there is another spell B as bad or worse" is not an argument.

In that way AT BEST you show me that there are 2 bad spells.


People are acting like all the orb spells were conjuration. I thought only the Acid Orb spell was conjuration and the rest were evocation. Is that just my wishful thinking?


Galnörag wrote:

I gotta disagree with all the folks who want spells that ignore SR, there are 2 feats, 1 race, and a new meta magic feat all designed to boost your ability to overcome SR. You could also count various magic items that boost caster level as well.

If you were being absurd you could probably have level+12 to overcome SR, with most SR being 11+CL you pretty much auto make except on really over CR monsters, where you only make it most of the time.

I'd like to point out though that although your reasoning has some merit, races and feats that help you overcome sr should not be a serious argument against non-sr damaging spells.

Orb spells were a very bad choice to learn, unless you were fighting golems or other niche creatures, in which case they were not that great either.

In addition, if we house ruled right now that all evocation spells require no sr checks, they would still be the worst choice of spells to use for arcane spellcasters.


AvalonXQ wrote:
People are acting like all the orb spells were conjuration. I thought only the Acid Orb spell was conjuration and the rest were evocation. Is that just my wishful thinking?

Yup, wishful thinking . . . ;)

They were all conjuration spells.

Unless you count the original appearance of Force Orb, which was evocation.


Bill Dunn wrote:


I don't think they were at all necessary in 3.5 because of SR issues. The redeeming feature I saw to them was being part of the warmage's spell list. That was a character built around blasting and a bit of battlefield control. They needed damaging spells a bit more precise than fireball and lightning bolt as well as a way to affect high SR creatures.

Had the orb spells been limited to that, I think they would have been OK. But for some reason (and Paizo isn't immune to this), most spells added to the system ended up on the wizard/sorcerer list whether the wizard/sorcerer needed it to fill a legitimate gap or not. They don't need the power boost and, in this case, shouldn't have received it. Being forced to affect golems more indirectly is a good thing for these casters.

Sorcs/Wizs perhaps need no power boost, but damaging spells did need a boost in 3.5 and they need one in Pathfinder too.

WotC answer to improving damaging spells was introducing broken prestige classes. Master Specialist (Evocation) is a great example.

No sorc/wiz player that has a clue about optimization will use evocation damaging spells or conjuration orb spells unless it's for a role playing reason.

That's a fact of 3.0/3.5/PF. In other words, introducing new damaging spells, whether they are affected by sr or not, is a complete waste of book space and is no power boost.

Also, traditionally in D&D, Wizards are inventors of spells and masters of magical knowledge and research. It makes sense from a game design perspective to grant them access to most spells.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wizards have always (clearly) been my favorite class.

I've played a wizard from 1st level all the way up to 24th level (my namesake character.) I've played wizards in 2nd edition, through 3rd, and even playtested a 4th edition wizard (and will now be playing a Pathfinder wizard for the very. First. TIME. in a couple of months.)

And I, for one, hated the orb spells. They were not only cheesy as hell for the reasons already rehashed, but they violated EVERY rule of school selection out there. Why were they conjuration? They didn't create anything. They shot energy at a target.

That's evocation. Always has been. Always should've been. (IMGs, we house ruled the orb spells into Evocation spells that required SR, and they were still superior to almost every other option at their levels.)

(And don't get me started on greater mirror image.) So I for one am glad to be rid of most of the Spell Compendium spells.


Morgen wrote:
I'm kind of curious too, I miss the old Chaos Orb spell from first and second edition!

I don't know that spell, but there is shard of chaos in Ultimate Magic. It's basically a 2nd-level, single-target version of chaos hammer (the other alignments get their own spells, of course). It deals 1d8/2lv damage (max 5; against aligned outsiders, it becomes 1d6/lv max 10) and has a rider effect when you fail your save.

Estrosiath wrote:


Don't you just love blanket generalizations?

I like some of them, but don't feel comfortable making a generalised statement about them.

Estrosiath wrote:


They dealt a "large" amount of d6s to ONE target IF you managed to hit it (which for a wizard is never a certainty).

Most of the time, one is all you need. And hitting was never a certainty for wizards (or anyone), wasn't hard most of the time. Weak BAB is countered by the thing being a ranged touch attack, and many creatures' touch AC is pathetic. (And those with a decent touch AC tend to have great ref saves, and often evasion or even improved evasion, too, so it's not as if this is anything new for wizards)

Estrosiath wrote:
They were designed in order for wizards to be able to deal damage to classes with evasion, or creatures with absurdly high SR (hello mind flayers).

High SR is there for a reason. It's supposed to mean the enemies are really hard to affect with magic.

And if you want to affect classes with evasion, you go with other spells altogether. After all, their touch AC will be, as we already saw, quite high. Better to force them to make fort or will saves. No evasion, no high save bonuses, no more unsoiled pants.

Estrosiath wrote:


They also had no radius. If for your "blasting" means single target, we have very different definitions.

Blasting in no way requires area of effect. Neither in the English language nor in roleplaying parlance (where it is usually used for all kinds of damage spells, especially elemental/energy damage)

Estrosiath wrote:


Scorching ray does the same thing (except the SR bit). Why no screaming about it? Because it allows SR? Because it's an evocation spell?

Yes and yes.

That's exactly the problem. Blast magic belongs to evocation. That's practically all that school does (there are a few other applications, but I doubt anyone ever became an evoker because he was into magical light and floating disks), and if other schools get blast spells, it becomes way too easy to ignore it (banning a school should never be a no-brainer).

And the fact that the guys who are supposed to be at best dabblers in blast magic get to ignore SR only makes it worse.


I never thought the orbs spells were broken.

I wish they would bring them back.

I think changing them to evocation, sr yes, d6 per caster lvl + side effect, fort save for half and no effect isn't too much to ask.

People need to realize there are ways to make spells and such fair for the game, although I thought they were fair before hand.

Also, WOTC made them conjuration. They did other stupid things too, people. This is just one more example. Easily fixed.


Chromatic Orb, not Chaos Orb, harkens back to the 1e unearthed arcana hardcover.

The 3e orb spells, being mostly in 2 versions, went very well once an arcane caster could cast 5th level spells, knew/had True Strike in their spell book and the Quicken metamagic feat. Every round you could count on seeing one target eating a ranged touch attack spell dealing umpteen d6 of [energy] damage, 1 in 20 to either crit or miss, that ignored concealment, plus the piddly [status effect].

Wizards don't miss much at 9th level with a +24 or better renged touch attack bonus. You really start sweating bullets at the really high levels when the orb-hucker picked up Improved Critical (orb) and a rough minimum touch attack bonus of +28.

That the orbs ignored SR was retarded. Most casters I saw routinely paid the "feat tax" for Greater Spell Penetration. With the orbs, they instead invested in Weapon Focus and, later, Improved Critical.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Man, I remember chromatic orb. That spell was awesome cool, back in the days of almost all spells scaling like crazy, when first level slots were still worth using in combat as a 13+ level caster.

My Arcane Trickster sure misses the orb spells, most because of the lack of ranged touch damage spells (for sorc/wiz) in PF. I mean, what do we have?

Acid splash, ray of frost, acid arrow, scorching ray, disintegrate, polar ray are all I can think of. Were there even any in the APG?

I'll have to scour UM to see if there are any decent mid-high level options.

I could care less about no SR, I just want to sneak attack dangit! (Without putting my frail body near the evil claws and swords).

Shadow Lodge

Estrosiath wrote:

Don't you just love blanket generalizations?

They dealt a "large" amount of d6s to ONE target IF you managed to hit it (which for a wizard is never a certainty). They were designed in order for wizards to be able to deal damage to classes with evasion, or creatures with absurdly high SR (hello mind flayers).

I can tell you have never had to suffer quickened true strike into a maximized orb. Other more-balanced spells that get around spell resistance as well as the raft of abilities that improve getting around spell resistance are a much smarter way of handling it. It is sometimes nice for the wizard to turn to the fighter when facing a super high SR opponent and say: "you take him out and I'll offer support".

As far as I'm concerned, good riddance to the things.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise


gbonehead wrote:


However, a cool spell from Prince of Wolves did make it in, and in a related vein I discovered a nasty little 5th-level gem called icy prison:

Ultimate Magic wrote:
You trap the target in solid ice 1 inch thick per caster level. If the creature fails its save, it is helpless, but can still breathe (the ice blocks line of effect to the target). If the target makes its save, it gains the entangled condition but can otherwise act normally. Whether or not the target saves, it takes 1 point of cold damage per caster level each round it is helpless or entangled in the ice. The ice has hardness 0 and 3 hit points per inch of thickness; if broken, the creature is freed. A creature can break the ice with a successful Strength check (DC 15 + your caster level).

The 9th-level version hits 1 target/level.

It's particularly interesting because there's no cap on the damage. So, say, a 20th-level wizard will encase someone in 20 inches of ice with 60 hp, doing 20hp/round cold damage and with break DC 35. Better make that Reflex save! :)

And if the wizard's higher than 20th level ...

Another brutally nasty 5th level save or lose (to go with Suffocation). Fail the save and die - helpless means you can't strength checks (or take other actions) to break out. Even if you make your save you are entangled and taking continuous damage...

Question - what kind of save is it. If it's reflex, this is just vicious. There are very few save or lose effects that target reflex saves, and module designers have relied on that for ages.


Idk if anyone else knows this, but in the PF Companion Osirion book, there is a spell called boneshatter.

D6 per caster lvl (max 15d6), fort save for half damage (and no side effect), side effect of 1 point of dex damage (and I think con too), SR yes, and no touch attack needed.

I don't think its broken at all. I think its a well balanced single target 4th lvl damaging spell. I can see how people could view THAT as a broken spell, but I don't see it as such. I still don't see how the orbs, being changed a bit (but even the original version, minus the conjuration aspect) are broken.

Paizo could make them, and make those spells balance, although idt they need it, but it would bring back I believe much need single target damaging spells and other people would get their SR yes.

People wanted other things from 3.5 to be transfered over and Paizo did just that and they made them more balanced. What's the problem with doing that for the orb spells? Not like they need it anyways.


As people have said, take the orb spells, cap them at 15d6, give them SR and make them evocation. If all that is done, then they're fine.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Herremann the Wise wrote:
I can tell you have never had to suffer quickened true strike into a maximized orb.

A 13th-level wizard is burning a fifth-level spell slot followed by a seventh-level spellslot to do 78-some damage? That's gamebreaking, what will we do? Oh yeah, CR 11 creatures tend to have 100 HP on the low end. Phew, I was worried there for a sec.


Turin the Mad wrote:
Chromatic Orb, not Chaos Orb, harkens back to the 1e unearthed arcana hardcover.

Ah. Now I know what we're talking about. I remember it from the Baldur's Gate games. Nasty spell.

I like to think of colour spray as chromatic orb's red(amongotherthings)headed stepdaughter.


I just had a great idea! It must be great because it's mine!!! :P

Well, here goes:

Targeted Spell [Metamagic]
You know how to turn area spells into ranged touch spells
Benefit: Select a spell with instantaneous duration (or allowing you several instantaneous effects during a different duration), an area of effect, and allowing a reflex save for half, partial or no damage that doesn't require a ranged touch attack.

This spell now targets one creature and requires a ranged touch attack. The target is not allowed a saving throw to lessen or avoid the damage.

This spell takes up a spell slot one level higher than normal.

Special: Depending on what area of effect it had, you get to attack more than one target with a separate touch attack, all for full damage (I'm not sure about the specifics for this, but I'd say 30' cone, 20' radius spread/burst, as well as 60' line allows 2 targets; 60' cone, 30' radius spread/burst, as well as 120' line allows 3 targets; bigger than that allows 4 targets;)
You could also get one extra target for each extra spell slot you raise the spell. So fireball would have, 2 targets in a 4th-level slot, 3 targets in 5th-level, 4 targets in 6th and so on.

Great for arcane tricksters and magi!

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

KaeYoss wrote:
Turin the Mad wrote:
Chromatic Orb, not Chaos Orb, harkens back to the 1e unearthed arcana hardcover.

Ah. Now I know what we're talking about. I remember it from the Baldur's Gate games. Nasty spell.

I like to think of colour spray as chromatic orb's red(amongotherthings)headed stepdaughter.

Actually, it's the other way around. Color spray goes back to the 1st Ed PH. Chromatic Orb reared its head in Dragon #66 and then (slightly modified) in Unearthed Arcana.


There are orb spells in UM.At least one.
True Fire (Fire)
School evocation [fire]; Level druid 9, sorcerer/wizard 9
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
Target Restrictions selected
This effect word deals 1d6 points of fire damage per caster
level (maximum 20d6).
Looks like orb to me.


Look at the school.

then look at the level. 5 levels of difference is a lot, metamagic-wise.

Tough, with a rod of dazing spell things start to be funny.

O______________________o


Kaiyanwang wrote:

Look at the school.

then look at the level. 5 levels of difference is a lot, metamagic-wise.

Tough, with a rod of dazing spell things start to be funny.

O______________________o

Yep,5 more levels,30% more damage,no dazing.Still requires attack roll.

Fine by me.


KaeYoss wrote:

I just had a great idea! It must be great because it's mine!!! :P

Well, here goes:

Targeted Spell [Metamagic]
You know how to turn area spells into ranged touch spells
Benefit: Select a spell with instantaneous duration (or allowing you several instantaneous effects during a different duration), an area of effect, and allowing a reflex save for half, partial or no damage that doesn't require a ranged touch attack.

This spell now targets one creature and requires a ranged touch attack. The target is not allowed a saving throw to lessen or avoid the damage.

This spell takes up a spell slot one level higher than normal.

Special: Depending on what area of effect it had, you get to attack more than one target with a separate touch attack, all for full damage (I'm not sure about the specifics for this, but I'd say 30' cone, 20' radius spread/burst, as well as 60' line allows 2 targets; 60' cone, 30' radius spread/burst, as well as 120' line allows 3 targets; bigger than that allows 4 targets;)
You could also get one extra target for each extra spell slot you raise the spell. So fireball would have, 2 targets in a 4th-level slot, 3 targets in 5th-level, 4 targets in 6th and so on.

Great for arcane tricksters and magi!

That almost exactly (not quite exact, but close) the Spellwarp ability that Spellwarp Snipers got in 3.5, though it didn't allow for area granting more than one Ray and because it was a specific PrC ability it didn't change the spell's level. Your feat is actually more balanced in that you specify it "doesn't allow a saving throw for reduced damage." The Spellwarp ability simply took the reflex save out of the equation, which led to abuse with the very few spells (Wings of Flurry) that did damage and also had effects on failed Reflex saves.

It is a great idea and was a ton of fun to use.


Sylvanite wrote:
As people have said, take the orb spells, cap them at 15d6, give them SR and make them evocation. If all that is done, then they're fine.

+1.

With the intensify feat, you could blast it old-school style, but it's not a guaranteed win by any means, so that's fair. Like ryric said, arcane tricksters would love some good sneak attack blasty spells, and I could see some other PrCs and maybe the magus using them in place of ranged weapon attacks.

Regular wizards would still be better off doing the "god" thing, but they'd have some more options for plinking mooks or finishing off that last BBEG.


Vlad Koroboff wrote:

There are orb spells in UM.At least one.

True Fire (Fire)
School evocation [fire]; Level druid 9, sorcerer/wizard 9
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
Target Restrictions selected
This effect word deals 1d6 points of fire damage per caster
level (maximum 20d6).
Looks like orb to me.

That's not a spell. It's a word of power.


KaeYoss wrote:
Vlad Koroboff wrote:

There are orb spells in UM.At least one.

True Fire (Fire)
School evocation [fire]; Level druid 9, sorcerer/wizard 9
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no
Target Restrictions selected
This effect word deals 1d6 points of fire damage per caster
level (maximum 20d6).
Looks like orb to me.
That's not a spell. It's a word of power.

"target restriction selected" "this effect word"

silly me :)


Sylvanite wrote:
As people have said, take the orb spells, cap them at 15d6, give them SR and make them evocation. If all that is done, then they're fine.

No, at that point they are more crappy evocation spells...They are not better than an empowered scorching ray.

Shadow Lodge

A Man In Black wrote:
Herremann the Wise wrote:
I can tell you have never had to suffer quickened true strike into a maximized orb.
A 13th-level wizard is burning a fifth-level spell slot followed by a seventh-level spellslot to do 78-some damage? That's gamebreaking, what will we do? Oh yeah, CR 11 creatures tend to have 100 HP on the low end. Phew, I was worried there for a sec.

When you have a single BBEG, up to 90 points of guaranteed damage can be game-breaking as it will put such creatures into power word range; (alternatively also remember that it is not just the wizard dealing damage, even though the wizard is usually doing the bulk of it). In truth, against huge creatures you don't even need the true strike or even to bother maximizing it. A few rounds of Orbs will wear them down quickly enough. It just makes it too easy to play a wizard effectively.

Getting straight through SR made these spells the bane of my DMing existence when I ran Age of Worms. The power level of the optimized wizard completely over-shadowed the rest of the party and the Orb spells were a key component of that along with a couple of other culprits. Compare the standard 8th level Polar Ray to the 4th level Orb spells: surely that is enough to underline that as written they were not necessarily broken but certainly a mistake. Still, if you're happy to have them in your game then go for it. I'm just glad Pathfinder doesn't.

Best Regards
Herremann the Wise


pad300 wrote:
Sylvanite wrote:
As people have said, take the orb spells, cap them at 15d6, give them SR and make them evocation. If all that is done, then they're fine.
No, at that point they are more crappy evocation spells...They are not better than an empowered scorching ray.

Oh yes they are. Orbs aren't stopped cold by Resist Energy 30.


pad300 wrote:
Sylvanite wrote:
As people have said, take the orb spells, cap them at 15d6, give them SR and make them evocation. If all that is done, then they're fine.
No, at that point they are more crappy evocation spells...They are not better than an empowered scorching ray.

Hahaha! That's exactly why they need to be fixed! You're just looking for something overpowered! And even then the orb spells are still good with the fixes I suggested, for multiple reasons.


From what I've read so far of my pdf of Ultimate Magic, in all respects, they've erred on the side of really weak.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

The thing that has made me wonder of the years of the 3.0/3.5/PF eras is why blasting / evocation spells have been weakened over time.

The Arcane classes are no longer as fragile as they once were HP. PF has them at D6 HD and the fact that sense 3rd edition wizards benefit from high con score. (1st & 2nd Ed days non fighter types were limited to +2 HP max from bonus HP received from a high CON score which required a CON of 16)

The advent of feats such as toughness, improved toughness, and stat boosting items could give the full casters much more staying power.

The blasting spell stayed rather static in damage amounts throughout the 3rd / PF eras which made them less effective over time unless GM's retooled them in their home games.

So now we talking about the orbs spell and somehow we thinking they are to powerful......Yes I agree that they should have been evocation from the start and likely should have been with SR but they weren't.

Do they really overpower the "blaster" mage so much? These forum's tend to say that "blaster" builds are useless, stupid, waste of time, etc. (words all seen on these forums over time about this build)

Paizo I think should rebuild the targeting Orb spells in some fashion and make them their own. Give the blaster mages another tool in his spell-book please. These battlefield controllers needs to be shown up ;-)


Sylvanite wrote:
pad300 wrote:
Sylvanite wrote:
As people have said, take the orb spells, cap them at 15d6, give them SR and make them evocation. If all that is done, then they're fine.
No, at that point they are more crappy evocation spells...They are not better than an empowered scorching ray.
Hahaha! That's exactly why they need to be fixed! You're just looking for something overpowered! And even then the orb spells are still good with the fixes I suggested, for multiple reasons.

Just a quick check here. How many times in your campaign have you seen a wizard player memorize an empowered scorching ray spell? How many times have you seen a wizard specialize in evocation? How many times have you seen a sorcerer focus their spells known on evocation spells?

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that as a school, evocation is (pre UM) well behind the capability level of other arcane schools. They need some catch up for balance reasons.

Also, you do realize, as a design feature, a spell of level X is supposed to be better than a spell of lower level that is metamagic'ed up to level X.

Finally, you can skip the ad-hominem attacks on me - "You're just looking for something overpowered!" - it is not a valid argument in this discussion. It does demonstrate your personal immaturity...


pad300 wrote:
Sylvanite wrote:
pad300 wrote:
Sylvanite wrote:
As people have said, take the orb spells, cap them at 15d6, give them SR and make them evocation. If all that is done, then they're fine.
No, at that point they are more crappy evocation spells...They are not better than an empowered scorching ray.
Hahaha! That's exactly why they need to be fixed! You're just looking for something overpowered! And even then the orb spells are still good with the fixes I suggested, for multiple reasons.

Just a quick check here. How many times in your campaign have you seen a wizard player memorize an empowered scorching ray spell? How many times have you seen a wizard specialize in evocation? How many times have you seen a sorcerer focus their spells known on evocation spells?

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that as a school, evocation is (pre UM) well behind the capability level of other arcane schools. They need some catch up for balance reasons.

Also, you do realize, as a design feature, a spell of level X is supposed to be better than a spell of lower level that is metamagic'ed up to level X.

Finally, you can skip the ad-hominem attacks on me - "You're just looking for something overpowered!" - it is not a valid argument in this discussion. It does demonstrate your personal immaturity...

Honestly, I'm on here joking around and talking the way normal people do. Just 'cause you can toss around the awesome "message board ego boosting" terms like ad-hominem and probably "strawman" doesn't really say anything other than maybe you were on the debate team in high school or something. Especially when you follow it up with an insult on my personal maturity....real mature there :p

In other news, I didn't say anything comparing the orb spells to metamagic'd spells. Though I'm not certain that "as a design feature" higher spells are supposed to be better than lower ones that are metamagic'd up. If a game designer comes and tells me so, I'll believe him, but I've seen plenty of pretty straightforward evidence to the contrary, leading me to believe that may not really be a factor at all in designing things.

As for your questions about how many times I've seen evokers and blaster sorcs, the answer is "plenty." They usually dabbled in other things as well, but they liked being casters who laid down the d-piece when they wanted to. (Sorry, that's an immature phrase!)

Evocation isn't behind other schools. It's good at what it does, better than the other schools, in fact. It's just that blasting in general is considered sub-par. However, making a bunch of spells that make wizards into DPR machines of doom, should they want to be, isn't the answer. Then they truly are cutting into other classes' areas. As it is now, direct damage SHOULD stay weak for casters. It gives the other classes something to do and helps delineate the wizard's role. Like all classes, they can put out some damage should they choose to, but it's not really what they are good at, nor should it be.

Now, if they want to give some more force based spells to Evocation, and actually give some better SoL spells so Evo can compete...that might be interesting. It might get close to "balancing" evocation with other schools as you are looking for. Better damage spells is just not a good idea, specifically ones that don't offer saves and ESPECIALLY ones that don't offer SR.

Am I saying the Orb spells make wizards out dpr other classes? No, not really. They're just not needed (as they were in 3.5 especially), and further give people who like wizards a reason to say "WIZZARDS can do anything other classes can!!11!"


While I'm sure some folks are gonna miss em, I'm glad they are gone. Personally I thought they were kinda snarky and cheap.

I must say though, my Combat Oriented Group had some amazing fights with them. Avasculate the target, hit it with some maximized Orbs of Inhuman Annihilation and POOF, no more bad guy.

Yes, my players kinda complained when I told them we were dropping the Spell Compendium and just going with Core PF (at the time, no APG) and they pouted till they read the books and found those frigging Pit of DOOM spells. Lol, all new kinds of pain.

Suffocation is also a favorite now.

It's all good, there are spells in any version of any game that if your players are keen on and set themselves up to maximize their effects on your bad guys it's gonna hurt no matter what you do. Your job is to keep challenging them and keeping it fun.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!!

Have Fun Out There!!

~ W ~


Wallsingham wrote:

While I'm sure some folks are gonna miss em, I'm glad they are gone. Personally I thought they were kinda snarky and cheap.

I must say though, my Combat Oriented Group had some amazing fights with them. Avasculate the target, hit it with some maximized Orbs of Inhuman Annihilation and POOF, no more bad guy.

I agree that orbs were lame, but not because they were overpowered. Avasculate, on the other hand is a crazy powerful spell that should have never reared it's ugly head.

I'd just like to illustrate a point though, and I hope no one will get mad about this.

A 15th level Wizard casting an orb spell will deal 52 points of damage on average. That's really crappy and something that even relatively non-optimized fighter/barbarian will be able to surpass in a single strike or at least match in a single strike at level 15.

It is really one of the worst actions you can take as a wizard/sorcerer.

Maximized orb will deal 90 points of damage for a 7th level slot of which you most likely have 3.

Maximized Orb is one of the worst ways to burn your high level slots.

You can easily surpass this damage output by casting haste in the first round of combat, which is a 3rd level phb spell as you know, and not waste your time using silly orb spells. We didn't even start discussing options your arcane caster will have with regular 6th and 7th level spells.

I do agree though, that orb spells have their niche, but it's a marginal niche at best.


HansiIsMyGod wrote:
Wallsingham wrote:

While I'm sure some folks are gonna miss em, I'm glad they are gone. Personally I thought they were kinda snarky and cheap.

I must say though, my Combat Oriented Group had some amazing fights with them. Avasculate the target, hit it with some maximized Orbs of Inhuman Annihilation and POOF, no more bad guy.

I agree that orbs were lame, but not because they were overpowered. Avasculate, on the other hand is a crazy powerful spell that should have never reared it's ugly head.

I'd just like to illustrate a point though, and I hope no one will get mad about this.

A 15th level Wizard casting an orb spell will deal 52 points of damage on average. That's really crappy and something that even relatively non-optimized fighter/barbarian will be able to surpass in a single strike or at least match in a single strike at level 15.

It is really one of the worst actions you can take as a wizard/sorcerer.

Maximized orb will deal 90 points of damage for a 7th level slot of which you most likely have 3.

Maximized Orb is one of the worst ways to burn your high level slots.

You can easily surpass this damage output by casting haste in the first round of combat, which is a 3rd level phb spell as you know, and not waste your time using silly orb spells. We didn't even start discussing options your arcane caster will have with regular 6th and 7th level spells.

I do agree though, that orb spells have their niche, but it's a marginal niche at best.

That maximized orb is not always powered by a regular metamagic feat, but by a metamagic rod. The quickened haste is often cast out of prepared slots... the orb is icing on the cake of [booming voiceover announcer]Total Carnage!! [/booming voiceover announcer].

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