New spell and magic item concepts: Am i truly in a minority?


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Silver Crusade

Hope this is appropriate for the general discussion section.

I spent a good amount of time conducting a back and forth with my GM for Pathfinder regarding ideas for new spells and/or new magic items. He essentially wants nothing to do with anything that is not from a PF book. That set me back a bit mainly due to my desire to be creative, essentially add something new and different to the game. Having been a GM for prior versions of D&D, i recognized that creativity is an inherent part of the game. If i made a decision to disallow something in the game, i made sure to explain my reasoning. The ability to do that came from a lot of experience as a player and lord knows i am not perfect or infallible. When a GM flatly states that nothing new to the game will even be considered for viewing, i have to think that the two plausible reasons are either the person simply being lazy, or more likely, they may not trust in their own ability to adjudicate a new spell or magic item concept. The former i can do nothing to help with, the latter requires practice, which i am more than willing to help out with. I even tried to explain that various versions of D&D and Pathfinder itself encourage that sort of creativity. I added that, as mentioned above, that creativity is inherent for people, more so i would guess for gamers, and even more so for games such as D&D and PF. He had mentioned that the general jist he got from various threads about the things i discussed with him was that i was a minority. Am i truly in a minority of players that seek to create something new?

I want to mention also that if this reads as more of a gripe session, i want to apologize, that was not my intent. I wanted to give some background into what my concerns were and i am truly curious to find out if i represent only a small percentage of players. Am i asking to much of a GM to be allowed these opportunities from time to time?


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Trying to say this in the least confrontational way possible.

Have you considered that your GM doesn't want to allow items you come up with, not because he's "unimaginative" or "unsure of his abilities at adjudicating"...but that he just doesn't want to allow un-playtested, player created magic items and spells in the game?

Though there are rules in the book for creating new spells and magic items (mostly by combining item effects into a more expensive item), he may just want to stick with a perfectly unmodded game since he feels that that has the least chance of having something mucked up by unforeseen uses of a seemingly innocuous item.


I can appreciate how appealing it is to add new things to the game. In the past I have spent a lot of time coming up with custom content for my games.

The issue is though, every single thing that is added has to be carefully thought over or it has the potential to change game balance for the worse. Personally, I would ponder the implications of a new item or spell for a month before adding it to one of my games if I truly wanted that game to last much longer. Other gms may simply not want to take the risk.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

You're really presenting only one side to this.

Fact of the matter is and I see it every day. And it's the result of two very different points of view. Game Designers create items for the use of others. Players however create items from thier own desires, and they generally don't tend to be as concerned with things such as balance, or the impact on world aesthetics, because they're focused on crunching numbers to make powerful items.

Magic item design is a very subtle and frequently tricky art especially in the areas of balance. And quite frankly, it's extremely open to abuse, especially with players trying to combine five or more items into one. So given the one sided presntation we have here, I'm inclined to cut the DM a bit of slack in this case, until I see some specifics on the items you wanted to develop.

Silver Crusade

That's a good call LazarX, my post does appear to be more one-sided than intended. It's less about the item or spell itself and more to do with GM/Player collaboration. If i can't at least get someone to look at an idea first, there can be no process to make changes, that's my real concern. If the idea is too powerful or too weak, the collaboration begins and lasts until an acceptable product is the result. Like i posted originally, i am not infallible and because of that, i may not get the perfect balance each time a new concept is written down. For my part, as a rule, new ideas for spells and/or magic items should be occasional, not an excercise for adding pages of new material. This serves to both avoid giving a GM more work than is needed and avoids player temptation to start making spells or items more and more complex and overly powerful. One of the things i liked about Ultimate Magic was the Words of Power section. In it, was a small chart showing spell levels 1-9 with single, double and triple effect Words. That is a good baseline for spell creation, as an example, a 7th level spell can be a 7th level spell or a combination of 2 or 3 lower level spells. I have nothing against the GM personally, but as a GM, you are required if for nothing other than courtesy to explain why anything new is not going to be allowed.

Matrix, you are absolutely right. Any spell or item needs to be looked at, tested, looked at again, etc etc. No GM should ever arbitrarily allow anything new into a game otherwise you invite problems.

Rynjin, lol, i served 8 years as an Infantryman, i have a thick skin. I think it would have been better for me to simply ask, "Are GM's in general resistant to new ideas for spells and items due to the processes involved in before finalizing the decision?" Yep, i'm guilty, i let my frustration do the typing for the original post instead of remaining objective.

Hey folks, thanks for the input so far, again, i apologize for my original post being frustration lead instead of objectivity driven.


The three posters above said it very well, but I really do want to drive the point home: New spells and magic items aren't playtested, so it's a *massive* thought exercise to think "How could this negatively impact the game?"

Here's a clear example: I wanted a "Preserve Plants" spell that would preserve herbs for 2 weeks. I figured it would be roughly a 1st-level druid spell, because in game terms it doesn't seem all that useful.

First, we went to the PRD to compare it to existing spells. It is closest to Gentle Repose, a 2nd-level cleric spell that lasts only 1 day/level. So all of a sudden I want something that's much better than Gentle Repose at a lower level.

With that as a starting point, we start the whole dialogue: Why isn't Gentle Repose a 1st-level spell? How could the Preserve Plants spell be abused? How would it affect sentient plants? What possible ramifications are there?

The GM and I spent HOURS poring over the possible ramifications of allowing such a spell, and finally decided that there were just too many loopholes that other characters might exploit, and too many questions we'd have to answer, and I dropped it.

And that was on a non-combat, atmosphere-type spell.

So it's not just a question of laziness on the GM's part; you're asking the GM to carefully consider every possible situation in which the spell might be used, look up similar spells for their levels, effects, and durations, and ensure he or she manages not to break anything accidentally. It's a tall order. I really don't hold it against your GM for saying, "I already GM for you. Adjudicating new items is just too much extra work."

And this is not meant as a personal attack, but as a GM of many years, I find that the players who wanted to come up with new magic items or spells were precisely the ones who would then turn around and find the loopholes allowing their new item or spell to be far, far, FAR more effective than the decided-upon level and/or price.

It's not squelching creativity so much as avoiding unnecessary work, headaches, and arguments.


Ninja'd by Two Cool Posts. :)

Short version: you're probably not in a total minority compared to those who want to create stuff.

Slightly longer version: there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong or lacking in your GM to cause them to prohibit adding new things to the game. Perhaps they are making a unique world, or have a specific view of the world they're going for. Perhaps they've been burned in the past. Perhaps they're restricting it for any of a myriad number of other reasons.

And, as Laz said, we're only getting your side, and can't see the items or spells, so we can't just go, "yeah, that's fine!". Let me warn you, though, putting items and spells out on the internet is the perfect way of making sure someone out there will find and point out an abusive hole (if anyone cares enough to do so), and will make it much less likely that your stuff will survive GM acceptance.

Also, if you're feeling super-creative, try your hand at RPG Superstar next year (as the first round has closed)!

Silver Crusade

I agree with everyone above. The ability for creativity to get abused is there, but where do you draw the line between game balance and player enjoyment?

From a personal point of view, I've been very lucky it sounds to be with a group that have often appreciated creativity, and seen many non-magical and magical crafting characters in almost every campaign we've played together.

Creating new spells if fairly frequent - usually like NobodysHome stated - to serve a very specific function. Sometimes they're for combat, but these are usually minor variations of existing spells.

Some notable creations have been; the Folding Rock, it provided a convienent place to hide when there wasn't one; the Watergun of Infinite Squirting, came in very useful when the local evil was vampires; the Tent of Silence, for when party members can't contain themselves - and the rest of you want to sleep; the Tower Shield of Bathing +2, the fighter never smelled funny again - even on those long dungeon crawls.

From a GMing point of view, to not even consider a new item or spell seems...fun crushing? Can't think of a better term here.


Booksy wrote:

I agree with everyone above. The ability for creativity to get abused is there, but where do you draw the line between game balance and player enjoyment?

Some notable creations have been; the Folding Rock, it provided a convienent place to hide when there wasn't one; the Watergun of Infinite Squirting, came in very useful when the local evil was vampires; the Tent of Silence, for when party members can't contain themselves - and the rest of you want to sleep; the Tower Shield of Bathing +2, the fighter never smelled funny again - even on those long dungeon crawls.

From a GMing point of view, to not even consider a new item or spell seems...fun crushing? Can't think of a better term here.

The 'fun crushing' occurs when, as a GM, you have one too many abuses:

- "I unfold my Folding Rock on this outcropping and drop it on the ogre. What's the damage on a 2000-pound rock falling 50' again?"

- "We set up the Watergun of Infinite Squirting at the top of the cave and completely fill the cave with water over the next few days. We'll wait at the entrance and kill anything that tries to escape."

- "I hide from the xxx behind the Tent of Silence. None of its sonic attacks can affect me." Seriously. I have at least two players who would carry the tent around them, then pull it up over their heads if they needed to cast spells.

- "That creature can't use its Scent ability; the fighter was carrying the Shield of Bathing."

I like all the basic item ideas, and I know two of my players who would find ways to turn each of those magic items into a constant source of pain for me. The Tent of Silence is the worst -- they'd treat it as total immunity to sonic effects, and every single fight would end in a 15-20 minute argument about exactly what the item can/cannot do.

If you have a group without such players, good on you, and creativity is encouraged.

But if you have even one such player, the GM despairs rather quickly.


I personally think all this emphasis on "balance" and the noble GM not wanting to break the game are high minded nonsense.
The bottom line is it is that GM's game and s/he can allow/forbid whatever s/he wants.
That's all well and good, but this GM also sounds like a douche. If said person won't consider adding anything not in a PF book, furthermore won't even glance at the player's creation, they don't sound like the kind of person I want to play with. I'd say half the magic items that appear in our game are created by one of the GMs (we have four that round robin).
I don't play rpgs for the rich interaction of carefully balanced stat blocks fitting together like the well oiled cogs of a machine. I play to have a laugh with my friends and temporarily escape the emphasis on bookkeeping I experience in my real life.
Finally, the notion that the game is some esoteric, high minded construction that most folks can't wrap their heads around enough to achieve the magical equilibrium (re: "balance") folks opine about ad nauseum is absurd. The current iteration of the game has been mostly in its present form for more than a decade. Get over yourselves and your jug of Kool Aid.

Silver Crusade

I wanted to post some of the ideas i had on paper so you folks can get a better idea of what i was trying to introduce.

@NobodysHome: Fair enough and i concure that new spell or item concepts is not a simple undertaking, which is why it should be occasional at best. Also, i agree with a reason of "I already GM for you. Adjudicating new items/spells is just too much extra work." That would have been fine.

@Tacticslion: I am putting some ideas up so that i can get feedback. I am no expert on spell or item creations and i want other eyes to look at them objectively, not just my own.

Norgrim's Little Slice of Death (Curse):
Necromancy
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Medium (100ft. + 10ft/level)
Duration: 1 round/level (10 rounds total)
Saving Throw: Fort 1/2
Spell Resistance: Yes
Target: 1 Target

This spell inflicts a curse upon the target which takes 1D6 Negative Energy Damage per round. A successful save results in half damage for that round.

Norgrim's Siege Construct:
Conjuration/Necromancy
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 2
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Close (25ft. + 5ft/level)
Target: Any chosen by caster
Duration: 1 Round/Level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

This spell brings forth a Ballista in the form of a bone construct. Each round it can fire one bone missile at any target designated by the caster. The caster must use a standard action to use the Ballista to attack. If the caster chooses to cast another spell, the Ballista does not fire for that round. The Ballista attacks using the casters INT or CHA modifier for its attack bonus. As a construct, it has hit points equal to the caster's level +5.
Material Component: A minature carving of a Ballista that costs 10 GP.

Norgrim's Baleful Boon:
Necromancy
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 5
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Close (25ft. + 5ft/level)
Target: 1 undead/level (Max 10), no two of which can be more than 30ft apart.
Duration: 1 Hour
Saving Throw: Will(Harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes

This spell creates an aura of negative energy to spread out in all directions from the caster, bestowing 1D8 temporary hit points +1 per two caster levels to all undead within range.
Material Components: An obsidian dagger(500 GP value) which is not consumed during the casting and some powdered remains from a corpse (which is consumed)

This is an item concept that i thought sounded pretty cool and i hope you do as well.

Norgrim's Robe of Dark Subtlety:

Realizing that as his skill in the Necromantic arts improves, his ability to create, control & command undead will expand. Even though he takes great pride in having a small army of undead at his call, Norgrim understood the problems that having several undead accompanying him could create. He decided to look into ways to keep his minions close, but not in plain view. The result of his research was a robe that allowed him to transport his creations. He decided to imbue the robe with an extra-dimensional ability that would allow him to "store" undead and could then be summoned for defense with a command word. He also added enchantments that would make his own spells more difficult to resist and in turn, make him more resistant to necromantic effects.

- Can store a number of undead equal to 2x caster level
- Adds a +2 enhancement bonus to Spell Penetration, Necromantic spells only
- +2 to opponents save DC's, Necromancy only
- +2 to wearer's saves versus Necromancy

As i mentioned earlier, i would really enjoy feedback on these examples. I hope you'll be able to appreciate the concepts as i had envisioned them. Thank you for your time.


I thinks some of the responders are taking this WAY to seriously. The GM is running a game, not curing cancer where messing up costs someone a life. If you can't stand to have a little fun and creativity in your group, what is the incentive to stay in that GM's group? You don't post the GMs response other than denial. Try approaching her/him again with the idea that RPGing for you includes being able to be creative--not just follow the GM's set path. If you wanted that yo'd read a book. RPG is interactive, and you want to help shape your environment with a new weapon, spell, or whatever. Be open to the idea of small gains in this area--"what will you allow me to do? Tell me the boundaries."


taepodong wrote:

I personally think all this emphasis on "balance" and the noble GM not wanting to break the game are high minded nonsense.

The bottom line is it is that GM's game and s/he can allow/forbid whatever s/he wants.
That's all well and good, but this GM also sounds like a douche. If said person won't consider adding anything not in a PF book, furthermore won't even glance at the player's creation, they don't sound like the kind of person I want to play with. I'd say half the magic items that appear in our game are created by one of the GMs (we have four that round robin).
I don't play rpgs for the rich interaction of carefully balanced stat blocks fitting together like the well oiled cogs of a machine. I play to have a laugh with my friends and temporarily escape the emphasis on bookkeeping I experience in my real life.
Finally, the notion that the game is some esoteric, high minded construction that most folks can't wrap their heads around enough to achieve the magical equilibrium (re: "balance") folks opine about ad nauseum is absurd. The current iteration of the game has been mostly in its present form for more than a decade. Get over yourselves and your jug of Kool Aid.

Perhaps a tad confrontational in tone, but I agree with the intent.


taepodong wrote:

I personally think all this emphasis on "balance" and the noble GM not wanting to break the game are high minded nonsense.

The bottom line is it is that GM's game and s/he can allow/forbid whatever s/he wants.
That's all well and good, but this GM also sounds like a douche. If said person won't consider adding anything not in a PF book, furthermore won't even glance at the player's creation, they don't sound like the kind of person I want to play with. I'd say half the magic items that appear in our game are created by one of the GMs (we have four that round robin).
I don't play rpgs for the rich interaction of carefully balanced stat blocks fitting together like the well oiled cogs of a machine. I play to have a laugh with my friends and temporarily escape the emphasis on bookkeeping I experience in my real life.
Finally, the notion that the game is some esoteric, high minded construction that most folks can't wrap their heads around enough to achieve the magical equilibrium (re: "balance") folks opine about ad nauseum is absurd. The current iteration of the game has been mostly in its present form for more than a decade. Get over yourselves and your jug of Kool Aid.

you sound pretty fun and easygoing


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Slice of Death is nice--about the same as Fireball though with damage over time vice all at once.

Norgrim's Siege Construct seems unbalanced to me. First, you are creating a siege engine (which has a much longer range than you list--perhaps youa re confusing spell range with weapon range?). Siege engines don't fire at people--they fire at immovable targets like castles and other buildings or siege engines. They don't shoot quickly, and they require a crew to operate. Suggest you rethink concept.

Baleful Boon seems pretty balanced to me. In fact, I might drop the level from 5 to 4.

For the Robe, I don't fancy the idea of "storing" live (undead) things in the robe. Look at how expensive a Portable Hole is. What might work better is a Summon Ally type set of expendable pins attached to the robe that when cast upon the ground summons the creature from wherever you left them (max range 1 mile /level). Think necklace of Fireballs type item. But of course those undead have to be already under your control and each attuned to the specific pin on the robe. The other enhancements are okay, but this is a pretty powerful robe with a high cost to create and high level to cast too (16th+).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
taepodong wrote:

The bottom line is it is that GM's game and s/he can allow/forbid whatever s/he wants.

That's all well and good, but this GM also sounds like a douche.

Don't you think that it's a bit early to make that call considering that we've only heard from one side, one with a vested interest? I know that dumping on GM's is popular sport here on the boards, ever consider that this overall attitude of player entitlement is one of the reasons so few people volunteer for the job?


Short answer: I enjoy making custom magic items and spells, and generally allow it in game I GM as well.

My rule of thumb for approving custom spells is that they're either functionally identical to an existing spell (e.g. if you want to go through the time and expensive of researching "Ice Ball" that is exactly like Fireball, but with cold instead of fire damage, go ahead.) or weaker than an existing spell.

My rule of thumb for approving custom magic items is to extrapolate from the Magic Item Gold Piece Values table for prices.

Silver Crusade

Izmud wrote:

Slice of Death is nice--about the same as Fireball though with damage over time vice all at once.

Norgrim's Siege Construct seems unbalanced to me. First, you are creating a siege engine (which has a much longer range than you list--perhaps youa re confusing spell range with weapon range?). Siege engines don't fire at people--they fire at immovable targets like castles and other buildings or siege engines. They don't shoot quickly, and they require a crew to operate. Suggest you rethink concept.

Baleful Boon seems pretty balanced to me. In fact, I might drop the level from 5 to 4.

For the Robe, I don't fancy the idea of "storing" live (undead) things in the robe. Look at how expensive a Portable Hole is. What might work better is a Summon Ally type set of expendable pins attached to the robe that when cast upon the ground summons the creature from wherever you left them (max range 1 mile /level). Think necklace of Fireballs type item. But of course those undead have to be already under your control and each attuned to the specific pin on the robe. The other enhancements are okay, but this is a pretty powerful robe with a high cost to create and high level to cast too (16th+).

Appreciate the feedback Izmud. For the siege construct, i was under the impression that Ballista could be used against groups of enemies, a line effect similar to lightning bolt. As far as range, the range i listed was intended to represent how far off you could place it through the spell, not firing range. How does every other round sound for ROF then? I could include the crew, but i envisioned it as self-repeating. Otherwise i could bump up the spell to 3rd.

The robe i was actually picturing has the "stored undead" to be represented by embroidered versions of themselves upon the fabric. I like the idea you're talking about as far as placing an item representing said undead and summoning it from the item. I'm picturing more of a similarity in concept to a Robe of Useful Items in that regard. Yes, it can be a potent robe and was an item intended towards the latter part of the characters career.

Silver Crusade

LazarX wrote:
taepodong wrote:

The bottom line is it is that GM's game and s/he can allow/forbid whatever s/he wants.

That's all well and good, but this GM also sounds like a douche.

Don't you think that it's a bit early to make that call considering that we've only heard from one side, one with a vested interest? I know that dumping on GM's is popular sport here on the boards, ever consider that this overall attitude of player entitlement is one of the reasons so few people volunteer for the job? [/QUOTE

Yep, sorry if you got that impression. I don't consider myself an entitled player in the sense that i deserve approval of anything i create or that since i'm the player, i can do no wrong. I am, however, entitled to at least a courtesy reason as to why? Give me a logical reason. Honesty goes a long way with me and if it simply boiled down to it being a lot of extra work he isn't comfortable with, i can understand it. You had mentioned that without items or spells to look at, you couldn't make any real judgement one way or the other. Well, i put some examples up for you and others to check out. I admitted that my original post was born more out of frustration than objectivity. If you don't believe me that i can't at least get an idea looked at or a reason why something is disallowed, nothing i can say will change your mind.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

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As a GM, I've had players ask to create their own items/spells a few times, and I've always allowed it. The thing is, even more so than with a published spell, it's possible for it to be abused. There are two things I do that easily eliminate that possibility, however:

1) Anything the player introduces is on a probationary basis. If it doesn't work out, or is just totally broken, I retain the right as GM to say, "sorry, this isn't working," and either have the player go back to the drawing board or just scrap it entirely.

2) If there is a problem and we don't want to deal with futzing with the spell, I just make a gentleman's agreement with the player: he won't abuse the new content, and I won't outlaw it. It's as simple as that!

For example, take NobodysHome's "preserve plants" spell. If he's just using it to keep some herbs fresh, no problem! When he pulls it out to try and preserve the corpse of a rare plant creature that (for some reason) would be a problem as a 1st level spell, I'd say to the player, "Look, I really wasn't anticipating this when you designed the spell, and it kind of breaks my plot for you to do this. Is it OK if your druid just forgets he can do that spell for the moment so we can get on with the story?"

Assuming the GM and the players are all reasonable people, it's easy as pie!

Shadow Lodge

The why is pretty simple - it's a hassle, and most GMs put a good amount of energy into running a game using only official products without also managing player-generated custom content.

My group is generally pretty open to custom items. However, I see these as a privilege, not a right. Making a custom spell or item that will add to the game requires some amount of work on the part of the GM and some amount of trust in the players' ability not to turn this into an opportunity for abuse. I appreciate GMs who are willing to work with players who want to make custom items, and I try to be open to it myself. However, I sympathize with a GM who feels that this will likely cause him headaches due to assessing the power in the first place and due to unforseen issues down the road (for example, using the folding rock as a portable anvil or the tent of silence to defend against sonic attacks), and I respect their right to opt out of that headache. Official products which have been carefully playtested are usually easier and safer.

There's plenty of opportunity for player creativity in what they do with the published material and how they play their characters, even without generating custom items or spells.

EDIT: Tamago's system works well if there's a high degree of GM-player trust. However, that's unfortunately not the case in all groups, especially if there are new players or GMs involved, or even just GMs and players who haven't played together long.


I've been on all sides of this. I say "all sides" because there are more than two sides here.

My group does a lot with custom magic items. But we are very, very, very careful to have those custom magic items be things that do not unbalance the game. That means we end up with magic items that are almost wholly focused on role playing and have little impact on combat. For example, here is a list of the custom magic items I can quickly remember in our currently active campaigns:

Ring of Cure Minor Wounds - this is actually a holdover from our 3.5 campaign days, but as a 3/day heal one hit point item, we felt it was fine for PF play as well.

Ring of Guidance - also 3/day. We actually have a bunch of rings which duplicate cantrips/orisons. They are very useful but have virtually no combat impact.

Box of Preservation - This is a box that will hold up to 50 berries or any other food item that would fit in that size and doubles the effective life, either mundane or magical, of the item or items contained within. Basically this is used to store goodberries that last for weeks.

Belt of Dwarven Pride - This is a rare item in that it has effects that actually can help in combat. It's basically an intelligent "belt of physical might" that only offers its benefits based on how happy it is with how well the wearer has been representing dwarven ideals. It also provides other abilities like "ant haul" or "stone cunning" or even, in rare circumstances, "dark vision".

Oakheart - This is a special item created specifically for my dryad/elf druid who suffers penalties to constitution when she goes underground or indoors. For one hour per day she can ignore those penalties. (The item was actually made from the not-quite-dead heart of the oak tree that was her dryad "mother tree" after goblins and humans destroyed the dryad grove she grew up in.)

There's more, I just don't have time to list them. But you should get some idea of the flavor. And it's mostly flavor.


Tamago wrote:

As a GM, I've had players ask to create their own items/spells a few times, and I've always allowed it. The thing is, even more so than with a published spell, it's possible for it to be abused. There are two things I do that easily eliminate that possibility, however:

1) Anything the player introduces is on a probationary basis. If it doesn't work out, or is just totally broken, I retain the right as GM to say, "sorry, this isn't working," and either have the player go back to the drawing board or just scrap it entirely.

2) If there is a problem and we don't want to deal with futzing with the spell, I just make a gentleman's agreement with the player: he won't abuse the new content, and I won't outlaw it. It's as simple as that!

For example, take NobodysHome's "preserve plants" spell. If he's just using it to keep some herbs fresh, no problem! When he pulls it out to try and preserve the corpse of a rare plant creature that (for some reason) would be a problem as a 1st level spell, I'd say to the player, "Look, I really wasn't anticipating this when you designed the spell, and it kind of breaks my plot for you to do this. Is it OK if your druid just forgets he can do that spell for the moment so we can get on with the story?"

Assuming the GM and the players are all reasonable people, it's easy as pie!

I agree with your Reset Button approach. Or it might be a mod, but yes, to prevent the rabid abuse that NobodysHome mentioned.


Another "balancing" thing a GM can do is to require extraordinary ingredients/sacrifices on the part of the player to create the new spell or mag-c item. A teardrop from a Vampire Lord, a phoenix feather, permanent loss of HP/Stats to imbue the item, etc. How bad does the character want that item? Not only can this be used as story devleopment but it also usually stretches out the creation process, thereby giving hte GM time to assess and develop ripples in the story that the new item/spell will create.


I like Norgrim's concrete examples, and I like Izmud's analysis.

And I like the general consensus that:
(a) It depends on the group, and
(b) even if the GM says, "No," common courtesy demands a simple explanation, even if it's just, "I don't want to have to think about it."

Since people are quoting some of my examples, I'll point out that I'm GMing three active games (a fourth is in statis), and participating in one. And my mileage varies even as a GM with similar people in each group:

GROUP 1: Includes a whining powergamer who couldn't be content with any of the races in the ARG, designed his own with only 9 race points, and came up with a concept that broke much of the AP (Kingmaker). I would NEVER allow a custom spell or object in this game, because this guy will happily derail the entire game if he doesn't get his way, and will walk out the door and take his wife with him if he doesn't eventually get *something*. And it's the only game his wife gets to play, so we don't want to lose her. We tolerate him for her sake, but it does eliminate any stretching of the rules. At all.

GROUP 2: My hand-picked group of roleplayers for RotRL. I'd pretty much allow anything reasonable they suggested, because they've already proven time and time again that they're in it for the story, not the power. Heck, I threw a Scroll of Permanency into some random treasure because I knew exactly what they wanted it for (to fireproof a scarf). Some groups you can just trust.

GROUP 3: The kids' group. They haven't asked, but I think I'd allow custom anything just to get them really interested in roleplaying. Let's just say the rules (or the story) aren't as important as the kids having fun in this one.

GROUP 4 (Player): This group has both a rules lawyer and a power gamer. Given that combination, I don't blame the GM one whit for denying me a custom spell. Instead, he had me pay gold to get the effect I wanted from a 'secret casting' that I wasn't allowed to observe. So again, it's the players at the table preventing the custom stuff. Not the GM.

With all that put out there, Norgrim, is there a player at your table who fits the mold of, "Will abuse anything he/she can get his/her hands on?"

EDIT: I realize that "powergamer" is an insanely loaded term on these threads. Let's just say, "Players who will push/interpret the rules to the extreme and argue with the GM about just about everything in order to give themselves even a slight advantage."

Silver Crusade

NobodysHome wrote:

I like Norgrim's concrete examples, and I like Izmud's analysis.

And I like the general consensus that:
(a) It depends on the group, and
(b) even if the GM says, "No," common courtesy demands a simple explanation, even if it's just, "I don't want to have to think about it."

Since people are quoting some of my examples, I'll point out that I'm GMing three active games (a fourth is in statis), and participating in one. And my mileage varies even as a GM with similar people in each group:

GROUP 1: Includes a whining powergamer who couldn't be content with any of the races in the ARG, designed his own with only 9 race points, and came up with a concept that broke much of the AP (Kingmaker). I would NEVER allow a custom spell or object in this game, because this guy will happily derail the entire game if he doesn't get his way, and will walk out the door and take his wife with him if he doesn't eventually get *something*. And it's the only game his wife gets to play, so we don't want to lose her. We tolerate him for her sake, but it does eliminate any stretching of the rules. At all.

GROUP 2: My hand-picked group of roleplayers for RotRL. I'd pretty much allow anything reasonable they suggested, because they've already proven time and time again that they're in it for the story, not the power. Heck, I threw a Scroll of Permanency into some random treasure because I knew exactly what they wanted it for (to fireproof a scarf). Some groups you can just trust.

GROUP 3: The kids' group. They haven't asked, but I think I'd allow custom anything just to get them really interested in roleplaying. Let's just say the rules (or the story) aren't as important as the kids having fun in this one.

GROUP 4 (Player): This group has both a rules lawyer and a power gamer. Given that combination, I don't blame the GM one whit for denying me a custom spell. Instead, he had me pay gold to get the effect I wanted from a 'secret casting' that I wasn't allowed to observe. So again, it's the players at the table...

With the folks that i have played with over the past few years? No, nobody at the table has given me any red alerts in that regards. Not to say that it couldn't happen, just not likely as long as everyone is on the same sheet of music concerning what is and is not appropriate behavior. Lol, as humans, that temptation is a part of life, but the ability to control that feeling in each of us is the true test of character, no pun intended.


taepodong wrote:

I personally think all this emphasis on "balance" and the noble GM not wanting to break the game are high minded nonsense.

The bottom line is it is that GM's game and s/he can allow/forbid whatever s/he wants.
That's all well and good, but this GM also sounds like a douche. If said person won't consider adding anything not in a PF book, furthermore won't even glance at the player's creation, they don't sound like the kind of person I want to play with. I'd say half the magic items that appear in our game are created by one of the GMs (we have four that round robin).
I don't play rpgs for the rich interaction of carefully balanced stat blocks fitting together like the well oiled cogs of a machine. I play to have a laugh with my friends and temporarily escape the emphasis on bookkeeping I experience in my real life.
Finally, the notion that the game is some esoteric, high minded construction that most folks can't wrap their heads around enough to achieve the magical equilibrium (re: "balance") folks opine about ad nauseum is absurd. The current iteration of the game has been mostly in its present form for more than a decade. Get over yourselves and your jug of Kool Aid.

You'd be surprised how damn hard it is to balance something in ANY game. Especially once its already added. It's relatively easy to balance something before it's officially in the game, but once it's there and people have already used the unbalanced function and like it? Hoo boy.

Balance is not absurd. Games are not fun without a certain amount of balance. Not everything has to be equal per se, but everything has to have tradeoffs and counterweights for all its upsides, and in a game like this where, unlike a video game, you can't just hard code into the rules "well it can't do that" (GM fiat's not the same. People suually don't yell at their TVs when the game doesn't give them an explanation for why an item won't do something).

Norgrim Malgus wrote:
Rynjin, lol, i served 8 years as an Infantryman, i have a thick skin. I think it would have been better for me to simply ask, "Are GM's in general resistant to new ideas for spells and items due to the processes involved in before finalizing the decision?" Yep, i'm guilty, i let my frustration do the typing for the original post instead of remaining objective.

Heh. I've been trying to tone down my responses a bit on various forums. I have a tendency to start arguments by accident because I generally say what I mean to say in the bluntest way possible.

Silver Crusade

Rynjin wrote:
taepodong wrote:

I personally think all this emphasis on "balance" and the noble GM not wanting to break the game are high minded nonsense.

The bottom line is it is that GM's game and s/he can allow/forbid whatever s/he wants.
That's all well and good, but this GM also sounds like a douche. If said person won't consider adding anything not in a PF book, furthermore won't even glance at the player's creation, they don't sound like the kind of person I want to play with. I'd say half the magic items that appear in our game are created by one of the GMs (we have four that round robin).
I don't play rpgs for the rich interaction of carefully balanced stat blocks fitting together like the well oiled cogs of a machine. I play to have a laugh with my friends and temporarily escape the emphasis on bookkeeping I experience in my real life.
Finally, the notion that the game is some esoteric, high minded construction that most folks can't wrap their heads around enough to achieve the magical equilibrium (re: "balance") folks opine about ad nauseum is absurd. The current iteration of the game has been mostly in its present form for more than a decade. Get over yourselves and your jug of Kool Aid.

You'd be surprised how damn hard it is to balance something in ANY game. Especially once its already added. It's relatively easy to balance something before it's officially in the game, but once it's there and people have already used the unbalanced function and like it? Hoo boy.

Balance is not absurd. Games are not fun without a certain amount of balance. Not everything has to be equal per se, but everything has to have tradeoffs and counterweights for all its upsides, and in a game like this where, unlike a video game, you can't just hard code into the rules "well it can't do that" (GM fiat's not the same. People suually don't yell at their TVs when the game doesn't give them an explanation for why an item won't do something).

Norgrim Malgus wrote:
Rynjin, lol, i served 8 years as an
...

Lol, no worries at all. I learned a long time ago that anything in text can be somewhat imprecise and not completely reflective of an idea someone may be trying to get across. I find that sometimes what i want to point out is not actually what i type ;)


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Norgrim Malgus wrote:


Norgrim's Little Slice of Death (Curse):
Necromancy
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Medium (100ft. + 10ft/level)
Duration: 1 round/level (10 rounds total)
Saving Throw: Fort 1/2
Spell Resistance: Yes
Target: 1 Target

This spell inflicts a curse upon the target which takes 1D6 Negative Energy Damage per round. A successful save results in half damage for that round.

I'd put that at level 2. It's inferior to magic missile. Though it deals more damage than MM, it does so to a single target only, over time, and allows a save for half damage. Since MM is generally considered to be the top end of a level 1 spell, I'd peg this one at level 2 to be safe.

Silver Crusade

bugleyman wrote:
Norgrim Malgus wrote:


Norgrim's Little Slice of Death (Curse):
Necromancy
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Medium (100ft. + 10ft/level)
Duration: 1 round/level (10 rounds total)
Saving Throw: Fort 1/2
Spell Resistance: Yes
Target: 1 Target

This spell inflicts a curse upon the target which takes 1D6 Negative Energy Damage per round. A successful save results in half damage for that round.

I'd put that at level 2. It's inferior to magic missile. Though it deals more damage than MM, it does so to a single target only, over time, and allows a save for half damage. Since MM is generally considered to be the top end of a level 1 spell, I'd peg this one at level 2 to be safe.

I appreciate the input on that. The main reason i put it at 3rd was mainly due to its capping out at 10 dice of damage. Nothing in the 2nd level range that i have found really approaches the overall damage range this spell could do. Lol, having said that, if you were GMing a game i was in and said 2nd level, i wouldn't mind ;)


Off the top of my head I can think of Acid Arrow, which deals DoT for something like 6-8 D4 acid damage (capping out at 12d4), so it's really not that far out of the ballpark.

Hell, by level 7 Scorching Ray can deal 8d6 in one big blast instead of spread over 8 rounds. Caps out at 12d6 (or 4d6 for multiple targets). So I say yeah, 2nd Level is reasonable.


Norgrim Malgus wrote:
I appreciate the input on that. The main reason i put it at 3rd was mainly due to its capping out at 10 dice of damage. Nothing in the 2nd level range that i have found really approaches the overall damage range this spell could do. Lol, having said that, if you were GMing a game i was in and said 2nd level, i wouldn't mind ;)

Yup...by the book damage caps, it is in fact level 3. My personal opinion would be the long duration more than makes up for it...many fights will be over long before 10 rds.

Another thing I forgot -- if it can be used to heal an undead minion, then the flexibility alone would merit the level bump.

Silver Crusade

Rynjin wrote:

Off the top of my head I can think of Acid Arrow, which deals DoT for something like 6-8 D4 acid damage (capping out at 12d4), so it's really not that far out of the ballpark.

Hell, by level 7 Scorching Ray can deal 8d6 in one big blast instead of spread over 8 rounds. Caps out at 12d6 (or 4d6 for multiple targets). So I say yeah, 2nd Level is reasonable.

Yea, that's a good point. It is starting to look more like a 2nd level spell, awesome, ty.


It looks pretty balanced to me. The Damage over Time thing means that its main utility is not as a fight-ender, but as a healer of undead and casters with the feat Necromantic Affinity or as something that imposes concentration checks on enemy casters, similar to Acid Arrow. Granted, [10 + 1/2 damage dealt in a round (in this case 1 to 3) + spell level] is not a horrifically hard check to make, but it is the spell's main utility.

Either way, not overpowered. The spell language should probably make explicit whether or not you can have multiple Little Slices active on one target at one time and if the damage stacks. I don't know why you couldn't or why it wouldn't, but it should be made explicit even so. Also, I'd have to look to see whether Fortitude was the most appropriate save. In times past, a lot of spells involving negative energy used Will saves, oddly enough. I'm not sure if that is still true.

Regarding the larger idea of spell and item design, it is one of the main attractions of the wizard class for me. I certainly don't care about having better spells than those found in the book. I've never played in any games where it was necessary or even desirable for my wizards to have significantly better firepower than the book spells afforded. Nonetheless, most of my spellcasting characters end up designing unique spells well before they achieve double digit levels to prove, at least to themselves, that they are more than mere technicians, capable of manipulating arcane forces, but not of understanding them on any deep level. The history of the game has many examples of lines of spells designed by wizards most famous for the spells they left behind. In many campaigns a wizard who doesn't even try to contribute to the furtherment of the Art or live up to those past greats accepts a default stereotype of adventuring mages: grimy gold-grubbers who may be capable of using magic skillfully, in the same way fighters may be expert in wielding sharp pieces of metal, but lacking in originality or insight--spellslinging hacks.

Silver Crusade

bugleyman wrote:
Norgrim Malgus wrote:
I appreciate the input on that. The main reason i put it at 3rd was mainly due to its capping out at 10 dice of damage. Nothing in the 2nd level range that i have found really approaches the overall damage range this spell could do. Lol, having said that, if you were GMing a game i was in and said 2nd level, i wouldn't mind ;)

Yup...by the book damage caps, it is in fact level 3. My personal opinion would be the long duration more than makes up for it...many fights will be over long before 10 rds.

Another thing I forgot -- if it can be used to heal an undead minion, then the flexibility alone would merit the level bump.

I guess i can see that. As a 2nd level spell, the caster would only be getting 3 ticks out of it. Exactly, if it could dot heal undead, it would rate a lvl bump.

Silver Crusade

Zog of Deadwood wrote:

It looks pretty balanced to me. The Damage over Time thing means that its main utility is not as a fight-ender, but as a healer of undead and casters with the feat Necromantic Affinity or as something that imposes concentration checks on enemy casters, similar to Acid Arrow. Granted, [10 + 1/2 damage dealt in a round (in this case 1 to 3) + spell level] is not a horrifically hard check to make, but it is the spell's main utility.

Either way, not overpowered. The spell language should probably make explicit whether or not you can have multiple Little Slices active on one target at one time and if the damage stacks. I don't know why you couldn't or why it wouldn't, but it should be made explicit even so. Also, I'd have to look to see whether Fortitude was the most appropriate save. In times past, a lot of spells involving negative energy used Will saves, oddly enough. I'm not sure if that is still true.

Regarding the larger idea of spell and item design, it is one of the main attractions of the wizard class for me. I certainly don't care about having better spells than those found in the book. I've never played in any games where it was necessary or even desirable for my wizards to have significantly better firepower than the book spells afforded. Nonetheless, most of my spellcasting characters end up designing unique spells well before they achieve double digit levels to prove, at least to themselves, that they are more than mere technicians, capable of manipulating arcane forces, but not of understanding them on any deep level. The history of the game has many examples of lines of spells designed by wizards most famous for the spells they left behind. In many campaigns a wizard who doesn't even try to contribute to the furtherment of the Art or live up to those past greats accepts a default stereotype of adventuring mages: grimy gold-grubbers who may be capable of using magic skillfully, in the same way fighters may be expert in wielding sharp pieces of metal, but lacking in originality or...

I thought so as well, whether it should stay at 3rd or be relegated to 2nd is not too large of a concern, but having several different sets of eyes on it helps to gauge how close to the mark i was. Also, if someone can confirm what i have heard, was their a Roman Weapon system called the Scorpio? I think that may have been where i was going. In writing the spell, the first thing that came to mind was a system the romans used in the beginning of Gladiator. Large, but not a huge contraption if memory serves. Wikipedia has a lot of info on the Scorpio, lol, but i take wikipedia with a grain of salt.


This may be what you are looking for:

A Modern Reconstruction of Vitruvius' Scorpion

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

You're not alone in wanting to be able to custom build stuff.

Your GM is not alone in wanting to exclude homebrewed material.

Likewise there are players who have no interest in custom building, and GMs who love and encourage homebrewing. It depends a lot on many many different circumstances as to what brings certain people together.

A lot of folks have covered some possibilities here, but unless I missed it, here's something to take into consideration --

A GM might be worried that if he lets YOU, he has to let EVERYONE ELSE do it.

And what starts as one single item you thought up because you thought it was a cool idea ends in the whole group throwing a slew of items for the GM to review, many of which may well be hideously designed or broken.

I have seen things like this happen -- not just with items and spells, but even with things like character builds, homebrew classes and feats, and so on. One person who is perfectly reasonable asks if they can custom build something that is fine and balanced, and then another player goes, "Wait, if he can do that, why can't I?" and then throws something at the GM that is utterly ridiculous, and more players follow suit. And if the GM says no to the ridiculous broken thing, players are resentful of the custom item YOU made because "it's not fair" yours was accepted and the other wasn't and Drama (TM) ensues.

It doesn't have to be this way, and there's no telling what the likelihood of this happening in your own group is. However, stuff like this DOES happen, and the GM may well be trying not to open a potential can of worms by just making a firm "no homebrew stuff" rule. Maybe it's not the most open minded of solutions, but it's the only one that guarantees avoiding that kind of problem, by not inviting it in the first place.

And beyond trying to avoid drama, remember that the GM takes a lot of time to prep for games and design encounters and adjudicate rules and so on. Inviting homebrew items from players, sure, could be a one time thing--or it could end up in an onslaught of submissions that the GM doesn't really have time for on top of his other prep work.

As a player, I hear your frustration on not being able to flex your creative muscle on things. And maybe as you chat with your GM, you might either convince him or at least come to understand his perspective on the matter.

But if he stays firm on his position, remember there will be more games in future, with different GMs who likely will have different POVs on such things. And likewise, if you truly are drawn to design yourself, maybe you can take the opportunity some day to run a game, as then indeed you have full reign to flex your creativity and desire to homebrew as much as you like.

Either way good luck, and if you don't get to use your idea in this campaign, I hope you'll be able to in a future one.

Silver Crusade

Zog of Deadwood wrote:

This may be what you are looking for:

A Modern Reconstruction of Vitruvius' Scorpion

Yes, thank you, that's it exactly. Now, as far as writing it up, i only have a couple of the core books, so i don't know if ultimate equipment has anything like this. It's smaller than the Ballista, so i'm thinking a bit faster firing rate. Less damage, if a ballista in the game is rated at 3D8 and the most powerful crossbow in the core book is 1D10 for Medium size creatures, this should fall somewhere around 2D8. If i kept it as a 2nd level spell, most of my original write up can stay as is. Make it 1 attack every other round, caster still needs to commit a standard action to direct the weapon to fire at the target he designates and it "self-loads" during the down round. I think that's got it, thanks for the link, helped a great deal for me.

Silver Crusade

DeathQuaker wrote:

You're not alone in wanting to be able to custom build stuff.

Your GM is not alone in wanting to exclude homebrewed material.

Likewise there are players who have no interest in custom building, and GMs who love and encourage homebrewing. It depends a lot on many many different circumstances as to what brings certain people together.

A lot of folks have covered some possibilities here, but unless I missed it, here's something to take into consideration --

A GM might be worried that if he lets YOU, he has to let EVERYONE ELSE do it.

And what starts as one single item you thought up because you thought it was a cool idea ends in the whole group throwing a slew of items for the GM to review, many of which may well be hideously designed or broken.

I have seen things like this happen -- not just with items and spells, but even with things like character builds, homebrew classes and feats, and so on. One person who is perfectly reasonable asks if they can custom build something that is fine and balanced, and then another player goes, "Wait, if he can do that, why can't I?" and then throws something at the GM that is utterly ridiculous, and more players follow suit. And if the GM says no to the ridiculous broken thing, players are resentful of the custom item YOU made because "it's not fair" yours was accepted and the other wasn't and Drama (TM) ensues.

It doesn't have to be this way, and there's no telling what the likelihood of this happening in your own group is. However, stuff like this DOES happen, and the GM may well be trying not to open a potential can of worms by just making a firm "no homebrew stuff" rule. Maybe it's not the most open minded of solutions, but it's the only one that guarantees avoiding that kind of problem, by not inviting it in the first place.

And beyond trying to avoid drama, remember that the GM takes a lot of time to prep for games and design encounters and adjudicate rules and so on. Inviting homebrew items from players, sure, could be a one time...

I can honestly say that i don't foresee something like the situation you described happening in the group, but you are correct to point the possibility out. Most of us are fairly level headed when it comes to the game, but it does make sense that he may wish to avoid the potential onslaught of other ideas from several others. Avoiding the "Bogged Down" situation makes a lot of sense. That would have been a great reason to nix the homebrew as it were.


For the slice of death, I'm more on the 3rd level side, since there is no way to avoid taking damage from it every round after being hit, as far as I understand it. Taking damage means concentration checks for casters etc, so it is pretty damn effective at making 1 round casting spells look like a very bad idea. This thing could ruin the day for anybody who likes to summon, for example. The concentration DC will not be very high, but every additional check you force an enemy to make is an additional opportunity for him to fail.
Also, nothing says you can't stack multiple of those on one enemy to make him roll multiple checks per round. Especially since it targets fort saves, which most casters will suck at, the damage will not be halved most of the time.

If you look at acid arrow, it does a little more damage than your spell (average 5 vs average 3,5 on a failed save per round, if I'm not mistaken), but the duration is a lot shorter, which makes quite a difference at lower levels. Also, acid arrow requires an attack roll, which your spell doesn't.
If you want to put it to level 2, either put in a touch attack or put in an initial will save for no effect.

Silver Crusade

Kalridian wrote:

For the slice of death, I'm more on the 3rd level side, since there is no way to avoid taking damage from it every round after being hit, as far as I understand it. Taking damage means concentration checks for casters etc, so it is pretty damn effective at making 1 round casting spells look like a very bad idea. This thing could ruin the day for anybody who likes to summon, for example. The concentration DC will not be very high, but every additional check you force an enemy to make is an additional opportunity for him to fail.

Also, nothing says you can't stack multiple of those on one enemy to make him roll multiple checks per round. Especially since it targets fort saves, which most casters will suck at, the damage will not be halved most of the time.

If you look at acid arrow, it does a little more damage than your spell (average 5 vs average 3,5 on a failed save per round, if I'm not mistaken), but the duration is a lot shorter, which makes quite a difference at lower levels. Also, acid arrow requires an attack roll, which your spell doesn't.
If you want to put it to level 2, either put in a touch attack or put in an initial will save for no effect.

Correct, there is no stipulation regarding multiple castings on the same target. I am leaving it at as a 3rd level spell, my opinion on the spell is that it is very effective for what it does. An earlier post mentioned that this type of spell is not a fight-ender or something similar to that effect, but it does have a bad day in the making effect for those with low Fort save, such as casters.


I've always been a firm proponent of custom content going one level higher than anything it could be compared to... If this is doing fireball levels of damage but using a damage descriptor other than fire/lightning/cold/acid/sonic then it's something I'd put more at level 4.

If we're comparing it to acid arrow then level 3 bare minimum...

Silver Crusade

Jhidurievdrioshka wrote:

I've always been a firm proponent of custom content going one level higher than anything it could be compared to... If this is doing fireball levels of damage but using a damage descriptor other than fire/lightning/cold/acid/sonic then it's something I'd put more at level 4.

If we're comparing it to acid arrow then level 3 bare minimum...

I appreciate your input, but i will keep it at 3rd. You are correct that it tops out at fireball levels of damage, but it lacks the AoE of the fireball, this is single target only.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Jhidurievdrioshka wrote:

I've always been a firm proponent of custom content going one level higher than anything it could be compared to... If this is doing fireball levels of damage but using a damage descriptor other than fire/lightning/cold/acid/sonic then it's something I'd put more at level 4.

If we're comparing it to acid arrow then level 3 bare minimum...

That's (imo) more than a little ridiculous.

If it balances against a 3rd level spell, it's a 3rd level spell. The ONLY reason to bump it is to punish people for being creative, which sucks.

Liberty's Edge

If you want that much control, GM.


I dont punish people for being creative. I say you have to have a foundation off of which to develop new and unusual magics, so the foundation is the spell of the preceding level. Thank you for isolating my motives to the one that you find most offensive though.


I just skimmed this thread after spotting it in the recent-post sidebar, but I want to throw two ideas out there from my viewpoint as the more-or-less permanent GM for my group.

1) There are already so many spells, items, feats, etc. in just the Paizo-developed products, let alone the huge Pathfinder 3rd party ecosystem, that having yet another source of those things can be overwhelming. I already restrict my players to just Paizo material, and even then many books things are on the "Only with notification to the GM" list - I'll approve it, but I want to know about it and read it myself, because otherwise I have no idea what my players can do.
Likewise, the APs (we're doing Kingmaker) don't use a great deal of that material, so I often don't even think to look at it when creating NPCs of my own. So my players already have an advantage in range of options due to the difference between building one PC and building lots of NPCs. Letting them expand that still further by creating their own custom things just feels like too much.

2) Even some Pazio-published material is poorly balanced, or poorly thought out. I've seen some really bad stuff (either too powerful, too useless, or just insufficiently described) in the "main line" books, along with all the better-designed stuff. They are not infallible, so adhering to a "Paizo, the whole Paizo, and nothing but Paizo" stance is just as wrong for allowing everything they publish without any evaluation as it is for blocking other companies and/or homebrewed material.

Silver Crusade

Jhidurievdrioshka wrote:
I dont punish people for being creative. I say you have to have a foundation off of which to develop new and unusual magics, so the foundation is the spell of the preceding level.

Nothing wrong with that, but keep in mind that the foundation would be Acid Arrow which is a Damage over Time effect. As Acid Arrow is a 2nd level spell, this spell fits pretty snugly in at 3rd. I wanted to create a spell that has good damage potential as you rise in ability, but not the negative energy version of fireball complete with 20ft. radius spread, single target only.


I dont disagree with third. I also think spontaneous immolation would be a decent base for your spell which would also put it at 3rd.

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