6th level spell: Dawn's Shadow


Homebrew and House Rules


Hoping for some feedback on this homebrew spell.

Dawn's Shadow:
Dawn's Shadow

School abjuration; Level cleric 6, sorcerer/wizard 6
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F/DF (a polished copper and zinc mirror worth 10 gp)
Area 5 ft./level radius emanation around caster
Duration Concentration + 1 round
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

Description

Each time a spell that uses positive or negative energy is cast within the affected area, you may choose the target(s) and/or point of origin instead of the creature who cast the spell. This includes all cure spells, inflict spells, heal, harm, breath of life, and any other spells explicitly using positive or negative energy. If the spell you are modifying has a range of touch, you may instead cause it to affect any creature within the area affected by Dawn's Shadow. The new target may make a save against the original spell DC if desired.

Each time a creature channels energy within the affected area, you choose whether it is to harm or heal instead of the original channeler. In addition, you may choose to use either yourself or the original channeler as the point of origin for the channel energy effect. Alternately, you may choose to negate the channel energy effect entirely, causing no harm and granting no healing to any creature. The negated channel still counts against the creature's daily uses of the channel energy ability.

Thoughts?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What happens if two instances of Dawn's Shadow are in play?

I like how different people will use it differently. Increased range on your friend's heal spells and stopping others from healing.

I am not sure I like it effecting spells of a higher level
it does not feel like an abjuration spell.
I would not take it over heal, or most 6th level spells.
I do not think it should be on the Wiz/Sorc list
it is very open ended, effecting enervation, I am not sure how i feel about that. Affecting only healing and inflict type spells it is a solid situational spell, being able to steal other spells makes me concerned, who knows what will be added to the game.

edit: if you consider a Paladin's lay on hands to be positive energy, this could be great for them. Could be fun on their list.


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Great feedback!

GeneticDrift wrote:
What happens if two instances of Dawn's Shadow are in play?

Addressed in the revision below.

GeneticDrift wrote:
I am not sure I like it effecting spells of a higher level ...

Addressed in the revision -- I capped it at affecting spells of 6th level and lower. Interestingly, that means that witches, druids, and shamans can't have their heal/harm spells disrupted, because those are level 7 for them.

GeneticDrift wrote:
... it does not feel like an abjuration spell.

What would you put it under? I figured abjuration because the school involves "negating magical or physical abilities."

GeneticDrift wrote:
I would not take it over heal, or most 6th level spells.

Yeah, it's rather situational. That's okay though, there are tons of situational spells out there.

GeneticDrift wrote:
I do not think it should be on the Wiz/Sorc list

Is that because it deals with negative/positive energy, which is usually the province of divine casters? I figured it would be okay since the wizard isn't originating the effect, merely redirecting it.

GeneticDrift wrote:
It is very open ended, effecting enervation, I am not sure how i feel about that. Affecting only healing and inflict type spells it is a solid situational spell, being able to steal other spells makes me concerned, who knows what will be added to the game.

That's true, but deliberate. I like it when interesting interactions come up. I was thinking of gloomblind bolts, and an Umbral Dragon's breath weapon, but the same holds true of Enervation.

GeneticDrift wrote:
edit: if you consider a Paladin's lay on hands to be positive energy, this could be great for them. Could be fun on their list.

I agree. Added it to paladin and anti-paladin at level 3 (which is character level 11, so they get access at the same time as other PCs would).

Dawn's Shadow, rev 1:
Dawn's Shadow

School abjuration; Level anti-paladin 3, cleric 6, paladin 3, sorcerer/wizard 6
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F/DF (a polished copper and zinc mirror worth 10 gp)
Area 5 ft./level radius emanation around caster
Duration Concentration + 1 round
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

Description

Each time a spell of 6th level or lower that uses positive or negative energy is cast within the affected area, you may choose the target(s) and/or point of origin instead of the creature who cast the spell. This includes all cure spells, inflict spells, heal, harm, breath of life, and any other spells explicitly using positive or negative energy. If the spell you are modifying has a range of touch, you may instead cause it to affect any creature within the area affected by Dawn's Shadow. The new target may make a save against the original spell DC if desired.

If the modified spell involves an attack roll, the original caster makes the roll with their own bonuses, and applies it against the AC of the new target.

Each time a creature channels energy within the affected area, you choose whether it is to harm or heal instead of the original channeler. In addition, you may choose to use either yourself or the original channeler as the point of origin for the channel energy effect. A paladin or anti-paladin's Lay on Hands ability counts as channeling energy for purposes of this spell.

Alternately, you may choose to negate the channel energy effect entirely, causing no harm and granting no healing to any creature. The negated channel still counts against the creature's daily uses of the channel energy ability.

If the area of two or more Dawn's Shadow spells overlap, the casters make opposed caster level checks to determine who gets to control affected spells within the area of overlap. In the case of a tie, all affected spells and abilities within the overlapping area are negated.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Glad you liked the feedback. I am always worried people will take it wrong.

I disliked abjuration because it creates a new effect. Conjuring for positive or using necromancy for negative. It is a complex effect, so I cannot say there is a correct place for it. Game wise, abjuration could use some neat abilities. I could see necromancy as another option.

My dislike of it being a wizard spell, is completely the healing/positive energy aspect. Perhaps you could put it on other arcane lists that blur the line like the witch or just ignore my suggestion if you are fine with it.

The open ended aspect is sounding better to me after seeing your response, and considering it's duration is concentration +1 is a huge balancing factor I had not considered. The number of spells it could negate and twist is scary.

The revision looks good.


I think I'll keep it in abjuration, partly because abjuration could do with some cool spells, but also because I invented it for Sunrise Temboma, the 15th level abjurer from Anuli in Distant Shores.

I gave it a very short duration and made it concentration so that it would be harder to abuse. Having to use your standard action to concentrate on the spell makes it harder to use it for combos with your own spells, but getting +1 round lets you do that (briefly). It's easier to use to mess with opponents' spells, or to bolster an ally's spells.

Here's a list of spells that would be affected by Dawn's Shadow. I've included notes on how I think it would work in some cases. I think this is comprehensive. If I've missed any, sing out.

List of spells:
Positive Energy

Bless Water - you could redirect the effect to a different flask of water.
Blood of the Martyr - wow, this is a sicko spell.
Cleanse - could be tricky. If it gets redirected from an undead to a living creature, does the energy type change to match the new target? Or is that set by the caster?
Consecrate - I suppose you could move the point of origin someplace, to shunt the effect away from your undead allies.
Cure Wounds spells (Light, Medium, Serious, Critical, Light Mass, etc)
Disrupt Undead
Heal
Kiss of the First World
Life Shield
Pillar of Life
Sanctify Corpse - I suppose you could redirect this, for all the good it'd do.
Veil of Heaven
Veil of Positive Energy

Negative Energy

Blood Crow Strike - this is a bizarrely worded spell with exceptionally awkward mechanics. I think the author was thinking of it like fireball. "I cast fireball on the monster, it takes X damage." Only with Blood Crow Strike, it's "I cast Blood Crow Strike on the monster, make a bunch of unarmed attacks as part of the spell, and deal X+Y+Z damage with the ones that hit." Because the negative energy damage in each crow takes place as part of casting the spell, I'd say you could redirect the target to a new creature, causing the caster to make their unarmed strikes against an unintended target.

Chill Touch
Create Undead
Curse Water
Defoliate
Desecrate - see consecrate, above.
Enervation

Ghoul Touch - because the negative energy affects the caster, Dawn's Shadow would let you designate a different creature than the caster to gain the benefits of the spell for 1d6+2 rounds.

Gloomblind Bolts
Harm
Inflict Wounds spells (Light, Medium, Serious, Critical, Light Mass, etc)
Repair Undead
Shared Suffering - because both the caster and the target are taking negative energy damage separately, you could redirect both ends of the spell to new creatures.
Stricken Heart
Touch of Fatigue

Umbral Strike - only half the damage is negative energy. That bit can be redirected, along with the blindness effect; the cold damage hits its intended target. Only a valid target when cast by an inquisitor, magus, occultist or spiritualist. I'd use one attack roll and apply it against both the original target and the one selected by the caster of Dawn's Shadow.

Waves of Exhaustion - you can specify the point of origin and direction of the waves. Note: only a valid target when cast by a mesmerist, it's too high level otherwise.

Waves of Fatigue - see previous.
Wracking Ray

Spells not affected

Fire of Judgement - because the positive energy effect does not happen until after the casting is over and done with, Dawn's Shadow would not be able to alter this.

Life Channel - because the spell does not directly deal positive or negative energy damage, but merely changes the target's "polarity", this would not be affected.

Symbol of Healing - because the spell doesn't actually yield positive energy until long after it's cast, it wouldn't be affected.

Animate Dead - weirdly, the description of Animate Dead does not actually mention negative energy. Therefore it is unaffected.

Khain's Army - the negative energy damage caused by bursting undead does not happen at the time the spell is cast, but later. It is therefore unaffected.

Vampiric Shadow Shield - the negative energy damage does not happen at casting time, so it is unaffected.

Shadow Lodge

I would consider removing the concentration limitation and changing it to rounds/level.

Any opponent with half a brain is going to stop casting positive/negative energy spells once they figure out that you can mess with them. Assuming they fail the initial spellcraft roll to identify the spell, they should catch on by the second time you steal one of their spells, if not the first time. After that, you are basically trading your standard action to force them to do something with their turn other than cast a positive/negative energy spell. This is similar to readying an action to counterspell - which is not generally considered a worthwhile tactic. There are only a few circumstances in which I think it would be a strong tactical option. A really negative-energy specialized necromancer using quick channel on his minions, perhaps, or a paladin with fey foundling who is using a Mercy to get around one of your debuffs. And in those cases you still have to worry about someone else disrupting your concentration.

It's also not super useful for redirecting your own effects, since as I'm reading it the only thing you could actually do with that is (1) apply a touch spell to someone in the emanation you can't actually touch or (2) as a paladin, use Lay On Hands as a swift action, redirected to another character. Both of these things seem perfectly reasonable to do with a 6th level spell with duration in rounds/level.

The ways you can manipulate allies' spells are similar, though you can do a few neat things like have a channel effect originate from the party wizard. Slightly more versatile than affecting your own spells, but not a lot, and it requires teamwork.

If you are worried about the offensive use being unbalanced without concentration, you could add an opposed caster level check each time you try to take control of a spell from an unwilling target. This I think is a more interesting limitation since it means that an opponent might choose to cast an affected spell even if they know that you might steal it - because it's not a sure thing. (It also means that one participant of a fight isn't just taken out of the action while they concentrate on this effect.)

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