Player want to create this spell effect.


Homebrew and House Rules

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
OilHorse wrote:
Give me your thoughts on that.

First up, congrats on working with a} your player and b} the community to get this done. You've taken a lot of "no, no, and more no" very well. Kudos.

Second, in my opinion - and I've played both mythic and a shaman, and indeed a mythic shaman - there's a couple must-haves this needs.

First, DR absolutely needs to stay. If the effect is physical damage - because birds are falling out of the sky onto me - and I have a resistance to physical damage, DR should apply. As a DM, I used that to deadly effect in an encounter my players faced against a Huge white dragon in a snowstorm (they can see through snow). It "introduced" itself by falling straight down onto them. Its DR mitigated the falling damage. If its targets had DR (there was a barbarian), I'd allow it to apply.

Second, there's always an escape clause. Either the thrushes need to make an attack roll to actually hit their targets, or the targets are allowed a Reflex save to mitigate (halve) the damage.

Third, the specifics. Birds have very little mass. It's how they can fly. Lots of wing surface area, very little mass. Yes, falling damage is 1d6 per 10ft, but man, it's literally a featherball that's hitting you from 200ft up. It's absolutely, positively not going to do the damage that a high-mass, low-surface-area object such as a bowling ball will do. Suggestion: if a bird stopped flapping its wings at height and just fell, it'd probably do enough damage to kill itself. Maybe double. Or even triple, if you're generous. But not an average of 70 hit points of damage. Again, because of low mass. So, hey, I'd say a bird falling out of the sky should do somewhere between 2d6 and 6d6, depending.

Good luck.

Sovereign Court

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My Self wrote:
It is smart targeting, since I suspect the eagles won't needlessly plop themselves onto the ground after a given target dies. Thus damage is conserved. Also, the delay is a function of summons existing for 1 round/CL, which means that you can choose to target on the 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. (up to 1 round/CL) instead of needing to target on the 3rd. Also ties back to smart targeting - eagles that don't drop (because the target dies/leaves line of sight) can drop on later rounds. It's not perfect damage distribution, but it's much better than wasting shots if there aren't enough targets this round or you kill a target without using all your shots.

But this is what I was saying though.

All Eagles are given targets and dive at same time. There is no "saving the shot"

So it is not smart targeting. If a shot doesn't drop the target and you had only 1 shot target it then it is up. If you target it with multiple shots and only needed the 1st shot then "too bad, so sad".

Targets would be declared at beginning of third round and could not be changed.

My Self wrote:

A single casting of this spell has similar DPR to three uses of the variant Scorching Ray. However, this assumes that you spend all three rounds casting. Since you only spend one of them casting, and have 2 rounds of onset, you can boost your DPR further by doing things like... I don't know, casting super-Scorching Rays? So really:

3x 6th level variant Scorching Ray (63d6) (3 rounds)
1x ?th level OP Spell Effect + 2x 6th level Variant Scorching Ray (102d6) (3 rounds)

The caveat is that, on a round-by-round basis:
Per-Round Damage (d6)
Round _______ 1 ____ 2 ____ 3
3x ray _______ 21 ___ 21 ___ 21
OP + 2x ray ___ 0 ___ 21 ___ 81
Total Damage (d6)
3x ray _______ 21 ___ 42 ___ 63
OP + 2x ray ___ 0 ___ 21 __ 102

You basically end up taking the opportunity cost of not hurting anybody in the first round, to backload all your damage and get a ~66% total damage boost. It's like the impact of using a buff spell, except that you would have spent the spell slot anyways.

You also have a greater chance of having the spell disrupted during casting, or even dispelled/countered over the extra round of energy building.

Or not boost your DPR. There are too many factors to consider what could happen in the extra 2 rounds.

I get where you are heading with your calculations. And maybe it still needs more limitations, or a higher level. I think that 6th level is a solid starting point though. Maybe make it 2 full round casting time? That would limit the possible abuse of bonus DPR?

I am not as worried about the additional DPR. The player that would have this is more likely to place a Fortune hex on an ally or Evil Eye an enemy than he is to cast more damage on the enemy.

Sovereign Court

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My Self wrote:
Stuffy Grammarian wrote:
OilHorse wrote:
Your Welcome?
No, you're welcome.
"Your welcome" isn't always grammatically incorrect. If you extend a welcome, then it is definitely your welcome. For example: "Your welcome is much appreciated on this fine forum". But this seems to the be case in which you are welcome, so you're welcome.

I blame autocorrect...and/or my fat fingers....


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OilHorse wrote:
I am not as worried about the additional DPR. The player that would have this is more likely to place a Fortune hex on an ally or Evil Eye an enemy than he is to cast more damage on the enemy.

Meaning that the enemy would be stuck staring helplessly upwards as the eagles dive-bombed.

Btw, if we're going higher level, are we still limited to suicidal eagles? Why not... something more suitable? I want to see numbers on a 7th-level Roc! Both what a falling roc would realistically do in damage (and 2d6 for a mere eagle really is persuasive, you know), and whether it would survive. Just imagine a repeat-action bomber!

But then, if you're going with a 6th-level spell, why not simply suggest Cone of Cold?

Sovereign Court

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Anguish wrote:


First up, congrats on working with a} your player and b} the community to get this done. You've taken a lot of "no, no, and more no" very well. Kudos.

Hey, thanks man. Many took it much harder than I thought it would be taken.

Anguish wrote:

Second, in my opinion - and I've played both mythic and a shaman, and indeed a mythic shaman - there's a couple must-haves this needs.

First, DR absolutely needs to stay. If the effect is physical damage - because birds are falling out of the sky onto me - and I have a resistance to physical damage, DR should apply. As a DM, I used that to deadly effect in an encounter my players faced against a Huge white dragon in a snowstorm (they can see through snow). It "introduced" itself by falling straight down onto them. Its DR mitigated the falling damage. If its targets had DR (there was a barbarian), I'd allow it to apply.

It is my understanding that DR specifically would not apply. This is a benefit for the players, and I am ok with that. This is WotR and so most things they are fighting (Demons) have DR of some kind.

Anguish wrote:
Second, there's always an escape clause. Either the thrushes need to make an attack roll to actually hit their targets, or the targets are allowed a Reflex save to mitigate (halve) the damage.

Yes. I was mistaken and in every sense of what we have talked about (the pseudo-spell I used as a place holder, or the actual series of event to create the dive-bombing Eagles) an attack roll was supposed to be made.

Anguish wrote:

Third, the specifics. Birds have very little mass. It's how they can fly. Lots of wing surface area, very little mass. Yes, falling damage is 1d6 per 10ft, but man, it's literally a featherball that's hitting you from 200ft up. It's absolutely, positively not going to do the damage that a high-mass, low-surface-area object such as a bowling ball will do. Suggestion: if a bird stopped flapping its wings at height and just fell, it'd probably do enough damage to kill itself. Maybe double. Or even triple, if you're generous. But not an average of 70 hit points of damage. Again, because of low mass. So, hey, I'd say a bird falling out of the sky should do somewhere between 2d6 and 6d6, depending.

Good luck.

In the pseudo-spell I have not talked about modifying the damage, but I have corrected the damage the Eagles would do to come in line with what they should be doing, 2d6 (2d6 base, 1/2 damage for light weight and doubled from height). The Eagles will be killed, and that is where another topic raised its head, as they are summoned creatures so they won't actually be dead.

Sovereign Court

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bitter lily wrote:
OilHorse wrote:
I am not as worried about the additional DPR. The player that would have this is more likely to place a Fortune hex on an ally or Evil Eye an enemy than he is to cast more damage on the enemy.
Meaning that the enemy would be stuck staring helplessly upwards as the eagles dive-bombed.

This player is very smart and likes to think out of the box, so I would not be surprised if this was his plan all along.

bitter lily wrote:

Btw, if we're going higher level, are we still limited to suicidal eagles? Why not... something more suitable? I want to see numbers on a 7th-level Roc! Both what a falling roc would realistically do in damage (and 2d6 for a mere eagle really is persuasive, you know), and whether it would survive. Just imagine a repeat-action bomber!

But then, if you're going with a 6th-level spell, why not simply suggest Cone of Cold?

Oh gosh the headaches have started...


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OilHorse wrote:
My Self wrote:
It is smart targeting, since I suspect the eagles won't needlessly plop themselves onto the ground after a given target dies. Thus damage is conserved. Also, the delay is a function of summons existing for 1 round/CL, which means that you can choose to target on the 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. (up to 1 round/CL) instead of needing to target on the 3rd. Also ties back to smart targeting - eagles that don't drop (because the target dies/leaves line of sight) can drop on later rounds. It's not perfect damage distribution, but it's much better than wasting shots if there aren't enough targets this round or you kill a target without using all your shots.

But this is what I was saying though.

All Eagles are given targets and dive at same time. There is no "saving the shot"

So it is not smart targeting. If a shot doesn't drop the target and you had only 1 shot target it then it is up. If you target it with multiple shots and only needed the 1st shot then "too bad, so sad".

Targets would be declared at beginning of third round and could not be changed.

But don't the eagles independently act on their own (probably shared) initiative once given orders? A sample command: "Drop on the beardy guy until he's dead" will cause eagles to drop on him. So the first eagle goes, drops on the beardy guy, and hurts him. The second eagle acts after the first one, sees the beardy guy is still up and moving, and drops on the beardy guy, killing him. The third eagle's turn rolls around, and he sees the beardy guy is dead. So he doesn't do anything, maybe flies in a circle, or poops on the beardy guy's corpse. It would be reasonable (as a balance-minded GM) to make them all pick targets before dropping, but normal turn initiative works sequentially.

I don't think spending more rounds will make the spell any better. The concept of a delayed not-too-high-level resistance-bypass man-slayer is flawed from the start. For creating a new spell, I'd probably want to drop certain elements. The first element would be lower (scaling) damage, with a combination of an option to save, a resistible element type, and ability to miss. For example:

Damocles's Vengeance
School evocation; (Offensive fullcaster) 6
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (a bronze sword), M (a spool of thread)
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect rain of swords
Duration concentration (up to 1 round per 3 levels)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

A massive (medium) downward-pointing bronze shortsword appears and rises up to 10 ft/level above your head. Each round you concentrate on the spell, two additional swords spawn. When you cease concentration, all summoned swords fall directly downward and shatter, dealing 1d6 piercing and slashing damage per 20 ft. fallen (maximum 10d6) to anyone in the square. You may direct the swords to move above and fall upon targets in range as part of casting, or afterwards as a standard action. Make a ranged touch attack roll against each target - if you are successful, the sword instead deals 1d6 per 10 ft. fallen (maximum 20d6) to the target. Regardless, the sword hovers above the target's square and this automatically ends your concentration. A single creature or square cannot be targeted by more than 4 swords, and any additional swords that would land in a square instead fall and shatter in a random adjacent square. The swords crumble to harmless ashy dust after they shatter.

CL 11, damage per round
Per-Round Damage (d6)
Round ___ 1 ___ 2 ___ 3 ___ 4 ___ 5 ___ Average _ d6 per level
No wait __ 11 __ -- __ -- ___ -- ___ -- ___ 11.00 ______ 1.00
Wait 1 ___ 0 ___ 33 __ -- ___ -- ___ -- ___ 22.00 ______ 2.00
Wait 2 ___ 0 ___ 0 ___ 77 __ -- ___ -- ____ 25.66 _____ 2.33
Wait 3 ___ 0 ___ 0 ___ 0 ___ 110 __ -- ___ 27.50 ______ 2.50
Wait 4 ___ 0 ___ 0 ___ 0 ___ 0 ____ 143 __ 28.60 _____ 2.60

Note: This might be a little too powerful.


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OilHorse wrote:
I certainly like the theory discussion on if they would actually do a suicidal mission like this. I didn't want to digress from the scope of this thread.

I started a separate thread for that discussion.

Sovereign Court

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My Self wrote:
OilHorse wrote:
My Self wrote:
It is smart targeting, since I suspect the eagles won't needlessly plop themselves onto the ground after a given target dies. Thus damage is conserved. Also, the delay is a function of summons existing for 1 round/CL, which means that you can choose to target on the 4th, 5th, 6th, etc. (up to 1 round/CL) instead of needing to target on the 3rd. Also ties back to smart targeting - eagles that don't drop (because the target dies/leaves line of sight) can drop on later rounds. It's not perfect damage distribution, but it's much better than wasting shots if there aren't enough targets this round or you kill a target without using all your shots.

But this is what I was saying though.

All Eagles are given targets and dive at same time. There is no "saving the shot"

So it is not smart targeting. If a shot doesn't drop the target and you had only 1 shot target it then it is up. If you target it with multiple shots and only needed the 1st shot then "too bad, so sad".

Targets would be declared at beginning of third round and could not be changed.

But don't the eagles independently act on their own (probably shared) initiative once given orders? A sample command: "Drop on the beardy guy until he's dead" will cause eagles to drop on him. So the first eagle goes, drops on the beardy guy, and hurts him. The second eagle acts after the first one, sees the beardy guy is still up and moving, and drops on the beardy guy, killing him. The third eagle's turn rolls around, and he sees the beardy guy is dead. So he doesn't do anything, maybe flies in a circle, or poops on the beardy guy's corpse. It would be reasonable (as a balance-minded GM) to make them all pick targets before dropping, but normal turn initiative works sequentially.

TBH, if we are talking about the more reasonable, eagles doing 2d6 damage each from their dive-bomb, then yes. I don't have an issue with allowing sequential targeting.

If it is the original idea stated in the opening post, then no. I would force a simultaneous targeting, and thus not allowing target switching.

This is what happens when I am having multiple conversations involving differing mechanics.


Daw wrote:

George Lass was taken out by a toilet seat falling from low orbit....

A meteorite the size of a toaster will dig a very big hole.

..... the size of a washing machine digs a serious crater.

The planet being struck by a terminal velocity Tarrasque is potentially an extinction level event. (Maybe even for the Tarrasque)

Largely irrelevant to this discussion due to the difference in velocity. An object falling in Earth-like gravity from 200 feet will be traveling roughly 135 km/h at impact. The average meteorite hits earth at a speed of 17 km/s.


Damocles' Vengeance:
Damocles's Vengeance
School evocation; (Offensive fullcaster) 6
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (a bronze sword), M (a spool of thread)
Range medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect rain of swords
Duration concentration (up to 1 round per 3 levels)
Saving Throw (see text); Spell Resistance no

A massive (medium) downward-pointing bronze shortsword appears and levitates above your head. Each round you concentrate on the spell, three additional swords spawn. All swords float up to 10 ft/level above your head until you direct them to move. As a move action, you may direct each sword to target an enemy or square. Each sword moves to hover over its target, and this immediately ends your concentration. Once you cease concentration for whatever reason, all the swords fall directly downward and shatter, dealing 1d6 piercing and slashing damage per 10 ft. fallen (maximum 20d6) to every creature in the square it lands in (Reflex half).

A single creature or square cannot be targeted by more than 4 swords per casting, and any additional swords that would land in that square instead fall and shatter in a random adjacent square. The swords crumble to harmless ashy dust after they shatter or strike something.

CL 11, damage per round
Per-Round Damage (d6)
Round ___ 1 ___ 2 ___ 3 ___ 4 ___ 5 __ Swords _ Average _ d6 per level _ Single Target
No wait __ 11 __ -- __ -- ___ -- ___ -- ____ 1 _____ 11.00 ______ 1.00 _______ 1.00
Wait 1 ___ 0 ___ 44 __ -- ___ -- ___ -- ____ 4 _____ 22.00 ______ 2.00 _______ 2.00
Wait 2 ___ 0 ___ 0 ___ 77 __ -- ___ -- ____ 7 ______ 25.66 ______ 2.33 _______ 1.33
Wait 3 ___ 0 ___ 0 ___ 0 ___ 110 __ -- ___ 10 _____ 27.50 ______ 2.50 _______ 1.00
Wait 4 ___ 0 ___ 0 ___ 0 ___ 0 ____ 143 __ 13 _____ 28.60 ______ 2.60 _______ 0.80

Design notes: This might be a little too powerful. On a good day, this is supposed to be similar to Disintegrate, but takes longer (2 rounds) to act and is a bit more situational. Or you could fling and fire for some cheap regular-scale single-target damage. If you want to, you could have the focus sword affect how the spell behaves - perhaps if you focus with a special material sword, the swords bypass DR of that type.

Edited/rewritten from previous post. Certain number and wording discrepancies fixed.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
OilHorse wrote:
It is my understanding that DR specifically would not apply. This is a benefit for the players, and I am ok with that. This is WotR and so most things they are fighting (Demons) have DR of some kind.

I played Wrath. Great fun. My PC was a psion in that one. Plenty of shenanigans, but it was a party of 3. My (lightly) mythic shaman was from a different AP where you get one tier right before the end. Less shenanigans, but a neat twist.

Anyway, yeah, the DR is an issue given the types of foes that are faced in Wrath. A shaman isn't typically a direct-damage dealer but there are two big options that might work around this scenario a little bit, if they haven't already occurred to your player.

First, the slumber hex. If your shaman hasn't already burned his one and only permitted witch hex on that one, well, he's walked way from - by far - the most powerful effect available to him. My shaman basically used spells and effects to debuff his foes; once he got high-level, he had an hours-long Persistent aura of chaos (I think, away from home and character sheets to double check the spell) which meant anyone with a mind who got within 20ft of him had to make a Will save or be shaken. Heightened it as well to jack the DC up. With stacking of penalties, by late-game, we were able to pick specific bad guys to say "hey, jerk-o, you've got -8 to saves... and oh, slumber." It took some setting up, and it didn't happen nearly as often as a DM would fear, but it was excellent. Final comment on this... as my shaman's one mythic ability, he picked up Mythic Spell, specifically so that aura of chaos would require two rolls. Right. Persisted. Right. Roll four times against my best DC, jerk-o.

Second, Arcane Enlightenment. This is the "best" shaman ability because if he uses his wandering hex ability to pick it up, he can arguably change the arcane spells he adds to his list each day. Suddenly he can have access to what-he-needs, given a day or two to prep. And THAT is where spells-that-hurt-demons comes from.

The birds thing is very clever, and I suspect I would enjoy playing with this player at my table, either as a DM or co-player. But physical damage is physical damage, and falling birds... are going to get negated by DR.

===AFTERTHOUGHT===

Could the Clustered Shot feat be worked into this scenario in any way? If the shaman was thrusting the summoned birds downwards, say via some telekinetic effect, it might be reasonable as a DM to let that feat clump all the damage into one pool before DR...


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John Mechalas wrote:

So, no mid-air arrivals, and summoned creatures don't really die.

Also, another part that's relevant to the OP is the "Creatures you conjure usually—but not always—obey your commands." I still maintain that a summoned creature will not blindly commit suicide...

In other news, the Monster Summoner's Handbook says this on p4 (emphasis mine):

Quote:
You can’t summon a creature into an environment that does not support it, such as causing a water-breathing creature to appear on land or a non-flying creature to materialize in midair

The implication there is that a flyer can be summoned into mid-air. Given this contradiction, I'd say "GM discretion" wins.

Sovereign Court

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Anguish wrote:

Anyway, yeah, the DR is an issue given the types of foes that are faced in Wrath. A shaman isn't typically a direct-damage dealer but there are two big options that might work around this scenario a little bit, if they haven't already occurred to your player.

First, the slumber hex. If your shaman hasn't already burned his one and only permitted witch hex on that one, well, he's walked way from - by far - the most powerful effect available to him. My shaman basically used spells and effects to debuff his foes; once he got high-level, he had an hours-long Persistent aura of chaos (I think, away from home and character sheets to double check the spell) which meant anyone with a mind who got within 20ft of him had to make a Will save or be shaken. Heightened it as well to jack the DC up. With stacking of penalties, by late-game, we were able to pick specific bad guys to say "hey, jerk-o, you've got -8 to saves... and oh, slumber." It took some setting up, and it didn't happen nearly as often as a DM would fear, but it was excellent. Final comment on this... as my shaman's one mythic ability, he picked up Mythic Spell, specifically so that aura of chaos would require two rolls. Right. Persisted. Right. Roll four times against my best DC, jerk-o.

After having to work to make encounters fun and challenging for everyone, then the Slumber Hex would dismantle it. I talked to my player and asked him to remove it. He did so. He is a good player like that.

Anguish wrote:

Second, Arcane Enlightenment. This is the "best" shaman ability because if he uses his wandering hex ability to pick it up, he can arguably change the arcane spells he adds to his list each day. Suddenly he can have access to what-he-needs, given a day or two to prep. And THAT is where spells-that-hurt-demons comes from.

The birds thing is very clever, and I suspect I would enjoy playing with this player at my table, either as a DM or co-player. But physical damage is physical damage, and falling birds... are going to get negated by DR.

There are so many moving parts to his PC I am unable to wrap my head around it...which is fine. He is someone I trust to not take advantage of the freedom I let him have with his PC.

The shaman player and the archer player are the ones that are coming up with this idea, even more the archer player. He likes to think outside of the box...they both do. I like them as players.

Anguish wrote:

===AFTERTHOUGHT===

Could the Clustered Shot feat be worked into this scenario in any way? If the shaman was thrusting the summoned birds downwards, say via some telekinetic effect, it might be reasonable as a DM to let that feat clump all the damage into one pool before DR...

It is not working like that. And our archer is already using Clustered Shot to great effect...I don't need another.


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Shucks. No numbers on falling rocs.


Lily,
Of course there are no numbers on falling rocs.

Rocs fall, everyone dies.

Thanks for the set-up, would have been rude to ignore it.


Daw wrote:

Lily,

Of course there are no numbers on falling rocs.

Rocs fall, everyone dies.

Thanks for the set-up, would have been rude to ignore it.

Better rocs than Paladins, right?


Daw wrote:

Lily,

Of course there are no numbers on falling rocs.

Rocs fall, everyone dies.

Thanks for the set-up, would have been rude to ignore it.

<giggle>


John Mechalas wrote:
John Mechalas wrote:
You can’t summon a creature into an environment that does not support it, such as causing a water-breathing creature to appear on land or a non-flying creature to materialize in midair

This rule makes sense and all, but I can't help but wish it weren't so.

I cast...RAIN OF PONIES!!


DrunkInRlyeh wrote:
John Mechalas wrote:
You can’t summon a creature into an environment that does not support it, such as causing a water-breathing creature to appear on land or a non-flying creature to materialize in midair

This rule makes sense and all, but I can't help but wish it weren't so.

I cast...RAIN OF PONIES!!

Are you kidding? I'm waiting to say, "You said that you'd surrender when pigs will fly..."

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