convert custom spell from AD&D (2nd) to Pathfinder


Conversions


I would like to convert an old spell of mine, from an old campaign I ran using AD&D (2nd edition) back in the 1990s, into a version suitable for Pathfinder. Here is the original write-up from way back when...

AD&D_2nd_edition_stats wrote:

Mikael's Instant Disrobing (Alteration)

Level: 4
Range: 40 yards + 10 yards/level
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous
Casting Time: 4
Area of Effect: One creature
Saving Throw: Neg.

When this spell is cast, if the target creature fails a saving throw versus Magic, everything the creature was wearing, holding, or carrying -- clothing, jewelry, armor, weapons, etc. -- instantly teleports off the target's body. All such items just as instantly reappear randomly scattered about the target, with each item being approximately five feet away from the target.

Some of the edits needed are obvious. First, I'll need to remove the name of the PC-turned-NPC (who created the spell) from the spell's name, to be in keeping with Pathfinder's established naming convention. Second, I'll need to convert the school of magic to "Conjuration (Teleportation)."

Now on to the less obvious changes...

Is fourth level (for Sorcerer/Wizard) appropriate? Or too low? If too low, what level would be more appropriate? This is not an instant=kill, but it can be quite devastating in the right circumstances.

I'm thinking that Medium range (100 ft. + 10 ft./level) is just a bit too far (especially if this spell remains fourth level), so I'm inclined to make it Close Range (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels) instead.

Also, I'm more inclined to make this spell's save based on Fortitude, rather than Reflex.

Am I forgetting anything?

Thanks in advance!
Franklin

(Edit): For the sake of morality, I'd be OK with the spell letting the target retain his basic underclothes (i.e. not being a complete disrobing).


Involuntary teleportation is generally a Will save in PF.

I'd call it not unlike charitable impulse or hold monster in effectiveness. 4th level seems about right.

Removing the creator's name was done to separate their setting of Golarion from the original setting of Greyhawk. If your creator fits into your Golarion (or other setting being used) leaving the name on seems OK.


For most characters this is basically a save or lose. Particularly martials. A caster will be annoyed but a character who relies on items for both defense and offense will be devestated. While I agree that it makes sense thematically for this to be a will save, it turns it even more into a martial shutdown. It's kind of hard to place it, but compared to bestow curse it's super brutal on martials and weak vs. casters. Not sure how to remedy that other than to make it a fort save, which doesn't make sense.

Oh yeah and involuntarily stripping someone naked (or to their underwear) is a little iffy. I realize most of the time it'll be ogres and skeletons but in the right hands it could be downright creepy.


Based on your comments, here's what I've got.

Thanks,
Franklin

Quote:

Mikael's Instant Disrobing

School: Conjuration (Teleportation)
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 4
Casting Time: One standard action
Components: V, S
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: One creature
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

When this spell is cast, everything the creature was wearing, holding, or carrying -- armor, weapons, clothing (outer clothing only; does not affect undergarments), pouches, jewelry, (etc.) -- instantly teleports off the target's body. All such items instantly reappear randomly scattered about the target, with each item being approximately five feet away from the target.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
avr wrote:
I'd call it not unlike charitable impulse or hold monster in effectiveness. 4th level seems about right.

I would disagree; Hold Monster gives a new save every round and once you've saved you take no further penalties, whereas this would require you to spend several rounds picking up the various items off the ground. This is significantly more dangerous than Hold Monster.

I would compare this to Dispel Magic, which allows you to suppress the effects of one magic item for 1d4 rounds. Even if this spell were single-target it would still be significantly better than Dispel Magic, since an action to pick up an item is much more disruptive than having the item come back on its own in 1-4 rounds. Some equipment would require additional actions to re-equip, or in the case of armor re-equipping may not even be possible in-combat. So I would say 4th level would be appropriate if this spell targeted only one piece of equipment that isn't armor.

I would say 7th or 8th level would be more appropriate if it affected all equipment carried by the subject, as it's verging rather close to the power of the Disjunction spell.


Given a round or two you can pick up the most important gear - even just a move action for one weapon - which makes the comparison to hold monster valid I think. And unlike with hold monster you can't be coup de grace'd, which is an important distinction.

If you were to compare to a spell affecting a single item the obvious comparison is burning disarm (1st level) or pilfering hand (2nd level, 1 item/round) rather than dispel magic.

Save or die spells start at 4th-5th, save or lose spells at 1st level. 7th-8th is just way out there.

Edit: mage's/mordenkainen's disjunction is a large area effect with no spell resistance which also targets spell buffs/debuffs and has a couple of major utility uses. It's also created to be the final spell as far as dispelling magic goes. I don't think this is a valid comparison.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's to strong. That NPC/PC will never recover the items in ideal use and will likely be dead, dominated, or possessed.


When I originally came up with this spell, I compared its power to (Classic) Polymorph Other. Since that spell [1] was made into a 5th-level spell in Pathfinder (I've just checked), I'll raise this one to 5th-level also.

Given this spell as is (5th-level; otherwise as written above), what other arcane casters would have this spell, do you think? I can't see this as an alchemist's formula, but I could see it as a witch spell. I'm also thinking it should likewise be OK for arcanists and magi. Thoughts?

Thanks,
Franklin

1) Baleful Polymorph
http://legacy.aonprd.com/coreRulebook/spells/balefulPolymorph.html


I agree with everyone else here. avr has good points on the spell level placement (and I also will suggest keeping the creator's name in the spell, that adds inherent flavor and enhances a setting). Like Dasrak and Artofregicide mention, the spell can be incredibly powerful, however. As mentioned, if you lose all your gear, armor, weapons, etc. you need to pick up the stuff you'll need to continue fighting or even survive, which is mostly going to be two items per round at most (provoking AoOs when you do so, and with no armor or magical protective devices other than spells in place). That's not counting the time it takes to don or replace the items on your person (and almost any armor is going to take too long during a combat situation). So this is especially dangerous (deadly even) for martial characters (which also tend to have poor Will saves). That's before even going into the discussion on items that have to be attuned or re-attuned for 24 hours or even a week if removed. I would suggest a simple line like 'Items requiring attunement remain attuned to their wearer for up to an hour or until a new owner wears or uses them,' purely to avoid such issues.

The overpowered potential can be mitigated somewhat. For instance, you can adjust how many items can be affected per casting. An example would be one item per 3 caster levels. As a 4th level spell (originally), the caster would typically by 7th level, so only 2 at a time when they first get it, but it would increase. If you make it 5th, that would mean 3 items at 9th when they could get it. This is just an example suggestion, of course. You could make it one per four caster levels or less; one per two caster levels (though I think three to four would work best).

You could also make it effect items using a set list, like the Damaging Attended/Held Items rule that is used when a worn item might be damaged (such as on a Natural 1 on a save). That would give you a known, already in-game method to apply the effect without letting the caster decide items on a target (which would make it more powerful). They would get the item most likely to be 'hit' by the spell effect.

Damaging Items wrote:
Refer to Table: Items Affected by Magical Attacks to determine order in which items are affected. Determine which four objects carried or worn by the creature are most likely to be affected and roll randomly among them. The randomly determined item must make a saving throw against the attack form and take whatever damage the attack dealt. If the selected item is not carried or worn and is not magical, it does not get a saving throw. It simply is dealt the appropriate damage.

Obviously you would need a bit of rewording to account for multiple potential affected items, but that's just a possible method of having the spell work in a way that is fair and easy to understand (granted, having every single item fall off is equally easy, but it is also incredibly powerful in many circumstances).

Adding such modifiers or mitigators can help you balance the spell to an appropriate level (or at least one where you and your players can have the most enjoyment with it, whether that's the same rubric for anyone else is their issue). I would probably allow it to go in at 4th level with a 3 items/CL restriction and using a randomized method like the Worn Item chart to determine the affected items and playtest it from that point (but that's just my personal opinion).


Looks like something from the Great Net Spellbook >:-)

That said, it's less powerful than Hold Person, which would render the target helpless. All this is going to do is maybe lower the target's AC, and only if they rely on armor, and embarrass them.

In all, I would say it is no more powerful than Lipstitch, a second level spell. The only difference is it affects armor wearers and anyone needing spell components/spell focus items instead of just casters using verbal spells and the target can recover his weapon or spell component pouch with a move action.

Make it 3rd level and give it a will save and your good.


I'm keeping it fifth-level, for the comparison stated previously.

* Baleful Polymorph is a save-or-else spell -- so is mine.

* BP has a _permanent_ effect -- mine does _not_.

* BP _requires_ outside help to reverse -- mine does _not_.

The only remaining question I've asked is, what other spell lists should have access to this arcane spell, please?

Thank you,
Franklin


FWCain wrote:

I'm keeping it fifth-level, for the comparison stated previously.

* Baleful Polymorph is a save-or-else spell -- so is mine.

* BP has a _permanent_ effect -- mine does _not_.

* BP _requires_ outside help to reverse -- mine does _not_.

The only remaining question I've asked is, what other spell lists should have access to this arcane spell, please?

Thank you,
Franklin

A spell that does not render the target helpless, affects only specific targets, and whose affects can be mitigated wth a move action is not even close to a 5th level spell.

The closest published analogy is Lipstitch, a 2nd level spell.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Volkard Abendroth wrote:
FWCain wrote:

I'm keeping it fifth-level, for the comparison stated previously.

* Baleful Polymorph is a save-or-else spell -- so is mine.

* BP has a _permanent_ effect -- mine does _not_.

* BP _requires_ outside help to reverse -- mine does _not_.

The only remaining question I've asked is, what other spell lists should have access to this arcane spell, please?

Thank you,
Franklin

A spell that does not render the target helpless, affects only specific targets, and whose affects can be mitigated wth a move action is not even close to a 5th level spell.

The closest published analogy is Lipstitch, a 2nd level spell.

A character with no gear is effectively helpless. It's more like anti magic field except only one Target and a save negates. It can be quickened and followed up with a spell to eliminate the gear or character.

Hold person can be removed in one action and gets a save each round and is not equivalent. A target of this spell will either be incompacitated or his friends will have to win the fight without them. Thinking this is less than 5th lvl is a way off. At least make it that high to due to the book keeping it causes.

The spell lists are fine. It would be a stretch to add it to occult classes. On my phone so these might be repeated. It would fit as a summoner and Bard spell. And a magus knocking the socks off with spell combat is a funny image.


For me I think 4th or 5th is a good place to start. I'd basically let it enter play and see what happens(letting the player(s) know that it is subject to change). Then make adjustments as needed.

A character with no gear had better be a LONG way from helpless. Most martial builds are capable grapplers even if not expert. Knowing when to Run Away is important. Calling is an enhancement. Contingency is a spell. Metamagic exists. And being naked is not a permanent condition. Even if all your stuff just dropped into the gorge below your allies have stuff and I'm sure would be happy to hand you a weapon or whatever. A certain adventure in the Slave Lords series is a thing (captured and stripped).

That said maybe there's another spell out there ... Mikael's instant Robing :D

I think it's only slightly more dangerous to a melee or ranged character than a caster. Yes your armor or weapons are scattered about you, then so to is the casters components and focii. I've had both casters and melee/ranged characters for whom the condition would extremely detrimental to characters for whom it would be mildly inconvenient. Most would be in between.

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