Help with a spell


Advice


Hey everyone! Korskov the alchemist Here.

I'm currently running a grenadier (9th lvl) and I'm researching a spell to get a single huge explosion. I know going for more bombs via rapid bombs is the "meta", but this is just for the luls.

Please tell me what you think about the next spell:

Korskov's Kocktail Bomb admixture

School: Transmutation; Level: Alchemist 4

Casting Time: 1 standard action

Components: V,S,M, (1 dose of Unstable accelerant Cost 50 gp)

Range: Personal

Target: You

Duration: 1 Round/Lvl or until discharged.

Upon drinking an extract created with this formula, you make a significant change to your magical reserve that modifies the nature of all bombs you create and throw during this extract’s duration. This effect on your magical reserve has no effect on any discoveries that you use to modify your bombs, but you can only have one admixture effect (formula with the word “bomb admixture” in its title) active at a time. If you drink another bomb admixture, the effects of the former bomb admixture end and the new one becomes active.

When you throw a bomb and hit a direct target, it goes off in the most lovely of explosions, creating an additional Fireball effect centered on the target. While this admixture is in effect, you can't change the bomb's energy type damage or make use of the Precise Bombs" discovery.

Now, Would it be better to bump it to 4th lvl or is it good at 3rd?

Are the last two "conditions" enough? or are they too much? ( I know you could end up throwing lots of dice with this spell, but fire damage is the most resisted energy type, that's where Incendiary catalyst comes in, but that's unrelated.

For it's duration, I was actually thinking on putting another restriction on the spell, and it would be along the lines of "because of the volatility of this new compound, this bomb will go off at the end of your next round, wether you fire it or not." This would go in line with the flavor of my character who often crafts huge but unrealible explosives. But at that point it was getting heavy on restrictions and I thought it may be better that "because of it's instability the compound goes inert after one round", didn't end up adding it to the description though and went with the "or until discharged" clause. opinions on this topic?

Thanks in advance for any input.

Liberty's Edge

1) it is not clear what "until discharged" mean in the context of the spell, as it is not explained. I think it means you get only one Fireball effect, but it is unclear.

2) You add essentially 10d6 of fire damage in a larger area to a bomb. As it is an additional effect, Energy resistance fire applies to the bomb and to the fireball separately? RAW, it should.

3) If you get a direct hit with the bomb, does the target gets a save or not? RAW it gets it, but there are exceptions.

4) The Fireball damage is affected if you get a critical hit? RAW it isn't, but again there are exceptions.

5) The note about Precise Bombs seems to imply that the Fireball damage is part of the bomb damage and not rider damage. That will make the reply to 2), 3) and 4) the opposite of how rider damage works. You would add the benefit of 20 extra alchemist levels with a spell. Way too powerful.

BTW, this thread should be in the Advice forum.


i think you mess with one of the fun parts of bomb throwing (not to mention a balancing factor) - the bomb that miss.

you wrote:
"When you throw a bomb and hit a direct target, it goes off in the most lovely of explosions, creating an additional Fireball effect centered on the target"

i would change this into:
"You can charge one bomb as part of the action to throw it so it would go off in the most lovely of explosions, creating an additional Fireball effect centered on the space it lands in"

and i would keep it at 4th level, maybe even bump it into the 5th. you're taking a wizard spell as your own AND rub off the action economy at the same time - getting off both a bomb and a spell with one action is way too much for a 3rd level spell. and i fear even at 4th level it's squeezing it.
i know you used an action to cast the spell before, but delayed fireball is so much higher then normal fireball not only because of the increased max damage.

in pathfinder action economy is one of the most limited and coveted resources.

The Exchange

Two categories of critique: Style and Substance.

Style:
1) Avoid use of proper names. This is not a 100% hard and fast rule, but in general Pathfinder made a deliberate choice to remove proper names from spell names. The major exception is for deities (Gorum, Aroden, etc.) or extremely important historical figures (Old Mage Jatembe). There are a few others that slipped in from time to time.
2) Avoid overly descriptive language. "The most lovely of explosions" is both subjective and sets an upper bound ("most"). Descriptive language should be limited to the first sentence of a spell (or first sentence of a paragraph if the spell is part of a general class like admixtures that have specific leading text) and should be a factual description of the effects of the spell.
3) There are some formatting issues but it's the first draft so that's not super-important.

Substance:
1) Power level. There's one limiter you forgot to put in: what causes the spell to discharge. Add language like "the next bomb you throw" or "before throwing a bomb, you may choose to discharge this extract. . . Whether or not the bomb hits, the extract is discharged."
2) Clarity. What happens if the bomb misses? Does the admixture fizzle or does the fireball occur wherever the bomb lands?
3) Rules interactions. Is this, literally, a fireball? What happens if a creature in the area has spell immunity: fireball? It might be better to make this an effect equivalent to a fireball rather than the exact spell. Otherwise you are going to need a lot of explanatory language.
4) Rules interactions. Fireballs are centered on a grid intersection, not a character. But splash weapons are centered on a character or square. In conjunction with 3, it's probably better to make this a unique effect.
5) Power level. The big question: is this an appropriately strong spell? Fireball is generally a 3rd level spell, even for a 6-level caster like a magus, so that's probably the right level. Action economy is a little off. Using the extract after combat has started just means you are combining two rounds' actions into one attack but using it before expected combat (ambush, opening the next room's door, etc.) gives you a "free action" fireball. Duration should probably be 1 round.
6) Class balance. Are you OK with giving an alchemist the ability to cast a fireball at all? Even if they have to throw a bomb to do so. I'm provisionally OK with that. However I think I'd probably make it a tiny bit weaker than a traditional fireball.

Having said all that, here's what my first-pass rewrite would look like.

Cocktail Bomb Admixture:

School: evocation [fire]; Level: Alchemist 3, Investigator 3

Casting Time: 1 standard action
Components: V,S,M, (1 flask of unstable accelerant worth 50 gp)

Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 1 Round
Saving Throw special, see below; Spell Resistance special, see below

Upon drinking an extract created with this formula, you make a significant change to your magical reserve that modifies the nature of all bombs you create and throw during this extract’s duration. This effect on your magical reserve has no effect on any discoveries that you use to modify your bombs, but you can only have one admixture effect (formula with the word “bomb admixture” in its title) active at a time. If you drink another bomb admixture, the effects of the former bomb admixture end and the new one becomes active.

The next bomb that deals fire damage which you throw during the duration of this extract creates an additional explosion of flame. All creatures within 20 feet of the bomb target (or the square where the bomb lands, if it misses its target) take 1d6 points of fire damage per caster level (maximum 10d6). A reflex save reduces this damage by half. Creatures that did not take a direct hit from the bomb receive a +2 bonus on this saving throw. This effect does not ignore spell resistance. Discoveries that modify a bomb have no effect on the additional effect created by cocktail bomb admixture.

Flagged for movement to homebrew

The Exchange

There's one other change I'd probably make but didn't.

You made the spell have an expensive material component. I like that idea, it makes it something other than "I gave fireballs to an alchemist." But you used unstable accelerant as the component, which is normally a hobgoblin-only item (without GM permission). Unless you want the spell to be normally restricted to hobgoblins, I'd change the material to something else. A flask or two of alchemist's fire if you want it cheap. A fire fragment would be extremely thematically appropriate but does cost 350 gp.

Spoiler:
I really like the fire fragment but it would not be the right choice for a published spell. The component should either be in the main RPG line (specifically the CRB and/or Ultimate Equipment) or should be detailed in the same book as the spell.

Or you could just create a custom component. That could cost whatever you want.

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