Spell Revision Thread

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Post/discuss spell fixes here:


Sleep
1st-level enchantment
Target: 
Living creatures in a 20 foot radius within 100 feet
Effect: The target makes a Charisma saving throw. On a failure, it falls unconscious for 1 minute or until it takes damage or someone uses an action to shake or slap the sleeper awake. If its current hit points are greater than 4 * your highest caster level, it can make a Charisma saving throw as an action to end this spell’s effects. Non-deafened targets can make a Charisma saving throw to end this spell's effects as a reaction in response to loud noises, like shouting.


Why: Vastly simplifies the spell. Keeps the spell relevant against creatures with higher hit points by allowing them a recurring saving throw to end its effects. Applies the effects only to living creatures for reasons of versimilitude (though I wouldn't be adverse to it affecting non-living creatures).



Magic Missile
1st-level evocation
Target: 
One creature within 100 feet
Effect: The target takes 1d4 + 2 + ability modifier force damage.


Why: Improves the spell to be on par with other damage dealing cantrips.


Ghoul Touch
2nd-level necromancy
Target:
A creature within your reach
Effect: Make a magical attack against the target. If you hit, it is restrained for 1 minute. If its current hit points are less than 8 * your highest caster level, it is instead paralyzed for 1 minute. As an action, a creature affected by this spell can make a Constitution saving throw to end this spell’s effects. Undead you hit with this attack gain an extra move on each of their turns for 1 minute instead (you don't need to make an attack roll against willing targets).  If you choose, the target exudes a carrion stench in a 10-foot-radius cloud while this spell's effects last. Living creatures other than you in the cloud have disadvantage on checks.

On a miss, your hand retains this spell’s magic, and you can attempt additional attacks with your ghoul touch on later turns, until you make a successful attack or until 1 minute passes.

Why:
 Buffs Ghoul Touch to be roughly on par with other level 2 spells. Allows it to work at full effectiveness versus powerful albeit weakened opponents as it requires the target be below a current HP threshold rather than a max one. Grants it additional utility/dual use by buffing undead (synergy with the Necromancy specialty).


 

Thunder Wave
1st-level evocation
Target: Each creature in a 15-foot cone originating from you
Effect:
The target makes a Constitution saving throw. If it fails, it takes 2d6 thunder damage, is pushed 15 feet away from you, knocked prone, and is deafened for 1 minute. If it succeeds, it takes half as much damage and is not pushed, knocked prone, or deafened.

Why: A concussive wave of sound and force seems much more likely to be resisted by Constitution than Dexterity.  Improves Thunder Wave's versimilitude and puts it more on par with control spells of its level.


Burning Hands
1st-level evocation
Target: Each creature in a 15-foot cone originating from you
Effect:
 The target makes a Dexterity saving throw. If it fails, it takes 4d4 fire damage and takes 1d4 fire damage at the start of each of its turns for 1 minute. A creature can end this recurring damage by using its action to make a Dexterity saving throw to extinguish the flames. If it succeeds on the initial saving throw, it takes half as much damage and doesn't take the recurring damage.


The spell ignites unattended flammable objects in the area


Why: Improves Burning Hand's versimilitude and puts it more on par with control spells of its level.


Cause Fear
1st-level necromancy
Target: Any number of creatures in a 20 foot radius originating from you
Effect: The target must succeed on a Charisma saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. While a creature is frightened by this spell, it must use the move on its turn to move away from you. If an affected creature takes damage, it is no longer frightened. As an action, a creature affected by this spell can make a Charisma saving throw to end the spell’s effect on itself. 


Why: This is an overpowered encounter breaker. Granting it a Ghoul Touch method of allowing a creature to break the effect at a cost helps balance it. Changed the saving throw from Wisdom to Charisma, as it makes more sense (the latter being force of will and self).


Ray of Enfeeblement
1st-level necromancy
Target: One creature within 50 feet of you
Effect:
 Make a magical attack against the target. On a hit, it takes 4d6 necrotic damage, it has disadvantage on strength ability and skill checks, and deals minimum damage on strength attack rolls. As an action, it can make a Constitution saving throw to end this spell’s effects. 


Why: Allowing the secondary effect to apply to all targets while granting targets the opportunity to make subsequent saves at a cost helps balance it, while permitting its applicability to higher hp targets.



Counterspell
2nd-level abjuration
Requirement:
You can cast this spell only as a reaction in response to a creature casting a spell within 50 feet of you.
Target: The cast spell.
Effect: If the target is a 1st-level spell, it is negated and has no effect. If it is a 2nd, 3rd or 4th level spell, you engage in a magic ability contest with the caster, otherwise this spell fails and is not expended. If the target is 2nd level you have advantage on this check. If it is 4th level you have disadvantage on this check. If you win this contest, the target is negated. If you fail, this spell is not expended. If you negate the target, you cannot take an action on your next turn.


Why: Makes Counterspelling worthwhile, by making costs proportionate to effects. Losing an action and a spell use on a failure is overtly harsh and makes this spell nearly pointless. Why would you sacrifice a spell slot/use, an action, and a reaction for a _chance_ of negating a same or slightly higher level spell?



Vampiric Touch
3rd-level necromancy
Target: One creature within your reach.
Effect:
Make a magical melee attack against the target. On a hit, it takes 2d6 + ability modifier necrotic damage and you regain half as many hit points. Undead you hit with this attack regain hit points equal to the damage you would have dealt (you don't need to make an attack roll against willing targets). For 1 minute, you may use your action to repeat this attack.


Why: Appropriately classifies Vampiric Touch as a melee attack. Brings Vampiric Touch up to par with other level 3 spells like Dispel Magic and Stinking Cloud.


Suggestion
3rd-level enchantment
Target: Choose a living creature within 50 feet of you that can hear and understand you
Effect:
The target makes a Wisdom saving throw. If it fails, the target is charmed until the end of your next turn and you choose an action for it to take next round that does not involve knowingly attacking or harming itself or its allies, and decide how it will move on its next turn. If the creature’s current hit points are 10 * your caster level or less, it is instead charmed for 1 minute and you choose an action for it to take and how it will move on its next turn.


Why: Current HP threshold rather than max HP threshold + a secondary effect for creatures above the threshold makes the power more consistently applicable.
 

Updated Burning Hands and Thunderwave.
No trouble in paradise? Anyone else have revision proposals, or concerns regarding the current spell roster?
No trouble in paradise? Anyone else have revision proposals, or concerns regarding the current spell roster?



Interesting overall suggestions on the spells. I would alter the ones that affect a creature based on current hit points to base the current hit points value on the max hit points of the caster. This wouldn't impair them much at low levels, keep the spell balanced as they level, and ensure that it stays useful.

This would have to be looked at a bit different for spells that you have listed at very high hit points, like ghoul touch. That might need to be double wizards max hp in current hit points (Which might still work for sleep). 
Just a few notes from out session last week.

Sleep:
Sleep in it's revised form is useless. Our very first encounter was a band of orcs. I rolled an 11 and put 1 single orc to sleep. While I initially though the idea of a varibly powered sleep spell was cool. 3d8 just does not cut it. On average rolls of 4.5 x 3 = 13 HP. So on average you will put one low level critter to sleep, very possibly none.

Magic Missile:
Almost no point in using it. Ray of frost, I think, is considerably better. 1d4+1 vs 1d6+3+int mod.
Sure it automatically  hits, for 2-3 points, unless you are plinking kobolds, you are probably better off using the ray of frost.
Hey folks,

This is really more of a Playtest Packet Discussion discussion, so I'll be moving it over there.

Thanks,

Monica

Monica

Wizards of the Coast Online Community Coordinator

A friendly dragon.

I liked ray of enfeeblement disadvantage on all str checks vs minimum damage.  

I am not so sure on the current HP thing.  On the one hand I do like the idea of when a foe is weakened he will fail saves more often, but 40HP is effing huge on ghoul touch.   I think I'd have 2 HP thresholds drop the current HP a bit on everything but maybe sleep and allow it to have its big effect on everyone(paralyze for ghoul touch) but if you are over the current HP limit you have advantage on your saves, have a 2nd limit where the spell just no longer works on them.  So for sleep for example under 10 HP it goes to sleep on a filed save, 10-20HP it gets advantage on the save, 20hp+it auto saves.  

I don't think either thunderwave or  burning hands needed a boost.Though I do agree that con seems more appropriate for thunderwave.

edit to add I'd probably make sleep 5-7HP for its first tier save and 10-15 for its cap. HPs dropped a lot in the 2nd pack.  
@ Avoise: I like the general idea, but what about scaling the current HP threshold with caster level instead of caster HP?

tarthrin: Agreed. Sleep in its present form is pretty lacklustre. What about my proposed version? As far as Magic Missile goes, I'll edit in a fix.

@ Ahglock: Keep in mind that Ghoul Touch is balanced by the fact that its duration can be prematurely ended if the target makes a successful Constitution save as an action. Scaling saves to current HP thresholds is an interesting thought; I might review that idea for further spell tweaks.

Concerning Thunderwave and Burning Hands, these spells are pretty anemic so far as dailies go. Compare and contrast them to Shield or Cause Fear, and encounter powers such as Baleful Utterance, and you'll see why they could probably use some kind of boost.





 
Maybe it would be a better idea to make spells scale with the levels of spell slots you use to prepare them, and a spell's "level" should be the minimum level for a spell slot to prepare it. For example, if sleep affects 3d8 HP when you prepare it using a 1st level spell slot, it affects an extra 1d8 worth of HP for every level the spell slot you used to prepare it has over 1; burning hands deals an extra 1d4 of damage for every level the spell slot you used to prepare it has over 1.

I disagree with your rules for magic missile, though. You should get an extra missile at wizard levels 3, 6, 9 etc. (or as you level in the class you got it through the Arcane Dabbler feat).

Also, you might consider changing the schools of magic of healing spells to necromancy, as the school, by definition, manpulates life, death and undeath. 
tarthrin: Agreed. Sleep in its present form is pretty lacklustre. What about my proposed version? As far as Magic Missile goes, I'll edit in a fix.
 



I definitely like your proposed idea for sleep.

For magic missile, I am okay with it doing a smaller amount of damage, I just think it should scale with you a little, like in previous editions. Like The_Mask_Of_Ice says, extra missiles at higher levels.
tarthrin: Agreed. Sleep in its present form is pretty lacklustre. What about my proposed version? As far as Magic Missile goes, I'll edit in a fix.
 



I definitely like your proposed idea for sleep.

For magic missile, I am okay with it doing a smaller amount of damage, I just think it should scale with you a little, like in previous editions. Like The_Mask_Of_Ice says, extra missiles at higher levels.



I've been wondering what would happen if Magic Missile got +1 per level rather than additional missiles.

Carl
tarthrin: Agreed. Sleep in its present form is pretty lacklustre. What about my proposed version? As far as Magic Missile goes, I'll edit in a fix.
 



I definitely like your proposed idea for sleep.

For magic missile, I am okay with it doing a smaller amount of damage, I just think it should scale with you a little, like in previous editions. Like The_Mask_Of_Ice says, extra missiles at higher levels.



I agree that MM should scale somewhat.  If it doesn't, it will become a dead choice for an action after 3rd or 4th level.


    

A Brave Knight of WTF

Generally I think spells shouldn't scale with caster level. 3E worked like that and it sort of forced you to have maximum caster level. (well maybe it was more the caster level checks)

As to magic missile:

I would love to have something recognizable to the old version of magic missile -> 1-5 missiles, 1d4+1, but that would be too much for a cantrip and MM is a good candidate for a cantrip.

I'm unsure about the damage. 1d4+1 seems low, but it IS an auto-hit...
Nice would be something like:
Choose one:
1d4+1 - Autohit.
2d4+2 - magical attack. (with miss chance) Sort of a supercharge mode...

And speaking of charging:
You could concentrate for up to 2 additional rounds on the spell to gain +2 missiles per round. So, if you would do 'nothing' for 2 rounds, you would have 5 missiles at round 3, but that doesn't really fit with the rest and is also a bit boring... anyway...
...
Right now I would hope for a "Greater Magic Missile" as a Lvl 1 Spell. Somethink like 3 Missiles (1d4+1), with the option to prepare it at highter spell levels (for +2 missiles per spell level)



P.S.
It can't be that Clerics have the highest damage ranged at will spell... So we need something like a Firebolt (50 range 2d6 fire damage, magical attack)...

--- Furthermore I think the gold piece standard must be abolished. Let silver pieces reign supreme! ---