"Greater" Spells vs. Augmentation and Reversed Spells

Expanded Psionic Handbook introduced the "augmentation" mechanic to 3rd Edition psionic powers. I'm glad to see similar option is used in D&D Next magic as well, under the name of "at higher levels" (check eg. fireball description). Even so, I can't help but wonder: if there already is such a mechanic available, why not use it in place of "greater" or "lesser" versions of the spells?

For example, what's the difference between 3rd level spell and 6th level "greater" dispel magic?

Casting time: the same (1 action)
Range/target: the same
Effect: the same, but greater dispel magic automatically affects spells up to 4th level (instead of up to 2th level).

The only noticeable difference lies in the formula of DC to end magical non-spell effects: dispel magic uses full Hit Dice (umm, did the meaning of "HD" in Next changed?), whereas greater version formula halves the number.

If specific effects require higher character level, so be it - but it was already dealt with in the XPH. Some powers simply had multiple augmentation options. To keep it concise, maybe just add: "If the spell is cast with at least an X level slot, it also..." - it'll be still easier to keep track of, and take less space than doubling descriptions.

When we're at it, why not re-introduce old spell reversal mechanic that clerics used to have? For those who are unfamiliar with it, certain spells from the clerical spell list could've been cast as a "reversed" version. Simple examples include cure/inflict wounds, and notably - resurrection/finger of death. It also worked for such paired effects as polymorphy-related spells (eg. stone to flesh would allow to change flesh to stone as well).
I agree. There are quite a few spells that should just be "augmentation" options for their lower level counterparts:

Charm Person/Charm Monster
Cure Wounds/Mass Cure Wounds/Improved Mass Cure Wounds
Dispel Magic/Greater Dispel Magic 
Dominate Person/Dominate Monster
Heal/Mass Heal 
Hold Person/Hold Monster
Invisibility/Mass Invisibility 
Lesser Restoration/Restoration/Greater Restoration
Suggestion/Mass Suggestion 
I'm a huge fan of Psionics partially because of the augmentation mechanic. It makes for such interesting tactics, and I think it works great for magic too. Dispel Magic could simply dispel the level you cast it at.

But I think for the single target vs "mass" spells, they should probably remain different. Sometimes you might need a 7th level Cure Wounds on only one target, not a Mass Cure Wounds.
But I think for the single target vs "mass" spells, they should probably remain different. Sometimes you might need a 7th level Cure Wounds on only one target, not a Mass Cure Wounds.



Augmentation can give you the option to do either or both. For example:

Cure Wounds 
At Higher Levels:  When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the healing increases by 2d8 + 1 for each level above 1st, and the damage increases by 1d8 for each level above 1st. Alternatively, if you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, choose a point you can see within 50 feet of you. The spell heals 4d8 + 15 hit points, plus 1d8 +1 for each level above 5th, to all living creatures of your choice within 25 ft. of that point.
But I think for the single target vs "mass" spells, they should probably remain different. Sometimes you might need a 7th level Cure Wounds on only one target, not a Mass Cure Wounds.



Augmentation can give you the option to do either or both. For example:

Cure Wounds 
At Higher Levels:  When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the healing increases by 2d8 + 1 for each level above 1st, and the damage increases by 1d8 for each level above 1st. Alternatively, if you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, choose a point you can see within 50 feet of you. The spell heals 4d8 + 15 hit points, plus 1d8 +1 for each level above 5th, to all living creatures of your choice within 25 ft. of that point.



That was confusing as hell
Also Cure Mass Improved cant be swift casted
But I think for the single target vs "mass" spells, they should probably remain different. Sometimes you might need a 7th level Cure Wounds on only one target, not a Mass Cure Wounds.



Augmentation can give you the option to do either or both. For example:

Cure Wounds 
At Higher Levels:  When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the healing increases by 2d8 + 1 for each level above 1st, and the damage increases by 1d8 for each level above 1st. Alternatively, if you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, choose a point you can see within 50 feet of you. The spell heals 4d8 + 15 hit points, plus 1d8 +1 for each level above 5th, to all living creatures of your choice within 25 ft. of that point.



Alternatively, it could be treated like some proposed methods for WDD and multiattacks. Higher level slots give you more dice to roll and you can either spend them all on one target or split them up amongst several.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, "Are you really sure?"

I dont see why you guys are trying to collapse Cure Wounds and Cure Mass

It was already a massive endeavor when they collapsed Cure Light, Cure Moderate, Cure Serious, etc

Cure Wounds and Cure Mass are pretty significantly different spells
That and I don't think Mass Cure should be a swift action.
Some spells can certainly be collapsed easily.
Some may take more effort.
Some may not be worth while. 


Also, with the current casting system, collapsed spells do gain an edge, since you only need to prepair it once.  It might also benifit from more feats.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I dont see why you guys are trying to collapse Cure Wounds and Cure Mass
It was already a massive endeavor when they collapsed Cure Light, Cure Moderate, Cure Serious, etc
Cure Wounds and Cure Mass are pretty significantly different spells



The main issue I have is with mass cure wounds and improved mass cure wounds. I see no reason why mass cure wounds shouldn't just scale with higher level slots.

That and I don't think Mass Cure should be a swift action.



That's a good point. I didn't notice that.

Honestly, I wouldn't really care if cure wounds and mass cure wounds remained separate spells, so long as they get rid of the nonsensical "improved" mass cure wounds spell and let mass cure wounds scale. Mass spells are different enough to justify being separate spells. 

It's much more important to me that they combine redundant spells like charm person/monster, since they're effectively the same spell. I don't think only damaging spells should have the benefit of being augmentable.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />It's much more important to me that they combine redundant spells like charm person/monster, since they're effectively the same spell. I don't think only damaging spells should have the benefit of being augmentable.



I could see a justification for separating ____ Person / Monster / Animal, if they're on different classes' spell lists. For instance, a Druid would be likely to charm animals, less likely to have skill at manipulating people.

Now, in Expanded Psionics, augmenting did more than raise the strength of psionic powers, it could also change them in other ways. Perhaps one could cast Charm ____ at one higher spell level to have it work on a type of target other than the one in its description. Then a Wizard could affect the minds of animals like a Druid, but would have to work harder at it.