View Full Version : Spell DC Variant Repercussions

Koromin M'thul
2009-04-05, 06:57 PM
Fellow Playgrounders,

I am asking for your help in finding out what factors would come into play if spell DCs were changed to (10 + 1/2 caster level + casting ability score) [i.e. INT for wizards]. This would make the DC the same for all levels of spells, thereby making low level spells useful as one levels. My concern would be magic gaining too much from this change.

What other impacts would this have on the game?
Is this too big a change, and if so, in what ways?

Thank you for your help.

2009-04-05, 07:07 PM
Anything that give +X CL would also increase DCs, and +s to CLs can be pretty easy to come by. I would change it to +1/2 class level, to avoid that trap.

Otherwise, at 20th level, there's an additional +1 DC you wouldn't normally have, and they continue to increase in Epic Levels. But that's a long ways away and it's not a terrible big deal.

Heighten Spell is much closer to being useless now.

Other that that, I don't see much of a problem.

2009-04-05, 07:27 PM
It would make low-level spells crazy-useful in combat. Glitterdust, Stinking Cloud, and Resilient Sphere are all now just as likely to disable an opponent as Imprisonment, Finger of Death, or Plane Shift - which means that Quicken Spell's usefulness (and a lesser rod of Quicken Spell) are a LOT more useful. See, with a reasonably built Wizard, your highest level Save-Or-Lose effect is generally going to work around 50% of the time on a reasonable CR opponent. Normally, Quicken Spell means you've got one 50% disable chance, and one 30% Disable chance, and you're using up two slots of your highest level. You burn out fast that way.

With this variant, you instead have two roughly 50% chances (net: roughly 75%) to disable the opponent, rather than one, and you're using a mid+ level slot and a low level slot to do it. Wizard Endurance goes up a LOT, and wizard power goes up a fair amount. This is bad.

Normally, low-level slots are useful at higher levels - but they're turned over to buffs (Mage Armor, Mirror Image, Haste, Displacement, et cetera) and utility effects (Spider Climb, Invisibility, Fly, et cetera), rather than combat effects. This changes that drastically.

2009-04-05, 08:06 PM
Arcane magic is already very powerful in 3.5 and you want to make it even more so? I'll just fill all my lower level slots with Glitterdust and Grease.

Note that the Binder actually has a similar mechanic (having your binder level effect your DC for most things) but there aren't any low level vestiges where failing saves results in incredible suckage. If one removed all the tactical spells like Glitterdust this might work out.