View Full Version : Spell Battle - Spell Links

2007-07-16, 01:33 AM
Heya folks. For a couple of years now I've wanted to come up with a mechanic for doing something like this but nothing really apealed to me or survived play testing. Today while I was working on an alternate grapple system for weapons it struck me that something similar to the grapple mechanics could probably get this done.

The special effect is similar to the Harry Potter movies special effect for prior incantatum. Where the power between two wizards intercept each other in a force on force battle.

I'm pretty satisfied with these mechanics. I consider them simple enough for my players to understand, as well as simple enough for me to easily ejudicate quickly. I'm lookinf for any alternate opinions to it's feasability. As well as any idea's on possible abuses to the system I've come up with.

Ray Spells and Spell Link:
You may now counter spell a ray attack with any other ray attack. Doing so causes the rayís to link up beginning a dual of power between the casters.

Beginning a spell link is similar to counter spelling. The defending caster must make a DC 10 spellcraft check in order to identify the spell as a ray spell though not what type. A normal DC15 check will ID the actual spell. He then fires his own ray to intercept the opposing one. The opposing ray must pass with in range of the ray attack you are using to intercept. Once the rays interact the casters make opposed caster checks. (1d20 + Caster Lvl + Lvl of Spell +Synergies.) If the attacker wins by 5 or more he blows through the intercepting beam to attack his intended target as normal. Any other result, begins a spell lock. (This is an exception to the rule on spell like abilities. Normally a spell like ability can not be counter spelled. This is an exception to that rule.)

Once in a spell lock the opponents roll 1d4. This is how many rounds the spell energy will sustain itself after the initial link round. Once these rounds are up, you must use another spell slot/or the equivalent spell points to renew the lock with a new die roll. You may use a different ray attack than the one initially used to start the lock, in order to sustain it. Changing ray attacks does not break the lock; it simply changes the energy being used.

Being in link has no effect on your awareness. You are not flat footed and maintaining the link does not require you to maintain concentration on the link unless you are attacked. If you are injured while in a spell link you must make a concentration check (DC=10 + the damage taken.) Failure forces you to immediately disengage; suffering the consequences of that action.

Maintain: As a standard action you may maintain the link at its current state without attempting to gain an advantage, press an advantage, break the link, or recover. No check is required to maintain the link.

Break Link: As a standard action you may force the spell link to break. Make opposed rolls. If you defeat your opponent by 5 you may force the link to break. Neither duelist takes any adverse effects from breaking the link. You may not break a link if you are at a disadvantage, only when neutral or at an advantage.

Advantage: As a standard action you may attempt to gain the advantage by forcing the center point of the energy duel closer to your opponent. Make an opposed role. Defeating your opponent by 5 or more puts you at an advantage. You may only gain an advantage on your action. You may not advance on an opponent who is physically outside the maximum range of your ray attack.

Recover: If youíve been put at a disadvantage you may as a standard action attempt to recover. Make opposed rolls; defeating your opponent by 5 or more forces a recovery, putting the dueling center back to a neutral position.

Pressing Advantage: Once you have your opponent at a disadvantage you may attempt to break through their defenses as a standard action. Make opposed rolls. Defeat your opponent by 5 and you may immediately make a ranged touch attack against them with your current ray. You gain a +4 bonus on this attack roll. You may not press advantage on a person outside the maximum range of your ray attack.

Re-Enforce: As a standard action you may reinforce the link. To reinforce the link you must expend a ray effect into the link. This gives you a new 1d4 duration roll. As stated above you may use a different ray attack than the initial exchange to reinforce the lock. Re-enforcing the lock is a maintaining action.

Move: As a move action you may attempt to take a normal move at 1/2 speed while in a spell lock. To do so make opposed checks as normal. Win the check by any amount and you may move as normal. Fail the check and you may chose not to move. If after failing the check you decide to move anyway you must disengage.

Disengagement: As a swift action you may voluntarily disengage from a spell link. If you do so your opponent getís to take a range touch attack against you with their current ray as an attack of opportunity.

The link can be maintained even without a line of sight to your opponent, but not without line of effect. Any being caught in the cross fire of a spell lock may take a reflex save DC15 to avoid the arcing line. On failed reflex Roll D100; 1-25 you take the blunt of both rays, breaking the lock. 26-74 you are hit by one ray or the other (coin flip) breaking the lock. 75+ you take no adverse effects due to a close brush with the magical energy. The lock remains.

If you move to a location that breaks line of effect between the two participants the spell link is broken. The spell eneregy will tend to warp around things that simply provide cover, or pass through light objexts that do not completely block line of effect. (for example the bars of a cell will not block a spell link. The energy will simply bend around and through the bars, with the rays effecting the bars as they normally would.

If you are outside the maximum range of your opponents ray attack they may not take an attack against you with their ray when you disengage.

Skill Synergies: 5 or more ranks in Concentration, Spellcraft, Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Religion), Sense Motive, or Psicraft grants a cumulative +2 synergy bonus to your opposed roll caster roll when in a spell link. Knowledge religion only helps if one of the opponents is using divine magic. Spell Craft for arcane users, Psicraft for a Psionic ray, or Arcana for a Warlock.

An example encounter.

A 5th lvl Warlocke with 5 ranks in both spellcraft, & Knowledge arcana. VS a 7th lvl Warmage with 5 ranks in spellcraft.

Thier respective parties are facing off. Warmage holds his attack to counter if nessesary. Warlocke fire of his eldritch blast at the Warmage's cleric friend. The Warmage counters with a Ray Of Frost. They make opposed rolls.

Warlocke rolls 18 / (d20/8 + 1/spell level on eldritch blast + 2 for knowledge arcana +2 for Spellcraft + 5 caster lvl.) He rolls 1 for duration.

Warmage rolls 16 / (d20/7 + 0/spell Level + 2 Spellcraft + 7 caster level) rolls 3 for duration.

Since the Warlocke did not beat the Warmage roll by at least 5 he is not able to blow through the intercepting beam and a link is established.

Next turn and the Warmage has initiative. He attempts to gain advantage. He rolls 22, the Warlocke rolls 23. The link stays neutral.

On the warlockes phase he also attempts to gain advantage. He rolls 24. The Warmage rolls 18. The Warlocke gains the advantage. Forcing the link center closer to the Warmage.

Next turn the Warmage is on his heels. He attempts a recovery. He rolls 17 the Warlocke has bad dice and rolls 11. The Warmage has now recovered and the link is once again neutral.

On the Warlocks phase his initial duration has worn out. He must now re-enforce the link or disengage giving the Warmage a free attack. He chooses to re-enforce. and re-rolls his duration. (No brainer for a warlock since they can fire off at will.) The link is maintained at neutral.

Next turn, the Warmage attempts to gain an advantage. He rolls 28 vs the Warlocks 21 gaining the advantage.

The Warlock attempts to recover but fails too. Rolling 18 vs the Warmages 18.

Next turn, the Warmage must re-enforce. He choses to switch from Ray of frost to Scorching Ray. Increasing his modifier by +2 due to it being a higher level spell. This uses up his turn.

On his phase the Warlock once again attempts to recover. Rolling a natural 20for a total of 30. The warmage rolls 26. not enough for the warmage to force a recovery.

Next turn the warmage presses his advantage. Rolling 25. The Warlock rolls 18in defense. Thus the warmage has bypassed his defense and may now attack the Warlock with his Scorching Ray. At +4 to hit.

2007-07-16, 01:37 AM
I know it's a slightly wierd example. i mean in that situation I don't know if I'd have a warmage blowing all of his rounds just tieing up a warlock when he coudl be blasting at everything else, but let's assume avoiding property damage is important. :)

2007-07-16, 06:36 AM
A sorceror might be a better example. More spells to blow on keeping the Warlock occupied.

2007-07-17, 02:08 AM
The class in the example isn't really the part I needed you guys to focus on. I need opinions on the mechanics. I'm using.

Are they easy enough to udnerstand? Is it worded in a way that makes sense? Can you find anything in it that can be seriously abused that I may not be seeing.

U have a couple ideas for joining a spell link in s imilar manner to joining a grapple but was waiting on a response from the peanuts gallery here first.

2007-07-17, 02:28 AM
It looks neat to me. I don't see anything particularly powerful or broken about it, just something cool spellcasters can do. After thinking about it for a minute or two it seems sensible enough. I think I'll give my PCs (and NPCs :smallwink:) access to this.

btw, I don't have any problems understanding it, so I think it's worded plainly enough.

2007-07-17, 06:34 AM
An actual counterspell would probably be more efficient for blocking an enemy attack, but this has more lights and explosions.

2007-07-17, 09:07 AM
This would be much more important if spells and the hit point system were more realistic, but it's very cool nonetheless. And IMHO it has some usage besides counterspelling too, allowing lower level mages to intercept higher level mages.