View Full Version : How 'bout that spellfire

Illiterate Scribe
2007-07-29, 09:26 AM
One of the most awesome things, I think that many would agree, in the FR
setting, is Spellfire. Who wouldn't want to harmlessly turn spells cast
against you into bolts of pure magical energy that you can lob? The
problem is, at the moment, it's not very balanced - it's quite easy to
keep a warlock or at-will spell-like ability with you at all times, so you
can charge yourself up with it between encounters.

I'd say that it's ready for a redesign, but several things need to be
settled first - ergo, we need a brainstorming thread. By the way,
the feat (http://nwnprc.netgamers.co.uk/manual/english/content/feats/4368.html); the NWN version is basically the same as the original.

Stuff to work out

1. How do we stop spellfire wielders from charging themselves up on
warlocks, without making the accumulation of spellfire ranks too

This is one of the most important questions for spellfire wielders. A
wizard or sorceror friend is unlikely to give them ranks, because they are
unlikely to swap Magic Missiles' 5d4+5 definite damage for 1d6 of
spellfire damage that might not hit. Clerics, bards, and druids, along
with their half-caster cousins, the paladin and the ranger (whose
spellcasting, to be honest, is not that useful) might be more willing, but
the question still stands.

As it is, the source of magic that most spellfire wielders should be
focusing on is enemy mages. However, it's unlikely that they will meet
enough of them to be of much use to the party, and even more unlikely that
they will be able to absorb enough power from spells targeted directly
at them (here is another often ignored weakness of spellfire - although you can keep ready actions to absorb spells, it's only 1/round, and area effects ignore this). AD&D gave spellfire wielders the ability to
recharge ranks from ambient solar energy, via some sort of photosynthetic
stuff. Perhaps the ability to do this, on a more general scale, might

2. Should spellfire be setting-specific? Currently, its flavour is based
very much on the Weave, but this raises some problems - can spellfire be
garnered when on other planes? What about Sigil?

There's a whole lot of stuff that ties spellfire to Mystra - the whole
idea of the Weave is quite setting specific, but still very awesome.
Still, a pared-down form could still exist, in, say, Eberron - you would
be pulling raw energy and magic out of the universe; and using it in a
pure, unrefined manner. Would this make it a more broad ability, or would it diminish the special flavour of the Forgotten Realms?

3. Mechanics-y stuff. Spellfire is fairly limited in its uses; the feat gives blasting and healing, and the 'Spellfire Channeller' PrC gives -

Draining items for more spellfire
Expending spellfire to charge items (in some early versions)
Spellfire-powered flight
Spellfire armour
Spellfire burst

I think that that's a fairly complete list, but there are a couple of things I've always found a bit weird - the draining items thing jars a little, and also I think that some sort of dispelling function is necessary. Perhaps swap the item related abilities for the ability to blast away spells?

Also, the Ref DC 20 is a little harsh - at high levels, where spellfire is meant to be meaningful, being a powerful sort of magic, anyone with evasion can basically just laugh at it, and most well built characters of similar level will be getting half damage. It already requires an attack roll, anyway.

4. What is the place of the spellfire wielder in the game? Surely other classes do all these things already?

This is probably the most controversial section.

From the effect that spellfire has on a character, it seems more appropriate as a base or prestige class than a feat - I've seen several versions of this idea of the WotC boards.

There already are two classes that emulate the main function of the spellfire wielder, that is, doing bucketloads of damage, and since D&D is close to saturation point, there shouldn't be more clones. These classes are the warmage, and the warlock.

Personally, I would say that the warmage, although also a major damage dealer, has a different emphasis to the spellfire wielder. Whereas the latter, as has already been pointed out, is at its most effective against a single magical opponent (turtle up by readying to absorb spells, and then release it all as 18d6 of damage), the warmage is, as the name suggests, a mage for war - doing damage against an area of effect, with sudden enlarge and widen.

The warlock, however, is a different proposition. It's a class whose main focus is also dealing damage with ranged touch attacks and there's even a Con-based version, the hellfire warlock (hmm ... there's something familiar there, but I can't quite work out what it is). Another complaint often made is about the sorcerer and the warlock - the latter got the cool background, but the former got the decent stats. A solution would be to allocate the warlock's flavour text to the sorcerer (whose background was, to be honest, never that great), and make the spellfire wielder a warlock redone on spellfire mechanics and lines.

What do you think? Brainstorming, thoughts, and any sort of mad ramblings would be much appreciated.

Illiterate Scribe
2007-07-29, 09:27 AM
(reserved for particularly good suggestions, and in case I need it)

2007-07-29, 04:33 PM
Oh dear God, they put rules out for it again?
The coming of spellfire is a prelude to BAD things happening.
Last time it was the Avatar Crisis. Yes, it's FR specific. Yes, for a reason.

2007-07-29, 07:37 PM
1. Simple. Shoot them with arrows. Hit them with psionics. Have them come up against supernatural abilities. While they can shrug off most, if not all, magical attacks, they'll still be vulnerable to the good-old "poisoned arrow" trick. They'll still fall to the bards fascinate and suggestion. Oh, and they go pop if they absorb too much energy.

2. Like Horseboy said, there's a reason why it's FR-specific. No other realm is as mad as the Forgotten Realms.

3. Spellfire has to be limited in it's uses, otherwise there would be one super-powerful spellfire wielder in total control of the unverse and no other magic-users.

4. A spellfire wielder should have a very short lifespan. It's such a powerful advantage that everyone in the world will either want to kill you or control you. Their place in the world is to be a target for every megalomaniacal death-mage around.

5. I would put spellfire away and not think about it. It's an incredibly unbalancing ability. Having a spellfire wielder in a party will not make it fun for the other players. Right from the outset, they'll be encountering insanely hard spellcasters and their minions.

I've never liked warlocks or warmages, anyway.

2007-07-29, 08:40 PM
I'd just like to say, the idea of reforging Warlocks into Spellfire wielders and expanding on the Sorcerer fluff isn't a bad idea. Perhaps leaving the existing Sorcerer fluff in place, and adding the Warlock's, is a good idea. For example :

The source of a Sorcerer's power is a richly debated topic. Some claim that it comes from draconic ancestry - Kobold sorcerers, in fact, are a strong proponent of this theory. Others claim ancestry of different sorts, from fey, to outsiders, to elementals.

There are those few, however, who claim that sorcerers get their powers from dark pacts with chaotic or evil lords. Through these pacts, they've come to harness magical energies that they otherwise would have had to spend years studying to obtain. Their selection of abilities is more limited than someone who's spent the time to learn to wield magic from books, but due to the nature of these pacts, they have greater versatility, able to cast any of the spells they've been granted, so long as they can yet channel the power necessary.

2007-07-29, 09:00 PM
The general feat Spellfire Wielder in Magic of Faerun is pretty good for what if gives a PC mechanically particulary at low levels with a good constitution especially for noncasters.

The Spellfire Channeler PRC isn't very good for what you are generally giving up for D4, 2 SPs, Poor BAB and the PRC limitations regarding Increased Storage (Glowing Aspects at various levels and overloading) maybe a 1 - 3 level dip would give your PC the most bang for the buck.

It could be interesting in a tweaked PRC like Ultimate Magus without the meta casting bennies and picking up the 10 Spellfire Channeler levels instead along with Only picking up +7 CL so your PC would be a level 15 character casting as a mage - 12 and spellfire channeler - 10 or letting it fuel a Reserve Feat like a 30 line Spellfire Bolt similar.

2007-07-29, 09:36 PM
See, I like most of the idea behind spellfire, getting to manipulate raw magic.. I don't really care for the execution. I'd love it to be made into some sort of base class.. I'd so take levels in it. But, c'est la vie.