View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Horrify spell - PEACH

2019-04-15, 05:08 AM
A shadow sorcerer in my group asked for an aoe custom spell that combines a fear mechanic with psychic damage.

The following I´ve come up with is basically an improved version of dissonant whispers that targets multiple creatures. The spell is balanced around a fireball, dealing less damage, with less area of effect and less range, but with a stronger damage type, ability to avoid friendly fire and a good control effect.

In the end I feel like I could use a second opinion on the balance of this spell. Is the damage alright or perhaps a bit too high? is this okay for a 3rd level spell?

*3rd-level illusion*
- Casting Time: 1 action
- Range: 60 feet
- Components: S, V, M (a small doll)
- Duration: Instantaneous

You make a halucination of a horrifying creature at a point within range. Any creature of your choice within 15 feet of that point must make a wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the affected creature takes 6d6 psychic damage and must immediately use its reaction , if available, to move as far as its speed allows away from the centre of the spell. The creature doesn’t move into obviously dangerous ground, such as a fire or a pit. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage and doesn’t have to move away. A creature that is immune to being frightened is unaffected by this spell.

When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 3rd

John Out West
2019-04-15, 05:30 AM
My main concern is that Fireball is a bad spell to base it around, as the designers already admit its overpowered for its level. They did it that way because it was so iconic.

My criteria for "Is it balanced" goes back to "Is there any reason to use anything else?"

Fear is a Control Spell that does a much better job controlling, so that checks out.

Fireball does more damage, but barely, and considering you can choose the targets, its a safer bet for playing with a party of fighters.

15ft radius is a 30ft square, which is pretty large, especially when you can choose the targets. Smaller than Fireball, still a large space.

Note: I would add the "Frightened" condition.


Looks good overall. Doesn't really step on any other spell's toes except for Fireball.

I would probably decrease the total damage by another d6, just so it doesn't replace Fireball completely.

2019-04-15, 07:58 AM
Thanks for the reply!

What average damage should I aim for?

6d6 = 21
3d12 = 19.5
4d8 = 18
5d6 = 17.5

Would 3d12 be alright? It would put it in line with erupting earth which is rarely seen as overpowered, and it would also make it scale better with higher level spell slots.

John Out West
2019-04-15, 10:36 PM
Ooh, 3d12 would be cool. It would definitely make it feel different than Fireball (A lot more random).

2019-04-16, 02:39 AM
I would add that they are required to be able to see it as well, since it seems feasible the way it is described.