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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    J.Gellert's Avatar

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    Default (3.5) Types of spells

    I am trying to re-categorize 3.5 edition spells for a project of mine. For reasons related to fluff, and more importantly, to hard rules, spell schools aren't working as I need them to.

    What I am trying to do is find a way to divine all spells, that:
    1. Encompasses every spell in every splatbook that has existed or will exist, and
    2. Makes clear distinctions with no thin lines so I don't have to write up entire lists

    So here goes

    1. Damage: Spells that primarily deal damage. Magic Missile and Orb of Acid go here, Finger of Death doesn't. Healing spells that damage undead don't go here.
    2. Curse: Debuffs like Doom and Blindness. Also Save-or-dies and Baleful Polymorph.
    3. Divination: Basically the entire school.
    4. Conjure: Spells that summon creatures, weapons, webs, clouds... as the school.
    5. Protect: Defensive spells like Globe of Invulnerability, Spell Turning, and magic traps like Symbols.
    6. Illusion: Illusions as the school.
    7. Control: Mind-affecting spells.
    8. Heal: Spells that heal, cure disease/poison, and so on.
    9. Enhance: Mainly the offensive buffs and buffs to items.
    10. Occult: Teleportation, Dispel, and spells that affect other spells like Contingency and Imbue Familiar with Spell Ability.
    11. Nature: Plant Growth, Control Weather, Control Water, and so on.

    A spell can belong to more than one category, but that should be rare.

    Aside from the vagueness of the descriptive text, I think the categories are pretty distinct - Fireball is Damage, Finger of Death is Curse, Polymorph Self is Enhance...

    But have I forgotten anything big? Can you come up with many spells that won't fit anywhere easily?

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: (3.5) Types of spells

    Well... what about Transmutation? (Flesh to Stone, Polymorph, Transmute Rock to Mud etc.)

    And where would Wish and Miracle go? Time Stop? Tongues?

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    Default Re: (3.5) Types of spells

    Quote Originally Posted by PumpkinEater View Post
    Well... what about Transmutation? (Flesh to Stone, Polymorph, Transmute Rock to Mud etc.)
    you would think Enhance would cover all of those.

    And where would Wish and Miracle go? Time Stop? Tongues?
    Here is a good question. time stop seems to go with enhance. not sure on the others.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: (3.5) Types of spells

    you would think Enhance would cover all of those.
    Well, I wouldn't really consider Transmute Rock to Mud a buffing spell :)

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    Default Re: (3.5) Types of spells

    Quote Originally Posted by PumpkinEater View Post
    Well, I wouldn't really consider Transmute Rock to Mud a buffing spell :)
    well in that case, i would think that nature would be obvious
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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: (3.5) Types of spells

    Quote Originally Posted by unosarta View Post
    well in that case, i would think that nature would be obvious
    Ooooh... you think you're SO smart, don't you!? Well you are! what about Flesh to Stone? I don't think that's really buffing at all, and it's not really nature!
    Last edited by PumpkinEater; 2009-05-17 at 08:03 PM.

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    Default Re: (3.5) Types of spells

    • Orb of acid could be damage or conjuration.
    • Fireball could be damage or nature.
    • True strike could be divination or enhance.
    • Mind fog could be conjuration or control.
    • Phantasmal killer could be illusion or curse.


    If you want clear distinctions, then decide what you want your schools to be based on. Damage is a school based on what the spell does, while conjuration is a school based on how it is done. Nature is completely flavor-based. You need to select one of these three categorizing methods, and use it for all of the schools.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: (3.5) Types of spells

    What about animation spells, like create undead? They don't conjure, because there's something already there. They don't per se enhance - enhance seems more like "make a shield around," not "make into a walking corpse." Similarly, they don't heal. Control could work, but you mentioned that one was more mind affecting. And they're sure as hades not nature.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: (3.5) Types of spells

    Transmute Rock to Mud is Nature. Flesh to Stone would be Curse.

    @ Flyingpoo, that's exactly the reason why I am doing this. I need to categorize spells based on what they do, not how they do it. Orb of Fire conjures fire, and Fireball evokes fire, but in essence they are both damage-dealing spells.

    True Strike is a problem, though... As this is supposed to work purely on mechanics, it should be Enhance, but it's not apparently clear. It's likely because of my wording, I should have said "Divination: Spells that reveal information and counter illusions".

    Things that don't seem to fit anywhere else (Wish, Telekinesis) go under Occult.

    As for Animate Dead and the like... Shame on me, for my care for Necromancers I should have remembered them. I have no idea where to put them right now. Strictly speaking they would be Conjure (for the rules, they create a creature out of nothing) but I am tempted to create a new category just for negative energy spells even if they'd be damage (inflict wounds) or curse (enervation). The opposite of Heal (which is where Raise Dead spells go). Maybe I'll call it "Dark" for now and make it clear that negative energy spells don't go under Damage in the same manner that positive energy spells don't.

    Thanks, this is exactly the help I needed!

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