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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    Okay, we all know wizards are tre-overpowered, and that is because they have the ability to cast spells that allow them to do anything. What we have here is one solution I've heard posited before. Cut down the spell book. Assume that we're only working with core rules in the first place. Now, consider what the intent of the wizard class is, I think its supposed to be more focused on battlefield control with a couple heavy hitter damage spells and some decent buffs for the rest of the party.

    The goal is to make the wizard less dominating but still useful.

    The first couple spells I'm taking out are:

    Contingency
    Temporal Stasis
    Rope Trick
    Wish (Unlearnable but possibly still available)
    Knock (What's that? You've got a spell designed to do everything and anything that a rogue adds to the party! Welcome, enjoy your job)

    Which ones do you think should be removed?
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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    I'd say Polymorph and its like, such as Alter Self, Polymorph any Object and Shapechange.

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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    GATE........

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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    +1 for nerfing the "have three wishes with no XP cost, one of which nets you an item which casts the spell again" spell. Even without that, it's still broken. You can seriously hurt someone with 34 HD of creatures automatically under your command.

    Polymorph/Shapechange need work, and Alter Self needs to be rolled back to the 3.0 version (not limited to real creatures, but the benefits of the spell were explicit). I guess 3.0 Alter Self would also be a good starting point for a Polymorph fix, although it could potentially take up half a page.

    Rope Trick is decent, but not too hideous. Changing it to a shorter duration would probably fix much of the abuse.

    Knock isn't actually that much of a problem, although it needs work (cutting it back to a check with a bonus would be an improvement).

    True Seeing, Mind Blank and Death Ward, Wind Wall and the Prismatics are all pretty bad simply for the blanket immunities.

    The Save-or-Die, Save-or-Lose and No-Save-You-Lose spells are always going to be annoying.

    Magic users currently have the scissors, the paper and the stone, while mundanes generally get to choose between the scissors and the stone. One option for weakening casters is to simply modify saves - e.g. by making Fortitude and Reflex defend against mundane attacks and some magic, while Will provides a blanket defence against magic.
    Last edited by lesser_minion; 2009-08-19 at 08:13 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    Time Stop probably should get the boot.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    And burning hands maybe (it has been used to deal 1d4+2 fire damage to like 20 zombies. In the same round.)
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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon Elite View Post
    And burning hands maybe (it has been used to deal 1d4+2 fire damage to like 20 zombies. In the same round.)
    How? Based on the SRD description, it should not be possible to hit more than ten at a time. More won't fit into the defined area the spell covers.

    A spell isn't broken if you're hitting more than it was designed to hit because your DM is packing the monsters in more tightly than the game rules were written to allow for.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon Elite View Post
    And burning hands maybe (it has been used to deal 1d4+2 fire damage to like 20 zombies. In the same round.)
    How? It's a 15-ft cone.

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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    Oops. Well, ten. But as a first level spell... that is way too powerful.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon Elite View Post
    Oops. Well, ten. But as a first level spell... that is way too powerful.
    Again, how?

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    HalfOrcPirate

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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    How about this for a revised version of Knock. Change in bold:

    Knock
    Transmutation
    Level: Sor/Wiz 2
    Components: V
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
    Target: One door, box, or chest with an area of up to 10 sq. ft./level
    Duration: Instantaneous; see text
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No

    The knock spell opens stuck, barred, held, or arcane locked doors. It opens secret doors, as well as locked or trick-opening boxes or chests. It also loosens welds, shackles, or chains (provided they serve to hold closures shut). If used on a mechanical lock the magician must make an Open Lock check with a positive modifier equal to their caster level in addition to any ranks they have in the skill. This check may be made untrained and does not require thieves' tools. If used to open a arcane locked door, the spell does not remove the arcane lock but simply suspends its functioning for 10 minutes. In all other cases, the door does not relock itself or become stuck again on its own. Knock does not raise barred gates or similar impediments (such as a portcullis), nor does it affect ropes, vines, and the like. The effect is limited by the area. Each spell can undo as many as two means of preventing egress.

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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    Silent image should at least be nerfed.
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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysander View Post
    How about this for a revised version of Knock. Change in bold:
    Actually, I'd have it let them make a check that replaces their ranks with their CL and replaces Dex with their key ability modifier; if it just adds CL, than UMD rogues would always get a wand of it and sneaky wizards would still overshadow rogues; having it replace ranks and ability ensures that a caster can almost match, but never exceed, the rogue.
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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/burninghands.htm

    Burning hands' area of affect can hit a maximum of 10 Medium creatures, assuming they fill the described cone fully.

    Each target takes 1d4 damage under RAW. That's a theoretical average of 25 hp, assuming maximum number of targets. It's a pretty difficult job to herd enemies like that though.

    Compare it to magic missile cast by a 9th level caster. 5 missiles for 1d4+1 hp each, for a total average damage of 17.5 hp. You'd need to herd 7 critters together in a tight group to get the same expected damage with burning hands, except you'd also need to be really up close and personal with them. Burning hands doesn't have anywhere near the range of magic missile.

    tbh, burning hands isn't overpowered. At 9th level, it is way overshadowed by magic missile. At low levels, its potential greater damage is overshadowed by your wizard being rather too squishy to want to spend any time that close to a small horde of monsters.

    Plus, 1d4 hp isn't likely to kill anything bigger than a kobold. You just made the ten nearest critters mad at you, and used up probably your main offensive spell. Hope you prepared expeditious retreat.

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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    Good point.
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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    Yeah, the easiest fix for any caster build is to just work with the player on a more reasonable spell list. If you do this, 90% of the abuse goes away. If your player's aren't able to do this on their own, then ask them to play one of the specialist casters instead - Beguiler, Warmage, Dread Necromancer, etc.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalfOrcPirate

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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Yeah, the easiest fix for any caster build is to just work with the player on a more reasonable spell list. If you do this, 90% of the abuse goes away. If your player's aren't able to do this on their own, then ask them to play one of the specialist casters instead - Beguiler, Warmage, Dread Necromancer, etc.
    The DM has control over what spellbooks they find. Just be very careful not to give any spell you don't want your players to have to allied or enemy NPC wizards they encounter.

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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    Each target takes 1d4 damage under RAW.
    To be fair, the spell actually deals 1d4 damage per caster level (max 5d4). That 9th-level wizard would actually deal 12.5 * 10, or 125, total average damage to a pack of ten critters in such close proximity. As an added bonus, he could have done it four levels ago, at level 5.

    However, as stated, Burning Hands has the disadvantages of extremely close range and the need to pack critters in tightly before it becomes that useful. The additional allowance of Reflex half, compared to Magic Missile's auto-hit, has me calling it a wash.

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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    The problem with wizards isn't any particular spell cheese. Rather, there is a fundamental flaw in the way the entire d20 class system is set up. Casters grow in power exponentially, while non-casters grow in power linerally.

    So while there are some spells that can be abused and perhaps should be fixed, that's not the core of the problem. If casting good offensive spells, a caster is usually doing caster level dice of damage, while mundanes are doing a die or two plus some mods.

    The added versatility of the non-attack spells suffers from the same problem. As a caster levels up, they gain non-damage options (battlefeild control, buffing, debuffing, etc.) at a much faster rate than non-casters.

    I don't think a few tweaks to the spell lists would be able to fix this. The fundamental assumptions used to balance spell power vs spell level need to be changed. Either that, or the entire class system needs to be reworked so that casters and non-casters power up at the same speed. To really do it right probably requires a bit of both.

    That said, the imbalance is pretty ingrained in DnD. Wizards are squishy at first, but then become powerhouses while non-casters only gain incrementally. It's been known about for a long time and pretty much an explicit part of the design. I'm not saying that this is good or bad, just that it goes a lot deeper than the spell list.

    The best way to deal with cheeze is rule zero. Personally, I don't care if something is technically balanced or not (although I try for a reasonable baseline), I care whether it hurts the game or not. If cheese is breaking my game, it has to go. If not, who cares?

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Hash Down that 3.5 Spell Book

    Also, if you plan for an extended campaign and don't ever want your wizard PCs reshaping the entire planet or battling gods on a whim, just explain that to the players. Maybe convince them to play prestige classes like Mystic Theurge or Magus so they get more spells but remain at lower spell levels. Or maybe just cut off spellcasting at a maximum point - in your world maybe there are no spells higher than level 7, and further wizard levels just grant bonus feats.

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