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    Default Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Break the Bond
    Necromancy [Death]
    Level: Sorc/Wiz 5
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: One standard action
    Target: One animal or magical beast
    Range: Medium (100 ft + 10 ft/lv)
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Fortitude Negates
    SR: Yes

    You wave your hands and utter the words of power, and as the targeted animal falls before your might, the magical bond that gave it strength backlashes against its owner, punishing him for his loss.

    This spell can only target a special mount, animal companion, or a familiar. The creature must make a Fortitude save with a -4 penalty or die. The character it was linked to immediately receives a powerful backlash from the bond being severed magically, gaining one negative level, plus an additional negative level for every four class levels that granted him access to the familiar/animal companion/special mount. These negative levels fade after one hour.

    The Spell Resistance and saving throw of this effect only apply to the animal in question. The owner receives no defense against the negative levels.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-11-11 at 11:46 AM.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Looks a bit too powerful, a save or die spell for 'bonded' creatures that also effect the 'bonded' humanoid.

    The idea of 'breaking the bond' sounds good, but it should not be an instant death type spell.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    I have mixed feelings about the xp penalty. As a general rule when creating NPCs with class levels, I don't worry about how much XP the NPC has (especially since many creatures don't have a listed LA), so if a PC has this spell, I'd have to figure that number and record it for any creature with a pet. To make matters more complicated, I'd need to also prepare de-leveled stats for the monster in case it lost a level from use of this spell, or else halt a combat for 10 minutes while I level down a monster.

    OTOH, if an NPC uses this on a player, it's 1) kind of a douchebag thing for me to do as the DM, 2) very likely to halt combat while the player de-levels his character.

    It's also unclear to me how level loss from this spell might interact with restoration. You also need to define what would happen if the creature would be reduced to negative xp by the xp loss (as can easily happen if targeting a 1st-level wizard's familiar, for example.
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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    I have mixed feelings about the xp penalty. As a general rule when creating NPCs with class levels, I don't worry about how much XP the NPC has (especially since many creatures don't have a listed LA), so if a PC has this spell, I'd have to figure that number and record it for any creature with a pet. To make matters more complicated, I'd need to also prepare de-leveled stats for the monster in case it lost a level from use of this spell, or else halt a combat for 10 minutes while I level down a monster.
    Yeah, that's true, but otherwise there's no real penalty for a druid character (like there is for a wizard or a paladin)

    OTOH, if an NPC uses this on a player, it's 1) kind of a douchebag thing for me to do as the DM, 2) very likely to halt combat while the player de-levels his character.
    Being a douchebag to a guy who throws shared bite of the were-x around and double-teams people with his pet tiger or fleshraker, or being a douchebag to a guy who gives his raven/imp shivering touch spells to go and poke the dragon with is completely justified, in my opinion.

    Yes, there are some tactics that DMs shouldn't use on their players. Doesn't mean that all players are created equal, and if a player is being unreasonable, there should be a DM counter to it.

    It's also unclear to me how level loss from this spell might interact with restoration. You also need to define what would happen if the creature would be reduced to negative xp by the xp loss (as can easily happen if targeting a 1st-level wizard's familiar, for example.
    It's lost XP, not a negative level. It's the same thing that happens with a wizard's familiar. I'll add that it can't reduce a character's XP total below 0, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by bloodtide View Post
    Looks a bit too powerful, a save or die spell for 'bonded' creatures that also effect the 'bonded' humanoid.

    The idea of 'breaking the bond' sounds good, but it should not be an instant death type spell.
    Well, it has to be powerful, after all, it's a 5th level spell. There has to be a reason for someone to prepare it/learn it over just tossing a slay living at the animal and being done with it.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-11-10 at 11:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by bloodtide View Post
    Looks a bit too powerful, a save or die spell for 'bonded' creatures that also effect the 'bonded' humanoid.

    The idea of 'breaking the bond' sounds good, but it should not be an instant death type spell.
    Well, it has to be powerful, after all, it's a 5th level spell. There has to be a reason for someone to prepare it/learn it over just tossing a slay living at the animal and being done with it.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    It does live in a weird world of being specialized to the point that a sorcerer would never take it, and a wizard would never prepare it unless he planned to face an opponent whom he knew would have a powerful pet. Even then, it's arguably less useful than a simple dismissal in many situations. Maybe if you broadened the utility of the spell by granting it some effect against other sorts of creatures with extraplanar or magical natures, like incorporeal undead or elementals and outsiders..... Dunno.
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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    It does live in a weird world of being specialized to the point that a sorcerer would never take it, and a wizard would never prepare it unless he planned to face an opponent whom he knew would have a powerful pet. Even then, it's arguably less useful than a simple dismissal in many situations. Maybe if you broadened the utility of the spell by granting it some effect against other sorts of creatures with extraplanar or magical natures, like incorporeal undead or elementals and outsiders..... Dunno.
    I don't think so...that doesn't really fit the flavor of the spell...

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Well, it has to be powerful, after all, it's a 5th level spell. There has to be a reason for someone to prepare it/learn it over just tossing a slay living at the animal and being done with it.
    A decent penalty on the saving throw, plus making the target near useless (say, remove their companion status) should do that.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Being a douchebag to a guy who throws shared bite of the were-x around and double-teams people with his pet tiger or fleshraker, or being a douchebag to a guy who gives his raven/imp shivering touch spells to go and poke the dragon with is completely justified, in my opinion.

    Yes, there are some tactics that DMs shouldn't use on their players. Doesn't mean that all players are created equal, and if a player is being unreasonable, there should be a DM counter to it.
    Yeah...this is probably not the best solution to take. An escalating arms race between the DM and a player is going to cause way more problems than it solves. A reasonable player will respond to reasonable suggestions about not overshadowing the party; an unreasonable player will probably bring your game to a complete halt while he complains about an unfair homebrew spell.

    I'm going to have to agree with jiriku that it's too specialized and cumbersome, and not even particularly useful. It's either going to have no more effect than a Slay Living, or it's going to steal a substantial chunk of a player's experience, drop him down a level, and in all likelihood cause him to throw a tantrum.

    Imposing negative levels instead of a flat experience penalty might make this at least slightly more playable.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Yes, there are some tactics that DMs shouldn't use on their players. Doesn't mean that all players are created equal, and if a player is being unreasonable, there should be a DM counter to it.
    There is: Ban the broken spells like Bite of the Werebear and Shivering Touch.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    I would refrain from anything that affects stuff like XP as well. Damage, and temporary hability damage could work. This hability is too strong. Specially against paladins, whose mount is one of the few good things the class gains.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    There is: Ban the broken spells like Bite of the Werebear and Shivering Touch.
    Sure, that's one way of doing it, but those spells aren't particularly overpowered if they're not being combined with pets. (+16 Strength when wild-shaped is good, sure, but that means the druid is in melee so the DM has plenty of chances to knock him around)

    Anyway, changed the XP loss to some flat negative levels that only last an hour. Simple, smooth, easily calculated and won't slow down combat.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    I really like the negative legal idea. The concept is good but the XP thing just sounds annoying to deal with. As has been mentioned before, while Druids probably could take this, Paladins, Rangers, and weaker classes with animal companions/familiars etc. would take another nerf that they really don't need.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    I really like the negative legal idea. The concept is good but the XP thing just sounds annoying to deal with. As has been mentioned before, while Druids probably could take this, Paladins, Rangers, and weaker classes with animal companions/familiars etc. would take another nerf that they really don't need.
    Well, I doubt a DM would need to use it on a ranger's animal companion, as the ranger's animal companion is just so...terrible. (Seriously, WotC. Seriously)

    The paladin's mount has spell resistance (which is its major defense against the spell), so I think it's a little bit fairer, but you're right that the negative levels would hurt more, but at the same time the paladin doesn't really make use of his spells, so the lost highest level spell (or multiple lost spells) can make up for the lost attack bonus for the paladin.

    Edit: Just checked on the paladin's mount, didn't realize its spell resistance was that low. Still, it does offer a chance, however slight, for an equal level caster to completely fail at casting the spell on it.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-11-11 at 01:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Well, it has to be powerful, after all, it's a 5th level spell. There has to be a reason for someone to prepare it/learn it over just tossing a slay living at the animal and being done with it.
    But all the spell does now is 'Slay Living', plus a small effect on the person. What if the spell just 'broke the bond', but did not kill the creature. In stead the 'shock' from the spell enraged the creature at attack at random. That is much more interesting to have a 'wild' animal companion or whatever. And the owner can't just kill it, they have to capture it or such...

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by bloodtide View Post
    But all the spell does now is 'Slay Living', plus a small effect on the person. What if the spell just 'broke the bond', but did not kill the creature. In stead the 'shock' from the spell enraged the creature at attack at random. That is much more interesting to have a 'wild' animal companion or whatever. And the owner can't just kill it, they have to capture it or such...
    That's basically a confusion spell with a strange twist. And it doesn't work that well. The animal won't be a threat to anyone in a mid-to-high level party, especially considering that its bonus HD come from the class feature. Break the bond and it drops to its original HD (4 for a fleshraker, 6 for a tiger, 1/2-1/4 for a familiar) so it would be nothing more than a nuisance for most spellcasters. You'd be better off just tossing a confusion spell at the animal. At least then it would have a chance to flee, or at least be able to attack the party with all its might.

    It also wouldn't make sense for a paladin, as he calls his Special Mount from a Celestial Realm. It's not a wild animal to begin with.

    As the spell is now it's a specially targeted slay living with a maximized enervation thrown in. That's a pretty decent debuff for any caster with a pet.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-11-11 at 01:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Sure, that's one way of doing it, but those spells aren't particularly overpowered if they're not being combined with pets. (+16 Strength when wild-shaped is good, sure, but that means the druid is in melee so the DM has plenty of chances to knock him around)
    And why doesn't he have the same chances to knock the animal companion around?

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    And why doesn't he have the same chances to knock the animal companion around?
    Because the creature they attack is being flanked. It can only attack one of them well, unless it decides to split its full attack action up between them, in which case its lowering its damage output. Meanwhile two creatures with +16 Strength are ripping it apart.

    I'm saying that bite of the were-x is a pretty powerful spell in the hands of a druid, but it's not overpowered until it gets into the hands of a druid and his companion.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Edit: Just checked on the paladin's mount, didn't realize its spell resistance was that low. Still, it does offer a chance, however slight, for an equal level caster to completely fail at casting the spell on it.
    You raise a good point. I just don't feel the need for casters to have the option of actually shaving off XP from a Paladin. The former's advantage over the latter is just so gigantic that giving the casters this additional power is just cruel. I prefer the negative level option; that way it's damaging while giving the Paladin a chance to overcome it.

    Well, I doubt a DM would need to use it on a ranger's animal companion, as the ranger's animal companion is just so...terrible. (Seriously, WotC. Seriously)
    Good point, yeah. I don't understand why they felt the need to nerf the ranger so much...

    at the same time the paladin doesn't really make use of his spells, so the lost highest level spell (or multiple lost spells) can make up for the lost attack bonus for the paladin.
    I don't understand. Sure, Paladins don't really use spells too often, but that doesn't mean that losing them 'makes up for' (??) the additional loss of an attack bonus. It's not like the spells are actually detrimental, right?

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    I'd say it might be good to have it sever any magical bond, and if there is a penalty normally taken by one of the bonded when the other dies/is separated, they take the penalty. That would be much more useful.

    Separate familiars, animal companions, and special mounts from their masters, leaving them as normal animals of their species. Break the connection between a summoned monster and the summoner. Break Dominate's mental link (so the target has to be within range of some other form of communication). Get rid of telepathic communication of various sorts. Interrupt a Message or Sending between receiving the message and sending a reply.

    It has much more versatility without going past the fluff (or without going too far past the fluff, depending on interpretation).

    Maybe make is a 4th level spell instead, if the lack of a save-or-die makes it too weak. Or keep the negative levels, applied to whoever created the bond (or split evenly between the two).
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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    I don't understand. Sure, Paladins don't really use spells too often, but that doesn't mean that losing them 'makes up for' (??) the additional loss of an attack bonus. It's not like the spells are actually detrimental, right?
    I mean that the combined loss of attack bonus and paladin spells is bad, but the combined loss of attack bonus and druid spells is much worse.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Yeah...this is probably not the best solution to take. An escalating arms race between the DM and a player is going to cause way more problems than it solves. A reasonable player will respond to reasonable suggestions about not overshadowing the party; an unreasonable player will probably bring your game to a complete halt while he complains about an unfair homebrew spell.
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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Because the creature they attack is being flanked. It can only attack one of them well, unless it decides to split its full attack action up between them, in which case its lowering its damage output. Meanwhile two creatures with +16 Strength are ripping it apart.

    I'm saying that bite of the were-x is a pretty powerful spell in the hands of a druid, but it's not overpowered until it gets into the hands of a druid and his companion.
    I could just as easily say that an animal companion is a powerful ability, but it's not overpowered until the druid gets access to powerful spells like bite of the were-x. That way actually makes more sense, as animal companion is from a more basic source. (Personally, I'd say that even without buffs the animal companion is a bit too much, but that's besides the point.)

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Why does the saving throw have a penalty? I've never seen any spell with a penalty on the save like that. It just seems spiteful and makes it obvious that it's a spell specifically created to f**k with characters who have companions. If you're a DM using the spell, just tell the player "your pet bear dies in a fire" and be done with it.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Treblain View Post
    Why does the saving throw have a penalty? I've never seen any spell with a penalty on the save like that. It just seems spiteful and makes it obvious that it's a spell specifically created to f**k with characters who have companions. If you're a DM using the spell, just tell the player "your pet bear dies in a fire" and be done with it.
    There is such a precedent in the SRD, actually

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    That's to counteract the fact that the intended category of target for the spell has the save in question as a good save, though.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    That's to counteract the fact that the intended category of target for the spell has the save in question as a good save, though.
    Yes, and animal companions and special mounts have good Fortitude saves.

    Technically familiars do as well, they just don't have a save progression. (Or rather, their saves come from their master's base saves, which often mean they are ridiculously high due to how save stacking works with multi-/prestige-classing)
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2011-11-13 at 12:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Yes, and animal companions and special mounts have good Fortitude saves.
    If that's your concern, you could always just make it a Will save.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    If that's your concern, you could always just make it a Will save.
    No, slay seeds are always Fortitude. Destruction, phantasmal killer (special case, but even it still requires a Fortitude save), wail of the banshee, slay living, and finger of death. It's better to just make it a penalized Fortitude save.

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    Default Re: Break the Bond (3.5 Spell, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Yes, and animal companions and special mounts have good Fortitude saves.
    Point.

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