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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Evocation Dice Cap

    As a DM i'm always fond of minor fixes instead of major ones, and recently a thread about 9th level evocations made me think a little.

    I disagree with frank trollman's idea, but I understand that damage spells aren't problematic because they cause damage, specialy if they are xd6 / caster level. However, the thread made me think on the limitations of spells.

    Supposedly the difference between a fireball and a burning hands at cl 5 is that burning hands causes 5d4 in a small area close to the caster, and fireball 5d6 in a larger area. That made me think: Are the damage caps really necessary?

    If there was no damage cap, burning hands would be 10d4 at 10th cl, but he area would still be small, and Lightnin bolt would be 10d6 in a more useful area.

    Disregarding other aspects of spells (damage spells are useless, save or die is better, wada-wada), what do you people believe are the benefits and drawbacks of removing dice caps on damage spells of the Evocation school?
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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Evocation Dice Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by DiBastet View Post
    Supposedly the difference between a fireball and a burning hands at cl 5 is that burning hands causes 5d4 in a small area close to the caster, and fireball 5d6 in a larger area.
    That's not the best difference. First of all, fireball is a Long-range spell. Being able to hit a target 525 feet away at level 5 is insane.

    Secondly, the fireball spell is 10% harder to resist than the burning hands spell (innate +2 bonus to the save DC for being a higher-level spell)

    Disregarding other aspects of spells (damage spells are useless, save or die is better, wada-wada), what do you people believe are the benefits and drawbacks of removing dice caps on damage spells of the Evocation school?
    Removing damage caps is a great idea but the majority of the people I've seen disagree entirely.

    Here. This is a thread I made a while back with a bunch of evocation spells with no damage caps, and several people attacked me for it. You can read the whole discussion.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Evocation Dice Cap

    The problem with removing damage caps is that it makes low-level spells offensively useful, greatly weakening what's meant to be a major limitation on casters' power (limited spells/day).

    Whether that's actually a good thing depends on whether you're trying to optimize balance between blasters and other casters, or between blasters and noncasters.
    Last edited by Yitzi; 2011-11-25 at 12:35 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Evocation Dice Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    The problem with removing damage caps is that it makes low-level spells offensively useful, greatly weakening what's meant to be a major limitation on casters' power (limited spells/day).
    That's very interesting. Thinking by this point of view, a spell that succesfully disables an opponent (your typical SoS or SoD) still disables the opponent, independent of spell level. Of course, the way it disables the opponent tends to be more irreversible / have a longe duration / whatever. Very interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    Whether that's actually a good thing depends on whether you're trying to optimize balance between blasters and other casters, or between blasters and noncasters.
    Well, since I already nerfed most SoS and SoD spells and put most utilitarian spells a level below, I believe it's mostly trying to balance caster and caster.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Evocation Dice Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by DiBastet View Post
    That's very interesting. Thinking by this point of view, a spell that succesfully disables an opponent (your typical SoS or SoD) still disables the opponent, independent of spell level. Of course, the way it disables the opponent tends to be more irreversible / have a longe duration / whatever. Very interesting.
    The more important change is that lower level means lower save DC means lower chance of success. (That's not as big a deal for blasts, as they usually do some damage even on a successful save.) At higher levels, a level 2 SoS simply isn't likely enough to be effective to be worth it, but a level 2 blast still is of some use.

    Well, since I already nerfed most SoS and SoD spells and put most utilitarian spells a level below, I believe it's mostly trying to balance caster and caster.
    If you already nerfed SoS and SoD to the point needed to balance them against noncasters, then blasters shouldn't need any boosts to be competitive (as long as you didn't nerf them too.)

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    Default Re: Evocation Dice Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Removing damage caps is a great idea but the majority of the people I've seen disagree entirely.
    I like the idea of spells scaling infinitely (or nearly infinitely); it makes sense that even simple spells would be more powerful when cast by higher level magic user.

    I see 2 issues though; first is that there's only some many ways you can divide up XdY before you start to repeat, and your super powerful Ray of Frost starts to overlap with Lightning-Bolt (or something like that, I'm just making stuff up here). Unless you're facing an enemy with damage reduction, how critical is it that the damage comes from fire or acid?

    The other sticking point is that if lower-level damage spells are still useful, they make more room for higher-level non-damaging spells in your spells-per day list, which may make it difficult to balance the campaign or even provide a decent challenge for the casters that have access to too many powerful utility spells.

    I'd love to see it work, but I think you would need to do something to limit the non-damage bases magic that casters had to play around with.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2011-11-27 at 12:42 AM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Evocation Dice Cap

    Would you restrict this to only evocation? If you allow conjuration the same perks, you're making a broken-good school even more powerful. If you restrict it to evocation you at least make wizards reconsider dumping it to specialise.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Evocation Dice Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbownaga View Post
    Would you restrict this to only evocation? If you allow conjuration the same perks, you're making a broken-good school even more powerful. If you restrict it to evocation you at least make wizards reconsider dumping it to specialise.
    I'd say apply it to everything, but then remove damage scaling almost entirely for Conjuration. (Let them have scaling durations for damage-over-time spells, but nothing better than that.)

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    Default Re: Evocation Dice Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    The problem with removing damage caps is that it makes low-level spells offensively useful, greatly weakening what's meant to be a major limitation on casters' power (limited spells/day).

    Whether that's actually a good thing depends on whether you're trying to optimize balance between blasters and other casters, or between blasters and noncasters.
    This is true.

    I tend to favor somewhat looser dice caps, but not eradicating them all entirely(at least, not without resource investment). Note that some very high spells mostly only offer a higher cap. These are not usually great spells, but I'd rather they be situationally useful picks than completely worthless ones.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Evocation Dice Cap

    Two problems I see:

    1.If you remove the dice caps then you make the lower level spells more powerful and more useful. This is not as good as it sounds. A high level spell caster can then cause lots of damage with a low level spell, and still have tons of other spells to cast. It gives a caster no incentive to even take the higher level damage spells, as the lower level ones will be doing more damage.

    ExampleAt 10th level wizard can do 10d6 damage with Shocking Grasp or 10d4 with Burning Hands, but Ice Storm only does 5d6 and Shout only does 5d6.

    Sure the higher level spells can hit more targets at once, but you could just as easily cast several low level spells. The fact that you'd kill a monster with a single hit with a low level spell, would balance out the single target. A 10th level wizard can do 50d6 damage a day with just Shocking Grasp.

    2.No damage caps will over power Metamagic and magic items. Just think of all the spellcasters Maximizing all their low level spells. Plus all sorts of other metamagic. And cheap wands of 20d4 burning hands and other low level spells.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Evocation Dice Cap

    CL is really pretty easy to boost. There are many feats for a conditional +1, some items and class features also boost it, and so on. A fireball doing (character level)d6 damage isn't a huge deal at levels higher than 10 due to fire resistance and intelligent spacing of enemies and such, but a Burning Hands doing 4d4 or 5d4 at first level is more of a 'just die' than a 'save or die'.

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    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Evocation Dice Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by Glimbur View Post
    CL is really pretty easy to boost. There are many feats for a conditional +1, some items and class features also boost it, and so on. A fireball doing (character level)d6 damage isn't a huge deal at levels higher than 10 due to fire resistance and intelligent spacing of enemies and such, but a Burning Hands doing 4d4 or 5d4 at first level is more of a 'just die' than a 'save or die'.
    But a burning hands at 1st level is either twice per day for a wizard (assuming the wizard didn't ban evocation for some reason) or 4 times per day for a sorcerer.

    Compared to, say, a barbarian with 16 Strength dealing 1d12+4 damage with a greataxe, or 1d12+7 while he's raging (with a +2 on the attack roll to boot)

    Finally, burning hands dealing 5d4 at first level has nothing to do with evocation dice caps being removed. Burning hands already has a cap of 5d4. If you've found some way to raise your CL by +4 at 1st level, you can do it, no problem. You don't need special rules for that.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
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    furious Re: Evocation Dice Cap

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    The problem with removing damage caps is that it makes low-level spells offensively useful, greatly weakening what's meant to be a major limitation on casters' power (limited spells/day).

    Whether that's actually a good thing depends on whether you're trying to optimize balance between blasters and other casters, or between blasters and noncasters.
    Since evocation is already considered weak, there's really no reason to not allow low level spells fo continue being useful against mooks, unless people are afraid of making meleers even more redundant, yeah.

    Edit:
    Just saw Bloodtide post. Yeah, metamagic on low level spells would be easy to abuse.
    Last edited by Roderick_BR; 2011-11-27 at 09:28 PM.

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