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    Default Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Energy Drain
    Necromancy [Evil]
    Level: Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
    Effect: Ray of negative energy
    Duration: Instantaneous and 1 round/level, see text
    Saving Throw: Fortitude Half, see text
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    With a single burst of power, you drain your opponent's life force away. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack to hit with this spell. A creature struck by your ray immediately receives a number of negative levels equal to half of its total HD +1, with a minimum of 1/2 your caster level. A successful Fortitude save reduces this number to half. In 24 hours, a creature must make a successful Fortitude save (DC equal to the DC of this spell) for each negative level it possesses or face true level loss.

    This spell stacks with itself.

    An undead or other creature that is healed by negative energy is affected by this spell differently, it instead receives a number of temporary hit points equal to its maximum hit point total. These temporary hit points fade in 1 hour.

    This spell overcomes all spell effects that grant immunity to negative levels, such as with the death ward or undeath's eternal foe spells.

    A creature slain by this spell reanimates as if you had cast the animate dead spell on it, but retains all its feats, class features, skill points, spellcasting, spell-like and supernatural abilities it had in life, as well as all of its mental ability scores. It dutifully serves you for 1 round per level, as the dominate monster spell (ignoring an undead's immunity to mind-affecting), after which it returns to being a lifeless corpse.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2012-04-06 at 11:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Single Target, No save just die over the course of about two minutes...


    Actually sounds balanced for 9th
    Having trouble writing up hard stat blocks but I'm doing a lot of sharing ideas and soft mechanics lately.

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    So between 34 and 40 negative levels with no save, and no way to stop it without nuking all of your magic items to hell?

    I like the idea of improving energy drain, but this is a bit much.
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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Circle of Life View Post
    Entirely accurate stuff
    Negative Energy gets resisted a lot and it still gives them time to pound your BSF before the Negative levels make them suck hard.
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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mentalist View Post
    Negative Energy gets resisted a lot and it still gives them time to pound your BSF before the Negative levels make them suck hard.
    In the players' hands... maybe. If they don't just greater teleport out after it works, anyway. I mean, the target is either going to die or render itself utterly incapable of posing a threat after hitting itself with a disjunction (if it could cast disjunction in the first place, and if it can still do so after the negative levels), so there's really no reason to stick around.

    But what about when the monsters with energy drain use it on the player? Too bad, there goes all your magic items, or your character?

    This just seems like an inelegant solution to fixing a 9th level spell.

    And then there's the fact that a 4th level spell still trumps a ninth, only moreso now because it's absolutely vital to have it active if you have even the slightest inkling that your foe can cast energy drain.
    Last edited by Circle of Life; 2012-03-19 at 08:29 AM.
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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Yeah, I'm with the others on this one, sorry. If you hit a PC with this, they're dead unless they can manage a disjunction within 4-5 rounds. I would allow limited wish and break enchantment to stop the progression for a little while, and wish and miracle to cure it.
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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Circle of Life View Post
    In the players' hands... maybe. If they don't just greater teleport out after it works, anyway. I mean, the target is either going to die or render itself utterly incapable of posing a threat after hitting itself with a disjunction (if it could cast disjunction in the first place, and if it can still do so after the negative levels), so there's really no reason to stick around.

    But what about when the monsters with energy drain use it on the player? Too bad, there goes all your magic items, or your character?

    This just seems like an inelegant solution to fixing a 9th level spell.

    And then there's the fact that a 4th level spell still trumps a ninth, only moreso now because it's absolutely vital to have it active if you have even the slightest inkling that your foe can cast energy drain.
    By your logic, disjunction and imprisonment are also too much. There are just some spells that DMs don't cast on players, CoL. If your DM is in the market to use Save or Dies, you have a lot more to worry about than just energy drain. Like an enemy druid who snipes your wizard with enveloping cocoon and a baleful polymorph attached, or an enemy wizard who gates in solars and wishes the party were dead.

    There already exist plenty of spells far worse than the one I have made here. DMs just choose not to use them. And, as you've pointed out, energy drain is still completely negated by a 4th level spell.

    Arguments aside, you have voiced concern over improving energy drain. I would like to remind you that it is, in fact, a 9th level spell, and should be competing with implosion, wish, miracle, time stop and shapechange. So how would you suggest I nerf it to prevent it from simply never being used like meteor swarm?

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Okay, I changed it and allowed wish and miracle to break the curse, for a price.

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Arguments aside, you have voiced concern over improving energy drain. I would like to remind you that it is, in fact, a 9th level spell, and should be competing with implosion, wish, miracle, time stop and shapechange. So how would you suggest I nerf it to prevent it from simply never being used like meteor swarm?
    Nothing will ever really compete with wish or miracle. Time stop is what it is, and shapechange is one of the most abusive spells ever printed. I wouldn't use those as your baseline for 'brewing, but it's up to you. Implosion is a solid 9th however, even with all the saves attached. It's your homebrew, and I'm not here to tell you 'ur doin it rong', but when the answer is a choice between no-save-just-die and 'DM's can't use this on players', it might be wise to take a step back and reexamine the logic behind the spell's design.

    Personally, my suggestions would veer away from nerfing the spell's current incarnation into designing something new. It's the pinnacle of negative level spells, so make it reflect that. Keep the negative levels sane, but allow it to bypass low level protections like death ward. Take the aspects of the neatest negative level spells (necrotic skull bomb, enervation, that sort of thing) and give them a new chassis. A ranged touch attack detonation, with creatures closer to the center receiving more negative levels? A cone of negative levels, with closer creatures losing more? A siphon, where you gain temporary 'positive levels'?

    My point is, there's a lot of room for improvement that doesn't boil down to 'more dakka'.
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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Unless the negative levels are numerous enough to threaten a creature or cause it death, it's just a bunch of penalties that can be removed with a single 4th level spell and really don't hurt a creature with enough HD, which high CR creatures have in plenty. Turning it into a cone or a cloud, with the intention of hitting numerous creatures, actually threatens your party and again, will require you to reduce the number of levels you deal to one creature to the point where the spell becomes useless.

    Negative levels aren't crowd-control, CoL, and any attempt to make them into such will either result in a terribly useless or a horribly overpowered spell.

    Edit: You say "keep the negative levels sane", so basically what you mean by that is "don't dish out too many negative levels", but if a single 9th level spell slot doesn't pack enough power to kill a creature by itself, it's not doing its job. That's just how the game works. If you're spending one of your rarest and most powerful resources, which you could be using to grant yourself a wish, resurrect the dead with no level loss, stop time, change your shape every round, then inflicting some penalties on attack rolls and saving throws isn't worth it. I'm not using shapechange and wish as my "baseline", I'm acknowledging the fact that they exist and any player who gets to 17th level will want to prepare them as well, and they only have so many slots to prepare them in. If I don't make energy drain powerful enough to do its job, then it will just never be prepared, simple as that.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2012-03-19 at 08:57 AM.

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    That's fine. Like I said, it's not my place to tell you what to do with your 'brews. If you're happy with the revised spell as it is, more power to you. It's certainly more potent than the printed version.

    ---

    Edit for the edit:
    Edit: You say "keep the negative levels sane", so basically what you mean by that is "don't dish out too many negative levels", but if a single 9th level spell slot doesn't pack enough power to kill a creature by itself, it's not doing its job.
    We disagree on general design principle then. Implosion, reality maelstrom, mass heal... these are all worthwhile 9th level spells, each very different but all powerful in their own way - and none of them flip your foe the double deuce while they die with no save.

    That's just how the game works. If you're spending one of your rarest and most powerful resources, which you could be using to grant yourself a wish, resurrect the dead with no level loss, stop time, change your shape every round,
    Of the mentioned spells, only true resurrection and maybe time stop can be reasonably assumed to have a place in a game with a gentleman's agreement. Just because gate was printed doesn't mean every Wizard should have armies of Solars wishing for their wellbeing every second of the day, you know? Using poorly designed and poorly balanced spells to justify multiplying the potency of another spell by over nine thousand only increases the power gap and renders more and more spells obsolete.

    then inflicting some penalties on attack rolls and saving throws isn't worth it. I'm not using shapechange and wish as my "baseline", I'm acknowledging the fact that they exist and any player who gets to 17th level will want to prepare them as well, and they only have so many slots to prepare them in.
    I don't mean to offend, but if you're not using those spells as your baseline, what are you doing when you assume they have a place in the game and increase the power of homebrewed spells to suit?

    If I don't make energy drain powerful enough to do its job, then it will just never be prepared, simple as that.
    And if DMs allow players to gate in whatever they want, or shapechange into getting every Supernatural ability ever, then there really is no game at that point. There's a reason those spells are usually whacked by the bahnhammur, and it isn't because they make the game better.
    Last edited by Circle of Life; 2012-03-19 at 09:14 AM.
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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Circle of Life View Post
    That's fine. Like I said, it's not my place to tell you what to do with your 'brews. If you're happy with the revised spell as it is, more power to you. It's certainly more potent than the printed version.
    No, I mean, I want your advice, and if you think I should tone it down, you're probably right, but the purpose of the fix is to make it viable enough that people will actually learn/prepare it when they could also be preparing any other 9th level spell they know. I thought I made the drag-out long enough to justify the total of 34-40 negative levels, and now there are 3 different 9th level spells that can cure it. If that's not enough, then what should I do?

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Made the spell half as effective against a creature imbued by death ward.

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    No, I mean, I want your advice, and if you think I should tone it down, you're probably right, but the purpose of the fix is to make it viable enough that people will actually learn/prepare it when they could also be preparing any other 9th level spell they know. I thought I made the drag-out long enough to justify the total of 34-40 negative levels, and now there are 3 different 9th level spells that can cure it. If that's not enough, then what should I do?
    Allowing more spells to remove the effect is a step in the right direction, but keep in mind that after only a handful of rounds, all but an Epic-level spellcaster won't even have a slot left to cast those spells, assuming the initial drain didn't remove them already.

    Made the spell half as effective against a creature imbued by death ward.
    That's not a bad idea, but you're still dealing CL+1 negative levels to anything you look at. Really, while I believe that an unbreakable defense against an unstoppable assault is incredibly poor design, death ward almost needs to exist with the spell in its current incarnation.

    If you want my advice, it's this: make the spell ignore death ward and other low level spells, though undeath's eternal foe and other high level protections should still work. Then, make the spell more impressive - not with bigger numbers, but with better effects. I'm much in favor of the life siphon, granting you 'positive levels' while it saps levels from the target, though I also like the mental image of starting a wightpocalypse with a negative-level version of a nuclear blast.
    Last edited by Circle of Life; 2012-03-19 at 09:22 AM.
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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    My biggest problem is that, even while the numbers are inflated, it still appears to be lackluster. It's essentially a save-or-die, but one that either has its full effect or does nothing at all, thanks to Soulfire armor, Ray Deflection/Death Ward spells, and natural level loss immunity. I realize there are some spells that act just this way, but it seems like a 9th level spell would work on a...grander, scale.

    Also, speaking strictly from a logistics point of view, it would be wiser to use a Wish to resurrect someone who died to this than to use it to remove the curse. The minimum level you would have to be to not be fatally affected by this is 34 - at that point, you can throw Extended fixed Energy Drains around like they're cantrips, and assuming CL is equal to level, that's 136 levels drained.

    Perhaps make it so draining all those negative levels has a point? I mean, it's a bit overkill to drain 40 levels from something with only 22 HD. Maybe, for example, for each negative level over the victim's original HD, you animate their corpse and gain control over it as if by Dominate Monster for 1 round?
    Last edited by Derjuin; 2012-03-19 at 09:25 AM.
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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Are the draining effects from this spells stackable? What I mean is, if you hit some one with this spell, then hit them with it a couple more times over the subsequent rounds, will each spell drain levels seperately each round? I guess there are more efficient ways to kill things than with multiple 9th level spells, but if you are up against a really powerful enemy, it seems like it might be a good way to temporarily cripple them.
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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Derjuin View Post
    My biggest problem is that, even while the numbers are inflated, it still appears to be lackluster. It's essentially a save-or-die, but one that either has its full effect or does nothing at all, thanks to Soulfire armor, Ray Deflection/Death Ward spells, and natural level loss immunity. I realize there are some spells that act just this way, but it seems like a 9th level spell would work on a...grander, scale.
    Fair enough.

    Also, speaking strictly from a logistics point of view, it would be wiser to use a Wish to resurrect someone who died to this than to use it to remove the curse. The minimum level you would have to be to not be fatally affected by this is 34 - at that point, you can throw Extended fixed Energy Drains around like they're cantrips, and assuming CL is equal to level, that's 136 levels drained.
    Assuming you can cast spells. An epic level barbarian or monk could survive one of these puppies easily without tossing them back.

    Perhaps make it so draining all those negative levels has a point? I mean, it's a bit overkill to drain 40 levels from something with only 22 HD. Maybe, for example, for each negative level over the victim's original HD, you animate their corpse and gain control over it as if by Dominate Monster for 1 round?
    Interesting. That does end up epitomizing the necromancy school pretty thoroughly. Alright then.

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    Are the draining effects from this spells stackable? What I mean is, if you hit some one with this spell, then hit them with it a couple more times over the subsequent rounds, will each spell drain levels seperately each round? I guess there are more efficient ways to kill things than with multiple 9th level spells, but if you are up against a really powerful enemy, it seems like it might be a good way to temporarily cripple them.
    Yes, this spell's curse stacks with itself. I'll update to make that clear in the text.

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Circle of Life View Post
    Of the mentioned spells, only true resurrection and maybe time stop can be reasonably assumed to have a place in a game with a gentleman's agreement. Just because gate was printed doesn't mean every Wizard should have armies of Solars wishing for their wellbeing every second of the day, you know? Using poorly designed and poorly balanced spells to justify multiplying the potency of another spell by over nine thousand only increases the power gap and renders more and more spells obsolete.
    Alright, you have a point. What do you think of the new version?

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    I was going to comment on the gradual drain version but now we have...this. It's Energy Drain, if they run out of energy, they should die and be your personal zombie towel boy, not be coddled into a weak husk. The gradual drain version may have been too strong but making it incapable of killing goes too far in the opposite direction. The original, while not being able to pierce Death Ward and the like, made you suffer and made the target weak enough to not be a real threat, at least for casters. Martial types are annoyed by the penalties but they can persevere for the most part. It's not like you can cast Restoration to get rid of the negative levels in combat anyways, since it take 3 rounds to cast, making it strictly after combat. Take off the kiddy gloves, Energy Drain needs its fangs to compete with Wail of the Banshee and Implosion and this ain't doing it!
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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    I was going to comment on the gradual drain version but now we have...this. It's Energy Drain, if they run out of energy, they should die and be your personal zombie towel boy, not be coddled into a weak husk. The gradual drain version may have been too strong but making it incapable of killing goes too far in the opposite direction. The original, while not being able to pierce Death Ward and the like, made you suffer and made the target weak enough to not be a real threat, at least for casters. Martial types are annoyed by the penalties but they can persevere for the most part. It's not like you can cast Restoration to get rid of the negative levels in combat anyways, since it take 3 rounds to cast, making it strictly after combat. Take off the kiddy gloves, Energy Drain needs its fangs to compete with Wail of the Banshee and Implosion and this ain't doing it!
    Well, if you still think the original was too strong, then what do you suggest I do to make this one better?

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Well, if you still think the original was too strong, then what do you suggest I do to make this one better?
    Half HD in negative levels is pretty good, just remove the text about further draining just being penalties and bring back the fake necropolitan text when you kill them with a second beam, if they both fail. Quarter HD in neg levels is still pretty devastating and plays into Mettle's hand just right. Also allow for permanent drain should they survive the encounter. If they're high enough level to be dealing with Energy Drain, they can afford a Greater Restoration or know someone who can cast one on their behalf.
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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Half HD in negative levels is pretty good, just remove the text about further draining just being penalties and bring back the fake necropolitan text when you kill them with a second beam, if they both fail. Quarter HD in neg levels is still pretty devastating and plays into Mettle's hand just right. Also allow for permanent drain should they survive the encounter. If they're high enough level to be dealing with Energy Drain, they can afford a Greater Restoration or know someone who can cast one on their behalf.
    So the spell becomes two saves-or-die, but without the [death] descriptor (still targets Fort though) or 4 no-saves-just die?

    I can't bring back the reanimation text. That was based on the duration of the spell, and the new version is instantaneous.

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    I can't bring back the reanimation text. That was based on the duration of the spell, and the new version is instantaneous.
    "Instantaneous and 1 round/level (see text)"

    "A target that dies from negative levels inflicted by this spell is raised as an undead under your control for up to one round per level[...etc]"

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Alright, added in the instant slay text, the reanimation text, and the [Evil] descriptor. And I think I'm done!
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2012-03-19 at 12:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    yet another great work from NeoSeraphi, i think it works well for a 9th level spell, it reminds me of the first edition shadow dragon, and the spell is similar in power to most 9th level spells. good job.

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    There is a much easier way to make that Undead this spell creates with all class abilities by either making the undead come back as a Necropolitan (Libris Mortis), which keeps it's abilities and stats save con, or as a Bone or Corpse Creature (Book of Vile Darkness) which do the same thing, or Juju Zombie (Unapproachable East) for the same again.

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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Awkward rounding overlap rules are awkward. Just make it do 1+(half your HD) negative levels with fort half, and you get the effect you want without the strange "memory" mechanics.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dante & Vergil View Post
    There is a much easier way to make that Undead this spell creates with all class abilities by either making the undead come back as a Necropolitan (Libris Mortis), which keeps it's abilities and stats save con, or as a Bone or Corpse Creature (Book of Vile Darkness) which do the same thing, or Juju Zombie (Unapproachable East) for the same again.
    The Book of Vile Darkness and Unapproachable East are both 3.0 books. I refuse to use that kind of material for 3.5 homebrew. Additionally, it would be problematic if your DM didn't have one of those books, while the animate dead spell and the skeleton/zombie template are Core, and the awaken undead spell is explained in full in the text.

    As for the Necropolitan, that template can only be applied to humanoids, if I remember correctly, so it's extremely limiting.

    I don't see why I should change it anyway, an awakened skeleton gets the job done exactly how I want it.

    Awkward rounding overlap rules are awkward. Just make it do 1+(half your HD) negative levels with fort half, and you get the effect you want without the strange "memory" mechanics.
    Alright.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2012-04-06 at 09:24 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Revised Energy Drain (3.5 Spell Fix, PEACH)

    A creature struck by your ray immediately receives a number of negative levels equal to half of its total HD +1.
    Problem. They can't be killed by this spell, at all.(Unless they are under level 4)


    Also, this is the current set up
    ranged touch attack->fortitude save for half->fortitude throw or permanent level loss.
    Just letting you know

    Can you make it Min 1/2 Caster level or something for the negative levels? Because as of now, a 4th level commoner wouldn't be killed by this spell. And by scaling it with their HD, its weaker.
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