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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

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    In my quest to become better at homebrewing, I decided to go for something a little smaller and make a spell. The concept isn't a new one - a mage using their magic energy to block incoming damage.

    Mechanically, I started with the Goliath's Stone's Endurance ability. Because it can be used more than once per short/long rest, and because it protects from more than one attack, I decreased the die from a d12 to a d8. I've tentatively put the spell on the Bard, Sorcerer, and Wizard lists. I originally had it on the Warlock list too, but it felt like it stepped on the toes of Armor of Agathys.


    Mana Shield
    1st-level abjuration
    Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you're about to take damage, but before that damage is rolled.
    Range: Self
    Components: V, S
    Duration: 1 round
    Class: Bard, Sorcerer, Wizard

    A translucent bubble of magical energy surrounds you and shields you from damage. You gain temporary hit points equal to 2d8 + your spellcasting ability modifier. Any temporary hit points not lost to damage are lost at the start of your next turn.

    At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the number of temporary hit points gained increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 1st.
    Last edited by UristMcRandom; 2016-05-08 at 03:58 PM.
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    I'd make it 2d8 HP, scaling by 1d8 per level. As it is, it's REALLY weak, especially when you have Shield to make it into a complete miss. (Though this does work against AoE abilities.)
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    It's pretty much cure light wounds as a reaction. Given that it happens from being hit the chance of reduced value as the hp is temp is pretty slim. At low levels it's ok because of limited spell slots, but at mid to high levels it's nifty, but why not stick with shield?
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    I'd make it 2d8 HP, scaling by 1d8 per level. As it is, it's REALLY weak, especially when you have Shield to make it into a complete miss. (Though this does work against AoE abilities.)
    Done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Final Hyena View Post
    It's pretty much cure light wounds as a reaction. Given that it happens from being hit the chance of reduced value as the hp is temp is pretty slim. At low levels it's ok because of limited spell slots, but at mid to high levels it's nifty, but why not stick with shield?
    About the only reason you wouldn't stick with Shield at the moment is that this also protects from AoE abilities. Would it be better if I removed or extended the duration?
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    The duration is fine. It's just a very temporary shield.

    Maybe make it Concentration (up to one minute)?
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    The duration is fine. It's just a very temporary shield.

    Maybe make it Concentration (up to one minute)?
    Maybe, except the main function of the spell is to soak up damage when you're hit. Wouldn't the spell risk dropping every time it takes a hit if it was a Concentration spell? Of course, that does add an element of risk to its use.
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    Add a note that you take damage, then take a concentration check?
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Add a note that you take damage, then take a concentration check?
    I could also convert it from temporary HP to damage reduction like Stone's Endurance. Something like this:

    A translucent bubble of magical energy surrounds you and shields you from damage. Roll 2d6 and add your spellcasting ability modifier. For the duration of the spell, any damage you take is reduced by that amount.

    At Higher Levels. When you cast the spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you roll an additional 1d6 per slot level above 1st.
    That would allow the same general effect (assuming I understand you correctly) without any special rules.

    ...and I just realized that this spell may make Abjuration specialist Wizards a bit overpowered. I wasn't aware of their Arcane Ward feature, which by all appearances would stack with this spell rather nicely.
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    That's a LOT more powerful, since it reduces that amount from every attack. I'd stick to THP.
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    That's a LOT more powerful, since it reduces that amount from every attack. I'd stick to THP.
    Alright, switching back to THP should prevent it from breaking with Arcane Ward. Since the spell's primary advantage over Shield is its ability to affect AoE effects, should I adjust the trigger condition to just be "when you're about to take damage but before the damage is rolled"? That way Area effects will trigger it too, not just attack rolls.
    Last edited by UristMcRandom; 2016-05-08 at 03:56 PM.
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    "It's a fireball. It's basically a magic hand grenade."
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by UristMcRandom View Post
    Alright, switching back to THP should prevent it from breaking with Arcane Ward. Since the spell's primary advantage over Shield is its ability to affect AoE effects, should I adjust the trigger condition to just be "when you're about to take damage but before the damage is rolled"? That way Area effects will trigger it too, not just attack rolls.
    Yis. That sounds like a good idea.
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Yis. That sounds like a good idea.
    Alright, done. How's that look?
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    Looks good to me.

    One thing, though-do you want this to, if it totally negates damage, avoid you having to take a concentration check for any active spells?
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Looks good to me.

    One thing, though-do you want this to, if it totally negates damage, avoid you having to take a concentration check for any active spells?
    I don't believe so. It requires Verbal and Somatic components, so basically the idea is that you're throwing up your arms and projecting a bubble of energy to protect yourself from immediate harm, which can cause you to break your concentration.
    Last edited by UristMcRandom; 2016-05-08 at 04:19 PM.
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    Then all is good.
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    Okay, one last question: is the condition "but before the damage is rolled" necessary? My logic is that it prevents the brand of strategy that would wait to see if the enemy will roll high for damage before choosing to expend a spell slot to block it, but I'm debating whether blocking that particular strategy is necessary.
    Last edited by UristMcRandom; 2016-05-08 at 04:21 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by OctoberRaven View Post
    "It's a fireball. It's basically a magic hand grenade."
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    It's gonna vary table to table. Some tables roll in the open, so that's a valid tactic. Others roll in secret, so they have no idea how deadly any given attack is.
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    Default Re: New Spell: Mana Shield [PEACH]

    I'm going to leave it as-is. It's slightly more problematic for a PbP, but even that has workarounds ("If Aggak takes damage this round, he'll cast Mana Shield"), so it should be fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by OctoberRaven View Post
    "It's a fireball. It's basically a magic hand grenade."
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