A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    UristMcRandom's Avatar

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    Default New Spell: Shadow Clones [PEACH]

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    Shamelessly stolen from Naruto.

    Some potential issues I'm considering already:
    • This spell might be totally broken from the get-go, since it's balanced for an anime protagonist and not a D&D character. Would bumping it to 9th level and cutting the higher levels option be better?
    • Should clones be allowed to cast Concentration spells? Or should that count as breaking your concentration?
    • The spell has a little bit of use for utility (two heads are better than one and all that). Should it get a ritual tag? Or would the long duration just encourage stopping for 10 minutes every hour to keep your clone army strong?
    • Should shadow clones get a share of an encounter's EXP? They're effectively additional PCs, just with fewer hit points. But would the spell have any use if doubling the size of the party halves the EXP gained by the actual heroes?



    Shadow Clones
    8th-level illusion
    Casting Time: 1 action
    Range: 60 feet
    Components: V, S
    Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
    Class: Bard, Warlock

    You create 1d4 + your spellcasting ability modifier illusory clones of yourself that last for the duration, infusing them with material from the plane of shadow to make them seem real. The shadow clones appear in a dispensation of your choosing within the spell's range. The shadow clones have 1/4 of your maximum Hit Points, and are equipped with shadow-infused illusory copies of any items you are carrying when the spell is cast.

    On your turn you can direct the shadow clones to move and take actions by subconscious will (no action required). The shadow clones can perform any action you can, including casting any spells that you know and have prepared. You and your shadow clones share a common pool of resources (including such things as bardic inspiration uses, ki points, superiority dice, sorcery points, rages, and spell slots, but not including hit points or ammunition).

    If you use this spell to cast multiple spells of 1st level or higher on your turn, you must first make a Constitution saving throw. The DC for this save is 10 + 1 per level of spell being cast (thus the DC for casting two 1st-level spells is 12, the DC for a 2nd-level spell and a 5th-level spell is 17, etc.). Failure on this saving throw causes the spells to fail, and the spell slots to be lost.

    When a shadow clone is reduced to 0 hit points, it vanishes in a puff of smoke. If a shadow clone is damaged but not reduced to 0 hit points, it must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC equal to 10 or half the damage the shadow clone took, whichever number is higher. If it fails the save, it vanishes in a puff of smoke.

    At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a 9th level spell slot, you no longer need to concentrate on the spell for it to last its full duration. You can still choose to end the spell at any time (no action required).
    Last edited by UristMcRandom; 2016-12-29 at 01:03 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by OctoberRaven View Post
    "It's a fireball. It's basically a magic hand grenade."
    My Homebrew

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: New Spell: Shadow Clones [PEACH]

    This is op. By casting 1 spell, even at 8th level, you are at least doubling your action economy and potentially getting 5x the action economy for an hour. Get into boss fight, cast 5 spells in the first turn. Boss fight over.

    This needs to be reduced to 1 min duration so there is an action opportunity cost (spend first round of combat casting it and can only use it for one fight). Have it create 1 duplicate and 2 as 9th level. And under no circumstance should this ever be a ritual. Given those caveats you could allow each copy their own concentration on spells. I think that would be much more balanced.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Dec 2015

    Default Re: New Spell: Shadow Clones [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by clash View Post
    This is op. By casting 1 spell, even at 8th level, you are at least doubling your action economy and potentially getting 5x the action economy for an hour. Get into boss fight, cast 5 spells in the first turn. Boss fight over.
    Well yeah, biggest nova ever. But isn't as bad as this knee-jerk reaction makes it out to be, and there is a much better fix than nerfing the number of clones. Since you did shameless take from Naruto, it would ruin the flavor to reduce clones.

    This needs to be reduced to 1 min duration so there is an action opportunity cost (spend first round of combat casting it and can only use it for one fight). Have it create 1 duplicate and 2 as 9th level. And under no circumstance should this ever be a ritual. Given those caveats you could allow each copy their own concentration on spells. I think that would be much more balanced.
    So I agree with the 1 minute duration thing.

    But here are some other ways to lower the spell-spammy-ness of it, without reducing your spare ninjas wizards, in no particular order or precedence (i.e. they do not need to be used together, but using one or two is advised):

    • They're acting on your initiative and using your spell slots? Sounds like the 1-non-cantrip-per-turn thing can apply here!
    • Give them their own initiative, that way they're more like hirelings that share your spell slots and abilities.
    • Make them immediately poof away upon taking 10 or more damage in one hit (they were SOMEWHAT able to defend themselves in Naruto). If you can cast a level 8 spell, you're fighting lots of things that do more than 10 damage per hit.
    • Increase the cost of casting so many spells per turn: you have to make a CON Save for each spell of levels 1-9 you or a clone cast beyond the first on your turn. DC = 10+Spell Slot level. Fail = gain exhaustion level and spell is wasted.
    • Maybe just go nutz with spells, but the clones don't get to add proficiency to spell attacks or Save DCs (rendering their spellcasting skill more like a level 1 character). Good luck spamming True Polymorph with a 13 Save DC.


    As I said, this is just a list of possibilities. There is no set in stone way to make it work. It needs something to address that cast-all-the-fireballs-in-one-turn thing, though that would be the coolest thing to narrate, ever.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    UristMcRandom's Avatar

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    Default Re: New Spell: Shadow Clones [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by clash View Post
    This is op. By casting 1 spell, even at 8th level, you are at least doubling your action economy and potentially getting 5x the action economy for an hour. Get into boss fight, cast 5 spells in the first turn. Boss fight over.

    This needs to be reduced to 1 min duration so there is an action opportunity cost (spend first round of combat casting it and can only use it for one fight). Have it create 1 duplicate and 2 as 9th level. And under no circumstance should this ever be a ritual. Given those caveats you could allow each copy their own concentration on spells. I think that would be much more balanced.
    Quote Originally Posted by SilverStud View Post
    Well yeah, biggest nova ever. But isn't as bad as this knee-jerk reaction makes it out to be, and there is a much better fix than nerfing the number of clones. Since you did shameless take from Naruto, it would ruin the flavor to reduce clones.



    So I agree with the 1 minute duration thing.

    But here are some other ways to lower the spell-spammy-ness of it, without reducing your spare ninjas wizards, in no particular order or precedence (i.e. they do not need to be used together, but using one or two is advised):

    • They're acting on your initiative and using your spell slots? Sounds like the 1-non-cantrip-per-turn thing can apply here!
    • Give them their own initiative, that way they're more like hirelings that share your spell slots and abilities.
    • Make them immediately poof away upon taking 10 or more damage in one hit (they were SOMEWHAT able to defend themselves in Naruto). If you can cast a level 8 spell, you're fighting lots of things that do more than 10 damage per hit.
    • Increase the cost of casting so many spells per turn: you have to make a CON Save for each spell of levels 1-9 you or a clone cast beyond the first on your turn. DC = 10+Spell Slot level. Fail = gain exhaustion level and spell is wasted.
    • Maybe just go nutz with spells, but the clones don't get to add proficiency to spell attacks or Save DCs (rendering their spellcasting skill more like a level 1 character). Good luck spamming True Polymorph with a 13 Save DC.


    As I said, this is just a list of possibilities. There is no set in stone way to make it work. It needs something to address that cast-all-the-fireballs-in-one-turn thing, though that would be the coolest thing to narrate, ever.
    Thanks for the critique! I changed the spell to only last a minute and took it off the Wizard and Sorcerer lists. The only reason I had it on Wizard was for Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters to access, but they don't get 8th-level Wizard spells, and I'm not really sure why the Sorcerer had it, since it doesn't really fit the fluff or mechanics of the class. I changed the text so that the clones make their own Concentration saves to avoid dying when they get hit.

    I added a paragraph where multiple uses of resources forces a Concentration check to maintain the spell. The DC is calculated so that trying to go nova should result in a DC that's fairly difficult to make, but I may need to double-check my math.

    I'll work more on balance tomorrow. Considering replacing the 9th-level double-all-the-clones with removing the concentration requirement, except in the case of an individual clone taking damage or multiple clones attempting to go nova.
    Last edited by UristMcRandom; 2016-11-21 at 10:49 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: New Spell: Shadow Clones [PEACH]

    I didn't even think of the Concentration thing! That's a good fix.

    I do, however, think a few other things about it.

    Firstly, I think that spells that take slots should be limited, but not cantrips. Adding 3/4 to a DC is weird, but really if your copywizards can't cantrip and can't cast spells, what are they gonna do? Swarm and swing staves? There is no point in summoning up to nine extra wizards if you can't even cast that many extra cantrips.

    Secondly, there is no need to limit the multiclass resource spending. You have to be a 15th level spellcaster to have 8th level spells. That means you get a max of five levels in a different class if you want to also cast this spell. Monks don't have any of their scariest high-cost ki abilities, rage really isn't that potent, bardic inspiration doesn't really benefit from mass-use, and superiority dice are situational. To cap it all off, with 5 levels in another class, you won't even have ten of these other class resources! Since the clones share your class resources, you never need to worry about all nine clones using Flurry of Blows, for instance, because you simply don't have enough Ki to go around. Don't screw the caster over even more with a DC to use their smaller abilities.

    Finally, does that DC stack over the course of your turn? So if four clones each cast a 1st level spell, each save is DC 11, DC 11, DC 11, DC11? Or is it 11, 12, 13, 14? I personally think it should be the former. Really there's only a few purposes for casting this spell: Overwhelm (i.e. NOVA THE CRAP OUT OF THEM), confuse and surprise, confuse and escape, etc........

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Dec 2016

    Default Re: New Spell: Shadow Clones [PEACH]

    Still not even close to being as powerful as 'Conjure Woodland Beings'. And that's a 4th level spell.

    Maybe giving them a set list of spells instead of whatever spells the PC has would help. That way you can manualy control how powerful they are at the design stage. There's probably a few spells that you have overlooked that if all cast at the same time a game breakingly broken.

    Either way though, its a pretty cool spell, and high level enough for any of the overpoweredness to be generaly par the course anyway for 5e

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    UristMcRandom's Avatar

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    Default Re: New Spell: Shadow Clones [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverStud View Post
    I didn't even think of the Concentration thing! That's a good fix.

    I do, however, think a few other things about it.

    Firstly, I think that spells that take slots should be limited, but not cantrips. Adding 3/4 to a DC is weird, but really if your copywizards can't cantrip and can't cast spells, what are they gonna do? Swarm and swing staves? There is no point in summoning up to nine extra wizards if you can't even cast that many extra cantrips.

    Secondly, there is no need to limit the multiclass resource spending. You have to be a 15th level spellcaster to have 8th level spells. That means you get a max of five levels in a different class if you want to also cast this spell. Monks don't have any of their scariest high-cost ki abilities, rage really isn't that potent, bardic inspiration doesn't really benefit from mass-use, and superiority dice are situational. To cap it all off, with 5 levels in another class, you won't even have ten of these other class resources! Since the clones share your class resources, you never need to worry about all nine clones using Flurry of Blows, for instance, because you simply don't have enough Ki to go around. Don't screw the caster over even more with a DC to use their smaller abilities.

    Finally, does that DC stack over the course of your turn? So if four clones each cast a 1st level spell, each save is DC 11, DC 11, DC 11, DC11? Or is it 11, 12, 13, 14? I personally think it should be the former. Really there's only a few purposes for casting this spell: Overwhelm (i.e. NOVA THE CRAP OUT OF THEM), confuse and surprise, confuse and escape, etc........
    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest Critic View Post
    Still not even close to being as powerful as 'Conjure Woodland Beings'. And that's a 4th level spell.

    Maybe giving them a set list of spells instead of whatever spells the PC has would help. That way you can manualy control how powerful they are at the design stage. There's probably a few spells that you have overlooked that if all cast at the same time a game breakingly broken.

    Either way though, its a pretty cool spell, and high level enough for any of the overpoweredness to be generaly par the course anyway for 5e
    And I'm back! Once again, thank you for the critique.

    I'm cutting the spell's range to 60 feet. Since there's no clause that the shadow clones have to remain within range of you, being able to spawn a clone army up to 200 feet away is a little ridiculous.

    Clarifying the text on how concentration checks forced by nova-ing spells are calculated. Removing penalties for using multiclass resources (although they are still shared). If implemented properly, I shouldn't have to restrict what spells the 'clones can use, but we'll see.
    Quote Originally Posted by OctoberRaven View Post
    "It's a fireball. It's basically a magic hand grenade."
    My Homebrew

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Dec 2016

    Default Re: New Spell: Shadow Clones [PEACH]

    How about if the clones cast a spell of 1st level or higher, they immediately discorporate after the results of the casting? Simple wham, bam, thank you ma'am.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: New Spell: Shadow Clones [PEACH]

    This is far to stronger then any other conjecture spell. They only have 10 HP and can only cast spell from you spell know and only up to 3rd lv using your spell slots. You copy any equipment you are wearing but if it magic the items on the clones are not magic and don't have the same magic effects as the original item. If you want a stronger feeling just prep a lot of simulacrums and when you need them use a gate spell or teleport spell to get them to you.

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