A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    UristMcRandom's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Gender
    Male

    Default New Spell: Flesh Puppet

    Spoiler: Information
    Show
    Hey folks! This spell is my attempt to give low-level Necromancers a little bit more to do than debuffing enemies. I tried for a good combination of flavor and mechanics, providing a weak way to animate the dead before you gain access to Animate Dead. As always, let me know what you think!


    Flesh Puppet
    1st-level Necromancy
    Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when a small or medium creature within the spell's range that you can see drops to 0 hit points
    Range: 30 feet
    Components: V, S
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Class: Cleric, Wizard

    Threads of necromantic energy lash out from your fingers to animate a dying small or medium creature within range. The target must make a Constitution saving throw or die, leaving its corpse behind as a flesh puppet that you control. The puppet's hit point maximum is reduced to 0, and it gains temporary hit points equal to 1d6 + your spellcasting modifier. On your turn, you can manipulate the threads to direct the puppet to move (no action required, though the threads won't allow it to move out of the spell's range). You can also use your Action to direct the puppet to take the Attack action. The corpse uses your spellcasting attack bonus for its attack rolls.

    Each round at the end of your turn, the puppet takes 1 point of necrotic damage from the threads that bind it. This damage ignores any resistance or immunity that the creature may have had in life. When the temporary hit points provided by this spell are expended, or if you cast the spell again, the puppet crumbles to ash. You can also sever the threads at any time (no action required), which causes the puppet to crumble to ash regardless of its remaining temporary hit points.

    At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the number of temporary hit points granted by this spell increase by 1d6 for each slot level above 1st.
    Last edited by UristMcRandom; 2017-09-04 at 12:55 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
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: New Spell: Flesh Puppet

    I like it, it certainly would make low level necromancy a bit more interesting. Needs a little bit more development in some areas though, particularly the fact that as it stands you have no limit on the type or strength of creature you can animate, so as it stands you could be attacking with an Ancient Red Dragon corpse for a few rounds. Instead of having the spell slot advancement increase the temporary hit points I would suggest putting a hit die cap for the first level version of the spell, and have higher level spell slots increase the cap, with the temporary hit points being dependant on the hit die of the corpse you are animating. My other suggestion would be to shift it from a reaction to a bonus action and allow the spell to animate any corpse while still being able to use it on someone that is dying, kind of like an anti Spare the Dying, or maybe allow both options.

    I couldn't be a paladin, so I joined the U.S. Military.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: New Spell: Flesh Puppet

    The spell specifies small or medium creatures, so that puts dragons out of the picture anyway, but even without that limit I don't think the Ancient Red Dragon puppet is really a concern. If we use that as a stand-in for any strong creature, say illithid wizards or whatnot, I can think of no possible situation in which a first-level party solo kills a monster of that power to begin with, much less a situation where they kill said monster and still have another living enemy against whom the Dragon Puppet would be useful. Especially since you're dependent on said dragon surviving until your next turn with its 3 average HP.

    And even then, it's worth much less than you'd think as an ally - as I read it, the spell doesn't permit you to use the creature's unique actions, just the generic Attack action, which takes multiattack, breath weapons, auras, and any spellcasting off the table and just leaves you with a single bite or claw. A lot of damage, to be sure, but if you somehow kill an Ancient Red Dragon at low levels I think you're entitled to it.

    (And what kind if sensible necromancer, when provided with the opportunity to make a dracolich, just destroys that incredibly valuable corpse for a few seconds of combat superiority?)

    I actually think this is a really well-balanced and creative spell. I might bump the HP scaling up to 1d6+d6 per spell slot - this will never be worth casting from a 6th level slot, but as is I don't think I'd even spend a 2nd level slot on it. It's fine to be a little more conservative, though, most 1st level spells don't scale well and this is a really nice gap filler.
    Last edited by Sindeloke; 2017-09-04 at 12:25 AM.

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

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: New Spell: Flesh Puppet

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycan999 View Post
    I like it, it certainly would make low level necromancy a bit more interesting. Needs a little bit more development in some areas though, particularly the fact that as it stands you have no limit on the type or strength of creature you can animate, so as it stands you could be attacking with an Ancient Red Dragon corpse for a few rounds. Instead of having the spell slot advancement increase the temporary hit points I would suggest putting a hit die cap for the first level version of the spell, and have higher level spell slots increase the cap, with the temporary hit points being dependant on the hit die of the corpse you are animating. My other suggestion would be to shift it from a reaction to a bonus action and allow the spell to animate any corpse while still being able to use it on someone that is dying, kind of like an anti Spare the Dying, or maybe allow both options.
    Hey! Thanks for the input!

    It does specify that the reaction is taken when you see a small or medium creature drop to 0 hit points. I'll edit the spell description to clarify, and probably limit it to Humanoids and Beasts. I should also note that the spell requires that the target be dropped to 0 hit points, and that the odds of a low-level necromancer witnessing an Ancient Dragon's death while within 30 feet of said dragon and actually surviving the event are slim. I'm reluctant to tie the power level of the spell to Hit Dice since that's a largely obsolete term in 5th edition (especially when character power is concerned), though I suppose I could work something out related to CR (which seems to be the preferred term).

    I'm also hesitant to base the temporary hit points on the hit die of the creature you're animating. While that does make a certain amount of sense - a larger or more powerful corpse should realistically take longer to decay than, say, a Giant Rat or a Kobold - it creates potential imbalance if a necromancer should get lucky with a corpse more powerful than they should have been able to animate.

    To use your example: even if our level 1 necromancer manages to animate an Ancient Red Dragon, it's still going to be gone in a handful of rounds anyway, assuming it doesn't take any damage. Temporary HP for a 1st level slot is 1d4 (avg. 3) + spellcasting modifier (let's just go ahead and assume a 16 in Int, so +3), or 6 THP. That means that if the dragon takes no damage, it will disintegrate in 6 rounds, and if it does disintegrate, a hit by any halfway-competent fighter or barbarian should be more than enough to dust it in one hit anyway. I'm honestly tempted to increase the die to a d6 just to give the flesh puppet enough durability to be a viable minion rather than a short-lived meatshield.

    I'm not entirely opposed to changing the spell to a bonus action, though I don't want to open the spell up to targeting any corpse, just for fluff reasons. The way I'm envisioning this effect, you've not mastered your ability to simulate biological functions with necromantic energy, and though you manage to temporarily imbue some semblance of life (the temporary hit points) into the puppet, the effect is short-lived and ultimately destructive (hence the quick decay of the flesh puppets created by the spell). The spell requires the corpse be fresh because anything older would decay too quickly under the strain of the energy to be a viable puppet.

    If I make the spell a bonus action spell, the target would still be required to have 0 hit points (and thus technically be alive, if unconscious, although traditionally 0 hit points means instant death for NPCs). The Wisdom saving throw would likely be changed to Constitution (and, in fact, probably will be changed regardless of anything else I've said) - when the necromantic threads attach, the victim has one last chance to shake off the corruption before their very soul is driven from the body and cast into the afterlife.
    Quote Originally Posted by OctoberRaven View Post
    "It's a fireball. It's basically a magic hand grenade."
    My Homebrew

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    UristMcRandom's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: New Spell: Flesh Puppet

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindeloke View Post
    The spell specifies small or medium creatures, so that puts dragons out of the picture anyway, but even without that limit I don't think the Ancient Red Dragon puppet is really a concern. If we use that as a stand-in for any strong creature, say illithid wizards or whatnot, I can think of no possible situation in which a first-level party solo kills a monster of that power to begin with, much less a situation where they kill said monster and still have another living enemy against whom the Dragon Puppet would be useful. Especially since you're dependent on said dragon surviving until your next turn with its 3 average HP.

    And even then, it's worth much less than you'd think as an ally - as I read it, the spell doesn't permit you to use the creature's unique actions, just the generic Attack action, which takes multiattack, breath weapons, auras, and any spellcasting off the table and just leaves you with a single bite or claw. A lot of damage, to be sure, but if you somehow kill an Ancient Red Dragon at low levels I think you're entitled to it.

    (And what kind if sensible necromancer, when provided with the opportunity to make a dracolich, just destroys that incredibly valuable corpse for a few seconds of combat superiority?)

    I actually think this is a really well-balanced and creative spell. I might bump the HP scaling up to 1d6+d6 per spell slot - this will never be worth casting from a 6th level slot, but as is I don't think I'd even spend a 2nd level slot on it. It's fine to be a little more conservative, though, most 1st level spells don't scale well and this is a really nice gap filler.
    Hey there! Thanks for popping in!

    If you read my post addressing Lycan, I was actually considering bumping the temporary hit points to a d6 instead of a d4. Given that there's now two people of that opinion, I think it's safe to do. I'm also changing the Wisdom save to a Constitution save, and probably reiterating the requirement of the creature being small or medium just for clarity.




    Update:
    • Saving throw changed to Constitution
    • Spell description now clarifies target must be small or medium
    • Temp. HP now 1d6+casting stat, scaling at +1d6 per level above 1st
    • Clarified spell description - the puppet takes its 1 point of damage at the end of your turn, so if it has 1 THP left, you can milk one last attack out of it before it crumbles.
    Last edited by UristMcRandom; 2017-09-04 at 12:56 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by OctoberRaven View Post
    "It's a fireball. It's basically a magic hand grenade."
    My Homebrew

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: New Spell: Flesh Puppet

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindeloke View Post
    The spell specifies small or medium creatures, so that puts dragons out of the picture anyway, but even without that limit I don't think the Ancient Red Dragon puppet is really a concern. If we use that as a stand-in for any strong creature, say illithid wizards or whatnot, I can think of no possible situation in which a first-level party solo kills a monster of that power to begin with, much less a situation where they kill said monster and still have another living enemy against whom the Dragon Puppet would be useful. Especially since you're dependent on said dragon surviving until your next turn with its 3 average HP.

    And even then, it's worth much less than you'd think as an ally - as I read it, the spell doesn't permit you to use the creature's unique actions, just the generic Attack action, which takes multiattack, breath weapons, auras, and any spellcasting off the table and just leaves you with a single bite or claw. A lot of damage, to be sure, but if you somehow kill an Ancient Red Dragon at low levels I think you're entitled to it.

    (And what kind if sensible necromancer, when provided with the opportunity to make a dracolich, just destroys that incredibly valuable corpse for a few seconds of combat superiority?)

    I actually think this is a really well-balanced and creative spell. I might bump the HP scaling up to 1d6+d6 per spell slot - this will never be worth casting from a 6th level slot, but as is I don't think I'd even spend a 2nd level slot on it. It's fine to be a little more conservative, though, most 1st level spells don't scale well and this is a really nice gap filler.
    You are absolutely right, I completely overlooked that part. And I would agree that it would be a complete waste of a good corpse, it was just the first example that came to mind. With that I can't think of anything else to add. I might be asking to use this in my own homebrew at some point.

    I couldn't be a paladin, so I joined the U.S. Military.

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

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: New Spell: Flesh Puppet

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycan999 View Post
    You are absolutely right, I completely overlooked that part. And I would agree that it would be a complete waste of a good corpse, it was just the first example that came to mind. With that I can't think of anything else to add. I might be asking to use this in my own homebrew at some point.
    By all means! All I ask is that you link back to me as the creator of the spell.
    Quote Originally Posted by OctoberRaven View Post
    "It's a fireball. It's basically a magic hand grenade."
    My Homebrew

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •