A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Spoiler: Acrobatics (replacing Jump)
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    Acrobatics
    Transmutation
    Level: Bard 1, Ranger 1, Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: One willing creature
    Duration: 1 hour/level (D)
    Saving Throw: Fortitude negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    Your magic imbues the warrior with tremendous grace. Even clad in full plate, he can now move through the battle as though he were a dancer.

    The target gains a +10 competence bonus on Balance, Jump, and Tumble checks (and may use those skills untrained).

    The competence bonus increases to +20 at caster level 5th, and to +30 (the maximum) at caster level 9th.

    Spoiler: Alter Person (replacing Alter Self), Mass Alter Person
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    Alter Person
    Transmutation [Polymorph]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 2
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: One willing humanoid
    Duration: 1 hour/level (D)
    Saving Throw: Fortitude negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    "Time for a change."

    The target assumes assume the form of a humanoid creature. The new form must be within one size category of the target's normal size. The maximum HD of an assumed form is equal to your caster level, to a maximum of 5 HD at 5th level. You can change the target into a member of its own kind or even into itself.

    The target retains all the statistics and abilities of its normal form (including type and subtypes), except for those requiring a body part that the new form does not have (such as a mouth for a breath weapon or eyes for a gaze attack). The target cannot take the form of any creature with a template, even if that template doesnít change the creature type or subtype.

    If the new form is capable of speech, the target can communicate normally. The target retains any spellcasting ability it had in its original form, but the new form must be able to speak intelligibly (that is, speak a language) to use verbal components and must have limbs capable of fine manipulation to use somatic or material components.

    The target acquires some of the physical qualities of the new form while retaining its own mind. These qualities include:
    • Size category.
    • The aquatic subtype and amphibious special quality.
    • Darkvision, low-light vision, and scent.
    • Nonmagical movement capabilities (walking, climbing, swimming, and flying). No movement speed can exceed twice the base land speed of the target's normal form, and the target cannot have a maneuverability better than clumsy when flying.
    • Racial skill bonuses (only on Listen, Spot, Survival, and checks based on physical ability scores).
    • Any gross physical qualities (presence or absence of wings, number of extremities, and so forth). A body with extra limbs does not allow the target to make more attacks (or more advantageous two-weapon attacks) than normal.


    The target does not gain any extraordinary, supernatural, or spell-like special attacks or special qualities not noted above, such as natural armour, natural weapons, blindsense, blindsight, fast healing, regeneration, and so forth.

    You can freely designate the new formís minor physical qualities (such as hair color, hair texture, and skin color) within the normal ranges for a creature of that kind. The new formís significant physical qualities (such as height, weight, and gender) are also under your control, but they must fall within the norms for the new formís kind. The target is effectively disguised as an average member of the new formís race. If you use this spell to create a disguise, you get a +10 competence bonus on your Disguise check and you ignore the penalties for being disguised as a different race, gender, or age.

    When the change occurs, the target's equipment, if any, either remains worn or held by the new form (if it is capable of wearing or holding the item), or melds into the new form and becomes nonfunctional. When the target reverts to its true form, any objects previously melded into the new form reappear in the same location on the target's body they previously occupied and are once again functional. Any new items the target wore in the assumed form and canít wear in its normal form fall off and land at its feet; any that it could wear in either form or carry in a body part common to both forms at the time of reversion are still held in the same way. Any part of the body or piece of equipment that is separated from the whole reverts to its true form.

    Focus
    A small piece (e.g. tuft of hair, a few scales, etc.) from a creature of the race you wish the target to transform into. If you use the spell to impersonate a specific individual, viewers who are familiar with that creature do not get a bonus on their Spot checks if the material component came from the individual in question.

    Alter Person, Mass
    Transmutation [Polymorph]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 3
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: One willing creature/level
    Duration: 1 day/level (D)
    Saving Throw: Fortitude negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    This spell functions as alter person, save that it affects one creature per caster level and lasts one day per caster level.
    See also the Polymorph subschool.

    Spoiler: Amphibiousness (replacing Water Breathing)
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    Amphibiousness
    Transmutation [Polymorph]
    Level: Druid 1, Ranger 1, Sor/Wiz 1, Water 1
    Components: V, S, F/DF
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: One willing creature/level; see text
    Duration: 1 day/level (D); see text
    Saving Throw: Fortitude negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    The merfolk wizard's magic plays over your party, and large iridescent auras form around each of you. You steel your nerves and leap off the ship's side, plunging down into the emerald depths.

    The targets of this spell gain the amphibious special quality (they can breathe both air and water freely, regardless of whichever they breathed originally, and survive on land or underwater indefinitely). The spell does not alter the base land or swim speeds of the targets.

    You may double, triple, or even quadruple the number of targets by reducing the duration appropriately.

    This spell generally works by effecting physical transformations (e.g. granting gills or lungs). At your option it instead conjures bubble "helmets" of air for land creatures that venture underwater, or envelops aquatic creatures with smooth "sheaths" of water while on land. It loses the [Polymorph] descriptor if cast in this way.

    Arcane Focus Component
    A small green glass figurine of a frog, toad, lungfish, seahag, or similar creature.

    Spoiler: Athletics (replacing Spiderclimb)
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    Athletics
    Transmutation
    Level: Druid 1, Paladin 1, Ranger 1, Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: One willing creature
    Duration: 1 hour/level (D)
    Saving Throw: Fortitude negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    Your magic imbues the warrior with even greater physical prowess. Even clad in full plate, he can now climb and swim with ease.

    The target gains a climb speed equal to one-half its base land speed, and a swim speed equal to twice its base land speed. It gains a +10 competence bonus on Climb and Swim checks and may always choose to take 10 on those checks, even if rushed or threatened. It may use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

    If the target already possesses a swim speed, it instead gains a land speed equal to one-half its base swim speed (to a maximum of 30 feet).

    The competence bonus on increases to +20 at caster level 5th, and to +30 (the maximum) at caster level 9th.

    Spoiler: Charm Person
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    Charm Person
    Enchantment (Charm)[Mind-Affecting]
    Level: Brd 1, Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
    Target: One humanoid creature
    Duration: One hour/level
    Saving Throw: Will negates
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    "Any friend of yours is a friend of mine!"

    This charm makes a humanoid creature more likely to trust you and your allies. You gain a +10 competence bonus on Diplomacy checks made to influence that creature's attitude, and it always counts as "wanting to believe you" during Bluff checks (-5 penalty to the creature's Sense Motive check). Anyone you introduce to the target as a friend or ally gains these benefits against the target, as well.

    If the creature is currently being threatened or attacked by you or your allies, it receives a +5 bonus on its saving throw. Any act by you or your apparent allies that threatens the charmed person breaks the spell. You must speak the personís language to communicate your intentions, or else be good at pantomiming.

    The competence bonus on Diplomacy checks increases to +20 at caster level 5th, and to +30 (the maximum) at caster level 9th.

    Spoiler: Detect Thoughts
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    Detect Thoughts
    Divination [Mind-Affecting]
    Level: Knowledge 2, Sor/Wiz 2
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
    Area: Spherical emanation centred on you
    Duration: One hour/level
    Saving Throw: Will negates
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    "I sense a presence."

    You gain the ability to sense - and probe - the minds of other creatures. You are aware of the presence of hidden or invisible creatures within range, though you are limited to simply knowing the squares they are occupying (they retain any bonuses from concealment or invisibility).

    You may telepathically interrogate creatures in range, asking one question per round. The creatures need not answer truthfully, but you gain a bonus on Sense Motive checks against them (see below). Due to the limited nature of the telepathy you must speak a creatureís language to ask your questions, or else be good at pantomiming or visualising (or empathising).

    You gain a +10 competence bonus on Sense Motive checks against creatures in range.

    A creature that succeeds on a Will save against the spell is immune to its effects for the duration - you cannot sense its presence, mentally ask it questions, or gain a bonus on Sense Motive checks against it.

    The competence bonus on Sense Motive checks increases to +20 at caster level 7th, and to +30 (the maximum) at caster level 11th.

    Spoiler: Disguise Person (replacing Disguise Self), Mass Disguise Person
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    Disguise Person
    Illusion (Glamer)
    Level: Brd 1, Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: One willing humanoid
    Duration: 1 hour/level (D)
    Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    The perfect disguise.

    This spell allows the target to disguise itself as another creature of the same general size or body type - even a specific individual. The target gains a +10 competence bonus on Disguise checks for the chosen guise, and ignores the penalties to its Disguise check for being disguised as a different gender, race, or age category.

    If another creature crafted a disguise for the target, the bonus from the spell instead applies to the check of the disguise's creator.

    A creature need not have an actual physical disguise for this spell to work - the magic can alter the appearance of even an undisguised creature. However, it works best when enhancing a preexisting disguise.

    The competence bonus on Disguise checks increases to +20 at caster level 5th, and to +30 (the maximum) at caster level 9th.

    Disguise Person, Mass
    Illusion (Glamer)
    Level: Brd 2, Sor/Wiz 2
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: One willing creature/level
    Duration: 1 day/level (D)
    Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    This spell functions as disguise person, save that it affects one willing creature per level and lasts one day per level.

    Spoiler: Glitterdust
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    Glitterdust
    Conjuration
    Level: Bard 1, Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
    Target: Creatures and objects within 10-ft.-radius spread
    Duration: One minute/level
    Saving Throw: Reflex negates (dazzling only)
    Spell Resistance: No

    You cast the handful of sparkling powder - and it multiplies rapidly, filling the air with sparkling golden pixie dust and a merry musical tinkling sound.

    A cloud of golden particles covers everyone and everything in the area, causing creatures to become dazzled and visibly outlining invisible things for the duration of the spell. All within (or even only passing through) the cloud's area are covered by the dust, which cannot be removed and continues to sparkle until the spell ends (even if a creature or object leaves the cloud).

    A creature must make a Reflex save for each round it remains within (or passes through) the cloud to avoid being dazzled for the duration. A creature that fails its save remains dazzled for the duration even if it leaves the cloud.

    Any creature covered by the dust takes a -10 competence penalty on Hide and Move Silently checks. The competence penalty increases to -20 at caster level 5th, and to -30 (the maximum) at caster level 9th.

    Material Component
    Ground mica, pyrite (fool's gold), or a similar.

    Spoiler: Hat Trick (replacing Rope Trick)
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    Hat Trick
    Illusion (Shadow)
    Level: Bard 2, Sor/Wiz 2
    Components: V, S, F
    Casting Time: 1 minute
    Range: Touch
    Target: One touched hat
    Duration: 1 hour/level (D)
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No

    You finish the incantation, then peek into the hat's red velvet interior. Your party marvels as you somehow start to clamber into the hat -first one arm, then the other, then your head, body, and legs!

    "Come along now, it's quite safe!"


    You transform an ordinary hat into a temporary portal to the Plane of Shadow. For the duration of the spell any creature may crawl through the hat as a full-round action to appear at the corresponding point on the Plane of Shadow (or vice versa). The hat exists on both the Material and Shadow Planes even when the spell ends, allowing you to cast the spell even from the Shadow Plane to return safely. Moving the hat on one plane does not move the corresponding hat on the other plane.

    In this way, you may use the hat as a safe "place" to rest. However, repeated and excessive use of this spell may draw the attention of denizens of the Shadow, such as nightshades, night hags, or shadows). Additionally, unlike shadow walk this spell provides no special guidance while on the Shadow Plane, so characters who venture more than 30 feet from the point they arrived on the Shadow Plane quickly become hopelessly lost. Finally, although the hat is perfectly innocuous it can still be destroyed from either plane (rendering any subsequent travel via the same hat impossible).

    While the spell is active, a Spellcraft check (DC 22) identifies the hat as an active portal. This allows other creatures to follow your party through the hat (or destroy it), unless you take precautions to conceal it.

    Focus
    A black velvet top hat or similar.

    Spoiler: Invisibility
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    Invisibility
    Illusion (Glamer) [Invisibility]
    Level: Bard 1, Sor/Wiz 1, Trickery 1
    Components: V, S, F/DF
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: One willing creature
    Duration: 1 hour/level (D)
    Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
    Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

    The target of this spell becomes virtually transparent, gaining a +10 bonus on Hide checks. Any direct attack they make against another creature (e.g. a weapon attack or a damaging or [Death] spell, but not summoning a creature and ordering it to attack) immediately ends the spell.

    Additionally, the target may make Hide checks even while being observed or without anything to hide behind.

    The competence bonus on Hide checks increases to +20 at caster level 5th, and to +30 (the maximum) at caster level 9th.

    Arcane Material Component
    An eyelash encased in a bit of gum arabic.

    Spoiler: Knock
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    Knock
    Transmutation
    Level: Bard 2, Sor/Wiz 2
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: One door, box, or chest with an area of up to 10 sq. ft./level
    Duration: One minute/level
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No

    You speak an arcane password and rap the end of your staff on the on the formidable adamantine door. The barrier somehow seems more inviting, and you step back to let the rogue get to work.

    The knock spell helps to open stuck, barred, locked, held, or arcane locked doors. For the duration of the spell, any creature that attempts to open the target gains a +10 competence bonus on Open Lock checks (and may use that skill untrained).

    Knock affects secret doors, as well as locked or trick-opening boxes or chests. It also loosens welds, shackles, or chains (provided they serve to hold closures shut). Knock does not raise barred gates or similar impediments (such as a portcullis), nor does it affect ropes, vines, and the like. The effect is limited by the area. Each spell can undo as many as two means of preventing egress.

    If you or another creature are bound with nonmagical restraints (up to and including masterwork manacles), you may choose to cast this spell on those restraints to automatically undo them. The spell has no verbal or somatic components when you cast it in this way.

    The competence bonus on Open Lock checks increases to +20 at caster level 5th, and to +30 (the maximum) at caster level 9th.

    Knock counters and dispels arcane lock.

    Spoiler: Sleep
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    Shamelessly stolen from this thread. All due credit to JohnBragg and Retaliation08!

    Sleep
    Enchantment (Compulsion) [Mind-Affecting][Sleep]
    Level: Brd 1, Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
    Target: One or more living creatures within a 10-ft.-radius burst
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Will half
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    The bandits slow, stagger, and fall before your power.

    All living creatures in the area take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage per caster level (maximum 5d6). A successful Will save halves the damage.

    Material Component
    A pinch of fine sand, rose petals, or a live cricket.

    Deep Slumber
    Enchantment (Compulsion) [Mind-Affecting][Sleep]
    Level: Brd 3, Sor/Wiz 3
    Components: V, S
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft./level)
    Target: One or more living creatures within a 20-ft.-radius burst
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Will half
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    This spell functions as sleep, except as described above and it may deal a maximum of 10d6 points of nonlethal damage.

    Spoiler: Scrying
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    Scrying
    Divination (Scrying)
    Level: Brd 4, Clr 4, Drd 4, Pal 4, Rgr 4, Sor/Wiz 4
    Components: V, S, F, DF
    Casting Time: 24 hours
    Range: Touch
    Target: See text
    Duration: One round/level
    Saving Throw: Will negates; see text
    Spell Resistance: No

    You incant words of power and pass your hands over the scrying pool. The waters suddenly stir and glitter, reflecting visions of another place and time.

    You call upon the powers of magic to learn the answers to difficult questions or even to glimpse the future.

    You and any allies present gain a +10 competence bonus on Gather Information and Knowledge checks, and may make one such check (total) per round. The checks may relate to any creature, place, or thing - even subjects related to the distant future or long-forgotten past (though such checks may have appropriately high DCs).

    If you make checks relating to a particular creature, it is entitled to a Will save to prevent you from learning the answers. Additionally, on a successful save the creature is aware that someone attempted to scry on it.

    Focus
    A scrying device of some sort, upon which you and your allies focus your attention during the spellcasting. This may be a font of (un)holy water, a bubbling cauldron, a crystal ball, a polished mirror, a pool of water in a grotto, a special brew of herbs or smoke pipe consumed in a smoke hut, tea leaves in a cup, a deck of cards, a collection of bones or entrails, or any similar device or method.
    Last edited by rferries; 2019-03-05 at 12:18 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer "absolutes")

    Themes for these revisions:

    1) Fewer "absolutes" or broken spells. Charm person, invisibility, knock, etc. facilitate your party members' skills, rather than granting automatic success at a particular task. Alter self is now much less powerful.

    2) More "plot-facilitating" or "utility" spells. If your DM wants you to go underwater or infiltrate a drow city, you should be able to help your party breathe or disguise themselves without sacrificing your higher-level slots (especially given the reduced power of most of these spells).

    3) A couple more descriptors ([Polymorph], [Sleep]). A trivial issue but it allows more creativity and streamlining in other homebrew e.g. a cleric domain granting a caster level bonus for spells with the descriptor, race (e.g. elven sleep resistance) monster immunities to the descriptor, etc.

    4) Competence bonuses instead of enhancement bonuses for spell-aided skill checks (for symmetry with magic items).

    5) A minor point, but "more partial effects, less save-or-dies" (as Pathfinder is about to do with their revamp). Sleep deals fatigue and nonlethal damage even on a successful save and even for higher-level monsters, but won't effectively slay a creature on a failed save.

    6) Any other suggestions, for these or other "problem" spells? I probably went overboard with the retooling, as usual. Here are some other rough ideas I have:

    Antimagic Field - requires dispel check to suppress magic in the field (automatically suppresses your own magic, but might not beat that of your enemies)

    Blindness/Deafness- permanently dazzled even on a successful save.

    Grease - reduce the balance DC, give a bonus to Reflex saves.

    Polymorph - keep all your own ability scores except Strength (you aren't Dextrous in a form that isn't your own -except maybe with Natural Spell feat?, and you still have your own life-force (Constitution)). Also, can't have more natural attacks than iterative attacks you could make with your BAB, and natural armour is limited by your caster level.

    Suggestion- not automatic, instead gives bonus on a single Bluff check made by you and/or your allies.

    True Seeing- bonus on Spot/Search checks vs magical Disguises (DC = caster level of disguise).

    Wall of Force, Prismatic Wall, Prismatic Sphere - have hardness 10 + caster level, 10 hit points per caster level, and fast healing = caster level (very hard to break through without magic, but it can be done!).

    Wall of Iron/Stone - not permanent?

    Web - creatures can beat a grapple check ( = caster level + relevant spellcasting modifier) to power through.
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-04-01 at 05:49 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Jormengand's Avatar

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    1d3/level nonlethal and hours of fatigue on a passed save is pretty nasty. Exhaustion is also pretty close to removing most non-caster opponents from any relevance anyway, and may actually make them collapse in their own equipment. So really, it's a situational nerf and a situational buff, but all together it doesn't make sleep worse, just slightly more annoying to use.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    1d3/level nonlethal and hours of fatigue on a passed save is pretty nasty. Exhaustion is also pretty close to removing most non-caster opponents from any relevance anyway, and may actually make them collapse in their own equipment. So really, it's a situational nerf and a situational buff, but all together it doesn't make sleep worse, just slightly more annoying to use.
    Righto! I'd like to keep the nonlethal damage (with a save for half), would the spell be appropriate if I removed the fatigue/exhaustion effect? In hindsight even waves of fatigue is a 5th-level spell anyways so I'm not sure what I was thinking giving the effect to a 1st-level spell!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Why is jump unbalanced as is? IMO, it was worth learning at level 1 and level 9, literally no problem with it whatsoever.
    Spoiler: List of Things You Don't Need To Know
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    killing and eating a bag of rats is probably kosher.
    Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking), and your humility is stunning

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Quote Originally Posted by Goaty14 View Post
    Why is jump unbalanced as is? IMO, it was worth learning at level 1 and level 9, literally no problem with it whatsoever.
    Jump wasn't unbalanced (the thread title is a bit misleading, I also buffed some spells). It actually provided the basis for my revisions for the other spells (knock, charm person etc.) providing skill bonuses instead of their normal effects. For the "weaker" skills I buffed them by grouping them together in acrobatics and athletics, along with increased durations.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    So now I can spam hat trick to get high quality undead?(it does says repeated use but does not says it have to last over time so I can just cast it 50 times in a row(if have a wand of it then it can take only 5 minutes) to attract night shades fast)
    Last edited by noob; 2018-04-03 at 11:32 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    So now I can spam hat trick to get high quality undead?(it does says repeated use but does not says it have to last over time so I can just cast it 50 times in a row(if have a wand of it then it can take only 5 minutes) to attract night shades fast)
    Er, I don't quite get your meaning? You don't get control of the nightshades - they'll attack you if you abuse hat trick the way rope trick was abused (i.e. letting the party rest whenever they want without fear of ambushes).

    And since the nightshades are encountered on the Plane of Shadow, you can't use them to attack enemies on the Material Plane.
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-04-03 at 08:02 PM.

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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    I like the revised hat trick spell. I figure if you have the chops to turn nightshades into your minions, then letting you spam a 2nd level spell as bait for them isn't going to change anything important.

    One suggestion: I'd require the hat focus to be a specially prepared hat--the physical hat is the Achilles heel of the spell. Lose THE hat, and you're stuck on the Plane of Shadow until you can make another one.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    1d3/level nonlethal and hours of fatigue on a passed save is pretty nasty. Exhaustion is also pretty close to removing most non-caster opponents from any relevance anyway, and may actually make them collapse in their own equipment. So really, it's a situational nerf and a situational buff, but all together it doesn't make sleep worse, just slightly more annoying to use.
    In my thread that Rferries references, I adjusted it to a one-round daze effect on one failed save, and an extended daze (one minute per CL), broken by an ally's action, or by damage. Plus deleting the HD cap.

    Fatigue and exhaustion are related to sleep in the dictionary, not so much in 3X mechanics. I think daze is a better way to go, even at the expense of changing the spell from sleep to deeper daze. Deeper daze lets you pull stealthy shenanigans to your heart's content (hint: spamming it is a good way to make sure the target fails two saves eventually) without it setting up a coup-de-grace for anyone who fails a save. And daze on a partial save means that the caster didn't just waste their action--they spent it to neutralize the target's action.

    (I try to resist using conditions that require more long-term book-keeping between one encounter and another. So I'm not a fan of nonlethal damage, and I regret suggesting fatigue and exhaustion as partial-sleeps).

    Overall, this thread is one of Rferries' better efforts.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    One suggestion: I'd require the hat focus to be a specially prepared hat--the physical hat is the Achilles heel of the spell. Lose THE hat, and you're stuck on the Plane of Shadow until you can make another one.
    I'm not sure that's necessary - there's already a clause about being trapped if the hat is destroyed from either plane.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    (I try to resist using conditions that require more long-term book-keeping between one encounter and another. So I'm not a fan of nonlethal damage, and I regret suggesting fatigue and exhaustion as partial-sleeps).
    I admit I looked at these spells more from "how can the party abuse them against monsters", without thinking of how they'd be used against PCs. I've already reduced the sleep spells to just nonlethal damage, and for added simplicity I could add a clause "This nonlethal damage is automatically healed at the end of the encounter"?

    Overall, this thread is one of Rferries' better efforts.
    Haha thanks, but I'm probably going to squander all that good will with my upcoming Polymorph revamp. :D

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Er, I don't quite get your meaning? You don't get control of the nightshades - they'll attack you if you abuse hat trick the way rope trick was abused (i.e. letting the party rest whenever they want without fear of ambushes).

    And since the nightshades are encountered on the Plane of Shadow, you can't use them to attack enemies on the Material Plane.
    Nothing that stops rebuke cheese clerics from getting a nightshade as soon as they get a wand of hat trick.
    And then you just have to use hat trick on a big hat to transfer a nightshade to the material plane(basically you got a low level planar travel spell comparable to the travel clause of gate itself while before there was no low level options for planar travel)
    Also all the nightshades got the plane shift sla which allows planar travel.
    (do not forget that the plane of shadows is a plane for most purposes in many cosmologies)
    Last edited by noob; 2018-04-04 at 12:26 AM.

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Nothing that stops rebuke cheese clerics from getting a nightshade as soon as they get a wand of hat trick.
    And then you just have to use hat trick on a big hat to transfer a nightshade to the material plane(basically you got a low level planar travel spell comparable to the travel clause of gate itself while before there was no low level options for planar travel)
    Also all the nightshades got the plane shift sla which allows planar travel.
    (do not forget that the plane of shadows is a plane for most purposes in many cosmologies)
    The weakest nightshade is a nightwing - 17 HD, so a cleric would need to have an effective level of 34 to command it (and must also overcome the -6 penalty to turn checks of the nightwing's aura).

    IF the DM sends only the weakest nightshade at you (instead of a stronger one, or some other Shadow native that isn't undead at all), and

    IF the monster doesn't get the drop on your party (since they have no way to predict if or when its coming), and

    IF you have a cleric with the turning abilities of a high-epic character,

    ...then yes, you have a pet nightshade now. But I think you'll agree that's a bizarre set of circumstances? And probably a waste of the party's time - they should pump the cleric more and go hunting for an Atropal to enslave. :D

    Could you post the cleric build you mean? I can't envision a build where you'd have that amount of turning power, and not be of sufficiently level to plane shift (i.e. at 9th level) to the Shadow Plane yourself.
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-04-04 at 02:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    I don't like the hat trick because it is basically the same spell, and then adds a small little clause of angry-DM-sarcasm that says "If you use this spell to rest, I will TPK all of you!!1!".

    If the DM has a problem with the players using a spell, it's his job to tell them, not the spell. Call me a heretic, but rope trick was perfectly fine as is. If the DM had a problem because he was trying to have a bunch of goblins attack them in the night, then have the encounter wait for them outside in the area, or put a spike trap below the entrance (if the players weren't smart enough to pull in the rope with them). At higher levels using rope trick for rest becomes more or less irrelevant because of pulling an extradimensional space into a extradimensional space (which pulls the PCs into the Astral Plane, IIRC).

    Also, wouldn't putting the players on the plane of shadow instead of an extradimensional space be a really cheap plane shift?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    killing and eating a bag of rats is probably kosher.
    Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking), and your humility is stunning

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Quote Originally Posted by Goaty14 View Post
    I don't like the hat trick because it is basically the same spell, and then adds a small little clause of angry-DM-sarcasm that says "If you use this spell to rest, I will TPK all of you!!1!".

    If the DM has a problem with the players using a spell, it's his job to tell them, not the spell. Call me a heretic, but rope trick was perfectly fine as is. If the DM had a problem because he was trying to have a bunch of goblins attack them in the night, then have the encounter wait for them outside in the area, or put a spike trap below the entrance (if the players weren't smart enough to pull in the rope with them). At higher levels using rope trick for rest becomes more or less irrelevant because of pulling an extradimensional space into a extradimensional space (which pulls the PCs into the Astral Plane, IIRC).

    Also, wouldn't putting the players on the plane of shadow instead of an extradimensional space be a really cheap plane shift?
    Fair point, however the point of the revamp is to give "fair warning" to the PCs. Unlike the original spell, they are informed straight up that IF they abuse the spell there will be consequences.

    As for changing planes, technically the spell allows it but there's no benefit to doing so. Unlike shadow walk it doesn't allow you to navigate the plane, so you're either confined to your "campsite" or risk getting lost. (If this conflicts too much with the fluff I'm happy to revamp it to a different plane/space with similar risks).

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Fair point, however the point of the revamp is to give "fair warning" to the PCs. Unlike the original spell, they are informed straight up that IF they abuse the spell there will be consequences.

    As for changing planes, technically the spell allows it but there's no benefit to doing so. Unlike shadow walk it doesn't allow you to navigate the plane, so you're either confined to your "campsite" or risk getting lost. (If this conflicts too much with the fluff I'm happy to revamp it to a different plane/space with similar risks).
    You transform an ordinary hat into a temporary portal to the Plane of Shadow. For the duration of the spell any creature may crawl through the hat as a full-round action to appear at the corresponding point on the Plane of Shadow (or vice versa). The hat exists on both the Material and Shadow Planes even when the spell ends, allowing you to cast the spell even from the Shadow Plane to return safely.
    Nothing stops you from grabbing the shadow realm hat and traveling with it to be able to return to the material plane.
    So I make a hat on the material plane in the safest place ever(a random point in space while being the effect of divination protection spells) then cast hat trick and then explore the shadow realm by carrying around the shadow realm hat.(the only risk is that the material plane hat will move with the shadow plane hat so it is advised to have the material plane hat start in space really far from everything so that it does not dies when colliding with a wall that is not in the shadow realms)
    Last edited by noob; 2018-04-08 at 03:12 AM.

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Fair point, however the point of the revamp is to give "fair warning" to the PCs. Unlike the original spell, they are informed straight up that IF they abuse the spell there will be consequences.
    Yea, but that's my point -- The TEXT is giving the PCs warning when the DM should. The game/setting does not determine what is and isn't abuse. Heck, even a DM without problems with the players using it, might still end up throwing a nightshade at the PCs just because the text said so. The fact that it's calling out a specific creature -- a CR17 behemoth, does not make anything better.

    Here's what you should do: Just replace the nightshade thing with a footnote saying that the plane of shadow does not block other creatures from getting to the PCs. That way, Hat Trick can still be used as an escape tool, but if the PCs camp on the plane of shadow and the DM wanted to throw in a goblin encounter, then the aforementioned goblins could have a mage with hat trick still get in there. Or say the PCs are fighting a evil lich king, and the wizard pops hat trick to get in an reprepare his spells. The lich could pop his own hat trick to continue to attack the PCs. It would still be entirely the DM's discretion how safe the PCs were, but if he decided that they were abusing it, he wouldn't revert to sending in massively OP monsters at them.

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    As for changing planes, technically the spell allows it but there's no benefit to doing so. Unlike shadow walk it doesn't allow you to navigate the plane, so you're either confined to your "campsite" or risk getting lost. (If this conflicts too much with the fluff I'm happy to revamp it to a different plane/space with similar risks).
    As in, no benefit to going to the plane of shadow? It's still a free, low-level plane shift to a specific location. The only (ab)use to going to the plane of shadow AFAIK is that the Elder Evils book mentions that clerics gate survivors of the evils to the plane of shadow when the snake-evil gets close to them, but that's probably irrelevant for just about 90% of campaigns.
    Last edited by Goaty14; 2018-04-08 at 09:38 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    killing and eating a bag of rats is probably kosher.
    Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking), and your humility is stunning

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Nothing stops you from grabbing the shadow realm hat and traveling with it to be able to return to the material plane.
    So I make a hat on the material plane in the safest place ever(a random point in space while being the effect of divination protection spells) then cast hat trick and then explore the shadow realm by carrying around the shadow realm hat.(the only risk is that the material plane hat will move with the shadow plane hat so it is advised to have the material plane hat start in space really far from everything so that it does not dies when colliding with a wall that is not in the shadow realms)
    Aha, I admit I hadn't considered the PCs moving the hat around. I've added a clause that the hat remains in place, and that exploring the Shadow Plane is too dangerous by this spell alone.

    Incidentally, do you have a link to the rebuker cleric build you mentioned earlier? I'm quite interested.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goaty14 View Post
    Yea, but that's my point -- The TEXT is giving the PCs warning when the DM should. The game/setting does not determine what is and isn't abuse. Heck, even a DM without problems with the players using it, might still end up throwing a nightshade at the PCs just because the text said so. The fact that it's calling out a specific creature -- a CR17 behemoth, does not make anything better.
    I'd argue that mentioning the Shadow denizens DOES make things better - still heavy-handed, but not as heavy-handed as the pit trap etc you mentioned earlier. It's a case of replacing RAW (invincible rests, with unlimited uses) with RAI (near-invincible rests, within reason). Also, the nightshades are suggested creatures, not the only possible ones.

    Here's what you should do: Just replace the nightshade thing with a footnote saying that the plane of shadow does not block other creatures from getting to the PCs. That way, Hat Trick can still be used as an escape tool, but if the PCs camp on the plane of shadow and the DM wanted to throw in a goblin encounter, then the aforementioned goblins could have a mage with hat trick still get in there. Or say the PCs are fighting a evil lich king, and the wizard pops hat trick to get in an reprepare his spells. The lich could pop his own hat trick to continue to attack the PCs. It would still be entirely the DM's discretion how safe the PCs were, but if he decided that they were abusing it, he wouldn't revert to sending in massively OP monsters at them.
    I don't think I made it clear enough in the writeup - the portal stays open for the duration, so curious/malevolent creatures on the Material plane could enter the hat themselves if they think to do so. I'll make this explicit if you feel it's warranted (maybe with a clause that a Spellcraft check allows a creature to identify the hat as an active portal, and thereby ambush PCs anyways).

    As in, no benefit to going to the plane of shadow? It's still a free, low-level plane shift to a specific location. The only (ab)use to going to the plane of shadow AFAIK is that the Elder Evils book mentions that clerics gate survivors of the evils to the plane of shadow when the snake-evil gets close to them, but that's probably irrelevant for just about 90% of campaigns.
    I've added clauses in response to noob's comments, so I think this point is covered too. I'm still happy to replace the fluff with a different plane, or even simply an extradimensional space with a cumulative % chance (i.e. starts at 0%, +20% every time the spellcaster warps reality by casting the spell, resets to 0% every week) of being a psuedo-bag of devouring or of holding a hostile outsider. This would negate all the worries about the Shadow Plane specifically.
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-04-08 at 11:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    I'd argue that mentioning the Shadow denizens DOES make things better - still heavy-handed, but not as heavy-handed as the pit trap etc you mentioned earlier. It's a case of replacing RAW (invincible rests, with unlimited uses) with RAI (near-invincible rests, within reason). Also, the nightshades are suggested creatures, not the only possible ones.
    Are you saying the pit trap is worse!? The weakest nightshade (CR 14), or the strongest pit trap (CR 10) -- I'd take my chances with the pit trap any day of the week, and that's presuming your enemy can dig a 50ft hole in the first place.

    "Invincible" as in "invisible"? The window is invisible, and thus creatures with see invisibility (can be permanencied!), can see it, but I digress. Also unlimited uses until somebody affords and gets an extradimensional space, in which you have to either A) Leave the bag for some wandering monster to pick up, B) Sell it, because your party has decided to go the hard way and carry their items by hand, or C) Take it with you and warp into the astral plane... good luck even getting back to your home plane.

    Then, replace that with "RAI" (which... the DM could already do himself...) which is very specific that you should *probably* send in a TPK should the players abuse it (note: there is no clause for "reason" in that -- nothing in the text implies what exactly the nightshades do when they're attracted, but a chaotic evil alignment implies that the players "living" isn't within reason)

    Might I ask why you're suggesting the DM TPK the players? (CR 14 vs Lvl 3 players -- I know the CR system is borked, but they can't have been *that* wrong) A DM would already know that nightshades exist on the plane of shadow (and are thus a possibility), as with the rest of the denizens on there, but the description specifically calls out the ones that can TPK the players. On that note, I might be fine with that sort of clause (and the in-game NPCs knowing about it) in a setting where magic is very dangerous and could very well kill an unsuspecting mage, however, canon 3.5 nor any of the main settings are that way, and thus it shouldn't be that way.

    simply an extradimensional space with a cumulative % chance (i.e. starts at 0%, +20% every time the spellcaster warps reality by casting the spell, resets to 0% every week) of being a psuedo-bag of devouring or of holding a hostile outsider. This would negate all the worries about the Shadow Plane specifically.
    I don't have much concern with the players going to the plane of shadow -- I just mentioned that the worst thing I imagined the players doing with it is ferrying a bunch of civilians to escape an elder evil, which is probably a good thing, reasons being mostly that they're using the spell as intended. As I said before -- that *might* be an acceptable change in a volatile magic setting, but classic 3.5 isn't even near that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    killing and eating a bag of rats is probably kosher.
    Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking), and your humility is stunning

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Quote Originally Posted by Goaty14 View Post
    Are you saying the pit trap is worse!? The weakest nightshade (CR 14), or the strongest pit trap (CR 10) -- I'd take my chances with the pit trap any day of the week, and that's presuming your enemy can dig a 50ft hole in the first place.
    I should have specified- not worse in the sense of CR, worse in the sense of plot (i.e. what are the chances that a pit trap somehow appears under the rope trick, except by DM fiat?).

    "Invincible" as in "invisible"? The window is invisible, and thus creatures with see invisibility (can be permanencied!), can see it, but I digress. Also unlimited uses until somebody affords and gets an extradimensional space, in which you have to either A) Leave the bag for some wandering monster to pick up, B) Sell it, because your party has decided to go the hard way and carry their items by hand, or C) Take it with you and warp into the astral plane... good luck even getting back to your home plane.
    Not actually invincible, just effectively invincible (save for see invisibility opponents etc. as you mention). And once you can afford extradimensional spaces/mage's mansions etc. the rope trick cheat is irrelevant; hat trick is a fix for lower level play.

    Then, replace that with "RAI" (which... the DM could already do himself...) which is very specific that you should *probably* send in a TPK should the players abuse it (note: there is no clause for "reason" in that -- nothing in the text implies what exactly the nightshades do when they're attracted, but a chaotic evil alignment implies that the players "living" isn't within reason)
    The wording was originally "especially nightshades" but I've since switched it to "such as nightshades". In either case the DM can still send in other Shadow creatures (shadows, night hags I guess?) of a more appropriate CR to the party - or send a low level NPC party to track the PCs through the hat.

    Might I ask why you're suggesting the DM TPK the players? (CR 14 vs Lvl 3 players -- I know the CR system is borked, but they can't have been *that* wrong) A DM would already know that nightshades exist on the plane of shadow (and are thus a possibility), as with the rest of the denizens on there, but the description specifically calls out the ones that can TPK the players. On that note, I might be fine with that sort of clause (and the in-game NPCs knowing about it) in a setting where magic is very dangerous and could very well kill an unsuspecting mage, however, canon 3.5 nor any of the main settings are that way, and thus it shouldn't be that way.
    Again, at no point were nightshades the only suggested creature. Since spell descriptions are written to address the spellcaster, the text served as a warning to ambitious PCs ("your DM is entitled to mess you up if you abuse this spell, but if you play nice she won't").

    I've now added night hags and shadows as additional "options" for the DM.

    I don't have much concern with the players going to the plane of shadow -- I just mentioned that the worst thing I imagined the players doing with it is ferrying a bunch of civilians to escape an elder evil, which is probably a good thing, reasons being mostly that they're using the spell as intended. As I said before -- that *might* be an acceptable change in a volatile magic setting, but classic 3.5 isn't even near that.
    Ah I see. In any case it's no longer a problem as the spell now explicitly says you'll get lost if you use it to explore. Certainly this limited transport to another plane is no more magical than creating your own temporary mini-plane (with rope trick).

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Added detect thoughts and scrying (so many entries in my homebrew compilation that I'll have to start reorganising them haha).

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Alter Person, Mass is a bit too good: you can redeem evil outsiders in mass with ease thanks to that spell.(even the shapechanger subtype no longer protects you)(before you had to reach at least level 7 to start thinking about redeeming outsiders with an expensive item of continuous polymorph now you can redeem them from level 5 thanks to alter person mass)
    Amphibiousness prevents spellcasting unless you use a specific option for it to not be a polymorph spell.
    You should probably rewrite the spell to have that specific option be the main option and the old main option being a secondary option.
    Last edited by noob; 2019-03-06 at 01:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    With hat trick, I feel like a determined caster could put it to a bit more use than an extraplanar resting place, by the expedient of having multiple hats for use with the trick.

    One hat is purchased, used once to link it to a hat in the shadow plane, and then the material plane hat is left in a rented house or somewhere else that is relatively secure. Then, at the location of the shadow-plane hat, the caster casts Hat Trick again with a new hat, returning to the material plane with a second hat, which she wanders off with to go hunt dragons or whatever. When the party is done, they can crawl through that second hat to return to that same location in the plane of shadows, and then use Hat Trick on the first hat to return home.


    While having a party leave a hat hidden away where-ever they go seems like an excellent quirk to emerge from clever play, I'm not sure you intended for it to serve as a high-precision teleport spell to anywhere the party can get a hat.

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    I also agree; Hat Trick is at least as abusable as Rope Trick once you get multiple hats involved.

    Arcane Lock is also one that's always bothered me, alongside Knock, since it requires either magic or an absurdly high strength score to get through. I've always ruled that it can also be 'unlocked' in the same manner that a rogue can disarm a magical trap.


    I will point out that Dazzled is a crappy condition and should never have existed. It's just a -1 on attacks. Blinded is definitely too strong, but dazzled is too weak (even with the longer duration).
    You could just have Glitterdust only blind creatures for 1 round. That would be useful but not horribly busted for a 2nd-level spell. Or have it only cause a 20% miss chance for a few rounds.


    EDIT: upon further review...
    Acrobatics is dramatically stronger than Jump, primarily because of its hours/level duration. Your proposed change would let casters be effortlessly better than rogues and monks at those skills for the cost of a single level 1 spell slot per day.

    Alter Person is a good change

    Amphibiousness is just another wizards are better at that. It's so much better it's not even funny. You say you want to just make it easier for your party to have underwater adventures, but isn't the difficulty half the point of it?

    Athletics is in the same vein. You seem to be under the impression that environmental hazards are too much of an issue for casters already, and they need to be utterly trivial. If you want to enable your players to explore more exotic environments at lower levels then just work that into the quest somehow (the gnomish city needs you to stop the sahaugins, and will lend you their "submergeable aquacarriage Mk. IV" to accomplish the task!) rather than just trivializing all such hazards in all circumstances forevermore.

    At the end of the day it's your campaign, but if you want to merit anyone else's consideration then I would say it's back to the drawing board with these sorts of spells.


    Detect Thoughts: The sense motive bonus and rework of mindreading is great, but by removing the need for concentration and dramatically boosting the duration you've turned the actual detection of thoughts into Mindsight lite. Keep in mind that anything with an hours/level duration is basically a permanent class feature at the cost of a spell slot. Your wizards are going to be walking around with this on at all times.

    Disguise Person: Disguise self was never an 'absolute' spell to begin with. I've never really had any issues with this spell as-written so much as with how many DMs play it. Even if the DM insists that 'interaction' with an illusion is limited exclusively to willful physical contact as opposed to just hearing or visually focusing (as in a one-to-one conversation) upon the subject (which should allow a save, since they're then directly interacting with the audible and visual components of the illusion), then it should only amount to a +10 bonus to disguise. Instead a lot of people treat it as basically foolproof bar true sight for some reason.

    Your version is basically the same as the actual spell, but no save, longer duration, and the bonus is higher.


    Invisibility is a good nerf, though I think it should also remain as a 2nd-level spell.

    Knock is a good nerf, although I might limit the level-based bonuses to +5 per 4 levels (i.e. +15 at 5th and then +20 at 9th) if you do in fact want to keep the rogue relevant. I don't think that's especially problematic though (any more than vancian magic is inherently problematic) if you can accomplish the rogue's job once by expending a spell slot. It's just good in that it stops it from being an 'absolute', as was your stated intent.

    Sleep is a good change. I might suggest that deep slumber could do less damage but also cause Fatigue on a failed save (but never exhaustion).

    Scrying is much stronger with this change. The original scrying can possibly fail, only works on one subject per expended slot, and can fail to grant important context since you can only observe the subject. Your version allows the wizard to leverage their already-impressive knowledges to potentially learn about many disparate things with a single casting, and which could not otherwise be learned simply by observing someone. "What is Bob the Vile's weakness?", "Where may it be found?", "What is his most dangerous spell?", "How can we get to his Doom Fortress?" "How is mom doing?" "What's the most valuable item shopkeeper Dave has in his store?", "What's a secret of Dave's so personal that it can be used to blackmail him?".

    The typical 7th-level wizard will, with the +10 bonus, have high enough knowledge to learn the answer to all of these unless you arbitrarily set the DC higher than it should be out of spite. If you need to spite a PC to stop their spell from ruining the game, that's a good sign that the spell is too powerful.



    Other good 'absolute' spells to nerf...
    Detect Magic, and spells based on it (hilariously strong for a cantrip, in addition to intended use, can be used to intuit that someone isn't who they say they are unless they also use magic to disguise their items' auras.)
    Other 'detect' spells, particularly alignment ones (make some investigations trivial)
    Forcecage (similar to Wall of Force)
    Cloud-based concealment (obscuring mist, fog cloud, etc.)
    Solid Fog (as above, but also basically immobilizes foes with no save)
    Leomund's Tiny Hut (powerful combat option because it block all vision from outside, but allow occupants unimpeded vision; often overlooked as a result of its intended use of just staying dry for a night)
    Freedom of Movement (invalidates grappling and other balanced mundane impediments in addition to unbalanced magic impediments)
    Mirror Image (hilariously effective, since creating 3+ illusions in the same square somehow makes it harder to hit you than just closing your eyes and attacking that square.)
    Fly (it's hard to argue that being 10' away from someone with 5' reach isn't an 'absolute' counter)

    really, there's just so many that I think this is a losing battle. I would just pick the few most egregious ones and go with that.
    Last edited by Anachronity; 2019-03-13 at 01:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Revised Spells (fewer Core "absolutes")

    Thanks all for your comments!

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    Alter Person, Mass is a bit too good: you can redeem evil outsiders in mass with ease thanks to that spell.(even the shapechanger subtype no longer protects you)(before you had to reach at least level 7 to start thinking about redeeming outsiders with an expensive item of continuous polymorph now you can redeem them from level 5 thanks to alter person mass)
    Amphibiousness prevents spellcasting unless you use a specific option for it to not be a polymorph spell.
    You should probably rewrite the spell to have that specific option be the main option and the old main option being a secondary option.
    I'm not quite sure what you mean about redeeming outsiders, or amphibiousness preventing spellcasting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Logosv View Post
    With hat trick, I feel like a determined caster could put it to a bit more use than an extraplanar resting place, by the expedient of having multiple hats for use with the trick.

    One hat is purchased, used once to link it to a hat in the shadow plane, and then the material plane hat is left in a rented house or somewhere else that is relatively secure. Then, at the location of the shadow-plane hat, the caster casts Hat Trick again with a new hat, returning to the material plane with a second hat, which she wanders off with to go hunt dragons or whatever. When the party is done, they can crawl through that second hat to return to that same location in the plane of shadows, and then use Hat Trick on the first hat to return home.


    While having a party leave a hat hidden away where-ever they go seems like an excellent quirk to emerge from clever play, I'm not sure you intended for it to serve as a high-precision teleport spell to anywhere the party can get a hat.
    I suppose I could add a clause that a caster may only have one hat trick in effect at a time, but to be honest I'm going to defer to the whole "abusing this spell is dangerous" implicit in the spell. Frequent use of the hats might attract a nightshade or two to the party's hometown. I've also come to dislike the spell for being too anachronistically flavoured, in any event.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anachronity View Post
    I also agree; Hat Trick is at least as abusable as Rope Trick once you get multiple hats involved.
    See above.

    Arcane Lock is also one that's always bothered me, alongside Knock, since it requires either magic or an absurdly high strength score to get through. I've always ruled that it can also be 'unlocked' in the same manner that a rogue can disarm a magical trap.
    Great minds! I was thinking along those lines for an earlier homebrew spell.

    I will point out that Dazzled is a crappy condition and should never have existed. It's just a -1 on attacks. Blinded is definitely too strong, but dazzled is too weak (even with the longer duration).
    You could just have Glitterdust only blind creatures for 1 round. That would be useful but not horribly busted for a 2nd-level spell. Or have it only cause a 20% miss chance for a few rounds.
    Hmm fair point, but the spell doubles as see invisibility Lite so I'm not sure I want it to be more than a minor combat debuff otherwise. Maybe if the caster could move the cloud mentally for the duration?

    EDIT: upon further review...
    Acrobatics is dramatically stronger than Jump, primarily because of its hours/level duration. Your proposed change would let casters be effortlessly better than rogues and monks at those skills for the cost of a single level 1 spell slot per day.
    IMHO, this was an instance of "not all skills are created equal". I might remove the scaling bonus, but I'm not sure those skills are overpowered as-is (as opposed to the very limited Diplomacy boost from the revised charm person).

    Alter Person is a good change
    Many thanks!

    Amphibiousness is just another wizards are better at that. It's so much better it's not even funny. You say you want to just make it easier for your party to have underwater adventures, but isn't the difficulty half the point of it?


    Athletics is in the same vein. You seem to be under the impression that environmental hazards are too much of an issue for casters already, and they need to be utterly trivial. If you want to enable your players to explore more exotic environments at lower levels then just work that into the quest somehow (the gnomish city needs you to stop the sahaugins, and will lend you their "submergeable aquacarriage Mk. IV" to accomplish the task!) rather than just trivializing all such hazards in all circumstances forevermore.

    At the end of the day it's your campaign, but if you want to merit anyone else's consideration then I would say it's back to the drawing board with these sorts of spells.
    In this case the wizard uses up their spell slots to facilitate the campaign, rather than take centre-stage in encounters. Also, it's a pretty binary situation - either the party can breathe water or they can't, not much way for a wizard to be better at it than other characters.

    Point well taken about the DM's responsibility for providing aids for specific quests, though.

    Detect Thoughts: The sense motive bonus and rework of mindreading is great, but by removing the need for concentration and dramatically boosting the duration you've turned the actual detection of thoughts into Mindsight lite. Keep in mind that anything with an hours/level duration is basically a permanent class feature at the cost of a spell slot. Your wizards are going to be walking around with this on at all times.
    Yeah this was a case of flavour resulting in overpowered mechanics. I'll think it over again - at the very least I might simply remove the scaling bonuses from all these spells.

    Disguise Person: Disguise self was never an 'absolute' spell to begin with. I've never really had any issues with this spell as-written so much as with how many DMs play it. Even if the DM insists that 'interaction' with an illusion is limited exclusively to willful physical contact as opposed to just hearing or visually focusing (as in a one-to-one conversation) upon the subject (which should allow a save, since they're then directly interacting with the audible and visual components of the illusion), then it should only amount to a +10 bonus to disguise. Instead a lot of people treat it as basically foolproof bar true sight for some reason.

    Your version is basically the same as the actual spell, but no save, longer duration, and the bonus is higher.
    Points well taken; the bonus shouldn't scale. As with the increased duration of the other spells though, it's intended to facilitate campaigns -the original versions don't last long enough to be more than personal-use spells for the wizard in particular encounters.
    Invisibility is a good nerf, though I think it should also remain as a 2nd-level spell.
    The lower spell levels were to make these accessible even for the beginnings of campaigns, and to streamline them (e.g. all the various spells that give skill bonuses are the same level).

    Knock is a good nerf, although I might limit the level-based bonuses to +5 per 4 levels (i.e. +15 at 5th and then +20 at 9th) if you do in fact want to keep the rogue relevant. I don't think that's especially problematic though (any more than vancian magic is inherently problematic) if you can accomplish the rogue's job once by expending a spell slot. It's just good in that it stops it from being an 'absolute', as was your stated intent.
    I will reduce the scaling bonus!:)

    Sleep is a good change. I might suggest that deep slumber could do less damage but also cause Fatigue on a failed save (but never exhaustion).
    That was involved in the thread that inspired the spell, yep. I'll think about incorporating the effect - might tread on Necromancy's toes (the wave of X spells) but is certainly thematically appropriate!
    Scrying is much stronger with this change. The original scrying can possibly fail, only works on one subject per expended slot, and can fail to grant important context since you can only observe the subject. Your version allows the wizard to leverage their already-impressive knowledges to potentially learn about many disparate things with a single casting, and which could not otherwise be learned simply by observing someone. "What is Bob the Vile's weakness?", "Where may it be found?", "What is his most dangerous spell?", "How can we get to his Doom Fortress?" "How is mom doing?" "What's the most valuable item shopkeeper Dave has in his store?", "What's a secret of Dave's so personal that it can be used to blackmail him?".

    The typical 7th-level wizard will, with the +10 bonus, have high enough knowledge to learn the answer to all of these unless you arbitrarily set the DC higher than it should be out of spite. If you need to spite a PC to stop their spell from ruining the game, that's a good sign that the spell is too powerful.
    You make a persuasive argument... as with the original scrying the revised spell may simply be too campaign-breaking.

    Other good 'absolute' spells to nerf...
    Detect Magic, and spells based on it (hilariously strong for a cantrip, in addition to intended use, can be used to intuit that someone isn't who they say they are unless they also use magic to disguise their items' auras.)
    Other 'detect' spells, particularly alignment ones (make some investigations trivial)
    Forcecage (similar to Wall of Force)
    Cloud-based concealment (obscuring mist, fog cloud, etc.)
    Solid Fog (as above, but also basically immobilizes foes with no save)
    Leomund's Tiny Hut (powerful combat option because it block all vision from outside, but allow occupants unimpeded vision; often overlooked as a result of its intended use of just staying dry for a night)
    Freedom of Movement (invalidates grappling and other balanced mundane impediments in addition to unbalanced magic impediments)
    Mirror Image (hilariously effective, since creating 3+ illusions in the same square somehow makes it harder to hit you than just closing your eyes and attacking that square.)
    Fly (it's hard to argue that being 10' away from someone with 5' reach isn't an 'absolute' counter)
    Freedom of movement (I intended to revise it as a scaling bonus on Escape Artist etc checks) and fly are certainly on my list, and detect magic should have been as well! Interesting choices for the others though.

    really, there's just so many that I think this is a losing battle. I would just pick the few most egregious ones and go with that.
    I'm actually relatively satisfied thus far, most campaigns abuse the lower-level spells so the work is probably mostly done.

    Thanks again for the very thorough commentary!

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