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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Frosty's Avatar

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    Default What spells do ability damage?

    So we've got the two famous ones Ray of Stupidity and Shivering Touch. What other (preferably no-save) spells also deal ability damage? I'm wondering if a character concept built-around dealing ltos of ability damage of all types could be viable.
    NS2...it's time to evolve again.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Poison, contagion, cloudkill and plague all come to mind.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Some are penalties, some allow saves.

    str
    ray of enfeeblement
    escalating enfeeblement
    ray of exhaustion
    waves of exhaustion
    chill touch
    reduce person

    dex
    ray of clumsiness
    shivering touch
    shivering touch, lesser

    con
    poison

    int
    ray of stupidity
    mind poison
    touch of idiocy

    wis
    touch of idiocy
    phantasmal assailants

    cha
    touch of idiocy
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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    What cupkeyk said, but I think feeblemind deserves a mention. Sure it's not damage, but it drops the target's Int AND Cha to 1. Seems like a fit to me. It has a save, but opponents take a -4 penalty on their save if they can cast arcane spells.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Symbol of Weakness, Bestow Curse, Contagion, Poison are all SRD.

    One good one to note that isn't a spell but is a power is ego whip- deals charisma damage even on a successful save. Almost every psion takes it. (You might need to branch out to get it and take some levels in maybe psion and cerebemancer or use the erudite variant that gives you spell access).

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Thought of something that's not exactly ideal, but it does do ability damage. It's a little 8th-level spell called Blackfire. With a ranged touch, the target is covered in black flames that deal 1d4 points of CON damage for one round per caster level. It can also spread, but a successful Reflex save negates that. It takes a while to work, but in some cases it could be devastating.

    I know, not exactly optimal. The pyro in me is dying to try it out, though. <plays some Dragonforce>

    -Archetype

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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Repeated blows to the head with a Maul.

    Well, it's not realy a spell, but do it enough it should lower their INT score
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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    phantasmal assailants actually does Dex and Wis damage.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chosen_of_Vecna View Post
    phantasmal assailants actually does Dex and Wis damage.
    True. But eww. Will save? If I can power thru a Will save, I've got plenty of other spell to disable/kill/dominate.
    NS2...it's time to evolve again.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Enlarge Person reduces the target's Dex by 2 points. Also, while it's an Evil only spell, Flensing deals Con and Cha damage (it attempts to skin the victim, and it's mentioned on page 50 of http://www.crystalkeep.com/d20/rules...ererWizard.pdf ). It allows a Fortitude save, though.
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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Ego Whip, while not a spell, always deals CHA damage.

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Summon Undead IV can summon an allip, which deals wisdom drain. One of the more amusing ways to defeat the tarasque.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Moonbolt: the greatest "bring 'em back alive" spell ever.
    (Just as effective for not bringing them back alive though)
    Spell Compendium, 4th level.

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrawn183 View Post
    Moonbolt: the greatest "bring 'em back alive" spell ever.
    (Just as effective for not bringing them back alive though)
    Spell Compendium, 4th level.
    I love that spell. 3d4 Strength Damage, Long Range... so delicious.

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Memory Rot should be mentioned, if it hasn't already; 1d6 initial Int damage isn't that great, but 1 point of Int drain on each successive turn until they make their save isn't too shabby. I saw it in the Spell Compendium.
    ~Joe
    Last edited by seedjar; 2008-05-06 at 10:09 AM.

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Is Moonbolt an arcane spell or a divine spell? I guess it won't matter as much if a Chameleon utilizes these spells...
    NS2...it's time to evolve again.

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Complete Divine has Quillblast, a spell that is seldom mentioned because its so universally banned. Druid only spell, because druids need another reason to wtfpwn people into stupidity.

    Look it up...you'll shudder.
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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    Is Moonbolt an arcane spell or a divine spell? I guess it won't matter as much if a Chameleon utilizes these spells...
    Its both. Fort save for half.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Is Quillfire worse than Shivering Touch?
    NS2...it's time to evolve again.

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    BoVD has a corrupt spell, I can't remember the name, that is essentially magic missile for Dex damage. Each missile deals 1 point of Str damage to you, but it is very good for long-range killing of dragons if you're too lazy to try Shivering Touch.
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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    BoVD has a corrupt spell, I can't remember the name, that is essentially magic missile for Dex damage. Each missile deals 1 point of Str damage to you, but it is very good for long-range killing of dragons if you're too lazy to try Shivering Touch.
    Lahm's Finger Darts. A point of str damage to you per dart, and it costs you a finger temporarily. Lose 4+ fingers on a hand, and it is rendered useless. Each dart does 1d4 dex damage though, spell resistance, but no save or attack roll.
    Last edited by F.L.; 2008-05-06 at 01:01 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Quote Originally Posted by lussmanj View Post
    Complete Divine has Quillblast, a spell that is seldom mentioned because its so universally banned. Druid only spell, because druids need another reason to wtfpwn people into stupidity.

    Look it up...you'll shudder.
    Quill Blast isn't nasty anymore, it was fixed in Spell Compendium. It's non-cumulative penalties now.

    Quillfire poisons reasonably well, 1d6 Str/1d6 Str, but has a save as a 3rd level druid spell.
    Last edited by Epinephrine; 2008-05-06 at 01:22 PM.

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    Keld Denar's Avatar

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Epinephrine View Post
    Quill Blast isn't nasty anymore, it was fixed in Spell Compendium. It's non-cumulative penalties now.

    Quillfire poisons reasonably well, 1d6 Str/1d6 Str, but has a save as a 3rd level druid spell.
    Ah, maybe I'm thinking of the old 3.0 Quillblast from Masters of the Wild....that sucker was NASTY....since the number of quills that struck you was dependant on your size.

    The bigger they were, the harder they fell. It was the ultimate AoE leadin to the wizard casting an Evards BTs and the whole party walking away from the encounter counting down the rounds until the xp was squeezed out of the helpless anythings.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Everyone else has already done a good job of listing off the spells that deal ability damage. So I'll address your peripheral point, as to whether its viable as a strategy.

    My guess is that an ability damage build would be as viable as a precision damage build - when optimized it would be wildly effective against certain enemies, but totally useless against others. Undead, contructs, plants, ooze, and others are immune to ability damage. Others just have ridiculously high stats and Saves. But as a full caster, you have a built in ability to diversify. So you'll be fine.

    In addition to the caster route, you may also wish to consider Mind Cripple + Maiming Strike + Poison.

    Mind Cripple is a Psychic Rogue or Psychic Assassin class ability that deals 2 points of Int damage every time you deal Sneak Attack damage, No Save.

    Maiming Strike is a feat from Exemplars of Evil that allows you to trade Sneak Attack with Cha damage on a 2d6 for 1 basis.

    Many poisons deal ability damage. If your DM allows down time between adventures, you can create it quite cheaply using Craft (Poison) and Knowledge (whatever) to gather the necessary materials. And many DMs allow you to harvest poison from enemies who use it naturally (giant centipedes, wyverns, etc), because that way you have to earn it before you can use it.

    Many enemies (especially monstrous humanoids, animals, and magical beasts) have really low Int and/or Cha, so one or two successful attacks should knock them out. You should be able to quickly debuff all arcane casters, reducing their Save DCs and denying them access to high level spells. If an enemy is particularly difficult, you could pull out your reserve of poisoned weapons. You could use your psychic powers as a hedge against enemies immune to ability damage (Expanded Knowledge is your friend). And you could even take Pierce Magical Concealment to negate the miss chance from any magical spell or effect (Invisibility, Blur, Blinking, Displacement, etc) since the Mage Slayer feats have no effect on manifester levels.

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    But what do I do against thing immune to ability damage/penalty? There's a lot of monsters that are immune.
    NS2...it's time to evolve again.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Ability penalties, see ray of enfeeblement, or try conditions that give sucky abilities like ray of exhaustion (most immune to one will be immune to the other but have a look, not all are). Or Feeblemind which isn't damage or drain, it just resets to 1 Int and Cha. Or try status conditions in general. Or hire a big guy with a huge axe and buff them through the stratosphere if all else fails.
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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Feeblemind is mind-affecting, unfortunately.

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    But what do I do against thing immune to ability damage/penalty? There's a lot of monsters that are immune.
    Well, if you go the caster route, then you simply memorize a few spells or buy a few wands that work on everyone. Summon Monster, Solid Fog, any Force effect, etc.

    If you go the psionic route, you pick up a power or two or buy a few psicrowns or whatnot that work against everyone. Claws of the Beast, Energy Missile, Astral Construct, etc. You can go Psion/Psychic Assassin to get the powers you want, or you can be a Psychic Rogue and take Expanded Knowledge.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    I forgot body harmonics from spellcom. You can select any one ability to deal 1d10 to and you may continue the spell for your concentration duration up to your level. However, you can't target the same ability for another 5 rounds. I don't recall if it allows a save but its flexibility lets you knock out anyone with a dumpstat, like say a wizard's strength or a barbarian's charisma.
    My mother says: those on fire should roll.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: What spells do ability damage?

    Hi

    Many creatures like Undead & Constructs are immune to ability damage, but this thread seems to focus on how to damage those who aren't.

    Apart from the ones mentioned there are a few 'Power Word....' spells in Races of the Dragon. None allow saves, but all allow SR. Since the damage is fixed you can't empower it.

    One good strategy is to use Evard's Black Tentacles to pin something down, then wash over it with an empowered Cloudkill. Evard's doesn't have saves or SR, and more powerful creatures take auto Con damage each round.

    As an aside, one powerful mix I found in Races of Dragon is that the 'Power Word...' spells are all Enchantment - which Beguilers can take as Advanced Learning.
    EG 3rd Lvl Beguiler takes Pwr Word Pain (1st lvl spell), D6 Dam/Rnd for duration. (Varies on current HP). Close range. No save, but has SR.
    Good way for Beguiler to do damage.

    Cheers
    Paul H
    Last edited by Paul H; 2008-05-06 at 08:24 PM.

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