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Xallace
2008-12-24, 06:37 PM
I want to play a really flippin' awesome sorcerer, a character who combines spellcasting and martial prowess to give evil a run for its money. I was thinking of making the character a Swordsage, focused on Desert Wind. Thing is, I'm not a big fan of Fire.

No, I am a Lightning man. So, I wanted to know if it was reasonable to assume that changing all of the fire damage to electricity damage would not unbalance or break the character?

Inyssius Tor
2008-12-24, 06:39 PM
I'd think it would make him a little better, because of all the immunities that suddenly aren't a problem, but I doubt it would break the game.

imperialspectre
2008-12-24, 06:46 PM
Sure, it would bypass some immunities, but it would also run the character into a brick wall with other immunities (Blue Dragon, step right on up!). Also, the school would suddenly be no help at all against targets like trolls, who only take normal damage from fire and acid.

Seems balanced to me.

Oh, and if you're looking for a blasty sorcerer type who likes Tome of Battle, why not go sorc or warmage/swordsage/jade phoenix mage? It's definitely the kind of casting/martial hybrid you're talking about.

woodenbandman
2008-12-24, 07:00 PM
Or go for the arcane swordsage variant ;)

No seriously, don't broken beyond belief it is.

imperialspectre
2008-12-24, 07:10 PM
Oh, if you want to play the straight-up martial variant, you could go Duskblade X/martial adept X/Jade Phoenix Mage 10. Duskblade and Warblade get INT synergy, Swordsage gets you lots of Desert Wind stuff even before you get into Jade Phoenix Mage (which only gets you maneuvers from Desert Wind and Devoted Spirit), Crusader progresses Devoted Spirit and makes you more of a team player.

You'll have at least 18/20 BAB, full if you don't go Swordsage, and have access to lots of maneuvers and some good damage spells that you can channel through your attacks.

AslanCross
2008-12-24, 07:12 PM
I prefer lightning to fire myself. I think the best person to ask would be your DM. Even if you change all the energy types, you're stuck with that anyway, so I don't think it's broken in any way.

JaxGaret
2008-12-24, 08:44 PM
It should cost at most a single feat to do this.

I would allow a player to do it without the feat.

ericgrau
2008-12-24, 10:33 PM
Fire is intentionally made the most powerful so that everyone knows what to resist, and other energy types have much of their value in simply not being fire. Monsters tend to resist fire more than anything too. Yeah, this would imbalance things.

The most common way to nerf lightning seems to be to make it affect less targets, rather than reduce its damage. Maybe you and your DM can find a way to work this in. Or some cost like a feat might make it worth it, but be careful.

OTOH if you play in games that allow scintillating sphere and orbs of X, just go for it without any special measures. When splatbooks come in this is really the last thing you'd have to worry about.

tyckspoon
2008-12-24, 10:50 PM
Fire is intentionally made the most powerful so that everyone knows what to resist, and other energy types have much of their value in simply not being fire. Monsters tend to resist fire more than anything too. Yeah, this would imbalance things.


Er. What? Even in core-three-books only, fire effects do the exact same damage (1d6/level, typically) for the exact same cost as other elements (+1 equivalent enhancement, same spell levels, etc...) What lead you to the conclusion that fire is 'the most powerful'?

BobVosh
2008-12-24, 11:04 PM
Er. What? Even in core-three-books only, fire effects do the exact same damage (1d6/level, typically) for the exact same cost as other elements (+1 equivalent enhancement, same spell levels, etc...) What lead you to the conclusion that fire is 'the most powerful'?

cuz there is more of it

Inhuman Bot
2008-12-24, 11:23 PM
Well... sonic is normally slightly weaker? >.>

MeklorIlavator
2008-12-24, 11:24 PM
Well... sonic is normally slightly weaker? >.>
But that's because there are something like 5 monsters with immunity to sonic and only a few more with resistance.

Vortling
2008-12-24, 11:26 PM
Well... sonic is normally slightly weaker? >.>
And in return for being weaker, there's very few monsters that have sonic resistance. The same goes for force damage. However between fire, lightning, cold, and acid the difference lies in what creatures resist the elemental damage as opposed to the damage the elemental force does.

A swap like this certainly wouldn't unbalance the game, I've even considered doing a elemental damage swap on Desert Wind myself.

ericgrau
2008-12-24, 11:44 PM
Er. What? Even in core-three-books only, fire effects do the exact same damage (1d6/level, typically) for the exact same cost as other elements (+1 equivalent enhancement, same spell levels, etc...) What lead you to the conclusion that fire is 'the most powerful'?

Reading to 2nd paragraph is your friend.

tyckspoon
2008-12-24, 11:55 PM
Reading to 2nd paragraph is your friend.

No, no, I read that.. it just didn't seem to have any relationship to the first paragraph, where you claim that fire is the most powerful element in D&D. Because from what *I* know of the rules, fire is treated interchangeably with cold, lightning, and acid. You don't get extra damage or extra carrier effects by going with fire spells over any other element. And has been remarked on many times before, a majority of things that resist any element resist or are immune to fire. So..

No special benefit+ more situations where fire is a poorer choice= more powerful element? I'm obviously missing a step here, so please explain what it is.

JaxGaret
2008-12-25, 12:40 AM
Scorching Ray (a spell that deals Fire damage) is by far the most damaging 2nd level DD spell, and one of the best bangs for the buck in terms of d6s per spell level. And Fireball does have a slightly more useful delivery system than Lightning Bolt (Long ranged burst vs. line). It depends on the circumstances, of course, and the difference is pretty much negligible.

At the higher spells levels, we start seeing spells like Chain Lightning and Incendiary Cloud, where the Fire > Lightning paradigm seems to be reversed a bit.

The above of course is a core-only analysis.

Innis Cabal
2008-12-25, 12:45 AM
Yet Vitriolic Sphere and Scintilating Sphere are better then Fireball. Acid and Lightning respectivly.

As for the change. Go for it. Its been done before in games i've played in and its been nothing short of awsome. Not game breaking at all.

Pyroconstruct
2008-12-25, 03:48 AM
Desert Wind is 90% crap, especially past about 2nd-level manuevers, so I think even though lightning is an improvement it's still likely to be a subpar school.

Eldariel
2008-12-25, 06:05 AM
Desert Wind actually has extremely powerful maneuvers especially for a TWFer; superb when fighting anyone not immune. Adding +3d6+15 bonus damage to all attacks over a turn means an average of +25 per attack; that'll be enough to pretty much evinscerate anything.

Also, there's a bunch of really handy maneuvers that don't have anything to do with fire (or where it's only a part of the effect) such as Flashing Sun, Zephyr Dance, Searing Charge (you get to do the flying charge regardless), Leaping Flame, Desert Tempest and Rising Phoenix.

Roderick_BR
2008-12-25, 02:02 PM
It should cost at most a single feat to do this.

I would allow a player to do it without the feat.
Agreed, like a "Energy Substitution" for maneuvers. Not a big problem, really.

lord_khaine
2008-12-25, 06:28 PM
now that we are talking about the Rising Phoenix, then can anyone tell me what the use for this stance is?
as far as i can see its a complete waster of time thats closer to a lv 2-3 stance in power than a lv 8.

Eldariel
2008-12-25, 06:45 PM
now that we are talking about the Rising Phoenix, then can anyone tell me what the use for this stance is?
as far as i can see its a complete waster of time thats closer to a lv 2-3 stance in power than a lv 8.

It's pretty horrible. It's basically for attacking creatures that hover a bit above the ground not knowing you can't fly. Also, the extra damage, I suppose. But it's fairly bleh; I never found it interesting enough to take, certainly not as an 8th level Stance (there's Balancing in the Sky and Immortal Fortitude too).

Fax Celestis
2008-12-26, 01:08 PM
It's pretty horrible. It's basically for attacking creatures that hover a bit above the ground not knowing you can't fly. Also, the extra damage, I suppose. But it's fairly bleh; I never found it interesting enough to take, certainly not as an 8th level Stance (there's Balancing in the Sky and Immortal Fortitude too).

I find it useful for a circumstance bonus to Intimidate checks. Nothing says "cower" like the guy yelling at you about fire and brimstone lighting on fire and hovering.

ericgrau
2008-12-26, 02:17 PM
No, no, I read that.. it just didn't seem to have any relationship to the first paragraph, where you claim that fire is the most powerful element in D&D. Because from what *I* know of the rules, fire is treated interchangeably with cold, lightning, and acid. You don't get extra damage or extra carrier effects by going with fire spells over any other element. And has been remarked on many times before, a majority of things that resist any element resist or are immune to fire. So..

No special benefit+ more situations where fire is a poorer choice= more powerful element? I'm obviously missing a step here, so please explain what it is.

Fire spells tend to have more damage and/or a larger area of effect than the others. At least in core. For other books, read on to the 3rd paragraph.

So depending on the group you may need to nerf non-fire b/c it is less likely to be subject to resistance. There was a thread just a few days or so ago on how weak lightning bolt is compared to fireball. Or if you've already screwed that up with non-core spells like scintillating sphere, then you might as well leave it unnerfed 'cuz otherwise you'd have to fix everything.

Epic_Wizard
2008-12-27, 03:22 AM
First of all gogo Lightning nuts :smallbiggrin:

Sonic is more powerful than other elements because it does nasty damage to objects and can be used to screw over thinks like Tremor Sense and Blindsight. Plus there is the whole "nothing deals it and nothing is immune to it" shtick.

As far as resistances and imunities to the other elements are concerned. There are plenty of things that are immune or resistant to lightning, like devils and demons. They just don't get the press of Red and White Dragons because when you are fighting a demon you can kill it half a dozen ways without using a single damage spell.

Artanis
2008-12-27, 01:04 PM
Like Roderick_BR and JaxGaret, I'd suggest just making a ToB version of Energy Substitution. I really doubt it would throw things out of whack.



Fire spells tend to have more damage and/or a larger area of effect than the others. At least in core. For other books, read on to the 3rd paragraph.

So depending on the group you may need to nerf non-fire b/c it is less likely to be subject to resistance. There was a thread just a few days or so ago on how weak lightning bolt is compared to fireball. Or if you've already screwed that up with non-core spells like scintillating sphere, then you might as well leave it unnerfed 'cuz otherwise you'd have to fix everything.


*similar stuff
That's a difference in the specific spells though, not the elements themselves. Comparing Lightning Bolt to Fireball is irrelevant because they do different things. What you need to compare is how effective Fireball would be before vs. after changing the damage to Lightning, as if you had used Energy Substitution (Lightning) on it.

Tempest Fennac
2008-12-27, 02:14 PM
While your DM isn't likely to allow it, and I'm not sure where it's found, the Arcane Swordsage variant gets Abjuration, Evocation and Transmutation spells in place of Maneuvers which are recovered in exactly the same way as normal Maneuvers. You could just take a load of lightning-powered Evocations if the DM was willing to let you use it. (As you can guess, I prefer lightning to fire as well.:smallbiggrin:)

monty
2008-12-27, 02:25 PM
While your DM isn't likely to allow it, and I'm not sure where it's found, the Arcane Swordsage variant gets Abjuration, Evocation and Transmutation spells in place of Maneuvers which are recovered in exactly the same way as normal Maneuvers. You could just take a load of lightning-powered Evocations if the DM was willing to let you use it. (As you can guess, I prefer lightning to fire as well.:smallbiggrin:)

Sure, if you want to be horribly broken.

And it's in the "Adaptation" section of the swordsage entry in ToB, by the way.

UserClone
2008-12-27, 02:38 PM
Meh, it wouldn't be nearly as broken with only direct-damage spells of one energy type in the arsenal. And don't forget how few you can learn.

Tempest Fennac
2008-12-27, 03:46 PM
To be fair, some spells (eg: Mass Fly and Disintegrate) would be ridiculous is an ASS took them (Exocation wouldn't be that bad, though).

Artanis
2008-12-27, 03:51 PM
To be fair, some spells (eg: Mass Fly and Disintegrate) would be ridiculous is an ASS took them (Exocation wouldn't be that bad, though).
A flying donkey that casts disintegrate would be the Best. Mount. EVER.

Mark Hall
2008-12-28, 10:21 PM
I see no problem with a complete switch. If the character wants to be able to switch between them, they would need a feat.

Collin152
2008-12-28, 11:09 PM
A flying donkey that casts disintegrate would be the Best. Mount. EVER.

Does he shoot them out of his eyes?

Xallace
2008-12-30, 12:22 PM
Does he shoot them out of his eyes?

I sure hope so!

Well thanks for all the replies, folks! It seems that for the most part, Fire to Lightning isn't that big a deal. Awesome. So now all I need to do is alter the flavor and pick out maneuvers...

Speaking of which, any suggestions on good maneuvers (of Desert Wind or otherwise) to take, with altered flavor? My book is packed up currently, so I can't go check for a few days.

Knaight
2008-12-30, 12:55 PM
You can download the maneuvers from the Wotc website. And the warblade class, although the swordsage is only in the book(and probably avaliable illegally. Point is Wotc doesn't have it). They come pre-divided by school too.