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Abd al-Azrad
2006-04-17, 09:16 PM
http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=gaming;action=display;num=1145297251 ;start=15#17

As we see in the linked topic, Summon Nature's Ally does not do what I want it to: drop huge animals on enemies. I could complain endlessly. Or I could write a new spell that does exactly what I want it to.

I choose option (C): both. My new spell will both drop animals on enemies, and simultaneously aggrivate druids, who don't allow me to use their summoning spells for spite. Show them.

Theoretically, I'm looking for input on balancing the spell, simply because I like to do things professionally, even if it's a professional joke spell I'm making up on a whim.

Death From Above
Conjuration (Teleportation)
Level: Sor/Wiz 5
Components: V, S, F
Casting Time: 1 full round
Range: Infinite and Close (25ft. +5ft./2 levels) (see text)
Effect: One creature
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Will negates, and Reflex partial (see text)
Spell Resistance: No

Summon Nature's Wrath teleports an unwilling bison, rhinoceros, or elephant from anywhere on the plane to a point 60ft. above a target square, which must be within close range of you. You may choose the target square upon the completion of casting this spell, allowing you to correct for the movements of those who you wish to be in the target square. When the animal arrives, it falls 60ft. on your initiative count, landing centered on the target square and hitting others covered by its space. The animal deals falling and crushing damage in accordance with its weight to any foes within its occupied spaces upon landing (Reflex negates).
If the animal survives the fall, which deals 6d6 damage to the animal and more to any creature it lands upon (see table below), it lands prone and then continues to act on its own initiative; its first round will most likely involve a move action to stand up from prone, and a standard attack. Unlike a Summon Nature's Ally spell, the animal is under no obligation to act according to your direction. In fact, it typically arrives enraged and will attack any creatures in close proximity. This makes casting of this spell a potential danger to the caster and his allies, but because the spell is not a summoning spell, the subject animal is worth full XP to defeat. Animals, however, typically will not fight to the death, and the subject animal will likely attempt to retreat if severely injured.
The animal teleported is allowed a Will save to negate the effect of the spell.
The target animal is determined by caster level, as shown in the following table, but a high level caster can choose to summon a lower level animal if they wish:

9-11: Bison, 37HP, Will +1, Weight of 2,000 lbs., space of 10ft. Damage bonus from its weight is +10d6, for a total of 16d6 crushing damage.
12-14: Rhinoceros, 76HP, Will +3, Weight of 6,000 lbs., space of 10ft. Falling damage reaches a maximum of 20d6 to all creatures it lands upon.
15+: Elephant, 104HP, Will +6, Weight of 16,000 lbs., space of 15ft. Falling damage is still 20d6.

If cast on a plane without these animals, the spell could target similar animals of similar CR. It is best to discuss which animals can be targetted with your DM before using the spell for this purpose.
Note that this spell is abhorred by any character with the Wild Empathy ability, who can sense the general direction and distance of the caster with a successful Wild Empathy check, assuming their check result is greater than the spell's DC.
Focus: A wooden figurine of the animal to be teleported.

EDIT: Added in a part about casting on a plane without the listed animals, and removed the part about the animal exploding. You now get XP for defeating the animal; the threat of abuse should be addressed by the fact that druids will come and kill you for constantly summoning and killing wildlife.

The Glyphstone
2006-04-17, 09:20 PM
Seems rather powerful...an automatic 26d6+104 damage to a target of your choice at 15th level and above - Reflex for half, but that's still an average of 98 damage if the save is Sucessful.

And what happens if the fall kills the animal? Does it still blow up?

Abd al-Azrad
2006-04-17, 09:22 PM
No, it's 20d6 total falling damage; that's the maximum amount any falling object can deal. The elephant takes 6d6 (average 21), so it only explodes for around 83 damage. So, 20d6 (Ref negates) + 83 (Ref half). I don't think that kind of damage to a small area is out of line, given spells such as Disintegrate which deal more to a single target.

And, frankly, the damage can't kill the animal from falling.

Darnon
2006-04-17, 09:37 PM
I think it'd be better to see the dropped animal (if alive) just begin attacking everything around it. Makes it a bit more of a danger not only to your enemies, but to yourself and allies, to be indescriminitely dropping Dumbo-bombs on all of the bad guys.

That and it'd make the Druids happy. ;D

[Edit: Geez, can't spell this evening. ]

The Glyphstone
2006-04-17, 09:42 PM
Ah - Reflex Negates the falling damage..I see. That makes it slightly better.

I'd agree with ^ above me, though - it'd be funnier and more useful to have the animal, instead of randomly exploding like something out a Worms game, rampage randomly about for X rounds, then vanish back to wherever it came from.

Karsh
2006-04-17, 09:43 PM
Just to get really technical, it would take an object about 3.5 seconds (ignoring air resistance) to fall from that height.

I would think that would need to be somehow reflected in the time it takes for the animal to hit the ground in the interests of giving whoever the animal was summoned over a chance to get away so as to not make this spell too overpowered.

Of course, an entangled character is SOL anyways. ;D

Dragonmuncher
2006-04-17, 09:56 PM
Phew, flashbacks to Baldur's Gate for a second.

In the PC game, there was a spell you could get, possibly only through cheating, called "Summon Cow." You cast it, and a few seconds later, a cow would fall on your enemy, dealing a ton of damage.

Spuddly
2006-04-17, 09:58 PM
I would think that would need to be somehow reflected in the time it takes for the animal to hit the ground in the interests of giving whoever the animal was summoned over a chance to get away so as to not make this spell too overpowered.

I believe that is reflected in the reflex save to negate the falling damage.

Matthew
2006-04-17, 10:04 PM
Phew, flashbacks to Baldur's Gate for a second.

In the PC game, there was a spell you could get, possibly only through cheating, called "Summon Cow." *You cast it, and a few seconds later, a cow would fall on your enemy, dealing a ton of damage.

Yay, a 'Summon Cow' reference; I just referenced this in the 'Wacky but Useful Spell' Thread... what a joyful coincidence.

Douglas
2006-04-17, 10:34 PM
No, it's 20d6 total falling damage; that's the maximum amount any falling object can deal.
No, that's the maximum amount from distance fallen. Additional damage based on the weight of the falling object is unlimited.

The_Werebear
2006-04-17, 10:38 PM
For epic usage, you should be able to summon a whale

HELLO GROUND!

Darkie
2006-04-17, 11:07 PM
The question here is what are the CRs of these hapless creatures you'd just insta-killed via this spell?

Karsh
2006-04-17, 11:27 PM
Hah, there's a question. Do you get exp for killing the animal?

storybookknight
2006-04-17, 11:54 PM
It seems similar to Cometfall. Except, you know, substituting elephants for giant rocks.

To balance that, they had the rocks falling from greater and greater heights, and limited by the ceiling, instead of bigger and bigger animals.

Food for thought.

Mmm... bison burgers.

Abd al-Azrad
2006-04-17, 11:58 PM
No, that's the maximum amount from distance fallen. *Additional damage based on the weight of the falling object is unlimited.

You know, I can't confirm or deny this. My source is the 3.0 DMG, this may have been changed in 3.5. However, according to 3.0, that's the total amount of falling damage an object can deal, regardless of weight or distance.

I'd be fine with allowing the animal to survive after it lands. I really only added that exploding part in out of spite. And because it causes more damage to enemies. But teleporting in a really big, angry animal could certainly open the doorway to fun times.

But I can't allow the animal to return from whence it came. The teleport is one-way, and instantaneous.

Of course, if I take out that explosion part, you would get XP for killing the animal, which would be deserved: it's gonna attack you. And that would make the druids angry, so I still win.

No comments on the Wild Empathy part? I thought that was the best part of the spell... short of dropping large herbivores on people. 8)


For epic usage, you should be able to summon a whale

HELLO GROUND! Yes. Yes indeed. We never have too many references to Adams.

Finally, yes, the time it takes for the animal to fall is reflected by the save to negate damage.

The_Werebear
2006-04-18, 12:02 AM
Yes. Yes indeed. We never have too many references to Adams.



I would have probably suggested a whale anyway. I just wouldn't have had the Hello Ground part.

Douglas
2006-04-18, 12:14 AM
You know, I can't confirm or deny this. My source is the 3.0 DMG, this may have been changed in 3.5. However, according to 3.0, that's the total amount of falling damage an object can deal, regardless of weight or distance.
For each 200 pounds of an objectís weight, the object deals 1d6 points of damage, provided it falls at least 10 feet. Distance also comes into play, adding an additional 1d6 points of damage for every 10-foot increment it falls beyond the first (to a maximum of 20d6 points of damage). (http://d20srd.org/srd/environment.htm#fallingObjects)

Note that the sentence where a maximum is specified deals specifically with distance fallen. There is no mention of any maximum at all in the first sentence, and the second is clearly phrased as adding more damage on top of the base, not imposing a non-sensical limit. Also, if that 20d6 cap applied to the total damage, you'd get the truly absurd situation of being able to literally drop a planet on a high level character and having it do no more than a Delayed Blast Fireball.

Abd al-Azrad
2006-04-18, 12:37 AM
Hm. That's the same wording as in the 3.0 DMG. I guess it's a bit open to interpretation... After all, D&D does tend to max damages in ways that make little sense, to aid game rules.

If 20d6 is the most damage a falling object can deal, then this spell should work fine as it is. However, if that cap only applies to distance, I admit that this spell will be truly too powerful for its level (or any level! 86d6 for the elephant!). Anyone able to chime in with a bit of a clarification?