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View Full Version : New Feat: Invisible Spell!



kailin
2006-04-19, 01:26 PM
This was designed for a campaign world where magic was tightly restricted and "rogue" spellcasters were persecuted by secretive forces (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=gaming;action=display;num=1145428185 ). As such, mages had good reason to disguise their spellcasting as much as possible.

Invisibile Spell [Metamagic]: It is difficult to determine where an invisible spell came from or who cast it. Rays, cones, lines, orbs, beads (as fireball), spheres, globes and glowing eyes are imperceptible in invisible spells, though true seeing or similar magic reveals them. This does not affect the targets' ability to evade or avoid the effect. A victim of an invisible spell may determine the approximate direction the spell came from (which may entitle him to a Spot check) with a Wisdom check of DC 10 + spell level. An invisible spell uses a spell slot two levels higher than it normally would.

What do you think? Is it playable under more general circumstances?

Orion-the-G
2006-04-19, 01:33 PM
Doesn't look too bad, although some players might have a logical disconnect with being abe to blast someone with invisible fire rays but still have them evade without a problem.

I don't think that it should be two spell slots higher. It's not an effect that is really all that useful except on strikes from ambush unless it's combined with Still and/or Silent spell. An enemy might not have seen the bead of flame launched from the mage's finger but when someone starts chanting and gesturing then you suddenly catch on fire you'd have to be pretty stupid not to make the connection. Since it doesn't really provide much in the way of mechanical benefit I'd say it's only +1 at most. maybe even +0.

kailin
2006-04-19, 02:02 PM
Yeah, that's true. It really was designed with ambushes and quick escapes in mind. I'm on the fence about making it harder to evade, though.

2 Ideas: Invisible spells that allow a ref or fort save get a +2 bonus to their DC, as the target is unprepared. Target retains their dex bonus, assuming they would normally have it (mage is not invisible, for instance). OR

Invisible spells are automatically silent. This way, it rewards you with a basically free feat slot, if you're willing to take the +2 spell slot adjustment.

Orion-the-G
2006-04-19, 02:16 PM
I'd say keep it as is, and just drop the spell level adjustment to +1 (maybe 0, but only if you're feeling really generous). The best ambush spells aren't the ones that blast your enemies anyway and they're more or less automatically 'invisible'

Meat Shield
2006-04-19, 02:34 PM
Invisible spells are automatically silent. This way, it rewards you with a basically free feat slot, if you're willing to take the +2 spell slot adjustment.

Based on the above, then yes, it should be a +2 spell slot adj. You get silent spell as well as the other benefits.

What about still spell? It seems to me that the benefits of it are also implied in the description.

If the benefits of still spell and silent spell are contained within your invisible spell feat, then I would do one of two things:
1) Spell slot adjustment +3 - you only need one feat, and I would include what you have in there about raising the DC on Fort and Ref saves.
OR
2) Make either Still Spell or Silent Spell a prereq. Everything else stays the same except spell slot adjustment becomes +2.

F.L.
2006-04-19, 02:38 PM
On a similar note, has anybody ever made a 'combine spell' feat, one that modifies a spell with another? Such as fireball+invisibility for an invisible fireball. Or enlarge+summon monsterX. Or protection from evil + wall of stone. The end result is that the first spell is applied to the other, even if the targetting is incorrect, and that the spell level advancement would just be the sum of the spells combined (which is why so many of these examples are l.1 and l.2 combinations).

Abd al-Azrad
2006-04-19, 02:58 PM
On a similar note, has anybody ever made a 'combine spell' feat, one that modifies a spell with another? *Such as fireball+invisibility for an invisible fireball. *Or enlarge+summon monsterX. *Or protection from evil + wall of stone. *The end result is that the first spell is applied to the other, even if the targetting is incorrect, and that the spell level advancement would just be the sum of the spells combined (which is why so many of these examples are l.1 and l.2 combinations).

This sort of idea is very problematic, because it grants spellcasters additional actions. Remember when they changed Haste to prevent casters from using two spells per round? I could see such a use of spells being really nasty, with using Defensive spell + Defensive spell, or buff + buff, or any other sort of ridiculous combination that just makes spellcasters much better than everyone else.

chaiyo
2006-04-19, 04:26 PM
I can see a combined Enlarge/Summon monster spell being WAY too powerful for a single spell, let alone any buff/summon. However, I like the Invisible Fireball idea, and I tend to specialize in vastly improving existing ideas. You may not have seen the last of me here.

As for the original idea, I find it balanced if there's only a level adjustment of +1. This may also be useful for Dark Suns, where Psionics is the accepted standard of the supernatural.

F.L.
2006-04-19, 04:43 PM
I can see a combined Enlarge/Summon monster spell being WAY too powerful for a single spell, let alone any buff/summon. However, I like the Invisible Fireball idea, and I tend to specialize in vastly improving existing ideas. You may not have seen the last of me here.


Well, if enlarge+summon monster is a Spell Level Advancement of +1, and something like bull's strength+summon is SLA+2, you can usually get better results from just going to a higher summon monster. Secondly, defensive+defensive or buff+buff shouldn't work, because the one spell modifies the other. A shield circling the mage armor rather than the mage should cut this off at the pass. So it doesn't seem too overpowered on its face to me. What's overpowered about it is its generality, it basically lets a mage use something like the factorial of their spells, and strange combinations open up a dimension of munchkinism, especially with high level spells involving combos of 4th+5th level spells and such. Also, damage dealing evocations should be the true hastelike problem(acidic fireball arrows/icestormcloudkills anyone?). So in conclusion, I do now agree with you that it's a bad idea, just for different reasons. I just didn't think too much about it before talking about it.

soylentplaid
2006-04-19, 06:19 PM
But my question, of course, is what about Invisibled Invisibility?

The_Shaman
2006-04-19, 06:47 PM
I think Complete Adventurer had something called a disguise spell, mostly for bards, which allowed you to cast a still spell that is generally "hidden" in another action (+1 adjustment). While I consider this a very cool ability, I thought that a high bluff check could work the same way... and unless your character has feats to burn, it will be a bit costly.
Another good reason to gear my char. towards becoming an incantator... But Arcane devotee still feels better :D

Still, the disguise spell, for all its prerequisites, seems close to what you want and very satisfying from a flavor perspective. You just bang the gong and hey - the baddies are blasted by a maximized fireball :)

Aranth
2006-04-19, 07:44 PM
Or you could just use psionics instead of arcane spells.

http://d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicPowersOverview.htm#display

When manifesting, a psion can make a DC (15+power level) concentration check to suppress the displays.

Of course, you lose the wizard flavor, and I'm not sure if you use psionics in your world. But this is exactly the sort of thing that sets psionics apart from regular magic.

NEO|Phyte
2006-04-19, 08:21 PM
Or you could just use psionics instead of arcane spells.

http://d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicPowersOverview.htm#display

When manifesting, a psion can make a DC (15+power level) concentration check to suppress the displays.

Of course, you lose the wizard flavor, and I'm not sure if you use psionics in your world. But this is exactly the sort of thing that sets psionics apart from regular magic.
this Metamagic feat isnt about making the casting stealthy, its about the EFFECT of the spell being invisible.

Nasrudith
2006-04-19, 11:28 PM
That's just plain weird. An invisbile fireball?

kailin
2006-04-20, 02:42 PM
I think Orion-the-G is right, keeping the feat as-is but dropping the spell slot adjustment to +1 is probably the best option in terms of balancing usability and power.


That's just plain weird. An invisbile fireball?

Actually, only the bead of the fireball that shoots from your finger is invisible. When it actually erupts it's still a nice big ball o' fire, it just comes out of nowhere.


But my question, of course, is what about Invisibled Invisibility?

Obviously, the two invisibilities cancel out each other, revealing your exact position, CR, equipment inventory, and home address to everyone around, even blind people and ones from whom you have total cover/concealment.


When manifesting, a psion can make a DC (15+power level) concentration check to suppress the displays.

Yet another reason I despise psionics with an all-consuming hatred that knows neither rest nor mercy nor any limits in this world or any other.

About the combining spells, Abd-al-Azrad is right, it's very silly and game-breaking, not to mention sheer torture for DMs to adjudicate. Although I do like the idea of summoning Enlarged monsters . . . heheheh.

chaiyo
2006-04-20, 04:30 PM
Your interpretation of Invisible invisible is...interesting... but shouldn't Invisible Spell only be applied to stuff that requires a ray, cone, etc.? Otherwise, it has very little effect, and only makes sense as I just said. Or is there something else involved?

Zeful
2006-04-20, 04:41 PM
Invisibile Spell [Metamagic]: It is difficult to determine where an invisible spell came from or who cast it. Rays, cones, lines, orbs, beads (as fireball), spheres, globes and glowing eyes are imperceptible in invisible spells, though true seeing or similar magic reveals them. This does not affect the targets' ability to evade or avoid the effect. A victim of an invisible spell may determine the approximate direction the spell came from (which may entitle him to a Spot check) with a Wisdom check of DC 10 + spell level. An invisible spell uses a spell slot two levels higher than it normally would.

What do you think? Is it playable under more general circumstances?
I have a couple of bones to pick with this feat.
#1. Enimies with high reflex saves and evasion are still going to laugh off an invisible fireball, even though they can't see it so I think that it should have an addendum of the following. "An invisible spell is undetectable, save for true seeing and similar effects, and as such all reflex saves are reduced by four and evasion and similar class abilities (such as improved evasion) do not allow one to avoid all damage on a success saving throw (or in the case of improved evasion half damage on a failed save). An enemy with true seeing effects does not recive the penalty to reflex saving throws or the inactivity of evasion like abilities. " And then bump it to +3.

Okay, it turned out to be only one, but it's a good feat I might take it for use in campagins I run, with the above addendum.

EDIT: I remember my second problem, it should have still spell (or silent spell) as a prerequisite and maybe CL 5

Orion-the-G
2006-04-20, 07:08 PM
Your interpretation of Invisible invisible is...interesting... but shouldn't Invisible Spell only be applied to stuff that requires a ray, cone, etc.? Otherwise, it has very little effect, and only makes sense as I just said. Or is there something else involved?

It states that it only applies to those things explicitly in the feat text.

kailin
2006-04-20, 09:48 PM
Enimies with high reflex saves and evasion are still going to laugh off an invisible fireball, even though they can't see it

Actually, boosting the DC of spells in open combat wasn't the point of this feat. It's supposed to make the spell stealthier, just like still spell and silent spell, for cases when the mage absolutely does not want the spell's effect to point to him as the caster. I was thinking specifically of assassinations and one-off ambushes. Imagine an influential cleric stepping out into the church square and then simply disintegrating, with no sign of the cause. Hence the fairly limited effect and correspondingly low spell level adjustment.

What you're suggesting is, in game-mechanical terms, a Heighten Spell that only affects the DC for reflex saves, and so gives only a +3 SLA for a +4 DC. This in and of itself seems ok if that's the sort of thing you're looking for in your campaign, though it does invite a small bit of min-maxing (particularly with Spell Focus: Evocation and the like). Letting it outsmart Evasion, though, leaves the feat wide open for abuse.

I sympathize with your wish to fry those obnoxious damn rogues, but Evasion is one of the only things that keeps them and their lousy d6 hit points alive against traps or in combat when they need to be close enough to the action to sneak-attack--and they don't get much access to magical defense. A rogue denied Evasion who gets hit with a fireball from a mage of the same level stands to either die or, if he makes his difficult save, lose half his hit points right there. Also, negating Evasion because the spell is undetectable before going off implies that victims lose their Dex bonus to reflex saves, in addition to the -4 penalty, which devastates a rogue's chances of saving successfully.

As for monks, well, I'm not sure exactly how you kill a monk, but severely pumped save DCs are probably not the best answer as far as game balance is concerned. Make a monk-killer class with all sorts of cheesy tricks to specifically bring down those bulletproof bastards. The problem with indiscriminate effects strong enough to reliably take out a monk is that they'll tend to utterly obliterate the rest of the party 19 times out of 20. *cough.*

Combining Invisible Spell with Silent Spell will certainly improve your chances of casting undetected from a hidden spot (which was the original point of the feat), and I would almost always combine the two feats when using Invisible Spell in those situations. But instead of incorporating Silent Spell and making it a prereq, in the end I erred on the side of versatility and left Invisible Spell as a small effect with a small SLA. After all, wizards get a decent number of bonus feats to expand their options, and sorcerors have the benefit of spontaneous metamagic, so it's easy enough for each of them to combine the two feats themselves, when they want to.


It states that it only applies to those things explicitly in the feat text.

Yup, thanks Orion. Just think about Invisible Summon Monster. Spell slot adjustment +1? OK! Or Invisible Rainbow Pattern to specifically target those pesky characters using True Seeing . . . fun times, but silly.

chaiyo
2006-04-20, 09:58 PM
First: Oh, sorry, I misinterpreted that stuff at the top.

Second: Is the focus of this spell just to make a Fireball/Cone of Cold/Lightning Bolt seem like it comes out of nowhere? If so, I think it's up to the DM to decide whether to give this feat more strength. As of now, I believe it's solid enough.

General_Ghoul
2006-04-20, 10:25 PM
Posted by: soylentplaid Posted on: Apr 19th, 2006, 6:19pm
But my question, of course, is what about Invisibled Invisibility?

Don't even think it, it's like faxing a mirror or wishing for more wishes. Don't tear the fabric of the universe please.

kailin
2006-04-20, 10:26 PM
Is the focus of this spell just to make a Fireball/Cone of Cold/Lightning Bolt seem like it comes out of nowhere?

Yes it is. And glad you think it works, I like it the way it is too, but I agree that for some campaigns DMs would have to ramp up its power level to make it an attractive/useful feat.

Jothki
2006-04-21, 02:03 AM
So if you get still spell and silent spell as well, can you stand around in the middle of crowds and kill people without any evidence whatsoever that you are responsible?

Orion-the-G
2006-04-21, 02:27 AM
considering that's a +3 spell adjustment I'd say no reason why not.

If you Still and Silent spell something like Domination, confusion, power word kill, or circle of death there's a ton of ways for you to slaughter plenty of folks without being obvious about it. Most non-direct damage spells are 'invisible' to begin with.

Zeful
2006-04-21, 09:53 AM
Actually, boosting the DC of spells in open combat wasn't the point of this feat. It's supposed to make the spell stealthier, just like still spell and silent spell, for cases when the mage absolutely does not want the spell's effect to point to him as the caster. I was thinking specifically of assassinations and one-off ambushes. Imagine an influential cleric stepping out into the church square and then simply disintegrating, with no sign of the cause. Hence the fairly limited effect and correspondingly low spell level adjustment.
Okay that makes sence, but it seems to me the flavor of the feat is lacking abit.


What you're suggesting is, in game-mechanical terms, a Heighten Spell that only affects the DC for reflex saves, and so gives only a +3 SLA for a +4 DC. This in and of itself seems ok if that's the sort of thing you're looking for in your campaign, though it does invite a small bit of min-maxing (particularly with Spell Focus: Evocation and the like). Letting it outsmart Evasion, though, leaves the feat wide open for abuse.
People will abuse anything given enough time and options. What I was trying to suggest was that an invisible spell will most likely catch people off guard.


I sympathize with your wish to fry those obnoxious damn rogues, but Evasion is one of the only things that keeps them and their lousy d6 hit points alive against traps or in combat when they need to be close enough to the action to sneak-attack--and they don't get much access to magical defense. A rogue denied Evasion who gets hit with a fireball from a mage of the same level stands to either die or, if he makes his difficult save, lose half his hit points right there. Also, negating Evasion because the spell is undetectable before going off implies that victims lose their Dex bonus to reflex saves, in addition to the -4 penalty, which devastates a rogue's chances of saving successfully. This makes my argument seem oddly inferior


As for monks, well, I'm not sure exactly how you kill a monk, The tarassquace(I know I spelt that wrong)
but severely pumped save DCs are probably not the best answer as far as game balance is concerned. Make a monk-killer class with all sorts of cheesy tricks to specifically bring down those bulletproof bastards. The problem with indiscriminate effects strong enough to reliably take out a monk is that they'll tend to utterly obliterate the rest of the party 19 times out of 20. *cough.*Not fully true but very very close.


Combining Invisible Spell with Silent Spell will certainly improve your chances of casting undetected from a hidden spot (which was the original point of the feat), and I would almost always combine the two feats when using Invisible Spell in those situations. But instead of incorporating Silent Spell and making it a prereq, in the end I erred on the side of versatility and left Invisible Spell as a small effect with a small SLA. After all, wizards get a decent number of bonus feats to expand their options, and sorcerors have the benefit of spontaneous metamagic, so it's easy enough for each of them to combine the two feats themselves, when they want to.It just seems like an odd feat to not have some kind prerequisite.

kailin
2006-04-21, 12:03 PM
Me: As for monks, well, I'm not sure exactly how you kill a monk,



The tarassquace(I know I spelt that wrong) Quote:

Amen, brother!