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Starscream
2009-10-24, 06:41 PM
We all know that Persist Spell can cause all sorts of havoc, especially when combined with Divine Metamagic. Most DMs ban it outright.

By the same token, the only other metamagic feat that increases the duration of a spell is Extend, which merely doubles it. Handy, but for most spells lasting two minutes per level is really not much better than one. Unless your fights go on a long time, or you keep very accurate track of time out of combat, it's not really going to make a difference.

So I'm considering a sort of middle-ground feat for the game I DM, which I hope will be better than Extend, but not as easy to abuse as Persist.

I call it Superior Extend Spell. The name is stupid and if you have a better one please tell me.

Prerequisite: Extend Spell

Benefit: Increase the duration of a spell by one step, as shown in the table.

Superior Extend Spell:
{table=head]Original Duration|New Duration
1 round/level|1 min/level
1 min/level|10 min/level
10 min/level|1 hr/level
1 hr/level|24 hours
[/table]

Instantaneous spells and those with durations longer than 1 hr/level can not be affected by this feat. You cannot apply this feat to a spell more than once.

A Superior Extended spell uses up a spell slot three levels higher than the spellís actual level.

So what do you think? Broken or not? Is the +3 levels right? Has anything like this been done before?

Siosilvar
2009-10-24, 06:47 PM
It's probably good as +2.

Temet Nosce
2009-10-24, 06:49 PM
DMM: Persist is incredibly powerful, yes but Persist itself? Not so much, in fact in most cases it's not even worth using (unless you pair it with other methods of getting it for free or at reduced cost at least).

As for what you're proposing - no it doesn't seem particularly powerful, albeit this is just at a glance over while I'm sleep deprived.

Hashmir
2009-10-24, 06:50 PM
I'm not familiar offhand with breakable spells, but if it's going to break anything, it'll be in the 1 round -> 1 minute level. That said, I can't see a problem with it -- maybe it could even be +2 spell level. I don't know of any spells that, if they lasted for six times as long, would be more powerful than a different spell two or three levels higher.

Vangor
2009-10-24, 06:52 PM
I believe that would be useful, though with the addition of a feat as a prerequisite which, presumably, cannot be used alongside Superior Extend, I would make the spell slot adjustment a +2.

My problem has been rarely encountering the usage of a multitude of Metamagics, and I think this would be a welcome addition.

aje8
2009-10-24, 07:06 PM
I would strongly disagree with your assessment..... extend spell does a lot of powerful things. I almost always take it or buy a lesser metamagic rod of extend. It's just a very useful spell for a large number of things, from extending buffs to make them last all day or almost all day to using it on combat spells with short durations. It's pretty all around useful.

Oh, and persist really is only good with DMM and a few other specifc abuses.

That said, I like the meta-magic you've come up with. Can porbably be +2, as others mentioned.

It could potentially be broken with specifc spells, but it's probably ok. Going from minutes per level to hours per level is the big jump though. That's means going from a buff that lasts basically for 1 encounter to a buff that lasts all day....... I can't think of a specific abuse but one might exist.

jiriku
2009-10-24, 07:14 PM
Agreeing with others, if that has Extend Spell as a prerequisite feat, it's balanced at +2 levels.

Also echoing others, Persist Spell is a very cleanly balanced feat since 3.5 revised its cost from +4 to +6. Divine Metamagic is the "broken" feat in the combo, since it allows players to use a cheap, plentiful resource (turn undead attempts) to pay costs instead of a scarce, expensive resource (high-level spell slots).

Starscream
2009-10-24, 08:06 PM
Hmmm...well I wasn't planning on banning DMM entirely, just persist. Do you still think +2 is enough if it can be bought with turn attempts?

Another question: some of you have said that having Extend as a prerequisite is unfair because they can't be used together. But what if they can? If you have both feats, would increasing the duration from, say, 1 min/level to 20/mins/level be worth the prereq? And would doing so be worth +3 total or +4?

Grumman
2009-10-24, 08:11 PM
Hmmm...well I wasn't planning on banning DMM entirely, just persist.
That is a bad way of doing it. Why not ban the thing that is actually broken (either DMM or nightsticks)?

Demons_eye
2009-10-24, 08:13 PM
Well using both with, say, shield and Grater mage armor it turns shield into 4th a level spell but last 2hour/level. GMA is now a 6th level spell but for 4hour/level.

I don think it would be horribly over powered

Thrice Dead Cat
2009-10-24, 08:18 PM
Just a quick note, but that set-up, minus only doubling hour/level, is identical to the fix on the Rebalanced Compendium over at brilliantgameologists.com for persistent spell. They also pinned it at +2 slot adjustment, which I agree with, personally.

Xenogears
2009-10-24, 08:19 PM
Whats the point of that last step on the table? I mean it does the exact same thing as regular extend. And comboing it is kinda useless since 1 hour per level compared to 3-4 (depending on how they combine) hours per level is not a huge jump...

jiriku
2009-10-24, 08:21 PM
Hmmm...well I wasn't planning on banning DMM entirely, just persist. Do you still think +2 is enough if it can be bought with turn attempts?

Another question: some of you have said that having Extend as a prerequisite is unfair because they can't be used together. But what if they can? If you have both feats, would increasing the duration from, say, 1 min/level to 20/mins/level be worth the prereq? And would doing so be worth +3 total or +4?

Your game is yours to run as you wish of course, but if I could offer food for thought...do you see how even after banning Persistent Spell, you're still worried about Divine Metamagic? Are you sure Persist is your problem and not DMM?

I think it would be totally legit to combine Extend and Superior Extend. +3 total would be fair and appropriate. Especially since you can tell your players ahead of time that you're allowing it on a trial basis; then just make adjustments if it causes balance problems.

Flickerdart
2009-10-24, 08:26 PM
Superior Extending hour/level spells could make them a flat 24hr duration. Since you're multiplying the other ones by 6, 10 and 6 respectively, bumping this one up would be nice, and also prevent shenanigans where your per-hour spells, with just Beads of Karma, last 48 hours, meaning you can have twice as many buffs on at any given time that you can actually prepare.

Starscream
2009-10-24, 08:30 PM
That is a bad way of doing it. Why not ban the thing that is actually broken (either DMM or nightsticks)?

Good point. But I think there are enough legit uses for DMM to keep it, and the only one I ever hear people complain about is its use with Persist. Should I ban it entirely? Or keep both DMM and Persist, but rule that you can't use them together? Is using it with other metamagic feats a game breaker as well? I haven't really used it enough to know from experience.

As for nightsticks, I might as well just ban them outright. I've never used them, anyway. Or at least not allow them to stack.


Whats the point of that last step on the table? I mean it does the exact same thing as regular extend.

Also a good point. I'll fix that bit.

jiriku
2009-10-24, 08:50 PM
Simply ruling that multiple nightsticks don't stack really solves most of the persisting shenanigans. At that point, the most number of turn undead attempts that a player can economically get with items is 9 (nightstick, reliquary amulet, and cloak of charisma +6). Any additional turn undead attempts have to come from feat slots via the extra turning feat.

That's a lot of resources! I'm playing a level 6 DMM Persist cleric currently, and between Extend Spell, Persistent Spell, DMM: Persist, and Extra Turning (once), I have spent half my WBL, four feats, 14 turn undead attempts, and two spell slots in order to have TWO persistent spells without the +6 cost.

Edit: Additional free persists are going to come at the cost of approximately two feats, seven turn attempts, and a spell slot for each additional spell persisted. The opportunity cost of those resources (which could have been committed elsewhere) is substantial.

Milskidasith
2009-10-24, 08:53 PM
(Divine Metamagic is a divine feat, which means you can get a +3 from your Holy Symbol, not a +2. I think. I can't remember the exact wording of it.)

jiriku
2009-10-24, 09:08 PM
(Divine Metamagic is a divine feat, which means you can get a +3 from your Holy Symbol, not a +2. I think. I can't remember the exact wording of it.)

You can get three, yes. But to qualify for one of those three, you have to take the Improved Turning feat. It's more economical to pass on Improved Turning and take another Extra Turning instead, if you're really gunning for massive turn attempts/day.

Edit:
Starscream, I've played with a player who used DMM: Quicken in combination with some weird 3.0 class that handed out bonus Extra Turning feats like candy on Halloween (no nightsticks though), and it wasn't anything to get worried about. Everyone at the table was able to contribute and have fun.

Edit again: Actually, you do have a problem with Superior Extend. The problem occurs when it's applied to spells with durations like 1 round/2 levels, 1 round/3 levels, or flat amounts like 3 rounds. These spells are balanced on the assumption that you won't be able to keep them going for the entire fight, and many of them grow dramatically more powerful if they last several minutes. Perhaps you could balance that by having Superior Extend only apply to spells with an original duration of one minute per level or more.

ericgrau
2009-10-24, 09:18 PM
Extend as-is is already extremely useful for buffs. Superior extend might as well be all day for many buffs, making it as bad as persist for the last 2 rows in your table and almost as bad as persist for 1 min/level => 10 min/level. This is the sort of stuff that lets those with persist always trump those w/o, and thus it should not be allowed at any price.

About half of the 1 round/level spells are abusable with this. Consider melf's acid arrow hit and runs, identifying a billion magic items with analyze dweomer, way better summoned monster trap finders, etc. Also, what jiriku said.

So it's a problem for spells below 1 min/level, it's a problem for spells 1 min/level and above, and thus it's just plain not workable.

minchazo
2009-10-24, 09:26 PM
If it's gonna be abused, it would be in the damage over time area.

Creeping cold (lvl 2 druid spell) is the best example of that. An extended creeping cold (lvl 3) is exactly the same as greater creeping cold (lvl 7). Give it the opportunity to last for minutes, and your strategy will be to cast it once and everyone runs away for a couple minutes.

Starscream
2009-10-24, 10:04 PM
About half of the 1 round/level spells are abusable with this. Consider melf's acid arrow hit and runs, identifying a billion magic items with analyze dweomer, way better summoned monster trap finders, etc. Also, what jiriku said.

Another good point. I should probably limit what spells it works on. Direct Damaging spells are probably out. Debuffs might be a bad idea as well.

I don't think Analyze Dweomer is too broken, since at +3 it's a 9th level spell. There are plenty of spells at that level way more broken than analyzing items for a minute per level. You are at least level 17 by that point. If you have more magic items to check than can be done with one or two castings of normal AD (and what wizard wouldn't rather spend 2 6th level slots than a 9th level one?), then I wish I had your problems.

Same with summoning. If you are in combat, than a more powerful monster for a round per level is probably much more useful than a weak one for a minute per level. And if you are out of combat, what does it really matter? A black bear can set off traps just as well as a brown bear or a polar bear. If you have a 5th level slot to use on summoning an extended 2nd level trap-finder, than any level appropriate trap it sets off is almost sure to kill it. Then you wasted the higher level spell, when a lower level monster would be just as dead after one trap.

Edit:
Reading that last bit, I don't think I made what I was saying very clear. Here's a clarification.

Let's say you enter a room you suspect to be trapped, and want to summon something to walk through first and set any traps off. You have three options.

1) Use a 2nd level slot to summon a black bear. It goes through the room. It sets off the trap. It dies.

2) Use a 5th level slot to summon a polar bear. It goes through the room. It sets off the trap. It probably doesn't die as easily, but will vanish soon anyway. You just wasted a 5th level spell slot.

3) Use a 5th level spell slot to summon an superior extended black bear. It goes through the room. It dies. You just wasted a 5th level spell slot.

If it turns out there's no trap, fine, you have the black bear still available to check out the next room. But it still probably wasn't worth such a high spell slot to get such a weak monster.

ericgrau
2009-10-24, 10:22 PM
That still only solves the 1 round/level duration issue. The others are still a pain. If it only works on 1 round/level spells and then only certain ones, maybe I'd reduce the slot adjustment to +2.

Tyndmyr
2009-10-25, 02:14 AM
DMM: Persist is incredibly powerful, yes but Persist itself? Not so much, in fact in most cases it's not even worth using (unless you pair it with other methods of getting it for free or at reduced cost at least).

As for what you're proposing - no it doesn't seem particularly powerful, albeit this is just at a glance over while I'm sleep deprived.

It's worth using for the following reason, even without reducers: You can persist buffs the night before, and have them active the entire adventuring day without depleting your spells for that day. Sure, you need to guess at what'll be useful, and the level adjust is limiting, but will there ever be a time when your melee won't want haste persisted all day?

I wouldn't say it's broken, necessarily, but it's definitely useful.


I agree that extend is situational at best. It's useful at certain levels with rope trick, mage armor, etc, but once you hit the point where your hr/level buffs are essentially all day buffs, it's pointless. Anything else is generally going to last long enough in a single fight to not be worth extending, but there's generally enough time between fights that extending isn't reliably helpful. Some intermediate metamagic would be useful, and increasing the time increment by one seems nifty.

Zaydos
2009-10-25, 02:19 AM
I sometimes like extending 1 minute/level spells; at high levels it pushes them past the half an hour mark and makes it much easier to cast them before battle and even if we're only talking low (1-3) level spells that can be useful.

ericgrau
2009-10-25, 02:23 AM
I agree that extend is situational at best. It's useful at certain levels with rope trick, mage armor, etc, but once you hit the point where your hr/level buffs are essentially all day buffs, it's pointless. Anything else is generally going to last long enough in a single fight to not be worth extending, but there's generally enough time between fights that extending isn't reliably helpful. Some intermediate metamagic would be useful, and increasing the time increment by one seems nifty.
By the time you no longer need extend for your hour/level stuff, it becomes great for your 10 min/level stuff. Just cast the extended spell twice to keep it going.

Eldariel
2009-10-25, 03:19 AM
By the time you no longer need extend for your hour/level stuff, it becomes great for your 10 min/level stuff. Just cast the extended spell twice to keep it going.

Or thrice at worst. Yeah, Extend Spell truly has a great variety of uses. It's not only the low-level hour/level spells and high-level 10 min/level spells, but also e.g. Extending a summon for longer combat use on low levels and Extending spells such as Creeping Cold that have incremental effect based on their duration are both very workable uses for it.

And on high levels you'll want to Extend 24 hour-spells or hour/level spells (or persisted spells, I suppose) to make them last multiple spells thereby conserving a great number of spell slots every other day. It's really the one metamagic alongside Quicken Spell I'd never want to be without.