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Yuven
2010-05-04, 07:21 AM
Hi, I got an idea for a new epic spell, but I don't know exactly how to make it.

The basic idea of this spell is to be an army slayer(IE killing a ton of low level characters). How i thought to accomplish this was some sort of chain lightning effect, but each target shoot out two more rays, and they rays only stop when they have been resisted.

Due to the virus-like ability of this spell, I wanted to call it Viral Death :smalltongue:

The reason I want two rays is that a normal chain spell that stops when it gets resisted will have a 5% chance of stopping each time it jumps. The the spell would only kill about 20 soldiers, and that is not much of an army stopper is it?

I though maybe having some sort of Power word kill effect on hit, but that seems "un-realistic".

Any thoughts about how "Viral death" could work?

DracoDei
2010-05-04, 07:34 AM
I don't recommend using the usual Epic spell rules, I hear they are badly made. Someone else might be able to help you with designing this.

I would recommend saying that it will only jump to creatures that the caster has LOS to, plus perhaps limiting it to Long range UNLESS you don't mind if it also qualifies as a "city killer", rather than an "army killer".

Actually, there is a MAJOR problem with this that is going to perhaps be hard to fix from a fluff perspective. Namely, everyone forgets that rats and insects exist.Thus, rather than the split mechanic, you might as well say "every creature within range" if it can hit fleas. Saying it is some sort of mental effect and thus only targets creatures with INT 3 or more helps a lot with that. Even Int 1 keeps fleas and grasshoppers out of the picture.

I would nerf the DC... maybe even make it half what it normally is, since we are talking about Epic vs level-1-to-4 (and that includes the Heavy Warhorses) here... actually capping it at 4 HD in general is a good thing. Also say any given target can't be hit more than once by it.

Kobold-Bard
2010-05-04, 08:02 AM
Viral Death

Evocation (Negative)
Spellcraft DC: 247 {{237}}
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 Round
Range: 300ft then 50ft/bolt
Area: 300ft Ranged Touch attack, 50ft Ranged Touch Attack
Duration: Instantaneous
Save: Reflex 1/2
Spell Resistance: Yes
To Develop:
Seed: Energy [primary bolt] (19), Energy x2 [secondary bolts] (38), Slay (ad hoc 25)
[U]Factors: 1 Round Casting Time (+2), change from target to Ranged Touch (+4) 2 Secondary targets/bolt (20) x10 for infinite progression (ad hoc +200), bolt doesn't continue if target doesn't die (ad hoc -50), only affects living creatures with an inherent Intelligence score of 2 or higher (ad hoc -1), secondary bolts limited to 50ft range (ad hoc -10){{, Caster cannot prevent further bolts from striking (ad hoc -10)}}.

This potent spell was crafted by the Mage Yuven to wipe out the ground troops of the armies that marched against him.

A bolt of pure black energy erupts from the caster's hand and strikes the primary target, shredding their lifeforce from their very bones and deals 10d6 negative energy damage. Assuming this target dies the bolt then continues on, splitting into two further bolts that strike the next nearest living creature.

This virulent spell can continue indefinitely, until either no targets remain within range or all bolts are blocked by the survival of their target simultaneously. {{This means after the spell is cast the caster has little control over it, he is unable to prevent further bolts from being created or decide which target the bolt goes to.}}

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Add mitigating factors to taste. Whaddaya think, my first real attempt at an Epic Spell.

DracoDei
2010-05-04, 08:11 AM
I think you didn't read what I said about fleas and mice, or about City-killers... the range needs to be limited from the CASTER, not PER BOLT to avoid that... unless you didn't want to avoid that?

Yuven
2010-05-04, 08:13 AM
Haha! That was awesome ^^
i will try some tweaking with mitigating factors to get the insane DC down to some more reasonable levels. :D

as DracoDei said I will need to avoid hitting critters, and make it stop when the army is dead.
What about it only affects creatures perceived by the caster as enemies? That does not sound very much like a mitigating factor to me, rather the other way around.

And the thing about not making it a city-killer is important, because what is the point of ruling if you are completely alone?

Kobold-Bard
2010-05-04, 08:16 AM
I think you didn't read what I said about fleas and mice, or about City-killers... the range needs to be limited from the CASTER, not PER BOLT to avoid that... unless you didn't want to avoid that?

Technically you ninja'd me with that. I'l stick in a qualification regarding minimum Int. I'll also reduce the max range of each bolt, maybe 50ft each after the initial one.

Edit: Done. Kept Int 2 so it can target mounts as well as soldiers. I know 50ft is still a bit long, but I like it because it means that it can't be prevented by people just spreading out their (probably elite) troops.


Haha! That was awesome ^^
i will try some tweaking with mitigating factors to get the insane DC down to some more reasonable levels. :D
Probably a good idea :smalltongue:

Yuven
2010-05-04, 08:24 AM
There is one minor issue about this spell though. Undead armies are totally immune to this spell. Instead of having a slay effect, is it not possible to do enough damage that most of the army will die?

Kobold-Bard
2010-05-04, 08:26 AM
There is one minor issue about this spell though. Undead armies are totally immune to this spell. Instead of having a slay effect, is it not possible to do enough damage that most of the army will die?

Sure, just take the Slay seed out and pick a normal Energy Seed energy type. I just put Slay in for flavour. Use Sonic if you don't want it to be easily resisted.

Yuven
2010-05-04, 08:28 AM
As I really think this might be a spell used by an evil caster, is it possible to mitigate the DC by sacrificing a couple of people?

Kobold-Bard
2010-05-04, 08:35 AM
As I really think this might be a spell used by an evil caster, is it possible to mitigate the DC by sacrificing a couple of people?

The BoVD has sacrifice rules. In the book you get bonuses on a Knowledge check, though the number might work quite well for this.

Here's a couple of the more useful ones in this instance:

Conducted in a desecrated area +1
Conducted publicly (in the street or on the steps
of a public institution) +1

Sacrifice has 15 HD or levels +1
Sacrifice has 610 HD or levels +2
Sacrifice has 1115 HD or levels +3
Sacrifice has 16+ HD or levels +4

Sacrifice is willing, but duped or controlled +1
Sacrifice is genuinely willing +3

DracoDei
2010-05-04, 08:38 AM
... the key to avoiding City-killer is to measure a LONG range from the CASTER, NOT to shorten the range on the individual bolts... either that or require LoS from the caster.

Yuven
2010-05-04, 08:42 AM
what is a reasonable max range away from the caster?

Kobold-Bard
2010-05-04, 08:45 AM
... the key to avoiding City-killer is to measure a LONG range from the CASTER, NOT to shorten the range on the individual bolts... either that or require LoS from the caster.

I get that, and if Yuven wants to do so then he's more than welcome. However I like my version, it has more of the feel of being a virus when it's a bit out of the caster's control.

Yuven
2010-05-04, 08:50 AM
I would not use your uncontrollable spell on home soil at least :P

Yuven
2010-05-04, 09:16 AM
Viral Death

Evocation (Sonic)
Spellcraft DC: 72
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 round
Range: 300ft then 50ft/bolt
Area: 300ft Ranged Touch attack, 50ft Ranged Touch Attack
Duration: Instantaneous
Save: Reflex 1/2
Spell Resistance: Yes
To Develop:
Seed: Energy [primary bolt] (19), Energy x2 [secondary bolts]
Factors: 1 Round Casting Time (+2), change from target to Ranged Touch (+4) 2 Secondary targets/bolt (20) x10 for infinite progression (ad hoc +200), bolt doesn't continue if target doesn't die (ad hoc -50), only affects living creatures with an inherent Intelligence score of 2 or higher (ad hoc -1), secondary bolts limited to 50ft range (ad hoc -10), Caster cannot prevent further bolts from striking (ad hoc -10), Burn 10,000xp (-100), 30d6 backlash[105dmg average(easily fixed with harm/heal)](-30), creatures that has saved against this spell can not be targeted again for 24h (ad hoc -10).

This potent spell was crafted by the Mage Yuven to wipe out the ground troops of the armies that marched against him.

A bolt of pure energy erupts from the caster's hand and strikes the primary target, shredding their flesh from their very bones and deals 10d6 sonic energy damage. Assuming this target dies the bolt then continues on, splitting into two further bolts that strike the next nearest living creature.

This virulent spell can continue indefinitely, until either no targets remain within range or all bolts are blocked by the survival of their target simultaneously. This means after the spell is cast the caster has little control over it, he is unable to prevent further bolts from being created or decide which target the bolt goes to.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The XP cost stings a bit :O

Kobold-Bard
2010-05-04, 09:27 AM
1. You need to change it to 1 Round casting time, I missed that in mine too.

2. XP hit is hard, maybe increase the damage dealt, because this only averages 35 damage/person and balance it with some backlash/sacrifice/extra casters. Stick a +10 ad hoc that says they only have to be knocked down to 0 and it's killing most any mook squad in the world, so hopefully you only have to cast it once and can then use more traditional resources on those that remain without worrying about the distraction of the ant-mob.

Looks good, if I do say so myself :smalltongue:

Yuven
2010-05-04, 09:50 AM
It wasn't too bad, but the caster still needs a ton of spell craft to make that spell work, even with gloves of epic spell craft.

a level 29 caster with maxed spell craft (without any skill feats) and gloves of epic spell craft needs to roll a 20 to manage that spell. it can be managed with 2x Epic skill focus though.

Kobold-Bard
2010-05-04, 09:54 AM
It wasn't too bad, but the caster still needs a ton of spell craft to make that spell work, even with gloves of epic spell craft.

a level 29 caster with maxed spell craft (without any skill feats) and gloves of epic spell craft needs to roll a 20 to manage that spell. it can be managed with 2x Epic skill focus though.

Don't forget you get your Int Mod to Spellcraft as well, which should be pretty damn high by the time you've got a spare 10,000XP lying around :smalltongue:

Assuming Wizard of course, though Sorcerer's of this level should have at least a half-decent Int too.

Yuven
2010-05-04, 09:57 AM
It would have been nice to reduce that xp cost quite a bit, tho.

If the casting time was longer, it could be uses as a plot hook for the adventurers to stop the evil magician from decimating their army.

Glimbur
2010-05-04, 11:06 AM
Why not just use Blackfire from Spell Compendium? It will only work on tightly packed groups, but it has the advantage of not being epic.

Yuven
2010-05-04, 11:29 AM
Blackfire would still not work on an army of undead which could be a major drawback in a fantasy world.