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View Full Version : Am I reading this right~Shadow Evocation



Tvtyrant
2010-10-27, 02:54 AM
You tap energy from the Plane of Shadow to cast a quasi-real, illusory version of a sorcerer or wizard evocation spell of 4th level or lower. (For a spell with more than one level, use the best one applicable to you.)

Spells that deal damage have normal effects unless an affected creature succeeds on a Will save. Each disbelieving creature takes only one-fifth damage from the attack. If the disbelieved attack has a special effect other than damage, that effect is one-fifth as strong (if applicable) or only 20% likely to occur. If recognized as a shadow evocation, a damaging spell deals only one-fifth (20%) damage. Regardless of the result of the save to disbelieve, an affected creature is also allowed any save (or spell resistance) that the spell being simulated allows, but the save DC is set according to shadow evocationís level (5th) rather than the spellís normal level.

Nondamaging effects have normal effects except against those who disbelieve them. Against disbelievers, they have no effect.

Objects automatically succeed on their Will saves against this spell.

Above is the SRD of Shadow Evocation. This spell is good, but not brokenly fantastic. However, Greater Shadow Evocation is simply the same thing applied to all Evocation spells of 7th tier and lower. Here is where I am confused; both of them label the spells as being only Verbal and Somatic, and you cast it as the illusion of the real spell, not as the real spell.

Does this mean you can use Shadow Conjuration to cast expensive Evocation spells for free?

odder
2010-10-27, 02:59 AM
do you mean spells that has material components as forcecage?
and yes I believe you can :smallsmile:

JaronK
2010-10-27, 03:19 AM
Does this mean you can use Shadow Conjuration to cast expensive Evocation spells for free?

Yup. Now consider that the casting time is also that of Shadow Evocation/Conjuration/whatever. Shadow Major Creation casts in a single Standard Action, and can create any plant matter. Black Lotus Poison and Sinmaker's Surprise are both plant matter. One cubic foot of either would be about 1000 doses if each dose is an ounce (which is conservative, considering one dose fits on a dart). Instant kill if they're not outright immune.

Yeah, it's broken.

JaronK

cdrcjsn
2010-10-27, 03:37 AM
And there are some prestige classes and feats (I think there were some gnome-specific ones) in a forgotten realms supplement that will let you take the shadow spells to be 100% as effective as the actual spells.

There was some combo where you can actually have it as high as 120%.

Eldan
2010-10-27, 03:39 AM
I think someone got it even higher as that.

A pretty good house rule, I think, and one that worked most of the time, was that I don't allow Shadow spells to create anything permanent, so Major Creation is pretty much out of the picture.

gorfnab
2010-10-27, 05:09 AM
And there are some prestige classes and feats (I think there were some gnome-specific ones) in a forgotten realms supplement that will let you take the shadow spells to be 100% as effective as the actual spells.

There was some combo where you can actually have it as high as 120%.
The Shadowcraft Mage Handbook (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=5638.0) explains how to do that and all the fun ways to exploit Shadow Evocation/Conjuration.

Jack_Simth
2010-10-27, 06:56 AM
Does this mean you can use Shadow Conjuration to cast expensive Evocation spells for free?It still costs you the spell slot, and it still costs you the standard action, and you're putting an extra save on it, and making it permit SR even if it didn't before. But yes, you can do a Shadow Evocation Continual Flame to light your way.... and get squished by the golem you didn't see coming because the light doesn't bounce off of it. You can use Greater Shadow Conjouration to put a Wall of Iron between you and your enemies so you can sleep a bit... and get CdG'd by the Drow assassin when you don't overcome his SR, and he simply walked through your wall. You can duplicate Sepia Snake Sigil, and find your books get read anyway when the Hexblade walks through and gets two saves to completely ignore your defenses.

Go for it.
Yup. Now consider that the casting time is also that of Shadow Evocation/Conjuration/whatever. Shadow Major Creation casts in a single Standard Action, and can create any plant matter. Black Lotus Poison and Sinmaker's Surprise are both plant matter. One cubic foot of either would be about 1000 doses if each dose is an ounce (which is conservative, considering one dose fits on a dart). Instant kill if they're not outright immune.Delivering those doses will cause you problems. Especially if you don't have poison handling as a class feature to avoid that pesky 5% clause.
I think someone got it even higher as that.

A pretty good house rule, I think, and one that worked most of the time, was that I don't allow Shadow spells to create anything permanent, so Major Creation is pretty much out of the picture.
Major Creation is not Permanent. Just, you know, long-running (depending on what you have it make)

But yeah - Instant, nonmagical Walls of 'Stone' that permit an interaction will save to make them look completely different, and will let a golem pass through unmolested (they allow SR) tend to bake DM's noodles, although there's nothing inherently unbalancing about them.

Urpriest
2010-10-27, 07:53 AM
Then of course there's Shadow Contingency.

Jack Zander
2010-10-27, 07:59 AM
Jack, I don't think he's saying Shadow Conjuration is broken when used as intended. I think he's saying you can use Shadow Conjuration to create 5,000 gp worth of diamond dust and give it your cleric to raise dead with. Or something like that.

Edit: Oh wait, I think he mistyped Shadow Conjuration in OP. He's pointing out that you can cast Shadow Evocation of an Evocation spell without its expensive material component.

Tvtyrant
2010-10-27, 12:26 PM
Right, Like the usually prohibitively expensive forcecage. I was thinking about Archmage SLA's, and that one hit me as being crazy.

Shadow Conjuration is the same thing of course.

JaronK
2010-10-27, 03:04 PM
Jack, I don't think he's saying Shadow Conjuration is broken when used as intended. I think he's saying you can use Shadow Conjuration to create 5,000 gp worth of diamond dust and give it your cleric to raise dead with. Or something like that.

That doesn't work, since even the default Major Creation can't make spell components. The issue is that you can now cast it on combat... you just create a cylinder of the stuff around your target. After the splooshing sound your target is dead. You don't go anywhere near it... it's basically an AoE blast spell that auto kills anyone who fails their Will Save and isn't immune to Poison.

Basically, some spells are balanced by being too slow to cast in combat (Major Creation) or being very expensive for material components (Force Cage). These spells become a lot more powerful when suddenly they take a standard action to cast and are free.

JaronK

Tvtyrant
2010-10-27, 10:09 PM
On the other hand SR now plays a part. Force-caging a Balor isn't going to work, since the cage will literally melt before his SR. But yeah, first time I personally found a major exploitation.

Gabe the Bard
2010-10-28, 12:20 AM
The way that the spell is written, it can work that way. But you should talk to the DM and come to an agreement about what you think is balanced in your game. Personally, I don't think it's very unbalancing to be able to cast those spells without the components and foci, since you are using a higher level spell slot AND it gives Will saves and SR to spells that didn't have them. Forcecage has an expensive material component precisely because it has no save or SR. Otherwise, it's not much different from a heightened Resilient Sphere.