View Full Version : Depowering wizard utility abilities (3.5 Core, PEACH)

2011-08-22, 03:52 PM
Having proposed fixes for wizard offense and defense, the next step is utility abilities. This is supposed to be a strength of casters (especially wizards), but even so it's sometimes too strong. So here's the fix (of which I have posted a substantial portion before):
-All bonuses to disguise checks provided by Illusion and Polymorph-type spells are circumstance bonuses, apply only when in the new form, and do not stack with each other.
-If an illusion allows a save to negate it when it's interacted with, careful sensory perception (such as a search check) counts as careful study and therefore interaction for this purpose.
-Divination is fixed as proposed here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=202633).
-Comprehend Languages only helps with relatively common languages (those that can be taken with the Speak Language skill). If you need a Decipher Script check to understand it, Comprehend Languages won't help you.
-Allies are fixed as proposed here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=204018).
-The Knock spell takes 5 minutes to cast.
-Rope Trick can have a casting time of 1 standard action, 1 minute, 10 minutes, or 1 hour (caster's choice.) The duration is equal to the casting time (treating a standard action casting time as 1 round) multiplied by the caster's level (minimum 5 minutes). A similar rule applies to Mage's Magnificent Mansion, but with twice the duration.
-You can move through a Solid Fog with a Strength check (but not an Escape Artist check) as if it were a Web. You may first roll the check and then decide whether to use it or just move 5'. Anyone outside the fog attacking a creature inside it takes the same -2 to melee attack and damage as someone inside it does.
-Stone Shape works only on entire stone objects and unworked stone, not on a portion of a worked stone object.
-Poisons, or anything found under "special substances and items", cannot be made with Minor Creation (or anything based on it).
-A Wall of Iron is made of extremely impure iron, which cannot be made into anything usable except by magic (or by smelting it as if it were ore). As created, it still has full hit points.
-The Bigby's Hand line of spells never gets a bonus on checks for the caster's key ability score, but may use the caster's key ability score instead of its own strength score whenever that is to its advantage. In addition, when grappling the hand uses 3/4 the caster level (rounded down), not the actual caster level.
-A simulacrum lasts only 2 days per caster level. As that time approaches, it begins losing hit dice at a rate of one per day, reaching 0 at the end of 2 days per caster level. (So its HD is equal to the number of days left or the original HD, whichever is less.)
-Polymorph Any Object is fixed as per here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=204434).
-When a Conjuration (Teleportation) spell involves a maximum weight (such as Teleport, Greater Teleport, or Teleport Object), objects inside Bags of Holding and Portable Holes do count toward that weight.
-When Gate is used to call creatures, it has a 10 minute casting time. When this is done by an arcane caster, the creature is entitled to a Will save and negotiations just as a Lesser Planar Binding spell; the negotiations may be accelerated to up to one offer per round, but escape attempts are accelerated to the same degree. If it is done by a divine caster, the creature or creatures must be of an appropriate subtype (matching part of either the caster's alignment or domains), or else it cannot be controlled. A candle of invocation is the divine version (and requires such in its creation), or can instead be used to upgrade a Planar Binding spell to the arcane version.
-Wish isn't really a utility spell, and so will be included in the fourth installment, for miscellaneous features.
-Cheesy tricks (as defined by the DM, excluding those dealt with here) fail to work via a mechanism determined by the DM on the spot.

-There is a new spell, so that even noncasters can block hostile teleportation at a reasonable price:

Divert Teleport
Sor/Wiz 5
Components: V, M
Casting time: 1 minute; see text
Range: Same plane; see text
Area: 60-ft. square per level (S), to a height and depth of 10 ft./level
Duration: 1 month/level
Saving throw: None or Will negates; see text
Spell Resistance: No or Yes; see text

Divert Teleport wards an area against teleportation, redirecting any teleports into the area to another designated location.

Divert Teleport does not normally allow a save, but if the new location is directly hazardous (e.g. into lava or a potentially deadly trap or into a solid object, but not simply into enemy forces), the teleporters are entitled to saves and spell resistance to negate the entire teleport (returning to where they started).

Divert Teleport cannot be dispelled.

Material component: 25 gp worth (5 pounds) of powdered silver. Half the powdered silver must be sprinkled around the border of the affected area, and the other half must then be placed at the desired new target for the teleportation. The spell is not completed until this is done, which can increase the casting time beyond one minute, depending on the size of the area, the distance to the new target, and the casterís speed. During the process, any planar travel (including Conjuration (teleport) spells) ruins the spell.


2011-09-14, 09:05 AM
What I would do is combine the various Bigby's spells into one spell that scales up with caster level.

I would also rule that scrying magic does not make someone sufficiently familiar with a location for teleportation purposes. That eliminates "scry and die."

For more ideas: http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=11013.msg377667#msg377667

2011-09-14, 10:25 AM
What I would do is combine the various Bigby's spells into one spell that scales up with caster level.

And then what would the spell level be? The relative improvements are too big for just a CL boost, they really do call for an SL boost.

I would also rule that scrying magic does not make someone sufficiently familiar with a location for teleportation purposes. That eliminates "scry and die."

It eliminates "scry and die" (as well as the potentially desirable "scry and travel") until Greater Teleport comes around. Divert Teleport eliminates "scry and die" period.

For more ideas: http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=11013.msg377667#msg377667

Thanks, but, just to take them one at a time:

Abjuration: (1) is really, as the post you linked to said, an anti-trapstravaganza measure; magical traps tend to be expensive and not too difficult for a well-balanced party, so it doesn't really seem needed.
(2) is already in the rules.
(3) is irrelevant without non-Core abilities that enhance abjurations.

Conjuration: You don't have Line of Effect to inside an object, so you can't conjure to inside it anyway. Summoning something to fall counts as a cheesy trick, so I already covered it. I don't really think the added Calling rules in the post you made are needed; anything from a Planar Ally spell will help you anyway, anything from a Planar Binding spell needs to be coerced anyway, and Gate now works pretty much like one or the other of those two. I don't see a need to change teleportation; if the characters want to skip the travel at high levels, that's up to them.

Of the things by the OP: The calling rule he suggested is already in my ally fix, except that mine affects commanding it (the called creature can still use it of its own will). All PHB creation spells are already noninstantaneous (so that part is unneeded), and I disabled poison uses. I see no need for his other changes.

The divination fixes seem based on killing a non-core piece of cheese (not an issue here) and blocking scry&die (which I did with Divert Teleport.)

The underpowered evocation spells have been rebalanced by the fact that they're pretty much the only offensive wizard spells that are not nerfed by my offensive fix. The problem, as I see it, isn't that evocations are too weak but that everything else is too strong. (Wizards still remain the best at buffing, debuffing, and AoE damage, as well as certain noncombat applications, so I'm not too worried about putting them out of a job.)

The point about sensory perception of an illusion counting as interaction is a good one. Added.

I see no reason to move TK to evocation; evocation is just fine with blasty spells.

I'm happy with my polymorph fix.