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View Full Version : [PF] Clone Collective spell, unbalanced?



Analysis
2011-10-13, 10:01 PM
This is intended for Pathfinder. I fear it may be too powerful, and if so, would like feedback on ways to nerf it. Effectively, the caster can split her minds between multiple clones, each slightly less powerful than the original was. They share all memories older than one month. As it is, I see definite problems with action economy, and considered an option where clones close to each other cannot cast spells at the same time. What are your thoughts?

Clone Collective
School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 9, witch 9

CASTING
Casting Time One hour
Components V, S, M (a fully-grown clone of the caster, 25000 GP worth of reagents)

EFFECT
Range 0 ft.
Effect one clone possessed of a soul facet of the caster
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

DESCRIPTION

This spell allows the caster to partition her soul into distinct facets. Each such facet functions as a conscious protrusion from the original soul, which in turn forms a collective semi-consciousness shared by all the facets. Each time the spell is cast, a new facet can be created. A clone body grown from the caster must be available, which is subsequently inhabited by the new facet. Effectively, the caster splits herself into several bodies with semi-independent mental faculties. The entire clone collective, if one already exists, must be present while casting this spell, and each must prepare and cast the spell for it to complete.

Each clone (the original body is considered a clone as well for all purposes) has the same game statistics as the original caster, except as noted here. Spellcasting ability is divided up between the clones as follows: for each spell level, divide the base spell slots between the clones equally, rounding down. Each clone independently gains domain or school specialization slots, as well as bonus spell slots for a high casting attribute (where items affecting this attribute will only contribute to the clone wearing them). Each clone must possess at least one base spell slot of each level, this also means that the highest number of clones a wizard may facet into is four, the highest number of base ninth-level spell slots she can possess. Similarly, base hit points (from class levels) are divided between the clones, but each applies bonus hit points separately.

The clones gain no ability to communicate directly from this spell, and do not automatically share senses or experiences beyond strong emotions and sensory fragments. However, their memories and experiences gradually update through the collective semi-consciousness over time. Memories and the effects on personality of the experiences of those memories that are more than one month old are shared between the clones, with more recent experiences gradually propagated through the collective. This may potentially make for a psychology very different from most other creatures. If one clone changes in alignment, within a month's time, the alignment change will either have come to be reverted or have propagated to all clones, randomly determines according to the fraction of clones which have changed in alignment. The clone collective gains experience as a whole, and levels up as a whole, which changes gradually applying in identical fashion to all clones.

Most effects targetting a clone will not affect the other clones, but a magical connection (such as for scrying) that applies to one clone, applies equally to any of them equally. Additionally, each clone acts as a similar link to the other clones (counting as a body part for purposes of scrying). Due to its nature, a clone affected by memory revision effects will regain lost memories within a month's time. The same applies to permanent loss of levels or permanent ability damage. Neither reversion occurs if all clones have been subjected to the effect. While the clone collective is active (i.e. there are more than one clone in existence), no clone can be brought back from the dead if slain, nor turned into any form of intelligent undead. Rather, the soul fragments disperse back into the remaining clones, with its allotment of spell slots and hit points passing to the other clones within a month's time, at which point they may also be reused in a new body through another casting of this spell.

Paulcynic
2011-10-14, 01:03 AM
May I suggest that we look at this spell situationally? The more situations in which we evaluate this spell, the better we can see its true potential.

Here's one simplistic look:

You and your four clones all have Wierd and Destruction memorized. You all might have an Int score of 28 by the time you can cast 9th level spells, for a total of ten 9th level spell slots available for mayhem; the DC of your 9th level spells is 28. There's the Balor with a +29 bonus to his Fort save. Probably immune to instant death. The Pit Fiend has a +24 bonus to Fort saves, so a slim chance that one of your 5 spells will kill him.

I don't feel that being able to cast your strongest death spell five times in a round against CR equivalent foes is OP.

Perhaps a different scenario can be more telling? :)

Edit: cleaned up some phrasing.

--PC

Analysis
2011-10-14, 11:51 AM
I was mainly intending it for two purposes:

- The wizard is killed, but eventually returns. Standard clone territory.
- The wizard is in several places at once, i.e. one clone is busy manipulating rulers while another is at home doing experiments, and a third is out hunting for treasure.

Note that the "original" no longer exists, there are just up to four clones. As written, they would also each get specialist slots, if any. I see where you are getting at. Though on the other hand, the optimizers keep saying action economy is everything, and I am sure being able to cast up to four spells at once may be abused.

Then again, gating in a solar gives you about the same number of extra high-level spell slots as keeping the clones together, and at least one extra spell per round.

Realms of Chaos
2011-10-14, 10:43 PM
To keep this ability balanced while allowing it to do (more or less) what it is intended for, I'd suggest basing this spell off of project image rather than clone.

You can project four spellcasting images of yourself anywhere that you are familiar with and you can control them as normal with them sending you back sensory information. To cap it off and ensure it's balance, make it take a standard action to cast a spell through one of these images (if the intention was to spread out the clones anyways, it seems unlikely that more than one would need spellcasting in a given round).

Analysis
2011-10-15, 08:05 AM
To keep this ability balanced while allowing it to do (more or less) what it is intended for, I'd suggest basing this spell off of project image rather than clone.

You can project four spellcasting images of yourself anywhere that you are familiar with and you can control them as normal with them sending you back sensory information. To cap it off and ensure it's balance, make it take a standard action to cast a spell through one of these images (if the intention was to spread out the clones anyways, it seems unlikely that more than one would need spellcasting in a given round).

Thank you, that would certainly balance things in that respect. However, (and I should have said this initially), the fact that the clones do not have constant real-time communication was one of the goals I had, as well as that you need to destroy all the clones to keep the wizard from returning.

Maybe an action penalty? If a clone is within a mile of another clone, all spellcasting times increase by one step, with full-round spells increasing to take two rounds to cast, for each additional clone within that area that also casts spells this round?