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MagiMaster
2012-05-24, 06:55 AM
I need some help balancing some new spells. These are for an earth elemental themed wizard. I'm most interested in comments on the lower level spells, especially level 0 and 1, as those will be the ones I'll need soonest. I'm not the GM here, so I need to make sure these are useful, but not overpowered (not that I wouldn't want the same thing if I was the GM).

Link to wiki with spells. (http://wiki.rpg.net/index.php/Custom_Earth_Spells)

Link to Paizo discussion thread. (http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz5ras?Earth-Elemental-Wizards-Spells)

(I've been asking about this around the Paizo boards, and have gotten some good advice, but the homebrew area seems to be much more active over here.)

My biggest question at the moment is, can anyone think of any way to abuse the Solidify spell? Are there any existing spells or abilities that it would overshadow?

Thanks. :smallbiggrin:

Hanuman
2012-05-24, 07:14 AM
Transmute mud to rock as a cantrip? fun times.

For break ground's SR what exactly is resisting it?

Seems like if it's shards you might want to not be made of dirt or sand, unless its heavy wet soil filled with carrots, then that might make sense.

MagiMaster
2012-05-24, 05:42 PM
Any thoughts on whether or not it's abusable in any way?

I really wanted to keep it instantaneous, but I've changed the duration to 24 hours. I can't really see what would be unbalancing about letting a cantrip make a permanent change (assuming it doesn't create value), but a lot of people seem to have reservations about it.

For Break Ground, I could see it either way. Maybe I could reword it to say SR only applies if you target a square with a creature.

Madara
2012-05-24, 06:56 PM
I don't really see any abuse(or use) for solidify. The best I can think of requires a lot of time, but since it isn't permanent, its a no go.

Go ahead and make it permanent.


Acidic Burst seems a touch weak. Yes, acid damage is probably the best, but its still a blasting spell, not very useful. Maybe add a status effect like Fort or Nausea for X rounds.



and any object coated with the grease takes 1d4 points of acid damage instead.

Acidic grease needs this to be fixed. Otherwise you're gonna be able to use this to corrode through walls pretty fast.

MagiMaster
2012-05-24, 09:37 PM
I suppose I'll change Solidify back to instantaneous. :smallsmile:

For acidic burst, it does the same average damage (in total) as fireball when cast at 5th level. At 10th, it's a little weaker. If I make it much stronger, it would be strictly better than fireball, which I'm trying to avoid.

Acidic grease only has a duration of 1 round per level. It should do a little less total damage to a coated object than hitting it with acidic burst.

Madara
2012-05-24, 09:52 PM
For acidic burst, it does the same average damage (in total) as fireball when cast at 5th level. At 10th, it's a little weaker. If I make it much stronger, it would be strictly better than fireball, which I'm trying to avoid.

That's fine. Just be aware, Fireball isn't worth casting as-is. Direct damage is almost never overpowered. So I wouldn't worry.

MagiMaster
2012-05-24, 09:58 PM
Ok. So Solidify is looking pretty solid. Other than a few people's general trepidation about an instantaneous transmutation cantrip, there doesn't seem to be any obvious ways to really abuse the spell. In that case, I need to move on to the level 1 spell Break Ground, which feels like it might be a bit strong at the moment.

I still have to get these by my GM. Fireball is called out (in Ultimate Magic) as the best direct damage spell at that level, so I doubt he'll let me make anything that does more damage. Maybe I can get away with your suggestion of a status effect though.

Zarrgon
2012-05-24, 10:08 PM
*Acidic Burst-Why acid? Why not just make this a spray of dirt, rocks or sand? An ''Earth'' type fireball.

*Acidic Grease-Looks fine, except it's acid again.

*Break Ground-It's a bit much that 'difficult terrain' is 'makes you fall down' and your just doing the same effect as Grease. You might want to make an Earth spell more unique.

*Call Earth-does not look right. You can make more difficult terrain? Boring. Or you can make 25% cover? And if the spell just calls boulders, why not call it 'Call Boulders'? This spell really needs more effects.

*Ground-It's ok for a bland spell, but it's not really an Earth spell.....how about covering the target with rocks and tar that weight them down? Maybe a nice 50 pounds plus 5 pounds a level or something....enough to slow down a flying creature(or a walking creature for that matter).

*Solidify-looks fine, I don't think it can be abused.

*Stone Sense-Looks fine

Hanuman
2012-05-25, 12:57 AM
I'd have solidify change the hardness of earth material TBH, it expands it's functionality and makes it a little more objective in terminology.
I'd use the ground materials listed in the books as a 1>2>3>4>5>6 kinda step in terms of what hardnesses they turn into.

MagiMaster
2012-05-25, 01:02 AM
Earth elementals and the earth elemental bloodline get a lot of acid related abilities. Although a burst of stone or sand would also be interesting.

I'll have to go back and compare break ground and grease. I didn't mean to make them similar. The idea was to have a spell that created difficult terrain. (There were a few different versions of that, which is where call earth came from, although call boulders is a better name.)

What are the rules for carrying capacity and flight? My character is giving up fly (an air school spell) and instead is researching ways of preventing his opponents from flying.

There's one more spell added to the list: stone thorns. It's based on an ice spell from the 3.5 spell compendium.

Thanks for the input. I can tell several of these spells still need a lot of work. :smalltongue:

Edit: Ninja'd. I was considering a separate spell that would increase an objects hardness. That would definitely need a duration though, and I wanted to keep solidify as an instantaneous spell. It's just a cantrip and isn't supposed to be terribly useful, just flavorful.

Madara
2012-05-25, 07:16 AM
I still have to get these by my GM. Fireball is called out (in Ultimate Magic) as the best direct damage spell at that level, so I doubt he'll let me make anything that does more damage. Maybe I can get away with your suggestion of a status effect though.

But Fireball isn't the best spell. As I said before Direct Damage isn't really worth using in an ideal situation. Debuff and Battlefield Control. And I can say Kelegore's Grave Mist (3.5 PHBII) is much better.

MagiMaster
2012-05-25, 06:29 PM
I don't necessarily disagree. I just don't think I could get it by my GM.

Is there precedent for a spell that has a reflex save for the primary effect (damage) and a fortitude save for a secondary effect (sickened)? Or would you just have it so that anyone damaged is also sickened that round?

(Edit: I changed how break ground works. I'll probably want to make call earth somewhat different now.)

Zarrgon
2012-05-26, 12:58 PM
If you want a 3rd level 'Earth' attack spell, most DM's will allow you to just take 'Fireball' and make it an [Earth] spell. Such as 'making a small pebble, that when hurled to a spot explodes into razor shape shards of rock.

If you want a more unique Earth spell, you can keep the damage 1d4, but add another effect.

MagiMaster
2012-05-27, 12:29 AM
Yeah, I wanted to make it more unique than just changing the type.

The game starts next weekend, so I'm focused on the level 0/1 spells right now, so I haven't thought much about acidic burst. Adding a small status effect might work.

Zarrgon
2012-05-28, 09:31 PM
1.Solidify looks just fine, but you might want to change the wording. This spell just 'sun dries' earth, right? You don't want it to turn dirt into stone(that is not the way it works: if you put a ball of dirt out in the hot sun it does not become a stone) or turn mud into stone or clay into stone.

2.Break Ground looks a bit too powerful for 1st level as it simply does more then grease does. Grease only effects one square for 1 round a level, but by 5th level break ground can effect four squares for a full minute. This might need to be at least 2nd level.

And while I'm a huge Spell Resistance advocate I don't see 'broken ground' as giving spell resistance. But the standard action to effect another square, the duration decrease and the spell resistance could all together make this a 1st level spell...as that is a lot of drawbacks.

You might want to add a line that says ''only effect unworked earth or ground' to prevent people from trying to destroy castles with this spell(what would 'difficult terrain' be on a stonework floor? Does the 'shatter' do structural damage?)


3.Call Earth...just a thought. This should be 'Boulder Bungle' or something like that. And I think the visual of ''the wizard tosses a handful of pebbles from his hand and they from into boulders and.." is much better then 'boulders rise from the ground''.

MagiMaster
2012-05-29, 02:47 AM
Good points.

1) Solidify isn't supposed to just dry stuff out. It's supposed to leave you with a stone object, similar to the kind of stone you'd get from drying or firing the material (so earthenware or ceramic). I'll try and reword it to make that a bit clearer. (A spell to dry stuff out might have a similar effect of some materials though.)

2) Grease effects a 10 foot square, so you'd have to break 4 squares to cover the same. Of course, those four squares wouldn't have to be next to each other, but they'd also take 4 rounds. I should definitely add some text to say that this spell can't damage a sound structure. I feel like it should work on a cobblestone road or a brick floor though. And it'll go away after a few minutes. I want to keep this one at level 1 somehow, since it's the only level 1 spell I've got for the moment.

3) That is a better description.

Zarrgon
2012-05-29, 07:06 PM
1.Are you sure you want Solidify to Magically Transmute one type of substance into another. Making a dirt ball into 'sun baked' solid ball of 'earhtnware' is one thing.....but to transform a ball of dirt into a solid stone ball, is a bit much. To transform a bit of dirt, mud or clay into solid stone is a bit powerful for a 0 level spell. And it's open to lots of abuse, like pouring mud on someones boot and then trapping them in solid stone.

MagiMaster
2012-05-29, 07:22 PM
Yeah. It's a transmutation spell. It's also a full round to cast, at touch range. All they'd have to do is take a swift action to shake some dirt off their boots (imagine dumping quicky-drying cement on someone's shoes). I don't really want people to be able to trap even helpless opponents with this spell though, so I might need to reword it a little. (Well, I don't know. I guess it would work against a helpless opponent, but at that point, it's just flavor anyway.)

Madara
2012-05-29, 08:22 PM
1.Are you sure you want Solidify to Magically Transmute one type of substance into another. Making a dirt ball into 'sun baked' solid ball of 'earthnware' is one thing.....but to transform a ball of dirt into a solid stone ball, is a bit much. To transform a bit of dirt, mud or clay into solid stone is a bit powerful for a 0 level spell. And it's open to lots of abuse, like pouring mud on someones boot and then trappingmildly inconveniencing them in a thin layer of crusty stone, which they can either break out of, or slide out of their boots.

Fixed that for ya :smallbiggrin:

Zarrgon
2012-05-30, 12:41 AM
Yeah. It's a transmutation spell. It's also a full round to cast, at touch range. All they'd have to do is take a swift action to shake some dirt off their boots (imagine dumping quicky-drying cement on someone's shoes). I don't really want people to be able to trap even helpless opponents with this spell though, so I might need to reword it a little. (Well, I don't know. I guess it would work against a helpless opponent, but at that point, it's just flavor anyway.)

I'm not so worried about it's use in combat, but the idea that you can transform dirt or clay into stone can be a problem. Again, a baked clay object like pottery is not stone. If you had a harden clay object, you could still break it by hand.....but you'd be hard pressed to break a stone object.

Just think of all the thing you could do like cast it on someone already trapped in some mud, like a prisoner. A mage could take a half hour to turn the whole room full of mud into solid stone.

And Pathfinder just makes it worse as a spellcaster can cast this spell a dozens times a day. Now making a buch of clay/earthware items is fine...but making solid stone will be a bit of a problem.

Transmuting one type of thing to another, even just dirt to stone, should be higher level then a 0 level spell.

MagiMaster
2012-05-30, 01:33 AM
I don't think I could break ceramic (or even earthenware) any more easily than any other stone if they were the same shape. In fact, many ceramics are tougher than many stones. Also, per the wording, you cannot transmute part of a mud puddle into stone. You can only transmute a single separate object that takes up no more than 1 cubic foot. You might could make some stone handcuffs, but they'd have to be unconscious already before you could get them to stay on.

I do want to address any possible abuses, since I really want to keep this a level 0 spell, but so far I can't see the problem with your examples.

Gamer Girl
2012-05-31, 04:37 PM
Oh, elemental earth spells! I have a couple:


Sandy Hands
Evocation [Earth]
Level: Sor/Wiz 1

This spell is as Burning Hands, except the caster fires a blast of super accelerated sand.

In addition, anyone failing their save is blinded for one round by the sand, and anyone making their save is dazed.

Notes:Just Earthy Burning Hands, mostly. But I just hate being an Earth Elementalist or such and having to dip into other elements for attack spells. It does have a nice sight effect too, equal to catching things on fire for burning hands. Also, in my game [Earth] is an Elemental Energy Damage Type and any spell that 'makes things move fast and dangerous' is an evocation. To make this a 'traditional spell you'd need to have it Transmutation and do bludgeon damage.


Dust Blind
Evocation [Earth][Air]
Level: Sor/Wiz 0
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: standard action
Range: 10 feet
Targets: 1 medium size or smaller creature
Duration: Instantaneous(see text)
Saving Throw: Ref Neg
Spell Resistance: No

A fast spiral of wind travels up the targetís body (up to a medium height). If target is standing on a granulated surface (dust, sand, etc.), this is carried with the spiral, blinding the subject for two rounds if they fail a reflex save.
MC:A pinch of dust

Create Dust
Conjuration(creation)[Earth]
Level: Sor/Wiz 0
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: standard action
Range: Close
Targets: 15 foot radius
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

With this Cantrip, you coat the ground in a 15ft-radius circle with a fine layer of dust. The total amount created is very small - if collected it would easily fit in a closed fist. Creatures walking across the dust will leave footprints. If cast on an area already occupied by a creature or object it will create dust on the ground beneath them unless they are attached to the ground or partially buried, in which case it will only create dust around them.

MagiMaster
2012-05-31, 09:05 PM
Cool. Thanks. I'll add those to the list. (I'm not sure how an Earth-school wizard deals with a spell that's both earth and air though.)

Edit: I added them to the list, though I made a few small changes. For Sandy Hands, it's a bit too much to daze them on a failed save at level 1, especially for an area-effect spell.

I still need some feedback on Break Ground if anyone's still reading this. :smallwink:

Edit: I just noticed the Shifting Sand (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/advanced/spells/shiftingSand.html#_shifting-sand) spell. I think I'm going to have to rethink Break Ground.

Zarrgon
2012-05-31, 09:41 PM
I still need some feedback on Break Ground if anyone's still reading this. :smallwink:



To knock down one foe a round for a couple rounds with lots of limits on that effect, make break ground an Ok spell. It's just a variation of grease.

Local Tremor, from Races of the Dragon, makes a line of tremors, up to 5, for up to 1 minute a level. So break ground fits under that nicely.

MagiMaster
2012-05-31, 09:50 PM
Is Shifting Sand just underpowered for its level, or am I missing something?

Gamer Girl
2012-05-31, 09:55 PM
Cool. Thanks. I'll add those to the list. (I'm not sure how an Earth-school wizard deals with a spell that's both earth and air though.)

Edit: I added them to the list, though I made a few small changes. For Sandy Hands, it's a bit too much to daze them on a failed save at level 1, especially for an area-effect spell.



Oh, wait that should be Dazzled for Sandy Hands...just the -1 to hit and spot.

In my game, lots of elemental spell cross over into other elements, lava bolt id a [Fire] and [Earth] spell, for example.. I go all out with the basic elements, para elements, and quasi elements. So Dust Blind is also a [Dust] spell(per the negative quasi plane of Dust) and a spell of the opposing elementalist philosophy(that has spells in it like firewater).

Zarrgon
2012-05-31, 10:04 PM
Is Shifting Sand just underpowered for its level, or am I missing something?

Why would you think it's under powered? for one round a level you can churn up 20 feet of earth or sand and keep creatures entangled or prone. And it's difficult terrain and gives an acrobatics penalty and more effects.

MagiMaster
2012-05-31, 11:50 PM
It's a level 3 spell. I'm just trying to compare it to grease, for example. It's got a wider area, it can't be moved through at half speed, and it can be moved around, but it's duration is shorter, and it gives creatures two saves before falling prone. I'm not sure whether that adds up to two extra spell levels or not.

Well, in any case, I need to balance my spells against the existing ones and not worry too much about whether or not the existing spells are balanced.

Gamer Girl
2012-06-02, 06:35 PM
Another fun flavor spell:

Enoona's Pet Rock
Conjuration (summoning) [Earth]
Level: Sor/Wiz 1
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: standard action
Range: close
Targets: 1 rock
Duration: 1 hour/level
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: none

This spell summons a small bit of elemental spirit energy and imbues it into a rock for a time. The rock must be mostly rounded and no bigger then tiny size. The pet rock has a movement speed of 30 feet, but otherwise is a 'small animated object' for statistics. The pet rock performs simple tasks at your command. Though it can not perform delicate tasks and can not pick up or for the most part, manipulate anything. It could for example hold a open scroll down on a table in the wind, but could not pick up the scroll. The pet rock can give the caster a +2 circumstance bonus to any skill check(Dm's discretion), by providing the caster with a foot rest, armrest or otherwise helping.

The pet rock acts very much like a small pet, such as a dog or cat, might act. It will roll along and follow the caster, nudge her leg for attention, and loves to be petted. A caster can only have one pet rock at any one time. Should the caster cast this spell again, both pet rocks will immediately fight and destroy each other.

The pet rock must remain within 30 feet of the caster at all times, and it will not willing moved beyond that range. Should it be forceful taken out of range or the caster to move suddenly the spell ends and the pet rock returns to being just a normal rock.

Material Component:A small pebble

Lore:Enoona Whitecloak was a half elven earth elementalest that lived in the city of Neverwinter in the early 1300's DR. In 1308 DR she crafted this spell to give herself a pet, after she had lost the last of a long stream of pets to various things. Enoona made only a few copies of this spell, but was known to sell one every so often to the right mage. Enoona died of natural causes in 1349 DR and left all her things to the Clear Star Academy, a small mage school in Neverwinter. The academy added her spellbooks to it's libiary where they can still be found today.

Notes: If your into the full tilt (as in 2E Planescape) Elementalism then this spell technically summons an animental spirit that was once a pet in life. This is just a fun, mostly flavor spell, but some usefulness spell.

MagiMaster
2012-06-03, 10:20 PM
Hehe. Nice one. I don't think it quite fits my wizard though. :smalltongue:

Gamer Girl
2012-06-04, 08:47 PM
What kind of spells might your wizard be looking for? I have 100's of homebrewed spells....

MagiMaster
2012-06-05, 12:21 AM
He's a dwarf (magic resistant, lorekeeper, stonesinger). :smalltongue: I just imagine him as a fairly serious type, kind of stereotypically dwarven. Spellwise, he's got a mix of utility, control and blasting spells at the moment, and doesn't plan on taking many feats that focus on any one type.

That said, part of the idea here is that I want to make some spells myself. I've always wanted to, but never really had the chance. I just need some help making sure they aren't overpowered so I can get my GM to let me use them. But feel free to post other spells. Ideas are always welcome and there are others reading this. :smallsmile:

Gamer Girl
2012-06-13, 05:05 PM
Another fun flavor spell:

Rumbling rocks
Transmuation [Earth]
Level: Sor/Wiz 2, Clr 2
Components: V, S, M, F
Casting Time: standard action
Range: close
Area: 20-ft.-radius emanation centered on a creature, object, or point in space
Duration: 10 minutes /level
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: none

This spell need to be cast in an area with a large amount of loose rocks, rubble, gravel or other such solid earth. This spell animates all the loose earth in the area and causes it to bang and smash into each other to make a loud rumble. The sound in the area of effect is loud, but not deafening, but does make normal conversation and listening impossible(but has no effect on verbal spellcasting). The crashing earth can be heard up to 200 feet away, with a listen check of DC 12 if needed. The crashing earth is loud enough to disrupt listen checks within the spell effect and give them a -10 to rolls.

Material Component-two small rocks Focus-A number of solid earth chunks to bang together


Lore-An ancient dwarven spell, long lots as to it's creator. The spell is common among dwarven spellcasters, even more so the ones that live in dwarven communities. The spell is quite useful for both making noise and providing a distraction.

MagiMaster
2012-06-19, 10:41 PM
I kind of forgot about this thread. The game still hasn't started, but I still haven't gotten the GM to look over my spells yet either. :P

MagiMaster
2012-07-04, 03:13 PM
The game finally started. I got to use sandy hands (although I'm calling it sand blast, although one other party member wanted to call it burning sands). The blindness kept one of the monsters busy for a round, which helped.