View Full Version : Spell concept, PEACH

2007-01-26, 11:30 PM
I'm in the middle of planning a short 4-5 session game just to get the group I'm involved in sparked and eager for more. Hopefully it will inspire someone else to DM as its not my prefered place at the table.
Here's a quick run down of the campaign; The characters are hired to help clear out a recently uncovered ancient ruin. A wizard is attempting to stake a claim before anyone else gets in there first. The region is highly populated with casters of various sorts and the secret of the dungeon will be eagerly sought. Upon entering the dungeon, within the first ante-chamber a trap will go off rendering the party unconscious. When they awake they will find that the enterance has collapsed and that their employer has had the unfortunate fate to be crushed under the rubble. It would seem the only way out is to find another exit.
What the characters don't know is that the wizard did not hire them, but lure them. The dungeon they entered was not ancient, but rather built by the same wizard and was only that one room. A trap went off and put the party to sleep. When they awoke, the following spell had been cast upon them. They are currently in a miniature model of a dungeon.
The wizard is part of an illegal underground gambling ring where casters of various sorts pit on pet against another in an elaborate and arcane version of a ****-fight.
It will be up to the characters to escape the dugeon, survive an encounter with what appear to be a 90 foot tall wizard and his cat.
However, in developing this plot device (which I realize doesn't really need to be written up or made to balance) I started to wonder what it would take to balance it and perhaps make it viable for a future PC.
So I turn over my idea to the collective expertise of the OOTS forums.

Shrink Other
Level: Sor/Wiz 5
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 full round
Range: Touch
Target: One living creature touched
Duration: One rnd/2 levels (D); see text
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

You are able to shrink one person, monster or any living creature (including its gear) (constructs and outsiders are immune to this spell) to 1/16 of its normal size in each dimension (to about 1/4,000 the original volume and mass). This change effectively reduces the creatures size by four categories with all the effects. Restoring the shrunken creature to its normal size ends the spell.
This spell can be made permanent with the Permanency spell. If done so, it does not give the same cloth option as shrink item, however the caster can alter the size of the effected as a standard action which does occure an attack of oppertunity (as the wizard is basicly using a spell trigger effect).

2007-01-27, 12:28 AM
Well, as an offensive spell it's clearly not overpowered. By 5th level spells like baleful polymorph and phantasmal killer are already ranged and capable of 'taking out' an enemy more effectively in one spell. So, clearly it's not going to be that much more powerful when it comes to killing things, seeing as it actually grants an increased AC.

However, you should not look at it as an offensive spell, rather what you have here is a party utility spell and a very powerful one.

First, what do you mean when you say 'all of the effects' of reducing a creature by 4 size categories? Reduced Strength? Increased Dex? or just the normal size bonuses to AC, grapple, hide and attack?

Assuming you mean the whole caboodle (as governed by this: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/improvingMonsters.htm#sizeIncreases). Then the spell is overpowered for a 5th level spell.

It grants a -10 penalty to strength (unsure whether or not this can reduce strength below 1) and a -2 to con but a +8 to Dex.

So, if you were to cast this on a rogue who had a strength of at least 11 (not hard) and a dex of 16 (again, not hard). Even unarmored the rogue's AC would become 25 (+8 size, +7 Dex). The rogue would recieve a net +3 to melee attacks (at least those not governed by Weapon Finesse) but a net +12 to ranged attacks. He also recieves a total of +20 to hide.

So, let's take a 1st level rogue with those stats and relatively mundane equipment. He has padded armor and a short bow. The rogue now has an AC of 26, a ranged attack bonus of +12 and a hide bonus of +27 (+29 with stealthy or similar). His arrows still have their full range since shrinking doesn't reduce it by any, so he can fire and use the sniping function of hide to hide again. Since his hide bonus is +29, even after the -20 sniping penalty he recieves effectively the same bonus he enjoyed before being shrunk: except now he can basically sneak attack every round for 1 (the minimum damage he can do) +1d6.

Now, imagine this on a 10th level rogue, fully equipped and prepared for this. He can now snipe every round for 5d6 damage, with no chance of being seen. Even if he is somehow spotted he has a +12 bonus to his AC, not much risk of being hit.

It's even worse if a wizard casts it on himself: his AC recieves a massive boost: his ranged touch attacks are now certain to hit, and he can now hide as good as a high level rogue. If he makes it permanent then he can shrink and grow at will, making it perhaps the most desirable permanent spell in existance.

Even if shrinking didn't reduce/increase your stats it would be very powerful. This is at least a level 8 or so spell as is, and perhaps level 6-7 if it doesn't affect stats.

2007-01-27, 02:07 AM
Well, the +AC from being fine (the size category, that is) doesn't strike me as helping you much in melee; one grapple attempt success and you're done for.

But in range, yeah, it'd be a killer. Especially if your party has ranged weapons with static damage modifiers, like a flaming bow or somesuch.

I'd say tweaking the permanency effect to being uncontrollable is a good step towards this being less abusable.

2007-01-27, 02:13 AM
But the grapple check still has to deal with the fact that his AC has boosted by 8-12. If the attacker does hit, he'll certainly suceed the grapple check. It's hitting that's the problem.

Of course, still not a great melee buff, but really I don't imagine that's what it will ever get used for. It's insanely good at ranged buffing, stealth buffing, and AC buffing all at once.

2007-01-27, 02:39 AM
Well, for buffing purposes, consider that Polymorph is a level 4 spell. I'm pretty sure there are some monster forms in the SRD that are comparable buffs to this spell for the purposes of hiding or range, especially since Polymorph grants extraordinary abilities.

2007-01-27, 02:57 AM
This is true. Although, polymorph sticks you with the limits of the new form. If you turn into a fly you can't attack at all (or who knows, considering there are no stats for Fine creatures), same goes for one of the two Diminuitive choices. So, neither of those can use spells, magical abilities, items, or any attacks. You can fight as a bat but that's melee only and only size Diminuitive.

Polymorph also replaces your physical stats with the new form's, while this add's to it.

A cat is arguably one of the best stealth forms available from polymorph: it gets +14 to hide, and is size Tiny, so +2 AC. However, it can't make weapon attacks (so no ranged fighting) and it can't use spells. The net +14 hide bonus is swamped by the +20 from the Shrink Spell, the AC is only 1/6th that the shrink spell gives you, and both benefit from the fact that your Dex bonus is modified and not replaced (most rogue's will have a Dex score higher than a cat's). What's more, both spellcasting and weapon use are still allowed.