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Belteshazzar
2007-04-28, 05:45 PM
I am DMing a game which I hope will reach high levels 'eventually' (I give experience on a much slower basis of 'ok I think "that" was impressive you gain #### xp) If by chance they ever gain timestop I would like to know how much 'more' unbalancing would it be to allow more than just area of effect attacks to function during timestop? I have my way(perhaps an aging effect that could force a fortitude save vs death if they fail to cast it correctly).
I already feel there is not much worse a wizard could be if he is dealing direct damage during a timestop and this may distract him from truly nasty timestop+forcecage+ delayed blast+cloudkill= unchallengeable types of wizards.

Innis Cabal
2007-04-28, 05:51 PM
just make sure they dont spam it and it will be fine, spells arnt broken, DM's are just to lax, but you dont seem to be one of those types

greenknight
2007-04-28, 06:10 PM
I think some spells are broken, and Time Stop is one of them. The best way to deal with it is to disallow it, IMO. The real problem is that a character could cast one Time Stop, cast a few spells, then ready an action to cast another Time Stop when the first one ends. That can already be abused in so many ways it's not funny, so if you want to allow the spell to remain in the game, then I guess it doesn't matter much if you make it even more powerful. Just be aware that once a character casts Time Stop in your game, there's a pretty good chance the foe is going to wind up dead not long afterwards.

Ulzgoroth
2007-04-28, 06:14 PM
The nicest thing making Timestop is even more broken is the Greater Rod of Maximize, which allows you to gain 5 rounds instead of 1+1d4...unless of course Celerity comes into it, in which case that's even more useful.

Belteshazzar
2007-04-28, 06:30 PM
I think some spells are broken, and Time Stop is one of them. The best way to deal with it is to disallow it, IMO. The real problem is that a character could cast one Time Stop, cast a few spells, then ready an action to cast another Time Stop when the first one ends. That can already be abused in so many ways it's not funny, so if you want to allow the spell to remain in the game, then I guess it doesn't matter much if you make it even more powerful. Just be aware that once a character casts Time Stop in your game, there's a pretty good chance the foe is going to wind up dead not long afterwards.
Unlikely in my world, as I said I am considering tacking on an aging or exhaustion effect to timestop a la 2nd ed. haste (simply to make it a spell of last resort, there are spells or rituals to reverse this of course but that would take time and rare materials). However even in the event that I do not do this I already have my players rolling spell failure checks, its a d20 roll with critical yielding a metamagic of the caster's choice and failures yielding some world warping badness dependent on the spell type (some results are living spells, planer rifts, spell cascades or technical defects)

Darkxarth
2007-04-28, 07:18 PM
Time Stop isn't broken, it's a ****ing 9th level spell. Casters who can use 9th level spells are the same kind of people who would chew up and spit out Superman. And heck, even he turned out to be able to make time stop (and reverse). :smallamused:
At the time they're able to cast 9th level spells, things like Time Stop should be already be in common use by their enemies, in addition to things like Celerity, Foresight, & Contingency. And any villain without at least two backup plans involving Stilled Silenced Greater Teleport and liberal usage of minions isn't well enough prepared to deal with near-epic level characters.

Talya
2007-04-28, 10:25 PM
Time Stop isn't broken, it's a ****ing 9th level spell.

QFT.


Anyone casting a ninth level spell should not be just bending the fabric of reality, but chewing up the fabric of reality and spitting it out. It represents an expenditure of raw magical force that should be momentous, and should have similar shock value as the events following Grand Moff Tarkin's "You may fire when ready."

Darkxarth
2007-04-28, 11:02 PM
Anyone casting a ninth level spell should not be just bending the fabric of reality, but chewing up the fabric of reality and spitting it out. It represents an expenditure of raw magical force that should be momentous, and should have similar shock value as the events following Grand Moff Tarkin's "You may fire when ready."

Best. Analogy. Evar. :smallcool:

Ulzgoroth
2007-04-28, 11:51 PM
Well, balance wise there's the issue that a wizard is neither as flamingly obvious and sluggish as the Death Star nor possessed of a giant weak spot that its one-trick superweapon doesn't do anything about...and even so people in setting viewed it as terrifyingly powerful.

The_Snark
2007-04-28, 11:57 PM
Balance-wise, the other issue is that anybody unfortunate enough not to get 9th-level spells is helpless. To continue the analogy, the high-level fighters and rogues are like fighter pilots and smugglers. Really good ones, not without their uses, but still.

Aquillion
2007-04-29, 12:06 AM
You can just houserule some of the spell's worst exploits:

Forbid maximized timestop; just say that in game mechanics terms, the die roll made by a timestop is 'different' than others in some undefinable way, and the spell therefore isn't subject to maximization or other things that would influence the result.

(I would consider taking this further, and making a house rule that no metamagic effects of any sort can be used on a spell if their combined 'normal' feat-based usage on that spell would raise its level above nine. I strongly suspect that metamagic effects were originally balanced with this limitation assumed... ninth level spells are good enough without being quickened or maximized.)

Prevent chain timestops. After timestop a time stop spell ends, none can be cast again in the general area where the first one originated until the same number of rounds that time was stopped for have elapsed in real time.

If you want to be clever, you might even say that the caster of a timestop doesn't know the result that was rolled, and therefore don't know how much time they have--it would still be very powerful, but this makes it much trickier to exploit.

I would avoid relying on aging or 'flavor' limitations like that. Haste used to work that way, yes. They removed it for a reason--it's annoying as heck, but doesn't actually keep players from exploiting the spell in question. Sure, it's fine to say "oh, this makes it a last resort", but do you really want all your BBEG fights to come down to "Ok, last resort time! Boom, we win?" You're better off addressing the broken issues directly.

Jothki
2007-04-29, 12:20 AM
Well, balance wise there's the issue that a wizard is neither as flamingly obvious and sluggish as the Death Star nor possessed of a giant weak spot that its one-trick superweapon doesn't do anything about...and even so people in setting viewed it as terrifyingly powerful.

Dragons that emanate antimagic fields?

Skjaldbakka
2007-04-29, 12:21 AM
I would just like to point out that timestop is a ninth level spell, which means if you really want to blow your handful of ninth level spells on one encounter, you should be able to do it. Just keep in mind that 99% of the time, NPCs don't care about resource management- they are only going to be in one fight per day, the one in which the PCs will probably kill them. The (PC)wizard's spells are finite and must be managed carefully to avoid running out of your 'good' spells before you get to the 'boss' fight. The fighter, on the other hand, can usually do whatever it is he does very well, and as often as he wants.

That being said, I tend to have a 'gentleman's agreement' with my PCs. If they start to whip out some of the 'nastier, more broken spells', then the villains start to whip them out as well. Spells like Evard's Black Tentacles and Timestop ARE on that list. Just keep in mind that 50% of the 'suggested' encounters per scenario are going to be the same level as the party. So by the time the party is casting ninth level spells, 1/2 the encounters are likely to be doing that as well.

Darkxarth
2007-04-29, 12:23 AM
Well, balance wise there's the issue that a wizard is neither as flamingly obvious and sluggish as the Death Star nor possessed of a giant weak spot that its one-trick superweapon doesn't do anything about...and even so people in setting viewed it as terrifyingly powerful.

The Death Star isn't equal to a mage who can cast Time Stop, but the shock value of being able to cast 9th level and epic spells should be the same as someone watching the Death Star fire; they should wet themselves.


Balance-wise, the other issue is that anybody unfortunate enough not to get 9th-level spells is helpless. To continue the analogy, the high-level fighters and rogues are like fighter pilots and smugglers. Really good ones, not without their uses, but still.

Yes, yes. We all know that magicians are unbalanced against nonmagicians, and this is pretty much how it's always going to be. I mean really, is there anyway that a guy with a sword, no matter how physically powerful he and his sword are, can stop a guy that can stop time and cause flaming, exploding rocks to burst forth from his hands? Not a reliable one anyway. And at this point in a campaign, all the non-casters should be using items that give them spell-like abilities and other magical effects, and all the Villains should be casters, or have high-level casters as bodyguards.

Innis Cabal
2007-04-29, 12:24 AM
glad to see some sensible people here

Rakeesh
2007-04-29, 12:43 AM
Personally, I think the question of whether or not spells like that are broken depend a great deal on the DM, but not for house rules. Rather, it depends on the DM to determine how intelligent and observant the enemies are.

What if you saw the Death Star wiping out some of your goons a few hours travel away, and knew it couldn't fire again for at least another eight? The rules for random encounters, and for how often your party encounters bad guys in the dungeon-city-battlefield-boyscout jamboree aren't chiseled in granite.

They can be changed. This means that any bad guy worth his salt sitting on a fortress of bad-guyery will have reserves. Committ some of your (DM's) forces to the battle. Wait for the wizard to use his win-no-matter-what suite of high level spells. Send in the reserves after that. Wizards and melee types are like rock-paper-scissors, except that each changes between the three depending on the time of day.

Midmorning? Wizards are paper and fighter types are rock. Late afternoon? Well, things can start to change, eh?

------------------------

Now, all that said, any spell or set of spells which permits a character to win every time, as some of the options discussed frequently around here do, well, I'm really not a fan of those. Sure, you can say, "Look, the guy who can fling black-hole volcanoes from his fingertipes is going to beat any fighter type, from Dudley Doright on up to Inigo Montoya." And you'd be right. There's even justification for it, because the character must have spent amazing amounts of time, focused amazing amounts of intellect, into probing the mysteries (heh, that's a laugh in the D&D world;)) of the arcane for years or decades or even centuries.

But the player doesn't have to do that. The player just whips up a character sheet, puts down some spells, and bam, volcanic black hole avalanches.

Darkxarth
2007-04-29, 01:09 AM
Personally, I think the question of whether or not spells like that are broken depend a great deal on the DM, but not for house rules. Rather, it depends on the DM to determine how intelligent and observant the enemies are.
I agree. A DM who plays with high-level characters should not be pitting them against stupid enemies.


What if you saw the Death Star wiping out some of your goons a few hours travel away, and knew it couldn't fire again for at least another eight? The rules for random encounters, and for how often your party encounters bad guys in the dungeon-city-battlefield-boyscout jamboree aren't chiseled in granite.
Other than the obvious fact that if you had goons a few hours away that were killed by the Death Star, you would be too, this is a good argument. I agree.

Also, Boy Scout Jamboree? I don't even want to know.


They can be changed. This means that any bad guy worth his salt sitting on a fortress of bad-guyery will have reserves. Committ some of your (DM's) forces to the battle. Wait for the wizard to use his win-no-matter-what suite of high level spells. Send in the reserves after that. Wizards and melee types are like rock-paper-scissors, except that each changes between the three depending on the time of day.
That's the problem with blasting out your resources real quick, smart DMs.


Now, all that said, any spell or set of spells which permits a character to win every time, as some of the options discussed frequently around here do, well, I'm really not a fan of those. Sure, you can say, "Look, the guy who can fling black-hole volcanoes from his fingertipes is going to beat any fighter type, from Dudley Doright on up to Inigo Montoya." And you'd be right.
Yeah, as a DM you've got to make sure all the players are enjoying themselves, and that you're having fun too. It's usually not fun for the other players to stand around and watch as the mage idly destroys every encounter with a flick of his wrist, and it's probably not fun for the DM either.

Every DM should have a discussion with his or her players before every campaign starts about the fact that D&D is a game, and that it's meant to be enjoyable for everyone. Now, like most games, when you're losing you don't have as much fun as when you're winning, but in D&D losing doesn't usually last for long.

Mewtarthio
2007-04-29, 01:15 AM
The Death Star isn't equal to a mage who can cast Time Stop, but the shock value of being able to cast 9th level and epic spells should be the same as someone watching the Death Star fire; they should wet themselves.

Yes, but a 17+ level mage can cast ninth-level spells just by waking up in the morning and deciding to do so. Within three seconds, you've fired the superweapon. For the Death Star, you have to get into range and charge up the laser, giving the heroes ample opportunity to hit the One Weak Point.

The trouble with DnD is that spellcasting has no downside. Sure, you're not as physically powerful as the Fighter, but that hardly matters when you can just 'port back to safety at will (or, better yet, Plane Shift to safety--if you're a Good guy, you can expect to be quite safe on Mount Celestia or in Elysium or what have you).

Ulzgoroth
2007-04-29, 01:56 AM
Dragons that emanate antimagic fields?
That is one fantastically sweet weak spot I admit, but not weak enough. Divinations might be able to give you warning (how do those interact with AMF anyway?), and if there's both Celerity and Delay Teleportation floating around you only have to run away (at worst) instead of dying.

And if they aren't both floating around, those dragons aren't so much a vulnerability of wizards as the lords of the universe.

Personally, I think the question of whether or not spells like that are broken depend a great deal on the DM, but not for house rules. Rather, it depends on the DM to determine how intelligent and observant the enemies are.

<snip>

I agree. A DM who plays with high-level characters should not be pitting them against stupid enemies.
This I applaud as a general approach. The problem is that the no-really-I-just-autowin-anything-outside-AMF tricks being used by both sides will break the game even worse. They aren't powerful enough for the ubermages to autokill each other (except by way of 'I cast Celerity!' 'no, I do!' -> universe explodes), and doing things with a 5% chance of getting you killed has no percentage at that power level. It's possible to deplete your opponents' magic by sending goons, but they can fort up in their impregnable Rope Trick inside mansion inside forbiddence inside Private Sanctum inside obscure cave on another plane. Number 5 of 20, chosen at random. Anything incapable of celerity-timestop is dogfood any time either side wants it that way, though. The BBEG isn't going to let the PCs get a shot at him by attacking them, but anything they care about that isn't protected by Forbiddence and a bucket of other stuff, probably with AMFs included, is going to be casually annihilated as a negotiating ploy. The landscape starts looking like some kind of post-nuclear warzone, with islands of life forted to the gills with every defense spell imaginable... Unless of course massive divine intervention of some sort.

Actually sounds like a potentially cool game, but only if you're prepared to go to that particular hell. I'm pretty sure it really is the only logical end for intelligent, resourceful beings with all that magic and without perfect harmony.

Taking away the Celerity doesn't actually make it better I think, it just makes it suicide to step out of defenses if anyone can possibly detect you. Actually, it might be anyway thanks to the timestop then teleport approach.

But the point of making the enemies smart is right on, no matter what you do with the super-spells. If they don't have an int penalty or a hopeless lack of coordination, there's no excuse for pitiful tactics.

Darkxarth
2007-04-29, 02:13 AM
Yes, but a 17+ level mage can cast ninth-level spells just by waking up in the morning and deciding to do so. Within three seconds, you've fired the superweapon. For the Death Star, you have to get into range and charge up the laser, giving the heroes ample opportunity to hit the One Weak Point.

Why are you trying to make the Death Star equal to a high-level mage? Or even trying to make the casting of a 9th level spell equal to a blast from the Death Star? A non-epic level mage should NOT be able to destroy an entire planet/plane. And the Death Star should not be able to fire its main cannon every few minutes, let alone every few seconds. The effects themselves aren't equal so much as the shock value.

I underestimated the effect in my previous post, casting a 9th level spell should make common folk wet themselves, collapse to the ground weeping uncontrollably, pray to all their gods for a sweet afterlife, wet themselves again, and then faint. Just like anyone who's not a main character (Leia) or who deals with it on a regular basis (gunners) should probably wet themselves, burst into hot tears of pain for a few minutes, beg for forgiveness and spill any information they have, wet themselves again, and then collapse into unconsciousness if they watch the Death Star destroy a planet.


The trouble with DnD is that spellcasting has no downside. Sure, you're not as physically powerful as the Fighter, but that hardly matters when you can just 'port back to safety at will (or, better yet, Plane Shift to safety--if you're a Good guy, you can expect to be quite safe on Mount Celestia or in Elysium or what have you).
And yes, at high levels there is no downside to spellcasting. A lack of hit points and fighting prowess means nothing when you can snap your fingers and stop time (or whatever you want to do that day). Whereas without spellcasting abilities (or access to them) a high-level warrior is pretty royally screwed, for the above reason. No matter how hard he hits with that sword, it doesn't mean anything if you never actually get to swing it.

Demented
2007-04-29, 02:55 AM
A non-epic level mage should NOT be able to destroy an entire planet/plane.

In less than a year, provided there are no other equivalent-level mages that don't share his thirst for destruction.

Dausuul
2007-04-29, 02:58 AM
I am DMing a game which I hope will reach high levels 'eventually' (I give experience on a much slower basis of 'ok I think "that" was impressive you gain #### xp) If by chance they ever gain timestop I would like to know how much 'more' unbalancing would it be to allow more than just area of effect attacks to function during timestop? I have my way(perhaps an aging effect that could force a fortitude save vs death if they fail to cast it correctly).
I already feel there is not much worse a wizard could be if he is dealing direct damage during a timestop and this may distract him from truly nasty timestop+forcecage+ delayed blast+cloudkill= unchallengeable types of wizards.

The time stop spell is close to being a win button, close enough that I would argue for banning it. If you allow the wizard to affect other creatures while it's active, it becomes a total win button. Screw direct damage and forcecage cheese, I'm spamming enervation followed by finger of death. Putting aging effects and/or saves versus death on it just means it's a win button that will only be pushed against the BBEG... which means the great dramatic finale to any given storyline will consist of "the wizard cast time stop and the battle was over."

greenknight
2007-04-29, 03:48 AM
At the time they're able to cast 9th level spells, things like Time Stop should be already be in common use by their enemies, in addition to things like Celerity, Foresight, & Contingency. And any villain without at least two backup plans involving Stilled Silenced Greater Teleport and liberal usage of minions isn't well enough prepared to deal with near-epic level characters.

The problem is, that's not really how it works out. Of the CR17 - CR20 monsters listed in the SRD, I can't find one that can cast Time Stop, and most can't manage a stilled, silenced Greater Teleport either. Of the Core character classes, only two are likely to be able to cast Time Stop from their spell list (Sorcerer and Wizard). Some Clerics might be able to do it as a Domain spell or power, and some other classes might achieve it through Use Magic Device and scrolls. But that's still not enough to say "common use", IMO, unless you're saying that the group of Level 17+ Sorcerers, Wizards and Clerics (with Time Stop) outnumber all members of the other classes who reach that level combined.

So the reality of the situation is, unless you're going to regularly make your BBEG a full spellcaster (and preferably one which can cast Time Stop and similar spells), those kinds of spell just aren't going to be all that common - except from the PC spellcaster(s). And if you do that, you're pretty much admitting any character who can't cast these high level spells as a class ability is too weak for the level, which in turn indicates a serious balance issue.


Why are you trying to make the Death Star equal to a high-level mage? Or even trying to make the casting of a 9th level spell equal to a blast from the Death Star? A non-epic level mage should NOT be able to destroy an entire planet/plane.

A non-epic spellcaster probably could manage that, come to think of it. Gate allows the spellcaster to bring in Epic monsters, and there's probably something there which could destroy a planet, if it really set it's mind to it. At the very least, something which can completely depopulate a planet (assuming there are no other high level spellcasters around to stop it) should be possible.

Aquillion
2007-04-29, 04:52 AM
A non-epic level mage should NOT be able to destroy an entire planet/plane.Am I the only one who remembers this, or in 3.0, wasn't there a tactic a psion could use to destroy an entire plane, just really, really slowly?

I think it was something like manifesting Genesis on an existing plane. According to the current version it only destroys a tiny section of it, though... a radius of one foot per level. And it doesn't even really do that, since things can grow back. Oh well... I could've sworn that at one point it just kept expanding inexorably until it destroyed the entire plane you manifested it on. (Which, granted, would never actually end up happening on the prime material plane or anyplace anyone of any power actually cares about, but still. The point is they had an ability in the RAW whose sole purpose was to do exactly that. Not a very practical ability, I guess, but it would let you say things like "I could wipe out your entire plane of existence with a thought." Without having to make a bluff check.)

Mewtarthio
2007-04-29, 11:33 AM
Why are you trying to make the Death Star equal to a high-level mage? Or even trying to make the casting of a 9th level spell equal to a blast from the Death Star? A non-epic level mage should NOT be able to destroy an entire planet/plane. And the Death Star should not be able to fire its main cannon every few minutes, let alone every few seconds. The effects themselves aren't equal so much as the shock value.

That's exactly my point: When the Death Star fires its superlaser, it's incredibly shocking, but it rarely does so. A high-level Wizard fires his "superlaser" 1-4 times per day, plus scrolls and bonus slots, and he can do so on a whim. And yes, I do realize he can't do this trick every encounter, but all he needs to do is rest for eight hours to recharge fully, and Plane Shift makes that easy enough (either go to a plane where you'll be safe and anyone who wants to kill you won't be, or use time trait cheese to recharge all your spells and spawn a race of heirs within one round, Prime Material time).


I underestimated the effect in my previous post, casting a 9th level spell should make common folk wet themselves, collapse to the ground weeping uncontrollably, pray to all their gods for a sweet afterlife, wet themselves again, and then faint. Just like anyone who's not a main character (Leia) or who deals with it on a regular basis (gunners) should probably wet themselves, burst into hot tears of pain for a few minutes, beg for forgiveness and spill any information they have, wet themselves again, and then collapse into unconsciousness if they watch the Death Star destroy a planet.

Really? I'd be expecting more along the lines of stunned silence. Still, the impressiveness of the Death Star comes from the fact that there's only one of them (later, of course, the Empire rebuilds it, but that's understandably shocking... if you take the EU into consideration, there are scores more superweapons that can annihilate planets, but only one exists at a time for story purposes). If you've got two Death Stars owned by different sides, it's just a matter of engaging your hyperdrive to send yourself next to the other guy's Death Star and praying you can fire your superlaser first. If everybody has a Death Star, and you don't have the MAD of modern nuclear warfare (which, in DnD, you don't as far as ninth-level spells are concerned), then it's just a matter of Death Star vs Death Star vs Death Star, and the individual Death Stars just aren't as impressive. Remember, there's a reason heroes never build superweapons in fiction, and it's got little to do with morality: It's no fun to watch your heroes just blow up the bad guy and leave.


A non-epic spellcaster probably could manage that, come to think of it. Gate allows the spellcaster to bring in Epic monsters, and there's probably something there which could destroy a planet, if it really set it's mind to it. At the very least, something which can completely depopulate a planet (assuming there are no other high level spellcasters around to stop it) should be possible.

Try an Abomination (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/monsters/abomination.htm). The Atropal deals ten negative levels to everything within thirty feet and has a slew of undead and negative energy powers. Death Ward would probably be incredibly effective against it (you could try swapping out Quicken SLA(finger of death) for Quicken SLA(greater dispel), if you don't like that), but it could certainly make a mess of things ("Hmm, a populated area. I think I'll stroll through and turn everyone into spectres...")

Darkxarth
2007-04-29, 11:44 AM
The problem is, that's not really how it works out. Of the CR17 - CR20 monsters listed in the SRD, I can't find one that can cast Time Stop, and most can't manage a stilled, silenced Greater Teleport either. Of the Core character classes, only two are likely to be able to cast Time Stop from their spell list (Sorcerer and Wizard). Some Clerics might be able to do it as a Domain spell or power, and some other classes might achieve it through Use Magic Device and scrolls. But that's still not enough to say "common use", IMO, unless you're saying that the group of Level 17+ Sorcerers, Wizards and Clerics (with Time Stop) outnumber all members of the other classes who reach that level combined.
Things like Time Stop. Meaning 8th and 9th level spells, spell-like abilities, or powers.
Monster: CR: Powers
Balor: 20: Dominate Monster (9th) at will, Greater Teleport (7th) at will, continuous True Seeing, Summons several dozen Demons 1/day (equivalent to a 9th level spell)

Pit Fiend: 20 : Mass Hold Monster (9th) at will, Greater Teleport (7th) at will, Meteor Swarm (9th) 1/day, Wish 1/year, Summon a couple Devils (equivalent of an 8th level spell)

Formian Queen: 17: In addition to her hordes of underlings, spells as a 17th level Sorcerer, including Wall of Force, Black Tentacles, Teleport, Waves of Exhaustion, & Prismatic Wall. Also, Hold Monster, Dictum, Order's Wrath, and True Seeing at will.

Marilith: 17: Aside from half a dozen arms using Magic Weapons, Greater Teleport (7th) at will, continuous True Seeing, Summons a couple dozen Demons 1/day.

Nightcrawler: 18: Aside from being able to devour adventurers in one bite, Hold Monster 3/day, Finger of Death 1/day, Mass Hold Monster 1/day, Plane Shift 1/day, can summon a varying number of varying strength Undead.

That's not even to talk about Damage Reduction, Spell Resistance, various immunities and energy resistances, and the fact that each of these creatures has an Inteligence high enough to know how to use their abilities.

And I'm not even going to go into Dragons, each of which has its own set of ablilities and powers in addition to being a Dragon and having an Intelligence high enough to know how to defend itself from petty adventurers.

Yes, Time Stop is a powerful spell, but most creatures at that level of power already have their own spells, spell-like abilities, extremely high SR or energy resistances, and obscene Intelligence scores.


So the reality of the situation is, unless you're going to regularly make your BBEG a full spellcaster (and preferably one which can cast Time Stop and similar spells), those kinds of spell just aren't going to be all that common - except from the PC spellcaster(s). And if you do that, you're pretty much admitting any character who can't cast these high level spells as a class ability is too weak for the level, which in turn indicates a serious balance issue.
Well, I suppose "common use" was a poor choice of words on my part. At least the appropriate level villains should be familiar with high level spells, if not have the ability t cast them themselves. And since there are so few monsters in the 17-20 CR range that don't have class levels, most of your villains are going to have to have class levels anyway.


A non-epic spellcaster probably could manage that, come to think of it. Gate allows the spellcaster to bring in Epic monsters, and there's probably something there which could destroy a planet, if it really set it's mind to it. At the very least, something which can completely depopulate a planet (assuming there are no other high level spellcasters around to stop it) should be possible.
Meh, I'm still sceptical that a non-Epic spellcaster could destroy a plane. Even given a year I still can't see it. Show me how they can do it and then I'll agree. (Yes, depopulating a non-infinite plane is possibility, but that's not the same as destroying it, is it?)

Darkxarth
2007-04-29, 11:49 AM
That's exactly my point: When the Death Star fires its superlaser, it's incredibly shocking, but it rarely does so. A high-level Wizard fires his "superlaser" 1-4 times per day, plus scrolls and bonus slots, and he can do so on a whim. And yes, I do realize he can't do this trick every encounter, but all he needs to do is rest for eight hours to recharge fully, and Plane Shift makes that easy enough (either go to a plane where you'll be safe and anyone who wants to kill you won't be, or use time trait cheese to recharge all your spells and spawn a race of heirs within one round, Prime Material time).
Fine, maybe they aren't equal in shock value, which just shows that 9th level spells are (barring Artifacts) the most powerful things you can have in a non-epic game, and that if the PCs are casting them they should be facing enemies who already know how to counter, or at least cope with, that level of power.


Really? I'd be expecting more along the lines of stunned silence.
I contemplated that, but I decided my explanation was much more enjoyable to read, and would be to watch, at least for a villain/deranged PC/deranged player.

Enzario
2007-04-29, 02:03 PM
Actually, I'm thinking that I should ban all "I'm gonna mess with time" spells in the games I DM i.e. celerity, timestop, and a few other goodies. Basically, in my games magic can change almost anything, but time is a constant that can't be messed with.

Also, I've said it before and I'll probably have to say it until this green text turns blue in the face: Never underestimate the power of Improved Counterspell.

Mewtarthio
2007-04-29, 02:12 PM
Actually, I'm thinking that I should ban all "I'm gonna mess with time" spells in the games I DM i.e. celerity, timestop, and a few other goodies. Basically, in my games magic can change almost anything, but time is a constant that can't be messed with.

Also, I've said it before and I'll probably have to say it until this green text turns blue in the face: Never underestimate the power of Improved Counterspell.

Wow, that's scary! The green text looks black until you mention otherwise, then it becomes extremely green!

*ahem* Back on topic, how does one Counterspell Time Stop?

Dausuul
2007-04-29, 03:03 PM
Wow, that's scary! The green text looks black until you mention otherwise, then it becomes extremely green!

*ahem* Back on topic, how does one Counterspell Time Stop?

Same way you counterspell anything else, I'd imagine. Time doesn't stop until the spell is complete. If you counter the spell while it's being cast, it never completes and time never stops.

Citizen Joe
2007-04-29, 05:26 PM
You could try something like this...

Mage: Eureka! I know Time Stop now.
Party: Woohoo! We're totally going to rule now... Nothing can stop us.

Mage suddenly disappears with several much older versions of the party members standing there, gravely wounded and horribly mutated.

Older Party: Trust us. It is for the best... <suddenly winks out of existance>

Demented
2007-04-29, 05:31 PM
Question is, can you counterspell a spell cast while the caster is under the effect of a time stop?

Vaarsuvius: Time stop!
Vaarsuvius: *Delayed Blast Fireball!*
Pompeii: Counterspell!
Vaarsuvius: *But... what... how can you...*
Pompei: You're talking way too fast to even hear...
Vaarsuvius: *Quickened Lightning Bolt!*
Pompeii: Counterspell!
Vaarsuvius: *!@$?L!@%@UI%(E*

greenknight
2007-04-29, 07:23 PM
Things like Time Stop. Meaning 8th and 9th level spells, spell-like abilities, or powers.

Hold on there! As far as I'm aware, no one has said to ban all 8th and 9th level spells. What I (and others) have said is to ban Time Stop, which is overpowered even compared to other 9th level spells. So no, I don't accept that there are other spells "like" Time Stop (unless they are also unbalanced spells, and there are several at 9th level) in terms of power or effect. So sure, I'll grant that there are several monsters in the 17 - 20 CR range with 8th and 9th level spells, spell-like abilities and/or powers, but not nearly so many with Time Stop (in fact, none at all that I can find in the SRD).


Yes, Time Stop is a powerful spell, but most creatures at that level of power already have their own spells, spell-like abilities, extremely high SR or energy resistances, and obscene Intelligence scores.

None of which matters so much when compared to Time Stop. Want Surprise? Time Stop can give it to you! You can even Teleport while under the effects of Time Stop, so you can start your Time Stop in a safe place, then Teleport to the battle. Need time to buff, call in allies, set up an area effect attack? Time Stop! And yes, as others have stated, you can even Empower or Maximize it using a metamagic Rod, for even more abusive power.

And while you're Time Stopped, what is everyone else doing? Absolutely nothing - they can't even detect you. There's no save, SR doesn't apply, and it works everywhere magic does. Yes, you do need to watch out for area effects, but I'm not sure if even triggering a trap would get you, unless you happen to be in the trap's area of effect when the spell ends. Oh, and that brings us to the next abuse of Time Stop - when the spell is about to end, you can just ready an action to cast another one once you're in normal time, if you need to. Or you could just cast Time Stop again just before the first one ends, extending it's duration (as is explained under the stacking effects (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/castingSpells.htm#stackingEffects) rule).



Well, I suppose "common use" was a poor choice of words on my part. At least the appropriate level villains should be familiar with high level spells, if not have the ability t cast them themselves. And since there are so few monsters in the 17-20 CR range that don't have class levels, most of your villains are going to have to have class levels anyway.

That can easily work out against your BBEG. Let's take a nice, powerful evil guy like an Ogre Mage (CR8) for example, and use the favored class of Sorcerer to level it up. Each Sorcerer level adds 1 to the CR, so you have 12 Sorcerer levels. That's only enough to cast 6th level spells. Sure, that's powerful, but it's nothing compared to the 8th and 9th level spells a 20th level Sorcerer, Wizard or Cleric can dish out. The only real way to combat a full spellcaster is with another spellcaster able to access the same level of spells.


Meh, I'm still sceptical that a non-Epic spellcaster could destroy a plane.

Well, I'm more than sceptical that a Death Star can destroy an entire plane. How did we go from destroying a planet to destroying an entire plane as our benchmark of power anyway?


Even given a year I still can't see it. Show me how they can do it and then I'll agree. (Yes, depopulating a non-infinite plane is possibility, but that's not the same as destroying it, is it?)

Assuming that there's no other high level spellcasters (or equivalent powers) around to interfere, a Titan Chain should do the trick. Start by killing off the people, then work on the scenery. 19 Titans should be able to reduce an entire planet to rubble, given enough time.

But depopulation is arguably better than destroying the whole planet anyway. If the planet is destroyed, all you've got is an asteroid field (good for mining, but that's about it, really). If you depopulate, then you've got a nice planet left over which you can then do whatever you please with. Use all the XP (and magical items) you got from wiping out the planet's population to set yourself up as a God. And make sure no other spellcaster ever reaches 17th level so they can't pull the same stunt on you. Come to think of it, I wonder if that's how the Gods of Krynn did it? :smallwink:

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-29, 10:14 PM
Hold on there! As far as I'm aware, no one has said to ban all 8th and 9th level spells. What I (and others) have said is to ban Time Stop, which is overpowered even compared to other 9th level spells.
Incorrect. Timestop is not overpowered compared to other 9th level spells. In fact I would argue that it is underpowered when compared to a number of them.

For example, look at Programmed Amensia from the Spell Compendium. With that single spell I can have every nation in the world loyal to me in abotu 2 weeks.

But Lets just go with SRD spelsl that one coudl argue are more powerful than TS.

Gate
Shapechange
Disjunction
Prismatic Sphere

Thats 1/6 of the core 9th level spells. I woudl put time stop directly after the above but it isn't the most overpowered. And if you start using all 3.5 books I can think of a good dozen more spells that are better than it.



So no, I don't accept that there are other spells "like" Time Stop (unless they are also unbalanced spells, and there are several at 9th level) in terms of power or effect. So sure, I'll grant that there are several monsters in the 17 - 20 CR range with 8th and 9th level spells, spell-like abilities and/or powers, but not nearly so many with Time Stop (in fact, none at all that I can find in the SRD).

The only monster that I knwo of with a TS liek affect is an epic one, i forget the name.

But their are tons of spells that no monster has as an SLA/SU.



None of which matters so much when compared to Time Stop. Want Surprise? Time Stop can give it to you! You can even Teleport while under the effects of Time Stop, so you can start your Time Stop in a safe place, then Teleport to the battle. Need time to buff, call in allies, set up an area effect attack? Time Stop! And yes, as others have stated, you can even Empower or Maximize it using a metamagic Rod, for even more abusive power.

So?

I am riding on my phantom steed and see a target. I use the Phantom Steeds move action to travel 240 feet towards the target, where I then use a Quickened Dimensional Lock followed by a Prismatic Sphere and then my Phantom Steeds other move action to retreat out of the sphere.

Congrats, you have just beat everything that can't cast Disjunction and it only took 3 spells (1 of which lasts 20 hours) and 1 turn.


And while you're Time Stopped, what is everyone else doing? Absolutely nothing - they can't even detect you. There's no save, SR doesn't apply, and it works everywhere magic does. Yes, you do need to watch out for area effects, but I'm not sure if even triggering a trap would get you, unless you happen to be in the trap's area of effect when the spell ends. Oh, and that brings us to the next abuse of Time Stop - when the spell is about to end, you can just ready an action to cast another one once you're in normal time, if you need to. Or you could just cast Time Stop again just before the first one ends, extending it's duration (as is explained under the stacking effects (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/castingSpells.htm#stackingEffects) rule).I can't really come up with any situation where you need more than the 5 rounds a maximized TS will give you.

Aquillion
2007-04-29, 10:26 PM
Question is, can you counterspell a spell cast while the caster is under the effect of a time stop?While the rules aren't completely clear, there is this line in Time Stop's wording:
You are undetectable while time stop lasts
Since you have to be aware that a spell is being cast to counterspell it, that would say, to me, that nothing you cast while time stop is in effect can be counterspelled, except by automatic effects like a Ring of Counterspells (although that specific one wouldn't come up because you can't cast spells on people while time stop is in effect, therefore, can't meet the condition that would trigger a Ring of Counterspells.)

And, similarly, nobody can react to anything you do while using a time stop until the spell ends, even with things like Celerity, since they aren't aware of what you're doing.

Demented
2007-04-29, 10:37 PM
Oh, well that's no fun.



I can't really come up with any situation where you need more than the 5 rounds a maximized TS will give you.

Aside from the soloing of a CR 20 dragon using delayed blast fireballs, of course.

greenknight
2007-04-30, 06:48 AM
Incorrect. Timestop is not overpowered compared to other 9th level spells. In fact I would argue that it is underpowered when compared to a number of them.

That's not really correct either. You can't say a particular spell is "underpowered" by pointing out other overpowered spells and say this one is weak because of it. That's like calling the Hulk a weakling because Superman is stronger. As I mentioned later in my post (and you even quoted it), there are a number of 9th level spells which are overpowered, and Time Stop is just one of them. Of course, it becomes even more overpowered if you use the rounds you get to cast other overpowered spells.


I am riding on my phantom steed and see a target. I use the Phantom Steeds move action to travel 240 feet towards the target, where I then use a Quickened Dimensional Lock followed by a Prismatic Sphere and then my Phantom Steeds other move action to retreat out of the sphere.

Congrats, you have just beat everything that can't cast Disjunction and it only took 3 spells (1 of which lasts 20 hours) and 1 turn.

So, you're casting Prismatic Sphere while riding a Horse sized Phantom Steed. It's centred on you and the steed takes 10' space (a 10x10x10 cube), and it's only a 10' radius sphere. Which won't materialize in a space occupied by a creature, btw (just trying wastes the spell). With that steed, exactly how are you going to fit anything else of even moderate size in that sphere without disrupting it? And even if you somehow manage that, how are you going to get your steed out of there? And how are you going to avoid the AoO you and/or the steed will provoke (since you'll be so close to your foe)?

Even if you can somehow get around all that (which would take some doing, I think), you're using three spells (one ninth level and one 12th level equivalent), and someone can still possibly do something about it to escape. Like going through the floor (if the target was on the ground) or using a relatively cheap Rod of Cancellation? Not to mention the risk you're taking that the potential target might see you and make some kind of attack against you (or the steed) first.

OTOH, Time Stop can be cast from a place of perfect safety and still give the caster a few rounds to set up a death trap - all without the foe being able to do anything at all. No AoO's, no counterspells, no worrying about a phantom steed (unless you really want to), and you can even set up that prismatic sphere if you've really got your heart set on it. Only now it's a whole lot safer to do so, and without the steed you might even be able to fit the foe inside.


I can't really come up with any situation where you need more than the 5 rounds a maximized TS will give you.

Maybe you want to kill off a couple of roomfuls of creatures all in one go?

Dausuul
2007-04-30, 07:39 AM
That can easily work out against your BBEG. Let's take a nice, powerful evil guy like an Ogre Mage (CR8) for example, and use the favored class of Sorcerer to level it up. Each Sorcerer level adds 1 to the CR, so you have 12 Sorcerer levels. That's only enough to cast 6th level spells. Sure, that's powerful, but it's nothing compared to the 8th and 9th level spells a 20th level Sorcerer, Wizard or Cleric can dish out. The only real way to combat a full spellcaster is with another spellcaster able to access the same level of spells.

Nitpick: Sorceror levels are not associated class levels for the ogre mage. Only creatures that actually have the ability to "cast spells as a sorceror of level X" (e.g., sylphs) get sorc as an associated class. To make a CR 20 ogre mage sorceror, you need to add:

5 levels of sorceror (+2 CR): Raises sorceror level to match ogre mage's HD.
10 levels of sorceror (+10 CR): Now that sorc level equals mage's HD, further levels of sorceror are considered associated.

So to be CR 20, the ogre mage needs to be a 15th-level sorc. Which is still not up to par where time stop and the like are concerned, but better than 12th.


I am riding on my phantom steed and see a target. I use the Phantom Steeds move action to travel 240 feet towards the target, where I then use a Quickened Dimensional Lock followed by a Prismatic Sphere and then my Phantom Steeds other move action to retreat out of the sphere.

Congrats, you have just beat everything that can't cast Disjunction and it only took 3 spells (1 of which lasts 20 hours) and 1 turn.

Actually, you just ate an attack of opportunity from the balor's whip on the way by, since prismatic sphere is nowhere near big enough for you to stay out of whip range. You are now being grappled by a balor. Of course, this isn't a problem for a caster, you could just dimension door out of its grasp... oh, except you dimensional locked yourself in! Oops. Crunchy tasty wizard.

Also note that you don't need disjunction to get out. Greater dispel magic will do the job just fine. Prismatic sphere may be immune to dispelling, but dimensional lock isn't.

I will agree that gate and shapechange are more broken than time stop, but this does not make time stop non-broken by any stretch of the imagination. And disjunction is just a problem spell all around.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-30, 07:42 AM
That's not really correct either. You can't say a particular spell is "underpowered" by pointing out other overpowered spells and say this one is weak because of it. That's like calling the Hulk a weakling because Superman is stronger. As I mentioned later in my post (and you even quoted it), there are a number of 9th level spells which are overpowered, and Time Stop is just one of them. Of course, it becomes even more overpowered if you use the rounds you get to cast other overpowered spells.


What I (and others) have said is to ban Time Stop, which is overpowered even compared to other 9th level spells.

I said that you where incorrect in this assertion and provided evidence of it.


So, you're casting Prismatic Sphere while riding a Horse sized Phantom Steed. It's centred on you and the steed takes 10' space (a 10x10x10 cube), and it's only a 10' radius sphere. Which won't materialize in a space occupied by a creature, btw (just trying wastes the spell). With that steed, exactly how are you going to fit anything else of even moderate size in that sphere without disrupting it? And even if you somehow manage that, how are you going to get your steed out of there? And how are you going to avoid the AoO you and/or the steed will provoke (since you'll be so close to your foe)?

A Phantom Steed does not take up a 10x10x10 cube. It takes up possibly four 5 foot squares. It is not 10 feet wide, it is a long creature. So it is 1 square wide by 2 squares long by 2 squares tall. Taking up a grand total of 4 squares.

It is also a magical effect, not a creature. And the AoO doesn't matter much because of the various defenses against it. And its damage (stoneskin for example).


Even if you can somehow get around all that (which would take some doing, I think), you're using three spells (one ninth level and one 12th level equivalent), and someone can still possibly do something about it to escape. Like going through the floor (if the target was on the ground) or using a relatively cheap Rod of Cancellation? Not to mention the risk you're taking that the potential target might see you and make some kind of attack against you (or the steed) first.
Prismtatic Sphere goes through the floor and ground. As for the Rod of Cancellation, yes it will destroy the Prismatic Sphere, but realativily few people have then. And peopel can survive everything you can do while under the effects of Timestop as well. Nothing is utterly unbeatable until epic.


OTOH, Time Stop can be cast from a place of perfect safety and still give the caster a few rounds to set up a death trap - all without the foe being able to do anything at all. No AoO's, no counterspells, no worrying about a phantom steed (unless you really want to), and you can even set up that prismatic sphere if you've really got your heart set on it. Only now it's a whole lot safer to do so, and without the steed you might even be able to fit the foe inside.
The foe will fit in with the steed and there is almost no reason that a wizard shouldn't spend the whoel day on a phantom steed. It allows you to move at 240 feet in a move action. And fly.


Maybe you want to kill off a couple of roomfuls of creatures all in one go?

Waste of 9th level spells in most cases.

Dausuul
2007-04-30, 08:30 AM
A Phantom Steed does not take up a 10x10x10 cube. It takes up possibly four 5 foot squares. It is not 10 feet wide, it is a long creature. So it is 1 square wide by 2 squares long by 2 squares tall. Taking up a grand total of 4 squares.

First, by RAW, the steed does take up a 10x10 space. There's no such thing as a "long but not wide" creature under RAW; if it's Large, then it's 10x10. (RAW does not specify height.) You could squeeze, of course...

...except that the prismatic sphere is centered on you, at the moment you cast it. Unless your personal radius is exactly zero feet, you cannot trap any creature of Large size or larger, which is most of your opponents at 20th level. Some part of the creature will always be outside the area of the spell.


It is also a magical effect, not a creature.

Nope (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/phantomSteed.htm). It's a creature:


You conjure a Large, quasi-real, horselike creature.It is therefore vulnerable to AoOs and anything else you care to throw at it, and will not be able to pass through your prismatic sphere. That's the weakness of phantom steeds.


And the AoO doesn't matter much because of the various defenses against it. And its damage (stoneskin for example).

You cast stoneskin on your phantom steeds every day? Must blow through a lot of diamond dust. Besides, even if you do, the steed only has 27 hit points and stoneskin only gives DR 10/adamantine. A CR 20 melee opponent can blow through that with one hit and not break a sweat.


Prismtatic Sphere goes through the floor and ground.

No, it doesn't (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/prismaticSphere.htm):


Typically, only the upper hemisphere of the globe will exist, since you are at the center of the sphere, so the lower half is usually excluded by the floor surface you are standing on.Kind of a glaring weakness in the spell if you ask me, but there it is. Of course, by that level you should be permanently airborne anyhow... but you certainly cannot count on your opponents being nice enough to do the same.

greenknight
2007-04-30, 09:04 AM
^ What Dausuul said, plus:


I said that you where incorrect in this assertion and provided evidence of it.

And I said your "evidence" didn't prove anything. OTOH, I've given numerous examples of just how Time Stop can be abused. In the end, you're free to believe that just because some 9th level spells are potentially more powerful than Time Stop, it makes the spell balanced in some way. I believe otherwise.

Oh, and given the 10' cube of the Phantom Steed, plus the caster's own size (which could be reduced, given he's riding the steed), I'd doubt in most cases you could even fit a creature with 5' space in the remaining area of the sphere available, much less a Large creature with 10' space. Remember, if any part of the creature touches that sphere when you cast it, the whole spell is lost, and once you get past the middle, the walls of the sphere close in very quickly... With good positioning, you might be able to capture a flying medium sized creature, but that's about it, really.

Armads
2007-04-30, 09:38 AM
But Lets just go with SRD spelsl that one coudl argue are more powerful than TS.

Gate
Shapechange
Disjunction
Prismatic Sphere

Thats 1/6 of the core 9th level spells. I woudl put time stop directly after the above but it isn't the most overpowered. And if you start using all 3.5 books I can think of a good dozen more spells that are better than it.


Therefore, are you implying that alter self isn't broken because wraithstrike is more powerful than it?

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-30, 10:49 AM
First, by RAW, the steed does take up a 10x10 space. There's no such thing as a "long but not wide" creature under RAW; if it's Large, then it's 10x10. (RAW does not specify height.) You could squeeze, of course...
Actually there is. The options are normal, long, and tall. It references them in the PHB and there is a more indepth description somewhere, I'm find it when I get home from work and can access my books.


...except that the prismatic sphere is centered on you, at the moment you cast it. Unless your personal radius is exactly zero feet, you cannot trap any creature of Large size or larger, which is most of your opponents at 20th level. Some part of the creature will always be outside the area of the spell.

You do realize that the sphere goes 10 feet in all directions. It has a 20 foot diameter and an area of 315 feet.




Nope (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/phantomSteed.htm). It's a creature:

It is therefore vulnerable to AoOs and anything else you care to throw at it, and will not be able to pass through your prismatic sphere. That's the weakness of phantom steeds.
Ah, sorry. I should have looked at it more closely.




You cast stoneskin on your phantom steeds every day? Must blow through a lot of diamond dust. Besides, even if you do, the steed only has 27 hit points and stoneskin only gives DR 10/adamantine. A CR 20 melee opponent can blow through that with one hit and not break a sweat.
Stone skin is cast on yourself to reduce some of the AoO damage.




No, it doesn't (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/prismaticSphere.htm):

Kind of a glaring weakness in the spell if you ask me, but there it is. Of course, by that level you should be permanently airborne anyhow... but you certainly cannot count on your opponents being nice enough to do the same.

Check out the Stronghold Builders guide. It gives the specific example of a Prismatic Sphere going through the floor. And I believe that that book has been updated to 3.5 without the text being removed or changed.


^ What Dausuul said, plus:

And I said your "evidence" didn't prove anything. OTOH, I've given numerous examples of just how Time Stop can be abused. In the end, you're free to believe that just because some 9th level spells are potentially more powerful than Time Stop, it makes the spell balanced in some way. I believe otherwise.
I never said that TS was balanced, it isn't. I was just saying that you were incorrect in asserting that it was overpowered compared to other spelsl of that level.


Oh, and given the 10' cube of the Phantom Steed, plus the caster's own size (which could be reduced, given he's riding the steed), I'd doubt in most cases you could even fit a creature with 5' space in the remaining area of the sphere available, much less a Large creature with 10' space. Remember, if any part of the creature touches that sphere when you cast it, the whole spell is lost, and once you get past the middle, the walls of the sphere close in very quickly... With good positioning, you might be able to capture a flying medium sized creature, but that's about it, really.

As above, you have 315 feet to work with.



Therefore, are you implying that alter self isn't broken because wraithstrike is more powerful than it?

Thats a false comparison. Alter Self is in the top 1% of spells power wise for its level. It is utterly overpowered compared to other spells of that level.

Timestop is overpowered when compared to what non wizards can do at that level. It isn't that overpowered when compared to other 9th level spells.

Dausuul
2007-04-30, 11:05 AM
Actually there is. The options are normal, long, and tall. It references them in the PHB and there is a more indepth description somewhere, I'm find it when I get home from work and can access my books.

I'm fairly certain this was removed in 3.5E, but I'll accept it for the sake of argument.


You do realize that the sphere goes 10 feet in all directions. It has a 20 foot diameter and an area of 315 feet.

It goes 10 feet in all directions from your person. You can't just put it wherever you like. It is centered on you at the moment you cast it. Therefore, radius of you + diameter of other creature in the sphere cannot exceed 10 feet, total. If radius of you is greater than zero, which it is, then diameter of other creature must be less than 10 feet. Large creatures are 10 feet in diameter. Therefore, you cannot fit a Large creature into the sphere with you unless you can somehow share its space.


Check out the Stronghold Builders guide. It gives the specific example of a Prismatic Sphere going through the floor. And I believe that that book has been updated to 3.5 without the text being removed or changed.

Ah, inconsistencies in the RAW...


I never said that TS was balanced, it isn't. I was just saying that you were incorrect in asserting that it was overpowered compared to other spelsl of that level.

It is overpowered compared to other spells of that level--specifically, when compared to meteor swarm, weird, crushing hand, energy drain, astral projection, et cetera. Time stop is way more powerful than all of these, and indeed more powerful than most 9th-level spells. The fact that there exists a handful of 9th-level spells more powerful than time stop does not change this.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-30, 02:48 PM
I'm fairly certain this was removed in 3.5E, but I'll accept it for the sake of argument.
Its in the MM glossary. Table 7-1. But you are correct, it only effects reach, not how much space is taken up.

Ah well, don't use Prismatic Spheres on anything Large or Larger. It still beats fighters.

And it provides you with complete immunity to all spells.


It goes 10 feet in all directions from your person. You can't just put it wherever you like. It is centered on you at the moment you cast it. Therefore, radius of you + diameter of other creature in the sphere cannot exceed 10 feet, total. If radius of you is greater than zero, which it is, then diameter of other creature must be less than 10 feet. Large creatures are 10 feet in diameter. Therefore, you cannot fit a Large creature into the sphere with you unless you can somehow share its space.

Correct. Well just don't use it on Large or Larger monsters.


Ah, inconsistencies in the RAW...

Yep.


It is overpowered compared to other spells of that level--specifically, when compared to meteor swarm, weird, crushing hand, energy drain, astral projection, et cetera. Time stop is way more powerful than all of these, and indeed more powerful than most 9th-level spells. The fact that there exists a handful of 9th-level spells more powerful than time stop does not change this.

That is 5 spells less powerful than Timestop. Out of 24 9th level core spells.

Its about a 5th of the 9th level core spells. About that many are more powerful than Timestop. And I woudl drop about half of the spells that you mentioned down to 8th level. Meteor Swarm for example doesn't deserve to be a 9th level spell.

When you bring in the 9th level spells from other sources TS remains in roughly the same spot on the power list (% wise). It is very good but by no means the best, or even particularly close to the best, 9th level spell.

Timestop is only powerful when used in combination with other spells, most of which don't work on an equal level caster or a well prepared person of another class.

It is also pretty much regulated to a combat only role (It is somewhat useful when sneaking past guards but you have DD or Teleport at those levels anyways).

Jasdoif
2007-04-30, 03:57 PM
If you want to talk overpowered 9th-level spells, look at disjunction. Seriously, it works against epic spells without needing a check. Including all those "permanently summoned solar" tactics, because the duration of permanent is, well, permanent and not instantaneous.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-30, 04:04 PM
If you want to talk overpowered 9th-level spells, look at disjunction. Seriously, it works against epic spells without needing a check. Including all those "permanently summoned solar" tactics, because the duration of permanent is, well, permanent and not instantaneous.
Until you use those Permanent Summoned Solars to cast this prize.



Epic Spell Reflection
Abjuration
Spellcraft DC: 27
Components: V, S [Ritual]
Casting Time: 10 Minutes
Range: Touch
Target: Object or creature touched
Duration: Permanent
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes
To Develop: 243,000 gp; 5 days; 9,720 XP. Seed: reflect (DC 27). Factors: reflect up to 10th-level spells (+180 DC), change range to touch (+2 DC), reflect area effect spells (+20 DC), dismissible at will (+2 DC) permanent (◊5 DC). Mitigating factors: increase casting time by 10 minutes (-20 DC), 1135 additional casters contributing one 1st-level spell slot (-1135 DC).

The character can create a permanent ward against all spells, including epic spells, that target the subject or affect the area the subject is in. These spells are reflected back on the caster. Epic spells are only reflected if the subject wins a caster level check against the attacker. Non-epic spells are reflected without this check. The subject can raise and lower this protection at will as a free action (so they can benefit from helpful spells).

That was done without the Solar trick and with a house rule saying that you couldn't mitigate the DC of an epic spell below its seed's base DC.

But with that you are immune to Disjunction and anyone casting it in the area around you gets it reflected back at them.

greenknight
2007-04-30, 08:40 PM
Ah well, don't use Prismatic Spheres on anything Large or Larger. It still beats fighters.

And Fighters are such a huge threat at 20th level you need to do this to disable them? And there's no other way you can think of? I had no idea Fighters were so powerful at high levels.


Check out the Stronghold Builders guide

Probably a mistake on the part of the writers, but it doesn't seem to have ever been errata'd. Still, the description of Prismatic Sphere seems to indicate it's an emanation, so it won't go through floors, walls etc.


I never said that TS was balanced, it isn't.

So we agree Time Stop isn't balanced. So as with all unbalanced spells, either fix it, or ban it. I don't see any way to fix it while staying true to it's original intent, so banning it seems the best option.


Its about a 5th of the 9th level core spells. About that many are more powerful than Timestop. And I woudl drop about half of the spells that you mentioned down to 8th level. Meteor Swarm for example doesn't deserve to be a 9th level spell.

Prismatic Sphere isn't more powerful than Time Stop because there's too many weaknesses with it. Disjunction isn't more powerful than Time Stop because it has the potential to ruin loot (magical items) and even has a small chance of permanently removing the spellcasting abilities of the caster (if that caster destroys an artifact with the spell and fails the will save). Greater Dispel Magic avoids the possibility of losing spellcasting abilities or permanently destroying magical items, and often works just as well, so in many cases that's a better choice.

And as was pointed out to me recently on another forum, the changes to the Polymorph subschool (in PHBII, Complete Mage) have reduced the power of Shapechange quite a lot. For example, the character loses all class abilities, including spellcasting, and all items worn meld into the new form and become nonfunctional. There's still a lot of cheesy things you can do with Shapechange so it's still way up there (maybe even tied with TS), but I wouldn't say it's more powerful than Time Stop now.

That puts Time Stop at number 2 on your list, not number 5.


Timestop is only powerful when used in combination with other spells, most of which don't work on an equal level caster or a well prepared person of another class.

It is also pretty much regulated to a combat only role (It is somewhat useful when sneaking past guards but you have DD or Teleport at those levels anyways).

This (mostly) sums up the situation, yes, although I don't agree with your conclusion. It does give a spellcaster time to set up a trap using other spells, and it's main purpose is combat (although it can also be used for sneaking and avoiding the effects of most traps).

But considering you've got all the other spells available on your class list to choose from, I'm sure you'd find something which is effective against another spellcaster of equal level, or members of other classes. It doesn't matter if most of the spells won't work, just that some do and are able to disable or kill your target once the Time Stop is over. I think it was you who suggested a TS / DBF combo (with Energy Substitution, if necessary) on this forum to wipe out a foe. That would work against almost anything, and that's just one option. Using the immunity from attack TS gives you to Gate in (or Summon, if you don't want to lose the XP and the foe isn't too powerful) something nasty is another. The Dimensional Lock / Prismatic Sphere combo you mentioned would also work with TS, and as I said previously, you'd have more room available and you wouldn't need to worry about counterattacks.

And that's just some ways to do it - I'm sure there's plenty of others, but I couldn't be bothered listing them all.

Emperor Tippy
2007-04-30, 09:28 PM
And Fighters are such a huge threat at 20th level you need to do this to disable them? And there's no other way you can think of? I had no idea Fighters were so powerful at high levels.
It uses less spell slots than the forcecage combo.


Probably a mistake on the part of the writers, but it doesn't seem to have ever been errata'd. Still, the description of Prismatic Sphere seems to indicate it's an emanation, so it won't go through floors, walls etc.
Seems to and does are very different. It is a 10 foot radius and it doesn't move around you. Per RAW I don't believe that it is an emanation. Using the SBG example as the most valid RAW shows that it penetrates the ground.


So we agree Time Stop isn't balanced. So as with all unbalanced spells, either fix it, or ban it. I don't see any way to fix it while staying true to it's original intent, so banning it seems the best option.
Come up with a fix.

And frankly it shouldn't be banned. If you ban TS you should be banning near half the wizards spell list. At that point they cease being wizards.


Prismatic Sphere isn't more powerful than Time Stop because there's too many weaknesses with it.
Using it offensively is just one use. And not the best. How does complete immunity to all spells grab you? Cast a Prismatic Sphere. You can use a move action to walk 3 feet outside of the sphere on your turn, cast a spell and take a 5 foot step back into the sphere.

Its the ultimate shield.


Disjunction isn't more powerful than Time Stop because it has the potential to ruin loot (magical items) and even has a small chance of permanently removing the spellcasting abilities of the caster (if that caster destroys an artifact with the spell and fails the will save). Greater Dispel Magic avoids the possibility of losing spellcasting abilities or permanently destroying magical items, and often works just as well, so in many cases that's a better choice.

HAHA. Disjunction is one of the most powerful spells in existence. It can destroy artifacts. Even major artifacts. Screw the loot. It frankly doesn't matter. Getting gold when you need it at those levels is truly child's play. You already have most of the items that you coudl want or need, so most magical items aren't worth it. From a strategic point of view you are much better off using disjunction if it negates all of a targets magic items, even if it is 600,000 GP worth of items, if it allows you to win.

GDM is a great spell, but disjunction is far better.


And as was pointed out to me recently on another forum, the changes to the Polymorph subschool (in PHBII, Complete Mage) have reduced the power of Shapechange quite a lot. For example, the character loses all class abilities, including spellcasting, and all items worn meld into the new form and become nonfunctional. There's still a lot of cheesy things you can do with Shapechange so it's still way up there (maybe even tied with TS), but I wouldn't say it's more powerful than Time Stop now.
What are you smoking? Shapechange was not affected at all by the creation of the polymorph subschool. Everything based off of Alter Self or based off of things based off of Alter Self stays exactly as written in the PHB and errata.

Why do you think WoTC has banned it from tournament play?


That puts Time Stop at number 2 on your list, not number 5.
Incorrect.


This (mostly) sums up the situation, yes, although I don't agree with your conclusion. It does give a spellcaster time to set up a trap using other spells, and it's main purpose is combat (although it can also be used for sneaking and avoiding the effects of most traps).
Don't you get it? Combat at level 17+ is supposed to be rare. Most encounters are supposed to be non combat encounters. Your enemies at those levels are supposed to be almost entirely high level casters.


But considering you've got all the other spells available on your class list to choose from, I'm sure you'd find something which is effective against another spellcaster of equal level, or members of other classes. It doesn't matter if most of the spells won't work, just that some do and are able to disable or kill your target once the Time Stop is over. I think it was you who suggested a TS / DBF combo (with Energy Substitution, if necessary) on this forum to wipe out a foe. That would work against almost anything, and that's just one option. Using the immunity from attack TS gives you to Gate in (or Summon, if you don't want to lose the XP and the foe isn't too powerful) something nasty is another. The Dimensional Lock / Prismatic Sphere combo you mentioned would also work with TS, and as I said previously, you'd have more room available and you wouldn't need to worry about counterattacks.

And if you want to blow a third of your 9th level spells on 1 encounter feel free. You are novaing.

If you want real power just gate in infinite titans. Yo ucan fill every 5 foot square in the plane in 1 round wit ha titan.


And that's just some ways to do it - I'm sure there's plenty of others, but I couldn't be bothered listing them all.
Yeah. But TS on its own isn't that powerful. Its only powerful when used in combination with numerous other spells. Most of which are equally effective without TS.

Mewtarthio
2007-04-30, 09:32 PM
And as was pointed out to me recently on another forum, the changes to the Polymorph subschool (in PHBII, Complete Mage) have reduced the power of Shapechange quite a lot. For example, the character loses all class abilities, including spellcasting, and all items worn meld into the new form and become nonfunctional. There's still a lot of cheesy things you can do with Shapechange so it's still way up there (maybe even tied with TS), but I wouldn't say it's more powerful than Time Stop now.

Technically, Shapechange doesn't get any of the Transmutation (Polymorph) traits, though it's still considered part of the subschool. Wizards has effectively banned the spell, and it's definately not going to be in 4e. They're just sort of trying to forget that Alter Self, Polymorph, and Shapechange exist.

Dausuul
2007-04-30, 10:17 PM
It uses less spell slots than the forcecage combo.

So does charm monster. Works fine on most fighters. A 20th-level wizard who has to resort to 9th-level spells to deal with a fighter isn't doing his job.


And frankly it shouldn't be banned. If you ban TS you should be banning near half the wizards spell list. At that point they cease being wizards.

Uh... no.


Using it offensively is just one use. And not the best. How does complete immunity to all spells grab you? Cast a Prismatic Sphere. You can use a move action to walk 3 feet outside of the sphere on your turn, cast a spell and take a 5 foot step back into the sphere.

It's not that easy. You can't use a move action to actually move, and then take a 5-foot step, on the same turn. You'd have to use something like greater dimension door, and even then the enemy can just ready a spell to blast you the instant you step out of the sphere.


Don't you get it? Combat at level 17+ is supposed to be rare. Most encounters are supposed to be non combat encounters. Your enemies at those levels are supposed to be almost entirely high level casters.

"Supposed to be?" Supposed by whom? Did WotC release a Percentage of Combat Encounters By Level table when I wasn't looking? (Actually, I wouldn't put it past them...)

Frankly, combat is the only part of the game that retains even a semblance of balance at 20th level. Everything else has completely collapsed by then. Look at Diplomacy, for God's sake.


Yeah. But TS on its own isn't that powerful. Its only powerful when used in combination with numerous other spells. Most of which are equally effective without TS.

Of course time stop on its own isn't that useful. It is, in fact, nearly worthless on its own... just like celerity, or for that matter disjunction, which despite its admittedly godlike power cannot actually defeat most enemies all by itself.

Time stop, like many broken spells, is broken because of what you can do in combination with other stuff.

Emperor Tippy
2007-05-01, 12:35 AM
Time stop, like many broken spells, is broken because of what you can do in combination with other stuff.

You ever notice that almost every claim of a broken combination that is made most people insist on removing the highest level spell? Or all of the spells in the combination?

To stop the DBF trick all the DM has to say is that they don't count down while you are under the effects of TS (and its questionable whether or not they do by RAW).

To stop the forcecage trick why not tweak cloudkill so that it has no effect on any creature with 15 HD or more?

There. Those 2 fixes have just removed a lot of the overpoweredness of TS, without changing it at all. The changes affect almost nothing else.

DBF counts on real time. 15+ HD creatures are immune to Cloudkill. When outside of the TS combos can you see either of these changes affecting anything in game?

I will respond to the rest of your post later. I am tired and making mistakes so I will respond later today after I get some sleep.

Talya
2007-05-01, 12:36 AM
While you're arguing about the AOO and the phantom steed, I'd like to point out that the example given of the Balor taking an AOO with his whip is incorrect. Whips do not threaten any squares, and therefore you cannot take an attack of opportunity with a whip.

greenknight
2007-05-01, 03:39 AM
It uses less spell slots than the forcecage combo.

So do a lot of other tactics. Your point is?


Seems to and does are very different. It is a 10 foot radius and it doesn't move around you. Per RAW I don't believe that it is an emanation. Using the SBG example as the most valid RAW shows that it penetrates the ground.

Ok. SBG is older than 3.5e (it's 3.0e, although the spell description hasn't changed). Here's the relevant part of the spell description from the SRD:

Typically, only the upper hemisphere of the globe will exist, since you are at the center of the sphere, so the lower half is usually excluded by the floor surface you are standing on.

As the most recent source, the 3.5e PHB trumps SBG. And yeah, it's pretty clear from that the it does not penetrate the ground.


Come up with a fix.

I have, it's called banning. Problem solved.


Using it offensively is just one use. And not the best. How does complete immunity to all spells grab you? Cast a Prismatic Sphere. You can use a move action to walk 3 feet outside of the sphere on your turn, cast a spell and take a 5 foot step back into the sphere.

And you can't take a move action combined with a 5' step, so that doesn't work. Nor can you use that Phantom Steed you mentioned earlier, because it's unlikely to survive the trip through the sphere (and almost certainly won't survive two trips).


Its the ultimate shield.

Until someone hits it with a Rod of Cancellation.


HAHA. Disjunction is one of the most powerful spells in existence. It can destroy artifacts. Even major artifacts.

Yeah, that's the point. Destroying artifacts has a chance of removing the spellcasters ability to cast spells permanently, and not even a Wish or Miracle (cast from a mortal spellcaster) can bring them back. Even if that doesn't happen, there's a 95% chance you'll incur the wrath of some powerful being associated with the artifact. When said powerful being could easily be a Greater God, I don't think that's really such a good idea, although maybe you think your 20th level Wizard stands a chance.


GDM is a great spell, but disjunction is far better.

In some circumstances, yes. But it does have its drawbacks.


What are you smoking? Shapechange was not affected at all by the creation of the polymorph subschool. Everything based off of Alter Self or based off of things based off of Alter Self stays exactly as written in the PHB and errata.

From the SRD:

Shapechange
TransmutationLevel: Animal 9, Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9
Components: V, S, F
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 10 min./level (D)


This spell functions like polymorph....

I don't think we need any more than that really. I'm not sure how you read polymorph to say alter self, but obviously you're wrong. And for that matter, I can't see any exclusion when it comes to Alter Self, except that Alter Self does not change the target's ability scores.


Don't you get it? Combat at level 17+ is supposed to be rare. Most encounters are supposed to be non combat encounters. Your enemies at those levels are supposed to be almost entirely high level casters.

I'd better send a note to WotC then, since they have obviously wasted their time making non-spellcasting character classes which go all the way to 20th level. I should also tell them to junk all those CR 17+ monsters which aren't full spellcasters as well, since obviously they aren't any good either. Or, maybe you're wrong about this too.


And if you want to blow a third of your 9th level spells on 1 encounter feel free. You are novaing.

Who cares? If I'm soloing an encounter with a CR equal to my level, it's the equivalent of 4 party encounters anyway. So after that I can just go home and rest - the day's work is done already.


Yeah. But TS on its own isn't that powerful. Its only powerful when used in combination with numerous other spells. Most of which are equally effective without TS.

LOL! So, having the effects of 4, maybe 5 spells all take effect at the same time (usually before the enemy can act at all) is just as good as spreading them out over 3+ rounds, with the foe doing his/her/its best to tear you apart in that time? And you asked me what I'm smoking?


You ever notice that almost every claim of a broken combination that is made most people insist on removing the highest level spell? Or all of the spells in the combination?

Sure. That's because it's usually the higher level spell that's causing the problem. DBF is fine, you could even have a whole bunch of them timed to go off together. That's not an issue because while you're doing that the foe can (usually) get out of the way. But with TS in the picture, suddenly you've got a situation where the foe can't get away, and can't do anything to stop you either. In a way, it's a bit like Hold Monster, except you don't even get to apply SR or a chance from a saving throw with TS.

Same thing with Cloudkill. The spell is set up so that the foe can get out of it, and if the foe can't the Cloudkill itself moves away. But Forcecage confines the Cloudkill as well the foe, making it almost impossible to escape (unless you happen to have the right magical items or spells available).


DBF counts on real time.

That's supposed to be a fix? So now, instead of needing a maximized Time Stop so that we can tell exactly when those DBF's go off, we just say explode after one round, because it's always going to be one round after casting that the TS will wear off. Congrats, you've just made the DBF trick even better.

Here's a fix which works (and solves a lot of other similar problems) - ban Time Stop.


While you're arguing about the AOO and the phantom steed, I'd like to point out that the example given of the Balor taking an AOO with his whip is incorrect. Whips do not threaten any squares, and therefore you cannot take an attack of opportunity with a whip.

Use the Vorpal Sword instead then. The point is, if you aren't Time Stopped, getting up close, casting a spell and then moving away is going to provoke an AoO.

Belial_the_Leveler
2007-05-01, 04:11 AM
Just to drop in a line-people that think Time Stop combinations (or any other spell combinations) are broken, are welcome to prove it in a challenge thread I am opening up in the "finding players" forum. Let's see if anyone can unbalance a party when a DM that is experienced in handling high-level games is making the encounters.

Skjaldbakka
2007-05-01, 05:22 AM
I would like to join that to demonstrate the purpose of the high-level fighter (no spell slots).

I also find the whole fighter vs. mage debate highly entertaining as a NERO player, where that situation is flipped on its side. Kinda like comparing World of Darkness Vampire vs. Werewolf to D&D Vampire vs. Werewolf.

Belial_the_Leveler
2007-05-01, 05:29 AM
OK, thread is up-should be easy to find in the OOC forum.

Emperor Tippy
2007-05-01, 07:58 AM
So do a lot of other tactics. Your point is?
If you achieve the same affect with fewer resources then those resources are more powerful than what they are compared to.


Ok. SBG is older than 3.5e (it's 3.0e, although the spell description hasn't changed). Here's the relevant part of the spell description from the SRD:

Typically, only the upper hemisphere of the globe will exist, since you are at the center of the sphere, so the lower half is usually excluded by the floor surface you are standing on.

As the most recent source, the 3.5e PHB trumps SBG. And yeah, it's pretty clear from that the it does not penetrate the ground.

Was an update booklet released for SBG? I believe one was. If so then SBG is RAW 3.5 now. And if the update booklet was released after the PHB then it is the newer source.


I have, it's called banning. Problem solved.
If banning is your solution to everything overpowered then you are practically playing a no magic game.


And you can't take a move action combined with a 5' step, so that doesn't work. Nor can you use that Phantom Steed you mentioned earlier, because it's unlikely to survive the trip through the sphere (and almost certainly won't survive two trips).
You are correct. It is still a safe place to buff or rest and it lasts 10 minutes per level, versus the 5 rounds TS gives you.


Until someone hits it with a Rod of Cancellation.
I could say the same about the forcecage combo. Its great until someone uses a Rod of Cancellation.


Yeah, that's the point. Destroying artifacts has a chance of removing the spellcasters ability to cast spells permanently, and not even a Wish or Miracle (cast from a mortal spellcaster) can bring them back. Even if that doesn't happen, there's a 95% chance you'll incur the wrath of some powerful being associated with the artifact. When said powerful being could easily be a Greater God, I don't think that's really such a good idea, although maybe you think your 20th level Wizard stands a chance.
No. Gods win. At least in most cases. The point is a disjunction can RAW destroy any artifact. That is something that RAW epic spells can't do in most cases.


In some circumstances, yes. But it does have its drawbacks.
And in some circumstances Sleep is better than Shapechange. We should be dealing with most situations.



From the SRD:

Shapechange
TransmutationLevel: Animal 9, Drd 9, Sor/Wiz 9
Components: V, S, F
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 10 min./level (D)


This spell functions like polymorph....

I don't think we need any more than that really. I'm not sure how you read polymorph to say alter self, but obviously you're wrong. And for that matter, I can't see any exclusion when it comes to Alter Self, except that Alter Self does not change the target's ability scores.
The PHB 2. It specifically says that the following spells are unaffected: Alter Self, Polymorph, Polymorph Any Object, Shapechange, and Draconic Polymorph.


I'd better send a note to WotC then, since they have obviously wasted their time making non-spellcasting character classes which go all the way to 20th level. I should also tell them to junk all those CR 17+ monsters which aren't full spellcasters as well, since obviously they aren't any good either. Or, maybe you're wrong about this too.
Most CR 17+ monsters have numerous special abilities that can make up for their lack of casting. And WoTC has said that fighters aren't that great at level 17+.

They attempted to do what you said but they failed and have admitted it. ToB is a good apology.


Who cares? If I'm soloing an encounter with a CR equal to my level, it's the equivalent of 4 party encounters anyway. So after that I can just go home and rest - the day's work is done already.
Who ever said anything about soloing? I thought we were discussing a party. Soloing is a whole other can of worms.


LOL! So, having the effects of 4, maybe 5 spells all take effect at the same time (usually before the enemy can act at all) is just as good as spreading them out over 3+ rounds, with the foe doing his/her/its best to tear you apart in that time? And you asked me what I'm smoking?

No itís not just as good. Timestop is good. I have never said different. But with Celerity you can get the Forcecage combo done before anyone else can act and you don't need TS.


Sure. That's because it's usually the higher level spell that's causing the problem. DBF is fine, you could even have a whole bunch of them timed to go off together. That's not an issue because while you're doing that the foe can (usually) get out of the way. But with TS in the picture, suddenly you've got a situation where the foe can't get away, and can't do anything to stop you either. In a way, it's a bit like Hold Monster, except you don't even get to apply SR or a chance from a saving throw with TS.

Why I proposed a fix for DBF. And its debatable whether or not the TS rounds count for the DBF's going off already.


Same thing with Cloudkill. The spell is set up so that the foe can get out of it, and if the foe can't the Cloudkill itself moves away. But Forcecage confines the Cloudkill as well the foe, making it almost impossible to escape (unless you happen to have the right magical items or spells available).
Again why I proposed a fix. 1 simple change that has very little meaning unless you attempt the forcecage combo.


That's supposed to be a fix? So now, instead of needing a maximized Time Stop so that we can tell exactly when those DBF's go off, we just say explode after one round, because it's always going to be one round after casting that the TS will wear off. Congrats, you've just made the DBF trick even better.

The point of the fix is that everyone else gets to act at least once before the DBF's go off.

Wizard casts DBF under TS with a 1 round delay.
Everyone else gets to act and with a move action they can escape the DBF's.
The DBF's go off.


Here's a fix which works (and solves a lot of other similar problems) - ban Time Stop.
My fix has much less impact and has minimal unforeseen consequences. Its like I'm wielding a scalpel while you are using a chainsaw.

greenknight
2007-05-01, 06:53 PM
If you achieve the same affect with fewer resources then those resources are more powerful than what they are compared to.

So you're saying a Fighter who can knock out something with only regular melee weapons and taking no damage (effectively using no resources) is more powerful than a Wizard who casts spells (using up spell slots). That's an interesting PoV.


Was an update booklet released for SBG? I believe one was. If so then SBG is RAW 3.5 now. And if the update booklet was released after the PHB then it is the newer source.

No idea. If so, you'll have to find it.


If banning is your solution to everything overpowered then you are practically playing a no magic game.

Banning is my solution when I can't find a balanced alternative which stays true to at least some of the idea the (spell/feat/class/whatever)


You are correct. It is still a safe place to buff or rest and it lasts 10 minutes per level, versus the 5 rounds TS gives you.

If you want a safe place to rest, there are other spells you can use. I believe you mentioned Rope Trick and MMM previously. And using your definition of lower resources to do the same thing, doesn't that make these spells more powerful than Prismatic Sphere?


I could say the same about the forcecage combo. Its great until someone uses a Rod of Cancellation.

Exactly. Forcecage does at least have some counter, so do most Force effects. What's the counter to Time Stop?


No. Gods win. At least in most cases. The point is a disjunction can RAW destroy any artifact. That is something that RAW epic spells can't do in most cases.

And the counterpoint is that in doing so, the spellcaster is more than likely to be destroyed as well. That's a pretty big drawback IMO.


The PHB 2. It specifically says that the following spells are unaffected: Alter Self, Polymorph, Polymorph Any Object, Shapechange, and Draconic Polymorph.

You have a page and heading reference? Not to mention Complete Mage is the newer reference, and I can't find that statement written there.


Who ever said anything about soloing? I thought we were discussing a party. Soloing is a whole other can of worms.

One full caster can usually solo a CR20 encounter, grab the loot, then go home and rest, so having anyone else isn't really necessary. That said, if you've got 2 or more Full Casters, they can each do one CR20 encounter to achieve much the same thing. And the more full spellcasters in the group the better, since if something bad somehow happens to one, the others could be backups, so in that sense it's better to have group.


No it’s not just as good. Timestop is good. I have never said different. But with Celerity you can get the Forcecage combo done before anyone else can act and you don't need TS.

But didn't we just agree Forcecage doesn't always work? I agree that you should try to get the job done with the least expended resources (which is different to saying those resources are more powerful), but sometimes you should just bring out the big guns. And yes, one of those big guns could easily be Time Stop.


Why I proposed a fix for DBF. And its debatable whether or not the TS rounds count for the DBF's going off already.

Why do you need a fix for DBF? As far as I can tell, the spell isn't really all that bad for its level.


Wizard casts DBF under TS with a 1 round delay.

But the Wizard could set any delay up to 5 rounds (30 seconds). So let's try 1/100th of a second. Time Stop ends, then everyone has 1/100th of a second to react before all those DBFs go off. Doesn't give a whole lot of time to escape, IMO.


My fix has much less impact and has minimal unforeseen consequences. Its like I'm wielding a scalpel while you are using a chainsaw.

But your fix doesn't work while mine does. Sometimes a scalpel just won't get the job done. That said, I was thinking about it and I have come up with a fix for Time Stop which doesn't ban it. It's a little rough around the edges just yet, but the basic idea is to restrict what things the spellcaster can do. Here goes:

1) The only spells which work while Time Stopped affect only the caster (and/or any creature of the caster's with the Share Spell ability in range), and any objects the caster held or was carrying at the time the spell was cast (specifically excluding any living beings, undead or constructs the caster might hold or carry, unless they Share Spells with the caster). Essentially, only spells with Range: Personal, Touch or which allow specific subjects (people) to be targeted can be used. The caster can also cast spells on objects, provided those objects were held or carried by the caster when the spell was cast. If the spell has an area effect and is not instantaneous, then time spent in Time Stop counts towards it's duration, and once out of Time Stop the area effect (if it's still active) works normally.

2) While under the effects of a Time Stop, the caster can only interact with the environment in a very limited way. Specifically, the caster cannot harm or even move anyone or anything which did not benefit from the Time Stop spell. IE, the caster can harm a familiar who was beneficially affected by the Time Stop, and can destroy any items held or carried when the spell was cast, but cannot so much as pick up or destroy a feather if it wasn't held or carried by the caster when the spell was cast. Traps of a magical nature (as opposed to mechanical traps) work normally under a Time Stop and may be triggered. The caster is subject to the normal effect of triggering the trap, but if part of the trap involves summoning creatures (or some similar effect), the summoned creature only begins moving after the Time Stop ends, and it's duration also begins from that point. Traps which are only mechanical in nature cannot be triggered while Time Stopped.

3) When the Time Stop ends, any item which was initially affected by the Time Stop (as in, the caster held or carried it), but is no longer being held or carried by the caster immediately winks out of existence (this excludes creatures with the Share Spells ability if they are still in range when the spell ends). Previously held or carried objects in contact with something other than inanimate objects also wink out of existence, regardless of whether they are still held or carried by the caster. If the caster is in contact with anything other than an inanimate object when the spell ends, the caster immediately takes 1d6 damage per HD of the object, no save and SR doesn't apply (this excludes contact with creatures with the Share Spells ability which benefited from the initial spell casting).

4) When the Time Stop ends, if the caster is in a situation where Initiative would normally be rolled (or has previously been rolled), the caster automatically gains Surprise unless the caster is within 30 feet of the original casting point. Should the caster be within 30 feet of the original casting point, the caster may take a Ready action before the TS spell ends to achieve much the same effect. (This is basically the same thing as what happens now, I've just formally acknowledged it).

To put it all another way, these changes are meant to allow the spellcaster (and familiar) time to apply self-buffs and move around (including things like DD, Teleport and Plane Shift). The caster can even chain Time Stops if that’s desired. What the caster can not do is steal stuff or set up traps for foes. Even movement is somewhat restricted because the caster won’t be able to open doors, and might activate magical traps. That last bit has a deliberate loophole. If the caster is at home and the place is invaded, the caster might have magical traps set up which summon ally creatures, and could use Time Stop to activate them. This could also be used on the PCs by a BBEG.

Emperor Tippy
2007-05-01, 10:44 PM
So you're saying a Fighter who can knock out something with only regular melee weapons and taking no damage (effectively using no resources) is more powerful than a Wizard who casts spells (using up spell slots). That's an interesting PoV.
The fighter uses far more of a very powerful resource, time. The wizard wins in 1 or 2 rounds while the fighter takes 5 or 6 rounds to win, if the fighter can even last that long.


Banning is my solution when I can't find a balanced alternative which stays true to at least some of the idea the (spell/feat/class/whatever)

Start listing specific situations and combos in which TS is broken and I will start giving you fixes that stay true to the flavor and have a minimal impact otherwise.


If you want a safe place to rest, there are other spells you can use. I believe you mentioned Rope Trick and MMM previously. And using your definition of lower resources to do the same thing, doesn't that make these spells more powerful than Prismatic Sphere?
Neither is as safe for in battle buffing. And both can be stopped. Prismatic Sphere can't.


Exactly. Forcecage does at least have some counter, so do most Force effects. What's the counter to Time Stop?
When is TS overpowered? When it is combined with other spells to produce a synergistic effect that is more powerful than the sum of its parts.

You don't need to "counter" timestop, you need to counter the combos that are used under its influence.


And the counterpoint is that in doing so, the spellcaster is more than likely to be destroyed as well. That's a pretty big drawback IMO.

A DC 25 willsave? I get +20 to the save from Moment of Prescience. I only fail on a natural 1 if I have 16+ Wisdom.


You have a page and heading reference? Not to mention Complete Mage is the newer reference, and I can't find that statement written there.
Under the Header "Spells That Have Come Before" page 96.

"The spells existing subtext takes priority over that of the subschool"


One full caster can usually solo a CR20 encounter, grab the loot, then go home and rest, so having anyone else isn't really necessary. That said, if you've got 2 or more Full Casters, they can each do one CR20 encounter to achieve much the same thing. And the more full spellcasters in the group the better, since if something bad somehow happens to one, the others could be backups, so in that sense it's better to have group.
Most of that soloing that involves TS uses the Cloudkill/Forcecage combo or the DBF combo. Both of which I have offered low impact fixes for.

Or just use Shivering Touch.


But didn't we just agree Forcecage doesn't always work? I agree that you should try to get the job done with the least expended resources (which is different to saying those resources are more powerful), but sometimes you should just bring out the big guns. And yes, one of those big guns could easily be Time Stop.
No. One of those big guns could easily be a combo that involves Timestop and multiple other spells.


Why do you need a fix for DBF? As far as I can tell, the spell isn't really all that bad for its level.

You want to stop 1 specific combo that is overpowered or broken. What is easier? TS or DBF being changed?


But the Wizard could set any delay up to 5 rounds (30 seconds). So let's try 1/100th of a second. Time Stop ends, then everyone has 1/100th of a second to react before all those DBFs go off. Doesn't give a whole lot of time to escape, IMO.

The spell doesn't allow a delay that small. It is measured in increments of rounds. from instant to 5 rounds.

The fix of mine is simple. Heres an example.

Bill the wizard goes first.
Bob the fighter goes second in the order.
Rob the rogue goes third.

Bill uses TS and drops 5 DBF's all set with a 1 round delay.
Bob now gets a turn.
Rob now gets a turn.

NEXT ROUND
Bill gets his turn again and can do whatever.
The DBF's now detonate. 1 real round has passed.
Bob now gets to go.
Rob now gets to go.


Do you get it? The DBF's are treated as people in the Initiative Order who act immediately after the wizard who cast them has his turn.

So now everyone else gets a turn at least to react to the DBF's.


But your fix doesn't work while mine does. Sometimes a scalpel just won't get the job done. That said, I was thinking about it and I have come up with a fix for Time Stop which doesn't ban it. It's a little rough around the edges just yet, but the basic idea is to restrict what things the spellcaster can do. Here goes:

1) The only spells which work while Time Stopped affect only the caster (and/or any creature of the caster's with the Share Spell ability in range), and any objects the caster held or was carrying at the time the spell was cast (specifically excluding any living beings, undead or constructs the caster might hold or carry, unless they Share Spells with the caster). Essentially, only spells with Range: Personal, Touch or which allow specific subjects (people) to be targeted can be used. The caster can also cast spells on objects, provided those objects were held or carried by the caster when the spell was cast. If the spell has an area effect and is not instantaneous, then time spent in Time Stop counts towards it's duration, and once out of Time Stop the area effect (if it's still active) works normally.

2) While under the effects of a Time Stop, the caster can only interact with the environment in a very limited way. Specifically, the caster cannot harm or even move anyone or anything which did not benefit from the Time Stop spell. IE, the caster can harm a familiar who was beneficially affected by the Time Stop, and can destroy any items held or carried when the spell was cast, but cannot so much as pick up or destroy a feather if it wasn't held or carried by the caster when the spell was cast. Traps of a magical nature (as opposed to mechanical traps) work normally under a Time Stop and may be triggered. The caster is subject to the normal effect of triggering the trap, but if part of the trap involves summoning creatures (or some similar effect), the summoned creature only begins moving after the Time Stop ends, and it's duration also begins from that point. Traps which are only mechanical in nature cannot be triggered while Time Stopped.

3) When the Time Stop ends, any item which was initially affected by the Time Stop (as in, the caster held or carried it), but is no longer being held or carried by the caster immediately winks out of existence (this excludes creatures with the Share Spells ability if they are still in range when the spell ends). Previously held or carried objects in contact with something other than inanimate objects also wink out of existence, regardless of whether they are still held or carried by the caster. If the caster is in contact with anything other than an inanimate object when the spell ends, the caster immediately takes 1d6 damage per HD of the object, no save and SR doesn't apply (this excludes contact with creatures with the Share Spells ability which benefited from the initial spell casting).

4) When the Time Stop ends, if the caster is in a situation where Initiative would normally be rolled (or has previously been rolled), the caster automatically gains Surprise unless the caster is within 30 feet of the original casting point. Should the caster be within 30 feet of the original casting point, the caster may take a Ready action before the TS spell ends to achieve much the same effect. (This is basically the same thing as what happens now, I've just formally acknowledged it).

To put it all another way, these changes are meant to allow the spellcaster (and familiar) time to apply self-buffs and move around (including things like DD, Teleport and Plane Shift). The caster can even chain Time Stops if thatís desired. What the caster can not do is steal stuff or set up traps for foes. Even movement is somewhat restricted because the caster wonít be able to open doors, and might activate magical traps. That last bit has a deliberate loophole. If the caster is at home and the place is invaded, the caster might have magical traps set up which summon ally creatures, and could use Time Stop to activate them. This could also be used on the PCs by a BBEG.

That makes TS worth about a 7th level slot. It wouldn't rate the 9th level slot any more.

greenknight
2007-05-02, 03:27 AM
The fighter uses far more of a very powerful resource, time. The wizard wins in 1 or 2 rounds while the fighter takes 5 or 6 rounds to win, if the fighter can even last that long.[quote]

Not necessarily. There's some Fighter builds out there which can deliver some pretty massive amounts of damage with a fair degree of reliability each round.

[quote]Start listing specific situations and combos in which TS is broken and I will start giving you fixes that stay true to the flavor and have a minimal impact otherwise.

Already have. TS+DBF, TS+FC+Cloudkill, TS+Prismatic Sphere, TS+Holy Word (if you haven't seen it, use TS to move up, gain surprise to cast HW). Just how many broken TS combos do you need, anyway?


Neither is as safe for in battle buffing. And both can be stopped. Prismatic Sphere can't.

You mean Prismatic Sphere can't be stopped by a Rod of Cancellation or a Mage's Disjunction now? I thought we previously agreed that it could, which means Prismatic Sphere can be stopped.


You don't need to "counter" timestop, you need to counter the combos that are used under its influence.

I fully agree. I even decided to post a fix which does just that, after a bit of thought.


A DC 25 willsave? I get +20 to the save from Moment of Prescience. I only fail on a natural 1 if I have 16+ Wisdom.

And how do you deal with the 95% chance you'll attract the attention of some powerful being (probably a God) who has an interest in the artifact?


Under the Header "Spells That Have Come Before" page 96.

"The spells existing subtext takes priority over that of the subschool"

Hmm. Shapechange works like Polymorph, which works like Alter Self. Alter Self does specifically state that you retain any spellcasting ability you had in your original form. Works for me.


Most of that soloing that involves TS uses the Cloudkill/Forcecage combo or the DBF combo. Both of which I have offered low impact fixes for.

Are you kidding? Most of that soloing involves just using the Gate spell. TS is just icing on the cake.


You want to stop 1 specific combo that is overpowered or broken. What is easier? TS or DBF being changed?

Problem is, there isn't just one specific combo, there's many different combos which all have one thing in common - Time Stop. So which is easier to fix: those dozens of different spells, or just the one spell those combos have in common?


The spell doesn't allow a delay that small. It is measured in increments of rounds. from instant to 5 rounds.

Who says? Where is that in the RAW?


That makes TS worth about a 7th level slot. It wouldn't rate the 9th level slot any more.

Maybe, maybe not. The point is that it's a fix without banning the spell.