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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Help Me Make a Somewhat OP Death-Based Evocation Spell



Kadzar
2016-08-21, 04:42 PM
Not that I think they'll read it, but just in case: if you are in a group with Andy, Joel, Chris, Kevin, Derek, Mike, and Luis (and also me, James), don't read this. I'll also be spoilering the more spoilery bits.

DEATH FIRE (name not final; willing to take suggestions)
3rd-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V,S (might put a Material in here if someone can think of something appropriate)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

As a requirement for casting the spell, at least one of the caster's living, non-conjured allies must have died within no more than a minute ago within the caster's line of sight. Otherwise, nothing happens. If all of the caster's allies are brought back to life before the spell ends, the spell ends prematurely.

Your hands become wreathed in black flames that emit ghostly wails. As part of the action used to cast the spell, and, on each of your turns as an action for the rest of the spell's duration, you may cast a ball of black fire at a point within 150 feet. Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 3d6 fire damage and 3d6 necrotic damage, plus an additional 1d6 fire damage and 1d6 necrotic damage for each of the caster's living, non-conjured allies that have died within the last 2 minutes within the caster's line of sight.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the fire damage and necrotic damage increase by 1d6 each for each slot level about 3rd.

DEATH FIRE
3rd-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 150 feet
Components: V,S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

As a requirement for casting the spell, at least one of the caster's living, non-conjured allies must have died within the casterís sight no more than a minute before the spellís casting. Otherwise, nothing happens.

Your hands become wreathed in black flames that emit ghostly wails. When you cast the spell, choose a point you can see within 150 feet. Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 4d6 fire damage and 4d6 necrotic damage on a failed throw, or half as much on a successful one.

The fire damage and necrotic damage increase by 1d6 for each ally past the first that has died within a minute before or after the spell's casting.

If all of the casterís living, non-conjured are brought back to life, the spell ends.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the fire damage and necrotic damage increase by 1d6 each for each slot level above 3rd.


This would be a wizard spell. It can only be learned by one wizard at a time, as the spell will only appear in the wizard's spellbook after they die, and a wizard attempting to record said spell in their own spellbook actually ends up absorbing the spell into their own mind (so it is always prepared and doesn't count against their normal number of spells prepared. The only way to remove the spell from the wizard's mind without killing them is by casting dispel evil and good (and I might require the wizard to be willing for it to work), in which case a demon (which is the thing that inhabits the wizard's mind and allows them to cast the spell) comes out (if I don't stat up a specific kind I'll probably make it a shadow demon). If anyone manages to kill this demon and capture the ichor it dissolves into, the ichor can be used as ink to scribe out this spell. Any ichor left over then immediately evaporates.

I'm not sure if it's too overpowered or not overpowered enough. I based it on a combination of Fireball, Flame Strike, and Flaming Sphere, with necro instead of radiant for the Flame Strike part. I intended it to be something the wizard could pick up, thought about a delivery method, ended up creating a villain that would use it, so I'll need it to work on both sides of the DM screen.

Rerem115
2016-08-21, 05:05 PM
I really dig the concept; sort of an eye-for-an-eye vengeance kinda spell. However, for such an epic concept, I feel that this spell should be higher level; at least 5th, preferably 9th, and have equivalent awesomeness. I realize that probably doesn't suit your campaign, but those are my 2 cp on the subject.

quzar
2016-08-21, 05:58 PM
Here is a list of general issues I see with the format and description of the spell:

Fireball is designed to also specifically cause damage to items in the radius which is why it uses the term target as opposed to creature. Flavor-wise I'd suggest modifying it to creature.
For targeting on cast and recurring damage, I'd suggest looking to Call Lightning. My sample text below uses it as a template.
You don't give any information on what the results of the Dex save do. Typically it's halved damage, so I set it to that.
Conditions that end the spell are typically listed at the end. of the spell text directly before the 'At Higher Levels' section.
You might solve both your question of material component and some of the clumsiness of the dead allies text by combining them. Consider making the material component a piece of your ally.
The damage would always be at least 4d6, so best to describe it that way then modify later, just as with 'At Higher Levels'
Based on your description of this as always prepared, I'm not sure how the wizard have the option of casting it in a higher slot. I would consider having it prepared like any other spell, but have a (fairly severe) drawback for not preparing it. Perhaps wisdom saves against the demon of the spell?



Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 150 feet
Components: V,S,M (The index finger of an ally that has died within the last minute)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute

Your hands become wreathed in black flames that emit ghostly wails. When you cast the spell, choose a point you can see within 150 feet. Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 4d6 fire damage and 4d6 necrotic damage on a failed throw, or half as much on a successful one.

The fire damage and necrotic damage increase by 1d6 for each ally past the first that has died within a minute of the spell's casting.

If the humanoid ally whose finger was used as a component is brought back to life, the spell ends.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the fire damage and necrotic damage increase by 1d6 each for each slot level above 3rd.


I like the flavor, though have to agree it seems like it's lower level than it should be. The extra line about bringing someone back to life would be irrelevant if your players only have 3rd level spells. What level is the wizard who will be receiving this?

Kadzar
2016-08-22, 01:29 AM
I really dig the concept; sort of an eye-for-an-eye vengeance kinda spell. However, for such an epic concept, I feel that this spell should be higher level; at least 5th, preferably 9th, and have equivalent awesomeness. I realize that probably doesn't suit your campaign, but those are my 2 cp on the subject.As the title says, this is intended to be somewhat OP, offset by the fact that, for it to be used in the first place, the PC's have to have experienced a very recent loss. I'm not sure if it's clear enough that being dropped to 0 isn't enough; your ally needs to be dead-dead. They don't have to be beyond resurrection magic or anything, but it's a cost that most people would not exact lightly (and for those that do, they might have trouble finding new allies in the future).
Here is a list of general issues I see with the format and description of the spell:
[LIST]
Fireball is designed to also specifically cause damage to items in the radius which is why it uses the term target as opposed to creature. Flavor-wise I'd suggest modifying it to creature.
For targeting on cast and recurring damage, I'd suggest looking to Call Lightning. My sample text below uses it as a template.Yeah, I think you're right on the target vs. creature thing. And good call (heh) on Call Lightning.


You don't give any information on what the results of the Dex save do. Typically it's halved damage, so I set it to that. Yeah, that's what I meant; totally forgot to put it in.


Conditions that end the spell are typically listed at the end. of the spell text directly before the 'At Higher Levels' section.Alright.


You might solve both your question of material component and some of the clumsiness of the dead allies text by combining them. Consider making the material component a piece of your ally.I had considered something like that, but I wanted something that could be done very quickly in reaction to an ally dying, and wouldn't be prevented by the ally being disintegrated drowned in acid or something. Though I do like the mental image of a wizard desperately sawing his dead friend's finger off to try to cast a spell.


The damage would always be at least 4d6, so best to describe it that way then modify later, just as with 'At Higher Levels' Yeah, I wasn't sure how to make it clear doing that, but you did a good job of it.


Based on your description of this as always prepared, I'm not sure how the wizard have the option of casting it in a higher slot. I would consider having it prepared like any other spell, but have a (fairly severe) drawback for not preparing it. Perhaps wisdom saves against the demon of the spell?I'm pretty sure prepared in this edition just means ready to be cast with any applicable slot. The idea for this spell always being prepared was based off of clerics' domain spells.



I like the flavor, though have to agree it seems like it's lower level than it should be. The extra line about bringing someone back to life would be irrelevant if your players only have 3rd level spells. What level is the wizard who will be receiving this?Actually, Revivify is a 3rd level spell that works on creatures that have died within the last minute. Though I don't believe the group had a cleric (it's been a while since we played in this campaign. Or, rather, this time period in the campaign). I believe the group just reached 5th level shortly before we ended.

quzar
2016-08-22, 08:59 AM
I had considered something like that, but I wanted something that could be done very quickly in reaction to an ally dying, and wouldn't be prevented by the ally being disintegrated drowned in acid or something. Though I do like the mental image of a wizard desperately sawing his dead friend's finger off to try to cast a spell.


Yea, the mental image is what set in my mind. Having a personal possession from the ally might give a similar flavor, but I also figured that 1 minute is plenty of time to get to the body....if there's a body.


Yeah, I wasn't sure how to make it clear doing that, but you did a good job of it.

Thank you. I think it's still suboptimal, but I don't see any printed examples with similar effects.


I'm pretty sure prepared in this edition just means ready to be cast with any applicable slot. The idea for this spell always being prepared was based off of clerics' domain spells.
Thanks, I've not played a Cleric or Wizard in 5e, so I had a bit of legacy poison impacting me.


Actually, Revivify is a 3rd level spell that works on creatures that have died within the last minute. Though I don't believe the group had a cleric (it's been a while since we played in this campaign. Or, rather, this time period in the campaign). I believe the group just reached 5th level shortly before we ended.

Right, and I looked at that spell and for whatever reason thought it was 4th.

Make sure to update on how it goes whenever you get to playtest it.

Kadzar
2016-08-22, 03:27 PM
I updated the OP with my version of the spell. While I liked the more grim material component, I ultimately decided to revert to my original idea of just having someone die within sight. But my campaign won't even start until or next campaign is over, so I have a lot of time in which I might decide to use quzar's version.

Sicarius Victis
2016-09-01, 07:49 PM
I think the spell should have some sort of restriction that causes the creature that died to be unable to come back to life without the use of either a Wish or divine intervention.