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View Full Version : [Feats] You want me to do WHAT to my spells?



Duke of URL
2007-07-07, 02:16 PM
Think of the following feats a negative metamagic. Each feat allows you to weaken your spells in exchange for being able to cast them in a lower level slot....


Jitter Spell [Metamagic]

Benefit: A jittered spell incurs an additional 30% chance of spell failure, applied after all other modifiers to spell failure are resolved.

Spells without somatic components are not affected. A stilled spell uses up a spell slot one level lower than the spellís actual level. You must be capable of casting the spell at its original level to use this feat.



Minimize Spell [Metamagic]

Benefit: All variable, numeric effects of a spell modified by this feat are minimized. Saving throws and opposed rolls are not affected, nor are spells without random variables. A minimized spell uses up a spell slot three levels lower than the spellís actual level. You must be capable of casting the spell at its original level to use this feat.

A weakened, minimized spell gains the combined benefits of each feat: the minimum result times one-fourth.



Narrow Spell [Metamagic]

Benefit: You can alter a burst, emanation, line, or spread shaped spell to instead affect only a single target. A narrowed spell uses up a spell slot three levels lower than the spellís actual level. You must be capable of casting the spell at its original level to use this feat.

Spells that do not have an area of one of these four sorts are not affected by this feat.



Shrink Spell [Metamagic]

Benefit: You can alter a spell with a range of close, medium, or long to decrease its range to the next smaller category. A shrunken spell with a range of close now has a range of touch, while medium-range spells have a range of short and long-range spells have a range of medium. A shrunken spell uses up a spell slot one level lower than the spellís actual level. You must be capable of casting the spell at its original level to use this feat.

Spells whose ranges are not defined by distance, as well as spells whose ranges are not close, medium, or long, are not affected.



Shorten Spell [Metamagic]

Benefit: A shortened spell lasts one-tenth as long as normal. A spell with a duration of concentration, instantaneous, or permanent is not affected by this feat. A shortened spell uses up a spell slot one level lower than the spellís actual level. You must be capable of casting the spell at its original level to use this feat.



Weaken Spell [Metamagic]

Benefit: All variable, numeric effects of a weakened spell are decreased by 75% (i.e., 25% of normal). Saving throws and opposed rolls are not affected, nor are spells without random variables. A weakened spell uses up a spell slot two levels lower than the spellís actual level. You must be capable of casting the spell at its original level to use this feat.

Roderick_BR
2007-07-07, 02:57 PM
Some sort of "flaw" metamagics? Could be used.
Only real rules I'd suggest to avoid abuse:
It needs to "lower" the spell level 1 level less than the corresponding spell rises it, and I think you already used it.
And it should be applied only when you cast a normal metamagic, as way of reducing the final cost, and never lowering it, or people may try to cast 6th level Minimized Wishes, or 4th level shortened, narrowed, shrunk Disintegrates.

Maldraugedhen
2007-07-07, 03:01 PM
Narrow Spell and Shrink Spell could actually be helpful in situations where you want to avoid friendly fire. I'd weaken their bonuses a bit, since they're tactically applicable to certain situations.

Jack_Simth
2007-07-07, 03:08 PM
Well, ignoring the possibility of applying the feats in ways they cannot hurt (e.g., Jitter Spell on Dimension Door):

Jitter Spell: Nobody will take this. Ever.

Minimize Spell: 6th level slot for a Time Stop that gives me two rounds? Tasty. You know what this will do to a Wizard/Sorcerer's endurance, right? A Quickened Minimized False Life at, say, 10th level is 11 temporary HP for a 3rd level spell slot as a swift action. Meh. A Silent Minimized False Life is 11 HP for a cantrip slot as a standard action at 10th level. That's better. A Minimized Summon Monster V fits in a 2nd level spell slot. Even if I deliberately restrict it so that I do have a variable numeric effect (Summon "multiple" creatures off the Summon Monster IV list) I come out WAY ahead of Summon Monster II.

Narrow Spell:
So... my Fireball is now a single-target cantrip? At 10th level, my Sorcerer is dealing 10d6 per round, every round, for a long, long time. The Reflex Half still beats any cantrip out there.

Shrink Spell: Magic Missle Cantrip at Close range? Handy. Zap, Zap, Zap away all day at 1st. My Handshake is very Charming (Charm Person -> Cantrip). Just about any of the Medium/Long range spells are very abusable with this.

Shorten Spell: After a point, the duration of most buff spells doesn't matter too much anyway. This is a "wonderful" savings.

Weaken Spell: Meh, take Minimize Spell - more useful. Nasty with stacking, though.

And this is ignoring what you can do with stacking them:
Phantasmal Killer is a Medium range spell that has a variable, numeric effect on a Fail/Save pairing, and so is a valid target for Minimize and Weaken. Apply both and Shrink spell, and you've got a Short range save or save or die spell in a -2 level spell slot. Silent and Still it, and you've got a lethal cantrip. Or you can just Minimize, Weaken, and Shrink Weird to bring it down to 3rd level. Quicken it back to 7th.

And that's just with a Wizard.

Closet_Skeleton
2007-07-07, 03:28 PM
Jitter Spell: Nobody will take this. Ever.

Are you joking? This ability is way too good. If you don't wear armour, it doesn't impose a penalty.

PyritePyro
2007-07-07, 03:41 PM
Are you joking? This ability is way too good. If you don't wear armour, it doesn't impose a penalty.

Read it again. By having a Jittered spell, it automatically gets a 30% fail rate. That's wearing no armor, and with no distractions. It's kinda a harsh penalty to give someone, but since you get to use a lower level spell slot, it COULD be worth it.

Inyssius Tor
2007-07-07, 03:45 PM
It's worded nicely, too, so that it can't be helped by stacking Mithral/Thistledown/Twilight/Feycraft.

keyboardboy101
2007-07-07, 05:42 PM
Weaken Spell seems to be too powerful for only cutting the values in half. That's a lot of 5d6 fireballs at first level for a 10th level wiz/sor. It should probably be just one level less, not two.

I like shorten and minimize though. Good ideas.

Narrow isn't really that much of a hinderance (again using fireball as an example. It becomes a cantrip at that point). Overpowered. And as Maldraugedhed said, they could be useful when your party is in the way.

All of these are probably too powerful (even minimize) unless they are used purely to bring the level of a spell back down (bringing it back to the original level for example, but no lower)

Triaxx
2007-07-07, 07:03 PM
Perhaps this might be useful:

Lengthen Spell [Metamagic]
Benefit: Lengthening the time spent to cast the spell to a full round action allows you to cast it as a spell two levels lower.

Alternatively, by Lengthening the casting time to a full round, the spell may be cast as Maximized at two levels higher than normal, instead of three.

Peregrine
2007-07-08, 02:37 AM
I'll let others with better imaginations for finding abuses comment on balance. I'll just point this out:

Minimize Spell [Metamagic]
...
A weakened, minimized spell gains the separate benefits of each feat: the minimum result times one-half.

Those aren't the separate benefits, that's the combined benefit (if you can call it a benefit). The separate benefits would be, minimum result, minus one half of the normally rolled result.

Kurald Galain
2007-07-08, 06:27 AM
Nice idea, but let me give a try at breaking this...


Jitter - it's great for non-combat spells. It's not so great in combat.

Minimize spell - three levels is too much for this. There are a number of spells with some amount of damage plus a nasty side effect (e.g. those orbs); this would allow you to capitalize on that since the damage isn't generally all that important.

Narrow spell - way too powerful (and too many levels). It happens quite often that you have only a single target for a burst spell. As written, this allows you to cast a one-target 10d6 fireball as a cantrip.

Shrink spell - often, in combat, it's not important whether a spell is medium range because you're casting it in close range anyway; this applies doubly to long range. You very rarely cast anything over 100 feet away. So this is likely too powerful, as it doesn't really have a negative effect.

Shorten spell - as with shrink, there are spells that simply last "long enough" so that duration really isn't an issue. This applies to many spells with a duration over "one round per level" - any spell that lasts an hour is probably not needed for more than 15 minutes. Probably too powerful for those.

Weaken - as per minimize.

Armads
2007-07-08, 08:03 AM
Maybe you should add a clause that states that you cannot apply other Metamagic feats to these negative metamagic feats.

Minimized Fire Seeds.

3rd level spell for 8 seeds that deal (Caster Level +1) damage each, anyone? No SR, just Reflex Half. it does more than fireball.

Shrunken Magic Missile

Who cares if you have 'only' 100ft + 10ft/caster level in range. You still deal too much damage for a 0th level spell. Oh, and how does it interact with Summon Monster Spells? Do you 'touch' the air?

nooblade
2007-07-08, 09:19 PM
I think that they're a good idea, just overpowered. Maybe make it so the levels can only be used for other metamagic and/or reduce the number of levels the "reduction metamagic" gives.

I wonder if Wizards ever considered something like this?

Triaxx
2007-07-09, 05:48 AM
And weaken the already 'useless' wizards? Yeah right.

Duke of URL
2007-07-09, 07:51 AM
Read it again. By having a Jittered spell, it automatically gets a 30% fail rate. That's wearing no armor, and with no distractions. It's kinda a harsh penalty to give someone, but since you get to use a lower level spell slot, it COULD be worth it.

That was the idea on this one. Note that the penalty would also apply to a caster who would not normally even deal with spell failure penatlies (e.g., Clerics). The benefit is the lower casting slot; the cost is the spell failure chance plus having to take the feat in the first place.

Duke of URL
2007-07-09, 07:53 AM
Narrow Spell and Shrink Spell could actually be helpful in situations where you want to avoid friendly fire. I'd weaken their bonuses a bit, since they're tactically applicable to certain situations.

Fair enough... I kind of started the idea based on Empower-->Weaken and Maximize-->Minimize, and just sort of started going a little nuts with the idea without thinking through all of the consequences.

This same comment goes for much of the critiques. In general, I took the appropriate metamagic feats and inverted them, though perhaps the penalties for the "flaw" versions ought to be greater than the benefits of the "enhance" versions. I believe I did that with Shorten (1/4 rather than 1/2), perhaps Weaken should have the same penalty.

One thing that did occur to me was the concept of, say, a minimized Fireball sitting in a cantrip spot -- of course, a 5th level Wizard would only get a damage of 5 out of it, hardly better than a cantrip, though with the benefit of an area of effect. At 10th level and beyond, this caps out at a 10 damage fireball -- significantly better than a typical cantrip, yes, but you do have to select the feat in order to make use of it, which prevents you from taking another metamagic or item creation feat that might otherwise be useful. In that respect, I don't see the concept as grossly overpowered, although the specifics of the concept could use some tweaking.

Narrow and Shrink could probably go, though -- as people have pointed out, the drawbacks might actually be enough of a benefit (or not really a drawback at all) as to make them overpowered.

Duke of URL
2007-07-09, 08:14 AM
A Minimized Summon Monster V fits in a 2nd level spell slot. Even if I deliberately restrict it so that I do have a variable numeric effect (Summon "multiple" creatures off the Summon Monster IV list) I come out WAY ahead of Summon Monster II.

As a DM, I'd never allow this. Can you Maximize Summon V?

Duke of URL
2007-07-09, 08:16 AM
Perhaps this might be useful:

Lengthen Spell [Metamagic]
Benefit: Lengthening the time spent to cast the spell to a full round action allows you to cast it as a spell two levels lower.

Alternatively, by Lengthening the casting time to a full round, the spell may be cast as Maximized at two levels higher than normal, instead of three.

I considered a variation of Quicken like this, but it's WAY too abusable. The penalties really only matter in the midst of combat -- anything other time it's just a source of free high-level spells in lower slots.

Arbitrarity
2007-07-09, 10:33 AM
As a DM, I'd never allow this. Can you Maximize Summon V?

Yep. Summons 1d4+1 off the summon monster 3 list, i.e. 5 when maximized.



Didn't you see epic spellcasting? Eeeevil.