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Indigo Knight
2018-02-04, 09:50 PM
The short premise is creating a set of smallest building blocks that will enable magic users to add together, then creating, spells.

It can be treated, I guess, as some sort of thought experiment. But I would like to take it to operational stage and play with it in my game.

I am aware of existing systems with similar concept (such as Ars Magicka). I used some parts of them as inspiration. Yet: a. they are usually not based upon logical division of the smallest units, and b. they are not compatible with d&d.
If you still think that I missed something in my research, feel free to link it.


For the moment it works as follows.
Creating a spell involves 4 steps:



Pick target type:


Object
any inanimate matter
Surface
point of origin located on feature from the surroundings. spreading using that surface as vector.


"
"
Void
a location in space from which the spell emanates regardless of obstacles.


Creature
an independent entity such as the living, automatons, golems, constructs, animals, etc'.
Self
caster himself


"
"
Natural
a willing creature


"
"
Hostile
an unwilling creature, enemy



Pick casting range:
Determines the maximum distance a target (as chosen above) be, to be cast upon.



Melee
Near
Sight
Unrestricted



Pick spell's duration:
The span in which an effect will be active.



Instantaneous
applying effect when the casting concludes


Focus
enables the caster to keep an effect in action while he concentrate on the spell


Short
apply for a short while after the casting and concentrating thereafter concludes



Pick occurring effect:
Can be chosen multiple times.



(Mend/Repair) Restore AEGIS hit points to target material.
(Damage) Deduct AEGIS hit points of target material.
(Animate) Animate AEGIS of target material.
(deceive/illusion/phantasm/pattern) Create an illusionary image from nothing or change appearence of existing.
(Supress)->(Dispel) Disable AEGIS of ongoing spell effect.
(Harden) Grant target material DR up to AEGIS.
(Heal) Restore AEGIS hit points to target creature.
(Harm) Deduct AEGIS hit points of target creature.
(Weaken) Worsen condition on strength-weakness scale.
(Bind) Worsen condition on dexterity-paralyze scale.
(Exhaust) Worsen condition on constitution-exhaustion scale.
(Confuse) Worsen condition on intelligence-confusion scale.
(Frighten) Worsen condition on wisdom-panick scale.
(Compel/Charm) Worsen condition on charisma-charm scale.
(Haste) Grants target additional actions.
(Slow) Withhold actions from target.
(Contact) Communicate with target.
(Know) Target creature understand chosen subject.
(Sense)->(Detect) Reveal up to AEGIS of a certain topic.
(Figment/Glamour) target creature perceive a false sensation.
(Morph) Enhance creature's abilities up to AEGIS.
(Ward) Absorb AEGIS of hp damage directed at target
(Summon)(Conjure) Summon AEGIS.
(Banish)(Remove) Unsummon target up to AEGIS.
(Jaunt/Shift) Teleport target. AEGIS. 10ft' per level(?)
(Conceal) Hide features of target.
(Force) Push, Pull or hit (or float?) with AEGIS of magical force (or lift creature)
(Anchor) protects from teleporting


AEGIS = Appropriate amount for given spell level.


*****


As can be clearly seen, this is far from ready.
Any comment, criticism or suggestion for further improvements are greatly appreciated.

There are some specific items which I'm having trouble with:
The comment in the end, mentioning AEGIS, was created in favor of separating the process of breaking spells down to units and then quantifying each of them at a later time.
Earlier approach was having every aspect being available on it's own as 1st level spell.
Combining, multiplying or substituting units will increase spell level to higher levels.
Very high levels will force casters to enable the spell as a ritual rather then a combat spell (e.g. Teleporting to a different plane vs. blinking forward a few steps).

Some units seem to contain more possibilities then others; Detect for one. Force for another. I am not sure if to further divide them.

Another thing I got stuck on was energy types - such as radiant, fire or sonic. Energy types are usually tied to condition applied to target. But it's not a must as some didn't inflict condition. If it applies both damage and condition then it is no longer the smallest unit. And if the spell only inflicted damage then adding energy was extra spellcost for no benefit as an 'Harm' unit already existed. Some spells didn't even note an energy type of damage.


Thank you all for reading.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-04, 11:00 PM
Interesting.

I have dealt with something similar when I was trying to develop a system of d20 physics.
My general theorycraft was as follows:
-The basic unit of energy is the d6 of damage. This is a Medium-sized unit of energy. To convert to different sizes of units of energy, scale up or down using the weapon sizing rules. Every two size categories up or down effectively doubles or halves the amount of energy.

For example, a d8 (large sized) is about 40% "bigger" than a d6. (really, it's about 30% higher on average, but that's pretty close to accurate).

-Distances have size categories as well, based on the move speed of a given creature. This part is less useful, but it's useful for estimating the power of area effects;
1d6/level over a 30 ft radius is about the same as 1d8/level over a 20 foot radius, for example.
This is borne out to some extent by the comparable level adjustment of Maximise Spell vs. Widen Spell.

-A thought I just had; Energy types are somewhat more fantasy-themed. We can divide them up into "schools" and their opposites as follows:

Fire:
Damage type: Fire
Benefit: Attack and damage rolls. A truly fiery rage!
Curse: Reduced AC.

Cold:
Damage type: Cold
Benefit: Icy armor gives AC
Curse: Reduced attack & damage rolls.


A bit more awkward.
Acid:
Damage type: Acid
Benefit: Grace- speed and mobility. Water affinities, too.
Curse: Damage vulnerability.

Solidity:
Damage type: Assorted weapon damage types. Also some force damage?
Benefit: Damage reduction via armor.
Curse: Slow movement.


Light(ning):
Damage Type: Light/Radiant/Electricity; Look, it's a bit of a stretch, but they have a lot of thematic overlap- fast as light vs. fast as lightning, a strong duality with sonic damage, a flash of lightning, etc.
Benefit: Mental effects- thinking and reacting fast?
Curse: Blindness or vision impairment.

Sonic:
Damage Type: Sonic (duh)
Benefit: Physical effects as a mirror? Can be justified with physiological enhancement- you heart beats faster, your muscles twitch faster, etc. Sonic doesn't have a lot of thematic space :(
Curse: Deafness or balance damage.


Each school of energy contains a damage type for its spells to inflict, a benefit that can be thematically granted by buff-type spells, and a debuff that can be inflicted. While some are scalable, I'd probably just set those to a flat level for easy comparison.
I would probably have energy damage over a threshold automatically inflict the debuff effect on a failed save.
Positive and Negative energy probably end up with no side effect, which is a big unfortunate, but cements them as unique in their class- the "purest" of damages. Makes them a good choice for untyped damage.

Let's see, looking over your spell effects...
Heal and Mend are redundant given that step 1 already exists. Regenerate/Injure are just variants of Heal/Harm but with a different choice in step 3.
Suppress/Dispel overrides Anchor and Banish.
Contact and Know are partially overlapping. Sense has overlap with Know. Also Detect.
Figment/Glamour, Conceal and (decieve/etc.) are overlapping given that step 1 already exists, unless you're nitpicky about "where" your illusions are.
Force and Flight overlap.
Ward and Harden have overlap.

The various mind-affecting abilities have a lot of overlap, and could probably be merged in some fashion.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-05, 12:30 PM
I was assuming 1d6 as a good starting because of bolt damage. I don't know if it is mathematically.
More important - if anything a 1st level spell should be comparable to what a 1st level fighter can dish in a turn. So; does a 1st level fighter round damage output is 1d6?
Has anyone done numbers on it?

Side question - should spells diminish in effect the farther it hits?


For energies, can't say I see an opposing schools partition.
Fire spells are grouped under one name, Fire. But their opposite can be found in Water, Ice or Cold groups (search by spell descriptor). I can't really tell what is opposite of what here or if they really do occupy opposites standings (cold fire anyone?).
Fire applies DoT (burning) as well does acid or poison, ice applies slow or freeze, lightning is associated with speed but is not opposite of ice, earth or stone beats lightning, and sonic dazes a person.

I think if anything, energies could be handled with a rock paper scissor system of sorts (Lizard poison spock :P )


I can see how some units seem to overlap. But I think that attempting to create mathematical-esque definitions requires such fine groups. Each represent different manifestations of effects:

Banish is the opposite of summon against summoned creatures.
Anchor protects against teleporting you away against your will.
Supress/Dispel can be used in a way that renders Anchor and Banish mute. But they also encompass more options. I'm debating splitting dispel or consolidating all of the above.
Contact is spell list based around messaging spells.
Know is about a topic (Speak language).
Sense (or detect) is regarding surrounding objects and creatures (Detect traps, Detect Evil).
Conceal removes item's features to your sense.
Figment creates something that isn't there.
Ward absorbs spells
Harden improves Armor/Natural-Armor.


I updated the list with the rest.

I just remembered that I didn't addressed Polymorph in all of this.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-05, 01:59 PM
A fighter deals about the equivalent of 3d6 per hit at 1st level. It doesn't change much with level, beyond itemization.
Rogues and other skirmisher types deal about 2d6, plus 1d6 per two levels per hit.
The real power of a mage is usually in their ability to deal damage to groups, or more reliably than others-rather than dealing 3d6 to one person, they deal 1d6 to many people. They suffer a bit at low levels, when both spell/day and dice per spell are low.

Energies:
I'm not concerned with elemental opposition, where air and earth exist (A wind blast and a rock both deal bludgeoning damage). Cold can produce ice, and opposes fire. "water" damage from a wave is just bludgeoning damage.

The pairings I made up are mostly for organization, and can probably be discarded. I do like the idea of having the appropriate debuff be automatically added once a certain threshhold of damage is passed, though.

On separating spell effects:
My opinion is that it would be better for the system to have fewer, more versatile units than a larger number of more discrete ones.
Is casting Know on someone else to give them knowledge about what you're thinking meaningfully different from using Contact?

Indigo Knight
2018-02-05, 03:49 PM
Threshold for applying debuff could be Massive damage or critical roll. Either could work I guess. It seems plausible.

The real power of mage is more then dealing damage to groups. It's in their vast array of available tools, irregular number spikes in the new spells presented at every advancement, access to all angles of influence (harm, heal, teleport, summon, hold, etc'). This is not only problematic; It is a game-breaker.

I wish to limit this by granting the wizard a small number of units to choose from. So even if I create a massive list, he can only pick a couple and work from there.
I wish to rely more on additional tool as prize for leveling up rather then inflating all the spells.
I thank you for the opinion that having a thinner system is better. I think so too usually. But not this time.


If I cast Know on you - then I understand things about you.
If I cast Contact on you - then I can talk to you telepathically.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-05, 08:01 PM
Sorry, I was responding to your question about blasting damage compared with fighters, not making a broader judgement call about the power level of versatility (on which I agree with you, to be clear).

I think we'll need to agree to disagree on more/less versatile/numerous spell units as a solution, though.

-----

On polymorph...

I can think of a few ways that the morph seed could work.

One is developing packages (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?320653-The-Husk-Base-Class-PEACH)of modifications (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13115715#post13115715), which when combined, produce shapechanging (http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/alteration)that can still be balanced.

Not necessarily those pieces of homebrew/published stuff, but maybe just borrowing a bit.

------

Jumping ahead a bit, I'd like to flesh out a single spell unit, for the purposes of trying to balance out the system as a whole. I'm making the following assumptions:
-One spell unit carries approximately the cost of one power point in psionics- you can use a specific number of them up to a cap, there's a daily limit to draw from, etc.
-One spell unit deals 1d6 damage. That's just what the basic unit of damage is; 1d6/level is standard for spells.

So:
Ignite
Save: Reflex
A creature or object affected by Ignite takes 1d6 damage, or half on a successful Reflex save. If more than five units of Ignite are applied to the same creature, they are lit on fire on a failed save.

Some structure around this:
-Ray spells presumably have no saving throw allowed. Is there a cost to this?

-Effects with a duration have their each round, whether on an area or on a target. Thus, this effect repeats each turn.

Some thoughts after making it:
Looking over the costing, I suddenly very much like the structure of the range costing; it distinguishes between "close enough to be in danger" and "breathing room" in an elegant way- there really isn't a need for intermediate range categories in most cases.

I am a bit confused about the distinction between Surface and Void. Which one is a Fireball?

One quick thought on duration- the equivalent of Instantaneous for effects with a duration is 1 round(see True Strike). This may be a useful tool for costing duration.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-06, 08:48 AM
That's a nice idea. Like small portions of benefits (or penalties) that you can mix and match from. I guess attributes, saves, natural armor, natural attack. Thank you.
I see Spheres of Power as the last one. What's that?



Jumping ahead a bit, I'd like to flesh out a single spell unit, for the purposes of trying to balance out the system as a whole.
Sure. Let me try:

So I want to make an arrow that I fling at a single enemy for nasty consequences.
I pick - 1. Creature(Hostile) 2. Sight 3. Instantaneous 4. Acid + Acid + Acid + Lightning + Frighten

So I get a ray (or a magical arrow - there's really no point in imposing flavor. I only want to balance the mechanical implications. So the player can choose a flying black rose, a kitten, skull silhouette or anything else) that is checked vs. dex and inflict 3d6 of acid damage (and maybe bestow a condition, as we discussed before) along with 1d6 lighting damage and a fear check.



These are the notes I've written down for myself:
Can't combine more the caster level of units e.g. If I'm a 7th level wizard, I can't combine more then 7 units at once.
I have to know the units in order to combine them. So my spellbook from the example contains at least Acid, Lighting and Frighten.
I think every hostile actions deserve a 'save' of sorts. Fighters swing against AC and so caster will roll against Reflex or Will at certain places. Depends on the units being used (Side note: Healers sometime roll for how much they heal, so there's that, and summon could roll for how well they casted. maybe?).
If the spell being cast is very costly - say teleport offworld is Jaunt times 50 - then casting that as a ritual outside of combat reduce the price. Making it accessible for the party.
After picking parameters there's a function (needs to be an easy-back-of-the-napkin calculation) that gives the spell's cost; 3 + 3 + 1 + 5 = 12. Or something. It depends what we want to make pricey in order to set the operations, their order, and the pricing of the units. I guess we can agree that 'Harm once cost 1' as the relative scale for comparison, no?
I know that inventory chapter gives a range calculation for firing arrows. I think it's silly. Too much bookkeeping. Never liked it, never used it. I see it as either touch range, ranged range, or out of combat range.
I'm not sure how to account for repetitive magical effects (Each round. Jumping between targets, Fork Spells, etc.).



I am a bit confused about the distinction between Surface and Void. Which one is a Fireball?

Fireball as appears in books, is void. Where you point to a location somewhere with no limitation.
Surface is more of web, grease or Meld stone spells where the casting affects and rely on a certain surface (horizontal, vertical or otherwise). Do you have a better wording for it? Something that better explains what I meant? I'm open for suggestions.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-06, 12:41 PM
Excellent!

On the topic of resisting spells, do note that ray spells rarely allow a saving throw- the ability to dodge them is built into the attack roll involved. However, they rarely have save-or-lose type effects attached.

This is meaningfully different from "target creature makes a Reflex save".

On Void:
As written, Web affects an area- it's a cloud of webbing anchored at its ends, not a sheet.

I'm thrown off by the line "regardless of obstacles" in Void- does a Fireball then ignore a 5 ft thick stone wall?



Some relevant references for duration/targetting:
Finger of Death kills someone once.
Implosion kills someone every turn, and is 2 levels higher.
(Empower Spell adds two spell levels as well, and increases effect by 50%- perhaps a spell with effect each round rather than only one costs 50% more?)

I have no good comparison for Concentration effects.

There is a 4 level difference between most spells and their Mass version. This translates to a bit more than doubling their cost, using the previous comparison points.

Cone of Cold affects about twice the total area of Fireball, but deals the same damage. This is a two level difference. Widen Spell is another comparison point, as well, which quadruples area for 3 levels.

In general, 1 level of change in spell level via metamagic translates to about a 20% change in "mana cost", applied multiplicatively.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-06, 06:12 PM
If it's a range attack roll, or save check, is less important for me. As long as there is a roll. I see no-roll spells as too powerful and not sure if there is a way to balance them. You asked 'what is the cost', and it's a valid question. What is the downside for a true-hit spell. Personally, I don't think there is. So I don't include them. In the end, I think that every spell should have a Vs. roll in it.


must be anchored to two or more solid and diametrically opposed points
That made me categorize it as a Surface. But your analysis is right in placing it as a Void.


I'm indecisive as to whether Void spells are confined by material or not.
Detect spells suppress solid matter (unless it is graphite for some reason). Fireball is not. I'm sure there are more examples for both ways.
I see four options:

Ignores obstacles.
Bypass matter if there is an opening (e.g. the behavior of light throu a slit)
Stopped by obstacle.
Additional step for creating a spell.



A big part of the hardship is that the spells are not balanced (the existing ones). There are better ones and subpar ones. Having a spell for comparison help us if we can't determine if the spell is on scale or not.
Even the 4 level difference for mass is a different weight of power when talking about 2nd to 6th contrary to 4th to 8th supplementing.
I think our answer would lie in the function of expected power availability of characters by level (I'm going back to the LWQW graph thing). If we can establish what the viable contribution at a level then we could place the spells. If we expect a fighter to be able attack twice at 6th level then it is ok to give wizard the ability to fork ray at 6th level. I guess.

Otherwise, you could look at the search page in imarvintpa.com/dndLive site for help.

But I think placing expectations is much better.
For example, we said that we can state 1d6, range attack, DC 11 as the basic 1st level Harm unit (or very close to it, I think. Maybe it's better as 0th level instead).
Assuming a mage who specialize in pure Harm unit. Where do we see him at 11th level? level 20? Every level? How is he compared to Fighter? Rogue? A psion?

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-06, 08:37 PM
Someone who specialized in Harm only, to the exclusion of all else?

Keeping in mind that a rogue has more skills and a fighter can use armor, I'd guess somewhere in the range of 4d6 damage per level with significant resources expended, 2.5d6 per level sustained; this correlates roughly with an empowered or maximised disintegrate spell, and feels appropriate when compared to rogues considered the relative vulnerability of the wizard.

On linear vs. quadratic:
Actually, I'd guess that fighters are quadratic, and wizards are exponential:
In addition to a continuous gain in numbers from items, BAB, and chassis, fighters also have feats, and gain extra attacks, which provide modest force multiplication.

Wizards gain more caster level more spells known for versatility more spells per day for stamina the actual spells themselves are much better; as I believe I've shown, one sixth level spell is far more powerful than three second level spells. I pegged this last progression as exponential, based roughly on the structure of metamagic feats.
That's at minimum cubic, probably at least quadratic, and is probably exponential.
:smalltongue:

In any case, I think that the thesis of my comparisons, that spell levels map exponentially to power (disregarding caster level) seems moderately accurate?

Indigo Knight
2018-02-09, 07:57 PM
The number of spells that wizards know, the save DC's for each spell, and any other parameters are still in a sort of unknown territory. We have yet to determine them.

What you mention are numbers that exist within the "old" framework. Which is by fine. But - Discussion without numbers, even if for a moment, is moot. As well as this moment being appropriate for redesigning the increasing power slope.



So; spell damage for spell is ( SL ) ^ ( SL ) times d6?

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-09, 10:59 PM
While disintegrate is a useful meterstick, I'm actually measuring against rogue damage, making the assumptions of TWF working out to around five hits. That degree of specialization in damage (and somewhat risky damage) seems similar to a monospecialized build, while the optimum of 4d6/level (i.e. eight hits) requires resource expenditure- accuracy boosts, haste spells, and the like.
The comparisons to disintegrate were for reference with current power levels.

I disagree with (spell level)^(spell level) in d6.
That's absurdly weak at low levels, but absurdly high at high levels.
I used the data available here (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1E2-s8weiulPoBQjdI05LBzOUToyoZIdSsLKxHAvf8F8/edit#gid=3), which is relatively similar to for 3.5, for reference.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1olgesjps0rtKsSTB3CIVp5NYy4XmpS2ULQTDmP5ouEQ/edit?usp=sharing

You should be able to see that it's ridiculously beyond anything else, I hope.

Also calculated: An average creature usually has between 10 and ~17 hit points per CR. It's a slightly greater than linear rate.
This implies that we should have a rate of around Xd6/level, where X increases by about half from level 1 to level 20 (regardless of its initial level).
Where X should lie is a matter of opinion, but I feel pretty comfortable with my estimate of 2.5d6/level at high levels translating to 1d8/level at low levels.

Unless we're redesigning monsters as well?

Indigo Knight
2018-02-10, 08:00 AM
Sadly, as everything is measured against the other, redesigning spells and spellcasting means redesigning other items (e.g. monsters) if you want to address problematic aspects in the existing mechanics. Unless you don't mind (which, I do mind) that the underlying problems trouble your homebrew as well.
I haven't planned on changing anything monster related. But I'm also won't let it limit the new design.


I know that the slope is ridiculous. It was so all to way back from vanilla 3ed'.

Rogue damage is 1d6 per 2 levels, shift one level up (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th...). Right? So that's the mark you meant?
In my experience rogue damage outpace monsters hp as level increase. Is that something you've observed yourself?


The tables you've attached are a useful resource. Are they made by you?
I've found paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateMagic/magic/designingSpells.html#damage-caps. I just don't know if there was any calculation done about it.
Funny coincidence - that page has a link for Words of Power. Very close to our subject here.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-10, 02:47 PM
Tables are something I found a while back-not mine, but the analysis is mine.

Most of my experience with rogues has been in the 1-7 level range, so I can't speak to how it develops at higher levels.

Yes, the rate of 1d6/2 levels (or 0.5d6/level) per hit was what I used as a benchmark. It actually seems to develop similarly to monster hit points, based on my tables; it appears that the ability to gain lots of extra attacks is what would push it over the edge. Lacking information about rogue attack bonuses/numbers, I don't really have numbers to back out my estimate of 5 hits, though.


I'm confused by what you mean by this:

Sadly, as everything is measured against the other, redesigning spells and spellcasting means redesigning other items (e.g. monsters) if you want to address problematic aspects in the existing mechanics. Unless you don't mind (which, I do mind) that the underlying problems trouble your homebrew as well.
I haven't planned on changing anything monster related. But I'm also won't let it limit the new design.
So-
-You are planning to redesign the "curve" of magic damage- maybe not to (spell level)(spell level) in d6 (which is absurd), but something else.
-But you won't correspondingly adjust monster hit points?

What are you pegging your numbers to, if not monsters, other players, or existing spells?

Indigo Knight
2018-02-11, 01:45 PM
I loved playing rogues. Kept trying my characters the suave cool guy with two sharp long knives.

As for the damage curve. I mainly want it to keep in line with the other archtypes damage output capability. So, whatever a fighter or a rogue (or maybe a psion) can bring to the table will have the same weight as the wizard. In other words - make the player not hate playing on low levels and not overshadow the other players at top levels.
Monsters would need a rebalancing? Maybe. Probably. But not today. Some other time perhaps. Theres only so much one can place on his platter.
Existing spells won't conform to the new curve? Change them. There already exists a plethora of guides that show which spells are a must and which serves only as newbie traps.

As (I hope) I told before - creating what I describe involves two fold plan: Limit the availability of spells for each caster to certain fields. Instead of the massive array of tools a Wizard can employ today. Maybe penalize for cross schools knowledge, maybe outright ban. Also, create a scale to which each spell is measured against. Serving as a top-down approach rather then a ground up environment where the spells are made without a reasonable way to compare their power levels.


Does this answer your question? Or have I missed it?

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-11, 02:19 PM
Okay, so you're conforming to existing characters' powerlevel.
That makes sense.

In that case, I think that a curve of "effective units available" (1 unit = 1 die), matching the curve of (let's say) a rogue, would approximate something like this:
(2 dice + 1/2 level) x (number of virtual hits)
The "virtual hits", here, is 1 +1 per 3 levels, likely to a limit based on the degree of failure on the saving throw/success on the attack roll of the spell- compare it to systems which merge full attacks into a single roll, but add an extra "hit" for every 5 points of success on the attack roll.


The number of 1+1 per 3 levels is based on an Average base attack bonus with TWF, smoothed out a little (rather than 2 attacks every 7ish levels, 1 every 3).

Plugging it into my equations, this yields a surprising result of dealing approximately 85-90% of an equal-CR monster's hit points, consistently across all CRs!
Furthermore, the difficulty of reaching that point of power, based on my hypothetical "virtual hits" system, should roughly correspond with the difficulty in reaching 100% accuracy with a rogue, depending on how the DC system gets scaled.
It's also very easy to scale up or down as needed by adjusting the value of one "unit".

Do note that this compares a high damage archetype(TWF rogue) with a proposed "theoretical maximum" of Harm optimization- a wizard built like this should certainly have trouble with other spells.

I can run some estimated numbers on fighters, too, although I'm not sure what build to base it off of.

Another consideration is whether or not you want to make mages as good as rogues at dealing single-target damage, given how efficient area of effect spells are- 5d6 to three people is a lot more than 10d6 to one person.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-12, 07:24 PM
No, I don't think it is necessary. Maybe it has a different approach, but in the end a high damage fighter and a high damage rogue fill the same square - a high damage output.
In contrast, a fighter can create a high defense archetype. We can use that build as comparison for defense oriented wizards. Or a kind-of control build a la improved trip mastery which can also be compared to. Maybe.



Some answers lies within how I envision the system developing.
To me, it goes something as follows.
At the start there were only two items - deal damage or receive damage. A bit later healing damage was added. There was no scale to any of it, no symmetry of sorts. So in a way healing damage was outshined by doing damage and was usually postponed until after combat.
A lot happened in between here and there. I'm not going to delve into. Suffice to say that by the time people played 4th, it evolved to a certain partition of 'roles'; Each player plays a character that has a certain advantage in one of four roles - Defender, Striker, Leader, Control.

I can't tell if this separation is accurate, or if it even covers all the bases.
But I do know that that is the answer to some of the Wizards ailments.

I said it time and again. I think part of the problem is the access an arcanist has to every tool existing. He can fill every role without investing too much resources. Scrolls, wands, changing memorized spells at whim. He can destroy, he can ruin, he can animate and lead an army of scores, he can safeguard, he can even sometimes revive, he can hold and bind, can even stop time. And so he outpace and outclass all others.
A counter is limiting his access. Breaking the 'Wizard' to multiple Wizards and making his choices a bit more permanent. Closer to the way other classes work.


Overall, I'd splinter casters (according to the units the players choose) to a few different builds:




Damage
Heal/Shield
Buff
Debuff
Control


Damage
Evocation
*
*
*
*


Heal/Shield


*
*
*


Buff

Abjurer

*
*


Debuff

Necromancer


*


Control


Transmuter





Due note that this is heavily "work in progress" and that this table shouldn't be used as guidance to anything. Names can be changed, positions can be changed, inner divisions apply (such as damaging multiple targets or just nuking a single one, or what is "control"), and alot is missing.

The basic premise remains the same: Instead of opening all the doors at once, let the player choose - keep investing in the same area, keep doubling the same units, and become a master at a specific role (which is pictured by the use of schools and other flavorey stuff). Or branch yourself out and gain a plethora of tools without special bonuses to any field.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-13, 02:41 PM
The idea of splintering casters has been done (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?317861-Fixed-List-Caster-Project-(3-5)&p=16545265#post16545265)before, although the spells are grouped thematically rather than based on their effect. Also see Spheres of Power (http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/spheres-of-power), which rebuilds magic around at-will invocation-like effects, collected into groups- taking lots of talents improves the effects gained.

I'm personally mostly interested in developing the fundamental system more at this point, rather than jumping over to how to balance the casters that use it.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-14, 01:20 PM
Sure.
Then what are the next steps to do?

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-14, 04:59 PM
My personal next steps would be to work on the following checklist:
1) A framework for developing balanced effects. In particular, how much a bonus or penalty, or one action, is "worth" within the context of this system, as well as valuation of proactive vs. reactive effects; this has relevance to virtually all spell "units", such as the relative power costing of Summon vs. Unsummon or Heal vs. Harm, the level of effects available through Morph, Confuse, Charm, Weaken, and so on. I have a few thoughts on this, but I'd like to hear yours.

2) The actual system by which people cast spells. If I am a spellcaster and I want to cast, say, a spell which uses both Fire and Electricity on everyone in an area at range, I have the following questions:
-How much does this cost to use relative to just using Fire? What advantages/disadvantages do I have if I do this? (with reference to our discussion on fire spells lighting people on fire)
-Ditto, but for range changes?
-What if instead of an instantaneous effect, I want it to last a while? What happens? What is the "cost" to doing so?
Essentially, in addition to defining spell "units", steps 1-3 need to be integrated into the casting system.

3)
Arguably relevant to your division into subclasses, a reorganization of the spell units available into related groups, either by effect or by thematics. This should be fairly quick, but I think is important for relative costings.

4)
We have a baseline for the maximum extent to which a single type of spell can be focused on by a full-caster, presumably to the exclusion of everything else. What remains is to decide on how much and how generalizing/specializing is punished; if someone invests into both fire and electricity to equal extents, how strong are they at either compared to a monospecialist? Should that degree of specialization even be allowed?
This is relevant for later class design, though it's more of a philosophical question than the others.

5) Are spell units truly linear in value? The value of damage probably looks something like a bell curve; you need a minimum amount of damage to have your action be worth anything (compared to, say, slapping your opponent with an unarmed strike), but past a certain point, you're in rocket-tag territory. Likewise, attack bonuses only matter up to a point (100/95% accuracy, depending on houserules).

I'm most interested in studying the answers to 1) and 2) from a game-theoretical standpoint, though I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on 3) given the set of spell units you developed. 4) is, to some extent, an arbitrary balance point. 5) probably has no good answer without far more equations and player data than I'm willing to deal with (or have access to... character sheets are rarely in easy spreadsheet form).

Indigo Knight
2018-02-16, 03:53 PM
Understood.
Thought I read and re-read your post quite a few times and I'm having trouble giving you solid answers. Most of the points go from "I don't know what the answer should be" to "I hoped this was explained in the opening post".


1. Our hint comes from the surrounding framework. The d20 system is, in essence, a low risk dice game of numbers between 1 and 20. Common bonuses are +1, +2, +5 and +10 that represent tiny, small, solid and substantial bonus respectively. I have seen 5th ed' use roll 2d20 and choose highest as a new kind of bonus. I have never seen, but think that there is a design space with bonuses such as 2d8+4. All of the above apply to penalties as well (only minus instead... you know...).
Hostile actions such as debuffing and damage dealing effects are influenced from the the above - either calculating the severity of the effect, or landing a strike ( attack rolls or save rolls ).
Other actions like buffing, healing or summoning aren't, usually, rely on rolling a dice. In their case I would argue for adding uncertainty for the boon with rolling dice, just as debuffing spells.
As for actual numbers; I have no idea. There's no existing comparison for such numbers. Even ECL is something with no clear mathematical sequence. The only thing that does show such behavior is the Average Wealth table.


2. For the example you wrote - your spell (which you memorized before hand) would have to be composed of at least a Fire unit and an Electricity Unit. I assume there would be Harm unit as the spell would damage the target. What we haven't finalized yet is if the energy types pertain to the Harm unit (and are sub category of it) or are they independent of it and must be chosen separately. These units are chosen after you picked the three previous categories of type, range and duration as explained in the opening post (If something is missing or unclear please point me to it and I'll fix).
You asked me for cost. I'm afraid I don't have numbers to show.
I would like the Wizard (and Wizard) to be able to come up with spells that have party-contribution at lower levels without overtaking all other players at later levels.
I would also like to accommodate all players and all of their creations, hence creating disadvantages for picking fire-electricity instead of sticking to solely fire is a bit unnecessary, in my opinion.


3. Dividing the units to subclasses by theme is out of the work space for this item. I specifically want to design by crunch and ignore decisions based on flavour only. It seems (to me) counter intuitive to balancing rules. As for effect grouping - The whole point for the units is for each of them to represent a whole slew of spells with a common factor. I fail to see the difference. Maybe I simply misinterpret your wording.


4. As stated in former section, I wouldn't want to limit players certain paths. Especially if there is no mechanical reason for it. I'd like to provide freedom in playing the character you wish to play.
What we are left with is only the task of balancing spells in such a way that the casters aren't more powerful then other characters at any given moment. Whether you summoned a creature, warded a companion, altered materials or fired energy. Some actions in that spirit we can already see in the official reworks of Polyform, Ritual type spells, concentration and Summoning. I think it's the right direction only that it need to be fully committed to.


5. Skills, in any pnp game, are never truly linear, I think. Whenever you take the first rank in any skill you grant yourself another tool - another action or positive you benefit from. I think that point should always be the priciest one. But, as I stated before, unless willing to rework all rules at once, the new numbers should match the other classes numbers. For starts.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-16, 04:55 PM
Responses to responses!

1.
My question wasn't referring to "what is a bonus". It was "what is a bonus worth"- how hard should it be to add a +1 bonus to your attacks? Is it easier or harder than dealing 1d6 damage? Is a -4 penalty to one number the same value as a -2 penalty to two numbers (numbers meaning attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, etc)?
If you want to actually ever implement the system, you should be looking for comparative bonuses and penalties to draw from. I know you disliked drawing from existing spells for inspiration, but that's really the largest resource we have available.

My alternative involves creating an estimated set of bonuses-by-level for fighters, charting it against average AC, and working out the change in value from each bonus, or relying on comparisons such as Power Attack.

2.
Okay, sounds fine. Yes, I was prodding for more exact numbers, but if you don't have them yet, that's okay.

3.
The reason for grouping by effects is related directly to question 1; it provides a context in which effects can be balanced against each other. For example, here's a hypothetical grouping based on the mechanical theme of action advantage/denial:
Confuse/Frighten/Charm/Compel/Haste/Slow.
All of these have a significant ability to dictate how many actions people can take, either by (going off existing effect types):
-Making people act randomly, giving them some % chance to lose their action, or take an action that is against their best interests
-Making people lose their action, and forcing them to take a generally safe but nonproductive line of action
-Preventing people from taking some kinds of actions, with some ability to make them act as you like
-Force people to take actions against their best interests, instead of the actions they'd prefer to take
-Give allies more actions
-Make enemies take bad actions.

Most of these do some subset of the following:
-Keep enemies from taking actions that are bad for you
-Make them do things that are good for you instead

When developing them, the internal balance of this group provides a strong and easy measuring stick, which makes it a "good group" in my opinion, and most of them seem to "ask" the same question- what is a standard action worth?

I might similarly group the spells that deal with information together, measure most of the "benefit granting" spells together, and collect the "illusion" effects to some degree.

4.
To clarify, one of the things you might do when developing this system, if you do more than one class, is have them get different numbers of spell units known/available:
-A "sorcerer" knows only a few different units, but can use more powerful effects and stack them harder.
-A "wizard" knows lots of units, but can't do as much with them.
-A "specialist" knows one or two units, but are very good with them.
-A "ranger" knows a few units, and isn't great with them, but can also fight.
If you're not planning to have different kinds of classes, this isn't relevant, but it's an interesting thing to think about either way. Is knowing half as many units, but having 50% more power an equivalent exchange?

When you asked me what the true maximum power of someone specialized in harm can do, was that a question about "what can a specialist who knows no spells except harm" can do, or about what "someone who knows the harm unit, with no particular investment in it" can do?

5.
This is a question about the scaling value of spell units, essentially, and especially pertaining to bonuses. 3d6 damage is a whole lot at 1st level, but not very much at 10th. However, a +1 bonus is equally valuable at 1st and 10th level.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-17, 09:37 AM
1. I think the bonuses I mentioned are a good comparison model. If we're building inside d20 system and we're not planning on changing the surrounding lines then the probabilities of success are what gives us the outlines to work with. Whether we're looking at DC 5 of starting campaign or DC 65 for heroic story, players are going to roll the same d20 to determine success. Which, in turn, rely on probabilities of 1-20 as percentage. +20 is an almost assured victory, reserved for epic level plays. +1 or +2 is a bonus for starting characters which means 1st level power.
And before you ask it - no, I don't think that the graph should be linear. Gaining absolute perfection (+20) would require an immense investment.



3. Following that line of thought I suggest starting with preliminary outlines of what attributes (not referring to character statistics) can be messed with:

Hit points
Actions
Armor (magical or not) that reduce damage taken
Output of damage
Saves that negates undesirable effects
Chance to succeed in one or more skill checks (including attacking and casting)
Position, relative or absolute


From those we can estimate spell effects by meshing with the positive/negative duality. In accordance:

Heal / Harm
Haste / Slow

etc'

That's how I came up with most of the Keys.
(Sidenote: There are units which occupies the same role. There are roles that don't infer a dual nature. Not everything sits nicely)

Basing ourselves within an existing system, we can already decipher the smallest units - damage being 1d4 (usually for cantrips), summons as 1 sickly old rat of eighth of a CL, bonus action of a minor action.



4. For the moment I'll be focusing the design with the Wizard in mind and nothing else. I know that there are other classes and that they would need some iteration of the spellcasting rules, but for the moment...

I asked more in the sense of "what would a wizard with a 9th slot spell pumped all the way to the nines would be translated to?"



I'll try to give the theory some meat by trying to translate some spells. Caveats do apply as this is a work in progress and the following might not be an honest application of the system. Also, as having to come up with numbers - the math is mostly wrong.

Spell Name: Detect Evil



Units:
Object (Void)
Melee
Instantaneous
Sense (Evil)


Cost:
2
1
1
1


Spell Level: 2*1*1*1 = 2
--------------------------------------------------------------
Spell Name: Find Familiar



Units:
Object (Void)
Near
Permanent
Summon


Cost:
2
2
4
1


Spell Level: 2*2*4*1 = 16
--------------------------------------------------------------
Spell Name: Invisibility, Mass



Units:
Creature (Natural) x 3
Melee
Short
Conceal


Cost:
2 x 3
1
3
1


Spell Level: 6*1*3*1 = 18
--------------------------------------------------------------
Spell Name: Fireball



Units:
Object (Void)
Sight
Instantaneous
Harm, Fire


Cost:
2
3
1
1 + 1


Spell Level: 2*3*1*2 = 12
--------------------------------------------------------------
Spell Name: Misty Step



Units:
Object (Void)
Near
Instantaneous
Jaunt


Cost:
2
2
1
1


Spell Level: 2*2*1*1 = 4
--------------------------------------------------------------
Spell Name: Bronzebeard's Stream of Annihilation



Units:
Creature (Hostile)
Sight
Focus
Necrotic, Acid, Ice, Slow


Cost:
3
3
2
4


Spell Level: 3*3*2*4 = 72
--------------------------------------------------------------

Note* - The multiplication product results in a rather high spell level. And, true, in the middle of combat would be a heck of an achievement to pull. But by conducting the spell outside of combat (i.e. Ritual) and elongating the cast times (matter of hours instead of seconds. Usually) you can lower the spell level to one more manageable.

Apart from that note, I highly emphasize that all numbers and calculations are probably out of line. The 1st level spells are easy to duplicate. Others come out very wierd. One idea I had for later was giving "specialist" a bit of a bonus - If I'm a pyromancer then I get a discount for 'buying' fire unit (up to a minimal cost of unit).

In a more general sense: A player picks units for his character at creation (according and up to written in class table), later on he would add more.
When the wizard rests, he create the spells he would like to use for the next period. He uses the spellbook to chart them down. From that moment and up to his next rest - he can cast those spells with no limit, and in compliance to the spell duration, casting time, attack rolls and saves DC's necessary.
I haven't decided what scrolls, wands, rods or magi focuses would do.
I'm also unsure if the spell effect number (such as how many dice for damage in fireball) is limited by calculated spell level of repetitive unit (Fire + Fire + Fire).

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-17, 08:44 PM
Hm.

My calculations were under the assumption of the ultimate degree of "specialization", in whatever fashion it is in the system- not necessarily the equivalent of a general "9th level spell slot". That's why I went for TWF rogue over a more generic build (in which case, the "virtual hits" go down to the baseline of 1+1/7 levels, more or less- around half as strong)

A thought about bonuses:
What if the "standard unit" of Harm isn't 1d6? What if it were (1+ 1/n CL)d6 (or alternately, 2 +1/2 CL d6, making it the equivalent of one attack)? The value of damage falls off with level, while bonuses retain their value across levels.
This then produces a clear value for the number of seeds that can be "stacked" by level (the other side of the product), which can be rolled into class design later.


+20 is an almost assured victory, reserved for epic level plays.

Similarly, reaching about 50% beyond (2+1/2 CL)(1+1/3 CL)d6 will almost assure you a 1-turn kill on average- but the actual damage represented by that value changes significantly with level, while a +20 bonus is constant with level.

(Also note: One full-round action is worth about (1+1/n level) standard actions, going by BAB- perhaps you can only cast "1-hit" spells as a standard action, making higher power spells the equivalent of full attacks?)

The main question I have after your response is about this:

Gaining absolute perfection (+20) would require an immense investment.
What kind of investment?


On your example spells:
My only note is that Misty Step is actually a Personal, melee(?) spell, with the Jaunt seed's effect of shifting the target by 10 ft/level. So, it's probably cheaper than what you did there. I think using Void targetting on it makes it teleport an area, based on how Fireball works?

Based on your example Fireball, I think I'd advise making the various energies subtypes of Harm, or giving them inherent damage, so that fire spells are affordable at low level.

An oddity of this system is that rather than having spells of different "unit" count have roughly equal damage (a standardized 1d6/level) but different area (compare Fireball and Cone of Cold), targetting and damage are both linked with spell level.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-18, 12:48 PM
Not sure I get the equation you wrote down. Is it a shrinking series?


n=1
1 + 1/1
2


n=2
1 + 1/2
1.5


n=3
1 + 1/3
1.33


n=4
1 + 1/4
1.25


n=5
1 + 1/5
1.2


n=10
1 + 1/10
1.1



Huh? I'm lost.
Probably not reading it right.

Do keep in mind that it's a words and papers game. So we can't use complicated functions for players unless we provide the results as well. I'm trying to restrict the complexity to a 'back of napkin' calculation difficulty.



What kind of investment?
When I'm mentioning investment I'm usually alluding to class build - what usually is talked about in Optimization boards - picking skills, feats, race, sub-race, abilities, alternate abilities, tradition and flaws. Less in regards to role-play choices, friends and contacts, gear or treasure.



My only note is that Misty Step is actually a Personal, melee(?) spell, with the Jaunt seed's effect of shifting the target by 10 ft/level. So, it's probably cheaper than what you did there. I think using Void targetting on it makes it teleport an area, based on how Fireball works?
You are, obviously, 100% correct. I think I ate a bad carrot or something and can't think straight. You see? I am baffled by my own design.
Misty Step uses the caster as target, so it's Self. And you can simply use Melee to target yourself. Only item not present is how far can you blink to? 3 choices are available:

Limited by Finished Spell's Level.
Determined by coupling effect - 10 feet for each Jaunt unit.
A set number you may jump 'up to'.



I'd like to take a moment to delve into Detect spell, for a moment. It's a great example to use.
Already I can see that overwhelming number of detect spells are 2nd or 1st level spells. So the spell level function needs to come out as either 2 or 1.
There are two parameters that the current setting doesn't answer.

A. How does the caster gain access to different detect spells?

In the Spheres casting page (god, that system makes me sad. It's like what I intended to create only that they beat me to it :smallfrown: ) they state that
If you possess certain other spheres, you may divine for information other than magical auras. In other words: If you want to cast Detect Evil you must be able to cast Detect spells as well as Evil spells. Which is quite the contrary to what is common fantasy up to now.
This resembles a bit the question about the Harm and types of damage.

B. Are we missing area options?

Some detect spells are obstructed by solid or fluid in the way. Some ignore such limitations. I think I already answered myself - maybe there is a need for "void-obstructed" along "void-unhindered" (obv' not final names).


I think the oddity you mentioned is less of a design choice and more of a - I didn't cover it yet.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-18, 01:30 PM
Oops! Missed writing "Caster level" in that equation.

The series I mentioned is a scaling of (1 + caster level / n), where n is dependent on the spell type- the difference between Good and Average BAB, essentially.
"Virtual Hits"(note: find a better name) scales either at a rate of (1 + caster level / 3) or (1 + caster level/7), depending on whether you want to use an "optimized" or a "generalist" character- analogous to Medium BAB, or Medium + TWF BAB.

So (for example) 1d6 at level 1, 2d6 at level 3, 3d6 at level 6, 4d6 at level 9 etc.



Detect spells are something of a special case. They aren't able to pass through all barriers, but they can go through some. Their penetration methods are meant to be a reference to X-rays- note how denser materials (including lead, the quintessential radiation-blocker) blocks them more effectively?
They actually have a really generous area, comparable to Cone of Cold, just with an odd restriction.
They're just... 1/5th as powerful.

Imagining any fire spell (even, like, 1d6 damage/round) with comparative area and Focus component (because it is a concentration spell, y'know) to Detect Evil is something I see as at minimum one, probably two levels higher.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-18, 02:09 PM
I see.
Well, that's a relief. Yet in the end it's just a list of numbers per level. It's not a dynamic parameter - right?
And, is it 2d6 at class level 3? Or spell level 3?

As a general note - I don't think that increasing number of attacks per round is a good way to advance the Wizards' power. Just a personal preference.



Most of the spells are a special case. That's whats wrong with them. Each have it's clauses and outside clauses and exceptions. Non are linear. Non are upgradable. Even turning a spell to 'mass' version is hard.

If I'm up against a decision to keep tradition as opposed to managing an easy game to learn and play, i would vote for ditching these obscure remnants. I mean, why X-rays? why not infrared? or ultra-violet? that is MAGIC so I'm having a hard time finding a proper reason.
I'd much rather have a smooth working system that is fun then a convoluted heap of wall of rules.
You?


Can you list an example of fire (or any other damaging theme) spells, like domain of sorts, were we can see their scaling behavior?

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-18, 03:44 PM
The n parameter was originally an estimator for the quadratic advancement of full-attack damage, measuring the rate at which new attacks were gained. For a rogue, a nonspecialist's damage is essentially
(2 + L/2)(1+L/7)d6 (n=7)
where L is class level. A TWF rogue has around twice as many attacks, so the damage became
(2 + L/2)(1 +L/3)d6 (n=3)
The n=3 parameter fits the scaling of creature hit points best across levels, for what it's worth- the n=7 parameter starts at around 80%, then falls off rapidly to around 40% of AHP; this is likely to make up for the vastly increased danger at low levels.
In this analogy, if a wizard has a Good "Base Casting Bonus" (n=5, say), then a bard might have an Average BCB (n=10, say), but have some kind of ability to apply effects via song.

If we want spellcasting effects to scale similarly, I suggest taking those scaling elements and breaking them apart- one of them goes to the number of units you can link into a spell (i.e. the "number of attacks"), and the other becomes the effect of the Harm spell unit.

What value of this parameter (or any other, but this one is easy to measure against other classes) to use is a personal decision regarding scaling, and may not be applicable to other seeds. Perhaps the generic Boost seed provides a +2 bonus (analogous to Aid Another) without scaling at all, and you need to stack it repeatedly for effect- so then you have a bonus which scales dependent on the number of seeds you stack together.

My personal preference is to have Harm apply (2+L/2)d6 of damage, and you can stack (1+L/n) seeds together, to avoid bloating spellcasting.


On area: Right. I think it's not a stretch to say that making detect spells operate based on the normal parameters of area spells is a good thing.
However: A comparison of any Detect spell vs. a substitution of Detect seeds for Harm seeds indicates that no matter what scaling you use, Detect should cost significantly less than Fire.

Your basic Detect evil spell targets a 60 foot cone (blocked by barriers), and lasts as long as you concentrate.
Your basic Burning Hands spell targets a 15 foot cone, is instantaneous, and deals slightly less than a 1st level single-target melee spell (Shocking Grasp, the "gold standard" for 1st level spells).


There are clearly some significant differences between the value of the two seeds.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-18, 08:57 PM
Translating the function (using TWF) to numbers gives

L
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20


d6
3
5
7
9
12
15
18
22
26
30
35
40
45
51
57
63
70
77
84
92




((I just passed it throu a graph plotter))
Is this what you see at your end?

I wouldn't say that this must be all end all for damage spells, but if this is the ladder then that's the milestone we work by.

Do keep in mind that most of the spells, as they exist now, are not balanced against other spells or within
the system. And I got the feeling that this is the same for rogue and fighter as well.


I agree that having additional effects will lower the damage output as a counterbalance. i.e. the cost for full damage spell equals the cost for partial damage and partial other.


I can see the "standard" bonus as being +2, as you pointed. It's either that or +1.
I'm against cumulative application. Whereby you can cast a couple of buff spells (not necessarily the same one) and gain multiple bonuses to the same score. I think that's an opening for troubles (I had a player once, that played a bard, which could sing a +15 bonus when he started the campaign, at level one). This is unlike creating a bigger bonusing spell, where you stack units - gaining a bigger linear bonus at the cost of an semi-exponential price.



My personal preference is to have Harm apply (2+L/2)d6 of damage, and you can stack (1+L/n) seeds together, to avoid bloating spellcasting.

So,
L
1
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20


d6
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12


Can you explain the stacking seeds? I'm not sure I understood that.




Detect should cost significantly less than Fire
Something which I was desperately trying to avoid.
Not that I don't agree with you; Almost every iteration which I came across gave the diviners a less powerful feel when compared to evokers and other types of casters. The divination school holds mostly detect spells and augury spells and the like. These doesn't seem as game changing as other spells.
But until now, the build treated all units the same cost - as (PH/WIP) 1 point. Stacking more of the same cost you more. Stacking different units was slightly more expensive.
Having effect Units be of different prices (albeit being the right thing to do) would add a complexity layer that makes me very anxious when I'm thinking of my group-players.
I'm not saying no, but this makes me nervous.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-18, 11:48 PM
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1olgesjps0rtKsSTB3CIVp5NYy4XmpS2ULQTDmP5ouEQ/edit#gid=0

The top chart contains an estimate of the damage total (number of d6 * 3.5), divided by the average HP by CR of monsters. I haven't bothered with rounding numbers off, so there are some fractional dice involved.
I disagree with your proposition that spells are not balanced against each other.


On bonuses....
Hm.
So, first of all, some notes:
-My generic Assist, as the equivalent of Aid Another, affects one roll, once. If I were to allow it to affect multiple rolls (all for 1 round if it's Instantaneous, or whatever duration if another duration mode were selected), then it could be cut to a +1 bonus per seed stacked. With n=5 (a reasonable assumption IMO- see below for what I mean by this), this creates a spell with a duration that applies a +1 bonus, +1 per 5 levels, or a one-use spell that applies a +2 bonus, +2 per 5 levels.
-It does not stack with other magical bonuses, including itself. If you want a bigger bonus, you need to cast a spell made up of Assist + Assist, or Assist + Assist + Assist, or whatever.



Can you explain the stacking seeds? I'm not sure I understood that.
Based on this line, in post 7:

I pick - 1. Creature(Hostile) 2. Sight 3. Instantaneous 4. Acid + Acid + Acid + Lightning + Frighten
I assume you can combine multiple of the same seed in the same spell.
The guideline I might set for that is that the number you can have in one spell is limited by level; 1 + L/n (n balance specific).

Assuming n=5, then at level 1 I could stack a single Harm seed, dealing 2d6 + 1d6/2 levels in damage. As I level up a bit, I deal a bit more damage and can use it a bit more flexibly- maybe an area effect. Then, at level 5, I'm given the ability to use two seeds. Instead of using a single Harm seed, I can use two (Harm+Harm), to make a spell that deals 4d6 + 1d6/level damage, or use Harm+Weaken to make a spell that deals 2d6+ 1d6/2 levels, but also weakens them. Either way, a two-seed spell is more expensive, so I don't have the ability to use it as an area spell yet, until perhaps level 9 or so (or whatever). At level 10, I have the ability to cast three-seed spells. And so on.

Regardless, my limit on how many seeds I can combine within one spell is limited by 1 + L/n.

Hard-capping this also lets us be a bit more lenient with the cost increases for area/duration effects, because there's another control on how powerful spells can get.

On bloat: While having a spell name long enough to sound like a verbal component is cool, I'd like to avoid making the actual construction of spells annoying. Therefore, I suggest setting a low cap on how many seeds can be combined in the same spell. My 1+ L/n (L is level, n is arbitrary) suggestion supports this.



Having effect Units be of different prices (albeit being the right thing to do) would add a complexity layer that makes me very anxious when I'm thinking of my group-players.
I'm not saying no, but this makes me nervous.
Trust me, I agree. 1 = 1 is absolutely what I'd like to have. I'm just not sure how to do it.
My best solution involves buffing Detect; even though it's an honestly fine divination effect for level 1, it's just that, well, it's the kind of thing where changing the range and duration has really weird effects on how useful it is. Even if it were an instantaneous effect limited by touch, it still wouldn't be the kind of thing appropriate for a cantrip!

Hm.
New idea: Detect is actually Sense, reflecting spells that enhance the sensory abilities of the target.
Detect Evil becomes a Personal/Melee spell, because it no longer is cast on an area- it's cast on the caster, granting them the ability to perceive a specific alignment.
Rather than an area effect targeting a cone which reveals information, it's a buff effect that lets people generically perceive more stuff.
It still takes Focus, because duh, but a total cost of 2 is absolutely more manageable than, like, 8-12.
Does that work better?

Indigo Knight
2018-02-19, 05:49 PM
I disagree with your proposition that spells are not balanced against each other.
Are you smoking something?

Bigby's Hand Vs. Mordenkainen's Sword
Chromatic Orb Vs. Burning Hands
Witch Bolt Vs. any cantrip
Blade Ward??
Conjure Volley Vs. Fireball
Friends and Glibness - 8 levels??
Unluck Vs. Daze
Rary's Telepathic Bond Vs. Telepathy
Weird Vs. Phantasmal Killer

That's only from what I can remember. If I spend more time on it then I could come up with a list of useless spells and bestest spells. Most optimization guides dedicate a chapter on it, and for a good reason. Since there are numbers in the spells, then they can be compared, and when compared you witness this weird disparity. True that there are situations where the superiority of some spells increase. But again, those are situational.


Most spells (that I've seen) would aid a specific task rather then any roll. 'Any roll' would seem to be a very powerful unit. Abilities and saves usually gets +2 as the smallest bonus. Attacks and skills get +1 as bonus. And damage dealing - an extra die. So create a spell such as Owl's Wisdom would give +2 to wisdom. If you want more then you need to stack the Unit.


The way I drafted the system, the first 3 picks are able to convey only one answer each. Picking both Melee and Sight contradicts itself. The effect stage, however, needs a way to portray; sometime a mixture of effects, a varying degree of power and combination of both. Unless I find a way to compartmentalize them to smaller stages.
In the meanwhile I wrote down (to myself) that I can combine up to number-of-caster-levels of units, whether duplicate or not, and must have casting-ability-minus-10 of spell level or higher to cast it.
Besides the number of units to combine, your assessment is correct.



I'd vote for minimizing Harm unit instead of buffing Detect. I don't see that detect needs a buff and it would be messing with something that works (I think).


It's an interesting idea. Having the sense grant... well... sense to the caster instead of sensing an area. It does mean, as you noted, changing to Focus (or Short).


In a grander look of things: I think that all of the math is skewed. Detect Evil is the only spell that came out normal. The other example combinations get way too pricey for a non-epic Wizard. I can't tell if it needs a subtraction or division or something else.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-19, 06:50 PM
Oh geez.

Is this for fifth edition?

I've been assuming 3.5e/Pathfinder this whole time, which throws all my numbers wildly off.

I'm going to need a little while to reevaluate my numbers (and a new source for monster statistics), but I think I can still contribute.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-19, 08:20 PM
Well...
To be completely honest - I love 3.5 more then 5th and I only talk about 5th because I'm kinda force to play it with my players.
I'll be more then happy to discuss these in the 3.5 surrounding. Just know that I have zero experience with paizo's material.


Also, this little experiment started somewhere 6 years ago. Close to when 4th playtest material was handed out.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-19, 11:58 PM
Alright, we're back on familiar territory then- the mention of 5e spells threw me for a loop.

Right then.



Bigby's Hand Vs. Mordenkainen's Sword
Chromatic Orb Vs. Burning Hands
Witch Bolt Vs. any cantrip
Blade Ward??
Conjure Volley Vs. Fireball
Friends and Glibness - 8 levels??
Unluck Vs. Daze
Rary's Telepathic Bond Vs. Telepathy
Weird Vs. Phantasmal Killer

That's only from what I can remember. If I spend more time on it then I could come up with a list of useless spells and bestest spells. Most optimization guides dedicate a chapter on it, and for a good reason. Since there are numbers in the spells, then they can be compared, and when compared you witness this weird disparity. True that there are situations where the superiority of some spells increase. But again, those are situational.
I am extremely confused by how you seem to be comparing spells of different levels and pointing out how they are different? Obviously, spells have internal differences, given how each of them are different. But there are absolutely general trends of similarity and points of comparison.
I mean, you compared Friends and Glibness. Are you surprised that a spell which ends after 1 minute automatically, affecting only one creature, at which point the target realizes what happens, is lower level than Glibness, which lasts for an hour, affects all checks you make, and does so more powerfully? They have similar effects, but the manner in which they're applied is completely different.

In 3.5, the trend is that spells deal 1d6/level, with higher level spells affecting more creatures. Mass versions of spells are 4 levels higher, when they exist. Summon Monster and Summon Nature's Ally summon roughly the same CR of creatures. Charm X spells are 4-5 levels lower than Dominate X spells.



Most spells (that I've seen) would aid a specific task rather then any roll. 'Any roll' would seem to be a very powerful unit. Abilities and saves usually gets +2 as the smallest bonus. Attacks and skills get +1 as bonus. And damage dealing - an extra die. So create a spell such as Owl's Wisdom would give +2 to wisdom. If you want more then you need to stack the Unit.
Yes, my hypothetical Assist seed was meant to be an example, and obviously the exact implementation would be different.


I think the system goes awry when more than one multiplier is applied, as they scale, well, multiplicatively. For example, Invisibility, the not-mass version, is here a 6-unit level spell. In fact, literally any spell which affects another creature in any way is at least a 2-unit spell, and so unavailable at 1st level. There's a problem!

So.

Proposal:
A reworked system of costs, flattening the differences between different classes of targets:

Targeting is now in the following categories and costs:
Object(Void): Cost 2
Object(Surface): Cost 2
Creature: Cost 1.
Creature, Mass: Cost 3 (affects selected creatures within an area)

The distinction between Caster and Creature is equally served by the difference between Melee and other ranges- any spell that you can cast on yourself, you can cast on other people now. Spells like Righteous Might which were "balanced" by being self only were really good anyway (CoDzilla!), so rebalancing them against comparable buffs can happen now.

Furthermore, the difference between willing and unwilling creatures was somewhat pointless. Under most circumstances, a given seed would only be cast on one of the two, and people can choose to fail their save willingly anyway. Increasing the cost of harmful spells is unnecessarily punishing.

Instantaneous/1 round (as appropriate): Cost 1.
Focus and Short spells are combined: You can concentrate on a spell for up to 1 minute/level. When you stop concentrating, it persists for 1 round/level afterwards. Cost 2.
Medium length spell: Lasts 1 minute/level. Cost 3.
Permanent spells are inherently abusable and require some form of material costs, tbd.

Ranges are as you described, but I would make the costs 1, 1.5, 2, and 3. In order to make 1.5 fit, multiply the final costs of all effects by 2.

Under these estimations:
Detect Evil (my version of Detect):
Creature (1) * Melee (1) * Focus(2) * 1 seed = 2 cost, almost appropriate.
Mass Invisibility:
Creature, Mass(3) * Melee (1) * Medium(3) * 1 seed = 9 cost.
Fireball:
Object(Void) (2) * Sight (1.5) * Instant(1) * 1 seed = 3 cost.
Misty Step:
Creature (1) * Melee(1) * Instant(1) * 1 seed = 1 cost. This feels a little too cheap- I might have Warp teleport to a square in range rather than a constant length- so this example spell teleports the caster up to his reach- 5 ft for Medium creatures.

Based on these costs


After looking this over, I feel like the multiplier reductions didn't go far enough, and would further reduce the cost multipliers of Focus and Medium-length spells, to 1.5 and 2.
(or, equivalently: Instant spells are a *2 multiplier, Focus is a *3 multiplier, and Medium is a *4 multiplier)

Then Detect Evil is 1.5 units, Mass Invis is 6 units, and Fireball is 3 units.
Let the limit of effective units available be 1.25 + L/4, rather than L.
Then Detect Evil is available at level 1.
Fireball is available at level 5
Mass Invisibility is available at level 13.

However, this still breaks down under examination.
Invisibility:
Creature (1) * Melee(1)* Medium(2) *1 seed = 2 units- available at level 1.

I cannot create a system in which 1 unit of Conceal is enough to provide invisibility, without making it an effect available at level 1. Otherwise, it's impossible to cast any kind of buffs at level 1.

I really think that for this to work, the actual seeds need to partially scale with level.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-20, 04:47 PM
It's not that I'm surprised about them being different. It's that I'm surprised about the difference being so out of line. See, Volley and Fireball do similar damage for having 2 levels difference. For example. Glibness may last an hour, but most situations only call for a couple of rounds. Go to any page about Wizard Optimization; LogicNinja, Dictuum, Treantmonk. And you'll see a breakdown of what spells are a must have and what spells are a trap for new players (their words, not mine). Sometimes, the parameters of the campaign, or this current adventure affect such choices (say, breath water in underwater quest). But more often - the rules themselves makes it so that certain spells are numerically better then others. Just looking at the spell of Polymorph suggests that there was no attention for measuring and comparing to other spells. That's why we have pun-pun and other cheese.




Knobs that we can twist:


Change the scale of 1-2-3 (like self, natural, hostile) to 0.5-1-2
Have 'units' that reduce cost, either after multiplication or before. (Extra round casting for -1 cost)
Swap multiplication (every mult' or only some) for addition.
Have the end result divided by static number or a dynamic, like caster level. (I'm highly against this. This is not a math lesson).



I second your idea about changing target costing. It has basis. Except the the disappearance of Self. There are spells that were specifically design for the appliance on the Wizard and the Wizard only.
The idea that Short encompass Focus was something I had reservations about.


Let's do the following. Let's pick 4 spells. One with the tiniest buff. Its mass version. A moderate buff (maybe multiple effect?) and it's mass version. I'd suggest not picking any invisibility or illusion ones for now. Those are complicated.


Maybe need to swap the static number for parameters and chart down some functions and graphs?

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-20, 05:50 PM
Mmm.
I'm not convinced that we want spells that are balanced by being Self only, but okay.

On Focus/Short - I do think that both modes need to be very cheaply available, though it's fine if they're different. Perhaps each is 1.5 after normalization?
Then Medium-duration Invisibility is a 2nd level effect, but Short duration is a 1st level effect- which actually exists in Pathfinder!



My selected spells are Vanish (Pathfinder- lasts 1 round/level, up to 5), Invisibility, Mass Invisibility, and Greater Invisibility. Maybe
A spell: Level 2
A shorter duration lower level version: Level 1
A mass version: Level 7
A more powerful version: Level 4.


My takeaways: Mass spells are either 4-5 levels higher (which is supported by the Chain Spell metamagic, as well as mass vs normal cure spells), or three times as expensive as single target effects. This particular one fits my example costs.
An extremely short duration costs about half as much (or -1 levels) as a medium duration. This seems fair- note that it is Short, similar to Detect Evil's Focus duration.
Greater Invisibility costs twice as much- 2 levels higher.
Multiplicativity or additivity is not well-defined yet.

Edit: Whoops, didn't see the part about avoiding illusions/invisibility, but it worked out anyway.


A large number of minor comparisons:
Heroism is level 3, but Greater Heroism is level 6; but:
Greater Heroism provides slightly(temp hit points + fear immunity) over double the benefits of regular Heroism, but lasts a tenth the duration.
This is moderate evidence towards linearly scaled bonuses.

Mage Armor is 1st level, and provides a +4 bonus.
Greater Mage Armor is 3rd level, and provides a +6 bonus.
Mass Mage Armor is also 3rd level- this is evidence for "Mass costs 3x as much"?

Enlarge Person is 1st level, but Mass Enlarge Person is 4th level.
The Expansion psionic power is effectively 1st level, but augmenting it to double its effects raises its level to effectively a 4th level power. Perhaps the extra reach makes up the difference? Alternatively, Enlarge Person is just a really good spell.

Magic items provide statistical bonuses with costs that scale with the square of the effect, but character gold scales (approximately) by the 2.9th power of character level. Call it a power of 3.

True Strike provides a +20 bonus to attack for one attack roll; Bungle does the reverse (and applies to skill checks as an alternate mode).

I was wrong- the mass versions of the various Animal's Attributes actually are 6th level, not 5th- they're 5 levels higher than their counterparts.

Mass Fly has a +4 level markup for being a Mass spell. Ditto Charm Monster, Charm Person.

The Cure/Inflict chain have a +4 Mass markup for clerics, but +5 for druids. Collectively, they indicate that additive cost increases are most accurate.

Not a buff spell, but Shocking Grasp deals 1d6/level damage to one creature; Fireball deals 1d6/level to many creatures at range.

Magic Weapon is 1st level, and provides a +1 static bonus. Magic Weapon, Greater provides a scaling bonus, but is level 3. IMO, this provides evidence that a single buff seed (of whatever kind) provides a static bonus, but a second makes the resulting spell scale with level.

Based on a cycle of 3rd party cantrips in Pathfinder, I construct the following equalities:
+2 to the following once, is equivalent (self only):
-AC against a melee attack
-AC against a ranged attack
-One skill check (within a minute)
-One melee attack roll
-One ranged attack roll
Also, +1 to saves for one minute.

Obviously, cantrips =/= regular spell slots, though, since they're at-will in PF.

Greater Resistance is a 4th level spell that grants a +3 bonus on saves for 24 hours. Superior Resistance is 6th level, and provides a +6 bonus. The two are almost linear- Greater Resistance is a level higher than expected.

Takeaways:
Bonuses from spells are almost, but not quite, linear. This surprised me quite a bit! Perhaps the value of a bonus scales similarly to the value of a spell level, even if they're nonlinear?
This is arguably supported by magic item pricing: The price of an nth level spell continuously is 2k * (level) * (2*level -1), which scales quadratically, but a static bonus has a price of n * (bonus)^2 (n is a coefficient dependent on the bonus type), which also scales quadratically.
So there's some link involved:
n * (bonus)^2 = 2k * (L) * (2L-1) = 2k * (2L^2 - L)
bonus = rt(2k / n * (2L^2 - L))
= rt(4k/n) * rt(L^2 - L/2)
~= rt(4k/n) * L

Todo: Compare the various polymorph variants in Pathfinder to measure ability score bonuses.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-23, 09:05 PM
When you concentrate on a spell for a turns, stop, and then the spell lingers for b turns you can replicate 4 situations:

a = 0; lingering spell.
b = 0; concentration spell.
a = 0 && b = 0; no spell (d'uh).
a > 0 && b > 0; complex spell of lingering and concentrating.



When I went over the spell lists I had a very hard time with couple of spell-types: illusions (mainly shadow spells), summoning, resurrecting, polymorphing and scrying. Treating them requires a bit more then translation. There's a need for a clear definition of upper limit to what each spell can do, what power does levels represent, etc'

It's true, you are right about using Metamagic Feats to see examples for augmenting spells and what each modification worth in levels. Still, having a 2 level increase is different when looking at 1st to 3rd hop vs. 6th to 8th hop.
And I haven't found an exact mimicking to Mass'ing spells via feats.





Basing a function on two points of data is too little. I cannot establish a valid relation that way.
Taking Heroism for example, one spell is an hour long and another is half that time. But most DM's I know won't track that long. The easy play principle (derived from K.I.S) means that only the distinction of number-time-use, concentration, couple-rounds or all-encounter is accounted for.



Let's pick a specific venue to focus on. Just randomly choosing Armor.

Mage Armor - 4 bonus to AC with no penalties.
there's Ironbeard that gives 1 bonus along with other armor worn. Can be used as weapon.
Aspect of Bear is 2nd level spell and it grants 2 natural armor and other bonuses.
Barkskin as 2nd level gives natural armor bonus of (caster level/3)+1
Magic Vestment increase armor bonus by (caster level/4)
Protection from ##### gives +2 to AC against specific something at 1st level and other bonuses.
There's also Glorious Raiment and Halo of Sand.

I'm using the following search options to find those spells:
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/tools/advanced-spell-search


Now, if in addition, I took a look at the spheres of power thing:
http://spheresofpower.wikidot.com/protection#toc3


It says -
You grant the target a +1 Deflection bonus to AC, +1 per 5 caster levels.
or -
granting them either a +3 armor bonus or a +1 shield bonus to AC (your choice). This does not stack with other armor or shield bonuses, but does apply against attacks made by incorporeal creatures. These bonuses increase by +1 for every 5 caster levels you possess.

So it is also a clue.
Now we need to see what function can it create. How does AC improves for rogue or warrior? Only through magical equipment?

BTW, the metamagic feats give a nice idea for the energy types.
Like this one
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/metamagic-feats/burning-spell-metamagic

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-24, 01:47 AM
Search up Chain Spell for conversions to mass effects. The feat is generally considered to be somewhat strong, but it's a comparison point.

Permanent (or equivalently, encounter-long) AC improvement, as far as I know, is primarily through the following:
-Equipment improvements:
--Upgrade to new kinds of equipment (janky rate depending on armor proficiencies, constant after that point)
--Upgrade the enchantment bonus of your equipment (To +1 per 3 levels per source of AC, roughly).
-Feats and abilities. No constant rate.
-Statistical improvements. Nearly insignificant outside magic items.

Of these, the +1/3 levels rate is the most significant effect, and the most comparable to scaling spells.

However, we actually have a very useful resource for this, which I forgot we had: The tables of NPC statistics, starting on page 110 of the Dungeon Master's Guide. While not fully equal to PCs, I think this provides a useful proxy statistic.

Unfortunately, I can't find these tables in spreadsheet form anywhere, so performing data analysis on these values isn't something I'm likely to do soon. Eyeballing, it looks like fighters, paladins, and barbarians go from about 17 AC to 30 or 34 (depending on whether they bought rings of protection). Monks also cap out at 34 AC, but start much lower, around 13 AC.

Rogues and rangers go from about AC 15 to 25ish from level 1 to 20.

What does this mean for design? It seems to me that we more or less two or three categories:
-Pretty Good (Three sources of "magic bonuses", i.e. AC is about 16 + level)
-Not That Great (Two sources, armor isn't great, AC is about 14 + level/2)
-Wizard (so low as to be irrelevant; resources invested elsewhere)
There's a fourth category, which I'd call Too High, where AC becomes irrelevant.

There are probably equivalent categories within other statistics, as well.

I think a reasonable goal should be that our system should (in the case of armor) be able to buff people up to the next category within the first three, but not more than one without significant effort. Preventing it from reaching Too High is a matter of controlling bonus stacking.





Analysis on creature AC values (also not quite the same as PC AC values, but related) shows that the standard deviation of monster AC slowly doubles with level, at a rate of around 1 per 10 levels from a baseline of about 2.2. So, it roughly doubles.
I'm not really sure how to say what that means for design, though.

(Their mean increases by about 1.2 per level, roughly alongside Good BAB; this is significantly faster than )

Attack rolls have their data polluted by a significant amount of misread data, based on the existence of "+1 swords" and such, making the Google Sheets interpreter expect a numeral and throwing an error. As a result, its standard deviation is not meaningfully useful in my opinion. (Its mean has a slope of about 1.3). I found the original spreadsheet, and it got around this somehow, but pulling the data from it myself is a bit irritating.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-24, 02:03 PM
Chain Spell takes spells with number of targets (or a target area) and adds secondary targets, with better chances to save against the spell, up to caster level. All this at the cost of 4 more levels to the spell level (meaning additive 4 cost).
It's not perfect, but it's a close approximation. Seems to me that this is the closest we'll get without playtesting.


I've looked to see if there is a mention for NPC statistics online, but couldn't find any as well. If I'll ever get my hands on another DMG then I might be able to upload the table.
We could use the tables from before:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1E2-s8weiulPoBQjdI05LBzOUToyoZIdSsLKxHAvf8F8/edit#gid=3 (It's monster's statistics, but that's what we have).
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1olgesjps0rtKsSTB3CIVp5NYy4XmpS2ULQTDmP5ouEQ/edit#gid=724085674 (the second sheet displays AC. but I can't tell what else is involved in the calculation).
I've seen this, but I don't know if we can base on it
https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/47697/average-optimal-ac-for-core-classes-per-level


Regardless, I agree that the value goes from one time boost based on proficiency feat at the start and afterwords it scale up by gear wealth that buys enchantments.


So we need to imitate 2 separate cases:

characters with good armor (fighters, paladins, even clerics sometimes. char's who rely on heavy armor and high defense).
characters with lower ratings of armor (almost all others, whether it's a limitation imposed on them by the rules, like wizards, imposed by roleplay, druids, monks, or imposed by role in combat, like rogues).


That reminded me of the Defense bonus varient (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/defenseBonus.htm). You think it fits?

Anyway, we know that the way AC is improved comes from several sources:

Natural
Equipment + Enchantment
Dodge, Deflection, Dexterity


I'm going to relegate Natural armor bonus to polymorph, so that's that.
The equipment and dodging oriented bonuses kinda compete with each other.
So we're left with only one slope.
As you already written - y = ax + b where a = 1/3
So the spell level divided by 3 will give an armor bonus. Question remains is what the starting point, b?

If we want to replicate Mage Armor then b have to be 4. But that seems too high for me.
Maybe if we change the slope to be 1/4 and then the initial +4 is justified.
Also;

Does the spell stack with worn armor?
Does the basic spell (single application of the unit) is limited? such as effects wear off after receiving hit or few rounds?
Should the average wizard, casting a spell comprised only of this unit (armor + armor + armor... up to max') will be able to duplicate a fighter's AC? Or reaching this power only available to specializers who "pay" some sort of cost (banned school, flaw feat)?

Indigo Knight
2018-02-24, 03:48 PM
These is just a sidenote, a side question, a thought I just had, And I'm sure we'll get back to this later.

Assuming I'm casting heal + heal + heal + heal
Is it better to:
Have the spell grant hp healing (determined by 1d6 per level of spell level) and additional heal units allowing for more complicated healing (regenerating limbs, removing afflictions, negating attribute drain).
OR
Having the spell heal 4d6 (as 4 units of heal) and requiring the spell to cost more if I want to heal more complicated ailments?

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-24, 04:37 PM
I'm writing the second spreadsheet, so yes, I'm aware of them as a source. I'm copy+pasting from the first to get my data, then performing analysis.

One thing to keep in mind is that each source of AC has that +1/3 level progression. There are typically two to three:
-Ring of protection/amulet of natural armor
-Armor or Bracers of Armor
-A shield. Rogues and rangers don't have this.'

Also note: equipment and dodge bonuses don't always compete. The rogue I saw has Bracers of Armor in addition to his base statistics. Deflection bonuses stack with practically everything.

First of all, an observation about Mage Armor is that it's self only! It's almost exclusively intended to bring the wizard up from wizard-tier AC to rogue levels. Commensurately, it's also very long-lasting, on the order of multiple encounters.
Magic Vestment stacks with everything. In this case, the spell only applies the mx part, and the b is already there.
Shield of Faith stacks with worn armor, and provides a +2 bonus to AC, +1 per 6 levels (in Pathfinder, at least). It can be cast on other people, too.

I feel like Shield of Faith makes the most sense as a comparison point for AC bonuses that stack with armor.
Magic Vestment feels very low-impact at 1st level.

On structuring bonuses:
I'm not sure. I keep writing and deleting this section.

My general feeling, irrespective of actual comparison points, is that:
-A persistent, i.e. with a duration, bonus to any given major combat statistic, in a way that it is fairly easily stackable, should go from about +2 to +6. This is a general feeling based off the sort of bonuses that bards can grant, and the scaling on effects like Greater Magic Weapon.
-A single-use bonus, one which is expended, should go from about +3 to +10 or +11. I feel that this large a bonus is fairly justified- if you spend two actions(one for the buff, one for the buffed action) to do one thing, that one thing should be pretty consistent.

I would actually place a +4 armor bonus as a base as pretty okay, if it's explicitly an armor bonus! Since armor bonuses don't stack, this is really just a way to take people from Wizard-Tier to Rogue-Tier AC levels. There are some unwanted interactions with monk-type characters and such, though...
...
Idea: Armor effects can emulate any kind of armor, including light, medium, and heavy armor- including maximum Dexterity bonus and armor check penalty, but with reduced spell failure rate. Then, it applies an enhancement bonus to the resulting projected armor, based on the amount of extra "oomph" added (i.e. extra spell seeds or caster level- refer to my general feelings for scaling). If used on existing armor, it just applies the enhancement bonus.

Stacking with existing armor: No. That would take it into Way Too High territory- 20+ armor at level 1 if cast on another.
Limit the basic spell: See my general feelings section.
Emulate fighter AC: Not quite. There are additional sources of AC via extra seeds, which could be stacked. In effect, each magic item is a persistent "spell" buffing the fighter. So, you'd need to stack a variety of spells to reach full power- which presumably has costs to do so. Plus, armor proficiency is still necessary to reach full parity, due to the way I structured the Armor effect. Rogue-tier is a bit easier, since they don't rely on heavy armor as much.


On Healing: I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. Could you clarify the options you're discussing?
I'm not sure what your second choice entails as far as "costs more"- I thought the cost of a spell was determined by the number of units & targeting costs?

Indigo Knight
2018-02-26, 06:44 PM
Sorry.
I've got so many open tabs and saved bookmarks for this...


Anyway,
The units system as is - doesn't give room for a spell that's only Self. There's no penalty or forbidding against pumping it to natural or hostile target. And if we do add this - how will it manage so? A long list of spells or combinations that are a valid self-spells? A long list of spells that are banned?

One thing that comes to mind is maybe changing the numbers so Self only is lower priced. Like


Target:
Self
Natural
Hostile


Cost:
-4
1
2

But then it needs to be an addition to the cost. Otherwise we get a spell that cost minus point.


+1/6 levels seems like too low for higher level adventures. My gut tells me to use +1/4 levels at the very least.
Oh! And it seems I don't understand the rules for stacking bonus for armor in 3.5 - I keep mixing them up.



I want to keep everything quite simple and understandable. The monk scenario you mention is especially unwanted. So instead of adding a lot of clauses and what ifs, I would go with something very straightforward like this:

Armor:
Grant the spells' target an AC bonus of +1 per four levels of the spell.
If the target has no armor, it is imbued with additional bonus of 2 AC.
Cost: 1



-A persistent, i.e. with a duration, bonus to any given major combat statistic, in a way that it is fairly easily stackable, should go from about +2 to +6. This is a general feeling based off the sort of bonuses that bards can grant, and the scaling on effects like Greater Magic Weapon.
-A single-use bonus, one which is expended, should go from about +3 to +10 or +11. I feel that this large a bonus is fairly justified- if you spend two actions(one for the buff, one for the buffed action) to do one thing, that one thing should be pretty consistent.
I feel like I need someway of
A - grants +2 bonus for a long long time.
B - grants a massive bonus for a really short time.
and that Cost(A) == Cost(B)



On Healing: I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. Could you clarify the options you're discussing?
I'm not sure what your second choice entails as far as "costs more"- I thought the cost of a spell was determined by the number of units & targeting costs?

Forget the Heal. Take the Armor from above.
The idea is that I can combine more then one effect. And nothing is saying I can't combine the same item. Unless we structure the system in that way. For now, we haven't.
So, what If I make an effect of Armor + Armor + Armor?
Would it:
1. grant +2 for each armor unit
2. grant bonus that is scaling with caster level or spell overall level, and adding same unit grant a special perk - like, in the case of armoring, protecting from criticals, defend from bull rushing, and on.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-26, 11:45 PM
Hm.

My comparison to shield of faith isn't 0+1/4 level, it's 2+1/6 level, scaling up to an eventual +5 (the same value); I feel that there should be a minimum level of noticeable effect. Does that change your opinion at all?
Furthermore, this is an AC bonus that stacks with existing armor; it's an enhancement bonus to an armor bonus, analogous to enchanted equipment.

In my write-up, there's an additional effect, which lets you "create armor", which explicitly does not stack with other worn armor.
How does this avoid the "monk problem"? Easy- the created armor penalizes monks, just as though they were actually wearing armor.

The following kinds of armor can be created:
-Leather armor (which becomes +2 armor, i.e. a +4 armor bonus)
-Breastplate
-I don't know, half plate? Banded mail?

All armor modes have their effective armor category for the purpose of spell failure chance negation reduced by one stage (see armored mage abilities like the Bard or Hexblade); in the case of leather armor, it's completely nullified.

So, Armor has two modes:
-Grant a +2 + 1/6 level enhancement bonus to existing armor.
-Create armor in one of three kinds. The created armor has a +2 + 1/6 level enhancement bonus.




I feel like I need someway of
A - grants +2 bonus for a long long time.
B - grants a massive bonus for a really short time.
and that Cost(A) == Cost(B)

Here's the trick.
What's the equivalent of Instantaneous for buff spells?
1 round duration.
You can build that equality right into the duration rules.



So, what If I make an effect of Armor + Armor + Armor?
Would it:
1. grant +2 for each armor unit
2. grant bonus that is scaling with caster level or spell overall level, and adding same unit grant a special perk - like, in the case of armoring, protecting from criticals, defend from bull rushing, and on.
Hm.
The scaling in 1) aside...
I think it's notable that we found no spells with more than about a +6 bonus to AC, anywhere (aside from one-shot effects like Bungle and Moment of Prescience).
However, there are plenty of spells which are qualitatively different from lower leveled effects- Iron Body grants DR, which seems to fall under the field of Armor, fortification effects like you mentioned, etc. Not all of these effects have "real" level 1 equivalents (speaking generally). However, we still want some way to represent these effects.
Given these examples, I feel that qualitative improvements are probably more consistent with existing spells than quantitative ones.

Does this make sense?

Indigo Knight
2018-02-27, 01:06 PM
Yes, yes it does.


My comparison to shield of faith isn't 0+1/4 level, it's 2+1/6 level, scaling up to an eventual +5 (the same value); I feel that there should be a minimum level of noticeable effect. Does that change your opinion at all?
Partially. Having an initial value plays a huge part in the first level. But later levels are influenced more by how steep is the slop. Too much, and Wizard will trample all. Again. Too low, and the Wizard will feel too squishy. Which is why I didn't mention the b.



In my write-up, there's an additional effect, which lets you "create armor", which explicitly does not stack with other worn armor.
How does this avoid the "monk problem"? Easy- the created armor penalizes monks, just as though they were actually wearing armor.True. But creating armor is, surprise, creating. i.e. conjuration. Conjure, Create, Fabricate, whatever. I'm not sure how to exactly describe what I'm thinking in my head, still it seems to me that if you want to add an actual armor piece then it lies in the scope of Conjuration. And if just want to emulate a piece of armor, why not simply duplicate the benefit, without all the penalties and numbers and limitations of whatever certain physical item have?



Here's the trick.
What's the equivalent of Instantaneous for buff spells?
1 round duration.
You can build that equality right into the duration rules. Do you have an example you can chart down? Even if it's not fully ready.



I think it's notable that we found no spells with more than about a +6 bonus to AC, anywhere (aside from one-shot effects like Bungle and Moment of Prescience).
However, there are plenty of spells which are qualitatively different from lower leveled effects- Iron Body grants DR, which seems to fall under the field of Armor, fortification effects like you mentioned, etc. Not all of these effects have "real" level 1 equivalents (speaking generally). However, we still want some way to represent these effects.
Given these examples, I feel that qualitative improvements are probably more consistent with existing spells than quantitative ones.Let's see...

How about this:

Armor:
Grant the spells' target one benefit of your choosing, from the following -

Add +4 armor bonus.
Add +1 enchantment AC bonus per 4 levels.
Add 2/- DR.
Add the fortification enchatment.



Notice that this intensify the difference between:
Add m amount of bonus per armor unit in spell
VS.
Add m per level bonus. Additional uses of armor unit gives different bonuses.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-27, 03:22 PM
Partially. Having an initial value plays a huge part in the first level. But later levels are influenced more by how steep is the slop. Too much, and Wizard will trample all. Again. Too low, and the Wizard will feel too squishy. Which is why I didn't mention the b.
I'm not sure I agree about what you're saying about scaling. It seems to me that a bonus that scales from +2 to +5 is pretty similar to one that scales from +0 to +5 at high levels, but is more useful at low levels.


True. But creating armor is, surprise, creating. i.e. conjuration. Conjure, Create, Fabricate, whatever. I'm not sure how to exactly describe what I'm thinking in my head, still it seems to me that if you want to add an actual armor piece then it lies in the scope of Conjuration. And if just want to emulate a piece of armor, why not simply duplicate the benefit, without all the penalties and numbers and limitations of whatever certain physical item have?
True. The whole point of Mage Armor is that it's protective, but without the associated downsides.
The issue remains, though, that granting armor bonuses to classes with ACs balanced by not normally having access to armor bonuses is a good way to end up with problems.

The only good way I thought of to prevent it is to reinstate some the limitations of those classes, which runs into the issue you brought up- it doesn't make intuitive sense.

Even if you don't apply all the side effects of armor, is a maximum Dexterity bonus (say, +3) too much? I think it would do a lot to shut down shenanigans.



Armor:
Grant the spells' target one benefit of your choosing, from the following -
Add +4 armor bonus.
Add +1 enchantment AC bonus per 4 levels.
Add 2/- DR.
Add the fortification enchatment.
I think this works! I have a number of changes that I would make before the final version(minimum number of Armor seeds before the last two are "unlocked", damage reduction limits analogous to Stoneskin and Protection from Arrows, explicitly can't use the second mode on the first except in the same spell, bonus scaling still under debate), but this makes sense as a set of abilities for the seed.




Do you have an example you can chart down? Even if it's not fully ready.
Yes.
Fly is a 3rd level spell, affecting one target.
Swift Fly is a 2nd level spell, affecting the caster only(-?), castable as a swift action(+4), and lasting one round (+?).
Similarly, Swift Invisibility is a swift-action spell which affects the caster only, and lasts one round. Same modifiers, but off-by-one for some reason (not sure why) compared to Fly.
Swift Expeditious Retreat lasts one round and is castable as a swift action(+4). It's 1st level, like Expeditious Retreat, but the original spell is already Personal only.

This suggests that converting a spell with a duration in minutes/level to 1 round gives you a spell approximately 4 levels lower, and a conversion from casting on an ally to self-only is worth about 1 level (likely not true in the other direction).

Rough estimations, and of course converting from an additive to a multiplicative system will give you issues, but those are some examples.

Comparing with my Mass Spell equivalence, the difference between a spell that lasts 1 round and one which lasts 1 minute/level is about the same difference, more or less, as the difference between a single-target spell and one which affects one target per level. Furthermore, there's a symmetry between the two that feels right to me in terms of how much effect the spell has.

More generally, consider the conversion from an Instantaneous damaging spell to one with a duration. Suppose the spell has an area.
What is an area damaging spell with a duration?
Something like Incendiary Cloud, where the spell deals damage each round.
What is the instantaneous version of that?
Something like Fireball, where damage is dealt only once.
If Fireball had a duration, what would it be, then?
One round, since damage occurs once.
QED: Instantaneous buffs last one round.

Indigo Knight
2018-02-27, 06:27 PM
I'm not sure I agree about what you're saying about scaling. It seems to me that a bonus that scales from +2 to +5 is pretty similar to one that scales from +0 to +5 at high levels, but is more useful at low levels.If you ignore what comes after the +5 bonus then you are correct. In a theoretical mathematical view you have two lines that cross each other and the one which started lower is going to overtake the other.



Even if you don't apply all the side effects of armor, is a maximum Dexterity bonus (say, +3) too much? I think it would do a lot to shut down shenanigans.
The spell's bonus stands somewhere between light armor and medium armor. This place Dex limit at +3, even +4 at a stretch. But isn't this already happening? Just buying bracers of armor - they don't have dex limit. I'm not sure I'm seeing what your pointing at. And if I did, I wouldn't reiterate that tiny font under equipment-armor for it. I'll try to limit it in other ways, such as stating armor bonuses don't stack, that the spell only works if you wear no armor, or that the spell is pricey. 5th ed' uses "change base AC to 14 + Dex" as a way to override other similar benefits.



QED: Instantaneous buffs last one round.Took me a few good reads, but I got there in the end.

Let's see.
Cost(t) => Target(t) ? Duration(t) ? Range(t) ? Effect(A)

Therefore
Cost(A) == Target(A) ? Duration(A) ? Range(A) ? Effect(A) == Target(B) ? Duration(B) ? Range(B) ? Effect(B) == Cost(B)

Target is the same, Range is the same. Assuming this doesn't **** up the calculation;
Duration(A) ? Effect(A) == Duration(B) ? Effect(B)

B's duration is 0 if additive or 1 if multiplicative, so we can remove it
Duration(A) ? Effect(A) == Effect(B)

Same for A's effect?
Duration(A) == Effect(B)

So we need a huge buff effect to have the same cost for an above encounter length duration.
Ok, that's clearer now to me after I've written it down. It still doesn't give me numbers and operators to work with. But all in due time, I think.

aimlessPolymath
2018-02-28, 02:45 AM
If you ignore what comes after the +5 bonus then you are correct.
I do, because I'm not concerned with epic level scaling. The lines intersect around 20th level. I mean, at that point, you're dealing with stuff like Wish-equivalent stuff.


The spell's bonus stands somewhere between light armor and medium armor. This place Dex limit at +3, even +4 at a stretch. But isn't this already happening?

My concern isn't with people wearing armor and getting the spell- armor bonuses already don't stack. That's just how bonuses work already.

My concern is that people who normally don't wear armor, especially monks, gain the full benefit of armor regardless.
In effect, classes that normally gain "unarmored bonuses" gain the simultaneous benefit of their unarmored bonus as well as the benefits of armor.

Bracers of Armor are not balanced against actually wearing armor- they're balanced against generic AC bonuses like amulets of natural armor and rings of protection, with a cost reduction factor. They're mathematically very similar to wearing +x clothing, or gaining only the enhancement bonus effect of the Armor seed.

Indigo Knight
2018-03-30, 05:31 PM
I'm terribly sorry for my long absence. Was not my intention.



I mean, at that point, you're dealing with stuff like Wish-equivalent stuff.
I see wish and other power-house spell as a core problem with the system as it is now. And if I must have them then a major edit would have to take place.


Bracers of Armor are not balanced against actually wearing armor- they're balanced against generic AC bonuses like amulets of natural armor and rings of protection, with a cost reduction factor. They're mathematically very similar to wearing +x clothing, or gaining only the enhancement bonus effect of the Armor seed.
5th edition has a very nice approach in wording the effect in the follows:
"Target's base AC becomes 13 + Dexterity modifier". This turns any other duplicate bonus to override the previous one instead of stacking together.


I tried coming up with more of the keys:

Figment:
Create or conceal one sensation of your choosing, from the following -

Sight.
Sound.
Odor (and taste).
Touch.
Magical aura.


Haste:
Target creature gain one benefit of your choosing, from the following -

Gain extra move action.
Use move action to act a standard action.


Morph:
Target creature gain one benefit of your choosing, from the following -

+1 natural armor.
+10 feet for move speed.
1d6 bite attack.
Two 1d4 claw attack.
Scent sense.
Low-light vision.
+2 to one ability related rolls (chosen on casting).


Phantasm: (or phantom, or dream)
Target creature perceive (=suffer) a mental sensation. Apply one from the following -

Deal 1d6 psychic pain damage.
Becomes Shaken.
Becomes Frightened if was Shaken already.
Becomes Panicked if was Frightened already.

Indigo Knight
2018-06-03, 11:00 AM
I'm trying to look at fire vs. cold;

Other names are like frost or freeze, ice.
And also heat, or blaze.


But I can only think about 1d6 damage.



And are they opposites? Does casting frost is the counter to fire? Lessening it? Like a linear coordinate.

aimlessPolymath
2018-06-03, 11:29 AM
Leaving the discussion of damage types aside, I'd like if you could give a solid answer(for discussion) on how much damage the Harm seed does in your notes, based on the scaling of damage that was observed and discussed.
Does a seed deal 1d6 damage, and you can stack (2+L/2)(1+L/3) of them in one spell?
Does it deal (2+L/2)d6, and you can stack (1+L/3) of them?

Related to this question is the question of how much you penalize more generalized seeds. For example, your Phantasm seed deals damage, but also does other things, while the Harm seed just hurts people. How much more damage does the Harm seed to in exchange for this specialization?

Haste granting extra actions is a bit of a thorny road to go down, because its power scales with level in a somewhat dangerous way- it goes from net action disadvantage, to net action advantage- an important threshold

Indigo Knight
2018-06-04, 01:36 PM
My notes say that it's around an extra die for 2 levels. 1 for 1st, 2 for 3rd and so on.
I don't remember why I wrote it, so this can be changed.

The next thing to note is that there is a difference between damage inflicted because of source:
Resistance, Save, combination with other spells, environment, etc'.
One way is to have damage coming from a 'damage' seed. So, if your spell is damagy it has to contain that seed. Additional effects are coming from other seeds.
Different way is to have multiple seeds to have the ability to do damage. Like force, electricity or necrotic. Each contributing it's own flavor.
Naturally, these seeds will differ by the amount of damage they present and none would be more then the 'pure' damage seed.

I can see it goes both ways and I'm not sure which is the more appropriate. A sole damage seed is more in alignment with the divisive nature of the system. But the other way explains the way that damage is manifested.


Similarly, Morph grants +1 natural armor, which is analogous to the Armor seed's +1/4 levels mode, but also does other things, too.

This, in essence, mirrors the question about damage.
There's the numeral application. And then there's the origin of said effect. In this case - AC.
Morph seed represents the hardening of the creature's outer layer.
Armor seed represents the adding of a protective layer.
In a general case they both up the number for AC. But in certain situations, like touch attacks, they are different


Haste granting extra actions is a bit of a thorny road to go down, because its power scales with level in a somewhat dangerous way- it goes from net action disadvantage, to net action advantage- an important threshold
It's the best way I found to express this casting. I'm unsure how to portray this otherwise. Where do you think the crossing point, from loss to gain, is?

aimlessPolymath
2018-06-08, 07:35 PM
It's the best way I found to express this casting. I'm unsure how to portray this otherwise. Where do you think the crossing point, from loss to gain, is?

When you go beyond a 1:1 ratio of actions spent/gained. At that point, the ability of a player to "go nova" takes a giant leap, similarly to how Celerity and similar effects are so powerful.



My notes say that it's around an extra die for 2 levels. 1 for 1st, 2 for 3rd and so on.
I don't remember why I wrote it, so this can be changed.

The next thing to note is that there is a difference between damage inflicted because of source:
Resistance, Save, combination with other spells, environment, etc'.
One way is to have damage coming from a 'damage' seed. So, if your spell is damagy it has to contain that seed. Additional effects are coming from other seeds.
Different way is to have multiple seeds to have the ability to do damage. Like force, electricity or necrotic. Each contributing it's own flavor.
Naturally, these seeds will differ by the amount of damage they present and none would be more then the 'pure' damage seed.

I can see it goes both ways and I'm not sure which is the more appropriate. A sole damage seed is more in alignment with the divisive nature of the system. But the other way explains the way that damage is manifested.

My personal preference is for somewhat more versatile seeds. While dividing effects more strictly makes for better balance and control over character versatility, I feel that (particularly in the case of damage, one of the most universal effects) makes for freer build decisions, and greater nuance- an illusionist whose illusions can harm is still not necessarily good at dealing damage generally.

On the other hand, it does go against the intent of the system, as you mentioned.


Your notes are likely based on my spreadsheets, which means that Harm would deal (2+L/2)d6, and you can combine up to (1+L/3) seeds in one spell. I don't think you ever explicitly said "this is the value I'm using", so I needed to ask.

Indigo Knight
2018-06-09, 09:21 AM
When you go beyond a 1:1 ratio of actions spent/gained. At that point, the ability of a player to "go nova" takes a giant leap, similarly to how Celerity and similar effects are so powerful.

I agree with you about that. So what's the alternative?
I tried something that I thought was being a bit conservative and not that overpowering. Are you able to show where and how the power spike goes for this?



My personal preference is for somewhat more versatile seeds. While dividing effects more strictly makes for better balance and control over character versatility, I feel that (particularly in the case of damage, one of the most universal effects) makes for freer build decisions, and greater nuance- an illusionist whose illusions can harm is still not necessarily good at dealing damage generally.

On the other hand, it does go against the intent of the system, as you mentioned.
Yeah. I kinda goes at it the other way - preferring everything to be organized neatly to logical boxes. Blue does this, red does that. The way I think about it, diminutive partition makes more 'sense'.
However, as you said, it means that every caster suddenly know how to damage and at the same capability, which is very homogenized. It also means that creating variations of damage (or other effects) are trickier to emulate. Plus, Every seed will be skinnier.



Your notes are likely based on my spreadsheets, which means that Harm would deal (2+L/2)d6, and you can combine up to (1+L/3) seeds in one spell. I don't think you ever explicitly said "this is the value I'm using", so I needed to ask.
That's probably right. For transparency sake - this is what's written:

Level Damage
1st 1d6
3rd 2d6
5th 3d6
7th 4d6
9th 5d6
11th 6d6
13th 7d6
15th 8d6
17th 9d6
19th 10d6

aimlessPolymath
2018-06-09, 11:51 AM
Are you able to show where and how the power spike goes for this?


I can.

The point above 1:1 is when three seeds can be combined. At this point, you are able to give yourself a standard action, and also give yourself an additional "half action" (i. e get a move action, or buff a move to a standard). You then buff your move action to a standard action. You now have two standard actions. You then cast the spell twice; you now have three standard actions, and can effectively cast three different spells in one turn.



Level Damage
1st 1d6
3rd 2d6
5th 3d6
7th 4d6
9th 5d6
11th 6d6
13th 7d6
15th 8d6
17th 9d6
19th 10d6


Buff that by a small, constant amount (say +Int, or +1d6) and you have my standard progression numbers.

Indigo Knight
2018-06-10, 01:52 PM
I can.

The point above 1:1 is when three seeds can be combined. At this point, you are able to give yourself a standard action, and also give yourself an additional "half action" (i. e get a move action, or buff a move to a standard). You then buff your move action to a standard action. You now have two standard actions. You then cast the spell twice; you now have three standard actions, and can effectively cast three different spells in one turn.

Basic draft is using a standard action (casting spell) to get extra move. This is kinda counter intuitive for the caster himself but could be beneficial if granted for an ally (thus complicating the spell creating and upping it's cost).
Doubling the haste seed gives you the ability to get an extra move action for the price of standard and then turn it into a standard action. i.e. breaking even.
Trippling the seed gives you the result of doubling the seed from before as well as additional extra move action. This isn't much but I think this is where the return outgrows the investment.
What's missing in this equation is that unless you cast each seed part separately (3 standard action for 3 seed effects) you increase the price of the spell. We do not have, yet, a mathematical formula for spell cost. But this is where the perpetum mobila can be countered. If it's exponential - 3^3 then the price for a bunch of turns (time stop) is very high. The cost could rise factorialally, logarithmically, geometrically. It's still up in the air. There also the option to inflate the price for those spell in such a way that paying an increase in casting time would have them more or less on par in function slope.

Just a thought. There are a lot of variables I haven't charted down yet. But what do you think?
How would you change that? (Keep in mind that the goal is to have a seed of expediency in some capability).




Buff that by a small, constant amount (say +Int, or +1d6) and you have my standard progression numbers.
Do you mean buff all seeds that grant damage? Or only the best damaging seed?

If it's all of them then I would go with extra damage from ability modifier.