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Indigo Knight
2018-08-09, 07:15 AM
Hey gang.
I'm working on creating a basic underline for spellcasting in such a way as to grant more freedom and more balance to the system at large.
Now I'm not sure about the progress I've made so far and so I come to you - requesting that you try your hand at in picking spell parts and comparing them to existing spells. For the moment, I'm focusing on spells made against a single target - like rays, bolts, orbs, touches etc'.

So how does it work; Creating a spell goes like this:

Choose the target of the spell.
As I've said, I'm focusing on target that is a creature (= an independent, moving entity, such as the living, automatons, and animated).
There are spells that target areas, walls, surfaces or objects. For the moment I'm ignoring those.


For creature type there are three degrees:

Self: the caster.
Natural: a willing creature.
Hostile: an unwilling creature or enemy.



After that, choose the range at which the target is located. Again, few degrees:

Melee
Near (what is known as close)
In sight
No limit



The last part is choosing the effect to be acted on target. Each headline groups a number of options, but every pick is for one of the options.
Multiple effects can be chosen. And the same effect can be picked again in order to create either a stronger spell or to add variety:



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

Receive +3 armor bonus.
Receive +1 shield bonus.
Receive +1 enchantment AC bonus per 4 levels.
Receive 2/- DR against specific (magical?) source. Out of points pool. When pool depletes, spell ends.
Receive miss chance of 20% - 16 DC to hit or miss. If missed, current DC is lowered by 1. When reaching 0, spell ends.
Receive the fortification enchatment.
+1 resistance bonus to all saving throws.

Ward:
Grant the spells' target +4 bonus, as well as a save if he is not allowed one, on saves against one of the following: -

against all death spells, Death sphere abilities, channeled negative energy, and other magical death effects.
against all emotion based effects such as fear, hate or desire.
against all mind-affecting effects such as domination, suggestion
against all nature based effects such as magical beasts, animals, poison, venom
against all healing spells, Life sphere abilities, channeled positive energy, and other magical healing effects.
against all poisons and diseases, both magical and mundane.

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

Does not succumb to wounds and die as long as spell is active.
Hostile receives damage when striking the spell's target.
Reroll a single dice roll that was used for defense. Must take second roll.
When hostile success hit ally, you (or ally) gain extra attack against that hostile
Redirect a magical targeted attack from one target to another. DC 16 and up. + chance increase with level?
Nearby hostiles suffers a -1 penalty to their attack roll if not targeting spells target. increases by 1 for every 5 caster levels possessed.
does not stack.


Dispel:
Grant the spells' target one benefit of your choosing, from the following -
Nulify spells and magical effect in an area/on target. Must make a single check against each effect (single casting roll, compare individually).
Negate 10 points of one, chosen at casting, source of energy damage choice (fire, cold, electricity, sonic, or acid). Each point is removed from point pool. Spell ends at pool depletion or spell's duration is over.

Anchor:
Restrict target from teleporting (jaunt).


Banish:
Cancel summoning spell.
Cancel animating spell.

Sense:
Add to target one of the following sense
Blindsense
If already has blindsense, gain blindsight.
Tremorsense
Scent
Echolocation
Share sensory input with target creature.
Uncanny dodge disable being flanked.

Know:
Know teleportation destination
Know target's emotion.
Understand a group of Languages
If understand the language, then able to communicate by it.
Warning of impending danger not surprised, +1 to next save, +2 to initiative.
Sensing the way to attack - +1 to next strikes or d20-10 of spellcasting for next single strike.

Detect:
Detect object or creature direction.
Detect magical effects in place.
Gain bonus vs. Hide or Disguise.
If have bonus vs. hide skills or disguise skills already, then gain true sight.



Contact:
Send a telepathic massage to target


Compel: (vs. will; force hostile to act a full action).
Force target to act single move action.
If able to force target to act move action force target to act standard action instead.

Figment:
Create or conceal one sensation of your choosing, from the following -
Sight.
Sound.
Odor (and taste).
Touch.
Magical aura.

Phantasm: (or phantom, or dream)
Target creature perceive (=suffer) a mental sensation. Apply one from the following -
Deal 1d6 psychic pain damage.

Frighten:
Becomes Shaken.
Becomes Frightened if was Shaken already.
Becomes Panicked if was Frightened already.

Haste:
Target creature gain one benefit of your choosing, from the following -
Gain extra move action.
Use move action to act a standard action.

Force:
Manifest an invisible power to interact with target in at least one of the following ways (up to 20 ft, + 5 ft per 5 caster levels)(size of tiny, increase with level -
Push
Pull
Levitate (concentrate)
Ram change the force use speed to ramming/punching
Stop/block use force to halt a move or attempt to move by target ... shield cushion attacks with DR/Piercing
Curve?
Bind target in place, preventing it's movement

Jaunt:
Teleport target 10 feet away.


Necrotic:
Target creature's flesh and body decays. Apply one from the following
Afflict necrotic energy (1d6?)
Target becomes fatigued.
Confer bleed to target that was hit by necrotic damage.
Curse target with one affliction from list (among them: light sensitivity, hunger~starvation, vulnerable to damage type, old age)
Apply Negative level?
Inflict disease.
If causing damage to living target, gain part of damage as hp or temp' stat, for self
Necrotic target is sickened
If target is sickened, become nauseated instead.
Target str lowered
Target dex lowered

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).
Able to breath normally underwater.

Reanimate:
Reanimate intact dead body (for encounter), simple commands move, stay, guard, attack. If body reduced to 0 hp it is destroyed. Spellcasting role determine number of HD's. needs concentration. Dead cannot speak, have no knowledge.
You may assume direct control on dead you reanimated. Demands concentration (all other reanimation collapse).
Add half your spellcasting roll to number HD's when reanimating
If you reanimate dead add +4 to str and dex of dead.
Take control of independent undead, spellcasting vs. charisma.

Heal: Restore target's health. Choose one of the following -
Cure 1d8 Hit points.
Grant Fast Healing 1 for 10 rounds.


Enchant:
You may place enhancements on creatures and objects, altering their properties.
Target equipment receive +1 bonus.
Target creature receive enchantment(?) vs. will
Halve hostile's movement speed.
Increase natural's movement speed (10ft') .
Grant target a +2 for skill check
Grant a special quality to weapon (keen, corrosive, flaming, frost, or shock)
Increase object's hardness.
Increase character's initiative.
Grant +2 to save throw
+2 to either str, dex, or con, int, wis or cha.

Earth:
Soften earth by one level (clay -> sand -> dirt -> gravel -> cobble -> rock)
Harden earth by one level
Raise terrain
Lower terrain
Shift earth, dirt or softer earth; target sink under earth.
Shake gravel or harder, check for trip vs. all creatures
Kick up sand or softer, granting miss chance vs. all attacks through medium, cough.
Fortify target with outer hard earthen shell. (stoneskin?)
Gain termorsense.
Gust of stone (pebbles)

Fire:
Create a tiny scale candle-like flame. (catch on fire 1d3)
Embolden existing flame. Increase fire size
Decrease fire size
Apply heat to target
Gust of fire


Water:
Soak target with water.
Change water's current.

Cold:
Freeze water or soaked target
Apply cold to target
Gust of freeze

Plant:
Grow plant or ripen fruits.
Entangle or bind with plants (Concentration).
Constrict entangled target
Pummel or punch target with plant
Target sprouts thorns
Gust of thorns


The resulting spell's level is calculated by multiplying the target number, the range number and the number of times effect was chosen.
For example, If I create a spell that is target: Natural + range: melee (touch) + Effect: Heal&Heal, meaning a touch spell that heals 2d6, the end level is 2*1*2 = 4.


So - how do you far? Do you find some inconsistencies?
Your help in straightening this mechanic is greatly appreciated.


Bonus points questions:

Should the power level of the spells be dependent on caster-level/dice-rolls instead of picking effects multiple times?
Should there be a special 'meta effect' which maximize or heighten numbers for the spell cast?
Should certain keys be joined? Split apart?
What keys/powers/effects are missing (and I know there are many that are missing)?
Does the source of the power, by which I mean the energy type, for example, matters at the end? Should this be broken to two different categories? Magical source && numerical effect?
Does picking multiple effects from different groups should cost more? Thereby encouraging specializing casters?
Does adhering to former magic schools is still valid? Needed?
Are the instructions clear? Can they be made clearer? Explaining in the most concise way with the least text manageable.

Gorum
2018-08-11, 08:44 PM
Love the idea. Too time-consuming for me to really tackle it,but still love the idea!

1. Natural / Hostile spell should not be a distinction per se, it should be part of the effect. Fire damage would be hostile. Healing depends whether the target is (edit: Un-) dead or alive. Buffs are only "Natural".

1,5. Creature type, if taken at all and I'm not saying it should, should only apply on control / charm / fear and similar effects. It should be:
1 = Same creature type as the caster. (Humanoid if the caster is human)
2 = Specific creature type or same state (living [humanoid, magical beasts, outsiders] or not [undead, construct, elemental])
3 = Specific state (only alive or only non-living or non-discriminatory)

Note: To have an effect affect only a state is better than non-discriminatory, but only in specific circumstances. For instance, a close burst AoE shield buff that affects only the living would be awesome in an undead apocalypse campaign, but trickier to use when ambushed. Like-wise, a cone of fear on undead might be overpowered when blasted on the paladin getting piled on, but a waste of a spell against the living cultists.

2. Self is a range. It is shorter than melee. Consider it giving a rebate as it is a drawback.

3. Likewise, Area /number of targets should be a modifier: the first being a number of space around the origin (melee & area 1 would be every square adjacent to you). Number of targets would be "3 / 5 / 7...". Cones could be set has having range be the same numbers as number of targets while still be considered melee.

Lines could be the same ranges, but 1 step further at 5 / 7 / 9..."

4. Do NOT include a modular option to avoid harming friendly target in an hostile AoE or vice versa. Magic is really powerful, if you make it discriminatory, martials and single-target spells become lack-luster.

5. I'm not sure whether you divide divine casters from arcane ones. If you do, you have to identify which effects each can create, and if an effect is crippled compared to its counterpart. One could easily argue that healing wizard should, at least, be weaker than a cleric whose diety's domain is healing.

P.S.: Maybe have all clerics have Wizards' banned /weak effects plus some based on their divinity's domain?

Gorum
2018-08-11, 08:45 PM
I will delve in the effects later.

Indigo Knight
2018-08-12, 07:16 AM
Love the idea. Too time-consuming for me to really tackle it,but still love the idea!
Thank you very much.


1. Natural / Hostile spell should not be a distinction per se, it should be part of the effect. Fire damage would be hostile. Healing depends whether the target is (edit: Un-) dead or alive. Buffs are only "Natural".
There are certain lines in the books that made me consider this. Mainly is the option to disallow the spell. A 'Natural' target have the option to cancel the spell outright if it doesn't want it to be cast upon him (written as harmless). A 'Hostile' will have to roll for a save in any case.


1,5. Creature type, if taken at all and I'm not saying it should, should only apply on control / charm / fear and similar effects. It should be:
1 = Same creature type as the caster. (Humanoid if the caster is human)
2 = Specific creature type or same state (living [humanoid, magical beasts, outsiders] or not [undead, construct, elemental])
3 = Specific state (only alive or only non-living or non-discriminatory)
The system, at large, have you choose first between a creature or object type target. I didn't mention the whole walls or areas or object thing because I wanted to check a specific part of the system first. I concede that I didn't think about same creature type. You have a point there. Still, I want the target types to be organized in an enclosing circles for easier understanding.


Note: To have an effect affect only a state is better than non-discriminatory, but only in specific circumstances. For instance, a close burst AoE shield buff that affects only the living would be awesome in an undead apocalypse campaign, but trickier to use when ambushed. Like-wise, a cone of fear on undead might be overpowered when blasted on the paladin getting piled on, but a waste of a spell against the living cultists.
This is exactly what I'm not looking at right now because it's one step more complex. The spells I'm comapring are spells that target a singular 'living' target.


2. Self is a range. It is shorter than melee. Consider it giving a rebate as it is a drawback.They're not supposed to go on the same scale...


3. Likewise, Area /number of targets should be a modifier: the first being a number of space around the origin (melee & area 1 would be every square adjacent to you). Number of targets would be "3 / 5 / 7...". Cones could be set has having range be the same numbers as number of targets while still be considered melee.

Lines could be the same ranges, but 1 step further at 5 / 7 / 9..."
Yeah, I see what you mean. And I'll get there. But, again, I'm looking at a specific type of spell now.


5. I'm not sure whether you divide divine casters from arcane ones. If you do, you have to identify which effects each can create, and if an effect is crippled compared to its counterpart. One could easily argue that healing wizard should, at least, be weaker than a cleric whose diety's domain is healing.

P.S.: Maybe have all clerics have Wizards' banned /weak effects plus some based on their divinity's domain?
I'm actually not diffrentiating between divine sources and arcane ones. Mainly because I haven't reached that stage yet. You seem very enthusiastic. Which is nice.



It's nice to see that what I wrote is likened by you. Only, notice that I don't require you to go over everything correcting things. I would highly appreciate if you could pick a single target spell and try to replicate it and we'll see how you far with it.

Cheers.