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    Lonely Tylenol's Avatar

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    May 2011

    Default Re: Splat It! - Permanency Support (Work ALWAYS in Progress)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lix Lorn View Post
    I dislike that permanent spells are dispellable...
    There's always a risk.

    This is, of course, easily countered by simply not making your highest-level spell a Permanent one (so that the temporary spells are targeted first), but making sure the Permanent spells are a high enough caster level to survive most dispel checks regardless.

    Also, will you throw things at me for begging for the BoEF?
    Shouldn't you consult a doctor if most of those spells last too long, though?

    Quote Originally Posted by killem2 View Post
    Just curious, for the spell Animate Weapon, if you made it permanent, if you leave the 30 feet range, can it be animated again and is it permanent? or is the spell undone if you go out of range?
    (EDIT: Upon review, I'm not finding any mention of objects animated by the Animate Objects spell having an effective maximum range, only of the spell itself having a maximum range upon casting. As far as I can tell, animated objects can be miles away from the caster who animated them; they just need to be within range of the caster when he casts the spell to animate them.)

    This same risk is run for Floating Disk, which is on the Permanency list (but is ultimately not worth it, as any Flight, teleportation-like ability from Dimension Door up, or any method of giving yourself a land movement speed above the Floating Disk runs the risk of cancelling it; I may remove it yet).

    Also, what are your thoughts on things that increase abilities, skills, or attack bonuses, ect. Like True strike, Owl's Wisdom, and so on? I get its asking alot, but surely there can be a fair answer? It may be a long wait for most characters as it would be most balance at higher end levels, almost epic levels.
    My opinion on things such as True Strike and especially the ability enhancement spells was summarized quite effectively earlier in this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    I agree to all the above except for Ectoplasmic Feedback, which provides a qualitative difference in access to combat-related abilities of the target. This sets it aside from enhancements such as Magic Fang, Girallon's Blessing and Sharptooth, which are quantitative, and Undead Bane Weapon, Energized Shield and Ghost Touch Armor (which affect equipment). It's for this same reason that I will not add spells like Mage Armor to the list, since Mage Armor basically gives the subject an armor score, as opposed to an enhancement bonus to existing armor.

    Affecting the subject vs. affecting the object is essentially the only difference between Bless and Magic Weapon, which makes it another point of distinction. (Magic Fang, which set the precedent that Magic Weapon is allowed on, blurs this line, but it's important to note that Magic Fang gives an enhancement bonus to a natural weapon; it does not grant the user attacks with a natural weapon, nor does it make a subject proficient in a natural weapon if they are not already.)
    Basically, the ability enhancers provide an effect that your character did not have before (an enhancement bonus to an existing score), and affect the player, not a particular item; thus, they fall solidly under the criteria of things such as Bless and Ectoplasmic Feedback. The ability enhancers are actually precisely the precedent that I was trying to avoid, and they are the reason I ended up taking Girallon's Blessing off the Permanency list (as it provides you access to natural attacks you are not assumed to have prior to its casting).

    Permanent True Strike is never balanced. It has a standard action casting time and a one-use duration for a reason: the poor action economy and limited payoff are what deter spamming of this ability during every combat. If you really want those types of spell uses in your game, Persistent True Strike is a seventh-level spell, and Persistent Owl's Wisdom (and variants) are eighth-level spells, assuming no metamagic mitigators (such as Metamagic School Focus, Arcane Thesis, Incantatrix's Easy Metamagic ability, Divine Metamagic, or anything else of the sort), and are entirely within the scope of the rules to use. It's worth noting that Persistent True Strike is a useless six-level jump, however, as it will always only affect "your next single attack roll", and Persistent animal ability enhancers would come at level 15, when you're assumed to have access to +6 items that offer enhancement bonuses (which don't stack), making it only ever useful for secondary (and tertiary) enhancements.

    The next suggestion I have is, Iron Body, the protection from X series, and maybe prying eyes, and the bigby's series.
    Iron Body provides a qualitative difference (many, in fact). So do the Protection from X spells.

    Prying Eyes is not broken from a game balance perspective, but could not be Permanencied because of a number of inherent contradictions within the mechanics of Prying Eyes that make it incompatible (the proximity rule, which it shares with Floating Disk, is one; the fact that the eyes are destructible, which it shares with Spectral Hand; and the fact that the eyes are single-use, which it shares with True Strike, and disappear after relaying information). Note that the first two issues individually haven't stopped a spell from being made Permanent as per this list (and the first never stopped Dancing Lights from appearing on the core list); the third, however, is a deal-breaker, as you're basically making a single-use item Permanent... Until discharged.

    Arcane Eye has a considerably better shot at being made Permanent, since it is not affected by any of the above problems, but see below.

    The only issue I have with Hand and Fist spells being made permanent is that there is no limit to the number of Hands you could theoretically Permanency. If you wanted, you could create an arbitrarily high number of Hands with insidious consequences.

    As a general rule, the precedent for spells with stacking effects, and spells with no explicitly worded limit on quantity, can be inferred from this post, made earlier in the thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    Choking Cobwebs has some fairly insidious implications if you choose to create large quantities of Permanent Choking Cobwebs (like doubling them up for Con damage to death).
    EDIT: That said, the Hand and Fist spells may follow the precedent set by Animate Objects. I'll look into it.

    I'm not exactly sure the formula that is used for this spell.
    I haven't written a comprehensive criteria for Permanency, and since Wizards never wrote one, it can be assumed that no such list exists; however, there are a few criteria that I've established through this list that one can safely use to rule out spells that are incompatible with the list:

    Spells that affect yourself, another creature, an object, or an area
    MUST: Contain wording that explicitly prevents the spell from stacking with itself, or stacking with other, related spells, indefinitely. If multiple instances are allowed, there must be an explicitly worded limit, and multiple instances of identical effects can't stack. (Examples for creatures: Create Magic Tattoo, Enlarge/Reduce Person; Examples for objects: Keen Edge, Holy Sword, Fire Trap; Examples of violators: Choking Cobwebs' Constitution damage)
    MUST NOT: Provide untyped bonuses or penalties of any kind. These always stack, and always interact with themselves.
    MUST NOT: Have a limited number of uses or charges. This includes single-use spells (such as True Strike), as well as spells that discharge after fulfilling a certain condition (such as Prying Eyes discharging after returning to your hand, or Protection from Energy discharging after preventing a fixed amount of damage).
    MUST NOT: Have a duration of Instantaneous. You cannot Permanency a spell without a duration; either its effect occurs for a single instant before dissipating (see most blasting spells) or has a permanent effect which is not kept permanent by magic (certain Conjuration [Creation] spells fall under this category).
    MUST: Have a fixed (and rather) limited duration, if the spell has a negative effect at all. By extension, the spell MUST NOT have a negative effect that lasts "for the duration of the spell", or any similar wording; the duration of the effect that it provides must be independent of the spell's duration. (Examples: Karmic Aura, Stinking Cloud)

    Spells that affect yourself or another creature
    SHOULD NOT: Provide a qualitative difference in the creature. This includes, but is not limited to: attacks that the creature is not assumed to already have access to (such as a natural attack not normally granted to a creature, such as a bite, slam, claw, talon, or tail attack); a movement mode that the creature is not assumed to have access to (such as a flight, swim, or burrow speed); a bonus that the creature is not assumed to already have access to (such as an enhancement bonus to an ability score, insight bonus to attack rolls, armor bonus to Armor Class, or competence bonus to a skill); or a property or ability of any other kind that the creature is not assumed to have access to (such as Flaming Burst and related properties, any spell-like abilities, any energy resistance or immunity, any spell resistance or immunity, any damage resistance, or any immunity to adverse effects). Common exceptions to this rule include detection spells (such as Arcane Sight, Detect Aberration and Detect Good/Evil/Chaos/Law, to self only), minor enhancement bonuses to existing qualities of the character (such as Magic Fang to existing natural attacks, and Resistance to existing saves) and size bonuses (Enlarge/Reduce Person). Subversions of this rule (which were not included in the core criteria, but are included in this new criteria) are Sharptooth and Jagged Tooth on existing natural attacks (which does not stack with itself, or any iteration thereof; this follows the precedent set by Magic Fang), means of subverting certain detections (such as Undetectable Alignment and Dead End), means of basic survival in harsh environments (such as Air Breathing, Water Breathing and Resist Planar Effects), enhancements and properties that affect equipment (provided that they do not stack with any other enhancements and properties that provide related or identical effects), and Create Magic Tattoo (the one direct violation of this rule for which there is no precedent; incidentally, it's also one that I'm tempted to take down, for this reason).
    SHOULD NOT: Be a spell that a Sorcerer or Wizard cannot cast, especially if it is a spell with "Range: Personal". This has been subverted on occasion, however (Examples: Tojanida Sight, Greenfire).

    I don't have comprehensive criteria for spells that should or should not be Permanencied, but this is a good place to start. I'll probably add more as they occur to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Veklim View Post
    You might wanna state that in your initial thread.
    I thought I did.

    I'll add it, thanks.

    Nice work otherwise, will ping you if I find anything not here already. Personally been houseruling on the spot for them for years, permanency was never supported enough to begin with, but the fact that they failed to mention it retrospectively in further supplements (i.e. This spell may be affected by the spell Permanency) leads me to wonder if it was a spell deliberately gossed over?
    Dracomortis and I have actually found a select few spells that actually do have Permanency written into their writing. I've only seen two splatbooks that have explicitly mentioned Permanency: Races of the Dragon and Sandstorm. Dracomortis pointed out spells in both lists, and I found another spell or two in Sandstorm that is eligible for Permanency as-written. There is no consistent patter for me that suggests that the spell was deliberately glossed over or simply forgotten, which leads me to think that there are maybe one or two people at Wizards of the Coast that ever cared about Permanency, and the rest never thought about spell interactions during the creation process.
    Last edited by Lonely Tylenol; 2011-12-30 at 12:38 AM.
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