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    Default [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    One thing that has really bugged me about 4e is that the wands don't have the same flavour or utility that they did in 3.5e. I think that the old way of making UMD checks and wands having charges was great. But I see those wands as weapons, not really fitting in to the new Implement system.
    So, witness the return of the Use Magic Device check and the Charged Wand!


    Charged Wands:

    -TAB-Each wand has an enhancement bonus, as a normal wand. A Charged Wand's Enhancement bonus only applies to the spell it contains. Depending on the Wand's Enhancement bonus, it will have a certain number of "Upgrade Points" to spend on adding spells to the wand and augmenting the spells a wand contains.
    -TAB-A Wand has a number of Upgrade Points equal to Enhancement Bonus -2. You Upgrade a wand by spending "Upgrade Points" on different upgrades (listed below). You can add detrimental effects, or Downgrade a wand to get more "Upgrade Points" to spend in other areas. Any spell that either has both the Arcane and Implement keywords, or has the Implement Keyword and is also a utility power, is eligible for use in a Charged Wand.
    -TAB-When using a Charged Wand, the user must make a Trained Arcana Check. The DC for the check is equal to 5 + Spell Level (see below) + The Charged Wand's level. A success means that the power works as normal. A failure results in the wasting of the action used to activate the wand and a charge of the wand. The level of the wand (for the purposes of calculating DCs and cost) is:
    Enhancement Bonus * 5. Subtract 1 from the level if it is an encounter, subtract two for a utility and subtract 3 for an at-will. Do not subtract any for a daily. (These Masteries are with reference to the original Frequency of the Spell, not counting any points invested in Mastery).

    These are the types of Upgrades available:

    1. Augmentation
    The Damage Dealing capabilities of the Spell - Upgrading this allows for more damage output from weaker spells. These upgrades are only applicable to attack spells.
    2. Spell Level
    The Original Power Level of the Spell contained within the Charged Wand - more powerful Wands can hold powers of a greater Spell Level.
    3. Mastery
    How often the wand can be used. Once per day, once every five or so minutes, or once every few seconds.
    4. Casting Time
    How long it takes to unleash a spell. This is normally a Standard Action, but Spells can be Quickened in order to cast faster.
    5. Metamagic
    These upgrades to a spell let you alter the spell slightly in order to make it better suit your purposes. These upgrades are only applicable to attack spells.
    6. Charges
    How many times a given Charged Wand can be used before it burns out.

    Augmentation:
    Spoiler
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    {table=header] Augmentation | Cost
    -3 Dice Size | -3
    -2 Dice Size | -2
    -1 Dice Size | -1
    Normal Dice Size | 0
    +1 Dice Size | +1
    +2 Dice Size | +2
    +3 Dice Size | +3[/table]
    You can Augment past Dice Size +3 or Degrade past Dice Size -3. It follows the same pattern.
    Dice Size Progression:
    1d4 > 1d6 > 1d8 > 2d4 > 1d10 > 1d12 > 2d6 > 2d8 > 4d4 > 2d10 > 2d12 > 4d6 > 4d8
    You cannot degrade a spell below 1d4 damage.
    If a spell base damage does not appear in the progression above, break it down and augment it separately (i.e. 5d10 is 2d10 + 2d10 + 1d10, so it augments to 5d12. 7d8 is 2d8 + 2d8 + 2d8 + 1d8, so it augments to 14d4).


    Spell Level:
    Spoiler
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    {table=header]Spell Level | Encounter | Daily | Utility
    1 | 1 | 1 | 2
    2 | 3 | 5 | 6
    3 | 7 | 9 | 10
    4 | 13 | 15 | 12
    5 | 17 | 19 | 16
    6 | 23 | 25 | 22
    7 | 27 | 29 | --[/table]

    {table=header] Enhancement Bonus | Cost 0 | Cost -1 | Cost -2 | Cost -3 | Cost -4 | Cost -5
    +1 | Spell Level 1 | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A
    +2 | Spell Level 2 | Spell Level 1 | N/A | N/A | N/A | N/A
    +3 | Spell Level 3 | Spell Level 2 | Spell Level 1 | N/A | N/A | N/A
    +4 | Spell Level 4 | Spell Level 3 | Spell Level 2 | Spell Level 1 | N/A | N/A
    +5 | Spell Level 5 | Spell Level 4 | Spell Level 3 | Spell Level 2 | Spell Level 1 | N/A
    +6 | Spell Level 6 | Spell Level 5 | Spell Level 4 | Spell Level 3 | Spell Level 2 | Spell Level 1 [/table]


    Mastery:
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    {table=header]Base Mastery | New Mastery | Cost
    At-Will | At-Will | 0
    At-Will | Encounter | -3
    At-Will | Daily | -6
    Encounter | Encounter | 0
    Encounter | At-Will | 3
    Encounter | Daily | -3
    Daily | Daily | 0
    Daily | Encounter | 3
    Daily | At-Will | 6[/table]

    A Wand that is usable At-Will is still only usable once per round.


    Casting Time:
    Spoiler
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    {table=header]Base Speed | New Speed | Cost
    Minor | Minor | 0
    Minor | Move | -3
    Minor | Standard | -6
    Move | Move | 0
    Move | Minor | 3
    Move | Standard | -3
    Standard | Standard | 0
    Standard | Minor | 3
    Standard | Minor | 6[/table]


    Metamagic:
    Spoiler
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    {table=header]Metamagic | Cost | Effect
    Illusory | 1 | The power gains the Illusion and keyword, and now targets Will defence.
    Chilled | 1 | The power gains the Cold keyword and deals Cold damage in addition to existing damage types.
    Icy | 1 | The power gains the Cold keyword and deals entirely Cold damage. It now targets Fortitude defence.
    Hot | 1 | The power gains the Fire keyword and deals Fire damage in addition to existing damage types.
    Flaming | 1 | The power gains the Fire keyword and deals entirely Fire damage. It now targets Reflex defence.
    Psywarped | 1 | The power gains the Psychic keyword and deals Psychic damage in addition to existing damage types.
    Psionic | 1 |The power gains the Psychic keyword and deals entirely Psychic damage. It now targets Will defence.
    Expand | 1 | A Close or Area Attack gains +1 to the Burst/Blast.
    Shrink | -1 | A Close or Area Attack loses 1 to the size of the Burst/Blast (minimum Blast 2 / Burst 1)[/table]

    More Metamagic to come - and more Metamagic ideas are always welcome.


    Charges:
    Spoiler
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    A Wand by default has 60 Charges and a Charge cost of 0. It can gain one "Upgrade Point" by reducing the number of Charges to 30. Each 30 Charges above 60 cost one "Upgrade Point". Charges must be bought (or "sold") in groups of 30.


    EDIT: Added pretty tables and changed augmentation.
    EDIT 2: Increased the overall value of Mastery (Frequency) and Quickening. Cleaned up some of the mechanics and tables.
    EDIT 3: Added some sample Metamagic "Upgrades".
    Last edited by Shadow_Elf; 2009-02-21 at 05:42 PM.
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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    OOoh fun.

    Could I use this with Warlock spells as well or is this a Wizard thing? I would love to make a wand of Hellish Rebuke that can be used as a swift action or somesuch.

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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    Could you please define "one step of casting time", "one step of frequency", and "wand's level range"?

    Also, so I can do some theoretical balancing, what is the item level of a +1 charged wand of a level 1 daily spell?
    Last edited by Edge of Dreams; 2009-01-04 at 06:44 PM.
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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Edge of Dreams View Post
    Could you please define "one step of casting time", "one step of frequency", and "wand's level range"?
    Casting Time:
    Minor Action < Move Action < Standard Action

    Frequency:
    At-Will > Encounter > Daily
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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Limos View Post
    OOoh fun.

    Could I use this with Warlock spells as well or is this a Wizard thing? I would love to make a wand of Hellish Rebuke that can be used as a swift action or somesuch.
    Yes, it works for Warlock Spells too. And any Bard, Artificer or Swordmage powers with the implement keyword.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edge of Dreams View Post
    Could you please define "one step of casting time", "one step of frequency", and "wand's level range"?

    Also, so I can do some theoretical balancing, what is the item level of a +1 charged wand of a level 1 daily spell?
    Okay, this is how I figured things to work:

    Spell Level:
    +1 Enhancement allows for level 1 dailies and encounters. (Spell Level 1)
    +2 Enhancement allows for up to level 5 dailies and level 3 Encounters. (Spell Level 2)
    +3 Enhancement allows for up to level 9 dailies and level 7 Encounters. (Spell Level 3)
    +4 Enhancement allows for up to level 15 dailies and level 13 Encounters. (Spell Level 4)
    +5 Enhancement allows for up to level 19 dailies and level 17 Encounters. (Spell Level 5)
    +6 Enhancement allows for up to level 25 dailies and level 23 Encounters. (Spell Level 6)

    Level 29 Dailies and Level 27 Encounters (Spell Level 7) cannot be entered into a wand.
    At-Will Spells are always treated as Spell Level 1. They do not automatically double at level 21 (you have to Augment them).
    Still working on utilities - they'll be a bit harder, since you can't augment them.
    Mando Ninja'd me on the Frequency and Speed progressions.

    Also, any suggestions on making my wall of text more understandable?
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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_Elf View Post
    Also, any suggestions on making my wall of text more understandable?
    MAYBE turn the lists into tables?
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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    Not sure I like the nova potential here. Take a slightly lower-level wand with a daily power, reduce it to an at will with low damage dice, and you get a wand which spams dailies, albeit with lower damage and less to-hit. Even encounter powers aren't intended to be used this much, i.e. Force Volley. The cost for lower level spells is trivial.

    Seems too powerful. Also, the item scaling feels off, since the norm is 1/2 level. This might be for balance reasons, but it doesn't prevent low level daily spam.

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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    Edited in easier to read tables and some new stuff.
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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    The cost for limited charges should be the limiting factor on the nova potential in theory. (Of course having played 4E a grand total of ONCE, you should take my comments with a grain of salt).
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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    The cost for limited charges should be the limiting factor on the nova potential in theory. (Of course having played 4E a grand total of ONCE, you should take my comments with a grain of salt).
    That and the fact that each use requires an Arcana check helps. And it can't be used as a normal implement, so its only good for casting the spell it came with.
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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    "Grand cost"?

    Not so much with low enhancement wands. Remember, a +2 wand costs 1/25 what a +4 wand does (etc), and still grants Sleep at-will with 60 charges. That's all of 30 gp per casting.

    Oooh, and since it's under leveled, the DC 16 is trivial. Lack of normal implement function makes this hurt even less.

    That's the real problem here, below normal level daily spam, and huge variety in low level powers (This isn't an option normally, because Proficiency is too important). Flames of Phlegethos is still better than any warlock at will by level 21, and guess what? It's also a mere 1800 for 30 charges of 3d8 (higher average than Hellish rebuke, say, or Eldritch blast, and at a very low cost, along with an Effect)

    Actually, I'm not quite sure this is a problem, but I have a hunch that if you check it, it results in a significant power increase, even if we disregard Sleep.

    Oh, also, swordmage reliable powers? What do those do?

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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    "Grand cost"?

    Not so much with low enhancement wands. Remember, a +2 wand costs 1/25 what a +4 wand does (etc), and still grants Sleep at-will with 60 charges. That's all of 30 gp per casting.

    Oooh, and since it's under leveled, the DC 16 is trivial. Lack of normal implement function makes this hurt even less.

    That's the real problem here, below normal level daily spam, and huge variety in low level powers (This isn't an option normally, because Proficiency is too important). Flames of Phlegethos is still better than any warlock at will by level 21, and guess what? It's also a mere 1800 for 30 charges of 3d8 (higher average than Hellish rebuke, say, or Eldritch blast, and at a very low cost, along with an Effect)

    Actually, I'm not quite sure this is a problem, but I have a hunch that if you check it, it results in a significant power increase, even if we disregard Sleep.

    Oh, also, swordmage reliable powers? What do those do?
    1. Look at the Lullaby Weapon - It can essentially let you cast sleep on one enemy once per day, FOREVER, without charges. Also of note, your accuracy with your At-Will Sleep Spam is going to be the pits - unless you're already a Wizard, your Intelligence will not be great. Your Enhancement will also be sub-par, which makes a very very big difference at higher levels. Also of note is that the minimum enhancement for an At-Will Sleep Wand is +3, and that would make it only 30 Charges. I am still developing a formula for Wand Level, but I think this would be unfeasible on any non-wizard character.
    All that being said, I might make not damaging attack-spells a no-go. Not sure though.

    2. I'd have to look at the Warlock entry in the PHB to do all the comparisons. I will eventually, but I don't think it is too much of an issue.

    3. I don't think (again, I will check) that there are any Swordmage attacks with the Reliable keyword that are not Weapon attacks.
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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_Elf View Post
    1. Look at the Lullaby Weapon - It can essentially let you cast sleep on one enemy once per day, FOREVER, without charges. Also of note, your accuracy with your At-Will Sleep Spam is going to be the pits - unless you're already a Wizard, your Intelligence will not be great. Your Enhancement will also be sub-par, which makes a very very big difference at higher levels. Also of note is that the minimum enhancement for an At-Will Sleep Wand is +3, and that would make it only 30 Charges. I am still developing a formula for Wand Level, but I think this would be unfeasible on any non-wizard character.
    All that being said, I might make not damaging attack-spells a no-go. Not sure though.

    2. I'd have to look at the Warlock entry in the PHB to do all the comparisons. I will eventually, but I don't think it is too much of an issue.

    3. I don't think (again, I will check) that there are any Swordmage attacks with the Reliable keyword that are not Weapon attacks.
    Not so. Sleep is level 1, so it's -1 for below level, -1 for charge, +2 for at will, which is 0 points.

    Oh, and here I am being stupid.
    "Serves as an implement for the spell it contains", means of course, the enhancement bonus counts for that spell. Ouch. That should keep this balanced, since - whatever to hit hurts a lot, and makes the difference between (very weak) daily and at-will pretty easily.

    Oh, right, implement keyword. Duuh.

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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    I think I'm going to make Quickening and Frequency cost more. Changing the action type is far more significant that upgrading damage. Let me think about it.

    And any suggestions on a level formula would be much appreciated.
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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    Oh, also, swordmage reliable powers? What do those do?
    The only one I can remember off the top of my head is Vorpal Doom, which unleashes massive death on the target to the tune of being the only 7[W] Swordmage attack and unleashing Heavy Blade Mastery regardless of the user's possession of the feat (i.e. Crits on 19-20, and causes all further attacks made with the weapon against the target to crit on the same).

    I don't think you need to worry about Reliable powers: Swordmages can't use wands. Their only implement is a sword.
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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Knight View Post
    The only one I can remember off the top of my head is Vorpal Doom, which unleashes massive death on the target to the tune of being the only 7[W] Swordmage attack and unleashing Heavy Blade Mastery regardless of the user's possession of the feat (i.e. Crits on 19-20, and causes all further attacks made with the weapon against the target to crit on the same).

    I don't think you need to worry about Reliable powers: Swordmages can't use wands. Their only implement is a sword.
    The point of these wands is that they're different. Anyone with a high enough Arcana check can use one - but the wand only acts as an implement for the spell contained therein.
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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    As well, Vorpal Doom is a weapon power, and therefore ineligible to be put into a charged want.

    I think it should cost more points to quicken or improve the frequency of higher level spells, so that it's not as easy to get chain lightning (lvl 23) at-will as it is to get chill strike (lvl 1). I don't even think it should be possible, really. Here's a table as an example, but it may not be well balanced.

    Casting Time:

    {TABLE]Spell Level|Quickness Change|Cost
    1-2|1 step more quick| 1
    1-2|1 step less quick|-1
    3-4|1 step more quick| 2
    3-4|1 step less quick|-2
    5-6|1 step more quick| 3
    5-6|1 step less quick|-2[/TABLE]

    Frequency:

    {TABLE]Spell Level|Frequency Change|Cost
    1-2|1 step more frequent| 1
    1-2|1 step less frequent|-1
    3-4|1 step more frequent| 2
    3-4|1 step less frequent|-2
    5-6|1 step more frequent| 3
    5-6|1 step less frequent|-2[/TABLE]

    There are a few small changes as well, some of which I've spoken to you about. These include making the requirements for being eligible to put into a charged wand to have the Arcane and Implement keywords, or to have the Arcane keyword and be a utility power, since only one wizard utility power has the implement keyword, and I think it was a typo. I also suggest limiting the use of charged wands to one use per round, so you don't have people casting three attack spells per turn with a quickened wand.

    I'm also a bit unclear as to how you spend points. To me the intuitive way to do so would be to take your point total, let's say 2 as an example (+4 wand). Then you can gain points by taking detrimental features (such as reducing frequency), and spend points by taking beneficial features (such as increasing damage) until your point total is 0. For this example, say you want to augment the spell once and quicken it once, which leaves us with 0 points. In your example, it seems you have to take detrimental features and add beneficial ones until your point total is back to what it started as. If this is the case, I see no reason for starting with more points for higher enhancement bonuses, since the number is arbitrary. I think I must be misreading this, could you please explain it to me?

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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    Added some content, balanced some stuff, and made buying things more clear. And the use of the wands is now more difficult.
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    Default Re: [4e] - Wands Made the Old Fashioned Way [PEACH]

    Added Metamagic (Yay!).

    Also, trying to figure how reliable formulae for Cast DCs and Wand level. Since they're independent, its proving to be quite a challenge.

    How does this sound? (for balance terms):
    DC 10 + Spell Level + Wand Level Arcana Check required to activate a wand.
    Wand Level is equal to 5*Enhancement bonus. -1 if it contains an encounter power, -2 if it contains a utility power and -3 if it contains an at-will power.
    So a +5 Wand of Disintegrate is a level 25 Item.
    But a +5 Wand of Magic Missile is a level 22 Item.
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