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    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default [Pathfinder] Problematic third party spells

    I'm playing a divine caster in a our group's first try with pathfinder. Looking at the spells available in the srd, I've found that several of the 3rd party spells are overpowered, nonsensical, or just flat out badly conceived.

    Some examples:

    Countervailing: This spell turns any spell that penalizes your rolls or attributes into a boon of half the value. So if someone casts bestow curse on you, giving you a -6 penalty to strength, this spell removes the penalty and instead gives you a +3 bonus to strength. You could cast Ray of enfeeblement on yourself, voluntarily fail, then cast Countervailing to give yourself a bonus to strength equal to half the Ray of enfeeblement spell. What level is this spell you ask? 2nd perhaps? No. Its a zero level spell. In pathfinder, you can spam those all day.


    Surge: This spell, which is a swift action to cast, and as such must be used on your turn, grants the subject a +20 insight bonus on their initiative count. So let's say your initiative is 10, your fighter friend goes on 6, and the monster goes on 4. On your turn, you cast the spell on your fighter friend. His initiative is now 26. Meaning that he cannot act on his old initiative count of 6, and the monster on 4 actually gets to act before him.

    You could take the spell to instead mean that you can have your fighter friend act before you, meaning that after you cast on initiative 10, the DM rolls back to initiative 26 and resolves the fighter's action. The fighter then moves, triggering a fireball trap that hurts him, but outright kills you, leaving you in the delightful scenario of: "If I died on initiative count 26, who cast the spell?"

    Prophecy: This spell is an oracle only spell. Oracles work with spells known like sorcerers. Yet someone decided that this oracle-only spell, has a duration of 1 day/level. So as an oracle, you waste one of your precious spells known on a spell you'll cast maybe once a week. This would be a perfect cleric, or even paladin spell. But Oracle only? Strange.

    Valiant Resolve: This spell grants you damage reduction that can only be bypassed by non-lethal damage. That's weird enough as it is, because it isn't one of the types listed that magical weapons can eventually bypass with a high enough enhancement. Also, it grants a substantial DR of 10. Its a first level spell. DR 10 from a first level spell for 1 round per level.

    I'm sure there are more, as these are just from zero to third level spells on the Cleric/Oracle list. Of course, you can always say that 3rd party stuff needs to be approved by the DM, and you'd be right. However, the very existence of these spells on the 3rd party list compromises the trustworthiness of all the other spells on that list. I enjoy broadening my horizons when it comes to spell choice, especially since I'm playing a gish, so low level spells is all I got, but I'm just wary of picking from a list that seems, to be fair, not properly reviewed.

    Has anyone had a similar experience with these spells? Or has run into more of these gems on the arcane list?

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Killer Angel's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Problematic third party spells

    Quote Originally Posted by W3bDragon View Post
    Surge: This spell, which is a swift action to cast, and as such must be used on your turn, grants the subject a +20 insight bonus on their initiative count. So let's say your initiative is 10, your fighter friend goes on 6, and the monster goes on 4. On your turn, you cast the spell on your fighter friend. His initiative is now 26. Meaning that he cannot act on his old initiative count of 6, and the monster on 4 actually gets to act before him.
    Nope.
    Case 1:
    1st round: monster goes on 15, fighter on 10, you go on 7. Monsters acts, fighter acts, you use surge on you and do your other actions.
    2nd round: you act at 27, thus gaining a turn on the monster.

    Case 2: You go on 20, monster at 18, fighter is surprised. You cast surge on the fighter, that will go first in the following round.
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    Great analysis KA. I second all things you said
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    Great analysis KA, I second everything you said here.
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    If I have a player using Paladin in the future I will direct them to this. Good job.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Problematic third party spells

    Quote Originally Posted by Killer Angel View Post
    Nope.
    Case 1:
    1st round: monster goes on 15, fighter on 10, you go on 7. Monsters acts, fighter acts, you use surge on you and do your other actions.
    2nd round: you act at 27, thus gaining a turn on the monster.

    Case 2: You go on 20, monster at 18, fighter is surprised. You cast surge on the fighter, that will go first in the following round.
    Great analysis KA, I second everything you said here.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Problematic third party spells

    Quote Originally Posted by Killer Angel View Post
    Nope.
    Case 1:
    1st round: monster goes on 15, fighter on 10, you go on 7. Monsters acts, fighter acts, you use surge on you and do your other actions.
    2nd round: you act at 27, thus gaining a turn on the monster.

    Case 2: You go on 20, monster at 18, fighter is surprised. You cast surge on the fighter, that will go first in the following round.
    Case 3: Caster goes on 14, fighter goes on 10, monster goes on 6. Caster casts Surge on the fighter and does other stuff. When does the fighter go? On 30 the next round? On 10 this round and 30 the next round? Does he go right after the caster and can be considered to have delayed?

    I'm not looking for a right answer. I'm highlighting that since the spell is an exception in that it gives a bonus to your initiative count AFTER you've rolled initiative and started combat, it can cause interpretation problems like these.

    For the record, I'd probably adjudicate the spell for case 3 as the fighter taking a turn on initiative 10 on the turn the spell was cast and then on 30 the next round.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Problematic third party spells

    Quote Originally Posted by W3bDragon View Post
    Case 3: Caster goes on 14, fighter goes on 10, monster goes on 6. Caster casts Surge on the fighter and does other stuff. When does the fighter go? On 30 the next round? On 10 this round and 30 the next round? Does he go right after the caster and can be considered to have delayed?
    The latter one seems the right solution. After all, you still don't know if the monster will act befor or after the fighter: this way, you're sure your companion goes before the enemy.

    Quote Originally Posted by W3bDragon View Post
    I'm not looking for a right answer. I'm highlighting that since the spell is an exception in that it gives a bonus to your initiative count AFTER you've rolled initiative and started combat, it can cause interpretation problems like these.
    No surprise that exist spells with a vague text... at least, it's not ridiculous as countervailing.
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    Great analysis KA. I second all things you said
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    Great analysis KA, I second everything you said here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryu_Bonkosi View Post
    If I have a player using Paladin in the future I will direct them to this. Good job.
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    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Problematic third party spells

    Quote Originally Posted by Killer Angel View Post
    No surprise that exist spells with a vague text... at least, it's not ridiculous as countervailing.
    I agree its probably the least offender on the list. Its just frustrating to see these spells being written and printed without being checked. I'd put this spell in the "badly conceived" category.

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Frosty's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Problematic third party spells

    Countervailing is a good if it's a 5th level spell.
    NS2...it's time to evolve again.

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    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Problematic third party spells

    Oh yeah, never allow vision of lashmatsu. Dominate person at unlimited range? Why thank you.
    Quote Originally Posted by CTrees View Post
    Oh! Better example!

    DM: That's it! Rocks fall, everyone dies!
    PC1: I have improved evasion
    PC2: Natural twenty on the reflex save!
    PC3: My reflex save is +15, and I didn't roll a one, so I'm good.

    Yeah... do you see that working?

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Problematic third party spells

    Quote Originally Posted by W3bDragon View Post
    Prophecy: This spell is an oracle only spell. Oracles work with spells known like sorcerers. Yet someone decided that this oracle-only spell, has a duration of 1 day/level. So as an oracle, you waste one of your precious spells known on a spell you'll cast maybe once a week. This would be a perfect cleric, or even paladin spell. But Oracle only? Strange.
    Unlike bless, it's a single target spell. Also, it has a casting time of one hour. So you cast it every day, but just once, and pick a different party member every day.

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    RndmNumGen's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Problematic third party spells

    It seems like all of these poorly conceived spells come from the "101 X-level spells books". I guess if I had to come up with 909 different spells some of them would be pretty messed up, but an easy solution would be to just not allow these in a game - not unreasonable, since they're all third party.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Problematic third party spells

    I should point out that Surge is meant to be used during the act of rolling initiative, not post. Though poorly worded the idea is that you cast the spell prior to rolling or during the act of taking initiative thus you gain a +20 to your roll and the initiative order then becomes set what ever the out come. That said what you all have said is correct, I'm just relaying intent.

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    Default Re: [Pathfinder] Problematic third party spells

    Quote Originally Posted by Infernalbargain View Post
    Oh yeah, never allow vision of lashmatsu. Dominate person at unlimited range? Why thank you.
    Hmmm. I guess a Witch could actually do that. Not third-party, though. Of course, for a 7th level Witch Spell, you could just teleport to the person in question :P

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