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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    what third thing? could you describe it a little bit? what does it do? is it a spell like enhance wild shape, or is it a feat like natural spell?
    Probably Venomfire. CLd6 acid damage on natural attacks, if the target has a natural poison. Typically cast on Fleshakers so that a druid can deposit a pallet truck of six-sided dice onto the table.

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Probably Venomfire. CLd6 acid damage on natural attacks, if the target has a natural poison. Typically cast on Fleshakers so that a druid can deposit a pallet truck of six-sided dice onto the table.
    Are you suggesting that Venomfire should be banned? I was thinking of capping the damage.

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShriekingDrake View Post
    Are you suggesting that Venomfire should be banned? I was thinking of capping the damage.
    no. i may have forgotten to say that entirely:

    basically, any one of the 3 you can have. but taking one bans the other 2.

    also, i think it is bite of the lycanthrope, not venomfire


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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by GilesTheCleric View Post
    I don't know if you're running a strictly no-evil campaign or not, but from the perspective of a player cleric, I can say that many of the spells with an [evil] descriptor are things that seem too powerful for their level. Particularly things from the BoVD, which gives save-or-dies much earlier than non-[evil] spells, as well as a number of spells with hefty ability drain or damage, again at fairly low levels. Removing (at least some) [evil] spells seems reasonable to me if the party is N to G.

    Any of the Quest/Geas spells seem like they might be a bit unbalancing in the hands of PCs as well.

    Here's a quick list of some divine spells that I feel are especially over-powered for their level (I don't know anything about arcane spells).

    0: slash tongue (BoVD)

    huh? 1 damage, minor debuff, fortneg. what? just about on par with inflict minor.

    1: heartache (BoVD)

    daze without the hd cap. seems powerful, but is balanced by both being a 1st so having a low dc, and being mind-affecting, so unusable on a lot of enemies.


    seething eyebane (BoVD)

    extremely situational, pissant damage, and a "corrupt spell" which means that it deals a big fat chunk of ability damage to you (in this case 1d6 con) when you cast it. pretty hardcore for a 1st level spell. the best spell in the world to cast on beholders if you can get them to fail the fort save (not hard between poor fort saves and bad con, especially if you debuff con/saves)


    2: fangs of the vampire king (BoVD)
    gives a bite. what's the big deal? spirit worm's been dealing con for a level already at this point

    investiture of the X (BoVD, all of these spells)

    2 things:
    1) these spells are not that powerful
    2) they're not in bovd, but the fiendish codices.

    lahm's finger darts (BoVD)

    no argument here, this spell is awesome. no-save dex damage. the go-to if your dm bans shivering touch.

    necrotic cyst (BoVD, and all of its related spells)
    again, no argument here, the cyst spells are very powerful, buto once more, these spells are not in bovd, but libris mortis

    3: clutch of orcus (BoVD)

    huh? this spell sucks. 1d3 hp damage per round as a 3rd level spell? the paralyzation seems cool, but it requires you to burn your standard every single turn in order to keep them that way plus they get a save every round o end the effect. good if you have a rogue in your party and the enemy has a poor will save, but not on par for a 3rd level spell (3rd level spells include things like haste, slow, fireball, and lightning bolt. does this seem as powerful as any of those?) plus it only works on humanoids. the spc (spell compendium) boosts the damage to 1d12/round which is still awful, but then changes the dc to fort, removing any chance of you being able to use it successfully

    I guess if you used the bovd version against a target with a poor will while under the effect of sonorous hum (autoconcentrates on your spells for you) it might be worth it, but even then it's a poor return on your investment

    love's pain (BoVD)
    part of a devastating one-two punch of mindrape/love's pain. make a target love person x, cast love's pain on them, kill him. if it had an addendum in there about mind control magic not being allowed to change who this person loves, it'd be fine, but as is, you're right, it's pretty op

    ROTTING CURSE OF URFESTRA (BoVD - definitely get rid of this one)
    not that bad. 1d6 con won't kill anybody at this level, plus it only deals damage 1/hour. break enchantment is a 3rd and most people have a scroll or two of it handy. plus it's a corrupt spell, so you're taking 1d6 con to give them 1d6 con. that's a terrible deal, since they may have lost just as much con as you, but you're also down a 3rd lvl spell slot, so you're coming out behind.

    wrack (BoVD)
    humanoid only makes this pretty limited.

    4: infernal transformation, lesser (BoVD, and all of the related spells)

    this spell isn't in bovd. I'm afraid I don't remember where it is, but you're not gaining anything except beard attacks. you don't get any sqs or anything, so it's behind other spells of the same level (not just polymorph, everything's behind that) but even things like trollshape or that spell that turns you into a bulette

    yochlol's blessing (DotU)

    you gain tentacles. uhhhh, so? the damage sucks. you could deal more with lower level summons at this point. plus you have to be a drow to cast it.

    5: beblith blessing (DotU)

    again, all you get is some crappy natural attacks, which claws of the beast has been giving since level 1, if you love clawing people with spells instead of doing magic on them. you don't get any of the good stuff from bebelith like its reach, so this is a terrible use of a 5th (5th is when normal death effects come online, notably slay living)

    heartclutch (BoVD)

    slay living, but at close range, plus you have to infect yourself with soul rot to cast it which can be probelmatic to say the least. seems like a bad trade. a rod of reach can do the same thing without getting you sick.

    morality undone (BoVD)

    strike one: mind-affecting. many things immune

    what exactly about this spell makes you feel it's overpowered? it sure is fun, but I wouldnt' call it overpowered.it doesn't really do anything at all.

    6+: things are pretty balanced by this point. But save-or-die before 6 seems ridiculous in my opinion.
    I appreciate your candor in admitting you don't know much about arcane spells. on the one hand, some evil spells are indeed some of the strongest in the game (mindrape, anyone?) most of them (especially the ones in bovd) are not very strong.

    the normal level for SoD effects is 5, so bovd isn't breaking any molds there.

    geas/lesser geas again are not powerful. a good rule is, the more descriptors something has, the less powerful it is. it's mind-affecting (can't use it against many foes) a compulsion (many foes have bonuses or immunities) and language dependent (so they have to understand you) the lesser version has an HD cap of 7, and allows a will save, so it's not breaking any games. the regular, saveless version is pretty badass, but due to all the drawbacks of the spell, it's not exactly rare that you'll find enemies you can't use it on

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazyan View Post
    Probably Venomfire. CLd6 acid damage on natural attacks, if the target has a natural poison. Typically cast on Fleshakers so that a druid can deposit a pallet truck of six-sided dice onto the table.
    my favorite target (though less optimal obviously) for venomfire is the guardian naga (with either aberration wild shape or momf 6+ on the table)
    while it has only 1 attack on the table, its poison deals 1d10 con and it can spit it as a touch attack at a range of 20 feet without you having to take that dumb feat chain.

    what's better than venomfire? venomfire without even having to get into melee range!
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  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    I'd like to say that I think its good to both say at the table 'please don't bring in anything too cheesy' and to have a pre-emptive ban list of the worst contenders. The reason being, some people like being able to go all-out with their builds or ideas. Having to constantly ask themselves 'is this going to far?' can take the fun out of it. If you make it clear what kinds of things are going too far, and also remove particular things that have been problematic in the past, it helps a lot there.
    I agree.

    As far as spells to ban, hm... I'd add Masochism/Sadism to the list, due to the fact that hitpoints tend to be nonlinear with level (due to Con buff items), and so the benefit of the spells scales superlinearly.
    Can you expand on this a bit more. I am not seeing where these spells should be banned.

    Similarly, I personally have an issue with the various spells that do things like add +20 to a skill check (Guidance of the Avatar)
    I agree here.

    or 5+CL up to 15 (Divine Insight) or +30 (Glibness) and so on - I didn't ban them in my current campaign and I'm regretting it as everyone has sort of reached a glum realization that skill investment is irrelevant when one of the the party's casters can just pop Divine Insight and automatically do better than anyone at their best skill.[/quote]
    I think these can be fixed rather than banned, don't you think?

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShriekingDrake View Post
    I agree.



    Can you expand on this a bit more. I am not seeing where these spells should be banned.


    I agree here.

    or 5+CL up to 15 (Divine Insight) or +30 (Glibness) and so on - I didn't ban them in my current campaign and I'm regretting it as everyone has sort of reached a glum realization that skill investment is irrelevant when one of the the party's casters can just pop Divine Insight and automatically do better than anyone at their best skill.
    I think these can be fixed rather than banned, don't you think?[/QUOTE]

    with things like delay death and/or forced share pain on the table, sadism and masochism alike can deal functionally infinite damage and allow you to receive functionally infinite damage. this means the bonuses they give are similarly functionally infinite. it's the basic idea behind the omniscifier, the only thing that can kill punpun.

    I'd disagree with spells that boost skills. they still eat up your slots, and every time you cast guidance of the avatar or divine insight, that's a barkskin or a blur or alter self or whatever you could have cast going down the drain. in my group, we prefer to let skillful characters do the skill things so the spellcasters can do stuff that can't be repilcated with skills. opportunity cost, in other words.
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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    As a blanket ban, anything that's Save: No and SR: No is generally bad juju. Touch attacks are notoriously easy to land (and get easier as levels go up due to bigger monsters), so they're not going to stop the ability from working. These are very popular spells to stack metamagic on, so you might want to add something like "metamagic that normally adds levels to a spell always increases a spell's level by at least 1 even if a class ability applies it for free or feats would reduce it to less than 1, and 0-cost metamagic cannot have any reducers applied to it". Additionally, you should add some sort of "only affects effects of an equal or lower level than this" clause to the blanket protection spells (Mind Blank, True Seeing) to avoid making the Illusion and Enchantment schools useless. If the caster wants to truly be immune to the schools, they ought to Heighten the spell and use a slot that matters.
    Last edited by Flickerdart; 2012-11-14 at 02:34 PM.
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    Frankly, a Wizard can suck even more than a Fighter could ever dream of sucking. A Fighter can stab himself to death, but only a Wizard could Plane Shift to some horrible far realm to be tortured for an eternity of insanity.


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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    As a blanket ban, anything that's Save: No and SR: No is generally bad juju. Touch attacks are notoriously easy to land (and get easier as levels go up due to bigger monsters), so they're not going to stop the ability from working. These are very popular spells to stack metamagic on, so you might want to add something like "metamagic that normally adds levels to a spell always increases a spell's level by at least 1 even if a class ability applies it for free or feats would reduce it to less than 1, and 0-cost metamagic cannot have any reducers applied to it".
    I'm curious what the party would do against a Golem or other creature with Spell Immunity. I mean sure that blanket really does patch a lot of destructive and cheesy spells, but it also puts the Caster players at a serious disadvantage against say a Flesh Golem or any Golem in particular. They have to either have some seriously forethought on the game or have the Uncanny Forethought feat. Just an observation on this though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Additionally, you should add some sort of "only affects effects of an equal or lower level than this" clause to the blanket protection spells (Mind Blank, True Seeing) to avoid making the Illusion and Enchantment schools useless. If the caster wants to truly be immune to the schools, they ought to Heighten the spell and use a slot that matters.
    This. This. Dear god this. Mind Blank should not make the caster immune to Epic Divination spells
    Last edited by Arcanist; 2012-11-14 at 03:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    I'm curious what the party would do against a Golem or other creature with Spell Immunity.
    Summons, illusions, buffing the melee, battlefield control, Save but no SR debuffs like Glitterdust...
    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Frankly, a Wizard can suck even more than a Fighter could ever dream of sucking. A Fighter can stab himself to death, but only a Wizard could Plane Shift to some horrible far realm to be tortured for an eternity of insanity.


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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Summons, illusions, buffing the melee, battlefield control, Save but no SR debuffs like Glitterdust...
    Summons, Buffing, Battlefield control and Glitterdust like spells are all clear and crystal, but don't they just have immunity to all mind-affecting effects?

    Regardless of this my question has been answered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    it's the basic idea behind the omniscifier, the only thing that can kill punpun.
    Mort is the concept with which you kill punpun

    part of punpun's ascension is the omnificer trick.


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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnaeus View Post
    Thanks Blades, I had forgotten that one. I agree, that one sucks in a low/mid op group. I still don't think it is worth banning the spell, only a caveat that it should be used responsibly, or at most adding a sentence to the spell that it only confers certain types of ex abilities, like senses and skill buffs.
    I don't think wraithstrike is so bad unless it's Persisted, which is more a strike against the one-size-fits-all nature of Persist. (Shameless plug: I homebrewed a fix that improves that.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    Summons, Buffing, Battlefield control and Glitterdust like spells are all clear and crystal, but don't they just have immunity to all mind-affecting effects?
    Most illusions are not mind-affecting, and mindless creatures have no special protection against them (they may even be more vulnerable, depending on their programming/instincts, since they lack the reasoning to guess an effect is illusionary).
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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    With respect to Masochism, Sadism:

    Quote Originally Posted by ShriekingDrake View Post
    Can you expand on this a bit more. I am not seeing where these spells should be banned.
    Well this is a campaign scale thing. Yes, they are implicated in infinite combos, but putting that aside you can still end up with scaling problems. For one thing, they contribute to the 'magic makes skills useless by giving much bigger bonuses than non-magic sources' problem even at low level.

    So Sadism: Say you just have someone who casts this and then smacks a tree for 5d6 damage with a reserve feat or something - on average thats not a really big deal - +1 to saves/attacks/whatever. However now lets say you have someone who fireballs a group of 10 kobolds, each for 5d6 damage. Now thats a +10 to saves/attacks/skill checks (the relevant one here). Lets say you instead fireball 100 kobolds. Thats now a +100 to same. Thus, the scaling can get a bit strange if you take the time to round up some victims (thematically appropriate for evil I guess, but I consider the ability to get a +100 to things at 5th level to be a bit beyond the pale for most campaigns). If you have really exploitive players, it won't be kobolds, it will be a bag of rats (or some non-vermin thing that the DM can't simply say is a swarm). If you make it 'max damage to one target' it helps a bit but I'm still leery of the uncapped nature of it.

    Masochism has slightly different problems, as you can use tricks to basically put off or ignore damage while still taking it for the purposes of Masochism: Delay Death and Indomitability are good examples. Even we avoid the obviously cheesy uses and just ask how Masochism scales with level, its kind of different than spells like it due to being nonlinear. And thats because HP is nonlinear with level.

    HP goes linearly with level if you consider fixed Con, but at higher levels a +2, then a +4, then a +6 Con item become standard. Improved Toughness is also not a terrible feat choice if you're otherwise squishy, and you have access to things like False Life or other temp hp sources (or, if you hadn't already banned it, Polymorph). So basically, unlike other spells that give numerical buffs to attacks, saves, and skills, Masochism scales faster than linear and has no cap (whereas most such spells scale linearly up to a cap then stop). Depending on the nature of your campaign, this may not become a problem by the time you're done (if you're doing Lv7-13, you probably won't see someone break it). But at high level play it can become a bit silly. Sadism is probably worse in all cases except the infinite combos though.


    As far as the resource balance of skill-boosting spells, I think its a matter of taste. My group certainly hasn't 'let skillful characters do it to save spells', because the Divine Insight guy can hit a higher check than anyone else in the party on the one or two things he wants to each day. So when its important, they default to him. Thankfully, he basically called the skill monkey role for his character near the beginning of the campaign, so it wasn't a nasty surprise for people and doesn't overlap other roles too much. I did think to ban Guidance of the Avatar, which basically does what Divine Insight does but better, and stacks with it. A command-word at will Guidance of the Avatar item would be 10800gp, compared to 40000gp for an item that gave you a +20 to a single skill.

    Furthermore, the skill buff spells get much worse during downtime - e.g., the party wants to research a question so the party's cleric loads up on +35 to a Knowledge check from spells alone, asks the question, and the party does nothing for a day. It doesn't 'break' the game, but it has a big impact on how it is played
    Last edited by NichG; 2012-11-14 at 06:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShriekingDrake View Post
    Druids are powerful enough, it seems, and I recall some challenges with assuming the extraordinary abilities of certain forms. Though, I can't recall anything off hand. It is possible that I'm misremembering.
    I don't do druids for the most part, so no comment here.

    With respect to Shivering Touch, I think this is a useful, flavorful spell that can be "fixed" rather than banned.
    I only suggested banning it because it -has- to be fixed to be useable. As is it's A) confusing and B) can easily be interpreted as ridiculously powerful. I'd suggest making the dex damage into a non-stacking penalty, or removing the duration and making it a one-cast, one-touch spell.

    I'm not sure whether/how Wraithstrike is broken. Can someone make the case either way? Or can it be fixed rather than banned?
    It's not broken on its own, but it can be combined with some pretty standard optimization tricks (notably DMM persist) to get out of hand pretty quickly. If you want AC to still be a thing, cut it off from persist. One-cast, one-touch makes a lot of spells much more reasonable.
    Quote Originally Posted by ShriekingDrake View Post
    I agree that Shivering Touch is a mess. But I think it can be fixed rather than nixed. It's interesting enough as a spell.
    See above.

    I find it cumbersome to manage this spell. It's like the problem with wishes, people end up using a lot of time arguing of nuances. (I suppose this is an argument for getting rid of wishes). I admit that I put Contingency on the list with some reticence. I'd be interested in more opinions on this one.
    Contingency does require DM adjudication, so I could see where you wouldn't want to deal with the headache. But with the worst offender for combination (celerity) off the table, it's not likely to be strung together with anything that would be too hard to call. YMMV.
    So, are you suggesting to get rid of Polymorph and Baleful Polymorph (and Alter Self?)?
    Polymorph and alter self, yes. Baleful polymorph's probably okay, it's just an ordinary save-or-die really.

    I agree that wishes are a problem, but I think there are other issues as well . . . the ability to access spells of a higher level via Planar Binding spells, for instance. There are a variety of ways to get specific/named creatures to come to your aid and that predictability seems better. I suppose one thing to consider is listing possible creatures from which to choose or limiting--the way Summon Monster and Summon Nature's Ally do--the summoned creatures can act.
    The thing about planar binding is that unless the DM is obscenely forgiving, logic dictates that trying to circumvent making a reasonable deal with the called outsider should end in very bad things. If a player is willing to strike a bargain, usually involving a sum of gold or a favor, to get a higher level spell effect, why not let him? He could just try and find a scroll after all. I see calling spells as player generated plot-hooks more than abusable spells. Of course, it's not at all against the RAW or the spirit of the rules to simply say no to called creatures granting wishes. The planar binding spells have a clause in them that says plainly that the called creature will never accept a completely unreasonable offer. I can go into the details of why gate won't work for wishes either upon request.

    On wishes; this one's easy. If you don't cast it yourself you have to deal with the possibility of miscommunication with the entity granting the wish even if you're going for the safe-list. If you cast it yourself for anything that's not on the safelist. You're knowingly opening yourself up to the DM going "Lol, no. Instead you get this horribly twisted wish." If you're not burning 5k experience on a safe-list effect, you're taking your life into your own hands and hoping you don't get screwed. (protip: keep the request reasonable and a good DM will be less likely to screw you over.)
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2012-11-14 at 07:02 PM.
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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    *snip*

    geas/lesser geas again are not powerful. a good rule is, the more descriptors something has, the less powerful it is. it's mind-affecting (can't use it against many foes) a compulsion (many foes have bonuses or immunities) and language dependent (so they have to understand you) the lesser version has an HD cap of 7, and allows a will save, so it's not breaking any games. the regular, saveless version is pretty badass, but due to all the drawbacks of the spell, it's not exactly rare that you'll find enemies you can't use it on

    *snip*
    Perhaps you're right about lesser geas, but it seems to me that any Bbeg (or anyone with significance in the world) could be seriously messed with via Geas, Familial Geas, Undying Geas, etc. If it lands on the Bbeg themselves, then the whole plot arc could be ruined.

    Thank you for the analysis of the spells I chose; I probably should have put some reasons in the initial post. I'd like to support my choice of a few of them, but I'll bow to your greater knowledge of game balance as a whole (like comparable arcane spells at similar levels) rather than my focus on just what's on the cleric spell list. Of course, the OP will make choices based upon his own opinions.

    Slash Tongue: Exactly. It makes Inflict Minor obsolete except for spontaneous casting.

    Urfestra: Without any form of protection or mitigating spell, this means certain death after only a single spell (so SoD) at 3rd.

    Blessings: 8 tentacle attacks screams "precision damage" to me (I believe they have 10 or 15 reach, as well, which is nice for AoO). At 7th level, a rogue might have a max of four or five attacks (moderately COed).

    Morality Undone: Alignment change? That has all sorts of repercussions (matching deity, PrCs, etc), but especially hefty RP ones. I remember getting even just a little taint on one of my clerics was pretty bad, but this is the whole deal.

    Many of the mind-affecting spells seem powerful to me, I think, because I'm used to fighting humanoids rather than dungeon-crawling, so it's easy to pick which spell to use depending whether the opponent is a magic-user, rogue, or fighter.
    Last edited by GilesTheCleric; 2012-11-15 at 12:34 AM. Reason: more detail

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    I understand your caution about these spells, but they haven't crossed the threshold for me. I may not be reading carefully enough.

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    On wishes; this one's easy. If you don't cast it yourself you have to deal with the possibility of miscommunication with the entity granting the wish even if you're going for the safe-list. If you cast it yourself for anything that's not on the safelist. You're knowingly opening yourself up to the DM going "Lol, no. Instead you get this horribly twisted wish." If you're not burning 5k experience on a safe-list effect, you're taking your life into your own hands and hoping you don't get screwed. (protip: keep the request reasonable and a good DM will be less likely to screw you over.)
    One thing to add to this: most of the outsiders likely to be called for wish granting duties are evil. As in, puppy-kicking, baby-eating, will-screw-you-over-for-lulz evil. As a DM, I'd see it as my duty to screw with any PC who attempts to force such an entity to grant wishes for them.
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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    The problem with gating or binding wish-granting outsiders is that they can grant wishes. And they've been doing it, for each other and themselves, for a hell of a lot longer than the character has existed.

    So.. yeah. Kn: Planes check tells you it's a BAD idea to go hitting up some noble efreet for wishes, and then the player still does it? Say hi to the blinged out circle magicked epic magic wielding, tricked out to high hell and back efreeti hit squad that comes after him.

    Solely for the purposes of torturing him horrifically for all eternity.

    Because if they wanted to, they could just wish away his existence - not like he's backed up with contingencies and alternate timeline astral seeds like they are to defend against that sort of thing.

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by GilesTheCleric View Post
    Perhaps you're right about lesser geas, but it seems to me that any Bbeg (or anyone with significance in the world) could be seriously messed with via Geas, Familial Geas, Undying Geas, etc. If it lands on the Bbeg themselves, then the whole plot arc could be ruined.
    this is a possibility, but you need to be able to get into close range, need to not be silenced, and all the other limiting factors, I think your PCs should have a hard time using it on your final boss.

    Thank you for the analysis of the spells I chose; I probably should have put some reasons in the initial post. I'd like to support my choice of a few of them, but I'll bow to your greater knowledge of game balance as a whole (like comparable arcane spells at similar levels) rather than my focus on just what's on the cleric spell list. Of course, the OP will make choices based upon his own opinions.
    you're quite welcome. once more, I appreciate your candor, saying you don't know about a subject is the best way to learn new things about it, so people will know what you need to be informed about.

    how long have you been playing, out of curiosity? I just ask because I havent' seen you on the board much, but that obviously doesn't have bearing on your experience in the game

    Slash Tongue: Exactly. It makes Inflict Minor obsolete except for spontaneous casting.

    well, it's still a fortneg lvl 0 spell, so there's a very low chance of this spell actually doing anything at all, like inflict minor, and making inflict minor obsolete is... not that big a deal. you could say the same thing of acid splash or sonic snap or whatever. they have no saves at all. some spells are better than others.

    Urfestra: Without any form of protection or mitigating spell, this means certain death after only a single spell (so SoD) at 3rd.

    well, that's just the sort of rock/paper/scissors effect of the game. if the person has the general trump card, break enchantement, handy (if you're familiar with the cleric list, you know it's almost never a bad idea to have a scroll or two of it handy) then it's not a huge deal if they can retreat. if they don't get away from combat and you just use it as a quick debuff to con... then you are not using your resources well.

    in a "hit and run" type circumstance where you, for example, sneak into a bar, bump the target discreetly with conceal spellcasting, and then gtfo, it would be reasonable to assume the target (if he has money) may try restoration or something, get it checked out since it doesn't fix the problem, mebbe get spellcrafted, and see that BE is the way to get rid of it and shake it off.

    and if you just cast it in a combat where you end up killing the targt a few rounds later, then... it's not offering any advantage over a spell that just deals normal con daamage (and only 1d6 at that) plus it's forcing you to take 1d6 con yourself.

    Blessings: 8 tentacle attacks screams "precision damage" to me (I believe they have 10 or 15 reach, as well, which is nice for AoO). At 7th level, a rogue might have a max of four or five attacks (moderately COed).

    so, you'd need to have enough spellcasting to cast the investiture spells (7 lvls, 9 lvls plus) plus sa/sudden strike? who on earth does that? (black flame zealots aside) if you're spreading yourself thin like that, you won't be that good at either of these things. and if you're just buffing the rogue with it, then who cares? rogues, like fighters, need help in the form of support from spells.

    Morality Undone: Alignment change? That has all sorts of repercussions (matching deity, PrCs, etc), but especially hefty RP ones. I remember getting even just a little taint on one of my clerics was pretty bad, but this is the whole deal.

    this really depends on how much your DM cares about alignment and how important s/he makes it in your game. if your target is a pally/cleric and your DM is strict about rules and stuff like that, then yeah. RP obviously is a part of the game lots of people enjoy (me too, more than numbers) and it's a very fun tool, but I wouldn't really say it's overpowered.

    remember, it's only 10 minutes/lvl, so even if you fail your save, you'll shake it off. plus, mind affecting.

    Many of the mind-affecting spells seem powerful to me, I think, because I'm used to fighting humanoids rather than dungeon-crawling, so it's easy to pick which spell to use depending whether the opponent is a magic-user, rogue, or fighter.
    mind affecting spells are just not that good because they don't affect large swaths of the enemies that you'll be facing. every enchantment spell is mind-affecting, which is why it's commonly picked as a banned school by specialist wizards.

    if your DM does all-humanoid npcs with class levels instead of monsters, then you'll obviously get more milage out of it than someone in a theoretical "default" game will.

    when giving advice on mechanics, I just play the odds, because I can't know what a dm will be like. what I mean is, that as you move up in levels, nonhumanoid types, including undead, constructs, and some aberrations are immune to mind-affecting affects.

    if that's the case and you fight mostly humanoidss with class levels, mind-affecting stuff gets a fair amount of punch back, but it still has a number of limiting factors.
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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    *snip*
    how long have you been playing, out of curiosity? I just ask because I havent' seen you on the board much, but that obviously doesn't have bearing on your experience in the game
    *snip*
    if your DM does all-humanoid npcs with class levels instead of monsters, then you'll obviously get more milage out of it than someone in a theoretical "default" game will.

    when giving advice on mechanics, I just play the odds, because I can't know what a dm will be like. what I mean is, that as you move up in levels, nonhumanoid types, including undead, constructs, and some aberrations are immune to mind-affecting affects.

    if that's the case and you fight mostly humanoidss with class levels, mind-affecting stuff gets a fair amount of punch back, but it still has a number of limiting factors.
    I started with the introduction of 3.5. I've played a little straight AD&D and some homebrewed AD&D, but all of my experience is really 3.5/3.0.

    Morality Undone: I missed that it was 10min/lvl. That does indeed make it less potent - thank you for pointing that out.

    Yochlol Blessing: This has a range of close, so it's a nice spell to use on the rogue to potentially double his damage output assuming he only has 4 attacks at 7th level (w/ 4d6 SA). It seems like a pretty worthwhile buff to me - going from ≈60 average damage on a full attack to ≈120. With Blood Wind (SC), the rogue doesn't even need to be adjacent so long as the SA conditions are met (Grease/Ice Slick is an easy way of course).

    Ah, I now understand your reasoning on mechanics - this is probably the reason why we disagree on the strength of some spells. My outlook is one of expectation and advance knowledge: what the party knows about the opponent before the encounter, and vice-versa. In this model of power balance, I assume that any spells are only going to be prepared/used when they have a reasonable chance of working, and so compare all spells with the assumption that they are all equally likely to be successfully cast. Incidentally, my favourite spells are divination spells.

    I do agree that it's definitely better to prepare for anything when playing with a new DM. In the context of this thread, it sounds like the players and the DM (OP) already have a good idea of what to expect, so that does change the spells that we might suggest.

    @ OP: On this topic, how are your games generally run? I'm very much used to playing in towns/cities, doing politicking, subterfuge, and RP/diplomacy and thus encountering many more humanoids, so all of my suggestions are given in that context.

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by GilesTheCleric View Post
    @ OP: On this topic, how are your games generally run? I'm very much used to playing in towns/cities, doing politicking, subterfuge, and RP/diplomacy and thus encountering many more humanoids, so all of my suggestions are given in that context.
    My plan for this particular adventure is a 1-20 scavenger hunt type of adventure, which will have the players traveling to remote places in different climates and settings. They'll change venue about every 1.5 levels. As they progress, they will have the opportunity to unlock an ancient mystery or completely overlook the mystery (or lose its trail mid-stream) while they pursue adventure. There will be roughly fourteen chapters in this adventure, each of which will have its own contribution to the overall puzzle as well as its own story with a "climax" or crowning experience. During the course of this adventure, the players will, undoubtedly lose levels--it's just that type of adventure. That said, there will be opportunities for serious roleplaying, small group tactics, large group tactics, logical puzzles, and using what the party has learned previously to assist them later in the game. There will be circumstances where my players may be tricked into doing the "wrong" things or where they have the opportunity to be lucky.

    I have not finished my outline of the adventure, yet and I'm still working on the maps and details about the scope of creatures in this world. But I'll be ready by the end of March, when we're supposed to begin. (We're in the midst of another adventure right now where I'm a player, but I am planning early.)

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by GilesTheCleric View Post
    I started with the introduction of 3.5. I've played a little straight AD&D and some homebrewed AD&D, but all of my experience is really 3.5/3.0.

    Morality Undone: I missed that it was 10min/lvl. That does indeed make it less potent - thank you for pointing that out.

    Yochlol Blessing: This has a range of close, so it's a nice spell to use on the rogue to potentially double his damage output assuming he only has 4 attacks at 7th level (w/ 4d6 SA). It seems like a pretty worthwhile buff to me - going from ≈60 average damage on a full attack to ≈120. With Blood Wind (SC), the rogue doesn't even need to be adjacent so long as the SA conditions are met (Grease/Ice Slick is an easy way of course).

    it can certainly help a lot, but it's heavy on spells, so it won't become your team's rocket launcher

    Ah, I now understand your reasoning on mechanics - this is probably the reason why we disagree on the strength of some spells. My outlook is one of expectation and advance knowledge: what the party knows about the opponent before the encounter, and vice-versa. In this model of power balance, I assume that any spells are only going to be prepared/used when they have a reasonable chance of working, and so compare all spells with the assumption that they are all equally likely to be successfully cast. Incidentally, my favourite spells are divination spells.

    well, it's not that I disagree with you, per se. in your sort of game, your assessment is rather correct. it's just, the kind of game you are playing is not the default, since for the most part, it's understood that PCs will be primarily fighting monsters.

    if advance knowledge (studying, knowledge checks, divination, recurring rival party, etc)

    if you're going to get ample opportunity to know what you'll be fighting in advance and won't be caught off guard, and can thus restrict preparing things like mind-affecting stuff when you're against undead, then the spells will never be whipped out when they'd be useless, so they are indeed much better in this sort of game.


    I do agree that it's definitely better to prepare for anything when playing with a new DM. In the context of this thread, it sounds like the players and the DM (OP) already have a good idea of what to expect, so that does change the spells that we might suggest.

    @ OP: On this topic, how are your games generally run? I'm very much used to playing in towns/cities, doing politicking, subterfuge, and RP/diplomacy and thus encountering many more humanoids, so all of my suggestions are given in that context.
    good question. it does of course depend n your sort of game. since most people had been talking about combat, I was mostly talking about combat and monster fighting, but the love's pain trick still breaks a social game.
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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcanist View Post
    Summons, Buffing, Battlefield control and Glitterdust like spells are all clear and crystal, but don't they just have immunity to all mind-affecting effects?

    Regardless of this my question has been answered.
    Many illusions don't have mind-affecting tags, like the whole silent image chain.
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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Is it just me, or has Streamers somehow not been mentioned yet in this thread?
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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by Venusaur View Post
    Many illusions don't have mind-affecting tags, like the whole silent image chain.
    indeed. the ____ image line is actually great against mindless foes because they tend to have abysmal wisdom scores and poor will saves. in the unlikely event you actually fight an ooze, for example, it's very easy to trick with a major image.

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Is it just me, or has Streamers somehow not been mentioned yet in this thread?

    Quote Originally Posted by nedz View Post
    Also you missed Streamers.
    Quote Originally Posted by dextercorvia View Post
    @OP: (I know there is some redundancy) Streamers, Celerity and Greater, Shapechange, Arcane Fusion and Greater, and Arcane Spellsurge.

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Is it just me, or has Streamers somehow not been mentioned yet in this thread?
    I agree that Streamers as written is a mess. I think it can be fixed, rather than nixed. Don't you think?

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    What about Polymorph and Alter Self? Is it better to fix or nix these? I have assumed that they can be fixed. But I may be mistaken.

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShriekingDrake View Post
    What about Polymorph and Alter Self? Is it better to fix or nix these? I have assumed that they can be fixed. But I may be mistaken.
    Many have tried to fix these, I haven't seen a fix I like as yet.
    Alterself is not too bad, unless the caster manages to become non-humaniod, at which point it can get silly.
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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Polymorphing is a staple of fantasy literature. Removing the ability for wizards to become animals or fantastical creatures removes a lot of the tropes or abilities of fantasy wizards from the class entirely.

    There are a number of polymorph 'fixes' floating around, but honestly, most of them are terrible. I include under this wotc's various rewrites of the polymorph rules and wotc/paizo's 'one form per spell' 'fix'.

    A relatively simple fix that helps immensely is making it based on CR, and not on HD. Some creatures are ungodly vicious for their HD, and while CR isn't perfect it's certainly better.

    Another avenue that you can take is to simply specify maximum bonuses the polymorph spell can provide in terms of strength and natural armour and size increases and all the rest of it, and assign them a type. This doesn't necessarily mean that a wizard can't turn into a war troll and hulk out, he just can't turn into a war troll and then cast bite of the X and have the strength score of an elder titan.


    My favourite fix is the Tome fix, i.e. Frank's idea, where if you polymorph, you get all the facets of the new creature - you just don't get the effects of spells or your spellcasting while you are in that form. You essentially count as that creature in all ways, and it functions from CR, so you turn into something that is as powerful as you, but different, and don't get to do the thing that breaks polymorph - which is combine the powerful spellcasting of the wizard with the powerful melee abilities of a brute monster (or some crazy supernatural effect).

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    Default Re: Spells: What to Ban?

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShriekingDrake View Post
    What about Polymorph and Alter Self? Is it better to fix or nix these? I have assumed that they can be fixed. But I may be mistaken.
    Fixing them completely is surprisingly hard. But there's a super-easy fix that makes them nicely balanced instead of OVERPOWERED, except in a few corner cases (such as an Outsider using Alter Self to become a Dwarven Ancestor, or a Polymorph user using the ban-worthy Savage Species feat that picks up [Su] abilities from the polymorphed form).

    Ready to hear this fix? OK:
    Alter Self is now a Level 4 spell.
    Polymorph is now a Level 7 (or 8?) spell.
    Voila.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rejakor View Post
    My favourite fix is the Tome fix, i.e. Frank's idea, where if you polymorph, you get all the facets of the new creature - you just don't get the effects of spells or your spellcasting while you are in that form. You essentially count as that creature in all ways, and it functions from CR, so you turn into something that is as powerful as you, but different, and don't get to do the thing that breaks polymorph - which is combine the powerful spellcasting of the wizard with the powerful melee abilities of a brute monster (or some crazy supernatural effect).
    Basically the route that 5e is taking so far, incidentally.
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