The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    Corneria
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    Default In need of spell critique

    Hey, I haven't created any spells before so I would like any recommendations on a couple of spells I have made (I want to make sure these are balanced compared to their peers), and perhaps a little help in wording.

    Thunderflick
    1st level evocation
    Casting Time: 1 action
    Range: Touch
    Components: V,S
    Duration: Instantaneous

    A flick endowed with enough thunderous power to make Thor blush... And send the enemy reeling. (I think of this spell as a single target Thunderwave)
    Make a melee spell attack against the target. If the attack hits, the creature takes 3d6 thunder/lightning damage and is forced to make a ??Con??Str?? saving throw and on a failed save is pushed 5 feet back. This spell emits a thunderous boom audible out to 150 feet

    I'm not sure to increase damage by 1d6 per spell level after 2nd, or increase the pushback by 5 feet per level. I intend for this to be an alternative to Thunderwave in appropriate spell lists.

    Wake
    1st level enchantment
    Casting time: 1 action
    Range: 60 feet
    Components: V,S
    Duration: Instantaneous

    After gesturing at a(n) (ideally) sleeping person you appear to nod off momentarily, inducing a horrible nightmare vision in the both you and the target where you assail the enemy in a monstrous form dealing visible damage to the target and waking them (if able).

    The target must make a Wis saving throw or take ??2d10?? damage, sleeping (or unconscious) targets make this saving throw with disadvantage, and are stunned for ??1 turn?? if they fail. No damage is dealt on a successful save.

    I'm not sure on the damage, if the stun is technically wasted on the surprise round (not my intention), and I kind of want it to have a guaranteed stun if they are sleeping, but am not sure if that is begging for abuse or not. For higher spell levels I am thinking to have it gain additional targets. I was kind of intending for this one to be an alternative to dissonant whispers (not quite identical in functionality, but similar in flavor).

    Any feedback would be invaluable, our group hasn't gotten together in a good bit (gonna try this sunday) so I haven't really had anyone to pitch these ideas to. Thanks for taking the time to read the post and (hopefully) any analysis on the spells.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Male

    Default Re: In need of spell critique

    Looking over the aforementioned thunderwave spell in the PHB and the Creating a Spell table in the DMG, I would make the following changes:

    Thunderflick
    1st-level evocation
    Casting Time: 1 action
    Range: Touch
    Components: V, S
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You flick a creature within reach with enough thunderous power to make Thor blush, sending the target reeling. Make a melee spell attack against the target. If the attack hits, the target takes 2d10 thunder damage and is pushed 10 feet away from you. The spell emits a thunderous boom audible out to 150 feet.
    At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d10 for each slot level above 1st.

    Ultimately, you are trading out the saving throw for a melee spell attack. I wouldn't have both an attack roll AND a saving throw as it creates unnecessary complications. I understand you halving the audible range of the secondary spell effect (the thunderous boom), but you would be fine leaving it in as the 300 foot range. It is more of a "ribbon" effect for flavor. I would also avoid mixing damage types, since it makes scaling the spell with higher slots more tricky, and the original spell doesn't use lightning damage.

    For the second spell (which I might suggest renaming something like "Startle" or "Daymare"), I would change some of the wording to better reflect you are basically imposing a mental jarring feeling in someone with the magical effect of causing damage and waking them up:


    Wake
    1st-level enchantment
    Casting Time: 1 action
    Range: 60 feet
    Components: V, S
    Duration: Instantaneous

    You gesture towards a creature within range that you can see, inducing a brief but startling vision. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw or be assaulted with horrific visions of you violently attacking them, dealing 2d10 psychic damage. A sleeping or unconscious target has disadvantage on the saving throw. A target that is sleeping automatically wakes up with a startle, regardless of whether it succeeds or fails on its saving throw.
    If a target that is awoken by this spell fails its saving throw, it is also incapacitated for 1 minute by the realism of the vision shaped by their own dreams. Each round, at the start of its turn, it may make a new Wisdom saving throw to break free of the incapacitated effect.
    At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you can select one additional target within range for each spell slot above 1st.

    In the end, the spell becomes a weaker dissonant whispers, but has a nice ambushing kicker against sleeping targets. It becomes less useful during combat, but a creative player can use some planning to try and get the drop on opponents. You could also drop the verbal component for the spell without breaking it. I would go with incapacitated as opposed to stunning as the kicker for the spell because, as a 1st level spell, stunning effects might be a wee bit overpowered. Incapacitated provides a similar effect, but without the autofail of Str/Dex saves and advantage attacks against them.

    Hope this helps.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Corneria
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    Male

    Default Re: In need of spell critique

    Yes that does help a lot, thanks, going to have to think about what to name the second one though. Startle is pretty good, and sums it up well, but i'm also thinking on Transient Terror or Jump-Scare, although I may just use Startle, no need to be too elaborate on 1st level spell titles.

    I was wanting to start on a couple 1st level spells and work my way up from there, I figure i'll have a better time balance-wise doing so, although I have been envisioning a slow healing/undead damaging (or de-buffing) counterpart to cloudkill, "cloudcure" which I want to put somewhere between a 3rd (but most likely) 5th level spell. But that will wait for later, gotta test out one spell at a time. Thanks again.

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