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    Default When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    So I'm really impressed with Hound of Ill Omen. It's possibly so good as to be broken. It occurred to me that it costs the same sorcery points as Heightened but does the same thing and so much more, including continuing the disadvantage on more spells if the hound survives. But just as I was posting the thread and wracking my brain, I thought of some niche situations. Heightened is better if you don't want to kill the target, like if you need to interrogate or if you're a goody-two-shoes softy of a LG char or whatever. Because once you create the hound, you can't stop it other than killing it or waiting 5 minutes. It's as if you've unleashed your fury and you have no more control of it than a berzerker has over his rage. I love this flavor and I'm running with it on my shadow sorcerer who is NG but has this inner rage that he struggles to contain ala Bruce Banner. Often when he makes a hound, it's a reflexive reaction to losing his temper.

    So the (rare?) cases are:
    1) You don't want to kill the target and a dire wolf might be able to.
    2) You need to be quiet. Ain't nothin' subtle about it! It's described as "howling".

    Still I've yet to take Heightened and it looks like I may never take it. It seems hard to justify for the cost. I often would prefer to twin something on two targets and odds are just as good that at least one of them fails a save but maybe both do; even better, and at the same cost as Heightened for up to 3rd level spells.
    Last edited by Dalebert; 2017-12-03 at 12:12 PM.
    If you cast Dispel Magic on my Gust of Wind, does that mean you're disgusting?

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Unfortunately, you can't subtly cast a Heightened Spell either, since you can't use both Subtle Spell and Heightened Spell on the same casting.

    The advantage of Heightened Spell comes in two main forms, from what I can see:

    1. The action economy. Heighten Spell doesn't consume a bonus action. If you had an available bonus action to take, such as an ongoing bonus action spell effect (Spiritual Weapon, Storm Sphere), you can still trigger them on the same round that you Heighten a spell.

    Every time your Hound dies, you have to consume a bonus action to summon it again. This precludes any Quickened spells or even escaping by Misty Step on the same turn.

    2. Heighten Spell applies to your target 100% of the time. Your Hound of Ill Omen cannot fly, burrow, or swim. Its target can also outrun it or get far enough away that the Hound cannot reach it (if they were savvy enough to know not to kill it, for example). Meanwhile, as long as your spell can reach the target, you can always Heighten it.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Well... you canít stack it with Bend Luck, so if you *really* want people to fail saving throws, it doesnít win

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    Unfortunately, you can't subtly cast a Heightened Spell either, since you can't use both Subtle Spell and Heightened Spell on the same casting.
    Right but I just meant it's not inherently obnoxious. If you were attempting subterfuge, you could cast Suggestion Heightened on a guard and convince him you were supposed to be there while the hound would impose disadvantage but not be useful in such a context. A raging battle and a snarling hound would alert everyone in earshot. So the more I think of it, the more limitations I see. Your other points are good ones as well. However...

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    Every time your Hound dies, you have to consume a bonus action to summon it again. This precludes any Quickened spells or even escaping by Misty Step on the same turn.
    True, but it sort of has Quicken built in as well only better in some ways. Since it's a bonus action, you can cast full action spells that don't have to be cantrips. You can cast it and then immediately follow up with something like Hold Person. Now the hound gets advantage and auto-crits! Again though, not useful if you don't want to kill the target or for subterfuge.

    2. Heighten Spell applies to your target 100% of the time. Your Hound of Ill Omen cannot fly, burrow, or swim. Its target can also outrun it or get far enough away that the Hound cannot reach it (if they were savvy enough to know not to kill it, for example). Meanwhile, as long as your spell can reach the target, you can always Heighten it.
    Yes, this is definitely true if they're flying for instance, as there's nowhere for hte hound to stand. Still, running away is almost never an option the round you create it as you can create it right next to them (120 ft range is pretty good) and then immediately cast a spell, imitating Heightened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    Well... you canít stack it with Bend Luck, so if you *really* want people to fail saving throws, it doesnít win
    I don't follow. Both Heightened and the hound seem to be stack-able with Bend Luck. What are you referring to?
    EDIT: Derp! Just hit me. You can't be both a shadow sorc and a wild mage. Duh.
    Last edited by Dalebert; 2017-12-03 at 01:09 PM.
    If you cast Dispel Magic on my Gust of Wind, does that mean you're disgusting?

    In real estate, they say it's all about location, location, location. In D&D I say it's about action economy, action economy, action economy.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalebert View Post
    True, but it sort of has Quicken built in as well only better in some ways. Since it's a bonus action, you can cast full action spells that don't have to be cantrips. You can cast it and then immediately follow up with something like Hold Person. Now the hound gets advantage and auto-crits! Again though, not useful if you don't want to kill the target or for subterfuge.
    You're right. I did overlook that having the Hound expands your action economy as well by conjuring a new creature on the board.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalebert View Post
    Yes, this is definitely true if they're flying for instance, as there's nowhere for hte hound to stand. Still, running away is almost never an option the round you create it as you can create it right next to them (120 ft range is pretty good) and then immediately cast a spell, imitating Heightened.
    Well, if you were fighting a vampire, for example, they can disengage and move their full movement as a legendary action, which they can do thrice. The Hound can be summoned right next to them, but the targets can get away if they have the means.

    And once you start fighting beholders, dragons, krakens, etc... well, the Hound doesn't fare well. It doesn't have the required mobility to reach them.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    Well, if you were fighting a vampire, for example, they can disengage and move their full movement as a legendary action, which they can do thrice. The Hound can be summoned right next to them, but the targets can get away if they have the means.
    Yes, though comparing to Heightened, that's almost never before you can get at least one spell off as it's between turns. I would typically create the hound and then immediately cast a spell. NOW the vampire gets to move, assuming my Hold Monster with disadvantage didn't take.

    EDIT: And it probably wouldn't due to legendary saves, but at least I'm making him burn them.
    Last edited by Dalebert; 2017-12-03 at 03:02 PM.
    If you cast Dispel Magic on my Gust of Wind, does that mean you're disgusting?

    In real estate, they say it's all about location, location, location. In D&D I say it's about action economy, action economy, action economy.

    Crystal Mage -- a homebrewed arcane tradition

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    many of the creatures you're going to want a hound on for multiple turns are quite large.

    which means you just create the hound on top of them and the hound can use the climb onto a larger creature rules, no?

    (that's actually a serious question... i don't own the book, so i'm not entirely certain what actions the hound can take, which may or may not allow for the climbing on a large creature rules).

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    which means you just create the hound on top of them and the hound can use the climb onto a larger creature rules, no?
    Those are just some guidelines to help DMs out so it will depend on the DM. Either way, I don't think they'd be very good at it. Prolly better off just putting them adjacent and they will pursue the creature.

    If there's another ally on the creature, I can just position the hound on the opposite side and then no matter which way they go, they provoke from one or the other.
    Last edited by Dalebert; 2017-12-03 at 05:53 PM.
    If you cast Dispel Magic on my Gust of Wind, does that mean you're disgusting?

    In real estate, they say it's all about location, location, location. In D&D I say it's about action economy, action economy, action economy.

    Crystal Mage -- a homebrewed arcane tradition

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalebert View Post
    Those are just some guidelines to help DMs out so it will depend on the DM. Either way, I don't think they'd be very good at it. Prolly better off just putting them adjacent and they will pursue the creature.
    they're pretty clear guidelines. there are certainly some areas the DM will need to decide on (for example, can the creature attack you) but mostly it's a pretty straightforward set of rules.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalebert View Post
    Yes, though comparing to Heightened, that's almost never before you can get at least one spell off as it's between turns. I would typically create the hound and then immediately cast a spell. NOW the vampire gets to move, assuming my Hold Monster with disadvantage didn't take.

    EDIT: And it probably wouldn't due to legendary saves, but at least I'm making him burn them.
    Yes, but now that he's had his chance to escape, he can run away from the Hound. You would never get a chance to get a second spell off on the vamp with D.Adv.

    Is there anything preventing you from conjuring two Hounds? I don't see anything, other than massive resource expenditure, that stops you from having multiple Hounds present at once.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    Yes, but now that he's had his chance to escape, he can run away from the Hound. You would never get a chance to get a second spell off on the vamp with D.Adv.

    Is there anything preventing you from conjuring two Hounds? I don't see anything, other than massive resource expenditure, that stops you from having multiple Hounds present at once.
    though it would be just as massive as heightening a spell on each of two turns- 6sp for 2 hounds, or 6sp for 2 heightens.
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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxhound438 View Post
    though it would be just as massive as heightening a spell on each of two turns- 6sp for 2 hounds, or 6sp for 2 heightens.
    I agree, kind of. I thought at first you can only have one Hound up at a time, which would gimp this class ability (like they can just run away from the Hound and never roll with Disadvantage from your spells), but I checked and found no such restriction.

    It does require two of your bonus actions though, which limits your action economy. But then again, the Hound has its own actions, which expands your action economy.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Even if you only get one spell with disadvantage, it's worth it, but you'll often get more (plus dmg, plus chance of prone). And yes, you can summon more as long as you have sorcery points and bonus actions. You summon it and it just goes. It's out of your control.
    If you cast Dispel Magic on my Gust of Wind, does that mean you're disgusting?

    In real estate, they say it's all about location, location, location. In D&D I say it's about action economy, action economy, action economy.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    I agree, kind of. I thought at first you can only have one Hound up at a time, which would gimp this class ability (like they can just run away from the Hound and never roll with Disadvantage from your spells), but I checked and found no such restriction.

    It does require two of your bonus actions though, which limits your action economy. But then again, the Hound has its own actions, which expands your action economy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dalebert View Post
    Even if you only get one spell with disadvantage, it's worth it, but you'll often get more (plus dmg, plus chance of prone). And yes, you can summon more as long as you have sorcery points and bonus actions. You summon it and it just goes. It's out of your control.
    yup, it's actually mostly going to be better for your action economy early because the hound attack is probably worth 2-3 dice of cantrip damage. and of course, if they can't escape the hound, you'll get another attack the next round. possibly an opportunity attack too.

    hound is a super strong ability. they finally gave sorcerer subclasses some substance, except that now it is showing just how little substance the older sorcerer subclasses had, which sucks for anyone who just wanted to play the old subclasses because they think they're cool.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dalebert View Post
    Even if you only get one spell with disadvantage, it's worth it, but you'll often get more (plus dmg, plus chance of prone). And yes, you can summon more as long as you have sorcery points and bonus actions. You summon it and it just goes. It's out of your control.
    I agree, you probably will get more than one spell off. I'm amused by the thought of Hound spamming just from an RP standpoint.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Heighten also doesn't work on many spells

    Heighten only works on spells that force a saving throw when you cast the spell

    Hound has less limitations

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Of course it's better than Heightened Spell.

    It would be a pretty terrible sub-class feature if it wasn't better than the generic stuff anyone in your class can do.
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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blacky the Blackball View Post
    Of course it's better than Heightened Spell.
    It would be a pretty terrible sub-class feature if it wasn't better than the generic stuff anyone in your class can do.
    It's better but more situational, which makes sense for a specialized subclass power.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blacky the Blackball View Post
    Of course it's better than Heightened Spell.

    It would be a pretty terrible sub-class feature if it wasn't better than the generic stuff anyone in your class can do.
    What I was exploring was whether it made Heightened completely irrelevant for shadow sorcerers, as in is there ever a reason not to do this instead of heightening a spell since it's the same resource cost (well, plus a bonus action). I think we've demonstrate the answer is "no", but I agree that it's overall better. In most cases, you would get more out of this for the same point cost. I'm not a fan of Heightened but I'm a big fan of the hound.
    If you cast Dispel Magic on my Gust of Wind, does that mean you're disgusting?

    In real estate, they say it's all about location, location, location. In D&D I say it's about action economy, action economy, action economy.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Hmm, I'm kind of leaning the opposite direction. I think Hound is great, but when I take Heightened, I also go for Bend Luck for maximum fate manipulation powers (Heightened is canceled out by Magic Resistance, so Bend Luck would be the only way to affect their saving throw).

    Bend Luck is effectively a +1 to your save DC for one monster per round (it's +2.5 on average, but it's reliably a +1 to DC 100% of the time). That is huge, and Disadvantage makes it better.

    I definitely also enjoy the flavor of the Hound. If it took on the form of any beast, it would be beyond amazing.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Against Dispel Happy foes. Dispel desummons summoned creatures and 3 Sorcery Points is the equivalent of a 2nd level Slot...at least that's how I see it, your DM may rule it differently.

    Dispelling summons is a legit but under used tactic because Conjure spells generally vomit out multiple creature so it's usually better to just blast. The Hound is all on its lonesome so popping it in 1 Action seems worth it.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by lunaticfringe View Post
    Against Dispel Happy foes. Dispel desummons summoned creatures and 3 Sorcery Points is the equivalent of a 2nd level Slot...at least that's how I see it, your DM may rule it differently.

    Dispelling summons is a legit but under used tactic because Conjure spells generally vomit out multiple creature so it's usually better to just blast. The Hound is all on its lonesome so popping it in 1 Action seems worth it.
    except that you still got your 1 spell out where the opponent had disadvantage on the first save, making it just as good as heighten in that respect, plus you've now made an enemy spend an action and probably a spell slot dealing with your hound. i'll take that over heighten any day of the week, and twice on... well, twice on any day of the week as well, actually, never mind Sunday only. i'm more than happy to spend my equivalent of a level 2 spell slot and a bonus action with a free heighten effect on the side for your action plus a level 3 spell slot.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharkForce View Post
    except that you still got your 1 spell out where the opponent had disadvantage on the first save, making it just as good as heighten in that respect, plus you've now made an enemy spend an action and probably a spell slot dealing with your hound. i'll take that over heighten any day of the week, and twice on... well, twice on any day of the week as well, actually, never mind Sunday only. i'm more than happy to spend my equivalent of a level 2 spell slot and a bonus action with a free heighten effect on the side for your action plus a level 3 spell slot.
    Hounds roll their own initiative when summoned. By all means get within 30ft of the action Squishy.
    Last edited by lunaticfringe; 2017-12-04 at 06:22 PM.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by lunaticfringe View Post
    Hounds roll their own initiative when summoned. By all means get within 30ft of the action Squishy.
    not sure how that is relevant. the hound can appear right next to your target, and immediately grant it disadvantage on saves against your spells, making it at least as good as heighten. no matter what happens to the hound, or whether that happens before the hound gets a chance to act or not, it is still just as good as heighten, and any resources spent dealing with that hound (whether it be a melee brute smashing it to bits or a wizard dispelling it or anything else) are just gravy, with the added goodness that if they ignore the hound instead of spending resources to deal with it they'll likely take some damage, potentially get knocked prone, and probably continue to take disadvantage on saves.
    either they spend resources dealing with it, and it's better than heighten, or they don't spend resources dealing with it, and it's better than heighten.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Bah I misremembered the rules I thought it had to be within 30ft of the sorcerer.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    OP, I've come up with another scenario where Heightened is better than the Hound.

    Reaction spells. If the DM describes a sequence of fast-paced actions that catch your character by surprise, and you only have a reaction to cast a spell, Heighten is better.

    For example, Hellish Rebuke and War Caster benefit from Heighten more. Holding a spell and casting it as a reaction (trigger: when I see the target) also works better with Heighten, since you won't have a bonus action to conjure the Hound before then.
    Last edited by LeonBH; 2017-12-04 at 07:30 PM.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Stop trying to compare the two and think of Hound of Ill Omen like getting Heighten Spell FOR FREE.

    So essentially you have this weird, somewhat different version of heighten spell that doesn't conflict with other metamagics the way heighten does.

    So where as any other spell could be cast with exclusively heighten you can now use careful spell, or quickened spell, or subtle spell and still have the disadvantage from your "virtual heighten" in the form of the hound. No other sorcerer archetype can do this.
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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheUser View Post
    Stop trying to compare the two and think of Hound of Ill Omen like getting Heighten Spell FOR FREE.

    So essentially you have this weird, somewhat different version of heighten spell that doesn't conflict with other metamagics the way heighten does.

    So where as any other spell could be cast with exclusively heighten you can now use careful spell, or quickened spell, or subtle spell and still have the disadvantage from your "virtual heighten" in the form of the hound. No other sorcerer archetype can do this.
    This is true. The best thing about the Hound is it doesn't conflict with other metamagics.

    The point about subtle spell though. If you're trying to be subtle, conjuring a hound is probably going to give you away, regardless of the subtled spell you just cast. For example, using a subtle suggestion to the King while in court would be nice, but if you have to conjure a dire wolf beside him first, you've blown your cover already.

    And as for quicken spell, it doesn't work with the hound on the first turn since they both require bonus actions.

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeonBH View Post
    The point about subtle spell though. If you're trying to be subtle, conjuring a hound is probably going to give you away, regardless of the subtled spell you just cast. For example, using a subtle suggestion to the King while in court would be nice, but if you have to conjure a dire wolf beside him first, you've blown your cover already.
    But when you are hiding in the shadows (you are good at that, right?) and Subtle cast a Hold Monster on someone who doesn't see you; the scary shadow wolf appearing to maul him from no where isn't great...

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    Default Re: When is Heightened better than Hound of Ill Omen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    But when you are hiding in the shadows (you are good at that, right?) and Subtle cast a Hold Monster on someone who doesn't see you; the scary shadow wolf appearing to maul him from no where isn't great...
    The funny thing is... the Shadow Sorcerer can hide exactly as well as any other Sorcerer, in shadows or bright light. I doubt casting a Darkness spell to be hidden from sight is going to be any more subtle.

    "Hey guys, do you see that dark sphere of shadow over there? Seems suspicious..."
    Last edited by LeonBH; 2017-12-04 at 09:00 PM.

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