The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: A suitable nerf for orb spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Droid Tony View Post
    Ones like half dragon are the real gem. While sure the player can do the metagame and switch damage types when they encounter a half red dragon creature....well, it gets lots more fun with all the draon types beyond Core.
    This isn't necessarily metagaming at all. Knowledge ranks or even decent guesswork based on previous experience would tell a party about half dragon immunities.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: A suitable nerf for orb spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Droid Tony View Post
    The spells are the big problem. The flaw is the game re writing it's own rules.

    Rule-When you shoot fire or lightning or such at a monster it IS magic fire or lightning and can be resisted with spell resistance.

    Re writing the rule--Oh some magic is, um normal mundane stuff..that looks and works exactly like magic but, um, it's all mundane so so spell resistance.

    And the creation magic bypassing SR has an obvious question....well, ok, so Why is not ALL magic Conjuration Creation magic? Why not re create every single spell as a ''created mundane effect'' so they all by pass spell resistance?
    Note: Force Missile is a no-save, no-SR, auto-hit spell. (It's Evocation, but still no-SR.)
    Heck, the Orb of Force was Evocation for about 2 months (since the release of Dragon Compendium and until the Spell Compendium was published) while still being no-SR
    What's you will say about it?


    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Lava Splash deals d4s with a cap of 15, at 4th level.
    Correction - RAW says: "Each creature in the area takes 1d4 points of fire damage per caster level (maximum 15d6)."


    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    The text of the spell, where a failed save causes 6d6 damage on two additional turns.
    Since that damage isn't instant, it may be mitigated or negated (or wounded enemy may just kill your PC first)


    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    No, it really doesn't. The gap in spells per day between the expected default (non-specialists with a starting 15) and char-op ("focused specialists" with a starting 20), is huge.
    Oh, come on!
    One spell per round, three rounds per encounter, three encounters per day. What kind of full caster is unable to cast 9 spells per day at level 6+?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    The fact that spells do not always work and you do not always have perfect information means that the "one" spell which supposedly ends the fight, can very much end up not ending the fight.
    Well...
    1. Tree spells per encounter. Three! Even if one or two spells wouldn't work, at least one solid hit is a given.
    2. "Golden staples." Color Spray, Glitterdust, Grease, Fog Cloud, Web... Pretty much infallible choices
    3. Rest of the party. Even if Wizard failed sometimes, it doesn't mean the fight is lost. It's not a sole adventure. (And even sole Wizard may have pets, cohorts, or hirelings)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    The fact that all those lower level spells are lower level spells means that they have less impact on the fight*. Any test of actual substance will immediately reveal these things to be true.
    Death Ward is 4th-level spell;
    Silence - 2nd-level;
    Protection from Evil - 1st-level.
    "Less impact", ne?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    This argument is essentially "I have 'enough' high level spells that all my low level spells should be just as powerful." No, if you have "enough" high level spells that the game is trivial, it means you shouldn't be keeping those low level spells. But by the game's normal baseline, you don't.
    My English is, apparently, insufficient to understand what's you're trying to say there

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    It is not until after 10th level, more like 13th, that claims "spellcasters never run out of spells" start to be true, when you have piles of 3rd, 4th, and 5th, rather than just a couple 3rds.
    As I already pointed, in the average adventuring day, spellcaster wouldn't run out of spells since level 5 or 6

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    And if the adventure they're in actually requires them to Teleport, Plane Shift
    Which wouldn't even come online until - what, 9th level?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    or use other "zomg wizard (actually Cleric)" spells without a rest?
    I presuming "actually Cleric" spells would be cast by the actual Cleric...


    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Fair enough, though you haven't listed them I recall upon prompting. Nevermind that the conjuration ray, if it's the one I'm thinking, still has no business being a "conjuration"- so how many of those deal damage?
    • Negative Energy Ray (Necromancy)
    • Ray of Deanimation (Abjuration)
    • Ray of Stupidity (Enchantment)
    • Ray of Retaliation (Abjuration)
    • Rust Ray (Transmutation)
    Those all do certain damage

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: A suitable nerf for orb spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShurikVch View Post
    Correction - RAW says: "Each creature in the area takes 1d4 points of fire damage per caster level (maximum 15d6)."
    So, if we're to parse the RAW here, that means you roll 1d4 per Caster Level, but you ALSO roll 15d6. If the d4s total higher than the d6s, then you reduce damage to the lower number.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: A suitable nerf for orb spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crake View Post
    I mean, they didn't really remove them, since they weren't part of the SRD to be removed in the first place, they just never added them. But then, the spells pathfinder added beyond core were mostly rather mediocre or incredibly situational, and the one spell that was quite functionally close to an orb spell (snowball) was nerfed by having it be moved to evocation, and giving it SR.
    There are still SR:No instantaneous conjurations in PF, and they actually make more sense than the orbs do. For example, Iron Stake from Ultimate Wilderness flings a cold iron spike at an enemy and the damage scales, while Clashing Rocks conjures up two giant boulders and slams them together with a creature caught in the middle.

    This is what I think should be a model for replacing the orbs, if that's the goal - something that deals physical damage so that their ability to bypass SR and persist in an AMF makes sense, and also the high/scaling damage makes sense because the magic at the moment of creation is effectively sharpening/bulking and propelling the projectile(s). I would even be comfortable adding acid in here since you could theoretically conjure extremely corrosive non-magical acid and fling that.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
    Cheers to Psyren the MVP "naysayer".
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: A suitable nerf for orb spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    it still leaves quickened twinned maximized empowered. and the wizard is an incantatar with several metamagic rods, and an archamge for elemental substitution.

    Problem is, that's way above the power level we want for our table. this metamagic combo would mean that the wizard could deal a bit over 220 damage to anyone, in one round, from afar, without any kind of defence available.

    We are a tight group of friends, we will not have animosity over it. the wizard does not want to become exceedingly op.
    Then just... don't do that? If you guys are chill like you say, then just tell him not to combine everything and the kitchen sink when using the orb spells. You can change the rules however you like, but ultimately it's only a problem if he stacks all that stuff with the orb spells. Just tell him not to do that for the sake of keeping things simple, and none of the individual parts of his build will need to be nerfed. Any time our groups have a high-level caster, we use an unspoken "Rule of Reasonable Restraint." Just don't do the ridiculous thing, and you won't have any problem. There really isn't any simpler or cleaner solution that that.
    Last edited by Randomocity132; 2019-11-04 at 01:45 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Spiked chains are great and all, but they usually come attached to a certain type of guy that you don't want to be associated with. "Spiked chain guy" is what I tend to call them. It doesn't mean much unless you've played in a game with a spiked chain guy.

    Not all guys whose PCs use spiked chains are spiked chain guys, but most spike chain guys make themselves severely well known.

    Don't spiked chain guy all over other people's weapon choices.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: A suitable nerf for orb spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShurikVch View Post
    Note: Force Missile is a no-save, no-SR, auto-hit spell. (It's Evocation, but still no-SR.)
    Heck, the Orb of Force was Evocation for about 2 months (since the release of Dragon Compendium and until the Spell Compendium was published) while still being no-SR
    What's you will say about it?
    Force Orb was printed in Unapproachable East in May 2003, Spell Compendium is December 2005. Complete Arcane is November 2004. Tome and Blood is July 2001. So the original X Orbs existed for nearly two years before a Forgotten Realms (a source of many spells, initially problematic or made so through many "revisions" by other people) book put out a Force version, which was the same but with lower max dice and no extra status effects. Then Complete Arcane creates the uber orbs a year after that, and then, finally, another year after that, Spell Compendium make the uber force version. That's three different "revisions" by three different groups of people over four years.

    Force Missile, uh, allows SR, at least in the Spell Compendium version. I couldn't tell you about the original Dragon Mag version but I'd bet it does there too. It also deals guess how much damage? 1d6/2 levels (same average as Magic Missile but with a higher cap), or more specifically, 2d6/4 levels. Not a spell that is going to justify the uber orbs.
    Correction - RAW says: "Each creature in the area takes 1d4 points of fire damage per caster level (maximum 15d6)."
    A spell that poorly written continues to fail to support much of anything, though as I already pointed out, the cap on the dice already has a "RAW" response you could use that doesn't require a justification.

    To be clear, it was you who brought up the number of dice in the spell, in response to Vaern:
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaern
    Direct damage spells that ignore spell resistance, outside of the orb spells, are few and far between. None of them are especially powerful and all of them that I'm aware of are acid
    Quote Originally Posted by ShurikVch
    Also, most of them caps at 15 dice - just as Orbs (couple of 10s "compensated" with couple of 20s)
    I have responded by pointing out that all the spells you listed which cap at 15d6 worth of damage, which was your own reading of the meaning of "power," were in fact higher level spells. This is not disputable.
    Since that damage isn't instant, it may be mitigated or negated (or wounded enemy may just kill your PC first)
    And the number of foes with that ability is quite small, and you yourself would consider turns wasted preventing such "little" damage a win anyway, and you just gave all combats (hah) a 3 turn duration. Which is enough to get all the damage out of it.
    Oh, come on!
    One spell per round, three rounds per encounter, three encounters per day. What kind of full caster is unable to cast 9 spells per day at level 6+?
    3.5 DMG p49. It's four to five encounters per day. On average, which means any day you only fight three should eventually be balanced by a day you definitely fight five, or even six. (Or more specifically, each level-appropriate encounter should consume about 20% of the party's resources).

    And let's actually check that: Wizard 6 has 4/3/3/2, with normal int progression improves to 4/4/4/3. That's 7 spells above 1st level, and no, I don't consider Sleep/Grease/Color Spray to be encounter crushing at that level, because actual monsters of that level will break the HD limit, hop over it, or are something that I'd love you to be within 15' of. And they have 4+ encounters to be ready for, not 3.

    At 5th, since you did say 5-6, they lose two spells, so only 5.

    And remember this thread is about uber orbs, not save-or-lose.
    1. Tree spells per encounter. Three! Even if one or two spells wouldn't work, at least one solid hit is a given.
    2. "Golden staples." Color Spray, Glitterdust, Grease, Fog Cloud, Web... Pretty much infallible choices
    3. Rest of the party. Even if Wizard failed sometimes, it doesn't mean the fight is lost. It's not a sole adventure. (And even sole Wizard may have pets, cohorts, or hirelings)
    If you have to admit that the rest of the party matters, I already consider that a win. The fact that spells don't always work and spell slots are limited is the only thing which "balances" those borked 2nd-3rd level spells.
    Death Ward is 4th-level spell;
    Silence - 2nd-level;
    Protection from Evil - 1st-level.
    "Less impact", ne?
    You do realize that the first two of those are Cleric spells, and Silence is only the counter for a couple monsters, right? And the orbs are Sor/Wiz spells? You keep trotting out spells from other characters' lists as if they make a difference when considering the addition of a spell to the Sor/Wiz list.
    My English is, apparently, insufficient to understand what's you're trying to say there
    Can't say it much more simply, though apparently part of it is the 1st level spells which you view as so powerful that they are on par with 3rd level spells in a level 5-6 fight. So it's not that you're saying you have "enough" high level spells, but rather that you don't view lower level spells as weaker at all. Under that interpretation then sure, all spells should deal 1d6/level max 10, starting at 1st level (and should give more dice per level at higher levels). I have already addressed the possible argument where Scorching Ray would signify this as a shift in design for 3.5, and found it insufficient.
    Which wouldn't even come online until - what, 9th level?
    Yes, this particular disagreement is that you think spell slot limits stop mattering at 5th, while I read them as remaining significant until a minimum of 10th, at which point adventure design may or may not present an extra drain which keeps them limited anyway. And I'll also note that I take the spell progression of 5e, which has no bonus slots and massively truncates slots above 5th, as a sign that someone was paying attention (I'd compare the spell tables of 2e, but I don't have access to those- I expect the available slots were similarly lower).
    I presuming "actually Cleric" spells would be cast by the actual Cleric...
    Indeed, one would think so, but that's the whole point of my sticking that comment in there all the time: many of the "wizard" spells can be covered by the cleric, and yet people expect the wizard to cast them. And the wizard who is covering themselves with personal protection buffs and spamming Fly or Overland Flight everywhere has fewer attack spells to spread over the day. Of course a Cleric casting those spells has less room to cover healing and status effects, so the wizard will need to make sure threat go down fast enough they don't need the healing. . .
    • Negative Energy Ray (Necromancy)
    • Ray of Deanimation (Abjuration)
    • Ray of Stupidity (Enchantment)
    • Ray of Retaliation (Abjuration)
    • Rust Ray (Transmutation)
    Those all do certain damage
    Only one of which is actually normal damage, let alone specifically "elemental" energy damage. Deanimation is a specific construct-only effect, Stupidity is barely even "damage", Retaliation is a fancy immediate counterspell, and Rust only works on metal.

    You have defeated my apparently ill-considered suggestion that rays are all evocations (by bringing up a bunch of splatbook spells printed long after the PHB and uber orbs, but still). Unfortunately none of those spells actually work for proving the idea that magical energy damage can be non-magical, as none of them deal energy damage (except for negative energy, which does not exist in real life and thus has a hard time saying it can be produced by non-magical means).

    Quote Originally Posted by tiercel View Post
    Hence my comment about “shouldn’t every monster with significant SR have its CR lowered?” In a game with Assay Resistance and the like, and Orbs and the like, SR is more of a speed bump than a defense, and thus the foe is less challenging than its CR would purport.
    Indeed. I haven't gone over them looking for SR/no-SR, but my go-to example is always MM3, "the book of overpowered monsters," in which I expect plenty of monsters do have SR thrown on as an afterthought. Many of the monsters considered "par" by more powerful characters, the likes of which would employ Assay Resistance, are found in that book, or came out at a similar time I'd wager. I also wouldn't be surprised if some of the sentiment comes from extremely high level/epic play, where pretty much everything does have SR, because it's all greater demons and demigods- and the monsters need two layers of defense because PCs have 9th level spells and winning with one spell is lame.

    Adjusting the CR of other monsters to match those you consider to be the true baseline should be obvious and common, if one understands that the MMs vary in power level. Of course since I take a baseline approach, I advocate PHB and MM1, not Assay Resistance and MM3.
    Last edited by Fizban; 2019-11-04 at 06:18 PM.
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