The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: Least used spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniccups View Post
    For a high-level illusion... why not something like Microcosm?
    As suggestion for high level illusions? Sure, why not? I'm not trying to explain why other high level illusions don't exist in the PHB, but why Weird exists (it's been an iconic spell for 34 years, coming in at the same time as Alarm, [Mage] Armor, Ceremony, Contingency, Dust Devil, Evard's Black Tentacles, Goodberry, Grease. Spike Growth, Tasha's [Uncontrollable] Hideous Laughter, and Cantrips as a concept), and why they decided it needed a new what-it-does (the original one is basically a save-or-die version of 5e's Phantasmal Force plus Phantasmal Killer, with a Strength penalty instead of frightened condition as a rider).

    Overall, as a spell, 5e's Weird isn't bad per se as a concept, just really under-tuned. At a lower level, or in a different version of the game (where everything else was less powerful as well), it wouldn't be bad. It's kind of like Scorching Ray (which does the same damage as an up-cast Magic Missile, just with a to-hit roll, so only really good if fighting someone who has Shield prepared or is immune to force ) -- I think it just never got it's bolt's re-tightened after they'd gone around and balanced everything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    I think that the biggest problem with the original version of Weird was, first, in figuring out just what the target's greatest fear is, and second, how to have a combat with it. Sure, if someone's dracophobic, then you throw the nastiest dragon in the book at them (it is the greatest fear, after all). But that's not really very fair, compared to the guy who's afraid of spiders. And what about the immortality-seeking wizard whose greatest fear is old age?
    Too much adjudication, and running a separate mini-combat in the middle of another combat sounds like a great way to draw out a fight (kinda the same reason they've moved away from a separate psion-vs-psion side-combat).
    Last edited by Willie the Duck; 2019-12-16 at 03:41 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Least used spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    As suggestion for high level illusions? Sure, why not? I'm not trying to explain why other high level illusions don't exist in the PHB, but why Weird exists (it's been an iconic spell for 34 years, coming in at the same time as Alarm, [Mage] Armor, Ceremony, Contingency, Dust Devil, Evard's Black Tentacles, Goodberry, Grease. Spike Growth, Tasha's [Uncontrollable] Hideous Laughter, and Cantrips as a concept), and why they decided it needed a new what-it-does (the original one is basically a save-or-die version of 5e's Phantasmal Force plus Phantasmal Killer, with a Strength penalty instead of frightened condition as a rider).

    Overall, as a spell, 5e's Weird isn't bad per se as a concept, just really under-tuned. At a lower level, or in a different version of the game (where everything else was less powerful as well), it wouldn't be bad. It's kind of like Scorching Ray (which does the same damage as an up-cast Magic Missile, just with a to-hit roll, so only really good if fighting someone who has Shield prepared or is immune to force ) -- I think it just never got it's bolt's re-tightened after they'd gone around and balanced everything else.



    Too much adjudication, and running a separate mini-combat in the middle of another combat sounds like a great way to draw out a fight (kinda the same reason they've moved away from a separate psion-vs-psion side-combat).
    Thanks for the explanation, but did you say in there that Scorching Ray does the same damage as an upcast Magic Missile? Were you talking about 5e, or an earlier edition? In 5e you would need to cast a Magic Missile at 4th level to deal the same damage as a 2nd level Scorching Ray. (Pretty much how it should be for fire damage with a roll vs. force damage with no roll.)
    Last edited by Sniccups; 2019-12-16 at 03:57 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Least used spells?

    Eh, psionic combat was a mess because it'd come up every time you had psionicists do anything, but Weird has always been a max-level spell, and even at high-level play, those aren't very common (even less so, in earlier editions). It's OK to have a separate side-combat if it only happens occasionally.

    And if you can figure out how to run that side-combat at all.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Least used spells?

    On Weird: I used it a few times in a one-shot, although it was mainly to really test-case it in "real" situations.

    I hate to say, it is indeed a spell that is too niche. The main thing I dislike with it is that all effects end on the first successful save. I would honestly have been fine if at least the frightened effect stayed for the duration and only damage was stopping, or maybe "damage until three accumulated saves"...

    As it is, I see it as a nice way to succeed on challenges you could probably resolve with any 5th or 6th level spell. That's kinda frustrating.
    The only point where it could be relevant would be when facing enemies (beware, long list of cumulative conditions)...
    - in a large amount (like many tiny/small or mixing flying and pedestrians)
    - all cluttered up in the radius (I mean, what are the odds unless you're fighting an army)
    - majority having bad or decent at most Wisdom save (probably the less hard to fill condition)
    - that have high enough HP a Fireball won't fit or that you don't necessary want to kill (otherwise you probably have other ways).
    - in an environment you want to preserve (otherwise, before even Meteor Swarm, you have enough big area or high damaging spells).

    I mean... Sadly, the next time I pick it, it will be mainly to respect a character concept...

    As for TimeStop, it's more powerful than it seems, especially if you can get other people's spells or simply prepared tricks requiring magic items. There is also always the Freezing Globe tactic for some nova damage, or Delayed Blast Fireball (although this is probably not worth ^^).
    The main limit is that you can still concentrate only on one spell, so many things you'd like to do with Wizard spells are still undoable.

    Still, quite a few interesting things to do, for example...
    - Use that time got find and go to a place in which you can cover/hide as needed and still get a good shot for long range spells.
    - On the contrary, get close and dirty using Dash to get into range for a Hold/Dominate Monster or other good spell with 60 / 90 feet range.
    - Set up better fighting conditions by buffing yourself with Mirror Image, Crown of Stars, then unleashing a Slow / Hypnotic Pattern to end while giving a nice surprise to your friends, or maybe using Bones of Earth (or a concentration wall) *behind* a group of enemies to cut their retreat while also offering cover from further enemies.
    - And of course, just setting up a runaway by using Expeditious Retreat / Fly then Dashing for your life (not sure whether 9th + 1st is better than multiple 2nd/3rd level or a single 4th / 5th level though). XD


    Technically, you could even use a Conjure spell, because at the time of casting, you don't affect other creatures. And then you don't need to use any action to give them orders. So you can conjure them, and use the remaining round(s) to set up a strategy. :)
    Last edited by HiveStriker; 2019-12-16 at 08:07 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #65
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: Least used spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniccups View Post
    Thanks for the explanation, but did you say in there that Scorching Ray does the same damage as an upcast Magic Missile? Were you talking about 5e, or an earlier edition? In 5e you would need to cast a Magic Missile at 4th level to deal the same damage as a 2nd level Scorching Ray. (Pretty much how it should be for fire damage with a roll vs. force damage with no roll.)
    D'oh, factored in a presumed hit-chance in my math there.

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Least used spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniccups View Post
    Thanks for the explanation, but did you say in there that Scorching Ray does the same damage as an upcast Magic Missile? Were you talking about 5e, or an earlier edition? In 5e you would need to cast a Magic Missile at 4th level to deal the same damage as a 2nd level Scorching Ray. (Pretty much how it should be for fire damage with a roll vs. force damage with no roll.)
    Magic missile is a spell I almost always have prepared. Sometimes you just need damage to happen and very few critters are resistant to force damage, topped off with you can cast it from any slot you still have available.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Least used spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    Magic missile is a spell I almost always have prepared. Sometimes you just need damage to happen and very few critters are resistant to force damage, topped off with you can cast it from any slot you still have available.
    One of my campaigns has a running joke that whenever any monster tries to run away at low health, our wizard will just kill it with Magic Missile.
    The Greatest Threads Of GiantITP (in my opinion):
    A story of the exact wrong way to run a campaign.
    The best thread derailment of all time.
    The "canonical" list of Mostly Useless Magic Items.
    A ridiculous campaign.
    Weird dreams.

    Working on a laptop connected to the Internet is like writing on a typewriter welded to a circus. -Unknown

    My Nexus character

  8. - Top - End - #68
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Least used spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniccups View Post
    One of my campaigns has a running joke that whenever any monster tries to run away at low health, our wizard will just kill it with Magic Missile.
    We actually have this tendency to never miss fleeing enemies so it doesn't matter if a roll is involved, if it's running away, for some reason dice will always kill it. It's been that way since our very first campaign with this group in like 2004.
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  9. - Top - End - #69
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Least used spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Alter Self does have some advantages over Disguise Self, but also some disadvantages: The former changes only you, not your clothing or equipment. You can make your face look like that of a noble courtier, but you'll be a noble courtier wearing dirty, tattered armor and a leather backpack.
    And the disadvantage I really don't like: if your infiltration gambit breaks down and leads to combat (which with my group is actually the norm instead of the exception...sigh), with Disguise Self you never end up showing your true self to the guards or whoever. Having a non-concentration disguise which stays up when the poop hits the fan is better for a group which regularly fails at the more delicate missions of the game. It's pretty rare that somebody in my parties doesn't **** it all up.
    Last edited by Guy Lombard-O; 2019-12-17 at 09:26 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: Least used spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    Magic missile is a spell I almost always have prepared. Sometimes you just need damage to happen and very few critters are resistant to force damage, topped off with you can cast it from any slot you still have available.
    Yeah, but he was talking about my math. We have a running thing in my group about how, if you miss with 1 of your 3 rays, scorching ray does the same damage as the Magic Missile you almost certainly have memorized (for the reasons you, Sniccups, and Eldariel mentioned). I just forgot about that caveat being presumed in the math, and mentioned it separate.

    Honestly speaking, all of the low-mid direct damage non-cantrips other than Magic Missile and Fireball are on the rarely-used list, at least in my groups (I should say 'for wizards/sorcerers,' as the Tempest Cleric or Bard will have Shatter, and so forth).

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    DwarfFighterGuy

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    Default Re: Least used spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Yeah, but he was talking about my math. We have a running thing in my group about how, if you miss with 1 of your 3 rays, scorching ray does the same damage as the Magic Missile you almost certainly have memorized (for the reasons you, Sniccups, and Eldariel mentioned). I just forgot about that caveat being presumed in the math, and mentioned it separate.

    Honestly speaking, all of the low-mid direct damage non-cantrips other than Magic Missile and Fireball are on the rarely-used list, at least in my groups (I should say 'for wizards/sorcerers,' as the Tempest Cleric or Bard will have Shatter, and so forth).
    Played with some AL groups where they assumed a 15 minute day and dumped everything early on. When I DMed sometimes it was fun to watch the casters using Cantrips exclusively from the opening rounds of a third or fourth combat encounter. I was not cruel but camping out in a hallway or a lair in a dungeon has a decent chance of drawing the wrong kind of attention.
    With one exception, I play AL games only nowdays.

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  12. - Top - End - #72
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Least used spells?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Yeah, but he was talking about my math. We have a running thing in my group about how, if you miss with 1 of your 3 rays, scorching ray does the same damage as the Magic Missile you almost certainly have memorized (for the reasons you, Sniccups, and Eldariel mentioned). I just forgot about that caveat being presumed in the math, and mentioned it separate.

    Honestly speaking, all of the low-mid direct damage non-cantrips other than Magic Missile and Fireball are on the rarely-used list, at least in my groups (I should say 'for wizards/sorcerers,' as the Tempest Cleric or Bard will have Shatter, and so forth).
    Yeah, I was just adding to the reasons MM would be memorized. And my evoker uses shatter a lot.
    I am the flush of excitement. The blush on the cheek. I am the Rouge!

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