This is where I'll gather all the planned changes, though Im also going to create a bunch of dedicated topics to discuss few things (e.g. New Spells).
Saving throws system Done
Most players seem to agree that V3's -5 and -6 penalties on high lvl spells make such spells too effective, and V4 will cap the save penalties to -4. Furthermore, the save penalty won't be strictly standardized anymore (e.g. 1st lvl has no penalty, 2nd has -1, 3rd has -2, and so on) but it's "shaped" to better fit each spell, which is more similar to AD&D vanilla system and also gives me one more variable to balance each spell (e.g spells of the same level can have different save penalties depending on how powerful their effects are).
Innate Contingencies & Sequencers
These spells will be turned into innates at will abilities gained by mages at lvl up. Such change should make SCS fights more fair (as SCS mages always have all triggers/contingecies ready), and it will eliminate the odd "rest - prepare triggers - rest again" routine I hear from too many players.
1st Level Spell
With ToBEx concentration tweak this spell may gain even more appeal because the concentration check is easier the less dmg the caster suffer, and thus we may look AoF as having a -20% spell failure effect.
I'm not sure if druids should have it, but I can live with them keeping it. Within Forgotten Realms lore druids has to worship some nature god, and not just nature itself, thus they do have some sort of "faith".
Druids do not get this spell anymore.
Detect Evil --> Detect Alignment Done
The title says all.
Druids do not get this spell anymore.
I've tried to turn this ridiculously pointless spell into priest's MMM. What do you think? Is it appealing enough now?
Protection from Evil
I was thinking to add it "immunity to charm" as per PnP but I cannot restrict it to charms cast by evil creatures and since there's finally a counter to such effect within SR I think it's not so crucial anymore.
I had a plan to make it closer to PnP but after a huge discussion about it with DavidW we decided to not go for it, mostly because the AI could not cope with it.
Thus I only tweaked it to better perform its intended role:
- casting time improved from standard (4 in vanilla, 5 within SR) to instant (1)
- not affected by "anti-invisibility" spells
- duration reduced from 1 turn to 6 rounds (this spell should not be used as hide in shadow/invisibility)
I've increased its base dmg from 1d6 to 2d4, and its enchantment bonus progression is slightly faster (+2 and +3 at levels 5 and 9 respectively). I also had to remove the "club proficiency" because BGEE ruined the opcode which was handling this feature.
Strength of Stone Done
I've reduced the movement speed penalty from 30% to 20%.
Right now it's exactly as per PnP, but I would probably prefer a different dmg progression (e.g. faster but capped at level 10). Being the only 1st lvl damaging priest spell (limited to druids) I think this was a truly great addition, and one of my favourite low lvl druid spells.
2nd Level Spells
This spell was widely considered a bit too good within V3. I've slowed down its progression (+3 and +4 AC are now gained at levels 9 and 15 respectively, instead of level 6 and 9) and reduced its extremely long duration (from 1/turn per level up to 20 to 5 fixed turns). The former change should help keeping the spell less powerful for BG1 while the latter should make it harder for a single druid to keep multiple allies buffed for ages.
I've left it unchanged. I know some players dislike the incredibly long casting time, but that's the only thing which keeps this spell balanced as long as we don't make it require continuous concentration on the caster's side as per PnP.
Fire Trap Done
I've reduced the casting time from 9 to 5. It does not have V3's -1 save penalty anymore.
Flame Blade Done
Tons of small changes here. My main concern was its enchantment lvl, which was making it almost useless later on when +2 enchantment becomes too important, but I also had to remove the "scimitar proficiency" feature because of BGEE (which ruins the relative opcode use).
Short story: "The caster wields this blade-like ray as if proficient with the weapon, at his normal THAC0. At level 3, it functions as a magical weapon, dealing 2d6+1 points of fire damage, with an enchantment bonus of +1. For every other three experience levels of the spellcaster, this bonus increases by one, up to a total of +3 enchantment level, +3 to attack rolls, and +3 to damage for a 9th-level caster."
You may notice a pattern here: Shillelag, Flame Blade and Spiritual Hammer now follow very similar progressions, but each still offer unique features. Of the three, I fear FB might still be the least appealing right now despite its improved enchantment level (it was dealing slightly more min dmg at higher level within v3), but I'm open to suggestions.
Even after my huge boost I would have never memorized this spell. It would be really cool if within BG players had to eat a meal at least once per day to avoid fatigue, but such feature don't exist (too bad, it would make taverns more interesting). I thought about the possibility of making the berries remove various fatigue effects, but until ToBEx allows such a tweak my hands are tied. For now I've simply made this a 1st lvl spell. With such a cheap spell slot it may turn out good, we'll see.
One very small redeeming factor now is that equipped berries allow "instant healing", something druids don't have anymore since their Cure Wound spells have been replaced by Regenerate Wound ones.
Know Opponent Done
I've removed it from druids.
Resist Fire and Cold
No changes planned, though I was thinking to turn it into an elemental barrier (e.g. 25% res to fire, cold and electricity - not sure about acid).
Its save penalty is changed from V3's -1 to -4 (it was -5 in vanilla BG).
3rd Level Spells
The uber powerful Skeletal Warrior won't be available with this cheap 3rd lvl spell anymore (they will still be available with a dedicated 6th lvl spell though), but V3 Greater Skeletons are more than enough imo. With a 3rd lvl slot you get 2x 5HD undead warriors, just take a look at other summoning spells and let me know if you find a better deal.
On a side note... THIS SPELL IS EVIL. Good aligned priests, not to mention paladins, should not have this spell. Within KR I managed to make paladins not get this spell, thus I'm already relatively satisfied. I wanted to give good aligned priests something "to make up for the eventual loss of AD". Arda suggests to use a 3E spell, Searing Light. My only real problem with this spell is that it's too much similar to Sunscorch (afaik I would also have to use the same animation). Initially I was also concerned because within AD&D sun related spells were granted only to druids and Morninglords of Lathander, but then I realized that in vanilla BG False Dawn and Sunray were granted to all clerics, and that now they could actually perform well as non-evil (or good only?) "compensation" for good aligned priests not getting Skeletal Warriors and Death Knights. What do you think of the whole matter?
Break Enchantment Done
Exploiting the pre-existing 'disabling' sec type we have tweaked this spell to finally counter charm effects. At the same time this change made it also counter the following spells:
- Miscast Magic
Glyph of Warding Done
I've reduced the casting time from 9 to 5. It does not have V3's -2 save penalty anymore.
Gust of Wind Done
Druids now get this as a 2nd lvl spell (Clerics still get it as a 3rd lvl spell for now). School changed from Abjuration to Evocation.
On a side note, we may think about making this spell "dispel" an insect swarm affecting the caster (its casting time 1 makes it possible).
This spell is fine, but Arda was suggesting to merge this and its evil version into a single "party-friendly" version. The idea has some merit, but I'm still not 100% convinced.
Invisibility Purge Done
Unlike mage's Detect Invisibility this is an abjuration spell, and it differs from "See Invisibility" because it should effectively 'dispel' invisibility. If we agree on the concept the end result is that unlike mage's spell this one will remain unchanged. Sanctuary is not affected by this spell anymore.
I know some players really like what we did with this spell, but overall I find difficult to judge its real effectiveness.
Repulse Undead Done
Even if I moved it down here it's still a too situational, almost useless spell. I've removed it.
Storm Shield (Wind Wall) Done
The plan was to completely replace Storm Shield with a more canonic PnP spell, Wind Wall. I'm instead keeping the name unchanged because I need the pre-existing bams and portrait icon, but fortunately the concept can still fit it imo.
Short story, here' the new spell description: "This spell surrounds the caster with an invisible curtain of stormy winds that moves with him. The wind wall grants the caster +4 bonus to saves vs. breath and AC against missiles for the duration of the spell. Non-magical missile weapons are deflected away, while gases cannot penetrate the barrier. Tiny and small flying creatures cannot pass through."
What do you think? On a side note, if anyone thinks he can write down a better spell description he's welcome.
Strength of One Done
I've removed it from druids.
What do you think of this spell in general? Does it need any change?
Summon Insects Done
I've removed the fear effect, but the casting time has been hugely reduced from 9 (a full round) to 5, and all insect spells now bypass magic resistance (they actually are summoned creatures attacking a target). We now offer tons of new ways for every type of spellcaster to counter them, and since V3 a creature under a swarm can still make a check each round to be almost unaffected by it for that round, I don't think this buff would make it OP.
See Holy Smite. Right now it's pretty much an "AI only" spell, but extensively used by SCS priests, thus I suppose could be fine anyway, even if it has almost zero appeal for players.
4th Level Spells
I'd like it to summon lesser beings at low levels, and keep the Nymph only for high lvl druids (e.g. at least 12th lvl imo). Dryads are the obvious choice, but I don't know how much effective they can be. With AD&D they only have Charm Person, but within 3E they can also use Entangle and Sleep. We don't have animations for anything else (e.g. pixies, centaurs, etc.).
Cloak of Fear Done
Its fear effect now doesn't have a save penalty, but creatures not immune to fear now suffer -2 penalty to attack rolls (no save).
I'm thinking to eventually add the reverse of this spell, Cloak of Bravery, or maybe "replace" Defensive Harmony with it.
I'm thinking about merging Negative Plane Protection into it. The latter spell is very situational, and I don't think 3E Death Ward is OP. What do you think?
I could make it work as per PnP, but it a very complicate thing, and in the end the result would be pretty much identical. What do you think of this spell? Do you use it now?
On a side note, I really don't like that it performs pretty much the same role of Magic Circle against Evil.
Does it need any change?
I'll make its duration match wizard's version (5 turns). Other than that I guess the spell is fine.
Obviously fine, though it will need some additional tweaks (e.g. immunity to Spike Growth spell).
Negative Plane Protection
I was thinking to merg NPP with Death Ward as per 3E or improve it by making it grant immunity to all forms of negative energy damage (e.g. Cause Wound spells, Skull Trap, etc.).
Have I managed to make this spell appealing?
5th Level Spells
This spell actually is more similar to AD&D Impregnable Mind (though hugely more powerful), and not PnP Chaotic Commands which granted immunity only to spells that place a direct verbal command, such as Taunt, Forget, Suggestion, Domination, Geas, Demand, Succor, Command, Enthrall, Quest, Exaction, but neither to effects such as confusion, fear, feeblemind and hold, nor to psionics. PnP IM instead grants +4 to saves vs. pretty much all those effects, including psionics.
I'd rename the spell because Impregnable Mind is more fitting imo, but other than that there's little to do here. BG version of this spell is quite OP imo, as it single handley counters an entire school of magic (matching 8th lvl spell Mind Blank) but changing it is not an option because of the AI. Fortunately unlike PnP we have Breach here to counter it, and for some reason its OPness seems "under control" in this environment, am I wrong?
I've made it as per PnP but many players seem to not like the "muliple saves" thing. Should I make affected creature "sleep" for at least 2 rounds before making again a save to wake up?
Insect Plague Done
See Summon Insect.
We are thinking to make it grant up to 50% magic resistance instead of the current 40%.
Pixie Dust Done
School changed from Illusion to Conjuration. The dust now grants Improved Invisibility, rather than a very unappealing normal Invisibility, but it lasts "only" 10 rounds.
I'm not sure I understand why PnP made druids get this spell later than mages. Anyway, this spell should be more or less fine, but many players seem to consider it very unappealing.
Protection from Acid/Cold//Electricity/Fire
These spells will be merged into a single spell, thus making it better slightly better because of its "on the fly" adaptability.
I'm one of those PnP players growed up with a great DM who convinced him not giving clerics this spell would make the campaign more interesting. With this spell players end up not fearing death at all (except charname within BG), while having temple-related quests to resurrect a dead party member would be more cool (such as Yoshi's one, though in that case it's not to resurrect him). Anyway, this spell will stay (we even have a damn rod which allows Noober's grandma to resurrect as if she was a goddes) and there's little to do here. Within a PC game like BG a convenient spell like this probably makes sense. End of my rant.
I like what I did, but I'm not sure I'm 100% satisfied with both this spell and Divine Power. Should we differentiate them more? Any suggestion?
I was tempted to make it add an "on hit" ability to the caster's weapon, instead of replacing the weapon itself, but aVENGER's AI uses it in its current form (not sure about SCS) and thus I cannot change it.
True Seeing Done
I've done everything I could to make this spell more in line with its PnP version. It still reveals invisible creatures but it no longer dispels any effect except Blur and Mirror Image (Improved Invisible creatures becomes visible but do not lose the semi-invisibility).
Let me know if this description is clear or need adjustments: "When this spell is cast, the caster gains the ability to see all things as they truly are. The caster sees the exact locations of creatures or objects under displacement or invisibility effects, and sees through illusions. This effectively neutralize spells such as Blur and Mirror Image, allow the caster to see and target invisible creatures normally, and make him unaffected by hostile illusion spells such as Spook. The caster is also cured from any form of blindness and is immune to it for the duration of the spell.
Note: True Seeing does not dispel illusionary clones such as those conjured by Mislead or Simulacrum, but instead clearly highlights them, revealing them as deceptions."
6th Level Spells
After looking more closely into its original AD&D version I now understand why this spell seemed inherently broken to me. AD&D Aerial Servant is supposed to be a 16HD air elemental with permamanet improved invisibility, thus hugely more powerful than a 12HD air elemental summoned by druids at this lvl, and still more powerful than a 16HD one. I kept it "under check" by tweaking its stats, but now I realize an alternative solution, making it work more like a Gate-like spell (aka a la 3E 6th lvl Planar Ally spell), and summon a 16HD Aerial Servant at full power. What do you think?
Blade Barrier Done
I've changed its school from Evocation to Conjuration for conceptual reasons. 3E tries to justify evocation school by saying "blades are shaped of pure force", but it really doesn't convince me. Especially within BG these look like real blades considering they inflict physical slashing damage and bypass magic resistance. Anyway, it's not a big deal, and other than that the spell is fine imo.
Bolt of Glory
Leaving aside that within PnP this is a good-aligned spell granted by Torm and not usable by evil characters, I'm not sure of its appeal (it's only useful when facing demons, or powerful undead creatures). What do you think of it?
I'm tempted to "merge" its concept with Spiritual Wrath's one (a more generalist 6th lvl AD&D spell you may know because of IWD), making it more useful overall imo, and conceptually able to fit priests of any alignment.
Conjure Air/Earth/Fire Elemental
As discussed elsewhere, 16HD elementals (considered too powerful by many SR players) will be moved from here to 7th lvl.
Control Undead --> Banishment Done
I made a mistake adding it imo. Good-aligned clerics should not get it, and evil clerics can already achieve the same via turn undead ability. I've removed it. It's spell slot and spell filename will be used for a waaay better spell, Banishment (aka what vanilla's Death Spell was supposed to be)
Create Undead --> Animate Skeletal Warrior Done
Nuff said, one of the best summons ever. The spell name is based upon PnP Animate Dread Warrior. You may see a pattern here, clerics get all skeleton-based spells (skeletons, greater skeletons, skeletal warriors and death knights), while zombies, ghouls, mummies, and shadows are available only to Necromancers. It's not intented, but it's a fun coincidence.
After deciding to move Regeneration here for druids it strikes me how much this spell actually seem its reverse spell (called Wither within AD&D). Should I try to expand this concept? For example it could cause as much damage as Regeneration heals (same dmg as always, but for a much longer time) allowing a save to halve the duration or damage taken (or even both, thus save for 1/4 of max potential if we also keep vanilla's slow effect).
Do you prefer the current stat drain solution or this more damage oriented one? I'd probably prefer the latter, mainly because both Contagion and Symbol of Weakness are more "stat drain oriented", but I admit that affecting stats is the main thing that differentiate disease from poison. what do you think?
On one hand I like what I managed to do with this spell, otoh I hate that it performs the same anti-undead and/or blinding role of Searing Orb. That being said, between the two spells I'd probably tweak the latter, rather than this one which now seems fine.
Fire Seeds Done
I've raised the number of fire seeds created up to 10 at level 20 (instead of the current 6 at level 18), and increased the rate of fire from 2/round to 5/round. The seeds themselves are unchanged (thought the save for half is made at -4 penalty instead of -5) but I'm considering the possibility of reducing the blast from 10 feet to 5-6, especially considering that in theory they should have been non-friendly. Overall the concept should be clear, Fire Seeds are MMM on steroids.
Casting time reduced from 9 to 6.
Physical Mirror Done
Here I've done something BIG, something which should finally make this spell more than just an uber expensive Protection from Missiles. This spell will now be a close implementation of the more canonic AD&D spell, Entropy Shield (renamed Divine Shell within IWD). IWD made it work in a more generic way (AC and resistances), but I prefer to make it work more like PnP. That spell more or less granted:
1. 50% miss chance to direct attacks (as SR V3 Reflected Image or IR's Cloak of Mirroring)
2. 100% immunity to missiles (covering the old vanilla's role)
3. 50% resistance to all forms of damage (to simulate PnP 50% chance to ignore AoE damaging spells)
I've not implemented 3 for now, and the more I look at it the more I find 2 kinda redundant, but it's there in PnP and it ensures vanilla's behaviour is still completely covered.
Sol's Searing Orb Done
I've customized the unused bulletex projectile to turn it into the "bullet equivalent" of the Arrow of Detonation, and assigned it to our Searing Orb. This way the spell still behaves as it did in vanilla (in case any AI script wants to use it) but it doesn't require a hit roll anymore as the orb is going to explode upon reaching the target anyway.
The complete spell description is the following: "When the spell is completed, it creates a glowing gem. This gem must be thrown at an opponent within 3 rounds, or it will become too hot to hold. When it hits, the gem bursts with a brilliant, searing flash that causes 12d6 points of fire damage to anyone within 30 feet. Creatures within the burst are allowed a saving throw vs. breath at -4 penalty. If successful, only half damage is sustained. On a failed save, the victim also suffers -2 penalty to thac0 and 1d6 points of fire damage each round for 6 rounds. It is not possible for the priest to give the stone to another character to throw. Magic resistance does not effect this spell, nor do any of the spell protections."
The effects of the orb can easily be tweaked or changed (e.g. do we like ongoing fire dmg or not?), though I do think keeping it as a Fireball-like variant is the way to go (no other mid-high lvl spell fills this role right now for druids).
I think it's fine, thought it has been suggested to let the caster decide which spell level slots he/she wants to recall and I may work on it sooner or later.
7th Level Spells
To make it both more unique and closer to PnP I've added a poison effect (playtesting will decide eventual tweaks to all poison-related stats such as duration, dmg inflicted, save penalty, etc.).
For now I've only lowered the save penalties to respect the new lower cap.
I have various improvements in minds, but the most important change will be to make this spell really affect the selected area, rather than the creatures within the area at the time the spell is cast (right now creatures entering the area afetr the 1st round are not affected, and those leaving the area are still affected).
Finger of Death Done
Save penalty changed from -6 to -4.
If the save will still feel too harsh we could further lower it and in exchange increase the damage dealt on a successful save.
Two things to discuss here.
1) Players asked to add a save becuase the paralyzing effect is OP when used by high lvl characters against low lvl ones (something relatively common with SCS). Instead of adding a save, I tried replacing 'hold' with 'slow' via hotfixes, how did it go?
2) Same discussion we had for Holy Smite and Unholy Blight. If we want to merge them as NWN did, the name used there, Word of Faith, should be fine.
I like what I did mixing in PnP Nature's Charm and the original blindness effect isn't really missed considering Sunray already offer a slightly damaging mass blindness spell.
As discussed elsewhere, druids now gets it as a 6th level spell instead of Heal.
This one is fine. One more reason to add a small penalty to Raise Dead is that it currently makes this 7th lvl version almost pointless imo.
Shield of the Archons Done
Making it exactly as per AD&D is impossible, but I've done my best and we may tweak it a bit further if necessary. This sort of spell deflection can now deflect a virtually infinite amount of spells it lasts only 10 rounds. AD&D casting time was 1, and I'm fine with it.
On a side note, Evil priests should get Shield of the Tanar'ri instead, but the two spells are identical. Should I rename this spell Divine Shield, or do something about that?
Sphere of Chaos
It's not very appropriate for clerics imo, but clerics within AD&D do had access to a chaos sphere with spells such as Miscast Magic and Confusion (the silly 7th lvl spell SoC replaces), and most importantly SCS uses it when SR is detected, thus I will keep this spell.
Summon Death Knight
As previously mentioned, this should be evil-only. Good and neutral priests may get Sunray back instead (which is good in case some mod AI uses it assuming vanilla cleric's spellbook).
Summon Shambling Mound
I'll make it summon a couple of 11-12HD shamblers (a la IWD/PnP), instead of the current 16HD greater version. ASVII will be the mass summon spell, Conjure Greater Elemental the single powerful summon, and this spell will offer the middle solution. Deal?
The save to halve the damage and avoid blindness is now made at -4 instead of -6, and it's a save vs. breath instead of spell. Undead creatures vulnerable to its disruptive effect now have to save vs. spell instead of death.
1st Level Spells
Its stunning effect was considered slightly OP, thus I've made a very small revision. The 5 rounds duration effect is slow instead of confusion, and the 1 round duration effect is confusion instead of stun.
The save to avoid falling on the ground is now made at +2 bonus.
Because of its small AoE its effects has to trigger at least once every 3 seconds instead of every round to make sure opponents walking over its AoE will trigger them at least once (this is especially crucial for its slow-like effect).
I'd change its school from Evocation to Abjuration.
2nd Level Spells
Its +3 bonus to AC will be implemented as four "hidden AC bonus vs dmg type" making it bypass the AC cap.
Deafness --> Sound Burst Done
This spell was laughably inferior to its supposedly lesser cousin, Blindness, thus I've completely reshaped it. It now has a small party-friendly AoE (only because we want SCS and RR's AI to be able to use it) of 10 feet radius, and a new animation to fit its new name/concept (the same I created for IR V3's resonating and sound bursting weapons). Enemies in the area suffer a small amount of damage (4d4, save for half) and must save vs. breath to avoid being deafened for 1 turn. I previously suggested to rename it either Sonic Blast (Spell Compendium) or Shout (PHB), but most of you seemed to prefer Sound Burst (despite it being a bard-only spell in PnP).
Detect Invisibility Done
This spell won't dispell Improved Invisibility effects anymore (making Improved Invisibility's +4 AC much more reliable and effective), but it will still reveal invisibile creatures (those under II too) and it will allow to target them normally (aka we don't need neither spell removals to have that ugly AoE, nor SCS solution of flagging them via ToBEx to bypass II). It will also reveal creatures using the new Etherealness spell.
Knock --> Battering Ram Done
I've renamed it Battering Ram (as it's now identical to that PnP spell) and its school is changed from Transmutation to Invocation. Pacek will hopefully provide me a much more appropriate bam for .
Melf's Acid Arrow Done
I've added a small amount of physical damage (on hit it now deals 1d6 missile dmg + 2d4 acid dmg), and capped its progression at 15th lvl instead of 18th (thus reduced the max duration of 1 round, and ongoing acid dmg by 2d4).
Ray of Enfeeblement
Its school may be changed from Enchantment to Necromancy.
Stinking Cloud Done
Its school is changed from Evocation to Conjuration.
Its school is changed from Evocation to Conjuration. I wanted to make it as per PnP (aka an improved Entangle instead of a Mass Paralysis) but it may cause a mess with mod added creatures/spells/AI thus I'm opting for a less drastical revision. Its AoE has been slightly reduced as per PnP, from 30' to 20' (which may actually be an advantage in many circumstances), the save against its hold effect doesn't have any penalty anymore, but creatures within its area now move at half speed even on a successful save(actually I wanted to make them move at the lowest speed possible as per PnP but it could cause a few issues with other similar effects, I'll look into it).
3rd Level Spells
Both vanilla and V3 version suffered of an unbalanced power lvl progression (low dmg output early on and slightly OP damage outupt whene maxed out). I'm trying out the following:
- you get one arrow every 2 levels
- each arrow deals 1d6 missile dmg plus 2d6 fire dmg
- the spell is now capped at level 10 (which means 5 arrows, for 15d6 dmg)
- a save vs. breath halves fire dmg
I also considered to balance its early dmg output by making the save negate all damage (you would still have to make a separate save for each arrow). Playtesting will determine this kind of adjustments.
Custom secondary types should finally make it correctly cancel Slow effects. I'd love to make Haste grant "only" +50% movement rate, but I'm not sure I can as long as AI scripts rely on Haste opcode to detect this spell and react to it.
Invisibility Sphere Done
I'm unable to make it work as per PnP, but I think a small tweak can at least make it serve a purpose. I suggest to reduce its casting time to 1, but heavily nerf the duration down to 10 rounds. This way the spell won't be a cheap Mass Invisibility, but either a very fast "escape" option or a powerful choice for multiple mage-thief backstab combos.
As discussed here, I'll make it work much more similarly to PnP. When targeted by Detect Illusion, Oracle, or True Seeing the protected creature will be allowed to make a save, a successfull save means the divination fails, a failed save means DI/Oracle/True Seeing are able to detect the protected creature.
Custom secondary types should finally make it correctly cancel Haste. Sooner or later I'd like to make Slow actually work on non-warriors too (afaik right now apr 1 isn't halved to 1/2).
I'm making its damage count as necromantic negativy energy as per PnP, which means it won't harm undead creatures anymore (opening new tactics for necromancers) and we may also think about making Negative Plane Protection work against it.
I'd love to make it 100% as per PnP, but I can't because the AI wouldn't handle it well. I'm starting to think DavidW made a more balanced choice when we decided to nerf its dmg output (he used vanilla's 1d6/lvl but capped it at 12th caster lvl, I used PnP 1d4/lvl capped at 20th caster lvl). What do you think?
4th Level Spells
Duration has been reduced from 10 rounds to 5 rounds. Save penalty is set at -2 as per vanilla.
Enchanted Weapon Done
I'm changing its school from Enchantment to Conjuration as the concept and description suggest ("This spell conjures forth a +3 enchanted weapon..."). If you prefer I can rename it Magical Weapon, but it's really not a big deal imo.
Otiluke's Resilient Sphere Done
When used as an offensive spell the save against its effect will now be made at -4 penalty.
Flind form (with its flaming halberd) will be replaced by a much better Fire Salamander form. I'm also adding a Troll form, but it may not necessarily replace the Ogre form. The latter currently is the less appealing form imo, but it still offers a unique option with its +2 blunt weapon (aka an anti-golem form).
Teleport Field Done
Save penalty slightly increased from -3 to -4.
I'm still uncertain about making it bypass magic resistance or not.
5th Level Spells
I really wanted to make this spell at least slightly less "game-ending" for mages, and at the same time somewhat more similar to its PnP version (which would simply remove target's immunity to magical weapons - including innate immunities too). SCS also uses it as a counter to protections granting immunities to elemental/magic damage (e.g. Protection from Energy spells), but I don't know if the current version uses it against all specific protections (e.g. Free Action, Chaotic Commands, and Death Ward). If yes, I guess we can keep Breach working against them too considering they still grant immunities, and thus it would still somewhat fit the spell's concept.
Short story: I suggest to make Breach not dispel the following spells: Protection from Evil, Resist Fire/Cold, Magic Circle against Evil, Fire Shields, Mage Armor, Shield, Armor of Faith, Barkskin, Spirit Armor, and Blade Barrier.
Its school is changed from Evocation to Conjuration.
Conjure Lesser Elemental
Elementals will probably have slightly less staying power (though this should apply more to greater ones), and perhaps a bunch of new features (e.g. Air Elementals should get their Whirwind ability, while Fire Elementals may set targets on fire, but become vulnerable to cold damage). We may end up merging all elementals into the same spell, allowing the caster to select the type on the fly (a la Spell Immunity).
The only charm spell working as it should. I've only changed its save penalty from -4 to -2 (as per vanilla), but I'm not 100% sure it needed the nerf. The real reason for it is that such nerf allows Feeblind to at least have a tiny advantage in terms of save penalty.
On a side note, but extremely important, using a custom secondary type we should finally be able to provide a counter to charm effects. Break Enchantment and Freedom will hopefully "cure" charmed allies within V4.
This spell cannot compete with the other enchantment spells at this lvl imo because it doesn't offer any real advantage over them, nor unique feature. It's a single target Hold Monster with a longer duration which doesn't matter in almost any situation unless used by the AI against players, and taking control of an enemy via Domination is hugely more game-changing than simply halting it.
My suggested improvement was to add 4d6 "psychic damage" or some sort of secondary effect (e.g. -2 penalty to casting time for a bunch or rounds?) to make it do something even on a successful save.
It should be fine as it is imo, but then again, do you feel the current -4 penalty to save is too harsh? From my old games I actually felt vanilla's -2 was making this spell not enough appealing compared to Chaos (same save penalty, almost as disabling, but with an incredibly huge AoE).
It will work as a sort of Mass Know Opponent + vanilla's Detect Illusions (note that unlike the planned Dispel Illusion it won't dispell illusionary creatures).
Protection from Acid/Cold/Electricity/Fire
Now that ToBEx allows spells included in sub menus to be used in contingencies/triggers we're going to make these 4 spells a single spell which allows 4 choices (aka a la Spell Immunity). The "new spell" which includes the old 4 Protection from Acid/Electrical/Fire/Cold will be named Protection from Elemental Energy (clearly inspired by its cousin Protection from Magic Energy).This way we should be able to preserve Protection from the Elements and Protection from Energy (aka Elemental Energy + Magic Energy).
Protection from Normal Weapons Done
It can now be used together with PfMW.
Shadow Door Done
I think I did a great work within V3, making this spell almost identical to PnP. It's now very unique amongst II-like spells and extremely efficient as an "escape button". I'll just remove the current huge -4 penalty to its save against the maze-like effect, no save penalty at all should be fine.
You all know how I feel about this spell: it never existed within PnP, it's ridiculously OP for its lvl, and it doesn't even work as intended (e.g. SI:Abj doesn't work against most abjurations; you can still buff yourself with spells which belong to a school you're supposedly immune to; and so on).
Long story short, we are removing this spell from the game. Other spells will fill the various roles of SI's sub spells:
- V4 Non-detection should be able to act as an almost as efficient SI:Divination
- V4 Spell Shield can replace SI:Abjuration and actually work better than it
- SR's True Seeing already grants immunity to "offensive" illusions such as Spook and Shadow Door
- SR's ProEnergy (and lesser versions) can easily perform as SI:Evocation and almost as SI:Conj too
- a new spell, Mind Blank, will fill the role of SI:Enchantment
- Ardanis suggested to import NWN's Shadow Shield to offer a SI:Necromancy option for players
Recent "investigations" seem to prove that SCS is currently using only two sub spells of SI, SI:Abj and SI:Div. Let us know if our assumption is wrong. If it's not, we just need to make SCS use Spell Shield instead of the former, Non-detection instead of the latter, and we would have no compatibility issue at all.
The latest versions of SCS are actually using our fix ("invented" by me and coded by Ardanis) to finally make Spell Shield work as intended. So, within V4 I'm enabling Spell Shield again.
If we end up disabling Spell Immunity this spell will grant immunity to dispel effects. Such tweak will make this spell the true Spell Immunity:Abjuration, outshining the original SI:Abj which actually never worked against any Abjuration spell removal.
Sunfire --> Fireburst Done
I've renamed it Fireburst as per PnP (perhaps it's just me but the "sun" part was really out of place).
PnP version uses d8 dices for damage, but I'm not sure this spell needs more dmg output, does it?
6th Level Spells
Its school is changed from Evocation to Conjuration.
I was also thinking about slightly altering its dmg output to last a couple of rounds even after escaping the cloud. Most acid based attacks work like that and it would also make its dmg output work more similarly to AD&D version of this spell (where dmg inflicted increases the more the target remains inside the cloud). Overall the spell wouldn't change much, but ongoing dmg would make it slightly more different than just a more damaging Cloudkill. No?
Conjure Air/Earth/Fire Elemental
We are thinking to merge them into a single spell, and to move greater elementals (which are generally considered too powerful right now) to 7th lvl in the form of a new Conjure Greater Elemental spell.
Animate Skeletal Warrior Done
V3 Create Undead was considered too weak for its spell slot (am I wrong?) whereas the uber powerful Skeletal Warrior deserved an appropriate spell lvl (it's so powerful imo that it actually rivals 7th lvl summons).
Death Spell --> Banishment Done
As most of you already know vanilla's version of this spell actually was PnP Banishment + PnP Death Spell. For conceptual/consistency reasons I'm thus replacing vanilla's Death Spell with Banishment.
This spell will instantly destroy a Mordy Sword without save as per PnP. The save to avoid its massive damage will surely be nerfed because the current -5 penalty is above the -4 cap I'm imposing within V4, but I'm not sure if assigning -2 or no penalty at all.
To further refine the spell, what about making it somewhat affect golems too? We could make it a very limited effect as per PnP (1d12 dmg and slow for 1d6 rounds), but I'd personally make it at least slightly more effective (who'd waste a 6th lvl spell to deal 1d12 dmg?), and I wouldn't limit it to only clay golems. Feel free to bash my idea, the spell would still be very good in terms of power.
Flesh to Stone
Leaving aside all the technical issues/bugs the spell currently has (we should be able to handle them all within V4), this spell needs some serious improvement imo to compete with its cousin Disintegrate, not to mention I currently prefer even Hold Monster over it (almost same effect in terms of effectiveness during a battle, but with a larger AoE and cheaper spell slot).
Long story short, the only way I can imagine this spell becoming interesting is by adding it a secondary effect, which can still affect a target on a successfull save. I suggest to use one of the following two solutions:
a) target is considerably slowed
b) target is petrified for 1 round
The former would pratically turn this spell into a sort of Improved Slow (which I was tempted to add), while the latter is inspired by vanilla's Implosion secondary effect. What do you think?
Improved Haste Done
This spell won't grant 2x apr anymore to balance its OP-ness when used on warriors (for dualwielders this pratically was the equivalent of casting Greater Whirlwind Attack 10+ times, with even additional benefits such as doubled movement speed, improved thac0 and improved AC), but it will grant +2 apr, making it finally work for any class (it previously granted only +1 apr to non-warriors).
I'd dare to suggest expanding its current concept, making it able to detect and disarm traps. This alone would turn this previously underused summon into an incredibly cool one.
If I wanted to really go overboard I'd even suggest to make it able to explore the area outside the "fog of war".
The current solution should be fine/balanced in terms of gameplay. I've thought about trying to understand how Galactygon made the summoned illusion take the place of the caster instead of appearing alongside it, but afaik there's no way to prevent the spell from displaying the hardcoded message which indicates a Mislead spell as been cast, making the whole "mislead" concept pointless.
Pierce Magic Done
To make it more similar to its PnP version, more true to how an abjuration spell is supposed to work, and different from Lower Resistance alteration, I'd make it completely nullify magic resistance on target (setting it to 0%) but for a very limited amount of time (only a bunch of rounds).
Protection from Magical Weapons Done
I've given it back its 4 rounds duration because DavidW convinced me it is crucial for the AI.
Stone to Flesh
This spell was pointless from the beginning (very situational, underpowered and absurdly "expensive" for the few times you may think to need it), but now that we have Break Enchantment it has become even more laughable.
The only idea I found to make it at least appealing was to rename it Shape Stone and make it a sort of improved Stoneskin castable on allies (eventually retaining its cure petrification effect too). Other than that I don't know, if you don't like such solution I surely wouldn't mind removing it completely, and perhaps fill the free spell slot with Improved Slow (though I fear the latter would somewhat overlap with Flesh to Stone's role as single target disabling alteration).
V3 version should be more or less fine, though there was a discussion about its drawback (no spellcasting) being too harsh. Is it?
True Seeing Done
See cleric's one.
Wyvern Call --> Monster Summoning VI
I was planning to remove it completely, but it may instead simply get renamed/merged into the new Monster Summoning VI.
Back then I was thinking to override its filename (spwi619) with the new Shades spell, hoping to see the latter being used by the current AI without waiting new SCS updates, but I'm not sure anymore. In the long run it's probably better to simply rename Wvyern Call as Monster Summoning VI to preserve its concept, and hope future SCS updates (or other AI mods in general) will make good use of the new Shades spell to create a true Illusionist.
7th Level Spells
The only thing to discuss here is its save penalty. I think that the obvious change from -6 to -4 is enough, but let me know if you think it's still too heavy.
Khelben's Warding Whip
Let's start by saying one thing: vanilla's spell has nothing to do with its PnP version! Then also keep in mind that we can't remove its current ability (no problem it is still fitting imo), and that its true PnP form is neither fully achievable (its parry ability would be a sort of PfMW, but not really) nor completely appealing (immunity to Bigby spells? oh yeah great!).
So, I'd start by making it an Evocation as per PnP (it's an energy whip much like Mordy sword) and adding a small but cool PnP feature by making it dispel Mage Armor and Shield (remember Breach doesn't work against them anymore). These surely aren't game changing tweaks, but for a pure Invoker removing Shield to then cast tons of Magic Missiles (and V4's Mordenkainen's Force Missiles) can still be handy, not to mention we already have tons of abjuration spell removals, thus making this one an evocation is a good twist imo. The whole anti-Bigby thing doesn't strike me as particularly appealing, and doesn't even fit the concept imo, but if you want it just because "it's PnP" fine with me.
After that there's the "parry" feature which we can't implement, but if you ask me it's not a big deal. If we really think this spell needs another boost while keeping the concept intact I'd say it could be either:
- remove one specific protection (e.g. ProEnergy) - perhaps only from 2nd round
- small magic damage when the whip strikes the target each round
That being said, the spell was appealing even in vanilla imo (because of its duration) so I'm fine even with just the small PnP restyle mentioned above.
What do you guys think of its V3 version? Did it become somewhat appealing compared to the mighty PfMW?
Power Word Stun Done
Targets with 90+ hit points will now be affected, though only for 1 round (incidentally this is pretty much how Dungeon & Dragons Online handled it).
I'd also move it from 7th lvl to 8th lv as per 3rd edition.
I'd like to make it more close to PnP, but I'm not sure to which extent (e.g. we cannot make it use the original caster's spell slots when casting spells). Its V3's invisibility tweak aimed at making it somewhat usable in the middle of a fight as a sort of Mislead spell, and making Truee Seeing not dispel illusionary clones on sight should make this an even more viable use of PI.
Ideally there are tons of things I'd like to do. I'd like making it dispel itself if too far from the caster, but I don't want to mess with SCS scripts, thus I'd leave this feature out. I'd also like to make it a true illusionary clone (unlike Simulacrum which is semi-real) unable to buff itself with non-illusionary spells (e.g. Stoneskin). This is doable, and it could help to balance the immense power this spell still has despite the huge nerf (back then when it could also use scrolls and items it was outrageously OP). What do you think? Is it worth a try?
Ruby Ray of Reversal
I'll try to make this spell more close to its PnP version. For example it will revert polymorphed targets to their true form, making it a great counter when facing Shapechange's Iron Golem, but also good to cure an ally from Polymorph Other or Flesh to Stone (note that transmuters don't have access to Break Enchantment). Within AD&D it also removed target's illusionary protections, but I'll let you decide. It should also work as a Knock spell, as well as allowing to dispel a Web, Grease or Entangle effect on the target, but these are kinda pointless features considering Knock is a 2nd lvl spell and that the mentioned effects last 1 round anyway (3E made RRoR completely destroy those spells in the area, but that is not doable afaik unless we can create a sort of custom clearair.2da - and it's not clear to me why a single target spell should affect an area).
Sphere of Chaos
Once again, let's make it clear, this spell never existed in any PnP version. Considering that I'd like to move here Symbol of Stun as per PnP, and that SoC is so powerful I'd move it to 8th lvl. The only two PnP spells I found which resembles SoC are AD&D Symbol of Insanity and 3E Maddening Whispers, both of which are 8th lvl.
Summon Djinni & Efreeti
We'll probably end up making a Summon Genie spell which then let you pick the one you want. I was thinking about adding the earth-related Dao, but it doesn't add much imo.
I thought about adding it a small anti-magic aura to make it more different than just a slightly better Nishruu, but even now the spell can be a very appealing choice for any spellcaster imo.
Symbol of Stunning
Moved from 8th lvl to 7th lvl as per PnP, making it match priest's spell lvl.
Symbol of Weakness
Moved from 8th lvl to 7th lvl as per PnP, making it match priest's spell lvl.
8th Level Spells
We currently have two almost identical Bigby spells (ironically vanilla's 8th lvl version was even better than its 9th lvl variant), so I propose to turn this spell into the very similar PnP Ice Claw spell, but renaming it as 4th edition Bigby's Icy Grasp. The spell would more or less remain the same, but it would inflict cold dmg and freeze the target, making both dmg type, hold type and possible counters (e.g. ProCold) different from its bigger cousin Crushing Hand.
Then, considering that the two Bigby spells would still be too close and very similar and that PnP Ice Claw is a 7th lvl spell in PnP, we might move this spell down to 7th lvl, especially if we decide to add here the classic PnP Polar Ray.
Greater Globe of Invulnerability Done
Simply renamed from V3 Spell Shield, as the original Spell Shield is now restore. I know it's not a true PnP spell, but I like it as it is, and it makes my wizard feel like a lich for a moment.
Horrid Wilting Done
I've reduced its save penalty from -6 to -4, but playtesting is needed to determine if it needs to be lowered a bit more. It also doesn't work on elementals anymore.
Leaving aside that I always considered both Mantles redundant (why they added these two non-PnP spells is beyond my comprehension), this spell may simply get slightly increased duration (+1 round).
I just had a crazy idea regarding Mantles, but I haven't studied it, thus don't insult me please, I don't know if it would be unbalanced (probably not) or mess with AI detectable spells. Long story short, what about making Mantle effect increase with caster lvl up to grant full immunity to weapons? Except with RR's Cyric encounter PfMW already does that, thus I don't see a balance problem, and Mantles uses very high spell lvls.
We also have the problem of making two almost identical spells different and both appealing despite having only 1 lvl difference, and I really don't know how it could be doable outside of really daring solutions, such as making Improved Mantle work as Mantle affecting allies within 10 feet (crazy eh?).
Else we can just live as we always did, pretty much ignoring these two spells and always picking PfMW instead of them.
Incendiary Cloud Done
Its school is changed to Conjuration a la 3E (it belonged to both Conjuration and Evocation within AD&D, and in fact this is the only cloud spell imo which at least looks like it could be an evocation). Its save penalty is reduced from -6 to -4, and the reduced line of sight has toned down.
Balancing this spell is incredibly hard, but ideally it deserves to be even more devastating than Horrid Wilting imo considering it's not party friendly. I'd like each cloud to perform a slightly different role but in PnP this is pretty much a damaging Fog Cloud and that's how it currently works. That being said, while Cloudkill and Acid Fog are mid-high lvl spells and deserves to not be overlapped (Stinking Cloud too remains a different and valid option imo) I don't think it's a problem for IC to "overlap" the eventual addition of Fog Cloud.
I never completely understood this spell, it indeed has its utility, but I personally require more from an 8th lvl spell to memorize it (it's just a Resilient Sphere with no save imo). Anyway, there's little or nothing we can do here, so I just hope it's fine as it is.
Power Word Blind
I'd move it from 8th lvl to 7th lvl as per 3rd edition. Now that SCS makes True Seeing counter blindness (forcing us to do the same) there's really no way PW:Blind can even remotely be superior to PW:Stun (not to mention it already was inferior imo). PW:Blind is pretty much useless against casters now (is there any caster not running TS?), and even if it can still be a powerful spell against warriors, countering it is extremely easy imo.
I'd like to add Cornugon to make player's version of this spell match SCS behaviour.
Symbol of Death
Ironically the only Symbol which really belongs to 8th lvl is the least appealing one. The easiest way to make this spell appealing would be to make it more like Dungeon & Dragons Online, aka a "Mass Enervation Trap". The hardest one (not 100% sure it's doable) would be to make it a continuos effect instead of instantaneous once triggered, thus turning the area into a field of death where for x rounds everyone within the area must make a save as soon as his/her hit points are lower than 60, or die.
9th Level Spells
This is a 9th lvl spell for Ao's sake, let's make it worth that spell slot! I suggest to make it grants what its name suggests, absolute immunity, for 4 rounds. By that I mean at least immunity to all forms of damage (V3 Absolute Immunity + Protection from Energy), but I'd include a much wider amount of immunities (e.g. Free Action + Death Ward + Mind Blank). If you're thinking that would be OP, think again: Time Stop does the same and much more. During Time Stop everyone except the caster is frozen (he can even hit in melee with 100% chance), there's neither protection against it (there's not a single item or spell granting immunity to Time Stop) nor counter, whereas Absolute Immunity would still be removable via Breach or Pierce Shield. During Absolute Immunity all opponents would still be active, able to counter it (or for example tear down other spell protections), if not in the worst case find cover and wait a bunch of rounds for AI to expire. Time Stop will still be superior in every possible way except casting time, as Absolute Immunity would have the noticeable advantage of having almost instant casting time instead of a full round, and 1 round duration. What do you think?
Note that Abjurers don't have access to Time Stop, this would pratically be their version of TS.
Bigby's Crushing Hand
If you accept my suggested changes for the other Bigby spell I hink this is one is more or less fine as it is. Very high dmg potential with what I consder the best dmg type (crushing) and a chance to disable the target once each round.
Black Blade of Disaster
I seriously need feedback on this spell, because balancing this type of spell on paper is really hard, if not impossible. It's easy to make this spell not worth a 9th lvl spell slot, as much as it's easy to make it OP in the right hands.
I'm thinking of making this spell drain a higher amount of lvls, and perhaps restoring more of caster's hit points.
I guess I have to at least add a Baalor here to match SCS behaviour. Ideally I'd like to make this spell more like PnP, allowing to summon non-evil cretures too for good or neutral aligned casters, but it requires A LOT of planning and work.
I think that Imprisonment should actually get a save, as bypassing magic resistance, working against pretty much any creature, and having permanent duration which requires another 9th lvl spell to counter, should be enough to make it the most effective single target disabling spell. Most players seemed to vote for "no change" though.
Power Word Kill Done
Instead of having PW:Kill affect only targets with less than 60 hit points I'd make it kill any target regardless of hp, allowing only those with more than 60hp a save to avoid death. Targets with less than 60hp won't be allowed a save as before.
Its true PnP name would be Absorption. I'm still not sure what to do with this spell, but as it is right now it doesn't offer anything more than a lower lvl spell protection imo (the AI simply won't cast spells against this spell as much as it would not do against Spell Deflection/Turning).
This should be the ultimate spell removal. Back then DavidW convinced me to not make it really devastating because casters had almost no protection against it, but now that we have Spell Shield into the equation again I think we don't have to restrain ourselves anymore. Even if we make it remove all spell and specific protections, as long as Spell Shield can now counter one Spellstrike I think everything will be fine, wouldn't it?
I still believe that allowing physical attacks during TS makes it unbalanced (ironic that after suggesting it myself to Sikret I was then accused to copy that suggestion from him, but nevermind), and that 3E TS is much more balanced. That being said, I guess there's nothing we can do without messing with the AI (e.g. SCS exploits this at least a couple of times, such as Irenicus encounter in hell), and I can probably live with TS remaining the most powerf 9th lvl spell as long as the other choices are almost as good and less exploitable.
Wail of the Banshee
Many players actually consider this spell almost OP within SR because of its -6 save penalty. Now, I can simply make it use a lesser penalty but making the problem imo is that without a secondary effect its main one deserves to be hard to counter, so I think at least -2, if not -4.
Speaking of secondary effects, I know it would not be as per PnP but what about adding a secondary deafness effect?
See Limited Wish. Infinite potential, but very complicate to implement.
Edited by Demivrgvs, 30 September 2014 - 02:52 AM.