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.
NWN-style Spell Deflection
As discussed here.
Saving throws system revision
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 balance each spell (Spook is a good example of a lower lvl spells actually needing a better penalty than higher lvl spells), which is more similar to both vanilla's system and AD&D PnP.
1st Level Spells
Its stunning effect will be replaced by a less drastical and more appropriate daze-like effect (cannot attack nor cast spells).
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). The save to avoid falling on the ground may get a +2 bonus.
Its school is changed from Evocation to Abjuration.
I'm pretty much convinced that making it work as per vanilla Vampiric Touch is the way to go. It won't require hit roll anymore, and it won't count as a +x enchanted weapon either, making it work as a true spell (e.g. bypassing PfMW-like protections as it should and affecting cretures regardless their weapon immunities). Now that casting the spell means a sure hit with a damage output similar to that of Magic Missile (though MM uses a better dmg type) I think its stunning effect should be fine without save penalty.
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
As it stands now this spell is inferior to its supposedly lesser cousin, Blindness, thus I've thought to completely reshape it. It will get a small party-friendly AoE (only because we want SCS and RR's AI to be able to use it) of 10-15 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). Those in the area will suffer a small amount of damage (4d4?) and must save vs. breath to avoid being deafened. 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).
This spell won't dispell Improved Invisibility effects anymore (making Improved Invisibility's +4 AC much more reliable and effective), but it will reveal invisibile creatures (those under II too) and it will allow to target them normally (aka we don't need spell removals to have that ugly AoE to bypass II anymore, neither SCS more recent solution!). It will also reveal creatures using the new Etherealness spell.
Knock --> Battering Ram
I've renamed it Battering Ram (as it's now identical to that PnP spell) and its school is changed from Transmutation to Invocation.
Melf's Acid Arrow
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 is changed from Enchantment to Necromancy.
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 a la Entangle) but it may cause a mess with mod added creatures/spells/AI thus I'm opting for a less drastical revision. Its AoE will be slightly reduced as per PnP, from 30' to 20' (which may actually be an advantage in many circumstances), the save against its hold effect won't have any penalty anymore, but creatures within its area move at half speed (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
Now, this spell is a pain to balance. Both its vanilla and V3 version suffer of an unbalanced power lvl progression, which makes this spell a really poor choice early on, and a slightly OP 3rd lvl spell later on. After discussing it with Ardanis I'd suggest to make it grant more arrows more quickly (e.g. 1 arrow every 2-3 lvls), while we can balance its early dmg output by making the save negate all damage (you still have to make a separate save for each arrow!) and its later potential by capping it at a lower lvl (e.g. 12th caster lvl).
Haste & Slow
Custom secondary types will finally allow me to make them correctly cancel each other as they should. I'd love to make Haste grant "only" +50% movement rate, but I'm not sure I can. One thing I do want to do is making Slow actually work on non-warriors too, by making it halve the attack rate of creatures with apr 1 by 1/2. I'd dare to say this is a fix rather than a tweak!
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.
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.
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
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).
It won't allow a save anymore as per vanilla.
5th Level Spells
We reached a consensus about making 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 magical weapons - not only spells such as PfMW, but innate immunities too). SCS also uses it as a counter to spell protections granting immunities to elemental/magic damage, but I don't remember anymore if it uses it against spells such as Free Action, Chaotic Commands, and Death Ward. If yes, I guess we can keep Breach working against them too (they still grant immunities, thus it would still somewhat fit the spell's concept).
V4 Breach won't dispel anymore the following spells: Protection from Evil, Resist Fire/Cold, Magic Circle against Evil, Fire Shields, Mage Armor, Shield, Armor of Faith, Barkskin, Spirit Armor, Stoneskin and Blade Barrier.
I think this tweak isn't going to lower the huge value of Breach, but it can instead raise the relatively low value of certain spells (e.g. Mage Armor, Shield, Armor of Faith), turn some already good spells into real threats (e.g. Fireshields, Blade Barrier), and keep certain crucial protections up more consistently (e.g. Stoneskin).
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 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. This spell is incredibly powerful imo (3E moved it to 9th lvl!!), but for some reason I think it's fine as it is. Do you think I should nerf its save penalty from -4 to -2 (as per vanilla)?
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 simply pales in comparison to the other enchantment spells at this lvl imo (Domination, Chaos and Hold Monster). It currently doesn't offer any peculiar advantage, nor unique feature, it's just a single target Hold Monster, and its longer duration doesn't matter in almost any situation unless used by the AI against players. Some players though state this spell doesn't need improvements because its usefulness lies in the very rare immunity to its effect (powerful foes in particular), whereas immunities to charm, confusion and hold effects seem to be much more common.
My suggested improvement was to give it a secondary "psychic damage" (very 4E like I know), which would also give pure Enchanters something his/her other spells currently doesn't offer, but it seems most of you prefer to not change this spell at all.
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).
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 Dimension 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, V4 will re-introduce this Spell, but with an additional twist: making it 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
I'm renaming 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.
This spell will now summon a Skeletal Warrior. We may rename it Animate Skeletal Warrior taking inspiration from AD&D's 6th lvl Animate Dread Warrior, but it may as well keep its current name.
V3 Create Undead was considered too weak for its spell slot (am I wrong?) whereas the uber powerful Skeletal Warrior deserved to be back, but to an appropriate spell lvl (it's so powerful imo that it actually rivals 7th lvl summons).
Death Spell --> Banishment
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?
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.
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
It may get its 4 rounds duration back because DavidW almost convinced me.
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?
For balance/conceptual reasons I'm making it not destroy illusionary creatures anymore. As planned it will reveal invisible characters without dispelling Improved Invisibility's partial-invisibility, while allowing to cast spells against II opponents (as if they were completely visible to the caster under TS). Furthermore, this tweak will make creatures under TS attack II creatures without suffering -4 penalty to attack rolls. Unfortunately due to technical issues we discussed with aVENGER I cannot make it work 100% as per PnP (aka bypassing without dispelling illusions such as Blur and Mirror Image), so the above solution is the closest one I could find.
This spell will also be updated to make sure the new offensive illusions (such as Phantasmal Killer, Weird and eventually Solipsism) won't be able to harm a character under TS.
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
Finger of Death
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 Blind
Moved 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 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
Bigby's Clenched Fist
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
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.
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.
Its school could be 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). 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.
Has anyone used it enough to give me some feedback? How does the AI handle it?
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 Stun
Moved from 7th lvl to 8th lv as per 3rd edition. 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 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 Arcane 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
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.
1st Level Spell
Armor of Faith
I'd increase its duration to 5 turns (1 hour). With ToBEx concentration tweak it may actually become a real must have even with short duration 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. Regardless, raising the duration wouldn't hurt imo.
I'm not sure if druids should have it, but I can probably vote to let them keep it. Assuming within FR lore druids still worship some nature god, and not just nature itself, thus they do have some sort of "faith".
Druids won't get this spell anymore.
Cure Light Wounds
I'll probably create a dedicated topic for Cure/Cause Wound spells. In short I think this spell should heal slightly more hit points. Not much, but enough to make it appealing mid game to decently cure heavily injured d4 mages, mildly wounded d6 characters, and lightly wound d8 ones.
Detect Evil --> Know Alignment
The title says all.
Druids won't 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 do hope ToBEx will make this spell's opcode work as it should. That being said, should I add it "immunity to charm" effects as per PnP even if I cannot restrict it to charms cast by evil creatures?
I've read again dozens of pages in the Feedback topic as I forgot the huge discussion on this matter we had with DavidW. After much thinking it seems this spell may not require the huge revision I planned to replace its original opcode, though I'm not 100% sure because of (*).
It seemed we agreed on improving it by reducing its casting time from standard (4 in vanilla, 5 within SR) to instant (1). Furthermore we also agreed to (*) make it not affected by divination spells.
Strength of Stone
I'll reduce the movement speed penalty from 30% to something like 10-20%.
As per PnP, though I would have probably preferred a different spell progression (e.g. faster but capped sooner). Being the only 1st lvl damaging spell (limited to druids) I think this was a truly great addition, and one of my favourite low lvl druid spells.
2nd Level Spells
I'd leave 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 continuos concentration on the caster's side.
Cure Moderate Wounds
See Cure Light Wounds, I'll try to make it remain useful later on.
A really great addition imo. It should be fine. I've thought about reducing casting time to 5 (then doing the same buff for Glyph oWarding - and a similar nerf for Skull Trap, from 3 to 5), but I fear it would make this cheap spell too effective. Mmm...
It should be very powerful early on in BG1 but I fear it quickly fades within BG2. Does it need to be boosted a little? My main concern is its enchantment lvl, which should probably be at least +2 to make it appealing later on. What do you think of it in general?
If you ask me, even after my huge boost I would never memorize 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'll think about the possibility of making the berries remove various fatigue effects, but in the meanwhile (and regardles of such tweak) I'd vote to move this spell at 1st lvl as per 3E.
Conceptually I love it, I hope some of you found it useful too. We are thinking to remove it from druids.
Resist Fire and Cold
No changes planned, though for a moment I was thinking to turn it into an elemental barrier (e.g. 25% res to fire, cold and electricity - not sure about acid).
It's because of how good this spell is that I think Flame Blade currently is underpowered. What do you think of this spell?
3rd Level Spells
First of all, the obvious change. Forget about summoning Skeletal Warriors with this cheap spell, but V3 Greater Skeletons will still keep this spell very great. 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!
Then, the hard part. THIS SPELL IS EVIL. Good aligned priests, not to mention paladins, should not have this spell! Please tell me you agree.
Assuming you agree, I wanted to give good aligned priests and paladins something "to make up for the loss of AD". I thought to make Repulse Undead that good only spell (eventually improving it), but it's not a PnP spell, and Ardanis suggests to use a 3E spell instead, 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?
See mage version, it only needs to be tweaked to make it "cure" charms.
Cause Serious Wounds
We'll discuss it.
Cure Serious Wounds
We'll discuss it.
Gust of Wind
I'd dare to suggest moving it down at 2nd lvl as per 3E. It can actually become a mandatory change if you approve the change I'm going to propose for Storm Shell.
I would also suggest to make this spell "dispel" an insect swarm affecting the caster (its casting time 1 makes it possible).
I think this spell is fine. Within 3E it deals half damage to non-good characters (aka neutrals), but it's not a must have. Ardanis have something in mind though.
This is a little tricky. Unlike mage's Detect Invisibility this is an abjuration spell, and should work differently imo. This spell should not grant the caster the ability to target an II creature with spells, neither to attack him without suffering -4 penalty to hit rolls, but it should instead work as a sort of "dispel invisibility", effectively removing any form of invisibility unless protected by Non-detection. Am I right?
I don't know, is it fine/appealing?
I'm thinking to remove it. We may add the higher lvl Repulsion spell instead.
Storm Shield --> Wind Wall
I suggest to replace this spell with another probably more canonic PnP spell, Wind Wall. SS kinda overlaps with Resist Fire/Cold, whereas WW would be slightly more unique, and seems little more druidic to me. It would still offer a high degree of protection against missiles (perhaps even more than SS, though I'm tempted to use AC instead of full immunity), but it would also grant immunity to cloud based spells making it an "offensive" variant of Gust of Wind, with the latter being the party oriented spell, and the former act as a shield to "exploit" cloud spells by fighting without problems within them. As a small but cool add on, I'd make Wind Wall protect from insect spells.
What do you think?
Strength of One
Not my favourite spell, but I guess there's little to do here. I would make it not usable by druis though.
I'm extremely pleased of the huge technical revision we made to insect spells. I'm considering to lower its casting time to 5, but I'm not sure because all conjurations/summons are supposed to take a full round to cast imo.
A global change that I'd really like to implement to all insect spells is to make them bypass magic resistance. They are summoned creatures attacking a target, aren't they? We are offering 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, though being evil I would instead suggest to make it harm neutral characters as per 3E. Not a big deal though, it's pretty much an "AI only" spell, extensively used by SCS priests, thus I suppose it's already fine anyway, even if it has almost zero appeal for players.
On a side note, I wouldn't feel bad at all for evil PC priests (such as Viconia) not getting a spell as good as Holy Smite if we decide to limit Animate Dead to them.
4th Level Spells
Call Woodland Beings
I'd like it 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.).
Cause/Cure Critical Wounds
We're discussing them elsewhere.
Cloak of Fear
I thought this spell didn't need any change, except perhaps changing its save penalty, but now I'm going to suggest adding its reverse spell, Cloak of Bravery. Within AD&D CoB grants only immunity to fear, making it kinda pointless imo considering a 1st lvl spell can counter fear effects for the whole party. I suggest to make Bravery works as a sort of hope/heroism spell, granting immunity to fear and +2 to hit/dmg rolls to nearby creatures, and make Cloak of Fear cause instead -2 penalty (no save?) and fear (on a failed save).
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? Should I make it last longer?
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).
Very situational. We may try to make it at least dispel fatigue effects, but I guess there's very little we can do about this spell.
Magic Circle against Evil
Unless we think moving it to 3rd lvl a la 3E is a good idea the spell is more or less fine. I really don't like that it performs pretty much the same role of Defensive Harmony though.
Negative Plane Protection
This spell should either be merged with Death Ward as per 3E or improved 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 it appealing?
5th Level Divine 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 obviously 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 is "under control".
It should be fine, isn't it? Should the damaged be increased from d6 to d8? Mmm...
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?
See Summon Insect.
We are thinking to make it grant up to 50% magic resistance instead of the current 40%.
Will be discussed elsewhere.
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, end of my rant, this spell will stay (we even have a damn rod which allows Noober's grandma to resurrect as if she was a god) and there's little to do here. Within a PC game like BG a convenient spell like this probably makes sense.
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'm tempted to make it add an "on hit" ability to the caster's weapon, instead of replacing the weapon itself. What do you think?
Do you have anything in mind which could "balance" the spell lvl difference between mages and priests? For example within PnP this spell can be cast on others, but if you don't like that we could simply grant druids more skins.
As discussed for mages. Do you have anything in mind which could "balance" the spell lvl difference between mages and priests? Should mage's version last longer?
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?
I'd personally change it 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 looks like real blades, inflict slashing damage (I can imagine force spells dealing crushing damage, not slashing or piercing, but it may be just me), and even 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.
I made a mistake adding it imo. Good-aligned clerics should not get it, and evil clerics can already achieve that via turn undead ability. I'll remove it.
Create Undead --> Animate Skeletal Warrior
Nuff said, one of the best summons ever. 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 I think it's not a bad thing.
After deciding to move Regeneration here for druids it striked me how much this spell actually seems 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 (aka 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.
What about raising the number of fire seeds created? Even allowing up to 10 seeds (instead of the current 6) it could still balanced imo, even without nerfing each seed (though reducing the blast from 10 feet to 5-6 would not be bad, especially considering in theory they should be non-friendly). It would mean up to 40d6 dmg, but with a very small blast area, and each 4d6 seed requires a hit roll (druids are not kensais) and allows a save for half damage. I'm also thinking of making direct damage not allow a save as per PnP (aka direct hit can be dodged with AC, blast damage allow a reflex save), but it's not a big deal.
As the other cause wound spells, I'd like to make it not require a hit roll. Pratically it would end up working as a Disintegrate spell with no range, less possible targets (e.g. undead are not affected, Mordy is not destroyed, etc.) but much higher damage on successful save (is the current 75 too much?). My only doubt is that in theory this spell deserves its incredibly long casting time (1 round), which was not a problem when "pre-cast" but it will become a problem with the suggested solution because it needs to be cast in the middle of a fight...would casting time 6 make it too powerful?
Same as Harm, would casting time 6 make it too effective?
Here I have something BIG in mind, something which would finally make this spell more than just an expensive ProMissile. I suggest to replace it with a 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 we can make it work more like AD&D if we wish so. That means the spell would more or less grant:
1. 50% miss chance to direct attacks (as SR V3 Reflected Image or IR's Cloak of Mirroring)
2. 100% immunity to missiles (covering vanilla's PM's role)
3. 50% resistance to all forms of damage (to simulate PnP 50% chance to ignore AoE damaging spells)
Even without implementing 3. this spell would still be incredibly powerful imo, going from a modest buff in vanilla to a must have 6th lvl buff. What do you think?
Sol's Searing Orb
Well, currently this spell is pointless imo. It's a mix between Fire Seeds and False Dawn, but loses to both because for a MMM-like spell I'd pick Fire Seeds, and to fight undead creatures or cause mass blindness I'd pick False Dawn.
Leaving aside that I would at least make it not require a hit roll anymore (that makes it incredibly unappealing imo), I really don't know what to do to make it shine. Have you any idea?
I think it's fine, but it has been suggested to let the caster decide which spell level slots he/she wants to recall.
7th Level Divine Spells
More or less fine, but to make it both more unique and more closer to PnP I'd add a poison effect.
Would you prefer it to last a single round? Else I'll make this spell really affect a selected area, instead of affecting 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.
Other than that, what do you think of its current version?
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, what about replacing 'hold' with 'slow'?
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.
The spell itself seems fine. As discussed elsewhere, it might be moved to 6th lvl for druids.
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
Following PnP I could suggest to make it absorb an infinite amount of spells, but lasts only 1 turn. PnP casting time is 1, and I'm fine with it. Would that finally make this an appealing 7th lvl spell for clerics?
Evil priests should get Shield of the Tanar'ri instead, but the two spells are identical. Should just rename this spell Divine Shield, or something like that?
Sphere of Chaos
It's not very appropriate for clerics imo, but priests within AD&D clerics do had access to a chaos sphere (3E name for domains) 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?
It should be fine. Even when used against non-undead SR's version should still be decent imo, isn't it?
Symbol of Death
Symbol of Weakness could probably replace this spell now instead of Symbol of Fear.
Symbol of Stunning
It should be fine.
Symbol of Weakness (vanilla's Symbol of Fear)
Symbol of Fear will be moved to 6th lvl as per PnP.
Edited by Demivrgvs, 24 October 2012 - 01:16 AM.