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The Thinktank => Min/Max It! => Topic started by: Endarire on February 05, 2011, 03:52:38 AM

Title: Pondering the proper spell level for travel and form changing magic.
Post by: Endarire on February 05, 2011, 03:52:38 AM
Let's assume D&D exists as-is except for the spells below.  What spell level should these be, knowing how game-changing they are?

alter self - Sor/Wiz2 by default
dimension door - Sor/Wiz4 by default
draconic polymorph - Sor/Wiz5 by default
fly - Sor/Wiz3 by default
gate - Cleric9, Sor/Wiz9 by default
levitate - Sor/Wiz2 by default
plane shift - Cleric5, Sor/Wiz7 by default
polymorph - Sor/Wiz4 by default
polymorph any object - Sor/Wiz8 by default
shapechange - Druid9, Sor/Wiz9 by default
spider climb - Druid2, Sor/Wiz2 by default
teleport - Sor/Wiz5 by default
teleportation circle - Sor/Wiz9 by default
teleport errorlessly - Sor/Wiz7 by default
Title: Re: Pondering the proper spell level for travel and form changing magic.
Post by: X-Codes on February 05, 2011, 06:44:09 AM
alter self - Sor/Wiz3 by default
draconic polymorph - Sor/Wiz5 by default

That's it, really.  Alter Self is strong for it's level, but not that strong.  I think it'd be better to drop the duration to 1 min/level and leave it as a second-level spell.  It seems to be fine there.  As for Draconic Polymorph, that spell really should have never been printed.  Just too many things wrong with it.

Of the rest, a lot of them are simply inappropriately included in the spell list along other spells of the same class/level.  These are effects that any sufficiently skilled spellcaster *should* be able to access, but really doesn't belong alongside other spells of the given level.
Title: Re: Pondering the proper spell level for travel and form changing magic.
Post by: veekie on February 05, 2011, 07:37:40 AM
I think the problems with these are more the exceptions(creature abilities never meant to belong on PCs, disproportionate ability scores, absurd natural attacks), without which polymorph-like stuff isn't that bad. For teleportation, its accessibility, and preventability(I've seen the potential for telefragging with rain, leaves and other floating shrapnel). Being able to go to places you've never seen personally can be an issue.

So my say of what to do with them is:
Transformations - Specific lists of form archetype stats modifiers, grant typed stat modifiers instead of wholesale replacing ability scores(and thus rendering said scores irrelevant). So you got Small Quadruped, Medium Quadruped, Large Quadruped, Small Flier, Medium Flier, Large Flier etc.
Also, grant only abilities and senses from a specific list provided with the spell(expanding said list for higher level spells), ensuring that said abilities are in line with spells of the level.
More narrow spells can bypass the above factors. Full stat replacement spells with SPECIFIC creatures, etc.

Teleportation - Lose the off target chance. Go with more specific and how far off target you can get. Better teleport interdiction without magic(rain, falling leaves, etc causing teleport mishaps).
For example.
Code: [Select]
Condition             | Min Off targetness(weaker spells may be offtarget more)
'Live' sensory feed   | Perfectly accurate
via scry, eyes or     |
familiar              |
Recent image, exact   | 10xrandom factor feet off in direction
relative position     |
or intimately familiar|
i.e. lived there      |
Visited before or good| 100xrandom factor feet off
description           |
Vague directions or   | miles x random factor off
very outdated image   |
Vague description     | Good luck

EDIT: For horizontal displacement of course, vertical would send you into rock nearly all the time unless you aim for midair appearances and feather fall the rest.
Title: Re: Pondering the proper spell level for travel and form changing magic.
Post by: Sunic_Flames on February 05, 2011, 09:04:40 AM
Let's assume D&D exists as-is except for the spells below.  What spell level should these be, knowing how game-changing they are?

alter self - Sor/Wiz2 by default
dimension door - Sor/Wiz4 by default
draconic polymorph - Sor/Wiz5 by default
fly - Sor/Wiz3 by default
gate - Cleric9, Sor/Wiz9 by default
levitate - Sor/Wiz2 by default
plane shift - Cleric5, Sor/Wiz7 by default
polymorph - Sor/Wiz4 by default
polymorph any object - Sor/Wiz8 by default
shapechange - Druid9, Sor/Wiz9 by default
spider climb - Druid2, Sor/Wiz2 by default
teleport - Sor/Wiz5 by default
teleportation circle - Sor/Wiz9 by default
teleport errorlessly - Sor/Wiz7 by default

The listed numbers. Then ban PAO and Shapechange, they are not balanced at any level.
Title: Re: Pondering the proper spell level for travel and form changing magic.
Post by: awaken DM golem on February 05, 2011, 05:12:37 PM
Changing the little "level" number ... is absolutely the cheapest fix possible.

So Divs + Travel + Shapechangers are strong and Evocation is weak.
But dang, it's a small pile of work.

Those old-ish School guides from 339 - I think they're linked around here somewhere
by Tsuyo + TM20 and friends - have a rating along with the review.
Anything +++ needs to be increased ; anything --- or turkey needs to be decreased.
The stuff at the top here:
http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=394.0