Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Evocation Spell level changes

In the conversion from AD&D to 3e D&D, the amount of hit points and energy resistance that creatures have has increased literally exponentially. And damage output from Evocations has not kept up in the slightest. And while we could plausibly attempt to push the envelope and pump up damage output to match, that would only be an arms race that no one would win.

Evocations in 3rd edition rules are primarily spells which serve to devastate low level opposition or to slowly but surely chip away at the defenses of opponents that pose reasonable threats. These are sometimes valid tactics, but they are not valid tactics to use one's highest level spells to accomplish. It takes a lot of magic missiles to bring down a Shadow, meaning that there is frankly no way that any Wizard is going to have enough spell slots to dedicate to doing that to make it a viable way to eventually beat such an opponent.

So here's the solution: reduce the spell level of these underperforming evocation spells. Since they scale in damage to your level, nothing actually bad happens if you get these spells early. Even a dozen or more levels early is perfectly fine because the damage scales to something level appropriate at low level. A polar ray cast by a 1st level character does just 1d6 of damage.

I agree with this assessment, although I am not sure this is completely balanced, what are your thoughts?

Evocation Cantrips

* Burning Hands

* Dancing Lights
* Light
* Magic Missile
* Shocking Grasp

Evocation 1st Level Spells

* Fireball

* Floating Disk
* Gust of Wind
* Lightning Bolt
* Polar Ray
* Sending

Evocation 2nd Level Spells

* Chain Lightning

* Cone of Cold
* Continual Flame
* Darkness
* Daylight
* Flaming Sphere (this spell needs a rewrite as well)
* Scorching Ray
* Shatter

Evocation 3rd Level Spells

* Delayed Blast Fireball

* Ice Storm
* Shout
* Tiny Hut
* Wall of Fire
* Wind Wall

Evocation 4th Level Spells

* Fire Shield

* Interposing Hand
* Resilient Sphere
* Wall of Ice

Evocation 5th Level Spells

* Forceful Hand

* Freezing Sphere
* Mage Sword
* Sunburst
* Wall of Force

Evocation 6th Level Spells

* Contingency

* Grasping Hand
* Shout, Greater

Evocation 7th Level Spells

* Clenched Fist

* Force Cage
* Prismatic Spray

Evocation 8th Level Spells

* Crushing Hand

* Meteor Swarm
* Telekinetic Sphere

Evocation 9th Level Spells


(Originally posted by Frank Trollman on the Paizo Forums)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Rogue Enhancements

Brain or Brawn: Starting at 4th level, and every 4 levels after, you select either brain or brawn. Your choice may change each time you gain this ability, but you must take them in order. For example, if at 4th level you select Brawn I, at 8th level your choices are Brawn II or Brain I. Once selected, you will have one more choice to make.

Brawn I: Select one of the following:
+1 attack bonus to sneak attacks.
+2 bonus to cmb checks. 

Brawn II: Select one of the following:
+1 dodge bonus to armor class.
Opening I: During a full attack action, you can choose to forgo any number of attacks in order to count an equal number of attacks as flanking (attack bonus and sneak attack, if applicable).

Brawn III: Select one of the following:
increase the dice you sneak attacks with by one step.
A bonus Feat.

Brawn IV: Select one of the following:
Opening II: During a full attack action, you can choose to forgo any number of attacks. You count 2 attacks as flanking for each attack you forgo. You gain an extra +2 bonus to these attacks if you also have Opening I.

Chink in the armor I: When you spend a full round studying an opponent (no further than 60 ft away), you may consider him flat footed for the remainder of combat for purposes of sneak attack. You may have your Int modifier worth of enemies "studied" at any given time.

Brawn V: Select one of the following:

Chink in the armor II: You may spend a full round studying a group of opponents (within 30 ft. of each other) in order to consider them flat footed for the remainder of combat. If you have Chink in the armor I, you may now use it as part of a full defense action against any opponent you are engaged with.

Brain I: Select one of the following:
+2 bonus to skill of choice.
Select a 1st level spell usable 1/d.

Brain II: Select one of the following:
Erudite: select a knowledge skill. It is considered a class skill from now and you gain a +2 bonus. If you have 5 or more ranks, you gain a +2 attack bonus to sneak attack against creatures associated with that knowledge skill, even if they are immune to sneak attack damage. If you have 10 or more ranks, you can deal sneak attack damage to them, even if they are normally immune.

Brain III: Select one of the following:
select a 3rd level spell (or lower) usable 2/d.

Brain IV: Select one of the following:
Expanded magic: Double all per day uses of spells gained with the Brain class ability (this applies to future selections as well).
Enhance UMD: if you activate an item and roll double the Use Magic Device DC or higher, you do not expend any charges from the item for that particular use. No one item can benefit from this ability more than 3 times per day.

Brain V: select a 5th level spell (or lower), usable 3/d.