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Razz
Senior Scribe

USA
730 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2021 :  03:38:45  Show Profile Send Razz a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So I'm trying to convert the Sphere of Wonder spell to 3rd Edition and I'm wondering if this looks pretty well balanced for a 3e version of the original 2e spell. This is one of the spells Khelben has, and while it was mentioned and given a slight footnote in the Epic Level Handbook, the writer never actually wrote the entire spell entry down.

Any suggestions would be welcome.
-----------------------------------------
Sphere of Wonder
Abjuration
Level: Sor/Wiz 9
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 30 ft.
Area: 30-ft.-radius spherical emanation, centered on you
Duration: 1 round/level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

This spell functions like globe of invulnerability, except that it also excludes spells and spell-like effects of 8th-level or lower.

In addition, the globe produces an effect similar to the daylight spell, except it also dispels any darkness effect of 8th-level or lower within its radius.

The caster can choose one subtype of spells to be excluded from being affected by the sphere of wonder. For example, if the caster chose Fire spells, then any Fire spell can be casted within, or into, the sphere of wonder normally. This choice is known only to the caster.
-----------------------------------------
So I thought about it warding off ALL spells, but then realized most 9th level spells seem to have that "8th level or lower" clause, and I'm assuming it's so only other 9th levels could challenge a 9th-level spell. Would it be imbalanced if I left it at all spells up to 9th?

Original spell says 90-ft. diameter, which equates to a 45 ft. radius. Which is an awkward radius to use, and no other spell really suggests that so I figured a 30-ft. radius makes the best sense for a 60-foot diameter. Of course, one could have it be 5 ft.-radius/level as another option possibly, but at 20th-level it'd be 100 ft. radius, which covers practically an entire battlefield leaving all casters unable to cast anything within except the excluded spell types. Was that the intent, though? If the intent was to create a battlefield area as opposed to a more localized one, then maybe the 5-ft. radius/level is better? Globe of Invulnerability is only 10-ft., so my reasoning was, for a 9th-level, that a 30 ft. would be just fine as is.

Original spell says it produces a light effect, but for a 9th level to produce the equivalent of a cantrip didn't make sense to me. So I made it more like daylight. Also, the added effect of countering darkness spells sounded thematic for the spell.

That left the final bit on excluding types of magic. The original spell mentioned "type" and not "schools" of magic. I originally was going to have it where the caster could choose either an entire school or a subtype of magic, but then decided against the "choosing a school of magic" option and stuck with the subtype. So, basically, the caster can choose to allow specific Alignment spells, specific Energy type spells, Force spells, Illusions (such as allowing Pattern spells or Glamer spells), Enchantment types (such as allowing only Mind-Affecting), etc. That seemed more fitting.

Thoughts?

NOTE: I'm bringing this up because I have a PC with a 20th-level Wizard meeting with Khelben, and I want Khelben to gift him with a spell from his own list and I figure Sphere of Wonder would be a nice thing to give.

Edited by - Razz on 08 May 2021 03:40:46

George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6197 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2021 :  05:18:58  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sphere of Wonder was always the most deadly, broken spell for wizard v wizard combat in 2E. In 3E, I can only compare it to Globe of Invulnerability and note that as a 6th level spell is only blocks out 1-4th level spells. The 4th level Lesser Globe blocked 1-3rd level spells. As such it would appear that for every level of spells you want to exclude, after 3rd level you need to devote two levels t do so. So technically, a "Greater Globe of Invulnerability" would be an 8th level spell and block levels 1-5th. So, given 9th level spells are the pinnacle (ignoring epic spells) I would say that it a 3E version should only block levels 1-6. That's just my 2cp.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus

Edited by - George Krashos on 08 May 2021 05:22:23
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 08 May 2021 :  13:17:19  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, George. I had actually created a Major Globe of Invulnerability spell that was 8th level and only blocked up to level 5 spells. Seeing your opinion on it confirms my design choices.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Razz
Senior Scribe

USA
730 Posts

Posted - 08 May 2021 :  16:28:56  Show Profile Send Razz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

Sphere of Wonder was always the most deadly, broken spell for wizard v wizard combat in 2E. In 3E, I can only compare it to Globe of Invulnerability and note that as a 6th level spell is only blocks out 1-4th level spells. The 4th level Lesser Globe blocked 1-3rd level spells. As such it would appear that for every level of spells you want to exclude, after 3rd level you need to devote two levels t do so. So technically, a "Greater Globe of Invulnerability" would be an 8th level spell and block levels 1-5th. So, given 9th level spells are the pinnacle (ignoring epic spells) I would say that it a 3E version should only block levels 1-6. That's just my 2cp.

-- George Krashos



That was also my line of thinking as well. Although, would it still be too powerful knowing that even the caster themself can't even cast any of its own spells to target or affect anything from within? That was always the drawback of such a spell, which leaves the only option to cast spells to targets outside the sphere (and a 30-foot radius is huge, I'm surprised the caster of the 90-ft. diameter one got anything done at close range combat).

Sure I can see abuses where the caster stays at a distance protected from all spells up to 8th, but then again wouldn't enemy spellcasters be able to easily beat the Spellcraft DC to identify the spell, then follow up with casting the allowed spells towards the caster, if they figure it out (or even just dispelling the globe itself)? Also, closing in towards the caster would definitely weaken its effect since the caster and enemy will both be on even ground.

I'll toy with the 1st-6th suggestion, that might just be more than enough for the spell probably

Edited by - Razz on 08 May 2021 16:37:15
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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 08 May 2021 :  20:56:50  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with George's statements (especially about it being one of the most broken spells in 2e). However, it does have a place as a spell type and could use some refinement for use in 3e. I like the idea of limiting the max level of the spell to 6th level, so that in a high level combat, this can be superseded with 7th-9th level magic. You have one SERIOUSLY broken aspect to this though. You are treating this as a globe of invulnerability. With a globe, I can have up protections on myself in addition to the globe. By that I mean this sentence from lesser globe of invulnerability.
Spells of 4th level and higher are not affected by the globe, nor are spells already in effect when the globe is cast.
A sphere of wonder affects the outer edges AND EVERYTHING WITHIN IT INCLUDING ANY PERSISTING SPELLS . This spell should drop any and all spells of 6th level or less within its area, even if they are on the caster that cast it. He is just as confined by the spell as everyone else, and thus the special part about "spells of a certain type" and where you might want to give some better refinement.

The refinement I would add would be to define what exactly is meant by the "subtypes" of spells to try and give it some of the flexibility that this spell had in 2e. Its worth it to spell this out for clarity sake. So, I would say that they could define this to be any of the below possibilities

A) all spells of a specific school of magic from the eight standard schools

B) all spells of a specific spellcasting type (such as arcane or divine)

C) all spells with OR without certain components (from amongst verbal, somatic, or material)

D) all spells that deal a specific damage type (from amongst fire, cold, electricity, sonic, acid, negative energy, positive energy, force, physical <any combination of bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing>) or which cause ability score damage

E) all spells of a specific subschool of magic (see PHB page 172) such as calling, creation, healing, summoning, teleportation, charm, compulsion, figments, glamers, patterns, phantasms, and shadows

F) all spells of a specific descriptor such as acid, air, chaotic, cold, darkness, death, earth, electricity, evil, fear, fire, force, good, language-dependent, lawful, light, mind-affecting, sonic, and water

G) all spells of a specific range (including personal, touch, close, "ranged" <meaning anything medium, long, unlimited, or with a range expressed in feet>)

H) all spells with a specific metamagic enhancment that causes the spell to be raised in level during casting applied (note, in regards the heighten spell metamagic enhancement, a spell with the heighten enhancement must be heightened to 7th level or above.)

I) all spells that are "hung" but unreleased as yet (such as a contingent spells that is triggered). The "triggering" effect causes these spells to be allowed to work within the sphere of wonder.

Now whether ALL these options should be available or some.... worth a debate... and maybe there might be some others we might want to add in. For instance, some might feel that dividing it by power source (arcane or divine) is too strong. You could also use other damage types, include types of effects caused like paralysis, stunning, disease or poison, etc... I was just throwing out the immediate ways to give it a lot of flexibility while also not necessarily overpowering it.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 08 May 2021 21:28:13
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TBeholder
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Posted - 09 May 2021 :  03:46:20  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sphere of Wonder is more like Antimagic Shell with an exception than Globe of Invulnerability.
Antimagic Shell is on the same level as Globe of Invulnerability, but it's also mobile, has 10x duration, and radius increases with CL, though remains modest.
Likewise, if cast around oneself/allies it involves the same risk of taking out all magical defenses, unless set specifically to allow those (which leaves everyone inside "declawed" too).
Illumination may be advantage or disadvantage.

But those disadvantage need not apply to the caster at all.
Think about it this way: what sort of a spell would be "Antimagic Shell, but with range 180 ft at minimum casting level (and growing)"? Obviously, it's not for protection.
Now increase its diameter 5x, add one exception chosen by the caster and... light. Did each of these features make it more or less dangerous in the support-for-offense role?
What Razz's conversion completely missed were statistics allowing to use Sphere of Wonder for offense.
So, you are supposed to shut down all magical protections with it.
Then spam permitted attack spells. And/or long-ranged weapons, if defensive magic countered those.
Radius is good enough to exploit the advantage before most targets left the designated massacre area. Especially if their movement is restricted or predictable.
Range allows to act from outside AoE with your own defenses on, if ranges of your attacks are good enough.
It's not a "Greater Globe of Invulnerability" at all. It's more of "Globe of Sudden Vulnerability", or "Create Killbox".

But then, it's a 9-level spell. Not touching wish, there are... Glasshields and Mordenkainen’s Disjunction for stripping protections, Black Blade of Disaster, Power Word -Kill, Sphere of Ultimate Destruction, Wail of the Banshee, Maelstrom, Tyranteyes and Dragonshape, Create Death Tyrant, Imprisonment, Time Stop and Wildwind. Is it really more dangerous than any of those (as long as appropriate to the situation)?

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 09 May 2021 04:16:22
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bloodtide_the_red
Learned Scribe

USA
170 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2021 :  05:02:58  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So the 2E spell effected all magic and spells, except for a type chosen by the caster.......and this effects all the casters spells and magic items too. Kellban casts Sphere of Wonder, picks 'fire spells' and losses the ability to cast any other spells or magic items.

This makes the caster, and others in the sphere very vulnerable.

If when you convert the spell you make it " functions like globe of invulnerability" that gives it a huge power boost as now: " any type of spell can be cast through or out of the magical globe" and "Spells already in effect are not effected when the globe is cast".

So....now....Kellban casts Sphere of Wonder, keeps and spells cast and can freely cast any spells out of the sphere he wishes. And guess he can pick a 'type' of spell to not be effected, but it does not matter as his spells are not effected anyway.

What Sphere of Wonder IS....IS Antimagic Field that suppresses all magic from everyone...except the caster can pick a single 'type' to be unaffected.

Also, in any case, as this spell suppresses magic....it should be Abjuration.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 09 May 2021 :  14:04:35  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As written in 2e, it was not like the 3e antimagic field because it wasn't centered on the caster, and actually that's another important change that should be written back in (my notes below will assume that that is written back in.... i.e. take out the part that says centered on you). The sphere of wonder COULD be used as a defensive spell, but it could ALSO be used as an offensive spell. You could put it around another person, and if you had the means to prevent them leaving, you could pick a certain type of spells that you could hammer them with, while you yourself have all your defenses. The point of sphere of wonder is and should remain versatility, at the expense of raw power.

Just to note, the following are the reductions being done in the above versus the 2e version. the 2e version had a nasty 90 foot diameter effect, whereas this is a 60 foot diameter effect. The 2e version had a range of 10 feet per level. This is being set as a strict 30 feet (personally wouldn't have a problem with raising this to 60). Sphere of Wonder was affecting all spells except a subset that you decide, this is the same except 7th and higher level spells also are unaffected.

However, to compare this to antimagic field, this has a MUCH shorter duration than the lower level spell, it isn't mobile, but it affects a much larger area and possibly an entire party/room. The key is the part where you can decide at time of casting what you're going to allow through. Throwing in a max spell limit of what will be affected plays in another factor to just allow some leeway so that this doesn't become the ultimate trump card that you can lay down and totally stop a rival's spellcasting. So, IF you are using sphere of wonder for defense purposes, you can allow all abjurations to work or something similar and maintain your own protections. IF you are using it offensively, you can allow a certain type of attack to work and hammer your opponent with that, so long as they don't leave the effect.

Comparing this to things like TBeholder mentions as well

Glass Shield - ???? what's this from as my memory of 3e spells is going?

Mord's Disjunction - that's a one time effect, not an ongoing block. Granted, it is effective, and it is a damned good comparison, especially given its radius.

Black Blade of Disaster - Not a bad spell, purely offensive. It is single person affecting at a given time rather than an area effect though.

Power Word Kill - single person and has a 100 hit point limit. Effective, but not necessarily as effective as one would think (very good against wizards or a damaged foe though).

Sphere of Ultimate Destruction - nasty bit of work, but its more for single targets, etc...

Wail of the Banshee - also another nice area damaging spell, than CAN be effective IF people fail their saves

I think you can see where I'm going... sphere with the changes above makes a very versatile spell that you can tailor to different needs. What it kind of gives up in raw power, it makes up for with being adaptable. For instance, if a party entered a room and had the gates close on both exits, a sphere of wonder can effectively drop all their defenses on the whole party and allow a specific subset of spells to affect them and they may not be able to produce the counters to that subset of spells because they can't cast the counter (though they might if they have available 7th and up spells of an appropriate sort). If in this case you place a wide area effect spell(s) that does ongoing damage, especially if not likely to be blocked by a magic item's protections, then you can severely hurt a large number of folks. That's just one example of its use in coordination with other effects. As an example, a mystic theurge employing a sphere of wonder that only allows force spells might use various methods to throw up a wall of force containing a party while also casting a blade barrier within the interior of said wall of force. Since the people can't activate transportation magics, they can't leave, and they can't cast disintegrate to drop the wall of force, and they can't cast dispel magic to drop the blade barrier. With the allowance of 7th level and up spells though, it does at least give them SOME options for escaping using high level magic.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 09 May 2021 16:22:53
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Eldacar
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Posted - 09 May 2021 :  14:07:42  Show Profile  Visit Eldacar's Homepage Send Eldacar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

Is it really more dangerous than any of those (as long as appropriate to the situation)?


It has been years since I played 3rd edition or 3.5e, but yes, by far. High level 3e play is Nuclear Tag, and the first person to land their nuke wins.

"It always ends. That's what gives it value." ~Death of the Endless
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 09 May 2021 :  16:19:04  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eldacar

quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

Is it really more dangerous than any of those (as long as appropriate to the situation)?


It has been years since I played 3rd edition or 3.5e, but yes, by far. High level 3e play is Nuclear Tag, and the first person to land their nuke wins.



Low level, too. You get two wizards face off, whoever gets the first fireball off wins. Average hit points for a 5th level wizard is 13 hit points. Average damage from a fireball cast by a 5th level wizard is 18 points. It is either make your save or die. That is why I created a level 4 spell that creates an ablative protection against magic. It also adjusts by level so that a low level wizard can take a few spells from another low level wizard but if someone like Elminster tossed a spell at him, it would go right through it.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10265 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2021 :  16:32:24  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by Eldacar

quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

Is it really more dangerous than any of those (as long as appropriate to the situation)?


It has been years since I played 3rd edition or 3.5e, but yes, by far. High level 3e play is Nuclear Tag, and the first person to land their nuke wins.



Low level, too. You get two wizards face off, whoever gets the first fireball off wins. Average hit points for a 5th level wizard is 13 hit points. Average damage from a fireball cast by a 5th level wizard is 18 points. It is either make your save or die. That is why I created a level 4 spell that creates an ablative protection against magic. It also adjusts by level so that a low level wizard can take a few spells from another low level wizard but if someone like Elminster tossed a spell at him, it would go right through it.



Actually moreso at low levels. Once you start getting 6th level spells like contingency and higher, and feats like persistent spell, craft contingent spell, gem magic, etc... along with numerous magical defensive items... you get more of an ability to be prepared for a sudden assault.

That actually is one of my complaints for 5e play is that it is less allowing for this style of play at the upper levels and forces everyone into this adage of "who fired first" and hopefully you had a magic item to help protect you, especially since the number of attuned items you can have are so limited.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 09 May 2021 16:37:11
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Ayrik
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Canada
7433 Posts

Posted - 09 May 2021 :  20:49:44  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Spell Engine from 2E Forgotten Realms Adventures is (to my mind) a similarly broken spell with a similar overall effect. It basically negates all incoming magic with far too much efficiency for the casting level.

[/Ayrik]
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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 09 May 2021 :  22:32:43  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Spell Engine from 2E Forgotten Realms Adventures is (to my mind) a similarly broken spell with a similar overall effect. It basically negates all incoming magic with far too much efficiency for the casting level.



Outgoing magic, too. With a 1 turn casting time, that is not something that someone is going to pop in combat. It is for traps and warding, only. I have seen that used, in conjunction with Squaring the Circle, as a defense used to protect castle walls from spells.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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LordofBones
Master of Realmslore

1335 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2021 :  02:45:00  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by Eldacar

quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

Is it really more dangerous than any of those (as long as appropriate to the situation)?


It has been years since I played 3rd edition or 3.5e, but yes, by far. High level 3e play is Nuclear Tag, and the first person to land their nuke wins.



Low level, too. You get two wizards face off, whoever gets the first fireball off wins. Average hit points for a 5th level wizard is 13 hit points. Average damage from a fireball cast by a 5th level wizard is 18 points. It is either make your save or die. That is why I created a level 4 spell that creates an ablative protection against magic. It also adjusts by level so that a low level wizard can take a few spells from another low level wizard but if someone like Elminster tossed a spell at him, it would go right through it.



Fireball is entirely negated by fellow 3rd level spell protection from energy; at the level fireball comes online, protection blocks 60 points of damage.

There are wizard killers, yes, but fireball isn't one of them.

Edited by - LordofBones on 10 May 2021 02:45:46
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TheIriaeban
Senior Scribe

USA
733 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2021 :  03:32:56  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by Eldacar
It has been years since I played 3rd edition or 3.5e, but yes, by far. High level 3e play is Nuclear Tag, and the first person to land their nuke wins.



Low level, too. You get two wizards face off, whoever gets the first fireball off wins. Average hit points for a 5th level wizard is 13 hit points. Average damage from a fireball cast by a 5th level wizard is 18 points. It is either make your save or die. That is why I created a level 4 spell that creates an ablative protection against magic. It also adjusts by level so that a low level wizard can take a few spells from another low level wizard but if someone like Elminster tossed a spell at him, it would go right through it.



Fireball is entirely negated by fellow 3rd level spell protection from energy; at the level fireball comes online, protection blocks 60 points of damage.

There are wizard killers, yes, but fireball isn't one of them.



Assuming you have that spell already cast on you for the required energy type (50 minute duration at level 5). Otherwise, it is a "quick-draw" to see if you get it off before the other guy and you picked the right energy type for his spell.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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TBeholder
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2088 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2021 :  06:54:06  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

The point of sphere of wonder is and should remain versatility, at the expense of raw power.

Aye. Every single use is very situational, but with all of them, it's very useful.
quote:
However, to compare this to antimagic field, this has a MUCH shorter duration than the lower level spell, it isn't mobile, but it affects a much larger area and possibly an entire party/room.

Which is less of a disadvantage with offensive use: by the time it ends, everyone caught in it should either have escaped AoE or be already neutralized in whichever way the caster wanted.

quote:
Comparing this to things like TBeholder mentions as well

Glass Shield - ???? what's this from as my memory of 3e spells is going?
They are all AD&D2, as the original context of SoW.
quote:
Fall of Myth Drannor:
Glasshields
(Abjuration, Alteration)
Level: 9
Range: Touch
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 7
Duration: Permanent
Area of Effect: One magical field/spell
Saving Throw: None
With a touch, a wizard can transform the most powerful of magical fields into common glass! Any constant field of magic, be it a
wall of fire, shield, or globe of invulnerability, becomes nonmagical glass. The effect looks like ice crystallizing at the touch of the
caster, and swiftly spreading and encompassing the entire field until it becomes regular glass.
Only abjuration or evocation spells are susceptible to this spell, though one type must be chosen at the time of casting.
[ . . . ]
While this spell usually only affects a single magical field effect, it also has been designed to affect spells with multiple field
effects, such as prismatic wall and prismatic sphere. Glasshields can affect all seven layers of these particular spells (and
any similar workings that link one field within another) with one spell, and the transformed glass spheres effectively create a
prison around that whom they once protected.
Even the magical field generated by bracers of defense and a ring of protection can be turned to glass; if this occurs, the person
wearing the item is surrounded by a very thin layer of glass (though it thickens depending on the AC bonus or rating). The
magic is temporarily disrupted for 1d3 rounds, during which the glass field provides the wearer with an AC of 8. No Dexterity
penalties apply to the glass-encased character, since the stiff glass prevents any major movements. When this field is shattered
(either by the target’s movements or attacks), the wearer incurs 1d3 points of damage from glass shards (unless natural AC
without Dexterity exceeds AC6). Once the glass shatters or the spell wears off, the wearer’s normal magical defenses immediately
shore up and restore the character’s normal AC.
Curiously, while this spell affects nearly any other magical field effect, the glasshields spell does not function on these spells and
effects: Alustriel’s mantle, Alustriel’s improved mantle, Alustriel’s queenmantle, eye of Mystra, moonlight, the Simbul’s spell
sequencer, and the Simbul’s spell trigger. It also has no effect on mythals or wards that cover more than a 40’ radius, and even
those are only transformed and negated for 1d3 rounds.

Where "Evocation" practically means mostly "any walls and any Force spells with duration", by the look of it.
They all are ways to whack or make very vulnerable (for more common attacks) elite opponents with "may survive prismatic spray" grade protections.

quote:
If in this case you place a wide area effect spell(s) that does ongoing damage, especially if not likely to be blocked by a magic item's protections, then you can severely hurt a large number of folks.

The original AoE clearly suggests affecting groups, indeed.
On a larger scale, an approach with strong, but specialized defenses (from "wall of fire" to "too many crossbows") can lure in an elite team with magical protections.
Though like elemental rock-paper-scissors tactics, it's mostly operation scale intelligence contest: depends on whether the other guys know about such possibility or can send someone with intrinsic immunities rather than relying on magic.

More generally, it's a flash point thing: either blunt an incoming magically augmented spearhead (either in defensive or counterattack use), protect your own at a critical moment, or strip magical defenses in a modest area. As it should be with a 9th level spell: those aren't going to be thrown in swarms like fireballs.
Also, the balance once again is against specialized forces: they are predictable and can be denied their strength, while a more versatile group has a chance to do something that works.

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Spell Engine from 2E Forgotten Realms Adventures is (to my mind) a similarly broken spell with a similar overall effect. It basically negates all incoming magic with far too much efficiency for the casting level.

It's close to "Antimagic Shell that's stationary, permanent, but also explosive".
As a straightforward defense it's no good: can be detonated with an enchanted crossbow bolt.
In tricky setups, sure, this can even become an advantage. So it's powerful. But okay for its level.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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LordofBones
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 10 May 2021 :  07:35:02  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by Eldacar
It has been years since I played 3rd edition or 3.5e, but yes, by far. High level 3e play is Nuclear Tag, and the first person to land their nuke wins.



Low level, too. You get two wizards face off, whoever gets the first fireball off wins. Average hit points for a 5th level wizard is 13 hit points. Average damage from a fireball cast by a 5th level wizard is 18 points. It is either make your save or die. That is why I created a level 4 spell that creates an ablative protection against magic. It also adjusts by level so that a low level wizard can take a few spells from another low level wizard but if someone like Elminster tossed a spell at him, it would go right through it.



Fireball is entirely negated by fellow 3rd level spell protection from energy; at the level fireball comes online, protection blocks 60 points of damage.

There are wizard killers, yes, but fireball isn't one of them.



Assuming you have that spell already cast on you for the required energy type (50 minute duration at level 5). Otherwise, it is a "quick-draw" to see if you get it off before the other guy and you picked the right energy type for his spell.



Ah, but would wizards fight using their prodigious intellects or by throwing colourful globs of plasma against each other?

Only fighters actually resort to combat, after all.

Barbarians foam at the mouth and make grunting noises at each other.

Clerics go "well, my god turned a river into wine! What has your god done lately?"

Druids smoke stuff that even the creepiest alchemist in Thay would outlaw and go off to sing horrible songs about nature instead of fighting.

Monks spend the next five days powering up. By then, the audience has wandered off.

Paladins spend the entire time smiting the other and wondering why nothing is happening.

The first rogue to strip the other naked and write embarrassing messages on the loser without getting caught wins.

Sorcerers flex at each other and oil themselves while doing so. The audience cheers.

Wizards? "Larloch's Seventeenth Theorem, as proved here, certifiably states that you don't really exist." "Oh yeah? Elminster's Theory of Arcana demonstrates that you don't exist, and are a royal boob too!"
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sleyvas
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USA
10265 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2021 :  13:57:15  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Spell Engine from 2E Forgotten Realms Adventures is (to my mind) a similarly broken spell with a similar overall effect. It basically negates all incoming magic with far too much efficiency for the casting level.



Spell Engine can be very powerful, correct. However, there are SOME controlling factors to it, in the form of 1000 gp gem (admittedly, if you're going to use it to kill someone with thousands of gold pieces of magic items, that's not so much of a deterrent). The biggest thing though is its casting time of 1 turn (which was I think 1 minute in 2nd edition?). However, even that can be bypassed by putting the spell engine into something else in second edition as a "hung spell". Out of the box though, this is LESS (not saying NO) dangerous than sphere of wonder, as it affects all spells and it can be easily lifted by just hurling a cheap magic item at it IF you can find the spell engine (with its radius, its easy to hide the spell engine in like a 5 ft square with walls surrounding it).

This spell sees its most use though when you are preparing a ground for an assault (or creating a room in your home to flee to), and its very useful if you want a place to flee to while having prepared yourself to be protected magically from non-magical attacks and buffed to attack physically. Transmuters, abjurers, and illusionists with some skill in combat would be the best to use this. The other use of it was in the form of prisons, especially in hidden rooms where the spell engine can be placed and affect a large area.

The 3rd edition variant (in spell compendium) increased casting time to 10 minutes, SEVERELY reduced its area effect from 10 ft/caster level to 5 feet radius total, and does nothing at all to protect you or absorb magic and only allows you to change your memorized spells... so in effect they just reused the name and made it an almost totally different effect (which is a pet peeve of mine... I understand tweaking spells to fix them between editions... I hate reusing a name and pretty much totally changing the effect... I do get why it happens in some instances, because the name still "fits" what they're doing... in this instance it doesn't).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
10265 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2021 :  14:02:33  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Spell Engine from 2E Forgotten Realms Adventures is (to my mind) a similarly broken spell with a similar overall effect. It basically negates all incoming magic with far too much efficiency for the casting level.



Outgoing magic, too. With a 1 turn casting time, that is not something that someone is going to pop in combat. It is for traps and warding, only. I have seen that used, in conjunction with Squaring the Circle, as a defense used to protect castle walls from spells.



see below. I show some use cases for how this spell can be devastating. In 2nd edition, the ability to "hang spells" and release them in bursts of 3 to 8 spells at once (allowing contingencies, chain contingencies, persistent spells, etc.... along with spell trigger type effects that drop 3 spells at once). I used to delve that much more back in the day, but that's a chief reason why I say that 3rd edition got closer to making things safer.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Eldacar
Learned Scribe

300 Posts

Posted - 10 May 2021 :  14:59:47  Show Profile  Visit Eldacar's Homepage Send Eldacar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Ah, but would wizards fight using their prodigious intellects or by throwing colourful globs of plasma against each other?


Obviously when two wizards fight they meet up, sit down, have a coffee together, and exchange lists of their protections, contingencies, mantle spells, magic items, and all other combat loadouts. Then they determine how a fight would go, declare the winner, and politely pay their bill and leave. Why waste all their resources when they can use their ~40 Intelligence* to know who will win instead? Far better to politely determine the victor and go back to unlocking the secrets of the cosmos.

* A 17th level wizard in 3.5e could reliably have 38 at the absolute bare minimum if they wanted, but 40+ is more likely.
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LordofBones
Master of Realmslore

1335 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2021 :  17:14:44  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eldacar

quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Ah, but would wizards fight using their prodigious intellects or by throwing colourful globs of plasma against each other?


Obviously when two wizards fight they meet up, sit down, have a coffee together, and exchange lists of their protections, contingencies, mantle spells, magic items, and all other combat loadouts. Then they determine how a fight would go, declare the winner, and politely pay their bill and leave. Why waste all their resources when they can use their ~40 Intelligence* to know who will win instead? Far better to politely determine the victor and go back to unlocking the secrets of the cosmos.

* A 17th level wizard in 3.5e could reliably have 38 at the absolute bare minimum if they wanted, but 40+ is more likely.



And with additional condescension towards other classes.

Warlocks often leave spellcaster gatherings in tears.
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Razz
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USA
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Posted - 14 May 2021 :  00:32:29  Show Profile Send Razz a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The fact about the globe of invulnerability wasn't mine; it was whoever wrote Khelben's stats in the Epic Level Handbook where they wrote the name's of several spells but never published the stats for them. All that was under Sphere of Wonder was this line: sphere of wonder (a variant of globe of invulnerability that allows the caster to choose which spell effects may enter the sphere), and that was it. I have no clue which game designer wrote Khelben's ELH stats and what they intended for this spell other than that.
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LordofBones
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Posted - 14 May 2021 :  16:01:07  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A lot of the early conversions were kind of sloppy, to be honest.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 14 May 2021 :  19:50:36  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

A lot of the early conversions were kind of sloppy, to be honest.



It just comes down to time, motivation, inspiration, and quite frankly understanding of a ruleset. For instance, not to toot my own horn, but when it comes to spell design and balance, I'd throw my hat in the ring with anyone during the 1e, 2e, and 3e eras and be willing to say I could probably out design a lot of them. Monster design and balance though, I wasn't as good at. I had a very fair hand as well with designing 3e prestige classes, especially arcane ones, as well as magic items.

In 5e, I think I can design spells fairly well, though some will say I get too complex and that's "against the core motto of the system"... to which my answer is always that advantage is way too unbalanced to be used for everything and design and balance is more than just using buzz words.. However, I'm starting to get to the age where I just have too much with work and family going on. I still support the hobby, but I see things done that are so shoddy and incomplete that I would have hated 15 years ago, and I just let it go. Guess I'm getting old.

I'd also add that when the Epic Level Handbook came out, 3.5 wasn't even out yet, and a LOT of those NPC's could use some redesign given the options that came out later.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 14 May 2021 19:54:02
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Ayrik
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Canada
7433 Posts

Posted - 15 May 2021 :  23:55:43  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Spell Engine can be very powerful, correct. However, there are SOME controlling factors to it ... The biggest thing though is its casting time of 1 turn (which was I think 1 minute in 2nd edition?). However, even that can be bypassed by putting the spell engine into something else in second edition as a "hung spell".

As @TheIriaeban pointed out earlier, the casting time isn't viable in combat. In 2E, "1 turn" means 10 full rounds (of initiative rolls, actions, etc) during which the spellcaster cannot be interrupted. Any attack vs the spellcaster is basically an automatic hit, and even an attack vs the spellcaster which somehow misses (fumble, etc) will still cause the spellcasting to fail.

But the spell level is too high to be contained within any sort of holding, trigger, or contingency magics short of stuff like a wish.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 15 May 2021 23:57:29
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sleyvas
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USA
10265 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2021 :  16:25:17  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Spell Engine can be very powerful, correct. However, there are SOME controlling factors to it ... The biggest thing though is its casting time of 1 turn (which was I think 1 minute in 2nd edition?). However, even that can be bypassed by putting the spell engine into something else in second edition as a "hung spell".

As @TheIriaeban pointed out earlier, the casting time isn't viable in combat. In 2E, "1 turn" means 10 full rounds (of initiative rolls, actions, etc) during which the spellcaster cannot be interrupted. Any attack vs the spellcaster is basically an automatic hit, and even an attack vs the spellcaster which somehow misses (fumble, etc) will still cause the spellcasting to fail.

But the spell level is too high to be contained within any sort of holding, trigger, or contingency magics short of stuff like a wish.



From Seven Sisters, one solution that can be used, and thus why I note that later solutions in 3e started getting rid of these tricks. It's a 9th level spell

Algarth's Embattlement
(Alteration)
Range: 0
Components: V, S, M
Duration: 1 day/level
Casting Time: 9
Area of Effect: The caster
Saving Throw: None

This infamous spell is sometimes called the box of
spells. It is one of very few known magics that allow a
caster to unleash more than one spell in a round.
Casting an embattlement requires four drops of water
and a gem of not less than 4,000 gp value. After this spell
is cast, the caster can cast up to six additional spells
(each one in the usual fashion, requiring normal material
components and the like) and elect to have them
wait, unleashed, as part of the embattlement.
For each
spell so stored, the caster loses 1d4 hit points that cannot
be regained until the spell is cast. (At that time, they
must be restored by healing or rest; they do not return
automatically.)

There is no known means of ruining spells stored in
an embattlement. They persist even beyond the death of
the caster, who may later rise as an undead able to
unleash them! If the caster outlives the spell duration
without casting all of the spells, however, unused ones
are lost.

Spells of any level that the caster can wield can be so
stored. They can be unleashed by silent act of will at any
time, at a maximum speed of two spells per round.
No
other being can provide spells for the embattlement to
store. Note that the caster must be conscious, and for
certain spells must be able to see a target, but she or he
need not speak, move, or employ material components
to enact stored spells. More than one supposedly helpless
captive has destroyed foes by means of this spell.
This spell does not allow a caster to augment the
spells in his or her mind beyond normal limits: Stored
spells are still considered memorized for this purpose.


If I really dug into my old tricks, I might be able to find more, but this was the one that stuck in my head. The number of hang a spell options there were were quite prodigious, and I feel that taking that away as an option that people can do essentially "for free" by just learning a spell and turning it into a "you spend a feat or class ability or some other limited resource to gain this ability" was a good idea.

If you don't mind me talking on this a little... this was one of the things I really found fun and fascinating in 2nd edition, but that I also came to realize was what was breaking it. Of course, the option becomes "not everyone has all the spells", but then those who DO suddenly have some really powerful abilities, and the PC's learn to want to seek those people out OR they read about them and want to try to develop similar spells themselves with that one that's "already in the rules" as an example.

Some of the 2nd edition big hitters that I used to always think about using that weren't specific to a Chosen:
sash of spells (VGtatM)
Algarth's Embattlement (Seven Sisters)
Presper's Double Wizardry (Seven Sisters)
Contingency
Chain Contingency (Tome of Magic)
Pesristent Spell (forget where)
There was also a shield spell from a dragon magazine article, that was literally like a shield
Rainbow shield (Seven Sisters)


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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