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New Arcane Spells for v4

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This topic will be dedicated to discuss which spells deserve to be added and what they'll do. Which of the following spells would you prefer? How would you implement them?

 

 

1st Level Spells

 

We're making Find Familiar an innate spell for obvious reasons, and Reckless Dweomer will be automatically assigned to Wild Mage's spellbook to not waste a generalist mage spellslot. So, we currently have 20 pre-existing spells (21 if we opt to move Detect Alignment here), leaving 4 (or 3) free spell slots before reaching the 24 spell limit.

 

Monster Summoning I

I know AD&D actually had MS serie of spells start at 3rd lvl, but this is really a must for Conjurers imo. I planned to make this spell summon 1 Gibberling per caster lvl, up to 5 Gibberlings at 5th lvl.

 

Fog Cloud/Obscuring Mist

Different name, but pretty much the same spell. I'm not sure about this spell because its most important feature (reduced line of sight) seems to be a problem for the AI. In theory I planned to have everyone inside the cloud suffer -4 penalty to melee hit rolls, -10 penalty to hit rolls with ranged attacks, and limited LoS. Without the latter feature this spell would turn the affected area into spellcaster's dreamland, but if we can at least reduce the LoS a little (e.g. by half) I think it could be fine. I'd really like to know DavidW and aVENGER's opinions on this matter.

 

Dimension Step/Dimension Hop

As its name suggest this would pretty much be the current SR's Dimension Door (instant casting but limited by line of sight). DD currently is very underpowered for its lvl, and even without LoS limit it still wouldn't be worth a 4th lvl spell slot imo (am I wrong?).

 

Ray of Fatigue - Power Word Fatigue

AD&D had Ray of Fatigue at 1st lvl and Ray of Enfeeblement at 2nd, vice versa 3E. A slightly different way to implement this spell would be 3E PW:Fatigue, and I'd probably slightly favor it as Necromancers will get its "mass" version, Waves of Fatigue. In both cases I'd use a standardized fatigue effect which I was going to suggest for KR. My idea was to take vanilla's fatigue but:

* keep -2 penalty to attack rolls and AC

* remove -2 penalty to damage to make it more different from Enfeeblement and Doom

* add -2 penalty to casting speed (casters need to be affected in some way!) and movement rate

 

Ice Dagger

I wanted to implement it only to increase the number of cold-based spells, but I have to admit it wouldn't add much to the mix. Within PnP it pratically is a weaker Magic Missile (single hit, up to 5d4 dmg), which also deals 1 point of dmg to creatures within 5 feet from the target (great eh?). I can imagine various ways to implement it, but none of them is truly unique imo:

a) PnP version - inferior to MM in every possible way

b) as per PnP, but less dmg to first target and more dmg within AoE

c) a lesser cold version of SR's Flame Arrow

d) as per PnP but secondary slow effect on target instead of 1 point of dmg within 5 feet

e) completely changed into a 1st lvl cold version of druid's Flame Blade

Assuming a) is pointless, b) and c) aren't great choices imo (especially because they will both be outshined by 2nd lvl Snilloc's Snowball Swarm), and while d) seemed the better option to me I then realized it pales in comparison to Chromatic Orb (which at 10th lvl can cause slow too amongst other things - and V4 will probably let you select Orb's effect!). In the end, the only solution that would provide a somewhat unique addition is e) imo. What do you think?

 

 

2nd Level Spells

With Detect alignment moved at 1st lvl we have 4 free spell slots. You'll notice I have pretty clear ideas regarding which spells I'd like to see here, but I have quite a few doubts instead regarding their exact stats.

 

Monster Summoning II

Right now the planned creatures for this MS spell are Kobolds, and later on a Kobold Shaman or Kobold Witch as their leader.

 

Gedlee's Electric Loop

I'm going to make it pretty much identical to PnP. Anyone within 5 feet from the caster (thus pretty much only those adjacent to him/her) takes up to 5d6 points of electrical dmg, with a save vs. breath to halve the dmg. Some players were concerned about its stunning effect being OP but I discovered that unlike IWD version within PnP only those failing the first reflex-based save must save vs. spell to avoid being stunned for 1 round. What do you think?

 

Snilloc's Snowball Swarm

Unlike PnP I'd make it party-friendly because the only technical way to implement it imo is to make it cast one "snowball" (the same projectile used by vanilla's Winter Wolf ranged breath attack) against each target within the AoE. Within AD&D this spell dealt up to 8d3 dmg wihtin 30 feet radius, while 3E made this spell deal up to 5d6 points of cold dmg, with a 10 feet radius AoE. I was opting for the smaller AoE, but even 15-20 feet may be fine if we want a compromise, depending on the dmg output we decide to use. Speaking of which, I'd suggest to use the xd4+x formula used by Cone of Cold for "consistency", but considering the party-friendliness it should probably deal average dmg like 4d4+4 (very slightly less than both PnP versions). Let me know your opinions.

 

Resist Fire/Cold

It may sound a weak choice but I think this is a must have considering you don't get ProElemental Energy until 9th caster lvl, thus leaving BG1 mages with no elemental protection for almost the entire game. Not to mention Abjurers currently have only Resist Fear at this lvl.

 

One daring thought, should the spell be somewhat changed into a sort of Resist Energy?

 

 

3rd Level Spells

We have two free slots here, and I had no troubles deciding which spells I wanted to add here.

 

Animate Dead --> Animate Skeletons

This is truly a must. Necromancers not having a single undead minion to summon before 5th lvl spells is ridiculous imo, especially considering within Forgotten Realms setting they actually have an Undead Summoning spell at each lvl. It will match the current cleric's Animate Dead spell, summoning skeletons early on, and a couple of greater ones later on, but no Skeleton Warriors.

 

Icelance

This spell rocks imo. I just hope I can make it use a decent animation. I'd keep its classic 5d6 dmg (no save), either 100% cold dmg a la IWD or 2d6 piercing dmg + 3d6 cold dmg a la PnP, but I was thinking to modify its stunning effect a little. Instead of "stun" opcode I'd use a "hold" one which doesn't count as a mind affecting effect. It all depends on how we think this spell is supposed to work, but I think the target isn't stunned because of the dmg, but impaled by the lance itself, thus a physical paralyzation and not a mental one. This would make the lance effective against pretty much any target (e.g. even undead though most of them are immune to cold dmg), but I can make the spell work via shell system to make sure that while the dmg may still work against any target, certain targets won't be paralyzed by the lance (e.g. all incorporeal beings - so an incorporeal undead is probably completely immune to it). Anyway, let me know what you think.

 

 

4th Level Spells

In theory we had little to no space here, but we can gain quite a few spell slots by making the two Fire Shield spells a single one for example, by merging Spider Spawn into MSIV (everyone seems to hate gnolls anyway), by moving Dimension Door elsewhere, and eventually by keeping only one between Farsight and Wizard Eye (they do the same thing). Anyway, let's see what we could add here.

 

Phantasmal Killer

A true must have imo, pratically Spook on steroids. We can easily make it work a la PnP: target must save vs. spell (at -2 penalty perhaps, or following Spook's progression) to disbelieve the phantom, if that save fails another save vs. death is required (this time with no penalty imo) to avoid death. If the second save is successful the target still takes 3d6 points of non-lethal dmg (aka stunning dmg).

 

Vitriolic Sphere

Acid dmg is heavily underrepresented, and this is a quite classic spell (4th lvl within AD&D, and 5th lvl within 3E). This is pratically an Acid Arrow which lasts less but deal more dmg, with even a small blast radius. Well, the two versions of this spell (AD&D and 3E) actually are much more different than it seems at first look. AD&D one only deals very little dmg to secondary targets within 5 feet (and only once on the first round), whereas 3E sphere has full effect on all targets within its 10 feet splash, though to balance that they made the sphere allow a first save to avoid all damage. I'd probably make it as per AD&D, which version do you prefer?

 

Mordenkainen's Force Missiles

This would pratically be Evocation's version of Flame Arrow, firing Magic Missiles instead of arrows, and each with a small blast radius. For some reason PnP dmg (the same within AD&D and 3E) seems very OP to me, as each force missile deals up to 2d4 dmg (no save) + 25 dmg to target and anyone within 5 feet (save to negate), and you get up to 7 missiles. I guess the "save to negate" instead of "save for half" is what should keep it balanced (ironically that's pretty much what I suggested to do for FA), but the 7x 2d4 (no save) alone is kinda significant, and on a failed save 174 magic damage is a disintegration spell!! o_O A 1st lvl Shield spell blocks this spell ok, but I doubt it's enough to balance it considering only mages have such counter - for everyone else this pretty much seems an Improved Disintegrate. Am I missing something?

 

On a side note, now that ToBEx should allow us to make subspells to work on contingencies/triggers, I'm thinking of making both Flame Arrow and this spell work a la SI, keeping the current "random targets" version available for contingencies/triggers (the other wouldn't work), while allowing the other version to work as vanilla's Wand of Lightning, aka allowing to select the target of each arrow/missile.

 

Enervation

This is a very canonic spell, and kinda unique too considering only a single 9th lvl spell works in a similar way. No save allowed, target TEMPORARILY loses 2 levels. In PnP you regain lost lvls after up to 15 hours but I wouldn't make it more than 8 hours (at least you can rest to regain them).

 

Ardanis suggested to make it replace the currently unappealing Contagion, but while it makes sense, and it may allow to see this spell used by the AI without a new SCS update, I feel it's a pity to remove one of the very few sources of disease. :(

 

Dimensional Anchor

It's not a true must-have spell, but it's rather canonic. The spell would be simple, immunity to maze-like effects (such as Shadow Door's secondary effect, Maze itself, Imprisonment) and teleporting effects (Teleport Field, which won't allow a save again). Allowing at least one counter to Imprisonment is important imo (though we can also consider Freedom), but if we end up not having space for it I think that even granting it only to clerics could be fine (they already are dedicated to buffs and protections).

 

Animate Ghouls

Within AD&D this would be called Undead Summoning II. Anyway, it's simple, now that 6th lvl Create Undead summons Skeleton Warriors I'd like to keep those lovely ghasts summonable in some way, but we may try to find another way if we don't have space here.

 

 

5th Level Spells

We actually had no space back then (the only full spell lvl), but V4 will merge all ProElem spells into one, and all Conjure Elem into one as well, turning the once full lvl into the only spell lvl I have problems filling up with good spells! o_O In theory we have 5 free spell slots right now (assuming Spell Shield is restored but Spell Immunity is finally removed), and they may even be 6 if we decide to move or remove Chaos as discussed in the main topic.

 

Swift Etherealness

Transmuters have only one spell at this lvl, Lower Resistance, so adding at least one Alteration spell is a must imo. DavidW once said that he decided to not implement any true Transmuter within SCS because of the lack of PfMW and protection spells in general. Well, this is could be the answer to it imo.

 

Pratically this is a quick casting (a swift action within PnP), short lasting Etherealness, and within PnP it performs as a "panic button", but I don't know if it would be enough appealing as just a panic button within BG, would it?

 

I was daring to suggest disabling physical attacks, but allowing spellcasting (e.g. we could assume that the caster blinks from the ethereal and material plane like Phase Spiders do, becoming material only for an instant while casting the spell - ironically PnP also have Improved Blink at this lvl). Long story short, this would pretty much be an uber short lasting (in PnP it's 1 round, but I'd say 2-3) Absolute Immunity+Improved Invisibility which disables physical attacks.

 

What do you think? Is my suggestion too much? Would a true PnP version still be appealing?

 

Edit: I can imagine a great use of a true PnP Etherealness, aka using a Contingency to make it trigger when caster is helpless (or similar states), but Resilient Sphere would perform the same way for that role, if not better!

 

Waves of Fatigue

There's little to say here, Necromancers have only one spell at this lvl, Summon Shadow, so adding at least one Necromantic spell is a must imo. This one even acts as a rather unique spell because right now fatigue is almost never used. This spell would have a medium or large AoE centered on the target, causing anyone (but I'd make it party friendly) not immue to fatigue (e.g. undead creatures are immune) to be fatigued (no save). With my suggested changes to the fatigue concept (vanilla's effects plus -2 penalty to casting speed and movement rate - though I'd remove the dmg penalty to balance it) this would be a really useful debuff spell imo.

 

Ball Lightning

The idea is to make it create a single ball of lightning (using the current's Storm Shell animation) that the caster can then move around as he/she wishes for the duration of the spell (the AI will move it via scripts). In PnP the sphere would deal damage (up to 15d6 - save to negate all dmg) to a single target sharing its space each round, but while we are unable to perfectly replicate that, I think that making it damage anyone within 5 feet radius from it (once per round - pratically as a moving Blade Barrier) would be an even cooler concept (IWD's version of this spell pratically was a lightning based MMM with 5 ' radisu blast dmg). Obviously I'd lower the damage accordingly, and the caster won't be able to have more than 1 Ball Lightning active.

 

Greater Dimension Door

As per PnP, caster can use a short ranged Dimension Door each round for 1 round every 2 levels (I think we can make it last a fixed turn, if not more). The cool aspect of this spell is that even if limited by LoS it would still allow super fast travels from one area to another (which is the only thing the single use, long casting, 4th lvl DD would be used for). I know removing LoS limit from DD is cool on paper, and fine for many players, but I really cannot tolerate its quest/game breaking potential. :(

 

Mind Fog

AD&D version of this spell is way more balanced than its 3E one, which would be very gamebreaking within BG imo. Long story short, this would be a sort of Malison cloud spell (not a real cloud though, thus Gust of Wind shouldn't work against it imo), making anyone within the cloud suffer -2 penalty to saves against mind affecting spells and illusionary spells (ironically we can make this spell work within BG only because, unlike AD&D, SR uses saves vs. spells exclusively for mind affecting spells a la 3E).

 

Mestil's Acid Sheath

Pretty much the conjurer's version of Fire Shield, but more damaging and with a slightly better dmg type. Not my favourite spell, but we don't have better alternatives imo, and Ardanis seems to love it. :D

 

Various

If we end up not implementing any of the above spells, I have very few alternatives spells to suggest. I could suggest Shadow Magic (but I thought to use it as a Illusionist-only feat within KR, and it has much more potential there), Demishadow Monsters (fine imo, but I'm adding Shades at 6th lvl), Dismissal (single target Banishment, but unlike PnP we have the latter at 6th lvl instead of 7th), or Telekinesis (but within BG it would just be a more damaging Knock/Battering Ram).

 

 

6th Level Spells

Another almost full lvl which gets new free slots becuase of various re-arragements such as making Contingency an innate, merging the various elementals in a single spell, and eventually disabling Spell Deflection (because of a huge overhaul of this kind of spells). Necromancers apparently needed a second spell at this lvl (SR previously added Create Undead here to give them at least one spell), but they'll get Symbol of Fear. In theory I'm also adding Monster Summoning VI (MSIV within AD&D) but it will simply replace Wyvern Call. We have 3 free slots, and eventually a 4th one if we decide to get rid of the classic but useless Stone to Flesh.

 

Shades

Illusionists currently have only Mislead at this lvl, and adding illusionary summons really is a must have imo, to the point where I actually don't know if this spell alone is enough. :) Anyway, making the summoned creatures balanced won't be easy, but in theory they will be powerful phantom warriors, with a "glass cannon" concept. These semi-real illusions should have valuable offensive prowness, but few hit points.

 

Furthermore I was thinking about making them vulnerable to True Seeing somehow, but I'm not sure how. Surely I don't want TS to destroy them on sight, but for example they could look like normal real warrior unless affected by TS, at which point they may look like vanilla's images (with the blue color pattern indicating they are not real) and perhaps lessened effectiveness.

 

Eyebite

Enchantment was another school in vanilla with no 6th lvl spells (together with Necromancy). I "added" PW:Silence but I want a second spell, and I haven't found any appealing one except this, which for some reason become a Necromantic spell in 3E, but correctly was an Enchantment one within AD&D.

 

Technically it would work a la Polymorph Self/Shapechange, and upon casting it the caster will have new innate abilities usable at will, once per round, for the duration of the spell. These abilities will work using the standard gaze projectile, and simulate the most classic gaze attacks, thus causing effects such as fear, confusion, or charm upon the target.

 

Otiluke's Freezing Sphere

Evokers have only one spell here, despite it being a really good one (Chain Lightning). OFS pratically is a more damaging cold version of Fireball, with smaller AoE (15' instead of 20', though BG's Fireball actually has a 30' radius). As in PnP I really don't see how this spell and it's 15d6 dmg can compete with Chain Lightning (the latter deals 5d6 less dmg to secondary targets, but 5d6 more to primary one, and has a big friendly AoE instead of a small unfriendly one), not to mention it was even worse within AD&D. Even 5th lvl Fireburst would beat it imo, as OFS would be the same thing, not centered on the caster, but with much longer casting time. If you ask me, I'd keep it unfriendly but I would add a secondary effect related to its name, thus either a long lasting slow-like effect or a short lasting freeze effect (e.g. hold frozen for 1 round on failed save). I'd probably prefer the latter.

 

Improved Slow

This could fill the eventual last free slot if we remove Stone to Flesh. Unlike Improved Haste this still is a "mass" spell, which is a good thing because else it would have to compete with both Disinterate and Flesh to Stone! There's little to say here, this would pretty much be a slow spell, but with a heavier save penalty (-6 in PnP) causing targets to move even slower (at a ninth of their normal rate - which means movement rate 1 in general, thus the minimum possible), and suffer even worse penalties (-8 penalty to AC and thac0 within PnP).

 

 

7th Level Spells

From this spell lvl we don't have to worry reaching the 24 spells per lvl cap because even looking into all PnP sources I haven't found so many great spells which could really add something new. Both Symbol of Stun and Symbol of Weakness will probably be here, and the lesser version of the two Bigby's spells might too. We still have a bunch of free slots, and the number may even increse depending on other decsions (e.g. if we ever decide to merge the genies).

 

Monster Summoning VII

Deciding which creatures assign to the various MS spells is difficult; MSVI and MSVII are no exception and also have a very tough competition (genies, elementals, and so on, not to mention Mordy!). I'll discuss all the summoning spells in a dedicated topic, but the more likely candidates for this spell currently are Umber Hulks.

 

Conjure Greater Elemental

Ardanis suggested to move greater elementals here and I kinda agree, not only for balance reasons (they weren't OP, but they surely outshined all other summons at the same lvl), but also because CGE actually is a 7th lvl spell within AD&D. :)

 

Prying Eye/Watchful Eye

Adding at least one Divination spell here should actually be the top priority, but the problem is that divination spells are few, and generally useless outside of PnP. In an ideal world I'd love to put here Greater Arcane Sight (Ardanis is convinced we can implement it, I'm not 100% sure), but within BG it has very little use imo because of that damn text feedback which ruins Mislead's intended role and tells the player each and every spell is cast (though SCS recently followed my suggestion to at least hide prebuff text messages). Without it the only other PnP option probably is something like Greater Prying Eye, which is similar to AD&D's Watchful Eye (a 7th lvl spell from the Dark Sun setting). Now, this spell is supposed to be Wizard Eye with True Seeing, but now that we're making TS work more like PnP (aka not dispelling illusionary protections/creatures on sight) such solution would make it another "great PnP spell but bad BG spell". What could make it a great "summon" (it shouldn't count as a summon imo) is granting it thief's detect traps and detect illusions skills (though I would probably not assign it a 100% chance for balance reasons).

 

Long story short, I suggest to move here 4th lvl Wizard Eye (we have Farsight there performing the very same role), and improving it as much as we can. What do you think?

 

 

8th Level Spells

This spell lvl was very lightly populated, and unfortunately even within PnP there isn't much choice at this lvl. I'm going to suggest quite a few of non-PnP spells because of this, though they already exist within either IWD or NWN, making them acceptable imo (much like BG's Sphere of Chaos, and surely way better than BG's silly Mantles).

 

Mind Blank

I guess it doesn't need presentations. It is an Improved Chaotic Commands, granting even more immunities, and protection from Divination spells as well (such as Knoe Opponent and Oracle), but more importantly it will last 8 hours, making it an obvious day-long buff a la Stoneskin for mages who can afford it.

 

Monster Summoning VIII

The difficult part here will be to find summons enough appealing to fit such a high spell lvl but not OP. I was thinking to suggest using salamanders here, but even Umber Hulks can fit this slot if we make them 8HD creatures as per PnP.

 

Conjure Elder Elemental

For some reason I'm not too much into it. Unlike the other three versions of this spell it doesn't exist within PnP, and I don't like that Druids would be left behind as they are limited to 7th lvl spells and Greater Elementals (though they then get princes via innate HLAs).

 

Create Greater undead

This is not a mandatory spell, as Necromancers already have two spells here (one of which is the terrific Horrid Wilting) but I guess most of you would like it. I'm not sure which BG creatures could fit this. We could use mummies and a Greater Mummy, or a single powerful Boneguard.

 

Lightning Ring

Evokers absolutely need new spells here, especially if we make Incendiary Cloud a Conjuration as all other clouds. This one existed within both AD&D and 3E Spell Compendium and it's truly powerful imo. The spells is kinda unique, as it's similar but still different to both Fire Shield and Blade Barrier, with a little of Call Lightning too. Its implementation would be the following: caster is surrounded by electricity, becoming immune to electrical damage, and once every round (twice within 3E) a 5d6 lightning bolt is discharged, targeting a random opponent (within PnP you can direct the bolts). If we think it's needed we can add a fire shield-like dmg when struck effect, but the spell can probably be fine either way.

 

Polar Ray

If we decide to move Bigby's Icy Grasp at 7th lvl than this spell is a must imo, else we can just keep the ice-tweaked Bigby spell. This is another classic spell though most PnP players conside it underpowered because of the required touch attack to hit roll. I'm not sure how balanced it would be, but in theory BG implementation would probably be a ray inflicting up to 20d6 points of cold dmg with no save. Else we could raise the damage and allow a reflex save (to replace the ranged attack roll), but then the spell would just be a Disintegrate spell with different dmg type. Mmm...

 

Polymorph Any Object or Mass Polymorph

V3 added Ghostform, but we had no Alteration spells at all in vanilla, and thus I'd like to add a 2nd one. PaO is likely one of the most devastating PnP spells ever created, but implementing it is an almost impossible task imo, as in theory it can do infinite things, such as turning a pebble into a Stone Golem, a party member into a different creature type (e.g. even a celestial!), and so on. We thought to limit it to x type of uses, but even then it's difficult to decide which ones, the power lvl limits and then write down an appropriate description to justify why the spell does that on not that.

 

Mass Polymorph is obviously less unique, but implementing it would be a simple task. :)

 

Symbol of Insanity

We have only a single Enchantment spell for this lvl (a Power Word), and I really cannot find a 2nd one. As discussed before, I'd opt to not use Charm Monster because within BG engine it would just be Mass Domination, thus deprecating the latter which is instead the ultimate enchantment spell imo (so powerful that 3E hugely nerfed it, turning it into a single target Dominate Monster). The only spell I found is Symbol of Insanity (pratically is BG's Chaos usable as a trap/symbol), and Ardanis suggested Maddening Whispers (pretty much SR's Sphere of Chaos). As discussed in other topics, I really don't know what to do, especially because SoC would outshine SoI by a mile imo.

 

So, what would you do? Remove Sphere of Chaos (which never existed in PnP but is cool) and add Symbol of Insanity, or just move SoC at 8th lvl?

 

Solipsism

Illusion is another school with just one 8th lvl spell. I really couldn't find anything within PnP, except 3E Greater Shadow Evocation, and thus I turned to IWD and NWN where I could only manage to find a 7th lvl spell, Solipsism. The concept is cool imo (the caster manipulate the senses of the target so that it perceives itself to be the only real creature in all of existence and everything around it to be merely an illusion) and to fill an 8th lvl spell slot it could work as a illusion based Mass Feeblemind. What do you think?

 

Executioner's Eyes

The most difficult task ever, making Divination school great within BG. The only PnP spell which could work here would have been Moment of Prescience, but it cannot be implemented, so I turned once again to IWD, and found there the fan favourite Executioner's Eye. This spell may not look great at first sight (allies get +4 to attack rolls and +20% chance to score critical hits) but actually has a tremendous potential (it was a 9th lvl spell within IWD for a reason), especially if the caster has many warriors on his side and/or summons.

 

 

9th Level Spells

We really don't need many spells here, I only want each school to have at least one spell, if not two when possible.

 

Foresight

Once again Divination school have not a single spell, but this time we do have a classic and potentially great one. I really never understood how PnP version could fit a 9th lvl slot (do you? am I missing something?), but I think we can simply improve upon its base concept, pretty much as Refinements mod did.

 

Weird

Illusion school too had not a single spell at this lvl. I know Weird performs a similar role to WotB, but this spell is a must have imo, and it's the most canonic 9th lvl illusion spell since AD&D.

 

Shadow Clone

This is the next best suggestion I could find. I changed its name but this is just NWN Shadow Simulacrum, which is probably inspired by PnP Ice Assasin. Long story short, this is a Simulacrum spell usable on others, though I still don't know if that "others" will mean any target or just party members (balance wise I'd say the latter, as cloning a dragon might be a little over the top :D - not to mention cloning opponents may not be technically easy for allgiances). Even then, being able to create clones of your best party members should be enough to make this spell appealing imo (though an in-game helmet offers almost the same, with few limitations, once per day).

 

If you have a better alternative suggestion let me know, but afaik the only real alternative is 3E Shades, aka Shadow Conjuration on steroids. Well, on second thought even that spell woundn't be bad.

 

Monster Summoning IX

If I ever manage to make Gate summon non-evil creatures too this spell will have to compete with it. Nevertheless I think this is a mandatory spell.

 

Mass Domination

I did not suggested Mass Charm for 8th lvl to leave room for this spell, which is the ultimate enchantment spell imo. In theory we could also have Mass Hold Monster, but I really don't see how it could compete at this level, am I wrong?

Edited by Demivrgvs

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Fog Cloud/Obscuring Mist

I would also add improved invisibility effect, to prevent spellcasting against creatures within.

 

Dimension Step/Dimension Hop

My reasoning to change DD to 5th level Greater DD (unlimited DD ability for 1 round/lvl) is due to the 4th Ch. boss Davaeron (BG1), who has an unlimited teleportation ability. What he does is exactly a GDD in effect.

Edited by Ardanis

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First of all, I'm glad to see you decided to add new spells. If it is done right (and you have my blind trust) it could add really much fun to the mage gameplay.

 

Here is my wishlist:

 

1) Dimension Step/Dimension Hop

I really like the idea of moving DD's features to the 1st lvl, because I love the spell as such but for a 4th lvl spell it's indeed to weak. Quick, once per use, in LoS, cheap: all attributes fitting the 1st spell lvl the best. The idea of Ardanis (Greater DD) sounds even more fun. So why not take both?

2) Fog Cloud/Obscuring Mist

If you find a proper way to implement it, it will be by far the most interesting one of the five and a nice defensive tool.

3) Monster Summoning I

As I share your opinion of ensuring that every Specialist should have at least something cool each spell lvl, I really favor this one over the rest. Even more if Find Familiar is made an innate ability (which of course is the right way to go as a main-char-only spell). Gibberlings on the other hand are not only a must have for Conjurers, they are also a must have for this site. :)

 

Ice Dagger

Yes you are right in both. Arcane magic is lacking cold based skills and Ice Dagger brings nothing really new to the table. I fear Ice Dagger is not the right way to go. There is even already a cold based skill at 1st level: Chill Touch. For me, it's not a question of "should there be more cold based skill?" than "at which spell lvl?" and "in which way?" should they get implemented. I miss Snilloc's Snowball Swarm and Icelance much more than Ice Dagger (never used it in IWD), both skills of a spell lvl missing cold based stuff in BG.

Edited by Lawlight

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In order of preference:

 

1) Dimension Step

2) Fog Cloud

3) Monster Summoning I

 

By the way, I am really looking forward to go back to Find Familiar revision! It was sooooooooo long ago...

Edited by Salk

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I really like

 

Monster Summoning I

Dimension Step/Dimension Hop

Ray of Fatigue - Power Word Fatigue

 

The spell "Fog Cloud/Obscuring Mist" is really interesting, but I wonder if it is not too overpowered for a first level spell?

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Monster Summoning I

Awesome would be the possibility to select monsters.Like:

-Gibberlings (max 5)

-Small spiders (max 3)

-Kobold archers (max 3)

-Goblins (max 3)

 

Dimension Step/Dimension Hop

This and GDD for 5th are both very good ideas.

Fog Cloud/Obscuring Mist

This would be pretty interesting.

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Fog Cloud/Obscuring Mist

Different name (AD&D/3E), same spell. I'm not sure about this spell because its most important feature (reduced line of sight) seems to be a problem for the AI.

 

My experience is that visual range can be reduced to 7 - or half normal - without screwing up AI scripts too badly, as creatures can still detect actors at range 12 (nearly at the edge of the normal fog of war, albeit they cannot target them until they get closer).

 

Ice Dagger

I wanted to implement it only to increase the number of cold-based spells, but I have to admit it wouldn't add much to the mix.

 

Ice Dagger as described in Oriental Adventures deals 2d4 damage to the target, 1d4 (save vs death for none) to creatures within 5 feet and they all must save or be slowed for 1d3 rounds (make that 2 rounds, to avoid annoying staggered probability issues) with a -2 to THAC0 and -1 to AC.

 

However, AD&D Ice Dagger had a casting time of 1 round, which is bad for an AoE spell. If implemented it should certainly be a 1st level spell rather than 2nd, because it would be inferior to glitterdust, web, horror etc.

 

Ray of Fatigue - Power Word Fatigue

AD&D had Ray of Fatigue at 1st lvl and Ray of Enfeeblement at 2nd, vice versa 3E.

 

Would you consider replacing Blindness at lvl 1 with Ray of Fatigue, and moving Blindness to lvl 2 (where it should be) to replace Deafness? Lvl 2 Sound burst could then become Shout (there's an abundance of AoE spells at lvl 2). Perhaps you would need to wait until the next SCS release to implement it, as it would need new AI trigger checks.

Edited by polytope

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Ok, it seems we have two clear winners, Monster Summoning I and Dimension Step, plus Fog Cloud if implementable. Ice Dagger seems to be the least appealing instead, together with Ray of Fatigue.

 

Fog Cloud

My experience is that visual range can be reduced to 7 - or half normal - without screwing up AI scripts too badly, as creatures can still detect actors at range 12 (nearly at the edge of the normal fog of war, albeit they cannot target them until they get closer).
Interesting indeed. I do prefer to try this out instead of going for Ardanis suggested II-like state to prevent direct spellcasting (perfect concept, but I really dislike the implementation).

 

Ice Dagger

Ice Dagger as described in Oriental Adventures deals 2d4 damage to the target, 1d4 (save vs death for none) to creatures within 5 feet and they all must save or be slowed for 1d3 rounds (make that 2 rounds, to avoid annoying staggered probability issues) with a -2 to THAC0 and -1 to AC.
That's pretty much one of my suggested solutions (btw, your spell is Ice Knife - but the concept is clearly the same), and the one I like the most.

 

Ray of Fatigue - Power Word Fatigue

Would you consider replacing Blindness at lvl 1 with Ray of Fatigue, and moving Blindness to lvl 2 (where it should be) to replace Deafness? Lvl 2 Sound burst could then become Shout (there's an abundance of AoE spells at lvl 2). Perhaps you would need to wait until the next SCS release to implement it, as it would need new AI trigger checks.
I do thought about somthing similar. I first considered the option of merging them into Blindness/Deafness as per PnP, but quickly realized that no one would ever take it over Blindness.

 

Still, I would feel sad for losing Sound Burst, and the idea was to find a way to keep Deafness but making it usable instead of removing it. I have to re-chck AI scripts too to see if we can move Blindness and eventually remove Deafness (I think RR uses it).

 

On a side note, Soundburst could remain as a bard-only spell as I planned to slightly re-arrange their spellbooks within KR (e.g. no necromancies and no evocations a la 3E like).

 

I'll think about it and let you know, in the meanwhile I'll be back with 2nd lvl new spells asap.

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Sorry for the two posts in a row, but this was too big to be an edit of the old one. :D Don't dismiss the previous post! ;)

 

2nd Level Spells

 

With Detect/Know Alignment moved at 1st lvl we have 4 free spell slots. You'll notice I have pretty clear ideas regarding which spells I'd like to see here, but I have quite a few doubts instead regarding their exact stats.

 

Monster Summoning II

Right now the planned creatures for this MS spell are Kobolds, and later on a Kobold Shaman or Kobold Witch as their leader.

 

Gedlee's Electric Loop

I'm going to make it pretty much identical to PnP. Anyone within 5 feet from the caster (thus pretty much only those adjacent to him/her) takes up to 5d6 points of electrical dmg, with a save vs. breath to halve the dmg. Some players were concerned about its stunning effect being OP but I discovered that unlike IWD version within PnP only those failing the first reflex-based save must save vs. spell to avoid being stunned for 1 round. What do you think?

 

Snilloc's Snowball Swarm

Unlike PnP I'd make it party-friendly because the only technical way to implement it imo is to make it cast one "snowball" (the same projectile used by vanilla's Winter Wolf ranged breath attack) against each target within the AoE. Within AD&D this spell dealt up to 8d3 dmg wihtin 30 feet radius, while 3E made this spell deal up to 5d6 points of cold dmg, with a 10 feet radius AoE. I was opting for the smaller AoE, but even 15-20 feet may be fine if we want a compromise, depending on the dmg output we decide to use. Speaking of which, I'd suggest to use the xd4+x formula used by Cone of Cold for "consistency", but considering the party-friendliness it should probably deal average dmg like 4d4+4 (very slightly less than both PnP versions). Let me know your opinions.

 

Resist Fire/Cold

It may sound a weak choice but I think this is a must have considering you don't get ProElemental Energy until 9th caster lvl, thus leaving BG1 mages with no elemental protection for almost the entire game. Not to mention Abjurers currently have only Resist Fear at this lvl.

 

One daring thought, should the spell be somewhat changed into a sort of Resist Energy?

 

Fog Cloud vs. Obscuring Mist

Surprise!! :D Well, technically Fog Cloud is a 2nd lvl spell, while Obscuring Mist is 1st lvl, but follow the links and you'll surely notice they are pretty much the very same spell. I mention it for completeness but imo, regardless of which name we prefer, it's better to make it a 1st lvl spell considering we already have Stinking Cloud at this lvl, and even Web fills a similar role. Am I wrong?

Edited by Demivrgvs

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Monster Summoning II

I'm looking forward to it.

 

Gedlee's Electric Loop

If you handle the stun like PnP (NWN Series treated it the same way) it should be balanced.

 

Snilloc's Snowball Swarm

So why exactly do you plan to make it party-friendly? Visual looks? In my small, but colorful world it has always been the weaker version of Fireball. :) Anyway, I would prefer the 3E version with a maximum of 5d6 points of cold damage and the compromise of a 15 feet AoE radius (10 feet if you intend to nerf Fireball), exactly the half of Fireball in every single aspect. Furthermore, I also like IWD's feature of double damage against fire-based creatures.

 

Resist Fire/Cold

I fear I've missed the whole discussion here. :undecided:

 

Fog Cloud vs. Obscuring Mist

Yes they are basically the same thing, and I prefer the shorter duration of Obscuring Mist anyway. Actually, it should not last very long for balancing reasons. As for the name, I opt for Fog Cloud, not only are there already many Cloud spells, but the word 'mist' sounds really strange as a native German (in German mist means dung/muck). :D

Edited by Lawlight

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Snilloc's Snowball Swarm

So why exactly do you plan to make it party-friendly? Visual looks? In my small, but colorful world it has always been the weaker version of Fireball. :)
Yeah, as I said the main reason is that, though on a side note it also makes the spell usable by the AI (SCS doesn't like to use unfriendly AoE spells because the AI has troubles handling them). That being said, while Snowball Swarm was born exactly as a lesser Fireball, I do feel making it at least somewhat different wouldn't hurt. Actually as an unfriendly cold-based fireball with half AoE and half dmg it wouldn't really be appealing imo (at least AD&D version actually had a larger AoE), Fireball is just one lvl higher and it would make this spell pointless. Am I wrong?

 

Anyway, I would prefer the 3E version with a maximum of 5d6 points of cold damage and the compromise of a 15 feet AoE radius (10 feet if you intend to nerf Fireball), exactly the half of Fireball in every single aspect. Furthermore, I also like IWD's feature of double damage against fire-based creatures.
Perhaps it's just me, but wouldn't it be better if those creatures were vulnerable to cold dmg in the first place instead of certain cold-based spells deal 2x dmg and other cold-based attacks work normally?

 

Resist Fire/Cold

I fear I've missed the whole discussion here.
There was no previous discussion. In vanilla you had 3rd lvl ProFire granting 80% resistance, now ProFire grants complete immunity but it's a 5th lvl spell, and within BG1 you don't get 5th lvl spells until the very end of the game. I'm suggesting to add this spell to offer a cheaper lesser protection for lower lvl mages.

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Fog Cloud

The main implementation problem is that offering complete invisibility effect is unbalancing, while forcing the creature visible (thus keeping II only) will also strip any other invisibility effect the target might have had.

 

Although I believe it is sensible behavior - the whirling of thick mist should expose anybody moving within. Invisibility magically disappeaer after the character casts a spell or attacks something, i.e. makes his presence known, so why shouldn't the same happen in fog. The Glitterdust spell already works by this concept.

 

Ray of Fatigue - Power Word Fatigue

Power Words' distinctive feature is no saving throw allowed, and unsaveable -2 penalty to attack/AC/casting/movement strikes me as unbalanced for 1st spell. I'd go with Ray and save.

 

Polytope has a point too about merging Blindness with Deafness.

 

Gedlee's Electric Loop

I wouldn't worry about stun, because in order to disable a group of enemies in this manner you'd have to get the caster literally surrounded. If he does manage to pull it off without getting slaughtered, I think he deserves some bonus points.

 

Snilloc's Snowball Swarm

For these reasons - animation, AI, comparison with Fireball, - I think party-friendliness should used.

Edited by Ardanis

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Snilloc's Snowball Swarm

Yeah, as I said the main reason is that, though on a side note it also makes the spell usable by the AI (SCS doesn't like to use unfriendly AoE spells because the AI has troubles handling them). That being said, while Snowball Swarm was born exactly as a lesser Fireball, I do feel making it at least somewhat different wouldn't hurt. Actually as an unfriendly cold-based fireball with half AoE and half dmg it wouldn't really be appealing imo (at least AD&D version actually had a larger AoE), Fireball is just one lvl higher and it would make this spell pointless. Am I wrong?

 

Your arguments are valid. Ok, you've confinced me. :) There are other options like a little slow etc. to differentiate them even further. But then, the small AOE range could be perfectly ok.

 

Perhaps it's just me, but wouldn't it be better if those creatures were vulnerable to cold dmg in the first place instead of certain cold-based spells deal 2x dmg and other cold-based attacks work normally?

 

You have a good point here too. It was btw just a suggestion to make it more appealing in comparison to Fire Ball in at least some situations. But as a generell cold spell feature (quite like that idea), a 1,5 modiefer would be more balanced I think (Cone of Cold double Damage? O.o).

 

Resist Fire/Cold

There was no previous discussion. In vanilla you had 3rd lvl ProFire granting 80% resistance, now ProFire grants complete immunity but it's a 5th lvl spell, and within BG1 you don't get 5th lvl spells until the very end of the game. I'm suggesting to add this spell to offer a cheaper lesser protection for lower lvl mages.

 

Thank you for clarification. :)

Edited by Lawlight

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Fog Cloud

The main implementation problem is that offering complete invisibility effect is unbalancing, while forcing the creature visible (thus keeping II only) will also strip any other invisibility effect the target might have had.

 

Although I believe it is sensible behavior - the whirling of thick mist should expose anybody moving within. Invisibility magically disappeaer after the character casts a spell or attacks something, i.e. makes his presence known, so why shouldn't the same happen in fog. The Glitterdust spell already works by this concept.

So you still prefer this solution instead of limited line of sight?

 

Ray of Fatigue - Power Word Fatigue

Power Words' distinctive feature is no saving throw allowed, and unsaveable -2 penalty to attack/AC/casting/movement strikes me as unbalanced for 1st spell. I'd go with Ray and save.
With 5 rounds duration it shouldn't be OP imo. Vanilla's Doom was more powerful (-2 to saves is what makes Doom shine, not to mention Doom affect ANY type of creature unlike most enchantment spells and an eventual fatigue effect) and lasted twice as much.

 

Polytope has a point too about merging Blindness with Deafness.
So no Soundburst? :( What would be the point of Deafness? No one would ever cast it instead of Blindeness, not to mention SCS tweak to True Seeing (which we'll have to match) makes even Blindness a much less effective spell.

 

Gedlee's Electric Loop

I wouldn't worry about stun, because in order to disable a group of enemies in this manner you'd have to get the caster literally surrounded. If he does manage to pull it off without getting slaughtered, I think he deserves some bonus points.
Thus you'd vote for a single save a la IWD instead of PnP's two in a row saves?

 

Snilloc's Snowball Swarm

For these reasons - animation, AI, comparison with Fireball, - I think party-friendliness should used.
This pretty much sums up my opinion.

 

3rd Level Arcane Spells

 

We have two free slots here, and I had no troubles deciding which spells I wanted to add here.

 

Animate Dead - Animate Skeletons

This is truly a must. Necromancers not having a single undead minion to summon before 5th lvl spells is ridiculous imo, especially considering within Forgotten Realms setting they actually have an Undead Summoning spell at each lvl. It will match the current cleric's Animate Dead spell, summoning skeletons early on, and a couple of greater ones later on, but no Skeleton Warriors.

 

Icelance

This spell rocks imo. I just hope I can make it use a decent animation. I'd keep its classic 5d6 dmg (no save), either 100% cold dmg a la IWD or 2d6 piercing dmg + 3d6 cold dmg a la PnP, but I was thinking to modify its stunning effect a little. Instead of "stun" opcode I'd use a "hold" one which doesn't count as a mind affecting effect. It all depends on how we think this spell is supposed to work, but I think the target isn't stunned because of the dmg, but impaled by the lance itself, thus a physical paralyzation and not a mental one. This would make the lance effective against pretty much any target (e.g. even undead though most of them are immune to cold dmg), but I can make the spell work via shell system to make sure that while the dmg may still work against any target, certain targets won't be paralyzed by the lance (e.g. all incorporeal beings - so an incorporeal undead is probably completely immune to it). Anyway, let me know what you think.

Edited by Demivrgvs

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Fog Cloud

So you still prefer this solution instead of limited line of sight?
I believe you didn't understand my point then :)

I prefer both - reducing LOS gives advantage to those outside of cloud, while II effect - to those within it. The spell doesn't have any definite bonus or penalty, but is neutral, so it is up to the caster to decide whether the benefit will outweight the penalty or not.

 

Deafness

So no Soundburst? :( What would be the point of Deafness? No one would ever cast it instead of Blindeness, not to mention SCS tweak to True Seeing (which we'll have to match) makes even Blindness a much less effective spell.
I thought about two effects in one spell.

 

Soundburst, you did want to have a unique spellbook for bards, no?

 

Gedlee's Electric Loop

Thus you'd vote for a single save a la IWD instead of PnP's two in a row saves?
Yes. Without penalty, perhaps.

 

Icelance

Fine either way. Lance should definitely impale the target, no other way.

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