Blindness & Reduce Person

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Blindness & Reduce Person

Postby BlueSalamander » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:02 pm

It seems that Blindness and Reduce Person are of very limited usefulness simply because of the Fortitude saving throws. Fighters and other creatures which you would like to target typically have high Fortitude saves.

On the other hand, there are in the SRD much more effective spells like Glitterdust (Willpower save), Feeblemind (Willpower save but with a -4 penalty on wizards), Grease (Reflex save) or Lightning Bolt (Reflex save).

Even the Transmutation and Necromancy schools include spells with more appropriate saving throws: Slow (Willpower), Ray of Enfeeblement (no save), Waves of Fatigue (no save).

I have no problem with spells related to death, destruction and poison (like Finger of Death, Disintegrate, Implosion, Poison, Stinking Cloud) using fortitude saves. The problem is with spells that change a creature's shape to weaken it. (Mind Fog is also problematic, requiring a Will save for an effect that reduces Willpower.)

Some possible solutions:
- change the fortitude save to willpower save
- have the save be based on fortitude or willpower, whichever is lowest for the target
- keep fortitude save but give a +4 bonus to DC (or -4 penalty to save)
- require no save at all and instead require a ranged touch or melee touch attack
- combine blindness and deafness into a single spell, as they did in Neverwinter 2

Has anyone got a preference or other ideas on how to make these spells more interesting?
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Blindness & Reduce Person

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Re: Blindness & Reduce Person

Postby VentilatorOfDoom » Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:35 pm

Some possible solutions:
- change the fortitude save to willpower save
will make these spells kickass against fighter-types, I think this is a bit overpowering

- have the save be based on fortitude or willpower, whichever is lowest for the target
same as above, actually even more overpowering

- keep fortitude save but give a +4 bonus to DC (or -4 penalty to save)
overpowering

- require no save at all and instead require a ranged touch or melee touch attack
ensures success at higher levels, overpowering

- combine blindness and deafness into a single spell, as they did in Neverwinter 2
the only solution I would approve of, although I don't see any reason to act at all. Choosing the right spell against a certain target is OK. Fort based spells are not optimal against fighter types where's the problem? You use will/reflex based spells instead and leave the fort-based spells for rogues or mages.
I don't think every spell scholl needs similar effective spells at every spell level, I mean really Ray of Enfeeblement is hard to beat anyway for a lvl1 spell.
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Re: Blindness & Reduce Person

Postby BlueSalamander » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:44 pm

So you would prefer no change there. I think it might be okay if there's a way to cast the spells at a higher DC (like using heigthen for several points). The thing I don't like is that reduce spells (or blindness) aren't very interesting to cast compared to other spells; even though magic is often used in books and films to reduce a creature's size. Sure you can cast reduce person on a cleric or wizard with a good chance of success but it won't help even if it works. That's the problem. Creatures which you'd like to cast the spell on, are almost guaranteed to have good fort saves.
Further, the SRD lacks a Reduce Monster spell, that's something I'm planning to add too (along with a Mass version).
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Re: Blindness & Reduce Person

Postby Narsham » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:44 am

I don't see that changing to a Will save will make Blindness overpowering. It is still a single target spell which blinds the victim; Glitterdust hits an area with a Will save for blindness effects.

The duration is another matter, though many enemies will die before recovering from the Glitterdust blinding effect. But the main result will be to make Blindness dangerous against PC fighter-types and bring Remove Blindness forward as a useful remedy.
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Re: Blindness & Reduce Person

Postby VentilatorOfDoom » Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:26 am

Okay, well those spells are not very interesting... that's true. Maybe you could add the -4 save penalty... or make the save penalty dependant on caster level (like spook spell in BG2, I think the penealty increased every 4 or so caster levels, by 1)
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Re: Blindness & Reduce Person

Postby Flux_Capacitor » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:24 pm

How about trying to come from the other direction. Instead of all fighters with high Fortitude saves, why not allow the option of selecting which save will be the good one? For instance, if I wanted a more dexterous fighter, wouldn't it make more sense to have high Reflex saves? Unfortunately, this isn't currently allowed in the ruleset, and I'm unclear why.

When creating a character, you could provide the option for any character to select which save(s) will be the good one(s), and which will be poor. Or, give the character 2 (or whatever is appropriate for the class) points to spend on setting up their saves. 0 in a save is poor, 2 is good, and 1 would be somewhere in between (such as +1 at level 1, and +1 every 2.5 levels). Enemies with classes could certainly have the same option available to them, so there would be a bit more variation in opponents. However, I'm not sure how much sense it would make for creatures without a class.
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Re: Blindness & Reduce Person

Postby BlueSalamander » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:40 pm

When creating a character, you could provide the option for any character to select which save(s) will be the good one(s),
Good idea, but I think that a good Willpower is much more useful than a good Fortitude or Reflex, so it is preferable not to ask.

I think Glitterdust should have a shorter duration; blindness and deafness should be made into a single spell that retains the permanent duration and fortitude save; and the reduction spells should either use a willpower save or provide bonuses to DC, as suggested.
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