One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
1) Can spell-casters reduce the amount of damage voluntarily?
Ex: Is it possible for a 9th lvl mage who can hurl a Lightning Bolt or Fireball (or a 9th lvl priest with a Flame Strike, for that matter) to voluntarily reduce the damage of the generated spell (for instance, instead of a 9d6 blast, reduce it to 5d6, 3d6, etc...), or not?
2) Furthermore, is it possible to do this with touch-related spells, such as Shocking Grasp, Chill Touch, Vampiric Touch, and the like, by a mere grazing of the hand, or thump of a finger?
Or is it 'All or Nothing?' For both, or either case...???
Interesting question Lanthorn. Since the damage these spells delivers is random (die roll) I think the wizard in question would either have to be an expert at casting the particular spell or perhaps the wizard has researched all aspects of the spell to the extent that he can alter its effects at will. I think it's a good topic because I have run into the issue of a too destructive FB many times as a player and DM. The party needs the power of the spell to defeat foes, but they don't want to bring the house down on them in the process or catch everything on fire. Of course, there have to be some negative environmental effects of spells for it to be realistic too. It makes me think of the back blast area of certain weapons in my live of work or the danger to allies to the right and left of the enemy you are actually engaging. I'll be interested to see what Cebrion has to say....as always.
This question came up in our group back in the day. The base rules do not account for it, so the answer is "No." Now, what the base rules do account for is spell research, or the creation of a magic items that allow one to control the output of a spell. As to spell research, I would make the spell +1 level, but I would allow full control of its damage- even allowing part (or even all) of the damage to be dealt as subdual damage. This is a higher level spell, so it should have some benefits to make it worth memorizing.
As to item creation, how about a ring of mastery (evocation), or whatever School one wishes, but limit the item to a single School. The only restriction is the creator must have access to spells from said School, and must know a certain number of spells from said School (one for each spell level at the minimum). Also, you might wish to limit the use of the ring to 3/day, which ought to be plenty. You might also have ranks of ring, such as ring of lesser mastery (levels 1-3), ring of greater mastery (levels 1-6), and lesser ring of grand mastery (levels 1-9). For priests, I would make the item a phylactery instead, swap School for Sphere, and have just lesser and greater versions of the item for spells 1-4 and 1-7 respectively. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Cebrion, much obliged for your input! There are some spells that have come out in later products (Spells & Magic, for instance), that allow for the caster to alter dimensions of spells, ranges of spells, and the like, so this is a completely reasonable solution/answer.
I like your idea better: a meta-magic spell (or three) that allows one to alter spell output while it functions. Maybe introduce 3rd level, 6th level and 9th level versions of the spell, allowing them to affect the variable effects of spells of equal or lower level, and give it a duration of 1 turn/level. But no subdual damage option (that is a new effect, and so more in line with spell research), just alteration of extant variable effects of spells. As to the magic item based on such a spell, don't make it school-specific (i.e. make it a bit more useful), but limit it to 3 uses/day (because it saves having to use what are arguably some of the most useful spell slots) and have three versions based on what spell was used to enchant the item. For priests, introduce a 4th and 7th level versions of the spells. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
I like Cebrion's magic ring ideas, and Lanthorn's metamagic thoughts as well. After all, Tome of Magic already has spells like Squaring the Circle, which modify the area of effect of a spell, so why not one to exert some control over the destructive power?
Really, why use just one idea? Both could be useful.
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