Thursday, February 04, 2010

Another House Rule: Blasters

Not the Star Wars kind.

Evocation in 3.5 and Pathfinder sucks as a school of magic. Between massive hit point inflation and caster level caps Evocation just doesn't pack the punch it used to. In fact I would argue (and do quite frequently) that evocation spells are a waste of a spell slot.

Sure it's nice against low level mooks but why not just let the melee types feel awesome for a bit. Between SR, Saves and Energy Resistance, why bother?

So for the up coming campaign I am ruling that energy type spells are not effected by spell resistance.

Comments?

15 comments:

Rognar said...

Interesting idea. Certainly helps the players more than the monsters. Suddenly makes me want to head down to the Underdark and start kicking some drow butt.

Rognar said...

By the way, there is another possible house rule you might want to consider, especially in light of the evil nature of your campaign. I don't think there should be alignment restrictions for casting protection spells. Why is it a good act to cast protection from evil? Don't evil guys need protection from evil also?

Derobane-bane said...

I think evocation casters should focus more on spell focus, primary stat boosting and spell penetration.

If you make the DCs high enough, enemies will not be making those saves.

Maybe if they introduced more feats for spell focus and spell penetration, things would be more level for evocation guys.

Rognar said...

Honestly, I don't think Obiri's proposal would make that much of a difference. The dice cap has already nerfed most low to mid-level evocation spells beyond all recognition. As a spellcaster, I still don't think I'd bother memorizing fireball even if it wasn't affected by SR. Most things with decent SR have energy resistances and awesome saves (or a crapload of hps) anyway.

Obiri said...

I'm not really keen on removing the alignment restrictions for those spells. You are basically surrounding yourself with holy energy to keep evil at bay.

Constantly drinking all of that good energy is going to have an effect on you. As a divine caster, I would ban it. As an arcane caster, you are just going to run into problems by over casting it.

Rognar said...

Fair enough, I suppose. The good guys need all the help they can get. I've always been a bit confused by how alignment is handled in D&D for non-divine types. After all, if a good guy kills an innocent, BOOM!, instant alignment problem. But, if an evil guy saves the life of an innocent, what does that really mean? I guess in George Lucas world, it means the slate has been wiped clean, but most people would say an occasional act of goodness doesn't erase the taint. Falling from grace is a lot easier than redemption.

Joel said...

I am not sure that the evocationists suck. Lest we forget Mori from the Legacy of Fire.

Ok, Mori was a in essence a warmage, but the guy knew how to throw down the hurt. Between his meta magic and knowledge of energy vulnerabilities, he could level the battlefield of enemies before the fight even started.

Joel said...

Take a 10th level elf wizard that maxes out his int (22 plus a +4 int headband) with the following feats: spell focus evocation, greater spell focus evocation, spell penetration, greater spell penetration, empower spell, heighten spell and some crafty feat. You could:

1. throw a fireball spell with a ref DC of 23
2. throw a heightened fireball spell at fifth level for a Ref DC of 25
3. An empowered fireball, DC 23

Your spell penetration check will be 16 plus 1d20

Of course you wont throw any reflex save spells at theify guys, so keep a couple of hold person spells on stand by for those poor sucks.

Are evocation guys as tough as the old school wizards? No. I would agree with you there. Are evocation guys terrible now-a-days? I still think they have a decent niche, if you build them right.

Rognar said...

It's not really a question of whether or not evokers are terrible, it's whether they are worse than most of the other specializations, which I would argue they are. All the same feats you describe to make evokers scary can also be applied to conjurers, necromancers, enchanters or transmuters and they would all be even scarier. I would say only illusionists, diviners and abjurers are less effective in combat than evokers and combat is supposed to be the forte of the evocation school.

Derobane-bane said...

You got that right about necromancy. My evil cleric is going to use the feats I outlined above to make his touch spells tough to resist. I know that the inflict spells are not really impressive, but when you get into spells like poison, slay living, harm and destruction, the party really starts.

Rognar said...

Cleric, eh? I thought you were planning on "going rogue".

Derobane-bane said...

I am totally conflicted as to what to be. My heart resides in the roguish characters, but the chance to reprise the Age of Worms evil cleric is so tempting.
To compound things, all this talk of less effective evokers has my defiant spirit churning... maybe I'll be an evoker... but probably not... but who knows...
Cleric makes the best choice, given their abilities to patch up a bloodied party, but being an assassin sounds so fun.

Hey, three questions:

1. Can a character use weapon finesse to deliver a touch attack?

2. If I played a spellcaster, would you consider using a team feat?

3. Cleric or assassin?

Obiri said...

1.yes
2.not directed towards me
3.Since I am seeing a stealthy trend among the PCs as long as the cleric is somewhat stealthy I think both will be fine.

I'll try and give you guys a sneak peak of the players guide either over the weekend or early next week.

Derobane-bane said...

A stealthy cleric that is based on wading into combat and touching people in unholy places is not very conducive to stealth. I better stick with the assassin.

Rognar said...

D-bane, funny you should mention that about playing an evoker. I have decided the benefits of being a specialist wizard are too good to pass up, so Aashvela is going to be a transmuter, with evocation and conjuration as his opposition schools.