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What's Wrong with Spell Points?
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Thread: What's Wrong with Spell Points?

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    What's Wrong with Spell Points?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    Really? Why not? I've been giving the spell point system provided in the Unearthed Arcana in my game and it seems to be working fine. What would say the downfall of that system is?
    Glad you asked.

    Let's take a hypothetical system wherein a spell's cost in points is equal to it's level (I.E. 1st level spells=1sp; 2nd level spells=2sp; and so forth) I'm citing this example for mathematical simplicity.

    Now, operating under the precept that spellcasters should have roughly the same capacity under this new system as the old vancian system, well assume a conservative estimate of a 20th level Wizard with a 19 INT score. That means that they're spell casting capacity will look like this:

    Spell level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    per day 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4

    under this new spell point system, in order to have the same per diem spell capacity that Wizard would need 200sp total. On the surface this may look fine...assuming that they player will most likely be casting spells in the same denominations as their vancian counterpart...but what if the don't but lets break it down farther:

    200sp means:

    200 Magic Missiles
    100 Acid Arrows
    66 Fireballs
    50 Enervations
    40 Cloudkills
    33 Disintegrations
    29 Prismatic Sprays
    25 Horrid Wiltings
    22 Wishes

    In a day.

    Sure, you could adjust spell point cost per spell level exponentially, to avoid this outcome...cost=spell level^2. That means that cost progression will look like:

    spell level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    cost 1 4 9 16 25 36 49 64 81

    Works out fine at higher levels, but it still means 22 fireballs in a day, and a smart player will take energy substitution: sonic which almost no monster has a resistant against.

    end result= die game die!

    THAT is why spell points don't work in a system that has static spell tiers.


    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    My goal with this poll wasn't to try to determine how successful 4th edition might or might not be. The goal was to get a feel for how P&PG community members felt about the new edition.
    Ahh...if you're goal was to determine how many people within the microcasm of this community would be switching, then the poll suits your purposes fine then.

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    With all due respect JSorenson1979, your arguments against spell point systems are easily resolved. Assuming a linear spell point system ...

    First, if your problem with spell points is that they allow casters to cast the same spell over and over, then simply add a rule -- a wizard cannot cast a single spell more than their maximum spells per day in a single level. So your example wizard would only be able to cast a single spell five times before that spell is exhausted and they must choose another. Wizards are still limited by the spells they know in their spell book and so must seek a wide variety of spells to have a diverse range of choices.

    Second, if your problem with spell points is versatility -- the wizard can cast whatever spells at whatever time, simply force wizards to allocate spell points at days start (i.e. choose their spells). This is mechanically identical to Vancian memorization. Spell points better incorporate the metamagic feats system (i.e. quickened adds four points to spell cost), by the way. Its worth noting that many who use spell points do not see versatility as a bad thing and so skip this limitation. But it is an option if you want it.

    Third, wishes are limited by XP cost. 22 wishes would cost the wizard 110,000 XP. I think the proliferation of wishes is not a problem. In fact, many 'breaker' spells are limited by costly components or XP expenditures.

    Fourth, casting fireball 66 times per day does not break D&D. A 20th level wizard can easily afford a wand of fireballs which means they can shoot 50 fireballs if they so choose. Your case against Sonic Energy substitution is a better critique against that ability than against spell points. In fact, by 20th level the wizard is mostly wasting their actions by casting such a sub-par spell as a 10d6 fireball or a 5d4+5 magic missile.

    The real limitor against spell efficacy is actions. A fight in D&D 3.5 only lasts a certain number of rounds. And each round, the wizard must choose how to spend their resources to maximize their importance to the fight. A 20th level wizard (under a Vancian magic system) can have a 9th level spell to contribute to the fight for four rounds (perhaps fewer with quickened spells). Then his power must slowly ebb away (only 8th level contributions; four rounds later ... only 7th level ... and so forth). A spell point wizard can burn brighter (using only 9th level spells) but for a shorter amount of time in the long run (when their spell points run dry). And they are still limited by actions.

    So, to summarize -- spell points definitely change the game but with a few rules to limit wizards, the system is completely playable.

    For a good example of how a game can use a spell point system, might I recommend Fantasy Flight Game's 'Midnight'?

    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSorenson1979 View Post
    Glad you asked.

    Let's take a hypothetical system wherein a spell's cost in points is equal to it's level (I.E. 1st level spells=1sp; 2nd level spells=2sp; and so forth) I'm citing this example for mathematical simplicity.

    Now, operating under the precept that spellcasters should have roughly the same capacity under this new system as the old vancian system, well assume a conservative estimate of a 20th level Wizard with a 19 INT score. That means that they're spell casting capacity will look like this:

    Spell level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    per day 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4

    under this new spell point system, in order to have the same per diem spell capacity that Wizard would need 200sp total. On the surface this may look fine...assuming that they player will most likely be casting spells in the same denominations as their vancian counterpart...but what if the don't but lets break it down farther:

    200sp means:

    200 Magic Missiles
    100 Acid Arrows
    66 Fireballs
    50 Enervations
    40 Cloudkills
    33 Disintegrations
    29 Prismatic Sprays
    25 Horrid Wiltings
    22 Wishes

    In a day.

    Sure, you could adjust spell point cost per spell level exponentially, to avoid this outcome...cost=spell level^2. That means that cost progression will look like:

    spell level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    cost 1 4 9 16 25 36 49 64 81

    Works out fine at higher levels, but it still means 22 fireballs in a day, and a smart player will take energy substitution: sonic which almost no monster has a resistant against.

    end result= die game die!

    THAT is why spell points don't work in a system that has static spell tiers.




    Ahh...if you're goal was to determine how many people within the microcasm of this community would be switching, then the poll suits your purposes fine then.
    The spell point system works really well if you use the Psionic version. I think that is what the book intends.

    In that system the spell is static.

    Such that a fire ball is a 5 hd fireball if cast by a level 5 wizard or a level 20 wizard.

    If the wizard wishes to make it a 10 or 20 hd fireball it cost more spell points.

    It works out to be pretty much equal on spells that do damage.

    The problem with the system and which can be abused is spells that are static in their use.

    Like ectoplasm (ranged touch attack or be slowed [level 1]) or ray of stupidity where you only need to do 2 points of damage to take out any animal or hydra

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdmcbride View Post
    With all due respect JSorenson1979, your arguments against spell point systems are easily resolved. Assuming a linear spell point system ...

    First, if your problem with spell points is that they allow casters to cast the same spell over and over, then simply add a rule -- a wizard cannot cast a single spell more than their maximum spells per day in a single level. So your example wizard would only be able to cast a single spell five times before that spell is exhausted and they must choose another. Wizards are still limited by the spells they know in their spell book and so must seek a wide variety of spells to have a diverse range of choices.

    Second, if your problem with spell points is versatility -- the wizard can cast whatever spells at whatever time, simply force wizards to allocate spell points at days start (i.e. choose their spells). This is mechanically identical to Vancian memorization. Spell points better incorporate the metamagic feats system (i.e. quickened adds four points to spell cost), by the way. Its worth noting that many who use spell points do not see versatility as a bad thing and so skip this limitation. But it is an option if you want it.
    This is a well thought out point, however the problem I'm seeing with your argument is that it means tacking on additional provisional mechanics to prevent abuse of the system, which to me immediately says that there's something inherently wrong with the base system.

    Also, tacking on yet more rules is contrary to one of the primary stated goals of switching over to a spell point based magic system from the clunky old vancian fir and forget system, and that's finding a simpler and more elegant way to handle the mechanics of spell casting.

    Lastly, the rules you suggest for limiting the use of each spell, basically drags the whole system back into the vancian arena, which is also contrary to the goal at hand.


    Quote Originally Posted by gdmcbride View Post
    Fourth, casting fireball 66 times per day does not break D&D. A 20th level wizard can easily afford a wand of fireballs which means they can shoot 50 fireballs if they so choose. Your case against Sonic Energy substitution is a better critique against that ability than against spell points. In fact, by 20th level the wizard is mostly wasting their actions by casting such a sub-par spell as a 10d6 fireball or a 5d4+5 magic missile.
    Casting 66 10d6 Fireballs doesn't break the game, because it's the most fire is the most common evocation element, and probably more than half of higher level monsters have some sort of resistance to it. The reason I cited energy substitution: sonic is because it creates a long range AoE spell that does 10d6 points of damage that almost nothing has a resistance or immunity to. I've seen even high level characters breeze through encounter after encounter using this tactic, especially with a magic user who is optimized to overcome spell resistance. And this is when they could only do it 5 times a day. Being able to do it 66 times a day, in my opinion, is most certainly game breaking.


    Quote Originally Posted by gdmcbride View Post
    Third, wishes are limited by XP cost. 22 wishes would cost the wizard 110,000 XP. I think the proliferation of wishes is not a problem. In fact, many 'breaker' spells are limited by costly components or XP expenditures.

    The real limitor against spell efficacy is actions. A fight in D&D 3.5 only lasts a certain number of rounds. And each round, the wizard must choose how to spend their resources to maximize their importance to the fight. A 20th level wizard (under a Vancian magic system) can have a 9th level spell to contribute to the fight for four rounds (perhaps fewer with quickened spells). Then his power must slowly ebb away (only 8th level contributions; four rounds later ... only 7th level ... and so forth). A spell point wizard can burn brighter (using only 9th level spells) but for a shorter amount of time in the long run (when their spell points run dry). And they are still limited by actions.
    My other argument against a spell point system is that basic idea fits spells that can be used as a standard action, but what about spells that take a full round action, or even an hour of game time to cast? How does one adjudicate these?

    Quote Originally Posted by gdmcbride View Post
    So, to summarize -- spell points definitely change the game but with a few rules to limit wizards, the system is completely playable.
    My counter argument is that if you need to tack rules onto a system to make it playable, then the system is inherently flawed. It's not that I think that spell point systems are entirely unplayable...but I believe that for all it's clunkiness vancian casting simply works better

    It is my firm belief, that in order to make a spell point system work for D&D, that you have to rework the spells from the ground up and remove spell levels, instead having a repetoire of spells with scaling effects, similar to what I've seen with 3.5 psionics rules (though admittedly I have only a passing familiarity with this system)

    So far, the best and most playable alternative to the vancian system is the one presented in Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed. If you're unfamiliar with it I can summarize.


    Quote Originally Posted by gdmcbride View Post
    For a good example of how a game can use a spell point system, might I recommend Fantasy Flight Game's 'Midnight'?

    Gary
    Thank you for the recommendation. I'm not familiar with this game, but I will look into it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSorenson1979 View Post
    This is a well thought out point, however the problem I'm seeing with your argument is that it means tacking on additional provisional mechanics to prevent abuse of the system, which to me immediately says that there's something inherently wrong with the base system.
    The purpose of any rule (whether in D&D, chess or Marco Polo) is to make the game more fun. Any rule that gets you closer to the completely subjective experience of fun is a good rule. Notions of a base system which are somehow inviolate and unmodifiable are nonsense. Simplicity is often fun, but not always.

    Quote Originally Posted by JSorenson1979 View Post
    Also, tacking on yet more rules is contrary to one of the primary stated goals of switching over to a spell point based magic system from the clunky old vancian fir and forget system, and that's finding a simpler and more elegant way to handle the mechanics of spell casting.

    Lastly, the rules you suggest for limiting the use of each spell, basically drags the whole system back into the vancian arena, which is also contrary to the goal at hand.
    Actually I mostly agree with you here. One of the primary virtues of a linear spell point system is simplicity and versatility. The rules fixes I proposed are fixes to hypothetical problems you proposed. I mostly believe your 'problems' are non-problems, but even so I endeavored to show, even if we grant the problem, they are easably resolvable using very simple rules.

    Quote Originally Posted by JSorenson1979 View Post
    Casting 66 10d6 Fireballs doesn't break the game, because it's the most fire is the most common evocation element, and probably more than half of higher level monsters have some sort of resistance to it. The reason I cited energy substitution: sonic is because it creates a long range AoE spell that does 10d6 points of damage that almost nothing has a resistance or immunity to. I've seen even high level characters breeze through encounter after encounter using this tactic, especially with a magic user who is optimized to overcome spell resistance. And this is when they could only do it 5 times a day. Being able to do it 66 times a day, in my opinion, is most certainly game breaking.
    This a valid critique of energy substitution (something not part of the D&D core system). I would not allow that ability in my games. However, this whole paragraph is completely irrelevant to spell points. You start the point by admitting that casting 66 10d6 fireballs per day is not game breaking. Since, this basically cedes my point ... well, I'm not sure where to take this discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by JSorenson1979 View Post
    My other argument against a spell point system is that basic idea fits spells that can be used as a standard action, but what about spells that take a full round action, or even an hour of game time to cast? How does one adjudicate these?
    Casting times are unchanged in spell point systems. Spell points are expended at the exact same time as a spell slot is expended. No additional rules are necessary.

    Quote Originally Posted by JSorenson1979 View Post
    My counter argument is that if you need to tack rules onto a system to make it playable, then the system is inherently flawed. It's not that I think that spell point systems are entirely unplayable...but I believe that for all it's clunkiness vancian casting simply works better

    It is my firm belief, that in order to make a spell point system work for D&D, that you have to rework the spells from the ground up and remove spell levels, instead having a repetoire of spells with scaling effects, similar to what I've seen with 3.5 psionics rules (though admittedly I have only a passing familiarity with this system)
    You are of course entitled to your opinion, but it is not particularly persuasive. I am good friends with members of a gaming group who played a three year (and running) D&D 3.5 game using a very simple spell point system instead of that "clunky Vancian system". So far, the game appears to be anything but unplayable.

    Last year, I ran a D&D game using spell points for 16 sessions. It was definitely not unplayable.

    Ultimately, I am not trying to convince you that spell point systems are perfect or clearly better than Vancian magic systems. It is ultimately an aesthetic choice -- like choosing chocolate over vanilla. What I do disagree with is your initial assessment that spell point systems are so broken as to be unplayable and that you need to redesign every spell to make them work. In my own experience, that is simply not the case and for several simple reasons:

    1. Spell points are simple and versatile. If that degree of versatility bothers your it is easily mitigated with a few house rules.

    2. The problem of being able to cast low level spells over and over is mitigated by the number of actions in a standard D&D fight. Low level spells are almost always a suboptimal use of the wizard's most important resource -- time!

    3. Getting rid of Vancian magic speeds game play and limits game delays due to spell selection. A faster game is almost always a funner game.

    Thus, I enjoy spell points. Your mileage may vary.

    Quote Originally Posted by JSorenson1979 View Post
    Thank you for the recommendation. I'm not familiar with this game, but I will look into it.
    As an aside to this discussion, you should definitely check Midnight out. The Midnight 2nd edition main rulebook is a thing of unbridled beauty.

    You can find a great review of Midnight at:
    http://www.enworld.org/reviews.php?d...viewid=2010263

    It is one of six five-star reviews at ENWorld for the game.

    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSorenson1979 View Post
    That wouldn't be an improvement. Spell Points have been tried numerous times with the game and the end result is always failure. The concept just plain doesn't work with D&D's spell tier system.

    However, 4th edition DOES oust the traditional vancian style magic system...so it's at least a step in the right direction.
    Perhaps the problem was trying to combine a "Magic Point System" with the vancian style "Fire & Forget" style. Maybe they could have a syatem more like this:

    Wizard's Magic Points = Wizard's Hit Points
    Magic Point Cost = Minimum Level To Cast Spell (1st lvl=1mp, 2nd lvl=3mp, 3rd lvl=5pm, etc).

    If a wizard's Magic Points drops to 0 or lower, he becomes fatigued. He suffers a -3 penalty to his Movement, To Hit rolls, Skill Checks, Saving Throws, and AC, andmust make a successful Willpower check in order to maintain the concentration necessary for spell casting.
    If a wizard's Magic Points drops to -50% or lower, he becomes exhausted. He suffers a -6 penalty to his To Hit rolls, Skill Checks, and Saving Throws. His Movement and all of his stats are at 50%, and all opponents gain a +6 on their To Hit rolls against him. And he still has to roll a successful Willpower check to cast spells.
    If a wizard's Magic Points ever fall to -100% or less, every time he successfully casts a spell (after a successful Willpower check), he has to save vs Fortitude or die.

    I think that should adequately lower a wizard's power level.

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    If I am understanding this right a Wizard has to "damage" himself to cast spells? No, undue burden. They have few enough hit points as it is.

    I don't thing that passes the increased play value bar.

    I have never really had anyone complain about my modified wizard casting. Fire and don't forget. It make them a little more powerful, but you are not getting 66 fireballs a day.

    I don't think the D&D magic system can be "fixed" with spell points. I have seen a dozen of more tries, it either comes out too powerful or totally nerfed. I've given the task up.

    Now, if you want to ditch the entire D&D system and come up with a spell point d20 system that does work, more power to you. I wouldn't waste one minute trying to make it compatable. Start from scratch, blank page. I would give up trying to fix the system in that direction. Good effort after bad.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
    My favorite game console is a table and chairs.
    The Olde Phoenix Inn

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdmcbride View Post
    The purpose of any rule (whether in D&D, chess or Marco Polo) is to make the game more fun. Any rule that gets you closer to the completely subjective experience of fun is a good rule. Notions of a base system which are somehow inviolate and unmodifiable are nonsense. Simplicity is often fun, but not always.



    Actually I mostly agree with you here. One of the primary virtues of a linear spell point system is simplicity and versatility. The rules fixes I proposed are fixes to hypothetical problems you proposed. I mostly believe your 'problems' are non-problems, but even so I endeavored to show, even if we grant the problem, they are easily resolvable using very simple rules*edit*
    I think that our main disagreement is a question of preference...I prefer a simplified and streamlined ruleset built on a unified mechanic and straightforward mathematics. (whereas D&D features an exceptions based design, though this has been less true with each successive edition) but these things are certainly not strictly required in order to have a fun game, so I must concede this point to you.

    I stand by my critique however, though Fireball may not be the best example...afterall it isn't as powerful a spell as it seems to many people, as I'm sure many of you know. Perhaps 66 Bestow Curse Spells would be a better example. Or 40 Cloudkill spells, or 33 Contingency or Circle of Death or Disintegration spells. I could go on.

    Of course these things can be mitigated by adding on yet more mechanical exceptions to limit the use...which makes the system more clunky. But again we come back to a mere difference in preference concerning game mechanics. I would however, by interested to know what experience levels these characters were playing at though, just to satisfy my own curiosity.

    So in light of this, I'll have to change my thesis from "spell points don't work at all" to "spell points don't work any better than the vancian system" which I still stand by.

    I can almost guarantee though, that buried somewhere in the spell compendium is a lower level spell, maybe 6th or 7th level....that is so affective, that a dozen uses in a day will break the game. I suggest you start looking for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSorenson1979 View Post
    I think that our main disagreement is a question of preference...I prefer a simplified and streamlined ruleset built on a unified mechanic and straightforward mathematics. (whereas D&D features an exceptions based design, though this has been less true with each successive edition) but these things are certainly not strictly required in order to have a fun game, so I must concede this point to you.

    I stand by my critique however, though Fireball may not be the best example...afterall it isn't as powerful a spell as it seems to many people, as I'm sure many of you know. Perhaps 66 Bestow Curse Spells would be a better example. Or 40 Cloudkill spells, or 33 Contingency or Circle of Death or Disintegration spells. I could go on.

    Of course these things can be mitigated by adding on yet more mechanical exceptions to limit the use...which makes the system more clunky. But again we come back to a mere difference in preference concerning game mechanics. I would however, by interested to know what experience levels these characters were playing at though, just to satisfy my own curiosity.

    So in light of this, I'll have to change my thesis from "spell points don't work at all" to "spell points don't work any better than the vancian system" which I still stand by.

    I can almost guarantee though, that buried somewhere in the spell compendium is a lower level spell, maybe 6th or 7th level....that is so affective, that a dozen uses in a day will break the game. I suggest you start looking for it.
    ^^ Like almost all of the Ray spells that do ability DAMAGE [ray of stupidity, comes to mind again.... Level 3 wiz one shotting ANY hydra [no save no spell resist ranged touch attack] or ANY animal.... T-Rex ect

    As with the Psion rules which seems extremely powerful a closer look reveals a more balanced system.

    although you will get more spells the lower level spells will be resisted and their save is a lot lower

    The mechanics actually work out where a high level sorcerer is more powerful with spell slots then with spell points.

    I invite you all to read up on the Psion threads which counter this arguement.
    Last edited by Annshadow; 04-27-2008 at 11:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Misfeldt View Post
    Perhaps the problem was trying to combine a "Magic Point System" with the vancian style "Fire & Forget" style. Maybe they could have a syatem more like this:

    Wizard's Magic Points = Wizard's Hit Points
    Magic Point Cost = Minimum Level To Cast Spell (1st lvl=1mp, 2nd lvl=3mp, 3rd lvl=5pm, etc).

    If a wizard's Magic Points drops to 0 or lower, he becomes fatigued. He suffers a -3 penalty to his Movement, To Hit rolls, Skill Checks, Saving Throws, and AC, andmust make a successful Willpower check in order to maintain the concentration necessary for spell casting.
    If a wizard's Magic Points drops to -50% or lower, he becomes exhausted. He suffers a -6 penalty to his To Hit rolls, Skill Checks, and Saving Throws. His Movement and all of his stats are at 50%, and all opponents gain a +6 on their To Hit rolls against him. And he still has to roll a successful Willpower check to cast spells.
    If a wizard's Magic Points ever fall to -100% or less, every time he successfully casts a spell (after a successful Willpower check), he has to save vs Fortitude or die.

    I think that should adequately lower a wizard's power level.
    It's a decent idea...but as I see it, there are two major problems:

    A)the goal isn't to lower a Wizards power, or daily spell casting capability but rather to keep it comparable to Wizards using the vancian system.

    B) This doesn't take into account other spell casting classes.

    Let's say that we take the average Wizards HP at 20th level: 42 (assuming no constitution modifier and an average roll of 2HP per level) this is enough for the Wizard to cast 4 9th level spells, but not much else.

    If we look at a Cleric or a Druid, who we can expect to have an avergae of 84hp by 20th level, which means that they can cast 8 9th level spells as opposed to the Wizards 4. So their spell casting capability is significantly increased.

    Also, if we take a look at a multiclassed character; say a 1Fighter/9Wizard/10Eldritch Knight, who would have an average of 58HP at level 20, or a 3Rogue/7Wizard/10Arcane Trickster who would have an average of 46hp at level 20; both of whom can be expected to have a greater spell casting capacity than the Wizard.

    You see the problem.

    Actually, the best alternate system to the vancian ideal for a D&D style spell tier system is the one used in Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed.

    In this system, Spell casters had a finite amount of spells they could prepare each given day, and from this prearranged repetoire, they could cast spontaneously. Simple, elegant, and works well with traditional D&D magic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSorenson1979 View Post
    I can almost guarantee though, that buried somewhere in the spell compendium is a lower level spell, maybe 6th or 7th level....that is so affective, that a dozen uses in a day will break the game. I suggest you start looking for it.
    Ummm...no thanks. Generally, I prefer to run games core only with players having to request and receive approval on anything in other supplements. Seems to keep the game breakers to a minimum.

    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by Annshadow View Post
    ^^ Like almost all of the Ray spells that do ability DAMAGE [ray of stupidity, comes to mind again.... Level 3 wiz one shotting ANY hydra [no save no spell resist ranged touch attack] or ANY animal.... T-Rex ect
    That spell sounds broken casting it ONE time per day.

    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdmcbride View Post
    That spell sounds broken casting it ONE time per day.

    Gary
    It's exactly as broken as Ray of Enfeeblement.

    And Spell Compendium IS core.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSorenson1979 View Post
    It's exactly as broken as Ray of Enfeeblement.

    And Spell Compendium IS core.
    Ray of enfeelbement allow spell resistance and can never take STR below one. Those are major upgrades if ray of stupidity allows that.

    I don't consider the Spell Compendium core. Everything in that needs approval individually when I run a D&D game. The description of ray of stupidity is making me not regret that decision.

    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdmcbride View Post
    Ray of enfeelbement allow spell resistance and can never take STR below one. Those are major upgrades if ray of stupidity allows that.

    I don't consider the Spell Compendium core. Everything in that needs approval individually when I run a D&D game. The description of ray of stupidity is making me not regret that decision.

    Gary
    After discussing the spell with my DM and since we were in an outdoor adventure with a lot of T-Rex sized stuff we decided that the spell casters could only use PHB and PHB II and DMG for all feats and spells.

    In Spell Compendium there are several spells that do ability DAMAGE to dex and as we all know Damage is different that ability Penalty in that damage stacks with damage and a penalty does not.

    I really am looking forward to version 4.

    It seems like over time the spells have gotten way out of step and the different prestige classes have become so much cheese. I believe version 3.5 has become so big it is broken.

    My DM plans on running a ver. 4 game as soon as possible and I will be buying the book asap.

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