Power words

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gotesu
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Power words

Unread post by gotesu » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:16 am

In an attempt to think how to make that line of spells more useful, just because it's great concept wise, and because divination is cool ;)

I was thinking to suggest a few ideas :

1 - Giving it a range instead of forcing a squishy mage to walk all the way to his target.

2 - Making it an instant cast (it is supposed to be a single word, after all) - like a free action? or a quickened spell? something in that direction.

3 - Giving it some save based side effect? Can't say I got any bright ideas on that one.

Why I think such could be a nice addition? well, this line of spells is practically useless (at least in my time playing a DC wizard), the only time I saw a good use of it was by the Pit fiend in the iron mines - and that makes it a sort of gish trick - which tbh, got better tricks than that.

And I know there is Anthilar's bane, But there are far better things to do if you're going to invest two rounds of casting two high tier spells (what you need to cast Anthilar's bane, and then a power word), and in most cases two rounds wont be enough anyways (low hp types tend to have high will save so Anthilar's wont work, low will got high hp so even with Anthilar's it won't work as it is).

Main aim I got in mind is to have a more diverse range of DC mages (which are scarce in general, Necro being the usually preferred type - for obvious reasons), and I would also personally like to make diviners more fun for selfish reasons :D

What do you think?

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Steve
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Re: Power words

Unread post by Steve » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:01 am

Yeah, it has been spoken about for years, the Divination spells are cool but really do not equal the mechanical efficiency of Necromancy or Conjuration or even Transformation schools, when considering DMG output among millions of Mob encounters, nor even 1-on-1 Boss use.

A puzzle that has yet to be solved!

Nice suggestions, though. I tried searching out the old Topics on this Divination issue, but I think they have been scrubbed from the Forum. Anyway, and like the Illusion School, having a spell that needs 2 Saves or has 2 levels of "defense" against it, almost always means "failure" in its use. And, since casting is not unlimited AND the name of the game is really repetition in order to gain experience—at least in the majority—it thus makes, as I've always called it, a Role-play build, being a Divination DC caster.

Specifically for the Power Word line of spells, the Hit Point requirements just kill these spells usefulness, because all Mobs and Bosses have had their HP artificially inflated to provide a bare modicum of resistance to the melee basher builds (plus others). If this aspect would be removed, and just either a pure Save or just pure Spell resistance was the Difficulty to overcome, than at least it would make Diviners great one-shot mage builds.

And THAT would serve a very nice purpose in a Party. My 2 cents.
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Re: Power words

Unread post by Hoihe » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:10 am

What about increasing the hp to save for each spell focus feat gained, in vein of likev


sf div 50
grsf div 100
esf div 200

and maybe change their mechanics to be like the Deflection spell -> you cast the power word and gain a feat. Then you can activate the feat instantenously at your enemy.

Itd make sense lorewise - Power words are divination spells as you temporarily store away bits of the language of creation in your mind by divining them and uttering them vauses the knowledge's loss.
"The desire to build a house is the tired wish of a man content with a single anchorage. The desire to build a boat is the desire of youth, unwilling yet to accept the idea of a final resting place."
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Re: Power words

Unread post by gotesu » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:38 am

The main problem with raising the hitpoints bar is that it easily enters the line of being overpowered - especially towards low HP characters, that is why I think some creative thinking is required to actually maintain the divination flavor (and not just make it like the other schools - save/die like FoD, or save/petrify like FtS etc) - maybe turn it to be percentage based instead of numeric hp bar? I dunno.

And the feat thing sounds interesting

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Re: Power words

Unread post by gotesu » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:12 pm

Maybe something that integrates the above,
Have each of the power word spells give you a feat - said feat would enable using it as a ranged instant action
For each SF feat, you will get another use for each cast (so for example, a mage casting power word stun with GSF divination will get the above feat with three uses).
And maybe add a moderate hp numeric/percentage increase, like 25 hp for each SF feat taken, or go all the way to percentage

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Steve
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Re: Power words

Unread post by Steve » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:35 pm

I think trying to solve the issue by adjusting the HP limits just gets into trouble—how can you adequately address or institute good HP limits when everything in NWN2/BGTSCC is inflated?

If you use DnD Tools as a reference—which we are advised to do—then for example Power Word, Kill has this "101 HP or lower..." requirement to work, plus beating Spell Resistance. This is a Level 9 spell!!!

But, such a spell WORKS WONDERS in a world where, oh...I don't know, a Cornugon, has an average of 82hp (and SR 24). :think:

So you see, one has to SERIOUSLY deviate from the Canon Spell description, in order to get it close to useful in OUR environment on BGTSCC. And since we're talking about a DC-focused Divination caster—what else, right?—you are essentially talking about DCs, thus Saves.

So adjust the Power Word line of spells to use Saves—and SR where Canon—and BOOM!, solved. And not only does a Divination Caster become useful, it also becomes F.U.N.!!!
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|> Jon SmythePath of the Mindful Blade & Seafarer
|> Simsae OrcslayerStonesinger of the Telormar Gultor & citizen of the Kingdom of Kraak Helzak
|> Monserrate — Circle of Rust and the Worm

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Re: Power words

Unread post by genestealer hybrid » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:24 pm

You could even make them come at a cost like temporary silence for the user since he's literally speaking the language of the Gods, that'd probably be stressful for the vocal cords of any non divine. just a fun thought to create balance

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K'yon Oblodra
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Re: Power words

Unread post by K'yon Oblodra » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:05 am

An idea came to mind, it's not fully fleshed out yet but what if the power words were tied to a skill roll like spellcraft or lore planes.

Basically you would cast it and would roll a skil check against your opponents and depending on the result it would count like they had less hp depending on how severely you'd beat their roll.

That might balance issues with monsters/characters with low hp being to too easily influenced vs those with high hp being not influenced at all.

Also it would kind of factor in the skill of a diviner in his trait at least remotely.

Then the spell focus line could either allow for a take 5, take 10, take 20 kind of thing or increase the amount of hp deducted from the target per set amount of by far their roll was beaten.

I hope this is a cool idea, I think it offers a lot of possibilities and could be easily tweaked according to testing.

Let me know what you think ;)
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Blackman D
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Re: Power words

Unread post by Blackman D » Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:05 pm

https://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/powerWordKill.htm
Hidden: show
Power Word Kill
Enchantment (Compulsion) [Death, Mind-Affecting]
Level: Sor/Wiz 9, War 9
Components: V
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: One living creature with 100 hp or less
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes

You utter a single word of power that instantly kills one creature of your choice, whether the creature can hear the word or not. Any creature that currently has 101 or more hit points is unaffected by power word kill.
it should be instant if it is not and should have a range if it doesnt, bare in mind there is a different between close range and touch range... if they are not literally in your face then it does have a range to it

aside from the other debatable suggestions the thing i would do is remove the SR check, they are already limited as it is so there is no point in having it blocked randomly when its so easy to avoid with a healers kit (and no one cares about mobs that are gonna die anyway with their inflated hp and randomized hp)

i would be in favor of SF raising hp cap too, but probably something like 10hp per for +30 total; power word kill at a 130hp cap still wouldnt be OP because it does have death and mind tags so even if SR check is removed it will still be blocked by death ward, deaths eternal foe, mind blanks and protect/magic circle vs alignment
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Re: Power words

Unread post by gotesu » Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:31 am

Blackman D wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:05 pm
https://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/powerWordKill.htm
Power Word Kill
Enchantment (Compulsion) [Death, Mind-Affecting]
Enchantment?! blasphemy :o

I checked with Powerword Stun and kill, They're blocked by immun to mind spells despite the fact it doesn't have the tag on bg.

Also checked about the casting time, put casted it while being attacked and got two concentration checks for the disruption, guess they're not instant (Its obvious the casting takes time but I wanted to make sure).

I dont really see a reason why power word kill would be tagged as a mind spell, even putting aside the fact that it will make it even less useful than it is now (which is, well, completely useless).

I checked the range, there is a range, but it is short.

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K'yon Oblodra
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Re: Power words

Unread post by K'yon Oblodra » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:30 am

Blackman D wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:05 pm

aside from the other debatable suggestions the thing i would do is remove the SR check, they are already limited as it is so there is no point in having it blocked randomly when its so easy to avoid with a healers kit (and no one cares about mobs that are gonna die anyway with their inflated hp and randomized hp)

i would be in favor of SF raising hp cap too, but probably something like 10hp per for +30 total; power word kill at a 130hp cap still wouldnt be OP because it does have death and mind tags so even if SR check is removed it will still be blocked by death ward, deaths eternal foe, mind blanks and protect/magic circle vs alignment
Jeez mate debatable sounds so negative when I hear it from you XD.

I think game design wise it would be interesting to tie the power of this spell to a skill check.

It's power without grow against those with high hp but little spellcraft while those fragile would not suffer or not as greatly.

If you think that 30 hp would be the maximum that should be added to the spells hp range, well then one could adjust the bonus received by surpassing the other's check to that level. Maybe if spell resistance is a problem give the spell a bonus to caster levels against SR checks for Spell focus feats?

The range being short is exactly as FoD's.

Maybe removing SR for it is also a good idea.
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Blackman D
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Re: Power words

Unread post by Blackman D » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:54 pm

gotesu wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:31 am
I dont really see a reason why power word kill would be tagged as a mind spell
bc its a compulsion, which is a mind affecting spell to trick the mind into doing something it wouldnt normally do, in this case dying
K'yon Oblodra wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:30 am
Jeez mate debatable sounds so negative when I hear it from you XD.
you are just use to beldroin in which debatable probably is bad

its not that i think +30 hp should be the max, im just sayin i think removing SR and +30 would be tame to see if it makes things better, mostly because the removing SR should do a lot for it without needing to change much of anything elsle - it will essentially make it so all mobs are exposed to it just from removing SR, but the low hp keeps it from suddenly being a pvp power house since its not going to include every low con build, more yea, but shouldnt be all of them; and even then you still have death and mind tags that block it
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Re: Power words

Unread post by Nemni » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:50 pm

Haven't tested it, but I can't see anything in the script for power word kill about it being blocked by mind immunity. There's no delay when targeting a single creature either, it's as instantaneous as any other instantaneous spell (which means instant effect, not instant casting time).

It would be cool to improve the power word spells, but changing it to a saveVsWill or whatever would just make it like so many other spells imo, ruin it's unique flavor. And changing the HP limits is hard to balance.

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Hoihe
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Re: Power words

Unread post by Hoihe » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:09 pm

Blackman D wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:54 pm
gotesu wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:31 am
I dont really see a reason why power word kill would be tagged as a mind spell
bc its a compulsion, which is a mind affecting spell to trick the mind into doing something it wouldnt normally do, in this case dying
K'yon Oblodra wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:30 am
Jeez mate debatable sounds so negative when I hear it from you XD.
you are just use to beldroin in which debatable probably is bad

its not that i think +30 hp should be the max, im just sayin i think removing SR and +30 would be tame to see if it makes things better, mostly because the removing SR should do a lot for it without needing to change much of anything elsle - it will essentially make it so all mobs are exposed to it just from removing SR, but the low hp keeps it from suddenly being a pvp power house since its not going to include every low con build, more yea, but shouldnt be all of them; and even then you still have death and mind tags that block it
It is just...

100 hp to kill enemy.

ok, grab a weak meleer like mine and itll deal 100 dmg in a round.

130 to kill enemy. A bit stronger meleer will do the same.

Why even use the spell when you can finish the enemy more efficiently?

For petrify and the rest there is some justification for using them, but otherwise i feel it needs enough hp to make it different from a weak meleer attacking something for 3 attacks
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Steve
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Re: Power words

Unread post by Steve » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:17 pm

Reacting to what Hoihe just wrote, if Power Word Kill did 100 dmg per round as long as Concentration is held by the Caster, THEN it would be pretty cool!!

Maybe Power Word Stun and all the rest would function the same way: Caster holds the enemy with the Word, but only through Concentration Check (and cannot perform other actions ?!?). Then the rest of the Party could bash the sucka back to the Nine Hells.
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|> Jon SmythePath of the Mindful Blade & Seafarer
|> Simsae OrcslayerStonesinger of the Telormar Gultor & citizen of the Kingdom of Kraak Helzak
|> Monserrate — Circle of Rust and the Worm

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