Talk:Desolate, Lesser (3.5e Spell)

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Aarnott opposes this article and rated it 0 of 4.
This rating refers to a substantially different version of the article, or concerns mentioned in it have already been addressed.
I hate rating things with an oppose, but I don't see a way around it in this case. I've given a lot of suggestions for improvements but the author doesn't seem to want to discuss and address the criticism other than a "it's good the way it is" sort of approach.

It isn't good as it is though. You can see my issues with it in my comments below. First, the flavor needs to get sorted out and then the mechanics can be improved.

RatedOppose.png Ghostwheel opposes this article and rated it 0 of 4.
A bonus that stacks with everything else to attack that almost falls off the RNG by itself at high levels from a first-level spell? Not good.
RatedOppose.png Aeturo opposes this article and rated it 0 of 4.
the spell is...weird. It only applies if you're fighting foes on your own, though it lists NPC attitudes and no description on how this interacts with a party of adventurers so it's annoyingly niche to start off. It's good enough for a spontaneous caster to pick up, especially if it doesn't work with a party member around, and a prepared caster could easily pick some more useful spells...then again a spell progression with no cap, granted scaling at 3/4ths level, that deals extra damage and causes enemies to be seems both useless because it's niche but overly powerful at the same time...Also since this is on the cleric list I could do great in a solo campaign as a cleric using only this and Divine Power in all my spell slots so I have full BAB plus all those sweet extra uncapped d4s to my attacks. Originally this was just a dislike but reading the talk page soured my opinion further due to, well, plain rudeness and unprofessionalism. Edit: See my comment below for amendments.

This spell is intended to be used when fighting a solo target, its power is halved if the target has an 'ally' nearby.
note that "damage" cast on a weapon is subject to damage reduction if not typed(magic, vile, holy, force)...
My apologies User:Aeturo for taking so long to get back to you, it is somewhat "niche" however not completely (thanks to lots of editing and assistance) it is still useful in most situations for it's basic damage bonus and even retaining it's usefulness on higher levels, it 'sounds' like you've misread it for it's much much older version.

As Player members mentality is usually 'complicated' (friendly players attacking each-other, being a bad character in a good campaign, etc.) generally if a party member is attacking you, they fall into the "unfriendly" category which 'could' mean that they're 'friendly' to your target... if they're not attacking you, then they're usually not friendly to the target (which isn't to say that a monk won't try and keep you from dealing the killing blow). It is highly advised if a fight is likely against a solo opponent(slipping into a prison, the middle of gladiator arenas, assassinating the local X, taking a stroll down a dark alleyway known for 'solo-thug-X'... or hell that big boss fight vs a giant X which conveniently has no summoning capabilities or friends[within 30' being the average encounter distance when an ally has the ability to help.].).

I decided not to add a progression cap to make it so these low-level spells could still be useful at high levels not blatantly requiring the higher versions of the spell, which have their own amazing benefits. The duration is min/level meaning it's meant to be used just before or during combat it won't last more than one(maybe two) fight per casting, unless you're in epic levels(I love epic level campaigns, but they rarely reach it). Damage scaling at levels 1,3,6,9,12,15,18+ dealing d4 (only calculated for for Desolate, lesser) seemed very nice/accurate considering the damage is halved if your target has a team. The fear effect does not have a save on the hit(still wont effect if immune to fear) however can be will-saved at the end of the round, this odd method of will-save was required for later versions of the spell to make sense in-which the fear can/will become worse.

Which leads me to ask, what level is your Cleric?
levels 1-6 shouldn't have divine power yet. You're solo, is the target alone?(max +3-12dmg/hit?halved?+willsave?).
levels 7-14 would have divine power but would have to use the majority of their spell slots to make this two-spell combo every single fight because of Divine power's 1 round/level duration (You'd be better off getting Desolate (3.5e Spell) instead of divine power, saving those lvl1 spell slots for something else, depending on the situation), better hope your target doesn't have a friend around that corner or an immunity to fear, at these levels its an argue-able conversation which would be better to cast, but either way useful if prepared. you're solo, the question is "can the target call for help?"(max +5-20dmg/hit?halved+willsave?)
levels 15+ at these levels it's just one of many options the cleric could have built into. You're solo, is the target? (non-epic +7-28dmg/hit?halved?+willsave?). at these levels anything can be a powerful combination (even more so than this), fighting Demons(summon others), Dragons(fly), legendary animals(good luck being getting prep time), insects the size of mountains(still rarely fought alone,vulnerable to fear?) and so much more! at these levels that extra damage(Damage reduction?) is usually one of several small ways characters have found to 'step it up'.

User:Aeturo Definitely have to agree that if you read enough of the talk pages you will find quite a lot of rudeness and generally un-needed commentary, especially with many talk pages spanning months of conversation from previous versions and jumped conclusions of them. An "oh this XXX holy spectrum!" comment doesn't give creators a lot to work with when they're trying to make effective and open content, and when repeated can quickly drive sane respectable people to pathetic unprofessional comments (guilty, but not the only one) none the less, I'm sorry you "soured" upon reading a small portion of other's chat (If you keep reading + higher versions, you'll find more childishness and a lot more very helpful results because of it). largest problem attributing to a lot of poor messages,is that they are very outdated and even cleaning them on your own pages can be rebuked(evidence User talk:Snafusam). Snafusam (talk) 20:42, 20 May 2017 (MDT)
Well one of my biggest complaints was me reading the spell incorrectly. I thought the spell specified no people friendly to the caster, not the target. Whoops. But, to me, that makes it even more niche. Fighting a single opponent, IME, isn't the most common occurrence. Sure, once you wipe the floor with a boss's minions, or take out everyone else in a bandit raid you've got a powerful spell in your pocket. I'm not sure if this makes it better or worse. On the one hand, you can use the spell a lot more than I had previously thought which was one of my complaints (that it was useless when with people) but on the other hand you can use the spell a lot more than I had previously thought and it's a pretty powerful spell for something that stacks with just about anything. I'll consider changing to a dislike but currently my thoughts still stand on oppose, sorry. Edit: Yeah I didn't read the date on those. Four years since then and your comment here seems much more adult than 2013 you was so consider my opinion unsoured but I'm still unsure on balance- Aeturo (talk) 15:32, 21 May 2017 (MDT)
A lot of home-brew has a few challenges between the writer's method of writing and the interpretation when read, it's one of the things which cause the "omg this XXX" response in the comments. The best thing i can say is question it's rulings/ingame workings before finishing an opinion of it being good/bad, because usually those VERY little rulings can blow a simple spell completely out of proportion. Example:SRD:Prestidigitation to change the flavor of the enemies saliva to feces causing -10 distraction penalty(DM discretion)... or to change basic water to taste like wine during a surprise camp-out with a noble. They're nice for "flavor"(get it?) but even their effect isn't always accurate or guaranteed because it turns out the enemy enjoys the 'unusual' taste, over his toothache...
"Powerful depending on the situation." Can describe many/most spells, it's the challenge of a player to make them useful in any situation or make the situation one which the spell is powerful. fighting single opponents "should" happen between 35-60% of the time (biggest variances being the DM, the way's the DM is looking up/creating his encounters and the Campaign itself.), putting it on the lower end of the encounter ratio. the biggest things that balances this spell out, is the very expected fact that it like all other spells is that it has to be chosen against other spells and has a very small duration.
Consider this, which are you going to want in a mid-town thug-fight(which fighting is illegal), fireball or scorching ray? both spells are similar, but scorching ray has a much smaller light-show. The ending answer should be that you have to choose the right X for every situation, if you have the wrong X, hope your wrong X isn't 100% can be "worked" into another situation...
The balance of any X, is the absolute hardest thing for creators/players to agree on because we all play in different scales. Many DM's don't let their player's get past level 17 without killing them (multiple times +party) before resetting if they somehow manage to hit 20. Others make it their challenge to kill the characters before level 13, not wanting to do research/work on harder monsters. I've managed to DM'd ONE group of 5-7 for nine years? to levels 50-70(one even manage to become a character-deity) and I(the DM) had to research almost everything my players were pulling out from the many different books, Most i liked and gave the thumbs-up, some i didn't and had to convince my players of why i couldn't allow it. Snafusam (talk) 21:39, 21 May 2017 (MDT)

An example of something that needs to be denied "obviously" despite it's 100% legality/hilarity from the book google: Breaking D&D 3.5: The Muscle Wizard or, How to Rage Your Way to Infinite Spells

Comments and Comparisons[edit]

Ok... this does not compare well with other 1st level spells. The obvious comparison is with Magic Weapon (which is maybe High also, not quite sure for that one). It grants a non-conditional, non-scaling bonus for 1/10th the time of this spell, making this is a much better spell than that by any metric, despite being in the same balance category. Some of that is supposed to be balanced out by the conditional nature of it, but...

Let's just be clear here. The argument that this is conditional doesn't really work, here or anywhere. Like every other conditional effect, it's just a puzzle for the PCs to try to figure out, because if they can alter their tactics or find something to mitigate a condition blocking a boost, then it becomes a much more regular or even common boost. This is a condition that can be imposed on a target (kill all his friends first), so it's not even a meaningful restriction but instead one that requires a change in tactics to be used optimally. Instead of mobbing the BBEG and then mopping up his minions, you mop up the minions first and then cast this or a bigger version to help with the BBEG. For some fights that might be impractical, but those weren't going to be fights that you'd cast this in anyway because it wouldn't work.

Basically your spell gives better numbers and lasts 10 times as long as the next best thing, and the condition doesn't apply rarely enough to justify that sort of boost. You just don't cast it unless you think you can use it. And for the times when you would use this, it's a straight and substantial power-up over existing options at the same spell level without serious drawback, and the extended duration means that you can afford to be a bit loose with your tactics and still expect this to hit a guy a few times.

So if you wanted something that compared better with existing options but still had the right feel, I'd change a few things. The first thing I'd do is drop the duration. 1 min/level is plenty for a weapon boost at spell level 1, and it has precedence. The second thing I'd do is drop the scaling attack bonus, a flat +1 is what you get at this spell level. The third thing I'd do is boost the damage bonus but remove the scaling; it needs to be worthwhile at 1st level and compete with magic weapon that doesn't have the potential to be turned off. I think a flat +4 is probably fine in that case, but it could be done some other way. That leaves you with something that doesn't outclass existing options in the specified balance range, for this one anyway. The higher level ones have similar but different issues that I may get to later, but that sort of scaling back is where I'd start.

Also - when I was cleaning up the wording I also specified the attack bonus as being of the enhancement type so that it didn't stack with magic weapons. If you wanted it to stack, you should select another type (possibly morale or insight). - Tarkisflux Talk 22:20, 25 November 2013 (UTC)

I agree that it should be an enhancement bonus; that said, playing the devil's advocate, where Magic Weapon applies to all your enemies, this spell only gains bonuses against a single target. That said, I don't remember the attack bonuses being there, and don't think they should be part of the spell--just the additional damage is good enough IMO. --Ghostwheel (talk) 23:25, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Hence larger damage bonuses. Or hell, double the attack bonus too while you're at it, I suppose you could afford that. I suppose there's an argument to be made that you'll hit the same number of number of targets with this in a 10 min/level period as you would with regular magic weapon in a 1 minute/level period, but that doesn't suggest any larger numbers than the alternative. - Tarkisflux Talk 23:39, 25 November 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the spelling/grammer help :D. I was hoping to allow this to stack with magic weapon, but didn't know what type of bonus to give, I'll swap it to profane right now and see how that works. the duration was a huge flaw on my part, thanks for pointing it out(gotta fix the other's too). If you look across specialized books, there are different spells in pre-occupied domain catagory /spell levels, these were added for the purpose of allowing players to replace spells from domain lists (with DM discretion) short version being, the SRD is not set-in-stone, that's why the domains were there, I'm too lazy to place them back in however. Ghostwheel- I just re-added the damage this time, seeing how it works out... I can see how it's dangerous so, please don't leap on the "OMG" factor just yet...--Snafusam (talk) 03:29, 27 November 2013 (UTC)
There seems to be a strange disconnect in the actual theme of this spell. It is a force spell of the evocation school. Okay. Then it gives a profane bonus to attack rolls (?), makes the weapon be "coal black and stop reflecting light", which makes me thing it should have the Evil spell descriptor.
  • Frank Trollman gave my favorite name for the class of bonuses that things like profane bonuses belong to: "bullshit bonuses". They may as well be untyped because the number of cases where they would overlap is so few and far between.
  • Not sure if you noticed this, but at level 1, this spell does nothing at all.
  • The condition is weird. You should also clarify in the text that the spell targets either just the weapon (in which case, it is "any creature you attack") or just one creature (in which case you should change the "target" part of the spell).
  • The spell is much weaker than other spells at low cater levels and much stronger than other spells at high caster levels. I see this as a big problem.
If it is against a single target, I don't think it is too over the top: just change it to Very High balance. Comparing to magic weapon isn't necessarily fair, since it isn't a top-tier first level spell. I'd definitely remove the condition though.
If it is targeting the weapon, it is over the top. It just outclasses higher level buff spells.
The way I'd change it is as follows:
  • Remove the attack bonus completely.
  • Replace the force descriptor with evil
  • Change the extra damage to vile damage (this is a buff because vile damage requires you to be in a sanctified place to heal)
  • Increase the damage bonus to 1 vile damage per caster level.
  • Get rid of the condition.
I guess that's a lot different than the original, but it fits the small amount of fluff there better, I think. It would read something like:
Your weapon deals additional vile damage equal to your caster level.
Then add whatever descriptive text you want. You may want to make it so you can only enchant a weapon you are holding (and it loses the enchantment if you drop it).
Those are my 2 cents. --Aarnott (talk) 16:24, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Arnott, all of these changes would completely remove the basis, idea and the concept of this spell. turning it into a vile-styled magic weapon = NOT what this is going to be.

  • I have to agree with Frank Trollman.
  • I didn't realize that level 1 flaw... damn... thanks for pointing it out :D
  • How in you're definition is the condition "wierd"
  • If it's not obvious enough by the multiple versions of this spell... I'll spell it out for everybody right now "It obviously still needs fine-tuning."
  • I removed the evil descriptor a while ago at somebody else's advise, I'll add it back just to see how long before somebody say's the opposite.
  • the vile damage is something I considered in a past version. going to try and keep it to force damage for a bit longer.
  • the condition is the overall concept of this spell. it's not going anywhere. --Snafusam (talk) 03:54, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Can you clarify what the spell is supposed to do? I think you are just misusing the word "target" in the text, but I want to make sure exactly what you mean. "If there are no sentient creatures within 30 feet of your target..." implies that if there are no sentient creatures within 30 ft. of your weapon since it is the target of the spell. Which doesn't make much sense considering the varying level of fanatic/helpful/friendly/indifferent aren't really applicable.
The obvious assumption is that you meant "a creature you attack". Then let's think about what "sentient" means. Depending on the definition, it could include squirrels (they can plan, feel, etc.). "Sapience" might be a better word, but maybe it would be even better to say "with an Int score greater than 2".
Okay, so with those assumptions in mind, you ask why I think the condition is weird. Well, completely ignoring mechanics, it thematically doesn't make sense. "You aren't nearby someone who doesn't care about you, so you will take more force damage from my sword". What? Seriously, explain how that makes any sense even in a world where wizards stop time. Even if you make it friendly or higher, please explain why it works that way. It still doesn't make sense.
Then there's the mechanics of it. A wizard will always be immune (due to a familiar). A thug in an alleyway would be immune because there's someone sleeping inside the house just beside you. Monsters in a dungeon could be immune because there's a monster in the room below you.
So, when the condition is the overall concept of the spell, you really need to do some explaining about why this is a good idea. I'm definitely not seeing it right now. Maybe a good explanation of the thematic reason it works that way will help me out with this assessment.
The mix of profane and force is weird too (unrelated to the condition, but worth noting). Everything in the spell points to "I make my sword really evil" and then it deals force damage.
Anyways, I don't want you to feel like I'm trying to shoot down your ideas. I just like helping make content the best it can be and sometimes, that requires some questioning and criticism. --Aarnott (talk) 17:29, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
The original is WC3's DotA character named Spectre, a pitch-black figure who specializes in shadow-based (fear/illusion) assassination. for her, it's a passive ability which deals extra damage against lone (no ally within X-area) enemies. My initial translation was crude and incredibly flawed (which the extreme and redundant reactions of the other users didn't encourage). I realize it's taking me a bit of time. but balancing gaming and college, ain't easy... or quick.
-Her other passive is Dispersion (3.5e Feat), her ultimate ability is Haunt (3.5e Spell). (Before anybody says anything, YES! I realize that these need adjustments. I simply have yet to have time to test these in-game)
With the sentient change, I have to agree :D, "with an Int score greater than 2" will suit it much better.
Force damage is only the type of damage, not the theme... though i see your point... evil or vile damage...
I hadn't thought about the familiar's yet... (God damn, your right!). The person sleeping in the house beside the thug is actually excluded by the effects, unless this person happens to be an acquaintance of the thug which views him acceptably. The monsters in a dungeon depend on what kind of monster, a minotaur probably wouldn't be seen as anything more than food for the dragon under him. but if the monster a level down was another minotaur then it would probably be friendly which means your right...
double-check the first line... (yet to be updated If there are no sentient creatures within 30 feet of your target that are 'Fanatic', 'helpful', 'friendly', or 'indifferent' towards them
"explaining about why this is a good idea" is an impossible request. I could just as easily ask why anybody would use a fireball which deals Xd6 damage compaired to a fireball which deals Xd1000 damage (yes, I realize this doesn't exist)... This is a game which people want to be fun and varied, everything had to be made, argued and evaluated at some point. All homebrew is simply extra options to an base game.
If your asking to explain why this spell should be taken in place of others... that's a different question. which all spells are situational (this spell even more so due to it's condition), this is undoubtedly the absolute hardest part of any homebrew. making it what you want, while making it balanced enough that others will want to use it. because of how broad and broken the condition was originally I made the bonus absolutly fucking rediculas (getting much feedback both useless and useful) the condition is finally reaching a near-complete status. but the bonus still needs adjustments that don't completely screw the overall.
the "profane" bonus was a quick fix i did a while ago, it does need to be changed before Frank Trollman comes after me... the force damage does need changed, sense you've mentioned it X times already... check the newest version.
Thinking about the familiar/cohort/animal companion... I might leave that opening... the characters that have those are crippled individually as it is... or should I include that linked creatures count as a single entity... hmm, your thoughts?
The questions and criticism are just what's needed :D the challenge in it for me is A. keeping up with everything. B. Desciding how to change X problem. C. Keeping the basis of the concept without breaking D&D(impossible without mixing content.). and finally D. being patient enough to continue changing something till it fits everything. (check out User talk:Snafusam/Purifier (3.5e Prestige Class) this was a class I made and was trying to play for a campaign. it changed so many times over the course of the conversations I actually quit wanting to play it for weeks after I moved it to a sandbox. I'm really not wanting that to happen to this as well.)--Snafusam (talk) 21:49, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
It's certainly looking better. I understand why you want the main mechanic, but how about we adjust the flavor to actually suit Spectre better:
  • Make it a [Fear, Mind-Affecting] spell. The general idea is that Spectre is adept at killing you when you are alone. When you are alone, you are afraid. Evil is fine, but making it mind-affecting seems to suit the fear aspect. Yes, I know, more subschool changes.
  • I'd actually make it start at "helpful" and require line of sight. It gets rid of lame problems like having a buddy on the floor below somehow protect you.
  • The damage type will have to change again. This time to simply damage (which means magic damage). Half damage is allowed when there is a creature within 30 ft. This way the spell actually does something even if the condition isn't met.
  • The attack roll modifier needs to drop. It's still profane and scales too high. What's the need for an attack roll bonus? There's already other spells for that and this spell is about killing someone who is alone. Seriously think about this one.
  • How about adding the Shaken condition to any opponent hit by the weapon. They can make a saving throw at the end of each of their turns where an ally is within 30 ft., and an initial saving throw if there was an ally in range when you made the attack, otherwise they don't get to save.
So you'll have a spell that helps your character assassinate lone targets by weakening them through fear (shaken condition) and also adding damage. But the spell still works when up against multiple closely grouped opponents. This also solves the familiar issue because it'll still do something.
You should add some flavorful text about how the weapon becomes "nightmarish" when attacking a lone target and how it generates fear of being alone.
Hopefully that gives you some ideas. Cheers! --Aarnott (talk) 21:51, 11 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Changing the subtype is very easy, the problem is that sense it didn't have any will save or other effect it had no common sense to it. and was the source of a lot of problems earlier... with the Shaken suggestion it will fit well...
  • starting at "helpful" is something that would work... however if the area was changed to "line of sight" instead of a radius it would be "I can see my friend on the other side of the mountain because there's a clear line." both have problems, this is currently the lesser... now adding them together... that would work.
  • I'm making the "lesser" simply "damage" and having the "Base & Greater" be vile damage. adding in the half damage is something that's very possible and I considered a couple times before... however because the condition was still so flawed I didn't want to consider it at that time..
  • The attack roll modifier, yes a problem indeed... which Frank Trollman continues to remind me... the contradiction here lies in the fact that this spell had/has conditions already, and are based on characters with low to bad hit tables as it is. meaning that if it only increases damage they still won't be able to hit the target. Who will cast a damage spell, if they're not going to be able to hit the enemy either way. I predict the next arguement made will be "additional/multiple/other spells"... Oh, how am I expected to drop "spell level 1" you mean remove :P
  • I hadn't considered adding shaken or fear effects to this... as it's purpose was damage... this would possibly solve the attack bonus issue while adding to the spells flavor. lets give it a shot. hmm base and greater... zero effects on undead...
I'll play with the flavor text for a bit always takes a bit to get it to sound right...--Snafusam (talk) 05:46, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Very Old Comments[edit]

Very creative... Snafusam Talk

the EXACT same problem as before ghostwheel, thank you SO FUCKING MUCH for being completely useless, and unhelpful in your ratings. also, read my earlier response to your earlier comments below. --Snafusam (talk) 03:54, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
added special: Childish? yes. Inappropriate? likely. Deserved? yes. Satisfying? yes. Worth it? hell fucking yes! :D --Snafusam (talk) 04:34, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
It's nice that you can rage and such, but it's not going to change my rating. If you repeat the same problem as before, then I'll rerate it for the same reason. Not sure what's so hard to understand about that. I figured I'll do this one first before moving on to the other versions of the spell to see if you were planning on changing it, so I'll give you a few more days on that before doing so. You can add all the "specials" you want (and they're meaningless--I know exactly what the spell does and how it works) but that doesn't mean that I'm not opposed to the concept at H-level play from a first-level spell. If nothing changes, the rating stands, and childish behavior or calling me out will do very little to change that.
EDIT: You know what? If we're being childish here, let me go ahead and rate the other two spells while I'm at it. Feel free to add special lines there, though they won't be changing my rating. --Ghostwheel (talk) 11:44, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
At least I know I'm not the only child/stubborn ass on here :P please try and explain how this spell "falls off the RNG" because despite our rediculas/hilarious arguements... I'm not seeing the problem with such small numbers at the general "max" level; especially seeing as the condition is finally becoming solid. Oh, you might wanna double-check your irrelevant post on the greater version it display's... something about you.. what that word/insult/name?...--Snafusam (talk) 09:42, 29 November 2013 (UTC)
OpposedGhostwheel + and Aeturo +
UncountedRatingAarnott +