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Brutal Seething Surge

Halma

First Post
My group has a question about this Monte Cook spell...?


Is it broken in your opinions?

Brutal Seething Surge
Evocation [Acid]
Level: Wiz/Sor 3
Components: S
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature or Object touched
Duration: Permanent until discharged
Saving Throw: Fortitude Partial
Spell Resistance: Yes

This does 1d8 points of Acid damage +1 per level with no limit with no save for the damage. Also you get 1 attack for every level. Plus the subject touched has to make a Fort save or be dazed for 1d3 rounds. At 15th lvl. Shorty, my character in Wulf Ratbane's campaign, gets 15 of these. In conjunction with Haste and Spectral hand, this is almost a game breaker.... I would like you opinions on this spell please.


Thanks

Halma "The Dead Barbarian"
Shorty "Chain Lightning oh and another Chain Lightning"
 
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AuraSeer

Prismatic Programmer
Where does it say one attack per level? The stat block reads "Creature or Object touched", in the singular, meaning one target.

For a single-target spell, I think it may be slightly overpowered for a 3rd level spell, because the lack of a damage cap is a huge plus at high levels. If it really does hit one target per level, it's definitely overpowered.
 

Crothian

First Post
It 's one attack per level, I just read the spell which can be found in BoEM2.

So, at 15th spellcaster level you do 1d8+15, and a possibi;lity of dazing. Well, you do have to make a melee attack and then they get a saving throw. I image the DC is around 21 or so for this third level spell. Sure, you get a bunch of chances to hit, but the wizard has to get in melee and has to rely on his own ability to hit. I don't think this spell is unbalanced at all, but I've yet to see it in play.
 

Halma

First Post
AuraSeer said:
Where does it say one attack per level? The stat block reads "Creature or Object touched", in the singular, meaning one target.

For a single-target spell, I think it may be slightly overpowered for a 3rd level spell, because the lack of a damage cap is a huge plus at high levels. If it really does hit one target per level, it's definitely overpowered.


In the block of text that i didn't include it says that you get one such attack per level. I didn't want to include the whole text for Copy right issues....

That is the general argument in the group... Now Shorty gets 1D8+15 and make the Creature make a Fort Save with a DC of 24, or be stunned 1d3 rounds. So if hasted and in conjunction with Spectral hand, Shorty can do 4 of these in two rounds. Damage 32 for the First round, and 64 total for the Second round. Plus 4 Fort saves.......


Thanks for your response....

Halma "The Dead Barbarian"
 

Dr. Zoom

First Post
I don't see the damage as overpowering. Even with Haste, it is 1d8+15 twice, and you have to hit with the touch attack. It's the dazed effect that could wipe out your enemies, although most of the fighter types should have a good Fort save. Perhaps 1 touch attack per level is a bit much, although Chill Touch operates like this.

How exactly is this spell hurting your campaign?
 

Happiest_Sadist

First Post
By now you have more destructive spells at your disposal, this takes a lot of time to deliver. So it's good when you have lots of time, but few spell slots. However at high levels the problem is reversed. You have lots of spellslots and very little time. In any major battle, you'd be better off using your time to cast multiple fireballs and prismatic sprays than deliver 1 of these.
 

Halma

First Post
Happiest_Sadist said:
By now you have more destructive spells at your disposal, this takes a lot of time to deliver. So it's good when you have lots of time, but few spell slots. However at high levels the problem is reversed. You have lots of spellslots and very little time. In any major battle, you'd be better off using your time to cast multiple fireballs and prismatic sprays than deliver 1 of these.

But the spell is permante untill Discharged, doesn't that mean that Shorty could concievably cast this spell at the beginning of combat and then save it for later use when my "Fireball , and Lightning bolt" line have been waisted? Being a Sorcerer and all....


Oh I am not disagreeing with any of this, its my group that has a problem with the spell.


Halma "The Dead Barbarian"
 

Halma

First Post
Dr. Zoom said:
I don't see the damage as overpowering. Even with Haste, it is 1d8+15 twice, and you have to hit with the touch attack. It's the dazed effect that could wipe out your enemies, although most of the fighter types should have a good Fort save. Perhaps 1 touch attack per level is a bit much, although Chill Touch operates like this.

How exactly is this spell hurting your campaign?

I don't find it hurting at all... But Dinkeldog, my DM, seems to thinkg that it is broken....

But now if I crit with this spell it does quite a bit of Damage, accompany that with a Fort save of 24 then you have yourself a damn fine spell....
 

Crothian

First Post
Halma said:


But the spell is permante untill Discharged, doesn't that mean that Shorty could concievably cast this spell at the beginning of combat and then save it for later use when my "Fireball , and Lightning bolt" line have been waisted? Being a Sorcerer and all....

I was under the impression that when holding a spell charge like that you were unable to cast other spells. I may be wrong, and I don't have any books right now to back it up, but that's what my impression was.
 


Jeremy

Explorer
As it is a touch spell (as the spell is written the wizard has to be in melee), and it only affects one target per round, as written it is balanced.

Your use of it is creative and effective, but the spell itself is not broken.

High touch AC's, multiple monsters, monsters not susceptible to stunning, high fort saves, and the number of attacks a d4 hit die character could receive being in touch range all help balance it.

And as spectral hands only have 1-4 hit points, having two of them up to touch twice per round, should be difficult. Especially the first time a creature sees what they are doing.

And bringing a sorcerer into range to deliver touch spells is the fastest way for him to die. :D
 

Halma

First Post
Happiest_Sadist said:
By now you have more destructive spells at your disposal, this takes a lot of time to deliver. So it's good when you have lots of time, but few spell slots. However at high levels the problem is reversed. You have lots of spellslots and very little time. In any major battle, you'd be better off using your time to cast multiple fireballs and prismatic sprays than deliver 1 of these.

What this is to me though would be a Wizard Killer... Wizzy's suck a fort Saves and the damage means a lot more against them..
Unless they put up a Globe of Invulneralbility...
 

AuraSeer

Prismatic Programmer
Ohhh, it's 1d8, plus +1 per level. :eek: That's all right then.

I read the damage as (1d8+1) per level. I was thinking that a 15th-level caster did 15d8+15, to 15 targets.

Move along. Nothing to see here. I'm just an idiot. Move along...
 

Dinkeldog

Sniper o' the Shrouds
Stunned is worse than dazed.

Also, Shorty's a sorcerer, so a 2nd level spectral hand isn't an imposition, and haste is the first thing the players put on themselves.

I think we're all right if we limit the damage to +10 (even though shocking grasp maxes at +20--it's a one-shot)

So what the spell ends up being is a shocking grasp (with acid damage v. electrical) that can be used once per level and has a good chance to stun its target.
 

Dr. Zoom

First Post
I don't have BoEM2, but Stun, IMO, puts the spell over the top. Daze was bad enough. I don't have a problem with the damage, though.

Also, he cannot cast other spells and hold the charge on this one. If he casts another spell, the Surge is gone.

Just change the stun effect to a daze effect. That might work.
 

Urbanmech

Explorer
Is it written as a daze effect or a stun effect? That really makes the difference. Daze is pretty bad, but not as bad as "CDG bait" stunned.

It might be better as a 4th lv. spell if the damage was left at 1d8+lv with no limit. If the damage is changed to +10 max that is probably pretty good for a 3rd lv spell, esp. with the daze effect. Just my $.02.
 



coyote6

Adventurer
Just to reinforce what Crothian said, it's "dazed for 1d3 rounds", not stunned. So no lost Dex bonus (and thus no sneak attacks), no dropped items, etc.
 

Celebrim

Legend
I wouldn't allow it in my campaign, but I'm having a hard time understanding exactly what is happening in yours. I'm envisioning some sort of sequence like this.

Round 1) You cast Haste. (1 3rd level spell). Using your extra partial action from Haste, you cast Spectral Hand (1 2nd level spell) and lose 1d4 h.p.

Round 2) You cast a second Spectral Hand (2 2nd level spells) and lose 1d4 more h.p. You cast Brutal Seething Surge (2 3rd level spells).

Round 3) You make two melee touch attacks (at a distance) with the first spectral hand, using your two attacks per round as a 15th level sorcerer. Using the second Spectral Hand, you make an offhanded melee touch attack. Note that although the off-hand 'weapon' is automatically light, if you don't have two handed fighting and ambidexterity this will give you a -4 penalty on your first two attacks, and a -8 on your third attack. You then use your extra partial action from haste to make a fourth melee touch attack.

Round 4-5) Repeat round 3.

I don't see your combo as particularly broken (You've cast 4 spells and done 2d4 damage to yourself to obtain it, and the second spectal hand isn't helping you all that much. In fact, if I read the rules correctly, it should be hurting you.), however I do see the spell as mildly broken. The reason is that Monte seems to be assuming that a 3rd level spell is worth the ability to do 2 2nd level spells per round (once you hit 10th level) for 5 or more turns. I don't think it is. I also think that he's assuming that since it is a touch attach (a limiting factor), and has one target per touch (another limiting factor) that having (at high levels, another limiting factor) comparable damage to a good 3rd level offensive spell AND a fort save against an extra effect AND not having a save to half damage is ok. I don't.

Imagine that you cast fireball as a 15th level caster. You'd do 10d6 damage, average 35, and your foe would get a save (say DC 19) for half damage. Probably most foes for a 15th level caster would make such saves about half the time, for an average of 26 damage (or so). Fireball effects multiple targets, but for now, lets just assume it one big boss nasty you want to defeat.

Imagine that instead you cast Monte's spell as a 15th level caster. You'd do 1d8+15 damage, average 19, no save. Plus your opponent must make a Fort save (DC 19) or be dazed(!!!) for 1d3 turns, meaning that the opponent cannot take an offensive action (only defend). Worse yet, after 10th level you get two attacks per round. So right now, your mage is doing average 38 damage per round and 3 times in 4 (or so) has his opponent unable to respond for at least 1 round. And, he can do this again next round and the next and the next for 7 (and a half) rounds. Against two or fewer opponents this is not only better than fireball, this is MUCH better than fireball. Against most single opponents, this spell simply takes them out of the game. The limitation from it being a touch spell is simply too easily worked around with spectral hand.

The spell has to problems to me. First, it does exponential damage. It gives both more damage per level, and more attacks per level. Ultimately over the course of the spell the caster does 15d8+225, potentially to a single target. The ability to do this damage to a single target balances against the ability to do it to multiple targets at once. This would be sorta like having fireball have a larger and larger radius as you leveled up, or letting you have a 4th level spell that cast 1 fireball per level as you leveled up. One of the few things that makes this spell cool, is the ability to make multiple touch attacks with the same spell - so I don't want to do away with that. I'd reduce the damage either by allowing the Fort save to half damage, OR reducing the bonus damage to +1/2 levels of the spell caster (maximum +10).

But an even bigger problem is that Dazing an opponent of any level for 1d3 rounds is very nearly a 3rd level effect in and of itself. In fact, it is the equivalent of Tasha's Hideous Laughter, a 2nd level spell. So what Monte gave us was a spell that was repeatable and equal in effect to both a 1st level spell AND a 2nd level spell. I simply don't see this as being a 3rd level spell. In fact, I see it as something closer to 5th if you don't want to rewrite it (and even then it is a potential problem). Look at it this way, if it was 5th level - given the lethality you are experiencing with it - would you still memorize it (keeping in mind that it's DC would also go up)? In order to make it a 3rd level spell reduce the damage (as above), and reduce the extra effect from Dazed(!!!) to something like Dazzled 1d3 rounds (-1 penalty to attacks) instead.

You'd probably stop memorizing it then (1d8+7 damage + dazzled; good for 15 touches) except when you particularly thought it would be useful to do acid damage (or for role playing reasons), but then again, that's fine with me - since I'm not entirely happy with any spell that is so good you always favor it over core spells.
 

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