D&D 5E Setting spell level for homebrew spell - advice please!

Lawmonger

Explorer

Hi all,
I'm reasonably new to DMing 5e, but I wanted to create a signature spell for a low level paladin NPC.
I'm running a 5e campaign based on the 1e Slavelords adventures (A0-A4).
The NPC is a vigilante in an evil city, known as Jack of the Light.
The idea is that he conceals his face with this spell that makes it glow so brightly it hides his features and dazzles those who look at him.
I've come up with the spell below, but am not sure whether I have set the spell level appropriately - thoughts and advice would be welcome!


Mask of Light

1st (?) level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Personal
Components: S, M
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute.
Classes: Cleric, Paladin

A glow begins to build beneath the skin of your face, suffusing, then completely obscuring your features with a light so bright it is painful to look upon.

Your face sheds bright light to a range of 10ft and dim light for 10ft beyond that. The light conceals your features, but your vision is not impaired by the spell and you can see normally.

When a creature that can see your face starts its turn within 10 ft. of you, it must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature is instantly Blinded for 1 round. Otherwise, a creature that fails the save is dazzled and for 1 round its melee attacks against you are made with disadvantage.

Unless surprised, a creature can avert its eyes to avoid the saving throw at the start of its turn. If the creature does so, it can't see you until the start of its next turn, when it can avert its eyes again. If the creature looks at you in the meantime, it must immediately make the save.

If you see yourself reflected on a polished surface within 10 ft. of you, you affected by your own spell.
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
If it's a NPC only spell, just decide its an ad hoc ability, X times per scene, granted by his god. If someone wanted to counterspell it, level 1-3 are treated the same (auto-counterspell) so it doesn't really matter - I'd keep it at level one for this purpose.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
It seems roughly on par with a 2nd level spell.

The face hiding is basically a ribbon. He could get the same benefit from an ordinary helmet or mask. Creating light is also not a major thing, since the radius is so small.

The rest of it is essentially like Blur. Granted, in some ways it's worse than Blur, but it does have some advantages over Blur (inflicting blindness), and I don't think that the limitations are sufficient to justify it as a 1st level spell.
 

Stalker0

Legend
If it's a NPC only spell, just decide its an ad hoc ability, X times per scene, granted by his god. If someone wanted to counterspell it, level 1-3 are treated the same (auto-counterspell) so it doesn't really matter - I'd keep it at level one for this purpose.
Yeah personally I wouldn't even make it a spell unless you really want it to be dispellable (or you want the PCs to have it). Just make it a thing about the NPC. NPCs don't need to follow the normal rules, he has a special thing for a specific purpose...doesn't need any more than that.

As far as the effect itself, I'm always a bit loathe to have effects that require save after save each round, which can get a bit tedious. I would just make the effect more automatic, something like this:

Mask of Light
Melee attacks against the creature are made with disadvantage. If you start your turn or move within 10 feet of the creature, make a constitution saving throw DC X (this should be con for a blind effect, wisdom doesn't make sense to me, and make the DC 5 lower than you consider normal for the CR). On a failure, you are blind for 1 round. On a success, you are immune from the blind effect for 24 hours.

This effect requires concentration.
 

aco175

Legend
3 points to think about. 1, are paladin spells at first level more powerful than wizard spells. I tend to find that they are since they are granted at higher levels. 2, instead of "failing the save by 5 or more", just have the save with advantage since that grants about 5 to the roll. Makes it easier. 3, what about boosting it to a higher level slot?
 

Lawmonger

Explorer
Thanks everyone!
I agree that its a bit over complicated, I don't much like the save each round either but 1 save then effect for duration seems a too good. I think I might make it a Dex Save to shield/avert their eyes - to me a Con Save suggests that trying to stare down a bright light. I think I'll cut the bit about voluntarily averting eyes to avoid the save - it seems like needless bloat.

@Professor Murder - thanks, yeah I lifted the basic wording for the crunch from the Medusa.

@Galandris & Stalker0 - I thought about making it an NPC ability but may want to give it to the PC Paladin as reward later.

@Fanaelialae - thanks, hadn't considered Blur as a comparison. It is indiscriminate though - affects both friend and foe.

@aco175 - interesting point, though the blinding effect makes it a bit off brand for a paladin?

Revised Version:

Mask of Light

2nd level evocation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Personal
Components: S, M
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute.
Classes: Cleric, Paladin

A glow begins to build beneath the skin of your face, suffusing, then completely obscuring your features with a light so bright it is painful to look upon.

Your face sheds bright light to a range of 10ft and dim light for 10ft beyond that.
The light conceals your features, but your vision is not impaired by the spell and you can see normally.

When a creature that can see your face starts its turn within 10 ft. of you, it must make a Dexterity Saving throw.
A creature that fails the save is dazzled and for 1 round its melee attacks against you are made with disadvantage.
If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature is instead Blinded for 1 round.

If you see yourself reflected on a polished surface within 10 ft. of you, you are affected by your own spell.
 

ECMO3

Hero

Hi all,

I'm reasonably new to DMing 5e, but I wanted to create a signature spell for a low level paladin NPC.

I'm running a 5e campaign based on the 1e Slavelords adventures (A0-A4).

The NPC is a vigilante in an evil city, known as Jack of the Light.

The idea is that he conceals his face with this spell that makes it glow so brightly it hides his features and dazzles those who look at him.

I've come up with the spell below, but am not sure whether I have set the spell level appropriately - thoughts and advice would be welcome!

Mask of Light

1st (?) level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Personal
Components: S, M
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute.
Classes: Cleric, Paladin

A glow begins to build beneath the skin of your face, suffusing, then completely obscuring your features with a light so bright it is painful to look upon.

Your face sheds bright light to a range of 10ft and dim light for 10ft beyond that. The light conceals your features, but your vision is not impaired by the spell and you can see normally.

When a creature that can see your face starts its turn within 10 ft. of you, it must make a Wisdom saving throw. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature is instantly Blinded for 1 round. Otherwise, a creature that fails the save is dazzled and for 1 round its melee attacks against you are made with disadvantage.

Unless surprised, a creature can avert its eyes to avoid the saving throw at the start of its turn. If the creature does so, it can't see you until the start of its next turn, when it can avert its eyes again. If the creature looks at you in the meantime, it must immediately make the save.

If you see yourself reflected on a polished surface within 10 ft. of you, you affected by your own spell.

I think it should be a 4th level spell.

For comparison you are implementing two effects, each of which are normally done through a 2nd level spell and you are doing it to multiple enemies:
1. Disadvantage: Blur is a 2nd level spell and it causes disadvantage on attacks, and that is all it does. For this spell it is what enemies would suffer if they made their save. So this is essentially a blur spell with an extra powerful save rider on it for everyone within 10 feet.

2. The blind effect: Blindness/Deafness is a 2nd level spell and it causes Blindness to one enemy, one time and if they save there no effect - this is essentially blindness to every enemy within 10 feet every turn and they get a penalty even if they make their save. Additionally the saving throw for this (Wisdom) is tougher than the save for blindness/deafness (Constitution).
 
Last edited:

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
So I am a big proponent of the idea that if a spell can be reskinned to achieve a similar effect of an existing spell, then that may be the best route to go.

What if you just used Blur and reskinned it as the caster's face (or whole body) as shining so brightly that it makes them more difficult to hit? As @Fanaelialae has already mentioned, the light effect and the difficulty to see the face are ribbon abilities that shouldn't impact the effect of the spell, and are actually quite in line with an effect like what could generate a blurry figure. This way you maintain the limits of the spell (concentration, target of self), but you aren't limited to enemies within 10 feet or allow attackers a saving throw.

What is the primary effect you want the spell to achieve? Is it about causing attacking enemies disadvantage, or is it more about blinding enemies?

If it's the former, then just reskin the Blur spell and you have nothing else to worry about. If it's the latter, then that may need some finagling. For a spell that is more focused on blinding others, I might handle it like this:

Mask of Light

2nd level evocation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute.
Classes: Cleric, Paladin

A glow begins to build beneath the skin of your face, suffusing, then completely obscuring your features with a light so bright it is painful to look upon.

Your face sheds bright light to a range of 10ft and dim light for 10ft beyond that. The light conceals your features, but your vision is not impaired by the spell and you can see normally.

For the duration of the spell when a creature that can see you attempts to hit you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to force the attacker to make a Constitution saving throw. If the attacker fails their saving throw, then they become blinded until the end of your next turn.

@Fanaelialae - thanks, hadn't considered Blur as a comparison. It is indiscriminate though - affects both friend and foe.

I mean, yes, in the sense that allies that might try to attack you would do so with disadvantage. But I can't think of a single time when that might actually matter. Especially since you could just choose to allow someone to touch you (such as a cleric trying to heal you with Cure Wounds).
 
Last edited:

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
For starters (setting aside the "paladin-ness" of obscuring one's face from your enemies) make it an Illusion, not an Evocation.

Duration should just be 1 minute per level. Or something that isn't Concentration dependent. This is a paladin spell that can/will clearly be used within combat. It really shouldn't be a concentration dependent spell.

I think as a 2nd level spell, it's fine with the following changes:

The light shining from your face obscures your identity. That's automatic, the whole time the spell is in effect.

Make the save or Dazzled for 1 rd (end of your next turn or whatever). But it can't be just anyone that looks at you. The light is shining off of your face. So a direct "line" or small conical effect, tops.

I would make it so that you can, intentionally, as a bonus action, attempt to Blind (for d4 rounds) a single individual you are facing, that can see you, within 20' (and fails its save. Dazzled, as normal, with successful save). Once per round, to one target.

And/OR, as a standard action, attempt to Blind all targets within a 10' long x 15' wide at terminus cone in the direction the caster is facing. Using this "active area attack" immediately ends the spell.

But not "everything looking in your general direction must avert its eyes or..."
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
For starters (setting aside the "paladin-ness" of obscuring one's face from your enemies) make it an Illusion, not an Evocation.

Duration should just be 1 minute per level. Or something that isn't Concentration dependent. This is a paladin spell that can/will clearly be used within combat. It really shouldn't be a concentration dependent spell.

I think as a 2nd level spell, it's fine with the following changes:

The light shining from your face obscures your identity. That's automatic, the whole time the spell is in effect.

Make the save or Dazzled for 1 rd (end of your next turn or whatever). But it can't be just anyone that looks at you. The light is shining off of your face. So a direct "line" or small conical effect, tops.

I would make it so that you can, intentionally, as a bonus action, attempt to Blind (for d4 rounds) a single individual you are facing, that can see you, within 20' (and fails its save. Dazzled, as normal, with successful save). Once per round, to one target.

And/OR, as a standard action, attempt to Blind all targets within a 10' long x 15' wide at terminus cone in the direction the caster is facing. Using this "active area attack" immediately ends the spell.

But not "everything looking in your general direction must avert its eyes or..."
Your recommendations seem more inline with a spell from 3e/3.5 than 5e. Duration of x/level, the dazzled condition, variable effect durations (i.e. 1d4 rounds), and facing rules are not used in the current edition.

I do agree that Illusion may be more appropriate than Evocation as the school of magic, but most official light-based spells are listed as Evocation. As for the concentration, there are many spells that are combat focused but still require concentration. Blur, the spell that seems closest to the spell-effect that @Lawmonger is going for, is concentration. Heck, Barkskin is concentration. Now whether that makes sense is a separate discussion around how concentration is handled in 5e. But if someone is trying to make a homebrew spell that is balanced, they have to consider where it fits in relation to other existing spells as they are.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top