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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

MU Spell List, Level 2

Continuing the analysis, here are the 2nd level spells. Some of the spells are trickier to fit into the framework, but I think I can do it with a new concept, which I'll explain after the spells.

Detect Invisible is easy; normally impossible ability, operates at a variable distance. 1 Feature + 1 Variable = 2nd level spell.

Levitate, as written, won't fit, since it has variable range and duration added to the impossible motion feature; the simple solution is to drop one of the variables, or split them between a ranged "attack" version and a longer-lasting "travel" version. I'll choose the ranged version as more useful. 1 Feature + 1 Variable = 2nd level spell.

Phantasmal Forces: illusion (Feature) + duration tied to concentration (Feature) = 2nd level spell.

Locate Object arguably could be redesigned as a 1st-level spell, since only range is relevant and locating an object is something that could theoretically be done without magic. However, I'll keep it 2nd level, on the theory that it has the feature of locating even magically-hidden objects within range.

Invisibility is possibly overpowered as written, because of the indefinite duration. Variable duration in turns could work, but I think I'll define a special duration feature instead: target remains invisible for up to one day, but loses invisibility when attacking and can lose it every time the light changes (moving from darkness into torchlight, for example) or when touched by a living being. This makes it less powerful than by-the-book Invisibility, but still very useful; plus, I kind of like the flavor it adds.

Wizard Lock is also potentially overpowered; it lasts indefinitely and is only temporarily dispelled by a Knock or a high-level caster. We can try a "duration feature" trick, with the Knock and high-level caster pass-through capability as limitations to the one-day duration, as for Invisibility.

Detect Evil is underpowered as written, unless we consider it to be normally impossible detection (evil intent) + detect even magically-hidden creatures and objects. The other option is to make the range variable. I think I will personally go with the first option.

ESP is basically Detect Thoughts. I would rule that it doesn't include comprehension of thoughts (telepathy,) only the location and general category of thoughts. It's Detect Evil with "Evil" swapped out for "Thoughts".

Continual Light is a brighter light than Light, courtesy of the higher spell level; neither Light spell has a variable area, so the static area is based on spell level, making the Continual Light cover a slightly larger target. Again, permanent or indefinite duration seems over-powered, but we can use 1 Feature as a "duration feature" and another to raise the base duration from a day to a week; we can use the same limitation (changes in light or physical contact) as for Invisibility.

Knock: Two features (open doors without tools, open even magically-sealed doors.) This means the range is fixed and should be shorter than written.

The new concept you can see above is the duration feature. Instead of spell duration as a variable based on caster level/HD, it's long but fixed, based on spell type and spell level, as in a static duration spell. Additionally, it has one or more conditions that can suspend or end the spell prematurely. I haven't worked out all the rules -- I'll wait until finishing my analysis, to see what I need -- but my initial instinct is that the condition must be related to the basic intent of the spell; Invisibility and Continual Light both affect the senses, so the terminating condition is sensory.

In theory, there could also be range features, area features, quantity features, and so on. We'll see what we need for future spells.

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