Wilhelm's Despairing Sorrow

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Asaris
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Wilhelm's Despairing Sorrow

Wilhelm's Despairing Sorrow
Level: 2
Range: 30'
Save: none

This conjures a vapor similar to that of the black lotus around the victim, who must be humanoid. The vapor forces him to relive all of his past regrets, mesmerizing her for 12 rounds while she silently sobs.

The math:
Target mesmerized: 30
1 creature of any HD: x1.1
Only humanoids: x0.5
Range 60': x0.8
Duration: 12 rounds x1.15
Total: 15.18

Ludanto
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Nice spell. Very evocative. For those points, though, I think the range is only 30. Of course, at 18.something it's still second level if you keep the 60' range.

Asaris
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Yeah, I thought something was off in the point calculation. Thanks for the comments! I'm working on a series.

I am curious as to what mesmerization entails. The intention is to create a spell similar to Tasha's Uncontrollable Laughter, but better suited to my character, and I wasn't sure whether sleep or mesmerize was the better cost to use for that.

Ludanto
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I was totally thinking the same thing. Only luck and a lot of poring over the books led me to find a reference to the description of mesmerism under "Hypnotic Pattern". Mesmerism is different than sleep, because injury will undo sleep, but apparently mesmerism is more enduring.

Asaris
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That's what I was thinking, but I'm not sure it's quite as good as charm, since that not only prevents the target from harming you, it also gets them to help you if you're even a little bit clever.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Charmed characters receive additional saving throws (even if there is no initial saving throw) based on duration of the charm and/or the being asked to do things against their nature, whereas mesmerized characters do not.

Charmed characters still defend themselves and thus cannot be killed in one blow, whereas mesmerized characters are helpless.

Asaris
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Wilhelm's Crushing Sorrow
Arcane 4
Range: 60'
Duration: 12 rounds
Save: none

Tendrils wrap around 1d4 living creatures, smelling of black lotus powder. These creatures are overcome with sadness, and are mesmerized for 12 rounds, weeping and lamenting their past losses.

I'm tempted to see what happens if I mix damage with this, since the sadness is crushing, but I'm not sure if mixing effects from different categories breaks the spell system.

Alex
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Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

In some cases you can build two different spells of different types, and then, if they have the same area of effect and duration; add the total together to get the build points for the total. 

Here, since there are no damage-dealing spells with 12 round duration, you'd have to wing it. 

 

 

Asaris
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Wilhelm's Drowning Sorrow
Arcane 6
Range: 0'
Area of Effect: 60' x 30' wide cone
Duration: 12 rounds
Save: None

Waves of purple black lotus dust stream from the wizard's fingers, afflicting all living creatures within a 60' x 30' cone with extreme sadness. The creatures are mesmerized for 12 rounds as they contemplate all the ways in which they have disappointed their mothers.

Target mesmerized: 60
60' x 30' cone: x5
Range: 0' x0.4
Only living: x0.75
12 rounds: x1.15
I'm not sure of the math on this, since I'm not sure how range works with it being a cone. I'm assuming that's just where the cone starts. It's just barely a 6th level spell, too, so there's some room to play with the effects.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

When a spell has an area of effect and a range, the range is the point at which the area of effect can begin. So with 0' range, the cone starts at the caster.

Alex
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Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Asaris, I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to offer a critique of these spells. If I were your Judge, I probably would not allow them in my campaign. They seem to have been very carefully created to be as powerful as possible, rather than crafted to simulate an effect in the game world, and as a result, they are fairly brutal.

Consider:
1) Wilhelm's Despairing Sorrow is a 2nd level spell rather than a 3rd level spell because you limited it to humanoids. Why is the spell limited to humanoids? Do dragons not have regrets? Do blink dogs? It seems like it's limited to humanoids simply because that reduces the spell cost and keeps it to 2nd level. In general, when you find you're subverting the spell's verisimilitude in order to achieve a lower spell level, that's usually a red flag.

2) None of these spells offer a saving throw. Why? Spells without saving throws are few and far between in ACKS and come with other drawbacks. Sleep allows no saving throw, but doesn't let you affect creatures of more than 4HD and allows you to wake up the affected creatures easily. The argument is that sleep is something so natural that the weak of will are easily affected. Even so, sleep is often thought of as a tactical nuke! The spell here seems like it doesn't permit a saving throw just so that it can be more powerful. Consider Wilhelm's Despairing Sorrow: A 2nd level spell that can kill any character of any level with no save. Mesmerize-and-kill, the end.

3) Wilhelm's Drowning Sorrow is an absolute party-wiper. One mage with a 6th level scroll (or an 11th level mage) can wipe out an entire group with no saving throw. Ugh!

You've followed the rules to the letter, but as with any point-build system, you can min-max in ways that combine to create something that might be more nasty than is healthy. In particular, enchantment spells without saving throws should be carefully reviewed.

Here is how I would probably build Wilhelm's Despairing Sorrow:
Target mesmerized: 30
6 HD worth of creatures: x1.75
Only target intelligent creatures: x0.62*
Range 60': x1
Duration: 12 rounds x1.2
Saving throw avoids spell effect x0.5
Total: 19.53

*New targeting modifier designed specifically for this series of spells

This would make it a level 2 spell that would affect up go 6HD of living creatures within 30'; those that fail a saving throw would be mesmerized for 12 rounds. It doesn't affect as many creatures as "Hypnotic Pattern", but it doesn't require concentration.

Or another version:
Target mesmerized: 30
1 creature of any HD: x1.1
Only target intelligent creatures: x0.62*
Range 240': x1.5
Duration: 6 turns x1.2
Saving throw avoids spell effect x0.5
Total: 18.4

This would leave the target in a state of woe for an hour. That's not particularly useful for combat, but fits with the flavor.

Asaris
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I appreciate the comments Alex! The 2nd level spell is the important one -- the others were just an attempt to scale up. It's based on Tasha's Hideous Laughter, and the effect appears to actually be a bit harsher than I was intending. I was looking more for "Can take no action" rather than "Is helpless". I'm thinking a cost of about 20 or 25 points for the former?

Asaris
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I appreciate the comments Alex! The 2nd level spell is the important one -- the others were just an attempt to scale up. It's based on Tasha's Hideous Laughter, but I reskinned it for my character. The effect appears to actually be a bit harsher than I was intending. I was looking more for "Can take no action" rather than "Is helpless". I'm thinking a cost of about 20 or 25 points for the former?

Incidentally, I'm loving the effect random spells on each level is giving. Wilhelm started life off as your average, if somewhat immoral mage, but rolling hypnotic pattern and deathless minion for his second level spells is making him out to be a somewhat sinister enchanter.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Hi Asaris! I'm glad the random rolls are working out for you. Having a tightly limited repertoire, as ACKS requires, does tend to create more flavorfully specialized mages.

For a more limited mesmerize, I'd go with the following:

25points - the target can take no action, but is not helpless.

20points - the target can take no action, but is not helpless. If attacked, the target gets a save to break out of the mesmerization.

James S
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Joined: 2011-07-29 12:36

and here I was thinking this was going to be an amusing riff on the Wilhelm Scream (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_scream)