Heroism spell

All magic items require a spell to emulate before they can be designed. A while back, Alex posted a list or magic item prices, as well as few word explanations for the prices. For the potion of heroism, he assigned heroism to be a 3rd level spell effect.

Has there been any heroism spell written up in any book or the forums or anywhere else? Should there be a 3rd level spell, heroism, that gives fighters more levels? If so, what details like range and duration should the spell have and should it be arcane, divine, or both?

I’m just spit-balling here, but if you look at the PC rules for creating transmogrification spells, to “change” a character into a “better character”…

Trans. into living creature = 35
Gain physical attacks + 10
Gain special abilities + 20
Form limited to particular type x0.75
HD limited… (approximate) x0.75
1 living corporal creature x1
Touch range x0.6
Last 6 turns (why not?) x1
Beneficial effect x1
Arcane x1

That comes out to 21-ish, or about a 3rd level spell.

If it’s a divine spell, it squeaks under at 27-ish.

Ludanto beat me to it. I’m not sure how you adjust for making a higher-level Super Heroism spell for this using the Player’s Companion rules, but his interpretation looks great to me.

Gaining temporary levels just seemed over-powered somehow for a spell you can cast every day, for some reason, more suitable for a rare and expensive one-shot potion. Then again, we are comparing this to fireball-level spell, so it might not be that bad.

Yeah, it’s quite a buff for a 3rd level spell. There are plenty of dials to turn to make it higher-level if that’s your comfort zone. That’s what I’d likely do. The Transmogrification Spells table likely needs more effect entries to handle a spell like Heroism. Something like, “Current form gains increased levels - base cost 40”

When you look at the listings, things like Ogre strength are base cost 40. I surmise that gives you the temporary benefits of Gauntlets of Ogre Power. Gaining fighter levels has to be at least as useful as that.

3rd level spell also includes Haste which to me is far more potent than a bonus to hit and some phantom hp. I’d say that’s about right.

Strictly speaking, I don’t know that it even counts as a separate spell. It’s more like the same Heroism spell cast by a higher-level caster. Even if you remove the “hit die limit”, which is the closest approximation of the difference, it’s still easily a 3rd level spell.

For what it’s worth, there doesn’t need to be a “Heroism” spell. It might just be the kind of thing that you’d use samples and formulas for.

In order to make an accurate comparison, it would help to settle exactly what the vaguely worded “Heroism” potion bonus levels actually give you. For reference, here is the description from ACKS page 214:

Heroism: Only an assassin, dwarven vaultguard, elven spellsword, explorer, or fighter may use this potion. Extra levels and their accompanied benefits to combat are temporarily granted to the imbiber, determined by his experience level as shown in this table. Note that extra hit points granted due to the level increase are subtracted first when the character is wounded.

Imbiber level: | Levels Granted
0 | 4 (fighter)
1-3 | 3
4-7 | 2
8-10 | 1
11+ | 0

Now presumably, this potion also works on other classes with fighter 2 (or even 2+). The bonus levels definitely give bonus hp, bonus saves, bonus to-hit, and bonus cleaves. They probably give things like the +1 morale bonus at fighter 5.

More questionably, they might give proficiencies if an appropriate level is reached (this could get extremely powerful if you had a spell that could do this and you could pick different proficiencies on each casting). Even more questionable is what could happen to the casting of an Elven Spellsword since more levels mean more spells (this seems like it may be against the spirit of the effect, but then again, a heroic Spellsword is undoubtably a notably powerful mage).

Just where is the line drawn?

THe description specifically mentions bonuses to combat; I can’t see including Proficiencies as part of that. Even Saving Throws seem a bit dicey by that wording.

Cook/Marsh Expert says, “…gain the hit dice, hit points, and all abilities…”. The 1st Edition DMG says, “…the individual fights as if he or she were at the experience level bestowed…” and “magically gained hit dice and bonus points”.

I do not think that the potion/spell magically grants knowledge of new or improved Proficiencies. I do think that it includes increased:
*HIt Dice/Hit Points
*Attack Throws
*Damage Bonus
*Saving Throws
*Increased # of Cleave attacks/round

Malo Monkey is correct. “Extra levels and their accompanied benefits to combat” is not intended to include proficiencies.

That is what I figured, but proficiencies like weapon focus or fighting style are undoubtedly “benefits to combat” that accompany extra levels. Even spell-sword spells could be similarly argued. Rule one about writing rules: someone will try to exploit ambiguous rules (and also clearly written rules).

Any thoughts on the subject of the heroism spell? You were the one who arbitrarily assigned the heroism effect to be 3rd level (and 5th level for super-heroism) in this thread:


I had expected such a spell to be in player’s companion, actually.

Nerdnumber1 said: Rule one about writing rules: someone will try to exploit ambiguous rules (and also clearly written rules).

That’s what Rule 0 is for. It’s also why I wear the Viking hat when I’m the Judge.

No rules can cure misanthropic players. Thinking they could was one of D&D4E’s worst mistakes.

There were a few spells I couldn't figure out. Heroism was one of them. Perhaps it's silly but it didn't occur to me to tackle it as a Transmogrification. 

To be fair, it is a rather weird spell effect. I gives different benefits depending on the class and level of the recipient, something not seen in most other comparable spells (probably why 3.x heroism gives the far simpler static modifiers instead of the far cooler temporary levels). The weirdness of the effect made it difficult for me to determine if it even should have an easily cast-able spell-version as opposed to an expensive one-shot potion version.