Spell Creation-fluff v rules

I’m looking to make a spell that summons a blade of magical energy that lingers for awhile, allowing the wielder to attack (and requiring an attack roll) in order to use.

Now, the fluff is that there is a physical manifestation of magic that they are using to hit people with as they would in melee.

My question is this: would that react with Cleave in any way? I assume it wouldn’t, but I am just curious. I can see arguments for and against.


My assumption would be that the wielded could cleave as normal: anything that comes with the downsides of attack rolls should probably come with the benefits.

Of course, if the caster is a Mage that doesn’t help much: building in a “cleave like a fighter” effect to the power would be the work of someone who had read the spell creation rules. Alas, not my iggerant barbarian self. :wink:

Mages don’t get cleave. So if it’s a Wizard spell, then no, it won’t interact with cleave at all.

If it’s a weapon that you wield with your hand rather than something like Spiritual Weapon then I’d say it could cleave, but only if casters class is using a non-wizard attack throw progression. Then they’d get cleave at the appropriate points.

If it’s a weapon that you direct, like Spiritual Weapon, then probably not.

Yeah, it was pretty much a spell (or spell-like ability) intended for Spell-Blades and similar characters, not straight up mages.

I’d say yes to Cleave then.

It’s a similar principle to my Pilum of Fire spell I think. You need to make an attack roll, and it’s affected by Range modifiers, but you get to throw magical fire javelins that do more damage than a bow. Plus it uses up one of your spells. The pros and cons seem to balance.

For your spell, you’ve got to make an attack roll, and use up a spell, and it’s melee range only. I’d say you get the benefits of anything you can do - i.e. cleave (and any associated proficiencies, class powers etc…etc…) as well.

Are you willing to post your workings? I’m interested to see how you’re putting it together.

Yeah I’ll post it up later. And maybe make a Soul-Knife class based around it.

As promised, the spell (and class) we were talking about.


Wow 2d10 damage at 2nd level! That’s a helluva punch.

I confess it feels overly strong to me, but it’s a neat concept. Summonable once an hour, it feels like an ‘every fight’ weapon depending on the pace of the game, which makes it potentially very potent indeed.

But, it doesn’t scale in damage, just in frequency of use. That said, at higher level you’d have to be fighting a helluva lot in a single hour to use up all your hourly uses. So perhaps that feels slightly wonky.

This is probably my having been brainwashed by D&D3 and Pathfinder, but i’d be tempted to tweak it so it was offering X uses per day, plus additional uses as you rise levels. Say, 3+Wis Bonus per day at 1st level.

I’d be tempted to drop the damage too, but raise the cap - albeit slowly. Something that resembles the thief back stab ability. This is because, in my head, I’m wary of overshadowing the Fighter in terms of combat ability and the maximum a Fighter can chuck out with a 1-H melee weapon tends to be 1d6, so 1d10 is a huge jump in potential damage. At later levels though, when the Fireballs come into play, it seems more reasonable for a mystic warrior to be doing 3d6 or more with his light saber, sorry, soul blade :wink:

Other than my personal tastes, I think it’s a really lovely class. One I may cough borrow cough for my homebrew, if I can find a good place for it to fit!

Glad you like it! I agree the damage feels a bit high, but there are a few caveats that make things a little more balanced than it might at first appear. The character is basically a two-handed weapon user. While the weapon can appear as a single handed weapon, they can’t use shields, so they balance against a fighter who is using a two handed sword/axe/halberd. The halberd by RAW is an even stronger weapon which does 2d10 on a charge, can be set for charge, can strike over the first rank, etc, etc. Further, at low levels, the duration is /really/ short. A few rounds at best. In my experience until about 4th level you can’t expect it to be around for an entire fight. It’s possible to have several encounters in an hour. You test for random encounters every 20 minutes, so potentially three right there, never mind any rooms you wander into during that hour. Additionally, you only have your strength bonus to hit. A fighter with a magic weapon gets that bonus as well. Also, some weapons have special properties or intelligence which your soul sword will never have. Finally, the benefit of the heavy armor that the fighter can wear cannot be overstated. That, more than anything, keeps characters alive and kicking. This character wears leather until level 2 and then has a magical field that can be dispelled and doesn’t provide much defence versus archers. Meanwhile, the fighter is laughing in his plate armor which protects him all the time and can’t be dispelled or negated by anti-magic or similar effects. And if he goes sword and board, he can become nearly untouchable (AC8 + dex at first level, up to AC14+dex+ring+cloak vs the soul knight’s AC10/8+dex+ring+cloak…even a two-hander fighter can be AC9 plus all the other bonuses). And of course the fighter can last longer in combat due to (potentially) greater HP. Now, of course, I’m not saying that the spell isn’t powerful. And I did have similar concerns. Honestly, if there had been a way to extend duration at the cost of slightly less damage, I’d probably have gone with that. I just built it RAW. But it would be simple enough to cap the damage at a single die (say d12) and call it quits if you are concerned with it being too powerful. Beyond that effect, what do you think of the other spells for the classes list? – Matthew Skipper

Ugh, wow, that didn’t keep the spacing at all… what I get for copy and pasting with my phone.

I thought of another limitation for the spell…it is a /spell/ meaning that for a front line compatant, trying to cast a spell on the frontline will often prove difficult. If they beat your initiative and hit you, poof! There goes your use of Soul Blade, and your attack. While your Fighter buddy would just spit the blood on the ground and hit them back.

Hmm… I’m not sure that’s a huge limitation tbh. Yes, Initiative becomes important, but all the fights we’ve had so far I think there would be time to cast out of melee and then get in there.

That said, I could happily be wrong. It certainly looks like you’ve carefully considered the theory of balancing it as a spell. My feeling is that only by some extensive playtesting could we find out if it is overpowered.

You asked about the other abilities:

Soul Dance - That’s fine, it’s the Bladedancer skill by another name, and fits the idiom of the character. It’s a good fit.

Soul Shield - In my game at the moment (All 1st level characters), the ACs top out at 5. No-one has Plate, yet, so perhaps that’s factor. I don’t see anything fundamentally problematic with this, but it is, essentially, permanent unless dispelled. I’d reduce the duration to force the player to make a tactical choice about using it - maybe 1 Turn duration. It kinda feels like free Plate+Shield at 2nd level at the moment. Whilst Dispel is a threat, I don’t see it as a common one unless it’s a common thing in your campaign world. As with Soul Blade, I’d probably tweak it down a bit, but the concept is great.

Meditative Focus - Really like this. Supercharge yourself for a Turn. 1/day/level. top.

Blade Burst - I love this. Though you need to add the radius of effect onto the description of the spell. I assume it’s 30’. Visually, I see it as similar to the scatter effect of Senbonzakura, the special sword of Byakuya Kuchiki from the Bleach Anime (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, his katana blade scatters into razor sharp peach blossoms.) Love the idea. I assume that this will also terminate any Soul Blade spell that’s ongoing.

I’d love to drop where it appears in the level progression so the Soul Knife can get some earlier use of it, and not at it’s maximum damage potential. As soon as the character gets it, it’s at full power, which feels like a missed opportunity.

Name level - I kinda feel like ‘Fortress’ isn’t evocative enough for the class to do it justice. I want it to evoke something to do with the soul, their state of enlightenment, and the intense focus they have to have to use their skills. Fortress feels more warlordy than Soul Knifey. Fortress-Monastery is marginally better, but I think there will be better options. Pagoda? Temple? Dunno, sorry.

As far as the new spells go, they look fine to me! Greater blade burst is nasty, and the others are nice utilitarian spells reskinned for flavour. I totally approve of reskinning and renaming spells for flavour! :slight_smile:

That’s interesting, both about your PCs not having plate at first (all my pcs who could did…and if not at first then after they went back to town from their first foray). Also about prep spells. My players rarely have them up before a fight UNLESS it’s a long duration spell held over from last fight.last fight.

What I mean about prep spells is that in the way the fights begin, I suspect that the PCs would have the time to cast at least one spell (probably only one spell) before melee were truly joined.

They don’t actually have spells yet :slight_smile:

As far as armour goes, only one of them could wear Plate and he got a poor roll on his starting cash so ended up with Splint or Scale I think. The others are a Barbarian, a Sunspear (Bladedancer) and a Thief, so mostly leather. The Barbarian actually got a terrible roll for starting cash and was wearing Hide until he upgraded to scavenged Leather, and then to Chain.

I think that’s what makes balancing spells so interesting and potentially tricky. We can each make assumptions about how the game works based on our own experiences, but they’re only a reflection of the classes/characters we’ve had exposure to so far. In a ‘light’ group of skirmishers, a Soul Knife might have a much more significant impact than in a ‘heavy’ group of tanky fighters. I consider that largely a good thing!

Yeah, you make a very good point about assumptions. It’s also why, I’d wager, some ‘unbalanced’ things make it into games…in their home campaign they probably played fine, they just didn’t work under all assumptions.

Anyway, I’ve given it some more thought and decided I agree. I’ve tweaked Soul Shield so now it’s simply the Shield spell with the AC reversed to be Melee high. It stops Magic Missile, but only lasts 30 minutes.