August 12, 2015

Metamagic

Metamagic
Comments from the Finger: Metamagic in 3.5 was expansive, and a wizard or sorcerer usign metamagic was never short on options. There were even feats that affected the use of meta magic (metametamagic) but that's a story for another time.
     So here we go: 6 metamagic options for your 5e sorcerer! (Try with Incantatrix for additional fun!)

Metamagic
At 3rd level, you gain the ability to twist your spells to suit your needs. You gain two of the following Metamagic options of your choice. You gain another one at 10th and 17th level.
     You can use only one Metamagic option on a spell when you cast it, unless otherwise noted.

Delayed Spell
When you cast a spell, you can expend 2 sorcery points to delay its effect one to three turns. Before the spell is cast, you select the duration, the target, and roll any relevant attack rolls. Any effects on the spell's targets, including saving throws, are resolved when the spell triggers. If any conditions change between casting and effect of the spell that would make the spell impossible – such as the target leaving the spell’s maximum range before the spell goes off – the spell fails.

Translocate Spell
When you cast a spell, you can expend 1 sorcery point to change the origin of the spell to any space you choose within 30 feet of you. If the spell affects another creature, you must be able to see that creature.

Precise Spell
When you cast a spell that requires one or more spell attack rolls, you can expend 3 sorcery points to gain advantage on one roll.

Invisible Spell
When you cast a spell with a duration of instantaneous that other creatures can see, you can expend 1 sorcery point to make any visual manifestations of the spell's casting invisible.

Bend Spell
When you cast a spell that requires a spell attack roll, you can expend 1 sorcery point to target a creature that has left your line of sight since your last turn but is still within the range of the spell. Additionally, this spell ignores half cover and three-quarters cover.

Sculpt Spell
When you cast a spell with a range that affects an area, you can expend 1 sorcery point to change the area's shape in one of the following ways:
  • If the spell's range is a line, you can change it to a cone of half range. 
  • If the spell's range is a cone, you can change it to a 5-foot-wide line with double range. 
  • If the spell's range is a sphere, you can change its area to a cylinder of half radius and double height. 
  • If the spell's range is a cylinder, you can change its area to a sphere of the same radius.


Changelog: 8/12/15: Changed wording on Bend Spell. Specified in Sculpt spell that the line is 5 feet wide.

31 comments:

  1. Had a question about Translocate. In your opinion, if the Range of the spell had been touch before, does that mean using that Metamagic effectively means the spell now has a range of 30 feet? I actually think it'd be a cool feature if that interpretation is correct, because it basically exemplifies how a Sorcerer casts spells in a way they weren't meant to be cast.

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    1. Interesting question. It was an oversight on my part not to consider spells with a range of Touch, since this metamagic was primarily designed to let you better place line and cone spells to use them with better effect. However, (and correct me if I'm wrong here) since there's exceptionally few touch spells on the Sorcerer spell list, I don't think this oversight is a serious problem.

      Perhaps 30 feet is a little long for touch spells...
      I'll have to think about this for a bit. If anyone wants to weigh in, I'd love to hear some opinions on this one.

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    2. When you showed me this, that's one of the things I figured was the intended purpose. I'd say keep it.

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    3. Distant Spell already can make touch spells 30ft, so I don't think there's a balance problem there. The difference in flavor is interesting though, because I imagine distant spell sort of gives touch spells a projectile, while translocation would make them sort of... appear elsewhere.

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    4. Neal made an interesting thematic point. I'm just imagining magical spectral hands popping up whenever the spell spawns.

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    5. Very well then. Translocate remains how it is, and is exceptionally fun for touch spells.

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  2. Now I have a craving for more metamagic.
    Perhaps somthing that changes damage type, it also reinforces the idea of sorcerers being able to sculpt spells or program them, effectively making new spells.

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    1. Interesting idea (and I don't know why I didn't think about it.) I fully intend to do more metamagic in the future, so that'll definitely be on the list.

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    2. Energy Substitution and Energy Admixture are both pretty cool ones from 3.5. One I always wanted to use but never got the chance is Guided Spell.

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    3. I was thinking about Energy Substitution, but I couldn't be sure that it wasn't too powerful for metamagic. After all, a correct guess for Energy Substitution means double damage. Two sorcery points? Three?

      Guided spell is certainly going to be powerful, but sounds really fun, actually (I had never read it before.) We'll see if I can cobble together some mechanics, but this one might be challenging.

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    4. Yeah, even if you limited Energy Substitution to one chosen damage type having that versatility is pretty strong, even just negating some possible resistance you suspect a creature has to the base type. Maybe should be careful.

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    5. Perhaps: Inverted Energy Spell
      Fire and Cold damage swap,
      Radiant and Necrotic damage swap,
      Force and Psychic damage swap, (I guess...)
      Acid and Poison damage swap, (even more tenuous)
      Thunder and Lightning damage swap, (which kinda works?).
      No change for bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

      This balances the power a little bit, but I'm not convinced that I paired up the damage types correctly.

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    6. You could give options to each area. Like instead of making it opposites, make it things that are like in some ways. Like groupings. Examples: Lightning, fire, and radiant seem like a good group. High energy (electricity, heat, light) or necrotic and cold, taking energy out of the system (sucking out soul energy or lowering temp) or poison and acid because both are often biologically made. Force, thunder, bludgeoning, psychic, slashing, and piercing all fall into a sort of misc category sadly. Unless you were to think of thunder being high energy as in sound, then would be added to fire, radiant, and lightning.

      Ok, organized groupings:
      * High energy(fire, lightning, radiant, thunder)
      * Low energy(cold, necrotic)
      * Biological(poison, acid)
      * Misc(bludgeoning, slashing, piercing, force, psychic)

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    7. Mechanically, those groupings are a little problematic, though wonderfully thematic. Being able to exchange fire, the most commonly resisted energy type, for radiant, one of the least, would be a no-brainer if you suspect that your target might have fire resistance. Same with cold and necrotic. Still, it's better than a version that lets you net double damage cheaply.

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    8. Ooh, yeah I see your point about mechanically being problamatic... shoot, thats too bad. Idk then.

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    9. I'll work on this problem for the next Metamagic set. Hopefully, I'll come up with a solution. At the very least, we have a couple of reasonable starting points

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  3. Line needs a width as well as a length.

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    1. Totally right, I'll correct that ASAP.

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  4. When Bend Spell says 'within the last round', does it mean something like 'since your last turn'? I think there could be some weird cases with' within the last round '.

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    1. Hm, good point. I'll correct that wording.

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  5. Would like to see something like the following:
    Impulsive spell - By briefly inverting causality, for 2 sorcery points you may cast a spell with a casting time of one action as a reaction without using any of its components (verbal, somatic or material). You must spend your next action performing the casting of the spell without it having the effect (as if readying it). If something is preventing you casting from doing this, take 3d12 force damage per level of the spell.

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    1. I like the idea for inverting causality, but I can't tell if this is too similar to Quicken Spell. If only there were a Chronomancy sorcerer, this would make a great class feature XD

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    2. Quicken is for letting you cast 2 spells on your turn. This is designed to be overall worse, but let you respond to things that you otherwise couldn't (ie: interrupt enemy attacks or escapes).

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    3. I love this, but that reactionary casting is pretty powerful. Reactions generally have specific triggers, so I think it'd be important to narrow it down to a few criteria. For instance, Shield can happen after you know you've been hit so you can recalculate your AC against that attack. Should we be able to cast any spell we want between knowing we've been hit and taking damage?

      I love having to spend your next action casting the spell, that's super cool!

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  6. Delayed spell is pretty terrible next to the "Ready Spell" action. Ready spell, for free, an unlimited amount of turns, admittedly with concentration. The meta magic costs 2 SP for the same effect but with a limited amount of turns!

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    1. The metamagic in question is akin to a panic button, its not to be used for when you expect something

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    2. I think you'd mostly use it for huge blowouts when you have the jump on enemies. Set up a 3 turn spell, then a 2 turn, then a 1 turn, then cast one during the surprise round. Four simultaneous Fireballs? Don't mind if I do!

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    3. Neal has the right idea. The Ready Spell action means you need to keep concentration on the Ready and it allows you to trigger the Ready later in the round, meaning that when your turn comes up again, you must use another ready action to prevent losing the spell (or depending on your DM's interpretation, you simply lose the spell if the trigger doesn't happen in 1 round.) Using a ready spell not only prevents you from holding concentration on another spell, but it prevents you from taking other actions, lest you lose the spell.

      The Delayed Spell basically does Delayed Blast Fireball for any spell. Set it up to go off in a few rounds, and just hope conditions haven't changed. It's deadly effective (if expensive) in an ambush situation, and allows for some interesting tactics, if used correctly. We haven't playtested any of the metamagics yet, but I hope this adds a level of ticking time-bomb to a normal combat encounter (IE, fireball the entire room in 2 rounds, and rush to evacuate allies safely around a corner or down a chute or something before it goes off.)

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    4. Ooh, I hadn't thought of using it that way. Setting up a delayed spell that would normally hit your teammates, and giving them (and you) time to escape. Delayed Meteor Swarm on yourself in 2 turns, Dimension Door yourself (or some higher level spell that can teleport the whole party) the hell outta there next turn.

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  8. Could Delayed Spell be used with the Time Stop spell (or Chronomancer archetypes Timewalker (and it's own bypass Quantum Lag) with a multiclass) to get around the 'effect a creature' restrictions for their abilities and effects? Since the spell is delayed, the creature has not been effected?

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