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Silly question about Spell DC's

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Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Li'll Divvil » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:42 pm

Ok this is a silly question, but considering that in the near 6 years on avlis I have never played a mage and only 2 clerics (only one of which has more than 10 cleric lvl's so far) it is perhaps not a strange question.

How does one calculate a spell DC?

Is it merely spell lvl + caster lvl + appropriate mental stat + magic feat bonus (eg. spell focus) + specialist mage bonus?

Or am I seeing this completely wrong?
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: NWDuneAuron » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:45 pm

10 + spell level + casting stat modifier (ie, 4 for 18 stat, 10 for 30, etc) + feats (spell focus etc) + specific coded stuff (AMS bonuses)

So a rank 3 Aeromancer Wizard with Epic Spell Focus: Evocation and Int 34 has a Meteor Swarm DC of 10 + 9 (spell level) + 12 (casting stat modifier) + 6 (epic spell focus) + 3 (aeromancer3 bonus) = 38
Last edited by NWDuneAuron on Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: maxinion » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:46 pm

+ misc bonus for certain spells (I think some cleric ones have specific bonuses)

But yeah, dune has the right of it
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: NWDuneAuron » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:48 pm

Some spells have a higher natural DC, yeah. Disintegrate is base 14, for example.
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Li'll Divvil » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:02 pm

Thx guys, maybe my cleric will be halfway decent with spells someday
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Pathos Street » Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:32 pm

An offensive caster cleric can be pretty powerful, but the real oomph from clerics comes from buffs/party buffs. If you're going to be offensive caster cleric, be sure to put all your points in wisdom, and focus in conjuration, evocation and/or necromancy, since he most powerful offensive spells available to clerics are from these three schools:

Storm of Vengeance, heal/mass heal (conj)
Implosion, sunbeam, fire storm, earthquake, blade barrier (evoc)
Destruction, slay living, harm (necro)
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: loki70 » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:29 pm

Pathos Street wrote:An offensive caster cleric can be pretty powerful, but the real oomph from clerics comes from buffs/party buffs. If you're going to be offensive caster cleric, be sure to put all your points in wisdom, and focus in conjuration, evocation and/or necromancy, since he most powerful offensive spells available to clerics are from these three schools:

Storm of Vengeance, heal/mass heal (conj)
Implosion, sunbeam, fire storm, earthquake, blade barrier (evoc)
Destruction, slay living, harm (necro)

Problem is that, outside of party buffs, clerics are good for two, maybe three PCs. Don't know about the Spell Focus feats, as unless you are going against PCs most of your spells will work well against nearly anything. If you follow one of the Nine, the AHS is awesome. Also, bumping charisma helps. Oh, and Divine Power is awesome, way better than Tenser's.
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Gairus » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:01 am

Thomas Kelthran's hammer/firestorm/implosion DCs with epic evocation focus are not trivial.

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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Zar'roc » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:15 am

off topic question, but how is the strength of a scroll determined from someone that uses UMD?
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Ninjar » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:38 am

Zar'roc wrote:off topic question, but how is the strength of a scroll determined from someone that uses UMD?


Based on the caster level of the scroll. Standard scrolls that are found about should be base CL whereas scrolls scribed might change depending on how the spells were scribed. UMD shouldn't have an effect on CL in this case.
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Gorgon » Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:13 am

UMD doesn't help artifaced scrolls, but stock ones (that show as "This xxx scroll was penned by an unknown person. Caster Level: Minimum") get the +1 caster level per 5 base ranks of UMD. Tested and confirmed IG.

*edits* - same thing with wands
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Pathos Street » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:50 pm

Gorgon wrote:UMD doesn't help artifaced scrolls, but stock ones (that show as "This xxx scroll was penned by an unknown person. Caster Level: Minimum") get the +1 caster level per 5 base ranks of UMD. Tested and confirmed IG.

*edits* - same thing with wands


Note that this is Avlis-specific. Ninjar was right for non-souped-up NWN. :)
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Speedracer » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:44 pm

Gorgon wrote:UMD doesn't help artifaced scrolls, but stock ones (that show as "This xxx scroll was penned by an unknown person. Caster Level: Minimum") get the +1 caster level per 5 base ranks of UMD. Tested and confirmed IG.

*edits* - same thing with wands


but oddly spellcraft does not do the smae thing. so wands of magic missle are of more use to a rogue than a wizard.... :?

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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: kthxbye » Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:47 pm

Speedracer wrote:
Gorgon wrote:UMD doesn't help artifaced scrolls, but stock ones (that show as "This xxx scroll was penned by an unknown person. Caster Level: Minimum") get the +1 caster level per 5 base ranks of UMD. Tested and confirmed IG.

*edits* - same thing with wands


but oddly spellcraft does not do the smae thing. so wands of magic missle are of more use to a rogue than a wizard.... :?


I once suggested this to be implemented for spellcraft as well, but last I checked, I had no answer whether or not it was going to be implemented. I will double check on the topic later.

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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Li'll Divvil » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:01 pm

Speedracer wrote:
Gorgon wrote:UMD doesn't help artifaced scrolls, but stock ones (that show as "This xxx scroll was penned by an unknown person. Caster Level: Minimum") get the +1 caster level per 5 base ranks of UMD. Tested and confirmed IG.

*edits* - same thing with wands


but oddly spellcraft does not do the smae thing. so wands of magic missle are of more use to a rogue than a wizard.... :?


Hmm I don't think so, as for a rogue with max ranks in UMD can get +8 caster levels at lvl 40, woohoo (it says BASE ranks, not skill bonus)

Not to mention that a lvl 40 rogue would not need to use a level 3 magic missile wand for like....anything other than RP I guess. Any wizard that can cast level 9 spells would have little use for a wand of MM as they have a lot more juice to tap.
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Grunt » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:09 pm

Li'll Divvil wrote:
Speedracer wrote:
Gorgon wrote:UMD doesn't help artifaced scrolls, but stock ones (that show as "This xxx scroll was penned by an unknown person. Caster Level: Minimum") get the +1 caster level per 5 base ranks of UMD. Tested and confirmed IG.

*edits* - same thing with wands


but oddly spellcraft does not do the smae thing. so wands of magic missle are of more use to a rogue than a wizard.... :?


Hmm I don't think so, as for a rogue with max ranks in UMD can get +8 caster levels at lvl 40, woohoo (it says BASE ranks, not skill bonus)

Not to mention that a lvl 40 rogue would not need to use a level 3 magic missile wand for like....anything other than RP I guess. Any wizard that can cast level 9 spells would have little use for a wand of MM as they have a lot more juice to tap.


I went with +7 (35UMD, enough to use scrolls...some people go with 25, enough to use artificed wands)... it might not make a difference on magic missile, but it does on spells like Improved Invisibility from a cloak (duration time), fireball (damage dice), GMW (caster level for the + to weapon), Keen Edge (Duration), Bull's/Cat's/Endurance (duration)...and so on. If you've got use/day or charged items, and no mage, it's worth having the UMDer give you the buffs just for the longer durations.

If Spellcraft got added to do what UMD does to caster level, I'd also hope it was base ranks (not modified by stats/equipment), with the higher of the two (UMD/Spellcraft) being used in a case where someone has both.
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Speedracer » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:23 pm

Li'll Divvil wrote:Hmm I don't think so, as for a rogue with max ranks in UMD can get +8 caster levels at lvl 40, woohoo (it says BASE ranks, not skill bonus)

Not to mention that a lvl 40 rogue would not need to use a level 3 magic missile wand for like....anything other than RP I guess. Any wizard that can cast level 9 spells would have little use for a wand of MM as they have a lot more juice to tap.


right, but your regular drop magic missle wand shoots two missles because (I think) they are a level 5 wand. so when my level 40 wizard uses one, he shoots two missles. but your level 40 rogue gets +8 caster levels, so the wand fires as if it was level 8, which gives a third missle.

just seems odd to me that a wand is more powerful in the hands of a rogue than a wizard/sorcerer.

EDIT: and everyone runs out of ammo. I have used a wand of frost out of desperation.

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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Grunt » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:28 pm

Speedracer wrote:just seems odd to me that a wand is more powerful in the hands of a rogue than a wizard/sorcerer.


Well, I can have better stats than a fighter, yet the same potion made of various this and that affects him better, due to his training as...a fighter. Even if I'm better with a weapon than he is, his degree in Character College makes him better able to absorb the Bull out of a Bull's Strength :D

With the UMD vs Mage thing, it's the same solution for me. It's one of those mechanics things that we just ignore or shrug about, and game on :)
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Speedracer » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:30 pm

no! I'm quitting Ablus because the magic missle wand I found only shoots two missles instead of three!!!11!!one!!11!!!!

:lol:

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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Drac » Thu Jul 22, 2010 8:11 pm

You could always craft a Magic Missile wand, then both you and the rogue would be on even footing with a much better wand! :wink:

I am glad that is resolved.

P.S. I love love love UMD bonus to non-artificed items even a minor bonus adds hours of duration to make items like Mikon's canteen incredibly useful.
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Re: Silly question about Spell DC's

PostAuthor: Pathos Street » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:39 pm

Hmm I don't think so, as for a rogue with max ranks in UMD can get +8 caster levels at lvl 40, woohoo (it says BASE ranks, not skill bonus)

Not to mention that a lvl 40 rogue would not need to use a level 3 magic missile wand for like....anything other than RP I guess. Any wizard that can cast level 9 spells would have little use for a wand of MM as they have a lot more juice to tap.


Toolset standard wand of missiles is caster level 3. It shoots 2 missiles, for 2d4+2 damage (7 avg). At caster level 11, it would shoot 5 missiles, for 5d4+5 (17.5 average) damage. At caster level 40, a magic missile does the exact same amount of damage (excluding AMS changes). Not a whole lot of damage, sure... but it hits 100% of the time, does 4x as much damage as a longbow, few things have resistance/immunity to magical damage, using it doesn't provoke an attack of opportunity, and it is 100% preferable to a bow or crossbow against challenging enemies.

My wizard that can cast level 9 spells keeps a wand of greater missiles (CL 10) on him at all times, because 50 charges of 17.5 damage that doesn't miss is better than 99 arrow slots or 7 spell slots. A regular wand of missiles would even be preferable to using a bow (but is, sadly, outpaced by the heavy crossbow).

That said, magic missile is capped at level 9. Other spells commonly available on wands, rods, and staffs are capped much higher, and are much more level dependent, especially when duration (completely uncapped) is involved.

Plus, there's this:

d20 SRD wrote:Staffs use the wielder’s ability score and relevant feats to set the DC for saves against their spells. Unlike with other sorts of magic items, the wielder can use his caster level when activating the power of a staff if it’s higher than the caster level of the staff.

This means that staffs are far more potent in the hands of a powerful spellcaster. Because they use the wielder’s ability score to set the save DC for the spell, spells from a staff are often harder to resist than ones from other magic items, which use the minimum ability score required to cast the spell. Not only are aspects of the spell dependant on caster level (range, duration, and so on) potentially higher, but spells from a staff are harder to dispel and have a better chance of overcoming a target’s spell resistance.


Which is something I've always wished Avlis would implement. All those fireball and web staves wouldn't sit gathering dust in every caster's p-chest waiting for a lowbie to come along who might be able to get use out of it for 3-4 levels (once they're high enough level to use it by level restrictions, it's a short trip before it becomes relatively useless)
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