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Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

General discussion about Avlis

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Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: Tel » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:46 pm

So as not to clutter the idea box and add some other points,

Harm : melee touch attack, deal negative damage to a target to reduce them to 1d4 HP. If the target is undead works like heal?
Can be reduced by negative energy immunity and reduction (various spells and gear)

Heal : melee touch attack (friendly), return a target to maximum hit points. If the target is undead Deals damage instead

Clerical - Inflict X wounds : melee touch attack, deal nd6% negative energy damage, if the target is undead works like heal
Can be maximized/empowered
Can be reduced by negative energy immunity and reduction (various spells and gear)

Clerical - Cure X wounds : melee touch attack (friendly), heal nd6%, if the target is undead deals damage instead.
Can be maximized/empowered

Elixir of heavenly/exalted healing : cure nd6? HP, or FOIG property.

If this gets a lot of traction I will make that cleaner and add links etc. but for now I’m on mobile so blarg.


Offensive harm is huge, there are just quite a few things which have flat spell immunity to it, either through true immunity or negative immunity.
Defensively harm sucks, you are almost always out with it right after a dispel/greater/mords which removes your protection, the target often has a damage shield running, and there are often other things swinging/casting at you: it means you have very little reaction chance to not get blown up. There are VERY few negative immunity % items out there, and you can only have 1 DR item for it. While it can help even my best is only -10%, 15/negative which at 800hp still drops me to 95~. I could get to -15% with gear I know exists but that is a very limiting item swap.

Compare to cure/inflict from clerics prepared and spontaneous
Cure - huge increase in single target undead damage potential, also allows low level clerics to get reasonable mileage for cure spells on higher level front line PCs. Still less effective than carrying heal kits and salves for long events as you can’t get the benefit from scrolls or wands.
Inflict - huge damage potential from low level spell slots. Max-empower high level spells can also do MORE damage than Harm (100%+ max HP) for high enough level clerics jawing metamagic rods. That DM baddie with 5,000hp? Even 10% damage is a LOT of damage and it’s a TOUCH attack.

In short healing spells (imho) don’t really go the distance compared to the availability of potions/salves/kits. They have serious value in spurt potential though and don’t really need MORE so much as understanding when and where what kind of healing is appropriate.
Inflict spells are a seriously under looked danger. While they aren’t going to be a bread and butter damage spell because they are single target you can get a lot of mileage from them in the right places.
Harm is in a tough spot. Because it is so powerful off the get-go it is neutered most of the places we would see a big gain from it. Opposed to when we have to defend against it the one against the world concept of dungeoning means we may see it repeatedly and in tricky ways without the easy ways to handle the spell repeatedly.

I would like to see harm work instead as:
Touch attack, Fort/Will save, death domain
Failure Fort/Will: reduce to d4 HP
Success Fort/Fail Will : cl d4% HP (max of 70%, 90% with domain)
Success Will : 10 negative/caster lv (max of 150, 200 with domain)

So if you fail 2 saves it works like it does now.
If you have high-will it will still do high negative damage
If you have high-fort but not will it will hurt but not be debilitating
If you have high-AC you could avoid the touch attack
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: Gorgon » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:01 pm

First, thanks for keeping this out of ATT. :mrgreen:

I won't get into the discussion here, but did want to mention that the original suggestion was incorrect, and NWN is based on D&D 3.0 (not 3.5 or anything else):
3.0 SRD wrote:Harm

Necromancy
Level: Clr 6, Destruction 6, Drd 7
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes

Harm damages a subject with negative energy that causes the loss of all but 1d4 hit points.

If used on an undead creature (requires a successful touch attack), harm acts like heal.


So is is working as it should, but every spell here has been hooked and tweaked to varying degrees over the years (and we use other versions for all sorts of systems), so go right ahead and suggest changes. :wink:
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: Moredo » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:39 pm

You gotta keep in mind that the cleric/druid has to perform a melee touch attack to hit the creature. This means that the caster has to be within striking distance of the creature it wants to harm, and actually hit the creature. Adding two separate saves on top of that will make this spell be.. not used.

Finger of Death is a 7th level spell (same as the Druid version of Harm), doesn't have the touch attack component (neither ranged nor melee), and is a straight save vs. death spell. Harm leaves you alive, on your feet, heal potion quickslot ready to be hammered down on.
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: SaraEF » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:58 pm

If you really wanted to alter Harm, the most obvious change would be to make it work like Avlis' Cure/Inflict Wounds line of spells, which have been changed to deal or heal a % of the target's life. I would suggest making it:

- Melee touch attack
- No save
- 1d6% of the target's maximum health per 2 casterlevels, or 10 damage - whichever is higher.
- Cap at CL30: 15d6%/150.

So a level 30 cleric touches and the target takes 15-90% of the maximum hp or 150 if that'd be more. It makes Harm considerably stronger vs weak targets (able to kill them instantly, or knock to bleeding in CvC which it cannot currently do), but dilutes it a bit vs very high hp targets. The scaling and numbers are strictly in line with Inflict Wounds, with the added bonus of the minimum flat damage - it's a level 6 spell vs level 4 at highest for Inflict, so that works out nicely.

First problem: as Commander Morgan pointed out, Heal and Harm are mirror spells and should work identically. Mass Heal should also be changed, if you touch Harm.

Second problem: it will always feel terrible to get hit by a % HP effect as a high HP character. Whether it's Harm, Drown, Inflict Wounds or whatever else. It just comes with the territory of having that HP pool - those spells are specifically designed to victimise them, much as other spells are designed to be great against other things. Any "fix" or change to Harm will not alter that.
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: GrimlyAxefingler » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:38 pm

My bad I missed the 3.0 edition spell.

I would like to see heal potions do a per caster lvl amount of repair, plus maybe a bonus for Heal skill and Healing domains for clerics.
As a defensive/high hp character I don't use any healing items except in the most dire of circumstances, and in those circumstances it would be preferable to have the healing coming from a cleric, whose role should be healing the defensive character.

Harm seems overpowered not only in dmg done, but also in the required caster lvl to reduce a lvl 40 char to 1 hp when the rest of the low lvl mob is doing 0 dmg.

I think a change to Harm/Heal would encourage better party planning, if that's not going to be possible I would petition for an immunity to harm item and I would be willing to put in an enormous amount of time into acquiring one.
Last edited by GrimlyAxefingler on Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: Grunt » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:43 pm

There are craftable/droppable potions to make you immune to the effects. 4 come to mind immediately. Also, scrolls of the spells in question are available, as are cleric wands of the cleric spell. Clerics are available too, I think! :D
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: surfer69 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:51 pm

GrimlyAxefingler wrote:I think a change to Harm/Heal would encourage better party planning, if that's not going to be possible I would petition for an immunity to harm item and I would be willing to put in an enormous amount of time into acquiring one.


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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: Eklektikos » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:53 pm

Harm already encourages better party planning: travel with a cleric who can hit you up with Negative Energy Protection or run the risk of getting harmed if you are daft enough to leave an enemy cleric standing long enough that it gets around to trying to cast the spell on you.

The gods are powerful and dangerous. Clerics are the mortal representatives of their gods on the prime material plane, so it makes sense that they are also powerful and dangerous and that the best protection from one cleric is to be the recipient of beneficial spells from another. Wearing a metal suit and eating vast quantities of weetabix, on the other hand, does not make sense as an infallible counter to the power of the gods.
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: surfer69 » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:53 pm

If Grimly gets one, can we all have one? Maybe they can be the next Wightbane item!
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: GrimlyAxefingler » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:54 pm

Grunt wrote:There are craftable/droppable potions to make you immune to the effects. 4 come to mind immediately. Also, scrolls of the spells in question are available, as are cleric wands of the cleric spell. Clerics are available too, I think! :D


I have several items that will cast a spell to protect against it, but it still seemed way overpowered at the time of my death run back to the entrance of a low lvl area..lol

Still would love a harm immune item. And also love as many clerics as I can get my hands on.
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: GrimlyAxefingler » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:55 pm

surfer69 wrote:If Grimly gets one, can we all have one? Maybe they can be the next Wightbane item!


I would definitely let you borrow it for a small amount of good ore.
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: Jazz » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:40 pm

Quickslotting a potion that protects you from Harm and hitting that once you get dispelled isn't that hard. Neither is hitting the quickslotted Heal potion. Sure, once in a while you might not be fast enough and you might die, but where's the fun in nerfing everything that would ever be able to kill you?
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: silverfields2 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:36 am

Jazz wrote:Quickslotting a potion that protects you from Harm and hitting that once you get dispelled isn't that hard. Neither is hitting the quickslotted Heal potion. Sure, once in a while you might not be fast enough and you might die, but where's the fun in nerfing everything that would ever be able to kill you?



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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: Tel » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:55 am

The first post being what it is,

I'm fine with Harm staying the way it is, it's dangerous. The way combat works, going it alone usually means the cleric can get some things done while the front liners are crushing down on you before you can push through to get to them. That doesn't mean I'm not really grumpy when it bites me though. I'm mostly salty because so many things have Negative Energy Protection or Shadow Shield, or even just "Spell Immunity: Harm". When it becomes a 1-way danger is when I'm frustrated.
(keep in mind my PC's generally have CL < 20, so dispelling most things is not in my wheelhouse, I just suck up that they have it)

I would like to see Harm have lower offensive capabilities, or there be a slightly wider array of things we can have which protect (if not entirely) against it. Like a psionic item which gives 25% negative immunity (so it wouldn't be subject to normal dispels), or a slightly wider selection of equipment with 5% negative immunity and minor bonus'. So we could give up equipment utility for stronger defenses against it when we need.

As far as adjusting Heal/Mass-heal, I am all for the offensive power against undead of those spells going down a bit, again if fewer things weren't just immune to them (there aren't many but they're out there). Mass-Heal would be effective if it was even only a 50-70% health recovery because it effects so many people. Heal is just... a cheaper version of greater restoration. Unless you have a LOT of hit points (500+) a character with a decent heal score and some kits could do the same in just a few rounds since you can use 2 healing kits a round.
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: surfer69 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:15 am

Jazz wrote:... where's the fun in nerfing everything that would ever be able to kill you?


This quote should be used repeatedly, across the board, to end complaints like these. Judiciously reconsidering the mechanics of a spell or effect is one thing, and simplicity is elegant; slapping another immunity on a problem opens the door to endlessly laughable “solutions.”

Or even better: take your lumps and game on for fuck’s sake. Seeing how many of the complainers camp the same places over and over for the most part, if you get got, it’s mostly on you anyhow. If not, do your death run and learn from it.
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: Gorgon » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:01 am

OK, I lied about staying out of the discussion, since I actually have an epic cleric alt. :P

Just a reminder, but clerics can max and empower (spontaneously) their cure and inflict spells (both at the same time with a rod), plus Healing Circle and Panacea, to be very similar to Harm and Heal (both Mass Heal and Healing Circle need touch attacks vs undead, which I don't really understand, but whatever works). If the cleric has the healing domain, their healing spells get insanely good too (no change vs. undead with it, or it would be totally nuts).

Reducing the effectiveness of either spell would probably make them less useful than lower level cure and inflict ones, when cast by a real cleric with the % of target's HP for the effect. :wink:

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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: GrimlyAxefingler » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:26 am

surfer69 wrote:
Jazz wrote:... where's the fun in nerfing everything that would ever be able to kill you?


This quote should be used repeatedly, across the board, to end complaints like these. Judiciously reconsidering the mechanics of a spell or effect is one thing, and simplicity is elegant; slapping another immunity on a problem opens the door to endlessly laughable “solutions.”

Or even better: take your lumps and game on for fuck’s sake. Seeing how many of the complainers camp the same places over and over for the most part, if you get got, it’s mostly on you anyhow. If not, do your death run and learn from it.


So I find you to be incredibly negative and I was hoping to ignore your posts but it says I can't because your an administrator or moderator. What's your deal?
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: Toadyx » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:29 am

My pally, as a semi-specialist re-deader, gets hit with 'harm' now and then. I just quickslot heal potions and mostly that gets me out of too much trouble. Basically I know what standard types carry harm ... and it has a specific colour effect on casting. I watch for that and whack my heal potion more or less simultaneously. If my timing is right, then no worries. Yes, I do get caught out now and then .... :roll: ... but I don't worry about it especially.

If you want to know what a much lesser version of Mass HEAL looks like, then 'aura of glory' , which doesn't work as per description. I think the healing bit works out at D4 per level. Max it, and at level 40 pure pally, that can be useful. If you've ever grouped with my pally you may have noticed. And it can be put on wands.

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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: surfer69 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:09 am

GrimlyAxefingler wrote:What's your deal?


I don't have anything against you, in particular, but I don't really understand the underlying problem with Harm. It's a dreadful spell, as it's meant to be per the rules NWN uses (as you belatedly admit), and when I see the Red Effect from the Heavens my pulse quickens and it adds an "oh shit" element that I welcome.

Regarding your issues with the spell, what I read into them are:

1) Grimly has a lot of hit points, good gear, and lots of DR against physical attacks, therefore should be able to go wherever he wants.

2) Clerics are great to have around, as long as they accept that their "role should be healing the defensive character." Newsflash: not all clerics have Healer at the top of their CV.

3) Because there aren't enough clerics around to heal my character, I want an item that makes me immune to a spell that hurts my character.

4) It isn't IC for my character to use healing equipment or carry any of four potions that protect against Harm. It isn't in his nature to learn, after repeated trips to the same place - facing the same foes - that a little adjustment goes a long way.

5) Because ICly Grimly won't adapt, please change the spell.

Am I off base with these? If so, please elaborate.
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: GrimlyAxefingler » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:42 pm

Your missing my point. I don't want to have any further discourse with you on this or any other topic . I'm not interested in your justifications for belittling and swearing and others.
Your certainly not my bully. This is me politely telling you in a public forum, that if I am going to be forced to have to look at your non-sense then keep me out of it.
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: loki70 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:16 pm

Okay, since I have a character that will occasionally use Harm against the living and Mass Heal against undead, I think I'll chime in. This spell works perfectly. Exactly as written in 3.0 rules. I used to have an issue with it, back in the Kuras days some 12 or so years ago. But the game is 16 years old now and Avlis is 15, so do we really need to discuss a new nerf?

As stated repeatedly, it's a nasty spell. The actual effect of the spell, if I remember from Dragon Magazine, is that the spell opens massive and minor wounds all over your body at once, basically the reverse of what Heal would do to a person or creature on the brink of death. There is no save, but it's a touch attack, so if you have a decent AC, you're fine. And SR works, so if you play a monk or have Spell Resistance up, your fine. If you take any kind of measure to remove Negative Energy spells, again, you are fine.

And yes, I've seen characters with over 1000 hp dropped in a round by clerics and their cohort. And yes, it sucks. Massively. But so does all the other nastiness at 6th level that can be used against you. 6th level is where the insta-kill spells start. And while Harm doesn't allow a save, it's still a touch attack and allows for SR, so there are two basic defenses already built into the spell, before you even talk about resistance.
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: galen_macbyrne » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:25 pm

I too have a cleric PC who's been around the block a few times. I, too, don't think Heal and Mass Heal and their inverses need to be changed. I use Heal and Mass Heal a lot, both offensively and defensively. Less so with the cure spells in the past, but hey, he's changing. I don't use Harm and Destruction for RP reasons, but I don't think my character's views should influence what an evil cleric chooses to channel from an evil deity. :+)

PC's and their players need to learn to adapt and change tactics if necessary - no one is an island EVERYWHERE, there's always a way to get someone. A little research and advance knowledge goes a long way. Know your enemy. I may be really good against undead and hate going up against uber Shaahesk with one alt, and hate going up against undead and mow down Shaahesk like wheat with another alt, and both are 40th level. Dungeon designers adapt their designs also to reflect PC tactics, so should one expect this orc dungeon to be just like that other orc dungeon? No. Why shouldn't NPCs learn applied spell and combat tactics? PCs do.

Why shouldn't a PC have an Immune to Harm item? Well, there is the Banned Item list which includes Immune to specific spell. (Note that these are ITEMS banned from regular dropping, not class abilities like immune to critical hits which every PC pale master, and every undead beastie gets, or any 10th level rogue can select Improved Evasion, etc.). NPC's get all sorts of things that PC's don't. IT'S GAME BALANCE - PC's can and do carry around 500+ items, 5000 arrows appropriate to every monster type they might meet, Greater bags full of scrolls for any occasion or full of powerful 40th caster level wands with 50 charges each or full of potions for every emergency. So, yeah, sometimes NPCs completely auto buff immediately upon spawning in, or have spell immunity or a Freedom ring that doesn't drop for your PC to loot. Imagine what the world would be like if this was PnP and if a lone wolf character died in the Ferrell Orc dungeon, and THEY GOT TO LOOT YOUR CORPSE. I bet there would be fewer lone wolves and those orcs would be a lot harder to kill with all the PC corpse loot. ("OOO, look, its another mage with a gazillion Harm scrolls, betcha can't wait to cast these at the next group of delvers, eh, Bork? Hand me that red glowy scythe.")

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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: Xeo » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:43 pm

surfer69 wrote:
GrimlyAxefingler wrote:What's your deal?


I don't have anything against you, in particular, but I don't really understand the underlying problem with Harm. It's a dreadful spell, as it's meant to be per the rules NWN uses (as you belatedly admit), and when I see the Red Effect from the Heavens my pulse quickens and it adds an "oh shit" element that I welcome.

Regarding your issues with the spell, what I read into them are:

1) Grimly has a lot of hit points, good gear, and lots of DR against physical attacks, therefore should be able to go wherever he wants.

2) Clerics are great to have around, as long as they accept that their "role should be healing the defensive character." Newsflash: not all clerics have Healer at the top of their CV.

3) Because there aren't enough clerics around to heal my character, I want an item that makes me immune to a spell that hurts my character.

4) It isn't IC for my character to use healing equipment or carry any of four potions that protect against Harm. It isn't in his nature to learn, after repeated trips to the same place - facing the same foes - that a little adjustment goes a long way.

5) Because ICly Grimly won't adapt, please change the spell.

Am I off base with these? If so, please elaborate.


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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: Ronan » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:10 pm

Hey, just a few points of clarification teamside:

- We won't be giving anyone 'immunity to harm' items, so please don't worry about this.

- Please limit the discussion to the actual harm spell, and avoid personal snipes, yo! Don't make me come in here and start moderating.

- This is kind of a cool discussion, since contained in these posts are ways to counter harm. Please, discuss on! (Just don't get too spoilery about recipes or nothin')
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Re: Split Harm/Heal from Idea Box

PostAuthor: Coco » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:26 pm

My first main is a lvl 40 cleric, and she just used what she was granted to from her God - even harm. I fear the harm spell myself, but I too don't think it should be changed. Seeing some of the other powerful spells in the game from spellcasters, I don't see why a cleric can't have that. If my steelmage is being hit by a harm and maybe even end up dying from it, she might just try be a bit more careful next time...or maybe not! <[8)

Coco
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