Epic Spells and Stunts

   Alzrius wanted to know about converting epic level spells to Eclipse high-level spells. That isn’t strictly necessary, since you can always take Skill Focus, Stunts, and Epic Stunts and use the standard epic level spell system.

   In fact, you can apply that sequence to pretty much any skill, and develop epic level skill-based powers that way. For example:

  • You could use epic Craft/Metalworking stunts to develop powers over metal, such as the ability to call forth or animate an army made of empty armor, to command metal objects (including as other people’s weaponry), to vastly enhance metal objects, to bind spirits into iron golems, and to produce mighty enchantments.
  • Epic Diplomacy stunts might be used to force nations to go to war or make peace, to bind minions to yourself, to seal treaties and mystical pacts, and to inspire massive rebellions.
  • Epic Decipher Script stunts might be used to casually read codes and encryption (no matter how “unbreakable”), to extract information from documents (such as a complete description of the author and his or her true intent) that isn’t actually there, to read the true history and nature of items (with a complete breakdown on their special powers and construction), or to discover and use rare words of power.

   That is, in fact, one of the ways that a skill-based character can remain effective at very high power levels. (In which case I’d also recommend taking Action Hero with the Crafting option).

   Still, as far as converting spells goes, here are a few examples (and some notes on variants), and I’ll see about converting more later on.

   Animus Blast

   Animus Blast is a straightforward effect, combining Frostball (L3) and Animate Dead (L3 base, +3 for Long Range and +1 for no material component = L7). Ergo, the combined effect is level eight, and the Frostball effect will do 1d6/level up to a maximum of 20d6. This isn’t even an epic effect really – which should have been obvious from the original description; this spell does 10d6 damage, has a save, and can supply some medium skeletons IF it kills some targets? Is this really going to have much impact on an epic-level fight?

   Ergo:

   Animus Blast, Necromancy (Cold), Level: 8 Sorcerer/Wizard, Components: V, S, Casting Time: 1 Standard Action, Range: Long, Area: 20′ Radius Burst, Duration: Instantaneous, Saving Throw: Reflex Half, and Spell Resistance: Yes.

   Animus Blast does 1d6 cold damage per caster level (20d6 Maximum) to those within it’s area of effect. Dead bodies within the area – including those of any character slain by the spell – may be animated as per Animate Dead.

   A version that allows the caster to exempt friends and allies within the area of effect is level ten (+3 levels of the Sculpting Metamagical Theorem, reduced to +2 levels by inclusion in the spell formula) and does up to 25d6 of damage. The effects are otherwise identical

   Animus Blizzard

   Animus Blizzard is pretty much exactly the same as Animus Blast, but uses Create Undead (L6) as the base spell, reduces the casting time to one standard action (+2 levels), and affects up to five targets when Create Undead normally affects only one (even if all five must become the same type of undead). That’s another +2 levels, giving a base level of fourteen for the animation effect – which means that a mere thirty-die Frostball as the secondary spell effect is a bit pathetic. I’d go with a tenth-level variant of Meteor Swarm, where each sphere explodes for 8d6 of damage instead. Besides, that justifies the “Blizzard” name better.

   Contingent Resurrection

   Contingent Resurrection is almost exactly equivalent to Resurrection (Level Seven) modified by the lack of an expensive component (+2 Spell Levels), Triggering with a Simple Condition (+1 Spell Level) and some way to make the trigger last past twenty-four hours. Now the original version continues to occupy the caster’s spell slot until it’s used – an effect that’s basically equivalent to allowing the caster to renew it each day. Call it +2 spell levels for allowing it to be done remotely and you have a twelfth level effect. Now, slapping on Persistent with a one-month value (only +4 Spell Levels since it’s already at a twenty-four hour duration) instead would make it level fourteen, and save that expensive twelfth-level spell slot for something else.

   Damnation

   Damnation is another combined effect – notably a version of Plane Shift (Level Five) and a compulsion to remain wherever the victim is sent for the next day, such that the victim will not willingly leave the place while so affected. That’s somewhat more powerful than Suggestion, but is specific – so I’ll call it level five as well. So the base level is six, for combining two associated spells. Next up is about a +18 to the DC of the save; that’s +6 levels of the Lacing Metamagical Theorem. Ergo, Damnation is a level twelve effect.

   Now, the original spell apparently allowed the caster to preview the likely destination, but offered no reason for doing so; the caster just picked lawful evil or chaotic evil and sent the target on it’s way. If you want to add a trans-dimensional scrying effect that lets you seek out an appropriately-horrible (or, for that matter, pleasant) realm you’ll have to upgrade the plane shift effect as well, since the basic plane shift spell isn’t especially accurate. That will give a level seven base effect (accurate plane shift), with an additional +1 for another related secondary effect, resulting in a fifteenth level spell.

   Ergo:

   Damnation: Enchantment [Mind-Affecting], Conjuration [Teleportation], Divination. Level: 12, Components V, S, Casting Time: 1 Standard Action, Target: Creature Touched, Duration: Instantaneous (secondary compulsion effect one hour per caster level), Saving Throw: Will Negates (see text), Spell Resistance: Yes.

   Damnation sends the target to hell or some suitable realm. If the caster succeeds at a melee touch attack, the target must succeed at a Will saving throw. If he or she fails, he or she is sent straight to some other dimension of the caster’s choice, in a general situation of the caster’s choice (surrounded by hostile and powerful foes, in an isolated and hard-to-leave place, etc). The subject will believe that he or she truly belongs wherever it is that he or she has been sent for the next one hour per caster level, and will not willingly leave the realm to which he or she has been banished for that time. Even after that, he or she must come up with is or her own method of departure. Unless the game master has something specific in mind, characters sent to another plane can be expected to encounter some of it’s more powerful denizens every 1d4 hours.

   Dragon Knight

   Dragon Knight summons an adult red dragon to help you out. The original version was a ritual, but that really isn’t required in Eclipse. This is simply a minor variant on Grandiose Summoning – a tenth level version that’s limited to Dragons and is thus capable of summon a single dragon of CR 14. If you want to cut it down from one round to one standard action, simply reduce the duration to one round per level. Ergo…

   Dragon Knight. Conjuration [Summoning], Components: V, S, Casting Time: 1 Standard Action, Range: Medium, Duration: 1 Round/Level, Effect: One summoned dragon, Saving Throw: None, Spell Resistance: No.

   Dragon Knight summons one CR14 dragon. It appears where the character designates and acts immediately. It attacks the character’s opponents to the best of its abilities (on the first round, it prefers to breathe on an enemy, if possible). The character can direct the dragon not to attack, to attack particular enemies, or to perform other actions.

   Dire Winter

   Dire Winter is basically just Control Weather (Spell Level Seven), however, rather than being limited to effects suited to the season, it’s limited to effects suited to the planet (+2 Spell Levels), can be cast in one minute and takes effect right away (+2 Spell Levels), and moves with the caster (+1 Spell Level). The original version is limited to polar winter weather (enough, in the real world, to kill with a single breath – fully enough to justify 2d6 per round, but -2 Spell Levels). 4d12 hours is certainly comparable to 20 hours, so that makes it a tenth level effect. A twelfth level version could produce any kind or weather. Ergo…

   Dire Winter. Transmutation, Level: 10, Components V, S, Casting Time: 1 Minute, Range: Up to a six miles, Area; Up to a six mile radius emanation. Duration: 20 Hours, Saving Throw: None, Spell Resistance: None.

   Dire Winter wraps the target in a shroud of eighty-degree-below temperatures, terrible freezing winds, and snow frozen out of the air. The cold deals 2d6 points of damage per round against unprotected creatures (the target is susceptible if not magically protected or otherwise resistant to the energy). The snow and wind produce a blizzard effect within the area.

   Vengeful Gaze of God

   Vengeful Gaze of God is a stupid spell. You have to be level three hundred or so to cast it, it does 305d6 of damage to a single enemy or small area of inanimate matter (half on a successful save) and 200d6 to the caster.

   In other words, at those levels it will do 200d6 to the caster and – almost always – 152.5d6 to the target. That’s really not very useful. I’d expect better of an epic level spell with a DC of 419 than “It does almost as much damage to the enemy as it does to me!”.

   I’d use Annihilus Strike (Level Twenty) instead.

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