Discussion:Why arent there "optimized" epic spells?

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Why arent there "optimized" epic spells?[edit] 18:36, 21 February 2008 (MST)[edit]

i saw some examples of epic spells in the epic handbook and some homebrew epic spells are given. still, one would expect some optimizations like in character builds. how to use a seed (or seeds) to best effects. what combinations work well. alternatives and such. these optimizations should have variable spellcraft rather than fixed ones. i mean, it is only natural since as you progress, your spellcraft check progresses and one would obviously wanna improve earlier epic spells or develope new ones that are on the very cusp of his spellcraft check which make for more powerful spells. as an example, here is my (limited) version of an epic fireball (which is clearly drawn from http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Epic_Fireball_%28DnD_Epic_Spell%29).

epic fireball

spellcraft DC: 61+(4 times Y)+(2 times X)+(2 times W)-Z


components: V,S, XP

casting time: one standard action

range: 300 times X feet (X is a variable)

area: 20 ft times Y radius ball

duration: instantaneous

saving throw: reflex half

spell resistance:yes

to develope: Seed: Energy (DC 19). Factors: 1-action casting time (+20 DC), Change area from bolt to ball (+2 DC), Increase area by (Y times 100)% (+(4 times Y) DC), Increase range by (X times 100)% (+(2 times X) DC), Increase Damage to (10+W)d6 (+(2 times W) DC), Increase damage dice four steps (+40 DC). Mitigating factors: 20d6 backlash (-20 DC), Burn (Z times 100) XP (-Z DC).

XP cost: Z times 100 XP

Epic Fireball is a massive ball of fire that detonates with a mass of flames. It deals (10+W)d20 (which is 105+(10.5 times W) on average) points of fire damage in a (20 times Y) foot radius ball. Unattended objects also take this damage. The spell can barely be controlled and the caster takes 20d6 points of damage as it is released (in addition to burning (Z times 100) XP).

notes: the reduction in casting time is necessary for it to be useful in ongoing combat. of course, if one feels one will have the minute to cast it effectively, one can forego the +20 added to casting time.

increasing the damage die by one step adds one effective hp of damage per die except for the last step which adds 4. adding a die adds 3.5 or 4.5 or 5.5 or 6.5 whenever the die is d6,d8,d10,d12 respectively. so there is a question of balance between adding a die of damage and increasing the die of damage by one step. the calculations are straightforward and in the particular case of going for maximum increase in die damage (4 steps) then it is worth it always.

you can clearly play with other factors to change the spellcraft DC. IMO, this template should be used either against a small number of area concentrated tough enemies (maximize damage and minimize area) or against a large number of not so tough enemies spread along a large area (minimize damage and maximize area). if you want to kill just one superstrong guy, you would use the destroy seed and maximize the damage die to d20 and then maximize the number of damage dies. then again, there are issues of spell resistance...

this is of course an awkward and unclear way to state things. variables are bad for understanding. still, some attempt should be made.

Othtim 01:10, 23 February 2008 (MST)[edit]

I've never really thought about that before. I guess there's no reason that someone couldn't make an optimized epic spell. I've just never thought about it before. I suppose people aren't really interested in doing it? I would think that is a good explanation for most things that don't exist (such as pink cows, people don't want them, so they haven't made them). I dunno. I guess most people make epic spells that would be useful in-game. But yeah, I don't really have a good answer for this question. =/

No problem 01:17, 23 February 2008 (MST)[edit]

a shame. seems like ppl could use good ideas for epic spells. useful stuff. i guess epic levels arent really popular and are, at least partially, poorly handled. i hope 4E will handle higher levels better.

Eiji 01:20, 23 February 2008 (MST)[edit]

Wait, are we talking optimized as in "Biggest boom under DC 100" or as in "make X, even if it's not game useful". Cause the latter I have tons.

In my current campaign if I ever hit epic spellcasting, my kobold lich has the ultimate spell to make.

He is going to make the internet. And to top it off, it's controlled by what is effectively GLaDOS. I can provide info if anyone is interested, it does involve some ad hoc but isn't unreasonable.

Othtim 14:38, 24 February 2008 (MST)[edit]

I'd love to see it!

Eiji 15:42, 24 February 2008 (MST)[edit]

Very well then. I'll post the non-campaign specific/less ad hoc'd one as an epic spell later. Here I'll post what I'll be using in the campaign here, which is a bit more involved for flavor. The background of this spell is that my kobold lich, Gendo, believes that for kobolds to achieve dominance in the world they must excellent in pursuits of knowledge (and plus he loves knowledge himself). In order for this, he'll create the equivalent of a magical internet for koboldkind.

The spell comes in several parts, and relies on the following:

  • A stronghold to which the internet is ultimately 'stored'. He has the Landlord feat and has constructed what is a large floating library with no doors (to keep the material safe for all eternity).
  • Custom magic item, the 'laptops', which are Wondrous Items that take in information and display it as an illusion. It can also contact others. (Details on that later but it's just a normal magic item).
  • And the big part... the core system controlling the stronghold and managing everything inside it. As it is intended to be sealed up safe forever, it must be capable of surviving forever and remaining loyal and effective. It must also be able to contact and speak to those outside of its floating home, done via contact with aforementioned laptops. For flavor, I have designed the core unit after GLaDOS from Portal, and thus it comes in several parts. It may be easier to build it all as one part.
  • There is an extra bit about the stronghold being packed with golems. More on that later.

For Gendo, money is a non-issue but time and XP lost is, so the DC has been manipulated to be absurdly low. I bring you the main body of GLaDOS.


  • Seed Contact (Telepathy back and forth) 23

**SLA (Contact marked creatures, ad hoc) 25
**Increase users to infinite (ad hoc 100+ users) 100

  • Seed Life (Give sentience to the Core) 27
  • Seed Compel (Give orders to the system) 19
  • Permanent x5
  • SUBTOTAL: 970
  • Backlash 52d6 damage, 2 casters (use False Life and Con boosts) -104
  • Burn 20,000 xp (Use souls from Dark Craft to balance out) -200
  • Increase casting time by 10 min (Use haste) -20
  • Increase casting time by 80 days (Use haste) -160
  • Ritual (320 lvl 1 slots) -320
  • Ritual (One epic slot) -19
  • Expensive Material Components (Body Value 750,000) -150
  • TOTAL: 17

The contact seed is given as a spell like ability. Specifically it allows GLaDOS to contact any creature it has encountered (Gendo in person, and anyone using a laptop). Those with a laptop use its power to communicate with others to originally contact GLaDOS to establish a more permanent connection. I ad hoc'd a value which would allow GLaDOS to handle a huge number of people to speak to at once (based on ability to telepathically bond with many). I would probably say that after 100 connected users it may 'lag' a bit, but would effectively have no end to its concentration.

The Life seed gives it life and, as I noticed in the description, animation too. Animation isn't needed, in fact GLaDOS is part of the stronghold itself. It has enough animation to move it's 'head' and, if it ever learned magic in some long age, cast spells with its limbs or repair its golems*. It is a 20HD creature.

Finally the Compel Seed makes it permanently friendly to Gendo, and gives it some basic rules it must follow. They are not unreasonable rules so the seed was not inflated to cover that, mostly it consists of "Don't turn against me" and "This is your mission in life, handle the internet", and since Gendo is friendly with his own creation all should be well. It's permanent and ingrained into the construct on creation.

In addition to here I've created component bits to hook onto the main body. They are created to be part of a total whole, and given various tasks. If desired, you can apply the individual seeds to the main body so it is all one piece.


  • Seed Life (Give quasi-sentience to Bit Units) 27

**Hive Mind (connect with main body/marked, ad hoc) 23

  • Seed Transport (Data from books to and fro connected laptop) 27

**As SLA (Scribe/Transfer at will) 25

  • Permanent x5
  • SUBTOTAL: 510
  • Backlash 50d6 damage, 2 casters (use False Life) -100
  • Increase casting time by 10 min (Use haste) -20
  • Ritual (320 lvl 1 slots) -320
  • Ritual (One epic slot) -19
  • Expensive Material Components (Body Value 100,000) -20
  • TOTAL: 21

This unit is part of a whole, which I have ad hoc'd its price. Its function is to use the Transport seed to acquire information from the laptops (Example: User Bob is requesting to have the following transcribed...), and apply that information into the books (by ordering the following be written down to the golems inside an empty book). it is a 20HD creature.


  • Seed Life (Give quasi-sentience to Bit Units) 27

**Hive Mind (connect with main body/marked, ad hoc) 23

  • Seed Reveal (Scry on books) 19

**As SLA (Scry at will) 25

  • Permanent x5
  • SUBTOTAL: 470
  • Backlash 50d6 damage, 2 casters (use False Life) -100
  • Increase casting time by 10 min (Use haste) -20
  • Ritual (320 lvl 1 slots) -320
  • Ritual (One epic slot) -19
  • TOTAL: 11

This unit uses it's scrying ability to locate the appropriate book inside the library, and have a golem open it so it can be read. It transfers what it sees back to the laptops (which are designed to turn information into images, so they can see what it is painting for the laptop). It is a 20HD creature.


  • Seed Life (Give quasi-sentience to Bit Units) 27

**Hive Mind (connect with main body/marked, ad hoc) 23

  • Seed Conjure (Create new books/items) 21

**SLA of True Creation (Lvl 8, no XP, at will) 25

  • Permanent x5
  • SUBTOTAL: 480
  • Backlash 50d6 damage, 2 casters (use False Life) -100
  • Increase casting time by 10 min (Use haste) -20
  • Ritual (320 lvl 1 slots) -320
  • Ritual (One epic slot) -19
  • TOTAL: 21

This unit has the ability of True Creation. I had some trouble with this since sometimes it says you need XP for spell like abilities and sometimes it doesn't. I am presuming the latter here for sake that GLaDOS will not be adventuring for XP. It doesn't create much, mostly new blank books whenever it needs a new one, or the occasional material required to repair a golem. It is a 20HD creature.

With these three units GLaDOS is self sustaining, never requiring outside materials and having a large stock. By the time that the library runs out of space (and it is a HUGE library), someone within the library would be able to get a hold of a scroll of Genesis and create a demiplane to store excess books in archive, for an endlessly growing storage.

And on that note... I did make note of golems being inside of the library. Besides a stock of 28 normal constructs (effigies probably), it is home to hundreds of fine sized constructs created by another epic spell. You'll notice many of these spells call for 320 first level casters, and those casters happen to be construct copies of Gendo created for the purpose of aiding Gendo in his epic casting, and eventually for general management inside the library. As constructs, they are also immortal, and as intelligence constructs with a single level in sorcerer, they are capable of casting spells from items if needed, and defending the library if breached (320 magic missiles? Yes please.)

That's another spell in itself...


  • Seed Life (Give life to constructs, specifically fine objects) 27
  • Seed Transform (Turn into lvl 1 sorcerers, copy of me lvl 1) 46
  • From target to area (See below) 10
  • Area 20ft radius (Burst at self) 2
  • Permenancy x5
  • SUBTOTAL: 425
  • Requires 80HD burst/80 constructs (Uses souls, ad hoc) -80
  • Increase casting time by 10 min (Use haste?) -20
  • Backlash 50d6 damage, 2 casters (use False Life) -100
  • Ritual (One Hundred Sixty 1st slots) -160
  • Ritual (9th slot) -17
  • Expensive Material Components (100,000) -20
  • Must have spells 'known' on hand (4/2 spells, ad hoc) -6
  • TOTAL: 22

They have my mindset so loyalty is a non concern. I need to hire 160 henchmen beforehand, but once I have two castings of this spell hired hands are not needed. The constructs can supply the additional ritual casters. I also ad hoc'd that I need the spells they would know on hand and burned up in the casting (either from myself or from scrolls). The spells don't actually matter, but it is for flavor. And being that I am a necromancer, I also employed a requirement of souls. I discovered I can fit 80 fine animated objects in a 20ft burst, and they are 1 HD sorcerers, so 80 HD worth of souls to fuel them is good.

The spell must be cast on permanencized animated objects. They risk death of dispel, but these are not combat units. Whew... and there it all be. A compressed version for the epic spells here will be placed. So this is how the internet is born... a physical library with all the knowledge available, with the capacity to add more and store it all, and accessible at will via scrying transfered to your laptop.

(EDIT: This is the "laptop" in question. By connecting to GLaDOS, GLaDOS can rely the message to any other laptop it is connected to, therefore acquiring a potentially infinite user base which your laptop can contact.)

TK-Squared 11:04, 27 February 2008 (MST)[edit]

Oh, there are "optimized spells". For example; http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10240 - See Jack Smith's posts regarding it. Spellcraft DC 0 to animate Earth. You could also probably develop it to destroy earth by changing the seed. That is an optimized Epic Spell.

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