Thursday, April 26, 2018

Witch Bolt for Rules Cyclopedia

The zombie lumbered toward Fulhoff, arms outstretched, necrotic energy oozing off its body like the flesh sagging off its bones. Behind him the wight laughed. “Why do I always end up in the middle of the bad guys?” The zombie’s attack was slow and deliberate, and Fulhoff easily avoided it, but with the wight only a few steps behind him... “See you later!” he said to the zombie, touching his finger to his nose, and disappearing from sight. He then moved out of the zombie’s reach, and around behind the wight. Pointing his hammer at the wight’s head, he called forth the raw arcane energy, holding it until the hammer practically glowed before releasing the bolts of blue white energy. The wight stumbled forward as the bolts crackled, charring its flesh.




1st level wizard spell
Witch Bolt
Range: 30’
Duration: Up to 1 minute
Effect: Crackling bolts of electricity shoot from the wizard’s hand

The wizard must succeed on an attack roll against a target. On a hit, bolts of electricity shoot out from the wizard’s hand blasting the target for 1d6 damage. The wizard may continue the spell for up to 1 minute, causing an additional 2d4 damage automatically every round to the original target, as long as the target remains within range and line of sight.



Design Notes: Ongoing spells with concentration aren’t really a thing in RC D&D, and while I really enjoy casting this as a 2nd level spell in my 5e game, somehow d12 ongoing damage (or 2d12 for the empowered version) seems a little much for basic D&D. I spent a lot of time thinking about how much damage it should cause… Magic missile does a guaranteed 1d6+1 points of damage every 2 levels. This doesn’t really scale, but the likelihood that anything being targeted by the spell won’t die or move out of the area of effect after more than a round or 3 seems fairly unlikely. Plus the wizard still needs to actually hit with the spell initially, so I think the 2d4 damage works. I might even add a 1d4 every… 3 or 4 levels? That way it doesn’t get completely eclipsed by magic missile by name level.

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