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 What are the most powerful spells?
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

785 Posts

Posted - 11 May 2018 :  03:53:55  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Locate City Bomb still tops the list. Add Fell Drain to it and arcane casters have their own wightpocalypse.

Clerics can do the same with greater consumptive field + persistent spell (DMM) + widen spell + fell drain + greater invisibility.

Edited by - LordofBones on 11 May 2018 03:54:33
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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

159 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2018 :  04:06:18  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a plague spell it grows and mutates the longer it is in effect and even if you get cured from an early version of it, it can still affect you as it transforms.

It starts out as a touch based spell, useful in cities, as it progresses the city will start to fall ill. Here the first twist comes in. As these unfortunates are cured of disease the spell starts its mutation. The cured will start to recatch the plague and it will mutate from a touch based to airborne disease. It will further progress and start reinfecting everyone. This where the fun starts. The plague changes from one or more of the disease types. Running randomly through all the main kinds of disease randomly for each person infected getting a different one each time after they are cured. Finally when each disease is cured and the plague looks like it has finally run its course the third phase presents itself. The Plague mutates to a mental form. It becomes a mental illness, the thought that you could catch the plague again allows it to be caught just by thinking that it is catchable. At this point only a full restoration will cure the plague. Those who think they still have it will have it and will transfer it to anyone else they think will also have it. Save vs disease at DC 23. At this point only a restoration will stop your personal plague. Without a restoration the mental aspect will cause a 25% chance of insanity for one week upon which a new roll is made at a cumulative negative one percent, 24% at week 2, 23% at week 3, etc... At week 26 the plague will dissipate. 7th level spell. Starts with a single person. If that person receives a restoration before passing the spell along the plague ends before it begins. Insane persons lose 1 point of intelligence. At 0 intelligence they become babbling idiots. They regain 1 point per day if they make their weekly save.

If the victims don't receive a disease cure they make a save vs death at week 2 DC 10. Fail they die, save they are cured and immune to any other plagues spell effects for one year.

This spell does not work under weather controlling nets.

There are Wizards, there is Magick and then there is Thay.

Edited by - Thraskir Skimper on 15 Jun 2018 04:09:09
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1876 Posts

Posted - 15 Jun 2018 :  20:17:39  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The most powerful basic spell, obviously, is the 9th level spell wish. If worded properly this spell might create an effect that destroys and entire world. The same is true of MANY of the less basic "ritual" magics like high magic, epic magic, true dweomers - whatever you want to call them.

However, this is all based on the assumption that there are no counter forces at work. The DM is the first, obviously. Mystra comes next - her rules make any such magic less than probable. Still there are rituals enacted with divine aid that might do the trick - the Shadowstorm of Shar for example was designed to accomplish just that. Why did it fail? Because of the counter forces at work, including from some of Shar's own servants. Personally I would have liked Selune to become directly involved in that story to further the Sisters of Light and Darkness story but no dice. Finally, at least when it comes to Faerun, there is Ao - he's the ultimate trump card. Even if there is no rational way that your plan/magic could fail and all other obstacles are overcome: BOOM Ao claps his hands, you and your hubris are expunged and the Realms go on another day. Obviously that should be a DMs last resort but its there.
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

785 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2018 :  03:43:42  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The problem with wish is that it's essentially a downtime spell, not something one goes out of his way to prepare. In 5e, it's pretty much a plot-armor spell with an array of drawbacks; the funny thing is that the one reason a player would prepare wish (i.e. duplicate any spell from any list) is the one with no drawback at all.

In 3.5e there are better spells. Just look at Locate City Bomb.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31303 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2018 :  05:20:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the mere existence of epic spells, and the 10th, 11th, and 12th level spells once known in the Realms shows that wish is not the most powerful spell in existence. It may have the most versatility, but the existence of those other spells proves it had limitations.

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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1876 Posts

Posted - 17 Jun 2018 :  02:34:53  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The primary reason for spells of greater level than 9th and the wish spell is to achieve with greater reliability and fewer drawbacks than a wish spell a single specific powerful effect. There is actually a paragraph to that effect in the description of true dweomers. The primary drawback of a wish spell is that wording a wish correctly so that a DM cannot do something unexpected with the result is not easily done - kind of a damned if you do damned if you don't situation. You CAN achieve almost anything with a wish, but you're not certain to.

The trade offs for most of these are prep. time / the requirement of communal casting / complicated layering of spells (Ed's spell webs for example) / and extravagant spell components.
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1876 Posts

Posted - 17 Jun 2018 :  03:14:06  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another group of spells that has not been mentioned are the Netherese mantle and similar mythal spells. The mythal spells have many of the restrictions I mentioned earlier, but the Netherese mantle spell is the only spells I am aware of from any edition that occupies multiple spell slots in the caster's mind.

For an 18th to 30th level caster it occupies one spell slot of 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th level. The description also goes on to mention that the spell has been altered by specific archmages to do other things, so there is really no bounds on what can be accomplished by such magics aside from imagination and DM's will.
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

785 Posts

Posted - 17 Jun 2018 :  03:53:12  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The funny thing is that players use epic magic/true dweomers better than lore characters.

As written, the rules for epic spells make it clear that they're barely better than non-epic spells. The slay seed is DC 25 for a Fort save or die against anything of 80 HD or less. Finger of death is 7th level SoD and kills any one creature, with no HD limit. Wail of the banshee kills anything that hears it, with no HD limit.

Destroy? Disintegrate is a 6th level spell that deals twice the epic seed's amount.

Animate dead? At the level it becomes available, the actual spell animates twice the epic seed's HD in one casting.

However, it becomes absolutely hilarious when players get their hands on them. I've seen DC 1 epic spells that deal 520 damage.
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