Monday, December 24, 2012

Control Weather

I've completed my spell descriptions for the cleric, all seven levels.  I personally judge that the spell 'ceremony' that appears in the Unearthed Arcana is the sort of thing that every cleric has, and so I do not consider it a 'spell,' but rather a reusable ability, like turning undead.  I'll be working on those next.  Sometime in the next month I'll post the entire book.  It's up to 39 pages at the moment.

In the meantime, I did a lot of work on another 7th level spell, that being control weather.  Once again, the description in the player's handbook is for shit.  I swear, it's like the writers figured no one would get up to being a sixteenth level cleric, so when it came to those spell descriptions for 7th level, they had the janitor out in the hall write them.

Now, I've put up a couple of weather posts on this blog, but recently I've been using one for my campaigns that's of my own design and is rather marvelous ... except for being too bulky and as yet too set up for a temperate climate.  I have to work on it more.  Sadly, its an excel file.  Still, I promise I'll get around to posting it's guts online sometime in the new year.

Spell Description

Range: self. Duration: 4-48 hours. Area of Effect: 4-16 square miles. Casting Time: 3 rounds. Saving Throw: none.

Allows the cleric to change the temperature, conditions and wind force of the surrounding area, depending upon the previous conditions.

Showing are the first two tables which the cleric must review in order to determine what changes may be made. Firstly, the temperature may be reduced or increased two grades from whatever it is at present. Thus, a cool day may be made brisk or chilly, or it may be made pleasant or warm.

The particular weather determines the conditions the cleric may choose—regardless of whatever they were previously. Thus, if the temperature is brisk, the cleric may choose a light fog or a drizzle; if the temperature were warm, the cleric may make threatening clouds or an actual thunderstorm. Only those conditions adjacent to those temperatures may be chosen. A blizzard cannot occur if the temperature is greater than icy; a drizzle cannot occur if the temperature is pleasant or higher.
Finally, the wind force may be stirred up as much as the cleric desires, within the range which the cleric has chosen. Thus, if the cleric has decided that there is a light fog, then the wind force chosen cannot be greater than 0 or 1.

(Now, for this I found this just marvelous image off a website that nails the Beaufort Scale to perfection, giving a clear vision regarding the effects of wind force)

The time necessary for the change in weather to take place is 10 to 40 rounds (10d4), or between 2 and 8 minutes. If the weather is significantly altered, such as producing or eliminating precipitation, or changing the wind more than three points of force, the effect is so powerful that creatures must make morale check if they are in combat, or else they will break and retreat until the full change of the weather has taken place.

Incidentally, the graphic for the Beaufort Scale comes from a children's online magazine, Howtoons.


I should have added a note about hurricanes.

Hurricanes happen in only particular circumstances - in deep water, where both the ambient temperature and the water temperature are both high.  Arguably, if the cleric were in those particular places, the central Pacific, Indian or Atlantic, a hurricane ought to be possible.  It is debateable whether or not, once started, that the hurricane would dissapate with the end of the spell.  Once that environment is affected, whether or not the 'spell' hurricane was still active, a natural hurricane could have begun, gathering strength and following a random track that may not even hit landfall; or may hit any random shore.

Anyway, for those reasons the hurricane is not shown as an option on the temperature tables, but the wind speed of the hurricane is still shown (it appears in the graphic).


Butch said...

Any special bonuses/restrictions concerning Druids and weather?

On the one hand, nature is their specialty... on the other, it isn't nice to fool with Mother Nature.

Alexis said...

Stands to reason that a powerful enough cleric ought to be able to reduce a hurricane, at least within the spell area ... for anywhere the hurricane might hit, the wind could be reduced with control weather to nothing within the area of effect.

That said, and the recognition that pissing off someone might lead to an investigation, no ... no special bonuses or restrictions for druids (though I think when a druid uses the spell as opposed to a cleric, the spell's area of effect is larger). No certainty of that. Won't be working on the druid spells until late spring, I expect.

Butch said...

This question may be academic given the scarcity of Clerics who can cast 7th level spells, but... would it be possible for multiple clerics to "stack" this spell?

I'm thinking three clerics working in a bucket brigade. Cleric #1 turns a warm sunny day into cool and overcast (two grades). Cleric #2 reduces it two more grades, to chilly and sleet. Then Cleric #3 brings it down two more levels, to icy temperatures and heavy snow.

From a warm sunny day to an all-out blizzard, all in the space of about 9 rounds.

I suppose you could also have the situation of two 7th level clerics battling it out -- one reduces conditions by two grades, the other moves them back up! (I can just imagine some cranky old Druid peeking out of his hermitage. "What? This isn't right. I'll fix it.")