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D&D 3E
Question, 3.5, PHB II: Regroup 
13th-Feb-2011 10:49 am
Black Mage
Hello all! I have a question about the spell Regroup from the PHB II, D&D version 3.5.

Background: We're a 22nd-23rd level party: rogue, warlock/low wizard, druid, paladin[freedom] of Kord, and me, a cleric/sorcerer Mystic Theurge (of Orboros, which in this universe is one of the two deities of the elves).

Our party in general, and my character in specific, is very big on battlefield control tactics. (I also like economy-of-actions games, and sometimes end up doing 5+ "actions" in a round. It's fun.) Baleful Transposition, Bigby's Grasping Hand (aka Enveloping Wings of Orboros), bull rushing mooks into Prismatic Spheres...you get the idea.

The sorcerer/wizard spell list in this world is pretty limited (it's loosely based around the Dying Earth sequence by Jack Vance), and so we need DM permission for spells outside the approved list. I recently asked for Regroup, which lets you teleport all of your allies into squares adjacent to you (or nearest equivalent).

It's a 3rd level spell. The DM is hesitant to allow it at this level, because it's awfully good at a lot of things (stuck in lava? grappled by a balor? All solved with Regroup!), and wants to put it at a higher spell level, to balance it out. This has precedent in the magic system: for example, "3.0 Haste" (called Spell of the Slow Hour) is a 5th level spell. (It gives you one standard action that happens at the end of every round, and lasts for 1/2 caster level rounds. I always Extend it when I cast it.)

Any thoughts on what might be an appropriate level for Regroup?
13th-Feb-2011 04:44 pm (UTC)
. . .

You're playing Epic DnD 3.5? The system mechanics start breaking down well before then. (Also, how many combats do you have that last more than 10 rounds? Why on earth would you need to extend that?)

I don't have the PHB2 in easy reach. What is the casting time, range, targets, etc.

It sounds to me to be comparable to a multi-target Freedom of Movement (adds battlefield control, which FoM doesn't, doesn't last as long or help with as many things as FoM).

5 or 6 would seem to be appropriate. If the range is Long, definitely 6.
13th-Feb-2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
I would say 4, tops.
13th-Feb-2011 07:35 pm (UTC)
how is 3.0 Haste serving as a precedent in your 3.5 game?
14th-Feb-2011 11:16 pm (UTC)
Just as an example of an otherwise-overpowered spell being brought into the fold at a more reasonable level.
14th-Feb-2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
Well, since the original “baseline” teleport spell is 5th level, I would agree that this spell is way overpowered for 3rd level – and that doesn’t even include its possible use as a super-powerful rescue spell!

Here is what I’d do if it was my campaign: First, I’d raise it to 5th level so it matched the regular teleport spell. Second, I’d subtly change the way it worked so that it really was limited to just regrouping, as the name says.

Instead of simply reaching out and "grabbing" everyone, this spell opens a special dimension door for each intended recipient. Each door is “attuned” to its intended target (that is, only the rightful recipients are capable of seeing the doors and passing through them). However, the spell only works on willing recipients; each of the recipients must deliberately step through on their own. No one can be pulled through, pushed through, thrown through, fall through, or otherwise assisted/coerced in any way. (This restriction can easily be explained in-game by saying that it is each recipient’s deliberate intention to step through which metaphysically “completes the circuit” and allows their particular dimension door to work - if the intent is not there, then neither is the door.) Furthermore, if the person's freedom of movement is impaired (grappled, chained to a wall, sinking in lava, asleep or unconscious, or even just engaged in combat) then they cannot answer the wizard’s call to regroup

However, I would also spin off a second spell: Let’s call it “Rescue”. This spell would also be 5th level, would operate only on a single target, and would require line of sight. “Rescue” would let the wizard teleport a willing character out of jeopardy. This spell could indeed be used to get someone out of a monster’s grasp, or out of molten lava, or iron manacles, or whatever. (However, it would still require a deliberate desire to co-operate on the part of the spell recipient – that keeps the spell from being used to “rescue” treasure items from a monster, and other such abuses.)
14th-Feb-2011 09:42 pm (UTC)
Well, since the original “baseline” teleport spell is 5th level, I would agree that this spell is way overpowered for 3rd level – and that doesn’t even include its possible use as a super-powerful rescue spell!

But Benign Transposition is 1st and Baleful Transposition 2nd, and these are closer (and, indeed, "Close"r) in effect than Teleport.
15th-Feb-2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
I'm not familiar with either Benign Transposition or Baleful Transposition - I didn't see them in the PHB or the PHB2. Where are they described?
15th-Feb-2011 04:42 pm (UTC)
They are in the Spell Compendium: one swaps you with an ally, the other with anyone (they get a save). I've always wanted to abuse them with a Conjuror with the Heavy Teleport feat from Dragon (Teleportation subschool spells get one extra target...).

16th-Feb-2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
Alas, I don't have that book - and since 3.5 is no longer being published, I will probably never have it... :(
14th-Feb-2011 11:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm 99% sure (don't have the book handy here) that it only works on willing targets. It's intended to be used on party members only, pretty much.
15th-Feb-2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
That would certainly make sense. However, I could also see the usefullness of a version that allows the caster to call back deserters. "No one's going AWOL from *my* army!" :)
15th-Feb-2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
It should be a 3rd level spell. It's not any worse than 3.5 haste (+1 extra itterative attack for all my allies? yes please!)

Mystic Theurge is so suboptimal anyway that it's not a problem. It looks like you are specifically avoiding having 20+ casters in your group to avoid epic spells. Good choice.

Honestly by 14th level you should be immune to grapples (Freedom of Movement), and unless you play a very lava-centric game I don't see it being that bad. Compare to another 3rd level spell, stinking cloud which I've used up to 13th level with no problems.

This all assuming standard D&D spell lists, so without knowing the specifics of your setting's lists, 3rd level is my best call.
15th-Feb-2011 04:43 pm (UTC)
Lavacentric is my word-of-the-day.
15th-Feb-2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
(Hi Andrew!)

I'm going to take your line "By 14th level you should be immune to grapples" and torment our rogue with it. :-D Except, well, I don't have a permanent FoM effect *either.* (Rings are Protection +5 and...something else, I forget what. If I forget it, maybe that means it should be FoM. But I think other people have better rings.)
16th-Feb-2011 02:24 am (UTC)
I would suggest scroll of Freedom of Movement. You don't need to be permanent, but at 10min/lvl it's not hard to buff before you go into a dungeon.
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