Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Sleep Spell. To Tweak or Not to Tweak?

In the Swords & Wizardry game I am currently entrenched in, Gmed by Rob from Bat in the Attic infamy, I'm finding this 1st level spell to be overly powerful for my tastes and I am the one casting it. Putting to sleep a room full of goblins is fun, but not very sporting. There is no saving throw. I like the premise of it, but think for a 1st level spell it's a bit too much.

I was thinking of tweaking the sleep spell. Don't throw things at me. Seriously, it's not all that bad. Here is my proposal for the spell. At first level it won't be as effective, but it will grow in power with the magic-user in later levels. A magic-user can only affect creatures of the same hit dice or lower. The number of affected hit dice would be a d4 for every level of the mage. Example, a 2nd level mage is battle same said goblins he rolls 2 d4s get a total of 5 therefore he can knock five little goblins down. Say the mage it ninth level battling a group trolls that have HD 6+3. That mage that could not normally affect them with a sleep spell now rolls 9 d4s, and rolls a total of 24. He can put to sleep 4 trolls.

I go back and forth about allowing a saving throw. I am leaning more to allowing one because there is no reason why there shouldn't be. Pretty much every other spell a player or monster is permitted a saving throw.

So there is my question, to tweak or not to tweak the sleep spell? I like my version because it is still effective and helpful at a low level without being overly powerful (like I believe it is written now) and is still useful at higher levels.

Again, please, don't throw things at me.