Gaming My Way

03 Dec

Creative Ways to Combine Spells in D&D 3.5

Because I like coming up with nonstandard (or powerful) uses for spells, I figured writing about some fun combinations would be amusing. There are a few ground rules I’ll be following before getting started though. These will all be combinations of at least two spells. Most of these will be spells from different class spell lists, so if you aren’t a mystic theurge, you’ll have to work with your party to make some of these work. Not all of these will be completely supported by the rules, or I might not know which rules exactly support them, though they will all be supported by some common sense if not the rules, which means some will work better than others with certain GMs. As a final note, I’m sticking with core rules from The Hypertext d20 SRD.

Create Water + Ice or Lightning spells.

First off, we have create water to make a puddle of water on the floor behind a door, followed by a ray of frost to create a layer of ice on a single five foot square. Best used as a trap behind a door when you have a few rounds of prep time and nothing else to prep. I’d rule this works just like grease, just on a smaller area.

Taking this idea further, if you were to say, use a cone of cold over a large area effected by create water, perhaps any square effected by the cone of cold would freeze over instead. This would create a much larger area of ice, and would be great to use on a group of enemies if the cleric isn’t sure what to do with his turn on a given round.

Of course, you might also have the problem that you need to get at an enemy you don’t have line of effect to, but you don’t want to use an AOE effect because of the collateral damage. Drop a create water… it will spread around the corner of the building. Then zap it with a lightning bolt or other appropriately electric spell, and watch everything in the pool of water take electrical damage. I’d rule half of the damage roll, unless there’s a rule that says otherwise.

Mage Armor + Shield + Alter Self + Cat’s Grace

Who says mages can’t tank? Mage armor and shield will get you up to an AC of 18 assuming a dex of ten. Alter self into a lizardfolk for a +5 natural armor bonus and some (likely unhelpful) natural attacks, and toss on a cat’s grace for a +2 dex bonus to AC. Now, you have AC 25… probably more than the fighter or cleric at lower levels. And you can still cast spells effectively too. Cast shield and cat’s grace last, as they have the shortest durations, though they should still last through a battle as long as you prepare soon enough before going in. Then go stand up front with the fighter.

Reverse Gravity + Control Winds

You know the fun thing about high speed winds? They always work better on creatures that are flying. And they work way better on creatures helplessly floating above the ground. Once you have your enemies suspended helplessly in the air, blow them away. They’ll take both falling damage as well as whatever damage they take for being caught in a windstorm, and be quite far away from you to boot. Makes for a great chance to rebuff.

Prismatic Wall + Control Winds

You’ve probably figured out I like control winds by now. Be that as it may, the idea this time is to set up a prismatic wall, then have everyone blown into the wall by the winds from control winds. After that, everyone blown into the wall has to save vs all seven effects. Good luck. And make sure your allies don’t get caught in this trap.

Simulacrum + Permanent Telepathic Bond

This one is fairly costly, and is generally more fun in the hands of the GM than as a player. It’s also fairly high level stuff. However, the simulacrum provides a clone of you, though only half as powerful. A clone that unquestioningly obeys all commands. The telepathic bond made permanent via permanency is so you can issue those commands from anywhere. As well, the simulacrum can let you know what’s happening in the area in order to let you make more informed decisions about the orders you want to provide it.

Of course, the fun is in the fact that you get to basically go anywhere you want without leaving the comfort of your home or risking your life, though it’s a considerably weaker version of you. Alternatively, you can fight side by side with yourself, and give your simulacrum orders telepathically so your enemies don’t know what you’re planning to do, yet you can still coordinate attacks.

Wall of Fire + Forcecage

Trap a creature or creatures in a barred forcecage. Then cast the circular wall of fire inside. Concentrate as long as necessary. At 2d6+caster level damage a turn, those creatures won’t last long. If you have two casters, prepare to cast the spells together, and do the wall of fire first, followed by the windowless cell version of the forcecage. Harder to escape, and impossible to attack through.

Illusory Script + Explosive Runes

What’s worse than finding an awesome new spellbook, only to have it explode upon trying to read it? Having it explode upon trying to read and being compelled to do the bidding of who ever created this hateful trap for the next half hour via the suggestion implanted in the illusory script. I recommend a nature walk through the local marsh, just so they get to be uncomfortable for a bit after being exploded. Asking the queen to marry them while they’re in their singed clothing might be fun too. Of course, there are all sorts of possibilities, so have some fun with it… and keep your real spellbook in a your bag of holding or handy haversack on your person at all times.

So there are some fun combinations to use. Some are practical, and some are there just because it’s fun to pull them off in a game once in awhile, even though you’d likely be better off just doing something else. Besides which, you never know when something seemingly not useful becomes exactly what you’re looking for in the game.

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61 Responses to “Creative Ways to Combine Spells in D&D 3.5”

  1. 1
    Ice Says:

    Add Control water to the First one for your own Enemy-Icecube. Leaving you free to do what you will :-P

  2. 2
    A Loon Says:

    I’ve let my sorcerer in the campaign I’m running ignite areas that he’s cast grease on. Depending on his rolls, the area becomes a 10′x10′ inferno for so many rounds.

  3. 3
    Bob Says:

    I heard of someone using animate rope and create water to tie up an enemy and then drown them. I don’t know if they were following the rules, but it worked

  4. 4
    somoking Says:

    Transport via Plants + transmute metal to wood + animate plant
    it allows you to teleport any where just by jumping into a wall armor or any metal and teleport away plus you still have someone there to fight for you because the range only dictates how far to cast it

  5. 5
    Terry Says:

    If you’re fighting someone with high spell resistance or a Spell-Turning ability, Disintegrate the ground underneath him to drop him into a ten-foot deep pit, and then Wall of Stone or Stone Shape to seal him inside.

  6. 6
    Haiko de Jager Says:

    True Strike + Energy Drain: 2d4 negative level, garantied hit, no save. Works well with any cool saveless spell.

  7. 7
    Eric Says:

    Reply to Post #4:
    According to the 3.5 wording of the spells, Transport via Plants requires a living plant. Animate Plants states that it cannot affect nonliving vegetable material, like wood. Either the spell Polymorph Any Object or the item Quaal’s Feather Token (tree) would work well to make a random emergency plant for you to use.

  8. 8
    CruelCleric Says:

    1) Any combination of Exploding Rune and a compulsion effect is just begging to be used to compel the victim to reset the trap, then *forget that they put it there!* This creates an ever-exploding book(though it tends to break down fast this way), and a pretty funny running gag. The create water/animate rope waterboarding move is effective, as well as any create-water-and-keep-it-right-there drowning trick, but it is horribly slow. Got 20+ rounds? If you’re in a hurry, this *will* disappoint. Oh, and don’t get me started on all the various reasons Shrink Item is bad and embarrassing for anyone who likes their equipment the way it is. For starters, armor suddenly getting smaller, or the infamous “You’re gonna cut me with that toothpick?” incident. My DM insists that it, along with Reduce Person, cannot and should not ever be used on only part of a living thing, hilarious as it may have been at the moment.

  9. 9
    Bryn Says:

    I think I’d with a double wall of force about 5ft apart. Bouncy Bouncy!

  10. 10
    Donovan Says:

    My personal favorite is stinking cloud + fireball. This requires the DM’s approval to work, but cast stinking cloud on an area, then ‘ignite’ the cloud with the fireball. DM had me roll a D100, and made the decision to effectively nuke the area. Kinda scared the local elves, but they’re tree-hugging hippies anyway.

  11. 11
    John Says:

    I’m a big fan of having two spellcasters working together on simultaneous times. One casts create water as high as he can above the enemy, the other casts Snap Freeze (spell compendium) and freezes the whole thing solid. That’s a very heavy block of ice falling very quickly =)

    Or, an enemy is rushing down a rocky slope toward you. One casts stone shape to make the rock perfectly smooth (and thus becomes a slippery slope, requiring a good balance check) and the other casts spike stones to make razor blades of stone slicing up as the poor victims tumble over them. 1D8 damage for every 5 foot of sliding.

  12. 12
    LTank129 Says:

    My personal favorite spell for low level is animate rope. Combine that with the Stone Rope magical item, which turns to stone and back on command, and you have a rather interesting aspect you can add to combat. Have the rope entangle them, turn it to stone and voila, instant captive. Or, you know, an easy way to climb a castle if you have a grappling hook. I would love to have something like stone rope, except have it be thread instead, and tie it to a needle, then cast animate rope and sew your enemies together.

  13. 13
    JayDoubleA Says:

    A favourite my players once used, when fleeing from a horde, of gnolls, was a prismatic wall over a cave mouth, followed by a major image of the wall fizzling out.

    Seeing the way now clear, the scores of gnolls charged into the cave en masse. It got very messy.

  14. 14
    silver Says:

    mages hand on a few pebbles then giants strength to turn them into boulders then rock to lava :P end up with giant lava balls going towards the unsuspecting victim

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    My new favorite tactic with dual spells is to fly above a creature 150′ holding onto a piece of fishing line and have my raven fly around the ankle of any large size creature and then cast benign transportation. If they fail their will save we switch places and they fall 150′ at 15+ d6 damage. This increases as the spells range does and of course circumstances have to be right but it does work if you plan well.

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