It’s Evocation Week right now, and that means that all our articles are about the splashiest school of magic: evocation. Now, it’s important to note that evocation has something of a reputation amongst magic schools, as being one of the less effective approaches to combat. I don’t think that this is necessarily the case, but I will happily admit that evocation isn’t always the thinking man’s school of magic. Oh, sure, you need to be clever enough to realize that you want to center that fireball precisely 21 feet away from your nose, but after that it mostly boils down to point and shoot. So, I’ve been itching for a while now to make some more…nuanced evocation spells. After all, why should we settle at just doing elemental damage? This isn’t conjuration, where all we do is make normal fire and acid. No, this is evocation, where we manipulate those energies in odd and unusual ways. So let’s start seeing some of that, shall we?
Freeze in Place
A ray of icy cold shoots from your outstretched hand and straight at the feet of your target, where it causes a block of ice to form, trapping him. If the ray hits, the target takes 3d4 points of cold damage, and must succeed on a Reflex save or become trapped as a block of ice forms around their legs. Creatures that become trapped are unable to move from their square, but are otherwise able to act normally. Creatures with a mode of movement that does not involve their legs (such as flying) can still do so, but suffer a -8 penalty on any Climb, Fly, or Swim checks, and a -16 penalty on any Acrobatics checks, due to the cumbersome ice block.
The ice persists for up to 1 minute per level, and inflicts 1d4 points of cold damage on the target per minute. The ice can be damaged, but it is not normal ice, and doing so is difficult: it has hardness 5 and 10 hit points per caster level. If it is reduced to less than half its maximum hit points, the target can move, albeit at half speed, and the penalties above are halved. If the ice is reduced to 0 hit points, the target can move normally, and no longer suffers cold damage every minute.
With this spell, you super-charge the target’s body, causing energy and power to course through every nerve and muscle, visibly increasing his bulk and causing tiny bolts of electricity to occasionally arc across his skin. For the spell’s duration, the target gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution. Further, the target’s body becomes electrically charged, causing his natural attacks to deal an additional 1d6 points of electricity damage, and also causing any creature that hits him with a melee attack with a natural weapon or a weapon made primarily of metal to suffer 1d6 points of electricity damage, as well.
Prison of Screams
With a word, you create a visible cyclone of sonic energy around your target, entrapping him within. The target may attempt a Reflex save to escape the spell’s effect in time, otherwise he becomes trapped.
Regardless of whether the target escapes or not, his square is surrounded by walls of sonic energy which are difficult to pass through. Any creature attempting to enter or exit the square must succeed on a Fortitude save to do so. Failure indicates he is unable to push his way through the howling wind and noise. Unattended objects (including ammunition fired by projectile weapons) automatically fail this saving throw. Whether the save is successful or not, the creature suffers 4d6 points of sonic damage. The barrier also blocks sound, preventing those inside from hearing any sound coming from the outside, and those outside from hearing any sound issuing from inside.
Simply remaining in the prison does not save one from hardship. Each round, anyone inside the prison’s area suffers 3d6 points of sonic damage and has a 50% chance of being deafened. A successful Fortitude saves halves the damage and reduces the chance of being deafened to 10%. A creature deafened in this way remains deafened for 10 minutes.
A silence spell whose area overlaps that of the prison of screams halves all damage the spell would deal and grants a +4 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saves made to resist the spell’s effects.
A globule of slime and acid bubbles up from the ground beneath your target’s feet, and begins destroying his gear. Each round, the acid deals 5d6 points of acid damage to one of the target’s pieces of worn or equipped gear. This damage is subject to hardness, but otherwise deals full damage to objects of any sort. Items reduced to 0 hit points in this way are utterly destroyed, and cannot be salvaged, unless they specifically cannot be destroyed by normal means (like artifacts). One piece of gear is damaged each round, and the gear is affected in a specific order, based on the slot on the body that the item occupies (see the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook for more information about magic items on the body). If the target is not wearing gear that occupies a certain slot, the acid continues to the next type of gear as it slowly makes its way up the target’s body. The order is presented on the following table.
The acid is not damaging to human flesh, but is also impossible to completely remove, and quickly multiplies. Attempting to scrape it off with a weapon or other object only causes it to deal damage to that object in addition to whatever it is currently damaging, at which point it begins to spread from that object as well (essentially moving backwards up the table from 14th). Submersion in water or other liquids has no effect, either.
The target can remove a piece of gear in order to prevent it from being affected, throwing it away completely. If the gear has not yet been damaged by the spell, it is safe, provided the target stays away from it for the spell’s duration. If the discarded item is currently being damaged by the spell, it continues to be damaged each round. In such a case there is a 50% chance that all of the acid was on the discarded object, and the acid stops spreading once that object is destroyed, and a 50% chance that some of the acid remains on the target, in which case it begins damaging the next piece of the target’s gear, even while the discarded item continues to take damage.
Wrap in Flames
A line of fire emerges from your fingertip and flies through the air towards your target, coiling itself around him and holding him fast, even while he burns. The target takes 4d6 points of fire damage, and you may have the flames make a special grapple check in order to hold him in place. The modifier for this grapple check is equal to your caster level + your primary spellcasting ability score modifier (Intelligence for wizards, Charisma for sorcerers, etc.). If the check is a success, the target is considered grappled and pinned by the flames. Each round that you continue to concentrate, the fire continues to grapple the target, and, if successful, deals 4d6 points of fire damage. The target can attempt to escape the grapple as normal, and the flames’ effective CMD is equal to 10 + your caster level + your primary spellcasting ability score modifier + your choice of either of your other mental ability score modifiers (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma). The fire is magical, and cannot be put out in the same way that a mundane fire can, but complete submersion in water automatically ends the effect.