Are these homebrew attempts at recreating some blast shape invocations from 3.5e balanced for 5e? (Version 2)

This is a follow up to the question: Are these homebrew attempts at recreating some blast shape invocations from 3.5e balanced for 5e?

As that question explains, I wanted to convert some “blast shape” invocations from 3.5e to 5e, specifically those I recognise from the video game Neverwinter Nights 2 that don’t already have equivalents in 5e: Eldritch Chain, Eldritch Cone and Eldritch Doom.

Thanks to Cubic’s answer, I was able to redesign my 5e invocations based on that feedback and hopefully come up with something that’s simpler and more fun to use but hopefully also still balanced, which is my main question.

Here are my second attempts at these invocations, with commentary below:


Eldritch Chain

Prerequisite: 5th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to improve your eldritch blast by turning it into an arc of energy that “jumps” from the first target to others. When you cast eldritch blast, you can choose to fire only your first beam, but if it hits, the second beam automatically hits a second target within 30 feet of the first target, dealing half of the total damage dealt to the first target.

When you reach 11th level, your third beam must then target a third creature within 30 feet of the second target, and when you reach 17th level, your fourth beam must then target a fourth creature within 30 feet of the third target. These beams also automatically hit their targets and deal half of the total damage dealt to the first target. A creature cannot be targeted more than once in this way per casting.

What stands out to me in Cubic’s answer is that the extra damage was too good not to pick, but at the same time all the extra dice rolls and fiddliness made it less fun and take up too much time. With this in mind, and with the aim of keeping it simple, I decided it would be best if the invocation used the beams you already have, rather than creating even more targets (and therefore more dice rolls) like my previous version, but this time they just automatically hit (if the first beam hits).

My hope is that automatically hitting (which gets better with more beams when you reach higher levels) is the attractive thing about this invocation, but is also offset by a) half damage, b) you can’t spam the same creature with it, the damage has to be shared around, and c) it becomes an “all or nothing” attack, since if you miss the first attack, that’s it.

I’m wondering if there are too many drawbacks that might make it less appealing, so maybe having it be a choice you can make if the first beam hits might help to make it more attractive again, since if you miss the first attack, you can just continue to fire more beams as normal (although the subsequent beams cannot become chains, only the first beam can). At worst, I could even ditch the half damage part entirely and make all targets take the full damage of the first target, either as well as or instead of my previous sentence?

Either way, hopefully this version is both more fun and less complicated, but still mechanically has a trade off that’s not “clearly better/worse” but is also attractive enough to take for situations where it would be better than just firing your beams individually.


Eldritch Cone

Prerequisite: 12th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to invoke your eldritch blast as a 30-foot cone. Each creature within the cone must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 3d10 force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. This damage increases to 4d10 force damage when you reach 17th level.

For Eldritch Cone, I’ve gone back to my original draft before I nerfed it, which is the version I posted in my previous question (the nerfed version, that it). My original draft had the total damage match the total damage output from a normal eldritch blast at that level. My intention is for Agonizing Blast to be included in this damage, so it’s actually 3d10 + 5 force damage for an optimised warlock; they don’t add the +5 to each d10, just the overall damage.

Given that Cubic’s answer pointed out that the range was too short and that saving throws become a less reliable way to deal damage as you get to higher levels, I’ve decided to both increase the range (which also increases the number of creatures that can be caught in it) and increase the damage.

Certainly now the short range of my previous version is less of an issue, but being able to deal 3d10 (later 4d10) force damage to a 30 foot cone’s worth of enemies does seem very strong as an at-will ability. Is forgoing the chance to crit and giving the targets a chance to half the damage really enough of a drawback that being able to do all that is still balanced, or have I gone too far in the other direction now?


Eldritch Doom

Prerequisite: 18th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to invoke your eldritch blast as the dreaded eldritch doom. This causes bolts of mystical power to lash out and savage all targets within a 20-foot-radius sphere originating from a point you can see within 120 feet of you. Each creature within that area must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 4d10 force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

For Eldritch Doom, again I’ve gone back to my original draft before I nerfed it, which is the version I posted in my previous question (the nerfed version, that is). My original draft had the total damage match the total damage output from a normal eldritch blast at that level. My intention is for Agonizing Blast to be included in this damage, so it’s actually 4d10 + 5 force damage for an optimised warlock; they don’t add the +5 to each d10, just the overall damage.

As above, Cubic’s answer points out that the 20 foot area is rather small, and that at Tier 4 play saving throws are a very unreliable way of dealing damage. I realised that part of this problem was actually that “area” isn’t really a term used in 5e anymore; what I actually meant was a 20-foot-radius sphere, same as fireball, which would effectively be a “40 foot area” (as I understand it; hopefully that’s right), so I’ve updated it to match what fireball says. I’ve also increased the damage to 4d10.

My main concern here isn’t so much the same concerns as with Cone, but rather whether Doom now seems a bit redundant compared to Cone given how strong Cone is now? Sure, this can be done from 120 feet away, whereas Cone does not, but is that enough that someone might want to pick this over Cone, or is Cone now strictly better (and therefore overpowered)? Maybe Cone’s damage needs to be dialled back a bit so that Doom still seems impressive to have at 18th level, but at the same time, I don’t want this one to be overpowered too.

But even without comparing it to Cone, there’s also the matter of whether or not its new effects are overpowered, so again, is forgoing the chance to crit and giving the targets a chance to half the damage really enough of a drawback to basically cast a force damage fireball at-will? Does the damage need to be cut back as I suspect I might have to do with Cone? Have I gone too far in the other direction again?


My question is are these three invocations balanced when compared to eldritch blast being cast in the standard way? Are any of them “must haves”, or are there still legitimate reasons to cast eldritch blast normally (or to pick other invocations over these in a way that doesn’t see these actually ending up being underpowered–more so looking at Chain here, since I doubt Cone and Doom could still be considered underpowered)?

Are these homebrew attempts at recreating some blast shape invocations from NWN2 balanced for 5e?

In Neverwinter Nights 2, which is based on 3.5e, there were five “blast shape” invocations available to warlocks: Hideous Blast, Eldritch Spear, Eldritch Chain, Eldritch Cone and Eldritch Doom. Now, I know that warlock invocations worked differently in 3.5e to 5e (based on how they’re implemented in this game, primarily), but I wanted to convert some of these into 5e Eldritch Invocations.

Arguably, Hideous Blow could be thought of as being roughly equivalent to Eldritch Smite from 5e (XGtE, p. 56; even though it doesn’t actually modify eldritch blast), and Eldritch Spear already exists in 5e (as a way to increase the range of eldritch blast), so the remaining three are the ones I have attempted to convert.

Here are my attempts at each of the three invocations, with some commentary below each one to explain my thought process.


Eldritch Chain

Prerequisite: 5th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to improve your eldritch blast by turning it into an arc of energy that “jumps” from the first target to others. When you cast eldritch blast, on a hit, you can choose to target an additional creature of your choice within 30 feet of the target with the same beam. Make a ranged attack roll against the additional creature, which takes half of the damage dealt to the target on a hit. You can only use this invocation once per turn with one beam, although you may choose to do so after you know whether a beam hits its target.

When you reach 11th level, your chain can target two additional creatures, both of whom take half of the damage dealt to the original target on a hit, and when you reach 17th level, your chain can target three additional creatures, all of whom take half of the damage dealt to the original target on a hit. You choose the targets in succession, and each subsequent target must be within 30 feet of the previous target of the chain (not the original target). The chain cannot target the same creature more than once (although it can target a creature hit with a different beam that turn), and on a miss, the chain ends and you cannot target any further creatures with the chain.

In NWN2 (and presumably 3.5e), Eldritch Blast only ever fired one beam, and Eldritch Chain was a way of making that hit more enemies, but each additional enemy only took half damage. Considering that eldritch blast in 5e can target multiple creatures already, I wanted to come up with something that felt unique.

I considered having each beam jump to only one addition target to deal half damage, but then a level 17 warlock could hit eight creatures with this thing, which seemed overpowered (and wouldn’t “look right” compared to what it looked like in NWN2, where the one beam would jump to different targets, not four different beams that each jump to one other target).

In the end, I decided to have it target a few additional creatures, but for half damage (Agonizing Blast would be taken into consideration for the original target’s damage, so isn’t added again to each of the chain’s targets), which is the same as in 3.5e, but only on one of the beams, not each beam. Yes, this still increases the number of creatures you can hit each turn, and therefore increases the damage output of eldritch blast, but hopefully the half damage mitigates that somewhat; also, you’ve still got to roll to hit them, so there’s a chance that you’ll simply miss and then it’s no different to not having the invocation at all.

That said, it’s still a clear improvement on RAW eldritch blast, so if it needs to be nerfed further, I could reduce the range to 10 feet or something, although unless the targets are spread out, this won’t really matter. Losing the second paragraph when you reach higher levels is also something that can be dropped, but hopefully not since that would also nerf the look/flavour of Eldritch Chain. I’d still like to keep it as an “at-will” ability, but increasing the damage output of a cantrip is pretty big, so another way to nerf it is to say that you must use it or Agonizing Blast (per beam, so your non-chain beams can still use Agonizing Blast). Depends on how powerful it is as-written above…


Eldritch Cone

Prerequisite: 12th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to invoke your eldritch blast as a 15-foot cone. Each creature within the cone must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 1d10 force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

For Eldritch Cone, I’ve simply used the standard cone spell implementation, like burning hands, but it only does the same amount of damage as one beam, to balance out the fact that you can hit multiple enemies with it. My intention is for Agonizing Blast to be included in this damage, so it’s actually 1d10 + 5 force damage for an optimised warlock.

I originally had it as a 30-foot cone that did 3d10 force damage, same as the normal damage output for eldritch blast (which would have increased to 4d10), but that was so powerful that I could only justify that as being once per rest or something, and I’d prefer to keep these as being something that can be used “at-will” to keep that 3.5e feel, so hopefully having a cone shaped cantrip is useful enough to justify only dealing 1d10 damage in a 15-foot cone to be balanced; I’m not sure if even having a cone cantrip is inherently overpowered, or whether the small damage and range somehow makes it underpowered, but hopefully it’s balanced.


Eldritch Doom

Prerequisite: 18th level, eldritch blast cantrip

This blast shape invocation allows you to invoke your eldritch blast as the dreaded eldritch doom. This causes bolts of mystical power to lash out and savage all targets within a 20 foot area originating from a point you can see within 120 feet of you. Each creature within that area must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 1d10 force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

For Eldritch Doom, I’ve implemented it as basically a force fireball, dealing the same damage as a single beam. As above, my intention is for Agonizing Blast to be included in this damage, so it’s actually 1d10 + 5 force damage for an optimised warlock.

I originally had it at 4d10, same as all four beams combined, and had the range at 30-feet, but this would be massively overpowered without a “once per rest” cap on it, but these caps kinda go against what blast shape invocations were about, so as before, I hope that the AOE shape alone is worth an invocation, since you now have a weak at-will force fireball, but without that being inherently overpowered.


Are these three invocations balanced when compared to the other Eldritch Invocations? Specifically, do they make eldritch blast overpowered in a way that dealing reduced damage and taking up a choice of an Eldritch Invocation doesn’t counterbalance?

Novice question: Limiting number of combo attempts with Fail2ban and 128 bits of entropy

Apps such as Fail2ban and DenyHosts enable unix administrators to limit username/password combo attempts to typically 3 attempts. But why 3? Some admins enable more, like 6 or 8 giving honest users a little more slack when making different attempts at a password they may not recall exactly. But why not 18? Or even 30?

If a sophisticated cracker wanted to brute force a combo with a scheme involving 128 bits of entropy, s/he would need to make trillions of attempts a second. So if an admin limited the total number of attempts to 100 using Fail2ban, wouldn’t the authentication system still be secure and robust, as long as the admin sets up their username/password scheme to require 128 bits of entropy?

What happens if a wizard attempts to create a complex object using True Polymorph?

Let’s say that a wizard tries to create a vessel using True Polymorph. Now, a vessel is made of a main wooden body and many other parts, more or less “removable” (e.g. sails, wheel, furniture, crates, ropes). Are they created along with the main body? Is it necessary to roll for some knowledge check to determine the result?

Do such network events indicate attack attempts? [closed]

logcheck fished out some suspicious log records for me:

May 11 15:50:50 mailserver dovecot: pop3-login: Disconnected (no auth attempts in 0 secs): user=<>, rip=1.2.3.4, lip=10.0.0.1, TLS handshaking: SSL_accept() failed: error:1408F10B:SSL routines:ssl3_get_record:wrong version number, session=<Gf6Gol+lJgItjVcH> May 12 06:17:10 mailserver dovecot: pop3-login: Disconnected (no auth attempts in 0 secs): user=<>, rip=5.6.7.8, lip=10.0.0.1, TLS handshaking: SSL_accept() failed: error:1408F09C:SSL routines:ssl3_get_record:http request, session=<NYC/vGulRn+nrNEM> May 13 09:02:52 mailserver dovecot: imap-login: Disconnected (no auth attempts in 0 secs): user=<>, rip=9.10.11.12, lip=10.0.0.1, TLS handshaking: SSL_accept() failed: error:1417D0FC:SSL routines:tls_process_client_hello:unknown protocol, session=<6x8rK4KlPNdZ+KwQ> May 13 09:02:53 mailserver dovecot: imap-login: Disconnected (no auth attempts in 0 secs): user=<>, rip=13.14.15.16, lip=10.0.0.1, TLS handshaking: SSL_accept() failed: error:1417D18C:SSL routines:tls_process_client_hello:version too low, session=<Prc7K4KlutdZ+KwQ> May 13 09:02:59 mailserver dovecot: imap-login: Disconnected (no auth attempts in 0 secs): user=<>, rip=17.18.19.20, lip=10.0.0.1, TLS handshaking: SSL_accept() failed: error:1417A0C1:SSL routines:tls_post_process_client_hello:no shared cipher, session=<v0yhK4KlztpZ+KwQ> 

Those records seem suspicious to me, as if they indicated attacks on my internet-exposed network services. Are they? What can you tell me about security risk of particular events here?

[ Politics ] Open Question : Will Republicans be successful with their attempts to smear Joe Biden or will Americans see through them?

ERNST: “IA caucuses are this next Monday evening. And I’m really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Demcaucus goers. Will they be supporting VP Biden at this point?”

If a creature attempts to sneak attack another creature warded with sanctuary and fails the wisdom save, is warded creature alerted?

If a creature attempts to sneak attack another creature warded with sanctuary and fails the wisdom save, is warded creature alerted?

If I’m wandering the woods as a monk with sanctuary and a rogue is chasing me, am I never gonna notice them until they hit me?

Does a Favored Soul really gains turn attempts if he chose the Glory domain from the dracolyte prestige class?

I think I figured a way to give more power to the Favored Soul class (Complete Divine, p. 6-10) that people shun so much and is weak compared to Clerics, not only do you gain a Domain this Way but I think you also gain Turn attempts, wich really boost that poor class.

With the Prestige Class Dracolyte (Draconomicon, p. 122-123) and choosing the Glory Domain (Good gets it, but Neutral characters must choose between Glory and Domination):

The Granted Power States (SRD):

Turn Undead with a +2 bonus on the turning check and +1d6 to the turning damage roll.

In the Draconomicon p.107 it states:

Granted Power: You can turn undead with a +2 bonus on the turning check and +1d6 on the turning damage roll.

In the SRD the wording suggests that it gives you turn undead, while the Draconomicon suggest that you can do it wich could seem ambiguous, note that the Glory domain is only tied to this class, and it is mentionned in the Prestige Domain section that you can indeed join this without having other domains (wich mean non clerics, and the prerequisites permits it too) so I guess it really gives you Turn attempts.

Nothing states you need to already have Turn attempts, it straightly gives you a more powerful version of it.

This might be because Favored souls were not introduced yet, but as Favored Soul is a weak class compared to Cleric, nothing from RAW says it does not work, yet it is reasonable to allow it I believe, what would you guys say about this? Even just a 1 level dip would make way more powerful but at the cost of two weak feats, so might as well continue the prestige class…

Sidenotes:

  • I’m using the new ability from Dead Levels II:

    Knowledge Specialty (Ex): At 1st level, a favored soul can choose whether to make Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (religion) a class skill. Once this choice is made, it cannot be reversed

    I chose Knowledge (religion) instead so I’m ok for Dracolyte.

  • The only restrictions is having 2nd-level divine spells,2 general feats and some skills… other classes such as druid or paladin could get into this prestige class as well if they meet the prerequisites.

Are these homebrew attempts at recreating the Isaac’s Missile Storm spells from NWN2 balanced for 5e? [Version 2]

This is a follow up to my previous question: Are these homebrew attempts at recreating the Isaac's Missile Storm spells from NWN2 balanced for 5e?

In the Neverwinter Nights video game series (I’m more familiar with NWN2 specifically, which was based on D&D 3.5e), there were two spells, “Isaac’s Lesser Missile Storm” and “Isaac’s Greater Missile Storm”. They were both (as I understand it) basically bigger, better magic missile, but with random targeting within an area. I’ll also point out that my knowledge of 3.5e is exclusively from NWN2.

I liked these spells, and want to “import” them into 5e, so I’ve attempted to homebrew them. However, Theik’s answer describes how my previous attempt was unbalanced, as well as various helpful comments under my question (now moved to chat), so I have tried to address some of the balance concerns in my latest attempt.


There were three major problems identified; damage (especially against one single target), the amount of time it takes up resolving the randomness of it, and the fact that it only affects hostile creatures; so the things I’ve changed are:

  • Despite wanting a “Lesser” and “Greater” version (because that’s what NWN2 had), this was more of a 3.5e thing, and 5e uses the upcasting mechanic to do away with different versions of the same spell (mostly). So I’ve decided to stop being stubborn and reduce it down to simply Isaac’s missile storm (thanks @Rorp). This was largely because I couldn’t think of a meaningful way to make the “greater” version better besides just adding missiles/damage, which was part of the problem.

  • Because the damage against one single target was a major problem, I have implemented an upper limit on how many missiles the spell can produce, regardless of the spell slot used to cast it. So, against a single target, it can only produce a maximum of 6 missiles. However, for each additional creature in it’s AOE, it can produce 2 more missiles, but this upscaling is capped, although that cap is increased by upcasting. This, I hope, reduces it’s potential against a single target, whilst still being useful against a group (thanks @BlueMoon93).

  • Given that I’ve reduced the potential damage it can do against one target, I’m increasing the number of extra missiles it can do when upcast from 1 to 2, and the damage per missile will now be 1d6 + 1 rather than just 1d6, since that makes it strictly better than the 1d4 + 1 of magic missile; remember, an upcast magic missile at 4th level does 6d4 + 6, which is probably on average going to be about the same as the base 6d6 (if against a single target). My previous “goal” of wanting this spell to be better than an upcast magic missile remains, but hopefully this +1 per missile won’t make it too much better.

  • I’ve also decided to do away with the randomising aspect of it, as well as the “hostiles only” aspect. Fireball just hurts everyone in its AOE, and by the missiles avoiding non-hostiles, it basically became the ultimate Sculpt Spell spell, without even needing to be an Evocation wizard! So, I’ve changed that so that it must hit each creature an equal number of times, with some caveats that simply fall under the caster’s control rather than being randomised:

    • If there are more creatures than missiles, the caster basically chooses who it hits; however, because each target cannot be hit more than once, each target will only be taking 1d6 + 1 force damage, which I think makes the “stealing Sculpt Spell’s spotlight” problem minimal enough to ignore in this scenario.
    • If there are more missiles than creatures, then the decision is mostly predetermined; for example, with 2 creatures and 8 missiles, each creature gets hit by 4 missiles, but if there were actually 3 creatures and 10 missiles, then each creature gets hit by 3 missiles and the caster gets to decide who gets the extra missile. Note that non-hostile creatures are not safe from this, so this at best prevents the caster’s ally (if an ally is within the AOE) from taking an extra 1d6 + 1 force damage, which isn’t that big a deal given that they will already definitely be taking 3d6 + 3 anyway.

For completeness, here’s a brief list of things I’m not changing, but still want to mention anyway:

  • The spell level for Isaac’s missile storm will be 4th level, since I’m effectively adjusting my old Isaac’s lesser missile storm spell and simply removing the Isaac’s greater missile storm spell (although I’ve given the new spell the 20-foot-radius AOE from the old greater spell).

  • It still doesn’t require attack rolls or saving throws, and it can still be entirely negated by shield; this means, in the case above, that it can be used in an area with an ally wizard or something, who will be completely fine because they can just shield the damage away, but because they’d still “consume” an equal share of those missiles, that doesn’t mean more damage for everyone else, just none for that wizard.


So, here’s the new spell description:

Isaac’s Missile Storm

4th-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S
Duration: Instantaneous

You fire multiple missiles of magical force that hit every creature within a 20-foot-radius sphere centred on a point you choose within range. The number of missiles is 6 if there is only a single creature within the area, and that number is increased by two missiles for every additional creature that is within the area, up to a limit of 8 missiles.

Each missile targets a creature such that each creature within the area is hit by a uniformly distributed number of missiles. If the number of missiles cannot be distributed evenly, you decide which creatures take one more missile from the remainder. If there are more creatures than missiles, you choose which creatures are hit by one missile. The missiles all strike simultaneously. Each missile does 1d6 + 1 force damage.

If the target is immune to the magic missile spell, such as by being under the effect of the shield spell, then they are also immune to this spell. Furthermore, any hostile creature within the area that can cast shield is able to cast it in reaction to this spell as though they were targeted by magic missile.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 5th level or higher, the limit of how many missiles this spell can creates increases by two missiles for each slot level above 4th.

Is my new version of this spell balanced against other 4th levels spells, including when it is upcast (since it now produces two more missiles per spell level, but is still capped at 6 + (n * 2) missiles for n + 1 enemies)?

Incidentally, is that second paragraph of my spell description clear enough? This is where I’m trying to convey the information I gave above in my indented bullet points. Is that clear, or can it be worded more clearly? Suggestions welcome…