I have a pacifist cleric in my party, so I created this spell to replace spiritual weapon for him:
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: 60 feet
Components: V, S (Note: I don't really hold my players to components, so I don't really care about this part for balance.)
Duration: 1 minute
You create a floating, spectral shield within range that lasts for the duration or until you cast this spell again. The caster must specify a target when first casting the spell. It can target any creature, hostile or not, and does not require a saving throw if the target is hostile. If the shielded creature moves on its turn, the shield moves with it. As a bonus action on your turn, you can move the shield to another creature within 20 feet of the first creature. The shield can appear however you wish, and its stats do not change based on its appearance. The shield can have one (1) of the following effects:
- The target’s AC is boosted by +2, as if they were using a shield, but without the requirement of actually holding one.
- The target gains resistance to one of the following forms of damage: necrotic, poison, or psychic.
At Higher Levels: When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the target gets a +1 to AC for every two slot levels above 2nd, regardless of initial impact chosen.
Is this an acceptable replacement for Spiritual Weapon? If not, how do I make it so?
My thought process:
Spiritual Weapon does damage equivalent to common weaponry, so I designed Spiritual Shield to give the same bonus to AC as given by a regular shield. It has the same components and basic requirements as Spiritual Weapon. It is designed to be as close to a 1-to-1 exchange as possible.