I am working on creating a magus spell. The spell level will be 1st or 2nd (since thats the highest the character can cast). The DM of the game is fresh to this position, and I am new to creating spells.

So I would like to know, is the following a balanced spell, especially as regards level? What do you believe is a balanced iteration of this spell, if the below is not?

Please keep in mind the following factors of magi spells in any answer -

0 level spells

  • do 1d3 cold/acid with each casting

  • or a very specific 1d6 to undead.

1st level spells

2nd level spells

The spell I am specifically trying to design has these qualities -

  • able to be applied to the weapon like magic weapon (which is why that spell worked its way into the list)
  • lasts for a number of attacks equal to caster level like chill touch
  • deals extra damage (likely elemental) (not sure how large that damage should be, if it should be based on CL, what spell levels should result in what damage)

These things I am unsure about when it comes to spell design -

  • saving throw or SR and if they apply (to spells of this type)
  • if the attack roll >= touch AC but not AC, does the spell damage do damage even without weapon damage (my guess is no, but I would like this clarified)
  • How the spell would interact with weapon properties such as shocking
  • What a fair duration should be, this goes in hand with the amount of damage
  • whether the spell being dismissable is a big deal or should increase it's power

Example of the spell I am envisioning:

School - Evocation/Transmutation (evocation from elemental damage, trans from changing the weapon, taken from elemental touch and magic weapon spells)

Level - Magus 1/2

Casting time - 1 standard action (so it can be used with spell combat and spell strike)

Components - V,S,M (most spells have these)

Range - Touch

Target - Weapon Touched

Duration - choices are 1 attack/round/minute per caster level

Saving throw - No (because its a weapon attack)

Spell Resistance - No (because it changes the weapon, and weapon properties are not affected by SR)


Upon finished casting of the spell you choose an element (fire,cold,electricity,acid), your weapons color changes slightly to match the element of the spell (green for acid, red for fire, blue for cold, yellow for electricity). On a successful hit with your weapon it deals an additional x-damage (based on the duration). This spell does not impart extra effects based on element (fire cant catch things on fire for example). This spell stacks with weapon properties such as shocking, flaming, ..., and their burst counterparts. It does not give you greater ability to hit your target (so no bonus on attack roll, or hitting a lower AC such as touch).

A good answer should incorporate both a specific design of the spell, some (minor) general design guidelines, some (minor) philosophy of spell design, and a rationale.

  • \$\begingroup\$ At least one of the spell design questions is answered here. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 9 '15 at 10:25
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You've done quite a bit of work on this, and then you say: A good answer should incorporate both a specific design of the spell, some (minor) general design guidelines, some (minor) philosophy of spell design, and a rationale. This means a good answer does your spell design for you. How about this: a good answer explains why this is balanced at 1st level or at 2d level or at neither level? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Nov 9 '15 at 12:54