[RPG] Buff and Utility spells with Duration: Instantaneous


As the game I'm in progresses, the looming threat of Dispel Magic (and its variations) renders off-class Permanent spell effects less and less attractive from logistic point of view – even if characters get their hands on a good Permanent buff, a single lucky enemy with a Dispel can make said buff vanish into a puff of smoke.

As such, I was looking into what spells have Instantaneous durations and yet amount to something other than damage dealing – not necessarily powerful, but useful spells, that won't have an arbitrary "the effect ends in a year" kind of deal (like some Calling spells), and… These kinds of spells are really hard to find.

So – what spells (preferably, buffs) have Duration: Instantaneous?

Best Answer

There aren't really instantaneous buff spells, by virtue of what "instananeous" means

It's always hard to prove a negative, but the very nature of what "instantaneous" effects entail make them almost impossible to be buffs. They are effects that happen in an instant, leaving no ongoing effect (but permanently change something, for better or worse). Any "buff" is, almost by definition, an ongoing effect and would thus be subject to dispelling.

There are some exceptions, in spells that do, in fact, permanently change a creature. The most obvious one (and the only one I can recall off-hand) is Wish, when used to give an inherent bonus - but that perhaps emphasises how rare and limited such buffs must be to be balanced.

If you are still not convinced, there are searchable spell databases (for example here) that let you list all instantaneous spells. I could find none that could be described as a "buff".

This is a good thing

Buffs in 3.5 are already really powerful - especially long-duration or permanent buffs. The existance of Dispel Magic as a counter is essential to preserve any semblance of balance to the system. It's possible to mitigate this counter, but any spell that ignores that threat completely would almost be overpowered by default, no matter how light the effect (especially since, by definition, Instantaneous spells have permanent effects).

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