In today’s short DMJ I’d like to share a couple of powers that I created for use in the adventure module I am writing, “Something Sinister in Cespius.”

Both powers resurrect aspects of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 and update them to 4e mechanics. The first takes one of the most powerful feats in 3.5 and turns it into a potent rogue attack power. In 3.5, the Improved Critical feat doubled your critical hit range. When paired with a weapon with a high crit range such as a rapier, a character could score a critical hit one-quarter of the time. The critical hit mechanic was updated for simplicity in 4e and, sadly, Improved Critical became a thing of the past. Well, mourn no longer — Improved Critical is back in the game. Well, at least it’s back in my game.

In 3.5 I played a wizard. I became accustomed to slinging spells and laying waste to my enemies with an array of potent spells. One spell in particular, while not the most powerful in my arsenal, was always one of my favorites based on concept alone.

Defenestration (throwing people out of high windows) was a popular form of execution in medieval Prague, and the 3.5 spell defenestrating Sphere allowed wizards to play the executioner. The spell created a sphere of wind that threw enemies into the air (and out windows if they were present). The spell was fairly complicated, forcing players to determine falling damage and the random location where the enemy landed. I’ve simplified the damage, and themed the spell for the wizard’s controller roll with the slide effect. I’ve also tried to incorporate the automatic defenestration of the 3.5 spell by giving enemies a penalty to their saving throw to avoid being slid over an edge.

These are first drafts and I’d love feedback on balance and level appropriateness. Feel free to use these powers in your game and please leave suggestions in the comments.