>we tried to find the city with divination magic and couldn't, what gives?
>oh shit, sorry. A few hundred years ago, an ice wizard warped a divination spell and destroyed an entire city. Since then we have put our entire city under a magical shroud
Have you included the locate city nuke in your game? Why not?
Locate City nuke doesn't work. The area of the spell is a circle, not a 3-dimensional sphere, so at worst everyone affected will jump a couple feet in the air. Using Fell Drain, however, kills anything with 1 HD (and leaves all the buildings untouched, ripe for looting!). You might want to find a way to deal with the wightpocalypse, though.
Because when you try to abuse magic too much, it short circuits and you get hit by the backlash.
Coincidentally, the backlash is directly proportional to how much you need to abuse rules to get the intended effect. Anyone trying to Locate City Nuke anything would be struck dead on the spot.
Death is a very generous punishment for such shittery. I have Rolemaster crit tables saved just for occations like that.
Enjoy your 6 months of painful coma just to wake up for a brief moment to scream your final curses and die.
>so at worst everyone affected will jump a couple feet in the air
That's still more than enough to destroy a city. Buildings aren't designed to handle that sort of shit at all.
It could also get really messy for people like roofers, construction workers, or anybody else who happened to be standing on something tall at the time.
Or, for that matter, anybody who happened to be standing UNDER something.
Nah, that's too easy. You ought to tailor the punishment to the crime.
In this case, I'd say the caster's mind is torn out of their body and forced to perceive and perfectly comprehend all valid targets within the intended area of effect within the spell's duration. So, after having a comprehensive, unabridged, and total knowledge of the nature and properties of every single atom within several miles jammed into his skull over the course of an instant, I'd have him roll Will, DC 120. If he fails by 3/4 or more, he dies of shock instantly; from his corpse is born an earth elemental, which establishes a court over the spell's area. If he fails by half, he's become convinced on the metaphysical level that he is a vegetable and never recovers. If fails with a 90 or higher, he becomes a geological savant, loses all caster levels, and has his WIS and CHA each reduced to 1.
If he somehow passes, he falls unconscious for d12+2 days while recovering.