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Mr.Bookworm
2009-01-23, 11:01 PM
So, I'm starting a campaign, and one of my players is playing as a VoP Shapeshifter Druid. We're starting at sixth level.

So, tonight, we were talking, and he asked me if he could have Greater Magic Fang Permanency'd on himself. Now, I've already ruled he can cast Magic Fang on himself, just as a side note.

He argues that he can get it done to himself at fifth level with almost all of the WBL for that level, then grab VoP next level.

My problems with this are many. One, I've already, as I mentioned, told him he can cast Magic Fang on himself. Two, this goes completely against the spirit of VoP. Three, he's getting bonuses from nothing, because he loses nothing but wealth he wouldn't have in the first place.

So, I've already told him flat out no, but I'm just interested to hear what you fine folks have to say on the subject.

olentu
2009-01-23, 11:11 PM
Well if I remember correctly he will loose out on some bonus exalted feats by not taking vow of poverty as soon as possible, however I am away from my books and so can not check. So there is some trade off, and if the permanent greater magic fang is lost then he has lost bonus exalted feats and gained nothing in the end.

Eldariel
2009-01-23, 11:25 PM
Seems dumb to be honest. He can just cast it on himself daily, and that with increasing Caster Level. Permanencying it would mean it'd never be over CL 5, and thus +1. If he's absolutely hellbent on in, sure, why not. It won't break anything and it won't even stack with Exalted Strike. That said, having funds invested on you is kinda against the spirit, if not the letter, of VoP.

RTGoodman
2009-01-23, 11:26 PM
As the WotC CustServ people say everytime they get asked a VoP-related question, the Vow feats are not just there for mechanical benefit - there's a whole side roleplaying side that goes along with it, and characters can only gain and maintain their Vows through meeting both the mechanical prerequisites and the "fluff" requirements, too. It's against the spirit of the feats in general to try to "cheat" your way around everything else.

That said, I find SEVERAL problems with the player in question's "strategy," even though by RAW (as far as I know) it's fine. First, like I said, it feels cheap and against the spirit of the Vows. ("Oh, my, I just spent more gold than most towns see in a year to give myself a magic spell that helps me kill stuff. That's given me a sudden change of heart to give up all the money I DON'T HAVE anymore and give it to the poor!" To me, and I'm not making accusations or anything, it seems like he's just trying to munchkin his way into an "uber character."

Second, I don't know if it's an official rule, but a LOT of DMs that start at higher levels disallow players from spending more than a certain percent of their starting gold on single items. Usually it's 1/4 or 1/2 or something like that. He's basically spending most or ALL of his gold on this one thing.

Personally, I'd disallow it. I usually don't allow the Vow feats anyway, but in this case there's a more concrete reason. Of course, VoP really isn't that great in a campaign that gives anything close to standard Wealth by Level (Google it for more info), though being a caster mitigates that somewhat. And as Eldariel said, it's better for him mechanically to just cast it each day anyway.

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2009-01-23, 11:54 PM
First of all, VoP grants a +1 Enhancement bonus on all attacks at level 4, whether from manufactured weapons or natural weapons. Greater Magic Fang grants either a +1 Enhancement bonus to all natural weapon attacks, or it grants a +1/4 Caster Level Enhancement bonus to one specific natural weapon. Greater Magic Fang does not stack with the bonus from VoP, he would be spending the wealth that his character would otherwise forfeit to get an effect that is completely redundant and does absolutely nothing. He fails to realize how the VoP bonuses work mechanically, and he fails to realize the role-playing aspect of exalted feats.

This player should not be allowed to take any exalted feats at all. He clearly desires only the mechanical benefits of VoP without having to suffer the drawback of it, which is the exact opposite of how it should be used. A character should first desire to play a character who gives up their material possessions in order to help others, and VoP allows such a character to remain mechanically viable. This player is trying to cherry-pick the best mechanical benefits from an exalted status without adhering to any of the role-playing implications of an exalted character. For that reason he should not be allowed to take VoP or any other exalted feats, and it is within your power as the DM to make such decisions.

mikej
2009-01-24, 12:23 AM
This player is trying to cherry-pick the best mechanical benefits from an exalted status without adhering to any of the role-playing implications of an exalted character. For that reason he should not be allowed to take VoP or any other exalted feats, and it is within your power as the DM to make such decisions.

+1

same goes for VoP Saint Druid or Monks versions, I'm currently seeing this happen in real life in our current campaign.

remind the player what its means to be a exalted character who refuses personal wealth to aid people. its been said before, but also point out the redundancy of such request.

Tempest Fennac
2009-01-24, 02:01 AM
I'm inclined to agree with Biffoniacus on this onw, but I'd probably allow it based on him spending it before taking the Vow (I'd want an incredibly good readon for the character deciding to taake the Vow, though). Regarding how effective it is, I'd have thought VoP would have been a good choice for Shapeshifter Druids due to the bonuses functioning in animal form (unless Weilding Clasps are legal). To be fair, BoED and BoVD are the only 2 books I ban from games due to how much I hate the fluff.

KevLar
2009-01-24, 03:36 AM
Only intelligent characters of good alignment and the highest moral standards can acquire exalted feats, and only as a gift from powerful agents of good deities, celestials, or similar creatures.
Allowing exalted feats in entirely up to the DM. Some choose to be lenient about them, some even refluff them entirely, and some stick to RAW, as above. If you do stick to RAW, you don't even have to invoke Rule 0 to disallow this (and I believe you should definitely disallow this).

"So, you spent all your money for yourself, and now that you're a pauper, you declare that you don't want any money? This doesn't really qualify for higher moral standards. Sorry, no powerful agent of good was sufficiently impressed."

Seffbasilisk
2009-01-24, 03:51 AM
There's a reason why the Book of Exhaulted Deeds and Book of Vile Darkness have the warning that they're only for mature players.

A) Tell him No, doesn't work that way.
B) Tell him yes, hit him with a greater dispel or disjunction to take it away.
C) Tell him yes, but have it rigged in such a way as he incurs a great debt (perhaps he's the heir to a debtor) of the amount he 'saved' by not going VoP earlier.

lord_khaine
2009-01-24, 04:33 AM
you really should read the posts before you, it has allready been mentioned that his magic fang bonus does not stack with his VoP bonus, so he really doesnt win anything from it, he actualy loose the bonus feats he would have gotten from taking VoP from lv 1.

so, i say allow him to do so, and then explain how it actualy made himself weaker after you have startet playing.

Kurald Galain
2009-01-24, 04:35 AM
This player is trying to cherry-pick the best mechanical benefits from an exalted status without adhering to any of the role-playing implications of an exalted character. For that reason he should not be allowed to take VoP or any other exalted feats, and it is within your power as the DM to make such decisions.

+2

Just ban VOP. Heck, ban the entire book of exalted cheese.

Curmudgeon
2009-01-24, 05:17 AM
Also note that both Greater Magic Fang and Permanency can be dispelled. Once the duration of the first spell runs out, dispelling either will end the permanent effect.

I wouldn't even make an issue of it to the player, just plan an encounter with some suspicious spellcaster who has Greater Dispel Magic as their "go to" spell.

Tsotha-lanti
2009-01-24, 06:09 AM
"So, you spent all your money for yourself, and now that you're a pauper, you declare that you don't want any money? This doesn't really qualify for higher moral standards. Sorry, no powerful agent of good was sufficiently impressed."

Yep, this, At the very least, the character would have to give up the permanent spell. Allowing this kind of bending will completely break VoP.

Why does a druid need a permanent GWF anyway? Just cast it.

Tehnar
2009-01-24, 06:45 AM
Dont shapeshift druids (if you are talking about PHB 2 variant), have already a +1 enhancment bonus/4 levels to their attacks while in their respective forms?

Starbuck_II
2009-01-24, 09:51 AM
It is too funny:

Your player wants a Flavor ability (G.M.W) that doesn't stack with VOP and you are worried?
I'd tell him, sure and no take backs. Then inform him that it doesn't stack.


But seriously, I see nothing wrong with the actions of the guy.

Glyde
2009-01-24, 09:54 AM
This player is trying to cherry-pick the best mechanical benefits from an exalted status without adhering to any of the role-playing implications of an exalted character. For that reason he should not be allowed to take VoP or any other exalted feats, and it is within your power as the DM to make such decisions.


+3

This cannot be said enough. VoP is a huge drawback, and causes the character to (usually) suffer mechanically when compared to the other characters. However, many people (like myself) are attracted to it for the roleplaying aspect. He seems to just want to play the system, and have his character seem to *know* he's going to choose to be poor to help people, so he spends all his money first. Thats not helping people, especially considering who's going to be casting that perm spell?

Yeah, a probably already rich spellcaster.

MickJay
2009-01-24, 02:52 PM
As said above, mechanically, it sucks (he probably thinks the +1s will add up to +2). Unless his plan is to spend money for something useless, which will in turn make his character realise wealth is worthless and take VoP :smalltongue: Does dispelling can really cancel permanent effects? I don't know much about rules governing that.

This probably was designed as a sort of munchkinery, but roleplaying-wise, I would see no problem with mixing perma-effect and then taking the Vow, IF the story behind it was well thought out and convincing (for me, good roleplaying/thinking can justify a little bending of rules). I wouldn't go as far as to screw that player over with telling him how things work mechanically only after he spent his cash (or with dispelling - if it's possible - the effect in first encounter), both are pretty a%$&ole moves, even if he wanted to be a little too clever for his own good. I'd just explain rules to him and that's it.

edit: thanks for the information :smallsmile:

monty
2009-01-24, 03:01 PM
Does dispelling can really cancel permanent effects? I don't know much about rules governing that.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/permanency.htm


You can make the following spells permanent in regard to yourself...This application of permanency can be dispelled only by a caster of higher level than you were when you cast the spell.


Spells cast on other creatures, objects, or locations (not on you) are vulnerable to dispel magic as normal.

Also, in general, http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicOverview/spellDescriptions.htm#duration


Permanent
The energy remains as long as the effect does. This means the spell is vulnerable to dispel magic.

TempusCCK
2009-01-24, 03:12 PM
How I'd justify it if I were him: (Not that I would, seeing as how enhancements don't stack, but I'll assume he's trying to permanency something useful, like, I dunno, True Seeing.)

With the spell cast, Character Name had some time to adjust to his newfound powers. After the sun went down, Character fell fast asleep. This sleep, a very deep and dark thing, was marred in his subconscious by a bright white light. A phenom that he had never experienced before. As he continued to sleep, the light grew larger and larger, until it seemed as if it filled the whole of existence with it's glow. Then, after what seemed an eternity under it's vast scruntiny, a voice, soft and gentle emerged from within. "you, who have divorced yourself the material gains of the world in exchange for the ability to combat evil, have shown yourself to be in my favor. Go now, shed from yourself all these meager fruits, and you will know the true power to fight evil with my gift." Then the light exploded, and Character awoke, feeling within himself a great disdain for worldly posessions. And he found, and he went on, the more he divorced himself from the "meager fruits" the more... powerful... he became.

ericgrau
2009-01-24, 03:16 PM
Wildshape causes all of a druid's gear to meld into his new shape. VoP provides the benefits of gear, which circumvents the intent of the wildshape rules. Ban VoP for druids, or disable the bonuses while he's wildshaped at the very least.

If you wanted to be mean you could allow his permanent greater magic fang, and then quickly dispel it with a caster in the next group of monsters he fights. But really you should remove VoP from his character and warn him not to blow all his cash on GMF b/c it'll get dispelled too easily. It will ruin the game otherwise. Just talk to him, and if he complains then tell him you made a mistake earlier, it would ruin the game and hold your ground on that decision.

Behold_the_Void
2009-01-24, 04:44 PM
Unless he's got a damn good in-character reason to be taking this feat, he shouldn't be allowed to take it. Period.

Zergrusheddie
2009-01-24, 06:02 PM
I made a VoP Druid once. I just convinced the DM that allowing it would make things a little easier for him as he liked to make tailor made items for people. I would think that allowing him to pay for Permanency is right-out; that would mean less money going to the cause that he set his life to (feeding the children, helping others, etc.). However, I do not think that having his Wizard ally cast it on him is verboten.

Just because VoP is better for Druids doesn't mean it shouldn't be allowed. There are ways of getting the benefits of armor while under Wildshape, one is Wildclasp at about 1,300 a piece. Taking VoP is not too different than a Wildshaper just grabbing some of those with some gear. And if the VoP becomes too powerful, buff the monsters and giver the players better gear; VoP is designed so that a DM gives the exact amount of cash that is recommended in the DMG per level. If the monsters get harder and the players get better gear, Mr. VoP is still going to be stuck at his current level.

Playing VoP versus Gear is like wining the lottery. You can take the benefits all at once and be rich sooner (VoP), or you can take the money in installments and be more rich later (Gear).

half eaten oreo
2009-01-24, 06:49 PM
It seems like he's just wasting money in this specific case. Shapeshift gives enhancement bonuses the natural weapons it grant, which wouldn't stack with magic fang. Exalted strike would also be useless in shapeshift form, as would enhancing strength.


When you shapeshift into a form other than your own,
you gain natural weapons (and reach with those weapons)
as described below. These natural weapons gain an enhancement
bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls equal to 1/4
your druid level, and at 4th level and higher they are treated
as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage
reduction.

If by Shapeshifter Druid you don't mean the phb 2 variant then ignore my post.

ericgrau
2009-01-24, 07:07 PM
Wildshape causes all of a druid's gear to meld into his new shape. VoP provides the benefits of gear, which circumvents the intent of the wildshape rules. Ban VoP for druids, or disable the bonuses while he's wildshaped at the very least. Plus there's everything that everyone said about him having the wrong attitude for VoP, etc.

If you wanted to be mean you could allow his permanent greater magic fang, and then quickly dispel it with a caster in the next group of monsters he fights. But really you should remove VoP from his character and warn him not to blow all his cash on GMF b/c it'll get dispelled too easily. It will ruin the game otherwise. Just talk to him, and if he complains then tell him you made a mistake earlier, it would ruin the game and hold your ground on that decision.

MammonAzrael
2009-01-24, 08:12 PM
This player is trying to cherry-pick the best mechanical benefits from an exalted status without adhering to any of the role-playing implications of an exalted character. For that reason he should not be allowed to take VoP or any other exalted feats, and it is within your power as the DM to make such decisions.

+4

I don't know if I can add anything here to what has already been said, but this seems very true. The fact that you came here to ask the Playground it's opinion seems to say enough to me that he doesn't have a great story-driven reason for doing such a thing. And that is pretty much a requirement for any exalted feat. You wouldn't let a player playing a Paladin break the spirit of the code but not the letter get away with it, would you. (Actually, you might, if they argue the Lawful Good side well enough :smalltongue:)

I approve that you've already told him no, and I think that was the best way to handle it. Especially since you're playing in RL, it was the most mature way of answering it, straightforward, and flexing (but not overbearingly) your DM power. I would suggest that you watch out in the future of him ignoring or forgetting the fluff requirements behind something, and just trying to get the mechanical (like ceasing to revere nature but not losing his druid powers). And in general, I'd avoid anything from the BoED for him simply because nearly everything has fluff requirements.

Overall, well handled, and I hope the game goes great! :smallsmile:

elonin
2009-01-25, 02:07 PM
Personally speaking I hate the VOP. The only classes I'd expect to see ever being intrested in it are Monk, Druid, and arcane casters who can get by on cheap components(perhaps psionicists also).

Once I had a personal impasse with a player of a were-bear monk who took VOP. While I did have other issues with that player, his vop bear monk was the worst. The crux of it was this: we were playing in a campaign whose objective was retreiving evil items to be destroyed (by valkeries I think). The VOP charactor added these quest items to his tally for share of loot to donate, thus claiming a larger share of the loot that the rest of the party wasn't profiting from.

Fixer
2009-01-25, 08:22 PM
Vow of Poverty is a role-playing feat that allows a player who WANTS to be subject to poverty and self-sacrifice to gain mechanical benefits for the role-playing. The character SHOULD have been forgoing material and worldly goods PRIOR to gaining the feat. One of the many reasons players take the feat at level one is because they can then say they were behaving that way prior to the begin of gameplay.

If the character is not already divesting themselves of their worldly possessions and behaving in a pious and self-sacrificing manner then whatever clerics he would have to go to to take his vows would not accept him. He would have to demonstrate his devotion to poverty and the stewardship of the poor before he would be allowed to take the vow.

This is a role-playing opportunity. Be sure and make clear to the player what you will expect from him to take the vow, and the behavior you expect him to follow afterward. If he agrees to follow the behavior expected for a person behaving with a vow of poverty, go ahead and allow it. Just make sure he understands what he's getting himself into.