View Full Version : Subtle Cues [Spell] (PEACH)

2006-09-29, 03:03 AM
Here's a nice ambiance spell. Very good for subtle uses creating mood. Very fun to cast on, say, a house. Something like this probably exists out there, but I don't have anywhere NEAR all the suppliments, so I wouldn't know. I'd particularly appreciate comments on the extent of what it can do versus its power level.... I'm wondering if it's overpowered.

Subtle Cues
Illusion (Glamer)
Level: Sor/Wiz 1, Bard 1
Components: S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Long (400 ft + 40ft / lvl)
Target: One area, object, creature, or illusion, of no more than 40 cubic ft + 10 cubic ft per level in volume.
Duration: 10 minutes + 10 minutes / level.
Saving Throw: Will (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes.

This spell can create, remove, or alter the subtle cues that make something seem alive. It cannot alter how the target actually is (save for illusions), but instead alters how it is perceived by others. It affects all perceptions of the target, but only subtly so. Features of life can only be hinted at or somewhat enhanced, not created out of whole cloth.

Inanimate objects (such as empty suits of armor or walls) may seem to twitch, sway slightly, and exibit a slight pulse or swelling which hints at breathing, but cannot be made to move any more than a person trying to stand perfectly still would. Animate targets (such as a stage puppet being moved by its strings) may have their motions seem fluid and natural. Rough-hewn shapes can be made to seem more smoothly aportioned and obviously mechanical limbs and joints seem less obviously mechanical. Features of the target will become more suggestive of body parts, such as mouths, eyes, or limbs. These effects can be reversed, making attempted stillness seem like complete stillness, and natural movement seem clunky and artificial.

Sensations of touch, sound, and smell can be subtly altered, but not created. Leather can be made to feel like living skin, and hard objects like horn or carapace. "Flesh" will be warm to the touch, not too dry, and have a hint of a pulse. Whistling wind can sound like unintelligible whispers, branches scraping against a wall like something clawing at the door, a babbling brook like real babbling, and a musical instrument such as a clarinet like humming or wordless singing. The stench of garbage can seem like fetid breath and an earthy scent like sweat. These effects can all be reversed, making people perceive a living target as not alive.

The emotional content can also be added or removed. For example, grass swaying in the wind can be caused to hint at a carress, a come-hither gesture, or a backhand wave of dismissal. Splashing water may seem playful or angry, an avalanche feel like a literal stampede of rocks, or leaves in the wind like dancers or victims caught in a tornado.

These are examples of what the spell is capable of, not its full extent. However, this spell can only add hints of life or remove them; it cannot add some elements and remove others, or replace some with others (such as making an angry gesture seem inviting). Additionally, the spell may not change what elements belong to. A wind which seems to literally whistle gains this hint of life for itself; the whistle does not seem to emmenate from anywhere or anything else. Intelectual content may not be altered; no actual words can be created or removed, nor can any meaningful gestures (such as pointing at a particular person) or markings (arrows, writing, and the like).

Disbelieving this glamour, if attempted, is automatic, but the character must be certain. (Simply saying "nah, it just SEEMS alive" is not enough.) Attempts to tell whether the object or living or not (be it through appraise, listen, sense movitve, spot, animal empathy, or other checks) are at -10 when attempted by someone who has not disbelieved the spell.

The effects of multiple Subtle Cues spells upon the same target do not stack, but they can be used to cancel each other out.

2006-09-29, 11:36 AM
Shouldn't this be mind affecting? Or is it also a way to hide from undead who attack anything alive?

2006-09-29, 12:31 PM
It's no more mind-affecting than Disguise Self, because it's a glamer. It isn't placing the image in peoples' heads, but rather changing the properties of the target subtly. (Glamers have always seemed more "transmutationy" to me than "illusiony", but thems the rules.) Those properties would then be just as faithly perceived by a video camcorder (if such a thing exists in your DnD world) as by a person.

This spell is not sufficeint to create the BELIEF that the target is alive or dead... it just makes the question somewhat mirky.

Thus, your undead would have to try to figure out whether the thing was living or dead and act accordingly. If they have some supernatural/ spell-like/ extraordinary/ whatever ability to detect living things, souls, or what have you, they'd see right through this spell. If they're just working with their (possibly extremely limited) brains, they'd have to figure it out on their own. If a rogue could hide from them by holding perfectly still in a warehouse of wax dummies, then they'd be scratching their heads over this one as well.