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vampiricshaman
2010-05-25, 02:49 AM
ok i've had one of my players cast awaken on a hawk... i've made a ruling that once you've made the creature aware of laws and good and bad that it then can make those decisions and have given the thing awakend a random alignment.

also the spell says that it serves you... is that a form of slavery? once you've awakend it does having it become your basic servant doing this that or another thing really seem right? once it has the intelligence shouldn't it be able to make it's own decisions? or can someone basically make an army of dire bears that have to listen to them?

Kylarra
2010-05-25, 02:56 AM
It's friendly to you, that's not unswerving loyalty, although it does seem closer to helpful off the diplomacy chart, based on the descriptions. Either way, it's not mind controlled loyalty, but rather the willingness to assist a friend.

Optimystik
2010-05-25, 10:56 AM
The spell does seem like it might be pretty cruel. How can an animal ever go back to normal after getting slapped with 3d6 Int?

http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/images/laharidealwis/2008/07/25/gunter.jpg

Debihuman
2010-05-25, 11:06 AM
ok i've had one of my players cast awaken on a hawk... i've made a ruling that once you've made the creature aware of laws and good and bad that it then can make those decisions and have given the thing awakend a random alignment.

also the spell says that it serves you... is that a form of slavery? once you've awakend it does having it become your basic servant doing this that or another thing really seem right? once it has the intelligence shouldn't it be able to make it's own decisions? or can someone basically make an army of dire bears that have to listen to them?

You made a ruling that the creature now can change alignment. Does it? Is the player choosing the creature's new alignment or are you? Animals have a neutral alignment so how long does it take to make a creature aware of laws so it can change alignment. As a DM, you shouldn't try to force a player's hand if he or she isn't inclined.

Serving someone willingly isn't slavery. It's only slavery if you force someone to serve against his or her will. Is the PC mistreating the awakened creature in some way?

If the player asks the dire bear to catch him a salmon, the bear does it because the bear likes him. Ditto for listening to the PC's "story". The bear listens because it's his friend. The PC doesn't force the bear, all he has to do is ask.


The spell does seem like it might be pretty cruel. How can an animal ever go back to normal after getting slapped with 3d6 Int?

I suppose you could unawaken the creature if it were unhappy about it via wish or miracle.

Debby

Mastikator
2010-05-25, 11:11 AM
The spell does seem like it might be pretty cruel. How can an animal ever go back to normal after getting slapped with 3d6 Int? Feeblemind?

Devils_Advocate
2010-05-26, 04:34 PM
i've made a ruling that once you've made the creature aware of laws and good and bad that it then can make those decisions and have given the thing awakend a random alignment.
Wouldn't it make more sense for an awakened animal to remain Neutral until it had reason to change to another alignment? The spell randomizes Intelligence, of course, but the main reason to run it that way is that that's what the spell description says. The spell description doesn't say anything about changing alignment.

Nor does it say anything about making the animal aware of anything besides how to speak at least one language. I would assume that the animal only learns the words for things that it's already aware of, instead of a bunch of additional knowledge getting rammed into its mind.


also the spell says that it serves you... is that a form of slavery?
No. It starts off as the caster's friend and aids her willingly. If the caster mistreats the awakened animal, perhaps due a misapprehension that the spell creates a servant rather than an ally, it might not remain her friend for long.

The awakened animal can and probably will make requests of the druid, too. They're just unlikely to be anything that the druid will have trouble doing. ("I want a rabbit." "OK, I'll turn into a hawk too and we'll hunt some.")

Awaken takes 24 hours to cast, costs 250 XP, and for all that might not even work. It makes the target friendly towards you, and if you treat it reasonably well, it will probably stay that way. Charm monster takes a standard action to cast, costs no XP, and compels the target to regard you as favorably as possible, but has a limited duration (and also might not work, but eh). Charm monster is way more abusable. Of course, you could say that awaken is more abusive in the first place, what with its forcible alteration to a creature's mind being permanent, but there's nothing exceptional about using force on animals, even at the animals' expense.

The relationship between an awakened animal and the druid that awakened it is as inherently cruelly exploitative as the relationship between pet and master, or child and parent, for pretty much all of the same reasons. In other words, not at all, not even if the latter party takes an authoritative role.


once you've awakend it does having it become your basic servant doing this that or another thing really seem right?
No, it doesn't. Morality aside, from a purely metagame perspective, treating the creature as compelled to follow the caster's orders just goes against the spell description. You specifically "have no special empathy or connection with a creature you awaken". The spell doesn't make it your slave any more than the other members of your adventuring party are your slave.


once it has the intelligence shouldn't it be able to make it's own decisions?
Yes, it is. (Not that someone else made its decisions before.)


can someone basically make an army of dire bears that have to listen to them?
Not with awaken. But there are plenty of other spells for that, or something like it.

Mark Hall
2010-05-26, 05:38 PM
Personally, I would make an Awakened animal's alignment be within 1 step of the caster's, probably with the animal's social organization determining part of that... a pack/herd animal would tend towards Lawful. A solitary animal would tend towards Chaotic.

Optimystik
2010-05-26, 05:41 PM
I suppose you could unawaken the creature if it were unhappy about it via wish or miracle.

Debby


Feeblemind?

I phrased that badly. I know HOW you could make such an animal dumb again, but the morality of mentally euthanizing it once it has known higher thought processes is suspect at best.

Asheram
2010-05-26, 05:57 PM
Reading this I keep being reminded of that "horror" story about the awakened rat and how he became a lich...

Flickerdart
2010-05-26, 06:08 PM
I phrased that badly. I know HOW you could make such an animal dumb again, but the morality of mentally euthanizing it once it has known higher thought processes is suspect at best.
What if it liked being an animal?

Optimystik
2010-05-26, 06:17 PM
What if it liked being an animal?

So did Guenter - that didn't stop him from lamenting his stupidity once he got back to that state.

If, theoretically, an animal that absolutely detested being Awakened were to be Awakened, then restoring it to ignorance would be the right thing to do; but that would mean the original Awakening was immoral. It's Hobson's Choice.

KillianHawkeye
2010-05-26, 07:22 PM
An awakened plant or animal should be treated as any other friendly NPC. It helps the PCs because it likes them, but it also has its own motives and desires. I agree that there's no reason for it to suddenly adopt an extreme alignment.

BraveSirKevin
2010-05-26, 09:17 PM
The spell does seem like it might be pretty cruel. How can an animal ever go back to normal after getting slapped with 3d6 Int?


Well for one it would never be able to relate to the rest of it's species again, and yet would never be quite human. A "Flowers for Algenon" kinda scenario. Seems a little selfish on the part of the druid.

Could always play the awakened animal as an emo kid who moans tirelessly about not fitting in and being completely misunderstood all the time :smallbiggrin:

hamishspence
2010-05-27, 04:50 AM
The Daine books (and Keladry books) by Tamora Pierce seem to have this- animals exposed to a wildmage over time, get smarter (unlike awakened animals, they can't talk).

Generally, they seem to cope though (mostly because they're in a community of other unusually smart animals.)