View Full Version : Help Needed Creating a New Supernatural(?) Ability

2007-10-05, 08:03 AM
Basically what I need is a special ability, I assume it would be of the supernatural variety, to cause accidents to happen.

I am an absolute newb at this sort of thing.

I don't know if it would be a move, standard or full-round action, or how it would work at all. The idea is that the creature can cause "accidents" to befall it's targets, pretty much immediately. Examples include;

- Causing the bridge on which the target is walking to collapse.

- Cause a heavy crate to fall off of a high surface onto the target below.

- Cause a ship's rudder to malfunction as it sails through an area with known reefs.

- Cause someone's pet to wander off somewhere where it get's eaten.

Generally stuff to make the players really paranoid and freak them out. I don't know if objects and such would get a saving throw against these things, or what ability the save DC would be based on. Hell, I don't even know what a reasonable DC for this sort of thing would be. Any help would be very much appreciated.

2007-10-05, 08:12 AM
No hard and fast rules, many 'usually's'.

I would make this a supernatural ability, because an effect like this is probably somehow magical in nature. (Extraordinary abilities break the laws of the universe sometimes too though. Usually not.)

Using a supernatural ability is usually a standard action.

Capturing would you have in mind will be very hard though, as the effect will be different each time. What I'd do is not stat out the ability, only limit myself in the total amount of direct HP damage the ability can cause (including making it incapable of directly slaying the target).
The limit would be dependent on the CR of the creature with the ability. You could use Fireball as a guideline for how much damage the ability can do (1d6 per level).

2007-10-05, 08:23 AM
Just have the PCs haunted by a Ghost (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/ghost.htm). With Malevolence and Telekinesis, you can pull off pretty much any "accident" you want.

Keld Denar
2007-10-05, 08:40 AM
Save DCs for abilities tend to follow the template:

10 + (1/2x hit dice) + (relevant ability modifier)

Example is a monk's stunning fist(wis), a monsterous scorpion's poison sting(con), or a ghast's poisonous stench(cha).

I'd suggest giving it supernatural (or maybe spell-like) abilities that mimic spells, then creatively use those spells to give the effect. Some examples are:

Stone to Mud
Ghost Sounds
******* Image

I'm sure just paging through the PHB you could come up with some others.

2007-10-05, 09:02 AM
I'd personally just use "Bestow Curse" or "Bestow Greater Curse" as baselines - probably not powerful enough to make potentially-deadly things happen, much less immediately, but you can still get some pretty hefty mileage out of them. I THINK Bestow Greater Curse was in the BoVD, but don't quote me on that.

Keld Denar
2007-10-05, 09:12 AM
BGC is in complete divine, I'm 80% sure.

The problem with the curses, is that most of the ones listed are combat oriented. The stat penalties are kind of meh outside of combat (unless you are making casters lose preped spells, or low str characters take -str to be encumbered), then they are really strong. The 50% do-nothing is also kind of lame out of combat.

Insanity (or confusion, or symbol of insanity, or similar) is very fun out of combat through. Especially if you can hit multiple people with it. Then you just wait till someone rolls the "attack nearest" effect. That person then attacks the nearest target, who, by the wording on confusion, must attack back (if afflicted). The origional attacker now must attack again, because he was attacked last, and so on until one person loses consiousness. If you can hit the whole party with it, you could have a massive slugfest on your hands. That would be amusing for the DM, probably not as much for the players....

2007-10-05, 09:14 AM
Another way would be to make it involuntary, like the skill Jinxed in Fallout. Around you **** happens, but it happens to you as well. Maybe add more and more negative points on each roll around you per your character level.

(Or maybe critical failure could be raised up to 2 or even three?)

2007-10-05, 12:59 PM
I'd give it the ability to cast spells as a sorcerer of X level, that would allow you to pick spells it could use to cause the accidents.

2007-10-05, 02:49 PM
Examples include;

- Causing the bridge on which the target is walking to collapse.

- Cause a heavy crate to fall off of a high surface onto the target below.

- Cause a ship's rudder to malfunction as it sails through an area with known reefs.

- Cause someone's pet to wander off somewhere where it get's eaten.

All that can be done with telekenesis, except the last one, where you could still technically, pull the creature, and use a silence to keep it from whelping/whimpering and pull it away. Like person man mentioned with the telekenesis. You could probably use mage hand to push the heavy box for a few rounds, and allow listen checks. Just using normal spells creatively and with dm license can let you do ALOT. With the bridge, use the force of of the spell to bring their foot down hard enough to crack the wood, you can change the rudder with it and make the ship hit reefs. You can even grab people in the back of their head when there's no one there, or simulate wind indoors with it.

2007-10-05, 03:15 PM
I agree with telekinesis, maybe telekinesis sphere or get limited uses of telekinesis for increased power, so its a kind of variant telekinesis. For the last one you could get a kind of specialized suggestion kind of thing that makes the target want to do the wrong thing, suicide or just plain take wrong decisions such as being convinced that the wrong path is the right, thinking he can survive the fall off somewhere, want to attack someone much stronger, stray away from the group when they're sleeping and stuff like that...

The DC for the last one would probably be a will save for all the uses of the ability, DC probably scales with charisma since its kinda a spontaneous thing like sorcerers. Maybe to get a few more uses of it or more power you can restrict when it can be used, for example only to cause bad luck like "coincidentally" the bridge supports give way while the enemy is on top of it, he sees visions that he follows to his own death, hears a voice that tells him he can surely survive the fall off the cliff...