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View Full Version : Immortality via the "Steal Life" spell



Doberler
2008-10-28, 09:35 PM
My friends and I are going to be participating in an extraordinarily high level campaign, (somewhere in the ballpark of 50). Because of this, I was looking into ways that I could effectively create an immortal character without using Wish

So, I came across a spell in the Book of Vile called, "Steal Life." What it does, is it drains 1 ability point from the target per round until all their stats are 0 and they die, and makes you (the caster) one week younger for every point drained.

After doing some math, I found out that I could essentially create someone who will never die, and all they have to do is slaughter a few villages to get to the age they want, and then use this on one commoner a year to maintain that age.

My question to you is. If I was playing say, a 400 year old elf, who had used that spell to give him the body of a 150 year old elf, would he have any of stat penalties due to aging. (I would assume not as his body is still young and full of vigor.)

On the other hand, would he retain the mental bonus' that come with aging?

This is my dilemma, and as my DM is currently out of country, I can't just ask him to fiat this.

So... Opinions?

Gralamin
2008-10-28, 09:40 PM
I assume you aren't using Epic Casting? (Because there are easier ways with it, but its entirely broken). But as a DM, I would say that you lose the bonus along with the penalty, as you are actually getting younger.

nc-edsl
2008-10-28, 09:51 PM
RAW you wouldn't have any penalties/bonuses from aging, as the character is currently within the younger age category. Logically you should still have the mental bonuses, however, as they are based on experience rather than physical changes, but that would require DM intervention.

Pandaren
2008-10-28, 09:53 PM
RAW you wouldn't have any penalties/bonuses from aging, as the character is currently within the younger age category. Logically you should still have the mental bonuses, however, as they are based on experience rather than physical changes, but that would require DM intervention.

Agreement, though, does it drain any random ability point? All of them? Con?

Doberler
2008-10-28, 09:53 PM
There's a bit in the spell I forgot to add... Here it is.


If the caster casts this spell on the night of the full moon, she becomes effectively one week younger for every point she drains. (Her age is reduced, but memories and abilities acquired during the week are not lost.)

Reading this, and comparing it to the reasoning for the bonus' for aging, it seems that the increase in mental stats is due not to aging but to worldly experiences over a period of time.

But that's my RAI

@Pandaren:

It steals caster's choice, 1 at a time. However, you can only drain 1 point from a stat at a time until you've drained 1 point from each stat. So, in order to drain a commoner of all stats you'd have to do something like: Drain Str, Drain Dex, Drain Int, Drain wis, Drain Con, repeat until Con reaches 0

Pandaren
2008-10-28, 10:01 PM
That I a sweet spell. Couple that with an extend Life feat in case you forget to cast that for a few decades.

Suzuro
2008-10-28, 10:29 PM
...I don't remember where I read it, but in one boo, it talks about reverting age and it says you don't have any physical penalties but keep all of your mental bonuses...of course I could be going crazy.


-Suzuro

Jack Zander
2008-10-28, 10:44 PM
The mental stat gains form aging are meant to be from life's experiences. However, I think that's silly considering you gain experience and learn things from that. I usually rule the mental stat gains as your brain improving (which actually makes less sense, but it does prevent cheapo tricks like this).

Talic
2008-10-28, 11:52 PM
Most abilities that halt aging take your actual age, not the age of your physical body. Things such as Timeless body, and the like, that halt your aging process, well, they stop penalties from being imposed, but still allow the bonuses to accrue.

golentan
2008-10-28, 11:54 PM
I'd do it as experience, rather than intrinsic. Learning how to cast a given spell is one thing: that's xp. But understanding more about how the world works. That takes time or intrinsic talent, and that's what the mental boosts represent.

Can I please make the obligatory "hearing gets better as you age" joke? Pretty Please?

monty
2008-10-29, 12:02 AM
Can I please make the obligatory "hearing gets better as you age" joke? Pretty Please?

That's easy enough to get rid of. Rule that you still get the Wis bonus, but also a penalty to Listen.

Ravens_cry
2008-10-29, 12:46 AM
Yeah, but if your getting younger, your body is rejuvenating, it's repairing. That means you would LOSE that listen penalty. If not, then Mr. rejuvenated should have a wicked set of cataracts.

hamishspence
2008-10-29, 08:57 AM
Ensul's Soultheft in Waterdeep City Of Splendors works a bit like this.

You drain intelligence, to heal yourself. Drain target to death, you get life extension based Intelligence points drained, and how many spell levels or power points target had. You also get immediate bonus saves against disease or poison currently affecting you.

And those slain cannot be raised or ressurected without the use of Wish or Miracle.

Its level 9, Evil descriptor, however, the character described who used it is CN, and it says he restricts himself to preying on Evil arcane casters.

hamishspence
2008-10-29, 09:08 AM
Creation of Living Zombies from Champions of Ruin slows aging rather than adding time to your lifespan.

They don't cost XP to create (do cost money) Max 1 per point of ability bonus in your primary casting stat. And, 1/2 aging per zombie, cumulative.

so, an Int 30 wizard with 10 living zombies would age at approx 0.097 % of normal rate, or slightly less than 1 thousandth of the normal rate.

Khanderas
2008-10-29, 09:11 AM
If the spell makes you younger, physically, and do not remove memories or xp, then yes. bonues for the high age (for how long you have been alive) on the mental stats, and no penalties for bodily decripification (as your body has the newer age).

But be sure the spell does not extend life by one week, that will not make you younger and you keep going as normal, except you die of natural causes later then otherwise.

I dont see the problem with using wish or some special spell to keep yourself young. Or lichdom. You certainly will have the spellpowers to do so.

hamishspence
2008-10-29, 09:23 AM
Steal life makes you younger, Ensul's Soultheft causes you to Not Age for the period listed.

Note that Steal life only makes you younger on Full Moon night.

It also says "adds life force to your own" but doesn't specify it clearly. Both Energy Drain and Ability Drain grant temporary HP to the drainer, but Energy Drain specifies that this does not apply for spells, Ability Drain doesn't.

Tokiko Mima
2008-10-29, 09:23 AM
The problem with slaughtering a whole village to make yourself younger is that you need to cast Steal Life every time you drain a new target, and it's an 8th level spell, so you'd get maybe 12 or 14 castings on the outside (assuming you had a bunch of 9th level slots) before you ran out for the day and had to wait for the next full moon to try again. With 52 weeks in a year, and the average commoner having 6 ability scores with an average of 10 points you'd only be able to drop a decade or so at a time.

Now, this process becomes dramatically more efficient if you arrange for your victi.. err.. assistant's vitality to be constantly restored by say, a wand of Restoration. Then you could drain one person the entire night without stopping and have gains of up to a century in a single night.

hamishspence
2008-10-29, 09:42 AM
And, in Lost Empires of Faerun, there is Ioulaum's Longevity, which does 20d6 damage in 120 ft radius, and extends time taken to reach your next age category by a year for every victim slain.

Player may wish to downgrade it in size. Dropping its DC from 152 to 0 is cheese though. I feel 0 DC epic spells are Not On.

Learnedguy
2008-10-29, 09:48 AM
It's kinda like having Timeless Body I suppose (but without the dying out of old age clause)

hamishspence
2008-10-29, 09:52 AM
Immortality of the Mountain for Frostburn's Cloud Anchorite prestige class. "You have no maximum age, and will never die of old age" You still age all the way up to venerable though.

Mark Hall
2008-10-29, 10:21 AM
Immortality of the Mountain for Frostburn's Cloud Anchorite prestige class. "You have no maximum age, and will never die of old age" You still age all the way up to venerable though.

So you can reach utter, healthy immortality in just 25 levels (Druid 15/Cloud Anchorite 10)? No need for undeaditude?

hamishspence
2008-10-29, 10:27 AM
Less if you're right class or can open up right skills- 6th level is possible.

Mewtarthio
2008-10-29, 10:29 AM
The problem with slaughtering a whole village to make yourself younger is that you need to cast Steal Life every time you drain a new target, and it's an 8th level spell, so you'd get maybe 12 or 14 castings on the outside (assuming you had a bunch of 9th level slots) before you ran out for the day and had to wait for the next full moon to try again. With 52 weeks in a year, and the average commoner having 6 ability scores with an average of 10 points you'd only be able to drop a decade or so at a time.

I'm assuming a custom magic item here. It'd be pretty awesome, you have to admit: A giant machine that sucks away the victim's lifeforce and transfers it to the operator.

My only question is, where is the OP getting the 200+ commoners he needs?

Mark Hall
2008-10-29, 10:32 AM
Less if you're right class or can open up right skills- 6th level is possible.

No, because 15th level Druid gets you Timeless Body, and 10th level Cloud Anchorite gets you their immortality power.

How do you do it at 6th?

hamishspence
2008-10-29, 10:43 AM
You don't need timeless body to get into Cloud Anchorite- its not on the requirement list. What is are 9 levels of skill ranks in some skills, less in others, and some feats.

You could be a 16th level Immortal. However you will age up to Venerable, and as the witch in wintersmith said "you get the same amount of youth as anyone else, plus a great big helping of being very old and creaky"

On the bright side, at least you have "utter, healthy immortality"

Mark Hall
2008-10-29, 10:44 AM
You don't need timeless body to get into Cloud Anchorite- its not on the requirement list. What is are 9 levels of skill ranks in some skills, less in others, and some feats.

You could be a 16th level Immortal. However you will age up to Venerable, and as the witch in wintersmith said "you get the same amount of youth as anyone else, plus a great big helping of being very old and creaky"

That's why the 15 levels of Druid are important... you may look old, but if you made them before you turned old and creaky, you never get old and creaky.

hamishspence
2008-10-29, 10:51 AM
5 levels of wizard, 9 levels of Alienist, 10 levels of Cloud anchorite, is quicker, and Cloud Anchorite overrides "You are stolen away when your time is up, and never seen again" because, you don't have a "time is up" And Alienist is phrased as "perpetual youth"

Though I suspect DMs may give you a funny look if you try this argument.

Kalirren
2008-10-29, 01:58 PM
Who says the target needs to be intelligent?

There was a certain homebrew universe of my DM's where the most powerful mage in the world was the ultimate janitor. He had a spell that sucked the life out of every rat in the sewers and maintained his youth, as Steal Life. Even with the houserule that rats were Diminutive and only had 1/6 HD or some such, and this was factored in to the aging calculation as two constant multiples, that kept him going for a damn long time...

He was over 4000 years old. "Ma'athotep: Every city's sewer solution since before your calendar was invented."