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View Full Version : Substituting attribute bonuses for spell-like abilities?



Dragannia
2008-11-22, 03:46 AM
I'm just wondering about if there's an effect - feat, magic item, spell, power, etc. that lets you substitute one ability modifier for another in spell-like abilities. For example, is there a way to make the Mind Flayer's Mind Blast, which is determined by its Charisma bonus, be determined by Intelligence instead?

Biffoniacus_Furiou
2008-11-22, 04:37 AM
The only way I've seen to switch what ability modifier a DC is based on is if you have a Con-based attack such as a breath weapon, and you become undead or otherwise have Con as a nonability, it switches to Cha instead. Otherwise, you're stuck with whatever ability modifier it says its based on.

Kizara
2008-11-22, 05:12 AM
I'm just wondering about if there's an effect - feat, magic item, spell, power, etc. that lets you substitute one ability modifier for another in spell-like abilities. For example, is there a way to make the Mind Flayer's Mind Blast, which is determined by its Charisma bonus, be determined by Intelligence instead?

This isn't 4E.

Key abilities are tied to things based on a variety of factors, mostly logic and what that attribute governs. Charisma (as its a projection of personal force) is very common for most magic, while CON is used for posions/breath weapons, INT is used for TRAINED spellcasting and so forth.


That being said, I'm sure if you looked hard enough there's a feat SOMEWHERE that does what you want, as there's alot of sillyness out there. Try ToB.

Failing that (maybe there really isn't, I don't recall personally ever seeing one), you will need to houserule. I'm sure there are examples in the MMs that have illogical or silly attributes for things. None immediately pop into mind, but I'm sure they are there. As for your specific example, CHA is definately the appropriate attribute, so nothing needs to change.

EDIT: No, I'm not bitter at all....

Dragannia
2008-11-22, 05:40 AM
Yeah I agree, but this is, I guess, more about character optimisation. Besides, it never made sense to me why the regular version of the mind flayer had Charisma as its spell-like ability's DC, while the psionic version was a psion (with Intelligence governing it).

Reinboom
2008-11-22, 05:47 AM
This isn't 4E.

Key abilities are tied to things based on a variety of factors, mostly logic and what that attribute governs. Charisma (as its a projection of personal force) is very common for most magic, while CON is used for posions/breath weapons, INT is used for TRAINED spellcasting and so forth.


That being said, I'm sure if you looked hard enough there's a feat SOMEWHERE that does what you want, as there's alot of sillyness out there. Try ToB.

Failing that (maybe there really isn't, I don't recall personally ever seeing one), you will need to houserule. I'm sure there are examples in the MMs that have illogical or silly attributes for things. None immediately pop into mind, but I'm sure they are there. As for your specific example, CHA is definately the appropriate attribute, so nothing needs to change.

EDIT: No, I'm not bitter at all....



Charisma
1. Theology. a divinely conferred gift or power.
2. a spiritual power or personal quality that gives an individual influence or authority over large numbers of people.
3. the special virtue of an office, function, position, etc., that confers or is thought to confer on the person holding it an unusual ability for leadership, worthiness of veneration, or the like.




Intelligence
. capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, etc.
2. manifestation of a high mental capacity: He writes with intelligence and wit.
3. the faculty of understanding.
4. knowledge of an event, circumstance, etc., received or imparted; news; information.
5. the gathering or distribution of information, esp. secret information.
6. Government.
a. information about an enemy or a potential enemy.
b. the evaluated conclusions drawn from such information.
c. an organization or agency engaged in gathering such information: military intelligence; naval intelligence.
7. interchange of information: They have been maintaining intelligence with foreign agents for years.
8. Christian Science. a fundamental attribute of God, or infinite Mind.
9. (often initial capital letter) an intelligent being or spirit, esp. an incorporeal one, as an angel.




Charisma (Cha)

Charisma measures a characterís force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and physical attractiveness. This ability represents actual strength of personality, not merely how one is perceived by others in a social setting. Charisma is most important for paladins, sorcerers, and bards. It is also important for clerics, since it affects their ability to turn undead. Every creature has a Charisma score.




Intelligence (Int)

Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons. This ability is important for wizards because it affects how many spells they can cast, how hard their spells are to resist, and how powerful their spells can be. Itís also important for any character who wants to have a wide assortment of skills.


As there isn't much description in the mind flayer entry (besides what we would take from Lords of Madness), about the strongest bit of information we can take is that mindflayers are highly logical beings, and show little emotion save that of self preservation.

Now, mind flayers operate by psionics. Given the 3 key psionic classes (Wilder, Psion, and Soulblade), the wilder is the only one that keys off of charisma.

A wilder can let her passion and emotion rise to the surface in a wild surge when she manifests a power. During a wild surge, a wilder gains phenomenal psionic strength, but may harm herself by the reckless use of her power (see Psychic Enervation, below).
That is their process of manifesting...

The psion has less information behind it, except noting that it is indeed a stronger process of their mind and thought. Thus, they use intelligence.


Now, basing on all the information I just given over...


Why isn't a mindflayer Int based psionic user?

I believe I just found your strange exception in the monster manual.

Kurald Galain
2008-11-22, 06:05 AM
There is ample precedent in the later 3E books that for the cost of one feat, you can swap the dependency of any one thing from one attribute to the other, regardless of whether that makes an ounce of sense.

So yeah.

Dragannia
2008-11-22, 06:24 AM
Why isn't a mindflayer Int based psionic user?

I believe I just found your strange exception in the monster manual.

Mhm, IMO illithids should use Int on their psionics DCs in the MM. That said, they probably ARE inherent abilities, and I guess it made sense to make it Charisma based at the time of writing the MM. Mind Flayers are inherently psionic, by their natural abilities, but they are also highly studious and work to develop their psionic talents. Both Charisma and Intelligence seem to make sense, I guess, for the purposes of their DC.


There is ample precedent in the later 3E books that for the cost of one feat, you can swap the dependency of any one thing from one attribute to the other, regardless of whether that makes an ounce of sense.

Huh? Please explain :smalleek:

Dhavaer
2008-11-22, 06:31 AM
Huh? Please explain :smalleek:

By way of example, there is a feat that allow the use of Constitution for Will saves.

Dragannia
2008-11-22, 06:44 AM
By way of example, there is a feat that allow the use of Constitution for Will saves.

Yeah, but it still doesn't address the thread's question, hehe.

Vinotaur
2008-11-22, 06:54 AM
Dex to attack? Yes
Dex to damage? Yes
Wis to attack? Yes
Wis to damage? Yes
Cha to will saves? Yes
Int to will saves? Yes
Int to Ref saves? Yes
Monk abilities to Cha? Yes
Monk abilities to Int? Yes
Con to will saves? Yes
Cha to attack? Yes
Cha to damage? Yes

Any stat to anything governed by another stat? Precedent says yes.

That's what Kurald is saying.

Pie Guy
2008-11-22, 09:27 AM
how do you get cha to damage?

Emperor Tippy
2008-11-22, 09:39 AM
how do you get cha to damage?

Magic boots IIRC. I once had a build that had everything except Con to damage.

Starsinger
2008-11-22, 10:58 AM
how do you get cha to damage? Magic boots IIRC. I once had a build that had everything except Con to damage.

Yes, totally logical. I see Kizara's point about logic and bitterness now. :smalltongue:

As for why Mindflayers don't use Intelligence? Because rather than actually giving thought to it and doing it on a case by case basis per monster, the 3.5 designers instead decided to make a blanket rule "All SLA's use Charisma" and then have a few exceptions here or there. For another example see Undead Traits.

Probably because Charisma tends to be even more useless for monsters than it is for (most) PCs.

AslanCross
2008-11-22, 05:11 PM
I think you could just houserule it in the illithid's case, or use the psionic version if you really want to base its DCs off Int. There are a lot of feats that switch around ability bonuses---Zen Archery, for example, makes Wis apply to ranged attacks instead of Dex. I don't think there are any that apply to DCs, though.

Douglas
2008-11-22, 05:20 PM
how do you get cha to damage?
Divine Might (Complete Warrior, I think). Requires Turn Undead.

Keld Denar
2008-11-22, 05:22 PM
Magic boots IIRC. I once had a build that had everything except Con to damage.

Cha to damage is achieved via the Divine Might feat from Complete Divine, require the Power Attack feat as a prereq and the expense of a turn undead attempt to activate it (free-action). Slippers of Battledancing (MIC) also grant cha to hit and damage but require you to move at least 10' IIRC, making them not very useful in a full attack situation unless you have pounce or are a dervish (battledancer?).

No reason why you couldn't spend a feat to key your SLAs off int, although they probably should have been int in the first place. Probably a balance issue. If ALL of a mind flayers abilities keyed of int, they would be obscenererererererer than they already are. A MF is a reasonable "boss" type enounter for a level 4-5 party, which would get absolutely WIPED up with one, int to mind blast or not. The party cleric is only gonna make that save about 50% of the time, and the party fighterish character is only gonna make it on a 20 or so. Go go CR8.

The Glyphstone
2008-11-22, 05:25 PM
i think there's a pair of gloves or bracers in the MIC that adds your Charisma bonus as fire damage to melee attacks, don't know if it's X rounds per day or not.

Jasdoif
2008-11-22, 05:35 PM
As for why Mindflayers don't use Intelligence? Because rather than actually giving thought to it and doing it on a case by case basis per monster, the 3.5 designers instead decided to make a blanket rule "All SLA's use Charisma" and then have a few exceptions here or there. For another example see Undead Traits.Just to point out the "progression", the XPH gave Mind Flayers Int-based manifesting in place of their Cha-based SLAs. Their mind blast ability remains Cha-based, but at the same time it doesn't consume power points like the actual powers do, so maybe that one really isn't a "learned" technique.

Zeful
2008-11-22, 07:56 PM
This isn't 4E.

Key abilities are tied to things based on a variety of factors, mostly logic and what that attribute governs. Charisma (as its a projection of personal force) is very common for most magic, while CON is used for posions/breath weapons, INT is used for TRAINED spellcasting and so forth.


That being said, I'm sure if you looked hard enough there's a feat SOMEWHERE that does what you want, as there's alot of sillyness out there. Try ToB.

Failing that (maybe there really isn't, I don't recall personally ever seeing one), you will need to houserule. I'm sure there are examples in the MMs that have illogical or silly attributes for things. None immediately pop into mind, but I'm sure they are there. As for your specific example, CHA is definately the appropriate attribute, so nothing needs to change.

EDIT: No, I'm not bitter at all....

This actually has to do with all monster abilities within 3.5. It pretty much goes like this: If it causes a Fort Save, the DC is based of the monster's str. If it causes a Ref save, the DC is based of the monster's con. If it causes a Will save, the DC is based off the monster's cha.
Sometimes it's pretty stupid.

Note: I may have gotten Fort and Ref backwards.

Vinotaur
2008-11-22, 08:57 PM
This actually has to do with all monster abilities within 3.5. It pretty much goes like this: If it causes a Fort Save, the DC is based of the monster's str. If it causes a Ref save, the DC is based of the monster's con. If it causes a Will save, the DC is based off the monster's cha.
Sometimes it's pretty stupid.

Note: I may have gotten Fort and Ref backwards.

I can think of zero things that are keyed of a Str score anywhere in any MM. I can think of about a 15 things both Reflex and Fort that are based off of Con.

Nothing is based off of Str. Everything that isn't casting is either Cha or Con.

Teron
2008-11-22, 11:08 PM
Trample is strength-based. There isn't much else, though.

Kizara
2008-11-23, 06:11 AM
Dex to attack? Yes
Dex to damage? Yes
Wis to attack? Yes
Wis to damage? Yes
Cha to will saves? Yes
Int to will saves? Yes
Int to Ref saves? Yes
Monk abilities to Cha? Yes
Monk abilities to Int? Yes
Con to will saves? Yes
Cha to attack? Yes
Cha to damage? Yes

Any stat to anything governed by another stat? Precedent says yes.

That's what Kurald is saying.


Wis to Attack/Damage? I don't mean wisdom-powered attack abilities, but an actual bonus to hit and damage from the stat? Maybe I'm blind, as I tend to skim over Monk-related things (just don't like the trope).

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-11-23, 06:14 AM
Intuitive Strike adds it to AB, as does Zen Archery, but damage?

Also, the index (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=320889).

Devils_Advocate
2008-11-23, 05:37 PM
Key abilities are tied to things based on a variety of factors, mostly logic and what that attribute governs.
Eh, there's not really much rhyme nor reason to it. The PHB classes stick to Wis-based prepared (sometimes semi-spontaneous) divine, Int-based prepared arcane, and Cha-based spontaneous arcane casting, but there's the Assassin PrC right in the DMG already breaking that implied guideline. There's nothing to indicate that the assassin's casting is any more TRAINED! :smalltongue: than the bard's, that I know of.

Other implied guidelines get broken elsewhere. "Only full spellcasters have good Will saves" is broken right in the PHB by the Monk. "A class is specially penalized when it uses armor it doesn't get proficiency with, even if the character has proficiency" is broken by the Psion and probably plenty of others. And so on.

Anyway, if you actually wanted to make the game consistent about what each stat represents/does/allows, you'd probably do best to go all the way and tie each mental to a particular type of casting. I'd suggest house ruling that divine casting uses Charisma (DIVINE FAVOR!), psionics uses Intelligence (BRAINPOWER!), and arcane casting thus uses Wisdom, because that's what's left over.

Yeah, I know that last part is a kludge, but it's frankly not any more so than the Wis-based divine casting found in the RAW. That would make sense if Wisdom measured a character's faith, but it totally doesn't, so it makes no particular sense. Wisdom boosts willpower, common sense, perception, and intuition. There is no Faith stat in 3E, probably because if there were it couldn't plausibly function like a normal ability score. It would have to be based on how a character plays out in-game, like alignment.

Kurald Galain
2008-11-23, 05:57 PM
Other implied guidelines get broken elsewhere. "Only full spellcasters have good Will saves" is broken right in the PHB by the Monk.
If a so-called implied guideline is broken in the very first book that might be said to imply it, chances are your assumption (that it was a guideline to begin with) is incorrect.

I think the pattern is that the longer 3E / 3.5 was in production, the more the philosophy shifted from "stats have certain set functions" to "functions can be shifted around because we say so".

Abbott
2008-11-23, 06:15 PM
Divine and Sorcs, CHA, Wizards and other bookies, INT and Psions, WIS would probably be the most logical if you ask me.

The Glyphstone
2008-11-23, 06:19 PM
I can think of zero things that are keyed of a Str score anywhere in any MM. I can think of about a 15 things both Reflex and Fort that are based off of Con.

Nothing is based off of Str. Everything that isn't casting is either Cha or Con.

Trample-type abilities are typically keyed off Strength, I believe - for example, the Triceratops.

Kurald Galain
2008-11-23, 06:20 PM
Divine and Sorcs, CHA, Wizards and other bookies, INT and Psions, WIS would probably be the most logical if you ask me.

While that's a good point, remember that Wisdom is originally defined as "the stat that clerics use", and that all its other applications (e.g. perception, common sense, and so forth) were tacked on later, to give non-divine-casters a reason for not dumping it. This, incidentally, is why no other RPG (other than D&D spinoffs) has ever had a wisdom stat, to my knowledge.