Entry number 1:
Originally Posted by Cynthia YohtCynthia Yoht
The Light Within
Don't worry about a thing, friend.
Our cause is just. We seek no violence, no bloodshed, no death.
We will find a way to proceed peacefully, even if it takes some struggle before everyone sees the true path forward.
I know you inside and out. I've got you taken care of—and I know you've got me covered. Rather.
Just trust in your inner light to guide you. Know that I am within you, shining forth and giving you the strength you need to see this to the end. I won't let anything happen to you.
Now, open wide…
NG (Exalted) Human Healer 5 / Oozemaster 10 / Swordsage 1 / Apostle of Peace 2 / Contemplative 2
Stat Starting PB Cost Lv 4 (Net) Exalted: Lv 7 (Net) Lv 8 (Net) Ooze: Lv 10 (Net) Exalted: Lv 11 (Net) Ooze: Lv 12 (Net) Lv 12 (Net) Ooze: Lv 14 (Net) Exalted: Lv 15 (Net) Ooze: Lv 16 (Net) Lv 16 (Net) Ooze: Lv 18 (Net) Exalted: Lv 19 (Net) Lv 20 (Net) Final STR 8 0 8 DEX 12 4 +2 (14) 14 CON 14 6 +2 (16) +2 (18) 18 INT 14 6 14 WIS 16 10 +1 (17) +2 (19) +1 (20) +2 (22) +1 (23) +2 (25) +1 (26) +2 (28) 28 CHA 14 6 -1 (13) +2 (15) -1 (14) -1 (13) +2 (15) -1 (14) -1 (13) +2 (15) +1 (16) 16
Quick starting/ending stats so you don't have to scroll:
Level Class BAB Fort Ref Will Skills Feats Class Features 1st Healer 1 0 2 0 0 CLASS:
- Craft: Alchemy 4
- Know: Religion 4
- Handle Animal 4
- Concentration 4
- Heal 4
- Diplomacy 4
- Swim 2
- Ride 2
H: Sacred Vow, 1: Vow of Poverty, Exalted: Nymph's Kiss Healer Spellcasting, Healing Hands 2nd Healer 2 1 3 0 3 CLASS:
- Know: Religion +1 (5)
- Handle Animal +1 (5)
- Concentration +1 (5)
- Heal +1 (5)
- Diplomacy +1 (5)
- Sense Motive 1
- Swim +0.5 (2.5)
- Ride +0.5 (2.5)
Healer: Skill Focus (Heal), Exalted 2: Vow of Nonviolence 3rd Healer 3 1 3 1 3 CLASS:
- Know: Religion +1 (6)
- Concentration +1 (6)
- Heal +1 (6)
- Diplomacy +1 (6)
- Sense Motive +2 (3)
- Swim +0.5 (3)
- Ride +0.5 (3)
3: Great Fortitude Cleanse Paralysis 4th Healer 4 2 4 1 4 CLASS:
- Know: Religion +1 (7)
- Concentration +1 (7)
- Heal +1 (7)
- Diplomacy +1 (7)
- Sense Motive +2 (5)
- Swim +0.5 (3.5)
- Ride +0.5 (3.5)
Exalted: Vow of Peace Cleanse Disease 5th Healer 5 2 4 1 4 CLASS:
- Know: Religion +1 (8)
- Concentration +1 (8)
- Heal +1 (8)
- Diplomacy +1 (8)
- Swim +0.5 (4)
- Ride +0.5 (4)
- Healing Hands
Cleanse Fear 6th Oozemaster 1 2 6 1 4 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (9)
- Heal +1 (9)
- Disguise 4
- Know: Nature 2
6: Aberration Blood (webbed hands), Exalted: Intuitive Attack Minor Oozy Touch (Brown Mold) 7th Swordsage 1 2 6 4 6 CLASS:
- Ride +6 (10)
- Concentration +1 (10)
- Heal +1 (10)
- Bluff 1
Discipline Focus: Weapon Focus (unarmed strike) Quick to Act +1, Maneuvers 8th Apostle of Peace 1 2 8 6 8 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (11)
- Know: Religion +3 (11)
- Diplomacy +2 (10)
- Ride +1 (11)
Exalted: Nimbus of Light AoP casting, Turn Undead 9th Apostle of Peace 2 3 9 7 9 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (12)
- Know: Religion +1 (12)
- Diplomacy +2 (12)
- Bluff +2 (3)
- Ride +1 (12)
9: Inhuman Reach Pacifying Touch 10th Oozemaster 2 4 10 7 9 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (13)
- Disguise +1 (5)
- Ride +1 (13)
- Know: Religion +0.5 (12.5)
- Bluff +1 (4)
Exalted: Stigmata CHA penalty, +1 AoP casting (3), Oozy Glob 1/day, Slithery Face 11th Oozemaster 3 5 10 8 10 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (14)
- Disguise +1 (6)
- Ride +1 (14)
- Know: Religion +0.5 (13)
- Bluff +1 (5)
Minor Oozy Touch (phosphorescent fungus) 12th Oozemaster 4 6 11 8 10 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (15)
- Disguise +3 (9)
- Ride +1 (15)
- Diplomacy +1 (13)
12: Mounted Combat , Exalted: Gift of Faith CHA penalty, Malleability, Oozy Glob 2/day, +1 AoP casting (4) 13th Oozemaster 5 6 12 8 10 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (16)
- Know: Nature +1 (3)
- Disguise +1 (10)
- Ride +1 (16)
- Diplomacy +1 (14)
Major Oozy Touch (Gelatinous Cube) 14th Oozemaster 6 7 13 9 11 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (17)
- Know: Nature +1 (4)
- Disguise +1 (11)
- Ride +1 (17)
- Diplomacy +1 (15)
Exalted: Vow of Abstinence CHA penalty, +1 AoP casting (5), Oozy Glob 3/day, Indiscernible Anatomy 15th Oozemaster 7 8 13 9 11 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (18)
- Know: Nature +1 (5)
- Disguise +1 (12)
- Ride +1 (18)
- Diplomacy +1 (15)
15: Mitigate Suffering Major Oozy Touch (Black Pudding) 16th Oozemaster 8 9 14 9 11 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (19)
- Know: Nature +1 (6)
- Disguise +1 (13)
- Ride +1 (19)
- Diplomacy +1 (16)
Exalted: Exalted Turning CHA penalty, +1 AoP casting (6), Oozy Glob 4/day, Slime Wave 17th Oozemaster 9 9 14 10 12 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (20)
- Know: Nature +1 (7)
- Disguise +1 (14)
- Ride +1 (20)
- Diplomacy +1 (17)
Major Oozy Touch (Green Slime) 18th Oozemaster 10 10 15 10 12 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (21)
- Know: Nature +1 (8)
- Disguise +1 (15)
- Ride +1 (21)
- Diplomacy +1 (18)
18: Healing Devotion; Exalted: Favored of the Companions CHA penalty, +1 AoP casting (7), Oozy Glob 5/day, One With The Ooze 19th Contemplative 1 10 15 10 14 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (22)
- Diplomacy +3 (21)
- Ride +1 (22)
+1 AoP casting (8), Charm domain, Divine Health 20th Contemplative 2 11 15 10 15 CLASS:
- Concentration +1 (23)
- Diplomacy +2 (23)
- Heal + 1 (11)
- Ride +1 (23)
Exalted: Holy Radiance +1 AoP casting (9), Slippery Mind
Level 0th 1st 2nd 3rd 1st 4 3 - - 2nd 4 4 - - 3rd 5 4 3 - 4th 5 4 4 - 5th 5 5 4 3
Apostle of Peace spells:
Level 0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 8th 4 2 - - - - - - - - 9th 5 3 - - - - - - - - 10th 5 3 1 0 - - - - - - 11th 5 3 1 0 - - - - - - 12th 6 3 2 1 0 - - - - - 13th 6 3 2 1 0 - - - - - 14th 6 3 3 2 1 0 - - - - 15th 6 3 3 2 1 0 - - - - 16th 6 3 3 3 2 1 0 - - - 17th 6 3 3 3 2 1 0 - - - 18th 6 4 3 3 3 2 1 0 - - 19th 6 4 4 3 3 3 2 1 0 - 20th 6 5 4 4 4 4 3 2 1 0
NOTE: Tables do not include bonuses from high WIS. Cindy's WIS is always high enough to have a minimum of one bonus spell slot at every spell level she has access to.
Maneuvers (IL 4, 6 known, 4 readied, 1 stance):
- Moment of Perfect Mind
- Action Before Thought
- Cloak of Deception
- Shadow Jaunt
- Burning Brand
- Distracting Ember
- Stance: Island of Blades
Priority is usually, but not exclusively, given to Action Before Thought, Moment of Perfect Mind, Cloak of Deception, and Shadow Jaunt.
Cindy is a Healer! A Vow of Poverty Healer, at that. The various AC bonuses granted by VoP are, at this level range, better than what Cindy could get from mundane armor while still following the Healer's restrictions. She's not a skillmonkey, but she's got a wider array of trained skills (with various small bonuses here and there) than the average 2+INT Cleric. But at this level range, Cindy's job is mostly just to keep everyone else active and happy. If you really want offensive oomph, Cindy can use Sanctified spells like Divine Inspiration and heal the damage overnight or cast Lesser Restoration, too.
With Vow of Nonviolence and Vow of Peace, she obviously wants to make friends, smooth over differences, find alternative ways of settling disputes, and spare as many lives as can possibly be spared. She'll use as much magic as it takes to ward off disease and mend injuries, but she's also very highly capable of using mundane means to put bodies back where they should be, so to speak. She's popular among the common folk wherever she goes because she's always willing to make some mundane Heal checks to soothe pain and treat maladies.
From a mechanical perspective, please notice that per BoED pg. 30, a character with VoPov at level 1 does indeed get a bonus feat at level 1, even if the table on Pg. 31 neglects to mention such a thing. Text has priority over table, as we all know. Also, Nymph's Kiss explicitly states that its extra skill points apply at the level at which the feat is taken, so that's cool. The VoPov bonuses in this range amount to feat relief, nice AC, and some comfort aspects (no need to eat, protection from temperature).
This can be thought of as Cindy's "awkward adolescence" from a build perspective. Philosophically, Cindy is starting to evolve towards an understanding that everything is more fluid and squishy than most people tend to believe. We're all one in the end, aren't we? Of course we are. Life—all life—is mostly a big, pulsing, uniform mass that just needs to be together and nurtured and fed and cultured.
Cindy notices some very strange effects as her beliefs bend this way. She becomes rather odd to look at, starting to lose her physical shape's consistency and starting to, well, turn into a glowing ooze-thing. With really long pseudopods. She thinks she's just channeling more and more positive energy until it suffuses her system. Who knows? Maybe she's right!
The Swordsage level is, honestly, unfortunate, but it's by far the least bad option. What we really need at this point is a class that gets good Will (to get into Apostle of Peace on time), gets Ride as a class skill (for a trick that will make sense very soon), and doesn't have a shameful number of skill points. Swordsage is the best fit for the description, and the maneuvers are occasionally useful, especially the Diamond Mind save-replacers. (Burning Brand was chosen with the belief that it will apply to touch attacks like Oozy Touch, if necessary targeting an unarmed strike; if that's not your interpretation, eh, just don't prepare that maneuver or take Blistering Flourish instead of something.) Discipline Focus: Unarmed Strike Is hopefully to be used to help with Oozy Touch as well, but if Oozy Touch doesn't count as an unarmed strike, just ignore the feature. Not a primary concern.
Apostle of Peace offers accelerated spellcasting, a specific exception to Vow of Poverty in the form of "defensive magic items" other than armor, and a no-save ability to calm people down with a touch. Cindy really believes at this point that differences are something that can be peacefully resolved no matter what, with everyone just part of one big squishy whole. She keeps up her Diplomacy score and starts taking advantage of the utility and buff spells that AoP offers and Healer doesn't.
Webbed Hands is chosen as the Aberrant Blood option because Cindy does have a small ability to swim. Slimy Skin is slightly less mechanically optimal and somewhat more thematic, but to be honest, we're not taking Aberrant Blood for its own sake. We want Inhuman Reach, which makes both touch spells and Oozy Touch easier to use.
The VoPov bonuses in this bracket continue being defensive. Cindy gets her first ability score enhancement, becoming ever wiser. Intuitive Attack makes a night-and-day difference now that we occasionally care about making attack rolls. Oozy Touch does nonlethal damage and is therefore 100% kosher for Vow of Peace. Please note that all Exalted feats from this point out are, at best, window dressing and aren't really intended as a primary source of power.
This is where a few earlier choices really start paying off, so I guess we can call this a sweet spot.
Cindy's appearance gets weirder and weirder here, but she gets better at covering that up with Disguise so as not to scare away her patients. If it becomes appropriate to actually pretend to be someone else, well, she can probably make that work just as well.
Getting the gelatinous cube Oozy Touch is highly appropriate for someone with Vow of Peace, since it doesn't do damage. Perfect! The save DC is higher than usual because of Vow of Nonviolence, which is even better.
Malleability is the real defining feature that we want to talk about, though. The ability lets Cindy get into a lot of places that most PCs can't. The ability carefully restricts one's ability to expand in tight spots, but in no way does it restrict one's ability to chillax in tight spots without trying to expand, and that's exactly what Cindy is going to do here. Per the given example, someone with Malleability can squeeze into an "occupied suit of armor," so if you feel like staying away from the grosser choices, Cindy can do that—just hitch a ride in the party beatstick's armor and get to work. (Not like she has any heavy gear to carry, after all!) But really, what's a lot more fun is going, you know, deeper. Inside, shall we say.
See, Cindy is first and foremost a healer, one who seeks to remedy maladies. Some maladies are visible on the surface, but if your party Warblade has (for example) a really nasty upset stomach, who could possibly know exactly what the problem is from the outside? No, it would make far more sense to have the Warblade open wide and let the good doctor (I guess she's a doctor or something?) take a look around inside. All the way inside. She's got multiple ways of seeing what's going on in there (phosphorescent fungus and Nimbus of Light, at a minimum—phosphorescent fungus might even be used to mark out pathways!), thereby solving Groucho Marx's old conundrum*! As of 12th level (the exact level that Malleability comes online), she doesn't even need to breathe, so that's a concern fully addressed. She can't expand while within her friend's guts, but she doesn't need to. She can make Heal checks from the inside to really help diagnose and fix whatever maladies you may happen to have, and nothing says she can't cast heals or buffs on her external friend.
Even that's not quite goofy enough yet, though, is it? We can do better. Why does Cindy have so many ranks in Ride? Because now she's riding her beatstick friend from the inside. Arms and Equipment Guide pg. 85 provides an example of riding a creature from fully inside of it (just between you and me, that passage just might have inspired part of this build), so this is definitely kosher. Cindy has Mounted Combat. So if her beloved beatstick friend happens to take attacks while out there waging peace (always using nonlethal damage and seeking to spare whatever lives can be spared! ALL SHALL FOLLOW THE VOW), Cindy can use her Ride skill to try to negate some of those attacks! Aren't you glad you have Cindy for a friend? I knew you'd love having her along. We might even be able to make an argument about how Island of Blades works while riding someone this way, but don't push back too hard if that's shot down.
Don't forget that using someone in the party as a weird internal mount makes the "full attack action" required to use Oozy Touch less painful. Circumventing class limitations counts as using the SI, right? Cindy thinks so. You should too!
So yeah. We have a glowing peace-loving hippie ooze-lady who dives into your guts, heals (and buffs) you from the inside, protects you from attacks by skillfully riding your innards, probably causes your visible orifices to glow, and just might be able to reach out of your throat with inhumanly long, um, arms (?) and paralyze (and/or pacify) folks who aren't listening to reason. (Or I guess you can just stick her in your armor—which she is riding, not wearing—if you're THAT squeamish, but I will remind you that she can simply cleanse your fear away from you, so this is definitely fine.) That seems like a pretty sweet spot.
From the Vow of Poverty perspective, this bracket brings some mitigation to the CHA penalty and a bigger bonus to WIS, some very nice energy resistance, the ability to take CON damage to heal people (not very useful but kind of hilarious from inside someone's guts), a bit of DR, and the ability to not need to breathe. Most of these things are relevant!
This level bracket's charms are mostly about spells. Cindy's WIS is significant enough to get lots of bonus spells (she always has at least one bonus spell whenever she attains a new spell level), and surprisingly enough, Apostle of Peace's spell list is actually really nice! It's not terribly different from the PHB Cleric's list; perhaps it's a bit smaller (no direct offense, after all), but Cindy still has buffs for days (from Magic Vestment and Protection from Energy up to Freedom of Movement, Spell Resistance, Heroes' Feast, Aspect of the Deity, AMF, and even Astral Projection or Etherealness), all the healing and condition removal one could reasonably ask for, some environment and/or travel spells (Water Breathing, Water Walk, Air Walk, Wind Walk, Plane Shift, Word of Recall, and so on), some divination (Augury, Divination, Scrying, even Discern Location), and more! She's even got some BfC spells like Wall of Stone or Control Weather for when you need to get really serious. Not bad! Oh, and of course, if things get really nasty, Cindy's got Gate. Yes, that Gate. 9th level spells are fun!
Let's not forget Sanctified spells, either! Cindy's been casting Sanctified spells for at least as long as she's had access to Lesser Restoration, but it's worth highlighting some of the higher-level ones now available to her. Exalted Raiment is a fun buff, Channel Celestial opens up some very wide doors, Animate with the Spirit (Champions of Valor pp. 52-3) is beyond crazy, and there are some other good minion spells as well.
Cindy started her career as a capital-H Healer, and it's kind of sad that she had to shift gears before getting the iconic unicorn mount, don't you think? Thankfully, that problem is solved as soon as she gets access to Valiant Steed. If you don't have a beatstick buddy, I suppose you could dive inside your unicorn friend! Or, you know, just have a unicorn around as a powerful and interesting ally. That's totally worth scrounging up the XP (VoPov characters can use XP as GP for expensive spell components) to cast Restoration once per year. A trick that might work even better is to cast some Sanctified spells that just do Strength damage (not drain) first, give yourself temporary ability points with Mitigate Suffering, cast Valiant Steed, apply the drain to the temporary ability points (temp HP are lost first, so why not the same for temp Strength points?), then just heal the missing Strength through overnight healing or through a basic Lesser Restoration.
Oozemaster's abilities from this point on are pretty much defensive in nature, though getting extra Oozy Globs of paralyzing jelly can occasionally matter. Oozy Touch for black pudding and green slime should never be used on a foe, but Cindy is now immune to them, and they can be used against inanimate objects as a way around obstacles. Slime Wave, admittedly, is very hard for a Vow of Peace character to use, but it can at least be used against a metal door if aimed carefully. Gaining permanent fortification is excellent, and One With The Ooze offers handy immunities with no questions asked.
Cindy's build is capped off with a jaunt into Contemplative. The Charm domain struck me as too funny not to use. (The Slime domain, while you'd think it would be appropriate, is actually very unfriendly to VoPeace!) Cindy is extremely charming and delights in ways to solve conflicts peacefully. Magic can help with that! Planar Ally means that Cindy can definitely have had contact with a direct servant of her deity, the details of which are likely to be funnier in your imagination than in my poor attempts at scribing them. The domain itself has basically no overlap with her preexisting spells, and all of the spells on it are handy to have around. I don't have a specific trick in mind for the sudden CHA boost, but I feel like there are times when it'd be entertaining to just suddenly become more charismatic, too.
Mitigate Suffering seems thematically appropriate and makes the use of Sanctified spells cheaper. Healing Devotion is, again, chosen mostly for thematic reasons, but there are probably worse ways to spend those otherwise vestigial Turn Undead uses.
From VoPov, this bracket has a couple of decent spell effects like constant Freedom of Movement (who says the beatstick's guts are hard to wriggle through?), constant True Seeing, more stat bonuses, and some completely superfluous feats that I honestly kind of picked at random.
So to sum up, Cindy starts life as a normal white mage, devotes herself fully to pacifism, evolves into being someone's "internal light" who heals and buffs them from inside while making extremely weird touch attacks on folks who need a bit more convincing to chill out and relax, and ends with a surprisingly powerful array of magic up to and including 9th level spells. Oozemaster is awesome!
Help with Judging:
I think this mostly speaks for itself, doesn't it? I was inspired by the Amulet of Ooze Riding and wanted to find a way to use Oozy Touch's immunity to specific oozes to do something similar. I figured out that Malleability enabled some similarly hilarious nonsense by riding people rather than oozes, went through a Healer detour with the idea of being someone's internal repair system, realized that I couldn't get all the stuff I wanted out of Healer but that I COULD go in a wildly different direction with AoP while still keeping the Healer theme intact, figured out that Oozemaster is distressingly compatible with Vow of Peace, and ended up with far too many ways of making someone's guts glow. I mean, did you see that coming? Be honest. I still feel like it's part of a unified whole, though. This build would not be the same if it weren't an Oozemaster. I also liked the fact that Oozemaster, in contrast with Thrall of Juiblex or Slime Lord, doesn't require an alignment, so going as an exalted ooze (ooze of righteousness!) seems like a fun time.
Ending with 9th level spells despite having 10 levels in a half-casting SI, without relying on items, is pretty noteworthy. Every level of spells that Cindy has ends up mattering (between the base list, the Sanctified list, and her domain, she's got a surprisingly wide variety of options). Her numbers are more respectable than one might expect given the limitations of her class structure. Her benefit as a support character is considerable (I mean, a solid chance of negating one attack per round on your favorite frontliner is not to be ignored!), and while her tricks from her Healer levels do stop scaling, they never stop being relevant: Lesser Restoration and Close Wounds never go out of style, and honestly, just having a few actual Cures on tap really isn't a bad thing for most of the game. Oozemaster offers surprising defensive utility.
All prereqs are addressed unambiguously. While the build's unique tricks hinge on some lateral thinking, the foundation is strong enough that the build is still more than functional without a permissive GM. I staggered my level progression to minimize distance between new tricks coming online and the support structures for said tricks coming online. For example, Intuitive Attack comes online exactly when Cindy gets her first touch attack, the Malleability/Greater Sustenance (VoP)/Mounted Combat combo comes online perfectly at level 12, and Mitigate Suffering comes online right before Valiant Steed does.
I aimed to wring as much benefit out of each level as possible. A certain degree of cross-classing was inevitable (Ride is a bizarrely difficult skill to get on a caster who isn't a Druid), but I made sure that every class level I took had a reason to exist. I will confess to having a few strange skill ranks here and there, but that's mostly because I had gotten what I needed to out of a different skill and then needed somewhere to put the extra rank.
I found a use for a surprisingly large number of Vow of Poverty's benefits, including a few that I wouldn't have expected. I think the build is genuinely more cohesive with VoPov than without it, insane though that sounds.
Use of Secret Ingredient:
As stated above, it's really surprising how compatible Oozemaster is with Vow of Peace. I noticed a strangely pacifistic streak, dove in, and played it to the hilt. Oozemaster opens up options that a Vow of Peace user doesn't normally have access to, and once we get past the weirdness of "incandescent hippie jelly" as a character concept, the pieces really fit together nicely.
The build's primary unique trick relies on Malleability, which is only offered by Oozemaster. (Said primary unique trick was heavily inspired by some other ooze-related stuff, keeping the theme consistent.) The build also makes use of the peaceful options for Oozy Touch and Oozy Glob, and the fortification offered by Indiscernible Anatomy can't be easily matched by a VoP character, which is neat. The stat bonuses from VoP are used to mitigate Oozemaster's CHA penalty, preventing the class's baked-in downside from tanking our tricks. All ten levels of the SI are taken with some room to spare. The build does invest in Disguise to take advantage of Slithery Face.
Oozemaster: Masters of the Wild
Exalted feats (all of them), Sanctified spells, Apostle of Peace: Book of Exalted Deeds
Healing Devotion, Mitigate Suffering: Complete Champion
Charm domain: Spell Compendium
Contemplative: Complete Divine
Healing Hands: Complete Scoundrel
Aberration Blood, Inhuman Reach: Lords of Madness
Swordsage, maneuvers: Tome of Battle
Healer: Miniatures Handbook
Human, Great Fortitude, Skill Focus, Weapon Focus, Mounted Combat, etc.: PHB/SRD
Elements from Champions of Valor and the Arms and Equipment Guide were also mentioned in passing but were not included in the main build table.
*"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." Though of course, Cindy isn't allowed to own books. Maybe if someone swallows one, though!