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Thread: The Brown Note

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Leperflesh's Avatar

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    Default The Brown Note

    The Brown Note
    Evocation[Sonic]
    Level: Bard 5
    Components: V, S
    Casting time: 1 standard action
    Range: Medium (100 feet + 10 feet per caster level)
    Area: Cone-shaped burst (All humans/humanoids within range)
    Duration: Concentration + 1 round/2 caster levels (see desc.)
    Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
    Spell Resistance: No

    You emit a special, magically harmonic note, which causes all humans and humanoid creatures within the area of effect to suffer immediate and catastrophic loss of bowel control. Victims’ entire intestinal tract painfully spasms, violently expelling all contents and rendering the victim virtually helpless.

    The Brown Note does not affect undead, constructs, or creatures lacking a digestive system.

    The initial effect of the brown note causes victims failing their Fortitude saving throw to fall Prone, and are also treated as being Stunned (stunned creatures drop any held objects, cannot take actions, take a –2 penalty to AC, and lose Dexterity bonus to AC (if any)).

    The initial affect continues as long as the caster of The Brown Note maintains the note (concentration).

    Once the caster ceases the spell, all affected victims are now treated as being Nauseated: Nauseated creatures are unable to attack, cast spells, concentrate on spells, or do anything else requiring attention. The only action such a character can take is a single move action per turn. The Nauseated lasts for one round per two caster levels, to a maximum of 10 rounds. However, after five rounds, victims may make another Fortitude save attempt (same DC as the initial attempt): if successful, the victim is no longer Nauseated.

    The Brown Note cannot penetrate an area of magical silence, such as the silence spell.

    -edit- [affect/effect. Thanks waffle.]

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    ;D

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    It is 82 cents below E flat.
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    The initial effect causes them to be affected.

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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Nice. Sealing wax in the ears, and your bard blasts with that while you just walk around coup-de-gracing.
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Goodness, no. This sucker doesn't go through your ears... it goes straight to your bowels.

    You'd need to be surrounded by a mobile personal silence affect of some kind, in order to resist an ongoing Brown Note.

    -Lep

    -edit-
    to clarfiy, the SRD says of Sonic type spells, in part:
    Stopping one’s ears ahead of time allows opponents to avoid having to make saving throws against mind-affecting sonic attacks, but not other kinds of sonic attacks (such as those that deal damage).
    this is not a 'mind-affecting' attack.

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    Caelestion's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    So if the bard plays more than one Brown Note continuously, is the bard Brown Notesing?

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Nifty.

    You emit a special, magically harmonic note, which causes all humans and humanoid creatures... The Brown Note does not affect undead, constructs, or creatures lacking a digestive system.
    Any reason why it doesn't extend to other creature types with digestive systems... i.e. animals?
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Well... because the theory behind the brown note (which was pretty well debunked by The Mythbusters, as it happens) is that there is a particular note that matches the harmonic resonance of a human being's bowel. Creatures with physically different bowels would, presumably, require a different note.

    But much more importantly, I didn't want the spell overpowered. It is very useful because it incapacitates, without killing, potentially a whole crowd of enemies. But if it worked against too many types, maybe it's too strong. A bard has a limited number of spells to pick... there's the principle that if any bard would be crazy not to take the spell, then it's overpowered.

    But, uh, sure... you could add additional creature types if you felt it was within the power band, and appropriate. I'm not exactly an expert at balancing spells.

    -Lep

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    I can see that from a balance perspective. Perhaps modify the spell to affect a type of creature (not on the prohibited list) of their choosing at the time of casting? Humanoids, animals, and whatever else you feel has an adequate digestive system could be on the potential types list.

    I'd also consider adding a nauseating (or similar) effect to *everyone* within a certain radius of those afflicted: doing this to a squad of stone giants is going to leave some rather large piles of brown material that not many people will willingly wade through.
    It is very rude to use facts and logic against people\'s opinions. -- Valiena

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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    I considered that, actually, but decided it was too variable. It might all stay in their trousers... someone who hasn't eaten in days might not expell anything (but would still suffer from the effects, as the bowel spasms, etc.). A pixie is a humanoid, so is affected, but probably wouldn't make all that much of a mess.

    Too complicated. Let the DM flavor-improvise it.

    -Lep

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Sounds good then, those are just the things I would have (and you did, it seems) considered when designing a spell like that. If I was going to suggest anything else... nah, I'm sure you've already thought of it ;)
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Wouldn't the spell make the target(s) sickened, not stunned? It seems like you would be more sick than stunned if your bowels were emptied spontaneously.
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    You'd think so, eh? But Sickened characters still get to move around. I wanted them conscious, but otherwise mostly helpless. Not 'Helpless' mind you: no coups-de-grace. They still have an AC.

    Stunned seemed like it had the right description for what I wanted, rules-wise, even though the name of the status is inappropriate.

    -Lep

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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    I see nothing preventing the note from affecting the bard himself. Is it really a good idea to have a spell that has a chance of stunning you and a chance of not stunning every nearby opponent?

    Oh, cone-shaped. Seems kinda strange for a sonic burst.

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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Yeah, cone-shaped. I poked around in the hypertext SRD bard lists, trying to find a bard spell to 'start from', because I haven't made a lot of spells.

    Shout is a bard spell with a cone-shaped burst, which affects friends and foes alike. The bard has to be smart about where he points the spell, lest he include a friend... and the spell is less useful once your friends are in melee with the bad guys.

    I wanted to combine two factors: a spell which affects everyone in the area (not just enemies), AND can be used while in a party of friends (they'd better stand aside or behind you). Cone seemed to be the right way to go.

    -Lep

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Oh my. Is the component a handful of beans? That's some nasty music. Bardic schools just went down in my eyes.
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Well... because the theory behind the brown note (which was pretty well debunked by The Mythbusters, as it happens) is that there is a particular note that matches the harmonic resonance of a human being's bowel. Creatures with physically different bowels would, presumably, require a different note.
    New Scientist recently published an article on nonlethal weapons the DoD was developing (or looking to develop) and this was one of them. ;D

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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Spuddly, you're too smart for your own good.

    Wanna know why I thought of this in the first place?

    I saw today's new Arms and Weapons III thread, and I read the bit about how it could also be questions about futuristic weaponry... but that such things would probably be evalutated based on real physics, etc.

    So I started thinking about realistic future weaponry, and then I had the idea of writing up spells which replicated non-lethal versions of such things. The Brown Note was an immediate application that I couldn't resist writing up.

    Ultimately, though, I suspect the DoD is going to be disappointed.

    Quote Originally Posted by pocket watch
    Oh my. Is the component a handful of beans? That's some nasty music. Bardic schools just went down in my eyes.

    V,S only. I'll leave the, um, precise nature of the "somatic" component up to your imagination.

    -Lep

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    if it does prove to be overpowered try making it so critical failure of concentration check makes the spell a radius effect instead of cone, that il keep the player from overusing it.

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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    There's no such thing as a critical failure of a concentration check, though. That makes such a ruling somewhat problematical.

    However, if one were to introduce houserules about critical spell failures, I think the kinds of 'accidents' you might get from this particular spell could be quite, um, amusing?

    -Lep

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    I am trying so hard not to imagine bards casting this spell. Bards are supposed to be refined, cultured, well-versed in ettiquette. This is more like what happens at a barbarian frat party with drunken spellcasters. Everyone who has ever played a bard, imagine this spell on your list.
    MrMark on wizards and party harmony:&&
    And if the party is giving you a hard time about not pulling your weight? Charm them! They will instantly see the value in what you are doing.
    &&

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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Heheh. Well... surely there is room in the world for the Half-Orcish barbarian/bard?

    I could also maybe see this being invented and utilized by a gnome. They are known for their practical jokes... and even the clever gnomes are not above potty humor, eh?

    -Lep

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Hardly. Gnomes are barely above anything at all, even the ground itself!
    It is very rude to use facts and logic against people\'s opinions. -- Valiena

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Gnomes can get above stuff pretty well, it's the landing back on the ground that gets them ;D

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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    I read this thread and couldn't stop laughing for about ten minutes.

    Nice idea! ;D :D

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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Quote Originally Posted by Leperflesh
    ...Let the DM flavor-improvise it.
    I'm highly amused by this topic, but I respectfully move that we keep the word "flavor" out of it...

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Very creative, I like! ;D I think "Concentration + 1 round per 2 caster levels" might be a bit too powerful, though, considering that they can't take any actions while pooping themselves.
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    We call this "farting through the instrument"

    How 'bout adverse affects for woodwinds? Their reeds exploding?
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    Default Re: The Brown Note

    Quote Originally Posted by prufock
    Very creative, I like! ;D I think "Concentration + 1 round per 2 caster levels" might be a bit too powerful, though, considering that they can't take any actions while pooping themselves.
    Yeah, it's a real concern. A bard could hold a whole crowd in thrall, writhing on the ground, for an hour or two.

    What should be the maximum for the spell, do you think?
    -Lep

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