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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    I have stumbled into a problem in my campaign, and I'd like the masters of all things magical to lend me a hand.

    Here's the situation. An Xth level Wizard (ideally, the variable X should be a number as small as possible) is imprisoned without spell components or his spellbook in a 50-ft deep, 10x10 pit. He has no light and the walls are all thick stone. Once per day, food is dropped down through the locked grate at the roof of his prison by 10th level guards.

    He has a near-unlimited amount of time. Decades.

    How does he escape? What is the minimum level the Wizard would have to be to pull this off?


    In a PERFECT world, it would be best if the Wizard found a way to manipulate outside events to frame the party and get them tossed in there with him. But that's probably asking too much.

    What if we replaced the Wizard with an Xth-level Sorcerer?

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    A wizard of low level in a situation such as that is pretty much useless unless he has Spell Mastery and Eschew Materials.

    His Familiar might be able to set him free by contacting an adventuring party though.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    What spells did he have prepared before he was dropped in?

    Prepared Spell Retention

    Once a wizard prepares a spell, it remains in her mind as a nearly cast spell until she uses the prescribed components to complete and trigger it or until she abandons it. Certain other events, such as the effects of magic items or special attacks from monsters, can wipe a prepared spell from a character’s mind.

    Also, I think that somewhere, it mentions that wizards can reprepare spells they had prepared the previous day without a spellbook.


    A well prepared wizard snaps his fingers and uses instant summoning to get his replacement spell book and/or a scroll of teleport.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by quick_comment View Post
    What spells did he have prepared before he was dropped in?
    That's up to you.

    Instant Summons is a 7th level spell, and requires the character to crush a 1,000gp sapphie - such an item wouldn't be with the wizard in his prison, either.
    Last edited by Dust; 2009-08-03 at 08:39 PM.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Something like this just happened to one of my characters, luckily he has dimension door prepared, which is perfect for this situation. You'd be able to teleport 400+ feet in any direction. The problem from there is getting the rest of the way out without your components/spell book. Its a 4th level spell so 7th level minimum.

    But in this situation its 100% dependent on what spells you have memorized.
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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dust View Post
    I have stumbled into a problem in my campaign, and I'd like the masters of all things magical to lend me a hand.

    Here's the situation. An Xth level Wizard (ideally, the variable X should be a number as small as possible) is imprisoned without spell components or his spellbook in a 50-ft deep, 10x10 pit. He has no light and the walls are all thick stone. Once per day, food is dropped down through the locked grate at the roof of his prison by 10th level guards.

    He has a near-unlimited amount of time. Decades.

    How does he escape? What is the minimum level the Wizard would have to be to pull this off?


    In a PERFECT world, it would be best if the Wizard found a way to manipulate outside events to frame the party and get them tossed in there with him. But that's probably asking too much.

    What if we replaced the Wizard with an Xth-level Sorcerer?
    All you need is the right spell for either the Sorcerer or Wizard with Spell Mastery. Then, given the conditions, escape is easy:
    Limited Wish...minimum level 15 (Wizard and Sorcerer)
    Teleport...minimum level 9 (Wizard) or 10 (Sorcerer)
    Dimension Door...minimum level 9 (Wizard) or 7 (Sorcerer)

    (Add the Silent Spell feat, or better yet the Sudden Silent Spell, and escape is possible even if bound and gagged.)

    If you add Eschew Materials you can lower it further
    Fly...minimum level 6 (Wizard or Sorcerer)
    Levitate or Spider Climb...minimum level 3 (Wizard) or Sorcerer (4)

    Now "realistically" no character in the D&D-verse would imprison any low level wizard without at least binding his hands and no high level wizard without some thing to negate teleport, communication or summoning and other spells.
    Last edited by HamsterOfTheGod; 2009-08-03 at 08:40 PM.
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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dust View Post
    That's up to you.
    Ok, he had teleport prepared. He casts teleport, goes away.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    That's one of the simple solutions, sure. I'm wondering what convoluted methods the forums can dream up; the more unusual, the more memorable it'll be for my players. And I'm stuck.

    Obviously, let's also assume he doesn't have the skill points to get out physically (ie; climb and pick lock).

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Stone has a hardness of 8.

    If the wizard has a strength of 14 (let's say he works out down there - not much else to do) - he can begin pounding words into the rock with his fists on a critical hit. I'd say this takes three months of daily work, doing nothing but strength training, for every point it would increase him.

    Eventually, through doing push ups and working really, really hard, he is able to research a spell - it doesn't have to be a new spell, he just backwards engineers one. He proceeds to scribe this spell into the walls with critical hit punching. Learning the spell takes a month; scribing it takes a day, his hands bloody and raw at the end. His obvious choices are Charm Person and then Disguise Self.

    The guard comes. He befriends one with daily uses of Charm Person, until the guard comes to genuinely like him and lets his guard down. The wizard suggests that if he comes alone, they can talk pleasantly. Bring a little wine. Get drunk. The guard does so, climbs down, brings the wine.

    "Let's drink, eh?" Charmed creatures can be convinced to obey dangerous suggestions, just not obviously suicidal ones - and our multiweek brainwashing has got him thinking this Wizard is a really good friend. Guard falls unconscious.

    Mister Punchy Wizard coup-de-graces the guard with his own weapon, uses the guard's rope to climb up and out and makes a break for it disguised as the guard.

    Level 1.
    Last edited by AstralFire; 2009-08-03 at 09:29 PM.
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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Since P = F/A, you can etch words on your wall with a utensil or something.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by AstralFire View Post
    Stone has a hardness of 8.

    If the wizard has a strength of 14 (let's say he works out down there - not much else to do) - he can begin pounding words into the rock with his fists on a critical hit. I'd say this takes three months of daily work, doing nothing but strength training, for every point it would increase him.

    Eventually, through doing push ups and working really, really hard, he is able to research a spell - it doesn't have to be a new spell, he just backwards engineers one. He proceeds to scribe this spell into the walls with critical hit punching. Learning the spell takes a month; scribing it takes a day, his hands bloody and raw at the end. His obvious choices are Charm Person and then Disguise Self.

    The guard comes. He befriends one with daily uses of Charm Person, until the guard comes to genuinely like him and lets his guard down. The wizard suggests that if he comes alone, they can talk pleasantly. The guard does so; he opens the grate, too.

    Mister Punchy Wizard coup-de-graces the low-level guard in the middle of talking, uses his corpse to climb up and out and makes a break for it disguised as the guard.

    Level 1.
    Or he could just set apart a small portion of his bread each day, to chew up spit out and make ghetto bread-paper out of. Similar effect without the wall punching.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Moron View Post
    Or he could just set apart a small portion of his bread each day, to chew up spit out and make ghetto bread-paper out of. Similar effect without the wall punching.
    MISTER MORON.

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    Which is more completely and thoroughly badass - "I used regurgitated bread as a spellbook" or "I punched spells into solid rock".

    I presume he's given no utensils to use to avoid him being able to tricky dig his way out, and he can be regularly doused with water to ruin any spells figured out with his crumbs - but do they expect words punched into the walls?!
    Last edited by AstralFire; 2009-08-03 at 08:59 PM.
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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Spider climb lets him climb out. Material components are spider and coal, which can probably be found in a pit.

    Levitate and alter self let him fly out. Levitate needs leather, alter self needs nothing.

    Whispering wind lets him send for help

    Charm person to get a guard to lower a rope.

    Invisibility, the guards check to see where he went, when they go down to look around he climbs up their rope and steals it.

    He could use ghost sound to trick the guards into leaving. The material component could be made out of his clothing. Silent image might work too.

    Prestigitation might let him dig his way out. No material component

    Animate rope on the rope they use to lower down his food.

    Multiple unseen servants might be able to fly the wizard out. Material components might reasonably be found in the pit.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by AstralFire View Post
    Stone has a hardness of 8.

    If the wizard has a strength of 14 (let's say he works out down there - not much else to do) - he can begin pounding words into the rock with his fists on a critical hit. I'd say this takes three months of daily work, doing nothing but strength training, for every point it would increase him.

    Eventually, through doing push ups and working really, really hard, he is able to research a spell - it doesn't have to be a new spell, he just backwards engineers one. He proceeds to scribe this spell into the walls with critical hit punching. Learning the spell takes a month; scribing it takes a day, his hands bloody and raw at the end. His obvious choices are Charm Person and then Disguise Self.

    The guard comes. He befriends one with daily uses of Charm Person, until the guard comes to genuinely like him and lets his guard down. The wizard suggests that if he comes alone, they can talk pleasantly. The guard does so; he opens the grate, too.

    Mister Punchy Wizard coup-de-graces the guard with his own weapon in the middle of talking, uses his corpse to climb up and out and makes a break for it disguised as the guard.

    Level 1.
    Spell research costs money though, which the wizard doesnt have.

    Still pretty awesome.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dust View Post
    That's one of the simple solutions, sure. I'm wondering what convoluted methods the forums can dream up; the more unusual, the more memorable it'll be for my players. And I'm stuck.

    Obviously, let's also assume he doesn't have the skill points to get out physically (ie; climb and pick lock).
    Well by RAW you need to start with a spontaneous caster or a wizard withe spell mastery.

    Then it is just a question of spells. Which means that the jailers have to put a block to fly/teleport spells.

    The you have to stop gaurds from being charmed, the caster from changing shape or summoning or calling a monster, or tunneling through the earth, or fabricating or shaping and escape route, etc.

    The conditions you gave are just too simple to make a "memorable" escape. There must be more like AMF's or planar blocks.

    One way to make it memorable for ex, is to have multiple prisoners help the escape.

    So for ex, the imprisoned sorcerer can't cast spells in area X but the imprisoned rogue can do something to loosen the restraints on the sorcerer so he can cast a spell. The sorcerer can't cast an escape spell but he can dispel the magic preventing the imprisoned cleric. And the imprisoned cleric can in turn buff the imprisoned barbarian...
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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by HamsterOfTheGod View Post
    One way to make it memorable for ex, is to have multiple prisoners help the escape.

    So for ex, the imprisoned sorcerer can't cast spells in area X but the imprisoned rogue can do something to loosen the restraints on the sorcerer so he can cast a spell. The sorcerer can't cast an escape spell but he can dispel the magic preventing the imprisoned cleric. And the imprisoned cleric can in turn buff the imprisoned barbarian...
    Then Danny Ocean breaks into the vault holding the party's gear...

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by AstralFire View Post
    Stone has a hardness of 8.

    If the wizard has a strength of 14 (let's say he works out down there - not much else to do) - he can begin pounding words into the rock with his fists on a critical hit. I'd say this takes three months of daily work, doing nothing but strength training, for every point it would increase him.

    Eventually, through doing push ups and working really, really hard, he is able to research a spell - it doesn't have to be a new spell, he just backwards engineers one. He proceeds to scribe this spell into the walls with critical hit punching. Learning the spell takes a month; scribing it takes a day, his hands bloody and raw at the end. His obvious choices are Charm Person and then Disguise Self.

    The guard comes. He befriends one with daily uses of Charm Person, until the guard comes to genuinely like him and lets his guard down. The wizard suggests that if he comes alone, they can talk pleasantly. The guard does so; he opens the grate, too.

    Mister Punchy Wizard coup-de-graces the guard with his own weapon in the middle of talking, uses his corpse and the guard's rope to climb up and out and makes a break for it disguised as the guard.

    Level 1.
    Quote Originally Posted by AstralFire View Post
    I presume he's given no utensils to use to avoid him being able to tricky dig his way out, and he can be regularly doused with water to ruin any spells figured out with his crumbs - but do they expect words punched into the walls?!
    I don't think anything on this topic can top this.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Level 1: Be a human and take a flaw to get Eschew Materials Spell Master and Precious Apprentice for Knock.

    Take Summon Monster 1, Reduce Person and Knock as your spell Master Spells.

    Knock the gate open, Shrink to Small, summon the medium monstrous centipede (Climb 40ft) and ride your way to freedom. Once out of the pit... just book it. Wait until the guards are sleeping or something.

    That's building pretty specifically to the problem though.
    Last edited by Mr.Moron; 2009-08-03 at 09:11 PM.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    First level spell with no Material component: Summon Component.

    Use it to summon the Material Component of a Rope Trick Spell. A Rope.

    Climb the Rope into the Rope Trick a few rounds before they check for food, the window is right next to the trapdoor. If you are lucky enough to be fed by only a single guard, (You are level 3 Wizard with no book or components, you should be) then when he tries to go down to look, climb out and close the door.

    No one knows you are running around free, maybe you have an extra alter self to look like the guard and walk right out some door.

    Have fun escaped Wizard.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    The only issues I see with your solution, Astral, is that you can't critical hit objects, unless you're playing Neverwinter Nights, which wouldn't do this situation justice, anyways.

    The other problem I see is that the guards are 10th level, as stated in the problem, so s/he perhaps has a half-decent will save, even a poor Will having +3, possibly +1 from wisdom and +2 from Iron Will (b/c, let's face it, he needs the willpower to stay awake through these long guard sessions), for a total of +6, which gives him a decent chance of succeeding at the DC 14-16 Will save. Should he be charmed anyways, he almost undoubtedly has a good Fort save, so +7 there plus an almost guaranteed +1 or +2 from Con (they don't hire wimps to guard duty), for +9, which gives hims a much better chance to surviving the coup, as he'll suck up the subdual easy and probably make the save, which, from your example has a damage between 6-10, so DC 16-20, which is definitely within reach of the guard. I also question whether punching a guard in the throat in conversation with you really constitutes him being considered helpless to be able to coup him in the first place.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Of course, if it's a warforged wizard, he could just punch the walls steadily until said walls cease to exist.

    He's got time, after all.

    But the bloodied fists one is more awesome anyway.
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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Take Spell Mastery for Acid Splash and Lesser Orb of Acid. Since acid damage ignores hardness, you can just keep firing at the wall/floor until you build a working tunnel to somewhere. It'd take a bloody long time, but it would work, assuming it's dark enough that the guards never see what he's doing.
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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    The only issues I see with your solution, Astral, is that you can't critical hit objects, unless you're playing Neverwinter Nights, which wouldn't do this situation justice, anyways.
    I would allow it; as a general rule, the reason you cannot critical objects is because there's no structural damage you can do to them - they don't have the equivalent of internal organs. Here, you are specifically interested in dealing superficial damage. And strictly speaking from a non-gamist PoV, you can crudely carve rock with any decent knife (though you'll damage the knife), which is doing about as much damage. But yeah, a friend raised that mechanical issue.

    The other problem I see is that the guards are 10th level, as stated in the problem, so s/he perhaps has a half-decent will save, even a poor Will having +3, possibly +1 from wisdom and +2 from Iron Will (b/c, let's face it, he needs the willpower to stay awake through these long guard sessions), for a total of +6, which gives him a decent chance of succeeding at the DC 14-16 Will save.
    Right - but:
    A creature that successfully saves against a spell that has no obvious physical effects feels a hostile force or a tingle, but cannot deduce the exact nature of the attack. Likewise, if a creature’s saving throw succeeds against a targeted spell you sense that the spell has failed. You do not sense when creatures succeed on saves against effect and area spells.
    He has nothing else to prepare for most of this plan, and eventually, the guy will fail his saves. And cognitive dissonance will mean that he'll start to assume he really does like the Wizard, given enough time.

    Should he be charmed anyways, he almost undoubtedly has a good Fort save, so +7 there plus an almost guaranteed +1 or +2 from Con (they don't hire wimps to guard duty), for +9, which gives hims a much better chance to surviving the coup, as he'll suck up the subdual easy and probably make the save, which, from your example has a damage between 6-10, so DC 16-20, which is definitely within reach of the guard. I also question whether punching a guard in the throat in conversation with you really constitutes him being considered helpless to be able to coup him in the first place.
    A good point, which is why I changed it to taking his sword ("mind if I see it?" A charmed person won't do obviously suicidal orders, but can be convinced to do dangerous ones).

    To get him helpless, convince him to bring wine and get drunk.
    Last edited by AstralFire; 2009-08-03 at 09:26 PM.
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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by AstralFire View Post
    MISTER MORON.

    You are correct. But I ask you. I ASK YOU.

    Which is more completely and thoroughly badass - "I used regurgitated bread as a spellbook" or "I punched spells into solid rock".
    You raise a very good point actually. I suppose the awesome is worth a few bloodied extremities.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Alrighties, works for me, cuz impaling a guard on his own sword definitely makes this look much more badass, even if you do it when he's passed out and drunk. Just gloss over that note and tell about how awesome you were in taking the sword from the guard and maybe the bar wench will give you that second ale on the house.
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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Changling Wizard1 Immediate Magic (Conjuration/Abrupt Jaunt) tack on Domain Wizard/enchantment.

    Feats: Alacritous Cognition

    18 int would be nice.

    Gear: Tattooed spell book
    Disguise Self
    Charm Person
    expeditious retreat

    Over the course of a week the same guards drop food into the dark hole where they are keeping there prisoner. What they failed to realize is that the Wizard is a changeling and concealed on his body are magical tattoos that the changeling had on his body in case he were ever in a pinch. Like a rogue with hidden tools this wizard has slowly been infecting the guards with the charm person spell (they can't see him casting in the cell, they can only hear his voice, and there is no material components so all good). Using this method the Changeling exchanged rumors and through his persuasive attitude (lets say ranks in diplomacy or bluff) to keep up with intel on whats going on outside.

    The Escape:
    At the right moment, when there is a single guard, or an easily duped guard, the changeling will cast disguise self (stacking with his racial bonus to disguise) and expeditious retreat to look like another guard. After a few successful bluffs he will get hoisted out of his prison and wait for an opportunity to run away (disguising as someone else if need be).

    There is an unusual interaction with Alacritous Cognition and a lack of a spell book. Open spell slot can be used to cast a 'spell you know' whatever that exactly means.

    Edit: Abrupt Juant is used for the free 10 teleports as an immediate action, helps against attacks and need to hide. Nothing like a bluff that your casting some long range teleport and then abrupt jaunt behind a wall.
    Last edited by Animefunkmaster; 2009-08-03 at 09:51 PM.

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Could a first or second-level trapped spellcaster level up by killing rats with his bare hands? Could he get spell components from his food?

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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Punchy-the-Wizard needs no spell components! (I picked those spells out for that reason.)

    Spell components from food - probably not. Killing rats granting XP? Anything 'challenging' can give you XP, as you can get XP for roleplaying encounters. I would say rats, no, but extensive meditation and exercise in harsh conditions - yes.
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    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    Lv. 1 Wizard with Prestidigitation. Color the walls like, orange and neon green, or something horrible or excruciating to look at. Eventually,the guards will get sick of it and call someone to paint over it. Jack his clothes, tape his mouth or whatever, and leave!

    Or, through using Message, get people to believe that you're a famous person of some type, and when a guard comes for an autograph, cast touch of fatigue on him. Offer to help him out of the pit. Once out, cast obscuring mist, and make your escape!
    Last edited by AppleChips; 2009-08-03 at 10:10 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    9: "There Can Be Only One" is not my Eternal Hero's battlecry.

    “Who ate my toast?” Exodus 20:4 (Deuteronomy 5:7, Judges 6:10, Hosea 13:4

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Titan in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Sunnydale

    Default Re: A Conundrum (DnD 3.5)

    I think the best answer is level 4. That's the level to use Alter Self to assume the form of a 1 HD Avariel (winged elf from Forgotten Realms; +3 LA). Alter Self has no material components. As Alter Self is so generally useful, the Wizard should have it memorized.

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