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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    So, here's a question. Is activating your standard supernatural ability a "purely mental action?" They have no verbal/somatic/whatever components, so it would seem to me that they're strictly an act of will... in other words, a mental action.

    Basically, I'm trying to think of ways that non-psionic characters can benefit from Schism. Assuming that you have access to UPD (or, assuming transparency, UMD), a dorje of Schism could be a pretty good way of getting increased action economy, at least in a desperate situation if not as your first resort. (A way of taking the kid gloves off, so to speak.) Some examples:

    -Binders would benefit tremendously, since EVERYTHING THEY DO is a supernatural ability.
    -DFAs could lay down more breath weapons, since those are a supernatural ability as well.
    -Shadowcasters could double up on mystery uses, as long as they weren't the highest category that they have (that is, if they were spell-like or supernatural. Not all spell-likes would work, like those of the Warlock, but those of the Shadowcaster should.)
    -I suppose a Wu Jen with Eschew Materials who had used spell secrets to apply Still and Silent to her favorite spells could fire off more of those, even though they aren't exactly your standard (Su) ability. (Anyone with Still and Silent could do this, of course, but spell secrets make it easiest for Wu Jen to do it.)

    Does anyone see any problems with this? Some (Su) abilities obviously involve other actions, such as a bard singing or a pally using Lay On Hands (unless they were already touching their target, I guess), but I still think that your average (Su) ability would be usable by a Schism. Thoughts?
    Last edited by Zaq; 2009-11-18 at 03:12 AM.
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    Devil

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    Default Re: Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    if remember correctly, they are *mostly* purely mental actions. The exception to this are abilities that aren't. It's an annoying way to put it, I know. Things like breath weapons are not purely mental actions, they require the physical action of opening your mouth and exhaling... There are a handful of others that fall in a like category of not purely mental Su abilities. For reference, I think this can all be found in the supernatural ability description in the binder section of ToM.

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    Default Re: Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    Provided the use of the ability does not require any physical manipulation, yes.

    Above examples for breath weapons, for example.

    A Still/Silent spell with no material components would also apply.

    I use this myself with a cerebremancer.

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    Default Re: Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialAbi...turalAbilities
    If you want the RAW on it. It doesn't say either way if they are "purely mental actions," though.

    For a DM, I would rule it on a case-by-case basis. A medusa's Pertifying Gaze (Su) could probably target someone with the Schism-mind, but I certainly wouldn't allow her to use it in the same turn she was firing a bow. I wouldn't allow a Still/Silent/Enchewed spell to be cast by a Schism-mind though, even if it's nothing more than just finishing a though.

    Obviously, it opens up abuses to some classes (Binder) more than others. As a DM, I would rule "no unless I say yes" - basically, don't automatically assume you're getting free actions through Schism.

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    Default Re: Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    Actually, you SHOULD assume you're getting free actions through schism. That's precisely what the power does.

    Now limiting abilities? Absolutely. Medusa gaze? Requires using the eyes, and actively looking at something. Not purely mental.

    An action is purely mental if it requires no component other than thought/will to perform. If it requires directing a gaze? No. I may provisionally allow something like a gaze, if there was reason to believe the Medusa had been looking that way anyway... For example, if a medusa attempted to gaze the same target she just fired a bow at.

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    Default Re: Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixRivers View Post
    Actually, you SHOULD assume you're getting free actions through schism. That's precisely what the power does.
    That's not right. You're getting one bonus standard action each round, limited to things that can be instigated purely through mental action. There are different rules for free actions and standard actions. For instance, a standard action will let you ready an action (like a no-component counterspell); a free action will not.

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    Default Re: Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    They are indeed getting a free action. They are getting a standard action, for free.

    They're not getting a free action, but they are getting a free action.

    Jesus Christ.
    Last edited by Yuki Akuma; 2009-11-17 at 05:32 AM.
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    Default Re: Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    They are indeed getting a free action. They are getting a standard action, for free.

    They're not getting a free action, but they are getting a free action.

    Jesus Christ.
    So why not just call them bonus actions, or extra actions, and avoid the conflict with defined game terms? There are lots of non-confusing synonyms available.

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    Default Re: Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    Because TSR/WotC doesn't have a thesaurus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by archaeo View Post
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    Default Re: Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    That's not right. You're getting one bonus standard action each round, limited to things that can be instigated purely through mental action. There are different rules for free actions and standard actions. For instance, a standard action will let you ready an action (like a no-component counterspell); a free action will not.
    I made reference to a free action, as in an additional action that you've obtained that you would not normally have.

    Not a Free Action, the reserved game term for actions which require almost no effort, and which aren't limited in any fashion by RAW.

    Note the capitalization.

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    Default Re: Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki_Akuma View Post
    Because TSR/WotC doesn't have a thesaurus.
    As in, the people who give us this situation.


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    Default Re: Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
    So why not just call them bonus actions, or extra actions, and avoid the conflict with defined game terms? There are lots of non-confusing synonyms available.
    Because the only person confused by that was you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    -Binders would benefit tremendously, since EVERYTHING THEY DO is a supernatural ability.
    Not quite. Any vestige ability that says "XYZ, as the spell." is a spell-like ability (Sp), not a supernatural ability (Su.) For example, Astaroth's ability Word of Astartoth says it works like "suggestion, as the spell."

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    Default Re: Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Optimystik View Post
    Not quite. Any vestige ability that says "XYZ, as the spell." is a spell-like ability (Sp), not a supernatural ability (Su.) For example, Astaroth's ability Word of Astartoth says it works like "suggestion, as the spell."
    Quote Originally Posted by Tome of Magic, page 19
    All powers granted by vestiges are supernatural in origin, even if they replicate spells or abilities that are not normally considered magical.
    Everything a Binder does is (Su).

    Now, here's a question: who would allow a Schism'd mind to use a (Su) ability that has an implied motion/position involved, assuming that the character was already in position? For example, if a Schism'd paladin already has their hands on someone (for example, they're grappling an undead or holding up a fainted comrade), would you allow the Schism'd mind to use Lay On Hands? Why or why not?
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Come join the Iron Chef Optimization Challenge in the Playground E6 Appetizer Edition! We're currently cooking for round 28. Everyone is welcome!

    My compiled Iron Chef stuff!

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  14. - Top - End - #14
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    Default Re: Supernatural Abilities [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaq View Post
    Everything a Binder does is (Su).
    Correct:
    Quote Originally Posted by ToM p.19
    All powers granted by vestiges are supernatural in origin, even if they replicate spells or abilities that are not normally considered magical.
    And another relevant quote to this discussion:
    Quote Originally Posted by ToM p.19
    Supernatural abilities do not have somatic or verbal components, but certain requirements might apply to the use of individual granted abilities. For instance, a binder using a breath weapon must be able to open his mouth and breathe. Similarly, a character must have a free hand to make a melee touch attack. (In a grapple, the character makes a touch attack as though armed with a light weapon.)

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