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    Default Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    I'm playing an exalted character in a game that the DM has said he wants to include the Taint option from Heroes of Horror. He's said he will let me make up a spell to deal with the taint (VoP character can't pay for or cast the expensive spells normally needed).

    The DM's not very experienced and I don't want to take advantage of that. Is the spell below balance given that normally Taint requires Atonement (with a 500XP cost), wish or miracle to drop a threshold level after 24 hours? Only a heal or restoration can drop it a threshold within 24hrs. Remove disease and remove curse can drop parts of it within the threshold by 1 point per casting.

    Also what level should this be if the willing target was changed to any creature with a will save and no alignment change?

    PURIFYING FLAMES
    Evocation [Good]
    Level: Sanctified 3
    Components: V, S, Abstinence
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: Willing Creature
    Duration: Varies
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    White flame surrounds that target of the spell casting light as a torch. If the target is good and free of corruption these flames persist for 1 minute causing no harm to the target or anything else. If the target has taint then she takes 1d4 points of divine damage per round and her taint score is reduced by one per round. If this reduction in taint drops her below the threshold of her current taint level and has had that taint form more than 24 hours then she takes an additional 4d4 (5d4 total) during that round. If the target is neutral then she takes 1d4 divine damage per round for one additional minute after all taint is burned out, at the end of the duration her alignment becomes good. If the target is evil it takes double damage from all effects of this spell and at the end her alignment becomes good. During any round the subject takes damage from this spell the pain imposes a -4 penalty on attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks.
    Abstinence Component: You must abstain from intoxicants and stimulants for 24 hours before casting this spell. You must not be the subject of any other spell at the time you cast this spell. You must not be suffering from any ability damage, ability drain, or energy drain at the time you cast this spell, including the effects of any previously cast sanctified spell.

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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    I would say drop the alignment change for sure, it seems like alot for a level 3 spell, even if it stays willing only (eps. since you can just knock someone out to make them willing). I can't really comment on the rest of it, dont know taint well enough.
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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    That's definitely too powerful. As written, the taint is supposed to be something far greater than ordinary evil: it's supposed to require extreme methods to remove even a single point of it. What this spell does is remove that difficulty. For nothing more than the casting of a third level spell, followed by a few cure spells, you can easily remove X amount of "taint," not corruption or depravity.

    I wrote something similar a while back, but I never tested it, so...
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Psionic Necromancy Project
    Heartstring Garrote
    Telepathy [Anathema]
    Level: Psion/Wilder 3
    Display: Material and olfactory
    Manifesting Time: 1 full-round action
    Range: Close (25 ft. +5 ft./level)
    Target: One creature with a taint score
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None; see text
    Power Resistance: Yes
    Power Points: 5

    You reach out for the taint deep within your enemy’s heart and grab hold of it, lovingly wrapping it around its positive emotions. With a sharp tug, you strangle the creature with its own morality, dealing 3d8 points of untyped damage to a good subject, 3d6 to a neutral one, and 3d4 to an evil one. Additionally, the subject automatically loses one point of depravity (this power cannot reduce the subject’s level of taint) and must make a Will save or have its alignment shift one step toward evil.
    Augment: For every 2 additional power points you spend, the damage dealt by this power’s damage increases by one die and its DC improves by 1.
    [Anathema] subtype is the same as [evil], but it requires a feat to gain access (it was part of a series like the necrotic cyst spells). The notable difference is that mine can target unwilling creatures, only removes 1 depravity without lowering taint level, and allows for a save to prevent alignment change. The way yours is written, it only poses a mild risk to good-aligned characters - the ones more likely to want to get rid of their taint - and forces an unwanted alignment change on anyone else who might want to get rid of some taint. The most glaring flaw is that, assuming you've got a cleric on hand to heal the damage while the target's still burning, one third level spell can get rid of all taint, instead of having the characters questing to find a cleric who can cast miracle or whatever.

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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    Using taint rules?

    Go-go tainted scholar!

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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
    Using taint rules?

    Go-go tainted scholar!
    NO! Go Tainted SORCERER! And the Ardent/Subverted Psion dip your way into Tainted godhood!
    Doc Roc: We're going to eat ourselves.

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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    The fun about taint is, that there's really no good way to handle it.
    And allowing clerics to just burn taint away kind of defeats the entire purpose of having taint in the game in the first place. With a spell like this, taint only makes mosters easier to kill.
    Last edited by Yora; 2010-02-02 at 04:35 PM.
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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by unre9istered View Post
    PURIFYING FLAMES
    Spoiler
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    Evocation [Good]
    Level: Sanctified 3
    Components: V, S, Abstinence
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Touch
    Target: Willing Creature
    Duration: Varies
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    White flame surrounds that target of the spell casting light as a torch. If the target is good and free of corruption these flames persist for 1 minute causing no harm to the target or anything else. If the target has taint then she takes 1d4 points of divine damage per round and her taint score is reduced by one per round. If this reduction in taint drops her below the threshold of her current taint level and has had that taint form more than 24 hours then she takes an additional 4d4 (5d4 total) during that round. If the target is neutral then she takes 1d4 divine damage per round for one additional minute after all taint is burned out, at the end of the duration her alignment becomes good. If the target is evil it takes double damage from all effects of this spell and at the end her alignment becomes good. During any round the subject takes damage from this spell the pain imposes a -4 penalty on attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks.
    Abstinence Component: You must abstain from intoxicants and stimulants for 24 hours before casting this spell. You must not be the subject of any other spell at the time you cast this spell. You must not be suffering from any ability damage, ability drain, or energy drain at the time you cast this spell, including the effects of any previously cast sanctified spell.
    Ignoring the whole issue of whether it should be possible to remove Taint with a mere spell, here are my suggestions.

    -To make this spell much less likely to get spammed, have it cost XP per casting. 500*Caster's ECL* #Taint points removed. So a 5th level human removing 2 points of taint would have to burn 5000 XP. This XP loss CAN result in actual loss of level (as opposed to item crafting which can't reduce the caster below a given level).

    -Target must be conscious and willing. No enchantment spells or other forms of coercion may be used to make the target willing to receive the spell. If the target is being forced, the target takes damage as usual, the caster takes damage equal to that of the target, and caster pays XP as usual, but no taint points are actually removed. (In the instant between casting and targeting, the caster can tell if the target is under some form of coercion. This removes a DM trap where the target is being coerced in some manner of which the players are ignorant). If the spell is abandoned in this instance, the target takes no damage, the caster loses no XP, though he has still used one of his spells for the day.

    -Damage: Having taint forcibly removed from your body is an agonizing experience. The target takes 2d6 damage per HD immediately. Each time damage taken reaches an increment of 50, death by massive damage may occur. The first save is made at a -5 penalty. Each additional save is made at an additional -5 penalty. This damage can not be reduced in any way through DR, resistance, or any other such effect.

    -Aftereffects: The agony inflicted by the spell is so horrific, that the target (and possibly the caster) takes 1d3 points of ability damage per HD, to ALL stats. Each stat cannot be damaged to below 3. Thus ability damage will never directly result in loss of life or incapacitation. No forms of magic (including Wish, binding of Naberius, or any other form not mentioned here) may hasten the restoration of ability damage. Races normally immune to ability damage are not immune to this form of ability damage.
    For casters who lose a level in the casting, use their HD prior to the casting to determine damage taken.

    -Recovery: Ability damage is restored at the rate of 4 points a day. Roll 1d6 for each point to determine which stat is improved (1=str, 2=dex, 3=con etc). Each stat can be restored by no more than 2 points per day. If a stat is rolled more than twice, that point of restored ability is lost.

    -Casting: This spell requires a mind free from extraneous thoughts. The caster must abide by the sacred vows for one week prior to casting (Abstinence, Nonviolence, Peace, Purity). While obeying the Vow of Poverty is not required for that week, you are not to live in the lap of luxury in a way which meets the other vows (DM's ruling required). Further, you must abstain from all sexual relations. Failing to abide by these strictures will cause the spell to fail, and both caster and target will receive the same effects as if the spell had been cast on a coerced target. However, unlike when casting on a coerced target, the caster will not know in the last instant that the spell will fail.
    Learning new spells and crafting magic items does not count as thought and contemplation and will cause the spell to fail (even for followers of Gond).

    -Special: If caster and target live and commune together for the week prior to casting, obeying the required vows. Spending the time in thought and contemplation, and getting to know and understand one another (DM ruling required), the target will receive a +3 to each save made. Should they continue to live and commune while the recovering, the recovery will happen faster. Gaining 6 points of recovery a day, with a max of 3 per stat (DM ruling required).
    Learning new spells and crafting magic items does not count as thought and contemplation (even for followers of Gond).

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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    Trying to think if I need to further clarify something.
    -Since Taint is such a huge issue (I need to reread BoED and BoVD again), a spell that burns off Taint like this isn't something that should be tossed around wily-nily.
    So I gave it the high XP costs, thus it's really only suitable once or twice in a campaign.
    -I spent all that time clarifying who can be targeted safely, because I think it violates the intent of purifying taint, by casting it on each minion you take captive. The chance to abandon the spell if someone is being coerced, I added so that a BBEG couldn't set up the party cleric by telling a minion, "Be cleansed of Taint, or I'll kill your family. Tell the PCs, and I kill your family."
    -Damage was changed so that there is a very real chance of this spell killing the target, hence putting a modifier on death by massive damage. And if the spell backfires, I think there's a good chance that a PC (especially wizard) could be killed by that kind of damage. The ability damage and slow recovery would definitely put a crimp on the campaign for a long time, so it's not like you can cleanse a bad guy, then have him join the party as a cohort the next day.
    -The statements that this bypasses immunity to ability damage, and that it cannot be restored quickly, stops this from being used freely on Ikea Tarrasques. The odd recovery mechanic is to stop people from saying "You've taken this much damage, you'll be recovered in X days." Depending on damage taken, and initial stats, it could take months to recover fully. Oddly, a character rolled via 3d6 6 times, will likely recover faster than a char rolled via 4d6 8 times, drop 2 lowest. So sorta a punishment for playing in highpowered campaigns.
    -The requirements of fasting before casting, I just took what the original spell idea had and increased it. Took the flavor, and made it into something I considered appropriate. Something that huge, you should need more than a day to prepare for it, and I tried to spell out the preparations in game terms as explicitly as I could.
    -Letting the target get a bonus to his saves was just a method of encouraging roleplaying. Announcing, "My cleric spends the week teaching him about Lathander. Here's 7 knowledge religion rolls" won't do the trick. Same with the recovery method. I also felt it violated the spirit of the spell to do your between campaign downtime (studying, crafting, etc) while prepping the spell, or recovering from casting.

    Just realized, it needs a clause dictating what happens to a person who dies in the process of casting or receiving the spell.
    Target dies: Spends eternity in the Abyss (or wall of faithless for a Faerunian). Can not be raised.
    Caster dies: Punished by god for his hubris. Cannot be raised period.
    Granted, the campaign could go planar as the party journeys to the Abyss or the God's domain to try and free the dead person's soul.

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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    If you don't want taint, get Pure Soul. Done.

    If you do want taint, you won't generally have need of the "can reduce taint category" spells, and hence it's not really a problem.

    You should mention to your DM that the way taint is set up in HoH, it can be incredibly powerful (Tainted Scholar is considered better than Incantatrix).

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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by magic9mushroom View Post
    If you don't want taint, get Pure Soul. Done.

    If you do want taint, you won't generally have need of the "can reduce taint category" spells, and hence it's not really a problem.

    You should mention to your DM that the way taint is set up in HoH, it can be incredibly powerful (Tainted Scholar is considered better than Incantatrix).
    I keep hearing about Tainted Scholar, but don't have Heroes of Horror (not even in pdf). Why is it considered so powerful? (Simple terms please, I'm tired)

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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by herrhauptmann View Post
    I keep hearing about Tainted Scholar, but don't have Heroes of Horror (not even in pdf). Why is it considered so powerful? (Simple terms please, I'm tired)
    It can get spell save DCs of 40 + spell level and bonus spells of something like 13/level/day without much effort. It also gets other class features that are about as useful as those of the Loremaster, and it's full casting.

    That's why.

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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    I don't have them either, but I remember someone mentioning how the conservative readings give something like 13 extra 9th level spells per day.
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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    The problem is Tainted Spellcasting, basically. Tainted Spellcasting is a class feature gained at first level that makes your spells run off taint instead of Int or Cha or Wis or whatever. Save DCs are equal to 10 + 1/2 your corruption score + spell level and bonus spells are calculated off 10 + your Depravity. Corruption maxes out at 3.5 times your Constitution score, and Depravity at 3.5 times your Wisdom score. So with a high Wis you can get an effective casting stat for bonus spell purposes of 120, compared to the normal maximums in the 30s.

    Tainted Scholar wouldn't be nearly as bad if it lost caster levels and had tainted spellcasting as the capstone.

    EDIT: I will note that Tainted Scholar has fluff which basically declares open season on you from all sorts of do-gooders, inviting your DM to smite you.
    Last edited by magic9mushroom; 2010-02-03 at 03:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by magic9mushroom View Post
    If you don't want taint, get Pure Soul. Done.

    If you do want taint, you won't generally have need of the "can reduce taint category" spells, and hence it's not really a problem.

    You should mention to your DM that the way taint is set up in HoH, it can be incredibly powerful (Tainted Scholar is considered better than Incantatrix).
    The problem was when he was going to institute it I was 4th level and couldn't get the feat for 2 levels. If I get any taint my character would leave the party so he could quest to get it removed (exalted character). I didn't even have the option of getting it removed in the first 24 hours due to a Vow of Poverty preventing me from paying high level clerics for Heal, or Restoration spells. Also, no one other than he and I in our group has access to HoH and no one else knows anything about optimization at all, so abusing taint is a null issue.

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    Default Re: Sanctified spell to burn off taint (3.5)

    Quote Originally Posted by unre9istered View Post
    The problem was when he was going to institute it I was 4th level and couldn't get the feat for 2 levels. If I get any taint my character would leave the party so he could quest to get it removed (exalted character). I didn't even have the option of getting it removed in the first 24 hours due to a Vow of Poverty preventing me from paying high level clerics for Heal, or Restoration spells. Also, no one other than he and I in our group has access to HoH and no one else knows anything about optimization at all, so abusing taint is a null issue.
    1) Consult with your DM - if the existence of taint has only just become apparent in the campaign, it's only fair to allow players to swap out a feat for Pure Soul.

    2) You don't lose Exalted status until you hit moderate taint.

    3) Tainted Scholar is so easy to break you can do it by accident.
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