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    Titan in the Playground
     
    DracoDei's Avatar

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    Default (3.5) A Twist Looking for a Spell [Spell] [Feat](PEACH)

    I'm in "exhausted inspiration" mood right now, so don't be surprised if there is a bone-headed mistake in with the (hopefully) intriguing concept here.

    How this happened:
    Spoiler
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    The idea of a spell that plays on the theme that a single well-chosen words can be better than many came to me.

    There are many characters in fiction who speak only very very rarely, but when they do their taciturn nature lends additional weight to their great insight. For more details, see HERE* and for another applicable trope HERE*.
    *CAUTION: Use TVTropes responsibly!

    I'm not sure if this is best served by a direct damage spell, but it was a simple place to start, so I could focus on the mood of the spell without worrying about the actual effect much. Similarly, I wanted to get this written down, rather than worrying TOO much about the balance of how the effect scales with periods of quiet.

    This might make a good Utterance for Truespeech (or rather a rewrite of Truespeech, since I hear RAW Truespeech stinks), but I don't know enough about such things to really know.

    There are probably several classes out there that I'm not thinking of that could use this spell.

    Suggestions especially welcome on any of the uncertainties mentioned above.


    Singular Word
    Evocation
    Level: Assassin 4, Sor/Wiz 4
    Components: V
    Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
    Range:
    Whispered: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
    Shouted: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
    Target: 1 creature
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Will Half
    Spell Resistance: Yes (See Below)

    You call upon the power of a single word to break your silence with great effect, denying the very existence of the one you oppose. The power of this spell varies with how long it has been since you last made a verbal sound, cast a spell (even without verbal components), used true speech, activated a magic item with a command word or visible or audible effect, or communicated. For these purposes communication includes writing (provided you allow anyone else to read it), speaking, any attempt to get someones attention, or gestures beyond basic pointing in the direction of something of interest.

    To determine how much damage this spell inflicts, first take the time and use the following table to determine how much damage is inflicted per caster level.

    {table="head"]Time|Damage
    Special|0.5
    1 round*|1
    1 minute|d3
    10 minutes|d4
    1 hour|d6
    1 day|d8
    1 week|d10
    1 month|1d12
    1 year|8
    Special|12
    [/table]
    *measured from the START of your previous turn, even if that wasn't in combat.

    The verbal component of this spell is usually exceptionally quiet, increasing the DCs to hear it by 10. In this case the range is short. If, instead, it is shouted, then the range increases to medium, but the power is decreased by one catagory unless the target has a challenge rating at least 4 more than this spells caster level and is outside of Close range, in which case the range increases, but the damage does not decrease.

    If this spell is cast on the second or later round of combat and you have not interacted with anyone else since the start of combat, then increase the effect one catagory. A surprise round is considered "Round 0" for these purposes.

    If you speak (even in the area of a Silence spell or similar situation) before the start of your next turn after casting this spell, then you suffer the damage as if you had also been targeted by it by yourself. In such a case neither a saving throw nor spell resistance is allowed to you.


    Analysis:
    Spoiler
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    This spell obviously could be abused into a great alpha-strike, but since it probably means foregoing a pre-combat buff routine and it punishes your for combining it with a quickened spell, I'm thinking it will encourage creative and tactical thinking, rather than cookie-cutter power-gaming.

    When used by a major NPC, it can make an interesting challenge that rewards researching the target rather than just rushing in, so as to discover that they almost never speak, and then researching why.


    Actually, just because that last bit of analysis got me thinking, have a feat:
    Tightened Lips
    Brevity is the soul of wit.
    Prerequisites:
    (Must meet all of the following 3 requirements)
    Wisdom 13
    5 ranks in one of the following skills: Autohypnosis, Concentration, OR Move Silently
    One of the following: Iron Will(feat), Skill Focus[Concentration](feat), Skill Focus[Move Silently](feat), Still Mind (class feature)

    Alternatively to all of the above prerequisites, Int - creatures may take this feat. Note that most mindless creatures don't have variable feats, so this is a very rare thing.

    Benefits: If your sole contribution to a conversation is a single continuous statement (others can interrupt you, but to benefit from this feat you must utterly ignore them) totalling no more than 1/10 of the number of words that have been spoken in the conversation prior to that point then you gain a +5 bonus to all bluff, intimidate, and/or diplomacy checks that are based only on that statement and non-verbal cues. The GM should adjudicate uncertain cases, and give weight to a feel of brevity on the player's part when they make their character's statement.

    You gain a +2 bonus on Move Silently checks OR replace your (skill ranks + ability modifier) for that ability with half your ECL, whichever would give you the higher modifier in each case.

    If you have not made a sound for magical or communications purposes with the last round then when a spell or effect (including pain) would force you to make a sound* you gain a second saving throw**. If you elect to only have the effects keep from forcing you to make any sounds that round AND sounds for the purposes of communication, spellcasting, activating command word magic items, truespeech etc etc, rather than negating any other effects of that spell, then you gain a +5 bonus on this reroll.

    *Some examples include: screaming, laughing, babbling your surface thoughts, dropping your hammer to the ground below you when you cut yourself on the glass breaking a fourth story window while breaking into a wizard's tower, or talking to your "new friend" (cf charm person). Does not include such things as getting thrown into a wall while wearing metal armor, or the crack of someone breaking your bones.

    **If the effect does not allow a saving throw, then you instead gain a spell-resistance to modify/negate/cancel the effect equal to 10+your ECL. The same +5 bonus applies to this.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2014-12-28 at 06:17 PM.
    [Public Service Announcement]P.E.A.C.H stands for Please Examine And Critique Honestly[/Public Service Announcement]
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    DracoDei's Avatar

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    Default Re: (3.5) A Twist Looking for a Spell [Spell] [Feat](PEACH)

    60+ views* and no replies. Bumping for feedback (AKA PEACH).

    *I think... too tired to go check.
    [Public Service Announcement]P.E.A.C.H stands for Please Examine And Critique Honestly[/Public Service Announcement]
    Extended Signature
    My Homebrew is meant to be used, but, if you do, PLEASE tell me how it goes.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: (3.5) A Twist Looking for a Spell [Spell] [Feat](PEACH)

    Pretty cool. The only way to seriously "overpower" Single Word is to do nothing for the entire combat, which can't really be called overpowered. Compared to the all-holy Orbs, or the Assassin's Heart Ripper, or Disintigrate in a couple levels, it's totally fine. The feat is an awesome idea for one of those "better than skill focus but you have to jump through hoops" feats. It could be said that both discourage roleplaying by having your character shut up, but one could also claim it encourages it by making you think about more than just words. I like to narrate my actions on occasion, and having a feat that gives a mechanical benefit for shutting up and doing something I think would make it more likely to "matter." As cool as it is to speak in short one-liners there's no coolness bonus to make up for the reduced communication normally.

    Both could use some cleanup. Singular Word's whisper/shout clause (what's your base DC for hearing spell?), and most of Tightened Lips. I'm not completely sure if the feat requires both ranks and a feat to qualify, the reroll ability could probably use a mention of Slippery Mind to give people the right idea, and some could be condensed for brevity.
    Last edited by Fizban; 2013-11-18 at 09:31 AM.
    Attention Imgur Users! Imgur apparently doesn't like hosting images anymore and only works in certain places or for people who already have the image cached: No one can see your avatars or images!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Octopus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    sheer awesomeness

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    DracoDei's Avatar

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    Default Re: (3.5) A Twist Looking for a Spell [Spell] [Feat](PEACH)

    Thank you for your response. Corrections will have to wait until my "sick" status is removed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Pretty cool. The only way to seriously "overpower" Single Word is to do nothing for the entire combat, which can't really be called overpowered.
    It is more about what you did BEFORE the combat. Or were you referring to the fact that you might need to basically sit most combats out to save it for a more challenging combat?

    The <1 round after it mostly just means you can't follow up with a Quickened Spell.

    I think this spell may be begging for a rogue to UMD it, since they can be effective without casting spells usually.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Compared to the all-holy Orbs, or the Assassin's Heart Ripper, or Disintigrate in a couple levels, it's totally fine.
    Not familiar with "Heart Ripper", but Ok.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    The feat is an awesome idea for one of those "better than skill focus but you have to jump through hoops" feats. It could be said that both discourage roleplaying by having your character shut up, but one could also claim it encourages it by making you think about more than just words. I like to narrate my actions on occasion, and having a feat that gives a mechanical benefit for shutting up and doing something I think would make it more likely to "matter." As cool as it is to speak in short one-liners there's no coolness bonus to make up for the reduced communication normally.
    Good points.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post

    Both could use some cleanup. Singular Word's whisper/shout clause (what's your base DC for hearing spell?),
    Oddly enough, that isn't listed in the SRD I don't think. I go with spellcasting being the same as normal conversation (which IS listed under "listen" I think), but it isn't necessarily my problem to fix. I suppose I could edit in a suggestion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    and most of Tightened Lips. I'm not completely sure if the feat requires both ranks and a feat to qualify,
    It has three requirements two of which you have several options of how to meet. When I am not fighting off a virus, I might figure out how to fix all this stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    the reroll ability could probably use a mention of Slippery Mind to give people the right idea,
    Good idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    and some could be condensed for brevity.
    Ironically brevity isn't usually my strong suit.
    [Public Service Announcement]P.E.A.C.H stands for Please Examine And Critique Honestly[/Public Service Announcement]
    Extended Signature
    My Homebrew is meant to be used, but, if you do, PLEASE tell me how it goes.

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