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    Default Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by Alternate Form (SRD)
    A creature cannot use alternate form to take the form of a creature with a template.
    Quote Originally Posted by Creating a Living Spell (MMIII)
    “Living spell” is an unusual template, in that it is applied to an arcane or divine spell effect (or in some cases, a group of spell effects) and not a creature.
    Quote Originally Posted by Templates (SRD)
    Certain creatures are created by adding a template to an existing creature. A templated creature can represent a freak of nature, the individual creation of a single experimenter, or the first generation of offspring from parents of different species.
    Hit me with your best shot: Is Living Spell a templated creature, or can I wild Shape into one as a Master of Many Forms?

    For reference, the form wouldn't give you much, unless you used the Assume Supernatural Ability feat from Savage Species.

    Eggynack thinks no - As long as it's a creature and it has a template, it's "a creature with a template" as far as Alternate Form's concerned. I think yes - It's not a creature with a template, it's a spell with a template that happens to have wisdom, charisma, and hit dice.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Eggynack is correct. Even though you start by adding Living Spell to something that is not a creature, the end result is in fact "a creature with a template" - and therefore the alternate form/wildshape prohibition would apply.

    If you'd like an analogy, Animate Dead is similar. You start by applying the spell to something that is not a creature (in fact, to an object - a corpse), but the end result is... a creature with a template.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    I concur. The process for creating a living spell stands distinct from the result of that process. It is the result of the process with which Alternate Form's restriction is concerned, and the result is a templated creature.
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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    If you'd like an analogy, Animate Dead is similar. You start by applying the spell to something that is not a creature (in fact, to an object - a corpse), but the end result is... a creature with a template.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skeleton
    "Skeleton" is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal creature
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie
    "Zombie" is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal creature
    Quote Originally Posted by Living Spell
    “Living spell” is an unusual template, in that it is applied to an arcane or divine spell effect (or in some cases, a group of spell effects) and not a creature.
    Incorrect. Everything created by animated dead is a templated creature - a creature with a template added.

    We can all agree a skeleton is a creature with a template - see the above quotes, I think it's pretty explicit. And we can all agree that living spell is a spell (technically a spell effect) with a template added (again, see the quote - template applied to spell effect seems straightforward).

    Your claim is that living spell is both a spell with a template and a creature with a template? Despite the fact that it is, well, a template that's been applied to a spell?

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    A living spell is a creature, otherwise you could not even consider it a possibility to assume one's form with alternate form.

    Living spell itself is a template, even though it's applied to a spell to create a creature, it is still a creature with a template.

    "A creature cannot use alternate form to take the form of a creature with a template." It's irrelevant whether the template is applied to creatures, or whether it's applied to spells to create creatures. Living spell is a template, and a living spell creature has the living spell template.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    Incorrect. Everything created by animated dead is a templated creature - a creature with a template added.

    We can all agree a skeleton is a creature with a template - see the above quotes, I think it's pretty explicit. And we can all agree that living spell is a spell (technically a spell effect) with a template added (again, see the quote - template applied to spell effect seems straightforward).

    Your claim is that living spell is both a spell with a template and a creature with a template? Despite the fact that it is, well, a template that's been applied to a spell?
    I believe his claim is that to get a Living Spell, you take a spell and add a template, but the result of doing that is that you have a creature with a template.

    Along the same lines of how a chair isn't a creature, but animating it creates a creature. I guess animated isn't really a template but I hope you see what I'm getting at.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    Your claim is that living spell is both a spell with a template and a creature with a template? Despite the fact that it is, well, a template that's been applied to a spell?
    The issue is that living spell is not a spell with a template, because once it's in that form it just doesn't fit the definition of a spell. It was a spell, and that spell had a template added to it, but after that point, it was only a creature with a template. No spell involved. Besides, it is pretty irrelevant whether the living spell is a spell or not. We know a few things for sure. It is a creature, and it does have a template. If it's a spell, then it doesn't suddenly stop being a creature with a template. It just starts being a creature that's also a spell with a template, which fits the disallowed category of alternate form.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Bekeleven, you completely missed the point on what Jiriku was saying. Sure, animate dead makes stats for a monster by applying a template to a monster, but how the process goes in-game is that a corpse, which counts as an object not a creature, is templated into being a monster. Jiriku is saying a living spell works the same way, from an in-game logic perspective.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    Living spell itself is a template, even though it's applied to a spell to create a creature, it is still a creature with a template.

    "A creature cannot use alternate form to take the form of a creature with a template." It's irrelevant whether the template is applied to creatures, or whether it's applied to spells to create creatures. Living spell is a template, and a living spell creature has the living spell template.
    It's a creature made of a template. A templated creature is a creature with a template applied.

    Quote Originally Posted by XionUnborn01 View Post
    I believe his claim is that to get a Living Spell, you take a spell and add a template, but the result of doing that is that you have a creature with a template.

    Along the same lines of how a chair isn't a creature, but animating it creates a creature. I guess animated isn't really a template but I hope you see what I'm getting at.
    Hey, someone who agrees with me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    The issue is that living spell is not a spell with a template, because once it's in that form it just doesn't fit the definition of a spell. It was a spell, and that spell had a template added to it, but after that point, it was only a creature with a template. No spell involved. Besides, it is pretty irrelevant whether the living spell is a spell or not. We know a few things for sure. It is a creature, and it does have a template. If it's a spell, then it doesn't suddenly stop being a creature with a template. It just starts being a creature that's also a spell with a template, which fits the disallowed category of alternate form.
    So your claim is that a living spell is not a spell (effect) with a template, despite the fact that "[the template is] applied to an arcane or divine spell effect"?

    If it's a creature with a template, what's the base creature?

    Quote Originally Posted by DrMotives View Post
    Bekeleven, you completely missed the point on what Jiriku was saying. Sure, animate dead makes stats for a monster by applying a template to a monster, but how the process goes in-game is that a corpse, which counts as an object not a creature, is templated into being a monster. Jiriku is saying a living spell works the same way, from an in-game logic perspective.
    Jiriku can talk all he wants about in-game logic, I was over here looking at how templates are applied. But if you insist:

    A skeleton is created by finding, say, a dead goblin and using a spell on it. The result is a goblin creature with the skeleton template.

    An Allip is "An allip is the spectral remains of someone driven to suicide by a madness that afflicted it in life."

    A living spell is a spell effect that "took on sentience and refused to dissipate."

    A living spell is closer to an Allip than a skeleton in terms of in-game life; It spawned itself, and was not a modification on an existing creature. In fact, Allips require a creature to start, meaning that an allip is closer to a skeleton in real-world terms: Both started with a creature, then modified it. However, an allip is not a templated creature; it's a creature, but not one with a template. Similarly, a living spell is a template, but not one on a creature.

    Another comparison: Owlbears were (probably) created by wizard experimentation. Again, in in-game logic, the owlbear is closer to a skeleton than a living spell is.

    This is still a digression, since we're talking about flavor and not rules. But no, I disagree with both the RAW and the RAI thrust of that argument.
    Edit: Found a better example. "Fihyrs are the collected fears of humanity made corporeal... As the remnants of hundreds of people’s nightmares swirl through the ether, they somehow combine with leftover magical power and coalesce into these physical monsters." In-game, this is practically identical to how a living spell forms. A Master of Many Forms can turn into one starting level 6.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    So your claim is that a living spell is not a spell (effect) with a template, despite the fact that "[the template is] applied to an arcane or divine spell effect"?
    Yes. When you consider the living template in its end state, it is no longer a spell, but a creature. However, as I noted, even if it were still a spell, it is also indisputably a creature. And that creature has a template.

    If it's a creature with a template, what's the base creature?
    There is no base creature, or the base creature is a spell. Living spells are weird, and they effectively pick up an exception to the general rule of the necessity of a base creature. Still, whether the "base creature" is a creature or not, the end result is still a creature, and there is a template on it. The base creature isn't the issue at hand where alternate form is concerned, but the product.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    So your argument is that it's a a creature with a template despite being an exception to the rule that describes what a creature with a template is?

    Once again, I disagree - I think a living spell is a creature made with a template, and you could say it's a creature made of a template, but it's not a creature with a template.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    It doesn't sound like Xion - or anyone else for that matter, at least so far - agrees with your interpretation bekeleven, at least not that I can see. No matter how a living spell is created, the end result is a creature with a template.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    It doesn't sound like Xion - or anyone else for that matter, at least so far - agrees with your interpretation bekeleven, at least not that I can see.
    And yet, his support proved my point.

    Well, technically, it didn't prove my point. It disproved his point.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Frankly, bekeleven, you're boned either way. The consensus view is that a living spell is a creature with a template, and thus not eligible for Improved Wild Shape because it has a template. Your view is that a living spell is not a creature, in which case it is not eligible for Improved Wild Shape because Improved Wild Shape only grants you the ability to turn into things that are creatures.
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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    So your argument is that it's a a creature with a template despite being an exception to the rule that describes what a creature with a template is?
    I suppose so, yeah. That's how exception based rules systems work, after all.

    Once again, I disagree - I think a living spell is a creature made with a template, and you could say it's a creature made of a template, but it's not a creature with a template.
    Your disagreement, I think, is rooted in your definition of what "creature with a template" means. You seem to think it implies that there was a creature, and then a template was applied to it. I don't think that's an interpretation supported by text. I think it means that the thing in question is a creature, and there is a template attached. Another counterclaim of yours could be that the existence of the template is subsumed by the transition to living spell, but there's no apparent mechanism that would remove that template from the underlying game statistics.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Frankly, bekeleven, you're boned either way. The consensus view is that a living spell is a creature with a template, and thus not eligible for Improved Wild Shape because it has a template. Your view is that a living spell is not a creature, in which case it is not eligible for Improved Wild Shape because Improved Wild Shape only grants you the ability to turn into things that are creatures.
    I think the argument that a living spell is a creature, but is not a creature with a template. It's a spell with a template.
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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    I think the argument that a living spell is a creature, but is not a creature with a template. It's a spell with a template.
    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    It's not a creature with a template, it's a spell with a template that happens to have wisdom, charisma, and hit dice.
    Bekeleven's argument is most definitely that the living spell is a spell with a template, instead of being a creature with a template.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2015-04-28 at 01:10 AM.
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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Frankly, bekeleven, you're boned either way. The consensus view is that a living spell is a creature with a template, and thus not eligible for Improved Wild Shape because it has a template. Your view is that a living spell is not a creature, in which case it is not eligible for Improved Wild Shape because Improved Wild Shape only grants you the ability to turn into things that are creatures.
    I never said living spell was not a creature. In fact I think I said the opposite like two posts ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    I think a living spell is a creature
    Yep, carry on.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Bekeleven's argument is most definitely that the living spell is a spell with a template, instead of being a creature with a template.
    Anything with wisdom, charisma, and hit dice is a creature. (in very rare, and mostly stupid cases, you don't even need those three).

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    I think the argument that a living spell is a creature, but is not a creature with a template. It's a spell with a template.
    A post that didn't explicitly disagree with me! Real, measurable progress!

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    A post that didn't explicitly disagree with me! Real, measurable progress!
    If you're posting on the internet in hopes of getting people to agree with you, I've got some bad news.

    In truth this seems a reasonable RAW argument to me, as far as being reasonable and RAW mix. I wouldn't allow it at my table for obvious reasons and I can easily see someone reading it in another fashion.
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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by eggynack View Post
    I suppose so, yeah. That's how exception based rules systems work, after all.
    The general case is that a templated creature is "created by adding a template to an existing creature."

    The question is: Is this an exception to that rule?

    In my opinion, nothing indicates so.

    Ergo, although there's a creature at the end, and although a template is involved, this is not a creature with a template.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    If you're posting on the internet in hopes of getting people to agree with you, I've got some bad news.
    The only arguments against me that I haven't responded to are the ones stating that I'm wrong because the consensus disagrees with me. Therefore, if I manage to sway people to my side, I can implicitly disprove my detractors, swaying the rest! It's a very complicated process known as argumentative momentum.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    The general case is that a templated creature is "created by adding a template to an existing creature."

    The question is: Is this an exception to that rule?

    In my opinion, nothing indicates so.

    Ergo, although there's a creature at the end, and although a template is involved, this is not a creature with a template.
    But your cited text isn't about what a creature with a template is. It's about what a template is. And living spell is necessarily an exception to that rule, because it's defined as a template, regardless of how the primary source defines the term. Moreover, your text doesn't even define creature with a template, so there's nothing general that needs to be specificed. All you have is templated creature, and even that is barely defined. And, to the extent that the term is defined, the term template is defined even moreso, as an already noted superseding construct of that text, which is obviously being excepted.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Ok let's look at your argument in detail.

    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    It's not a creature with a template, it's a spell with a template that happens to have wisdom, charisma, and hit dice.
    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    ....living spell is a spell... with a template added....it is, well, a template that's been applied to a spell....
    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    It's a creature made of a template....a living spell is a template, but not one on a creature.
    Quote Originally Posted by bekeleven View Post
    Once again, I disagree - I think a living spell is a creature made with a template, and you could say it's a creature made of a template, but it's not a creature with a template.
    So if I get you, you are essentially arguing for a textual interpretation that hinges upon perceiving "made of a template" as a qualitatively different concept than "with a template." In your view, a living spell is not "with" its template.

    Now, I'm getting the impression that your viewpoint is quite entrenched and I'm not so fond of debates as I used to be, so I'm just going to offer some arguments for you to consider and then let you be.

    Getting quickly to the point:
    • The living spell is, as its description states, unusual. However, even if a living spell creature is "made of template", the template is inextricably associated with the final product. Without the template, the living spell has no hit dice, no ability scores, no creature type, etc. The living spell is therefore "with" its template in a real and meaningful way. The template has not wandered off somewhere and gotten lost in a dark alley. Yes, you can make a semantic argument otherwise using some narrowly defined version of the word "with", but when you start splitting the meaning of common English words, you've got a very weak argument.
    • The obvious intent of the "no templates" restriction in form-changing was to restrict the user of such effects to base creatures. There is no "base creature" here.
    • An equally obvious intent was to prevent the use of templates. Living spell is a template. You see where I'm going with this.
    • Any argument of "well if they'd meant to exclude living spells they'd have written 'made with' instead of just 'with'" is disingenuous. ECS was written long after the rules for alternate form and MoMF, and by different authors. It is conceptually impossible to pre-emptively forbid use of a concept that will be thought of years later by a different person.
    • The goal of eliminating template use would likely be to eliminate the plethora of unknown possible power combinations that could result from applying n number of templates at once. Living spell presents just such a problem multiplied many times over, since it includes a potentially enormous number of spell effects in various combinations. Even without getting into Supernatural Spell Shenanigans, the (ex) engulf attack carries the spell effect, which presents so many possible combinations you'd need scientific notation to count them all.
    • There is a massive balance problem inherent in your interpretation. At 13 HD when you'd first get the ability to turn into an ooze, it would permit you to wildshape into every buff spell of 7th level or lower in the game all at once, then engulf your allies and buff them all at the same time. You could likewise turn into every attack spell of 7th level or lower and engulf your foes. Even a trivial application of one spell, say, a living limited wish, would enable you to produce 14,000 limited wishes per day with no xp cost. If you can interpret text in two ways and one of them breaks the game badly while the other is unremarkable, the one that breaks the game is the wrong interpretation.


    So, to sum up, I argue that your interpretation doesn't sit well with a straightforward reading of the words involved, nor with the functional intent of the rules at hand. Instead, it relies on a narrow semantic argument about word choice, which is a weak position. It adds an enormous level of power and versatility that is orders of magnitude beyond what makes sense for the abilities in question, and it breaks the game quite handily into itty bitty pieces. Now, those are my thoughts. You are welcome to find them persuasive or unpersuasive, as you choose. I leave you in peace.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2015-04-28 at 02:45 AM.
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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    This seems like a fairly straightforward "no.". Alternate Form mentions 'creature with a template'. For something to fit that category, 2 things must be true: it must be a creature, and it must have some template. A living spell is definitely a creature, no arguing there. It also has a template (the 'living spell' template), unquestionably. That there is no base creature is irrelevant. Still has a template, still a creature, disqualified from Alternate Form.
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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Why not alternate wildshape into a mistling dryad from the forge of war which has summon living spell of any spell that the mistling can sla or cast?

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo View Post
    Why not alternate wildshape into a mistling dryad from the forge of war which has summon living spell of any spell that the mistling can sla or cast?
    Runs facefirst into 'can't turn into a creature with a template', because the mistling dryad is just a dryad with the Mistling template applied.
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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    I'm inclined to agree that RAW, a living spell is not a creature with a template.

    A Celestial Ape is an Ape (creature) with Celestial (a template)
    A Living Cloudkill is a Cloudkill (not a creature) with Living (a template)

    Celestial Ape = Creature with a Template = Creature
    Living Cloudkill = Spell with a Template = Creature


    That said, I'd never allow it in my games.
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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Quote Originally Posted by Eloel View Post
    I'm inclined to agree that RAW, a living spell is not a creature with a template.

    A Celestial Ape is an Ape (creature) with Celestial (a template)
    A Living Cloudkill is a Cloudkill (not a creature) with Living (a template)

    Celestial Ape = Creature with a Template = Creature
    Living Cloudkill = Spell with a Template = Creature
    That just seems inaccurate. The templated creature's prior nature is subsumed by the templating process, leaving you with living cloudkill, which is a creature, with a template, which is living spell. Living cloudkill is a spell that was given a template, but spell with a template no longer describes the object in question.
    Last edited by eggynack; 2016-01-27 at 12:06 PM.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    It's pretty clearly against the rules. You can't turn into a templated creature. Living Spell is a template. Therefore, you can't turn into a Living Spell. Not really that complicated.

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    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    That's 9 against and 3 in favor, not that anyone's opinion actually matters but the DM in question. I will say though that there is no way I can parse a living spell as not being a creature with a template.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Plague Doctor by Crimmy
    Ext. Sig (Handbooks/Creations)

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Troll in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Living Spell Wild Shape

    Gonna add to the long list of people saying that there is a creature with a template being shown and it can't be wildshaped.
    Most people see a half orc and and think barbarian warrior. Me on the other hand? I think secondary trap handler and magic item tester. Also I'm not allowed to trick the next level one wizard into starting a fist fight with a house cat no matter how annoying he is.
    Yes I know it's sarcasm. It's a joke. Pale green is for snarking
    Thread wins: 2

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