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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    A more accessible version of true atonement - "always attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity".

    Balance-wise, compare it to awaken, mark of justice, dominate person, lesser geas & geas, and slay living. You can use it on party members but it's not really abuseable - if you're a spellcaster your relevant ability will already be well above 12.

    Awaken Humanoid
    Enchantment (Charm) [Good] [Mind-Affecting]
    Level: Good 5
    Components: V, S, DF, XP
    Casting Time: 24 hours
    Range: Touch
    Target: Humanoid touched
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: Will negates
    Spell Resistance: No

    Calling upon the powers of good, you grant your foe a moral epiphany.

    This spell grants a humanoid a new appreciation for truth, justice, and compassion (see below). Due to the casting time, you may cast it only on willing or restrained creatures. As an instantaneous effect this spell cannot be directly reversed, though it is entirely possible for the subject to become embittered and corrupt through the normal course of events.

    Insight
    Any of the subject's mental ability scores that were less than 12 are increased to 12. The subject recalculates their total skill points if appropriate.

    Morality
    The subject's alignment switches to good on the moral (good vs. evil axis). A cleric immediately converts to a deity or cause of good without needing an atonement spell. Similarly, a blackguard or evil variant paladin exchanges all applicable class levels for levels of the most appropriate variant paladin (e.g. paladin of freedom). At the DM's option this effect may alter other class levels with alignment restrictions.

    Becoming good-aligned generally (but not necessarily) makes a creature friendly towards you and other good-aligned creatures.

    XP Cost
    250 XP.
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-03-15 at 04:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Awaken Person

    Seems evil.
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    Default Re: Awaken Person

    This spell has a bit too much of a vague focus.

    Awaken Person sounds like it would be a neutral spell, but then you make it a Good spell, but then give it mostly neutral effects. Like why can't an evil person get the ability and skill bonuses? Those are not ''good'' things.

    I would make it more two spells: Awaken Person and Awaken Good.

    And for Awaken Person, you'd want to go more with ''you can re allocate'' skill points then pick specific ones. Though maybe only mental ones.

    And for Awaken Good, you don't want to single out Intimidation as some sort of ''evil skill'. Good can be very intimidating: think of the paladin in full plate saying 'lay down your weapons', for example.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Seems evil.
    Slay living actually kills the target, dominate person and geas allow you to force the target to do evil things, but neither of those are [Evil].

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Ultron View Post
    This spell has a bit too much of a vague focus.

    Awaken Person sounds like it would be a neutral spell, but then you make it a Good spell, but then give it mostly neutral effects. Like why can't an evil person get the ability and skill bonuses? Those are not ''good'' things.

    I would make it more two spells: Awaken Person and Awaken Good.

    And for Awaken Person, you'd want to go more with ''you can re allocate'' skill points then pick specific ones. Though maybe only mental ones.

    And for Awaken Good, you don't want to single out Intimidation as some sort of ''evil skill'. Good can be very intimidating: think of the paladin in full plate saying 'lay down your weapons', for example.
    It's based around (an admittedly high-and-mighty) theme of evil simply being due to ignorance/lack of empathy. Just as awaken gives a non-sentient creature sentience, awaken humanoid gives a person the capacity for Good that they may have bee lacking.

    The skill stuff is probably overdesigned - I liked the idea of someone choosing to renounce violence for a life of prayer etc. haha. Could be deleted though.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    It's based around (an admittedly high-and-mighty) theme of evil simply being due to ignorance/lack of empathy. Just as awaken gives a non-sentient creature sentience, awaken humanoid gives a person the capacity for Good that they may have bee lacking.
    I think that's fine if that is the metaphysic for your setting. However, the default D&D setting seems to set all 4 alignments as equally powerful options. Evil can exist even if Good does not, and there's not necessarily any logical reason to prefer one over the other. (Plenty of aesthetic reasons, such as preferring Good, wanting a pleasant afterlife instead of being a semi-sentient demon/devil slug, etc.)

    The skill stuff is probably overdesigned - I liked the idea of someone choosing to renounce violence for a life of prayer etc. haha. Could be deleted though.
    As for the skill stuff... I can see not letting them retrain. It's what they have practiced in and gotten good at. A skilled con artist can renounce their cons, but that doesn't mean they're a bad liar now. Likewise for someone under this spell. The potential extra skill points could be put into new skills, of course.

    One minor cool thing about this spell is that it's a nice buff for martials. Dump your mental stats, and get this cast on you to boost them. Cheesey, for sure, but akin to (though probably weaker than) some shapeshifting shenanigans that wizards can do.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Slay living actually kills the target, dominate person and geas allow you to force the target to do evil things, but neither of those are [Evil].
    They're also not [Good].

    Forcible brainwashing is not a good thing, I don't care if you slap the [Good] descriptor on it.
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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    The good descriptor isn't the issue for me (you get silly things like Animate with the Spirit which forces a dead guy to be good by animating their body with the soul of an angel anyway): the issue is that it gives someone +0/+0/+0/+4/+4/+4, or a permanent +2 to the big dumb barbarian's will saves and skill points/level and a bunch of their skills, for practically nothing (you need to cast one spell, once, and you lose some XP, but if it even puts you down a level you'll get more XP in the next combat anyway).

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    The good descriptor isn't the issue for me (you get silly things like Animate with the Spirit which forces a dead guy to be good by animating their body with the soul of an angel anyway): the issue is that it gives someone +0/+0/+0/+4/+4/+4, or a permanent +2 to the big dumb barbarian's will saves and skill points/level and a bunch of their skills, for practically nothing (you need to cast one spell, once, and you lose some XP, but if it even puts you down a level you'll get more XP in the next combat anyway).
    And while rferries seems to focus his balance point on "be a fullcaster or go home", one of the key traits of fullcasters is that they're MAD. The cleric might "only" get +4 to two stats instead of three, but that's not enough of a boost to the barbarian to be meaningful.

    Me, I'm just sitting here wondering how being smart is correlated with morality. Wisdom, maybe, except that what the Wis stat does in practice is different from the more regular use. But evil geniuses and demagogues are up there with mad clerics are genre tropes, as well as having precedent in the real world.

    Add in the bits where this spell could just as often be cast by good characters to bolster their dim companions (which again undermines the smart = good argument), the ickiness of keeping someone chained up in the basement for 24 hours while you magically alter their minds, and the fact that the non-cheesy and non-mindrapey functions of this spell are functionally identical to a good cleric casting an Atonement spell, I don't see much point.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    If this is intended as humor, then I suggest augmenting the target humanoid with the [Woke] descriptor.

    If this is intended seriously, then I dislike the idea that redemption (or damnation) is just a spell, rather than a character arc.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    This spell has the potential to permanently grant up to 36 Ability Score points. No spell, even at 9th level or Epic, can do this.

    It is far too powerful. Heck, magic items which grant 1 bonus ability point without using up an item slot are considered unique items or artifacts, and they all proscribe repeated use to gain more points.

    When building spells, try to think like a munchkin because your players certainly will. For example, my guy dies and instead of getting him raised I create Tundra, The Barbarian. I assign 3 points to each of my three mental stats, allowing me to max out my physical stats.

    Then Tundra barges into the inn, steals a turkey leg and a flask of ale from the PC group, and belches loudly when they demand what for. After your party restrains him and Tundra cries like a baby, they realize Tundra is a blithering idiot, so they Awaken him, resulting in his gain, at Level 1, of 18 extra Ability Score points.

    Spells which impart ability score improvements also have durations and expire. There is a reason for this.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    I think that's fine if that is the metaphysic for your setting. However, the default D&D setting seems to set all 4 alignments as equally powerful options. Evil can exist even if Good does not, and there's not necessarily any logical reason to prefer one over the other. (Plenty of aesthetic reasons, such as preferring Good, wanting a pleasant afterlife instead of being a semi-sentient demon/devil slug, etc.)
    This is a very salient point - D&D definitely sets all the alignments up as equal, so I'm very much injecting my own goody-two-shoes philosophy into this when I brew only a Good version. However the spell can be refluffed to allow any alignment change.

    As for the skill stuff... I can see not letting them retrain. It's what they have practiced in and gotten good at. A skilled con artist can renounce their cons, but that doesn't mean they're a bad liar now. Likewise for someone under this spell. The potential extra skill points could be put into new skills, of course.
    Yes this makes sense. I've deleted the relevant portion.

    One minor cool thing about this spell is that it's a nice buff for martials. Dump your mental stats, and get this cast on you to boost them. Cheesey, for sure, but akin to (though probably weaker than) some shapeshifting shenanigans that wizards can do.
    Yes, virtue has its own (minor) rewards. :D

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    They're also not [Good].

    Forcible brainwashing is not a good thing, I don't care if you slap the [Good] descriptor on it.
    Meh, deathwatch doesn't do anything bad but it's [Evil], blade barrier doesn't do anything good but it's in the Good domain, and so on. What's a little mind control between friends? :D

    Plus, it's not true brainwashing in that you can still become evil again through your own actions; it's more like a "reset button". And finally, since the Outer Planes exist in D&D, you're literally saving villains from being tortured for the rest of eternity through this spell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    The good descriptor isn't the issue for me (you get silly things like Animate with the Spirit which forces a dead guy to be good by animating their body with the soul of an angel anyway): the issue is that it gives someone +0/+0/+0/+4/+4/+4, or a permanent +2 to the big dumb barbarian's will saves and skill points/level and a bunch of their skills, for practically nothing (you need to cast one spell, once, and you lose some XP, but if it even puts you down a level you'll get more XP in the next combat anyway).
    The XP cost was just copied from awaken, can definitely be bumped up. However that barbarian still has to play up through level 5 with his low scores before he can benefit from this spell, so he's served his time. And if the campaign starts at higher levels, just ban the spell the same as you would the venerable dragonwrought kobold trick.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anymage View Post
    And while rferries seems to focus his balance point on "be a fullcaster or go home", one of the key traits of fullcasters is that they're MAD. The cleric might "only" get +4 to two stats instead of three, but that's not enough of a boost to the barbarian to be meaningful.
    It's not intended to be a meaningful boost to anyone, really, but it does tend to help noncasters a bit more.

    Me, I'm just sitting here wondering how being smart is correlated with morality. Wisdom, maybe, except that what the Wis stat does in practice is different from the more regular use. But evil geniuses and demagogues are up there with mad clerics are genre tropes, as well as having precedent in the real world.
    I had been thinking, if (under a Rousseau philosophy) a sociopath is amoral because they lack empathy (Wis/Cha), or someone votes for politician with war-mongering or authoritarian tendencies because they don't understand the relevant history & dangers (Wis/Int), could a spell be fluffed as making someone Good by increasing their mental ability scores? And voila!

    Obviously it breaks down when you consider pit fiends, red dragons, etc. and their formidable mental ability scores but the idea appealed to me. You can again rule it as being a reset button - the spell gives the evil genius an epiphany where she questions "What am I doing with my life? Is raising an army of genocidal cyborgs REALLY making me happy?", things that she might not have thought about before in spite of her brilliance.

    Add in the bits where this spell could just as often be cast by good characters to bolster their dim companions (which again undermines the smart = good argument), the ickiness of keeping someone chained up in the basement for 24 hours while you magically alter their minds, and the fact that the non-cheesy and non-mindrapey functions of this spell are functionally identical to a good cleric casting an Atonement spell, I don't see much point.
    Fair point about casting it on dim companions (especially if those companions are already good). I had considered making the spell fizzle on creatures that were already good, but then figured players would just quickly roleplay as non-good so they could benefit. For such humanoids you could fluff the spell as "enhancing" their preexisting empathy and compassion.

    As for the ickiness - the spell will obviously be used by PCs on each other, but there's a definite use for converting defeated enemies as well. Killing an evil cleric and thereby condemning him to eternal torture seems much more icky to me than giving him another chance at the Upper Planes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    If this is intended as humor, then I suggest augmenting the target humanoid with the [Woke] descriptor.
    Ha, I kind of wish I had planned that. Missed opportunity! I'm fond of awaken spells in general though so maybe a new descriptor is in order.

    If this is intended seriously, then I dislike the idea that redemption (or damnation) is just a spell, rather than a character arc.
    Fair enough, and yet we have atonement .
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-03-15 at 05:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    This spell has the potential to permanently grant up to 36 Ability Score points. No spell, even at 9th level or Epic, can do this.

    It is far too powerful. Heck, magic items which grant 1 bonus ability point without using up an item slot are considered unique items or artifacts, and they all proscribe repeated use to gain more points.

    When building spells, try to think like a munchkin because your players certainly will. For example, my guy dies and instead of getting him raised I create Tundra, The Barbarian. I assign 3 points to each of my three mental stats, allowing me to max out my physical stats.

    Then Tundra barges into the inn, steals a turkey leg and a flask of ale from the PC group, and belches loudly when they demand what for. After your party restrains him and Tundra cries like a baby, they realize Tundra is a blithering idiot, so they Awaken him, resulting in his gain, at Level 1, of 18 extra Ability Score points.

    Spells which impart ability score improvements also have durations and expire. There is a reason for this.
    Technically correct, the best kind of correct! (Though we'll leave out awaken, which can grant a plant 54 ability points, or shapechange, which can grant an arbitrarily high number of ability points).

    However, the spell doesn't exist in a vacuum. Unlike a wish, which can increase a wizard's already-exceptional intellect even more, this spell has a hard limit on how much an ability score can be increased. And even under the "4d6 drop 1" die-rolling system, no PC is going to start with Int 3 Cha 3 Wis 3 - unless their DM is insanely cruel (plus if they're that unlucky they probably rolled 10's for their Con/Dex/Str too :D).

    Also, you posted while I was writing up my other reply (swordsage'd!) but in it I do mention banning the spell for characters starting at higher levels to prevent that avenue of munchkinism.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Ha, I kind of wish I had planned that. Missed opportunity! I'm fond of awaken spells in general though so maybe a new descriptor is in order.
    "You can't use this spell on a humanoid who already has the [Woke] descriptor."

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Fair enough, and yet we have atonement .
    Yeah, but that spell works as an enabler of the redemption arc, not a replacement for the arc.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    This spell removes the burden of evil acts or misdeeds from the subject. The creature seeking atonement must be truly repentant and desirous of setting right its misdeeds. If the atoning creature committed the evil act unwittingly or under some form of compulsion, atonement operates normally at no cost to you. However, in the case of a creature atoning for deliberate misdeeds and acts of a knowing and willful nature, you must intercede with your deity (requiring you to expend 500 XP) in order to expunge the subject’s burden. Many casters first assign a subject of this sort a quest (see geas/quest) or similar penance to determine whether the creature is truly contrite before casting the atonement spell on its behalf.
    You're right that atonement can be used as a plot device, but it's set up to be the capstone of genuine contrition, and the text even spells out that you might get assigned a quest which you need to accomplish before you get the forgiveness cookie.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Yeah, but that spell works as an enabler of the redemption arc, not a replacement for the arc.

    You're right that atonement can be used as a plot device, but it's set up to be the capstone of genuine contrition, and the text even spells out that you might get assigned a quest which you need to accomplish before you get the forgiveness cookie.
    True, true. I was being a weasel by mentioning atonement in the first place - I actually agree with you and think an ex-paladin (for example) who redeems himself should get his powers back whether or not there's a cleric around to cast atonement . Otherwise, I just like the idea of awaken humanoid as an alternative to executing a captive villain.
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-03-15 at 07:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    True, true. I was being a weasel by mentioning atonement in the first place - I actually agree with you and think an ex-paladin (for example) who redeems himself should get his powers back whether or not there's a cleric around to cast atonement . Otherwise, I just like the idea of awaken humanoid as an alternative to executing a captive villain.
    Hmm.

    Rather than using a faster, non-consensual Atonement, how about a [Good] Bestow Curse instead?

    Something like...

    Shadow of Doubt Enchantment (Compulsion) [Good, Mind-Affecting]
    Casting time: 24 hours
    Target: one helpless living creature
    Duration: Permanent
    Save: Nope
    SR: Nope

    The target is bombarded by regret, forced to experience crushing empathy for the victims of its past misdeeds. This suffering imposes the mechanical properties of a bestow curse spell.

    A successful atonement from a good Cleric or Druid removes the burden of evil acts or misdeeds from the subject, and ends this spell's effect.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Hmm.

    Rather than using a faster, non-consensual Atonement, how about a [Good] Bestow Curse instead?

    Something like...

    Shadow of Doubt Enchantment (Compulsion) [Good, Mind-Affecting]
    Casting time: 24 hours
    Target: one helpless living creature
    Duration: Permanent
    Save: Nope
    SR: Nope

    The target is bombarded by regret, forced to experience crushing empathy for the victims of its past misdeeds. This suffering imposes the mechanical properties of a bestow curse spell.

    A successful atonement from a good Cleric or Druid removes the burden of evil acts or misdeeds from the subject, and ends this spell's effect.
    Nice, though I'd just use bestow curse to duplicate that effect since it's an open-ended spell. Alternatively, make shadow of a doubt into an instantaneous effect so it's worth taking by itself. Compare also mark of justice.

    Another alternative might be a spell granting you a big bonus on Diplomacy checks to alter a particular creature's alignment. Same net effect, but no "mind control".
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-03-15 at 08:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Before I read the thread, I thought this was a spell you could cast on a corpse. Probably to create a new person using wall of stone+fabricate+stone to flesh.
    There is no emotion more useless in life than hate.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    Before I read the thread, I thought this was a spell you could cast on a corpse. Probably to create a new person using wall of stone+fabricate+stone to flesh.
    And why not, after all? There's already awaken, awaken ooze, awaken undead... it'd be the next logical step :D

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    And why not, after all? There's already awaken, awaken ooze, awaken undead... it'd be the next logical step :D
    Moving towards blade runner territory with that one...
    There is no emotion more useless in life than hate.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Nice, though I'd just use bestow curse to duplicate that effect since it's an open-ended spell. Alternatively, make shadow of a doubt into an instantaneous effect so it's worth taking by itself. Compare also mark of justice.

    Another alternative might be a spell granting you a big bonus on Diplomacy checks to alter a particular creature's alignment. Same net effect, but no "mind control".
    Those are good ideas.

    The Diplomacy bonus might not work as well in play -- the bestow remorse mechanical effect would work perfectly well on an evil PC, for example, but the Diplomacy bonus would do nothing -- but if it's an NPC-only spell then it's fine, and if you don't allow evil PCs then it's effectively NPC-only.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by gooddragon1 View Post
    Moving towards blade runner territory with that one...
    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Those are good ideas.

    The Diplomacy bonus might not work as well in play -- the bestow remorse mechanical effect would work perfectly well on an evil PC, for example, but the Diplomacy bonus would do nothing -- but if it's an NPC-only spell then it's fine, and if you don't allow evil PCs then it's effectively NPC-only.
    Ah yes, quite true.

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nifft View Post
    Those are good ideas.

    The Diplomacy bonus might not work as well in play -- the bestow remorse mechanical effect would work perfectly well on an evil PC, for example, but the Diplomacy bonus would do nothing -- but if it's an NPC-only spell then it's fine, and if you don't allow evil PCs then it's effectively NPC-only.
    How does a spell "know" that it is being cast on an NPC?

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    How does a spell "know" that it is being cast on an NPC?
    By RAW, Diplomacy doesn't work on PCs ( I agree it's odd, since charm effects do, but c'est la vie).

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    In your typical good party, I presume the wizard would gladly burn 250 xp to get immediate retroactive INT for skills.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    killing and eating a bag of rats is probably kosher.
    Gosh 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also good looking), and your humility is stunning

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by Goaty14 View Post
    In your typical good party, I presume the wizard would gladly burn 250 xp to get immediate retroactive INT for skills.
    Ha, very clever. However since her Int score wouldn't change it could be argued she doesn't get to recalculate skill points (though as someone who believes skill points should be retroactive anyways I'd totally allow it).

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Ha, very clever. However since her Int score wouldn't change it could be argued she doesn't get to recalculate skill points (though as someone who believes skill points should be retroactive anyways I'd totally allow it).
    I'd cast it on every character that comes along just to get rid of dumpstat penalties.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    I'd cast it on every character that comes along just to get rid of dumpstat penalties.
    Yep, that would be a common use.

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    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Yep, that would be a common use.
    Would it be a fair use, though?

    What about a similar spell to do the same for physical attributes? This way your arcanist can get rid of her dumpstats too.

    The game is designed to balance through give and take, and this spell removes the take. The existing Awaken spells cannot affect PCs, though they can turn various NPCs into PCs at the DM's option. This spell, on the other hand, rewards players for creating minmaxed characters by removing the penalties without affecting the bonuses. And once out there it is no longer under the control of the DM.

    The spell as written is a game breaker.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by brian 333 View Post
    Would it be a fair use, though?

    What about a similar spell to do the same for physical attributes? This way your arcanist can get rid of her dumpstats too.

    The game is designed to balance through give and take, and this spell removes the take. The existing Awaken spells cannot affect PCs, though they can turn various NPCs into PCs at the DM's option. This spell, on the other hand, rewards players for creating minmaxed characters by removing the penalties without affecting the bonuses. And once out there it is no longer under the control of the DM.

    The spell as written is a game breaker.
    The spell doesn't exist in a vacuum. Dexterity and Constitution aren't dump stats because they're useful for all classes. Mental ability scores are dump stats because they're not as useful - sure this spell can turn a Barbarian's Charisma 3 into a Charisma 12, but it's not like she can compete with the party bard's Diplomacy +12. Even casters don't really have a use for mental ability scores beyond their primary stat (except Charisma for clerics etc.).

    I assume you ban polymorph from your games? After all, it turns all physical ability scores into dump stats for casters (and grants many other benefits, besides). You can ban this spell just as easily (actually more easily, as it's homebrew).

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    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Awaken Humanoid (spell)

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    The spell doesn't exist in a vacuum. Dexterity and Constitution aren't dump stats because they're useful for all classes. Mental ability scores are dump stats because they're not as useful - sure this spell can turn a Barbarian's Charisma 3 into a Charisma 12, but it's not like she can compete with the party bard's Diplomacy +12. Even casters don't really have a use for mental ability scores beyond their primary stat (except Charisma for clerics etc.).

    I assume you ban polymorph from your games? After all, it turns all physical ability scores into dump stats for casters (and grants many other benefits, besides). You can ban this spell just as easily (actually more easily, as it's homebrew).
    You can play your games however you like. Your barbarian with starting Str, Dex, and Con maxxed out who within five minutes of play has all the penalties of playing munchkin games removed will have a massive advantage. If you want that, good on you. This is unfair to wizards who cannot max out their Int, Wis, and Cha then have their dumpstats bumped to 12.

    A more fair way would be just to give everyone a 20, 2 18's and three twelves for stats from the start.

    The spell as written creates a penalty for players who choose balanced stats and rewards fighter type munchkins.

    You are confusing different things when you toss in spells with temporary effects or spells which may be permanent but which come with disabilities. Polymorph is a good example. So long as the character is a dragon he's not going into inns to get his next quest and heroes come from far and wide to kill him and take his stuff. Dragons, and most other good combat forms, are lousy PCs. Oh, and there's a very good chance the polymorphed being will not want to return to his previous shape, leaving the world of adventuring behind. Heck of a penalty, that one. You get some temporary bonuses for a few fights, then roll up a new character.

    So, what's the penalty for Awaken Humanoid? There is a reason the other versions of Awaken only work on creatures with less than 3 int.

    Anyway, my point has been made. You are free to ignore it and go on with your game.

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