A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    Vile Death is a spell that applies the fiendish template on an undead you cast it on, and if the caster was the one controlling it, removes it from their control.

    It takes a 9th level spell slot. I'm not kidding.

    It's a spell that acts like a worse Awaken Undead in return for subpar resistances that your undead likely already have anyway at the level you can actually cast it.

    I originally thought it was some weird work-around to put corpsecrafter on undead you can't normally raise with a spell, but vile death has a restricted selection of undead it can apply to and corpsecrafter only works on necromancy spells anyway.

    What is the point of this spell? Am I missing something?

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    Well, firstly: Dread Necromancer gets it as 7th-level spell
    Now, since the creature isn't under your control anymore - it doesn't take part of your HD control pool
    Because it's intelligent now, and indifferent toward you - you can try to Diplomacy it to work for you
    (And, if creature wouldn't cooperate - you can just end the spell, and try one more time later)

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShurikVch View Post
    Well, firstly: Dread Necromancer gets it as 7th-level spell
    Now, since the creature isn't under your control anymore - it doesn't take part of your HD control pool
    Because it's intelligent now, and indifferent toward you - you can try to Diplomacy it to work for you
    (And, if creature wouldn't cooperate - you can just end the spell, and try one more time later)
    70245I don't believe you can end permanent spells prematurely. Besides, there ae Much better options for 7th level spells if you want intelligent undead minions.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    Most of the creatures listed are already intelligent anyway, and this is way worse than Awaken Undead if they're not.

    I'd guess whoever wrote it confused the Fiendish and Half-Fiend templates when deciding on appropriate level, but this has been reprinted twice with nothing fixed, so that's unlikely.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    When creating your undead army you aren't taking the time to beef them up as much as possible? You know you can cast this spell on a down time day, it is permanent after all. They get damage reduction, fire/cold resist, and smite good. I don't think it's a bad 9th, but then again I don't assume to spend every spell slot every day.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darg View Post
    When creating your undead army you aren't taking the time to beef them up as much as possible? You know you can cast this spell on a down time day, it is permanent after all. They get damage reduction, fire/cold resist, and smite good. I don't think it's a bad 9th, but then again I don't assume to spend every spell slot every day.
    ... and then they disperse because they hold no loyalty to you. The spell specifically shifts the target's attitude to neutral toward you, meaning they aren't loyal via magical or mundane means anymore.

    You can get everything you just described, on a wider selection of undead, with other spells of the same level or lower without dispersing your army.

    This is all the more true when you consider there's a spell that already does the same thing, but better, At 6th Level.
    Last edited by Promethean; 2022-11-29 at 07:50 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Promethean View Post
    70245I don't believe you can end permanent spells prematurely.
    Duration: Permanent (D)
    "(D)" means "dismissible"
    Last edited by ShurikVch; 2022-11-29 at 08:07 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Promethean View Post
    ... and then they disperse because they hold no loyalty to you. The spell specifically shifts the target's attitude to neutral toward you, meaning they aren't loyal via magical or mundane means anymore.

    You can get everything you just described, on a wider selection of undead, with other spells of the same level or lower without dispersing your army.

    This is all the more true when you consider there's a spell that already does the same thing, but better, At 6th Level.
    You can always control them again. Demonic Blood Infusion is temporary. This spell is not. It should also be pointed out that the spell compendium version is actually nerfed compared to savage species/heroes of horror. Originally it could be cast on any undead. This would allow a diplomancer amazing influence over an army of undead that had no limit. The version from the SpC doesn't take this into account and being a 9th no longer makes sense. I was just pointing out that it does still have a use.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    This spell has material and xp costs, being cast in downtime doesn't make it good, sure you could theoretically diplomance any undead you free, but you could also just do that with literally any other monster, many of which are stronger than any of these fiendish undead. And if you're not a diplomancer, then this spell is spending xp to lose control of your minions.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    I'm not sure but if you are a cleric you can rebuke it again and regain control. Maybe you are a vampire cleric with a slave like Jander Sunstar that refuses to fall to evil despite his vampiric state. In that case what better way to turn Jander to evil that binding an evil fiendish soul to his own. After that he can be rebuke/commanded back into service.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    Edit: Missed the special target restrictions in the SpC version - why would they even add that? The HoH one is ok though.

    Pre-Edit:
    Cast it on yourself, as a Necropolitan? Fiendish template ain't that much, but it's a nearly-free permanent buff. And while the costs mean you maybe don't want to apply it to your entire horde, they're pretty small when just applying it to a few elites.
    Last edited by icefractal; 2022-11-30 at 03:35 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Crake's Avatar

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    Default Re: What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    I mean, the fluff of the spell is that you summon a fiend from the depths of hell to inhabit the body. Seems to me like that's something you could pre-arrange beforehand with a fiend that you've perhaps built a rapport with or made a deal with, and are giving them a risk-free presence on the material plane. It could even be used as a bargaining chip for a deal "hey, I'll bring you to the material plane in a powerful undead body that is free to be destroyed without harm to yourself, and in exchange, you give me XYZ"
    Last edited by Crake; 2022-11-30 at 05:08 AM.
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  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
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    smile Re: What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    If you have a way to speed up casting, you can also use it to change the attitude of some hostile undead into indifferent.

    I suspect the authors were concerned about permanent buffs and over-balanced it.
    Possibly they also over-valued the fact that normally, fiendish template cannot be applied to undead.

    Mineralize Warrior applies a much more powerful template as a level 6 spell, so, especially with the SpC restrictions, this spell would also probably be balanced around there (and hey, Dread Necro does get the HoH version of the spell as a 7th level spell without breaking anything).

    Incarnate Construct spell is 9th level, but the Incarnate Construct template is much more of a wildcard with that -2 LA.

    As a total aside, I have always been curious about builds that use the Incarnate Construct spell multiple times in order to cancel out very expensive templates. Something like <Construct> Spellcasting 5/Renegade Mastermaker 10/Green Star Adept 10
    However, I haven't found enough high LA constructs without a ton of HD to use there and too many good templates are inherited and thus hard to justify on a construct. This also presumes that Incarnate Construct doesn't remove class features, which I am not sure about.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What is the point of the Vile Death spell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Promethean View Post
    It's a spell that acts like a worse Awaken Undead
    Awaken Undead is stuck with whatever the average Int for the kind of creature the Undead was in life - meaning Animals are still Int 2, and Mindless creatures are "Int -"
    Meanwhile, Fiendish Creature template gives Int 3 even for a Zombie Vermin (with a lot of feats)

    I seen TO exercise where formerly-Mindless Fiendish Undead took Leadership, and has 18th-level mage as their Cohort...
    Last edited by ShurikVch; 2022-12-01 at 07:48 AM.

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