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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Belial_the_Leveler's Avatar

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    Default Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Yeah, yeah, we all know that a wizard can prepare against any challenge. But there are some limitations;

    1) The wizard has to prepare spells ahead of time or leave open slots.
    2) Open slots take ALOT of time to fill, usually too long to be used in combat or when time presses.
    3) There are 4-5 encounters and other challenges for the day. The Wizard can't prepare for all of them.
    4) The DM can change his mind about what encounters will be. AFTER the wizard chooses his spells.
    5) The encounters can be random.


    That being said, here's a question for wizard optimizers out there: can you prepare a 20th level wizard, possibly with Archmage and other PrC levels to outshine the rest of the party for five challenges out of the 13 from the DMG table in the course of a day, challenges that the DM (me) makes out of the SRD?

    Outshining the rest of the party means accounting for substantially more than 25% of the group's effectiveness, usually (but not always) in combat.

    Rules:

    32 point-buy
    20th level
    Standard wealth, no custom item unless you make it yourself (expending your own XP)

    Gate calls creatures like Planar Binding does; you always have to trap the target and negotiate a price.
    Changing Shape is limited to SRD creatures.
    You can't reduce the cost of any metamagic feat below 1 level increase unless it is already 0 in which case it remains as is.
    Powergaming is allowed. Exploiting loopholes such as infinite gate trick, kobold wizards+polymorph and the like isn't. Hence the limitations above.

    You compete with 3 other 20th level DM-controlled characters: a noncaster warrior (fighter, paladin, barbarian, monk and the like), a divine caster (cleric, favored soul or druid) and a skill-oriented character (rogue, bard, ranger and similar). The objective is to be more effective in the course of the encounters than the other PCs. For example, if the wizard could KO the demons all by himself in 3 rounds but in the first round he kills one and the other characters kill the others, it doesn't count.

    You get the objective of the day and the general area/environment the encounters take place in before you prepare spells. E.g. "thieves have stolen object X, recover it." Then you can prepare your spells and go fulfill the objective. The DM (me) has a fairly good idea of what the encounters will be but random encounters are, well, random.

    The purpose of this challenge is to see whether a Schrodiger's Wizard actually is as effective in actual encounters. Since this is not a campaign, the encounters will be mostly numbers.


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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Quote Originally Posted by Belial_the_Leveler View Post
    Yeah, yeah, we all know that a wizard can prepare against any challenge. But there are some limitations;

    1) The wizard has to prepare spells ahead of time or leave open slots.
    2) Open slots take ALOT of time to fill, usually too long to be used in combat or when time presses.
    3) There are 4-5 encounters and other challenges for the day. The Wizard can't prepare for all of them.
    4) The DM can change his mind about what encounters will be. AFTER the wizard chooses his spells.
    5) The encounters can be random.


    That being said, here's a question for wizard optimizers out there: can you prepare a 20th level wizard, possibly with Archmage and other PrC levels to outshine the rest of the party for five challenges out of the 13 from the DMG table in the course of a day, challenges that the DM (me) makes out of the SRD?

    Outshining the rest of the party means accounting for substantially more than 25% of the group's effectiveness, usually (but not always) in combat.




    The purpose of this challenge is to see whether a Schrodiger's Wizard actually is as effective in actual encounters. Since this is not a campaign, the encounters will be mostly numbers.
    Sounds fine but let me ask about these limitations:
    Gate calls creatures like Planar Binding does; you always have to trap the target and negotiate a price.
    So does Gate still cost Exp or doesd it only cost gold/magic items since it works like Planar Binding?
    Can you negociate before you Gate them *like have previously worked out details and Gate is just to call them forth*

    Hmm, what books allowed for spells? All?

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Quote Originally Posted by Belial_the_Leveler View Post
    3) There are 4-5 encounters and other challenges for the day. The Wizard can't prepare for all of them.
    4) The DM can change his mind about what encounters will be. AFTER the wizard chooses his spells.
    Interesting statements. I disagree with 3 and 4 is exactly like saying "You're only effective when I let you be that way."

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Is being MvP killing the most enemies, or enabling the destruction of the most enemies.

    If it is the first I think you misunderstand the point of a wizard. Maybe Schrodiger's Wizard is just that different from the batman I'm used to.

    If it is the second, how will it be judged.

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Quote Originally Posted by Belial_the_Leveler View Post
    4) The DM can change his mind about what encounters will be. AFTER the wizard chooses his spells.
    This sounds rather more like Schrodinger's encounter than Scrodinger's wizard to me. Through the actions of the Quantum DM, the obstacles to be overcome are only set after the wizard has chosen his spells, and are entangled so as to always be what he's least able to handle?

    More seriously, sure, the DM can choose what will make up the encounters. But part of a wizard's power is in the ability to look ahead via divinations, see what the challenge is, and prepare for it. If the game world warps itself beyond verisimiltude in order to screw the wizard, that doesn't seem to prove much to me.

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    3 and 4 are crap, it just makes it Schrödinger's Challenge. So are your house rules. If you want a challenge to prove or disprove a RAW point then you play by the RAW, not the RAW with houserules.

    Granted, it's not like it matters particuarly much anyways. It's easy enough for an Incantatrix to stack enough persistent buff's to laugh in the face of anything you care to send at them.
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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Then imagine that another more powerful Batman Wizard is the BBEG of this event and he is the one sending the encounters at you. I think what the OP is really going for is:

    "Can Batman still be Batman if he prepares for situation X and ends up in situation Y every time?"

    I think that in and of itself should be a good challenge to prove the real strength of Batman Wizards. It really should not be that hard, especially for you Tippy.
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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    More seriously, sure, the DM can choose what will make up the encounters. But part of a wizard's power is in the ability to look ahead via divinations, see what the challenge is, and prepare for it. If the game world warps itself beyond verisimiltude in order to screw the wizard, that doesn't seem to prove much to me.
    im not sure i quite agree on the part about divination, most of the BBEG my casters have fought have defendet themself against scrying to such a degree we only got a general idea about what we were up against, and in the ambushes and random encounters there wasnt time to prepare for the battle.

    and i disagree about the house rules, for a start the biggest limitation on using gate, the loss of xp, wont have the same impact in a test like this, so it only makes sense to fix it.

    as for shapechange, all groups dont use the same monster books, so i can see the idea behind limiting it to the one book you can be more or less sure everyone is using.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Quote Originally Posted by Belial_the_Leveler View Post
    The objective is to be more effective in the course of the encounters than the other PCs. For example, if the wizard could KO the demons all by himself in 3 rounds but in the first round he kills one and the other characters kill the others, it doesn't count.
    What if you enable your party to kill those 3 demons? You know, being batman is not about just killing things like a blaster or a BSF.

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    im not sure i quite agree on the part about divination, most of the BBEG my casters have fought have defendet themself against scrying to such a degree we only got a general idea about what we were up against, and in the ambushes and random encounters there wasnt time to prepare for the battle.
    Then your players aren't using divinations right. There is no way to defend against Contact Other Planes.

    and i disagree about the house rules, for a start the biggest limitation on using gate, the loss of xp, wont have the same impact in a test like this, so it only makes sense to fix it.
    No, it makes gate worthless. The point of gate is to bring something in for 1 battle and not have to worry about convincing it or anything else. The OP made gate worthless with his houserule.

    as for shapechange, all groups dont use the same monster books, so i can see the idea behind limiting it to the one book you can be more or less sure everyone is using.
    He is just doing it because he doesn't want to deal with all the possibilities it opens up. Unless he is willing to confine all challenges to the SRD only, if so you may have a point. If not its because he wants to shape the challenge to give him the result he is after.
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    Clearly, this is because Tippy equals Win.
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    Tippy=Win
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    Wow... Tippy, you equal win.
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    Tippy, I knew, in the back of my mind, that you would have the answer. Why? Cause you win. That's why.
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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Quote Originally Posted by OP
    challenges that the DM (me) makes out of the SRD?
    He is just doing it because he doesn't want to deal with all the possibilities it opens up. Unless he is willing to confine all challenges to the SRD only, if so you may have a point. If not its because he wants to shape the challenge to give him the result he is after.
    He is making all challenges SRD only, so making polymorph SRD only seems fair enough.

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    I'm guessing mindrape on gated creaures for infinite loyalty isn't allowed either (would be more than a little cheesy if it was)

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    I basically agree with Tippy. I can understand not allowing every DnD book, but the OP would be better served explicitly listing what books are allowed or disallowed. I would also see the sense in saying "gated creatures cannot gate in more than x additional creatures."

    Perhaps the best way to do this would be to have the challenging DM (Belial) create a list of challenges and send that to an objective moderator; the details need to be informative, but not explicitly laid out and utilizing only the aforementioned resources. At the same time have the challengers submit wizards that can handle general situations and then before every set of 4 encounters tell the wizard a basic outline of the scenario and allow adjustments to the prepared spell-lists. Based on time-allowed for the scenario allow the wizards to divine all they want, but also allow there to be some time-sensitive problems.

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Haven't similar challenges been done before? Multiple times? With the end result being that Schrodinger's Wizard is a bit more powerful than the actual Batman Wizard, yet not to the point that the Wizard loses any ground in relative standing?

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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Actually nearly this exact challenge was presented by a former Poster, Ramos, who mysteriously disappeared just after I posted my actions in the round that would have finished his pet creature.

    He was of course a friend of Belial.

    And the houserules for this are quite limiting:

    1) Gate allows you to do things without negotiating or trapping, that's why it's Gate.

    2) I note the specific rule about metamagic, looks like it was specifically designed to stop Incantatrix moves with Arcane Thesis. And that is frankly, bull crap. You might as well just Ban Arcane Thesis, after admitting that you any Wizard that uses it is going to win this challenge easily and you can't think of any way of stopping them.

    3) As regards 4) That's fine, but I don't have to tell you my spells prepared, to prevent cheating, since Schroedinger's challenge is clearly your goal.

    Not that it matters because you are already going to be designing creatures with an AC of -12 that use immediate actions to dodge my spells and run right into the Melee's full power attack full attack.

    But I will completely trounce the challenge with Nalthain, who has since become much much more powerful then previously.

    Normally Nalthain start Neutral, but as I see his story progressing I feel he becomes more evil. This doesn't really have any mechanical effects other then allowing you to use any Angels along with Demons and Devils.

    EDIT: And how do you want me to generate my d4 HD?
    Last edited by Akimbo; 2008-09-04 at 09:50 AM.

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Do you have a link to Nalthain? I don't think I've seen him before.

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Quote Originally Posted by Thinker View Post
    Do you have a link to Nalthain? I don't think I've seen him before.
    I will, unfortunately one day RPG web profiler was acting up and deleted everything below the BAB line on the character sheet (IE feats/spells/WBL/class features, so everything that takes time to do) since then I've used exclusively mythweavers, but Nalathin is primarily played IRL, so I didn't want to redo his character sheet.

    Doing it now, will have him up. For the purposes of this challenge I will tell you both what level his spells really are using the rules, and what level Belial wants to make them because he can't handle the rules.

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Then your players aren't using divinations right. There is no way to defend against Contact Other Planes.
    How is COP so effective when you can only ask questions answerable with yes/no/maybe, and there's a chance of the entity outright lying to you?

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    For people who shout "RAW" here is a list of perfectly normal "RAW" challenges:
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    A) Solar in its home plane. Chain Gate other Solars. AMF on a solar. Half the others Wish the Wizard in their presence through SLAs. Wizard rolls a 1 and comes. AMFed solar takes a step ahead (readied action) and AMFs the wizard. The other Solars' readied action fills the wizard with arrows. That's CR 23 BTW.
    B) Titan. CR 21.
    C) Wurm Black Dragon. 2 Improved Metamagic Epic Feats. Arcane Thesis: any orb spell. All the other feats are Awakened Spell Resistance for a SR of 40. The polymorphed to a fly dragon with its insane hide check of +46 follows the wizard at 200 ft away. When the wizard tries to cast a buff, the dragon casts an orb. The wizard casts celerity. The dragon casts celerity and casts an orb. That's CR 20 BTW.
    D) Lich 18. CR 20
    E) Balor. With several hundred dominated monsters under its control. CR 20


    For those that don't insist on abusing loopholes in the rules, I can make a list of 5 premade encounters, confirm it to somebody then we play them out.


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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    How well the wizard performs may depend a lot on how much divination is required to figure how which spells to memorize. If it's one spell per combat, okay, the wizard can afford five spells. If it's 5 to analyze each combat, the wizard is down 25 spells for the day without even spending anything on the combat itself. A level 20 wizard will have 40 a day, not counting bonus spells (which will probably bring him closer to 60 a day). Seems to me that the way to challenge this wizard is to come up with encounters that will take more divinations, so they can burn through his slots and leave him empty for the 4th and 5th fights.

    (That said, I'm not that well versed in divination and I'm not sure how many divination spells the GM could reasonably require before the wizard figures out what to prepare.)
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Quote Originally Posted by Belial_the_Leveler View Post
    C) Wurm Black Dragon. 2 Improved Metamagic Epic Feats. Arcane Thesis: any orb spell. All the other feats are Awakened Spell Resistance for a SR of 40. The polymorphed to a fly dragon with its insane hide check of +46 follows the wizard at 200 ft away. When the wizard tries to cast a buff, the dragon casts an orb. The wizard casts celerity. The dragon casts celerity and casts an orb. That's CR 20 BTW.
    Yes, chain gating Solars is exactly the same as Arcane Thesis. And yes, I have no problem with other creatures taking Arcane Thesis.

    If the Solars use Wish/Chain Gate, then I already used Chain Gate + Mindrape on Greater Prismatic Wyrms who are equally as optimized as anything you can come up with and always have readied actions to Gate me back if I should disappear/Time Stop, Greater Planeshift, find me, and kill all the Solars. Of course then it just becomes an infinite recursive War of Greater Prysmatic Dragons with readied actions.

    I'm not actually objecting to limiting Gate abuse, I just wonder why you can't let someone spend 5000XP to Gate something in in combat.

    As for Arcane Thesis, I am perfectly fine with Arcane Thesis dragons, in fact, that CR 20 Wurm Black Dragon is the exact encounter that Ramos used, that I easily crushed.

    Though he did cheat in the sense that he avoided wasting actions on casting Orb spells that do nothing to me, even though the Dragon actually had no way of knowing that fact.

    Also, HIDE DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. Unless you are telling me that the Dragon has Hide in Plain Sight, then he needs some form of concealment to hide, and unless he has Darkstalker he is susceptible to blindsense, and even if he has Darkstalker, Mindsight still detects him. Of course, Ramos ran off when I pointed out all the flaws in his plan.

    Also, just so you know, Polymorph: "You can’t cause a subject to assume a form smaller than Fine." So that would have to be Polymorph Any Object (making it a retard incapable of casting it's spells) or Shapechange (which it can't cast).

    But nice try.

    But as I said, I fully intend to play by your Gate and metamagic rules, I'm just going to inform the interested poster what spell level the spells are under the actual rules.
    Last edited by Akimbo; 2008-09-04 at 10:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Prismatic dragons are Not extraplanar so cannot be gated. closest equivalent would be the epic spells that summon red dragons, powered up.

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Quote Originally Posted by Belial_the_Leveler View Post
    For people who shout "RAW" here is a list of perfectly normal "RAW" challenges:
    Spoiler
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    A) Solar in its home plane. Chain Gate other Solars. AMF on a solar. Half the others Wish the Wizard in their presence through SLAs. Wizard rolls a 1 and comes. AMFed solar takes a step ahead (readied action) and AMFs the wizard. The other Solars' readied action fills the wizard with arrows. That's CR 23 BTW.
    B) Titan. CR 21.
    C) Wurm Black Dragon. 2 Improved Metamagic Epic Feats. Arcane Thesis: any orb spell. All the other feats are Awakened Spell Resistance for a SR of 40. The polymorphed to a fly dragon with its insane hide check of +46 follows the wizard at 200 ft away. When the wizard tries to cast a buff, the dragon casts an orb. The wizard casts celerity. The dragon casts celerity and casts an orb. That's CR 20 BTW.
    D) Lich 18. CR 20
    E) Balor. With several hundred dominated monsters under its control. CR 20


    For those that don't insist on abusing loopholes in the rules, I can make a list of 5 premade encounters, confirm it to somebody then we play them out.
    Tiny friend, no one is trying to use loopholes. They object, I suspect, to the fact that you weaken them. If you nerf the Wizard, by not letting him use Gate as it is written, or limit them to the SRD, then you are not testing the Wizard. You are testing a weaker version of the Wizard. And if you must rule away some of the power of the Wizard to win, then that itself is proof of the power of wizards, no?
    Last edited by streakster; 2008-09-04 at 11:04 AM.
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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Quote Originally Posted by Belial_the_Leveler View Post
    For people who shout "RAW" here is a list of perfectly normal "RAW" challenges:
    Spoiler
    Show

    A) Solar in its home plane. Chain Gate other Solars. AMF on a solar. Half the others Wish the Wizard in their presence through SLAs. Wizard rolls a 1 and comes. AMFed solar takes a step ahead (readied action) and AMFs the wizard. The other Solars' readied action fills the wizard with arrows. That's CR 23 BTW.
    B) Titan. CR 21.
    C) Wurm Black Dragon. 2 Improved Metamagic Epic Feats. Arcane Thesis: any orb spell. All the other feats are Awakened Spell Resistance for a SR of 40. The polymorphed to a fly dragon with its insane hide check of +46 follows the wizard at 200 ft away. When the wizard tries to cast a buff, the dragon casts an orb. The wizard casts celerity. The dragon casts celerity and casts an orb. That's CR 20 BTW.
    D) Lich 18. CR 20
    E) Balor. With several hundred dominated monsters under its control. CR 20


    For those that don't insist on abusing loopholes in the rules, I can make a list of 5 premade encounters, confirm it to somebody then we play them out.
    Even if the wizard fails to defeat these challenges, has the rest of the party succeeded in doing so? Your criteria of > 1/4 of the challenge seems to mean that the wizard could fail the encounter and still have destroyed half of it, while the rest of the party TPK's and still pass your scenario.

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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    OK, here are answers to details/rules oriented questions:

    Tiny friend, no one is trying to use loopholes. They object, I suspect, to the fact that you weaken them. If you nerf the Wizard, by not letting him use Gate as it is written, or limit them to the SRD, then you are not testing the Wizard. You are testing a weaker version of the Wizard. And if you must rule away some of the power of the Wizard to win, then that itself is proof of the power of wizards, no?
    That's a very good argument. I'll not limit the wizard then-but loopholes and cheese will be met by loopholes and cheese.

    Monsters are from the SRD and can't have classes unless they're the BBEG but they can be tweaked with feats/treasure from other sources, especially the books referring to them (e.g. undead and libris mortis). Your base class has to be wizard. Items, Spells, PrCs and Feats can be from any non-campaign specific book but not the dragon magazines.

    Effectiveness of a class depends on defeating and enabling the defeat of enemies. A buff that gives the fighter +10% damage and +20% chance to hit in that encounter will mean that 22% of the fighter's effectiveness goes to wizard. A buff that doubles the damage means half that effectiveness goes to wizard. Also, an ability that disables a monster completely, allowing it to be killed easily counts as killing it. A debuff that eats half the monster's effectiveness accounts for half the monster.

    Divinations can be used to guess encounters in advance. Note however that the question "Will I face dragons today" is not the same as knowing you'll face a red dragon that masquerades as a black via alter self and nondetection but projects the illusion of a green...

    You can use the full Shapechange/Gate if you want but abusing a spell means you'll get SB else abusing it in return.

    Encounters will be prearranged by me. I'm building them even now. Someone that wants to see them

    @Akimbo: I don't remember that fight very well but I don't remember Ramos changing that dragon into a Fine creature. Because if he did, +16 bonus from size, -20 penalty from distance of 200 ft, you'd have to make a DC 36 spot check to even see him at all if he wasn't hiding. As for detecting a dragon, go ahead. There are hundreds of insects, lizards and other stuff in a forested area. Choose which one is the dragon...
    Last edited by Belial_the_Leveler; 2008-09-04 at 11:11 AM.


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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    interesting question: given that ordering a controlled minion to do something "obviously suicidal" tends to allow a will save, should same principle apply to players who order their gated creature to "let me cast this next spell on you"? Should creature get a Sense Motive first, and a will save to resist order?

    Given that personality death is not that different from real death, by some theories.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    Prismatic dragons are Not extraplanar so cannot be gated. closest equivalent would be the epic spells that summon red dragons, powered up.
    They are extraplanar to some plane. No one ever said you were gating them in from the prime material.
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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    3 and 4 are crap, it just makes it Schrödinger's Challenge. So are your house rules. If you want a challenge to prove or disprove a RAW point then you play by the RAW, not the RAW with houserules.
    Random encounters, rolled on a table in the DMG, are RAW.
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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Gate only allows you to summon creatures non-extraplanar. Yes, even if you are on another plane, whether you are yourself extraplanar or not. Because it explicitly states in the spell description: an extraplanar creature. Devils can't gate in dragons when in Nine Hells, so why should players get to do it?

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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Schrodiger's Wizard? [challenge]

    Now there is no rule barring Fiendish prismatic dragons, but the existence of any creature with a template, outside of listed summonable ones, is DM's discretion. Similarly, the presence of any non-extraplanar creature on a plane that it is not native to.

    If I was to say "there might be colossus somewhere in the Nine Hells, therefore its extraplanar, therefore I can Gate it": i'd be laughed at.

    An extraplanar creature does not mean, always, a creature with the Extraplanar subtype, when it has been gained temporartily through leaving the material plane.

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