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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    thegurullamen's Avatar

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    Default Paradox Machine [Spell, 3.5]

    Inspired by the Library and Chronomancy work by The Demented One as well as the Doctor Whoniverse, I present a piece of brokenness called "The Paradox Machine".

    Paradox Machine
    Transmutation/Universal
    Level: Sor/Wiz 9
    Components: V, M, F
    Casting Time: 10 days
    Range: Any
    Target: One item built, Special
    Effect: Special
    Duration: Permanent (D)
    Saving Throw: N/A, Special (see description)
    Spell Resistance: N/A

    This spell warps the laws of causality to allow an impossibility to happen. After construction of the Machine, the builder may alter reality in any one way, including drastic changes in history, the functionality of the laws of magic and even the lay of the world. (He may not alter the function of his own machine or the laws governing it, however.) So long as the machine remains functional, the warping in reality remains.

    As part of its functionality, the machine must be refueled once every year, requiring another casting of this spell and a new heart (see below.) Should the machine ever be destroyed or the maintenance ritual not be performed, the paradox is instantly broken and the world changes back to its original form as if nothing had happened. (In cases where a paradox machine fails after more than a few years, the world reverts to what it would have been at the same time had the machine never been built.*) The only exception to this rule is for those who come into physical contact with the machine; they may make a Will save or fade out of existence as a part of the paradoxical world.

    As this spell draws a substantial amount of power to operate, its caster is tied to it in the strongest manner. Should the Machine cease to function for any reason other than a willful dismissal of the spell's effects by the caster, the caster's soul is immediately destroyed (no save.) Even in the event of a dismissal, the caster must make a Will save against the spell or permanently lose all spellcasting ability. For this same reason, no creature may construct more than one Paradox Machine ever.

    Arcane Focus: An elaborate machine to channel the immense amounts of magical power needed to preserve the paradox. Must be built as a part of the casting of this spell. Building requires use of a 10,000 gp facility (which usually must be custom built for this task.) Cost: 100,000gp worth of each of the following materials: adamantine, infernal iron, mechanus steel, limbo crystal and celestial copper. Also required is the still ticking heart of a Marut.

    *This means no cheesy reset button where everyone is magically transported back in time ala Star Trek: Voyager. If there's a paradox machine in effect somewhere, the world will pass you by.

    **DMs, be careful when using this spell. By RAW, it can do literally anything, but feel free to impose some-campaign specific limits on its power to prevent it from being an auto-win button for your villain. Similarly, feel free to make it an auto-win button if you so choose. DM fiat ftw!
    Last edited by thegurullamen; 2008-09-17 at 11:22 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zeta Kai's Avatar

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    Default Re: Paradox Machine [Spell, 3.5]

    Wow, that is one helluva plot device spell. Very cool. It seems too powerful for non-epic magic, but I won't argue mechanics/balance at this time. One question: What school is this spell? It doesn't say. I'd assume transmutation.

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    Default Re: Paradox Machine [Spell, 3.5]

    This is pretty awesome. I don't think I'd really call it all that overpowered, even, considering the huge costs of building and running the thing and the fact that the protagonists will inevitably return everything to normal anyway.

    Now if your players started trying to build one... or, Mechanus forbid, more than one...

    That's when the plane-sized Inevitable starts forming.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Paradox Machine [Spell, 3.5]

    No, this is a cool spell, but make no mistake. It's horribly broken. The unlimited effects pretty much make sure the machine can sustain itself (i.e. changing the world so that you are horribly rich and powerful on a planar scale, thus allowing you to procure all materials easily) or cause major alterations which will make its negative effects irrelevant.

    As for this being a strictly villain spell, well, you don't really need such complex mechanics for villains
    Last edited by Syne; 2008-09-17 at 09:03 AM.
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    Default Re: Paradox Machine [Spell, 3.5]

    It may be broken, if you just let your players do it. I mean, really 100,000 GP of a bunch of special materials is NOT easy to come by, plus the time to build it, and gain the Marut heart...

    No PC would waste their time with this, because the DM would stop them.

    That said, I agree. There don't need to be rules for everything in D&D. Some things should just be.
    If there's a rule, there's someone out there trying to figure out how to get around it just to piss off his DM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Paradox Machine [Spell, 3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Syne View Post
    No, this is a cool spell, but make no mistake. It's horribly broken. The unlimited effects pretty much make sure the machine can sustain itself (i.e. changing the world so that you are horribly rich and powerful on a planar scale, thus allowing you to procure all materials easily) or cause major alterations which will make its negative effects irrelevant.

    As for this being a strictly villain spell, well, you don't really need such complex mechanics for villains
    True, but this was inspired by Doctor Who and if you ever plan to run something similar to that, cheesy, over-the-top plans and spells like this are the bread and butter of the campaign. Well, that and you need important rules for when the PCs destroy the thing/take it over/build their own (because this is D&D and that will happen.) Aside from that, this could just be one of those weird magical things that people might know about but rarely does anyone witness firsthand. Like owlbears. Or oozes. Or watching Mechanus go to war in Beserker Mecha mode. Technically, they're all possible/exist (except maybe that last one) but you may never see them.

    And if that doesn't work for you, just fall back on the I-did-it-for-fun! explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by JackMage666 View Post
    That said, I agree. There don't need to be rules for everything in D&D. Some things should just be.
    How the best Wishes are made. I will add a proviso stating that DMs should be careful when using this. Causality can be a bitch and a half to have to retcon.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: Paradox Machine [Spell, 3.5]

    I'm confused, does this spell's device allow infinite reshaping of the world or, like Dr Who's version, does it simply allow you to make wishes of greater scale, reshaping the plane without reality itself sitting up and saying 'Oi, You! NO!!!!!'?

    The point of the Dr Who one was to allow the future to interfere with the past yet blanket ignoring the paradox causing first law of time [No Time Lord is permitted to interact with historical events within his own timeline] from before the series began being written by people who think that CGI is more important than plot...

    How about the device alowing the use of 'Unlimited Wish' or something similar as another ninth level spell. There was a spell from the old Chronomancy supplement that had the simple effect of allowing folks to interfere with the past and yet remain extant.

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    HalfOrcPirate

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    Default Re: Paradox Machine [Spell, 3.5]

    What if the machine simply allowed you to cast one Wish spell, but have the effect take place at any point in the past? So if you want to change the course of a battle that happened one thousand years ago, and thus alter all history since then, you can. A major change could wipe out entire species, if you interfere far back enough.

    I'd say that the paradox machine should have a zone of a few hundred feet around it where things don't change to preserve its own existence, and the existence of the caster.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Paradox Machine [Spell, 3.5]

    I agree it should at least be epic level. 100,000? By level 20 it's not hard to come by, it's the equivalent of a +5 armor. Epic itens costs much more.
    Also, I think it could work more as a (minor) artifact than a spell.

    I like the idea of changes being similar to "what would have been" with Wishes spells, to limit what players/NPCs can do, because, frankly, we know VERY well how to secure a machine like this.

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