View Full Version : 3.5 Rule mongering questions!

07-25-2012, 05:43 PM
SO. Within a campaign world of mine, I have a good creature warped by an evil item, that makes the creature appear/behave evil. For example: A Solar has a mask put on him by a god, that essentially makes him evil. If the mask were removed, he would be himself again, a solar in all their LG glory.

NOW: Holy word is as follows:
Holy Word
Evocation [Good, Sonic]
Level: Clr 7, Good 7
Components: V
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 40 ft.
Area: Nongood creatures in a 40-ft.-radius
spread centered on you
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None or Will negates; see
Spell Resistance: Yes
Any nongood creature within the area that
hears the holy word suffers the following ill
HD Effect
Equal to caster level Deafened
Up to caster level 1 Blinded, deafened
Up to caster level 5 Paralyzed, blinded,
Up to caster level 10 Killed, paralyzed,
blinded, deafened
The effects are cumulative and concurrent.
No saving throw is allowed against these
Deafened: The creature is deafened for
1d4 rounds.
Blinded: The creature is blinded for 2d4
Paralyzed: The creature is paralyzed and
helpless for 1d10 minutes.
Killed: Living creatures die. Undead
creatures are destroyed.
Furthermore, if you are on your home
plane when you cast this spell, nongood
extraplanar creatures within the area are
instantly banished back to their home
planes. Creatures so banished cannot
return for at least 24 hours. This effect
takes place regardless of whether the creatures
hear the holy word. The banishment
effect allows a Will save (at a 4 penalty) to
Creatures whose HD exceed your caster
level are unaffected by holy word.

Now, let's say a 24HD character casts Holy Word. Would it effect the Solar? The mask makes him nongood, but the creature by nature is good. The fact that it was placed on him by a deity means it will not be removed so easily. Would the angel just shrug it off, or be banished for a day?

07-26-2012, 12:51 AM
hmmmm. for the record, in my campaign world, it is impossible to forcibly mess with the moral and/or ethical agency of an individual by any means or power up to and including artifact, epic, and deity level effects or actions. i strongly disagree with the existence of such things. which has a number of odd and interesting affects on game mechanics, magical effects and items in said campaign world setting.

having mentioned that... i suppose it would depend on what you decide for the wording of the mechanics of the mask. if the mask functions by effectively (if temporarily) lobotomizing, or somehow imprisoning the reasoning/ethical/moral agency of the solar, or replacing the personality or some such; then it would be the mask that is evil and the solar retains its' good subtype, which would likely make it immune to holy word, but not the mask (if and only if it functions as if it were, or in fact actually is, a creature of some type).

if the mask is not in any way a creature, and/or functions by changing the subtype of the creature, along with the mindset or whatever... then holy word would be effective.

your use of "appear/behave" inclines me to think more the former where it does not actually change the essential nature or agency of the solar, thus holy word would not be effective, in my opinion.


07-27-2012, 11:06 AM
You invented the item, so you'll have to define how it works.

The spell affects creatures of evil alignment, not just those with the evil keyword, so if the mask actually changes the alignment of the wearer, then you have the hilarious result of banishing an evil creature to a good plane.

On the other hand, if the mask is creating a permanent Dominate-like effect, then the underlying alignment would not change, so the spell would do nothing.

07-28-2012, 01:29 AM
maybe they just needed some clarification of thought by getting ideas bounced back at them by the community?

08-18-2012, 07:29 PM
You invented the item, so you'll have to define how it works.


A solar really isn't a solar if it's not good. Planar creatures are wacky like that: they're not made of cells and water, they're made of good and evil. So to make a solar evil is to destroy it, or turn it into a demon.

08-19-2012, 11:47 AM
I have to go with DMMike here. Being good is a core requirement for a Solar... like iron-based blood is for a human. If you replace the iron-based blood and enable the human to continue to live, you have created a new species. To make a Solar evil - you have "unsolarized" it.

The way I've always read it, Solars are beings in direct servitude to a deity, and according to real-world (as real as it gets) mythology, they are CREATED by the deity.

The way I would adjudicate it is that the mask is a temporary, "curable" condition, and that the Solar is forced to be/think/act evil. The way I would do it is that the Solar WOULD be effected by the Holy Word, but at a slightly lesser degree... almost as if the Solar "knew" he was under compulsion and "wanted" to be stopped and cured. I'd give him butt-loads of damage from the Word and stun him - and have something happen that gives the characters a clue as to what is going on.

Once "cured" - it would be up to the Solar (with urgings or advice from the PC's) to either take up the mantle of evil and find a demonic sponsor, or go crawling back to their deity to request penance and absolution for their perceived sins.
__________________________________________________ _____

Edited to add:

This goes back to my personal definition of the way bad guys are depicted in movies: Are they normal people ACTING badly (Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, or John Leguizamo as the Evil Clown in Spawn), or are they REALLY evil and acting normally (Kathy Bates in Misery, or Heath Ledger as the Joker in Batman: The Dark Knight). The "acting" part can be identified by reactions that look like, "Gosh, I think a bad person would do something like this," while the "real" part looks like, "I'm going to what I want because it comes naturally." If the Solar looks like he has to THINK about what he should do to look/act evil, an intelligent PC (or player) may pick up on it.

08-22-2012, 01:04 AM
i disagree with any concept that abrogates the ability of a sentient entity to choose for self what course they will take, as well as any concept that negates the ability of awareness of conscience. so, basically i'm kinda repeating myself, and holding out for my suggestion.

besides, (irl) angels are not what most people seem to think they are. but that is mostly a pr issue as well as the human tendency to make a few changes to the story for various reasons, exacerbated by the passage of time.

08-23-2012, 12:56 AM
Um, niji, does that mean your vampires don't Dominate or your Illithid don't enthrall?

08-26-2012, 06:53 PM
those abilities translate to hypnosis-like mechanics combined with mental projection. they can "lean" on someone really hard, but ultimately someone could theoretically stubbornly refuse to submit, no matter what. however, such creatures are equally aware of this fact, and are likely to be well versed in terror, interrogation, and psychosis-inducing tactics. if they have time to do so, they can wear one down, tire one out, threaten and/or actually harm loved ones, ect., and eventually break most victims. clever ones prepare victims ahead of time or sneak in through dreams and whispered thoughts over a long time and try to plant hypnotic suggestions ahead of time. this prepared-in-advance groundwork actually accounts for the "sudden domination" trick used mid-combat in my systems.

all they really need is the consent of the victim in order to start their nefarious work. once consent is given, it can be really hard to boot such creatures back out.

09-17-2012, 03:54 PM
I would probably have the holy word spell do something similar to a dispel magic effect. Basically, give the mask a will save. If it fails its save, it will be suppressed for 1d4 rounds (long enough for the Solar to give the PCs a little information).