Recent Chat Activity (Main Lobby)
Join Chat

Loading Chat Log...

Prefer not to see ads? Become a Community Supporter.

Blog Comments

  1. nijineko's Avatar
    and i need to reread the spell! silly me, scrying can't target objects at all, only creatures apparently. =P
  2. Hey I Can Chan's Avatar
    the rulings i'm offering are exactly what is written in the books, and i'm pointing out that the answers to all the possibles you've postulated are in the books, rules as written.
    If that's true, then what does this mean: "You must have some clear idea of the location and layout of the destination."

    If you say anything other than, "It means exactly what it says," you're interpreting. And if you know exactly what that means, you had to have written it.

    That's because while clear idea is clarified further on in the text, the differences between "location," "layout," and "destination" are all ones you're bringing to the table.

    For example, If location is place, in what orientation to and what distance from that place? If location is object, in what orientation to and what distance from that object? If location is longitude and latitude are mobile locations (i.e. ships) impossible destinations? If location is the amount of space the caster occupies (usually a single 5 ft. square) is what's around that 5 ft. square is suddenly unimportant and what happens when he teleports with others? If location is visual observation from a single point in space of a particular area at a particular distance and orientation then, well, isn't that a lot to cram into one word, and isn't shipboard teleportation still impossible?

    And if you answer even one of those questions you're interpreting because the rules don't say jack about it.

    Seriously, stop saying my rulings aren't needed and that they're all there in the book and then making your own rulings. That's silly.

    Bring this to the forums, and we'll link to that conversation here.
  3. nijineko's Avatar
    the rulings i'm offering are exactly what is written in the books, and i'm pointing out that the answers to all the possibles you've postulated are in the books, rules as written.

    what you are doing is adding rules or interpretations thereof to the game. which is fine IF THAT IS WHAT YOUR ARTICLE SAYS IT IS ABOUT, which it does not.

    unless i am mistaken in my reading of your article, which is entirely possible, you have stated that d&d is basically broken or fails to address certain basic issues and why, and are offering your solutions to things you see as broken or unaddressed.

    whereas i am pointing out that the rules do cover exactly what you claim they don't and sought to prove it to you with examples of the rules as written.

    now, you don't have to like the rules, you don't have to uses the rules as written in your games, and you certainly don't have to play any way other than how you wish to.

    i am not seeking to offer offense, though you are certainly free to choose to be offended if you really want to.

    but i'm also not going to sit back and let someone yet again claim that a rule does not address an issue which is explicitly covered in said rules text. (regardless if either of us agree with or like the result in question.)

    if it makes you feel any better, i rather prefer your interpretation of the rules over the rules as written. i do think it is somewhat of a failure of the designer that they either failed to take into consideration, or just decided the way they did (whichever it was), such aspects of scrying, teleportation, and so on and so forth as you describe in your articles.

    but please do not claim that the subject is not addressed, because it is.
  4. Hey I Can Chan's Avatar
    Are you disagreeing? Is there something I've misread? I mean, sure, you can totally say, "In my game a caster has firsthand knowledge of everyone he's ever met in the campaign for the purposes of scrying spells," and that's valid because that's what the book says, but if, based on flavor text, you have scrying penetrate disguises, spying on people who have been turned into bunnies, and looking into the lives of the feebleminded and thoroughly mindraped, that's where our opinions differ.

    In my game you've not met Bruce Wayne if you've met Batman. You've not met fluffy bunny, even if fluffy bunny was formerly Mrs. Potter and is now the cruel victim of a baleful polymorph spell. You've not met the half-orc who has no concept of his own identity because he's been reduced to the intelligence of lizard via the spell feeblemind even though you met Krusk at a dinner party when you were level 2.

    In your games, those might be perfectly valid scrying subjects and still count as met, and that's okay.

    But the game doesn't tell us that either interpretation is correct.

    there are no special extra rulings outside of what is implicitly required by the spell rules itself, though i admit that the fact that the spell requires specific rulings in context of the spell usage and the general system itself does not provide much input on the matter, may be termed an extra ruling from some points of view.

    i do not hold the view that just because a spell requires additional adjudication, that they do not provide answers.
    That quotation actually says, "Rules that you're not seeing are implied, and you've wasted your time on this exercise." That's offensive. You've said, "Your rulings are wrong because I am a better reader than you. My rulings are better because I am more capable of seeing deeply into the text than you are."

    And then you offer your own rulings.

    If you've a specific point that isn't an interpretation and is instead addressed by the rules as written, I would appreciate further comments along that line. I'm struggling, however, to stay polite when told, "You don't need to make these interpretations when you can just use what's written in the books," and then seeing you spend 500+ words making your own interpretations of what's written in the books. Have you considered writing your own blog on the same subjects or starting a new topic in the forums? I'd be happy to discuss specific points there.
  5. Hey I Can Chan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko
    reincarnate and raise dead do not raise the caster's level.
    I think you're talking about this line of reasoning:

    If the dead character’s level 9, a helpful Drd7 will likely cast the spell reincarnate [trans] (Player’s Handbook 270) on the character for free; every level the dead character is above 9 increase the druid’s level by 1 until the druid’s level 16.
    That's to determine the maximum level of the helpful druid.
    Code:
    PC Lvl  Drd Lvl
       9       7
      10       8
      11       9
      12      10
      13      11
      14      12
      15      13
      16      14
      17      15
      18      16
    So a Drd7 will reincarnate anyone level 9 or above, but a Drd14 is looking to reincarnate folks level 16 and above. It's mainly an availability issue: if the highest level druid in town is level 11 and the dead PC is level 10, the Drd11 is gonna want to get paid.
  6. Hey I Can Chan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko
    in d&d, souls have always gone to the astral. the only ones that wind up in the ethereal instead are ghosts... hence the title of the book... ghostwalk?
    But in the Ghostwalk Campaign Option I'm pretty sure souls travel through the Ethereal Plane instead of the Astral Plane. But I did just reread the Monster Manual Ghost entry, and, yeah, proper undead ghosts are tied to the ethereal even though being incorporeal doesn't mean a creature must be tied to the Ethereal. So... um... whatever? Ghostwalk is a weird setting anyway.
  7. nijineko's Avatar
    reincarnate and raise dead do not raise the caster's level.
  8. nijineko's Avatar
    in d&d, souls have always gone to the astral. the only ones that wind up in the ethereal instead are ghosts... hence the title of the book... ghostwalk?
  9. nijineko's Avatar
    the same goes for teleportation, as well as illusions and raising from the dead.
  10. nijineko's Avatar
    The rulings necessary are largely ones of targeting and defense. Both scrying effects and teleport effects are vague on what's required to use them and stop them being used versusa creature or destination, respectively.

    For example, the scrying spell says that "[y]ou can see and hear some creature, which may be at any distance" but gives only a little help on identifying that creature. What if you've met him but don't know his name? Does the spell target based on physicality, emotional bond, weak psychic links, cinematic voodoo connection? What if you've met the target but he was in disguise? What if you've met the target, know his name, but he now goes by something else or is in disguise now? What if you're familiar with him but he's now the subject of a baleful polymorph spell? Does he still possess enough of himself to count as himself if he's currently the subject of a feeblemind spell?
    i think the spell is quite clear on how it targets: it uses the knowledge and connection charts listed in the spell. the players describe who they are attempting to target, the dm decides where that falls in those two charts.

    there are no special extra rulings outside of what is implicitly required by the spell rules itself, though i admit that the fact that the spell requires specific rulings in context of the spell usage and the general system itself does not provide much input on the matter, may be termed an extra ruling from some points of view.

    i do not hold the view that just because a spell requires additional adjudication, that they do not provide answers.

    to address your specific examples:

    if you have met but don't know name = firsthand knowledge. as described in the divination spells section: "Divination spells enable you to learn secrets long forgotten, to predict the future, to find hidden things, and to foil deceptive spells." therefore, knowing the name is irrelevant.

    how the spell targets = irrelevant to determining results, but may be useful for the dm to decide if things work a specific way in their game world that may change how the spell works away from player expectations. which is a homebrew change, not a failure in the spell to address answers.

    met but was in disguise = first hand knowledge. as described in the divination spells section: "Divination spells enable you to learn secrets long forgotten, to predict the future, to find hidden things, and to foil deceptive spells." and "Lead sheeting or magical protection blocks a scrying spell, and you sense that the spell is so blocked." disguises do not block divination, only lead and/or magical protections. this is more a failure on the dm's part to take the proper view into account, as a society where magic is known would automatically take this factor into account when deciding to disguise themselves and interact with someone.

    met, know name, but in disguise or changed name = firsthand knowledge, and see the above entry.

    familiar but baleful poly or feeblemind = familiar, as neither of those spells block or protect against divinations.


    you see, the rules are all there, already in place, and answered. it is more a matter of a given dm not thinking out the implications and taking into account the full effects of both the rules, and a society where magic is known and common (the default setting for d&d). no "extra" rulings on "unanswered" items at all.

    (please note, that there ARE some things left unanswered in the rules, i do not argue that. however, scrying and teleportation are not among them.)


    For example, you want to use the teleport spell to get to the warlord's tent. What if the tent's been moved and set up elsewhere? What if the warlord's bought a new tent but he's still inside? What if the tent's folded up and being transported in the belly of a flying whale? What if the warlord owns thousands of tents? Is it the warlord's tent if the warlord retired and his son takes over? Is it the warlord's tent after the warlord and his horde are assassinated by evil flumph monks?
    to address your teleport questions:

    teleport to relocated tent = per the spell, it does not matter where the tent is so long as it is within range, and they can visualize their destination as per the spell description. since the spell keys to destination, in all of your following examples, if they focus on where the location-as-destination of where the tent last was, as opposed to the tent-itself-as-destination, then that is where they will go. up to the player description in that case.

    teleport to new tent = since this spell uses a destination, if they visualize the tent the warlord last possessed, that is where they will go. as per the spell description, they must have viewed the tent at least once, otherwise they automatically get the false destination result.

    teleport to stored tent = it is still the tent they are visualizing, even if it is stored... the party might be in for quite a shock when they show up, however.

    warlord's tents and other variants = in all of these cases, the destination is the important key. if they visualize a specific tent, then that is where they will go. the fact of ownership is actually irrelevant to the rules in the spell. trying to teleport to a destination they have never seen, will auto-false destination them.

    teleport is really an open-and-shut spell, very easy to adjudicate.

    These are real things in high-level play (fine, maybe not the evil flumphs) that the game doesn't address that the DM's gotta rule on.
    the game does specifically address each of these items, see above.

    Seriously, one can say, "Who gives a crap? Let's just play!" and be done, but a consistent world is more immersive and, ultimately, easier to DM. For example, when the player says, "I cast scrying on the king," and the DM just rolls the king's Will save, that one roll establishes a lot of precedents.

    1. Kings are identifiable without being specifically named.
    2. The scrying spell reads the caster's mind, determining caster intent.
    3. Body doubles, disguises, simulacrums, and so on are no help against scrying.
    4. Kings occupy structures weak against scrying.
    5. If the royal architects' structures are weak against scrying then most will be weak against scrying.
    6. Kings don't have personal defenses against scrying.
    7. Royal wizards don't defend kings against scrying.
    i will address these by number.

    1 = according to the rules, yes. but see familiarity and connection tables.
    2 = no, it doesn't. see the familiarity and connection tables.
    3 = unless those effects specifically state that they block, interfere, or confuse divination / scrying spells, you are correct, they are of no use against scrying. i would suspect that the DM or adventure designer is failing to get into character of the society that would result from the existence and use of magic.
    4 = no. again, failure on the part of assumptions of either the DM, or the designer of the adventure. in a society where magic is known and common, there is no possibility that major figures in politics, commerce, industry, religion, and magic would fail to take scrying into account. this, again, assumes that one is using the default d&d setting, and not postulating a low-magic environment. see also the SBG.
    5 = no. again, false assumption and/or failure on the DM or adventure's designer.
    6 = no. again, false assumption or failure on the DM or adventure designer's part. the rules take this into account. that's why there are defenses against scrying.
    7 = again, false assumption / failure on DM or adventure designer's part.

    in all cases, there are simple methods for defending against scrying. any individual who grew up in a society where magic is known, and scrying is known, that occupies an important position would have rooms defending against scrying. maybe not the public throne room, but there absolutely will be private meeting areas where the real strategies and politics are discussed that are defended.

    ...And on and on. I mean, sure, you can pick apart each of these points individually for this specific example, or confront me with a different example that yields different answers ("What if the target's not a king but an archmage or guildmaster of thieves?"), but answering consistently--being able to say, for example, "High-level characters live in lead-lined buildings"--means not having to explain why PCs could totally scry on the king last week but can't scry on the the Bardic College's dean this week.
    all addressed in my examples above.

    ...snip...Those are the rulings that are needed. Effects like scrying, teleport, dead-raising, and illusions can make a brilliant campaign crash and burn if the DM doesn't address them.
    as i said before, no extra rulings needed. all the rules needed for teleportation and scrying are clear and plainly given in the spell descriptions, and supported by the generic magic entry for each type of magic listed.

    in each case, as well as those of illusions and raising the dead, it is a failure on the dm's part and/or the designer of a specific adventure part, to realistically take into account a society that uses and defends against magic as a matter of course.

    it may be a conceptually helpful analogue, to think of magical scrying as hacking in the real world. most generic people without resources or inclination to educate themselves will not bother, but anyone in a position of power or paranoia, will certainly make efforts to do so.
  11. Hey I Can Chan's Avatar
    Addendum 1
    Going through my notes, I missed a couple of things.

    The spell burst of glacial wrath [trans] (Dragon Magic 64-5) turns creatures to ice. Sadly, there’s no other burst of wrath but glacial.

    A weapon made from the special material thinaun (Complete Warrior 136-7) captures the last soul killed with it, regardless of the creature’s HD or level, then frees the second-to-last soul killed with it. Even a light weapon composed of thinaun costs an extra 10,000 gp and ammunition can’t be, so this isn’t a cheap option for capturing souls, but it’s available to everyone.

    The weapon special ability Keeper’s fang (Eberron Campaign Setting 266) (+4 bonus) traps souls killed by a weapon with the ability in Eberron’s accidental hell run by a highly competitive, sometimes ghoulish but always either emaciated or obese Satan. I’m not making this up. What this means in an individual campaign is for the PCs to discover, but at the very least it means the soul of some poor fool downed with a Keeper’s fang weapon isn’t immediately eligible to return from the dead. Be forewarned: “Most followers of the Sovereign Host [nominal Eberron good guys] consider the mere possession of a Keeper’s fang weapon to be an abominable act,” says the Campaign Setting, and “the use of the weapon is a heinous and unforgivable crime.” Yeah. Role-playing restrictions. Seriously.

    I tend to ignore prestige classes because my homebrew classes don't need them, but The Book of Exalted Deeds has the vassal of Bahamut prestige class with the dragonwrack supernatural ability: half the damage the vassal inflicts to evil dragons is permanent hit point drain. As the Races of the Dragon spell essence of the dragon gives a (willing) creature the dragon type, this is potentially devastating and, I'm almost sure, can't be fixed as hp aren't ability scores, making returning to life impossible if all of a creature's hp are drained.
  12. Hey I Can Chan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko
    you did not happen to mention the spell clock, which might be usable to effectively persist a blocking effect. see http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/cw/20070312a
    2007 is awfully late in the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 life cycle to still be presenting items without considering spell level, expensive material components, or XP costs. The spell clock could seriously cast wish or forbiddance once per day for 130,000 gp, which isn't actually a big deal for PCs at levels when they've 130,000 gp of mad money sitting around, but it's a hell of a thing for NPCs who can screw up a campaign world by devoting just about their entire 16th-level NPC Gear Values just to Craft these Wondrous Items.

    It's a decent excuse item, though.

    DM: Spells with the teleportation descriptor don't work in my world.
    PC: Why?
    DM: A guy with a forbiddance-enabled spell clock camped everywhere.
    PC: What's the password to avoid damage?
    DM: Lost to time.
    PC: Wow. Infant mortality much?
    DM: Shut up.

    One crazy Rog16 and his precious clock that casts plague of undead every midnight is a hell of an adventure hook, but one spell per day on a timer for that price? I think most would rather a tome or manual +5.

    That said, it's interesting, and I was unaware of it. Thanks.
  13. Hey I Can Chan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko
    i'm curious as to what ruling(s), let alone a raft thereof, are thought to be necessary for the scrying and teleporting mentioned in the opening remarks?
    The rulings necessary are largely ones of targeting and defense. Both scrying effects and teleport effects are vague on what's required to use them and stop them being used versus a creature or destination, respectively.

    For example, the scrying spell says that "[y]ou can see and hear some creature, which may be at any distance" but gives only a little help on identifying that creature. What if you've met him but don't know his name? Does the spell target based on physicality, emotional bond, weak psychic links, cinematic voodoo connection? What if you've met the target but he was in disguise? What if you've met the target, know his name, but he now goes by something else or is in disguise now? What if you're familiar with him but he's now the subject of a baleful polymorph spell? Does he still possess enough of himself to count as himself if he's currently the subject of a feeblemind spell?

    For example, you want to use the teleport spell to get to the warlord's tent. What if the tent's been moved and set up elsewhere? What if the warlord's bought a new tent but he's still inside? What if the tent's folded up and being transported in the belly of a flying whale? What if the warlord owns thousands of tents? Is it the warlord's tent if the warlord retired and his son takes over? Is it the warlord's tent after the warlord and his horde are assassinated by evil flumph monks?

    These are real things in high-level play (fine, maybe not the evil flumphs) that the game doesn't address that the DM's gotta rule on.

    Seriously, one can say, "Who gives a crap? Let's just play!" and be done, but a consistent world is more immersive and, ultimately, easier to DM. For example, when the player says, "I cast scrying on the king," and the DM just rolls the king's Will save, that one roll establishes a lot of precedents.

    1. Kings are identifiable without being specifically named.
    2. The scrying spell reads the caster's mind, determining caster intent.
    3. Body doubles, disguises, simulacrums, and so on are no help against scrying.
    4. Kings occupy structures weak against scrying.
    5. If the royal architects' structures are weak against scrying then most will be weak against scrying.
    6. Kings don't have personal defenses against scrying.
    7. Royal wizards don't defend kings against scrying.

    ...And on and on. I mean, sure, you can pick apart each of these points individually for this specific example, or confront me with a different example that yields different answers ("What if the target's not a king but an archmage or guildmaster of thieves?"), but answering consistently--being able to say, for example, "High-level characters live in lead-lined buildings"--means not having to explain why PCs could totally scry on the king last week but can't scry on the the Bardic College's dean this week.

    It's better to be aware of how effects like scrying and teleport (and coming back from the dead and illusions--these are forthcoming) impact to the game world at level 1 before they become issues, and in a high-level game they totally are issues and mandate consistency in the campaign's (and maybe even the game's) design stages.

    Those are the rulings that are needed. Effects like scrying, teleport, dead-raising, and illusions can make a brilliant campaign crash and burn if the DM doesn't address them.
  14. nijineko's Avatar
    i'm curious as to what ruling(s), let alone a raft thereof, are thought to be necessary for the scrying and teleporting mentioned in the opening remarks?
  15. Golden Age Superhero's Avatar
    Sounds like my kind of GM
  16. Banshee's Avatar
    "do you really want your character to be invulnerable? Why is that fun for you? What sort of adventures does an invulnerable character have? You could just play video games—with save points and restarts—by yourself instead of hanging out with us. If you’re going to rule the campaign world with what you pick, you can do that, but what stories can be told about after that?"

    EXCELLENT POINT!!! I wish some of the folks in my old group understood that concept. Sometimes, when your character falls on his face, it's just funny. Sometimes that humor leads to bigger and better things. A player who can't laugh at his own character's expense is really better suited to video games, as you pointed out.

    As an aside, I wish that either you were running this campaign online somehow, or that you (or I, really) didn't live on the opposite side of the country so that I could play too!!!

    Great work. I look forward to reading about the goings-on in your campaign world as the game progresses.
  17. Banshee's Avatar
    : )
  18. Banshee's Avatar
    I still like it...
  19. Banshee's Avatar
    Ahh, I see. Truth be told, I was just curious, but I get where you're going.

    My answer for the aboriginal type folks and/or odd/exotic fauna would be 'maybe' with regard to wanting to go there or stay there. But their presence could add to the terror of the land, and give that extra motivation for a penal colonist to risk life and limb on a ramshackle raft in an attempt to flee to the islands.

    For me, personally, just having heard about the Funnel Web Spider is reason enough to second guess my desire to visit Australia someday, and that's what was behind my question.
  20. Hey I Can Chan's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Banshee
    I have to say that the concept of "She At Night" interests, confuses and terrifies me! I want to know more about her/it/that.
    Honestly, I don't really know where that came from, and, as per the introduction, that's all I wrote about it. I have no idea where that leads. If it's any consolation, it scares the crap out of me, too. Fortunately, there's a Kébéme PC, so maybe he'll give it some depth.

    As for the technical stuff, I'll see what I can do. It's probably damn little, but I'll see.
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast