Thanks for pointing out the Implement Expertise change. I assume that, since Chant has already taken that feat, the benefit applies immediately?
A copy of the Eberron Player's Guide wound up in my hands this weekend, thanks to a book sale. I wasn't ever planning to get this title, but now that I have, I may make use of some of the contents.
It will take me a little bit of time to determine what I will include. Warforged are definitely a no-go as a PC race. On the other hand, some of the items will be listed for possible purchase in Tanisaornkuld, in the Unquiet Lands campaign. I will make a post in the near future concerning my implementation of the rules found in this book.
I will allow the artificer class for The Unquiet Lands and Dispositio Diabolum campaigns.
Further discussion about my implementation of the Eberron Rules will have to wait until my schedule quiets down, probably around March 18th. I will edit this post at that time.
This was originally written with combat in mind, but in most cases it should also apply to any non-combat situation that happen to utilize game mechanics, such as during a skill challenge.
I like creative activity, but I believe that cantrips were not intended to affect combat in more than very limited ways. My rulings will be in keeping with that belief. In general, you can replace an action that your character would already be capable of, with an appropriate cantrip for narrative purposes. The cantrip doesn't change, enhance, or otherwise affect the resolution of the action. I suppose this is a nice way of saying that cantrips are mechanically useless (though see the specific cantrip listings below for some limited exceptions).
For example, let's say that Noxias, a wizard, wants to perform a Bluff to gain combat advantage. This is a standard action that can be done once per encounter. (Player's Handbook, page 183.) For narrative purposes, Noxias could use a Prestidigitation cantrip to create the bluff. However, the mechanical resolution is still the same: Bluff vs. Insight, a standard action, and only once per encounter. In other words, Noxias can't bluff with Prestidigitation and then bluff again with the raw Bluff Skill, nor does his use of a Prestidigitation spell give him any advantage over another character's bluff.
Similarly, Ghost Sound could be used as a narrative alternative to an Aid Another on a Stealth check, but in game terms it would be functionally identical to Aid Another: you would have to be adjacent to the character you're aiding, that character would need to be in a position to make a Stealth Check, and the effectiveness of the bonus would be based on your Stealth Check.
Now for specifics:
This might have some application to provide misinformation to an NPC, or to communicate secretly over a short distance. It does not grant any mechanical bonuses, but could cause an enemy to make a tactically disadvantageous decision, or create an opportunity to use Bluff or a similar skill.
This has the obvious tactical advantage of providing illumination. It absolutely cannot be used to blind or dazzle enemies.
Mage Hand can only be used to manipulate your personal possessions or unattended objects. Unless a character is Trained in Thievery, Mage Hand cannot be used for pick pocketing attempts (which have a -10 penalty associated with them in combat, in any case). Unless the character in question has the Helpless condition, an object in a character's possession is never unattended, even if the character is immobilized, stunned, restrained, or subject to other, similar conditions. However, dropped objects are unattended. Therefore, Mage Hand may be tactically useful to snatch away the dropped weapons of an enemy.
Even among other cantrips, this spell is the least useful in combat. To my mind, it's supposed to be a power to make wizards look "wizardly." It's the most tempting cantrip to use in combat because of the sheer variety of its applications, but this will nearly always result in the waste of a standard action. Occasionally, the ability to light or snuff out a light source can be used to tactical benefit.
If you come up with something impressively creative, I may be tempted to award a once-off bonus. This of course applies to any sort of action, not just cantrips. However, the bar for this is quite high. I'm highly averse to awarding these bonuses for a variety of reasons.
Last edited by Umiushi; 05-11-2012 at 05:14 PM.
I previously made this ruling in post #2968 of the Out-of-character adventure discussion thread, but will repeat it here to make it easier to look up.
The First Aid action of the Heal Skill has three general applications:
- Allow an adjacent character to use Second Wind, assuming the power has not yet been expended. (DC 10)
- Stabilize an adjacent dying character. (DC 15)
- Grant a saving throw or a saving throw bonus to an adjacent ally. (DC 15)
A common question is whether an unconscious character who has not yet used their Second Wind can benefit from the first, easier application of First Aid. The answer is yes, if an unconscious or dying character still has the use of Second Wind available, it can be granted through the DC 10 Heal Check; the healer is not limited to using the more difficult Stabilize the Dying application. The rationale is that First Aid is the result of an activity performed by healer, and is therefore not limited to the recipient's ability to take actions.