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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1540 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2012 :  01:35:18  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Greetings,

I'm looking for a 3.5e mechanic that would grant a nonspellcaster a permanent spell-like ability.

It would be great if it could be acquired by drinking a potion, but I'm open to other options.

Any ideas?

--Eric

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/

Hoondatha
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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  02:06:50  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The only thing that's coming to me off the top of my head is unfortunately rather flippant: take a level of warlock (all invocations are SLA's).

Actually, that was one of my problems with the legendary locations, or whatever those things were called. They gave some nifty abilities, but they always wore off in a matter of days or months. I've always thought that if you're going through all that trouble to find the thing, it should be permanent, like 2e elixirs in Volo's Guide to All Things Magical.

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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Ayrik
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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  02:07:54  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, admittedly a 2E source, but it shouldn't be too difficult to adapt to 3E ... Volo's Guide to All Things Magical.

Yes, there are some rare elixirs which can permanently grant various spell-like powers when consumed. Even less exotic magical potions, when "mixed", can (at least in theory) have permanent durations. At least under AD&D 1E/2E rules.

Volo also discusses Mystra's Well of Spells, innate talents, spellfire, etc. Psionic wild talents might also be confusingly called magics by many people. I vaguely recall something about "moon children" or somesuch, some thing very much like Volo's innate talents, but I can't recall the source or even the proper name.

To be honest, I'm always wary of players trying to get something for nothing. I would personally rule no free magic - spend feats, suffer some kind of balancing tradeoff/drawback, or actually progress in levels as a sorcerer or something. Possible exceptions might be "high magic" settings or campaigns involving the outer planes or whatnot, where everybody automatically has a bunch of intrinsic spell-like powers anyways.

[/Ayrik]
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Kentinal
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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  02:44:06  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

Greetings,

I'm looking for a 3.5e mechanic that would grant a nonspellcaster a permanent spell-like ability.

It would be great if it could be acquired by drinking a potion, but I'm open to other options.

Any ideas?

--Eric



Always wish, however there are other options. Many of the PrC confer spell- like ability. Sword dance occurs to me, however that is a spell caster. Uncanny dodge, however is some what spell-like and no magic use required and is not a feat or other then a class skill.

In some ways it depends on what spell like ability you want to provide for a better guess of what might be best way to approach have it might be provided under the rule set.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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sfdragon
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2219 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2012 :  04:25:12  Show Profile Send sfdragon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

Greetings,

I'm looking for a 3.5e mechanic that would grant a nonspellcaster a permanent spell-like ability.

It would be great if it could be acquired by drinking a potion, but I'm open to other options.

Any ideas?

--Eric






well.. .I dunno of any and I do mean ANY item that would do this short of rule 0.

however I do know of a feat from Paizo's Pathfinder that grants the ability to cast a lvl 0 spell as a spell like ability.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/general-feats/arcane-talent


not sure if its what you want though but since pathfinder was done off of 3.5 dnd anyway......

why is being a wizard like being a drow? both are likely to find a dagger in the back from a rival or one looking to further his own goals, fame and power


My FR fan fiction
Magister's GAmbit
http://steelfiredragon.deviantart.com/gallery/33539234
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  04:37:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A flubbed wish?

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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  04:40:34  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
FEAT: Ultimate Elixir
Pre-requisite: Brew Potion, Caster Level 9

A spell-caster who has researched in the most ancient of tomes can discover how to create the Ultimate Elixir. Before such an elixir can be created however, the caster must expend (insert xp here) XP, purchase materials equal to (insert gold you want here) Gold Pieces, and then work into the potion part of their own life essence. Once the Ultimate Elixir is created, there is no re-producing the potion unless it is destroyed; and so the caster must be sure of the magical quality he most wishes to gain from it. This spell must be cast upon the Elixir to finish the creation of the potent magic which will bond with the person who drinks from the container in which the Elixir is placed. Any requirements for the spell must also be met; and only a spell that the caster is already capable of casting may be placed directly from his mind into the Elixir, thus sealing upon it the magic.

The spell so placed becomes a Spell-Like Ability once the potion is consumed. Spells of 1st to 3rd level may then be used three times per day for the life of the drinker; while those of 4th to 6th level may only be used twice per day, and spells of 7th or higher level may only be used once per day from that point forward.

Once the Elixir is created, the creator must be careful not to lose the potion; and it should be drank immediately. It has happened that those who gain knowledge of the spell-caster's intentions to brew such a magical potion will attack at the last moment in an effort to steal the Ultimate Elixir to gain powerful magic!


Just a quick thought...

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Ayrik
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Canada
6881 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2012 :  09:19:56  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I never agreed to the 3E notion of "spend a little gold, spend a little XP" to gain new magical toys. Too easy, everybody has gold and XP, and once they actually survive a handful of levels they can always afford to change some into magical bling. To my mind, a bunch of magical items shouldn't be so standardized that anyone could eventually buy them and people consider the accumulation of certain magics just another part of a character build.

Now, being forced to spend something that's actually precious ... like, say, permanently losing one stat point, or 1d4 hit points, or 5 years of irreversible aging ... suddenly people get a lot more selective about the magics they buy, a lot less picky about using the magics they find, and as often as not they simply learn ways to do without.

[/Ayrik]
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Eldacar
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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  11:22:11  Show Profile  Visit Eldacar's Homepage  Click to see Eldacar's MSN Messenger address Send Eldacar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Find a Sarrukh, polymorph into a Kobold (or just be a Kobold). Be a native of Toril. Talk the Sarrukh into helping you. Manipulate Form now works on you (you have the form of a Scaled One native to Toril), and it can grant (thanks to poor wording) any extraordinary, spell-like or supernatural ability.

Beyond that, I'm not sure offhand, assuming templates don't count. Most items that grant SLAs are artifacts (e.g. the Nether Scrolls Planar Mechanics chapter grants 1/day Plane Shift, while the Codex of Dead Names gives you a 1/day use of a variety of spells, for which the best choice is Gate).

Given the potential power of a spell-like ability, it's usually unwise to allow players easy access to it. They should be made to pay a high price. It's bad enough that simple summoning can get you access to creatures with all sorts of amazing abilities (e.g. Lesser Planar Binding can bind a Nightmare, which can use Astral Projection... a 9th level spell). Handing it straight to the player removes even that limitation.

Yes, some feats will grant SLAs. The Archmage high arcana can get them as well (you need the Savage Species Supernatural Transformation feat to change them out and remove any XP cost from it, though). But by and large, there isn't (and IMO shouldn't be) any easy way to just bolt on SLAs to a character.

"It always ends. That's what gives it value." ~Death of the Endless
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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  11:26:51  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To my mind, any DM who allows players to do anything remotely resembling the classic Pun-Pun example is a complete and utter fool. I'm okay with powergaming, but shamelessly blatant munchkin-exploitation should be called out for what it is.

[/Ayrik]
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_Jarlaxle_
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Germany
549 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2012 :  11:49:48  Show Profile Send _Jarlaxle_ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

I'm looking for a 3.5e mechanic that would grant a nonspellcaster a permanent spell-like ability.


Manipulate Form

EDIT: just saw Eldacars post, so never mind.

Edited by - _Jarlaxle_ on 23 May 2012 11:51:07
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1540 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2012 :  12:57:36  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fascinating set of answers. Shows some of the problems / possibilities with 3.5e.

I was actually expecting suggestions along the lines of an "embedded magic item" like wyrmgrafts or a permanent mantle-like contingent spell. Basically a magic item without the "item".

One thing I didn't make clear was that having to use a feat kind of defeats the purpose. I wanted it more magic item-esque.

Nevertheless, no constraints on the answers. Thanks for the ideas.

--Eric

PS For those who haven't guessed, I'm trying to figure out how to give Duke Pwyll his "greatshout" ability. The elixir suggestion from VGtATM coupled with the feat proposed above is pretty much spot on, but I was looking to see if there was a way to do it with published rules.

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/

Edited by - ericlboyd on 23 May 2012 12:58:50
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  13:18:08  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would ask if this "greatshout" resembles the sort of things written in feats or in spells. I think what Volo calls innate talents is a sort of catch-all explanation for wild magical talents, for the little girl in the North who can cast legend lore and prophecies. And that assumes arcane magic ... divine intervention and miracles can grant all manner of curative or priestly magics unto people, seemingly at random.

[/Ayrik]
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Dalor Darden
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3734 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2012 :  14:06:26  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, then I would suggest an Artifact.

Yes, a one shot artifact Potion. It is perfectly within the rules (much akin to a Deck of Many Things) but instead is in a potion.

I would reference the Deck of Many things, and simply draw from it as a source of ideas (pardon the pun).

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Eldacar
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254 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2012 :  14:14:21  Show Profile  Visit Eldacar's Homepage  Click to see Eldacar's MSN Messenger address Send Eldacar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

Yes, a one shot artifact Potion. It is perfectly within the rules (much akin to a Deck of Many Things) but instead is in a potion.

I would reference the Deck of Many things, and simply draw from it as a source of ideas (pardon the pun).


A Halruuan Great Elixir has a chance of adding, among other things, SLAs to a character.

On the other hand, the SLAs can be difficult to get, and if you roll badly, then things will probably not end well for you. Like the Deck of Many Things, it's potentially a campaign-wrecker.

"It always ends. That's what gives it value." ~Death of the Endless
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Dalor Darden
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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  14:23:00  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm only suggesting a One-Shot potion that can be found that is indeed an Artifact. No chances...simply drink and VIOLA!

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Ayrik
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Canada
6881 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2012 :  14:33:28  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah, the most wondrous part of random chances and rolling is that, in a novel, the character can achieve any result desired from the table. Even the 1% stuff has to happen to somebody, eh? So, for example, a character in AD&D 2E who gulps a second magical potion while the first one is still in effect could in theory roll "00" on the percentile dice for a DISCOVERY! result which makes one of the two magics completely permanent (possibly with some exciting "side effects" invented by the DM). Of course this isn't seriously intended for PCs or NPCs, it might appear only a handful of times over years of campaigning, if at all, but it's exactly the sort of thing an author can conveniently exploit whenever needed.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 23 May 2012 14:37:58
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Hoondatha
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2438 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2012 :  14:38:17  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To be honest, this is one of the things that made 2e such a superior system than 3e to me: it was flexible. So many of its rules were optional, and even many of the ones that weren't could be made so easily (ie: racial level caps). And if you wanted to do something unique, you just wrote it up and bam! Done.

3e just sucks all the wonder out of the setting. Now everything has to be codified and fit into its specific box and every magical item feels like it came out of Diablo. Just give the ability.

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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_Jarlaxle_
Senior Scribe

Germany
549 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2012 :  14:48:47  Show Profile Send _Jarlaxle_ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

And if you wanted to do something unique, you just wrote it up and bam! Done.


And you can't to that in any other edition why exactly?
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Hawkins
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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  16:08:58  Show Profile  Visit Hawkins's Homepage Send Hawkins a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dragon Marks from Eberron grant spell-like abilities. And there are a couple of feats in the Complete Arcane that do as well. There is also my Feat-based spellcasting mechanic that I posted here. It is un-playtested, but I usually have a pretty good feeling for balance and mechanics.

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Edited by - Hawkins on 23 May 2012 16:10:29
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  17:51:05  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Eldacar has beaten me to the Sarrukh answer. You could just say he is a Yuan-ti Tainted One (rather then a Kobold). You could also use that weird Cult of the Amalgamation (IIRC) that Ed and Elaine came up with for their Waterdeep novel - that group should be able to pull-off the same tricks as the Sarrukh on non-scaleyfolk. In either case, however, you'd have to find a creature that has Great Shout as a natural ability.

An embedded Kiira, perhaps? One that grants that ability as something a former owner possessed (which could have been a chosen, all of whom can take a certain number of spells as natural abilities). This would require him to have an elven bloodline (but it could be far removed). Similar results can be gained by using Gem Magic (MoF), or even using chardalyn. In all those cases, you'd have to embed or ingest said gem. I suppose some sort of wild-magic surge could have liquified an existing magical gem (containing Great Shout), and he could have drank that (you'd need a decent back-story).

Hawkins mentioned Dragonmarks, and in 4e we have our own variant - Spellscars. Unfortunately, neither of those are available when/where you need them. We do have wild magic though, and you can spin that any way you want.

The Red Steel Campain Setting (Mystara) has just what you need - he could have the Red Curse via cinnabryl . Its the wrong world, but we have a similar substance - Mica - over in Maztica... perhaps he inhaled some of it? Anyhow, Cinnabryl (which we could say is the same as Mica) gave a person a random mutation, which was usually some sort of physical deformity, but could be a 'power' (so folks in that world were like fantasy 'supers', or mutants). You could even say he bought barrel of magical 'red snuff' off a Spelljammer (cheesy, I know... but it works).

And I also mentioned Chosen above, who have spell-like abilities, but if you don't want to be that drastic it could just be a 'gift from the gods' - such 'blessed' individuals do indeed exist in the Forgotten Realms.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 25 May 2012 13:50:50
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Kentinal
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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  18:07:12  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The answer likely lies in a Wondrous Item, well many of them are non consumed items, helms, boots and so on, others are one time use, things like candles, dust, Elixir and so on. All that you need is to add spell effect and make effect permanent. The cost I am not even going to start to calculate, however it might have been found. Wondrous items do not have the spell level limit that potions have. From where I sit a potion and an Elixir would look about the same *wink*

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Ayrik
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6881 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2012 :  18:17:57  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Duke Pwyll might be descended from a line of were-sergeants who have special and powerful racial abilities for shouting.

[/Ayrik]
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Hoondatha
Great Reader

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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  18:33:24  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by _Jarlaxle_

quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

And if you wanted to do something unique, you just wrote it up and bam! Done.


And you can't to that in any other edition why exactly?



Because 3e is obsessed with "balance." You can't do anything to anything without having to worry about it changing the thing's LA or CR, or finding something to balance it, or costing it out complete with common spells so that any idiot with the proper feats can churn it out ad nauseum, ad infinitum. And gods forbid you give anything to anyone for free, because that would go against the sacred wealth-by-level table.

In 2e you could just do it. You could give someone a psionic wild talent without having to figure out exactly what feat it was and level balancing the powers. You could make magical items that did more than just duplicate spells. There was creativity and wonder in the ruleset, not this rigid, Prussian army mess.

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
32451 Posts

Posted - 23 May 2012 :  18:50:46  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Did 3E retain 2E's potion miscibility rules? If so, you could use that trick: he drank two potions at the same time, one of which gave the ability to do the greatshout, and the mixing of the potions made it permanent.

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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 23 May 2012 :  18:56:33  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Odd that you would ask ...

[/Ayrik]
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