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Posted - 04 Dec 2016 :  11:17:34  Show Profile Send redking a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
What are the stats for Traveler's dust, the narcotic used by the protagonist in Plague of Spells?'s_dust

Clearly in addition to getting high, there are some other benefits to using it. For example, the dust seemed to fortify the warlock abilities of Japheth Donard.

If there are no stats, would anyone care to speculate on what the stats could be?

Great Reader

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Posted - 05 Dec 2016 :  01:17:22  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That wiki article appears to summarize what is known of Traveler's dust. And it keeps citing Plague of Spells as the only canon source.

It was used as a plot device in a novel, which is to say it had whatever stats and effects were needed to drive the character or the story.

I doubt WotC would ever publish game rules about it because they tend to scrupulously avoid encouraging things like pumping your character abilities up with addictive and narcotic substances.

It "seemed to fortify the warlock abilities of Japheth Donard" ... was this from Japheth's point of view or from another's? Was he perhaps using this substance because the fiend/pact/whatever providing his warlock abilities was trying to corrupt him? It could easily have been hallucinogenic or euphoric substance providing Japheth with the illusion of greater ability, it could indeed have augmented his power, it could just as easily have a debilitating effect which diminishes or suppresses his power until the next time he uses it.

I note it is described as a deadly drug. "Anyone using traveler's dust showed these telltale signs: trembling hands, sometimes slurred speech, and—most telling—eyes the color of blood. All who used the drug eventually died." I would say the drug inflicts increasingly negative penalties on the user's warlock powers (and physical and mental powers) but these penalties can be ignored while the user gets another high.

You could offer positive or bonus stats, probably those which would most interest a warlock. But I think all bonuses would be lost and many penalties would gradually accumulate once the user becomes addicted.

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Posted - 05 Nov 2017 :  04:34:02  Show Profile Send Cydian a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know this is old, but here are my stats for Traveler's Dust:

Traveler's dust
• Effect: A creature that drops a small grain into the eye gains the ability to see everything.
• They see through all illusions while still seeing them.
• They see through objects
• They can look on the surface of the moon or into someone's brain or look at microbes replicate on a microscopic scale.
• They can see Aura's around people (though learning to interpret them before you die is unlikely).
• They can see portals, and see through portals. They also see a white magical line from the portal to the nearest key
• They can see into any plane and into anywhere in any plane.
• If they close their eyes they can see into themselves.
• They can see existential connections if they focus.
• They get advantage on everything related to intelligence, wisdom or perception and all magic.
• They also feel calm and euphoria and every negative (magical or otherwise) emotional state or mental restriction is removed.

*Negative effects while high: Eyes the color of blood, minor emotional disconnection.

The effect lasts for 1 hour
Afterwards the character begins to feel worse until they start getting withdrawal symptoms at 12 hours

Withdrawal symptoms: trembling hands, sometimes slurred speech.

Addictiveness Rating: DC 12 + 1 per 12 hours of not using.
The character gains 1 level of exhaustion for every non-critical success (this exhaustion can’t be magically helped)
Characters must make this save every days for the number of day of using travelers dust. If character gains more success than failure, they live and are not addicted. If they gain more failures than successes, they become addicted. Addiction rehabilitation is covered below.

Trigger: There is always a trigger for traveler’s dust. The trigger is 1 or more events decided by the DM but usually related to the first time used. Devils can also always trigger you from here on out. If a triggering event comes up then the character must role on the addictiveness rating or seek out more dust. They must use dust if they find it, but they may keep making this roll every hour. If they fail 3 consecutive times the are fully addicted again and must go through rehabilitation again.
Note: The character always wants the dust, the feeling stays with them forever.

Each week of use permanently destroys 1 point of Con with no chance to ever recover it, save a pact with a devil. If you drop to zero Con you die - and if you die in this way your soul goes to hell (only applies to dying from Con damage from use).

Rehabilitation: DC 10 +1 per use - nonconsecutive. Must make the save each day and must keep making saves every day for the same amount of time they have been using the dust. A single incident of failure means they must drop more dust in their eye. If they fail to or are restrained they gain a level of exhaustion per day that they do not get dust. They can try again the following day but do so with an additional +1 penalty and any other disadvantages from exhaustion (this exhaustion can’t be magically helped) Standard rules about advantage apply and character’s who have supporting friends can possibly help them.

Intervention: Standard spells do not help character’s avoid the effects of travelers dust but extremely powerful magic, primordials, high planar beings and so forth may have the power to stave off the effects or to help them break the curse.

Origin: Travelers dust is part of Asmodeus’s larger plan for the prime relating to his recent elevation to godhood.

Cydian Kauffman

Edited by - Cydian on 05 Nov 2017 04:36:33
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Great Reader

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Posted - 05 Nov 2017 :  05:45:31  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Intervention: Standard spells do not help character’s avoid the effects of travelers dust but extremely powerful magic, primordials, high planar beings and so forth may have the power to stave off the effects or to help them break the curse.
Standard spells like cure poison, cure disease, heal, restoration, and wish couldn't remove this substance addiction? Only godlike interventions could?

To me that seems too much. Natural poisons and diseases, supernatural poisons and diseases (like lycanthropy and mummy rot), and Talona's divine/special poisons and diseases can all be cured with player spells. Even death and undeath and curses and insanities and Moander's rotting decay can all be cured (or reversed). Not always easy, admittedly, but always possible without direct intervention from a higher power.

An interesting twist to portray this as a hellish drug somehow imbued by Asmodeus. But as mighty as Asmodeus might be (or want to be), his power seems unlikely to rival the powers of Talona/etc in the Realms.

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Realms Explorer extraordinaire

14389 Posts

Posted - 07 Nov 2017 :  23:03:52  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the other hand, it does balance it nicely - those granted powers are SO OP (except for heat vision, you basically get Sumerpman's vision powers, and THEN SOME... look into other planes of existence?)

At first I didn't like the write-up, but then I realized what he did there - no sane player will ever use that stuff. They're not supposed to; it's too OP and designed as a plot device in a novel. Thus, I totally approve of the wack mechanics.

A God of medicine could probably grant their priests a healing spell that would take care of it... too bad FR doesn't have one of those.

You've basically just permanently poisoned yourself with material from The Nine Hells. You have a tiny bit of 'Hell' inside of you, and each time you use the stuff it just builds up (like how a person who inhales spray paint WILL eventually asphyxiate, because they are slowly clogging up their alveoli). So with each use, you die a little inside... literally.

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

Edited by - Markustay on 07 Nov 2017 23:09:47
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