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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1741 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2018 :  13:09:48  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Reading through 3rd E books I come across the spell Ability Rip

I see a spell with spectacular potential for abuse. Did this ever cause anyone's campaigns issues?

The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1741 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2018 :  13:32:39  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Allow me to clarify... unlike the older lower level spell transfuse, this spell is not limited to humans, demihumans, and humanoids. So a drow matron could have her house wizards cast this spell on like 10 of her lowly footmen - taking their ability to create darkness and exchange that power with a power from another creature that is not limited to number of uses like beholder eyes. Combined with drow equipment such a band would wipe out darn near anyone.

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Bladewind
Master of Realmslore

Netherlands
1243 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2018 :  14:53:36  Show Profile Send Bladewind a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yep. I'd ban or tweak that ability at my 3.5 or pathfinder tables.

Serpent Kingdoms is a gem full of tasty lore but has horribly overpowered abilities for some of the craziest campaign wreckers in D&D. Manipulate Form for example has lead to create the most powerfully broken build of 3.5 Pun-Pun.

So yeah, I'd make the duration of the spell minutes and the transfer of the power/ability non permanent.

My campaign sketches

Druidic Groves

Creature Feature: Giant Spiders
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2018 :  19:52:01  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Or conversely, you can use an earlier method of curtailing OP'd abilities, etc., and give it a Con. drain. In other words, every time someone uses that spell to permanently transpose a racial ability, they lose one pt. of Constitution... PERMANENTLY. Thus, you could still have fun with it as a DM (costly, but who cares about NPCs?), but the players will not likely abuse it.

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

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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1614 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2018 :  14:54:13  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

unlike the older lower level spell transfuse, this spell is not limited to humans, demihumans, and humanoids. So a drow matron could have her house wizards cast this spell on like 10 of her lowly footmen - taking their ability to create darkness and exchange that power with a power from another creature that is not limited to number of uses like beholder eyes. Combined with drow equipment such a band would wipe out darn near anyone.

It depends. "The spell fails if used to transfer an ability to a creature that lacks the proper body parts, size, or other criterion for its use" Humanoid eyes probably don't cut it - it's like a fixed-claws paw trying to do job for a palm with opposable thumb.
Though it still allows to swap eye-beams of a lesser beholder-kin familiar for zappier abilities from a gauth, and gauths are barely harder to farm than sheeple or lab mice.

It has limited duration and huge casting time, but more importantly, it's Wiz 7 - how many such spells they'll get in a row?
If you worry about straightforward combat power, consider good old Summon Monster VII: would 1 (one) drow boy with the same reduced Con, but an extra fancy temporary SLA be So Overpowered, when compared to 1...
- elemental (Huge)?
- blue slaad?
- bebilith?
- invisible stalker?

If you want a fix, the obvious solution is to limit SLA by spell level or HD (possibly adjusted by [type]) and usage frequency of the replaced SLA. And maybe its source (innate/class/?). Then no ripped genies.
Especially in this example, since in 3.x Dancing Lights are downgraded to cantrip and the other 2 SLA are 1-level.
But then you could as well give it permanent duration.
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

Or conversely, you can use an earlier method of curtailing OP'd abilities, etc., and give it a Con. drain. In other words, every time someone uses that spell to permanently transpose a racial ability, they lose one pt. of Constitution.

If it's overhauled to work permanently, fair enuff.
Con drain or level drain. And assign them "bloodline levels" for being permanently messed up.
Specifically in case of the drow this may be deemed *BLAM*mable driderable heresy, however.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 13 Jan 2018 15:36:16
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1741 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2018 :  16:21:23  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The reason I used the example I did is because the obvious work-around to the spell's basic limiting factors (being level 7 and being a temporary exchange for a permanent loss) would be in situations like the one I described, where the loss would be irrelevant to the matron (or other evil leader - we could tie this to all those other current Zulkiir discussions for example). Multiple casters each capable of casting the spell once, traded for abilities usable over and over all day long would be a no-brainer in a prepared attack event (like an assault on a rival family or city).

Also - there is no reason I can think of why the eyeball of a drow would not work out. While a given DM could conclude that just because, it would not be based on any concrete rules or lore.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6977 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2018 :  00:33:28  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The spell is not on the list of spells that can be permanence, so that's not a worry, unless your DM isn't worried about balance, and then you probably have problems anyway.

TBeholder is right. Its 7th level, plus you have to have the creature that you're going to transfer the ability from AND they have to be conscious (and thus aware of what's happening) AND it take an hour to cast the spell. So, let's say you had 8 beholders who were somehow trapped and can't leave (hard to imagine, but...) and let's say you are a 20th level caster and you use higher level spell slots to cast this spell as extended on some guys.... you are effectively using pretty much every high level spell slot you have in order to do this and you're wasting 8 hours of the day doing it... I'm thinking a powerful mage like that will have better uses for their time.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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The Masked Mage
Master of Realmslore

USA
1741 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2018 :  02:10:09  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
1 mage yes, but a house of mages, no. They all spend 1 hour, together, creating their super soldiers. Then let them loose interspersed with the regular soldiers.say you're in Menzo and Xorlarrin does this. Could any house then defeat them, except maybe Barison or Benrae? Hell, they could even hire Jaraxle's wizards or wizards from Sorcere to cast it on additional soldiers.

I'm also not suggesting you'd do this every day, but if you did it for your major attack against an enemy it would be devastating. Imagine trying to defend against an army of drow - with their standard wizards and priests and lizard riders but also somehow there seem to be invisible beholders somewhere among the foot soldiers that are dispelling your every magical defense, disintegrating your walls, seriously wounding your spellcasters as they try to cast spells, and even killing you with just one look.

In my mind that is a nightmare scenario that goes well beyond the firebombs that destroyed Ched Nasad
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