Page 341 - Smarmony Returns, Part 6

24th Sep 2013, 6:00 AM
Smarmony Returns, Part 6
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 24th Sep 2013, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
Author: Digo

Guest Author's Note: "My players actually refrain from using cheesy exploits in my campaign. I'd like to think it is because they're all professional role-players, but the truth is that they fear my cheese-fu."

118 Comments:

TheStratovarian 24th Sep 2013, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
TheStratovarian
So she's going to wish or reincarnate on us eh? May the rng have mercy on us all! Though, given the nature of polymorph and shapechange, if she had that one, yeah, i fear for the cosmos, especially as a young kid into something that granted the above.
DMs Choice 25th Sep 2013, 1:10 AM edit delete reply
When I think of broken spells, the first two which spring to my mind are Magic Jar and Polymorph Other, maybe Polymorph any Object yet.
All three may... hold some options.
Grey Pennies 24th Sep 2013, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
Hey, if that's what it takes.
Zuche 24th Sep 2013, 6:09 AM edit delete reply
How's locate city going to help here?
Digo 24th Sep 2013, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
Locate what now?

...okay apparently I'm dated and thinking old school cheese spells. I've apparently not kept up with what these new fangled editions have put out. :D
TheStratovarian 24th Sep 2013, 6:23 AM edit delete reply
TheStratovarian
Theres a trick to turning the spell "Locate City" Into "Nuke City" through a couple steps, right offhand, i don't recall them. But yeah, someone managed to turn a divination into a city wide damage spell.
TheStratovarian 24th Sep 2013, 6:30 AM edit delete reply
TheStratovarian
Okay, its a combination of 5 feats, and grey rules.

It uses Snowcasting (which makes the spell deal 2 damage with the cold descriptor.)
Next, you use flash frost spell Which makes a cold grease effect (Used in part 5.)
3rd, Energy Substitute, to change it to electric, still no save and now 2 elec damage.
4th, Born of three thunders: Changes it sonic/electric, and adds a reflex save, this is where the cheese arrives.
5th. Explosive spell. Turns this city wide 2 damage, into dealing 1d6 per 10'ft traveled to the edge of a multiple mile wide spell. 500d6 of sonic and electric damage, and wham. "Nuke City"
there are extra steps that can make it worse, but thats the basic idea.
Thar 24th Sep 2013, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
That sounds... REALLY strong. Is there a reason you would want to turn a city full of shops and helpful people into a baren wasteland, though?
Zuche 24th Sep 2013, 7:29 AM edit delete reply
Is there a reason you would want to turn a city full of shops and helpful people into a baren wasteland, though?

Back in 2nd Edition, a player in a Dark Sun campaign saw the fire cleric's at-will ability (granted by one of the setting's sourcebooks) to imitate a lighter as the ability (and sanction) to torch the forest city of Gulg.

If I had the time back, I might have saved us both a lot of frustration by asking him, "Why do you think the result would be fun for either of us?"
VTek41 24th Sep 2013, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
C'mon, how many smoking holes in the ground that were vibrant towns/cities did Lina Inverse leave behind, just because someone there didn't pay for her help/called her flat-chested/did something to piss her off?
terrycloth 24th Sep 2013, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
A better question is -- assuming your GM buys that it works at all -- how many high level wizards will be in the area of effect and able to (1) counterspell, (2) scry, (3) teleport, (4) kick your ass. n.n
Metool 24th Sep 2013, 7:00 AM edit delete reply
Worth mentioning that the area of effect on Locate City is a circle, not a sphere. 2-dimensional. People can be shunted up or down. And you got flash frost and snowcasting mixed up.

That said, I hear Lord of the Uttercold and Fell Drain can more reliably inflict negative levels, turning 1HD NPCs into wights.
Digo 24th Sep 2013, 7:05 AM edit delete reply
Gravy! That's spell cheese on a George Romero level. Nuking it or turning it into "Night of the Living Dead", that's just... wrong. :)
TheStratovarian 24th Sep 2013, 7:11 AM edit delete reply
TheStratovarian
It gets worse when you can combine this kind of cheese with epic level spells and just up and get worse, the book concerning evil spells, has plenty of like options that use this combo too.

Then there's the gorget/manacle of death trick. Which turns a simple manacle into a doom effect unaffected by anything, and is a lovely way to simply derail any shapeshifter/demon plot in the game. (very handy in ravenloft)
TheStratovarian 24th Sep 2013, 7:07 AM edit delete reply
TheStratovarian
Yeah, the fell drain bit is an option after. But the issue with snowcasting is that it gives you the [cold] descriptor for flash frost. The only two classes reliably able to dodge this are monks and ninja if they are high enough in levels. And a good reason why sr races are very nearly worth the +2 la with crup like this about, especially being able to expand it to shield the group.
Stroth 24th Sep 2013, 8:04 AM edit delete reply
I think you misspelled 'Manipulate Form' there. Look up Pun-Pun, the mighty kobold if you don't know that trick.
Metool 24th Sep 2013, 8:54 AM edit delete reply
Manipulate Form is an ability, not a spell, dude. And locate city bomb is legit.
terrycloth 24th Sep 2013, 11:06 AM edit delete reply
Not really. It relies on rules-lawyering some stuff which can be interpreted one of two ways and picking the broken one. Twice. Once to get the area of a detection spell to count as an area of effect, another to have the damage done to each thing in the city instead of to the city itself (which is the only legal target), whatever the heck that would even mean.
aerion 24th Sep 2013, 6:36 PM edit delete reply
Locate City is weirdly written, though.
If you work from the point of view that people would use the 'standard' way of writing spell-ranges unless they had a reason to do otherwise (ordinarily, you'll say 'can find a/any city within X miles', which gives you a max distance rather than an area of effect, rather than the way they did Locate City) then you practically HAVE to accept that they fully intended such modifications to work: In other words, the only logical reason for the different wording (other than incompetence) is to make it so you have an area-of-effect in case of modifications to the spell.

And those people wondering why you would want to nuke a city: You're not, you're nuking everything within the area you'd ordinarily be searching for a city.
Thar 24th Sep 2013, 8:21 PM edit delete reply
So, your nuking an empty plot of land, then? That I can understand if it was full of enemies or something.
Digo 25th Sep 2013, 4:53 AM edit delete reply
"There are 23 towns within this state. None of them can be seen."
FanOfMostEverything 24th Sep 2013, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
Okay, I know this comic is playing fast and loose with the rules, but I still have to call bullshit on the DM. Liches take 1d10 days to reform from phylacteries. Days. It's probably been less than an hour in game time.

Still, looking forward to the cheese (who is the greatest character in the show.)
Digo 24th Sep 2013, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
If I said this DM wasn't based on real life game masters I've played under in the past, I'd be lying. :) I guess it was a different age back then when such b.s. was more accepted because there wasn't a big World Wide Web with which to find new groups to join.

For those familiar with Shadowrun, here's the b.s. I dealt with in one short-lived campaign:

Over the course of three in-game weeks, the GM had created the "DMPC" version of his own megacorp, given it AAA status, had it build and use giant dragon drones that were nigh-invulnerable to anything weaker than .50 caliber machine guns, and then replaced Lone Star with Robocops who were also immune to anything short of an anti-material rifle.

Then he proceeded to disband the Corporate Court, crash the world market, and kill off all our contacts because he thought we used them too much in our legwork instead of just running around on our own to figure out these missions.

So yeah, short campaign. :)
Oblivious 24th Sep 2013, 9:12 AM edit delete reply
Oblivious
Ugh, yeah, this story arc, while immensely entertaining, is bringing back some bad memories of killer DMs and GMs. It is the GM's job to challenge his/her players and not be afraid to kill them if that time comes when there's absolutely no way out for all of them. However, unless the players are just so rock stupid that they keep falling into certain death/hopelessly dangerous that are easy to side-step, it's not the GM's job to pull the dick move card for every action and encounter the players take. Besides, it has diminishing returns, so even if it is entertaining to watch your players squirm, it's much better to blind-side them with it. Gives a much better reaction, and it's better character development. Am I alone in this school of thought?
Digo 24th Sep 2013, 10:51 AM edit delete reply
No, you're not alone. A big part of this entire story is about my bad memories of killer DMs and cheese-exploiting players. I just like to look back and laugh at my old memories since I've left them far behind for fair GMs and players who hold up to their "gentlemen agreements". :)
Kira 25th Sep 2013, 3:57 PM edit delete reply
yeah but this one has a reason for it.

THEY ATE THE LAST PIZZA.
Guest 24th Sep 2013, 7:26 AM edit delete reply
Just because she SAYS she'll come back quickly doesn't make it true.
Rin 24th Sep 2013, 9:23 AM edit delete reply
This is why I'm not fond of DnD. Everyone involved spends so much time working on, in and around the rules that people actually think they matter.

At all.

Let alone more than a good climax.

The only problem I see if the DM's attitude.
Zuche 24th Sep 2013, 9:44 AM edit delete reply
Back in AD&D, a DM would look at the amount of time it took for a lich to recover, then consider what a creature with supra-genius intelligence, archmage casting abilities, and little reason to care about the aging side-effect of a wish spell would do about such a limit.

It could get ugly.

Here, at least that doesn't actually protect the lich from the party. What's really unfair is a dilemma that's only effective for a metagame reason. The lich gains nothing if the party decides to kill the child, whether because they deem it necessary and are prepared to spend the rest of their lives atoning for the deed or because they're an evil lot already. Sure, spite might cover it, but such is better demonstrated by effects that are designed either to kill everyone in the immediate area (or within a light year's radius, if you're dealing with the really petty type) or curse everyone responsible, as well as their children, and their children's children, and so on until some implausible event occurs.

Just remember that such isn't every player's idea of a fun challenge before you pull such a stunt.
Digo 24th Sep 2013, 10:56 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, it does get ugly. In this situation it's the DM being a complete jerk to the party for completely selfish reasons of hating to lose (and having his slice of pizza eaten) so it became less of an antagonizing lich versus the party and more a metagaming DM refusing to play fair against the party. :)
Raxon 24th Sep 2013, 12:55 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
Killer DMs? Oh man, have I got news for you. I have mentioned my dragons previously.

Mermaids? Grapple you to their boobs, and while you're distracted, they drag you underwater and drown you.

Centaurs? Disrespect them and you'll see why they get four attacks per turn, two of them with extremely hard, sharp hooves.

I am a killer DM, if you don't know how to prepare. I hand out loot and gold like candy. Believe me, you'll need every bit of it somehow, somewhere. I make it hard, but at the same time, I'll give you everything you need to win. But yeah, the difficulty curve is very high, unless I'm doing one of my 'creative' homebrew modules. Those tend to be deadly in totally different ways, but are much more light hearted.

The bored, crazy wizard on the hill is brainwashing horses into gaining class levels. The two kingdoms of the rust monsters and the slimes are having a war, and it's up to you, as a neutral party, to tip the scales. All good stuff. And if you don't think they sound dangerous, at one point, the crazy wizard enlarges a gelatinous cube to 30x30x30, hollows it out, applies contact paper to the inside walls of it, and connects it to a hallway. Because it likes it when his walls jiggle.

And if you've ever fought a rust monster, imagine facing an entire nation of them. Same goes for the slimes. Both will positively RUIN all your weapons, and most of your armor.
Malroth 24th Sep 2013, 1:43 PM edit delete reply
Rust monsters? They're just a problem for those Non-Druids who clang around hallways in their shiny metal suits bragging about how great their swords are to me they're cute friendly critters who help turn back the onrushing tide of a corrupt civilization. And to think Mr shiny pants made fun of me for being a smelly tree hugger.
Digo 25th Sep 2013, 4:56 AM edit delete reply
The smart fighters will don non-metallic armor and wield greatclubs of a fine wood. They could also snipe the rust monsters at a safe distance with bows if the situation allows for it.
Norakos 25th Sep 2013, 2:00 PM edit delete reply
Holy hell, someone else with my train of thought!!

One of my players was getting bitchy because he wasn't hitting a boss on a 24, when he himself had a 26 ac, was STEAMROLLING everything and when mooks didn't die on the first hit. My response "I built these things to kill you guys, because otherwise there would have been no challange."
Zuche 24th Sep 2013, 1:49 PM edit delete reply
Oh, right. I was so caught up in events that I forgot it was all about pizza.

Character death is too good for them.
Tatsurou 24th Sep 2013, 8:06 PM edit delete reply
Tatsurou
1d10 days. Maybe the DM rolled a one. One day is pretty darn soon for a reformed lich in my book.
you know that guy 24th Sep 2013, 7:18 AM edit delete reply
The conventional game-breakers from core, which every DM must be prepared to face, are Charm (person or whatever), Invis, Fly, Scry, and Teleport. The only MMOs to handle these successfully are MUDs.
Midnight Blaze 24th Sep 2013, 9:05 AM edit delete reply
Hey, where's Raxon?
Digo 24th Sep 2013, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
Maybe we can summon him like Beetlejuice?

Raxon!
Raxon!
Raxon!
DoubleCross 24th Sep 2013, 11:38 AM edit delete reply
No.
Zuche 24th Sep 2013, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
It disturbs me a bit to learn that "No," summons Raxon more effectively than calling his name thrice.
Raxon 24th Sep 2013, 11:48 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
I am here, and I do indeed have a broken spell. It is a summon spell from a third party splat book a while back. It is a druid spell that lets you summon one creature with a CR of ten. Or two creatures with a CR of five. Or five with a CR of two. You get the idea.

So I summon some of these. Yes, that's a real thing. No, that's not a child's hand. They have a cr of .1. I can summon 100 of them, but I don't. I summon fifty.

Then I summon fifty tarantulas for them to carry, and dive bomb the target with them. The tarantulas are harmless, but now the target has fifty opponents grappling him.

Each enemy that's grappling with you gives you a dodge penalty. They stack. I think it's a -2 to dodge or parry or whatever. Then the hornets sting the enemy to death and never, ever miss. Fifty stings per turn, plus minor ongoing stacking poison damage.

Soooo broken. It allows me to solo the tarrasque at level 12. Can't remember the splatbook, but I do know it's version 3 or 3.5.
Demonu 24th Sep 2013, 12:44 PM edit delete reply
Demonu
I don't believe that grappling can be used with a creature smaller than your hand.
Raxon 24th Sep 2013, 4:07 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
They totally can, if they have some means of grappling. In this case, it's effing spidersilk, which is known to be light, yet very strong.

Haven't you ever read Gulliver's Travels?
Digo 24th Sep 2013, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
This is almost as bad as the "Time Stop" super power a PC had from an old Super Heros campaign:

Scene--
The heroes were in a secret government lab that was overrun by a modern equivilent to a D&D "Drider". They were tough opponents for the PCs to fight because the Driders had personal force shields (think the devices from Dune). It took a lot of damage to get past the DR.

One hero with time altering powers got an idea. See, the hero can speed up or slow down time for a single target. This was exhaustive for the hero, but hard for the target to resist. With enough effort, she could stop time for the target. The downside is that all attacks would stop at the edge of the stopped time bubble around the opponent, so it was never used before.

But now they had a use for it. The time hero trapped the Drider leader in a time stop bubble and then the rest of the team pounded at it with all ther powers. Because all their attacks stopped at the edge of the bubble, they accumulated into one giant orgy of damage.

When the time stop effect ended, the Drider was hit with the equivilent of 13 times it's normal full hit point total, AFTER the shield absorbed the maximum it could before it overloaded. And exploded. This system was GURPS, where vaporization occurs at 10ish times your hit point total.

The insult to injury was that they recorded the attack with a video camera and then played it back on the lab monitors for the other Driders to see.
Oneiromancer 24th Sep 2013, 2:27 PM edit delete reply
That's a lot like what I thought the Picard maneuver was (because I was half-asleep while watching the episode the first time). In that case it was to approach at something like Warp 0.999 and fire a lightspeed weapon like the phasers... ends up a lot more compressed.
Guest 24th Sep 2013, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
Well, if there ever was a single broken spell, "Mordenkainen's Disjunction" is probably it.
Tatsurou 24th Sep 2013, 9:58 AM edit delete reply
Tatsurou
I bet I know what she's going to do.
The link is through the phylactery feeding on the child's unicorn magic. If the child is no longer a unicorn, the link breaks without killing the child, since - as far as that magic is concerned - the target no longer exists. Basically, polymorph.

Alternatively, take the child's soul and life force out of her body (thus why it's good she's unconscious), then destroy the phylactery, then put her back in.

Third option, put the child's soul in the phylactery instead of Cadenza, then hand her over to Celestia for training.
CommandoDude 24th Sep 2013, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
My party now refers to my exploits as "Matt-agaming."

Since I love trudging through equipment lists to find the most ridiculous item combos possible.
Raxon 24th Sep 2013, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
Two orbs of annihilation and a rod of cancellation, within a levitation bubble so they don't touch each other. Fling the bubble at the enemy. Detonate by having the rod be between the two orbs when they connect.

Tactical nuke.

On addition, two unmovable rods can be used to monkey bar your way across any gap.

I have also made the threat that if a person didn't cooperate, I would take three immovable rods, and drag the person to the beach, cuff their hands behind their backs, shove the three rods into strategic locations and trap them, and then leave them there to wait for high tide.

The paladin kicked my ass for this, but it was totally worth it to see the look on the other players' faces.
Digo 24th Sep 2013, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
The immovable rod trick is pretty standard (the D&D book even offers the idea). However, there was a third party setting called "Dragon Star", which was like Spelljammer, but with more believable starships.

That setting had an Immoveable Rod with two extra buttons:
Button #2 would make the rod immoveable without respect to the planet's rotation. Thus you could have rods in "geosynchronous" orbits. This was dangerous at low altitudes.

Button #3 was like the previous button, but ignoring the galactic spin. Hopefully your home planet isn't in the path of a rod traveling at relatavistic speeds.
FanOfMostEverything 25th Sep 2013, 11:08 AM edit delete reply
Raxon 25th Sep 2013, 12:40 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
I actually came up with a plan for that. First, I make an immovable rod out of neutronium, or some other insanely heavy and strong material. I modify it to work on a command rather than a button, and anchored to a solar location, rather than a global one.

Then I put a ventriloquism rune on it.

Finally, I cast ghostform on it and drop it straight down. I wait about one minute, then I revoke ghostform, and give the command for the rod.

And that, boys and girls, what really happened to Atlantis. It was ripped from the earth, and it waits for the day when we line up just right, and smash into it.
Masterofgames 26th Sep 2013, 1:14 AM edit delete reply
Abusing magical items huh?

Did I ever tell you guys about the time I cleaned out every necklace of fireball from an entire city of craft-wizards in preparation for some dragon hunting?
Digo 26th Sep 2013, 4:53 AM edit delete reply
Inspiration may have been a possible link. :)
XandZero2 24th Sep 2013, 10:21 AM edit delete reply
Just going to chime in with my 2 bits since I don't think I've had the chance to yet, but I've been meaning to say that I'm enjoying the Smarmony Gang's second coming.

I was surprised to realize that the strip didn't end today actually, since I thought Part 1 mentioned it was a 6-parter. I'm not complaining though. I'm curious to see just what flavor of cheese is Trixie's cheese. I mean, is it American? Pepper-Jack? Cheddar?

-I'm personally a Swiss kind of guy myself (;
Digo 24th Sep 2013, 10:58 AM edit delete reply
Glad you're enjoying the little mini-comic!

I'm a big fan of pepperjack.
Raxon 24th Sep 2013, 11:57 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
I'm a fan of muenster. It goes oh so well with an apple.
Norakos 25th Sep 2013, 2:10 PM edit delete reply
Im simply a fan of cheese. Except blue and Limburger.
Grey Pennies 26th Sep 2013, 4:20 AM edit delete reply
Applemuenster?
Grey Pennies 26th Sep 2013, 4:20 AM edit delete reply
Applemuenster?
Digo 26th Sep 2013, 4:54 AM edit delete reply
That sounds interesting.
LordvonDerp 24th Sep 2013, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
Death ward? Polymorph Any Object? what class is trixie anywya?
darkgloomie 24th Sep 2013, 11:56 AM edit delete reply
Probably a Wizard, since a couple of strips ago she said she only had Giant Growth and "mysterious spell we're gonna see now, probably".

since the panels had her levitating a scroll, though, that may simply be any class that can reliably cast spells from scrolls. Though her feat to double a spell seems to imply something Wizard-like
LordvonDerp 25th Sep 2013, 7:42 AM edit delete reply
i havent been able to find Giant Growth anywhere. Of course, given that the choice at this point is between killing a child and unleashing a lich upon the world (a lich who has no issues with using a child as an energy source), the whole Moral Dillema is kind of a moot point.
Raxon 24th Sep 2013, 12:03 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
Ummm. Aren't we talking about a world where all you need for a rez are a few diamonds? Explain to the child that she won't feel a thing, and that she'll be fine in a few days. It won't hurt a bit.

Drug her, put her to sleep, then suffocate her. Destroy the phylactery. Rush the child to a temple, and have her revived. Part of being good and even lawful good is thinking of what's best for the child. And being the pawn of an evil lich is a terrible fate.

A little unpleasantness now can save the child much suffering in the long run. I believe there is a term for this. It's called a merciful death.
Digo 24th Sep 2013, 1:00 PM edit delete reply
This is a totally valid plan...

...assuming you have a totally non-jerk DM to allow it. XD
Pathfinder 24th Sep 2013, 1:03 PM edit delete reply
Pathfinder
I always was a bit vary of the whole raise dead in D&D. I'm currently GM of Pathfinder campaign and we stroke the deal that even a GM can't make change in rules without acceptance of everybody else. Of course they would never want to limit their capacity do stupid things so didn't convince them to nerf the all resurrection-like spells.
But... Spells requires diamonds worth of 5000 gp. I'm economics major so I made plausible demand-supply system in which diamonds can be found, but acquiring 5000 gp worth of them is very hard. And usually when they come upon some of them, they are part of magic treasure that must be destroyed in order to acquire diamonds.
you know that guy 24th Sep 2013, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
The problem with restricting supply of diamonds is that the available diamonds get more valuable.
Pathfinder 24th Sep 2013, 3:41 PM edit delete reply
Pathfinder
There to possible way of taking this into account:
1. Since prices of both diamonds and gold are subjected to many changes not connected with their supply (fashion, substitutes etc.) and if those fluctuations affected amount of diamonds you need for resurrection the number of possible exploits would be unimaginable. So we can assume that price prerequisite amounts to certain historical averaged prices and not current market value.
2. If your players really press market prices interpretation you can easily go other way around. Diamonds are rare and valuable and their loss much of their value upon being split. And for example in dwarf city you with prices worth thousands of gp. Yet always the whole diamond is destroyed. So even you can either sell diamond for example 9k in hopes that you will soon find one worth around 5 or keep it and destroy it when 5k diamonds would be enough.

Other than that, players want to have diamonds on them (raise dead is limited time offer) but on the other hand they would prefer not to have a chance to lose them easily. Or you can simply convince your players that easy access to raise dead kills tension. They will of course agree with you, because they are sensible bunch, right?
Wyvern 24th Sep 2013, 2:56 PM edit delete reply
Since the requirement is for 5000 gold pieces worth of diamonds, rather than N carats or what have you, the obvious solution is to put your hospital in a town with an artificially constrained diamond market. It's the economic solution.

"Three quarter-carat diamonds? Sure, that'll be fifteen thousand gold pieces. Thank you very much, come back again tomorrow."
Zuche 24th Sep 2013, 2:00 PM edit delete reply
The child has to be willing to come back to a life in which she'd been bound to an undead wizard's phylactery, then killed by the people who came to slay the lich.

You may as well expect the sun to rise where it set as a kid to want to come back after that.
Raxon 24th Sep 2013, 2:25 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
She is a child. She doesn't understand all the nuances of the situation. You don't tell a little kid "Hey, I'm gonna murder you now, but it's okay, because we'll bring you back right away."

You say, "I'm so sorry. The monster is hurting you, and using you as a shield. But I promise you, I won't let it hurt you anymore. We're going to make you fall asleep. And when you wake up, you're going to spend a few days in heaven. Then we'll call you back, and you can live a life free of that monster. It won't hurt a bit, I promise."
you know that guy 24th Sep 2013, 2:53 PM edit delete reply
Hmmm... perhaps the broken spell is Atonement?
Digo 25th Sep 2013, 4:59 AM edit delete reply
I'm reminded of Roy's little brother from the "Order of the Stick" comic. He refused ressurection because heaven had a butt-ton of awesome toys. What kid would leave that?
Zuche 25th Sep 2013, 6:21 AM edit delete reply
The paternalistic attitude is the second reason that child isn't coming back.
gallowsCalibrator 25th Sep 2013, 12:57 PM edit delete reply
gallowsCalibrator
Sounds like the difference between a successful and a failed diplomacy check to me.
Tel 24th Sep 2013, 1:03 PM edit delete reply
Theories on the spell ...

Unconscious means that the character automatically fails their Will save. So, broken spell that involves a Will save? First thing that comes to mind is ... Mindrape, from Book of Vile Darkness. It basically allows the caster to mindwipe the target, and rebuild their personality and memories however they like.

So, instead of a sweet, innocent kid, they'll be dealing with a complete monster. In other words ... an acceptable target.
ShadowDragon8685 24th Sep 2013, 1:17 PM edit delete reply
ShadowDragon8685
I'm pretty sure that turning a sweet, innocent foal into a monster of a sociopath in order to justify killing her without an alignment hit is, in and of itself, an alignment hit. Any time you even look at anything from the BoVD is an alignment hit. :)
Makaira 24th Sep 2013, 1:41 PM edit delete reply
I would've ruled that given the way the situation is set up, there is no alignment hit. By coupling killing the lich with killing the child, they are no longer independent choices. The DM has combined both choices into one. Consequently, the good/evil of the act has to be measured based on the combination of both deaths. If killing the lich serves a greater good than saving the child, then it's a net good deed to kill the lich (and the child). If allowing the lich to live is more evil than killing the child, then it's a net evil deed to allow the lich (and child) to live.

Of course if you can think of a way to decouple the two choices, then they are once again independent choices.
Zuche 24th Sep 2013, 2:05 PM edit delete reply
It's often forgotten that alignment is measured more by pattern than incident. That said, what kind of person wouldn't seek to atone for killing a child out of necessity?
Derpy_Dragon 24th Sep 2013, 6:13 PM edit delete reply
A overpowered spell that requires a will save? Magic Jar!

(1) Possess the child's body while trapping her life force in the Magic Jar. (2) Hope that this breaks any connection the Lich has with the Child and stop the magic drain.* (3) Destroy the Phylactery (4) ??? (5) Profit
*(The child's spells and spell like abilities get trapped in the Magic Jar with her life force so that should stop the magic drain.)
ShadowDragon8685 24th Sep 2013, 1:16 PM edit delete reply
ShadowDragon8685
They should be glad they're not playing Exalted. I have a feeling Trixie would be a Sidereal, and would use Neighborhood Relocation Scheme to DEVASTATING effect. The kind of effect that makes Storytellers throw up their arms.
FanOfMostEverything 25th Sep 2013, 11:16 AM edit delete reply
To say nothing of Generalized Ammunition Technique. Anything shorter than your arm and lighter than your fist gets turned into an arrow. The rules explicitly include spoken words as a viable target of the Charm. Naturally, one of my players exploited the crap out of this, firing exhaled air, hunger, and even perverse sexual lust at other characters.

Mind you, this was a game that went off the rails so quickly, I had to have the Pattern Spiders reload the universe from a backup and try again.
Karial 24th Sep 2013, 3:38 PM edit delete reply
Is it drown? No?

Not the most cheesy spell ever published then ;)

And yeah, I avoid cheese too.. I had an unspoken agreement that I would only use cheese when character lives depended on it. And not talking about general combat here: more on 'we can't fight this by normal means/we have rolled 10 1's in a row and we can't escape' situations.
Balmas 24th Sep 2013, 4:34 PM edit delete reply
See, our GM has only one rule concerning cheese: If we use it, we acknowledge that it exists. That means that there's probably someone else out there who's figured it out.

So, if you have a wizard cheesing it up with eight-hour rests in Genesis mini-planes in between combat rounds, there's probably someone else using that same trick, and you'll have to face him.
Digo 25th Sep 2013, 5:02 AM edit delete reply
Yup, exactly the way I run things as a DM. This is why in the decade or so of gaming the PCs have only ever used Disjunction once, and Limited Wish once. Since in both situations they were for selfless acts, I let them slide. :)
Zuche 25th Sep 2013, 6:37 AM edit delete reply
I knew a DM that pretty much removed a number of spells from his campaign by putting them on the banned list by a group of eight liches that would be teleported to the location of anyone that started casting any one of them. Heavy handed as Briareus wearing a complete set of iron gauntlets, but he must have been doing something right. He had a waiting list for each of the three tables he was running back then.
Anon 24th Sep 2013, 4:54 PM edit delete reply
After thinking through some of the comments about how the DM is breaking "rules" to make the lich show up again so soon, What if he/she isn't?

What if all that is, is a pre programmed illusion. That while true, it may be siphoning off power from the foal, what if instead that what it is siphoning is very minor and is there to keep a connection. Such that should the foal gets sacrificed, that actually powers an immediate resurrection of the lich?

I mean if you had minions, and something was going on, wouldn't you want some backup plan to be like the phoenix and rise from the ashes? Esp while giving yourself something to gloat over the "heroes"? A pre programmed illusion to goad them seems like the trick.
Arbane 24th Sep 2013, 9:50 PM edit delete reply
Did someone mention Cheese?

http://irolledazero.blogspot.com/2013/09/we-do-something-significant-part-3.html
Malroth 25th Sep 2013, 3:32 AM edit delete reply
Wow, Worst DM ever
ShadowDragon8685 25th Sep 2013, 7:21 AM edit delete reply
ShadowDragon8685
The hilarious thing is that "Marty" (IS A THUNDERING MORON!) didn't get the picture when they quoted Old Man Henderson at him.

ProTip: When your players quote Old Man Henderson at you, they are extremely dissatisfied with your GMing style and are gearing up to derail your plans as spectacularly as they can.
Two Cents 25th Sep 2013, 3:20 PM edit delete reply
There's no way I'd put up with a DM like that.

I'd say things like:

"What?"
"Really?"
"Use logic please."
"Those are the rules."
"That makes no sense."
"Um...physics?"

Or, "Never go full retard," and leave.
Rhiado 24th Sep 2013, 9:59 PM edit delete reply
I still think it's simple. Smash the phylactery, let the kid die, and look the GM in the eye and tell him to Kiss. Your. Ass.

The fact that the phylactery is trapped to kill the child is an evil deed that's -solely on the person who set it up.-

I'll say that again.

The death of the child is the fault of the person who tied the phylactery to the child, and no-one else.

The alignment threat is just that. an empty threat. Now, if the GM wants to insist... Well, that crap cuts both ways. Why does it cut both ways? Simple. The alignment standard the GM in the comic is using breaks the game. By that yardstick, -nobody- can maintain -any- alignment.

If the act is the sole factor by which the deed is judged, the entire alignment system breaks. Your paladin kills a sapient monster? Sorry, that's murder. Because the system as this GM has it set up, the circumstances surrounding the act have no bearing on the act. You take treasure, even so much as a lost penny in the middle of a forest? that's theft, it didn't belong to you. The fact that someone else lost it doesn't matter. It's not yours to take, so instant alignment hit.

And it gets worse.

Priest of evil god helps a person for selfish reasons? doesn't matter, alignment hit. why? because he committed a good act when he helped that person.

Personally, I'd wait till GM Jerkface was out of the room and spit in his dicebag.
Raxon 24th Sep 2013, 11:37 PM edit delete reply
Raxon
I wish this was Reddit so I could give you an upvote, good sir!
Pathfinder 25th Sep 2013, 12:34 AM edit delete reply
Pathfinder
Well that's chaotic types for you people - full of repressed anger and excuses...
But seriously the alignment in D&D has little connection to morality and ethics and is more like hat of particular type you decided to wear.

I agree that this particular situation should not affect characters alignment (unless they decide to kill a child and leave phylactery). I prefer to tempt characters into leaving their alignment not with bad things, but with good opportunists. And to be honest, we removed most influence of alignment on mechanics which removed the problem. Players strive to particular alignment in the same way they are cleaning their favorite hats. And on rare occasion hats become useful.
ayone esle 25th Sep 2013, 2:10 AM edit delete reply
I've been interested in trying to create a system that does reflect actual ethical systems.
What I've got so far is a set of motivating factors (ending suffering, pleasure, survival, power (meaning ability/potential), &c.) and means of attaining each; money, fame, nothing, government, technology, biological, knowledge, &c. Then compared to level of analysis (think 'level of selection' in evolutionary studies. Does natural selection select for the benefit of the linneage (darwinian theory), the species, individual, gene (selfish gene theory), or the ecosystem as a whole (gaia theory)? If two people's motivating factor is survival, and one means individual survival and the other survival of their village, then they will react very differently in the same circumstances. The first may seek to find a way for everyone to be immortal, and avoid killing anyone for any reason, the second might be eager to kill themselves should a situation arise where it would benefit their village and would have no problem with killing disabled children since they would go on to inhibit their village's ability to survive. Compare typical 16th century Mongolian worldviews to modern day European ones, for example.) It's far from complete. I'm sure this has been done before, but I'm not all that familiar with most gaming systems, my roleplaying games have always been pretty freeform. The only things I know about DnD come from OotS, this comic, and playing MUDs, heh.
Moksha, Dharma, Artha, and Kama I suppose in a sense.


Also: Cadenza's going to disTroy them? Like the Greeks did to the Hittites? :p
RavenscroftRAVEN 25th Sep 2013, 3:44 AM edit delete reply
True in almost all cases.

The only exception in D&D 3.5 is Exalted characters (BoED). For them, the means justify the ends. NOT the reverse. You can destroy all good in the world and it would be an Exalted-Good act so long as you only did good actions to lead up to that conclusion. Such a character would need to solve the problem, as letting an innocent die, even temporarily, is an evil act. They would lose all Exalted feats if they did what was advised, as per the rules in the book. Some of their feats are completely broken, so they get a hard time. A "regular" paladin, on the other hand, could just murderhobo it up: Ends justify the means.

...In short, suck it, githzerai monks with Vow of Poverty.
Digo 25th Sep 2013, 5:04 AM edit delete reply
You just gave me a brilliant idea for a 3rd Smarmony Gang skit if/when the next big round of guest comics happens.

Smarmony for 2014? :)
Zuche 25th Sep 2013, 8:07 AM edit delete reply
Rhiado, I'll agree on two points:

1) Binding a child's life to a phylactery this way is sufficiently evil of itself that you'd pretty much have to be evil to do it intentionally; and

2) Killing this child to stop a greater evil does not, of itself, make the killer evil.

That said, it's still an evil act. It's not a case for shrugging, slaying, and saying, "I did what I had to do." Even if the claim is true, necessary isn't the same as okay.

This action doesn't set a pattern, but a person's conduct with relation to that action may. A neutral character might get away with the shrug, but a that's not a good view. Claiming, "This death isn't on me," as you let the deed be done is not up to the standards of good.

No, good people acknowledge that this course of action is entirely on them. If there was no wrong, they could just kill the child and be done with it, rather than trying to bring her back to life afterward. (We assume that the lich hasn't arranged it such that destroying the phylactery destroys the child's soul. I mean, if your lich is going to be a "jerk"*, why stop at half measures?) But even if bringing the child back (or ensuring the best kind of afterlife) is possible, it doesn't end there. The wrong still happened. That has to be acknowledged, with an effort to prevent anyone else from ever having to make that sort of decision ever again.

Good isn't easy, even when your DM isn't being a jerk* about it. It doesn't accept excuses.

* Jerk, in this case, is short-hand for every rude name you could imagine in any seven languages of your choice.
Snarkville 25th Sep 2013, 1:43 AM edit delete reply
Frankly, I find it hard to believe that players would stick around with such terrible and hostile DMs like this one.
Digo 25th Sep 2013, 5:08 AM edit delete reply
Had this been a serious comic, yeah, the group would have left a while ago. :) I was actually witness to a PC group mutiny against their DM once. It was for a fair reason:

The DM had stolen all the ideas I had from my previous campaign and tied it all to a DMPC that was Mary sue annoying. Thus, the players all got up and demanded that either the DMPC leaves or they did.

Suddenly the game was much more enjoyable without that DMPC...
Destrustor 25th Sep 2013, 2:46 PM edit delete reply
Destrustor
I was part of a mutiny once.
The DM had been running a pretty cool evil campaign, when he suddenly decided to give each character of the group a bounty for the head of one of the others.
So of course the only logical option for a band of immoral sociopaths who barely know each other would be to work as a team to hunt down the sponsor, right?
What do you mean "no"?
The game pretty much died with most of the party in an orgy of team-killing before the rest of the night was spent debating the cluster**ck that had just happened.
It somehow came down to a vote of "who do we want as DM from now on?" between that DM and another guy I had never really seen in those boots. The vast majority went to the new guy, most of them because they had already played under him and said he was pretty good, and mine because I was ready to give him a chance after seeing how good he was as a player. I haven't regretted it.

I almost felt bad for the quasi-humiliation of the first DM, but seriously, is it really that surprising for a band of back-stabbing space-murder-hobos to backstab each other at the slightest opportunity? It's like he was expecting and hoping that we'd metagame against our own characters for the sole benefit of his campaign. He should have put a much lower sum on those contracts at the very least; as it was, the offer would have been tempting even for good characters...
Rhiado 25th Sep 2013, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
Zuche-

First things first. Hi there, nice to meet you!

I have to disagree with you, mostly for all the reasons I previously stated. The GM's yardstick is intentionally broken for the express purpose of screwing the players.

I firmly believe that Intent and Act go hand in hand. For a truely Evil Deed, You must have both. For a truely good deed, the same rules apply. It must be a good deed, done with good intent. In short, I believe in 'mitigating circumstances'.

This situation boils down to the 'classic' (and horribly over-used in gaming) moral dilemma "would you kill one, to save a hundred?" with the added jerk twist of "would you kill a child to save the world."

Allowing evil lich to escape because you can't bring yourself to smash the phylactery(killing the child in the process), would result in the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands.And yes, many of them would be children.

Which, by the GM's yardstick, is -also- an Evil Act. It's even more of an evil act, for two reasons. First, a lot more people die. Second, it happened because the player -refused to act-. there is no action that doesn't count as evil in this situation, by GM jerkface's yardstick. Which seems to be the same yardstick you seem to be using, no offense meant.

Which brings us to a totally different problem. What is 'Good'? Your good is not my good. To complicate matters even further, many of my characters have different ideas as to what 'good' means.

Good an Evil are matters of degree, with a few absolutes thrown in, just to confuse the issue. In this case, the 'most good' option is figuring out how to save the child, -and- distroy the lich. That would be an ideal solution.

Distroying the phylactery at the cost of a life is acceptable, albiet less than ideal. A third option ( which I note that no-one thought of) Transfer the pylactery to one of the players, and -then- smash it. Hero dies, Child lives. A purely good act, with the Noble, and Self-Sacrifice traits attached. If I was in a good(as in quality) game, I'd consider it. but not for GM Jerkface.

GM Jerkface doesn't -deserve- a good performance. He deserves a dicebag full of rat turds, labelled 'milk duds'

To me, breaking the phylactery (and killing the child in the process) is not an evil act. Mind you, that doesn't make it a -good- act, either.

Tragic? absolutely. I'm sure my character would be horribly traumatized for an extended period of time. Personally? I'm not even going to blink as I give the order. Once the session's done, GM Butthead has some 'splainin to do.

If the GM -insists- on being this kind of weenie, then it's time for the ultimate Player weapon.

The Weaponized Henderson.

more to come as I think of it.
Crankers 25th Sep 2013, 12:27 PM edit delete reply
You missed.
Zuche 25th Sep 2013, 1:54 PM edit delete reply
Rhiado, while it's true that the DM is trying to screw with the players, intent and action both matter. Failing to stop a lich because you're unwilling to commit an evil act is no more an evil act than rolling lower on initiative roll against a balor that promptly crits you with a vorpal sword for "you die" damage.

You are more responsible for the evil you do than the evil done by others. The good person that refuses to shed blood is not committing an evil act in refusing to kill a mass murderer. The good person may violate a personal code to do the evil deed and remain a good person, as long as no one tries to pretend that acceptable and (apparently) necessary are the same thing.

Now if your DM does not see it that way, it's time to ask, "Are you trying to win this game?"

If the answer is yes, shake the DM's hand, offer your congratulations, and ask everyone if they're ready to play something more balanced. Why waste any more time trying to prove who's more deserving of rude names in a half dozen tongues?
Rhiado 25th Sep 2013, 4:00 PM edit delete reply
Note: the use of 'you' in this post is entirely referring to the -rhetorical- you, and not any specific person. I'm not trying to beat anybody up here.


"You are more responsible for the evil you do than the evil done by others. The good person that refuses to shed blood is not committing an evil act in refusing to kill a mass murderer. The good person may violate a personal code to do the evil deed and remain a good person, as long as no one tries to pretend that acceptable and (apparently) necessary are the same thing."

As I wrote earlier, "Your good is not my good".

Morality and Ethics vary from person to person, and from culture to culture.

In my mind, a person who's too squeamish to pull the trigger (metaphorically speaking) is, by inaction, Doing A Bad Thing. By refusing to take out the lich while the opportunity was present, because you couldn't bear to get your hands(and soul) dirty is Wrong. Not only is it wrong, refusing to 'take out the trash' makes everything said trash does after that point, partially your fault. You could have stopped him. You had means, method, and opportunity, and you punked. Every evil deed that flows from that inaction is, at least in part, on you. Please note, this assumes that you are capable of 'taking out the trash'.

Which, I realize at first blush, sounds completely insane. Bear with me, for a moment.

When you refuse to 'dirty your soul' by breaking the phylactery/killing the mass murderer/pseudo-evil-deed-of-choice, you've committed an incredibly selfish act. You are stating, by your actions (or inactions) that your -personal- fate is more important than everyone else. That you're simply too important, too special to make the personal sacrifice of carrying the horror of -doing what was necessary- to save everyone else.

In short, you're willing to allow Evil to flourish, so long as it eats you last.

Then again, I'm a very 'hands on' sort of person. Don't get me wrong. I'd do anything and everything I could think of to save the child in this particular situation, up to, and including swapping myself for the child (if possible) and then breaking the phylactery, thus ensuring the death of the lich, even as I effectively kill myself. I'm ok with dying, if the payoff (permanently dead lich) is high enough.
Zuche 26th Sep 2013, 9:51 AM edit delete reply
"Morality and Ethics vary from person to person, and from culture to culture."

Irrelevant. D&D makes it clear that the definition of good and evil center around how life is treated. Taking the life of a helpless sapient creature that is in no way responsible for your current predicament is evil.

Where people go wrong with the alignment system is in assuming that being good means, "Never doing evil." It's not. It's about always striving to do good and refrain from evil.

Necessity doesn't always afford people that luxury, hence the (valid though frequently abused) term "necessary evil". That said, valuing necessary less than good is not evil.

That ties into the other thing people forget about the D&D alignment system: good is only equivalent to correct as perceived by a good aligned person. There is a reason that every single alignment entry in the 3E PHB ended the description of every alignment from lawful good through to chaotic evil with, "[alignment] is the best alignment because..." Every single one of them is free to define itself as good in the sense of the term as you used it when you wrote, "Your good is not my good."

It just doesn't happen to be equivalent to good as it is defined within the D&D alignment system.

Calling a person squeamish because they won't kill a single child (or any other number of children that may come to mind) to stop an evil that might go on to do something worse isn't wrong. It's just a view based on a value system that does not coincide with the system of values held by the good alignment as defined by D&D.

Perhaps a greater atrocity could have been avoided by showing willing to kill a child. Or two. Or a thousand. Any number can be justified with this reasoning. The flaw in it comes down to the fact that you have no way of knowing it's true until after the fact. You don't know that the lich will get the chance to do anytthing more than kill your party. Can you soften your enemy up enough to be taken down by a fresh band of heroes that arrive too late to save you but happen to be better equipped to deal with this problem? Does the chance to make your party suffer fates worse than death appeal to the lich enough for it to put its plans into effect. (A lich can afford to be patient with plans. This can also leave them feeling free to dedicate a few years to pet projects such as documenting the results of a hundred thousand games of, "Which hurts more?" or trying to master the art of living sculpture.) Could your sacrifice permit divine intercession? You don't know. We know they're less likely, but what consolation would that be if you killed the child just before Elminster walked through the door with disjunction all set to sever the bond between lich and little girl?

Assigning a higher value to an uncertain (no matter how likely) future than the certain death of a little girl is evil by D&D terms. That doesn't make it the wrong decision. Nor is refusing to commit that act the wrong decision, because--and I feel this deserves to be emphasized--it is not for the DM to decide the right course of action for the players. The DM is within rights to determine consequences or the likelihood thereof of any action you choose. The DM has no right to put you in a position to choose between right and wrong, let alone wrong and wrong. Only right and right is an acceptable option, which is why "The Five Fathers" is so highly regarded here as a model for good GMing.
Rhiado 27th Sep 2013, 8:24 AM edit delete reply
I've never heard of "The Five Fathers", and google is markedly obtuse on the subject.

can you give me some details?

as for the rest of it, we're going to have to disagree.
Zuche 30th Sep 2013, 10:29 AM edit delete reply
Check the link in the author's notes for strip #301.

Also, please restrict yourself to speaking for yourself next time. (That phrase couldn't pass from usage soon enough even if I had access to a time machine and the name and birth records for its first user.)
Sora Hjort 25th Sep 2013, 2:13 AM edit delete reply
This was basically my response to that last bit about cheesing the game. http://youtu.be/cYNdUM2gRsg?t=1m8s
Darthmalice 25th Sep 2013, 9:27 AM edit delete reply
In Pathfinder, I went to the moon and used telekinesis to lift a few thousand pounds of sand, then used a few force spells to super-condense it into a sphere. (Void born star soul sorcerer, so I was teleport speced and could breathe in space as a class feature).
I proceeded to put that into orbit around the planet.

Next major encounter, I teleported up to it, did the calculations, and pushed.
A few thousand pounds on the moon is a LOT more in normal gravity.
Needless to say, I killed the target and most of the surrounding area...
Guest 25th Sep 2013, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
I have to question the validity of such challenges when you have revival magic. 2 con drain for life and freedom is not unreasonable. and for that matter the afterlife isn't really all that terrible either. killing a good aligned character just moves them to paradise. hell, you can go visit them if you're high enough level.
Zuche 25th Sep 2013, 2:04 PM edit delete reply
By that reasoning, it might be best to execute a person the moment they'd register as "good", preventing backsliding into vice and corruption.

Sadly, people have taken similar views both in gaming and real life.
Tatsurou 25th Sep 2013, 4:10 PM edit delete reply
Tatsurou
Isn't there something like that in regard to Saints? (Jewish moving towards agnostic, so no real idea what I'm talking about.)
thubby 27th Sep 2013, 8:13 AM edit delete reply
maybe?
in most cases one could make the argument for autonomy. people have the right to make decisions about their being.

but in this case the subject is unconcious AND a child, leaving the adventurers to make the decision that is best for her.
considering the alternative was "be a slave and host to a lich", it's not a hard choice.
brokenlogic 25th Sep 2013, 8:06 PM edit delete reply
I think this is relevant.

First, a little back story. In this campaign, I was playing a choatic good 4e paladin in a campaign in which we have to break some seals yadayada save the world. Due to reasons (unintentional abortion of my diety's avatar who I unknowingly inseminated), I was currently what they call a fallen paladin. At the moment, the party was mucking about trying to break a seal in this drow city. Our research seemed to suggest that this required trying to make drow not betray each other. At the best of times, this ain't an easy order. However, in this case, we would need to do it during their Lolthish religious festival of backstabbing one another for kudos. But that's not important. What was important was that we were hot on the trail of this probably evil drow wizard who had holed himself in a magic tower that was surrounded by a barrier that incinerated all the pebbles I threw at it. The custard pie didn't stand a chance, either. More investigation uncovered that the way to open up the tower was the destruction of a key.

And this is where the story becomes relevant. You see, the key was tied to the life of a person.

Our investigations had already revealed the location of said person, but they were shacked up in a pottery house surrounded by drow goons (which are like regular goons, but sneakier and better trained). Now, the barrier would only be shut down for a few seconds before it set up another key, so we had to split the party. To our advantage, we had a high level npc who could port us into the house, but the problem was getting out, as the portal was a one way ticket. That's when I hatched a plan of daring insanity, all while preserving my character's morals. I offered to go in single handedly and break the key. The dm, through the npc wizard, suggested against it. But I was adamant.

And so, I initiated step one of my plan: Handing my set of Summoned Armor to the psion and asking him hold onto it and to keep a mental link with me. Then, I nodded to the wizard, and was ported off to the pottery shop.

When I got there, I was told there was a little old lady sitting in a rocking chair, knitting. Making my presence known, I proceed to, politely, ask for her life. She declined. I insisted. She rebutted that she was a mimic, and tried to eat my face. I persevered in my diplomacy, and in a fit of rp, spouted sincere lines about saving the world and that she'd only be dead for a little while. And then I rolled a 20. This apparently convinced the mimic to offer a bargain. Part of my life for part of its. Taking the deal, I offered my throat, and took a pretty significant hit. Suggesting "half now, half later," I eased it off. It then motioned to the rest of the room. It was then that the DM told me that the room was full of mimics.
Now came phase two of my plans. Temporarily placated and cooperative, I got the mimic to lie down as I attempted, with my healing skill, to stop its hearts. That's right, hearts. Apparently mimics have two. Nonetheless, using my paladin's knowledge of healing, I managed to stop both with two tense rolls, and effectively kill the mimic.
Seconds later, I got the message from the psion that the shield had gone down, and they were heading inside. "After one minute, touch the staff of law to my armor," I told him, and moments later, the mental link was severed.

So, now came the most important part of the plan, at least for me. Reviving the mimic from the dead. Now, remember, I was a fallen paladin, so I had no healing magic to fall back on. I only had my medical knowledge and the dice. And so I rolled, two dice at once. One came up 2, and the other, another 20. Worriedly, I asked the dm what that meant. He told me that I had given the mimic a wet willy, which caused it to wake abruptly.

The mimic looked around amazed, not only that it was alive again, but that the magic inside of it was gone. The key had been keeping it prisoner in the city by threat of death were it to attempt to leave. With it gone, it was free. Thankful it decided that I could keep the change on my bargain. Also, there was a room full of chests in the basement.

It was about then that I dissappeared from the pottery hut. Now, the staff of law and I don't often see eye to grain. I've lost many a healing surge jsut holding the stupid thing. But it was powerful and had a very strict view of the world. And thus came the final leap of faith in my plan. When the psion touched the staff to my armor after the minute wait, and I simultaneous summoned my armour to me, I popped into existence right next to my party, who were apparently in the Shadowfell. The staff of law had decided that it was only logical that I was with them, since it would have been stupid to think the weak little fallen paladin had gone into the heavily guarded establishment all by his lonesome.

As an added bonus, my diety, so impressed with my upholding of life, and act of pure chaos, gave me my powers back. Yay.

Sorry. Long post is long, but I've been saving up.
Xuncu 25th Sep 2013, 10:08 PM edit delete reply
The Ultimate Cheese Spell?!? Dare she cast... Summon Bigger Fish?!