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View Full Version : Balancing a vile version of VoP



Sereg
2009-06-08, 09:02 AM
Ok, here's my situation. When writing the fluff for the villain that I'm entering into Afroakuma's Villain Competition, I realised that he would refuse to use most equipment. I therefore had to think of a way to at least partially offset this disadvantage and realised that Vow of Poverty would help if it wasn't for the fact that he wasn't good. Then I remembered this thread. The ideas there worked for my concept and there now are vile vows. Therefore I altered that which needed altering from Vow of Poverty to make it vile, but this required a slight change in requirements to keep the vow fulfilled. So, my question is this, does this unbalance the vow or should I alter the rate at which benifits acrue?

VOW OF DISDAIN [VILE]
You have taken an unspeakable vow to never insult your own abilities by using objects made by another.
Prerequisites: Unspeakable Vow.
Benefit: You gain bonuses to your Armor Class, ability scores, and saving throws, as well as bonus vile feats, all depending on your character level.
Special: To fulfill your vow, you must not use any material possessions which you have not collected the materials for, crafted and (if it is magical) magically enhanced yourself, with the exception of raw materials (including food).

If you break your vow, you immediately and irrevocably lose the benefit of this feat. You may not take another feat to replace it.
{table=head] Level| Benefit
1st| AC bonus +4
2nd| Bonus vile feat
3rd| AC bonus +5, endure elements
4th| Vile strike +1 (magic), bonus vile feat
5th| Sustenance
6th| AC bonus +6, deflection +1, bonus vile feat
7th| Resistance +1, ability score enhancement +2
8th| Natural armor +1, mind shielding, bonus vile feat
9th| AC bonus +7
10th| Vile strike +2 (evil), damage reduction 5/magic, bonus vile feat
11th| Ability score enhancement +4/+2
12th| AC bonus +8, deflection +2, greater sustenance, bonus vile feat
13th| Resistance +2, energy resistance 5
14th| Vile strike +3, freedom of movement, bonus vile feat
15th| AC bonus +9, ability score enhancement +6/+4/+2, damage reduction 5/good
16th| Natural armor +2, bonus vile feat
17th| Vile strike +4, resistance +3, regeneration
18th| AC bonus +10, deflection +3, true seeing, bonus vile feat
19th| Ability score enhancement +8/+6/+4/+2, damage reduction 10/good
20th| Vile strike +5, energy resistance 15, bonus vile feat
[/table]

A character who swears a vow of disdain and takes the appropriate feats, Unspeakable Vow and Vow of Disdain, cannot own items that he has not made himself (including everything from collecting raw materials to providing magical enhancements, but he gains certain spiritual benefits that can help outweigh the lack of other items. These benefits depend on his character level. The level at which the character swears the vow (and takes the appropriate feats) is irrelevant; if he takes the vow at 10th level he gains all the benefits of a 10th-level character with a Vow of Disdain, with the exception of bonus vile feats.
AC Bonus (Su): At 1st-level you receive a +4 vile bonus to your Armor Class. The bonus increases to +5 at 3rd level, and thereafter increases by +1 for each 3 character levels. This bonus does not apply to touch attacks and does not hinder incorporeal touch attacks. Brilliant energy weapons, however, do not ignore this bonus. This does not stack with an armor bonus.
Bonus Vile Feats: At 1st level, you gets a bonus vile feat, and another bonus feat at 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter. Unlike the other benefits of a vow of disdain, you do not gain these bonus feats retroactively when you takes the Vow of Disdain feat; you only gain those bonus feats
that apply for the levels you gain after swearing his vow. Thus,
the bonus feat gained at 1st level is available only to humans and characters with flaws
who take both Unspeakable Vow and Vow of Disdain at 1st level.
Endure Elements (Ex): At 3rd-level you are immune to the
effects of being in a hot or cold environment. You can exist comfortably
in conditions between Ė50 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit
without having to make Fortitude saves (as described in the
Dungeon Masterís Guide).
Vile Strike (Su): At 4th level, you gain a +1
enhancement bonus on all your attack and damage rolls. In effect,
any weapon you wield becomes a +1 magic weapon,
and can overcome the damage reduction of a creature as though
it were a magic weapon. This enhancement bonus rises to +2 at
10th level, to +3 at 14th level, to +4 at 17th level, and to +5 at
20th level. At 10th level, any weapon damage the character deals
is also considered to be evil-aligned, so that it can bypass the
damage reduction of some good outsiders.
Sustenance (Ex): At 5th-level you donít need to eat or
drink.
Deflection (Su): At 6th-level you receive a +1 deflection
bonus to your Armor Class. This bonus increases to +2 at 12th
level, and to +3 at 18th level.
Resistance (Ex): At 7th level, you gain a +1
resistance bonus on all saving throws. This bonus increases to +2 at 13th level, and to +3 at 17th level.
Ability Score Enhancement (Ex): At 7th level, you gain a +2 enhancement bonus to one ability score. At 11th level, you gain an extra +2 bonus to that score, and a +2 bonus to another ability score. At 15th level, you gain an extra +2 bonus to those two scores, and a +2 bonus to a third ability score. At 19th level, you gain an extra +2 bonus to those three scores, and a +2 bonus to a fourth ability score.
Natural Armor (Ex): At 8th level, you gain a +1 natural armor bonus, or your existing natural armor bonus increases by +1. It increases an extra +1 at 16th level.
Mind Shielding (Ex): Also at 8th level, you become immune to detect thoughts, discern lies, and any attempt to discern your alignment.
Damage Reduction (Su): You gain damage reduction 5/magic at 10th level. At 15th level, this improves to 5/good, and at 19th level to 10/good.
Greater Sustenance (Ex): Once you attain 12th level, you donít need to breathe.
Energy Resistance (Ex): At 13th level, you gain resistance 5 to acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic energy. At 20th level, this increases to resistance 15.
Freedom of Movement (Ex): At 14th level, you can act as if continually under the effect of a freedom of movement spell.
Regeneration (Ex): At 17th level, you heal 1 point of damage per level every hour rather than every day. (This ability cannot be aided by the Heal skill.) Non-lethal damage heals at a rate of 1 point of damage per level every 5 minutes.
True Seeing (Su): At 18th level, you gain a continuous true seeing ability, as the spell.

Besides these benefits,you may sacrifice experience points in place of expensive components, with 1 XP equivalent to 5 gp value of components if you are a spellcaster. Unlike with a vow of poverty, you have no requirements to donate your treasure.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2009-06-08, 09:27 AM
This is strictly better than Vow of Poverty, as a crafter or an artificer can still gain items. Additionally, you can keep treasure, give it to the party, or (if an artificer) drain it for experience to craft more things. That has to change.

I'd just change the fluff to be that you're so confident in your abilities that you distain the use of items completely...and then treat it as the normal Vow of Poverty.

Lord_Gareth
2009-06-08, 09:33 AM
I like this as a concept. I've never understood why the idea of giving something up for personal power/enlightenment was "exalted". I mean, seriously, some of the most badass villains/evil protagonists I've ever read or played would find vows an approptiate feat selection.

DracoDei
2009-06-08, 09:34 AM
I like the emphasis on Craft skills this creates (and to a lesser extent, item creation). Thus I think you should keep the restrictions and tone down the bonuses a bit.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2009-06-08, 09:41 AM
I like this as a concept. I've never understood why the idea of giving something up for personal power/enlightenment was "exalted". I mean, seriously, some of the most badass villains/evil protagonists I've ever read or played would find vows an approptiate feat selection.

Agreed completely.

Hmmm...that's an idea. Vow of Poverty is considered underpowered, right? What if it were a Vow of Self Reliance that anyone could take?

Replace the Exalted feats with simple bonus feats...that should help make up for the lack of items.

Replace Damage Reduction/Good with Damage Reduction/--. It's better by a lot, but remember...no items.

Replace Exalted Strike with Perfect Strike...it does the same thing. Replace Exalted Strike (Good) with Exalted Strike (Adamantine).

The fluff? You rely upon yourself and your skill exclusively. No armor or magical items, but any mundane items that are personally portable you can have (so Pitons and Rope, but not a Airship or a Castle)

Perhaps you can also have one self-made magic items per 5 levels, beginning at level 5.

Lord_Gareth
2009-06-08, 09:44 AM
We should totally make a line of Vow feats together.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2009-06-08, 09:46 AM
We should totally make a line of Vow feats together.

That, good sir, would be incredible. And something to keep us occupied in between those rare and beautiful flashes of inspiration that keep the Paradigm Project on its feat. :smallbiggrin:

*Cracks Home-Brewing Knuckles (it's a special set :smallbiggrin:)*

Ready for launch, captain! :smallbiggrin:

Lord_Gareth
2009-06-08, 10:09 AM
Go ahead and start a thread for it with some ideas; I'll be along after I get internet ^_^

Djinn_in_Tonic
2009-06-08, 10:54 AM
Go ahead and start a thread for it with some ideas; I'll be along after I get internet ^_^

I will most likely do so...but after work, of course. :smallbiggrin:

Stycotl
2009-06-08, 03:27 PM
sereg, your vile version looks cool to me. i didn't take the time to thoroughly analyze it, but off the top of my head, i really like the fluff, the motive. i've been thinking casually of a vow of poverty for evil and neutral characters, and this one seems like it could be the beginnings of a vow for *anybody* at all. very nice.

along those lines, i'd do what djinn and gareth are talking about starting, a generic vow that anyone can take. i am very interested to see what they come up with.

Sereg
2009-06-08, 10:06 PM
Thanks for the vote of confidence. Now it seems that my concerns on the potential for abuse were accurate, yet as Djinn_in_Tonic said VoP is considered underpowered already so that may not be too bad. I suppose that I could change it to no items at all as suggested by Djinn_in_Tonic (it would certainly be the easiest to change), but it looks like I'd be dissapointing DracoDei (unless I gave an option of a les strict vow with slower bonuses), and it still leaves them with the ability to keep treasure within the party.

I must admit that making it any bonus feet would actually help out my feet starvation problems.

As for Lord_Gareth's suggestion on a collaborative vow project, this has my complete approval. I must admit that I was planning to make a vile version of Talya's Vow of Nudity that I forgot to link in the OP (but now have). I was planning on calling it Vow of Indecency (from indecent exposure) for the same villain.