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Mark Hall
2009-06-14, 08:08 PM
Ok, so my GM and I were talking about my character becoming a swanmay. We looked in Book of Exalted Deeds, and saw that I meet most of the requirements... except the Sacred Vow and Vow of Purity. However, I'm at an utter loss as to why a druid or ranger-oriented class (as in, requires Wild Empathy) would require a Vow of Purity, which requires them to abstain from touch dead bodies, including meat for eating. Even reading the class, there's not much reason that the Vow is in there.

Anyone got a clue as to why they included that?

erikun
2009-06-14, 08:23 PM
Because the Swanmay of legend were graceful, pure maidens. I'd say peaceful, but they tended to have a nasty streak against anyone who stole their cloaks. Basically, it's the same idea as the elven virgin maiden riding a unicorn - the select girl choses to give up something (sex for the unicorn rider, eating meat for the Swanmay) for their "blessing".

In other words, it's mostly fluff. I'm sure you could just include a "Vow of Vegetarianism" as a class skill that restricted you to not eating meat, and never notice the difference.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-14, 10:42 PM
BoED fluff is fairly restrictive, intentionally. The Swanmay is supposed to be an exemplar of Good, and the vow is part of that. I'd say you can probably substitute a similar vow for it, and not have an issue, but some reflavoring will be needed.

I'd also consider asking your DM to drop the Sacred Vow prerequisite(for everything). One feat and what you give up should be enough of a sacrifice for most of the benefits.

Hzurr
2009-06-15, 10:47 AM
Well, as the always reasonable PETA informed me last week "Meat is murder, and you deserve to go to hell for eating it."

woodenbandman
2009-06-15, 10:49 AM
^were you eating sea kittens?

Tokiko Mima
2009-06-15, 11:09 AM
...However, I'm at an utter loss as to why a druid or ranger-oriented class (as in, requires Wild Empathy) would require a Vow of Purity, which requires them to abstain from touch dead bodies, including meat for eating...

I'm at a loss as to why an Exalted feat would seem to imply that you must eat the living. :smalltongue:

MickJay
2009-06-15, 11:11 AM
I'm at a loss as to why an Exalted feat would seem to imply that you must eat the living. :smalltongue:

Ooh, good call, so you can still eat flesh as long as the creature is still alive!

Mark Hall
2009-06-15, 11:35 AM
I'm at a loss as to why an Exalted feat would seem to imply that you must eat the living. :smalltongue:

That's hilarious. I'll forward that to my GM, and begin taking the feats. ;-)

Fitz10019
2009-06-15, 11:43 AM
I'm at a loss as to why an Exalted feat would seem to imply that you must eat the living. :smalltongue:

Oh, well done, sir. :smallbiggrin:

golfmade
2009-06-15, 11:45 AM
I'm at a loss as to why an Exalted feat would seem to imply that you must eat the living. :smalltongue:

Bravo. Well said.

Hzurr
2009-06-15, 11:53 AM
Hmm...so a "Sacred Zombie" character is feasible... interesting...

The Gilded Duke
2009-06-15, 12:02 PM
While technically Mindflayers are hermaphrodites apparently their non-brain organs don't change much during cerebemorphis. Just the nervous system and the head.

So could a female human who was transformed into a Mindflayer qualify for Swanmay? Could always use polymorph any object if they don't meet the gender prerequisites.

Could also do a Half-Dragon Tyrannosaurus Rex Swanmay

Tokiko Mima
2009-06-15, 12:39 PM
Thanks everyone! :smallsmile:

A fun and unconventional way to access Swanmay is via a Warlock with the Call of the Beast (Wild Empathy+speak with animals spell) Invocation (CM) and the Ruathar PrC (for the required Survival Skill.) You run into a text vs. tables issue though, because while the table says '+1 to existing class,' the text says druid or ranger only. You'd need to work that out with the DM. So you should have just enough space in your build to fit in Hellfire Warlock. :smallamused:


While technically Mindflayers are hermaphrodites apparently their non-brain organs don't change much during cerebemorphis. Just the nervous system and the head.

So could a female human who was transformed into a Mindflayer qualify for Swanmay? Could always use polymorph any object if they don't meet the gender prerequisites.

Could also do a Half-Dragon Tyrannosaurus Rex Swanmay

Ask your DM if he can make Mind Flayers into a Lycanthrope 'Werebeast' template. Then you can fast during the day as a beautiful swanmaiden, only to rise up at night and devour delicious brains from anything sentient nearby!

Whatever you choose, repeat to yourself: "I am a predator, not a scavenger." That's your Swanmay mantra, and it will help you to frame your mind around the cruel cycle of nature that made you a vicious meat eating waterfowl. :smallbiggrin:

TheCountAlucard
2009-06-15, 02:33 PM
I'm at a loss as to why an Exalted feat would seem to imply that you must eat the living.

That is one of the most awesome things I've ever heard. :smallbiggrin:

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-15, 02:45 PM
The exact text of the feat:Prerequisite: Sacred Vow.
Benefit: You gain a +4 perfection bonus on Fortitude saving throws to resist disease and death effects.
Special: To fulfill your vow, you must avoid all contact with dead creatures, including meat cooked for food. You may not touch fallen foes. You may fight undead foes, but must purify yourself as soon as possible afterward. You may touch dead characters in order to restore them to life (by way of a raise dead or similar spell that requires you to touch the corpse), but for no other purpose.
If you fight undead creatures or accidentally touch dead flesh you must purify yourself in a special ritual that requires 1 hour and a flask of holy water.
If you intentionally break your vow, you immediately and irrevocably lose the benefit of this feat. You may not take another feat to replace it. If you break your vow as a result magical compulsion, you lose the benefit of this feat until you perform a suitable penance and receive an atonement spell.Am I the only one wh immediatly started looking for a good goddess for my next Dread Necromancer to worship?

RTGoodman
2009-06-15, 02:47 PM
Am I the only one wh immediatly started looking for a good goddess for my next Dread Necromancer to worship?

Isn't there a NG or CG female goddess of unrequited love and undeath and all that somewhere? One of those "died while waiting for her true love to return" types?

Worira
2009-06-15, 02:48 PM
How is that Good? That's just a Vow of Prissiness.

Sstoopidtallkid
2009-06-15, 02:51 PM
Isn't there a NG or CG female goddess of unrequited love and undeath and all that somewhere? One of those "died while waiting for her true love to return" types?She's in LM, and I'd use her except I already use her for a different Dread Necro(I have about 5 concepts for the class already).

Fhaolan
2009-06-15, 03:10 PM
I'm at a loss as to why an Exalted feat would seem to imply that you must eat the living. :smalltongue:

Congratulations, you win one (1) Internets.

:smallbiggrin:

erikun
2009-06-15, 04:29 PM
Am I the only one wh immediatly started looking for a good goddess for my next Dread Necromancer to worship?
Kelemvor, Wee Jas, and the Raven Queen from 4e are all LN, so a LG character would have no problems.

Tokiko Mima
2009-06-15, 05:09 PM
Anyone got a clue as to why they included that?

My guess is that they created all these neat Vows and attached them to the requirements for PrC's they were creating, and Vow of Purity hadn't been used yet when they got to Swanmay. While I do remember there being a historical Church sponsored Vow like this, I don't associate it with Swanmay's at all. Purity probably sounded like a good word for a quality Swanmay's should possess. If there was a Vow of Grace, they would have had that as a requirement instead.

Mando Knight
2009-06-15, 05:37 PM
^were you eating sea kittens?

Every time I read that, it makes me wonder if I should eat the land fish (http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq128/Mando_Knight/Pic-20090526-001.jpg) that naps on my bed. :smalltongue:

Thane of Fife
2009-06-15, 09:37 PM
Ironically, the 2e entry for Swanmays has them stringing up dead poachers around their homes to warn people off.

So I can't imagine why they added it. Maybe they were going for a swans = purity angle?

shadzar
2009-06-15, 10:02 PM
Ironically, the 2e entry for Swanmays has them stringing up dead poachers around their homes to warn people off.

So I can't imagine why they added it. Maybe they were going for a swans = purity angle?

The remains of poachers may also be left here as a warning to others.

Copyright 1999 TSR Inc.
:smallconfused: they don't say stringing them up, just leaving them there. They are defenders and protectors of forests and wildlife, so yeah why not leave behind a sign that "trespassers/transgressors" not welcome?

As such being protectors of wildlife, may explain why they don't eat meat, likewise protectors of forests may be why they don't touch dead, because they believe that nature should run its course and claim the dead as fertilizer for the forest.

Also dead things, including poachers are a form of wild life, and have a right or the dead to be respected.

Can't find the darn book after "sorting" a closet lat night, but that is what I gather from the question and info provided in the OP, in conjunction with the 2nd edition context on Habitat/Society.

Of course being an odd book Purity may be the only thing that fit with the old swanmay to show this treatment of forest and wildlife. Guess they are vegans now? :smallconfused:

Thane of Fife
2009-06-15, 10:49 PM
:smallconfused: they don't say stringing them up, just leaving them there. They are defenders and protectors of forests and wildlife, so yeah why not leave behind a sign that "trespassers/transgressors" not welcome?

It says that they leave them in their [the swanmays'] lodges. Unless they kill people in their living rooms, that implies relocation.

Tokiko Mima
2009-06-16, 10:56 AM
...Guess they are vegans now? :smallconfused:


http://www.nusacm.org/newsletter/gollum3.jpg
No, meat juicy sweet!
Rough and riggling!
Stupid Vow of Purity....

:smalltongue:

Yora
2009-06-16, 10:58 AM
Well, as the always reasonable PETA informed me last week "Meat is murder, and you deserve to go to hell for eating it."
Is it okay if I kill the animals, but throw the meat away?

Worira
2009-06-16, 11:02 AM
Sure, PETA does it all the time.

ImmortalAer
2009-06-16, 11:14 AM
It says that they leave them in their [the swanmays'] lodges. Unless they kill people in their living rooms, that implies relocation.

"And so, did Lady Estelbrook the thirty-third, the fair damsel of the land of Mulbenburns in the Kingdom of Britan, in the continent of Europe, on the planet of Earth, in the orbit of Sol..."

*Thwap* "Skip ahead a few lines, good brother."

"Didst fetch the Tongs of Moving the Dead, and witheth them, she did move the corpses of the braggart, and the poacher, the liar, and the thief, and the murderer, and the man with a rather large nose, and the other fellow who looked at her funny, and the..."

*thwap* "Yes, yes. We get the idea. Fetch the Tongs of Moving."

MickJay
2009-06-16, 11:28 AM
You know, large part of the "pure maiden" topos includes the horrible things they do to people... for example, eating bits of the evil poachers and leaving them to die so their corpses would serve as a warning would fit well in a more bloodthirsty campaign. :smallwink:

Nahal
2009-06-16, 11:30 AM
"And so, did Lady Estelbrook the thirty-third, the fair damsel of the land of Mulbenburns in the Kingdom of Britan, in the continent of Europe, on the planet of Earth, in the orbit of Sol..."

*Thwap* "Skip ahead a few lines, good brother."

"Didst fetch the Tongs of Moving the Dead, and witheth them, she did move the corpses of the braggart, and the poacher, the liar, and the thief, and the murderer, and the man with a rather large nose, and the other fellow who looked at her funny, and the..."

*thwap* "Yes, yes. We get the idea. Fetch the Tongs of Moving."

Gold star for the Holy Grail reference.


I'm at a loss as to why an Exalted feat would seem to imply that you must eat the living.

Reavers aren't actually evil, their Sacred Vow simply requires you to be alive when they eat you.

Ograbme
2009-06-16, 11:37 AM
Don't swans sometimes eat bugs? Hippocrates.

Worira
2009-06-16, 11:40 AM
Ah, but they eat them alive.

EDIT: Also, I don't think Hippocrates ate bugs.

MickJay
2009-06-16, 11:45 AM
From Wiki: They are almost entirely herbivorous, although small numbers of aquatic animals may be eaten. In the water food is obtained by up-ending or dabbling, and their diet is composed of the roots, tubers, stems and leaves of aquatic and submerged plants

(It's about swans, not Hippocrates).

Lyesmith
2009-06-16, 12:27 PM
Gold star for the Holy Grail reference.



Reavers aren't actually evil, their Sacred Vow simply requires you to be alive when they eat you.

But that's only if you're unlucky, surely?
Plus, I'm semi-sure "rape you to death, sew skins to clothing" parts might be a bit tricky.


...That said, why have simply evil Swanmays, when you can have Swanmay reavers? Slowly advancing on river-towns in great beautiful ships, emerging to screams and bloodshed, breaking arms left and right.

RTGoodman
2009-06-16, 01:58 PM
Plus, I'm semi-sure "rape you to death, sew skins to clothing" parts might be a bit tricky.

Why? It doesn't say anywhere that they have to have Vow of Chastity or Vow of Nudity (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45529), right? :smallwink:

Fhaolan
2009-06-17, 12:44 AM
Hmm...so a "Sacred Zombie" character is feasible... interesting...

Except that you can't touch yourself....

Can't touch this..

da da da daaaa. daa daa.

When I think about you, I touch myself....

Okay, I'm done. I'll get my coat....