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zagan
2011-12-04, 12:01 PM
Hello playground.

I'm currently working on a serie of monsters, the avatar of magic.
Each one is a powerful creature based around a shcool of magic, I've done the abjuration and conjuration one without too much trouble.
I'm now working on the divination one and I've run into a snag.

Each monster is able to spontaneously cast spells from his own school, and only this school, and have a number of abilities (Su or Ex) to enhance those spell or just to make them more thematic. (The abjuration avatar deal damage when dispelling spells for example)
My problem is coming up with at least one good offensive ability for the divination avatar.
My idea so far are:
- Steal spell (prepared or slot), Sp or Su ability and use them but it got little to do with divination.
- Inflict a penalty to skill check and gain a corresponding bonus, better fluff wise (you remove knowledge and make it your own) but offensively it lack punch.
- Deal ability damage to mental ability score to gain a corresponding bonus. Way better offensively but again little to do with divination.
- I was also thinking an ability like the archivist dread secret, make a knowledge check and stun/daze a creature. It's not bad but I'm not sure if fit divination.

So yeah, while I got idea for nearly evert school, I don't know what to do with divination.
Any help would be appreciate, in advance thank you.

Steward
2011-12-04, 12:25 PM
That's a really neat idea!

For divination, consider adapting a psionic power (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powerList.htm#seerClairsentienceDisciplinePowers) from the Clairsentience / Seer category (basically Divination for Psions) into an ability. You don't have to actually use psionics for the monster though; just file off the serial numbers and make into an ability or power that the monster has.

For example, you could take something like destiny dissonance (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/destinyDissonance.htm); the avatar being makes a touch attack that causes the target to receive a frightening or confusing vision from the future, dazing, stunning, or even inflicting damage if you think that's appropriate.

zagan
2011-12-04, 12:50 PM
That's a good idea actually, I've just found recall agnoy and recall death that could work too. Thanks.
Any other ideas ?

Lord Vukodlak
2011-12-04, 01:35 PM
First give the divination avatar X insight bonus to AC.(you can decide whats a fair number) If someone misses them by X or greater they suffer an attack of opportunity because the avatar saw the attack coming so clearly they countered if perfectly.

zagan
2011-12-04, 01:45 PM
I like that one, it's really thematic. Thanks.
If you have any more idea don't hesitate, I can always use more.

Anachronity
2011-12-04, 07:58 PM
Would you mind posting the stats of these Avatars? They sound really cool and I might want to include them somehow in my campaign (I would understand if you don't want to post them for that reason).

On the topic of actually helping, I would think the Divination Avatar wouldn't really need offense. If it's essentially the ultimate incarnation of Divination magic then I doubt it would ever engage in a fight where it didn't know it would win. It could easily be the most scary avatar because it knows what the heroes are going to do at all times. It knows what they are going to eat, where they are going to sleep, what they are going to try, etc. While this might be a bit difficult to implement since you as the DM don't necessarily know these things, if you can find a way to implement that it would probably be the most accurate representation of the advantage divination magic gives you.

You could give it an ability that says it always wins initiative. You could also make its attacks cause blindness or something. Obviously it should never be flanked, should never be flat-footed, and should be immune to traps (though I doubt that last one would come into play).

It would help if we knew what level party you expect these things to be fighting.

Steward
2011-12-04, 08:29 PM
Maybe you could brew up some time-related abilities. Like, he could be able to push opponents into the future (essentially removing them from the combat for a certain number of rounds).


On the topic of actually helping, I would think the Divination Avatar wouldn't really need offense. If it's essentially the ultimate incarnation of Divination magic then I doubt it would ever engage in a fight where it didn't know it would win. It could easily be the most scary avatar because it knows what the heroes are going to do at all times.

I really like this idea too. Divination is generally thought of as weak but a monster that embodied prophecy and foresight is necessarily fearless.

Yitzi
2011-12-04, 08:31 PM
-One idea is, as Steward said, to borrow from the Clairsentience school, since they actually do do offensive "divinations". To me that violates the whole flavor of the school.
-A second idea is, if you have them all as allies, have the divination avatar be the group's spy/info expert. Divination works best in a support role anyway.
-The third idea, which if done right will be really nasty, is an expansion of what Anachronity said: Accept that the divination avatar will have no offensive abilities. But he knows that the party's after him, and he knows when they're coming for him and how, and he knows their secrets, and he knows how to portray said secrets in the worst possible light, and he knows their weaknesses, and he knows who else would be very interested in knowing those weaknesses...and, of course, he knows how to use all this knowledge to best effect without easily being caught at it.

Another very effective thematic ability for the avatar of divination is the ability to roll for an action before committing to taking the action.

Zale
2011-12-04, 09:49 PM
How will the PCs find this avatar to fight it/him/her?

Something that is the Avatar of Divination would be three quarters omniscient. It would see you approaching from miles off, know you'll arrive before you even decide to approach it, realize your battle tactics before you are even taught them.

It could probably have the complete knowledge of your entire lifetime from your birth to the murky future in exhaustive detail.

Knowledge is power. :smallbiggrin:

Yitzi
2011-12-04, 11:18 PM
How will the PCs find this avatar to fight it/him/her?

Something that is the Avatar of Divination would be three quarters omniscient. It would see you approaching from miles off, know you'll arrive before you even decide to approach it, realize your battle tactics before you are even taught them.

It could probably have the complete knowledge of your entire lifetime from your birth to the murky future in exhaustive detail.

And if you have a phobia...:smalleek:

Garryl
2011-12-04, 11:43 PM
Offensive divinations? Got you covered (http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=1270).

zlefin
2011-12-05, 12:24 AM
while you still need a weapon to hit with, here's a brutal idea:
casting True Strike as a swift action; unlimited uses.

zagan
2011-12-05, 06:39 AM
Would you mind posting the stats of these Avatars? They sound really cool and I might want to include them somehow in my campaign (I would understand if you don't want to post them for that reason).

I will post them when they are all finished. (this may take some time)


On the topic of actually helping, I would think the Divination Avatar wouldn't really need offense. If it's essentially the ultimate incarnation of Divination magic then I doubt it would ever engage in a fight where it didn't know it would win. It could easily be the most scary avatar because it knows what the heroes are going to do at all times. It knows what they are going to eat, where they are going to sleep, what they are going to try, etc. While this might be a bit difficult to implement since you as the DM don't necessarily know these things, if you can find a way to implement that it would probably be the most accurate representation of the advantage divination magic gives you.

I don't intend for it to be an offensive creature, but knowing PC in general, if something got stat they will want to kill it. :smallamused:


You could give it an ability that says it always wins initiative. You could also make its attacks cause blindness or something. Obviously it should never be flanked, should never be flat-footed, and should be immune to traps (though I doubt that last one would come into play).

All good idea.


It would help if we knew what level party you expect these things to be fighting.

I'm not intending to have them fight any particular party. I was looking into my folder of homebrew idea and found this one that I had some time ago and decid to give it a go because it was cool. I want them to have high CR, something like 20, to reflect their power as avatar of magic, the ability to spontaneously cast any spells from their school is plenty powerful already but I do need a few ability to compliment that. And for some shcool it's harder than for other.


-One idea is, as Steward said, to borrow from the Clairsentience school, since they actually do do offensive "divinations". To me that violates the whole flavor of the school.

Your right and that will be a last resort if I don't find anything else.


-A second idea is, if you have them all as allies, have the divination avatar be the group's spy/info expert. Divination works best in a support role anyway.
-The third idea, which if done right will be really nasty, is an expansion of what Anachronity said: Accept that the divination avatar will have no offensive abilities. But he knows that the party's after him, and he knows when they're coming for him and how, and he knows their secrets, and he knows how to portray said secrets in the worst possible light, and he knows their weaknesses, and he knows who else would be very interested in knowing those weaknesses...and, of course, he knows how to use all this knowledge to best effect without easily being caught at it.

In the strategic section I will stat that they rarelly fight because they are aware of all threat against them. And that if need they join force with other.


Another very effective thematic ability for the avatar of divination is the ability to roll for an action before committing to taking the action.

That's very interesting, could you elaborate on what you mean ?


How will the PCs find this avatar to fight it/him/her?

Depend on the DM.


Something that is the Avatar of Divination would be three quarters omniscient. It would see you approaching from miles off, know you'll arrive before you even decide to approach it, realize your battle tactics before you are even taught them.

It could probably have the complete knowledge of your entire lifetime from your birth to the murky future in exhaustive detail.

Knowledge is power. :smallbiggrin:

Absolutely right.


And if you have a phobia...:smalleek:

:smallwink:


Offensive divinations? Got you covered (http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=1270).

Thanks for the link.


while you still need a weapon to hit with, here's a brutal idea:
casting True Strike as a swift action; unlimited uses.

Seem to easy but it might work.

Thank you all for all the help.

Zale
2011-12-05, 08:28 AM
Metagaming (Ex)

The avatar gains all the knowledge of the DM. Beware PCs, BEWARE! :belkar:

Yitzi
2011-12-05, 09:43 AM
I'm not intending to have them fight any particular party. I was looking into my folder of homebrew idea and found this one that I had some time ago and decid to give it a go because it was cool. I want them to have high CR, something like 20, to reflect their power as avatar of magic, the ability to spontaneously cast any spells from their school is plenty powerful already but I do need a few ability to compliment that. And for some shcool it's harder than for other.

The "knows everything that's going on, or will go on" ability is quite enough. It means that if you're going to move against the avatar, you won't find it where you look, and it'll retaliate by ensuring that every enemy you face knows how to hurt you.


In the strategic section I will stat that they rarelly fight because they are aware of all threat against them. And that if need they join force with other.

Well, the divination avatar is likely why they're aware of all threats against them...and that's quite enough.


That's very interesting, could you elaborate on what you mean ?

At any point, the avatar can decide it doesn't like how things are going and force a replay of the past round. (Just roll it back). Any rolls are simply copied over to the new version if relevant.

Example: The party grappler has just grappled the avatar. The avatar decides to use the ability. Now it's the beginning of the avatar's previous turn, and instead of attacking (as he had before, allowing the grappler to grapple), he moves away, causing the distance to be too high. Now the party has to respond to the new situation.

The result will be firstly that the party can't pull a fast one, and secondly that the only way to defeat the avatar is to be able to handle every single approach that the avatar might take in a given turn.


Metagaming (Ex)

The avatar gains all the knowledge of the DM. Beware PCs, BEWARE! :belkar:

It's not metagaming unless it's done through OOC means.

And that might be a bit too powerful; it should at least require a caster level check (caster level=hit dice) to penetrate Mind Blank.

Deepbluediver
2011-12-05, 01:07 PM
Since I don't know the overall intent of your project, this may be outside of your scope, but why does every avatar exactly NEED a powerful offensive skill? It seems like an avatar of the divination school might be focus'd on avoiding fights and mitigating dangers without it ever coming to direct combat.

Essentially, something like that seems to be more in like with modeling something based on the "essence" of a school, instead of just giving every avatar the same abilities with different names.

Aldreck
2011-12-05, 01:18 PM
In case you haven't seen it already, The Giant himself tried his hand at homebrewing a few divination spells. Terrible Secret in particular might be just what you're looking for.
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10546569&postcount=16

zagan
2011-12-05, 01:33 PM
Metagaming (Ex)

The avatar gains all the knowledge of the DM. Beware PCs, BEWARE! :belkar:

:smallbiggrin: That would be just a little too much.


The "knows everything that's going on, or will go on" ability is quite enough. It means that if you're going to move against the avatar, you won't find it where you look, and it'll retaliate by ensuring that every enemy you face knows how to hurt you.

Well, the divination avatar is likely why they're aware of all threats against them...and that's quite enough.

Yes, very true.


At any point, the avatar can decide it doesn't like how things are going and force a replay of the past round. (Just roll it back). Any rolls are simply copied over to the new version if relevant.

Example: The party grappler has just grappled the avatar. The avatar decides to use the ability. Now it's the beginning of the avatar's previous turn, and instead of attacking (as he had before, allowing the grappler to grapple), he moves away, causing the distance to be too high. Now the party has to respond to the new situation.

The result will be firstly that the party can't pull a fast one, and secondly that the only way to defeat the avatar is to be able to handle every single approach that the avatar might take in a given turn.

I see what you mean, but I don't think it's appropriate and also it's quite hard to put into action in game because you need to redo the whole round each time. I don't think it would be very practical.


And that might be a bit too powerful; it should at least require a caster level check (caster level=hit dice) to penetrate Mind Blank.

The current version already got a way to bypass mind blank, I'm not sure it need a check, after all if it too easy to be protected against the avatar spell he become far less dangerous.


Since I don't know the overall intent of your project, this may be outside of your scope, but why does every avatar exactly NEED a powerful offensive skill? It seems like an avatar of the divination school might be focus'd on avoiding fights and mitigating dangers without it ever coming to direct combat.

It's not that it need an offensive ability really it's that I want all the avatar to have the same CR and CR is determined in part by combat power. Still your probably right.


Essentially, something like that seems to be more in like with modeling something based on the "essence" of a school, instead of just giving every avatar the same abilities with different names.

Well the avatar do have a number of ability in common, a number of immunity and a magic bolt to attack mostly but their forced specialization and their unique ability mean that they play very differently I think.


In case you haven't seen it already, The Giant himself tried his hand at homebrewing a few divination spells. Terrible Secret in particular might be just what you're looking for.
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=10546569&postcount=16

Thanks for the link, I completly forgot about that.

-----------------

Thanks for all you reply so far, I've finally decid to go without an additional offensive ability but with a defensive one. It's way more fitting and it mean that in case of attack it can survive while it's allies deal with the treat.
Again thank you all.

Yitzi
2011-12-05, 02:34 PM
and CR is determined in part by combat power.

Usually it is, but sometimes it isn't. A forest fire, for instance, has no combat power at all (the very idea is absurd), but it has a CR of 6. An avalanche has a CR of 7. CR indicates what level party will find this to be a fair challenge, and while the challenge will usually involve combat, sometimes it won't.

Grod_The_Giant
2011-12-05, 04:04 PM
One cool idea-- not only can the thing see the future, it can bring it to pass. So it touches you, and you get a vision of your own death. Will save or have it happen to you right now.

Rapidghoul
2011-12-05, 06:02 PM
The idea of stealing knowledges and what not might not seem offensive... until you give the avatar Knowledge Devotion (http://dnd.savannahsoft.eu/feat-1727-knowledge-devotion.html). Perfect for an offensive divination avatar.

Also, some great spells from divination to use offensively: True Strike (PHB), Sniper's Eye (SpC), Sniper's Shot (SpC), and (if you can get a way to make your party flanked / flat footed) Hunter's Eye (PHBII).

Alter Fortune (PHBII) can be a devastating power to use against a party. Make it a spell-like ability for great effect.

Dragonus45
2011-12-05, 06:28 PM
How will the PCs find this avatar to fight it/him/her?

Something that is the Avatar of Divination would be three quarters omniscient. It would see you approaching from miles off, know you'll arrive before you even decide to approach it, realize your battle tactics before you are even taught them.

It could probably have the complete knowledge of your entire lifetime from your birth to the murky future in exhaustive detail.

Knowledge is power. :smallbiggrin:

Perhaps if one of the players is enough of a magnificent bastard he could corner it with a convoluted enough plan than even being the avatar of divination it would be unable to avoid all of it. Or show if the last 3 episodes of evangellion.

Lonely Tylenol
2011-12-05, 09:25 PM
My input would have to be something to the effect of:

- If the caster is scrying (or reading the future, or seeing them through some other means of divining, although I like reading the future the most), they can affect the environment around the creature they are scrying--so long as they don't directly interact with the creature.

Essentially, your crystal ball becomes a snowglobe--and the person you're spying on is inside.

Or, functionally speaking, the basic premise of Sburb, from Homestuck.

zagan
2011-12-07, 11:49 AM
Sorry for the delay in replaying.


One cool idea-- not only can the thing see the future, it can bring it to pass. So it touches you, and you get a vision of your own death. Will save or have it happen to you right now.

Something similar was already proposed.


The idea of stealing knowledges and what not might not seem offensive... until you give the avatar Knowledge Devotion (http://dnd.savannahsoft.eu/feat-1727-knowledge-devotion.html). Perfect for an offensive divination avatar.

Also, some great spells from divination to use offensively: True Strike (PHB), Sniper's Eye (SpC), Sniper's Shot (SpC), and (if you can get a way to make your party flanked / flat footed) Hunter's Eye (PHBII).

Alter Fortune (PHBII) can be a devastating power to use against a party. Make it a spell-like ability for great effect.

True a number of divination spells released duting the "end" of 3.5 could be used offensively.


Perhaps if one of the players is enough of a magnificent bastard he could corner it with a convoluted enough plan than even being the avatar of divination it would be unable to avoid all of it. Or show if the last 3 episodes of evangellion.

If a player can manage that it would be great.


My input would have to be something to the effect of:

- If the caster is scrying (or reading the future, or seeing them through some other means of divining, although I like reading the future the most), they can affect the environment around the creature they are scrying--so long as they don't directly interact with the creature.

Essentially, your crystal ball becomes a snowglobe--and the person you're spying on is inside.

Or, functionally speaking, the basic premise of Sburb, from Homestuck.

Intriging idea, not sure it's what I want/need but it sound cool.

Thanks again.

zegram 33
2011-12-07, 12:11 PM
might not be what your looking for, but: very high chances to dodge attacks, unable to be flanked etc, immune to any spells that affect the sese (illusions etc)

then, maybe for its offensive hits, give it a very high critical threat range (it always knows prescisley where to strike to get around your guard)?

sengmeng
2011-12-07, 12:27 PM
then, maybe for its offensive hits, give it a very high critical threat range (it always knows prescisley where to strike to get around your guard)?

That's something I was thinking of as well: precision damage. Give it an ability that allows it to deal sneak attack without needing to meet the requirements if it studies an opponent for a few round a la assassin's Death Attack. Alternatively, just give it +10d6 sneak attack and give it some of those blinding vision spells so it can just waltz up and pwn people after dazing/blinding/confusing them

Analysis
2011-12-08, 07:34 PM
My idea of Divination offense: you always strike where it does the most damage, since you predict which actions has the best outcomes. Maybe every attack (i.e. anything with an attack roll) that hits will be a critical hit?

Deepbluediver
2011-12-16, 04:04 PM
Usually it is, but sometimes it isn't. A forest fire, for instance, has no combat power at all (the very idea is absurd), but it has a CR of 6. An avalanche has a CR of 7. CR indicates what level party will find this to be a fair challenge, and while the challenge will usually involve combat, sometimes it won't.


I've never heard of anything like that; what source did you get those from?
I'm not objecting; I'm just very curious.

Garryl
2011-12-16, 08:42 PM
I've never heard of anything like that; what source did you get those from?
I'm not objecting; I'm just very curious.

It's straight out of the SRD.
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/wilderness.htm#forestFiresCr6
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/wilderness.htm#avalanchesCr7