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View Full Version : Instantaneous Incarceration [Spell]



Lysander
2007-07-18, 03:29 AM
This is a pretty nasty spell that replicates a sci-fi premise less common in fantasy.

Instantaneous Incarceration
Illusion Sorc/Wiz 6
Range: Medium
Target: One creature
Duration: Instaneous
Saving Throw: Will Negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

This spell alters the victims perception of reality and time to make it seem as though they spend fifty years in a prison though in fact they never move and only an instant passes. After perceiving fifty years of solitude the subject becomes rusty and out of practice and takes a -2 penalty on all skill checks and suffers 2 temporary points of CHA ability damage for 3d6 days. Additionally they must make a second will save at a -2 penalty to avoid going mad. Failing this second save results in the victim being stricken with a permanent negative mental affect. Which negative mental affect takes place is determined by the type of prison the caster chooses for the illusion. The caster may choose one of the following:
*Simple Cell: The experience of a ordinary stone walls and iron bars dungeon. The result is Feeblemind.
*Desert Island: The subject experiences being stranded on a remote island filled with dangerous beasts. The result is insanity.
*Hell: The subject experiences a horrific nightmare of demons and mental terrors. The result is one alignment shift closer to evil. Paladins are equally tormented but immune to this change.

Zeta Kai
2007-07-18, 07:07 AM
Ouch, that's any evil spell in the wrong hands. The right hands don't seem so right after casting this, either.

When does the caster choose the type of prison, at casting or at spell preparation?

Lysander
2007-07-18, 10:29 AM
You get to choose the prison type at casting.

DracoDei
2007-07-18, 11:00 AM
Maybe allow the caster to nerf the perceived duration to remove the chance or reduce the intensity of the insanity... or even make it an island WITHOUT monsters.
"Hell" should definitely make the spell gain the [Evil] descriptor.
In many ways harder to reverse than death if you cast it on a Neutral cleric of a Good god... they have to WANT to change which requires RP even if you bring in the 'Redemption' mode of an Atonement spell.

Lysander
2007-07-18, 11:19 AM
I think the spell is pretty evil in either mode. Considering you can drive people insane directly without having to torment them to make them so, this all falls under unnecessary cruelty.

Neek
2007-07-18, 11:19 AM
This spell should have a [Law] descriptor added, and each of tye 'types' should have a [Good], [Neutral], or [Evil] descriptor added as well. Incarceration and punishment of this sort may not be something that a Chaotic cleric could cast: neither his god nor himself would believe in this. The additional subtypes gives a basis for casters wanting to create their own forms of punishment.

Lysander
2007-07-18, 12:10 PM
Here's an idea for a good version of the spell:

Instantaneous Reformation
Illusion Sorc/Wiz 6
Range: Medium
Target: One creature
Duration: Instaneous
Saving Throw: Will Negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

This spell alters the victims perception of reality and time to make it seem as though they spend fifty years trapped in a serene and infinite garden paradise ideal for meditation, though in fact they do not go anywhere and only an instant passes. Boredom is averted by a multitude of uninjurable friendly animals and creatures, beautiful and varying landscapes, and delicious food hanging off every branch. Additionally each night while they sleep they will dream about any crimes or misdeeds they committed in the real world from their victim's point of view. They suffer a -2 penalty to all attack rolls, and suffer -2 CHA for 3d6 days. Additionally if non-supernaturally evil they must make a second will save to avoid being reformed. If reformed their alignment becomes neutral. They may still hate the caster though for making them go through all that, despite their improved alignment, and seek revenge.

DracoDei
2007-07-18, 01:09 PM
You mean [Good] version I take it? Not good = improved, right?

Lysander
2007-07-18, 01:47 PM
Whoops. Yes [Good].

Bisected8
2007-07-18, 02:03 PM
Isn't that from an episode of Star Trek (DS9 I think)? Not as a spell obviously, but some sort of technology that did that was used to punish one of the cast.

Lysander
2007-07-18, 04:12 PM
It's from a few different episodes and series.

Maldraugedhen
2007-07-19, 08:22 AM
Think rather than the [good] version setting the alignment to Neutral, it should be one step towards good (if the target is neutral...)

Lysander
2007-07-19, 08:59 AM
The reason why I made it only push someone up towards neutral i that I think it's easier to corrupt a person than improve them.

I mean, take an evil person that's never had a peaceful or pleasant experience in their life. After 50 years of Eden the thought "puppies are nice" or "trees are pretty" might be stuck in their head just because they've been forced to live a pleasant idyllic lifestyle that long. As a neutral person they could still try to pursue their evil ways but they'd now have an additional point of view.

A neutral or good person though is more likely to just be pissed off.

Zeta Kai
2007-07-19, 11:13 AM
Congratulations, everyone! It only took 13 posts to turn a homebrewed spell into another alignment thread. Endless debates, all around! :smallbiggrin:

Neek
2007-07-19, 11:24 AM
Congratulations, everyone! It only took 13 posts to turn a homebrewed spell into another alignment thread. Endless debates, all around! :smallbiggrin:

This is worse than Godwin's law.


The reason why I made it only push someone up towards neutral i that I think it's easier to corrupt a person than improve them.

I mean, take an evil person that's never had a peaceful or pleasant experience in their life. After 50 years of Eden the thought "puppies are nice" or "trees are pretty" might be stuck in their head just because they've been forced to live a pleasant idyllic lifestyle that long. As a neutral person they could still try to pursue their evil ways but they'd now have an additional point of view.

A neutral or good person though is more likely to just be pissed off.

A note on this: Instant Incarceration seems to be a great spell motivated by a lot of different sources. And why not? If you can make you person feel as though they've been in prison for x many years, then you don't actually need a prison for them to be in. Excellent! But that works if the person is actually found guilty of a crime. What if he's not? Does the spell just fizzle, or do you commit a vile/chaotic/evil/lol act?

DracoDei
2007-07-19, 11:26 AM
No more so than with any other erroneous conviction I would say...

Zeta Kai
2007-07-19, 11:50 AM
That's what divinations are for, anyway. Remember, the world of D&D, there is no excuse for a false conviction. Tyranny exists, & is well known, but in LG, LN, NG, or CG societies, it is quite likely for their to be divine spellcasters present at any trial, assessing guilt & saving taxpayers a lot of time (if not always money).

Even some N & LE societies would do the same. It's only when you get into NE & CE cultures that things get problematic.

Korias
2007-07-19, 12:27 PM
Even in LE Cultures, Bribery is still going to happen and no doubt somebody's lying about the divination.

The spell would be reallly annoying. What happens if the Victim atempts to swim away from the island/escape prison/kill some demons?

Neek
2007-07-19, 03:50 PM
That's what divinations are for, anyway. Remember, the world of D&D, there is no excuse for a false conviction. Tyranny exists, & is well known, but in LG, LN, NG, or CG societies, it is quite likely for their to be divine spellcasters present at any trial, assessing guilt & saving taxpayers a lot of time (if not always money).

Just for reference: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0363.html

In some places, the value of magical evidence may not be valid. Not having the resources (i.e., no one has Spellcraft) to ensure the diviner is casting the correct spell, the diviner may just be making stuff up. With no way to tell otherwise (perhaps multiple diviners, but that's just getting expensive).

Peregrine
2007-07-19, 09:44 PM
Quite apart from whether it's legal, and whether the diviner is telling the truth, there's the problem of whether the diviner is even right. Detect thoughts, discern lies... these spells offer a Will save. So do zone of truth and other compulsions. Used in a murder case (or otherwise to question a dead witness), speak with dead is subject to any incomplete or incorrect knowledge the victim had up to the point of death. And I'm coming up short looking for divinations that might let you look into the past rather than the future.

Lysander
2007-07-20, 01:26 AM
The spells are illusion spells, not divination spells, so what the target sees is entirely seperate from whether they deserve it or not.

The illusion is also a closed controlled world where the target really doesn't have free will. They can't escape the island, or kill demons, or anything of that sort any more than they could in a nightmare where everything is going against them.

Zeta Kai
2007-07-20, 08:53 AM
The spells are illusion spells, not divination spells, so what the target sees is entirely seperate from whether they deserve it or not.

I was not refuting your assignment of this spell to the illusion school. I was merely suggesting that one could use a separate divination spell to determine the guilt of the party who would have this spell cast upon them.

Of course, as mentioned above, no legal system is perfect, & there are a number of ways in which an innocent person could be wrongfully imprisoned (even within their own mind), but its either that or anarchy. To be fair, no one has actually given an anarchic state the ol' college try, so we're not completely sure of what we're missing. My guess: lots of peace & tranquility, punctuated by brief outbreaks of mass rape & murder; just like what we have now.

Lysander
2007-07-20, 11:57 AM
Yeah, a divination spell beforehand would be definitely prudent for anyone using this as a legal punishment.

Of course the spell can also be used to torture someone unjustly.

Lapak
2007-07-20, 12:53 PM
If you can make you person feel as though they've been in prison for x many years, then you don't actually need a prison for them to be in.
Well, assuming that they make their save vs. insanity/alignment alteration, the difference is that they are no older, no weaker in the long-term, and you haven't protected society from them for an actual 50 years. It's risky as a reformation tactic, since at least 1 in 20 will make their save - in-character, they may still reform after this, but then again they may not - and it's useless from the 'protecting society during the prison term' standpoint.

EDIT: I do quite like both versions of the spell that have been proposed in this thread; I just don't think they'd be useful for replacing actual prisons in a national justice system in the game.

DracoDei
2007-07-20, 01:15 PM
For anything less than a life sentence I don't know that "protecting society for the duration of the incarceration" holds water... they lack the chance to benefit society, and if they are going to be a threat no matter when you let them out then there is only shaky logic for half-measures I think... I guess "Well, they are PROBABLY going to be a threat, but we can't in fairness keep them locked up for more than X years, so we will take what we can get." might fly, but it seems kinda... iffy.

Lapak
2007-07-20, 01:44 PM
For anything less than a life sentence I don't know that "protecting society for the duration of the incarceration" holds water... they lack the chance to benefit society, and if they are going to be a threat no matter when you let them out then there is only shaky logic for half-measures I think... I guess "Well, they are PROBABLY going to be a threat, but we can't in fairness keep them locked up for more than X years, so we will take what we can get." might fly, but it seems kinda... iffy.For any crime that qualifies for 50 years' imprisonment in a human society, the prisoner will be much, much less capable of committing crimes when he or she comes out. Even for a lesser term, though, there is an inherent benefit to society if you take someone who is very likely to rob merchants and prevent them from doing so for an extended period. Even if he goes right back to it, the merchants have had 7 or 10 or 50 years of peace in the meantime, at the cost of the criminal's freedom.

This spares the criminal, but at the cost of the merchants, in that equation.

Lysander
2007-07-20, 03:07 PM
Well, Instantaneous Incarceration is purely punitive. It doesn't reform the target whatsoever, can actually make them even eviler, and its insanity effects can be recreated by other spells that don't make the subject experience decades of misery f. It isn't designed to protect societieis from convincted criminals, it's just useful as a deterrent since nobody will want to go through that.

Instantaneous Reformation isn't really a reformation, just an eye opener, and you couldn't trust even someone who became merely neutral to not commit crimes anymore. I could imagine a judge ordering that for someone who doesn't show any remorse just to see if it could improve their character even a little.

Alternatively both of these could be used to make any normal sentence more unpleasant. Imagine being sentenced to five years in an actual prison and then one dose of Instantaneous Reformation.

Also Instantaneous Incarceration has incredible applications for evil torturers. You can cast the spell on someone more than once. There's nothing to prevent some evil lord ordering their wizards to have a prisoner experience milennia of hell, casting it upon them dozens of times.