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Belial_the_Leveler
2007-11-15, 02:55 PM
What is the cruelest spell the DM could have an enemy archmage use on a party of PCs? Which spell has the potential to cause the greatest amount of loss?

My bet is Planeshift (or Greater Planeshift) via Arcane Reach on the party's meeler to send them to the center of a large magma ocean in the Plane of Fire. If the ocean is wider than 1000 miles (not difficult with an infinite plane) you can guarantee a fall in magma. Here are the consequences:

1) Fighter is out of the fight.
2) Fighter is in a random area in another plane of existence-the PCs know neither the plane of existence nor the location so as to bring him back.
3) Fighter dies in a round or three due to 20d6 damage/round from total immersion in magma. He needs a True Ressurection to come back because there's no corpse left.
4) The fighter's items melt in the magma, destroyed with no save.
5) The PCs won't be able to find the fighter with any detection magic-he'll be dead and melted away with no trace.

If you can get a good save DC, you can even send there the party's cleric or sneaker. The cleric cannot cast spells to save himself because 20d6 damage/round means a concentration DC of around 70 to cast the spels-plus his holy symbol will melt away in the first round. The wizard can save himself with Celerity or if he's already flying though.

Thinker
2007-11-15, 02:57 PM
Disjunction. Even if they don't die they have to live without equipment.

Keld Denar
2007-11-15, 03:02 PM
Disjunction. Even if they don't die they have to live without equipment.

QFT....Disjunction.

Dishonor > Death
Living w/o Gear = Dishonor

At least if your PC is dead, you can usually reroll another. At least the archmage in the first example saved the PC the trouble of falling on his now-non-magical sword.

Telonius
2007-11-15, 03:07 PM
Dominate Person. So many possibilities for evil, if they fail the save.

To a Paladin or other goody two-shoes: "I surrender, but I don't trust you. Why don't you disarm yourself and your allies to prove to me that you're not going to kill me?"

To an evil backstabber: "I can offer you more money than these fools. Join me!"

Nermy
2007-11-15, 03:28 PM
Prestidigitation to make them all think they've peed their pants.

Shishnarfne
2007-11-15, 03:33 PM
Irresistable Dance (especially using reach) is always fun. The party caster is now unable to cast spells because he's dancing. There's a certain humiliation factor (Hideous Laughter has a similar one, but allows a save) involved in being unable to contribute to battle due to being forced to dance.

Weird has a certain cruelty, too. Your entire party has to make saves against death due to the product of their imagination (even if Wail of the Banshee is more effective, fluff reasons make this a little more cruel). Both of these, everybody roll saves, if you fail, your character dies. It's hard to get much more potential for loss than a one-spell TPK... The big difference is that Weird allows a Will Save first, and then a Fort Save.
Of course, high level parties should have Deathward up on as many members as possible, to avoid this little scenario.

cupkeyk
2007-11-15, 03:38 PM
I love Avascular Mass simply because having your guts spill out is one thing, it's another thing to have your guts spill out and wrap itself around your friends forcing them to hack and slash their way out of the tangled mess that was your innards.

Jack Zander
2007-11-15, 03:46 PM
I love Avascular Mass simply because having your guts spill out is one thing, it's another thing to have your guts spill out and wrap itself around your friends forcing them to hack and slash their way out of the tangled mess that was your innards.

...that's...that's terrible...where did you get such a spell?

martyboy74
2007-11-15, 03:48 PM
Libris Mortis/SpC. It's actually a really good spell too. Amusingly enough, it works on undead.

Dausuul
2007-11-15, 03:49 PM
Yeah, I'm gonna have to agree with disjunction. Ideally backed up by Greater Spell Focus (Abjuration) and 4 levels of Fatespinner, so you can boost the save DC by 6. Nothing says "screw you" like losing most of your hard-won gear. Especially if the wizard follows it up by mocking the PCs mercilessly and then teleporting away... without actually killing them, so they don't get to make new characters with a fresh set of gear.

I believe avascular mass originated in Libris Mortis. I think it made its way to the Spell Compendium too.

TimeWizard
2007-11-15, 03:54 PM
A personal favorite is Sink, which true to it's name sends people straight down in any liquid up to 200' or bottom. Good for aquatic adventures... but i prefer to use it with Rock to Lava.

Alex12
2007-11-15, 03:57 PM
Flesh to Stone
Transmute Rock to Mud
Transmute Mud to Rock
Stone To Flesh

if the statue they turned into is considered magical, replace the middle two with Stone Shape

Elhann
2007-11-15, 03:58 PM
Weird has a certain cruelty, too.
Snip
Of course, high level parties should have Deathward up on as many members as possible, to avoid this little scenario.
Does death ward protect against Weird? It is not death magic, but a fear effect...Mindblank would stop it, but anyway I agree. Killing people using their imagination is quite cruel.

Most mind control spells are usable in this way: if you want to humiliate someone, you just need to suggest him that it is very hot inside the inn, perhaps it'd be a good idea to undress and take a walk around the town...

And, of course, there are ways to torture someone without resorting to wreck: once you know enough of someone, major images are all you need for this.

Hyfigh
2007-11-15, 04:08 PM
I'll throw another vote in for Disjunction. It just hurts that much.

cupkeyk
2007-11-15, 04:12 PM
Modify Memory.

Find their family and have them remember them as an asshat. Make everyone they know and love hate them. Use sleight of hand to occasionally slip a razor into their possession each morning.

(oh and Avascular Mass is a RAY, no save!!)

Artanis
2007-11-15, 04:13 PM
Another vote for Disjunction here.

However, if you expand the scope to include Psionics, there's some really, really twisted stuff you can pull. Like using True Mind Switch to not only strip a PC of all his items (by forcing him into a naked, unarmed body), but turning him into a Kobold or something in the process.

Lochar
2007-11-15, 04:14 PM
Water walk in an aquatic enviroment, for low level hell.

Hit the fighter with it, watch them rocket away at 60' per round and not be able to do anything about it.

Even more fun on a water breather, because once they hit the surface, they can't get back under and start to suffocate after they run out of breathe.

Xuincherguixe
2007-11-15, 04:39 PM
I think it'd have to be wish. There's just so much potential for cruelty there.

"I wish an invincible bard followed around this guy singing annoying songs about them."

"I wish this person's body was composed of a food they really want to eat."

And that doesn't even cover when they wish for something themselves that backfires. Seriously, that's the ultimate cruelty.

shadowdemon_lord
2007-11-15, 04:54 PM
Disjunction, god that's a spell that shouldn't exist. Anyway, I think Avascular mass gets my vote. Losing all your stuff sucks, being forced to cut up your own intestines (with all the fun smells that goes with that) in order to escape them. That's true horror.

F.L.
2007-11-15, 04:57 PM
I've considered a similar question as to which spell of schools is the most horrible in the hands of an evil person. The answer is divination, obviously.

With evocation I can blow you up.
With abjuration I can lock you up forever.
With conjuration I can summon horrors from beyond to get you.
With enchantment I can make your own friends hurt you.
With transmutation I can change your life for the worse.
With necromancy I can animate your relatives to fight you.
With illusion I can make visions of horrors that have never been dance before your eyes.

But with divination, I can find out what really scares you.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-11-15, 05:23 PM
Reduce Person on the party barbarian (Cha 6) after he has finally convinced the barmaid to meet him upstairs later after several failed bluff attempts. :smallamused:

Woot Spitum
2007-11-15, 05:27 PM
From a gameplay standpoint, Disjunction.

Wither Limb is second. (I can't use my arms!)

Kurald Galain
2007-11-15, 06:01 PM
Kill their family members and cast Animate Dead?

Randel
2007-11-15, 06:50 PM
Disjunction: destroy their magic items

Clone: if you get a sample of their skin, you can create a spare body that they are ressurected into immediatly after they die. Put the clone naked somewhere and if they get killed they are stuck somewhere you decide.

Spectral touch, Shadow Sword, Enervating Breath or any other spell that confers negative levels: Negative levels stink, though of the spells I see in the Spell Compendium, none of them can cause permanent level drain... it might be enough to scare players during the fight if they don't know its temporary.

Plus... I wonder if when combined with Clone, if a person has temporary negative levels when they die, do those become permanent when they are resurrected via the clone?

mostlyharmful
2007-11-15, 06:54 PM
Suggestion: My god, I had a wiz in a gaming group a few years ago who cranked his Enchant save and I was playing a Barb.... That damn spell got used against me five or six times a night for a couple weeks... until it endangered the whole party. Damn Siege engines..:smallmad:

DaMullet
2007-11-15, 07:01 PM
Sorry to burst yon bubble, Randel, but Clone's material component isn't "a bit of skin" but rather "1 cubic inch of flesh taken from the living body." That's not gonna come from dandruff any time soon. That's like, three fingers.

Mewtarthio
2007-11-15, 07:03 PM
Two words: programmed amnesia. Destroy the victim's mind, soul, and personality and rebuild it as you see fit. Plus, it's like geas in that it always works on captured foes (but has a ten-minute casting time).

For low-level random cruelties, you can't go wrong with lesser geas. There are just so many horribly wrong things that could be done with that spell on random commoners.

cupkeyk
2007-11-15, 07:04 PM
Avasculate THEN Clone. Lolz there is an entire pile of him in a twenty foot radius. Nyuknyuknyuk.

Alex12
2007-11-15, 08:18 PM
Modify Memory.

Find their family and have them remember them as an asshat. Make everyone they know and love hate them. Use sleight of hand to occasionally slip a razor into their possession each morning.


Trouble with that. It takes 5 minutes to modify 5 minutes worth of memory.

We've got this utterly evil variant on Microcosm. It does precisely what Microcosm does, except it traps you in, effectively, your own personal hell. Basically, in addition to what Microcosm does to you, you have to make a Will save every round, with the DC increasing by 1 every round you fail, and never resetting. Every time you fail a save, you get one permanant negative level.

Yeah, Psionics can be mind-bogglingly evil. Mind Seed is one of the worst. You turn into me 8 levels ago. Did I mention that because the soul isn't replaced, just altered, it can't be undone? Once I hit you with it, you've got a week.
Insanity: You're permanently confused.
Decerebrate: I just severed the link between your brain and the rest of your body. You'll die within 4 days.
Recall Death: Mechanically, just another save-or-die thing. Fluff-wise, pure evil.
Death Urge: Makes the target actively try to kill itself.

reorith
2007-11-15, 08:25 PM
have the archmage invite everyone to a nice feast. no treachery. use prestidigitation to make everyone's food taste like their race.

AslanCross
2007-11-15, 08:31 PM
I love Avascular Mass simply because having your guts spill out is one thing, it's another thing to have your guts spill out and wrap itself around your friends forcing them to hack and slash their way out of the tangled mess that was your innards.

Avasculate and avascular mass actually force out your blood, not your guts. Still nasty, though. I believe there was another spell that actually rips out someone's guts and you absorb them into your body. (BoVD spell)

Most cruel use of low level spells: web+fireball. A hobgoblin warsoul NPC I used blasted the party just yesterday. The druid died instantly. The bard was dropped into the negatives. The wizard and paladin were left with very little HP. They had to run away very quickly.

Woot Spitum
2007-11-15, 09:08 PM
have the archmage invite everyone to a nice feast. no treachery. use prestidigitation to make everyone's food taste like their race.

But how can they recognize the taste of the flesh of their own race if they haven't already tried it?:smalleek:

Corestimah
2007-11-15, 09:26 PM
Avascular Mass is certainly up there in terms of horrific cruelty, as is planeshifting them to The Far Realm, if possible. The other options mentioned so far all have their own sickening merits.

If you have access to the Bestowed Curses article on page 34 of Dragon 348 (October 2006), then you can do some VERY evil things with Bestow Curse and Greater Bestow Curse, especially in combination. Some of the highlights are as follows.

With Bestow Curse:
Cause a creature to lose all martial and exotic weapon proficiencies, as well as access to any feats that rely on weapon proficiency (read: Weapon Focus tree).
Everyone the target knows no longer recognizes them (except the caster), and anyone who comes to know them forgets knowing them the next day
Target must make a Fort save (DC same as spell) every time they commit an act of kindness or generosity or be nauseated for 2d4 rounds.
Target carries blinding sickness or cackle fever, and anyone who touches them must make a DC 16 Fort save or contract it (target is immune to the disease they carry).
Target is unable to tell a lie (may stay silent to avoid telling truth).


With Greater Bestow Curse:
Target loses a class ability, such as Barbarian Rage, Sneak Attack, or SPELLCASTING ABILITY (make a Wizard into a commoner with a good will save and knowledge skills; EVIL!).
Everyone the target sees appears to be undead.
Target is wracked by horrific nightmares and cannot sleep soundly, waking each morning fatigued and unable to do anything that requires a full nightís rest (i.e. arcane spell preparation).
All creatures and NPCs the target meets (who donít already know him/her) have an initial attitude of Hostile.

Combining Both:
Combine the stranger (no one knows me anymore) with the outcast (all strangers hate me). No one knows the target, so EVERYONE hates them. Target enters a town, gets run out by a pitchfork mob, and everyone forgets about it the next day, and only the original caster knows them. To get anyone but the original caster to remove the spells, the target must make a very difficult diplomacy check.

MOST EVIL:
If you have time and have the party members held in separate cells, do the combo to each of them in turn and release them into a ring to fight each other to the death. Use Avascular Mass and/or Disjunction when most are dead/dying, if desired. Laugh maniacally, having done an excellent job of being EVIL.

Tar Palantir
2007-11-15, 10:15 PM
One of the simplest and cruelest ways to kill any PC with a low Reflex save is Otiluke's Telekinetic Sphere. Observe:

1. Trap PC in sphere.
2. Transport PC to suitably lethal environment (ex. buried under lava, etc.)
3. Give them a moment to see their own impending death.
4. Dismiss spell.
5. Laugh hysterically.
6. Repeat to taste.

namo
2007-11-15, 10:27 PM
Mindrape (BoVD) is pretty bad too - in the same line a Programmed Amnesia. Turn a character into everything it hates/used to hate.

reorith
2007-11-15, 11:00 PM
But how can they recognize the taste of the flesh of their own race if they haven't already tried it?:smalleek:

he explains it and makes a bluff check

Mewtarthio
2007-11-15, 11:21 PM
he explains it and makes a bluff check

Sorry, but even if you actually did feed someone their own people, you're just a creepy cannibal. That's nowhere near the level of:

Throwing random lesser geases around the hero's hometown, with quests such as "become a blackguard."

Planting a mind seed (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/mindSeed.htm) in someone close to the hero. Once the week's up, nothing can undo the effect. Not even a wish or miracle (the power explicitly states that a mind seed can only be undone with a wish-level effect before the week's up).

Using true mind switch to permanently possess the body of your enemy's child, then faking your own death (possibly by mind seeding your previous body, then using psionic modify memory to erase your old self's knowledge of your plot). If the child's young enough, you might even have this swap go unnoticed.

Using mindrape or programmed amnesia to turn your victim's lover into your quite willing and content concubine, then using greater bestow curse and geas to rob him of all his power and order him to empty the ocean with an eydropper, while every day those who once knew him in life walk by, not recognizing him, and mock him.

Idea Man
2007-11-15, 11:23 PM
Hey, greater curse can shut off class features? How did I miss that?!

Kill the party with magic missles. It can be done, even at 20th. :smallwink:

Feeblemind the wizard, then the cleric for good measure. Nothing is sweeter.

How about nightmare? I cast it from anywhere, and you can't do anything but dread the next night. :smallamused:

Zeful
2007-11-15, 11:57 PM
Mark of Justice, the caster set the behaviour. And all it takes is for the caster to be sadistic and you get things like: "You must kill, cook and consume an infant of your race every night before you go to bed. You must keep these activities secret and kill all who discover your actions."

That'd be better off as a geas.

So one vote for Geas.

Jack Zander
2007-11-16, 12:09 AM
Mark of Justice, the caster set the behaviour. And all it takes is for the caster to be sadistic and you get things like: "You must kill, cook and consume an infant of your race every night before you go to bed. You must keep these activities secret and kill all who discover your actions."

That'd be better off as a geas.

So one vote for Geas.

Then, because the caster know his action, he kills him too. :smallbiggrin:

Zanatos777
2007-11-16, 12:14 AM
I would like to put Eternity of Torture (BoVD) up for being very bad. It makes you ageless and not need things like food/water/air so that you can experience torture forever.

I put up another vote for avasculate, programmed amnesia, mind rape, and geas/quest style spells.

Callos_DeTerran
2007-11-16, 12:43 AM
No...no, I'd have to agree with the clone spell. You can arrange for some truly truly horrible circumstances to come back to life too, if you arrange it well. For example appearing naked in Demogorgon's bed, manacled to the frame with adamintine anti-magic shackles, just...just tops the list of horrible horrible things to have happen to you.

Sure, living without magical items can be painful, but becoming the Prince of Demon's new bitch is more painful, and definitly more humiliating (Not to mention probably fatal).


After that though? Greater Bestow Curse (Reducing a level 30 wizard to a level 30 commoner with a good will save and knowledge skills is too priceless to ignore) and Avasculate Mass follow right after. After those two?...Call the Amoebic Sea (I think that's what it's called). Why? Because if your the target, you just had a section of the Far Realm teleported untop of you!

Ganurath
2007-11-16, 12:49 AM
Persistent Nonlethal Burning Blood, made possible by Complete Arcane and Complete Mage's Arcane Thesis. It won't kill, but it will make them go through nightmarish pain... at lower spell slots if you add 0-modifier metamagic like Energy Substitution (Cold), Lord of the Uttercold, Sanctum Spell...

Telok
2007-11-16, 08:17 AM
A high level, high Charisma evil cleric.

Incapacitate the target, have some spawning undead kill them, make certain that they come back as an undead. Use turn attempts to control them. You can do all sorts of wonderful things with them now.

If your victim is a high level caster make them do the things already listed in this thread... To thier own friends and families.

If people want to quibble about the newly undead victim "enjoying" the experience because they're now evil. You're a high level cleric, a Helm of Opposite Alignment (to get them back to thier original alignment) or a well placed Miracle ought to do it.

WhiteHarness
2007-11-16, 08:33 AM
Threads like this one make me want to utterly ban all magic from my campaigns altogether.

Setra
2007-11-16, 08:37 AM
Is there a spell that destroys a soul?

If you ask me that sounds like the cruelest thing I could imagine.

GolemsVoice
2007-11-16, 09:09 AM
There was a spell in the Spell Compendium that lets you draw out the water from a creature's body, thus killing it, and the water would animate and become a water elemental. This is cruel for several reasons: First, the victim is dead, which is never nice. Second, the way of dying is a cruel one, and a waterless corpse looks hideous. And third, after seeing a friend fall in battle, you have to fight his body fluids. Ugh.

Leicontis
2007-11-16, 09:12 AM
Is there a spell that destroys a soul?

If you ask me that sounds like the cruelest thing I could imagine.
It's called "Kill them and feed the corpse to a barghest".

Alex12
2007-11-16, 09:12 AM
There was a spell in the Spell Compendium that lets you draw out the water from a creature's body, thus killing it, and the water would animate and become a water elemental. This is cruel for several reasons: First, the victim is dead, which is never nice. Second, the way of dying is a cruel one, and a waterless corpse looks hideous. And third, after seeing a friend fall in battle, you have to fight his body fluids. Ugh.

"Behold, my greatest creation- the mighty Urine Elemental!"
:smalleek:

Alex12
2007-11-16, 09:13 AM
Is there a spell that destroys a soul?

If you ask me that sounds like the cruelest thing I could imagine.

Mind seed. After a week, it can't be undone, plus, there's a good chance they'll attack the people who used to be their friends at that point.

Mr. Friendly
2007-11-16, 09:17 AM
Well after my recent Arcane Thesis on the Sunburst spell, I think it has the potential to be nasty. Permanent blindness is funny and cool when it happens via a Reflex save and not Fort.

Basically I think any spell has the potential to be cruel, if applied correctly.

Khanderas
2007-11-16, 09:17 AM
Is there a spell that destroys a soul?

If you ask me that sounds like the cruelest thing I could imagine.
I heard that too, but I pick oblivion before eternal torture.

Keld Denar
2007-11-16, 09:43 AM
Well after my recent Arcane Thesis on the Sunburst spell, I think it has the potential to be nasty. Permanent blindness is funny and cool when it happens via a Reflex save and not Fort.

Basically I think any spell has the potential to be cruel, if applied correctly.

Except "permanant" blindness can be cured by a 2nd level cleric spell....

And yes, being consumed by a barghest is pretty much permanant. Not only that, but you are increasing the HD of your pet barghest...the only thing better than a barghest is a BIGGER barghast!

And that other spell is called "Extract Water Elemental" And its not even a very high level spell, like 7th or so. From Complete Arcane or SC, or maybe both.

Hyozo
2007-11-16, 09:45 AM
Is there a spell that destroys a soul?

If you ask me that sounds like the cruelest thing I could imagine.

Unname. As long as a caster capable of ninth level spells can get truespeak as a class skill and several bonuses to it, it is a save or die that they need an equally talented truespeaking full caster to make True ressurection possible.


I've considered a similar question as to which spell of schools is the most horrible in the hands of an evil person. The answer is divination, obviously.

*snip*

With illusion I can make visions of horrors that have never been dance before your eyes.

But with divination, I can find out what really scares you.

One of my favorites in this department is Manifest Nightmare from HoH. It makes the character's worst fear appear for all to see. Although fairly harmless on it's own because it allows a will save to negate (IF they can overcome the fear and try to disbelieve it), It is much more frightening if the target is aware that the caster has the resources to acquire the real thing...

Reinboom
2007-11-16, 09:48 AM
Two words: programmed amnesia. Destroy the victim's mind, soul, and personality and rebuild it as you see fit. Plus, it's like geas in that it always works on captured foes (but has a ten-minute casting time).

Yes. I must agree with programmed amnesia.
2nd with disjunction.
3rd as... random assortment of vicious combos...

somewhere down the line, however, I must make a special mention about my fiend of possession/sorcerer.
Since, you cast the spells from the control of the body you are possessing, they pay for the components.
I used Finger Darts from BoVD - which rips of the caster's fingers to cause dex damage as a ranged touch.

Jayabalard
2007-11-16, 09:49 AM
Planting a mind seed (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/mindSeed.htm) in someone close to the hero. Once the week's up, nothing can undo the effect. Not even a wish or miracle (the power explicitly states that a mind seed can only be undone with a wish-level effect before the week's up).Actually, that's not what the text that you linked states; perhaps that's stated somewhere else?

As it reads, the placement of the word "only" means that it only applies to the phrase "psychic chirurgery, reality revision, or similarly high-level effects." not the phrase "prior to germination"

In order to apply to both it would need to read: Protection from evil or a similar spell or power can prevent you from implanting mind seed, or prevent a seed from germinating while the protective power lasts. Otherwise, a germinating seed can only be removed (prior to germination) only by psychic chirurgery, reality revision, or similarly high-level effects. Manifesting mind seed again during the germination period also cleanses the subjectís mind.

Again, the text elsewhere may be more explicit, but there's nothing in the linked description that explicitly prevents a wish/miracle/equivalent from reversing it after the germination period.


It's called "Kill them and feed the corpse to a barghest".hmm... someone mentioned this on a thread about permenantly killing someone. The entry that they linked says that the feed ability can be triggered when the Barghest slays an opponent... so feeding them an already killed corpses shouldn' do anything (to my way of thinking, the soul would have moved on if killed by something else).

Keld Denar
2007-11-16, 10:02 AM
hmm... someone mentioned this on a thread about permenantly killing someone. The entry that they linked says that the feed ability can be triggered when the Barghest slays an opponent... so feeding them an already killed corpses should do anything (to my way of thinking, the soul would have moved on if killed by something else).

Disable with save vs lose.....feed to barghest. Problem solved.

I think Solipsism (SC) is a pretty cruel spell. It causes a target to believe that EVERYTHING around it is an illusion and can't possibly harm him. Then apply any other effect, including barghest feasting.

Setra
2007-11-16, 10:05 AM
Mind seed. After a week, it can't be undone, plus, there's a good chance they'll attack the people who used to be their friends at that point.
Mind Seed doesn't destroy the soul if I recall correctly.


While the subject is initially your mental duplicate, the two personalities diverge over time. Although the subject starts off with memories of your experiences, it possesses its original ďsoulĒ and physical body and is free to develop its own personality based on its own new experiences. Thus, the subject is not your slave or servant, but instead a nonplayer character in its own right that shares your earlier memories.
Emphasis mine

Shishnarfne
2007-11-16, 10:11 AM
Trap the Soul is a nice way of delaying Resurrection... You have to find wherever the person who cast it left the gem. Those who have read Start of Darkness will remember Xykon's lines regarding the spell.

Alex12
2007-11-16, 10:37 AM
Actually, that's not what the text that you linked states; perhaps that's stated somewhere else?

As it reads, the placement of the word "only" means that it only applies to the phrase "psychic chirurgery, reality revision, or similarly high-level effects." not the phrase "prior to germination"

In order to apply to both it would need to read: Protection from evil or a similar spell or power can prevent you from implanting mind seed, or prevent a seed from germinating while the protective power lasts. Otherwise, a germinating seed can only be removed (prior to germination) only by psychic chirurgery, reality revision, or similarly high-level effects. Manifesting mind seed again during the germination period also cleanses the subjectís mind.

Again, the text elsewhere may be more explicit, but there's nothing in the linked description that explicitly prevents a wish/miracle/equivalent from reversing it after the germination period.

I read it as being implied, since, the way I read it, the germination is the Mind Seed destroying the old mind and replacing it with the new one.


@ Setra: no, it doesn't destroy the soul, but the way I read it, that is to prevent something like Reincarnate from bringing the victim back. The soul stays in the same place, but the mind that's part of it is the new one, not the old one, so Resurrecting it just brings the new mind back.



Actually, I just had an utterly evil idea. Mind Flayers are innately telepathic. It's not unreasonable that there could be at least a few capable of True Mind Switch. Now, what if a Mind Flayer hit the Tarrasque with it successfully? Physical stats remain the same, mental stats become those of the new host. A Tarrasque with the powers of a Mind Flayer would probably a crisis of apocalyptic proportions.

Epic_Wizard
2007-11-16, 11:04 AM
Generally I think that creative uses of Epic Level spells based on the Gate spell are the most fun if not necessarily the outright cruelest. Think about opening a Gate into the infinite ocean surrounding Celestia... on to the Abyss and letting the waters pass through but no creature XD or the 9 hells. Flood em with Holy Water and sit back and laugh.

As for Mind Seed it is really meant as something that NPC's would use on NPC's or MAYBE for the players. If you are going to be using this on PC's who are of a level where they could be facing an 18th level Psion then the saving throw will be a cake walk and if they notice who did it that person in now basically out of power points for the day.

Also I'm not entirely sure that you can't reverse the process once it has been completed through a Wish or Miracle or through simply killing the subject and reviving them before the seed germinates. Last of all any decent high level party will have a pertinent Arcane Sight or True Seeing on at least one party member and will see the massive Psionic Aura a freaking MILE AWAY.

As for Disjunction there are ways to defend your items from it. A very small Anti Magic field around them for one.

TimeWizard
2007-11-16, 11:05 AM
I can't beleive there's actually a spell called Mind Rape.

Keld Denar
2007-11-16, 11:09 AM
Generally I think that creative uses of Epic Level spells based on the Gate spell are the most fun if not necessarily the outright cruelest. Think about opening a Gate into the infinite ocean surrounding Celestia... on to the Abyss and letting the waters pass through but no creature XD or the 9 hells. Flood em with Holy Water and sit back and laugh.

What happens when you open a gate that poors infinite water onto an infinite surface? /boggle

valadil
2007-11-16, 11:18 AM
For slightly lower level shenanigans, I really like Mass Reduce Person followed by Black Tentacles. That pretty much summed up the boss fight when I ran my all rogue game. It was unkind to say the least.

Sculpted Antimagic Field is one of the rudest spells in the game.

Mewtarthio
2007-11-16, 11:19 AM
Actually, I just had an utterly evil idea. Mind Flayers are innately telepathic. It's not unreasonable that there could be at least a few capable of True Mind Switch. Now, what if a Mind Flayer hit the Tarrasque with it successfully? Physical stats remain the same, mental stats become those of the new host. A Tarrasque with the powers of a Mind Flayer would probably a crisis of apocalyptic proportions.

I wondered about that, too. Fortunately (or unfortunately), TMS is based off of mind switch, which explicitly states that the target can't have more HD than you have manifester levels, so only truly epic characters can TMS with the Tarrasque. Of course, nothing prevents the Illithid from mind seeding the Tarrasque instead...


As for Mind Seed it is really meant as something that NPC's would use on NPC's or MAYBE for the players. If you are going to be using this on PC's who are of a level where they could be facing an 18th level Psion then the saving throw will be a cake walk and if they notice who did it that person in now basically out of power points for the day.

Also I'm not entirely sure that you can't reverse the process once it has been completed through a Wish or Miracle or through simply killing the subject and reviving them before the seed germinates. Last of all any decent high level party will have a pertinent Arcane Sight or True Seeing on at least one party member and will see the massive Psionic Aura a freaking MILE AWAY.

We're talking about cruel and evil tortures. You don't use mind seed in a fight; you use it on someone you've captured as cruel form of permanent death (only instead of destroying the soul, as with a barghest, you're basically altering the soul into a copy of your own). As for wish-level effects, the power reads as follows:


Protection from evil or a similar spell or power can prevent you from implanting mind seed, or prevent a seed from germinating while the protective power lasts. Otherwise, a germinating seed can be removed (prior to germination) only by psychic chirurgery, reality revision, or similarly high-level effects. Manifesting mind seed again during the germination period also cleanses the subjectís mind.

Psychic chiurgery and reality revision are both considered wish-level effects. If they intended for wish-level effects to remove the seed after germination, why wouldn't they just say, "This power can be reversed by a wish-level effect"?


As for Disjunction there are ways to defend your items from it. A very small Anti Magic field around them for one.

Doesn't that defeat the point of magic items?


I can't beleive there's actually a spell called Mind Rape.

Three guesses which book it's from.

Epic_Wizard
2007-11-16, 11:22 AM
Actually the original idea was the 9 Hells which aren't actually infinite on a per layer basis (I don't think the abyss is either) so the water would just continue down until it hits Asmodeus at which point, well, all hell breaks loose. In general though you would use this spell on something smaller like, say, Tiamat's cave :smallbiggrin: .

Me + Epic Level Spell Development = Scare Stuff

(I created a spell with a casting dice under 150 (can't remember the number exactly) that basically causes a large meteor strike in six rounds.)

An Anti Magic field projected from the surface of the weapon would not affect the weapon itself. In other words you apply an Anti Magic Field as a property of the item.

herrhauptmann
2007-11-16, 12:23 PM
Low level party in a 3.0 game, around 4th level.
Sorceress goes and polymorphed our rogue and ranger into pigs.
My meattank fighter and the cleric should've been able to kill her ourselves, but the plot required her to fall from a cliff, get zapped by lightning, then teleport out. Stupid witchblade adventure.

Somehow I doubt a 7th level sorceror can survive 3 crits (1 for max damage) from a power attacking fighter. In addition to 2 rounds of being backstabbed and 3 more of rapid shot.

tyckspoon
2007-11-16, 12:47 PM
As for Disjunction there are ways to defend your items from it. A very small Anti Magic field around them for one.

There's been a.. FAQ answer, I think, that states that an Anti Magic Field that excludes an object does not protect that object. AMF's don't dispel magic; they suppress it within the boundaries of the field. So if you have an item projecting an AMF but not including itself, a Disjunction will skip right through the field and still blast it in its little pocket of normal magic.

Duke Malagigi
2007-11-16, 12:49 PM
I can't beleive there's actually a spell called Mind Rape.

It's from The Book of Vile Darkness.

Epic_Wizard
2007-11-16, 02:11 PM
Hmm...

You would probably be correct about the Antimagic field letting the Disjunction "pass through" it. Technically though if an item projects an Antimagic Field couldn't the item by definition no be affected by it? Otherwise it would cancel itself out.

Also if you have an intelligent magic item you could enchant it so that it will counterspell any Disjunction effects with Dispel Magic.

As for Mind Seed it says that the soul remains not the mind. Generally I would say that there probably IS a way to reverse the process granted it would probably involve planning for the eventuality by saving your consciousness or some other difficult idea.

Generally though taking a character alive like that is harder than it sounds. Just because characters tend to fight to the death and protect their fallen comrades. You might use that to give a party that got wiped out a scare as they run into their old characters though. :smallamused:

Keld Denar
2007-11-16, 02:31 PM
There's been a.. FAQ answer, I think, that states that an Anti Magic Field that excludes an object does not protect that object. AMF's don't dispel magic; they suppress it within the boundaries of the field. So if you have an item projecting an AMF but not including itself, a Disjunction will skip right through the field and still blast it in its little pocket of normal magic.

Line of Effect for a magical ability can't pass through the area of an AMF. So if an item was completely surrounded by an AMF, but not included itself, the disjunction could not reach it since the spread would not have line of effect through the AMF.

For example, if you were a rogue, and you were standing 30' behind your party wizard who had an AMF around him. There is an enemy mage on the otherside of your party wizard trying to target you with a spell (say...a disintegrate, or even a dominate person, or an AoE spell centered near you) he would fail, because an AMF blocks line of effect between you and him. He would have to move to one side, or up, to gain line of effect.

Mewtarthio
2007-11-16, 03:30 PM
Generally though taking a character alive like that is harder than it sounds. Just because characters tend to fight to the death and protect their fallen comrades. You might use that to give a party that got wiped out a scare as they run into their old characters though. :smallamused:

With psionics, it's actually quite a bit easier to take a target alive. A lot of the psionic save-or-dies are actually save-or-be-incapacitated. For instance, microcosm, the psionic equivalent of power word kill, just locks a target's mind in a false world of the target's own creation. There's also decerebrate, a seventh-level power that allows a Fort save to avoid getting your brain stem teleported elsewhere; it can be undone via greater restoration, making it essentially a save-or-die for a single encounter but an easily-reversed (albeit costly) condition outside said encounter (plus, the subject isn't dead, so they can't use tricks like revivify or revenance to get around it). For people with low Will saves, there's always psychic crush, which reduces their HP to -1 and dying (unfortunately, they get a +4 bonus to the save, but it's not unreasonable to rule that the damage taken on a failed save can't reduce the target below -1).

Kami2awa
2007-11-16, 06:33 PM
One of the simplest and cruelest ways to kill any PC with a low Reflex save is Otiluke's Telekinetic Sphere. Observe:

1. Trap PC in sphere.
2. Transport PC to suitably lethal environment (ex. buried under lava, etc.)
3. Give them a moment to see their own impending death.
4. Dismiss spell.
5. Laugh hysterically.
6. Repeat to taste.

Note: In order to enable them to SEE their impending doom you may need to cast Light or Darkvision on them somewhere along the line.

tyckspoon
2007-11-16, 06:48 PM
Line of Effect for a magical ability can't pass through the area of an AMF. So if an item was completely surrounded by an AMF, but not included itself, the disjunction could not reach it since the spread would not have line of effect through the AMF.

For example, if you were a rogue, and you were standing 30' behind your party wizard who had an AMF around him. There is an enemy mage on the otherside of your party wizard trying to target you with a spell (say...a disintegrate, or even a dominate person, or an AoE spell centered near you) he would fail, because an AMF blocks line of effect between you and him. He would have to move to one side, or up, to gain line of effect.

Really? Have you got a rules reference/FAQ entry I can look that up on? All the SRD says on it is


A line of effect is a straight, unblocked path that indicates what a spell can affect. A line of effect is canceled by a solid barrier. Itís like line of sight for ranged weapons, except that itís not blocked by fog, darkness, and other factors that limit normal sight.

and the description for Antimagic Field doesn't say it blocks line of effect. It does say that


An antimagic field suppresses any spell or magical effect used within, brought into, or cast into the area, but does not dispel it. Time spent within an antimagic field counts against the suppressed spellís duration.

I would read that to say that the Disintegrate beam blinks out while it's in the AMF area, but comes back into visibility and full effect when it goes out the other side. This would be the same reason the Sculpted AMF trick doesn't work; excluding yourself from the AMF also excludes you from its protections.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2007-11-16, 06:58 PM
AMF does not block line of effect.

This was clarified in the Rules Compendium page 11.

AtomicKitKat
2007-11-17, 05:25 PM
The Cyst line of spells from Libris Mortis. You give them cancer, metastasise it, and if they die, you then make said tumour fight their former comrades.:smallbiggrin:

I think BoVD had "Steal Youth", which I did some calculations for on the WotC CO board. As long as you keep their Constitution fairly high, you can have some fun with that spell(and keep yourself youthful).

Alex12
2007-11-17, 06:17 PM
The Cyst line of spells from Libris Mortis. You give them cancer, metastasise it, and if they die, you then make said tumour fight their former comrades.:smallbiggrin:
You can have the cancer control their brain with that line of spells, okay? You don't need to kill them, there are crueler things to do with it.

AtomicKitKat
2007-11-17, 09:42 PM
You can have the cancer control their brain with that line of spells, okay? You don't need to kill them, there are crueler things to do with it.

Well yes, you could. However, I'd reserve that for whoever is left alive and subdued. When fighting a large group of well-equipped murderers who want me dead(or destroyed or dismantled, whatever), I prefer to turn their numbers against them first, and sort out whatever is left(besides which the cysts themselves can be rebuked...)

Renegade Paladin
2007-11-18, 12:55 AM
Grim revenge. On the wizard. Twice.

Armads
2007-11-18, 06:54 AM
Invisible Prismatic Walls (via Invisible Spell from Citiscape). Put a wall of stone behind them. When the enemy monster walks up to sunder it, it gets a taste of walking through a prismatic wall =P. Better still, make that wall of stone invisible, to lure them to charge you.

Also works on high level melee classes.

leperkhaun
2007-11-18, 07:02 AM
Disjunction, any save or die spell, or any spell like dominate.

but mostly disjunction. A dead party member can be raised, any group has a way to get rid of dominate or lock down a dominated character....but replacing 600k of items and possibly custom items is difficult at best.

Sstoopidtallkid
2007-11-18, 07:04 AM
Illusions. For weeks, nothing but illusions. They are attacked by a dragon, and it vanishes right as the fire reaches him. He walks into a tavern and is greated with the news that the crown prince just murdered the King. He wakes up in the morning and finds noone remembers anything about that. Or, alternatively, he wakes up in the morning hungover next to a dead (male) elf in a skirt, and his hands are covered in blood.

Make him distrust his own senses, and he will suffer worse hell than any torture spell, and he's not even dead. So he can't be raised.

rickvoid
2007-11-18, 09:19 AM
Well, this has nothing to do with spells, but if we're talking torture...

This one was from the Star Wars RPG. Basically the idea was that the PC's have been captured, and the BBEG is torturing them to find out what they know/have fun. So he hooks a PC up to some medical monitoring equipment, sticks them in a Bacta Tank, and runs a high voltage electrical current through the tank. The medical equipment measures their health, and when they reach critical (see also 0 HP) it shuts off the current and allows the Bacta to heal them back up to full. Lather, rinse, repeat. And don't forget to force the rest of the party to watch. :smallyuk:

This could be duplicated in D&D with a combination of a vat of acid and an item that constantly heals the owner. Not sure how much +HP/per round would be needed to keep the acid from killing the player...:smallconfused:

Felius
2007-11-18, 09:36 AM
Well, this has nothing to do with spells, but if we're talking torture...

This one was from the Star Wars RPG. Basically the idea was that the PC's have been captured, and the BBEG is torturing them to find out what they know/have fun. So he hooks a PC up to some medical monitoring equipment, sticks them in a Bacta Tank, and runs a high voltage electrical current through the tank. The medical equipment measures their health, and when they reach critical (see also 0 HP) it shuts off the current and allows the Bacta to heal them back up to full. Lather, rinse, repeat. And don't forget to force the rest of the party to watch. :smallyuk:

This could be duplicated in D&D with a combination of a vat of acid and an item that constantly heals the owner. Not sure how much +HP/per round would be needed to keep the acid from killing the player...:smallconfused:

If I remember right, the damage for full imersion in acid is 10d6 per round, so it would be dificult to control. You could be interesting to something with fixed damage for it.

rickvoid
2007-11-18, 09:47 AM
Maybe not acid then.

Non-magical fire only does...1d6 pts of damage/round (OoTS, #243. Thanks V!).
That sounds a little more viable for torture purposes...

Of course, something that only deals 1 dmg/round (some kinda really weak poison maybe?) till their at critical HP, then cast Aid on them so any further damage is anulled but their still poisoned... hmm... have to think on this...:smallamused:

AtomicKitKat
2007-11-18, 10:13 AM
Going back to the idea that a Destrachan's sonic attack is identical to the Immigrant Scream(See Led Zeppelin), put them in a chamber where their main source of air is also a tube leading from the Destrachan's mouth.:smallbiggrin:

wowy319
2007-11-18, 10:33 AM
Mindrape. Plain and simple, you've just been given their character sheet, with the added bonus of insanity. You use that on the casters (preferrably the druid :smallamused: ) and you can make their alignment evil, their memories suddenly include said archmage as their best buddy. Even if they kill him, they still have to deal with their screwed-up pal.

Game, set, match.

OOTS_Rules.
2007-11-18, 10:35 AM
Polymorph yourself into your BBEG's doctor. Say that said BBEG needs a prostate exam. During the exam, shove a Delayed Blast Fireball up their arse. Leave, and then activate it. The methane in the arse will cause a huge explosion that will deep-fry the BBEG.

rickvoid
2007-11-18, 10:38 AM
Polymorph yourself into your BBEG's doctor. Say that said BBEG needs a prostate exam. During the exam, shove a Delayed Blast Fireball up their arse. Leave, and then activate it. The methane in the arse will cause a huge explosion that will deep-fry the BBEG.

Heh heh heh *snerk*

That's just awesome.

kjones
2007-11-18, 02:28 PM
Polymorph yourself into your BBEG's doctor. Say that said BBEG needs a prostate exam. During the exam, shove a Delayed Blast Fireball up their arse. Leave, and then activate it. The methane in the arse will cause a huge explosion that will deep-fry the BBEG.

That's... that's just... wrong...

Dear gawds in heaven WHY?

Epic_Wizard
2007-11-20, 10:05 AM
I think we at least have a winner for funniest cruel spell usage.

As for Disjunction I would like to point out one thing. DM's have to be careful doing that because it can significantly lower the party's treasure which can cause massive issues.

That said there are ways to counter a Disjunction effect. Mostly by seeing it coming and having your Wizard ready to cast Antimagic Field/Counterspell as soon as the other Wizard tries to Disjoin your stuff.

Idea Man
2007-11-20, 12:59 PM
The various Nybor spells (FR) are built in tourture, ranging from "Get back to work, slave!" to "Oh dear Gods, why?!?", or pain penalties in combat to death.

You could baleful poymorph someone into a rabbit...in a dog-fighting kennel.

Craft a Tasha's hideous laughter trap, complete with automatic reset, in a sealed room.

Just a note: if a fireball enema doesn't kill your enemy, butt burn is the last of his worries.

bosssmiley
2007-11-20, 01:14 PM
Anyone suggested Mage's Crushing Hand + baleful polymorphing the enemy into puppies yet? :smallconfused: :smallbiggrin:

Corestimah
2007-12-22, 01:59 AM
Hey, greater curse can shut off class features? How did I miss that?!

It's in a Dragon Magazine article, specifically the Bestowed Curses article on page 34 of Dragon 348 (October 2006). The reason this article works is that glorious bit at the end of Bestow Curse and Greater Bestow Curse that says you can invent your own curse of a similar power level as the 3 examples.

That article gives several dozen alternative curses between both spells, with the bulk belonging to Bestow Curse. There are many very narrow curses, like having every suit of armor you wear fall into severe disrepair, losing your most treasured/valuable possession, or having your effective strength score reduced by 10 for determining encumbrance and maximum loads (generally leaving you unable to stand under the weight of your own clothes).

In my first post I listed some of the better and more broadly interesting variants that I liked best. I think my pariah combo of curses remains particularly vile, leaving you an outcast in every land and hated by all. It would be especially bad if your target happened to be immortal or otherwise unable to die from old age, like an Elan or any character with the Endless trait found in that one article of Dragon (I forget the issue).

There have been some downright fiendish ideas in this thread. I hope that there'll be more!

Talic
2007-12-22, 02:11 AM
Flesh to Glass

and

Shatter.

Dispel Magic afterwards, break out tostitos, and enjoy.

Tempest Fennac
2007-12-22, 03:32 AM
I can't find it's description anywhere, but I'm pretty certain that there's a spell called Inflict Allergy which can cause the victim to become allergic to anything you want them to be. If you wanted to torture a fur-covered creature, you could use this spell to make them allergic to their own fur. If the victim isn't furry, you could make them allergic to a particular creature that you have access to before tying them to the creature until they give you the information you want (this would be really unpleasent, but it wouldn't really cause any lastng damage to the victim).