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    Default Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace

    Enchantment (Charm) [Mind-Affecting]
    Level: Sor/Wiz 9
    Components: V, S, M, XP
    Casting Time: 1 hour
    Range: 10’ (ruler), and one mile/level (populace) (see text)
    Target and Targets: One ruler, and all creatures within range loyal to that ruler (see text)
    Duration: Instantaneous (ruler) and permanent (populace) (see text)
    Saving Throw: Reflex negates (ruler) and Will negates (populace) (see text)
    Spell Resistance: Yes

    This spell inflicts 20d6 dice of electricity damage on . If the target’s Fortitude saving throw succeeds, it has no effect on either the ruler or the populace. The only way to restore life to a ruler who has failed to save against this spell is to use true resurrection, a carefully worded wish spell followed by resurrection, or miracle.
    If the ruler is slain by this spell, anyone loyal the smited ruler, if within one mile per caster level, must make a Will save or be similarly loyal to the caster, or to a willing creature who is adjacent to the caster. They will treat the pretender as having the status and/or having performed the actions that inspired the loyalty, even though they probably know better. The pretender’s subsequent actions will be judged by those standards, of course, and such actions will have their effect on the subject’s loyalty.
    Material Component: A lightning-shaped gold statue, which is thrown in the general direction of the ruler (cost 13,000 gp).
    XP Cost: 500 XP, multiplied by the (level + Charisma Modifier) of the ruler, with a minimum of 5,000 XP.

    Change Log

    11/2/2011 Added death descriptory and some formatting (Thank you, DracoDei.)
    11/3/2011 Replaced death effect with electrical damage (Thank you bloodtide.)
    11/3/2011 Changed Range and Area (Thank you bloodtide.)
    11/3/2011 Changed Saving Throw and XP Cost
    11/712011 Increased Casting Time and XP Cost (Thank you, jiriku.)
    Last edited by ideasmith; 2011-11-08 at 12:32 AM.
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Needs better formatting and the [Death] descriptor.
    And to be an Epic Spell, but that is a separate matter.
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    What DracoDei said, plus the name is a bit too wordy. I'd recommend the name be Succession by Blood.
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Yeah, probably too powerful even for 9th level, but kind of awesome.
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Needs better formatting
    Hopefully fixed.
    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    and the [Death] descriptor.
    Fixed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    plus the name is a bit too wory.
    “Smite Ruler, Transfer Loyalty of the Populace” is a classic spell name, dating from the early days of D&D, and it’s about time it had a spell description to go with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    I'd recommend the name be Succession by Blood.
    When discussing inheritance and such, ‘blood’ refers to ancestry.
    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    And to be an Epic Spell, but that is a separate matter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyromancer999 View Post
    What DracoDei said,
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Yeah, probably too powerful even for 9th level, but kind of awesome.
    I was hoping that a popular ruler’s precautions against hostile spells, the need to maintain loyalty, and such would bring it down to 9th level.
    I would rather not deal with epic spells. Any suggestions for getting it down to 9th while maintaining concept?
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    I don't really think you can get it down to 9th level with this concept. Even leaving power considerations aside, the concept is one that just screams "epic spell". That sort of widespread effect isn't supposed to happen outside of epic spells.
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    The idea for this spell is fine, but not the way it's written. The save or die death effect is a spell unto itself. And the charm population is a spell by itself.

    So you might want to drop the whole Death effect. And instead just make this a pure Enchantment spell that is cast 'within 10 rounds of a rulers death by any means'.

    The unlimited range on the transfer of loyally is too much. Maybe something like 1 mile per level would be fine, but a spell like this should not effect the whole world.

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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Quote Originally Posted by bloodtide View Post
    So you might want to drop the whole Death effect. And instead just make this a pure Enchantment spell that is cast 'within 10 rounds of a rulers death by any means'.
    Even so, Mass Charm Monster (the closest spell I can find) requires the targets to be within 30ft of each other and lasts for 1 day/level. And it's 8th level. This is PERMANENT.

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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    I don't really think you can get it down to 9th level with this concept. Even leaving power considerations aside, the concept is one that just screams "epic spell". That sort of widespread effect isn't supposed to happen outside of epic spells.
    Both Miracle and Wish can have such effects, by way of their respective ‘greater effects’ clauses. Neither is an epic spell.
    Quote Originally Posted by bloodtide View Post
    The idea for this spell is fine, but not the way it's written. The save or die death effect is a spell unto itself. And the charm population is a spell by itself.
    Spells with multiple effects aren’t unknown in D&D, and the name of this spell calls for two effects.
    Quote Originally Posted by bloodtide View Post
    So you might want to drop the whole Death effect.
    While the spell name calls for the spell effects to smite the ruler, it now occurs to me that hit point damage fits the word ‘smite’ just fine. The death effect is now replaced.
    Quote Originally Posted by bloodtide View Post
    And instead just make this a pure Enchantment spell that is cast 'within 10 rounds of a rulers death by any means'.
    Leaving aside whether this change would make the spell more powerful, I have no intention of changing the spell’s name.
    Quote Originally Posted by bloodtide View Post
    The unlimited range on the transfer of loyally is too much. Maybe something like 1 mile per level would be fine, but a spell like this should not effect the whole world.
    An excellent suggestion! Thank you. And while I am doing that, I can reduce the range to the ruler to something like 10’. Range reduced.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Even so, Mass Charm Monster (the closest spell I can find) requires the targets to be within 30ft of each other and lasts for 1 day/level. And it's 8th level. This is PERMANENT.
    That makes it even clearer that ‘Smite Ruler, and Transfer Loyalty of the Populace’ is currently too powerful for 9th level. Although Mass Charm Monster has its own advantages.
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Quote Originally Posted by ideasmith View Post
    Both Miracle and Wish can have such effects, by way of their respective ‘greater effects’ clauses. Neither is an epic spell.
    You try to pull that off with the "greater effects" clause of Wish, and the best you can hope for is to word it so well that a partial fulfillment won't mess you over, but will rather create a lesser effect. It's the DM's ruling whether the "greater effects" clause of Miracle can pull it off; I'd say no, since the examples given are still restricted to the area of a city or so, not the whole nation.
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    You try to pull that off with the "greater effects" clause of Wish, and the best you can hope for is to word it so well that a partial fulfillment won't mess you over, but will rather create a lesser effect.
    While such a wish "gives the DM the opportunity" to mess up the effects, whether the DM takes that opportunity is, of course, up to the GM. So the 'best' the caster can hope for is for the DM to allow the wish as intended. The word 'best' was in single-quotes above because casting 'smite ruler, and transer loyalty of the populace' can easily leave the caster worse off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yitzi View Post
    It's the DM's ruling whether the "greater effects" clause of Miracle can pull it off; I'd say no, since the examples given are still restricted to the area of a city or so, not the whole nation.
    As you say, its the DM's ruling. The rules leave the maximum power of a Miracle almost entirely up to the DM. (Since I took bloodtide's suggestion to reduce the range, the area effected is now smaller than some real-world cities.)
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Suggestions:

    • Needs a large minimum XP cost, to avoid exploits in which the PCs arrange to smite a low-level ruler for minimal cost.
    • An interesting flavor mechanic would be to assign saving throw penalties according to the number of turncoat followers the mage can assemble to chant as part of the spell (compare to banishment or binding). Granting the ruler a saving throw bonus equal to his level or hit dice might be appropriate, since the number of such assistants could potentially be quite large.
    • I'd suggest a casting time of 1 hour, to better reinforce the idea that the ritual represents a mighty gathering of power.
    • I'd also suggest that rather than being damaged by the casting of the spell, the ruler should be ritually slain as part of its casting, perhaps by being stabbed with the gold lightning bolt. Even with a 10-minute casting time, the only practical way to cast this spell is to have the ruler restrained and helpless, so the elemental damage is largely gratuitous.
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Needs a large minimum XP cost, to avoid exploits in which the PCs arrange to smite a low-level ruler for minimal cost.
    Good idea. Done.
    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    An interesting flavor mechanic would be to assign saving throw penalties according to the number of turncoat followers the mage can assemble to chant as part of the spell (compare to banishment or binding). Granting the ruler a saving throw bonus equal to his level or hit dice might be appropriate, since the number of such assistants could potentially be quite large.
    I’ll think about this one.
    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    I'd suggest a casting time of 1 hour, to better reinforce the idea that the ritual represents a mighty gathering of power.
    Good idea. Casting time increased.
    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    I'd also suggest that rather than being damaged by the casting of the spell, the ruler should be ritually slain as part of its casting, perhaps by being stabbed with the gold lightning bolt. Even with a 10-minute casting time, the only practical way to cast this spell is to have the ruler restrained and helpless, so the elemental damage is largely gratuitous.
    The spell name still calls for the spell effects to smite the ruler, and I am still not changing the name.
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Quote Originally Posted by ideasmith View Post
    The spell name still calls for the spell effects to smite the ruler, and I am still not changing the name.
    So require a helpless ruler, and have him instantly slain by the spell as if Coup de Graced by arcane power. That way you get across the smiting aspect and meld it into a cool ritualistic package, which in my mind is a much stronger flavor concept than "Bam. He's dead, I'm king now."

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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Mmmmm... and since you're stealing the power of the ruler, maybe you could temporarily gain other intangibles from the ruler than just the loyalty he commanded. For example, you might steal his recent memories of events for the past few days, his understanding of his nations protocols, laws, and traditions, his knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of his allies and enemies, or his assessment of who within his bureacracies and militias is capable, trustworthy, or skilled.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-11-08 at 03:11 AM.
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Quote Originally Posted by ideasmith View Post
    While such a wish "gives the DM the opportunity" to mess up the effects, whether the DM takes that opportunity is, of course, up to the GM. So the 'best' the caster can hope for is for the DM to allow the wish as intended. The word 'best' was in single-quotes above because casting 'smite ruler, and transer loyalty of the populace' can easily leave the caster worse off.
    When your balancing (or level-appropriateness) argument is "an existing spell can do it if the DM chooses to allow it", then that's not really a very impressive argument.

    As you say, its the DM's ruling. The rules leave the maximum power of a Miracle almost entirely up to the DM. (Since I took bloodtide's suggestion to reduce the range, the area effected is now smaller than some real-world cities.)
    The range reduction does the job in making it make sense as a non-epic spell. The only question left is balance, and the other changes (most notably the casting time) manage that.

    I would still give it the [Evil] descriptor, though.
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    You don't want this spell to do electricity damage. First off, an enchantment spell can't do that. But more importantly it weakens the spell as plenty of rules might have electrical resistance or immunity. But most importantly, it lacks Flavor.

    How about 'Smiting' the ruler by just attack their mind. You just snuff out there mind. There are Enchantment spells that kill in this way(Wrathful Castigation and Final Rebuke in the Spell Compendium). But I'm not a fan of instant death spells, so why not make it 'mental damage'. The idea already exists in the Core Rules, Phantasmal Killer does 3d6 damage. So just make this spell do 20d6 mental/psychic damage.

    Even better for a nice twist of flavor, say the spell does not 'kill' the ruler, per say, but just leaves them mindless/in a coma/or such. Then the caster would need to keep the older ruler around, locked away, as the 'transfer of loyalty' is only in effect as long as the old ruler is alive. It makes for a nice story/plot.

    This spell is not [Evil] IMO. To knock out a ruler and take over his kingdom is not a 'bad' thing in of itself. Not like true Evil things like destruction a soul or animating a dead loved one or such. And after all, I'm sure plenty of evil folks would want to cast this spell on other evil folks, and plenty of good folks would want to use this spell too(say to for example kill Hitler/Arakkis/Saramon/Emperor Palpitine/ect and take over their realms)

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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    Quote Originally Posted by bloodtide View Post
    This spell is not [Evil] IMO. To knock out a ruler and take over his kingdom is not a 'bad' thing in of itself. Not like true Evil things like destruction a soul or animating a dead loved one or such. And after all, I'm sure plenty of evil folks would want to cast this spell on other evil folks, and plenty of good folks would want to use this spell too(say to for example kill Hitler/Arakkis/Saramon/Emperor Palpitine/ect and take over their realms)
    I suppose that makes sense, although if a lawful good character uses it I'd say that's grounds for an immediate alignment change (since by its nature, it is forcibly changing the minds of innocent people, which CG people might be ok with in a good cause but LG people definitely wouldn't.)
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    Default Re: Smite Ruler and Transfer Loyalty of Populace [3.5, Spell]

    I think PHB2 has some dual-school spells.

    Make this Enchantment/Evocation or Necromancy [Death][Charm][Mind Effecting]. Evocation/Necromancy/Whatever deals with the smiting bit, and Enchantment is the wide charm effect.
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