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    Default Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    I've noticed this little spell from CoV and saw potential. These are my initial musings on how it could be exploited to great effect.

    The 3rd level sanctified spell "Create Lantern Archon" allows its good-aligned caster to make a wholly new Lantern Archon in exchange for 1d2 Con-drain. This Lawful Good Archon is friendly towards the caster, but other than performing one planar-ally type task, is not meant to be of any particular use. They're meant to leave for their new Patron's plane afterwards. However, considering how low level Lantern Archons are, it is far from difficult to make one of them wholly loyal to oneself (especially if your 1st hour request is for it to lower all its defenses against you).

    So, as long is one is able to cast 3rd levels spells and has the means to recover from Con drain (e.g. Naberius); this spell can provide an endless supply of Lantern Archon minions, which you can then proceed to make loyal to your cause. Seriously, they last forever and you can always make more.

    Now, these things aren't particularly impressive. They only have a meager 4 HP, 1 Str, 6 Int, and their other stats are average for the most part. On the up-side, they come with a Magic Circle against Evil aura, have DR 10/magic&evil, have continuous Tongues active, their 1d6 ranged touch ray is untyped damage, and they fly rather well at 60 ft perfect. Really, their main upside is that they have greater teleport (self+50 lb of objects).

    So, what to do with an arbitrarily large army of these floating light balls that never eat or sleep?

    Idea 1

    Well, for one they'd make excellent messengers. Greater-Teleport at will and the ability to communicate with anything that has a language means they can just about be sent anywhere, deliver a letter or verbal message, and be back immediately with a response. This could form the basis of a highly efficient communications network. The only downside is that courier services and translators everywhere will go out of business.

    Idea 2

    But why stop at delivering messages? True, they only have 1 Str, but the Archon-subtype greater teleport specifies 50 lb. As long as one can qualify as attending an object or objects, it should be able to teleport with it even if it can't lift it. With enough of them at hand, you now have an easy means to quickly move about large amounts of goods. The only downside is that deliverymen of all types -be it by land, sea or air- will go out of business.

    Idea 3

    Next up, rather unimaginatively, there is the military potential. With greater teleport, they can ambush enemy forces en masse and leave just as quickly. As fast perfect-maneuverability fliers, they will have a great advantage against the average land-based army in straight up combat; and while DR/10 Good&Magic might be easy for an adventurer to overcome, the average soldier should have serious trouble with it. More powerful enemies will be able to kill the Lantern Archons in large numbers, especially by using AoE attacks like Fireballs and Breath weapons, but all those 1d6 damage ranged touch attacks will likely add up more quickly than the Lantern Archons' numbers dwindle. Just imagine 100 lantern archons appearing out of nowhere in a thick cloud around the evil enemy dragon, winning initiative and all firing their rays at once. The world shall be reborn in purifying light.

    Idea 4

    There is bound to be some utility to be had with all those at will 1d6 damage (Ex) rays that overcome any sort of damage reduction. Provided they are able to overcome hardness, they may have great application in industry. Logging, mining and any other sort of physical labor that is accomplished purely by breaking/slicing things could be accomplished in record time.

    Idea 5

    Use them as the equivalent of the balloons from the movie "Up". Be creative.

    Idea 6 (inspired by Fizban)

    Lantern Archon's are born "graced with both knowledge and power" (MotP p. 134), which mainly manifests in their knowledge the planes ranks. The DM will have to make a call on where that knowledge comes from. Should it be decided that the caster imparts that knowledge, one can make an argument that the caster should have some amount of creative license in what exact stats the Lantern Archon gets. One may be able to distribute ability scores, assign it feats that one already has (Draconomicon sets a precedent for a parent passing on feats to a child), and distribute skill ranks according to own skills. This has a lot of potential uses.

    That's all I have so far. Any thoughts, suggestions?
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowgen View Post
    But why stop at delivering messages? True, they only have 1 Str, but the Archon-subtype greater teleport specifies 50 lb. As long as one can qualify as attending an object or objects, it should be able to teleport with it even if it can't lift it.
    Incidentally 50lb is the maximum a single Lantern Archon can push or drag.

    A character can generally push or drag along the ground as much as five times his or her maximum load. Favorable conditions can double these numbers, and bad circumstances can reduce them to one-half or less.
    (And the max load of an 1 strength creature is 10 lb., see table)
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    What's CoV?

    Anyway, they can use continual flame at will. Your cities never need fear the dark again.

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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    You can hoard the world's freshwater. Make towns pay you ransom or you send you lantern Archons to teleport all of their water away.

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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by avr View Post
    What's CoV?
    Champions of Valor.


    I'd try to find a way to reduce the casting time, though. Maybe create some repeating traps? And demiplane abuse, of course.


    Lantern Archons can cast Aid at-will, so they can just give themselves 11 temporary HP if given enough time. This is a pretty large boost in their survivability.

    And don't forget they get Continual Flame at-will. A single casting of that spell on a piece of wood gives you an everburning torch, which you can then sell for 55 GP a piece. If given the raw materials, a single archon can make 792000 GP a day. Now remember that an archon can teleport fifty torches at a time, so you can easily distribute them amongst interested buyers.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    The first thing you need to do if you want to spam Create Lantern Archon is to reduce its casting time. Especially if you want to have more than a single archon active at any time without paying it to wait more than one hour before vanishing away. Uncanny Forethought works, albeit only a number of times a day equal to your Int modifier. Other methods have been mentioned above.

    Now, your 1st idea works. However, while an archon can use its greater teleport SLA to teleport 50 lb. of objects, I don't think two archons would be able to teleport an object weighting 100 lb. unless you split it in half, so your 2nd idea would be limited only to light goods. Using lantern archons as troops definitely qualifies as "hazardous task" so you'd incur into a 100 gp, 500 gp or 1,000 gp fee per archon depending on whether you need the archons help for minutes, hours or days, making your 3rd idea less efficient than it sounds. Your 4th and 5th idea are more easily accomplished by hiring several 1st level Warlocks and using holy water flasks, respectively.

    Finally, since I feel someone is bound to mention it, having the lantern archons cast Continual Flame works despite this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Spell description - Conjuration
    Summoning
    A summoning spell instantly brings a creature or object to a place you designate. When the spell ends or is dispelled, a summoned creature is instantly sent back to where it came from, but a summoned object is not sent back unless the spell description specifically indicates this. A summoned creature also goes away if it is killed or if its hit points drop to 0 or lower. It is not really dead. It takes 24 hours for the creature to reform, during which time it can’t be summoned again.

    When the spell that summoned a creature ends and the creature disappears, all the spells it has cast expire. A summoned creature cannot use any innate summoning abilities it may have, and it refuses to cast any spells that would cost it XP, or to use any spell-like abilities that would cost XP if they were spells.
    This is because Create Lantern Archon, despite being a Conjuration spell, it's a (Creation) spell rather than a (Summoning) one so the above doesn't apply.
    Last edited by Uncle Pine; 2015-12-29 at 05:17 AM.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by daremetoidareyo
    You can hoard the world's freshwater. Make towns pay you ransom or you send you lantern Archons to teleport all of their water away.
    Now that is capital E-Evil. I suppose it's workable, provided your hold over the LG Archons is strong enough to make the commit evil acts and you can find a way to command them to do this without it affecting your alignment and thus your ability to keep casting the Creater Lantern Archon spell.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    I'd try to find a way to reduce the casting time, though. Maybe create some repeating traps? And demiplane abuse, of course.
    I personally don't think the casting time is much of an issue, as its unlikely you'll have enough spell-slots for it to be worth it. If you were a standard level 20 Cleric, you'd have 31 spell slots to spontaneously cast 3th level sanctified spells with. Without sleep/rest, you could squeeze 23 castings in a day, so you're "only" missing out on 8 per day, and since you need to take the ability drain to cast the spell, you'll also need to spend resources to counter the ability drain, meaning at least a binder level for Naberius and probably some castings of Restoration. So, all taken together, even in an optimal scenario, you'd only get a few extra castings per day out of shortening the casting time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Lantern Archons can cast Aid at-will, so they can just give themselves 11 temporary HP if given enough time. This is a pretty large boost in their survivability.
    Well, it's only a 3 minute duration, but I can see it being useful. Like, right before teleporting in for an attack, or if you were somehow to get drawn into a lengthy battle, half the Lanterns could focus on trying to keeping the pool full each turn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    And don't forget they get Continual Flame at-will. A single casting of that spell on a piece of wood gives you an everburning torch, which you can then sell for 55 GP a piece. If given the raw materials, a single archon can make 792000 GP a day. Now remember that an archon can teleport fifty torches at a time, so you can easily distribute them amongst interested buyers.
    We have idea 6: Completely corner the magical light market, providing affordable lighting with express delivery. Make the torches somewhat fragile so that they'll break after some time, and you've got steady demand.

    EDIT:

    Oh yeah, I'd forgotten to consider the time needed to make the Latern loyal in the casting-time numbers. However, provided you do take the time to ensure lasting loyalty after casting, the longer-service charges shouldn't apply. The easy starting point is to make you initial 1-hour non-hazard task something that'll let whatever indoctrination-method you choose go without a hitch (e.g. forgo your saves against my spells). Then, once the hour is over, the Lantern should be happy to stick around without payment and do all the things.

    As for casting time reduction, I do still feel like keeping it at 1 hour isn't too much of a hassle. Even just, say, 10 Archon's per day is plenty to build a strong army in a relatively short space of time. Although really, if it can be worked into the build, it would be an improvement.
    Last edited by Jowgen; 2015-12-29 at 05:34 AM.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    If you make a self-resetting trap, how is the sacrifice component dealt with? It seems to me that that'd require taking 100d2 points of Con drain when you create the trap, which would be difficult to deal with.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    If you make a self-resetting trap, how is the sacrifice component dealt with? It seems to me that that'd require taking 100d2 points of Con drain when you create the trap, which would be difficult to deal with.
    "If a sanctified spell is made into a potion, scroll, wand, or some other magic item, the user of the item makes the sacrifice, not the creator."

    I'm no expert on self-resetting trap shenanigans, but that seems like a bit of a hindrance.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowgen View Post
    "If a sanctified spell is made into a potion, scroll, wand, or some other magic item, the user of the item makes the sacrifice, not the creator."

    I'm no expert on self-resetting trap shenanigans, but that seems like a bit of a hindrance.
    Who is using the trap? I'd make an argument that it is the person triggering it, which is amusing for Sanctified traps in general. However, it might be the creator of the trap, in which case this trap is a liability in addition to an asset: your opponents could just trigger it until you die from Con drain. You'd be better off with a custom magic item to cast the spell, so you can control how often it goes off.

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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    A self-resetting trap is by no means self-activating. Thus, whoever activates the trap will be the one to suffer the Con drain every time he does so.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Note that while there's been a FAQ on what happens if you cast a corrupt spell while immune to ability damage/drain, no such information exists for sanctified spells. In other words, RAW nothing prevents us from becoming undead and spamming the spell.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Stirge View Post
    Note that while there's been a FAQ on what happens if you cast a corrupt spell while immune to ability damage/drain, no such information exists for sanctified spells. In other words, RAW nothing prevents us from becoming undead and spamming the spell.
    I thought both of them required you to actually be able to pay the sacrifice cost or be unable to cast the spell. Although I'll have to check to be sure.

    EDIT: Gotcha:
    Components
    A spell’s components are what you must do or possess to cast it.
    My BoED and BoVD aren't in English so I can't quote the paragraphs, but both corrupt spell and sanctified spell components are listed as additional components to those presented in the PHB. Since the PHB states that you have to provide all the components to cast a spell, if you're unable to pay the sacrifice cost of a sanctified spell you can't cast it.
    Last edited by Uncle Pine; 2015-12-29 at 01:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Also note that create lantern archon is a Conjuration (Creation) spell, not Conjuration (Summoning). Summon monster IV can summon a lantern archon. There's a distinct difference.

    In short, create lantern archon (CLA) should be able to create all the continual flame items your GM allows without GP costs and use its greater teleport effects. Just shove your (reduce personed?) self into a Haversack and let it warp you around the plane!
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    All it says is that the sacrifice occurs when the spell's duration expires. CLA is instantaneous so you'd pay right away. I agree with Stirge though, there doesn't seem to be anything that specifically stops undead (or deathless, more likely) from spamming Sanctified Magic.

    EDIT: Good catch, sacrifice is indeed considered a component. I rescind my previous statement.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2015-12-29 at 01:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    There isn't any reason you can't use the waist bind of Strongheart Vest to reduce the damage, if you prefer to be alive. It requires a much higher level, though.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff the Green View Post
    There isn't any reason you can't use the waist bind of Strongheart Vest to reduce the damage, if you prefer to be alive. It requires a much higher level, though.
    If you go with the trap/magic item route, one person can craft the item, while a specialist binder/incarnate/healer type activates the item. Artificer 3 and binder 1 can do it, I think.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Keep in mind that Neutral characters can cast Sanctified (and Corrupt) spells.

    I was going to start a new thread for this idea, but then I saw this one. I guess I'll put it here.

    The body/physical form of an outsider is its soul, right? You could tell the Archon to place itself in your hand, Dimensional Anchor it, and trap it in your hand (it has a STR of 1). You can then use it as a Soul component for spells like Call Dretch/Lemure Horde (the summoned creatures obey you for a year and join you in combat) and Call Nightmare (which lasts for a week and will also follow you into combat). A Chameleon seems to be the best candidate to pull this off, as it gets some Soul spells early.

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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by ATHATH View Post
    The body/physical form of an outsider is its soul, right? You could tell the Archon to place itself in your hand, Dimensional Anchor it, and trap it in your hand (it has a STR of 1). You can then use it as a Soul component for spells like Call Dretch/Lemure Horde (the summoned creatures obey you for a year and join you in combat) and Call Nightmare (which lasts for a week and will also follow you into combat). A Chameleon seems to be the best candidate to pull this off, as it gets some Soul spells early.
    It's not a "naked" soul though, more like a cross between what souls are made of and what mortal bodies are made of. It's like if the material component of a spell was "a seed, which you crush between your thumb and finger" and someone handed you a coconut.
    Last edited by Prime32; 2015-12-29 at 11:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Yanisa View Post
    (And the max load of an 1 strength creature is 10 lb., see table)
    7.5 actually, they're Small.

    I'm quite enamored of how much a Lantern Archon can do to completely overturn a low-level battle. Huge endurance multiplier for any mooks fighting where they can't be surrounded or overrun. There's just one problem: int 6 is not enough for the Lantern to show up and tactical genius the scrappy underdogs through the war. At best it would buff everyone, get in range for it's aura, and shoot light rays until the fight's over. Rather than hanging back and pulling individual units for re-Aid-buffing. It's got no capacity for micro.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    It's not a "naked" soul though, more like a cross between what souls are made of and what mortal bodies are made of. It's like if the material component of a spell was "a seed, which you crush between your thumb and finger" and someone handed you a coconut.
    Actually "most petitioners of Celestia are lantern archons" (MotP p. 134), and the fact that they don'g get planar commitment makes them very similar to the Larvae Hades petitioners, which are the common soul currency in the lower planes. How this all fits together is something I'm currently trying to get some info on over at Afroakuma's thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by ATHATH
    Keep in mind that Neutral characters can cast Sanctified (and Corrupt) spells.
    This does bring up the issue of how casting certain alignment descriptor spells affects one's actual alignment. Casting an [Evil] spell is an evil act by RAW, so one would have to atone rather frequently if one wanted to stay able to cast both spells. Furthermore, while I did support the feasibility of using Lantern Archon's as soul components, destroying a soul is an inherently evil act of the worst caliber. Staying neutral while doing all this would require a rather understanding DM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban
    7.5 actually, they're Small.
    Maybe they count as quadrupeds

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban
    There's just one problem: int 6 is not enough for the Lantern to show up and tactical genius the scrappy underdogs through the war.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Maybe they count as quadrupeds
    You laugh, but the rules never actually cover this. We know what your carrying capacity is if you're a quadruped, and we know what it is if you're a biped, but the rules never actually say what the carrying capacity is for an aped or a hexaped or any other number of legs.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    7.5 actually, they're Small.
    Possibly 2 pounds, since they're both small and flying... that would be a light load for them.

    Although, that might be moot, since their bodies are 'gaseous globes'. They probably can't pick anything up at all.
    Last edited by Bronk; 2015-12-30 at 12:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    An argument could be made that because the Lantern Archon was formed from your soul (by you), it's your property, and you can do with it as you please. If your character comes from an area where slavery is commonplace and legal, he might only take the alignment hit for casting an evil spell.

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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bronk View Post
    Possibly 2 pounds, since they're both small and flying... that would be a light load for them.

    Although, that might be moot, since their bodies are 'gaseous globes'. They probably can't pick anything up at all.
    By RAW, there is no argument about it being able to move stuff. "Any creature that can physically manipulate other objects has at least 1 point of Strength". Then again, they do admittedly lack opposable thumbs, so their ability to exert force might just be limited to pushing their globe-bodies against things, or alternatively, taking light objects into their gaseous selves...

    Ideally, we'd need some piece of RAW that spells out what qualifies as something attending an object. Like, would sitting on a chair count as attending it?
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Even if it's yours, destroying a soul is still considered the absolute worst of evil acts. If it's possible to change alignment from a single sufficiently-evil act, which the rules seem to support, then that implies that a single commission of the absolute worst evil act will change your alignment. So while a good or neutral character might be able to create one lantern archon to use as a soul component, they'll never be able to repeat it.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Even if it's yours, destroying a soul is still considered the absolute worst of evil acts. If it's possible to change alignment from a single sufficiently-evil act, which the rules seem to support, then that implies that a single commission of the absolute worst evil act will change your alignment. So while a good or neutral character might be able to create one lantern archon to use as a soul component, they'll never be able to repeat it.
    Totally impractical loop-hole: Perform the Ritual of Alignment to switch its Good subtype to the Evil subytpe, making it a Fiend by definition, and destroying a Fiend is always a good act.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Destroying a fiend's physical form is (supposedly) a good act (though that makes the Blood War somewhat problematic). But destroying a soul is specifically called out as unspeakably evil even if the soul is evil.
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    Destroying a fiend's physical form is (supposedly) a good act (though that makes the Blood War somewhat problematic). But destroying a soul is specifically called out as unspeakably evil even if the soul is evil.
    If one were dealing with any other evil soul I would agree, but Fiends are a special case in my opinion. They get some pretty strong language thrown their way.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoVD p. 8
    Fiends are the ultimate expression of evil given animate form—literally evil incarnate. Destroying a fiend is always a good act. Allowing a fiend to exist, let alone summoning one or helping one, is clearly evil.
    Fiends, as non-native outsiders, lack a dual nature, meaning they are their souls. Destroying a Fiend's soul by any means is no different than killing that Fiend on its home plane. The above even specifies "destroying", which goes beyond regular killing. As for the blood war, I don't see much of an issue, for even if it means that the blood war is full of good acts, the fiends fighting it won't change alignment lest they actively seek to do so.

    Either case, unless someone knows a far easier method of adding alignment sub-types to things, this entire idea is completely impractical anyways
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    Default Re: Abusing "Create Lantern Archon" spell (for world domination?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jowgen View Post
    By RAW, there is no argument about it being able to move stuff. "Any creature that can physically manipulate other objects has at least 1 point of Strength". Then again, they do admittedly lack opposable thumbs, so their ability to exert force might just be limited to pushing their globe-bodies against things, or alternatively, taking light objects into their gaseous selves...

    Ideally, we'd need some piece of RAW that spells out what qualifies as something attending an object. Like, would sitting on a chair count as attending it?
    But not necessarily visa versa. Aside from not having hands or other limbs, it's body might be more similar to someone under a 'gaseous form' spell. They would probably have to land on something to attend it.

    I have to admit, I didn't fully realize these guys were 'small'... the vision of them I have in my head is about baseball sized, not beach ball sized!

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