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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    I seem to recall reading a D&D story (or perhaps it was one of those insanely broken tactics that exploits the rules) that involved using a spell that allowed you to return to the point when you cast the spell, as if everything that happened thereafter had never occurred. In other words, casting the spell lets you "save the game", allowing you to "reload" at a later point. It may have been a magic item and not a spell, though.

    Does something like this exist in 5e? It's probably better that it doesn't, as I can only imagine how badly it could wreck things. Imagine a boss using this to basically undo everything the players have done to resist them.

    I feel like the best way to implement something like this would be to force a reset after a certain amount of time. As in, you're not saving "just in case", since with that mindset the intention is to not reset unless something goes wrong. A forced reset means it would act like more of a divination spell, allowing you to see what might happen in the future. You could still use it for things like scouting an area or attempting to discover hidden information (which is handy when you know things will reset and no one but you will remember what happened). Even so, I feel like this could get quickly tedious, for example the players might use this spell before every boss fight just to see if the boss is difficult or not, or what their attacks are, and essentially end up having to fight the boss twice (the reset fight and the real fight). Making it an 8th or 9th level spell might discourage needless spam.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    wish? provided you worded it correctly.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    Psionics in 3.5 allowed you to make a save crystal, thing.

    I don't think anything in 5e could do such a thing as reversing time is something not even gods tend to do.

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...ave-Game-Trick


    Edit: Small side note, as a DM I would totally insert save points like in Final Fantasy. Maybe moogles that write down your progress?

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    I seem to recall reading a D&D story (or perhaps it was one of those insanely broken tactics that exploits the rules) that involved using a spell that allowed you to return to the point when you cast the spell, as if everything that happened thereafter had never occurred. In other words, casting the spell lets you "save the game", allowing you to "reload" at a later point. It may have been a magic item and not a spell, though.
    That's the Save Crystal trick from back in 3.5e, which was basically a psionic trick (they get most of the time-manipulating effects). First you give a psicrystal (a psionic familiar equivalent) some way to check the condition of your party (the usual way is to imbue it with Status as a spell-like ability) or to contact you (e.g. Sending Stone). You also slap a contingent Anticipatory Strike on the Psicrystal so it can take an extra pseudo-turn out of order (technically it brings forward the next turn,kinda) when it needs to.

    You manifest ("cast", kinda) Forced Dream on a psicrystal so it can use a swift (basically "bonus") action to return to the start of its current turn (any time while the power is active). You then ready an action to Time Hop (the Mass version is preferred because of its greater duration) it into the future.

    Your psicrystal starts its turn. It moves. This triggers your manifesting of Time Hop, transporting the psicrystal into the future (note that readied actions generally happen before their triggers in 3.5e, unlike in 5e) The contingent Anticipatory Strike then triggers, allowing the psicrystal to immediately act. It casts Status to check the status of a party member (or all members if Affinity Field is active). From there it decides whether to restart its turn or not. (Alternatively it can use the Sending Stone instead of the Status spell to ask its master, defaulting to "yes" if uncontactable.)

    If bad stuff happens, the psicrystal restarts its (actual) turn, at the point before it decides to move. You have now effectively reloaded your save game. (It also does something else instead of moving so you know the reloading has been done.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    Does something like this exist in 5e? It's probably better that it doesn't, as I can only imagine how badly it could wreck things. Imagine a boss using this to basically undo everything the players have done to resist them.

    I feel like the best way to implement something like this would be to force a reset after a certain amount of time. As in, you're not saving "just in case", since with that mindset the intention is to not reset unless something goes wrong. A forced reset means it would act like more of a divination spell, allowing you to see what might happen in the future. You could still use it for things like scouting an area or attempting to discover hidden information (which is handy when you know things will reset and no one but you will remember what happened). Even so, I feel like this could get quickly tedious, for example the players might use this spell before every boss fight just to see if the boss is difficult or not, or what their attacks are, and essentially end up having to fight the boss twice (the reset fight and the real fight). Making it an 8th or 9th level spell might discourage needless spam.
    5e Wish can do this, to a limited extent:
    You undo a single recent event by forcing a reroll of any roll made within the last round (including your last turn). Reality reshapes itself to accommodate the new result. For example, a wish spell could undo an opponent's successful save, a foe's critical hit, or a friend's failed save. You can force the reroll to be made with advantage or disadvantage, and you can choose whether to use the reroll or the original roll.
    Just one round though (it also triggers the Wish backlash). It's 6 seconds (defined in the PHB), so you can't key it to you [or a Simulacrum] getting shoved inside a Sphinx lair as it is about to use its time travel forward 10 years ability (or any other time traveling ability), even if it occurred on your last turn (because it actually happened 10 years + 6 secs ago, not just 6 secs).

    You can in theory just ask for an arbitrary Wish to go back in time (or set up a Save Point, even), but this is definitely beyond the scope of the stated examples given in the Wish spell, so the DM is encouraged to twist your exact words as much as possible (it's not being a jerk DM, that's what the spell effectively says in its description; Wishes beyond the normal power of Wish have a chance of getting twisted, and the chance is higher the greater the Wish).

    There's also Astral Projection. While it doesn't actually rewind time, it basically acts as a 1UP respawn (items included) for the whole party unless someone cuts the astral cord or if the spell gets Dispelled early.

    Edit: Oh, wait, never mind, found a way to do this theoretically:

    Lair Actions
    On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the sphinx can take a lair action to cause one of the following magical effects3 the sphinx can't use an effect again until it finishes a short or long rest:

    (...)

    The flow of time within the lair is altered such that everything within moves up to 10 years forward or backward (sphinx’s choice). Only the sphinx is immediately aware of the time change. A wish spell can return the caster and up to seven other creatures designated by the caster to their normal time.
    This explicitly adds another function to Wish. So, just have a Sphinx teleport you (or a Simulacrum) to the future, then do the necessary contacting/divination to determine whether to revert to the earlier time. If yes, use Wish (this will also incur Wish backlash, so use a Sim to bypass this) to return to your savepoint.

    Of course, actually getting a Sphinx to help in this manner though is a tall order.

    (Before the MM errata it was possible to get a time-traveling Sphinx of your own by using True Polymorph on an allied creature [which can be a Sim or something Planar Bound]. Turn it into a Sphinx (andro or gyno), then have it set up a lair. But shapechanging spells no longer grant lair [and legendary] actions after the errata, so now a Sphinx gotten this way won't be able to time travel.)

    Edit2: Also...

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    I feel like the best way to implement something like this would be to force a reset after a certain amount of time. As in, you're not saving "just in case", since with that mindset the intention is to not reset unless something goes wrong. A forced reset means it would act like more of a divination spell, allowing you to see what might happen in the future. You could still use it for things like scouting an area or attempting to discover hidden information (which is handy when you know things will reset and no one but you will remember what happened). Even so, I feel like this could get quickly tedious, for example the players might use this spell before every boss fight just to see if the boss is difficult or not, or what their attacks are, and essentially end up having to fight the boss twice (the reset fight and the real fight). Making it an 8th or 9th level spell might discourage needless spam.
    If it's the divination/finding information part you want, Contact Other Plane can fulfill most of your stated purposes. It's a ritual, so it can be spammed if you have some way to avoid insanity. (Mindblank, for example.) You can use it to discover hidden information and the abilities of a boss (unless it's a secretive deity-level power and/or has anti-divination effects up [like its own Mindblank], but even then you may be able to find out some information via indirect questions about events/people it has affected). It will annoy DMs if overused, but you can streamline the process by coming up with (short) lists of boiler-plate questions before the session, with MCQ bubbles representing the possible answers described in COP. Hand the DM the list and let him quickly circle the answers.
    Last edited by NNescio; 2019-08-24 at 06:46 AM.
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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    It was a hideously broken 3.5 rules exploit. Also sort of a hideously broken 3.5 spell, if you count Teleport Through Time.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    It was a hideously broken 3.5 rules exploit. Also sort of a hideously broken 3.5 spell, if you count Teleport Through Time.
    Eh, the DM can work with it as a plot hook and other creatures/enemies could actually use it.

    I call it less hideously broken and more "fun for the whole family" ;).

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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    I'm going to steal a non-conventional use of Wish from Sagiro's Story Hour or one of the other big long campaign logs. There's a librarian who's really a disguised lich who just wants to be left alone. If the party attacks him, he'll just say "I wish you hadn't done that," and the group will find themselves in the room outside his office, with the door once again shut and locked.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    I seem to recall reading a D&D story (or perhaps it was one of those insanely broken tactics that exploits the rules) that involved using a spell that allowed you to return to the point when you cast the spell, as if everything that happened thereafter had never occurred. In other words, casting the spell lets you "save the game", allowing you to "reload" at a later point. It may have been a magic item and not a spell, though.

    Does something like this exist in 5e? It's probably better that it doesn't, as I can only imagine how badly it could wreck things. Imagine a boss using this to basically undo everything the players have done to resist them.

    I feel like the best way to implement something like this would be to force a reset after a certain amount of time. As in, you're not saving "just in case", since with that mindset the intention is to not reset unless something goes wrong. A forced reset means it would act like more of a divination spell, allowing you to see what might happen in the future. You could still use it for things like scouting an area or attempting to discover hidden information (which is handy when you know things will reset and no one but you will remember what happened). Even so, I feel like this could get quickly tedious, for example the players might use this spell before every boss fight just to see if the boss is difficult or not, or what their attacks are, and essentially end up having to fight the boss twice (the reset fight and the real fight). Making it an 8th or 9th level spell might discourage needless spam.
    Had a friend who DM'd a game for a bunch of first time players, and they framed the entire story as basically a past-tense narrative, like a legend being told around a fire. The PCs managed to mostly avoid death, but one of them DID kick it during combat, and the DM basically rewound in-game time, handwaving it as 'Wait, my memory's not what it was. Let me tell you what REALLY happened!' and then started the fight over. He had the enemies do different things so it didn't become a 'well, this guy's gonna attack HERE so I should go HERE,' but it was a neat kind of second chance. As far as actual in-game mechanics, maybe Wish? I don't think there's anything that exists within the confines of the game as it exists currently.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    There was in 3.5 the psionic power time regression which was cool if not necessarily good (and didn't require book diving or what could charitably be called cheese like the save game trick).

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    The closest you are probably going to get to it (and that would lack the time travel) would be Word of Recall to an area with assistants and Glyphs of Warding with spells to remedy whatever ailments you have. Raise Dead, Greater Restoration, Mass Cure Wounds, etc. It's not perfect, but you can at least get your party to a "save point" and be almost-normal. You'd still need to rest if you wanted to regain spell slots and other rest-based features, but it's something at least.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    Thanks for all the replies. I think Forced Dream was the ability I was thinking of. IIRC, the particular setup I'd heard of it in involved some sort of trap using Forced Dream and quintessence. I think the idea was to trap an intruder within the trap, and every time they actually escape, it causes them to "reset" back to when they entered the trap. It created some sort of time loop from which escape was impossible.

    I did have a specific use in mind for an ability like this, though. I've been working off and on on a homebrew wild magic system. To cut a long story short, I've had the idea of running a test wherein a high level wild mage intentionally triggers wild magic surges in order to gain the beneficial effects (about 1/5 of the table). Because this is most likely going to end with the horrible demise of the mage (and possibly nearby cities and/or the whole world), the ability to "save" before running the test and "reload" if you get an undesirable outcome becomes really appealing. The powergamer in me wants this to be possible, but the game designer in me knows that this is horribly broken and just begging to be abused.

    Wild magic aside, I feel like this ability would break a lot of things. I alluded to this in the OP, but you can basically "save", then try anything, no matter how impossible/dangerous, and "reload" if it doesn't work. And although I have powergamer tendencies, I also lean toward Combat as War, so if a tactic is fair for the players, it's fair for the villains (and vice versa). If you thought player save-scumming was bad, just imagine how the players will react when a villain save scums!

    Then again, I feel like that could also make for a compelling campaign. After all, how do you beat that? If there's anyone who can figure out how, it's a group of D&D players.

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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    Wild magic aside, I feel like this ability would break a lot of things. I alluded to this in the OP, but you can basically "save", then try anything, no matter how impossible/dangerous, and "reload" if it doesn't work. And although I have powergamer tendencies, I also lean toward Combat as War, so if a tactic is fair for the players, it's fair for the villains (and vice versa). If you thought player save-scumming was bad, just imagine how the players will react when a villain save scums!

    Then again, I feel like that could also make for a compelling campaign. After all, how do you beat that? If there's anyone who can figure out how, it's a group of D&D players.
    The problem is always with metagaming. Having the PCs win, then reset, and telling them that they don't remember winning? First, that sucks, and second, in character, they have no reason not to try the same thing until they're forced into a losing state, because they don't remember that they've done this before.

    If they hear of a villain always winning despite impossible odds, and they're railroaded into divining that it was a save-game mechanic, then you have a plot. It's basically just a phylactery with bizarre conditions required to beat it: Simply make sure you know when and where the time-hopping Psicrystal will re-enter the time stream, and be there waiting in an anti-magic/anti-psionics field.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    Yeah, either the players have to be really good about metagaming, or you have to introduce a plot element early on that somehow lets them retain memories across resets (at least, resets that involve them). In any case, fighting against a villain with such power practically requires knowing about that power as a first step. Once you know what they're doing, you can start thinking of ways to turn it against them.

    And yeah, springing this on your players by surprise is likely to not go over well, unless you have a really cool table. So you might want to pitch the idea during session 0 as a campaign premise.

    But just think how satisfied they'll be once they finally beat this guy. It reminds me a lot of this D&D story, and there would probably be a similar reaction to finally defeating them.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    Edge of Tomorrow could be good prepwork for a game like that.
    Quote Originally Posted by krugaan
    All it takes is once:

    "Grandpa, tells us that story about the Ricalison the Great again!"

    Hours later...

    "... and that, kids, is how he conquered the world with dancing lights."

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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    The twist is that the resetting NPC is the Nameless Sorcerer, Bob.

    He cannot be beatened! If you beaten him, a dozen Subtle Dominated sphinxes will unbeaten him without fail!
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Is there a spell that lets you "reload a save"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee_Dragon View Post
    The twist is that the resetting NPC is the Nameless Sorcerer, Bob.

    He cannot be beatened! If you beaten him, a dozen Subtle Dominated sphinxes will unbeaten him without fail!
    Plus Bob works for Hydra and is besties with Deadpool... So if the Sphinxes don't get the job done then his friends will.

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