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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Post Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    We have an Illithid Savant in the party. He has been purchasing brains on the MindFlayer black market, which the DM doesn't see as a problem. The controversy is that he used PAO to turn a brain into a Hagunemnon (Protean) brain; then ate it and now he has the Alter Shape (Ex). Some say that POA only gives you " extraordinary special attacks possessed by the form but does not gain the extraordinary special qualities possessed by the new form or any supernatural or spell-like abilities." His defense is that it counts as an object and not a creature so he is allowed to obtain ANY ability from the new brains.
    Last edited by mctizic; 2019-09-30 at 10:45 AM.

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    What is the rest of the group? What level of system mastery does the DM have? Illithids savant can be... Problematic... But it can be fine if handled well. Clearly there are issues here.
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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Is the savant eating other savants with this?

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutr View Post
    Is the savant eating other savants with this?
    Meh. The best you'll get with that is replacing the ability to get a new ability with the ability to get a new ability.

    Eating a high level legacy champion to advance illithid savant into [epic] illithid savant, on the other hand...

    Also, swallow whole is a fantastic ability for an illithid savant who doesn't want to kill anyone to get their abilities. A brain is part of a body, and if you swallow the whole body, you also swallow the brain. And nothing says it has to stay swallowed.

    Double also, there are two main illithid savant abilities: acquire class features and acquire special abilities. Note that all class features are special abilities, so feel free to use either ability to grab class features, if you desire. Aside from spellcasting, manifesting, and something crazy, like the tarrasque's regeneration, there's not much reason to grab creature abilities, since you can get them through shapeshifting magics.
    Last edited by MaxiDuRaritry; 2019-09-30 at 12:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Miller View Post
    What is the rest of the group? What level of system mastery does the DM have? Illithids savant can be... Problematic... But it can be fine if handled well. Clearly there are issues here.
    The highest level in the group is 16th level. The other PC's in the group are A huge ogre/demon-thing, a construct (warforg), a shifter and the Savant.

    The DM has been running 3.5 for at least 10 years. He doesn't like to house rule, he strictly does RAW.

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutr View Post
    Is the savant eating other savants with this?
    Yes!

    Also we fought Elminster and managed to wound him (of course we couldn't kill him). The savant had a clone of him made and ate the brain, gaining some of the wizards spells with Elminster's casting level.

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    His argument amounts to "the rules don't say it doesn't work this way." I wouldn't let it fly even if it was unambiguous RAW but it's not even that. He should be glad the GM is letting him get away with doing this for -any- brains that function with illithid savant or even ones that are nourishing to an illithid.

    Also, does a hagumemnon even have a brain? It's got psioincs but that necessitates a mind, not necessarily a brain.
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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    This is the same party that has an ice assassin of the lady of pain and forced Elminster to shatter a Staff of the Magi to destroy himself so the party couldn't capture him, right?

    As far as I know brains are objects, and polymorphing objects is, well, what the spell does.
    Last edited by Zanos; 2019-09-30 at 06:33 PM.
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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    This is the same party with the ELC 30 elder evil PC right?

    Polymorph subschool article says :

    "The target retains its own alignment (and personality, within the limits of the new form's ability scores).

    The target retains its own hit points.

    The target is treated has having its normal Hit Dice for purpose of adjudicating effects based on HD, 95 such as the sleep spell, though it uses the new form's base attack bonus, base save bonuses, and all other statistics derived from Hit Dice.

    The target retains the ability to understand the languages it understands in its normal form. If the new form is normally capable of speech, the target retains the ability to speak these languages as well. It can write in the languages it understands, but only if the new form is capable of writing in some manner (even a primitive manner, such as drawing in the dirt with a paw).
    In all other ways, the target's normal game statistics are effectively replaced by those of the new form

    So this seems to work RAW, despite how silly it is.

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Also, does a hagumemnon even have a brain? It's got psioincs but that necessitates a mind, not necessarily a brain.
    The ultimate shapeshifter, a hagunemnon can take on the extraordinary abilities of any other nondeific creature. Hagunemnons, also known as proteans, have no natural shape; they always appear in flux, incorporating the physical attributes of two, three, or more creatures simultaneously. Their forms boil with possibility, and rarely does any attribute last for more than a minute. Even newborns are tides of flesh, ever changing.

    Tainted with chaos at the time of their raceís creation, proteans are denied the stability that most races enjoy. This has imbued them with undying hatred of all nonshapechanging beings (they tolerate other shapechangers but look down upon them for remaining in the same shape for hours or even days at a time). Hagunemnons travel endlessly, seeking new creatures to duplicate and new extraordinary abilities to assume. Their xenophobia generally results in their attempting to slay other beings after copying them.

    Hagunemnons have an ever-evolving language that changes so quickly that only another hagunemnon can understand it. They can speak and understand the language of any other creature.
    There is nothing here that a Protean NEEDS a brain in the sense that you or I would have. I imagine, if they have a brain it would be distributed across the entirety of whatever form they happen to have similar to certain insects, at least for a moment, before returning to a central brain that human's have and flexing anywhere in between that. Furthermore, from the looks of it, their transforming is entirely involuntary probably akin to breathing for humans; We can stop doing it, but we have to think about doing it and if we stop thinking about it, you'll start doing it automatically assuming you aren't dead.

    So whether they have a brain or not? Probably. Could a Mindflayer be reasonably expected to actually fit a Protean's "brain" in their mouth? Probably not. But by RAW?

    A mind flayer can grab a Huge or larger creature, but only if it can somehow reach the foeís head.
    Yes, they can. But if the Protean, as a free action, decides to become Huge size, the Mindflayer would have to begin the very questionable quest to find the Protean's "head"

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    One body of mine said it is a hard no by RAW.

    Because the PAO states "A nonmagical object cannot be made into a magic item with this spell. Magic items arenít affected by this spell.

    This spell cannot create material of great intrinsic value, such as copper, silver, gems, silk, gold, platinum, mithral, or adamantine. It also cannot reproduce the special properties of cold iron in order to overcome the damage reduction of certain creatures."

    He said you can look at it in two ways: 1) you can't effect a item to give it other magic properties. Changing a human brain to an angel brain which in turn will give it special qualities. Then some may say "The brain isn't recieving special qualities it is just a brain." If that was the case why would the Savant want to eat it if it didn't allow him to siphon (su, sp & ex) abilities.

    2) the spell can't create great intrinsic value. Changing a brain from a human, 1 HD creature's brain, to a protean brain, which is a 44 HD epic creature would be considered intrinsic. Plus the spell cannot reproduce special properties. AKA: protean's alternate shape (ex) or the phaerimm's ability to cast sorcerer spells as a spell-like ability.

    Is he right?
    Last edited by mctizic; 2019-09-30 at 10:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by mctizic View Post
    One body of mine said it is a hard no by RAW.

    Because the PAO states "A nonmagical object cannot be made into a magic item with this spell. Magic items arenít affected by this spell.

    This spell cannot create material of great intrinsic value, such as copper, silver, gems, silk, gold, platinum, mithral, or adamantine. It also cannot reproduce the special properties of cold iron in order to overcome the damage reduction of certain creatures."

    He said you can look at it in two ways: 1) you can't effect a item to give it other magic properties. Changing a human brain to an angel brain which in turn will give it special qualities. Then some may say "The brain isn't recieving special qualities it is just a brain." If that was the case why would the Savant want to eat it if it didn't allow him to siphon (su, sp & ex) abilities.

    2) the spell can't create great intrinsic value. Changing a brain from a human, 1 HD creature's brain, to a protean brain, which is a 44 HD epic creature would be considered intrinsic. Plus the spell cannot reproduce special properties. AKA: protean's alternate shape (ex) or the phaerimm's ability to cast sorcerer spells as a spell-like ability.

    Is he right?
    Look at it this way: if PAO can create a creature with the qualities you want, it should be able to create a brain with the qualities that a brain would be expected to have.

    Otherwise, just PAO a rabbit into a creature and eat the PAO'd creature's brain.
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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by AthasianWarlock View Post
    This is the same party with the ELC 30 elder evil PC right?
    That's OP, apparently. Something something glass houses.

    Quote Originally Posted by mctizic View Post
    One body of mine said it is a hard no by RAW.

    Because the PAO states "A nonmagical object cannot be made into a magic item with this spell. Magic items arenít affected by this spell.

    This spell cannot create material of great intrinsic value, such as copper, silver, gems, silk, gold, platinum, mithral, or adamantine. It also cannot reproduce the special properties of cold iron in order to overcome the damage reduction of certain creatures."

    He said you can look at it in two ways: 1) you can't effect a item to give it other magic properties. Changing a human brain to an angel brain which in turn will give it special qualities. Then some may say "The brain isn't recieving special qualities it is just a brain." If that was the case why would the Savant want to eat it if it didn't allow him to siphon (su, sp & ex) abilities.

    2) the spell can't create great intrinsic value. Changing a brain from a human, 1 HD creature's brain, to a protean brain, which is a 44 HD epic creature would be considered intrinsic. Plus the spell cannot reproduce special properties. AKA: protean's alternate shape (ex) or the phaerimm's ability to cast sorcerer spells as a spell-like ability.

    Is he right?
    1) Brains are not magic items. Brains are not creatures and do not have any qualities at all. Brains are objects. Of course you could make the argument that 'owner' in Illithid savant would have nobody in the case of a polymorphed brain, but then you could also argue that the 'owner' of a consumed brain is the illithid savant, considering eating something without owning it is rather difficult. Then the whole class stops working, but maybe that would be for the best.
    2) Only if the material is of intrinsic value. Brain matter is not. The spell gives an example of a wool coat, which is certainly valuable, but apparently not in an intrinsic way. The spell is poorly written but I suspect the meaning is that the material the object is composed of must be valuable regardless of its configuration to be barred under this clause. If you melted gold, is it still valuable? Yep. If you melted a brain, is it still valuable? Probably not to anyone but the least circumspect butcher.
    Last edited by Zanos; 2019-09-30 at 11:32 PM.
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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by mctizic View Post
    One body of mine said it is a hard no by RAW.

    Because the PAO states "A nonmagical object cannot be made into a magic item with this spell. Magic items arenít affected by this spell.

    This spell cannot create material of great intrinsic value, such as copper, silver, gems, silk, gold, platinum, mithral, or adamantine. It also cannot reproduce the special properties of cold iron in order to overcome the damage reduction of certain creatures."

    He said you can look at it in two ways: 1) you can't effect a item to give it other magic properties. Changing a human brain to an angel brain which in turn will give it special qualities. Then some may say "The brain isn't recieving special qualities it is just a brain." If that was the case why would the Savant want to eat it if it didn't allow him to siphon (su, sp & ex) abilities.

    2) the spell can't create great intrinsic value. Changing a brain from a human, 1 HD creature's brain, to a protean brain, which is a 44 HD epic creature would be considered intrinsic. Plus the spell cannot reproduce special properties. AKA: protean's alternate shape (ex) or the phaerimm's ability to cast sorcerer spells as a spell-like ability.

    Is he right?
    No.
    The WoTc polymorph article explains

    "It works on any creature or object, and it can turn the subject into any other creature or object (but not an incorporeal or gaseous creature or object)."
    Yugoloath brains in BovD are not magic items, so a PoA brain would also not be a magic item.

    http://archive.wizards.com/default.a...d/rg/20040601a

    Further the WoTc glossary states

    "creature-A living or otherwise active being, not an object. The terms "creature" and "character" are sometimes used interchangeably"

    Only creatures have special qualities, abilties

    "special quality
    Characteristics possessed by certain monsters (and sometimes characters) that are distinctive in some way. The Monster Manual has detailed information on all special qualities."

    The intrinsic value clause refers to making something this is a currency. If it was meant literally, then you could not turn into any creature at all, since all creatures have a gp value as a slave given in Lords of Madness.

    "If that was the case why would the Savant want to eat it if it didn't allow him to siphon (su, sp & ex) abilities."

    Because that's what the class ability says happens. You look up the brain the monster came from, find some abilities, and write those on your sheet.
    Last edited by AthasianWarlock; 2019-10-01 at 12:14 AM.

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by AthasianWarlock View Post
    No.
    The WoTc polymorph article explains

    "It works on any creature or object, and it can turn the subject into any other creature or object (but not an incorporeal or gaseous creature or object)."
    Yugoloath brains in BovD are not magic items, so a PoA brain would also not be a magic item.

    http://archive.wizards.com/default.a...d/rg/20040601a

    Further the WoTc glossary states

    "creature-A living or otherwise active being, not an object. The terms "creature" and "character" are sometimes used interchangeably"

    Only creatures have special qualities, abilties

    "special quality
    Characteristics possessed by certain monsters (and sometimes characters) that are distinctive in some way. The Monster Manual has detailed information on all special qualities."

    The intrinsic value clause refers to making something this is a currency. If it was meant literally, then you could not turn into any creature at all, since all creatures have a gp value as a slave given in Lords of Madness.

    "If that was the case why would the Savant want to eat it if it didn't allow him to siphon (su, sp & ex) abilities."

    Because that's what the class ability says happens. You look up the brain the monster came from, find some abilities, and write those on your sheet.
    Hey I am cool with the ruling. I agree that he should be allowed to do it but my buddy states.


    "That you can't have it both ways. We are talking about a "Brain in a Jar" so is the brain a creature or object. If the ruling is a creature, than it states that you can not gain the extraordinary special qualities possessed by the new form or any supernatural or spell-like abilities.

    If it is an item. The brain is dead not attached to a body. It doesn't have memories, it can't activate the scales to make a creature invisible, it can't tell the body to contort to assume a shape. You can't ask it about it past. If you want to do that, then you will have to give it life which means making it a creature.

    So we are NOT talking about changing a creature to another creature, we are talking about an item to another item?

    Magic or not, the brain he wants to make has special qualities and abilities the previous brain didn't. PAO states; This spell cannot create material of great intrinsic value, such as copper, silver, gems, silk, etc..

    They key word is SUCH AS (not limited too). Silk comes from the ass of a creature that CAN be reproduced. A brain can't be reproduce! Which one do you think is more valuable?
    Plus we are talking about polymorphing a brain into something with different memories and abilities. Abilities that may need certain body parts to use, such as a flexible body to contort to assume a shape.
    Memories of abilities it never had before!
    If you did polymorph a Pebble to human it cannot gain the extraordinary special qualities possessed by the new form or any supernatural or spell-like abilities.
    A finger, rock, wood, a toe, or any other item doesn't have sentience. A brain is the ONLY thing that does.


    This is all up to the DM. If turning a simple detached shrew brain into a huge epic brain with epic abilities is considered extremely valuable or is it like turning dirt into wood?"

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Proteans don't have brains. Therefore, you cannot transmute anything into a protean brain. At best, a protean could temporarily manifest some other creature's brain.

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by mctizic View Post
    We have an Illithid Savant in the party. He has been purchasing brains on the MindFlayer black market, which the DM doesn't see as a problem. The controversy is that he used PAO to turn a brain into a Hagunemnon (Protean) brain; then ate it and now he has the Alter Shape (Ex). Some say that POA only gives you " extraordinary special attacks possessed by the form but does not gain the extraordinary special qualities possessed by the new form or any supernatural or spell-like abilities." His defense is that it counts as an object and not a creature so he is allowed to obtain ANY ability from the new brains.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    This is the same party that has an ice assassin of the lady of pain and forced Elminster to shatter a Staff of the Magi to destroy himself so the party couldn't capture him, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by AthasianWarlock View Post
    This is the same party with the ELC 30 elder evil PC right?
    Wait...

    Is this the game that's run by a 40 year old man still living with his parents that constantly forgets basic game rules (like rogues not being the only class that can find traps above DC20), allows the players to do whatever they want as long as it's RAW (yet complains when he can't "kill the players"), and is constantly spewing antisemitic conspiracy theories alongside racist and misogynistic comments? Where one of the players was a warforged nazi from the future and elminster ran away from a child with 26 less class levels than him?

    If so, the game you're in has the "living meme" subtype. Act accordingly.
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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleven View Post
    one of the players was a warforged nazi from the future
    Can I join this game?

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by Sutr View Post
    Is the savant eating other savants with this?
    Not required. I'm still not sure where that interpretation came from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanos View Post
    This is the same party that has an ice assassin of the lady of pain and forced Elminster to shatter a Staff of the Magi to destroy himself so the party couldn't capture him, right?
    What?

    That's all crazy in the best way possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katie Boundary View Post
    Can I join this game?
    Yeah, give me a way to get in contact.

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by CIDE View Post
    Not required. I'm still not sure where that interpretation came from.
    I believe the idea is to get another full helping of the savant's 'Acquire X' class features. As it stands, after 10 levels in Illithid Savant, the character only gains 4 skills, 4 feats, and 3 class skills, from eating 11 creatures' brains, right? (And Lore, but that's not the relevant part here).

    If they use one of their 3 usages of Acquire Class Feature to eat another Savant, they can get more uses of Acquire Class Feature from the consumed savant, thus gaining more than 3 class features (or feats, etc). At least that was my understanding of why one would want to eat other Savants, to keep the endless loop of murder-acquired class features going.
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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by CIDE View Post
    Not required. I'm still not sure where that interpretation came from.



    What?

    That's all crazy in the best way possible.
    This is such a crazy campaign. One day I'll do a write up on it. Here are some other highlights:

    After killing elminster it became a spelljammer campaign. We are currently on Glyth killing mind flayers.

    We killed an elder brain at level 14 or something.

    In the opening game of the campaign the Nazi warforged used an antimatter rifle on the enemy dire vultures.

    Later on there was a PC who just made drugs.

    We had a PC that was "the god emperor of Japan" he one shot Bazim Gorog from Champions of Ruin.

    The campaign was originally to kill the dopplegangers, but two players decided to play dopplegangers instead and convinced the party to join them.

    A player got the third imaskarcana (a major artifact that can cast time stop and dominate monster) at level 5.

    Players completed a quest for the lady of pain that gave them like a super wish that let them get anything. One player got a full set of the regalia of evil, another was transformed into a Hulk or Zoretha.

    At one point the party had a full blown adult shadow dragon PC.

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by Crichton View Post
    I believe the idea is to get another full helping of the savant's 'Acquire X' class features. As it stands, after 10 levels in Illithid Savant, the character only gains 4 skills, 4 feats, and 3 class skills, from eating 11 creatures' brains, right? (And Lore, but that's not the relevant part here).

    If they use one of their 3 usages of Acquire Class Feature to eat another Savant, they can get more uses of Acquire Class Feature from the consumed savant, thus gaining more than 3 class features (or feats, etc). At least that was my understanding of why one would want to eat other Savants, to keep the endless loop of murder-acquired class features going.
    That's a common interpretation but not explicitly RAW. It's another situation of "Not said so I can do it" and there's no limit placed on the number of brains that can be used to get more skills, features, etc. Basically, they don't need to eat another IS brain to get more uses on their existing. Cheesy? Sure, but so is the class.

    Quote Originally Posted by AthasianWarlock View Post
    This is such a crazy campaign. One day I'll do a write up on it. Here are some other highlights:

    After killing elminster it became a spelljammer campaign. We are currently on Glyth killing mind flayers.

    We killed an elder brain at level 14 or something.

    In the opening game of the campaign the Nazi warforged used an antimatter rifle on the enemy dire vultures.

    Later on there was a PC who just made drugs.

    We had a PC that was "the god emperor of Japan" he one shot Bazim Gorog from Champions of Ruin.

    The campaign was originally to kill the dopplegangers, but two players decided to play dopplegangers instead and convinced the party to join them.

    A player got the third imaskarcana (a major artifact that can cast time stop and dominate monster) at level 5.

    Players completed a quest for the lady of pain that gave them like a super wish that let them get anything. One player got a full set of the regalia of evil, another was transformed into a Hulk or Zoretha.

    At one point the party had a full blown adult shadow dragon PC.
    I'm in the wrong campaign.
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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by CIDE View Post
    That's a common interpretation but not explicitly RAW. It's another situation of "Not said so I can do it" and there's no limit placed on the number of brains that can be used to get more skills, features, etc. Basically, they don't need to eat another IS brain to get more uses on their existing. Cheesy? Sure, but so is the class.
    So what you're saying is that via a willful misreading of some ever-so-slightly ambiguous text, and a complete ignoring of the class table (no conflict between the two, just clarification, so no text trumping table), you're insisting on an extremely tenuous possible interpretation of the words "gains one class feature of a consumed brain's owner," to mean "one class feature from each consumed brain's owner"??? And all that despite the follow-on line in the description clarifying that at later levels, you get 2 additional uses of this class feature?

    This isn't even a case of "RAW says I can, even if it's clearly not RAI" this is a case of "RAI is quite clear, and RAW has one tiny ambiguity that could be interpreted to either agree with the seeming RAI and also agree with the class table, or alternately I can attempt to exploit the word 'a' as hard as possible despite the surrounding evidence"




    Should it have been stated more clearly as "gains one class feature of one consumed brain's owner"? Yes, it should have. But even with the current wording, RAW isn't that you get unlimited uses, and definitely isn't clear-cut that that's the case. When there's ambiguity in the text, as there is here, we use the surrounding text to gain clarity about which textually possible interpretation is correct, and even a cursory glance at the surrounding text and class table of IS shows pretty clearly what that 'a' means.
    "I want tools to use in the game, not a blank check to do what I want. I can already do what I want." -Rich Burlew

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by Crichton View Post
    So what you're saying is that via a willful misreading of some ever-so-slightly ambiguous text, and a complete ignoring of the class table (no conflict between the two, just clarification, so no text trumping table), you're insisting on an extremely tenuous possible interpretation of the words "gains one class feature of a consumed brain's owner," to mean "one class feature from each consumed brain's owner"??? And all that despite the follow-on line in the description clarifying that at later levels, you get 2 additional uses of this class feature?

    This isn't even a case of "RAW says I can, even if it's clearly not RAI" this is a case of "RAI is quite clear, and RAW has one tiny ambiguity that could be interpreted to either agree with the seeming RAI and also agree with the class table, or alternately I can attempt to exploit the word 'a' as hard as possible despite the surrounding evidence"




    Should it have been stated more clearly as "gains one class feature of one consumed brain's owner"? Yes, it should have. But even with the current wording, RAW isn't that you get unlimited uses, and definitely isn't clear-cut that that's the case. When there's ambiguity in the text, as there is here, we use the surrounding text to gain clarity about which textually possible interpretation is correct, and even a cursory glance at the surrounding text and class table of IS shows pretty clearly what that 'a' means.
    So WoTc put out an ilithid savant stat block that says that, yes indeed, you get one class feature from *each* of the brains you eat. The class does indeed work as the text says it does.


    http://archive.wizards.com/default.a...d/ei/20030608a

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by AthasianWarlock View Post
    So WoTc put out an ilithid savant stat block that says that, yes indeed, you get one class feature from *each* of the brains you eat. The class does indeed work as the text says it does.


    http://archive.wizards.com/default.a...d/ei/20030608a
    I'd never seen that before, thanks for showing it to me. Unfortunately it supports my argument, rather than the 'unlimited brains' argument.


    Nevermind that statblocks aren't RAW(but they can help show RAI) and that this statblock is already showing errors (SR for Mind Flayers is supposed to be 25+class levels as per MM1 pg 187, so with 16 class levels it should be 41, but it's only showing 25 still), but after spending some time dissecting the various feats, skills, class features and special qualities the Illithid Savant in that statblock has, it looks like it only has the ones you'd expect if the non-unlimited interpretation is correct. I may have made an error in parsing out the various features, so please double check my work, but this looks like it's evidence in favor of the more limited interpretation, as I've been advocating for thus far, and not for the unlimited, 'as many brains as you can eat' broken interpretation.


    By the limited (correct) interpretation, counting up the numbers that both the text of the class description and the class table agree to include, an Illithid Savant 14 should be able to eat 19 brains and thus gain:
    6 skills
    6 feats
    4 class features
    3 special qualities



    After subtracting all the Mind Flayer racial abilities and the non-relevant IS class feature (Lore) from the S'rurrus statblock in the link you provided, the example character there has gained these 18 items from eating brains:
    6 skills: helpfully listed out in a subsection as to which ones came from the IS class feature of eating brains

    5 feats: helpfully marked out with ** notation as to which ones came from the IS class feature of eating brains, and apparently still has yet to use her 6th feat brain eating to gain a 6th feat

    4 Class features - No helpful notation, but the 3 wizard spellcasting brains are listed under the prepared spells list, and after removing the character's own Enchanter 2 levels, we're left with these 4:
    • Cleric spellcasting
    • (2)prepared and casts as Wiz13
    • (3)prepared and casts as Wiz20
    • (4)prepared and casts as Wiz23



    3 Special Qualities - No helpful notation, but after removing all the Mind Flayer special qualities, we're left with these 3:
    • Frightful Presence
    • Regeneration
    • True Seeing





    So it looks to me like this statblock has exactly the number of skills, feats, class features, and special qualities that you'd expect if, as I'd previously advocated for, the tiny ambiguity of 'a brain' is interpreted in the light of the surrounding text in the class description, which helpfully puts it exactly in agreement with the numbers in the class table.

    Given a lack of any other evidence to put on the side of the textually unsupported 'unlimited brains' interpretation, well, it seems pretty clear-cut to me.
    "I want tools to use in the game, not a blank check to do what I want. I can already do what I want." -Rich Burlew

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    I guess I don't understand. When you eat a brain you gain abilities as they class says. He has 3 instances of casting from the assume class feature. He got one for each victim, as opposed to only one instance.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by AthasianWarlock View Post
    I guess I don't understand. When you eat a brain you gain abilities as they class says. He has 3 instances of casting from the assume class feature. He got one for each victim, as opposed to only one instance.
    Yes, that's right, but the class description (and table) put a limit on how many class features (or feats or skills or special qualities) you can gain from brains, at any given level of IS. So the epic example has 4 different class features (1 cleric casting and 3 wizard casting), but they can't eat a dozen wizards and get a dozen instances of casting, or a million, etc.
    "I want tools to use in the game, not a blank check to do what I want. I can already do what I want." -Rich Burlew

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by Crichton View Post
    Yes, that's right, but the class description (and table) put a limit on how many class features (or feats or skills or special qualities) you can gain from brains, at any given level of IS. So the epic example has 4 different class features (1 cleric casting and 3 wizard casting), but they can't eat a dozen wizards and get a dozen instances of casting, or a million, etc.
    The ilithid savant on page 78 of savage species has ilithid savant 3 so aquire class feature 1, but then the text has Sugglir with hide in plain sight and sneak attack (2 class features).

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Illithid Savant endless brain supply using Polymorph any object

    Quote Originally Posted by AthasianWarlock View Post
    The ilithid savant on page 78 of savage species has ilithid savant 3 so aquire class feature 1, but then the text has Sugglir with hide in plain sight and sneak attack (2 class features).
    Sugglir in that stat lock gets HiPS from his 3 levels of Shadowdancer, not from IS.
    "I want tools to use in the game, not a blank check to do what I want. I can already do what I want." -Rich Burlew

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