Friday, December 17, 2010

Skill Use

I tend to not create new skills. It used to be the case that I was creating all kinds of new skills for this or that and the other. There were skills for fanning the hammer, pistol duels, using Gifts to create fire or whatever. Most of the time, you don't need new skills for stuff. You don't need a Demolitions or Craft (Explosive) skill with new rules. There are already rules for Craft skills. That said, I decided to create a new skill. Or rather, a new use for a skill.

The creation of this skill stems from the last time we gamed. Derf cast the spell Feeblemind twice during combat, narrowly missing afflicting himself with it. Now the problem is that there is a very real chance that the spell could misfire and affect Derf, or Derf and the target, or it could become a circle of sorcerous rain that affects everyone within 60 ft. The only cures for Feeblemind are Heal, Limited Wish, Miracle, or Wish. Problem is, Wish and Limited Wish have double the normal chance to misfire (did I ever tell anyone that?), and Miracle and Heal are divine spells and there are no divine classes (although, I think Eric can "cast" Heal via his potions. I don't know why I am italicizing all these spell names, it is time consuming).

Have you heard of Trepanning?

Here's how it works. A Heal check may be used to create a hole in someone's head to remove the long term effects of an Enchantment [mind-affecting] spell. There are a couple of issues though, trepanning takes at least an hour to perform and you cannot take ten or twenty on it (so it is useless against instantaneous spells like Power Word: Kill that have no lingering effects). You must also have the appropriate tools for the trade (a hammer, chisel, and drill). You must also have at least 5 ranks in Heal to use trepanning. Using inferior tools (a maul, a knife, and jury-rigged drill) inflicts a -5 penalty to the heal check.

The DC for the check is as follows: 10 + the spell's level + the caster's level. Let's say for instance that Derf misfires and ends up casting Feeblemind on himself. Derf is 12th level, so his caster level is twelve, let us say he rolls a six on his random caster level bonus thing. So Derf has a caster level of eighteen for the purposes of this example, and Feeblemind is a 5th level spell for sorcerers. So we have 10 + 18 + 5, for a Heal DC of 33 to put a hole in Derf's skull and un-Feeblemind him. The recovery time from trepanning is whatever I say it is, but it is probably real short on a critical success.

Now, trepanning is fairly dangerous, you are using tools to take a chunk out of someone's skull to alleviate sorcerous mental conditions. A failure on the check merely results in damage equal to a critical hit from a light hammer (2d4 plus 2x your Strength modifier), or maul, or club, or whatever hammer-like tool you have decided to use. Failure by ten or more results in one point of permanent Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma damage to the patient. Critical failure inflicts the target with the effects of the Feeblemind spell.

So there, you can run and tell that homeboy. Preferably to Xein, because I believe he is the only one with ranks in Heal.

Next Up: Phrenology. Heh.

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