Author Topic: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats  (Read 10813 times)

Offline RobbyPants

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New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« on: April 26, 2012, 10:20:52 PM »
Note: These rules are meant to be used in combination with my other house rules.



This is somewhat of a work in progress, but I wanted to lighten the requirements on some alignment restrictions and redo some of the vile and exalted feats. If you have any ideas for similar feats I should rewrite, or other weird alighment issues, bring them up.

Note that this is part of a larger project invloving other feats that I've rewritten and new magic item rules (which is important for Vow of Poverty).

One thing I'm toying with is getting rid of the Sacred Vow prereq for all of the other Vow feats. I got rid of the Willing Deformity feat as a prereq for the other deformity feats. What do you think?



Alignment

General Rules

Class Restrictions:
Alignment restrictions for classes based solely on the law-chaos axis of alignment are removed. This means that a barbarian or bard no longer needs to be non-lawful, and a monk no longer needs to be lawful. Specific alignment requirements for other classes such as paladins, clerics (according to their deity), and crusaders are still in effect.

Poison Use:
Poison use is no longer considered evil. Given that unless a poison deals HP or Constitution damage it’s not even lethal, there should be no alignment restriction. There’s nothing evil about tranquilizers.


Vows
A character may take any number of these vows if they wish. If they violate the condition of the vow, they lose the benefit until they follow their vow and for one more week afterward. If they violate their vow a second time, they lose the benefit for an additional month instead of week. If they violate it a third time, they permanently lose the benefits of the vow.
   Characters who violate the vow while under the effects of charms or compulsions, or who are tricked via illusions do not lose their benefits once they break free of the offending effect and resume following their vow.

Vow of Abstinence:
You have vowed to abstain from alcohol, drugs, stimulants, or similar mundane substances (this does not include potions). You gain a +1 sacred bonus on saving throws against illusions.

Vow of Chastity:
You have vowed to refrain from sexual activity. You gain a +1 sacred bonus on saving throws against enchantments.

Vow of Nonviolence:
You have vowed not to use excessive violence against any intelligent, living creature, with the exception of evil outsiders. You cannot deal lethal damage to these creatures, use any spell or effect that kills them outright, bestow negative levels upon them, or use pain effects. You cannot use poisons, spells, or similar effects that cause ability drain (any ability score) or Constitution damage.
    Any time you deal damage to these creatures, you may immediately convert any lethal damage to non-lethal damage at no penalty. Any damage you deal is treated as good-aligned for purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

Vow of Purity:
You have vowed to avoid contact with dead flesh, including eating meat. You gain a +1 sacred bonus to saving throws against disease.


Undead

Mindless Undead:
Mindless undead creatures are neutral-aligned, although they count as evil-aligned for purposes of being affected by spells and items such as Holy Smite, Holy Word or a Holy weapon. This is due to their connection to the negative energy plane. Any alignment detection abilities still register them as neutral.

Creating/Summoning Undead:
Creating a mindless undead creature is not an [evil] spell; however, creating intelligent undead creatures is. In either case, simply summoning an undead creature is not considered [evil].



Exalted and Vile Feats

Exalted feats are special feats that only can be taken by a non-evil creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher. These feats are typically granted at the behest of a powerful good-aligned agent, such as an outsider or deity. Similarly, vile feats can only be taken by non-good creatures with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher, and they are typically granted by a powerful evil agent.
    Deformity feats are special vile feats that grant an ability due to the character inflicting some sort of permanent change in their appearance. This change may be mundane or magical in nature, but it is difficult to hide. Any non-magical Disguise check suffers a -1 cumulative penalty per deformity feat the character has. If these deformities are not hidden, the character also gains a cumulative +1 deformity bonus to Intimidate checks for each deformity feat.
    Vow feats are special exalted feats that require a certain additional sacrifice on the part of the character. If the character violates this vow, they lose any benefits associated with the feat. This lasts until one week after they resume following their vow or until they receive an Atonement spell.

Exalted feats

Exalted Turning [Exalted]
Prerequisite: Non-evil alignment, ability to turn undead.
Benefit: Any undead creatures you turn take 1d6 points of damage per character level you possess.

Holy Radiance [Exalted]
Prerequisite: Non-evil alignment, Nimbus of Light, Charisma 13+.
Benefit: The size of your nimbus of light doubles, shedding bright light in a ten foot radius and shadowy illumination in a 20 foot radius. The Consecrate effect also extends to a radius of 20 feet. In addition, any undead creature that starts its turn in your nimbus of light suffers 1d6 points of damage per character level you possess. A successful Will save (DC 10 + ½ your Hit Dice + your Charisma modifier) halves the damage.

Nimbus of Light [Exalted]
Prerequisite: Non-evil alignment.
Benefit: You are surrounded by an aura of light that gives bright illumination to a distance of five feet and shadowy illumination to ten feet. You may extinguish or reactivate your aura as a free action. While active, all undead creatures in your aura is affected by a Consecrate effect.

Sacred Vow [Exalted]
Prerequisite: Good alignment.
Benefit: You swear an oath to serve a good-aligned outsider or to champion an appropriate good cause. You gain a +1 sacred bonus to all of your saving throws and are immune to fear. In addition, you are sworn to serve your new lord or ideal. Talk to your DM to see what all this entails and whether or not it is appropriate for the campaign.
Special: This feat can only be taken once and cannot be taken if you have the Disciple of Darkness or Thrall to Demon Vow feat.


Vile feats

Abnormally Tall [Vile, Deformity]
Prerequisite: Non-good alignment.
Benefit: You are considered one size category larger for purposes of determining reach, your attack modifier, and your AC modifier, but not for any other size-based modifiers. This stacks with any other abilities that modify your base size.
    For example, a medium character with this feat would have the reach of a large creature, but would also take a -1 penalty on attack rolls and AC like a large creature. The character would still only use medium-sized weapons and would not gain the modifiers of a large creature to other things like grapple or Hide checks.

Clawed Hands [Vile, Deformity]
Prerequisite: Non-good alignment.
Benefit: You gain one claw attack per hand that deals 1d6 points of damage (1d4 for small creatures and 1d8 for large), plus your strength modifier. These claws are natural weapons and are considered evil-aligned for purposes of overcoming damage reduction.
    In addition, you gain a climb speed equal to half your base land speed. If you already possess a climb speed, it increases by ten feet.

Disciple of Darkness [Vile]
Prerequisite: Lawful Evil or Neutral Evil alignment.
Benefit: You swear an oath to serve an archdevil or similar powerful lawful evil outsider. You gain a +1 profane bonus to all of your saving throws and are immune to charm and compulsion effects. In addition, you are sworn to serve your new dark lord. Talk to your DM to see what all this entails and whether or not it is appropriate for the campaign.
Special: This feat can only be taken once and cannot be taken if you have the Thrall to Demon or Sacred Vow feat.

Evil Brand [Vile]
Prerequisite: Non-good alignment.
Benefit: You are branded with a dark symbol of an evil outsider more powerful than you. Others recognize the symbol for what it is, but do not necessarily know to whom the symbol belongs. So long as the symbol is visible, you gain a +2 profane bonus on Diplomacy checks with evil creatures.
    The evil outsider may contact you at will as with a Message spell (with unlimited range, even if not on the same plane as you) at will. For the duration of the effect, you may whisper back to the outsider, although you cannot initiate this effect. Once per day, you may communicate with the outsider as with a Commune spell as a supernatural ability. Your caster level is equal to your character level. You do not need to pay any XP cost for this ability. Note that the outsider can only answer questions of which they have knowledge.

Gaunt [Vile, Deformity]
Prerequisite: Non-good alignment.
Benefit: You weigh half as much as a normal creature of your kind and you require half the amount of food and water as normal.
    You may make a grapple check or Escape artist check to break free of a grapple as an immediate action. You may use your Dexterity modifier in place of your Strength modifier when attempting to escape a grapple. When attempting to escape a grapple, before rolling, you may opt to not add your size modifier to your grapple check and your opponent cannot add his size modifier to his check either.
    You gain a +4 deformity bonus on Escape Artist, Hide, and Tumble checks, although you suffer a -4 penalty on checks to avoid being bull rushed or tripped.
Special: You cannot take the Obese deformity feat if you have this feat.

Hideous Face [Vile, Deformity]
Prerequisite: Non-good alignment.
Benefit: You gain a gaze attack with a range of 30 feet that makes anyone shaken for one minute who fails a Will save (DC 10 + ½ your Hit Dice + your Charisma modifier). This is an extraordinary ability that is a [fear] and [mind-affecting] effect. Anyone who successfully saves against this ability cannot be affected for 24 hours.
    You may activate or dismiss this ability as a standard action. As a normal gaze attack, you may opt to focus your gaze on one creature as a standard action.

Lichloved [Vile]
Prerequisite: Non-good alignment.
Benefit: Mindless undead see you as an undead creature and will not attack you unless commanded. As a full round action, you may attempt to exert control over a mindless undead creature within thirty feet so long as it has fewer Hit Dice than you. If it fails a Will save (DC 10 + ½ your Hit Dice + your Charisma modifier), you may direct it to act how you wish as a free action. If the creature succeeds on its Will save, it cannot be affected by this ability by you for 24 hours.
    This control lasts until you dismiss it, you use this ability on another undead creature, or someone else gains control of it in some way.

Monstrous Eyes [Vile, Deformity]
Prerequisite: Non-good alignment.
Benefit: You gain 60-foot dark vision. If you already have dark vision, the range extends by 30 feet.
    In addition, you can see invisible and ethereal creatures and objects within close range (25 feet + 5 per 2 Hit Dice). If you focus as a move action, the range extends as far as you can see for one round.

Obese [Vile, Deformity]
Prerequisite: Non-good alignment.
Benefit: You weigh three times as much as a normal creature of your kind and you require twice the amount of food and water as normal.
You gain a +4 deformity bonus on special combat option checks (such as bull rush, grapple, and trip checks). You gain one Hit Point per Hit Die. You gain an additional Hit Point each time you gain a new Hit Die.
    Your base land speed is reduced by ten feet (but not to less than half the original value, rounded up the nearest five feet).
Special: You cannot take the Gaunt deformity feat if you have this feat.

Spikes [Vile, Deformity]
Prerequisite: Non-good alignment.
Benefit: You are covered in spikes that deal 1d6 points of damage (1d4 for small creatures and 1d8 for large), plus your strength modifier. Anyone grappling you automatically takes this damage each round. You may also attack with your spikes as a natural weapon. If used as a secondary attack with a normal weapon, the spikes have a -5 penalty to hit and only add half your Strength modifier to damage. This damage is considered evil-aligned for purposes of overcoming damage reduction.
    In addition, your natural armor bonus to AC increases by +1, or you gain a +1 natural bonus to your AC if you did not already have one.

Thick Skin [Vile, Deformity]
Prerequisite: Non-good alignment.
Benefit: Your natural armor bonus to AC increases by +1, or you gain a +1 natural bonus to your AC if you did not already have one.
    In addition, you gain damage reduction 2/good. This damage reduction increases by two points for every four Hit Dice you gain beyond the first (4/good at 5 Hit Dice, 6/good at 9 Hit Dice, etc).

Thrall to Demon [Vile]
Prerequisite: Chaotic Evil or Neutral Evil alignment.
Benefit: You swear an oath to serve a demon lord or similar powerful chaotic evil outsider. You gain a +1 profane bonus to all of your saving throws and are immune to fear effects. In addition, you are sworn to serve your new dark lord. Talk to your DM to see what all this entails and whether or not it is appropriate for the campaign.
Special: This feat can only be taken once and cannot be taken if you have the Disciple of Darkness or Sacred Vow feat.

Vile Strike [Vile]
Prerequisite: Non-good alignment.
Benefit: Any time you deal damage with a weapon, unarmed strike, or natural attack, the attack is considered evil-aligned for purposes of overcoming damage reduction, and part of the damage is considered vile damage. This vile damage overcomes any form of damage reduction and can only be healed in an area affected by a Consecrate or Hallow spell. The amount of damage converted to vile damage is equal to your Base Attack Bonus, but never more than the total damage dealt per attack.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 08:03:49 AM by RobbyPants »
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Offline RobbyPants

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2012, 08:45:15 PM »
Nothin, huh?
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Offline Wrex

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2012, 08:54:46 PM »
Nothin, huh?

Not much to say, really. Other than not dropping sacred vow as a pre-req, I would say you did a fine job of balancing them.

Offline dman11235

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2012, 11:18:08 PM »
I don't have anything to say......yet.......

Oh come on, like you could get by without me weighing in on a major adjustment like this from you?

I will say one thing before school gets out and I can get back to some more of this stuff: I hate alignment.  I played with an idea a while ago, where I split alignment into 10 alignment types.  There's two axises, moral and ethical.  Moral is good/evil, and ethical is law/chaos.  Each of these are split into normal and extreme varieties: exalted/good/neutral/evil/vile, and then axiomatic/law/neutral/chaos/anarchic.  Then I adjusted the outer planes.  I actually get rid of them normally, I hate them that much.  However, I keep them in a ring, going in the circle, with no N outer planes in that ring, TN exists in the Astral Plane and Etherial Plane.  Elemental planes are NOT aligned, ever.  Negative energy is TN, not Evil, and Positive energy is TN, not Good.  The elemental planes exist in a sphere around the material plane, each one opposite their, well, opposite.  Orientation compared to the material doesn't matter, as it won't matter where you start, they all touch the same ones in the same places in any orientation.  The elemental planes connect to the material plane physically (go far enough on the material and you'll hit the appropriate plane).  The material plane is a universe not unlike ours, at least in the center where the planet that D&D takes place on.  This planet is incredibly massive (larger than the Earth, probably 3-4 times), and magic keeps gravity the same as earth.  Not only that, but there are entrances to the elemental planes on the planet, and the element does affect the planet.  It's like this on every planet in the universe, some more than others, some have only one plane entrance.  In fact, these are how planets formed: the elemental planes spill over into the material, and the groupings form in space.  When only fire does it: star.  When only earth: dead planet.  It takes a combination of all of them to form a life-sustainable planet.  I'll get more into it later.
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Offline RobbyPants

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012, 08:50:38 PM »
I will say one thing before school gets out and I can get back to some more of this stuff: I hate alignment.
I hate a lot about alignment, too, but this whole series of rules is meant to be relatively light handed so as to keep the general feel of the game about the same. Otherwise, I'd likely nix it, too.


How do people feel about the Vow of Nonviolence and Vow of Poverty I did? I know VoP is a big point of contention normally, but really, now it just applies to your lifestyle, mundane gear, and expensive components. I wanted to make VoNV make a bit more sense compared to the BoED version. It is somewhat ridiculous in the distinctions it draws and the benefit of the feat is frickin insane.
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Offline veekie

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 03:38:58 AM »
Well, I personally favor a more in depth handling of alignment(focusing on beliefs, convictions and culture, with a mixed reward/punishment system for adhering to or going against your faiths), looks better than core alignments though.
Quote
addition, you are sword to serve your new lord or ideal.
:P

Vow of Abstinence probably needs a clarification on if a potion or enhancement magic would count. A potion granting Haste is presumably a stimulant.

Vow of Chasity, like many vows is basically costless, though it does have sacred vow as a tax.
Everything is edible. Just that there are things only edible once per lifetime.
It's a god-eat-god world.

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And to the mercies of a moment leaves; The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 07:18:04 AM »
Quote
addition, you are sword to serve your new lord or ideal.
:P
In addition, you may use Graft Weapon as a psi-like ability at will. :P


Vow of Abstinence probably needs a clarification on if a potion or enhancement magic would count. A potion granting Haste is presumably a stimulant.
I guess a "mundane" qualifier would be sufficient.


Vow of Chasity, like many vows is basically costless, though it does have sacred vow as a tax.
That was my thought. Three of those really do nothing to a PC other than that feat tax. It's more of a flavor thing, anyway.
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Offline Risada

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2012, 09:41:42 AM »
Subtle changes, but I like them.

Question: does Exalted Turning's damage offer a save?

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2012, 12:12:47 PM »
Question: does Exalted Turning's damage offer a save?
I suppose it could, but I don't know if it needs to. 1d6 per level is about half the HP of an equal-HD undead.
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Offline veekie

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 09:33:08 PM »
On the vows, you know...I wonder if the no-cost types wouldn't be better off as a form of character traits. You get bonuses to resisting against the vow's category, but cannot willingly break the vow. With the added bonus that the penalty being niche and easily avoided, but so is the bonus.

In short, perfect for a trait.
Everything is edible. Just that there are things only edible once per lifetime.
It's a god-eat-god world.

Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves; The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2012, 09:47:09 PM »
On the vows, you know...I wonder if the no-cost types wouldn't be better off as a form of character traits. You get bonuses to resisting against the vow's category, but cannot willingly break the vow. With the added bonus that the penalty being niche and easily avoided, but so is the bonus.

In short, perfect for a trait.
I tried it both ways. I went to make them all free, but then a few seemed too good. So I went back to making them feats and a few seem sort of weak. That's ultimately why I added a save boost to the three weak ones. It's kinda bland, but I think it gives more of a reason to take them.

I mean, if you don't want to blow a feat but you really want your character to be celibate, you could just not take the feat, not have sex, and not get a benefit.
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Offline veekie

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2012, 11:00:29 PM »
Well, with a feat tax they ought to provide more of a tangible bonus, but mainly, its just mixed power. Celibacy and Abstinence are Trait-grade really(+1 vs charms/ +1 vs poisons in exchange for no sex/no drugs), while Poverty and Nonviolence are much more significant, and require a feat.
Everything is edible. Just that there are things only edible once per lifetime.
It's a god-eat-god world.

Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves; The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2012, 08:15:08 AM »
Is it bad as-is where you pick up an immunity to two types of magic and a save boost? Or do you feel it's too much of a niche benefit to be worth a feat?
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Offline veekie

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2012, 09:11:49 AM »
Both actually, a feat, especially a feat with another feat as a prereq, should be something generally applicable, or else something you can actively attempt. Instead you straight out no-sell a few subschools, which doesn't necessarily mean anything at all(heck given human nature many GMs might just avoid using charms on you at all)
Everything is edible. Just that there are things only edible once per lifetime.
It's a god-eat-god world.

Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves; The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2012, 10:50:38 AM »
Both actually, a feat, especially a feat with another feat as a prereq, should be something generally applicable, or else something you can actively attempt. Instead you straight out no-sell a few subschools, which doesn't necessarily mean anything at all(heck given human nature many GMs might just avoid using charms on you at all)
Hmmm...

So, keep Vow of Poverty and Non-violence as feat, and then make the rest traits?

Hell, I might even be able to make those other two traits as well. Something like:

Vow of Non-violence:
You abide by the restrictions I laid out in the OP. In return, you can opt to deal non-lethal damage at no penalty any time you would deal lethal damage (perhaps allow it to be good-aligned, but I'm iffy on this).

Vow of Poverty:
Would we really even need it at this point? I'm strongly leaning toward no. This is a game where you play heroes in a world with magical swag. I'm not sure I want to include a kludge to let someone break genre.
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Offline veekie

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2012, 03:24:26 PM »
Well, for VoP the thing is probably to have the magic separate from the items, so you can enchant your cheap gear to have magical effects, but only for you. Other than that looks good though.
Everything is edible. Just that there are things only edible once per lifetime.
It's a god-eat-god world.

Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves; The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2012, 06:35:04 PM »
My current write-up of VoP allows for magical items. Still, it doesn't feel very poverty-like. It just comes off of as "you don't get money to spend on creature comforts, so here's an armor bonus to make up for you not getting armor and some DR-penetration to make up for you not having special weapons".

I guess it feels somewhat gamey to me.
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Offline Garryl

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2012, 07:38:51 PM »
Maybe you could refluff it into keeping only what you need to survive and continue your good works, giving the rest to those more in need, like I did with my replacement (redistribution, rather than poverty).

Offline SneeR

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2012, 10:07:14 PM »
Vow of Poverty [Exalted, Vow]
    You may still own and use magical items, but you cannot buy them with money. You must attune any magical item you own as soon as possible and may not own use any magical items that you have not attuned.
FTFY

If you can't own any magic item until it is attuned, how are you going to transport it to the place where you'll get attuned?
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Offline RobbyPants

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Re: New alignment rules and modified vile and exalted feats
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2012, 07:53:29 AM »
Maybe you could refluff it into keeping only what you need to survive and continue your good works, giving the rest to those more in need, like I did with my replacement (redistribution, rather than poverty).
That is closer to what I'm aiming for, although I think I'd want to clear up how that works, so people don't pour all of their excess funds into expensive spell components and potions, or what-not. Still, that doesn't mean that adventurers wouldn't need those things to survive.

That being said, that version would work better as a trait than a feat, but I don't know what to grant in return for it. It almost sounds weaker than a trait: "You don't spend money on fun things, but you still get all the swag you need to be a PC.". That's pretty much how WBL-based D&D already works. ;)


Vow of Poverty [Exalted, Vow]
    You may still own and use magical items, but you cannot buy them with money. You must attune any magical item you own as soon as possible and may not own use any magical items that you have not attuned.
FTFY

If you can't own any magic item until it is attuned, how are you going to transport it to the place where you'll get attuned?
I'm not sure how to word that one. Neither makes sense. The idea is to keep people from stock piling up on magical items. Normally, there's nothing to stop you from carrying extra niche items that you attune when you need them.

Perhaps some wording about you need to attune the item immediately after identification or discard it. I'm not sure.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 07:55:28 AM by RobbyPants »
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