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D&D 3E
Vow of Poverty 
20th-Jul-2005 09:38 am
I am about to undertake one hell of a challenge, and I think I am up to it. I am looking for any advice, anecdotes, or opinions on how to handle this amazingly complicated feat.
Here's the skinny:
- I am taking it as my 3rd level feat, as I took Sacred Vow as my 1st level feat.
- I am a Fighter1 /Psychic Warrior 2.
- My race is a home brew, called a Mo'o, which are contemplative lizardmen, based on geckoes (naturally psionic, mad climbing, detachable tail).
- Lawful good.
- Combat style: you can't hit me, but I can hit you, although not all that hard (dodge, mobility, etc).
- At 4th and 6th, I will be taking, as my bonus exalted feats, Vow of Chastity (no sex) and Vow of Abstinence (no booze).
- The character is not religious, but philosophical. He is trying to achieve a state of enlightenment called Maui'i, which is sorta like Bhuddism, taoism, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Have any of you played with this feat, or been at the table with someone that has? I am wondering how that went for them.
20th-Jul-2005 01:56 pm (UTC)
Yikes. We have a wizard/Sentinel of Barhai in our City of the Spider Queen game with Vow of Poverty, and he's a holy terror. Vow of Poverty might be broken, especially in a game where role playing is not emphasized. You really need to empasize the goodness of a character who takes that feat and play good to the hilt.
20th-Jul-2005 02:36 pm (UTC)
So far, I've been manuevering between threats and the weaker members of teh party, incurring many attacks of opportunity along the way. Also, not looting bodies (i've been playing aspects of the vow ever since 1st level), and going out of my way to return the bodies of two lost children to their families. This took some time and effort, as the two kids had nothing on them that signified what families they belonged to.
And he's a holy terror when it comes to hacking up evil goblinoids:)
20th-Jul-2005 02:02 pm (UTC)

Good luck keeping up with the rest of the party if you take Vow of Poverty with a warrior build.
20th-Jul-2005 03:15 pm (UTC)
Between all the Fighter feats and psionic powers, I should be OK. So far, all of my feats and powers have been defensive. Soon, I will start getting more offensive, however.
20th-Jul-2005 03:19 pm (UTC)
I was more thinking that you can't use any armor whatsoever and can only use nonmagical, nonmasterwork simple weapons.

It doesn't leave you with many options.
20th-Jul-2005 03:26 pm (UTC)
Well, now that I have no armor or shield, my AC actually went up by one. Also, I now have Force Screen, which gives me a +4 shield bonus for 2 minutes.
My AC looks like this: AC 16, touch 11, flatt-footed 15. Add in Force Screen, I am at 20, without Dodge. Not shabby for a non-monk at 3rd level.Plus, no pesky armor penalties.
I throw up Vigor, and I have 5 or 10 temporary hit points on top of that, so my chances of surviving most 3rd level encounters are pretty high.
20th-Jul-2005 03:29 pm (UTC)
Key phrase there being "third level".

I was really considering your adventuring career, not your current status.
20th-Jul-2005 03:50 pm (UTC)
as a fighter it does kinda bite you in the ass, but at the same time, vow of poverty gives you MAD deflection and exalted A/C bonuses (read the voluntary poverty section, that DOES go with the feat).
The hardest part is remembering when you kill the big baddy, and stuff falls outta him all diablo stylee, and it looks really perdy, you get none of it.

all though there is a loophole, however small and debatable there is a loophole.
20th-Jul-2005 04:24 pm (UTC)
The loophole being?
20th-Jul-2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
well, I had a DM rule that you can't really own a sentient item. (I was in a game with another player, had vows of poverty and nonviolence).
Like I said, small and extremely debatable.
20th-Jul-2005 04:33 pm (UTC)
As a DM, I'd rule that even if you don't "own" a sentient weapon, it would count against the feat. I hate loopholes.
As a player, I'd not use a sentient weapon in belief that it would conflict with the Vow, regardless of what the DM ruled.
20th-Jul-2005 03:58 pm (UTC)
As I progress, my psionic powers will make up for no magic items, especially when considering the benefits from the feat itself. I'll break an AC of 30 by the time I hit 9th level or so, depending on what powers I have active.
My greatest worry is the strain I put on my party, as I won't be carrying any healing potions and there is only one cleric (we have a druid, but his magic has many other uses).
Part of th point is not having those options. I want to challenge myself and the way i think/play.
20th-Jul-2005 04:02 pm (UTC)
Fair enough.

Good luck and have fun.
20th-Jul-2005 03:10 pm (UTC)
Personally I hate those vows. To me they seem totally unbalanced. I had a character take two of them once, and it through off my whole game. Props to your dm if he can handle it.
20th-Jul-2005 03:14 pm (UTC)
How did they throw off your game? If there are pitfalls that I am not seeing that you can point out, it would help a lot.
20th-Jul-2005 03:20 pm (UTC)
It really depends which class is taking it.
20th-Jul-2005 04:30 pm (UTC)
It filled in all a characters weaknesses. Sure it's great if you are the character, but as a dm it makes it very difficult to challenge the character. I mean sure, it's kinda nice to carry things as PC, but you really don't NEED anything.. especially if you are a monk. The abilities they get are EVERYTHING they need. Your fighter may not have a +1 sword, but your poor PC will be able to....

Hard to explain... Unbalanced because it is too balanced.
20th-Jul-2005 04:33 pm (UTC)
As a Monk, yes. As a Sorc, yes. As a Wizard, usually. As a Bard, yes. Clerics, Rogues, Paladins, and Barbs will be able to function.

But, as a Fighter or Ranger, it totally ruins them.
20th-Jul-2005 04:44 pm (UTC)
I disagree.
As a fighter, you can make up for the better weapons by taking feats that improve your simple weapons. They are hampered, but not ruined.
As a ranger, you're in no worse shape. A quarterstaff is a double weapon for the two-weapon track. Slings, spears, daggers, crossbows, and darts are simple weapons for the ranged track. Again, hampered, but not ruined.
20th-Jul-2005 04:52 pm (UTC)
Severly hampered and, in a word, nerfed.

You might be able to go toe-to-toe with a non-exalted version of your class, even, but your inherant weakness is compounded just that much more (that is, Rogues take out spellcasters, spellcasters take out warriors, and warriors take out Rogues).
20th-Jul-2005 05:43 pm (UTC)
I disagree. I think you can make an unarmed fighter who's just as effective as a monk in battle. A fighter will be able to match almost every feat (and then some, like weapon specialization or the power attack tree which will help up the damage), and a fighter's much better BAB and HD will improve him over the long run. Giving him Vow of Poverty makes him all that more powerful, since he gets all the abilities.

There are enough mechanics and feats and stuff in place that an unarmed character can do just as well as an unarmored.
20th-Jul-2005 08:14 pm (UTC)
Just as long as you're not required to deal damage, not get hit, or go against anything with spells, damage reduction, or hardness, then I completely agree.
20th-Jul-2005 08:35 pm (UTC)
Um, what makes you say that? The Vow of Poverty will give the fighter at 10th level an attack with his fists at +2 hit/dmg, as well as ability to overcome DR as if he were wielding a +2 good-aligned weapon. Which is about where other 10th level fighters would be. He wouldn't be weaker against spells than any other class, even getting a +1 resistance bonus to saves and free grabbing of exalted feats which could help those even more. At 10th level he has a a free +8 bonus to AC from the Vow, so with a decent dex he could easily have a 20+ AC, which isn't bad at all. Not to mention the DR 5/-, which would negate some of the damage even if he does take a hit.

So he can do damage, not get hit (or not get hit very hard), do fine against magic users, overcome DR... what's your point? I don't see what makes you say they wouldn't work.
20th-Jul-2005 09:10 pm (UTC)
Horrible save progression still makes him bad against spellcasters.

Getting a measily +2 hit/dmg compared to Monks increasing damage is nothing.

And having the AC he should have had at level one is hardly brag-worthy.
20th-Jul-2005 09:18 pm (UTC)
Are you playing with 1st level characters with AC 20? Damn...

Again, the power attack tree would do wonders for bumping his damage, not to mention the Sanctify feats.

As for saves, sure they may suck, but not any more than a fighter wearing plate mail and carrying a sword. So my point still stands.
21st-Jul-2005 06:10 am (UTC)
Chain Shirt, Shield, Decent DEX. It's doable without too much of an issue.

And any Fighter or STR based Monk would already have it, not putting him ahead of the game at all.

And my point still stands that he'd be able to go toe-to-toe with a non-exalted member of his class, barely, and would simply further exentuate his weakness towards spellcasters (and further hampering him towards Rogues).
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