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D&D 3E
Elocator, a Psionic PrC 
13th-Oct-2005 01:34 pm
Monkey
Once I get another 1,151 XP, I'll get my first level of the Elocator PrC (from the Expanded Psionics Handbook). I am very excited about this class, but I have a few concerns. These revolve around the Scorn Earth special ability.

From the SRD:
Scorn Earth (Su)

At 1st level, an elocater’s feet lift from the ground. From now on, she can float a foot above the ground. Instead of walking she glides along, unconcerned with the hard earth or difficult terrain. While she remains within 1 foot of a flat surface of any solid or liquid, she can take normal actions and make normal attacks, and can move at her normal speed (she can even “run” at four times her normal speed). However, at distances higher than 1 foot above any surface, her speed diminishes to 10 feet per round.

While she remains within 1 foot of a surface, she can make melee and ranged attacks normally, but if she moves any higher, she incurs the penalties on melee and ranged attack rolls as if she were the subject of the psionic levitate power.


Concerns:

* If the character's feet do not touch the ground, why does it not affect the Move Silently skill? I cannot find anything in regards to how flying or levetating affect this either.
* What about jumping? While it does not come right out and say it, it makes sense to not allow an elocator to glide up to about ten feet above the ground and then make a Jump check to get even higher. I think all Jump checks should require the elocator to be within one foot of the ground.
* Style-wise, as this would not affect mechanics, is it better to just glide along, unmoving, or should the character have to actually pump their legs and walk on air? I think there is something eery about gliding along, and the character is already mildly unsettling as it is.

Have any of you chuckleheads played this class? If so, let me know how that went for you. If any of you are curious with my experiences, let me know, and I'll try to keep you posted.
Comments 
13th-Oct-2005 05:49 pm (UTC)
Keep in mind that moving silently isn't just about your feet hitting the ground. It's about not breathing loud, keeping loose change in your pocket from making noise, keeping your keys from jangling, not bumping into anything or knocking anything over, etc etc.

If I were DM'ing you, however, I'd give you a decent bonus to move silently... not total god mode, but enough to justify not having to worry about your feet making noise. *shrug*



~Ray
13th-Oct-2005 06:26 pm (UTC)
+2 is the standard. Thank you this is what I would have replied with.
13th-Oct-2005 08:27 pm (UTC)
+2 seems a little low to me, I'd say at least +4 minimum
13th-Oct-2005 08:45 pm (UTC)
I'd go with +5, were I DMing. Boots of Elvenkind do essentially the same thing-- muffle footfalls, and that's more or less what is being described here.
(Deleted comment)
13th-Oct-2005 06:34 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking if I can walk acrosss water, I should not be setting off pressure traps.
As for exerting force, that isn't the way elocators work. There powers involve space/location, not force.
13th-Oct-2005 07:13 pm (UTC)
What makes you think you can walk across water? The spell is Scorn Earth, not Scorn Water. The concept of the magical spells seems to focus on the elemental property of the ground... change that element and it won't work. As a DM I would rule the spell ONLY works over earth.
13th-Oct-2005 07:17 pm (UTC)
"While she remains within 1 foot of a flat surface of any solid or liquid, "
That's lets me know that I can walk across liquid.
13th-Oct-2005 09:59 pm (UTC)
So you're like a hovercraft, but they cross liquid and can do so by exerting downward force. You just do so buoyantly.

Personally, though, I'd rule against having any effect on the floor. How scornful are you of earth if you still affect the ground as if you weren't scorning it?
13th-Oct-2005 10:20 pm (UTC)
Ha. Well put.
13th-Oct-2005 11:22 pm (UTC)
Re: flying and move silently. With the notable exception of owls (whose feathers are specifically designed for silence) winged flight is at least as noisy as any form of ground locomotion. This, of course, does not address the issue of magical flight, levitation, and Scorn Earth.

The rules are silent on this point, and I feel like it becomes a severe case of aesthetics vs. mechanics if we're not careful. If you are playing a sky-mage, someone whose spells are thematically related to wind and lightning, it might make sense to have your fly and levitate spells represent winds buoying you aloft. Very noisy. Ahah, but Ms. teleport-happy dimension door-loving Transmutation specialist who deals directly with space/time has no such noisy winds. She should get a Move Silently bonus. Uh oh ... now you're punishing Mr. Sky Mage for his aesthetic decision. Bad idea.

I think the only solution here is to play it by ear. Give circumstance bonuses where called for. If you're trying to sneak across a creaky floor, take your +2-+4 bonus. If you're trying to sneak through a room filled with bells on ropes (or a glass-beaded curtain, to use a less far-fetched example), you get no special boost.

As far as jumping. It seems clear to me that when you're 1' above the ground, you are functionally standing and can do anything you could do while standing. While higher than that, you are levitating and no longer able to jump, for example.

As for the style, I think the not-having-to-move-the-legs bit is cooler, but that's a purely aesthetic decision and you should be free to do whichever you prefer.
14th-Oct-2005 02:01 am (UTC)
You're not punishing the sky mage if your campaign doesn't have a sky mage. And if it does have one but not a dealer-in-spaces-and-times, the sky mage doesn't have to know you'd give the other school of thought a move silently bonus, and thus won't feel punished.

Regarding style, I think the concept of walking above the ground to be much neater. Plenty of things glide and float. Not many walk above the normal horizontal plane. ^_~
14th-Oct-2005 06:03 am (UTC)
I had a Shadowrun mage once that used a combination of levitate and another spell (I forget which) to travel horizontally at great speed. She'd levitate a foot or two off the ground, then use the other spell to propel her forward. For stylistic effect, I used her staff as a guage-- holding it vertical meant she stayed still. The further she angled it towards horizontal, the faster she went. It was rather fun watching this mage come speeding up to someone, and yank on her staff like a car emergency brake to come to a stop.

There are all sorts of similar things that could be done. Wear feathers, for instance, or act like riding a broomstick or hobby horse, or maybe seat oneself on the 'ground' and glide along like on an invisible flying carpet. =)
15th-Oct-2005 03:28 pm (UTC)
As it makes no mention of giving you a bonus to Move Silently then it does not give a bonus. As a GM I would allow you to negate the circumstance penalties if any for any objects or items on the floor which would cause a noise.

With regards the jumping, I would say that you can only do that if you are within 1 foot of the ground. Levitating any higher and you are not able to jump. If you can't run then you can't jump.

Style-wise, this will vary from person to person and game to game. I personally would have a very lazy mage who couldn't be bothered to walk, he remained stationary while the world moved to his command.
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