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D&D 3E
Merciful spells. 
14th-Jan-2007 04:56 pm
Disney-Mermaid MythandMagic
I'm working on a character for a new high-level campaign. I've decided to keep the concept simple, and go with a god like Ilmater (Forgotten Realms) or Mishakal (Dragonlance). Both are pure healers, with the idea that you end suffering wherever you go and heal everyone, no matter who they are. In order to balance that with the fact that D&D clerics are actually moderately decent melee fighters, I was considering getting a weapon with the merciful enchantment on it. My dilemna comes from this being an upper level campaign. The weapon will be useless against almost everything we meet unless I put the money into it to make it a great weapon, and I don't want to do that. Which leads me to my question.

As far as I know, there isn't a cleric spell that allows you to temporarily enchant a weapon so that it does only non-lethal damage. So I'm consider asking my GM permission to alter the Greater Magic Weapon spell a little so that instead of giving a non-magical weapon a +5 bonus (at 20th level), I could give it a +4 bonus and the merciful ability.

Now, I can see how using this concept could get out of hand - use it to give your weapon the cold ability when you are fighting fire elementals, for example. But because of my character concept, I really think it would make sense for my character to be able to make her weapon merciful if she gets in a pinch and has to fight. Her domains are even the old fashioned good and healing. So, what do you guys think? Would this completely unbalance the spell? Should I suggest a variation ("Merciful Magic Weapon") that is one level higher than Greater Magic Weapon? Suggestions? Ideas?

Edit: I'm thinking of using the motto 'laughter is the best medicine' to model my cleric's personality around, making her easy going and with a good sense of humor, but not a clown. Kind of like a young nurse who knows how to cheer children up. Any suggestions about what skills might best compliment that? I'm thinking diplomacy.
Comments 
14th-Jan-2007 11:44 pm (UTC) - One idea...
...would be that a "Weapon of Mercy" spell would confer the same attack bonuses as the "Magic Weapon" spells, but automatically converts damage to subdual and can't be turned off like a weapon with the Merciful enchantment. Now an enchanted weapon may not get a benefit for attacks and damage, but the subdual effect will trump whatever else it does -- assuming I'm reading the Merciful effect correctly.

As far as the character herself: make sure she has a decent Charisma, and put some ranks in Perform or perhaps even Bluff. The former will definitely help, especially if a sizeable group is involved.
15th-Jan-2007 01:16 am (UTC)
Are you considering an exalted-type character, like one that goes out of her way not to hurt people? If so, you may be interested in the Exalted stuff... some of it's not that good (and some is broken), but it could fit your intentions.

If not... I guess I question why you need to spend the effort to make your weapon do non-lethal? If you're beating someone with a mace, usually you don't care if you hurt them. If you didn't want to hurt them, you wouldn't be fighting them in melee! Also, you can always choose to deal non-lethal damage with any weapon by taking a -4 to attack, without the spell.
15th-Jan-2007 02:02 am (UTC)
Are you considering an exalted-type character, like one that goes out of her way not to hurt people?

Hmm, yes and no. I don't think she likes to harm people, but she will if she has to in order to save someone, or many someones. But in the course of the party, I think she'll prefer not to fight, unless she has to. I just want to make sure that, in an epic campaign, she can defend herself if she gets caught by herself. And when it comes to defending herself, non-lethal damage does just as much to slow an enemy down as lethal. So, as a healer, why *wouldn't* she want to use non-lethal damage? I guess on one hand, yeah, it will give her a little bit of a penalty, but it's a small roleplaying quirk that I'm willing to sacrifice for.
15th-Jan-2007 01:19 am (UTC)
There is, in one of the books(can't remember which, sorry) a truncheon weapon, basically a sap but bigger: doing D8 X2 non-lethal. Why not carry one of them rather than another weapon?(or even in addition if you want a decent weapon for other circumstances).

I agree with the suggested perform skill idea(perhaps oratory(which is good for a cleric anyway AND covers storytelling). Diplomacy is another good choice for clerics generally, and for the type you want particularly. Knowledge religion is a good choice too, it gives you the knowledge needed for telling the right stories(and maybe the right oaths/exclamations) for different situations as well as it's more common use of knowing about undead etc.

I've also seen a variant cleric which might be worth a look, if your GM is up for such things-

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm

It's designed as a less combat orientated cleric; more skill ponts, bardic knowlege(with a different name), altered spell list(not very, mostly small additions/level changes), lower hps etc.
15th-Jan-2007 02:04 pm (UTC)
I was going to suggest a +5 sap...
15th-Jan-2007 02:21 am (UTC)
My first suggestion would be to take the Radiant Servant of Pelor Prestige Class from The Complete Divine. If you haven't looked at it you are doing yoursel and your party a disservice. If you don't want your character to serve Pelor, try to see if your DM would change the God to someone else along his lines. Hands down the best class for a healer. Ever.

Second, on the weapon, I would first consider simply taking the -4 penalty for "pulling your punch", doing Subdual damage. It's a good option because it's free and you can spend gold on other things (also working on your thought of this being a 'simple' character). But it does mean that you are at a -4 to hit, which is always something to consider.

Your idea of modifying the Magic Weapon spell would work in my world, and as a DM I would accept it.

I believe that there is also a Feat that allows this, but I can not find it at this time.

Good luck, and let us know how she turns out.
15th-Jan-2007 11:18 am (UTC)
Perform: Patch Adams. 20 ranks.
16th-Jan-2007 09:20 am (UTC)
Well, I looked at the spell requirement for adding the Merciful effect to a weapon (Cure Light Wounds) then looked in the Spell Compenduim (as quickly as I could, since there is a time consideration right now...) and the best answer that I can come up with is this:

Necessity is the mother of all invention.

if you can't find the spell, create it...going on the guess that you have access to the books you need, sit down and start gettin creative-like...and for a spell like this, it shouldn't be too difficult to write up....just present it to the DM when you're done, or ask him to sit down with you and give you a hand as you're creating it....
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