This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.

Author Topic: Disable Device and Symbol of Death  (Read 625 times)

Name Lips

  • Likes Egyptian Rivers
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • N
  • Posts: 501
Disable Device and Symbol of Death
« on: June 02, 2006, 04:22:56 PM »
Quote

Symbol of Death

Necromancy [Death]
Level: Clr 8, Sor/Wiz 8
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: 0 ft.; see text
Effect: One symbol
Duration: See text
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

This spell allows you to scribe a potent rune of power upon a surface. When triggered, a symbol of death slays one or more creatures within 60 feet of the symbol (treat as a burst) whose combined total current hit points do not exceed 150. The symbol of death affects the closest creatures first, skipping creatures with too many hit points to affect. Once triggered, the symbol becomes active and glows, lasting for 10 minutes per caster level or until it has affected 150 hit points’ worth of creatures, whichever comes first. Any creature that enters the area while the symbol of death is active is subject to its effect, whether or not that creature was in the area when it was triggered. A creature need save against the symbol only once as long as it remains within the area, though if it leaves the area and returns while the symbol is still active, it must save again.

Until it is triggered, the symbol of death is inactive (though visible and legible at a distance of 60 feet). To be effective, a symbol of death must always be placed in plain sight and in a prominent location. Covering or hiding the rune renders the symbol of death ineffective, unless a creature removes the covering, in which case the symbol of death works normally.

As a default, a symbol of death is triggered whenever a creature does one or more of the following, as you select: looks at the rune; reads the rune; touches the rune; passes over the rune; or passes through a portal bearing the rune. Regardless of the trigger method or methods chosen, a creature more than 60 feet from a symbol of death can’t trigger it (even if it meets one or more of the triggering conditions, such as reading the rune). Once the spell is cast, a symbol of death’s triggering conditions cannot be changed.

In this case, “reading” the rune means any attempt to study it, identify it, or fathom its meaning. Throwing a cover over a symbol of death to render it inoperative triggers it if the symbol reacts to touch. You can’t use a symbol of death offensively; for instance, a touch-triggered symbol of death remains untriggered if an item bearing the symbol of death is used to touch a creature. Likewise, a symbol of death cannot be placed on a weapon and set to activate when the weapon strikes a foe.

You can also set special triggering limitations of your own. These can be as simple or elaborate as you desire. Special conditions for triggering a symbol of death can be based on a creature’s name, identity, or alignment, but otherwise must be based on observable actions or qualities. Intangibles such as level, class, Hit Dice, and hit points don’t qualify.

When scribing a symbol of death, you can specify a password or phrase that prevents a creature using it from triggering the effect. Anyone using the password remains immune to that particular rune’s effects so long as the creature remains within 60 feet of the rune. If the creature leaves the radius and returns later, it must use the password again.

You also can attune any number of creatures to the symbol of death, but doing this can extend the casting time. Attuning one or two creatures takes negligible time, and attuning a small group (as many as ten creatures) extends the casting time to 1 hour. Attuning a large group (as many as twenty-five creatures) takes 24 hours. Attuning larger groups takes proportionately longer. Any creature attuned to a symbol of death cannot trigger it and is immune to its effects, even if within its radius when triggered. You are automatically considered attuned to your own symbols of death, and thus always ignore the effects and cannot inadvertently trigger them.

Read magic allows you to identify a symbol of death with a DC 19 Spellcraft check. Of course, if the symbol of death is set to be triggered by reading it, this will trigger the symbol.

A symbol of death can be removed by a successful dispel magic targeted solely on the rune. An erase spell has no effect on a symbol of death. Destruction of the surface where a symbol of death is inscribed destroys the symbol but also triggers it.

Symbol of death can be made permanent with a permanency spell. A permanent symbol of death that is disabled or that has affected its maximum number of hit points becomes inactive for 10 minutes, then can be triggered again as normal.

Note: Magic traps such as symbol of death are hard to detect and disable. A rogue (only) can use the Search skill to find a symbol of death and Disable Device to thwart it. The DC in each case is 25 + spell level, or 33 for symbol of death.

Material Component: Mercury and phosphorus, plus powdered diamond and opal with a total value of at least 5,000 gp each.

OK, I'm assuming that if a Symbol of Death is concealed, and a character uncovers it, and it's set to trigger when somebody "looks at it," that it would just go off. No chance for the rogue to use Search or Disable Device on it.

But a more sticky question is when it's set to go off when touched. The description specifically states that trying to throw a cloth over the rune is suffecient to set it off if "touch" is its trigger. I'd be willing to let a rogue search for it without touching it - perhaps he notices faint shimmers in the air or something. But what about disabling it? Is there a way to do this that wouldn't set it off?
Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways, it's still rock and roll to me.

You can talk all you want about theory, craft, or whatever. But in the end, it's still just new ways of looking at people playing make-believe and having a good time with their friends. Intellectualize or analyze all you want, but we've been playing the same game since we were 2 years old. We just have shinier books, spend more money, and use bigger words now.

Cyclotron

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • C
  • Posts: 279
Disable Device and Symbol of Death
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2006, 04:32:27 PM »
Quote from: Name Lips
But what about disabling it? Is there a way to do this that wouldn't set it off?

However you want to creatively justify it...  It's a magical trap, after all.  How do Rogues "disable" any other magic trap?

Do a little dance, cross your eyes and your fingers, touch your tongue to your nose, and say "Weeba weeba, woppa woppa, garpox gumbidge, whoopee!", as you walk across it.
Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace,
 NFPA 70E, Article 330.4 (F):
"Laser beams shall not be aimed at employees."

Bagpuss

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 552
    • http://homepage.ntlworld.com/david.maple/
Disable Device and Symbol of Death
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2006, 03:47:18 AM »
I would imagine if it's triggered by say looking at it and a Rogue does a successful search to look for traps, then he recognises it as a Symbol trap, just from seeing part of the rune, before he has seen enough to trigger it.

He uncovers a corner of it and is quick enough to realise what it is an not uncover the rest.
 

Sigmund

  • a Toxic Sociopath
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4915
Disable Device and Symbol of Death
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2006, 11:28:53 AM »
Also, if he can disable it by covering it, he can cover it with something that wont touch...a bowl or bucket or hat. I'm wondering if it acts like a gorgon's gaze, can a rogue view the symbol with a mirror?
- Chris Sigmund

Old Loser

"I'd rather be a killer than a victim."

Quote from: John Morrow;418271
I role-play for the ride, not the destination.

Name Lips

  • Likes Egyptian Rivers
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • N
  • Posts: 501
Disable Device and Symbol of Death
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2006, 08:37:29 AM »
OK, we just played through this, so I can give a more specific explanation of the situation.

They uncovered the wall safe within which a powerful wizard had kept his backup spellbook. The niche is barely large enough for the book. You swing open the cleverly locked front panel, and THERE is the book, and the Symbol, right in your face.

I decided it just wouldn't be fair to make it the "triggers when looked at" type, though that's probably what the wizard would have done. I guess I'm too wimpy.

They wanted that spellbook! So I told them they would be allowed to attempt to Disable it. How to physically describe the success became immaterial, since the fellow doing the disarm check rolled low. The rest of the party had retreated back to the opposite wall, but that wasn't far enough, and one of them got herself killed.

Then they disabled the Symbol during its 10-minute cooldown.
Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways, it's still rock and roll to me.

You can talk all you want about theory, craft, or whatever. But in the end, it's still just new ways of looking at people playing make-believe and having a good time with their friends. Intellectualize or analyze all you want, but we've been playing the same game since we were 2 years old. We just have shinier books, spend more money, and use bigger words now.

Janos

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • J
  • Posts: 90
Disable Device and Symbol of Death
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2006, 02:05:19 PM »
Quote from: Name Lips
Then they disabled the Symbol during its 10-minute cooldown.


That's why the gods invented skeletons with hand towels.
 

Name Lips

  • Likes Egyptian Rivers
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • N
  • Posts: 501
Disable Device and Symbol of Death
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2006, 02:43:12 PM »
Quote from: Janos
That's why the gods invented skeletons with hand towels.

On the negative energy plane, they protect their spellbooks with Symbols of Life!
Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways, it's still rock and roll to me.

You can talk all you want about theory, craft, or whatever. But in the end, it's still just new ways of looking at people playing make-believe and having a good time with their friends. Intellectualize or analyze all you want, but we've been playing the same game since we were 2 years old. We just have shinier books, spend more money, and use bigger words now.

Janos

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • J
  • Posts: 90
Disable Device and Symbol of Death
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2006, 04:37:06 PM »
Quote from: Name Lips
On the negative energy plane, they protect their spellbooks with Symbols of Life!


That's why the gods invented Deathless with hand towels.