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Holy Liberator Kit Revisited


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Hello everyone! It has been a long time since I last posted, but I got the urge to finish a kit I was working on around a decade ago. The Holy Liberator kit has been done before (in Oversight), but I wanted to make it as close to the spirit of its 3rd edition pen-and-paper counterpart as possible. This interpretation is based on Defenders of the Faith's iteration of the Holy Liberator, and it took some time determining exactly what immunities should be derived from its "immunity to charm and compulsion" feature. After quite a bit of reading and reasoning and comparing 2nd edition's spells to 3rd edition's, I have the general outline and concept in mind.

However, I forgot what little I knew about making kits about a decade ago, so any guidance would be appreciated. I do not know if some of the implementation is possible, so that is another reason for asking. Here is the general outline:

Holy Liberator

The holy liberator is a holy warrior, a distant cousin of the paladin, who is dedicated to overthrowing tyranny wherever it may be found. These champions of freedom and equality are strong-willed, independent-minded, and virtuous. Holy liberators must be of Chaotic Good alignment.

Advantages:

-          May use Subversion ability once per day per to free a creature from charm, confusion, feeblemindedness, and all hold and sleep spells.

-          Immune to charm, confusion, feeblemindedness, and all hold and sleep spells.

-          +2 to save vs. spells and an extra +2 to save vs. Enchantment/Charm spells

Disadvantages:

-          May not use Lay On Hands ability.

-          Immune to Bless, Chaotic Commands, and Defensive Harmony

First question: The kit will have immunity to the opcodes for charm, confusion, and feeblemindedness. Hold will just be Hold Person/Hold Animal/Hold Monster, Sleep will be the spells Emotion, Sleep, Power Word: Sleep, Command, and Greater Command. Is there anything I should know about implementing those immunities?

Second question: Is it possible to make Subversion only heal hold specifically from Hold Person/Hold Animal/Hold Monster and Sleep from Emotion, Sleep, Power Word: Sleep, Command, and Greater Command? For example, I am trying to avoid the opcode for hold, because that would heal paralysis from ghouls, and that is supposed to be outside of the kit's capabilities. The same is also true for avoiding the sleep opcode, because it should not be immune to Stinking Cloud and the Staff of Air's special ability. If I remember correctly, it is possible to give a character immunity to specific spells, but I was not able to find anything about healing effects from specific spells.

Third question: The innate +2 to spells is something I think should be possible, but is giving the kit the extra +2 to save vs. Enchantment/Charm spells possible to implement? From an in-game perspective this means only Miscast Magic and Ray of Enfeeblement are affected, but it is part of its abilities. If it is not possible, then the lazy route of giving the kit immunity to all Enchantment/Charm spells is possible, but I would rather not given not all Enchantment spells are mind-affecting compulsions in either 2nd edition or 3rd edition.

Fourth question: Immunity from  beneficial spells is unusual, but can this be implemented? It is important as part of the immunity to charm/compulsion type enchantment spells.

 

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1) There are not a whole lot of Hold/Sleep-type spells. If you want to restrict it to *spells* I'd say that's about it. There may be some tough situations when there are mod-added spells/abilities. For example, Spell Revisions' Sphere of Chaos uses both Hold and Sleep opcodes (unless this spell has been changed; I still use a rather old version of SR) among others. There are also special abilities like "Improved Bodhi" Sepulchral Sleep, but if you're not including special abilities, then there's no problem. There may also be items that apply hold/sleep on hit, but if you're also not including these, then no problem.

2) Yes it's possible. I don't know if the EE offers a more elegant solution but even in the old engine you can place the hold/sleep opcode inside a nested spell, and give this spell a custom SPELL TYPE, then give the opcode "Remove Spell Type Protection" to your Subversion, so it would dispel only your custom spell type(s), which, in turn, is only applied by these specific spells.

3) Should also be possible. Once you have identified which spells should be affected, you can use "Use EFF file" opcode combined with nested spells to target Holy Liberator with a less severe version of the spell, while everyone else is subjected to the normal version.

4) Yes, you can use "Protection from Spell" opcode.

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Posted (edited)

So, Holy Liberator has innate immunities against mind spells but at same time will not benefit from Chaotic commands? Why in the name of Torm would you do that? It will be fine until mind flayers and their psionic blast. And what about stun? I know there are many mods that change Freedom to counter that but I'm talking about basic vanilla rules. 

Edited by Greenhorn
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2 hours ago, Greenhorn said:

So, Holly Liberator has innate immunities against mind spells but at same time will not benefit from Chaotic commands? Why in the name of Torm would you do that? It will be fine until mind flayers and their psionic blast. And what about stun? I know there are many mods that change Freedom to counter that but I'm talking about basic vanilla rules. 

Chaotic Commands would very likely be a mind-affecting compulsion spell if it had a 3e counterpart due to changing how the target's mind works. Immunity to charm and compulsion effects includes all charms and compulsions, whether beneficial or not. I could take the "letting the kit have its cake and eat it too" angle by removing the immunity to specific beneficial spells, but this strikes me as poorly balanced. The kit is, in my estimation, already very powerful without Chaotic Commands.

Stun is not a charm or compulsion*. The kit is not meant to have blanket immunity to every status effect, such as Chaotic Commands basically grants. Stun would be something he is vulnerable to, but he does have the advantage that every stun effect uses save vs. spells (if I remember correctly), so his +2 save vs. spell (on top of the +2 to all saves Paladins naturally receive) should be very good by the time the character reaches mind flayers. A naked Holy Liberator, protected only by the use of an innate Protection from Evil spell, that rushes off to battle mindflayers at level 9 would have a save vs. spell of 5. A mind flayer's chance of stunning the kit would be 20%. A naked Holy Liberator doing the same thing at level 13 would be stunned 5% of the time, and would be effectively immune at level 15.

*Per Edition 3.5 Power Word: Stun and Symbol of Stunning (Symbol, Stun in 2e) are spells the kit would have immunity to, giving partial protection to stun should I elect to go that route. However, I am content with it as is given the attempt to focus on 2nd/3rd edition. The only reason immunity to Power Word: Sleep exists  is because it functions as the Sleep spell, but with only a verbal component required. 

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5 hours ago, ABlake said:

1) There are not a whole lot of Hold/Sleep-type spells. If you want to restrict it to *spells* I'd say that's about it. There may be some tough situations when there are mod-added spells/abilities. For example, Spell Revisions' Sphere of Chaos uses both Hold and Sleep opcodes (unless this spell has been changed; I still use a rather old version of SR) among others. There are also special abilities like "Improved Bodhi" Sepulchral Sleep, but if you're not including special abilities, then there's no problem. There may also be items that apply hold/sleep on hit, but if you're also not including these, then no problem.

2) Yes it's possible. I don't know if the EE offers a more elegant solution but even in the old engine you can place the hold/sleep opcode inside a nested spell, and give this spell a custom SPELL TYPE, then give the opcode "Remove Spell Type Protection" to your Subversion, so it would dispel only your custom spell type(s), which, in turn, is only applied by these specific spells.

3) Should also be possible. Once you have identified which spells should be affected, you can use "Use EFF file" opcode combined with nested spells to target Holy Liberator with a less severe version of the spell, while everyone else is subjected to the normal version.

4) Yes, you can use "Protection from Spell" opcode.

Thank you for the response!

#1) I looked over the special abilities that inflict the hold or sleep effect in vanilla (my modding skills are basically non-existent, so I am not going to pay attention to other mods) and only the Pixie Prick's special ability stood out as relevant (it is possible I am missing something and would appreciate anyone pointing out other possibilities!). Demon abilities that inflict hold were tricky, but they are usually treated as paralysis rather than an enchanted compulsion in pen and paper, so I am leaving those alone.

#2) I will be doing the kit for the original game. This one sounds like it will be the most complex part of trying to put together the kit.

#3) Interesting. If it must be implemented as a bonus to save against specific spells, then it only being two spells will likely simplify this one. Is there a guide anywhere that will help with questions 2 and 3?

#4) Simple and straightforward.

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Posted (edited)

Your kit, your rules, I'm fine with it. However if I play it I would like to have some option to protect from psionic blast and stun effects as those saving throws bonuses are fickle thing to depend upon as you would realize if you play a little longer ( sure, reload saves all but that is not my style ). I didn't say that kit should be protected against all adverse effects but IMHO not able to utilize CC is big minus. It reminds me of Riskbreaker immunity to Barkskin. :p As for your faith in enhanced saving throws for  paladins I suppose you are the author of Champion of Torm kit before famous Moongaze took care of it,  which I played recently? Saving throws for paladins are hardcoded and one of that kit advantages is extra 3 points in all ST on top of two paladin already has. This is lost at first level up ( I suppose way to rectify this is to apply that custom spell which gives extra ST at every level up) so bear this in mind with this new paladin kit.  

Edit:

Oh and Power word stun doesn't offer ST and effects are dependable on HP

Edited by Greenhorn
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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Greenhorn said:

Your kit, your rules, I'm fine with it. However if I play it I would like to have some option to protect from psionic blast and stun effects as those saving throws bonuses are fickle thing to depend upon as you would realize if you play a little longer ( sure, reload saves all but that is not my style ). I didn't say that kit should be protected against all adverse effects but IMHO not able to utilize CC is big minus. It reminds me of Riskbreaker immunity to Barkskin. :p As for your faith in enhanced saving throws for  paladins I suppose you are the author of Champion of Torm kit before famous Moongaze take care of it,  which I played recently? Saving throws for paladins are hardcoded and one of that kit advantages is extra 3 points in all ST on top of two paladin already has. This is lost at first level up ( I suppose way to rectify this is to apply that custom spell which gives extra ST at every level up) so bear this in mind with this new paladin kit.  

Edit:

Oh and Power word stun doesn't offer ST and effects are dependable on HP

Well, it is easy to lower those saving throws to the point of immunity. Level 9 Holy Liberator + innate Protection from Evil spell = 5. Throw in an Aid or Chant spell (4), Helm of Balduran (3), and Ring of Protection +2 (1) and voila, immunity to mind flayer stun. Accomplishing this rather easily at such a low level is significant, in my opinion.

The Chaotic Commands immunity is both inspired by the rules and important for balancing the kit. Solo players would not care at all about it, because Paladins cannot cast it anyway.

I know Power Word: Stun has no saving throw. However, in 2e it is a Conjuration spell and does not have an Enchantment/Charm spell partner like Power Word: Sleep does. I did give serious consideration to expanding the hold/sleep spell immunity to hold/sleep/stun spell immunity, but could not justify it on the grounds that the Power Word and Symbol spells did not become Enchantment/Charm school until 3.5e.

I am aware of the saving throws being hardcoded. In this case, I need to find a way to implement the +2 vs. spell saving throw bonus, and I was intending to use the Monk as a guide.

As an aside: I remember doing something related to the Champion of Torm on the shsforums, but I can take no credit for actually getting it done. Full credit goes to Jarno Mikkola for that undertaking.

Edited by BPaulsen
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Posted (edited)

Well, unfortunately with those mind flayers bullies nothing is easy. Did you know, for instance that ulitharid psionic blast have -4 penalty? And are you absolutely sure that protection from evil gives anything beyond - 2 to AC despite it's description? Same goes for Chant ( in the old engine at least ). I wish that someone confirm this like that fabulous supposed specialist mage ST bonus/penalty and learning chances for their spell schools. In any case if you think that fighting mind flayers without CC is voila and charging demons who spit fireballs from their asses followed by Power word stun isn't that big deal be my guest. As I said, your kit, your rules and I get your reasoning for your decision. Best of luck with this as  good paladin kit is always a great thing. 

Edit: Chant was actually fixed by BG2 fixpack to give ST if I remember correctly. 

Edited by Greenhorn
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2 hours ago, Greenhorn said:

Well, unfortunately with those mind flayers bullies nothing is easy. Did you know, for instance that ulitharid psionic blast have -4 penalty? And are you absolutely sure that protection from evil gives anything beyond - 2 to AC despite it's description? Same goes for Chant ( in the old engine at least ). I wish that someone confirm this like that fabulous supposed specialist mage ST bonus/penalty and learning chances for their spell schools. In any case if you think that fighting mind flayers without CC is voila and charging demons who spit fireballs from their asses followed by Power word stun isn't that big deal be my guest. As I said, your kit, your rules and I get your reasoning for your decision. Best of luck with this as  good paladin kit is always a great thing. 

Edit: Chant was actually fixed by BG2 fixpack to give ST if I remember correctly. 

From the testing I have seen people do, the saving throw bonus for Protection from Evil does work. Chant, like you mentioned, is something the Fixpack likely addressed. I did not know about that particular psionic blast having a -4 penalty. That makes it like Symbol, Stun. Dangerous.

Just as a thought exercise: Level 9 Holy Liberator with Protection from Evil/Helm of Balduran/Delver's Plate (innate spell with easily accessed equipment giving a total -5 to save vs. spells) against the Psionic Blast with -4 gives him a 25% chance to be stunned. Sure, not as desirable as the blanket immunity provided by Chaotic Commands, but better than everything except "shorty saving throws". Immunity to anything imposing a -4 save vs. spell penalty (such as Symbol, Stun) would happen at level 13 with a Ring of Gaxx added to that equipment. Alternatively, level 15 with an Aid or Chant spell would obtain the same immunity without the Ring of Gaxx. In my opinion, that is pretty strong.

I got a good laugh at imagining demons spitting fireballs from their asses.

I am open to further adjusting things. If the 3e SRD listed the Power Word and Symbol spells as mind-affecting compulsion spells, then the kit would be immune to those too.

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