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Demonweb and Planar Bubble spell

 
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edmundscott
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Joined: Sep 20, 2001
Posts: 164

PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:34 pm    Post subject: Demonweb and Planar Bubble spell Reply with quote

The PCs in my 3.5 edition game are almost all 20th lvl now and just started Monte Cook's old Dungeon magazine adventure The Harrowing last time (originally for 15th lvl characters). To make the adventure a challenge for characters of their power level, I decided to bring in every spell & magic item alteration I could find concerning the Demonweb from every edition of the game.

So, for example, I want to use all the weird magic effects in the original Queen of the Demonweb Pits, I want to use the teleportation sub-school ban from Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (so no plane shifting out), I want to keep what the module suggests, that chaos & evil spells are at double CL, meaning that blasphemy from hezrou is a threat again. Extradimensional access, including portable hole and bag of holding, is unreliable, Magic weapons and armor and protection rings lose 2 plusses etc. etc. etc.

The PCs entered the Demonweb at the end of last game and immediately put up 3 planar bubble spells on 3 of their number:

http://alcyius.com/dndtools/spells/spell-compendium--86/planar-bubble--4633/index.html

The session ended right after that, so I have a few days to think about how effective it'll be in undoing all the problematic aspects of Demonweb adventuring.

The more I think about it, the more I hate this spell; it seems to circumvent all the challenge of an environment like this at no cost to the PCs. That said, I definitely want the spell (since the favored soul chose it as one of her spells) to do SOMETHING, to benefit the PCs, but utterly undoing every change to magic in the Demonweb seems like too much.

For instance, since the Demonweb doesn't connect to the astral plane or the ethereal, should Planar Bubble really allow the PCs to access these planes? Could Planar Bubble really undo the will of Lolth when it comes to granting wishes? If Lolth locks down the Demonweb against teleportation (except with her special cubes and pyramid triggers), can this puny mortal spell negate her will?

What do you guys think? How much should I let this spell accomplish?
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BlueWitch
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Joined: Mar 05, 2007
Posts: 290
Location: The Pomarj

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:26 am    Post subject: Re: Demonweb and Planar Bubble spell Reply with quote

I haven't looked at the spell lately, but I believe Planar Bubble, like most spells, has a finite duration. I know it's not common for many DMs now, but I'd suggest keeping careful track of time.
"Hmm, the Planar Bubble spell ran out WHILE you were casting that. What are the odds?"

edmundscott wrote:
The PCs in my 3.5 edition game are almost all 20th lvl now and just started Monte Cook's old Dungeon magazine adventure The Harrowing last time (originally for 15th lvl characters). To make the adventure a challenge for characters of their power level, I decided to bring in every spell & magic item alteration I could find concerning the Demonweb from every edition of the game.

So, for example, I want to use all the weird magic effects in the original Queen of the Demonweb Pits, I want to use the teleportation sub-school ban from Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (so no plane shifting out), I want to keep what the module suggests, that chaos & evil spells are at double CL, meaning that blasphemy from hezrou is a threat again. Extradimensional access, including portable hole and bag of holding, is unreliable, Magic weapons and armor and protection rings lose 2 plusses etc. etc. etc.

The PCs entered the Demonweb at the end of last game and immediately put up 3 planar bubble spells on 3 of their number:

http://alcyius.com/dndtools/spells/spell-compendium--86/planar-bubble--4633/index.html

The session ended right after that, so I have a few days to think about how effective it'll be in undoing all the problematic aspects of Demonweb adventuring.

The more I think about it, the more I hate this spell; it seems to circumvent all the challenge of an environment like this at no cost to the PCs. That said, I definitely want the spell (since the favored soul chose it as one of her spells) to do SOMETHING, to benefit the PCs, but utterly undoing every change to magic in the Demonweb seems like too much.

For instance, since the Demonweb doesn't connect to the astral plane or the ethereal, should Planar Bubble really allow the PCs to access these planes? Could Planar Bubble really undo the will of Lolth when it comes to granting wishes? If Lolth locks down the Demonweb against teleportation (except with her special cubes and pyramid triggers), can this puny mortal spell negate her will?

What do you guys think? How much should I let this spell accomplish?
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Cebrion
Black Hand of Oblivion
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Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 3721
Location: So. Cal

PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep in mind that the spell has just under a 3 hour duration, and it only affects what is in that bubble. Spells cast/items used on targets outside of the bubble are affected by any negatives.

However, if nothing can be summoned by PC's into the Demonweb Pits, then certainly no portion of their home plane can effectively be "summoned" in a bubble around them as they traipse about the Demoweb Pits either. For the spell to work at all, it may require an attunement key be in the possession of the spell caster. If you don't want to play hardball though...

Have the plane shift, teleport, and such not work at all, as that is an effect not tied to counting as being on another plane. The Demonweb Pits, as you say, are isolated from other planes and accessible in only certain ways. If other demon lords can't just pop in and out as they wish, mortals will not either, and certainly not because they have some spell. I would rule that only a gate spell will work, but it would require one of the Demonweb Pits attunement keys you mentioned. And no on the wish spell. If gate, a 9th level spell, requires a key, a wish spell, another 9th level spell, is surely not equivalent to a gate spell + a key. You might rule that a gate spell may be used in conjunction with a wish so that the PCs do not need a key (i.e. "I wish my gate spell could open a way home for us without needing an attunement key.").

Let item bonuses be normal inside the bubble, but be mindful of missiles shot at targets outside of the bubbles and spells cast at targets outside of the bubbles.

And don't play enemies stupid - DISPEL MAGIC! DISPEL MAGIC! DISPEL MAGIC!!! Lots of things have access to that 3rd level spell. Use anti-magic shell as you can too.

Last, that spell shouldn't be an abjuration, but a conjuration spell as it protects from the plane you are in by effectively bringing your own plane to you in an area of effect around you. Horribly classified in my opinion. If conjurations are limited by the Demoweb Pits, I would say this spell is similarly limited (which might mean it works in no way whatsoever).
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edmundscott
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Joined: Sep 20, 2001
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the thoughts. We started the adventure Friday evening and I've been basically operating under your suggestions. In particular, I've been really strict on the distinction between in and out of the bubble so, for instance, spells cast within the bubble targeted outside the bubble are subject to the Demonweb alterations, missiles shot by the scout lose two plusses outside of her bubble, etc.

Wish hasn't come up yet, and I think I'm going to go with what old Q1 suggested: grant the wish unless it's contrary to Lolth's desires, in other words it's requires some effort or energy on her part to NOT grant the wish so she's liable to let basic wishes slide, but grant nothing directly opposed to her wishes/servants.

The favored soul already tried a Miracle and I ruled that miracles can't work even inside the bubble, since direct contact with her goddess is required and not possible on the 66th layer of the Abyss. I'm tracking all the spell durations closely, because the party will soon learn that divine spell slots above 2nd lvl can't be recovered here, if they rest.

I'm not going to allow any teleports on the perhaps dubious basis that, even though the spell originates within the bubble, any destination outside the bubble requires some kind of transition of the Demonweb, incurring the effects.

One I'm still unsure about: extra dimensional spaces. in Q1, for the Rope Trick spell, the module recommends randomizing what's inside any rope trick or portable hole every time it's entered/opened. d20: 1-12 another room in the demonweb, 13-20 works as usual.
My question is whether accessing an extra dimensional space within the planar bubble should work normally or should incur the same random chance? There's a lot of Heward's Handy Haversacks and bags of holding in this party. Are the extra dimensional spaces inside or outside of the Demonweb? Are they inside or outside of the planar bubble spell?
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Cebrion
Black Hand of Oblivion
Black Hand of Oblivion


Joined: Feb 16, 2003
Posts: 3721
Location: So. Cal

PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't provide much in the way of detail, but I would let divine casters know that their divine connection is being obstructed in some way, and that it may be problematic in various ways. Had a great run though that adventure. Let us know how it goes. Happy
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