Tuesday Tweak: New “D” skill uses

Diplomacy: We’re All the Same Inside. When casting a spell or using an effect limited to creatures of a particular type (such as charm person) or limited when dealing with creatures with particular qualities (such as hideous laughter), you may make a Diplomacy check to let that spell apply without penalty to a different creature type. To do so, you must make a Diplomacy check as part of casting the spell (or action for another effect), and meet a DC of 20+the target’s HD. This does not require an additional action on your part. Monsters which vary wildly from the requirements of the spell or effect gain a +4 bonus to the diplomacy DC (for example, a charm person spell could take effect fairly easily on a monstrous humanoid, while an ooze would be much more difficult).

Disable Device: Sever the Strap. When your melee or ranged weapon attack hits an enemy wearing armor, you may make a Disable Device check against a DC equal to double their current full AC. Enemies can always feel you trying to sever the strap, and never count as flat-footed for this DC. If you succeed, the enemy’s armor functions as having been “donned hastily” until they remove it and then replace the armor.

Disguise: Not the Same Inside. When you are about to save against a spell or effect that you have identified as being keyed to a particular creature type (such as charm person) or possessed of certain qualities (like sharing a language), you may choose to forgo your save in favor of a Disguise check to fool the spell or effect into believing that you do not fulfill its prerequisite, causing it to fail. To do so, you must make a DC 20+ the HD of the caster or source of the effect. If you succeed, the spell or effect fails and you do not even suffer consequences (if any) of a successful save. If you fail, you automatically fail your save as well.


Betcha never thought creature type could be so malleable! Be careful about what spells or armors you allow these skills to work on, though it should simply make some interesting choices in both cases.




9 responses to “Tuesday Tweak: New “D” skill uses

  1. I’m really….concerned… about disguise: not the same inside. I feel like its saying, “if I think hard enough, I can negate magic” which is really what a will save entails. I feel like you can’t fool a spell into thinking your have different biology or not understanding a language you know. I am somehow bothered more by this than the diplomacy use but in that little part of my brain that analyzes myself, I wonder why since they are changing spells in much the same way.

    • Maybe because the spells are based upon the perception of the caster. You have to take into consideration how spells are learned. Even Sorcerer’s who cast magic innately still have to understand how the spell works. It works on X, it doesn’t work on Y.

      To play devils advocate however, I would point out that if someone were disguised as a creature, and hold creature was cast upon the target, the spell would fail, no contest.

      Which means that it either doesn’t work, or it has to work in both directions.

      • It DOES work in both directions. Hence Diplomacy working in one direction, Disguise in another.
        Pardon me if that’s not what you meant…?

  2. Maybe because Diplomacy is more suited to such a task, and there’s no mechanic for this elsewhere? While you feel that a Will save already covers what this alternate Disguise use does.
    For some reason, I don’t like the Disguise use either, but more because it doesn’t seem all that useful or interesting. I like the Diplomacy use more.

  3. All the feats/weapons/abilities I’ve read in the archive up to now are really reasonable. None of the feats smell of power gaming to me, and all the weapons have very slight advantages (and are always coupled with similar-power disadvantages).

    But the diplomacy usage is a straight-up advantage for certain character builds. It gives Hideous Laughter a straight +4 DC in a multitude of situations, and allows Hold Person in an incredible array of situations it would normally not work – each spell’s primary drawback is basically nullified for free.

    I might be quite biased about the spells (they fit exactly with my current bard’s build), but the Power Gamer in me is quite titillated by these, so that’s always a warning sign.

    • Hmm. These skill uses are certainly playing with some of the basic limitations of the game, and for that one must be cautious.

      However, keep in mind that the DC is really high. Even with a +20, you’d have to roll a 15 to make this work on a monster with 15 HD. Plus, there’s the GM’s wiggle room with the +4 to the Diplomacy DC.

      I see what you’re saying about Hideous Laughter, but it’s really a negation of the -4 penalty rather than a +4 DC.

      You may be right that the primary drawbacks of these spells are being nullified for free. Perhaps this skill use should come as a feat, or even a feat tree.


      • Llawen has a +23 at 8 HD and +14 at 4HD, so I’m looking at it from that aspect.

        It even feels competitive to me as a feat if I had it *right now* on Llawen. I’d worry about it scaling long-term, as it’s a much larger effect in the near term having Charm Person and Hideous Laughter, but I’m not sure how many other spells would be affected at other levels.

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