Alignment Domain Talents

After presenting talents based on the domain feats published in Agents of Faith I got some useful comments. Some were as simple as identifying that particular tier abilities kind of sucked, some were suggestions for alternatives that looked like a rather better fit.

I’ve decided to present talents for a few domains at a time. The entire list is pretty daunting and presenting them all would make for an unwieldy document. The book I’m working from has all the core domains and a bunch of new domains that I’ll get to later.

Alignment Domain Talents

A few days ago I wrote that in Echelon I plan to use alignments as described in FantasyCraft. This is still so, but the D&D 3.x alignments still have a place in this framework, if only as building blocks for other constructs.

Chaos Domain Talent

Tier Benefit
Expert The Slip: You gain a +1 divine bonus to all Bluff, Escape Artist, Hide, and Move Silently skill checks. This bonus increases by +1 every three character levels (+2 at 6th, +3 at 9th, etc.).
Heroic Aura of Chaos: All lawful characters and creatures suffer a -2 profane penalty to all attack rolls and damage rolls when attacking you. In addition, you gain spell resistance 5 + 1 per character level against spells cast by lawfully aligned casters.
Master Strike to Confuse: Three times per day, you may cause one of your attacks to cast a confusion spell upon your target in addition to causing regular damage. Your target is permitted a Will save (DC 15 + the damage caused by the attack) to resist the effects, but spell resistance does not apply. This is a supernatural ability.
Champion Free Spirit: You are immune to all magical effects that would normally impede your movement, such as hold person. This feat does nothing against physical restraints or obstacles, nor does it help against spells that actually create something that affects movement. For example, this feat makes you immune to slow and dimensional anchor, but not web or entangle. This feat also does nothing for getting through magical barriers, such as a wall of force, or effects that cause you to stop moving as a side-effect, such as flesh to stone or slay living.
Legendary Chaotic Might: After a successful hit, or successfully casting a damaging spell at a target, you may infuse the weapon or spell with the power of chaos. You may cause an extra 1 hit point of damage by taking 1 point of damage yourself. You must declare this bonus damage before making your damage roll. You may only cause bonus damage equal to your character level in one round. This bonus damage is doubled against lawfully aligned creatures.
Ascended Above the Law: Upon invoking this feat, you grant all of the initiates of your god within the sound of your voice complete immunity to the spells and spell-like abilities of all lawfully aligned creatures. In addition, the affected initiates also gain DR 6/- against the attacks of lawfully aligned creatures. These benefits last for 10 minutes, plus 10 minutes per initiate you bolster. It is important to note that you do not gain the benefits of this feat; you can only bolster your faithful. Invoking this feat is a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity.

Evil Domain Talent

Tier Benefit
Expert Taint of Putrefaction: Your hands have the potential to spoil food and water such that it becomes unsuitable for consumption. At will, your touch can foul up to a total of 1 cubic foot per character level over the duration of a day, split into any number of occurrences as you desire. This ability does not work on creatures of any type, nor or magical substances. It also does not create any useful poisons, simply rendering the food and water unfit for nourishment or drinking.
Heroic Frightful Gaze: At will, you have the ability to scare and intimidate people with a look. You must be looking into the eyes of the target and make an Intimidate check, on which you gain a +4 divine bonus. If you have been talking with the target, you gain a further +2 circumstance bonus, for a total of +6. You cannot attempt to use the Gaze if you or the target is already committed to combat. If you make the check, your frightful presence will influence the target in such a way as to seek to avoid contact with your as quickly as possible. Thus, it will be relatively easy to gain passage past a guard or scare of an assailant, but it will be difficult to intimidate anyone into doing something with you. The GM will adjudicate the exact reaction.
Master Touch of Hate: At will, you have the ability to call forth the emotion of hatred in any creature you touch. At the time of the Touch, the recipient must be fairly relaxed and must not be focused on any stressful or difficult activity. Thus you cannot use this in a combat situation, or if the recipient is performing any type of spell casting, or even if the recipient is occupied with a particularly tricky task. The GM will adjudicate whether the recipient is appropriately vulnerable to the Touch. By touching the recipient, you will call forth an intense emotion of hatred, which the recipient will focus on a creature or object in the immediate vicinity – preferentially someone or something the recipient has cause to normally dislike. The recipient must make a Will save at a DC of (10 + your character level), or will immediately act on this hate in a violent manner, as judged appropriate by the GM.
Champion Fearful Revulsion: Once per day, you can take a full-round action to invoke an aura of evil so powerful that all in the area feel the urge to flee. Every creature that is within 50 feet or that can see you must make a Will save. The Will save DC is equal to your roll of an Intimidate check with a +4 divine bonus. Even creatures that are allied to you are not immune to this fear, although they do gain a +8 divine bonus to their Will save. Those that fail must seek to leave your presence as rapidly as possible to the best of their ability, and will immediately break off any attack on you to do so. Every ten minutes, each creature that failed can attempt the Will save again at the same DC to shake off the fear and stop fleeing. Otherwise they will flee until they collapse in exhaustion.
Legendary Dreadful Possession: Once per day, you can open yourself and call forth an evil outsider from the lower planes. This being will, if possible, come forth by possessing your body. Your body will change to take on most of the appearance of the being, while your mind will be merged with the being’s. The first time you do this, an outsider will respond that fits your personality and power as determined by the GM, considering your alignment, your abilities, previous actions, and any other pertinent facts. The creature will have the same alignment, and will have a CR no less than your character level, nor generally higher than 2 above your character level. This unique individual will likely then always be the one to respond, even as you grow in strength, although circumstances and actions can change this in unforeseen ways, and occasional possessions by other powerful entities are always a danger. The possession will give you the full powers of the summoned creature, which can use as you desire, although you may have to contend with the will of the being if your actions are contrary to its wishes. At the GM’s discretion you may have to make an opposed Will check to take a questionable action. The possession lasts for up to an hour, although you can expel the creature before that time span with an opposed Will check.
Ascended Soul Rending: Once per day per ten of your initiates present within 30 feet, you can ritually sacrifice a creature and tear its soul from it at the moment of death. You capture this soul in a specially prepared receptacle. A creature so slain cannot be raised, resurrected, or reincarnated until the soul is freed. You can use captured souls to regain hit points or memorized spells. For each 5 hit pints or each spell level regained, the captured soul temporarily loses one character level. If drained to one level or higher, it recovers the lost character levels at a rate of one every ten days. If the captured soul is drained of all levels, it remains trapped within the receptacle, but requires 100 days to recover one character level.

Good Domain Talent

Tier Benefit
Expert Cleansing Purity: Your hands have the potential to purify food and water such that it because suitable for consumption. At will, your touch can cleanse up to a total of 1 cubic foot per character level over the duration of a day, split into any number of occurrences as you desire. This ability does not work on creatures of any type, nor on magical substances. It also does not create any special or specific nutrient, simply rendering the food and water fit for nourishment or drinking.
Heroic Inspired Quest: Once per day, you can inspire a creature with the goodness and nobility of a task. The task must be appropriate, as determined by the GM. You must spend at least five minutes per character level of the person to be inspired with that person, and he must be willing and able to listen and understand. Thereafter, for the duration of the next mission, which that person undertakes that is in direct support of the task, the person gains a +1 divine bonus to all skill checks, but not attack rolls. The Inspired Quest lapses whenever the inspired person spends more than two days in a row not directly pursuing the task, whether that is due to injury, imprisonment, or simply waiting for some reason before continuing travel.
Master Righteous Touch: At will, your touch inflicts damage upon any evil creature that is affected by a protection from evil spell. The damage is 2d8 + 2/level for evil creatures which would be kept out by a protection from evil, and 1d8 + 1/level for creatures which would only receive a penalty from a protection from evil.
Champion Guardian Angel: Once per day, you can call upon aid from the outer planes. A good outsider will arrive within at most one minute. The first time you do this, a being will respond that first your personality and powers as determined by the GM, considering your alignment, your abilities, previous actions, and any other pertinent facts. The creature will have the same alignment, and have a CR no higher than your character level, nor generally more than 2 less than your character level. This unique individual will likely then always be the one to respond, even as you grow in strength, although circumstances and actions can change this in unforeseen ways, and occasional aid by other powerful entities are always a possibility. The summoned creature will aid you in a manner it deems appropriate, at the GM’s discretion. The being will remain for up to an hour, although depending on circumstances it may leave before then.
Legendary Friendship: Once per day, for a duration of ten minutes, you can invoke this feat to make it impossible for any creature to attack you unless you attack them first. Furthermore, you gain a +8 divine bonus to all Charisma based checks. This feat does not affect constructs, elementals, outsiders, plants, or undead, nor any creature without Intelligence.
Ascended Lay to Rest: Once per day you may attempt to lay to rest a creature’s soul or spirit that has for some reason not passed on to the final resting place where it should have gone after the creature’s final death. You must be within 10 feet of the spirit when you invoke this feat. If the spirit is willing, this succeeds automatically. If the spirit is unwilling, as, for example, in the case of a ghost, haunt, or revenant, you must succeed at an opposed Will check against the creature. For every initiate of your deity that is within 30 feet of the spirit, you gain a +1 divine bonus on this check, up to a maximum of +8. If you succeed, the spirit is immediately sent to its appropriate eternal resting place.

Law Domain Talent

Tier Benefit
Expert Resist Sneak Attack: Whenever you are sneak attacked, you may roll 1d6 for every two character levels (2d6 at 4th, 3d6 at 6th, etc.). The number you roll is subtracted from the sneak attack damage. Ths base damage of the weapon, plus bonuses, is not affected, even if you roll higher than the sneak attack dice. This is an extraordinary ability.
Heroic Resist Chaos: You may ignore the effects of one spell per day from a chaotically aligned caster. You may declare your use of this feat after the spell’s effects are determined, including your saving throw. This feat does not negate the spell; it only protects you from its effects. This feat confers no help to anyone else caught in an area of effect, for example.
Master Lawful Mind: You must spend one full minute in meditation before this feat takes effect. After your meditation, you make yourself nearly immune to all Mind-Affecting effects. Instead of the normal saving throw, you may make a Concentration skill check against the save DC. If you succeed, you completely ignore the spell. If you fail, not only does the spell affect you normally (granting you your normal saving throw), but ends the protection conferred by this feat. The effects of this feat last for 10 minutes per character level per day, or until disrupted.
Champion Duel: Once per day, when you engage in combat against a single creature, you become immune to attacks from all other creatures. You must designate a single target to duel, and thereafter must direct all your attacks against that opponent. The feat ends once you or your opponent are reduced to 0 hit points or less, or if you attack anyone else other than your target.
Legendary Chaos Immunity: Once per day, for 10 minutes per character level, you are immune to all spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities of any chaotically aligned creatures.
Ascended The Call to Order: Once per day, you can choose one chaotically aligned creature to make all of the initiates of the same god within the sound of your voice completely immune to. They are immune to all of the target’s attacks, spells, spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities, and so on. They are not immune to environmental effects caused by the creature (i.e. it toppling a wall on one of your initiates). The immunity lasts for 10 minutes per initiate you protect. Granting this immunity requires a full-round action, which provokes an attack of opportunity. It is important to note that you gain no immunities, only your initiates. The power of the feat does not end if you are killed or incapacitated; in fact, there is no way to prematurely end the effects of this feat.

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5 Comments

  1. hadsil

    Power-wise I think Good is the weakest, but I like this. Now seeing an example of Domain Talents, I see the worth in spending Talents on them. For Good-Heroic, I suggest making the bonus +2. That’s the usual amount given for all similar concepts in various published works I’ve read.

  2. I probably would increase the bonus for Inspired Quest to +2 at least; I’ve come to the conclusion that +1 bonuses mostly aren’t worth the hassle (tier cap +1 to all ability scores aside; in that case it’s increasing three ability score modifiers each time it happens, using 27-25-23).

    I’m posting these in more or less exactly the form I get them (in the book they’re formatted as feats and the text still refers to them as feats) with minimal editing.

    Also, I posted some other domain talents (elemental domains + Sun) a few days ago at http://www.kjd-imc.org/2010/08/25/divine-powers-in-echelon/

  3. Doug Lampert

    I don’t like that Heroic Chaos’s talent scales by level. It should scale by talent. That said, I HATE the actual talent chosen.

    Evil has not a single talent that ever mentions Good. This is correct, Evil isn’t about opposing good, it’s all about ME. Good has only one talent that mentions Evil, this is fine, Good in D&D land largely IS about opposing Evil.

    Law and Chaos EACH mention the other twice, with specific bonuses that kick in against the opposite alignment. It’s like they ran out of actual Law and Chaos powers.

    Chaos is about my freedom to act. Resistance to Charm and Domination, not resistance to lawful casters. What does Chaos care WHO is trying to impose his will? Why does a Chaotic need or want a bonus against monks who aren’t bothering him?

    Law is about discipline (self and otherwise) and social order, detect lies and geas would be good, I could see a bonus to will saves for self discipline, powers that buff your allies would be good as a way to indicate the importance of group over individual. But Chaos in particular isn’t neccessarily any more your enemy than anything else. What does Law care WHY someone is resisting correct behavior?

    It feels like they ran out of good Law and Chaos related powers and just went with stuff that would work just as well for Purple/Green.

    A final problem with alignment targetting powers is that they make Nuetral a superior alignment for game play. Go with positive powers that make you better at your alignment’s objectives, not negative powers that boost you against the opposed alignment. Only Good actually needs or wants powers that specifically target the opposed alignment.

  4. Doug, I can’t say I disagree. Something that has always bothered me about how Good vs. Evil is implemented in D&D 3.x — but not enough that I thought it worth mentioning as a failure — is how (Good) creatures tend to be *most vulnerable to the things they oppose*.

    It makes more sense for a solar to go dragon hunting in the Great Campaign Closing Encounter and leave the demons and devils to the normal heroes because that lets his DR be useful. That’s backward — the solar should have the tools and protections to be the best at stomping demons, not dragons.

    Actually, this bugged me somewhat even with the RAW domains, the spells mostly differ in color rather than effect (black vs. white, purple vs. green).

    The powers should scale by tier, not character level. I like your suggestion of the powers generally being more about ‘act in alignment with objectives’ than ‘counter opposite and that’s it’.

  5. hadsil

    Ditto what Doug wrote. I too don’t like 3E’s take on the alignments just being anti-opposite alignment in stuff. 2E’s Tome of Magic had good spells in the Law and Chaos spheres. You read the spells and you feel the Lawfulness and Chaos. Law had Defensive Harmony where everyone got a bonus to AC based upon the number of people in the party. Chaos had Dissension’s Feast where a dinner party becomes a shouting match. (I had fun once roleplaying that when I failed the saving throw.)

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