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(12/12/02 11:49:40 am)
My party is in the Earth Temple, and is in deep donkey poo. So, the party cleric wants to use stoneshape in a tricky way:

Touch a wall next to him, then affect a series of pencil thin volumes of rock to shift around so that the ceiling of the temple room collapses. This will most likely deal with all the trogs, but the xorn will be just fine.

So the question is, will this work? The cleric is 6th level. I was thinking that since is a kinda intracate procedure, I was thinking that it would take 2 rounds for him to affect all that stone so precisely. During that two rounds, of course, he could be attacked or what not. What do you think?


(12/12/02 12:08:46 pm)
Re: Stoneshape
I'd allow it because it sounds fun. But that don't mean it would work perfectly. Tell the PC that he thinks he can make it collapse after two rounds. But, what he's doing is weakening the ceiling. So it may not work as well as he planned.

I'd have him make a Craft:Stonecutting/Masonry roll. He can roll untrained if need be. Don't tell him the DC, but 15 or better will get the desired result. Failing by five will cause it to collapse, but not where he intended. Failing by ten will cause a larger section of the mine to collapse, possibly cutting the PCs off.

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." -- Buddha<BR><BR>
"Nothing's a cliche when it's happening to you." -- Max Payne

Tenacious B
(12/12/02 1:44:37 pm)
sounds to me like an Knowledge: Engineering check. Personally I would set a DC 25, if not higher. I would also rule that this takes longer then 2 rounds. Maybe the better your cleric scores on the Knowledge check the less time it takes to complete?

To remove exactly the right pencil sized areas of rock to cause a ceiling collapse would not be easy IMO.

(12/12/02 7:36:30 pm)
Re: engineering?
I agree, TB. A knowledge (engineering) check should probably be used here. DC 25 might be a little high...I might drop it to 22 or 21, just within range of a cleric who isn't trained (after all, we want to give them a chance!). As to the time thing, I'd say it takes 4 rounds, reduced by 1 round for every 5 points you roll over the DC. Gives a reason to take that skill if you're gonna do this on a regular basis!

Of course, since the spell doesn't take 4 rounds to cast, I'm assuming the time is spent in study somehow...which leads to the question: would something like this, studying a cavern ceiling for weak points, draw AoO? Would it be a full round, like an assassin studying his target?


(12/13/02 7:04:07 am)
Knowledge (Engineering)
Unfortunately, you cannot make a knowledge check untrained. If you want to allow it untrained, I think the Craft check is better. I think DC 25 is generous given the desired outcome. I'm still not sure I understand what the PC tried to do, but it seems more like he is using present-day knowledge and not playing entirely IC without Knowledge (Engineering). IIRC, the room is very large so he would have to walk around the entire perimeter extracting large amounts of rock in order to collapse the ceiling. Perhaps a number of stoneshapes and hours of work would do it, but not a single spell. Did I miss something?

Also, I would say that studying anything (i.e. concentrating) would provoke an AoO unless, say, a Concentration check were made. Perhaps a DC 15 would be enough, maybe add in the level of stoneshape to simulate the difficulty of the task.

(12/13/02 8:10:27 am)
He has not done anything as of yet. Tonight is the session, and they will start with that combat.

What he is trying to do is to affect a spiderweb of pencil thin of smaller stone 'strands' in the ceiling to shift, causing the cieling to collapse.

Stoneshape has (accidentally) become a pretty high precision spell in my game, when I had a cleric cause a spear width column of rock come up underneath a person into their foot, tripping them. I want to stick to this precedent, as I don't want to be unfair, so now the party cleric really wants to try using precision stoneshifting.

As it looks, then, multiple rounds plus a craft or knoweldge check, DC 22ish?


(12/13/02 8:37:11 am)
Uh yeah.
I guess I am confused. Is he using the fly to create this "spiderweb of pencil thin of smaller stone 'strands' in the ceiling to shift, causing the ceiling to collapse."

As stone shape's range is touch, isn't there a chance that should be be successful that he brings the whole thing down on HIS head?

Stoneshape has (accidentally) become a pretty high precision spell in my game, when I had a cleric cause a spear width column of rock come up underneath a person into their foot, tripping them.

If you're allowing a range beyond touch for stone shape then it is time to admit your mistake and bring this spell back down to earth. When you use the spell you are actually shaping the stone with your own hands.

(12/13/02 9:16:34 am)
Stone Shape
I agree with Tritherion that the limits of the spell (and a range of touch) pretty much curb its power.

To bring down the ceiling, I'd expect nothing less than Earthquake - a mere stone shape is fine for messing with door-hinges, making small windows in a Wall of Stone, that kind of thing - I even had a priest make a stone sacrophagus to entomb a fallen comrade in proper dwarven style - but the spell isn't powerful or sudden enough to use as an attack.

I also interpret the spell to mean that the actual shaping of the stone is done by the caster's hands - the spell just allows the stone to be worked like stiff clay - the caster changes the shape of the stone by moulding it physically, not just willing it to change.

It's a nice idea, but it's not easy to take back what you give out as a DM and giving the spell this power now may invite abuse later that you might regret.


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