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(7/8/03 8:28 pm)
Vacra impersonating Sart - Is eratta needed?

Ok, this has been bugging me for a while now. Please tell me if I'm missing something. Vacra is using her wand of change self to take on the identity of Sart, a part time mill worker. Since the module doesn't give a caster level for the wand, it's assumed to be 1st level. (The minimum caster level to cast change self.)

Here's the problem: At 1st level the spell change self lasts only 10 minutes. How can you impersonate a mill worker in 10 minute increments? I suppose you could take really frequent bathroom breaks....

One solution is to make the wand a higher caster level, but even at level 6 it only lasts an hour. Also at higher caster levels it becomes too valuable an item for the encounter level.

Another solution could be that Vacra has (or had) several doses of dust of illusion, which lasts 1d6 + 6 hours. She could use these on days that she worked and memorize the spell change self (lasting 30 minutes) for quick runs out of the cellar.

I'd love to hear if anyone else has noticed a problem here. Am I missing something simple?

I hate to say it, but I also have a problem with Vacra impersonating the same nondescript mill worker from day to day. On the first day she did it, success should be automatic because the other workers have never met "Sart" before. But on the following days she should have to make a disguise check (at +10 because of the spell) to get the details the same as she did on the previous day. This is because "Sart" is now a person that they've met before. I will concede that she could probably pull it off anyway since the average mill worker probably has a pretty poor spot skill, but it's possible that one of them could notice something.

"Hey Sart, wasn't that mole on the other side of your chin yesterday?"

Comments? Suggestions?

(7/9/03 7:07 am)
Re: Vacra impersonating Sart - Is eratta needed?
Well Vacra isn't the best canidate to be "in charge of security" for a underground "cell" of cultists hidding in Hommlet. Those horns and hooves are dead give aways that something is amiss. (unless such beings are common in your campaign - and that's cool). However, the implications are that she has to "disguise" herself with a wand to not attract notice. And there's the kicker, as you've pointed out, the wand only lasts 10 minutes per level which is not alot of time for a "part time" worker.

But bonnets can hide horns. And fake wooden shoes can hide hooves. The wand might be used for those "up close" encounters that may be required with locals outside the mill. Otherwise the normal workers may have been fooled the first time they met and have no reason to suspect her of anything else but a bonnet-wearing, wooden-shod part time mill worker that Karlun hired a couple of weeks ago. Oh yeah, she sleeps beneath the mill with some "friends" that Karlun let move in about the same time. Hmm, Karlun hasn't been around the last couple days. I hope he's back for payday.

The sharade can't last long anyway.

Its an interesting question and I offer a quasi-solution. Perhaps I am missing something simple as well?

[edit: ugh, that charade for those keeping score. Perhaps its time for bed?]

Edited by: Trithereon at: 7/9/03 8:40 am
(7/9/03 12:41 pm)
Re: Vacra impersonating Sart - Is eratta needed?

Yes, I suppose that is plausible. But in that case she'd be far better off using her mundane disguise all of the time instead of using the wand. It would seem a lot more plausible if Vacra had a few ranks in disguise skill. I've been tempted to add a few rogue levels to her for my campaign anyway...

(7/14/03 11:09 am)
Re: Vacra impersonating Sart - Is eratta needed?

Well, this thread didn't get many responses, and now my players have completed the mill encounter so I'll pass along how I handled it.

I remove some of Vacra's ranks in bluff and hide and put the points in disguise. (All are cross class skills.) I mentioned that some large oddly fitted boots and a heavy bonnet were in the trunk with the disguise kit. I removed the useless wand of change self from her equip and gave her 1 dose of dust of illusion. (I mentioned that based on the size of the pouch there was probably more dust in it at one time.) I also removed levitate from her spell book and gave her a 2nd invisibility. I then ruled that 1 casting of invis was already used before the party got there from her daily scouting around.

There are problems with this solution too of course. An invis person would probably leave footprints leaving a flour mill. The spell only lasts 30 minutes also. But she could use the disguise part of the time and only cast invis when she had some serious sneaking to do.

One last change: Gurne, instead of being Dunrats bodyguard, was the part-time mill worker.

Btw, Vacra has the spell Alarm on her spell list so I decided that she would cast it (mental version) on the ground floor of the mill every evening after closing time. That way they wouldn't have to rely as much on Dunrat's stalwart eye. The duration is only 6 hours though.

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