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Mage's Magnificent Mansion as a tactical combat spell?


Rules Questions

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Mage's magnificent mansion (MMM) says that anyone you select may enter. It also says that the layout of the mansion is entirely up to you up to a certain size. Not only does it make a good escape/hideaway spell much like rope trick does (as you can keep pretty much everyone out), but I was thinking about using it to set up a battleground of sorts.

For example, I am fighting the BBEG (he/him/his). It's not going as well as I'd like because I am on his turf and his terms, so I cast MMM and step through the doorway. He can't pursue until I make him a designated target (the spell doesn't say I have to do it right away). Furthermore, depending on your interpretation, he may even have to wait for me to open the door for him (since it closes behind me). So let's say I go inside and on my next turn cast invisibility upon myself. Then I let him in, slam the door shut behind him (both to creep him out and to trap him), and let him wonder aimlessly in the maze I've trapped him in (the spell seems to indicate that only I can open the door again). At that point, he's on my turf. Since I can design the mansion to have any layout I want, there could be any number of doors and rooms for him to go through, some of which might contain sudden drop offs (nothing says the layout can't be vertical) or other structural hazards/tactical advantages.

Basically, he's a fly caught in a spider's web. Imagine if the layout was something like that one famous piece of optical illusion artwork where the stairs and doorways go all over the place. ONLY I KNOW THE LAYOUT OF THE MANSION. That alone gives me a huge advantage. Via invisibility and other tricksy spells and illusions (some of my favorites being project image and summon monster) I can perform a variety of hit and run type attacks. With some creativity, it becomes almost impossible to lose (even if he has see invisibility, I could make mundane hiding spaces in the mansion abundant).

This even makes an awesome tactic for the BBEG to use on a group of PC adventurers.

I would like for us all to use this thread to (1) discuss the plausibility of using this spell in this fashion (or any other offensive/tactical fashion) and for us all to (2) brainstorm new ideas to make the trapped victim(s) truly suffer during their stay.

I also had some related questions I was hoping to have answered:

1) What happens if I leave the mansion, then dispel it while there are people still inside? Are they forever trapped in limbo? Killed? Ejected? What normally happens when you are in a dimensional space that suddenly ceases to exist? Perhaps they are somehow "stuck" and magically reappear in the next mansion I create?

2) Are there any limits to what you can have (or not have) in your mansion? Could I, for example, have furniture? Food and other essentials? Thousands of disorienting mirrors (such as a house of mirrors at a carnival)? Traps such as scythe blades and acid pools? If I am a lich that doesn't need to breath, could I make a mansion with no air in it (so that trapped living creature suffocate)?

3) Obviously you can create doors/doorways. But do they have to connect in a logical manner? For example, could I create a "Neo trapped in the subway" kind of effect? If so, this could keep a prisoner extremely confused for a time. Thank you for any help you can provide.

4) Can you take things out of the mansion with you such as chairs (and other furniture) or food from the banquet?

Thank you kindly for any help/discussion provided. :D

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

1.Basically if you dismiss the mansion, anyone that's still inside is expelled to the space of the doorway. Since there's no explicit instruction otherwise, I'm pretty sure that the mansion isn't intended to be used as ooh, crunch people en masse spell.

Nice try though, when it comes to cheeseing that's fairly original.

2. No, if you want death traps you either hall them in yourself, or create a new version of the spell, which by my estimation would be Level 10 or epic. But furniture, food, as well as serving beings are part and parcel of the standard spell.

3. The rooms technically don't have to physically connect but any that don't are essentially not accessible for either entry or sticking people in as confinement.

The other thing is that the opening of the mansion is always a foyer. while you might get someone into the foyer, there is nothing the spell that compels them to move further inside the Mansion beyond it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LazarX wrote:

1.Basically if you dismiss the mansion, anyone that's still inside is expelled to the space of the doorway. Since there's no explicit instruction otherwise, I'm pretty sure that the mansion isn't intended to be used as ooh, crunch people en masse spell.

Nice try though, when it comes to cheeseing that's fairly original.

I didn't really think it would work. I just listed it for completeness' sake.

LazarX wrote:
2. No, if you want death traps you either hall them in yourself, or create a new version of the spell, which by my estimation would be Level 10 or epic. But furniture, food, as well as serving beings are part and parcel of the standard spell.

I disagree that it would be level 10 (rather 8 or 9) but that's neither her nor there (and is just opinion anyways). Is there any support anywhere that I can't have traps or similar hazards (such as a room full of quicksand)?

LazarX wrote:
3. The rooms technically don't have to physically connect but any that don't are essentially not accessible for either entry or sticking people in as confinement.

Even if that does end up being the case, I could use teleportation to go to my "secret room" and look through my one-way mirror.

LazarX wrote:
The other thing is that the opening of the mansion is always a foyer. while you might get someone into the foyer, there is nothing the spell that compels them to move further inside the Mansion beyond it.

That's true, and it is also something that I did NOT overlook (I just didn't mention it). However, if the BBEG doesn't pursue, then I get a lot of free buff time or can re-prepare spells, etc. Either way, I come out better than I started.

I could also offer a lure. For example, the foyer might have only one open door with a long line of rooms behind it, each one with an open door. In the last room (the only one with a CLOSED INVISIBLE door) is an projected image of me. With some luck, the BBEG will come running down the extremely long hall and slam full force into the invisible closed door just in front of the illusion. In the meantime, I start hitting the stunned fellow with long range spells from the other end of the hall. If he turns to me, then I can hit him with spells from the projected image. In this manner he might have a difficult time combating me. This works particularly well with quickened open/close spells to shut the doors as needed.

Gah! Even as a player I think too much like a conniving GM!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I just had another brainstorm: The spell says that the servents are visible, but doesn't describe what they look like. To really mess with the victim(s) you might even be able to have the servents look like their loved ones/hated enemies--or even like a bunch of copies of you, the mansion-creator! (I would hug a GM who allowed such creativity and potential for roleplaying fun--I can just imagine a GM acting out the victim's distress at seeing his wife, children, and other loved ones floating about as ghosts or zombies.)

The more I think about it, the more I love this spell's possibilities. If nothing else, it makes a great GM tool for a manipulative bad guy who like's playing cat and mouse games with his enemies.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

i like the way you think.

combine with Energy Transformation Field somewhere in the center of the room, which renews the mansion, or summons critters, or something.

there's your summon monster (x) trap.

pits and false doors should be limited only in your imagination.

furniture is a yes, so would torture equipment and the like be available? and to complement the servants, your own small army of undead/charmed peons/hired mercs/true believers.

if you have time to set up the trap, you can have your allies hiding in ambush points. with control of furniture, that's wooden palises, heavy coverpoints, hard-mounts and tripods for siege weaponry.

plus, you're a Wizard. prepare a few Shrink Item spells the next dungeon, or one you've previously cleared; shrink a few traps and cart 'em off.

illusory floors/walls/and the like over pits or empty doorways would be greatly effective.

-t


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

New utility brainstorm: That leads me to another idea psionichamster! Mansions often have libraries, offices, etc. One might be able to have an alchemist's lab or similar useful workplace in his spell--or better yet, a library with hundreds of books and (non-magical) scrolls that tell the caster everything he needs to know about a given subject (such as the type of dragon he is about to face).

Taldor

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Tales Subscriber

All you get, according to the spell description is: rooms, furniture, food and serveants.

The quantity of food is vast but not limitless, the serveants are: "near transparent, liveried and obedient" Their is no suggestion that you may significantly alter their appearance.
The layout might be confusing but I can't see much room for traps beyond terrain difficulties.

No literature, no traps.

It does have potential, especially as an environmental equaliser (Why am I taking energy damage every round, just because the BBEG has immunities?) but I would not over-egg this particular pudding.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:
All you get, according to the spell description is: rooms, furniture, food and servants.

Rooms and furniture can take a great deal many forms (see my many mirrors suggestion) as can food (What is edible for one race could be poisonous to another).

GeraintElberion wrote:
...the servants are: "near transparent, liveried and obedient" Their is no suggestion that you may significantly alter their appearance.

I missed the "livery" part. That does pose a problem. Also, I knew it didn't directly suggest you could alter their appearance. Having missed the description of the servants, I merely assumed that you could make them look like what you want (just as you can describe your character's clothes and physique as looking like whatever you want--if something of your character's is not explicitly described, you are generally able to describe it how you like--even spell effects).

GeraintElberion wrote:

The layout might be confusing but I can't see much room for traps beyond terrain difficulties.

No literature, no traps.

A rope-tied chandelier can make a fabulous trap in a pinch (especially if you have a LOT of chandeliers everywhere and mage hand). Again, all one need do is be creative.

GeraintElberion wrote:
It does have potential, especially as an environmental equalizer (Why am I taking energy damage every round, just because the BBEG has immunities?) but I would not over-egg this particular pudding.

I over-egg everything when I write scenario posts. It's how I learn the limitations of the rules.

NEW BRAINSTORM: Create a mansion, remove everything of value (the furniture, silver wear, platters, busts, chandeliers, etc.) and sell it to a merchant. Use the long duration to seal the deal and get out of town.


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Several issues :

1) Dispel Magic (BBEG Casts dispel magic, bye bye mansion, hello guy inside who just fell flat on the floor when he got pushed out).

2) Henchmen (Why would I chase you in there, when I can send wave after wave of henchmen in after you. Oh, you didn't designate them? Fine, I'm still not coming in (see 3)).

3) Patience (Hmmm, that spell only lasts for a while. You three, set up ballista's outside the door, tie the trigger mechanisms to the door handle. You lot, put some traps around the entrance, all the way around, just in case. Make them fireball traps, and have them trigger each other. I think 9 fireballs going off at once will ruin our wizards day when he comes out. Ok the rest of you lot, let's go raze the village to the ground! Pillage the women and rape the horses, ha ha ha).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
mdt wrote:

Several issues :

1) Dispel Magic (BBEG Casts dispel magic, bye bye mansion, hello guy inside who just fell flat on the floor when he got pushed out).

2) Henchmen (Why would I chase you in there, when I can send wave after wave of henchmen in after you. Oh, you didn't designate them? Fine, I'm still not coming in (see 3)).

3) Patience (Hmmm, that spell only lasts for a while. You three, set up ballista's outside the door, tie the trigger mechanisms to the door handle. You lot, put some traps around the entrance, all the way around, just in case. Make them fireball traps, and have them trigger each other. I think 9 fireballs going off at once will ruin our wizards day when he comes out. Ok the rest of you lot, let's go raze the village to the ground! Pillage the women and rape the horses, ha ha ha).

Not every BBEG will be a spellcaster or will recognize the spell for what it really is. What's more, these tricks and traps can be used on any number of foes, not just the BBEG. It's easy enough to get the invincible iron golem to follow you into the mansion and then drop it into the deepest pit you can make.

What's more, if I am the GM and my BBEG NPC is casting this spell, you can bet your bottom that PCs will likely chase after him (and quite naturally, they will have a hard time dispelling it).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Where'd the edit button go? I can't seem to amend my old posts...?

It's true that you won't always be able to get someone to follow you. Either they can guess exactly what would happen, are too wary of going through a magical door created by an enemy, or you've used the trick so many times that they know that nobody ever comes out of your magical mansion (your reputation has preceded you).

But that won't always be the case. You don't even need particularly stupid enemies such as golems and beasts. People ignorant of magic (anyone who can't identify a spell) may well think you've teleported away via dimension door or a similar effect--that is until the door re-opens invitingly. It's also possible that you've done something bad enough to your enemy that he will follow you into hell. Or you could use magical suggestion. All they know is that you stepped through a magical doorway that wasn't there before. And if you cast the spell on a wall after turning a corner, they might not even suspect the door is anything more than a mundane door and follow you through in their dogged pursuit. It's also a good way for an evil NPC character to ensnare the everyday man. A magical mansion full of food and servents is most tempting to a man dying of thirst in the desert (and who happened to stumble onto the territorial witch's land).

There are plenty of methods/scenarios in which one could get victim(s) into their fun house.

Osirion RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

I rather like the idea of portable traps, constructed when you have free time and then minimized with shrink item - it does call into question exactly what the scope of that spell is; whether a trap mechanism is considered a single item and if so how its trigger mechanism functions, but one with a location or proximity trigger per the PF rules should be do-able I would think.

I wonder, though, whether there is some possibility of the trap being set off while shrunken though? An interesting question.

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Sounds like you're trying to turn MMM into the Maze spell.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Scipion del Ferro wrote:
Sounds like you're trying to turn MMM into the Maze spell.

Yes and no. Conceptually, it does something similar (trap the victim(s) in an other place that can be confusing). Mechanically, it has the potential to be more threatening to those trapped within. Most importantly, however, is the potential for fun and exciting, creative, new ideas for players and GMs alike.


I know that it was mentioned already that the people would be ejected, but I think the best example of this is a punctured bag of holding under pathfinder's description.

That said, it would be hillarious if you entered the house, coated the space in a couple gallons of oil, and tricked the BBEG into coming in. Then while invisible dropped a matched and stepped outside, closing the door behind you. It's a bit of a arsonist move, but if they aren't immune to fire, the smoke would choke them or they would burn alive (pending your GM/DM not giving a DC to bust out based on the spell level and such).

This would require no pitfalls or maze traps, and if a player tried it, I'd have to cackle with glee at how they bested my BBEG with a burning house.

(PS... rules for a burning structure are in the 3.5 DMG II)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kakarasa wrote:

I know that it was mentioned already that the people would be ejected, but I think the best example of this is a punctured bag of holding under pathfinder's description.

That said, it would be hillarious if you entered the house, coated the space in a couple gallons of oil, and tricked the BBEG into coming in. Then while invisible dropped a matched and stepped outside, closing the door behind you. It's a bit of a arsonist move, but if they aren't immune to fire, the smoke would choke them or they would burn alive (pending your GM/DM not giving a DC to bust out based on the spell level and such).

This would require no pitfalls or maze traps, and if a player tried it, I'd have to cackle with glee at how they bested my BBEG with a burning house.

(PS... rules for a burning structure are in the 3.5 DMG II)

NICE!

Also, you could fill the house with an overabundance of flammable objects such as tapestries, carpets, and light wooden furniture (with furry upholstery) in order to speed up the process.

If you don't have the time or money to go to market to buy oil, you could always settle for flammable items (see above) or all the highly volatile alcoholic beverages from the banquet. :D


Ravingdork wrote:
Kakarasa wrote:

I know that it was mentioned already that the people would be ejected, but I think the best example of this is a punctured bag of holding under pathfinder's description.

That said, it would be hillarious if you entered the house, coated the space in a couple gallons of oil, and tricked the BBEG into coming in. Then while invisible dropped a matched and stepped outside, closing the door behind you. It's a bit of a arsonist move, but if they aren't immune to fire, the smoke would choke them or they would burn alive (pending your GM/DM not giving a DC to bust out based on the spell level and such).

This would require no pitfalls or maze traps, and if a player tried it, I'd have to cackle with glee at how they bested my BBEG with a burning house.

(PS... rules for a burning structure are in the 3.5 DMG II)

NICE!

Also, you could fill the house with an overabundance of flammable objects such as tapestries, carpets, and light wooden furniture (with furry upholstery) in order to speed up the process.

If you don't have the time or money to go to market to buy oil, you could always settle for flammable items (see above) or all the highly volatile alcoholic beverages from the banquet. :D

Technically, couldn't you choose for 500 burning oil lamps as furnature items?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kakarasa wrote:
Technically, couldn't you choose for 500 burning oil lamps as furnature items?

*facepalms* Of course!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

New brainstorms: By Radical Taoist on the WotC forums:

* Silent Image over the portal to the Magnificent Mansion. Place the portal over an existing door in the building in which you are casting the spell. Use Silent Image to conceal the shimmering portal so it just looks like part of the building. Make the interior of the mansion identical to the rooms in the real building that your victim would be running into...at first. *evil laugh*

* Guards and Wards easily has the area and duration to protect the mansion. Combine with the previous effect for truly sadistic mindbending tactics to make the mark question their sanity and their tactical position.

Brainstorm modification: If your GM won't accept torture devices as furniture, simply improvise. After all, there is absolutely nothing keeping you from tying your victim down to your dining table with belts from the wardrobe and prying their fingernails off with a spork. The best part of it is you are guaranteed not to be interrupted and when you tell your victim that nobody will hear his screams, you really mean it.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Kakarasa wrote:
Technically, couldn't you choose for 500 burning oil lamps as furnature items?
*facepalms* Of course!

Also many food items are flammable, or outright explosive in the right circumstances. Flour for instance.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:

New brainstorms: By Radical Taoist on the WotC forums:

* Silent Image over the portal to the Magnificent Mansion. Place the portal over an existing door in the building in which you are casting the spell. Use Silent Image to conceal the shimmering portal so it just looks like part of the building. Make the interior of the mansion identical to the rooms in the real building that your victim would be running into...at first. *evil laugh*

* Guards and Wards easily has the area and duration to protect the mansion. Combine with the previous effect for truly sadistic mindbending tactics to make the mark question their sanity and their tactical position.

Brainstorm modification: If your GM won't accept torture devices as furniture, simply improvise. After all, there is absolutely nothing keeping you from tying your victim down to your dining table with belts from the wardrobe and prying their fingernails off with a spork. The best part of it is you are guaranteed not to be interrupted and when you tell your victim that nobody will hear his screams, you really mean it.

Bah, I'd hang em upside down from the chandelier that's just to the side of a large open fire place. Spin him whenever you ask a question, and push him into the fire, or chimney whenever he refuses.


LMAO! You know, this thread might get this spell excluded from certain games where the GMs ban Wish... That said, I'd be amused with a little acid fog in the maze.. hehehe.. find the way out now!


HAHAHAHAHA

A really amazing thread!!!

Very good ideas for a good history.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Silver Eye wrote:

HAHAHAHAHA

A really amazing thread!!!

Very good ideas for a good history.

Thank you very much. I am really hoping others will contribute many more great ideas.

Have the rules for dimensional spaces in Pathfinder changed? If not I suspect you could have a MMM inside another MMM. If that's possible, there are numerous possibilities.

New brainstorm: Create a bunch of rooms, half of which are bricked off and require teleportation magic. In fact, include doorways that are simply bricked off (there is no room on the other side) so when they figure out that they can teleport, it will fail some of the time. Furthermore, hide in a room with an open doorway, but use silent image to brick it off. The BBEG will be so flustered with the other doors, he will likely see the illusion and not even bother to interact with it.

At least, that will work until he starts blasting holes in walls (which is still good, because then he is wasting his spells).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Also note that the door only closes when you go inside. Inferred from the "Door closes behind you" part of the RAW. You want more options you really neeed to do a higher level version of this spell, minimum 9th.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Also note that the door only closes when you go inside. Inferred from the "Door closes behind you" part of the RAW.

I know. That's the whole point. You lure the victim(s) inside. Either you go in and reopen the door for them, or you trick them into entering (through illusions and the like) and then follow them through, thereby trapping them within (ideally).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Also note that the door only closes when you go inside. Inferred from the "Door closes behind you" part of the RAW.
I know. That's the whole point. You lure the victim(s) inside. Either you go in and reopen the door for them, or you trick them into entering (through illusions and the like) and then follow them through, thereby trapping them within (ideally).

Trapping them in with YOU... in the Foyer. Not exactly an ideal situation unless you have an overwhelming advantage, which would have been the case outside the Mansion as well. The door to the Mansion after all only remains closed as long as you're inside it. That's an intentional aspect of the spell it's designed as your refuge.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:


New brainstorm: Create a bunch of rooms, half of which are bricked off and require teleportation magic. In fact, include doorways that are simply bricked off (there is no room on the other side) so when they figure out that they can teleport, it will fail some of the time. Furthermore, hide in a room with an open doorway, but use silent image to brick it off. The BBEG will be so flustered with the other doors, he will likely see the illusion and not even bother to interact with it.

At least, that will work until he starts blasting holes in walls (which is still good, because then he is wasting his spells).

Just occured to me. the Mansion is in an extradimensional space which has no overlay with the Astral nor Ethereal Planes. Which means that neither Teleport, nor Dimension Door would work inside.


LazarX wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Also note that the door only closes when you go inside. Inferred from the "Door closes behind you" part of the RAW.
I know. That's the whole point. You lure the victim(s) inside. Either you go in and reopen the door for them, or you trick them into entering (through illusions and the like) and then follow them through, thereby trapping them within (ideally).
Trapping them in with YOU... in the Foyer. Not exactly an ideal situation unless you have an overwhelming advantage, which would have been the case outside the Mansion as well. The door to the Mansion after all only remains closed as long as you're inside it. That's an intentional aspect of the spell it's designed as your refuge.

So acid fog and murder holes it is... :D


A while ago I and a friend were in a campaign where I was a duskblade / wizard and he was a wizard. We wanted to rebuild an academy of magic that was destroyed in the early aventura.Na fact it was conquered by a group of red dragons.

We wanted to make a flying tower to host the academy. Building the tower would be easy with our magic charm but combined it so that it would be expensive to fly if it were too big. Then we built a tower 10 meters high and inside was a decorated hall and a door in the wall opposite the door. This door was a magic item made based on the MMM. Over time we added more doors and increase the internal space.

That was a very fun adventure.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
Just occurred to me. the Mansion is in an extradimensional space which has no overlay with the Astral nor Ethereal Planes. Which means that neither teleport, nor Dimension Door would work inside.

Do you have any more support for this interpretation by any chance? Isn't the text about going through the astral plan just flavor text anyways (as not every campaign will even HAVE an astral plane). Also, it's a dimenisional space, on the material plane (most likely) which has access...is there a specific rule somewhere that says you can't use teleporting abilities in extradimensional places that I am unaware of? If so, please cite it. I am most curious to know. :)

Contributor

Now listen, the spell is called Mage's Magnificent Mansion, not Mage's Merciless Murderhole, and there's a reason for this.

Obviously, everything comes down to your GM's decision, and while I am usually loathe to tell other GMs what to do with their worlds, in this case I'll make an exception. The spell is not intended as a combat spell, and while it is possible to turn any spell to combat applications, you have to look at the intent.

An unseen servant cannot engage in combat except in a secondary role. You can't tell an unseen servant to go slit someone's throat but you can have them carry a lit bomb over to someone you don't like.

It should be the same with the magnificent mansion. It's a mansion and it's magnificent, but it shouldn't come with scything blades, crushing blocks, or cauldrons of boiling lead ready to pour on invader's heads. It's not an extradimensional tomb or a castle prepared for siege, and the best you might expect is a convenient murder hole set up for any boiling lead you happened to bring with you.

Even so, there are lots of accidents that can befall people in mansions. You can have a grand spiral stair which would be painful to be pushed down, and you can have a dramatic three-story gallery with a railing overlooking a marble floor which would be even more painful to encounter if you can push someone over the railing. And for added injury, you could even have a Phantom of the Opera size chandelier, and while it couldn't be rigged to fall at a flick of a switch, it can be taken down in the usual manner, and if someone just so happens to hack through the rope?

Similarly, while pools of acid aren't appropriate--it's not an extradimensional Bond villain's lair--regular baths and hot tubs and even swimming pools are fine, and if you hold someone down in them long enough, you can get the drowning rules to take over.

While I can see the idea of making it a magical version of the Coconut Grove with loads of flameable decorations and a revolving door that people can't get out, you also have to consider that "The atmosphere is clean, fresh, and warm" so the mansion really shouldn't be conducive to death by smoke inhalation or charring, at least from the mansion itself. That said, if there's a fireplace in one of the rooms, if you shove someone into the fireplace, that should do some damage.

The way it's best to view it as like some supernatural grand hotel, where when someones familiar shreds the drapes or griffin eats the sofa, next moment when you turn around, they're miraculously restored. A group of bards can go on a rockstar bender, tearing holes in the walls, and the next moment, it's as if nothing had happened.

Kitchens don't exist, nor do servant's quarters. The translucent liveried servants (who wear whatever livery fits the spell caster) miraculously pull food out of dumb waiters that's exactly what's ordered or else unveil covered trays that likewise have everyone's favorite foodstuffs. Similarly, soiled linens tossed down a laundry chute later reappear miraculously cleaned, pressed, and with even minor mending done, as could be accomplished by a large staff of unseen servants.

The servants can't attack, but if you decide you wish them to do traditional sword dancing for the amusement of your guests or play with fire poi or both while the orchestra plays the Carmina Burana, that should be fine, and if the invading BBEG misinterprets your entertainments, well, that's his problem.

About the most I think should be played with is the "The atmosphere is clean, fresh, and warm" line relative to the caster. A mermaid would reasonably create an underwater mansion which wouldn't have chambers for air dwellers unless she wanted it too, and similarly, a lich could create a stagnant crypt or freezing ice hotel, because relative to him, "The atmosphere is clean, fresh, and warm," though he could create pockets that would suit more fussy guests.

It should also be noted that you likely can't lock your guests in their rooms unless the caster also throws Guards and Wards, in which case it's perfectly appropriate.


I would imagine you could turn MMM into a nasty little murder hole (how much is debatable)... I just don't think it would be very easy to trick someone into it.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Now listen...

Thank you for your contributions! Many of them were quite entertaining to read. The only thing I disagree with is locking guests in rooms. If nothing else, you can count on every door having a mundane lock (and it being a mansion, it may well be a good one too).

Contributor

Ravingdork wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
Now listen...
Thank you for your contributions! Many of them were quite entertaining to read. The only thing I disagree with is locking guests in rooms. If nothing else, you can count on every door having a mundane lock (and it being a mansion, it may well be a good one too).

Hmm. Well, I think I could go with mundane locks, especially good ones, but there's a question of where the keys are, if they appear in the caster's hands, or if the servants just bring them whenever he asks.

There's also a question of who the servants serve. I'd say they only serve the caster unless he orders them to do otherwise, such as a simple instruction to "Get our guests whatever they like" which would allow visitors to order them around as well.

Locking someone in a nice room or even in a suite should be possible.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

Hmm. Well, I think I could go with mundane locks, especially good ones, but there's a question of where the keys are, if they appear in the caster's hands, or if the servants just bring them whenever he asks.

There's also a question of who the servants serve. I'd say they only serve the caster unless he orders them to do otherwise, such as a simple instruction to "Get our guests whatever they like" which would allow visitors to order them around as well.

Locking someone in a nice room or even in a suite should be possible.

By a strict reading of the rules, I interpreted that the servants served everyone equally. (The text specifically says "they wait on all who enter.")


Another point to consider is that any BBEG of moderate intelligence will not enter the mansion since he would then be on your terms. He may however have his minions, if any are left, waiting for you when the spell expires. If you killed all of them he may just go find some more.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
The way it's best to view it as like some supernatural grand hotel, where when someones familiar shreds the drapes or griffin eats the sofa, next moment when you turn around, they're miraculously restored. A group of bards can go on a rockstar bender, tearing holes in the walls, and the next moment, it's as if nothing had happened

this is so fantastic. i must have this happen in my game, only they just went through an operatic play. hmmm.....

plus, the tactical fights you could run in such a stage would rock (totally stealing the 3 story gallery with marble floors. maybe spear-spiked floors...).

-t


If nothing else, this thread has been entertaining. I'm sure all of us know this is at GMs discretion, but to me this is amusing and doesn't need to be super serious. :]

Contributor

psionichamster wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:
The way it's best to view it as like some supernatural grand hotel, where when someones familiar shreds the drapes or griffin eats the sofa, next moment when you turn around, they're miraculously restored. A group of bards can go on a rockstar bender, tearing holes in the walls, and the next moment, it's as if nothing had happened

this is so fantastic. i must have this happen in my game, only they just went through an operatic play. hmmm.....

plus, the tactical fights you could run in such a stage would rock (totally stealing the 3 story gallery with marble floors. maybe spear-spiked floors...).

-t

Don't think of spear-spiked floors. Who would build a mansion with spear-spiked floors? Anyway, it's equally damaging but far more elegant to have those spears being held by suits of platemail set out for display, or be the horns of unicorn heads mounted on the wall.

Your three-story gallery could be particularly impressive, in fact, if unicorns and perytons and all sort of things with nice spiky horns and antlers were mounted on the wall so anyone you pushed off the edge of the railing would go down like a pachinko ball unless the ended up impaled on some particular bit. In fact, you could even put an ornamental fountain in the foyer with the Angel of Victory, Her sword upraised, her wings as well, and a crown with particularly dramatic pointy bits in the middle just in case someone missed the sword or wings. And just to add insult to injury, make the fountain recirculating so that when the blood drips down (when, not if) it will mix with the water and be squirted out the mouths of the dolphins in the corners.


Tiny Hut is much more interesting as a combat spell since it gives you a opaque globe only the people inside can watch through --> total concealment from the inside but you can still shoot and cast outside.

Mage mansion is 7th level and will be dispelled immediately. At 13th level you will face precious few encounters without at least monsters that can dispel at will or wizards. I haven't since lvl 11. And then it's *poof* to your lvl 7 spell.


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Funkytrip wrote:

Tiny Hut is much more interesting as a combat spell since it gives you a opaque globe only the people inside can watch through --> total concealment from the inside but you can still shoot and cast outside.

Mage mansion is 7th level and will be dispelled immediately. At 13th level you will face precious few encounters without at least monsters that can dispel at will or wizards. I haven't since lvl 11. And then it's *poof* to your lvl 7 spell.

Tiny Hut might be more directly effective and with far less effort, but I fail to see how it is more "interesting."

Also, I don't get why everyone assumes the mansion will automatically be dispelled. The dispeller needs to make checks, and if you are a spellcaster worth anything, it won't be an easy check. How many dispel magics did he have prepared again?


Ravingdork wrote:

Also, I don't get why everyone assumes the mansion will automatically be dispelled. The dispeller needs to make checks, and if you are a spellcaster worth anything, it won't be an easy check. How many dispel magics did he have prepared again?

If it's the BBEG and he has caster levels he will most likely have more caster levels than you meaning he will only need single digits on the dice.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Just occurred to me. the Mansion is in an extradimensional space which has no overlay with the Astral nor Ethereal Planes. Which means that neither teleport, nor Dimension Door would work inside.
Do you have any more support for this interpretation by any chance? Isn't the text about going through the astral plan just flavor text anyways (as not every campaign will even HAVE an astral plane). Also, it's a dimenisional space, on the material plane (most likely) which has access...is there a specific rule somewhere that says you can't use teleporting abilities in extradimensional places that I am unaware of? If so, please cite it. I am most curious to know. :)

From the PFSRD:

Astral Plane: A silvery void that connects the Material and Inner Planes to the Outer Planes, the astral plane is the medium through which the souls of the departed travel to the afterlife. A traveler in the Astral Plane sees the plane as a vast empty void periodically dotted with tiny motes of physical reality calved off of the countless planes it overlaps. Powerful spellcasters utilize the Astral Plane for a tiny fraction of a second when they teleport, or they can use it to travel between planes with spells like astral projection.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Funkytrip wrote:

Tiny Hut is much more interesting as a combat spell since it gives you a opaque globe only the people inside can watch through --> total concealment from the inside but you can still shoot and cast outside.

Mage mansion is 7th level and will be dispelled immediately. At 13th level you will face precious few encounters without at least monsters that can dispel at will or wizards. I haven't since lvl 11. And then it's *poof* to your lvl 7 spell.

True, very true.

If that BBEG is a spellcaster.

If he recognizes the MMM for what it is.

If the PC's are really INSIDE it, and not just trying to trick him into a pocket area to delay him.

I am strongly leaning towards the "set this up beforehand, then disguise the entrance as a regular entrance".

Easy enough to do with the proper setting (fighting in a house/bar, anyone?) and some foresight. Will strongly help if you can redirect all the mooks/melee guys into the house, leaving the super-spellcasting-BBEG without his normal backup.

Situational, I grant you, and easy enough to counter, but very very fun to play in the MC Escher painting combat room.

Brainstorm: Use MMM and illusion/summon spells to have a personal "Danger Room" style training arena. Would be the perfect reason to have Shrink Item'ed traps/hazards/robots, and would make the PCs/NPCs very familiar with the limitations of this particular tactic.

-t


/hides his TARDiS


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
LazarX wrote:

From the PFSRD:

Astral Plane: A silvery void that connects the Material and Inner Planes to the Outer Planes, the astral plane is the medium through which the souls of the departed travel to the afterlife. A traveler in the Astral Plane sees the plane as a vast empty void periodically dotted with tiny motes of physical reality calved off of the countless planes it overlaps. Powerful spellcasters utilize the Astral Plane for a tiny fraction of a second when they teleport, or they can use it to travel between planes with spells like astral projection.

Thank you, but is there anything that specifically says you can't teleport from an extra-dimensional space, particularly when said space is on the material plane?


Ravingdork wrote:
LazarX wrote:

From the PFSRD:

Astral Plane: A silvery void that connects the Material and Inner Planes to the Outer Planes, the astral plane is the medium through which the souls of the departed travel to the afterlife. A traveler in the Astral Plane sees the plane as a vast empty void periodically dotted with tiny motes of physical reality calved off of the countless planes it overlaps. Powerful spellcasters utilize the Astral Plane for a tiny fraction of a second when they teleport, or they can use it to travel between planes with spells like astral projection.

Thank you, but is there anything that specifically says you can't teleport from an extra-dimensional space, particularly when said space is on the material plane?

You can only teleport within the same plane. An extra dimensional space is not on the material plane. It is basically its own plane.

Edit:That may be an oversimplification.


wraithstrike wrote:

You can only teleport within the same plane. An extra dimensional space is not on the material plane. It is basically its own plane.

Edit:That may be an oversimplification.

So, would Plase Shift work?


Mirror, Mirror wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

You can only teleport within the same plane. An extra dimensional space is not on the material plane. It is basically its own plane.

Edit:That may be an oversimplification.

So, would Plase Shift work?

I would think so. Plane Shift and Gate seem to be the only viable options.

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