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On Wishes


Legacy of Fire


In the SD campaign that I am currently playing in, the group was granted a wish by a shaitan. It took about an hour of precious game time for the paranoid members of the group to agree on the wording. At one point I was afraid that a physical brawl would ensue between two of the players over the phrasing. This got me to thinking about how strict to interpret wish statements.

To me, the flexibility a genie took in interpreting a wish is dependent on the alignment of the genie. A good genie would take into account the INTENT of the wish rather than the exact phrasing. An evil genie would of course twist the wish to their own devious pleasures. A neutral genie would interpret the wish to give the wishee (?) just barely what they ask for and no more.

I am curious about the communities perspectives on 'wish phrasing'. Your thoughts are appreciated.

-Pel

Qadira

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lord Pel wrote:
I am curious about the communities perspectives on 'wish phrasing'. Your thoughts are appreciated.

My characters are currently wrestling with this -- they have successfully negotiated for three wishes from a djinni, and are trying to figure out exactly what to wish for to balance the various desires of the party.

The bigger problem than the wording, in this case, is that they are bumping up against the upper limits of the power of the spell (as well as some general effect restrictions in my campaign imposed on genie wishes by Nethys).


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Well I would generally give them, no matter the alignment of the genie, anything that is within the stated powers of a wish spell with no problems.

Now for wishing beyond what the spell states I use a bit more than just alignment, same as if it was any other thing granting wishes:

1. Is the intent of the wish in line with what the genie wants? Then the genie isn't going to cause many problems.
2. Is the genie well disposed towards the party? Just because the genie is evil doesn't mean he doesn't like the party. Evil =/= undying hatred of everything, and as such the genie might have many reasons to give the wish without issue... maybe he got paid, maybe one of the party members is a distant relative, maybe he is just having a good day and "lets this one go."
3. What restrictions are on the genie? Is he being watched, harassed, trapped? Does he need something that the party can give for the wish? Then he's more likely to not cause problems, since witnesses to his wish messing up could suggest he's incompetent, and if he's trapped it might take longer if he doesn't help out.

Beyond this the wish itself isn't completely in the Genie's hands either -- it could very well be beyond his ability, or the universe at large might pervert the wish for reasons beyond anyone's understanding.

I try to tell my players that as long as they stick to the defaults on the spell I won't mess it up at all. Depending on how much more they want gives more and more of a chance that it doesn't go right.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Legacy of Fire has a LOT of advice about genies and wish granting; you might wanna check some of those adventures out for advice and inspiration.

In any event, it's probably good that PCs are hesitant to try to abuse the power of a wish. That said... it IS the most powerful magic mortals can wield in the game, and it's kind of lame if wishes are all but useless because players are too afraid to use them. Include wishes sparingly in your game and don't use them as "legal ways" to mess with the PCs, I say, and your PCs will start to play the game rather than grind it to a halt for an hour or three while they agonize over the exact right wording of a wish.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Legacy of Fire has a LOT of advice about genies and wish granting; you might wanna check some of those adventures out for advice and inspiration.

James is right here. Pretty much anything you want to know about genies and wishes are in the LoF AP books. Particularly, AP#22 for negotiating and dealing with genies, and AP#24 for a whole section on wishcraft.

Andoran

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What are your "house rules" on wishes?

Here's my rough draft set of house rules that I'm thinking about:

Spoiler:

Presuming the wish-granting genie is friendly (such as Nefeshti), I was thinking that the following types of self-buff wishes are okay (in addition to what the description of the wish spell specifically says):

- wishing to improve your saving throws (each wish gives you +1 bonus on all saves, up to +3)
- wishing for natural armor or DR (each wish gives you +1 up to +3, which may stack with pre-existing natural armor or DR)
- wishing for greater prowess in battle (+1 to hit with a particular weapon group, rays, unarmed attacks, CMB, or CMD per wish, up to +3)
- wishing to improve a particular skill (each wish gives +2 bonus, up to +6)
- wishing to change your gender or race (provided it's a standard race)
- wishing for one contingent greater resurrection (costs 2 wishes, can't have more than 1 at a time)
- wishing for wings (fly speed 30' & poor maneuverability; additional wishes to upgrade speed & maneuverability, up to 90' & good)
- wishing for claws (climb speed 20' and natural attack 1d4 damage)
- wishing for fame (+2 on certain social Cha-based checks; drawbacks apply)
- wishing for youth (reduce your age 2d4 years per wish, no limit)
- wishing for a dream home (a permanent "secure shelter," costs 2 wishes)
- wishing to add spells to your spellbook (3 spells per wish)
- wishing for a cosmetic change to your character's appearance (no effect on Cha or skills, except possible bonus to Disguise)
- wishing to change prior character-build decisions other than classes and traits (switching certain feats, spells, rogue tricks, oracle revelations, etc.)
- wishing to increase a spontaneous caster's number of spells known (only 1 per wish, up to +3 new spells known, of any level you can cast)
- wishing to improve reaction time (each wish gives you +1 to initiative bonus, up to +3)
- wishing for a permanent spell effect: I'd probably allow any of the effects listed under the Permanency spell (darkvision, see invisibility, tongues, etc.) or any zero or first-level buff spells at CL 1 (shield, mage's armor, entropic shield, etc.) (costs 2 wishes: Permanency + other spell… if you spend one more wish, you can turn the effect on-or-off as a standard action)
- wishing to enhance one's spellcasting ability (1st wish: +1 bonus on concentration checks, 2nd wish: +1 bonus to overcome SR, 3rd wish: +1 to DC of spells from one school)
- wishing for good luck (1st wish: +1 luck bonus to all saves, 2nd wish: +1 luck bonus to AC and CMD, 3rd wish: reroll failed save once per day)
- wishing for spell-like abilities (any two 0-level or one 1st-level spell, 3 times per day, caster level one-half your character level)
- wishing for energy resistance (get +5 resistance to one form of energy per wish, up to +15)
- wishing to upgrade a familiar or animal companion in a way consistent with the above parameters

I was thinking to forbid these wishes:
- wishing to increase your base attack bonus
- wishing to increase your level or hit dice
- wishing for an extra feat or trait
- wishing to ignore prerequisites for a feat or prestige class
- wishing for an extra revelation, domain, judgment, etc.
- wishing for evasion or any other class or racial ability
- wishing for spell resistance, or to increase spell resistance
- wishing to change your class, archetype, traits, oracle mysteries, cleric domains, wizard's specialization schools or opposition schools, sorcerer bloodlines, cavalier orders, favored enemies, favored terrains, etc.
- wishing to apply a template to yourself
- wishing to change your creature type
- wishing to convert any racial or class ability from a standard action into a swift action
- wishing to make "haste" permanent
- wishing that a feat, trait, skill, combat maneuver, or magic item operates differently than normal
- wishing to change any other game rules (e.g., "I wish it doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity when I stand up from prone.")
- wishing to increase daily uses of class abilities, e.g., spell slots, wild shapes, ki pool, channel energy usages, rounds of bardic performance, arcane pool, etc.
- wishing to boost your caster level

What do you think?

I'm not planning on giving the players this list. Rather, I've compiled this list to help me pre-think about how I'm going to handle wishes once the players start making them.

Thank you so much!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Hunnicutt wrote:

What are your "house rules" on wishes?

Here's my rough draft set of house rules that I'm thinking about:
<stuff>
What do you think?

I'm not planning on giving the players this list. Rather, I've compiled this list to help me pre-think about how I'm going to handle wishes once the players start making them.

Thank you so much!

Al-righty, here we go!

First, a few general suggestions. I really, really like your basic ideas, but there are a few general guidelines that I use that I'm going to mention. Feel free to ignore these, as they are not criticisms of your decisions, but rather notes that I've made myself.

  • One of the defining traits of a wish, to me, is the otherwise-nearly-unique concept of "inherent bonus". For consistency sake, I always keep the same rules for any inherent bonus I allow: it affects one selected thing, and only one selected thing, and the maximum inherent bonus is a +5, no matter what. These are guidelines taken by basically copying exactly what wish does for ability scores. Now, there are some things that break this limit^, but for non-gods and non-artifacts in my experience, that's a pretty hard-coded limit, and one that I use. Incidentally, I thus use the number five to determine pretty much all the limits of wishes as a result, even beyond inherent bonuses.
    ^Examples: In my games, deities all automatically get +6 inherent bonus to ability scores, and one of the specified chapters of the Nether Scrolls grants a +30 inherent bonus to spellcraft checks when successfully read (the Netherese Scrolls are a set of three ore more more-or-less identical minor artifacts in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting {though two of the three "known" are effectively lost/destroyed} consisting of fifty scrolls total: five chapters of ten scrolls each; each chapter as a topic or theme and grants a specific amazing boon to the reader, Arcanum Fundrare or "the Fundamentals of Magic" being the one referenced above).
  • Wishes must be made in groups to have stacking effect, but don't need to be in done "in order" repeatedly otherwise. In other words, you can't make your first wish, "+1 inherent strength" and three days later, use a single wish to get "+2 inherent strength": you must use two wishes immediately in succession to get the +2 inherent bonus. On the other hand, if you have three wishes to burn and no inherent bonus already (or you do have an inherent bonus that's less-than-three, it doesn't matter, really) you can get up to a +3 inherent bonus to a score by spending all immediately. While +5 is permitted in this case, it's not presumed, as it becomes very difficult to have five wishes (and the attendant wealth needed with that) to be able to do so, and most wish-granting creatures only have three available. This helps to limit inherent bonuses to +3 for most practical events (though a high enough wizard or multiple creatures could be used to grant the larger bonuses).
  • In 3.5 (I don't know how familiar you were), Wishes could be made to create wealth literally from nothing except life force (experience points) and magic instantly: it was real, and acted as such for all purposes. The maximum value of said items was 15,000 in 3.0, but was turned int 25,000 in 3.5 (a conversion rate of five times the amount of XP it cost to cast a wish). When dealing with granted Wishes in Pathfinder, I presume it can do the same (generating up to 25,000 gold value), though spells cast won't actually gain in total value (as a wish costs 25,000 gold) so much as just allow them to transfer their funds instantly into something they may wish. Multiple wishes stack, so two for 50k gold, three for 75k gold, four for 100k gold, five for 125k gold (which is the maximum I allow for granted wishes to spontaneously generate). When dealing with a granted wish that seeks something beyond the value of 125k gold, I rule that the wisher and/or the genie (though the latter is an extraordinarily rare-to-nonexistent occurrence) must sacrifice an equivalent of value in diamonds beyond 125k. I include magic items and mundane value on the things generated, so a patient person who had access to limitless wishes could, in theory, gather substances to make more powerful wishes, but that's not a common occurrence.

I'm going to respond point-by-point in spoiler text!

Spoiler:
Presuming the wish-granting genie is friendly (such as Nefeshti), I was thinking that the following types of self-buff wishes are okay (in addition to what the description of the wish spell specifically says):
- wishing to improve your saving throws (each wish gives you +1 bonus on all saves, up to +3) I like it! I can actually see the +3 limit logic (as that's half the +5 ability score bonus rounded up), but I've given my reasons for making it the +5 bonus. Also, I'd suggest a given wish apply to a specific save instead of "all my saves" and making it an "inherent bonus" to saves.
- wishing for natural armor or DR (each wish gives you +1 up to +3, which may stack with pre-existing natural armor or DR) Again, I like it, and it makes sense, but I'd make this an inherent bonus to natural armor, as above. Incidentally, I'd recommend allowing for wishes to increase other types as well, though each type is limited, and has its particular limits (v. touch attacks, incorporeal, etc).
- wishing for greater prowess in battle (+1 to hit with a particular weapon group, rays, unarmed attacks, CMB, or CMD per wish, up to +3) I'd pull this back a little bit, but expand it a bit more. Make it an inherent bonus (again), limit it to +5 instead, and then make alterations to what it directly affects. Instead of a weapon group or directly increasing CMB or CMD (making it more potent than a feat), I'd suggest a specific weapon type such as longswords, short bows, and the like (natural weapons being divided into the appendage being used to attacking) or specific combat maneuvers.
- wishing to improve a particular skill (each wish gives +2 bonus, up to +6) I can see the thought behind increasing this (and it's a good one), but personally I'd stick to +1 inherent bonus max of +5. I'm not saying you should, but that's just personal preference talking.
- wishing to change your gender or race (provided it's a standard race) I don't actually have a problem with transitioning into a different race, however there's a very important caveat that a wish's change is temporary similar to Polymorph Any Obejct, and there's a higher category than 9: 11 or higher, which makes the change instant. That's how I handle it, but if you want to keep things "clean" for your game, don't do it that way.
- wishing for one contingent greater resurrection (costs 2 wishes, can't have more than 1 at a time) That's really creative, and I like it!
- wishing for wings (fly speed 30' & poor maneuverability; additional wishes to upgrade speed & maneuverability, up to 90' & good) For a five-wish load-out: spd 60 (average); wishes increase maneuverability by one step (max perfect) or speed by 60 (max 120); another alternative idea is 20 ft (poor) with each wish increasing either speed or maneuverability (or both, at your option) by one "category" (+20 speed, increase maneuver by 1). You don't need to implement these changes: the way you have it is fine, but my tendencies would be to make it more compartmentalized or based on the five-wishes conceit. Finally, you could make the 20 (poor) be supernatural flight without wings, or could make it still limited to five wishes, but those five could go either to speed or maneuverability, not both. These are just a few ideas I had upon reading your concept! I'll touch on this a bit more when I talk about your forbidden things, though.
- wishing for claws (climb speed 20' and natural attack 1d4 damage) This is neat! Subsequent wishes could make inherent enhancement bonuses (like they were weapons), or do the same for other natural or unarmed attacks. Further, you could up the damage dice by one step by follow-up wishes or increase the speed. I might suggest starting with a lower base speed (5 or 10) and increasing by those increments, though, if you do this (maximum 25 or 50 with the five-wish maximum style).
- wishing for fame (+2 on certain social Cha-based checks; drawbacks apply) Nice! Greater fame could stack with itself. Also, this could apply to leadership. Speaking of Feats, see your "no-nos" below.
- wishing for youth (reduce your age 2d4 years per wish, no limit) Amazingly great idea! Again, I do the "five wish limit", so one alternate idea for how I might handle it is by making it increase your the maximum age for all of your age categories by a number years per wish, depending on the wish used: each category increases by 20 years for one wish, 40 years for two wishes, 60 years for three wishes, 80 years for four wishes, and a maximum of 100 years for five wishes. If a lower age category's new maximum age extends beyond your current one, you revert physically, but not mentally. Not saying that mine's better, but it's a different idea based on yours.
- wishing for a dream home (a permanent "secure shelter," costs 2 wishes) Also think about a Magnificent Mansion or similar things, too, perhaps, for more wishes!
- wishing to add spells to your spellbook (3 spells per wish) Great idea, over all!
- wishing for a cosmetic change to your character's appearance (no effect on Cha or skills, except possible bonus to Disguise) Cool. :)
- wishing to change prior character-build decisions other than classes and traits (switching certain feats, spells, rogue tricks, oracle revelations, etc.) Perfect use for this.
- wishing to increase a spontaneous caster's number of spells known (only 1 per wish, up to +3 new spells known, of any level you can cast) Excellent suggestion. Also, swapping out spells known, like you mentioned above.
- wishing to improve reaction time (each wish gives you +1 to initiative bonus, up to +3) As I've said before, I go with a +5 limit, but +3 is certainly the practical limit. :)
- wishing for a permanent spell effect: I'd probably allow any of the effects listed under the Permanency spell (darkvision, see invisibility, tongues, etc.) or any zero or first-level buff spells at CL 1 (shield, mage's armor, entropic shield, etc.) (costs 2 wishes: Permanency + other spell… if you spend one more wish, you can turn the effect on-or-off as a standard action) Great ideas! You can consider others quite carefully, but that's up to you.
- wishing to enhance one's spellcasting ability (1st wish: +1 bonus on concentration checks, 2nd wish: +1 bonus to overcome SR, 3rd wish: +1 to DC of spells from one school) Interesting idea. I know you said "no increasing CL", below, but I might recommend making each of these a different element of that: +1 per wish (if you like it can be up to +3 or +5 though I recommend against it) to concentration checks, to overcome SR, or to the DC of spells from a specified school, or for caster level purposes but not overcoming SR. This way the wishes can do lots of neat things, but it requires lots of them, and individually they can't do too much.
- wishing for good luck (1st wish: +1 luck bonus to all saves, 2nd wish: +1 luck bonus to AC and CMD, 3rd wish: reroll failed save once per day) Neat! I like the idea of this, even though it contravenes the concept of inherent bonus (though you could call them inherent luck bonuses that stack with other luck bonuses, but not themselves); I might suggest that each wish is a choice instead of a specified thing, that each applies to a different specified save (fort/reflex/will), to AC, and to CMD for the five-wish style, while also offering two re-rolls per week per wish (maximum use of two per day, maximum total of ten per week), but that's just me. There's nothing inherently wrong with the style you present, either, it's just a different approach.
- wishing for spell-like abilities (any two 0-level or one 1st-level spell, 3 times per day, caster level one-half your character level) I would suggest 0-level [three at 3/day each or two at will], 1st-level [two at 2/day each, or one at will], or 2nd level [one at 1/day] in order to bring this slightly more in-line with the spell-like abilities of various creatures. But that's my style, so, again, feel free to ignore.
- wishing for energy resistance (get +5 resistance to one form of energy per wish, up to +15) Again, I'd max it out at 25, but otherwise, perfectly agreeable.
- wishing to upgrade a familiar or animal companion in a way consistent with the above parameters Sounds good to me. :)

I was thinking to forbid these wishes:
- wishing to increase your base attack bonus I entirely agree with base attack bonus, although inherent attack bonus, I could see being a thing, so long as it doesn't up your iterative attacks.
- wishing to increase your level or hit dice Yes... to a point. I could see my way to allowing a temporary "energy charge" effect (a late-3.5 thing that was kind of the opposite of energy drain) granting 2d4 temporary hit dice (literally reverse the effects of energy drain) for a short time (one round per level?)
- wishing for an extra feat or trait I have absolutely no problem with wishing for an extra trait (or five). I'd be more hesitant to allow feat-wishing, though I'd personally probably allow either temporary access, or the ability to acquire feats that lack any sort of other prerequisite. I haven't fully thought this out, however.
- wishing to ignore prerequisites for a feat or prestige class Again, I'd likely allow this, but on a limited basis. It'd be kind of like the limited mythic rules where you became dependent upon the wish-granter to gain access to all your cool features. I haven't thought of the duration.
- wishing for an extra revelation, domain, judgment, etc. In general, I agree, however, as with all things, I might find my way to allow such within limits. I would likely impose strict-ish limits; the things you mention here are divine in nature, so I'd likely limit it to stuff the same way the wish spell is limited: 6th level or lower (for effective spell-level imitations which would effectively be 12th character level imitation, though I'd drop it by two levels to 10th level or below for non-spell effects. Also, I'd tend to make it temporary, though this would allow for a kind of worship of the wish-granter to flourish (effectively allowing the wish-granter to fake godhood by fake-granting divine spells to worshipers) - not necessarily in your campaign (unless you want to tweak the campaign stuff), but just an adventure seed thought.
- wishing for evasion or any other class or racial ability Eh... this one I'm not so sure of. I might limit it by only temporarily granting access, and only upgrading by one step per wish (so evasion is one wish, but improved evasion is two, etc), but I'd still likely allow this. See templates below for a more thorough explanation.
- wishing for spell resistance, or to increase spell resistance Understandable and agreed on game balance, but I might allow a +1 inherent bonus to spell resistance per wish (maximum +5) allowing a character to get piddling spell resistance or to make their own better by a minor (though not-insignificant) amount.
- wishing to change your class, archetype, traits, oracle mysteries, cleric domains, wizard's specialization schools or opposition schools, sorcerer bloodlines, cavalier orders, favored enemies, favored terrains, etc. Oh, I'd allow a wish to do this, but the experience is jarring, painful, and not over-all pleasant (leaving the wisher with 0 hit points, currently: also, it'd drop the wisher by two levels (not negative levels, it would literally remove two levels and the experience points to go with it). I'd also inhibit spell-casting shenanigans by explaining that while the sorcerer is a wizard now, they don't know any spells and need to do research or get spells via wishing as you describe above, and that a wizard who became a different wizard needs to relearn any spells they used to have, etc. Further, their mind is reformatted, so their memories change (slightly) to mesh with their new existence (which may have some alignment or other implications). They are basically making a new character here, but I'm actually okay with that. One possible limit if you don't like this is to limit it to one-level-per-wish (maximum five at a time), but requiring two levels from them in this case would be too expensive. In this case, it would be a slightly larger scale version of your "change past decisions" ability above.
- wishing to apply a template to yourself I would hands-down allow this. Need a reason? I'll give you two. First, there were two 3.5 spells (one seventh-level, and another of a level I don't recall) that allowed this exact thing to occur. I forget the name right now and can't look it up at the moment (I'll see later), but one was in Lost Empires of Faerun book that required some XP cost (like the 3.5 Wish spell, but less so) and instantly turned you into a Half-Fiend (with the implication that the opposite was possible), and the other allowed you to grant an undead the fiendish template. Second is: look at all those weird monsters in the last module. Seriously look at them! They're made by template-application via wishes. This is exactly the thing that you banned. Now, I understand why, but I'd still allow this to be a thing that occurs. I'm not telling you you're doing it wrong, and I'm not saying that you should, I'm just mentioning my own reasoning and decision. One possibility for how to handle this is to allow a direct "trade": losing levels on a one-to-one basis for the CR increase of a given template. It's complicated (like the level-changing thing), but I'd say it's doable.
- wishing to change your creature type I would definitely do this, though I'd likely set "expense" levels on certain creature types, meaning more wishes to achieve. I'd also allow subtype change in general, so long as it didn't interfere too badly. My reasoning is that this is the exact wish that was granted to the five (I think there were five?) servants of the lady to turn them into Janni. Further, on a note related to the above, I'd allow for something like a Polymorph Any Object effect that was made permanent to instead be transformed into an instantaneous effect by a wish, should the two be combined cleverly enough.
- wishing to convert any racial or class ability from a standard action into a swift action Understandable.
- wishing to make "haste" permanent Or any similar alteration!
- wishing that a feat, trait, skill, combat maneuver, or magic item operates differently than normal Within reason. I could see altering an item's base value within the parameters of the wish (changing up to 25k gold value with a single wish)
- wishing to change any other game rules (e.g., "I wish it doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity when I stand up from prone.") This is a great idea, although the specific example might be negated by certain class abilities. ;)
- wishing to increase daily uses of class abilities, e.g., spell slots, wild shapes, ki pool, channel energy usages, rounds of bardic performance, arcane pool, etc. I'd over-all agree with this, but I might find my way to allow a +5 inherent bonus to those uses/day or points/day (a maximum of +5 uses, rounds, or points per day). For spells, this would translate into iterative wishes granting one single additional 1st level spell slot per day per simultaneous wish used or granting a single spell slot of first, second, third, fourth or (with five) fifth level. You can never gain more than one set of +5 this way.
- wishing to boost your caster level I went into this above. I don't have a problem with it myself, but I can see the reason this might tend to be avoided. In any event, it wouldn't grant additional spells/day or spells known.

Whew! That's a lot of commenting! So, that's how I answered your question "what do you think?", and I hope it wasn't offensive and didn't come off as me not approving of your ideas. I actually do, and recognize a good eye for game design there. I'm just giving you some counter thoughts to mull over too! :D

Andoran

Thank you very much, Tacticslion! Your comments were exactly what I was looking for, and much appreciated.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Glad to help! Take all the advice with a grain of salt, and use what works best for you, though! :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hey, I just thought of something else about one of the options that you might like, soooooooo...

(Copy-pasting from behind the spoiler text and then editing slightly to give a clearer/less rambling list on these ideas, and so only the new notes are like this.)

SPOILER!:

Original Idea: wishing for wings (fly speed 30' & poor maneuverability; additional wishes to upgrade speed & maneuverability, up to 90' & good)

Five-wish Load-out Idea: speed 60 (average); wishes increase maneuverability by one step (max perfect) or speed by 60 (max 120);

Another Alternative Idea: is 20 ft (poor) with each wish increasing either speed or maneuverability (or both, at your option) by one "category" (+20 speed, increase maneuver by 1).

Finally, you could make the 20 (poor) be supernatural flight without wings, or could make it still limited to five wishes, but those five could go either to speed or maneuverability, not both. [ooc]Upon thinking about this a little more, I've come to think that perhaps I was wrong: I think the supernatural flight (without wings) should have the slow speed, but higher maneuverability, while the natural flight with wings should have the higher speed but lower maneuverability. So, supernatural flight-wish-tree would look kind of like this:

  • First Wish: Fly 20 (average)
  • Second Wish: Fly 40 (average) or 20 (good)
  • Third Wish: Fly 60 (average), 20 (perfect), or 40 (good)
  • Fourth Wish: Fly 60 (good), or 40 (perfect)
  • Fifth Wish: Fly 60 (perfect)

... while natural flight (with wings) would look like this:
  • First Wish: Fly 40 (clumsy)
  • Second Wish: Fly 80 (clumsy) or 40 (poor)
  • Third Wish: Fly 120 (clumsy), 80 (poor), or 40 (average)
  • Fourth Wish: Fly 120 (poor), or 80 (average)
  • Fifth Wish: Fly 120 (average)

This way, the flight system doesn't overlap, it allows custimabitlity, but it requires harder choices. It also fits more directly with how Pathfinder (and 3.5 before it) tended to handle flight. In any event, remember that when creatures gain a fly speed, they gain a bonus or penalty on their fly skill based on their maneuverability.

And remember: you don't need to implement these changes: the way you have it is fine, but my tendencies would be to make it more compartmentalized or based on the five-wishes conceit.

So, yeah, based on ideas that occurred to me about that movement type, I thought I'd share what I was thinking about. Enjoy!

Andoran

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Thank you for the follow-ups!

Yes, making clear it's inherent bonuses makes perfect sense.

I guess I was thinking to max at 3 because genies cast wishes in 3s, but I like your approach. If the wish spell can get you up to +5, or if a Tome of Understanding can, 5 makes sense.

One reason I don't like allowing new traits is the idea that they're supposed to be inchoate, something a new character has within him or her from the very beginning. So, more of a flavor/role-playing objection rather than a mechanical one.

Spoiler:

We wrapped up Impossible Eye last night, and shall start The Final Wish next week, so we'll see how it all goes shortly. Thanks again.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

What you said makes sense, too! The practical limit of just three is in place anyway because, as you say, there are only three wishes. However, the ultimate limit still comes out to being +5, for the determined.

As far as traits go, that makes sense.

I'm looking forward to hearing how things go!

Oh, and by the way...

I said I'd see about looking it up, so I did... at least one!:
The first spell is a seventh level cleric or wizard/sorcerer spell called Nar Fiendbond and it transforms a target into a half fiend (with the implication that other similar templates are possible, though not with this spell). It cost 500 XP (that's 2,500 gold in Pathfinder) per character level of the half-fiend created (so, you know, more than I was thinking if they're tenth level or above). While it also cost precious gems with a gold piece value equal to the number of XP value, I would just stick with the 2,500 gold cost per character level. It's on page 32 of Lost Empires of Faerun. Basically, for it to work that way, the PCs'd have to spend 2,500 gold per level after the 10th (since a wish is presumed to be valued at 25,000 gold, considering its material component cost). Hope that helps!

Andoran

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Thank you again for all the great advice. At the end of the day, my players generally went with fairly pedestrian options, so maybe I over-thought this. But here is what we did with each PC's trio of wishes:

Spoiler:

Three of the players wished for one contingent true resurrection and added a +2 inherent bonus to their primary ability score. (So I ended up making the contingent-res only 1 wish rather than 2.)

My fourth player wished to add evasion to his ring of protection, one contingent true-res, and one permanency (the party wizard supplied the underlying "see invisibility" effect for the permanency).

GM and players were happy with the outcome. Thanks again!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm really glad to!

One thing is, though, that being prepared may be "overthinking it", but I'm totally glad you did! Getting this stuff written down (as opposed to just floating in my jumbled head) is really great! :)

And those are great options, so well done!

Further, this stuff could definitely help future GMs, so there's that benefit too. :D

EDIT: for spelling. Ugh.

Andoran

True 'nuff! Thank you again 8^)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

-wishing for a permanent spell effect: I'd probably allow any of the effects listed under the Permanency spell (darkvision, see invisibility, tongues, etc.) or any zero or first-level buff spells at CL 1 (shield, mage's armor, entropic shield, etc.) (costs 2 wishes: Permanency + other spell… if you spend one more wish, you can turn the effect on-or-off as a standard action)

Remembering that these are 'secret' guidelines and the GM can always say 'notjustnobutHELLNO', what would you saw to a '1 + spell level' cost in wishes? That's my campaign 'rule', though no one has been able to get there in a few years...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Bwang wrote:
Remembering that these are 'secret' guidelines and the GM can always say 'notjustnobutHELLNO', what would you saw to a '1 + spell level' cost in wishes? That's my campaign 'rule', though no one has been able to get there in a few years...

I'm... not sure what you mean by this. Please explain?

One thing I might do, if allowing such a thing, is take the "eighth level and lower" spell-description literally: permanency (5th lvl) + any third level spell as a single wish (total: eight spell levels, effectively an eighth level spell). It's a bit metagamey, but it fits, I think, with the basic idea. Fourth level or higher spells with a permanency require two spells in any event (more than eight spell levels total).

Also, here's another thread where a similar issue came up, though it's more about adjucating the wish-granters than the wishers. Still, it has a few nice looks at RAW readings, too.


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Whoa Thread-ception... I tend to handle Wishes exactly as Tacticslion described.

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