Mark of Justice and Unconsciousness


Rules Questions


It hinges on this line in the spell Mark of Justice:

"Since this spell takes 10 minutes to cast and involves writing on the target, you can cast it only on a creature that is willing or restrained."

If the subject is Unconscious - and let's say for the sake of argument also restrained - can you proclaim the condition that triggers the curse without telling them? Does the subject have to KNOW the terms of the mark for the spell to work?


You have to state the condition, but the victim doesn't have to hear it. You're good to go.


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

I agree that you can. I don't see why you would want to though.

The benefit this spell has over bestow curse is that it doesn't activate as long the subject avoids doing something that you don't want him to do. The victim knowing the triggering cause is a feature, not a bug.

If you just want him cursed, just curse him.


Probably class. Paladins and inquisitors get mark of justice but not bestow curse.


Does not sound very honorable...


Dave Justus wrote:

I agree that you can. I don't see why you would want to though.

The benefit this spell has over bestow curse is that it doesn't activate as long the subject avoids doing something that you don't want him to do. The victim knowing the triggering cause is a feature, not a bug.

If you just want him cursed, just curse him.

Having a contingent curse that the target doesn't know about could be extremely tactically useful. For instance, you could curse a valuable but untrustworthy minion to suffer amnesia the moment they take steps to betray you. If they knew the terms of the curse they could find a way to get rid of it, but if they're completely in the dark it can work as a failsafe.


I think the attraction to the players is in the lack of a saving throw (like Bestow Curse allows). They just name an aberrant behavior they know the target will do, like telling a rouge not to steal anything, and if they steal something -- BAM -6 DEX.

I have issues with it, but can't see a way to RULE against it except the concept of being restrained or willing implies understanding...

Imagine if every PC you have ever played was given an unknown mark of justice that said "thou shall not kill".....


Avoron wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:

I agree that you can. I don't see why you would want to though.

The benefit this spell has over bestow curse is that it doesn't activate as long the subject avoids doing something that you don't want him to do. The victim knowing the triggering cause is a feature, not a bug.

If you just want him cursed, just curse him.

Having a contingent curse that the target doesn't know about could be extremely tactically useful. For instance, you could curse a valuable but untrustworthy minion to suffer amnesia the moment they take steps to betray you. If they knew the terms of the curse they could find a way to get rid of it, but if they're completely in the dark it can work as a failsafe.

With the added plus that if you are unaware of it you won;t take steps to remove it before it triggers.


Maybe the target just knows something bad will happen if they do X? They won't know what, or even why, but they'll know.

That's how I'd resolve it, at least


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

Well they have a mark, so they know you did 'something' to them. Given that, it isn't particularly difficult to find out what it was, even if they have to hire having that done. Certainly anyone with the potential to be able to remove it would certainly be able to discover that 'something' they will do can trigger a curse and of course would try to get it removed.

The no-save is a valid point though.


Dave Justus wrote:
Well they have a mark, so they know you did 'something' to them.

I mean, there's nothing saying the mark has to be large.

Or in a spot that's easy to see...


Avoron wrote:
Dave Justus wrote:
Well they have a mark, so they know you did 'something' to them.

I mean, there's nothing saying the mark has to be large.

Or in a spot that's easy to see...

Might even be reasonable to say it could be subject to an erase spell, which only removes the markings, not the curse itself.


Still not sure I see the point. If your willing to go to this much trouble to dishonorably screw over the helpless guy, why not just kill him while he sleeps?

The purpose is to discourage recidivism and nudge them towards the path of righteousness (Typically) not to torment them for breaking rules they don't know are in place.


Curse on evil minion: If you tell your boss about us, you will go berserk and attack everything until stopped.

Now you can annoy the BBEG without even knowing where it is.

/cevah


That would seem far beyond the limits of the most comparable example: 50% chance of not doing anything < 100% chance of attacking my enemy.


But this is not targeted against my enemy. It is just go crazy when trigger happens. The confusion spell does something similar.

/cevah


Confusion has chance to act normal, and chance to do nothing, etc. And that is stronger than 50% chance of doing nothing, the listed example.


toastedamphibian wrote:

Still not sure I see the point. If your willing to go to this much trouble to dishonorably screw over the helpless guy, why not just kill him while he sleeps?

The purpose is to discourage recidivism and nudge them towards the path of righteousness (Typically) not to torment them for breaking rules they don't know are in place.

In this particular case (not my game) the PC's had some evidence they may have identified a serial rapist, but were not 100% convinced. They managed to subdue and knock out the suspect without being identified (not sure how, maybe a Sleep spell, maybe bought free drinks until he passed out). While unconscious they put their plan into effect, a Mark of Justice on the guy that if he ever tried to rape anyone something happened (it was implied -6 CON). In the players minds, if the guy was guilty, he gets punished and they will notice. If not, no foul. The GM posted this up, sort of frustrated, sort of impressed, but wondering if such use was legit.

I think there are many applications of this unseen mark, unseen conditions, automatic curse.


2bz2p wrote:
toastedamphibian wrote:

Still not sure I see the point. If your willing to go to this much trouble to dishonorably screw over the helpless guy, why not just kill him while he sleeps?

The purpose is to discourage recidivism and nudge them towards the path of righteousness (Typically) not to torment them for breaking rules they don't know are in place.

In this particular case (not my game) the PC's had some evidence they may have identified a serial rapist, but were not 100% convinced. They managed to subdue and knock out the suspect without being identified (not sure how, maybe a Sleep spell, maybe bought free drinks until he passed out). While unconscious they put their plan into effect, a Mark of Justice on the guy that if he ever tried to rape anyone something happened (it was implied -6 CON). In the players minds, if the guy was guilty, he gets punished and they will notice. If not, no foul. The GM posted this up, sort of frustrated, sort of impressed, but wondering if such use was legit.

I think there are many applications of this unseen mark, unseen conditions, automatic curse.

That seems exactly the sort of thing this spell was made to enable.


Still not sure what is gained through the secrecy. If he knows about it, and attempts to remove it, they would presumably know (assuming they are in a position to know it has triggered). If he has the means to remove it, -6 con isn't going to stop him from raping most anyone, unless he is sexually assaulting armed guards or bears. 50% chance loss of actions would be much more effective.

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