Playing a possessed character


Homebrew and House Rules

Sovereign Court

So my character is a possessed (archtype) oracle of the dark tapestry. She's a Neutral good halfling character with the haunted curse named Faerune Littlefoot. I created some rules that I'll get approval from my DM to use but I just thought I'd post them here to see what other people thought, do the bonuses seem balanced to the negative effects, will it unbalance the game? She becomes more powerful when it takes over but it goes all evil and alien on her. So anyways here are the rules

Possession rules
Each time Faerune uses any Oracle ability or casts any spell granted by the Oracle class, she has a chance of being taken over. After resolving the action of the first ability in a day she has a 10% chance of being possessed. Each use of an ability or spell afterwards increases the chance of possession by 5%. When she fails a roll she becomes possessed.

Possession
• Faerune’s type changes to native outsider.
• Her alignment changes to Chaotic Evil.
• She gains one additional revelation, each separate time she becomes possessed a different revelation can be chosen.
• All known Cure spells become equivalent level Inflict spells. (Fearune can use a spell known slot to memorize an additional cure spell of that level, while this means the slot is wasted while she is in control, when the creature takes over this additional cure will remain when the rest become inflict)
• Faerune becomes unable to communicate by any means and cannot use charisma based skills that require communication, if she was under the effects of a spell that allowed telepathic communication anyone able to communicate with her by said means must make a will save DC 10+1/2 oracle level+ charisma modifier or the effect ends and they are stunned for 1d4 rounds as the sheer overwhelmingly alien nature of the mind consumes their thoughts. If they make the save they are able to withstand the creatures mind and may communicate with it mentally, the creature can use previously blocked skills on anyone that made the save. (DM speaks for the creature)
• All oracle class abilities and caster level for oracle spells are treated as 2 levels higher. She also gains +2 to charisma while possessed.
• Any scrying or divination affect that affected Faerune ends while the creature is in control, the creature can be scryed upon while in control if the person knows the nature of the possession but these effects end when Faerune resumes control.
• Faerune continuously sheds darkness as per the spell centered on herself. This darkness has no effect on her senses although other forms of darkness act as normal.
• Faerune floats 1 foot above the ground. Treat her movement as normal but she is never affected by difficult terrain. If knocked prone she still hovers on her back 1foot above the ground, but treats it with all the same rules of being prone. While possessed she is treated as if under the effects of feather fall.
• Each use of an oracle power or spell causes its control to weaken, treat this with the same rules as Faerune falling under possession. When the creature fails its roll Faerune returns to normal, all above effects end and she gains the Exhausted condition until she rests for 8 hours. If she continues to adventure and use abilities, she can become possessed again. If possessed while exhausted the exhausted condition ends when she becomes possessed but she dies when the possession ends. If Faerune sleeps while possessed she does not wake for 8 hours but wakes with no deleterious effects.

Grand Lodge

I Love the idea but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't allow it in my game.

It sounds best for a one-on-one campaign (1 DM / 1 PC).

Here's my biggest concern: When Faerune (great name, btw) becomes CE will she attack PCs? Does she become, essentially, an NPC for the duration of the encounter?

When is she NO LONGER possessed?!?

Darkness as per the Spell. Holy CRAP!
Floating 5' above ground. Holy Crap!

And finally, actually probably the BIGGEST concern....
At what point does the Player use metagame knowledge to decide the PC's actions!?! Cuz that should never happen and I think it would be unavoidable.

But in all sincerity, I do really LOVE the idea.


Cool idea! This is the only part that worries me, honestly (if I'm reading it right):

• Each use of an oracle power or spell causes its control to weaken, treat this with the same rules as Faerune falling under possession. When the creature fails its roll Faerune returns to normal, all above effects end and she gains the Exhausted condition until she rests for 8 hours. If she continues to adventure and use abilities, she can become possessed again. If possessed while exhausted the exhausted condition ends when she becomes possessed but she dies when the possession ends. If Faerune sleeps while possessed she does not wake for 8 hours but wakes with no deleterious effects.

So if she gets possessed, then "fights it off", she's exhausted. If she gets possessed again, then "fights if off" she dies? That seems like some bad set of rolling could lead to character death early on.

Overall, a cool idea, just that part is worrysome if I'm reading it correctly.


It's very cool that you are thinking how to play the possession. I am generally in favour of players having player control of all party NPCs and possessed characters - otherwise it's just the GM narrating to the players.

Rather than focus on the specific abilities, my main area of focus would be on Faerune's behaviours whilst normal and whilst possessed so you can play the character straight.

There are a few questionnaires about (including a D&D3.0 book, whose name I forget) that try to identify alignment. Perhaps using these will provide a framework of how Faerune would react and how the possessing entity would react under given situations. Working with your GM and perhaps a mature fellow player to establish these will give you a framework to roleplay within. The main concern is making sure you don't use meta-knowledge to do something your character wouldn't do e.g. cast a spell that you would normally do because your odds of avoiding possession now aren't worth it.

Once you have that sorted, creating the alternate ability set sounds great, though I wouldn't have any outward physical manifestation, you should play so that the party don't know you've switched persona.


lastknightleft wrote:


Possession rules
Each time Faerune uses any Oracle ability or casts any spell granted by the Oracle class, she has a chance of being taken over. After resolving the action of the first ability in a day she has a 10% chance of being possessed. Each use of an ability or spell afterwards increases the chance of possession by 5%. When she fails a roll she becomes possessed.

This I'd probably change. Mainly because it spoils the first time. You or the DM starts rolling a percentile (or d20 since the percentage scale works with it) every time you cast a spell or use an ability and players are going to catch on that something's up.

The other reason is that it's just too random, maybe work on a variant of the Master Chymist rules; whenever she suffers a critical hit or fails a save (I'm leaning more towards Will here thematically but Fort probably happens more often) she has to succeed on a Will save 10/15 + 1/2 or full Oracle level + Cha Modifier (hers or the entity's) this not only gives other players a chance to prevent it from happening without preventing you from doing what you're good at, but also means it get's steadily more difficult as Faerune (and by extension the entity) grows more powerful.

Quote:


Possession
• Faerune’s type changes to native outsider.
• Her alignment changes to Chaotic Evil.
• She gains one additional revelation, each separate time she becomes possessed a different revelation can be chosen.
• All known Cure spells become equivalent level Inflict spells. (Fearune can use a spell known slot to memorize an additional cure spell of that level, while this means the slot is wasted while she is in control, when the creature takes over this additional cure will remain when the rest become inflict)

Up to here it all seems ok though I'll give you the same advice I give anyone throwing an evil character into the mix, you want to stay with the group. No matter how anti-social or down right twisted they might be come up with a reason they want to keep the group around. Maybe in this case the entity needs Faerune to reach a certain level of strength so it can use her as a doorway into the Material Plane and wants to keep the party around to help keep her safe. Whatever you come up with make sure going in, and as soon as the rest of the group realizes what's up make sure they know, that whatever agenda this thing has it will not start just trying to murder the party.

Quote:


• Faerune becomes unable to communicate by any means and cannot use charisma based skills that require communication, if she was under the effects of a spell that allowed telepathic communication anyone able to communicate with her by said means must make a will save DC 10+1/2 oracle level+ charisma modifier or the effect ends and they are stunned for 1d4 rounds as the sheer overwhelmingly alien nature of the mind consumes their thoughts. If they make the save they are able to withstand the creatures mind and may communicate with it mentally, the creature can use previously blocked skills on anyone that made the save. (DM speaks for the creature)

1 question - why? Presumably this thing is ever-present lurking somewhere in Faerune's mind, why can't it talk? This not only gives you (I wouldn't let the GM speak for the creature) the opportunity to roleplay, but turns the entity into something truly horrifying, it's not just some raving monster, unless the party continually detects alignment on her they have no way of knowing if Faerune is actually Faerune or if the creature is just playing the part.

Quote:


• Faerune continuously sheds darkness as per the spell centered on herself. This darkness has no effect on her senses although other forms of darkness act as normal.
• Faerune floats 1 foot above the ground. Treat her movement as normal but she is never affected by difficult terrain. If knocked prone she still hovers on her back 1foot above the ground, but treats it with all the same rules of being prone. While possessed she is treated as if under the effects of feather fall.

This I'd drop, if this things riding shotgun in another body that seems to suggest it wants to remain hidden. Aided by Faerune wanting to keep it hidden for fear of rejection or violent stabbing perhaps. Also if you are going to keep the % chance of losing control you become a major burden on the party if in any encounter there's a decent chance you'll botch a roll and blind them all.

Quote:


• Each use of an oracle power or spell causes its control to weaken, treat this with the same rules as Faerune falling under possession. When the creature fails its roll Faerune returns to normal, all above effects end and she gains the Exhausted condition until she rests for 8 hours. If she continues to adventure and use abilities, she can become possessed again. If possessed while exhausted the exhausted condition ends when she becomes possessed but she dies when the possession ends. If Faerune sleeps while possessed she does not wake for 8 hours but wakes with no deleterious effects.

I'd drop this and just make it a straight, increasing duration per level. Rounds, minutes, or hours is up to you but this is again to feed the idea that as Faerune grows more powerful so does the thing inside her and it's able to maintain control for longer. Also maybe have it so that someone else can cast a spell on her to allow a second save with a bonus (Protection from or Dispel Evil/Chaos)

Sovereign Court

W E Ray wrote:

I Love the idea but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't allow it in my game.

It sounds best for a one-on-one campaign (1 DM / 1 PC).

Here's my biggest concern: When Faerune (great name, btw) becomes CE will she attack PCs? Does she become, essentially, an NPC for the duration of the encounter?

When is she NO LONGER possessed?!?

Darkness as per the Spell. Holy CRAP!
Floating 5' above ground. Holy Crap!

And finally, actually probably the BIGGEST concern....
At what point does the Player use metagame knowledge to decide the PC's actions!?! Cuz that should never happen and I think it would be unavoidable.

But in all sincerity, I do really LOVE the idea.

Well I thought the last bullet point made it clear that when she's possessed every time she uses a power she restarts the whole first time 10% each subsequent time an additional 5% until she fails a roll, then she reverts to normal and is exhausted, or if she goes to sleep (or a negative effect forces her to fall asleep) she is asleep for 8 hours and is no longer possessed. Maybe the wording wasn't clear enough. What kind of metagame knowledge are you talking?

Sovereign Court

lorenlord wrote:

Cool idea! This is the only part that worries me, honestly (if I'm reading it right):

• Each use of an oracle power or spell causes its control to weaken, treat this with the same rules as Faerune falling under possession. When the creature fails its roll Faerune returns to normal, all above effects end and she gains the Exhausted condition until she rests for 8 hours. If she continues to adventure and use abilities, she can become possessed again. If possessed while exhausted the exhausted condition ends when she becomes possessed but she dies when the possession ends. If Faerune sleeps while possessed she does not wake for 8 hours but wakes with no deleterious effects.

So if she gets possessed, then "fights it off", she's exhausted. If she gets possessed again, then "fights if off" she dies? That seems like some bad set of rolling could lead to character death early on.

Overall, a cool idea, just that part is worrysome if I'm reading it correctly.

Well the idea is that I gave some her a big boost the drawback has to be pretty big to balance it.

Sovereign Court

Dannorn wrote:
Up to here it all seems ok though I'll give you the same advice I give anyone throwing an evil character into the mix, you want to stay with the group. No matter how anti-social or down right twisted they might be come up with a reason they want to keep the group around. Maybe in this case the entity needs Faerune to reach a certain level of strength so it can use her as a doorway into the Material Plane and wants to keep the party around to help keep her safe. Whatever you come up with make sure going in, and as soon as the rest of the group realizes what's up make sure they know, that whatever agenda this thing has it will not start just trying to murder the party.

This pretty much describes how I was gonna play it exactly :)

As for the being keeping in hiding, that's not what I was hoping to play it as, on top of the rules changes her eyes go completely black. I was hoping for playing it more of an Evil Hulk kind of thing. She's looking for ways to either get rid of it or control it while at the same time she also is sort of addicted to the power/release so while she is timid at using her powers at first with the first or second times in a day (you wouldn't like me when I'm angry lol), the closer she gets to being possessed the more willing she is to use her power and while she won't actively use a power just cause, the more she has to use her powers in a day the weaker her objections become. It also give her instructions when she's possessed with the understanding that it's actions could be even worse if she didn't follow directions (the first time it took control of her it killed all of her friends and her lover in the most horrifying ways).

Sovereign Court

oh it's not that it can't talk, it's more that it's so alien we can't understand it, the idea that i'm going for is the thing possessing her is lovecraftian, so it's so far beyond our comprehension that we can't understand it. Idk it was an attempt to put a drawback on the powers she gains, I.E. she gains the boost but at the loss of being able to communicate.

Grand Lodge

lastknightleft wrote:
Well I thought the last bullet point made it clear that when she's possessed....

Hmmm,...

Okay I guess I'm caught red-handed here, hand in cookie jar, foot in mouth.

Apologies.
But if it makes you feel any better at all, I almost never read people's posts all the way through. With your OP, though, at least I think I read up to about the 4th bullet -- that's longer than I read most people's posts...

Um, yeah, apologies.

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