I'm looking for a spell


Advice


I'm running a published campaign with 4 players and I like to add side quests specific to the players involved.

Spoiler:
One of the players has created a Gnome Barbarian character called Mouse. The background he has created works on him being born an actual mouse and transformed into a gnome at some point in the past.

I want to change this so that he has been a Gnome Barbarian all along, but a which changed his memory as punishment for a crime he and his tribe did, so he would sever all connections with his past/clan.

I just can't seem to find a spell that would be able to change a characters memory, any ideas?


A better version of Modify Memory is what you want.

Just make a higher level version of it, as GM, you can do that.


You could also have had a deity responsible for changing his memory.

No new spell needed.

Deities are awesome like that.


The main reason I am looking for looking for a spell that is already in the rules is I don't want the player to feel he has been the victim of some sort of GM fiat or Deus Ex Machina. I was thinking of fudging a modify memory with a metamagic spell.


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I would use Major Curse, which is a witch 5 spell. Remember, Bestow Curse and Major Curse also state "You may also invent your own curse, but it should be no more powerful than those described above." Here, you aren't causing a negative status such as negatives to saves or hit. You're causing a changed memory. I'd prefer to see something like Major Curse, as it seems strong thematically. To restore his memory would be a DC 5 + the witch's caster level + ability modifier. Assuming she's minimum level with minimum ability score, that's minimum of DC 22. I personally wouldn't have a 9th level witch without at least a 20 int (16 base, +2 racial, +2 from leveling). That would raise the DC by 3. Makes it a quest lead in to ever remove it.

You could offer glimpses that something isn't right. He could see someone that reminds him of someone he used to know, but can't quite explain how or why he used to know them. Kind of like deja vu. He also could run into someone that knew him from before, but maybe make the person seem crazed, adding strangeness to the whole encounter. I like the RP concept and the ability you as a GM can go with this.


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It could be annoying to the player to change the background he created. He might enjoy role-playing an animal transformed into a human.
Players don't have control over much of the game world - why take away the one aspect of it they do control?


I agree that it does take away some player agency, but at the same time these are also the sort of tricks I enjoy when player RPG video games. Sometimes you just don't see the plot twist coming.

You would need to come up with a reason why a powerful witch didn't just outright kill the gnome and instead chose to modify his memory.

Edit: Just reread that you are using the idea he committed a crime, which is an okay enough reason.

The one thing I would recommend is don't specifically tell the player what you are doing, but tell him that you have come up with an interesting idea that would modify the background of his character and ask if the player would be okay with that.

As for a spell...some combination of modify memory, curse, and wish could be a reasonable method.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I agree with Matthew Downie...

Is there a real story reason to do this to your player? His background is a lot of fun. The background the curse would give him would be less so. I'd feel cheated as a player having my story taken away.


Bradley Mickle wrote:

I would use Major Curse, which is a witch 5 spell. Remember, Bestow Curse and Major Curse also state "You may also invent your own curse, but it should be no more powerful than those described above." Here, you aren't causing a negative status such as negatives to saves or hit. You're causing a changed memory. I'd prefer to see something like Major Curse, as it seems strong thematically. To restore his memory would be a DC 5 + the witch's caster level + ability modifier. Assuming she's minimum level with minimum ability score, that's minimum of DC 22. I personally wouldn't have a 9th level witch without at least a 20 int (16 base, +2 racial, +2 from leveling). That would raise the DC by 3. Makes it a quest lead in to ever remove it.

You could offer glimpses that something isn't right. He could see someone that reminds him of someone he used to know, but can't quite explain how or why he used to know them. Kind of like deja vu. He also could run into someone that knew him from before, but maybe make the person seem crazed, adding strangeness to the whole encounter. I like the RP concept and the ability you as a GM can go with this.

That isn't how you calculate DC. DC is in this case 10 +5(spell level) +ability modifier +5(special for the spell). DC is going to be around 26 or so. Minimum 22 as it happens.

Scarab Sages

If you use technology, a Psychic Imprinter could have implanted memories of being a mouse.

Or perhaps at some point, a mouse companion of a druid was Awakened, dies, and is reincarnated as a gnome.


Bradley Mickle wrote:

I would use Major Curse, which is a witch 5 spell. Remember, Bestow Curse and Major Curse also state "You may also invent your own curse, but it should be no more powerful than those described above." Here, you aren't causing a negative status such as negatives to saves or hit. You're causing a changed memory. I'd prefer to see something like Major Curse, as it seems strong thematically. To restore his memory would be a DC 5 + the witch's caster level + ability modifier. Assuming she's minimum level with minimum ability score, that's minimum of DC 22. I personally wouldn't have a 9th level witch without at least a 20 int (16 base, +2 racial, +2 from leveling). That would raise the DC by 3. Makes it a quest lead in to ever remove it.

You could offer glimpses that something isn't right. He could see someone that reminds him of someone he used to know, but can't quite explain how or why he used to know them. Kind of like deja vu. He also could run into someone that knew him from before, but maybe make the person seem crazed, adding strangeness to the whole encounter. I like the RP concept and the ability you as a GM can go with this.

Thanks a lot, that's pretty much what i was looking for. I have already written some very bad dreams the character is going to have, and i am going to have him automatic rage out of control when he sees something that reminds him of the actions he did before the curse.


coldvictim wrote:
Bradley Mickle wrote:

I would use Major Curse, which is a witch 5 spell. Remember, Bestow Curse and Major Curse also state "You may also invent your own curse, but it should be no more powerful than those described above." Here, you aren't causing a negative status such as negatives to saves or hit. You're causing a changed memory. I'd prefer to see something like Major Curse, as it seems strong thematically. To restore his memory would be a DC 5 + the witch's caster level + ability modifier. Assuming she's minimum level with minimum ability score, that's minimum of DC 22. I personally wouldn't have a 9th level witch without at least a 20 int (16 base, +2 racial, +2 from leveling). That would raise the DC by 3. Makes it a quest lead in to ever remove it.

You could offer glimpses that something isn't right. He could see someone that reminds him of someone he used to know, but can't quite explain how or why he used to know them. Kind of like deja vu. He also could run into someone that knew him from before, but maybe make the person seem crazed, adding strangeness to the whole encounter. I like the RP concept and the ability you as a GM can go with this.

Thanks a lot, that's pretty much what i was looking for. I have already written some very bad dreams the character is going to have, and i am going to have him automatic rage out of control when he sees something that reminds him of the actions he did before the curse.

That's probably too far. Changing a character's backstory with permission is one thing. Changing the backstory without permission is another.

Changing the backstory without permission and taking control away from his as the player without having any reasonable way to resist it (no saving throw) would probably have me walk out of your game.

Taking away control of the character's actions in such a way should be a big no no. He doesn't get a save, he doesn't know when or where he might see the "trigger". You just get to use it at will as you like.

I would strongly suggest that to leave it at dreams, or even visions while waking. Don't force him to "rage out of control" because if the player is like me he's going to be very upset and probably quit your game.

Remember this, you get to control the rest of the world. He only get's to control how he reacts.

When you force an uncontrollable rage upon him, you've taken the only thing he gets as a player.


What if instead of changing the story, you left it open to interpretation. Maybe the witch is lying. So, maybe the memories are real, or maybe they are not. This way you can gauge how the twist is received before committing it to be fact.


Bestow Curse can bestow any of several insanities, one of which is Amnesia, after that you can just add memories using modify memory

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