How to mess with a player's Wish?


Advice

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Rynjin wrote:
Next time if you don't want people to "jump to conclusions" don't say "How do I mess with this" and more "How do I come up with an alternate version of this" and give all the info at once instead of trickling it out a little at a time.

Guess that's my bad, i didnt figure a few people for being jerkish to me for something that's fairly common in gaming (GMs messing with wish to some extent), so i felt the need to constantly clarify things that were said or I didnt think needed to be said.

My thanks to those who did give reasonable alternatives though.


SheepishEidolon wrote:

I think Calth made a good point here - the player already risked a lot when drawing a card and deserves a reward. If the wished reward is too big, the question is 'What does the player want to achieve?'. I'd guess he wants a flexible tool because he doesn't really know yet what exactly to do with permanency.

Three free permancies (as kyrt-ryder said) is already a good compromise. Alternatively give him one permanency per day - it's also a challenge to spend this one wisely. It should be ok to provide it without gold cost, failure and level requirement. Let's see what the player comes up with...

In the worst case, even permanent spells can be dispelled. But as a GM, I wouldn't overdo that...

Agreed. I like the 1x per day as well as a compromise. I'll let the player decide though since its his wish.


I think simply granting him Permanency is more than enough.

As an SLA, 1x/day, with CL limits. They get the spell, that's it.

The request for "at will, as often as I want, with no limitations, etc., etc." is simply too much.

btw, Permanency can be used on some pretty good spells beyond those listed:
Wall of Fire
Wall of Force
Prismatic Wall
various Symbols


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DiceBagChick wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Next time if you don't want people to "jump to conclusions" don't say "How do I mess with this" and more "How do I come up with an alternate version of this" and give all the info at once instead of trickling it out a little at a time.

Guess that's my bad, i didnt figure a few people for being jerkish to me for something that's fairly common in gaming (GMs messing with wish to some extent), so i felt the need to constantly clarify things that were said or I didnt think needed to be said.

My thanks to those who did give reasonable alternatives though.

DiceBagChick, your question was fine as written.

People should not expect that all the information has been handed out.

You asked a reasonable question and instead of answering the question as it was asked some people posted responses that were not in line with the question and decided to place labels based on incomplete information.

Rather than accepting that different people have different gaming styles some people like to jump to the idea that if you do X then you must be a bad GM without understanding that the group dynamics may be different than what they would normally experience.


Rynjin wrote:
Gauss wrote:

Rynjin,

If the Wish was reasonable, then yes, it should happen without being messed with. This kind of wish is not reasonable. The parameters of what should be replicated without problem are in the Wish spell's description. This is clearly beyond that and thus, should be messed with.

The Wish is quite reasonable (It's a spell that has almost no uses that actually increase character power, and is mostly useful for RP purposes like permanent Demiplanes) and regardless that doesn't mean it "should" be messed with.

Gauss wrote:
Finally, messing with an unreasonable or complicated Wish is a classic in D&D gaming. It has been happening by GMs to Players for decades. The player should be expecting this.
Most people expect their GM to be a reasonable human being and not a troll. It may be a "classic" but so is "Rocks fall everyone dies". I don't see anyone advocating the latter trope be used.

You are making assumptions based on inherently incomplete information (if you are not part of the group then you have incomplete information because you will never be told everything).

As for reasonable, no, it is 100% not reasonable. Wish clearly shows what can be replicated with the spell and a 'use it as much as I want forever' spell is not part of that.

At will, no cost, no level requirement, Permanency is absolutely open to abuse. The only reason Permanency is a sub-par spell is that it has a prohibitive cost associated with it. Allowing someone to bypass that cost in addition to unlimited castings is not within the scope of a 'shouldnt be messed with' Wish.

Things I would permanency (just in the spell's list and not in the wider list of possible spells permanency applies to) if this was an at-will SLA (no cost to SLAs).

personal buffs: Arcane Sight, Darkvision, See Invisibility, Tongues
game breaking: any and all Symbol spells, Animate Objects (constant supply of Animated constructs).


Personally I hate the deck of many things. However you took out many of the reasons to hate it, but didn't balance that with equal level rewards being taken out as well.

Which is to say you too out death but left in wish for example.

That's a lesson for next time, but I think I like the 3 times only permanent ability. I doubt a player would complain about unrestrained cost free level free uses 3 times.

And don't worry about the posters whining you didn't give enough info as a way to backtrack on being jerks to you. Even if the cards had been left in there, they weren't drawn and weren't part of the original question. Their existence is irrelevant because it could have been nothing but a single wish and 51 death cards... the wish was drawn that's all that matters.


BTW if I had it all the time I'd make ever burning torches and stuff and sell them to large cites and make mint. Which is also like having this power and wishing for infinite wealth.


Cavall wrote:
I'd make ever burning torches and sell them to large cites and make mint.

You mean like Continual Flame and Bloody Money?


Cavall wrote:
BTW if I had it all the time I'd make ever burning torches and stuff and sell them to large cites and make mint. Which is also like having this power and wishing for infinite wealth.

If you wanted to do that you could just play an Archon-Blooded Aasimar.


Gauss wrote:

"I wish to have a spell-like ability to cast the spell "permanency" at

will, and without any cost, and without any unintended consequences,
and without the chance of failure, And have no limit to the number of
times I can cast it, and have no limit on how often i can cast it.and
without level requirement."

The placement of "unintended consequences" is that it is applicable to the use of the spell permanency, not to the wish itself. I would start with:
He transforms into a Solar...
and end with
said Solar is imprisoned in some far off plane (Hell, the Abyss, Im sure something be figured out) that would require, at minimum, a level 20 group to rescue.

Off he pops. :)

Alternately, his limit on the number of times he can cast it makes no statement regarding time. Once every thousand years is still unlimited.

Alternatively, he is granted his wish fully. He is now an intelligent magic item that casts Permanency at-will. He'll rely on his party members to wield him for a while, but you could add plot hooks for quests to expand his capabilities as an item: eventually granting movement, hands, and possibly unlocking his latent abilities (regain his class levels and ability to gain levels). It gives him what he wants, in a way he doesn't expect, and doesn't *permanently* mess up his character. Just make sure you're up front that he can recover from it, and then follow through in a reasonable amount of time. Remember that it could be fun to RP as a piece of equipment for a while, but not being able to contribute and make character defining choices makes for a boring time at the table. For added randomized fun, have the player roll on the random item table to find his new form.

Also a warning that the requested wish is beyond the power of a single wish and may yield unexpected results could give him a chance to back out without the consequences.

In the end, you know your players best, and it's always a good idea to think about if they'll enjoy the story that unfolds from this sort of thing.


Cavall wrote:

Personally I hate the deck of many things. However you took out many of the reasons to hate it, but didn't balance that with equal level rewards being taken out as well.

Which is to say you too out death but left in wish for example.

That's a lesson for next time, but I think I like the 3 times only permanent ability. I doubt a player would complain about unrestrained cost free level free uses 3 times.

And don't worry about the posters whining you didn't give enough info as a way to backtrack on being jerks to you. Even if the cards had been left in there, they weren't drawn and weren't part of the original question. Their existence is irrelevant because it could have been nothing but a single wish and 51 death cards... the wish was drawn that's all that matters.

That is very true. I did leave in quite a large number of the good effects. But, I did it in a very specific reasoning to let my players have some good in the game and feel like they were getting something special. I've always liked when GMs in the past have done things to benefit players extraordinarily.


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Gauss wrote:
DiceBagChick wrote:
Rynjin wrote:
Next time if you don't want people to "jump to conclusions" don't say "How do I mess with this" and more "How do I come up with an alternate version of this" and give all the info at once instead of trickling it out a little at a time.

Guess that's my bad, i didnt figure a few people for being jerkish to me for something that's fairly common in gaming (GMs messing with wish to some extent), so i felt the need to constantly clarify things that were said or I didnt think needed to be said.

My thanks to those who did give reasonable alternatives though.

DiceBagChick, your question was fine as written.

People should not expect that all the information has been handed out.

You asked a reasonable question and instead of answering the question as it was asked some people posted responses that were not in line with the question and decided to place labels based on incomplete information.

Rather than accepting that different people have different gaming styles some people like to jump to the idea that if you do X then you must be a bad GM without understanding that the group dynamics may be different than what they would normally experience.

Thank you! I thought that by paring down my question to just the bare bones would have been more appreciated than a tl;dr version, but I guess that went over some people's heads.


Though one option I am toying with the idea of giving him his full wish and tying it to his backstory that we will eventually get to fulfilling. Perhaps if he completes his family quest, that will result in an item that lets him do his SLA Permanency. That way he doesnt have it NOW, but he will get it eventually. Perhaps his quest results in his enlightenment allowing that ability.

If my player reads this, let me know what you think about this alternative since we may head to completing your side quest sooner than later.


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If I had story already planned I can see how this wish could derail the game. 3 permanicies or 1/day that cancels(or maintains) the one before adds some but not to much to the power level of the PC. They are easy.

This ability is available to those who can cast planar binding anyway since it can be done with genies. I would say granting it as written at 13th to 15th level would not unbalance things to much anyway.

If I got 3 I would buy some of the more powerful buffs on scrolls and get them far earlier then normal. Powerful but not game breaking.


It must be a wish, not a contract. Anything longer than a single line should probably fail automatically or just take into account the main "I wish [this or that]" line and do whatever may come with it.
Also, Wish is "just" a 9th level spell, not some Godlike device; whatever comes within the power of 9th level spells should be ok; going beyond should either fail or bring the oh-so-feared undesired results.


Astral Wanderer wrote:
Wish is "just" a 9th level spell, not some Godlike device

I think you might be underestimating 9th level spells a bit here.

That being said yes a Wish is indeed not unlimited ultimate power, just a singular flash of ultimate power.

The Exchange

DiceBagChick wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I'd meet him in the middle. "It's just a single Wish, it lacks the power to give you such an ability at will. You have three free permanencies, use them wisely."
I really like this. I feel like its a bit too powerful for a 5th level character, but i dig this. I'm compiling all the suggestions and will see what works without completely screwing over his wish.

If it's too powerful for a 5th level character then you probably shouldn't have whipped out the Deck of Many Things on a 5th level group. Sounds like you wanted all the cool punishment of a DoMT without the chance of honoring all the cool benefits of a DoMT. Pretty crappy DM play there....


kyrt-ryder wrote:
I think you might be underestimating 9th level spells a bit here.

Heh, no. They are powerful, but not almighty, especially when taken singularly.


Fake Healer wrote:
DiceBagChick wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I'd meet him in the middle. "It's just a single Wish, it lacks the power to give you such an ability at will. You have three free permanencies, use them wisely."
I really like this. I feel like its a bit too powerful for a 5th level character, but i dig this. I'm compiling all the suggestions and will see what works without completely screwing over his wish.

If it's too powerful for a 5th level character then you probably shouldn't have whipped out the Deck of Many Things on a 5th level group. Sounds like you wanted all the cool punishment of a DoMT without the chance of honoring all the cool benefits of a DoMT. Pretty crappy DM play there....

The request is clearly overpowered for a single Wish. That the DM is considering going with it at all is a sign of leniency.


Fake Healer wrote:
DiceBagChick wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
I'd meet him in the middle. "It's just a single Wish, it lacks the power to give you such an ability at will. You have three free permanencies, use them wisely."
I really like this. I feel like its a bit too powerful for a 5th level character, but i dig this. I'm compiling all the suggestions and will see what works without completely screwing over his wish.

If it's too powerful for a 5th level character then you probably shouldn't have whipped out the Deck of Many Things on a 5th level group. Sounds like you wanted all the cool punishment of a DoMT without the chance of honoring all the cool benefits of a DoMT. Pretty crappy DM play there....

Incorrect. As I stated earlier, I removed several of the horrible deck cards. As his wish is currently written, that's way too OP for his level and the wish itself.


DiceBagChick wrote:

Drew from the deck of many things, player drew the card with a wish. He cashed in his wish request tonight with the following wish, how can I mess with it?

I wish to have a spell-like ability to cast the spell "permanency" at
will, and without any cost, and without any unintended consequences,
and without the chance of failure, And have no limit to the number of
times I can cast it, and have no limit on how often i can cast it.and
without level requirement.

Adding the word 'and' does NOT mean the wish works as intended...

Stop interpreting it at the first 'and'.

Otherwise you get situations like this:

"I wish for a million gold AND a huge male member AND a castle AND a magic sword AND..." You get the idea.


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Some of these ideas feel aggressively punitive.

That's always been my problem with wishes, going back to first edition. No problem with actually having a wish, but the problem is with GMs who feel obligated to screw the player making the wish. All too often, otherwise good GMs who make great campaigns and fun gaming sessions suddenly turn into jerks the moment a player gets a wish. All too often the player reaction, including my reaction as a player but also extending to just about all players I know, is "Aww, crap, I got a wish? Damn, now I'm screwed..."

That's just messed up.

My take is that a wish should be an amazing beneficial treasure. People should be overjoyed to get a wish. Ecstatic.

But too many GMs seem obligated to ruin this wonderful prize.

I don't know why.

OK, so this GM just seems to want to tweak it to be fun and maybe only a little punitive, but that's just a lesser version of the same problem.

Yeah, yeah, literature is full of examples of wishes gone wrong. Cautionary tales to be careful what you wish for. But usually that's only punishment for greedy people wishing for too much.

Normally, a decent wish should get a decent result.

Otherwise why have them at all?

So when I am GMing and a player gets a wish, I try to fulfill it in the most beneficial way possible to make it fun and enjoyable for the player. Within the limits of the spell.

As for the OP's question, this is both outside the power of the spell to grant. Since a Wish spell can duplicate ONE other spell, not infinite other spells, the OP got greedy and wished for too much. That puts this wish clearly within the realm of those cautionary tales, so all bets are off. But that doesn't mean trying to find the most punitive outcome imaginable. Making it do nothing at all or do some twisted version that is worthless to him means he wasted this wonderful, awesome reward. That's not likely to make him feel ecstatic. It's only going to make him feel cheated. .

Wish can duplicate ONE spell of a LOWER level. It cannot even duplicate TWO permanency spells because that is beyond the power of the wish.

So, worst case scenario, it just fails - but make it very very clear that you ruled it this way because the player was too greedy and wanted far more than a single Wish could do (believe me, he already knows that). But please don't alter the universe, transport the wisher to alternate planes, create a dangerous situation to punish the greedy player, grant something ELSE that he didn't wish for at all, or any other nonsense. If he's lucky, the wish fails BUT he still has the wish and can use it for something more reasonable. If not, he expended his wish and gets nothing, or maybe now he must settle for a Limited Wish and a lesson learned.


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A wish (as already stated) can not be role-played in the form of game mechanic terms and ideas.

"I wish I could make magic spells into ongoing and permanent effects."

One of my characters once wished for the ability to take or copy a power from any creature touched.

For awhile it was the rusting powers of the rust monster, and the regeneration of a troll, but it was fun to change them out......


KenderKin wrote:

A wish (as already stated) can not be role-played in the form of game mechanic terms and ideas.

"I wish I could make magic spells into ongoing and permanent effects."

Although I agree with the sentiment, that might be splitting hairs.

I always ask my players to voice them as their characters would speak...

so use of game mechanics is rarely brought into it.

Your above phrase would result in being granted the ability to use permanency, once. This is in line with the power of the spell, as pointed out earlier.


Alternatively, if the person getting the wish was a wizard of appropriate level, you could add permanency to his spellbook.

The original wording of the wish though... no way.


To answer the OP, I agree that this request is way past what a wish can do. The player didn't wish to duplicate the effects of one spell. He wished to duplicate an infinite number of spells. Note that wish doesn't say "duplicate one really cool spell or 7 boring spells or 666 lame spells". It says "one spell".

So wishing for infinite duplicated spells is, literally, infinitely beyond what a wish can do.

That falls way out of the range of "a decent wish should get a decent result". In my book, it even falls into the cautionary tale realm, along with other cautionary tales like King Midas or Medusa. Squarely into the realm of "Be careful what you wish for because you WILL get it but you might not like it."

Note: not because it's a good idea to dick with players and/or wishes, but because it's good literature, good story telling, that people who go too far often regret their greed in the end, often by getting exactly what they wanted but in an unwanted way.

In that vein, imagine this:

Spells use power. Magical energy of some kind. It comes from somewhere. Mostly the universe. The gestures and incantations and materials can shape and form this power, but they don't create the power.

This is why Wish can only duplicate ONE spell - it already has the power from whatever cast the Wish, and then it just transforms that power into the duplicated spell. In other words, Wish doesn't go out and get new power from the universe to duplicate a new spell, it just uses the power it already has.

However, this player wants INFINITE power to cast all these Permanency SLAs. Wish doesn't have that infinite power. So it grants the PC's wish, but it needs a power source, a magical battery to provide the power for each and every time he casts his Permanency SLA.

What is this battery? I have a few thoughts.

1. It could drain the power out of a permanent magic item the PC owns. This makes sense in an Eye for Eye kind of way - the power for a Permanency spell (SLA) comes by training the power form a previously cast Permanency. I wouldn't apply this to any 1-use item like a potion or scroll; they're not Permanent (and too easy to carry around 100 scrolls of Cure Light Wounds to fuel his SLA when he needs it).

2. Same as 1 but maybe the PC only has to touch the item. Be careful, he might turn this into an attack (drain an enemy's magical item as a touch attack SLA) so I would definitely allow saving throws for items the PC doesn't own. If the item saves, the SLA fails.

3. It could drain the power from the PC. Imagine if he ages a full month every time he uses it. This is much worse than losing an item, but then again, 1 month here or there won't ruin a PC (heck, it might even help him get to an older age where those INT and WIS bonuses can kick in so maybe he won't mind too much). If you think the player might not care about aging a month (maybe he's an elf or a vmapire or something), then age him a year, or a decade, whatever amount is large enough to worry the player but small enough that it won't kill his PC too quickly - we actually want him to be able to use this SLA lots of times; he did wish for it, after all.

4. I imagine a combination of all 3. A random item he owns is drained unless he touches an item in which case that item is drained if he owns it or that item attempts a saving throw if he doesn't own it, and if it succeeds, the spell drains one of the PC's owned items instead, at random. If no items are touched or owned, then the spell ages the PC.


DM_Blake wrote:

What is this battery? I have a few thoughts.

1. It could drain the power out of a permanent magic item the PC owns. This makes sense in an Eye for Eye kind of way - the power for a Permanency spell (SLA) comes by training the power form a previously cast Permanency. I wouldn't apply this to any 1-use item like a potion or scroll; they're not Permanent (and too easy to carry around 100 scrolls of Cure Light Wounds to fuel his SLA when he needs it).

2. Same as 1 but maybe the PC only has to touch the item. Be careful, he might turn this into an attack (drain an enemy's magical item as a touch attack SLA) so I would definitely allow saving throws for items the PC doesn't own. If the item saves, the SLA fails.

3. It could drain the power from the PC. Imagine if he ages a full month every time he uses it. This is much worse than losing an item, but then again, 1 month here or there won't ruin a PC (heck, it might even help him get to an older age where those INT and WIS bonuses can kick in so maybe he won't mind too much). If you think the player might not care about aging a month (maybe he's an elf or a vmapire or something), then age him a year, or a decade, whatever amount is large enough to worry the player but small enough that it won't kill his PC too quickly - we actually want him to be able to use this SLA lots of times; he did wish for it, after all.

4. I imagine a combination of all 3. A random item he owns is drained unless he touches an item in which case that item is drained if he owns it or that item attempts a saving throw if he doesn't own it, and if it succeeds, the spell drains one of the PC's owned items instead, at random. If no items are touched or owned, then the spell ages the PC.

I had thought of a similar mechanic (every time he uses it draws on the life force of those around him, with similar consequences), and thought it could be interesting, but feel it's likely the player would get upset because he wished for "no unintended consequences." Probably better to just say "no" and leave it at that, or discuss it OOC with the player and decide on a course of action.


Forgive me if I'm wrong, but all this talk about the normal power of a Wish still confuses me. Isn't the Deck of Many Things' Wish card explicitly able to produce effects above and beyond what Wish can normally do? The example given being using the Wish to change an entire timeline.

Or is that just the Harrow Deck version?


The deck of many things wish card is just the normal wish spell:

Quote:
Moon: This card bears the image of a moonstone gem with the appropriate number of wishes shown as gleams therein; sometimes it depicts a moon with its phase indicating the number of wishes (full = four; gibbous = three; half = two; quarter = one). These wishes are the same as those granted by the 9th-level wizard spell and must be used within a number of minutes equal to the number received.


Rynjin wrote:

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but all this talk about the normal power of a Wish still confuses me. Isn't the Deck of Many Things' Wish card explicitly able to produce effects above and beyond what Wish can normally do? The example given being using the Wish to change an entire timeline.

Or is that just the Harrow Deck version?

I'm not sure which resource has the explicit PF version of Deck of Many Things, but the d20pfsrd version explicitly states it grants wishes as "by the 9th-level wizard spell."

d20pfsrd wrote:
Moon: This card bears the image of a moonstone gem with the appropriate number of wishes shown as gleams therein; sometimes it depicts a moon with its phase indicating the number of wishes (full = four; gibbous = three; half = two; quarter = one). These wishes are the same as those granted by the 9th-level wizard spell and must be used within a number of minutes equal to the number received.


I always preferred the Harrow Deck (mostly because it's an actual full deck of cards...), so that's the one I usually think of.

The Winged Serpent wrote:
The character is granted a single wish. This wish functions similarly to the spell wish when it comes to affecting rules and statistics, but can also change reality in ways outside the bounds of the spell's effects—such as rerouting a river or ending a war. The GM decides what the wish can and cannot accomplish.


Cheburn wrote:
I had thought of a similar mechanic (every time he uses it draws on the life force of those around him, with similar consequences), and thought it could be interesting, but feel it's likely the player would get upset because he wished for "no unintended consequences." Probably better to just say "no" and leave it at that, or discuss it OOC with the player and decide on a course of action.

Just because he wished for "no unintended consequences" doesn't mean that he necessarily gets that.

Me, I would say "The magic of the wish assumed you know how the universe works and therefore that you knew each use of Permanency would require a power source, therefore you actually did intend these consequences. At least, that's what the magic assumed."

If the player still complains, I would say "Maybe your character should become more knowledgeable about how magic works in his universe before he starts wishing to alter reality; he'll be happier with the results".

If the player STILL complains, I would say "Damn, dude, get over it. You KNEW how ridiculously overpowered that wish was, and you have heard of all the cautionary tales that have taught you, over and over, to be careful what you wish for, so quite whining - you KNOW you were greedy and you did get what you wished for, just like Medusa and Midas and so many other greedy wishers in the myths and legends".


Rynjin wrote:

I always preferred the Harrow Deck (mostly because it's an actual full deck of cards...), so that's the one I usually think of.

The Winged Serpent wrote:
The character is granted a single wish. This wish functions similarly to the spell wish when it comes to affecting rules and statistics, but can also change reality in ways outside the bounds of the spell's effects—such as rerouting a river or ending a war. The GM decides what the wish can and cannot accomplish.

The Harrow Deck of Many Things looks like a lot more fun than the classic version. There are more mid-range things that can happen and even many of the negative things that may be drawn can be mitigated in one way or another.


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DiceBagChick wrote:

Though one option I am toying with the idea of giving him his full wish and tying it to his backstory that we will eventually get to fulfilling. Perhaps if he completes his family quest, that will result in an item that lets him do his SLA Permanency. That way he doesnt have it NOW, but he will get it eventually. Perhaps his quest results in his enlightenment allowing that ability.

If my player reads this, let me know what you think about this alternative since we may head to completing your side quest sooner than later.

That there is actually a very god idea and even one in line with the wishcraft written up in Legacy of Fire - don't just hand it over with a fingersnap, but let reality slowly work its way into delivering the wished effect.

Or agree with said player to have a good laugh and give him a free familiar named Will (the refer to my previous post here) to see what comes out of it. If things go haywire the familiar can always choose freedom..or die.


Rynjin wrote:

I always preferred the Harrow Deck (mostly because it's an actual full deck of cards...), so that's the one I usually think of.

The Winged Serpent wrote:
The character is granted a single wish. This wish functions similarly to the spell wish when it comes to affecting rules and statistics, but can also change reality in ways outside the bounds of the spell's effects—such as rerouting a river or ending a war. The GM decides what the wish can and cannot accomplish.

That's actually the one we used was the harrowed deck. I had forgotten which we actually used since I looked at a few different ones. I wanted to mix it up from what the players were used to with D&D.


As of right now, the plan is to give him 2 or 3 options, none being directly the exact wish that he requested. 1 option being the quest-to-receive the wish option, that way he gets what he wants but not NOW. It will take time to get to it and probably at least a couple more levels worth of time.

Other options will be presented as well, i particularly like the aging one if I'm being mean. ;) I'll let him choose which one he likes. Each will have somewhat of a setback from his original wish since it is overpowered as written. Who knows, maybe I'll make him roll for which one happens and don't tell him til its rolled, maybe 4 potential options and make him roll a d4 and let the dice decide his fate.


You could always say that he can only permanency one thing at a time, and when he casts it again it removes the permanency from something else. Or make his caster level 1. I mean half the stuff that requires permanency requires a minimum caster level.


DiceBagChick wrote:
Who knows, maybe I'll make him roll for which one happens and don't tell him til its rolled, maybe 4 potential options and make him roll a d4 and let the dice decide his fate.

It's your game, so run it how you want, but I think a magic system where you exactly specify what you want but get random results sets a frightening precedent - it would bother me as a player. I would wonder if the next time I cast Fireball, would I get a Furball instead?

That's excessive, I know, but it's a weird precedent.

Perhaps more specifically, my real fear would be "Wow, that wish sucked, I got a totally random result. I never want a wish again!"

In other words, there's no lesson, there's just unpredictability.

I would much, much, much prefer (as a player) to be able to say "Well, that sucked, didn't get what I hoped for but I sure learned my lesson; next time I'll try to stay within the boundaries of a Wish or, if not, at least I can predict the kind of consequence I might get".

Dark Archive

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His request is over-powered and worded in a way that it is clear he is trying to 'game the system' as it were to power-game.

I would simply let him know that his wish is beyond the ability of the spell, have him carefully read exactly how a wish works and then ask him to speak the re-worded wish IN CHARACTER.

Based on that IN CHARACTER wish, I would determine the outcome. In-Character prevents reference to levels, and other game-mechanics which allows broad interpretation.

That said, if the new wording was reasonable and not game-breaking, I'd let it happen, if it is clearly power-gaming, then perhaps it wouldn't work as well as desired or in a way not exactly intended. I don't think wishes should be used as an opportunity for punitive measures against a player unless they are very clearly trying to break the balance of the game.


DM_Blake wrote:
DiceBagChick wrote:
Who knows, maybe I'll make him roll for which one happens and don't tell him til its rolled, maybe 4 potential options and make him roll a d4 and let the dice decide his fate.

It's your game, so run it how you want, but I think a magic system where you exactly specify what you want but get random results sets a frightening precedent - it would bother me as a player. I would wonder if the next time I cast Fireball, would I get a Furball instead?

That's excessive, I know, but it's a weird precedent.

Perhaps more specifically, my real fear would be "Wow, that wish sucked, I got a totally random result. I never want a wish again!"

In other words, there's no lesson, there's just unpredictability.

I would much, much, much prefer (as a player) to be able to say "Well, that sucked, didn't get what I hoped for but I sure learned my lesson; next time I'll try to stay within the boundaries of a Wish or, if not, at least I can predict the kind of consequence I might get".

no, that's not what i meant, i meant that the d4 would decide his fate from a few options listed in this thread. There are several ways I can handle his wish that I particularly like in this thread, perhaps a random roll will determine which we go with. I'll likely either let the player decide or see if he wants to let the dice decide.


To be honest I really like the idea of 1/day and the new casting ends the last casting. It give a lot more versatility than the 3/day, but an equal power, and not really over powered. I was thinking that if I get a wish sometime in the future I may ask for something like this. Our DMs, 3.5 home game where we rotate DMs, tend to react better when you provide self limitations.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Phoenix M wrote:

The problem with the wish as worded: AND, AND, AND, AND.

In my games the word 'and' ends the wish. I got that idea from the really OLD D&D cartoon (80's), the character Eric had a wish, the wording went something like this:

Eric: "I wish my friends were safe and at home."
*Friends safely appear*
Eric: "I said safe at home!"
Wish Granter: "No you said "Safe AND at home" that would have been two wishes"
Eric: ---
Wish Granter: I'll see you later.

While I agree with the spirit of your idea, I strongly disagree with the implementation.

"I wish my friends were safely at home."
"I wish my friends were at their safe homes."
"I wish my friends were enjoying the safety of their homes."

There are so many ways to put the singular concept describing this circumstance without using the word "and" that it should be clear to a DM that it's NOT two wishes, it's specification.

"I wish to meet a human woman in a blue dress today."

That's not six wishes.
1} I wish to meet <anyone>.
2} I wish to meet <any human>.
3} I wish to meet <any adult female human>.
4} I wish to meet <any adult female human wearing a dress>.
5} I wish to meet <any adult female human wearing a dress which is blue>.
6} I wish for this wish to take place on a specific day.

"I wish to meet someone and I want them to be human, and she should be a 'she', and she shouldn't be a child, and she should be wearing pretty clothes like perhaps a dress, and that dress should be blue, and oh... I'd rather this doesn't happen on my 70th birthday, so let's specify it happens today."

See? "And" isn't as useful as you're making it out to be.

I'm all for wish being ONE wish, but playing the AND game just perpetuates the GM vs player trope. If you're not hyper-specific, the GM is going to deliberately screw you.

Oh, incidentally, that woman in the blue dress? She's an assassin with a contract on you, and she just spent three rounds getting ready for Death Attack. So yeah, you just met her and you forgot to say she's to be friendly. Can I have a Fort save or you're dead?


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It's just a rule of thumb, Anguish. I wouldn't fret about it too much.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
DiceBagChick wrote:
I wish to have a spell-like ability to cast the spell "permanency" at will, and without any cost, and without any unintended consequences, and without the chance of failure, And have no limit to the number of times I can cast it, and have no limit on how often i can cast it.and without level requirement.

"I wish for an at-will CL 18th spell-like ability of permanency."

That's the I'm-not-trying-really-hard-to-keep-my-DM-from-screwing-me version.

Seriously.

Spell-like abilities don't have material costs.

At-will means an unlimited number of times unless there's additional mitigating text. "You can cast sleep on yourself at will until you hit puberty, when this ability ceases to function."

Without unintended consequences is literally the player saying "please don't screw me, I'm telling you what I'm wishing for, and either grant it or bloody tell me I can't have it, but I don't want this wish if it means every time I use it I turn into a frog."

That's it. From there, it's all repeating the same things over and over.

"Don't screw me."
"Don't screw me."
"Don't screw me."
"Don't screw me."

I've read the thread, and while there's some bumpy moments here and there, I'm sorry, but the thread boils down to "how can I screw my player?"

It's up to the DM to decide if an at-will CL 18th permanency SLA (yes, the wish can be broken down to 30 characters including spaces) is reasonable or not. But my answer to the thread is "don't".

One more thing.

For those folks saying "you can't wish for game mechanics", I cry foul. We use game rules to describe how things work at the table. The PC himself might be saying the words "I wish whenever I wanted to, I could do that thing that the most powerful of wizards can do, where they can make some spells last forever." Oh wait. What's a "wizard"? Right. Back to screw the player. The player using game terms is to your benefit, so you know what the expectations are.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
It's just a rule of thumb, Anguish. I wouldn't fret about it too much.

Understood. I just had 20 minutes set aside for being unproductive, and figured I'd use it to try to refine the spirit of the guideline, and noticed the specific example was... meh.


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Anguish wrote:
DiceBagChick wrote:
I wish to have a spell-like ability to cast the spell "permanency" at will, and without any cost, and without any unintended consequences, and without the chance of failure, And have no limit to the number of times I can cast it, and have no limit on how often i can cast it.and without level requirement.

"I wish for an at-will CL 18th spell-like ability of permanency."

That's the I'm-not-trying-really-hard-to-keep-my-DM-from-screwing-me version.

Seriously.

Spell-like abilities don't have material costs.

At-will means an unlimited number of times unless there's additional mitigating text. "You can cast sleep on yourself at will until you hit puberty, when this ability ceases to function."

Without unintended consequences is literally the player saying "please don't screw me, I'm telling you what I'm wishing for, and either grant it or bloody tell me I can't have it, but I don't want this wish if it means every time I use it I turn into a frog."

That's it. From there, it's all repeating the same things over and over.

"Don't screw me."
"Don't screw me."
"Don't screw me."
"Don't screw me."

I've read the thread, and while there's some bumpy moments here and there, I'm sorry, but the thread boils down to "how can I screw my player?"

It's up to the DM to decide if an at-will CL 18th permanency SLA (yes, the wish can be broken down to 30 characters including spaces) is reasonable or not. But my answer to the thread is "don't".

One more thing.

For those folks saying "you can't wish for game mechanics", I cry foul. We use game rules to describe how things work at the table. The PC himself might be saying the words "I wish whenever I wanted to, I could do that thing that the most powerful of wizards can do, where they can make some spells last forever." Oh wait. What's a "wizard"? Right. Back to screw the player. The player using game terms is to your benefit, so you know what the expectations are.

If you truly believe that my thread is how to completely screw over my player, then you havent read anything i've posted. I want to pare down his request while still giving him some of his wish.

mess with != screw over.


DiceBagChick wrote:

Drew from the deck of many things, player drew the card with a wish. He cashed in his wish request tonight with the following wish, how can I mess with it?

I wish to have a spell-like ability to cast the spell "permanency" at
will, and without any cost, and without any unintended consequences,
and without the chance of failure, And have no limit to the number of
times I can cast it, and have no limit on how often i can cast it.and
without level requirement.

Okay... See... Here we go, this is basically a multi-part wish it just depends on how you interpret it...

Which is exactly how you are supposed to mess with a wish.

So, part 1:

"I wish to have a spell-like ability to cast the spell, "permanency" at will"

then

"and without any cost," (so the permanency will be free costing no GP)

"and without any unintended consequences" (there will be no unintended consequences when you cast Permanency, it will permanency whatever you permanency)

"and without chance of failure" (there will be no chance of failure)

"and no limits to how many times" (nope, can do it however many times you want)

"And without level requirement" (no level requirements)

-----

The problem is, he wasn't very specific about what his unintended consequences pertains to. It COULD pertain to there being no unintended consequences of the WISH or there being no unintended consequences of the PERMANENCY.

I'm going to ASSUME (as I am SUPPOSED to screw up his wish) that it means to the PERMANENCY.

So...

Sure.

You get the power.

Totally get it...

You can't cast any other magic. Ever. You can never cast any other spell. You lose the ability to cast anything other than permanency. Your caster level is 0.


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^Reading HWalsh's post you can see why I exploded at you DiceBagChick (sorry about that).

That is the kind of thing that pops up with infuriating regularity around here when Wish comes up.

"How do I screw my player" is a thread that pops up as often (if not more so) as "Help me build my character", "This thing is overpowered (either because it really is or I don't understand it", "Caster-martial disparity" and "How do I make my paladin fall?" (a sub-set of the first).


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Grant the spirit and intent of his Wish. Yes, literally give him exactly what he wants in the way that he wants it. Allow him to enjoy it . . . for a little while.

When he starts overusing it or abusing it, have an inevitable start to track down some of the left behind permanent items or effects and destroy them. The player should discover that they've been destroyed after the fact; he should not be present when it happens.

If he doesn't get the subtle hint, have the inevitable show up and say, "Primus, The One of Mechanus, has noticed an imbalance in the multiverse. YOU are the source of this imbalance. As a mortal, you are offered this admonition: Producing so many permanent effects so close together physically and temporally has a 'calcifying' effect in upper planes and higher dimensions that you cannot yet perceive. You are instructed to seriously curtail your use of your ability."

Do an image search for "Cease and Desist Form" and modify it to look appropriate for your campaign. Have the inevitable hand it to your player.

If the player still doesn't get the hint, have the inevitable return with a +6 Tome of Understanding. This one is a treatise on the space/time continuum in higher dimensions and across outer, inner, and material planes. Have the inevitable say, "You obviously do not understand the damage you are causing to the very fabric of existence. Primus, The One of Mechanus, orders you to READ THIS BOOK and apply its wisdom to your life and use of this ability. If you fail to comply, more permanent measures will be taken. This is your final warning."

If the player still doesn't take the obvious klaxon and rein himself in, send the inevitable to kill the character.


That's a really cool idea, though actually counter to how Inevitables seem to be written...they're more "Kill first, sort it out later" sorts IIRC.

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