Ignoble Form - 24 hour duration, not dismiss-able?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Does anyone else find it incredibly cumbersome that Ignoble Form (spell from Blood of Shadows that makes a drow appear as a half-elf) cannot be dismissed? I understand the spell is designed for Drow living among surface folk, so it's likely a 'cast every day' type spell, especially with it's 24 hour duration, and the granting of a bonus to a craft or profession skill - but it seems to be seriously missing the ability for that dramatic reveal of the drow's true form if it cannot be turned off short of a dispel magic.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Based on the name, it sounds like more a punishment than anything else. Cast it on someone else as a way to both mock them and give them a chance to get back in the caster's not-so-bad graces. Let's face it, you're a drow, you don't like anyone.


My understanding is that the spell is used to infiltrate surface communities.

If you're the kind of person who'd drop their disguise to dramatically reveal their true nature, then you shouldn't be trusted with dismissable disguises, and if you're not that kind of person, then you wouldn't dismiss your disguise anyway.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Another good point. I just see it as unlikely for a drow to cast it on themself. That's what they have minions for, and minions are not to be trusted with important decisions.


Eh. You also don't trust incompetent minions with long-term infiltration missions.

If they're the minion send to the surface, and they happen to be a spellcaster capable of casting this spell, then they'll have to cast it on themself.

If they're the mastermind forced to come to the surface in disguise, they'd probably still use this spell, since it's better than other disguises with its duration, bonus to bluff, and faked skill focus.

It's a tool, they may not like it, but IIRC they don't like coming to the surface at all (except for short raids), so it's just another drop in the bucket. Whenever a drow is - for whatever reason - forced to pass themselves off as a non-drow, this is the spell to do so. Whether they cast it themselves or have someone else do it is secondary.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I never said it was for incompetent minions, just minions you don't trust. And as a drow, EVERY minion is not trusted. Drow don't trust others, they enjoy humiliating their lessers, and they think everything that isn't a drow is inferior, which is where I get the idea that it's as much a punishment as a tool, or a tool for both. You're correct that they hate going to the surface


Yeah, but my point was more that not every spellcaster is a master, and not every minion isn't a spellcaster. If you're a drow spellcaster infiltrating the surface, then you're going to use this spell. Yes, even on yourself.

Bards can take this spell from level 4 onwards. Wizards at level 7. Clerics can't take it at all. So a bard minion (again, infiltration, charisma helps) might have access to the spell, while the master (for example, a cleric of whatever level) might not. The minion will have to cast it on themselves.

(And it's a (harmless) spell. That doesn't sound like a tag your normal punishment spell has.)


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Val'bryn2 wrote:
Another good point. I just see it as unlikely for a drow to cast it on themself. That's what they have minions for, and minions are not to be trusted with important decisions.

It can only be cast ON a drow, per the target description. There is a drow feat called 'Surface Scout' that grants this as an SLA. Pretty sure it was intended to be for casting on oneself for long term infiltration. I have talked to the author since posting this, and his intention of the nondismissible spell was so the Drow would have to fully buy in to the persona, and not be able to switch in and out of the ignoble persona at will - his fear was the spell being too powerful if it was easily dismissed. Unfortunately, there was already a comparable spell of a lower level, ancestral regression from the ARG, that is dismissible, that did essentially the same thing but to a full elf instead of half-elf, so the 'over powered' reasoning sort of falls flat.

It's also sadly easy to "dismiss" a polymorph spell by simply casting a lower level, short duration polymorph spell and letting it expire. A wand of Aspect of the Nightingale will allow the Drow to come out of his 24 hour non-dismissible Ignoble Form very easily. Something that is so easily circumvented through convoluted means probably shouldn't be that way in the first place, and self cast polymorphs should all be dismissible. I mean, if you have a choice of whether a spell even effects you (see the rules on multiple polymorph effects), you should probably be able to stop it at will as well.


CraziFuzzy wrote:
It can only be cast ON a drow, per the target description.

I think Val'bryn2 means that drow would only cast it on other drow they hold power over, since they'd never defile themselves like that.

I think they're more pragmatic than that, if they're already forced to go to the surface, they're going to use the tools they have.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They're pragmatic, but they are also arrogant, backstabbing little monster. I have more experience with Forgotten Realms drow than any other campaign world's, so I may be wrong on that, but when you had 6-7 of them on a quest of vital importance to the entire race, they still spent half the time trying to screw one another over, and that was when a third of them had lost nearly all of their power.

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